Naples (Fla.) defensive back Sammy Faustin committed to Michigan earlier in the month, at a time when the Wolverines had received several new commitments. That could be part of the reason his commitment did not receive the fanfare of other recent verbals, but Faustin was a top target for the Wolverines.
His size (6-2, 190 pounds) gives him the versatility to project to cornerback or safety, and falls right in line with the body types Michigan has been bringing in at those positions. His development into top-level college prospect began his sophomore season at Naples.
“This will be his third year of varsity,” Naples Hall of Fame head coach Bill Kramer said. “He backed up Tyler Byrd, who played corner and is a wideout now at Tennessee. I still think Tyler is an NFL corner, but we’ll see. Sammy played some and we were pretty good that year, so he wound up playing a good bit in the second half of games.”
That experience, along with helping hands from Byrd, served to accelerate Faustin’s learning curve.
“Thankfully, Tyler understands the legacy of the school,” Kramer said. “Our school has a culture where older guys help younger guys. I’m not sure it’s always helpful to have a high school All-American in front of you. It really depends on that guy, but Tyler is a really good teammate and works with all our guys to help them improve on and off the field.”
Faustin got his opportunity as a junior and made the most of it. He had 38 tackles and one interception, statistics that may be misleading because teams did not throw his way much. Scholarship offers began to come his way. He would receive 22 in total with Kentucky, Virginia, Ole Miss and more among them. When Michigan offered in February, it was partly the result of a longtime friendship between Kramer and defensive coordinator Don Brown.
“Don’s been a good friend for a long time and he’s familiar with our program and our players,” Kramer said, “and you don’t have to watch very much of Sammy to see he’s got all the tools. I’m happy because I know he’s going to a place where the guy will take care of him, tell him the truth and work just as hard as Sammy’s going to work.”
Work ethic is just one component of what makes Faustin a highly-regarded prospect.
“He’s wonderful,” Kramer said. “I tell you what he is not: Sometimes you can define something the way The Bible defines love, by saying what it is not, and he is not entitled; he is grateful. He is a wonderful kid to be around because of that. He is a worker, competitor, he’s genetically gifted, all of that, and he’s exceedingly humble and kind.”
So 6-foot-2 Sammy Faustin joins the 6-foot-1 Green twins from Texas (German and Gemon) and 6-foot-1 Myles Sims from Georgia in Michigan’s secondary class. That’s a lot of length and a lot of versatility, qualities Kramer knows Brown will put to use.
“I’ve known Don for a long time and we do a lot of what they do,” Kramer said. “We’d move him to safety, but the nice thing is, he’s got the length to play either position. He can press to the outside to the wide side of the field, he can play Cover 2 on all the fast-twitch type guys on the rubs, option routes, he can do both and he’s a big enough body to hit a gap in the run-fit, so I think that’s the deal for him is he’s got Cover 0 skills with the body and physicality to play in the box.”
The Wolverines now have 15 commitments in the 2018 class.
Wolverine commits set to begin senior seasons
High school football begins this week in Indiana, meaning Michigan commits Emil Ekiyor and Cameron McGrone will start their senior seasons.
McGrone, a four-star linebacker, and his Lawrence Central squad will face Lafayette on Friday night. This will be McGrone’s first game action since injuring his knee late last season. He has fully recovered from the injury, as evidenced by his outstanding summer camp performances at The Opening Regional and then Finals.
Ekiyor, a four-star offensive guard, and his Cathedral squad will play at Louisville St. Xavier, which has 2019 Michigan commit Stephen Herron on the defensive line. The following week, Cathedral will travel to Detroit to take on Detroit King in the Detroit Prep Kickoff Classic.
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.