Trieu: Incoming Mazi Smith ready to compete for starting DT job at Michigan
Michigan signee Mazi Smith played his final high school game on Thursday evening, participating in the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando. Smith now returns home to Grand Rapids for only a day before moving to Ann Arbor and enrolling in college.
He impressed onlookers during the week of practice for the game, with a handful of eye-catching reps during one-on-ones that showed off his strength and explosiveness.
“(He was) one of a handful of impressive looking defensive tackles in the game,” 247Sports national analyst Greg Biggins said. “He looked good on back to back days and really shined on Monday. He is not just strong, he has good lateral mobility, a quick get-off and showed he can beat an opposing lineman in multiple ways.”
Defensive tackle is one spot where Michigan has immediate availability, and Smith’s size (6-3, 310 pounds) and strength makes him a strong candidate to play as a true freshman. His early enrollment will further that opportunity.
"I'm glad I got these practices to run around and fire up my lungs before I got winter conditioning," he said. "I’m going to be honest, there isn’t anything like that grown man in college. Nothing like that is lining up across from you (at Under Armour). It’s a good little warm up. I’m reporting (to Michigan) next week, so I’m going to get it in.”
East Kentwood has a good strength and conditioning program, so Smith feels like he is prepared for what he will see at Michigan. In fact, it was the strength staff that made Smith, who grew up liking Michigan State, shift toward the Wolverines.
"It was not when Michigan got a new weight room, but when they got a new weight staff,” he said. “It was the way they came at you to make you the best you can be, but do it in different ways and bringing new things to the weight room."
Smith will begin classes at Michigan on Monday.
UM commit to 2020 All-America Game
Michigan cornerback commit Andre Seldon was a top performer at Under Armour’s Future 50 event and was invited to next year’s All-America Game.
The Belleville product was coached by NFL greats Deion Sanders and Ed Reed during the camp, and it was former Washington Redskin and Pittsburgh Steeler Ryan Clark who extended the invitation to him.
Seldon committed to Michigan in June shortly after earning a Wolverine offer at their summer camp.
Five-star Rogers to visit UM
Oak Park junior Justin Rogers, who also participated in the Future 50 event this week, reported he will visit Michigan after the dead period.
Rogers, ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s top guard, can also play right tackle and stood out as a defensive lineman during Future 50.
He visited Michigan for a basketball game in December, but the Wolverines still face a tough battle as he is considering Georgia, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, USC, Tennessee, Michigan State and others still.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. 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.