Trieu: Ties to state help give Michigan shot at Utah defensive lineman Van Fillinger

By Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Van Fillinger, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound tight end from Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon, received an offer from Michigan.

Michigan extended an offer to Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon defensive lineman Van Fillinger on Monday, and while the 6-foot-3, 255-pound junior may not be focused heavily on recruiting at the moment, his ties to Michigan make him a prospect analysts believe the Wolverines have a strong chance with.

“His dad’s side of the family is from the area, and they are all big Michigan fans and he has grown up a Michigan fan,” Corner Canyon head coach Eric Kjar said. “That is the school he always really wanted to go to all along. Like I said, he has ties back out there, his dad lived in Detroit for a little bit and he has family back in the area as well.”

Fillinger impressed at the Under Armour Regional Camp in Northern California recently. At 255 pounds, Kjar said schools have talked about strongside defensive end or interior defensive line with him.

“Work ethic I think is what sets him apart and what enables him to be recruited the way he is,” Kjar said. “He is coachable; our defensive line coach does a good job with his initial strike, gets off the ball well, great physical tools, length, really long arms, and super strong.”

He is also a kid whose trajectory continues to rise.

“He started for us as a sophomore — that was my first year at the school,” Kjar said. “He was a little undersized. At the time, he was about 205 pounds and played interior defensive line for us and then last year, he gained a lot of weight, got up to 235 pounds, improved his strength and speed and started for us again. He already put on probably 25 more pounds and improved a lot physically so he should have a heck of a senior year.”

Michigan is an outlier on Fillinger’s offer list location-wise. UCLA, Boise State, Utah and other schools closer to home have offered. LSU is his lone SEC offer. For now, he is planning to take his time with recruiting,

“That’s the toughest thing he’s trying to work through now is, he hasn’t tried to limit anything down. He is trying to get better and then focusing more on that late in the summer,” Kjar said.

Fillinger is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 5 junior in Utah.

UM in top 5 for coveted OT

Aurora (Colo.) junior offensive tackle Reece Atteberry named Michigan to a top five list which also includes Duke, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Nebraska on Monday.

Atteberry (6-5, 280 pounds) has visited Michigan twice including for a game in October.

He is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 3 junior in Colorado and is rated as a four-star prospect.

UM offers Texas safety

Chris Thompson, a physical 6-foot-2, 195-pound four-star safety from Duncanville, Texas, was offered by Michigan on Tuesday.

Thompson, a hard-hitter with strong tackling skills, may project as a viper for the Wolverines.

In-state schools Texas and Texas A&M are considered the competition for Thompson at the moment, but he has 31 offers in all.

More information

Van Fillinger profile

Reece Atteberry profile

Chris Thompson Jr. profile

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