Michigan will welcome Essexville Garber sophomore defensive lineman Alex VanSumeren back to campus on Saturday for their rivalry game against Michigan State.
VanSumeren is the younger brother of Wolverines tailback Ben VanSumeren. Michigan along with Kentucky and Central Michigan have extended early offers to Alex. He also has attracted attention from other schools like Wisconsin and Notre Dame, and plans to give those programs a close look despite the family tie to Michigan.
After a dominant sophomore season, more schools are likely to find their way to the younger VanSumeren. Already 6-foot-3, 265 pounds and with two years of varsity experience already, VanSumeren recorded 91 tackles (20 for loss) and 11 sacks this season.
“He’s come a long way,” Garber head coach Jake Coquillard said. “He was kind of a bigger version of Ben when Ben was a freshman and sophomore. Ben ended up getting very large through hard work, and Alex was kind of gifted with that right from his freshman year. His work ethic is just like Ben’s. He works hard every day, has full commitment to the weight room and is another coach’s dream as far as personality and effort and wanting to be the best.”
Ben played a lot of positions in high school and the tale of his recruitment was schools figuring out where he fit best. That is not likely to be Alex’s story, as his size and skills makes him a very likely defensive tackle candidate.
“He played a lot of defensive end and then we slid him around to defensive tackle a bit,” Coquillard said. “That’s where he is different than Benny. Ben was a wide receiver, offensive kid and Alex is a defensive player and that’s where he wants to play down the line is more of a three-tech. He’s completely disruptive. People run away from him and double-team him and he still had 11 sacks.”
The scary thought for opponents and enticing thought for colleges is that VanSumeren still has two high school seasons left.
“He’s willing to work for it. He is one that will put in the time and does so every day. I think the sky’s the limit for him,” Coquillard said. “He’s going to get nothing but stronger, he’s going to get better technique. He’s going to be a monster to deal with. He’s hoping he’s going to get a little taller as well as the years go by, he’s still pretty young. He could be an absolute monster by the time he leaves here as a senior.”
Following this week’s visit to Michigan, VanSumeren will visit Notre Dame the following weekend.
Other visitors for the weekend
Windsor (Ontario) Holy Names tight end Theo Johnson will visit Michigan this weekend. He was originally planning on committing on Nov. 18, the Monday following that trip, but has now postponed that commitment to a yet to be determined date.
Many analyst predictions were favoring Penn State, so the postponement is thought to be a positive development for Michigan.
The Wolverines also will welcome Zeeland East sophomore linebacker Tag Bonnema to campus. Michigan has not yet offered the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Bonnema, but Iowa and Western Michigan have. He camped with the Wolverines the last two summers.
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.