Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson subject of 4-part Pro Football Focus podcast series

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

With the NFL Draft approaching this month, Pro Football Focus is launching a four-part podcast series on former Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, projected the No. 1 overall draft pick.

The “Hutch: The Story of Aidan Hutchinson” podcast, launches Wednesday and will examine Hutchinson’s life, family, playing career and his work ethic. It was the idea of David Sulfaro, the director of communications at PFF, a sports analytics company that focuses on analysis of NFL and college football games. Sulfaro also happens to be Michigan alum who graduated in 2018.

Pro Football Focus is launching a four-part podcast series on former Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, projected as the No. 1 overall draft pick.

“It’s been a dream come true,” Sulfaro said of the podcast. “It’s very motivating to work on a project like 'Hutch' and see the type of people and the caliber of people it takes to make something like this happen. Aidan went to Michigan, I went to Michigan — the stars aligned from early on in my career to have the opportunity to work with a fellow Wolverine.”

PFF teamed with Radegen Sports, Hutchinson’s agency, to make this series happen. Austin Gayle, PFF’s director of content, hosts the interviews, which involved a number of guests, including Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, Hutchinson’s family members and many teammates, including David Ojabo.

Hutchinson was in Cincinnati at PFF’s studio on March 21 to record his insights.

"We're going to talk about my journey and my experiences at Michigan and my journey on my path to the draft," Hutchinson said last month at the NFL Combine. "It's a lot of interviews, but in a podcast you can be a little more real."

Each episode will run 60 to 90 minutes.

“It’s something we feel really good about,” Sulfaro said. “There’s lot of voices to hit on who Aidan is as player and also who is as a person.”

Sulfaro came up with the concept not long after Hutchinson appeared on Gayle’s podcast “Tailgate” after Michigan’s win over Washington last season. He didn’t immediately peg Hutchinson as subject of a long-form podcast, but his appearance was a catalyst for Sulfaro to develop the concept.

“We wanted to dive into a special project with a special player,” Sulfaro said. “We didn’t know if the time was now, but we had an opportunity with how it just worked with my prior relationships with the University of Michigan.”

For Sulfaro, this type of work is a game-changer for him. Before PFF, he had worked in construction, the restaurant business and in retail. He sees the Hutchinson podcast as a way for PFF to expand in a new direction.

After identifying Hutchinson early on as a potential podcast project, now the goal is to find the next candidate.

“Working with players and people like Aidan and his family is the goal,” Sulfaro said. “This is the prototype, this is a franchise changer, this a guy who has an incredible support system and he takes advantage of his incredible work ethic to make the most of it every single day.”


Twitter: @chengelis