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Trieu: Michigan stockpiles star defensive line recruits

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Kwity Paye

Defensive linemen Kwity Paye and Donovan Jeter both spent the weekend in Ann Arbor on official visits to Michigan. By Monday afternoon, Paye, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound recruit from Rhode Island, and Jeter, a 6-foot-7 Pennsylvania native, had committed to the Wolverines. They join a class that already has defensive ends Luiji Vilain and Corey Malone-Hatcher, tackle Phil Paea, and James Hudson, who is likely to go inside, but has experience at end as well.

Defensive tackle Jay Tufele and defensive end Robert Porcher IV, who were also on official visits to Michigan, did not commit, but the Wolverines continue to be in consideration for both. In-state end Deron Irving-Bey still has Michigan high on his list. Oregon commit Rutger Reitmaier wants to visit, LSU commit Neil Farrell has set a visit, five-star and one-time Michigan commit Aubrey Solomon may still visit, and there are other names still on the board on the defensive line.

The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb says that, despite the commitments of Paye and Jeter, nothing has changed and the Wolverines will have room for more defensive linemen.

Taking as many as nine defensive linemen in a recruiting class may seem like overkill, but given the Wolverines’ rotation this season, that number becomes less surprising. Twelve different defensive linemen have played for the Wolverines, with Chase Winovich, Ryan Glasgow, Chris Wormley, Rashan Gary, Maurice Hurst, Matt Godin and Taco Charlton all among the top dozen tacklers on the team.

For Paye, however, playing time and the defensive line rotation were not primary factors in his decision.

"The reason I showed interest first in Michigan is because it’s a great academic program,” he said. “I understand the football part of it, but football is not going to last me long, so I want to go to a place where after football I'll be set to take care of my future family, and make sure I'm in the best position to succeed."

Michigan’s committed players do not seem to be worried about others at their position joining the class. In fact, it has been the opposite.

Malone-Hatcher has spearheaded a massive social media recruiting campaign that has targeted Wolverine prospects at every position, not just the defensive line, and Paea made sure he was there to recruit Tufele on Saturday.

"With Phil, we just met but we definitely kicked it off,” Tufele said. “It was like we had already known each other for a while. He's an awesome guy and I've seen his tape, so I know he's an amazing athlete, too. The coaches were telling us how deadly it would be if he and I were lined up next to each other. Just thinking about it, it would be amazing."

Wolverine fans surely would agree.

First official for Maryland game set

El Cerrito (Calif.) senior offensive lineman Aaron Banks reports to Scout’s Brice Marich that he will take an official visit to Michigan for the Nov. 5 game against Maryland. Banks last visited Ann Arbor for the BBQ at the Big House in August and reported having a strong visit.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh came to see him play during Michigan’s bye week.

Arizona State, Arkansas, UCLA, Notre Dame and Oregon remain some of the other schools on his list. Banks does have family in Michigan, however, a factor that helps with the distance from home.

Big tackle looking to visit

Highland Springs (Va.) offensive tackle Mekhi Becton says his next visit will be to Michigan, but he has not set a date yet, according to Scout’s Michael Clark.

Becton (6-foot-7, 300 pounds) was offered by the Wolverines in May. At the time, it was his 25th offer. He is now up to 28.

Michigan is in his top 10 along with Virginia, Michigan State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Georgia, Rutgers, North Carolina, Penn State and Maryland.

He plans to announce his choice on National Signing Day.

More information

Kwity Paye profile 

Donovan Jeter profile 

Aaron Banks profile

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.