This is the 14th in a series of profiles on the top 15 players on The Detroit News Blue Chip list. Today: No. 2, Dearborn Divine Child defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.
Aidan Hutchinson made the most of his opportunity to play tight end his senior year, grabbing his share of the passes from Michigan State-bound quarterback Theo Day while playing outstanding defensive end to help Dearborn Divine Child reach the Division 3 regional final.
Hutchinson was an intimidating force at 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds, putting on 20 pounds of muscle for his senior season and getting in on 65 tackles, including 27 for lost yardage. He also had 36 receptions for 416 yards and eight touchdowns to earn a spot on The News' Dream Team.
Now, it’s on to Michigan where his father, Chris Hutchinson, was an All-American and the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1992, and helped the Wolverines defeat Washington in the 1993 Rose Bowl.
Yes, Hutchinson wished Divine Child could have made a longer postseason run, but he was pleased with his senior season.
“It went pretty good," Hutchinson said. "Obviously didn’t end up the way I wanted, we got cut short, but individually I think things went well at tight end and defensive end.
“It was definitely a little bit of a change for me to go from offensive line to tight end, but it’s always been a dream of mine to play tight end, and playing my senior year I was really happy about it. I think it went really well, and with Theo at quarterback, it was a lethal combination.
“I remember one play, it was in the first half against U-D (Jesuit), one of my better plays. I was running a little bit and Theo threw it a little bit behind me and I snagged it with one hand over this corner who was covering me. I thought that was a cool moment at tight end, and then I trucked a few dudes after I caught it, which was pretty cool.”
Hutchinson feels his time in the weight room paid off for him.
“I definitely got bigger, put on 20 pounds for my senior season and I still maintained that speed and think I got more explosive, quicker off the line. I think those are the things as a defensive end that you need,” said Hutchinson, who will play defensive end at Michigan.
“I played at 6-5 and 235 pounds my junior year, then played at 6-6, 255 my senior year, but now I’m 265. I’ve been in the weight room since the season ended, definitely working on my conditioning.”
Hutchinson said he benched 225 pounds seven times his junior year, and 15 times now.
So, why Michigan?
“Michigan has always been a dream of mine, I’m just truly blessed to play there,” said Hutchinson, who committed to Michigan last February. “A big reason I’m going is the defensive coaches, Coach Matty (Greg Mattison), Coach (Don) Brown and then of course Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, obviously the head coach. And, having Michigan in my backyard and with those coaches, it’s truly a blessing and I’m really thankful for the opportunity to play there.”
Mattison was defensive line coach at Michigan in 1992, Chris Hutchinson’s All-American senior season. Don Brown is now the defensive coordinator of the Wolverines.
Does he feel any pressure playing for the Wolverines, a program where his father made a name for himself?
“No, I don’t feel any pressure and I know people will compare once I get there, but that doesn’t really bother me. I don’t really look at those comparisons or anything,” Hutchinson said. “It’s going to be cool going to my dad’s college.”
Hutchinson, who has a 3.7 grade-point average, did not enroll early and decided to enjoy his senior year. He plans to play lacrosse this spring.
“I’ve played lacrosse since seventh grade, just like football,” Hutchinson said. “I had the option to enroll early, but chose not to because I’d never get those five months back. I’ve talked to guys who enrolled early and some of them were a little bit not happy with their decision. There’s some pros to it, but you’re never going to go to high school again so that was my thinking. That’s why I’m staying here, to enjoy my high school experience.”
BLUE CHIP PROFILES