From the moment Rashan Gary committed to Michigan as the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country, the question wasn’t “will he be good?” Rather, it was “how good can he be?”
With Michigan’s loaded defensive line, we didn’t get an answer to that question in Gary’s freshman year. He racked up five tackles for loss and one sack in limited snaps. But heading into his sophomore year, many are expecting Gary to live up to his top-recruit billing.
One of those people is Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown. He was asked on Saturday at Michigan’s high school football camps just how good the sophomore defensive lineman can be.
“Best I’ve ever seen,” Brown said via The Detroit News. “Best I’ve ever seen combining speed, strength, change of direction, and the mental curve. He’s unbelievable. The sky is the limit.
“The good thing is I think he understands that there’s a lot on his shoulders.”
That’s high praise coming from a coach that’s been around football for 40-plus years. Brown has only seen Gary up close for a year, but it’s hard not to be impressed with some of his measurables.
In March, Michigan ran an offseason testing program which showed off Gary’s next-level potential. He posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.57 seconds (first among Michigan linebackers and defensive linemen), as well as a blistering 6.70 seconds in the three-cone drill. That would’ve ranked first among all defensive linemen at the NFL scouting combine.
But there’s more than the physical attributes that impress Brown. He said Gary developed a commanding presence with his teammates already, which is a credit to the way he carries himself on a day-to-day basis.
“…They know he works his tail off,” Brown said of Gary. “If you’re a big mouth and you don’t work very hard, 10 guys aren’t going to take you very seriously. But when they see how hard he works … and usually when he opens his mouth it’s with purpose.”