Greg Mattison calls Rashan Gary a 'tremendous talent,' chances playing as a freshman

Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison gushes about Rashan Gary's ability and character.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- There's no mistaking the prize recruit of the 2016 recruiting class is Rashan Gary.

The fanbase is excited to see a talent like Gary but so are the coaching staff. Especially his position coach in defensive line coach Greg Mattison. Mattison gushed about Gary as the player and person.

"He's a tremendous talent," Mattison said on WTKA's National Signing Day Show. "The thing about it, I keep saying it, he's a great talent but a great person also. He's got great character, you're talking about a 6-foot-5, 300-pound defensive end that can run like he's an open-side end. Extremely hard, he's already been very well coached coming from Paramus Catholic and we're very, very excited about having him here."

When asked about whether Gary reminded him of any players he has formerly coached, Mattison mentioned one player in particular during his stint at the University of Florida that saw some success in the collegiate ranks.

"The one guy he reminds me of that I had at the University of Florida that played a long time is Ray McDonald," Mattison said. "You talk about strong hands, when he strikes somebody you see the guy, it really jerks them. He has great quickness and great ability to come off blocks, you don't know until he gets here."

Now, Gary has to get on campus and compete. The thing with head coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff is that spots are never guaranteed and they are always earned. With that, Mattison says it doesn't matter how old you or whether you're a freshman or senior. If you're good enough to play, you will play.

"The way we deal with everything at the University of Michigan and the defensive line, it's like the NFL," Mattison said. "When you're a freshman, you're a rookie. Nobody every cares how many rookies play. If you're good enough as a rookie, you're playing. If you're a fifth-year guy and you're not playing, you don't play, it's the bottom line. Anybody that's already enrolled in school right now then you are a rookie, you're ready to play. It's our job to make sure he's ready with the scheme."

"The hardest thing for a young guy to come in is learning the defense, the defenses are a little more complicated in college than the high school level. This kid is a smart kid "

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