Michigan's defensive line added some beef to the middle in 2017 DT Phil Paea.

Michigan's defensive line added some beef to the middle in 2017 DT Phil Paea.


His Recruiting Story

A bona fide national recruit, Paea held offers from Notre Dame, BYU, Arizona, Oregon, Nebraska, Michigan State and Michigan. Building strong relationships with both Greg Mattison and Tony Tuioti in Ann Arbor, Paea utilized that comfort in making his decision to stay in-state to play for the Wolverines.

Scouting Report

"Good athlete who used to play linebacker before he grew into a defensive lineman. Still shows some of those skills and speed when it comes to closing and pursuit. Naturally strong kid, but can still play with better leverage to maximize his strength. Will have to adjust to competition at the college level as he does not often face other top D1 guys in his league."

Why Michigan?

"When you're Polynesian, it’s just like a clique when you meet up with each other, especially when you met someone from a small place like Michigan and you don’t see a lot of Polynesians everywhere, so when you see them, then it’s automatic family. You bring them in and show them around a little bit and that is actually what he did with me. (Coach Tuioti) brought me in and made me feel very comfortable.”

“It’s great (with my relationship with Coach Mattison and his wife). First time going up there, I met Coach Mattison and I just felt at home. That’s what all players look for when they are choosing their school that they are going to be at the next four years a home like place. I definitely found that out that at Michigan with Coach Mattison and Ann Mattison making it really comfortable for me and my family.”

Bottom Line

Given his size at 6-foot-4, 270-pounds, Paea brings a nice blend of size as a run stopper and athleticism as a pocket disrupter in the passing game. With Michigan's propensity and ability to rotate several players along the defensive line, Paea could factor into the mix in the middle of Don Brown's defense.

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