Michigan picked up a big Memorial Day Weekend commitment from one of the program’s top overall targets in Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood Top247 outside linebacker Junior Colson. Other programs Colson strongly considered before landing on the Wolverines were Tennessee, LSU, Ole Miss and Oregon.
The 6-foot-2, 228-pound Colson is tabbed by the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s No. 8 outside linebacker and No. 116 prospect overall. He had over 30 offers to his name.
“I love the culture and the football program, and the coaches are great to be around,” Colson told 247Sports. “I believe they will be able to use me to my full potential and how I want to be played.”
— Barton Simmons (@bartonsimmons) May 24, 2020
Commit No. 14 for the Maize and Blue here in this 2021 recruiting cycle, Michigan rises two spots in the 247Sports Composite National Team Rankings to No. 8 with the pledge from Colson. They also happened to pass Iowa and Minnesota in that same process to catapult up to No. 2 in the Big Ten Standings.
“I am really excited to be a part of this class and I can’t wait to talk to my (future) teammates,” Colson said.
Easy to see why head coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff, along with many others, pushed hard to get the four-star Colson in the fold. He had a monster junior season that included 175 tackles including 30 stops for loss and 15 sacks.
Colson said the Michigan staff is giving him the No. 5 and they plan to use him to another No. 5 that recently shined in Ann Arbor.
“They want to use me like they used Jabrill Peppers,” Colson said. “I looked up to Jabrill since I was real young. I have a Jabrill Peppers jersey. It’s a great fit. I’m close with everyone on their staff. They talk to me every day. I talk to Coach Don Brown the defensive coordinator and a couple other people on the staff.”
247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons compares Colson’s game to that of Michael Divinity out of LSU.
“Formerly slender, athletic linebacker with length that has already begun the process to add mass to support an in-the-box role on the next level,” Simmons wrote in his evaluation. “Former wide receiver that brings that kind of athleticism to the linebacker position. Loose hips and a natural in coverage. Good ball skills. Attractive as a nickel linebacker. Comfortable operating in space as a perimeter tackler. Good athlete that checks the combine testing box. Extremely productive on a one of the best teams in Tennessee. Sure tackler but not ferocious. Nothing jarring about point of attack physicality. More equipped to be an uncovered run and chase defender than a downhill box defender but is starting to evolve in that regard. Has flashed pass rush ability as a blitzer.”
Colson told the whole staff he was coming during a Zoom call late last week.
“It was great seeing their reaction to me committing and it brought joy to my parents,” Colson said. “The family atmosphere really stands out to me and how we can have an open communication.”
Colson has all the traits to evolve into one of the best defensive players in the Big Ten.
“I think my skill set separates me from a lot of people,” Colson said. “One of my coaches described me bringing into a 53-man roster saying I make it 56.”
Other offers for Colson included Auburn, Florida State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Penn State, Texas A&M, USC and Wisconsin.