Michigan Football Early Signing Day: Wolverines land Dominic Nichols
According to reports, Michigan Football has landed one of the top players in the state of Maryland, as Dominic Nichols has signed with the Wolverines. Nichols, a 3-star EDGE from Ijamsville, MD, is the No. 15 ranked player in the state and the No. 37 ranked EDG in the nation for the Class of 2024, according to the 247Sports composite.
Here is the scouting report on Dominic Nichols via Touch The Banner:
Nichols is a big body whose frame has some room to grow. He’s already listed at 252 lbs. and there has been some talk that he’s 6’6″, though most sites list him at 6’5″. He shows the ability to be physical when making tackles and taking on blockers, and he has adequate speed to close out on ball carriers. His wingspan allows him to snare some ball carriers that otherwise might slip past.
On the negative side, Nichols plays too high and, as a result of that, does not show much of an ability to convert what he sees into a sense of urgency to change direction. He takes on too many blocks in the chest and does not sufficiently use his length to shock, lock out, and shed blockers. Despite playing against a lot of smaller, less talented players, he does not disengage from tackles very efficiently. His first step is somewhat slow, and he often has to use counter moves to try to push the pocket or get a pass rush. For being a 4-star edge prospect, he very rarely wins with speed.
Overall, Dominic Nichols is a solid strongside defensive end prospect without a lot of juice. He will need to learn technique and to play lower, but I think his upside is limited due to his lack of quickness. He could end up being a Mike Morris-level standup defensive end, but just like Morris – who finished this past season with 7.5 sacks to lead the team – his ability to rush the passer might be more about being able to bully tackles into the backfield than about any sort of mismatch in athleticism.
I think Michigan’s defense will be more effective overall if they have more of a quick-twitch player there at that spot. Perhaps expecting an Aidan Hutchinson every year is too much, but somewhere between Hutchinson and Morris is fair to hope for on a pretty regular basis.