June 14, 2016
ANN ARBOR — Jim Harbaugh love versatility.
A large chunk of Harbaugh’s recruiting plan during his first two cycles at Michigan has centered around finding prospects who can play multiple positions. Sometimes at once.
And in the form of four-star signee Khaleke Hudson — who will join the program later this summer — Michigan believe it’s found exactly that.
Speaking with PennLive this week, Hudson — who did a little bit of everything in high school at McKeesport High School in Pennsylvania — said he’ll start his career at strong safety before eventually taking on some offensive responsibility as a sophomore.
That’s the plan right now at least.
“I think as soon as I get there, I’m going to have an impact on the team,” Hudson told PennLive. “I’ll be at strong safety my first year, and then my second year, they’re going to be putting me on offense and giving me some plays and stuff.
“They want me to get the defensive part down pat, and then they’ll throw me in the offense.”
Hudson, a 6-foot, 206-pounder, rushed 1,258 yards while averaging 10.6 yards a carry, and scored 25 touchdowns last season as a senior. He was recruited by most schools as a safety prospect, though he also appears to have the body type and skill set necessary to fill Don Brown’s hybrid linebacker role at some point.
He’s also not the only incoming freshman on Michigan’s roster who could wind up at different spots this fall.
Far from it.
Chris Evans, a four-star prospect from Indianapolis, can play running back and slot receiver. He can also play defensive back if need be.
Four-star receiver Brad Hawkins (6-2, 205) was also a standout safety in high school in New Jersey, racking up 15 tackles for loss and three interception returns for a score during his junior season.
One of Harbaugh’s many coaching trademarks is his willingness to move players around once they arrive in college, even to spots they’ve never played before.
A few tweaks Harbaugh’s made at Michigan so far include: Henry Poggi (DL to FB), Khalid Hill (TE to FB), Zach Gentry (QB to TE), Tom Strobel (DL to OL to DL), Freddy Canteen (WR to DB to WR).
Harbaugh has said before that a player’s natural skill set eventually determines where he’ll end up.
“I don’t dictate where the fellas compete,” Harbaugh said in December.