What Michigan might get in Drew Kendall
Drew Kendall was supposed to be committed by now.
On Aug. 28, the four-star offensive linemen — a top target for Michigan in the 2021 class — told 247Sports that he’d be committing in the next week. It would have been the end to a four-horse race between the Wolverines, Boston College, Duke and Stanford. Instead, there’s been radio silence from Dedham, Mass.
“He’s very open-minded and he’s not rushing to make a final decision,” Panos Voulgaris, Kendall’s coach at Nobles and Greenough School, said. “And I think the fact that it doesn’t look like we’re gonna be playing any games, it hasn’t expedited the decision at all.
“So he’s being patient and he wants to have the most clarity on making a final decision. So no rush at this point.”
That may not be a bad thing for Michigan. After losing four-star guard Rocco Spindler to Notre Dame last month, Kendall seems to be the best remaining option on the 2021 board at the position. The Wolverines have four offensive line commits for the class — centers Raheem Anderson and Greg Crippen, both four stars, four-star tackle Giovanni El-Hadi and three-star tackle Tristan Bounds.
Kendall, a top-10 guard and top-130 recruit on 247Sports’ composite score, would fit nicely into that mix.
“I think athletically and technically, he’s gonna be ready to go (in college),” Voulgaris said. “It’s just a matter of being put in an environment where there are several other players at his level. And getting used to that speed and to the pace of practice and to what Power 5 football demands. So it’s just a matter of acclimating.”
Voulgaris said Kendall is over 265 pounds right now and could develop to as big as 295. Even over a summer marred by COVID-19, he found ways to work out.
“He made a lot of gains in the weight room, with his strength numbers,” Voulgaris said, “and also with his numbers on the field as far as agility time, explosiveness, speed, quickness, all that stuff.”
Kendall’s father, Pete, had a 13-year NFL career as an offensive linemen after a college career at Boston College. He works on the Nobles coaching staff now, and Voulgaris credits him with much of Drew’s development. Voulgaris said Kendall has been exposed to gap, man and zone run schemes in high school, making his transition to college easier.
In Massachusetts, it’s unlikely there will be a high school football season this fall. Coupled with a recruiting dead period, that puts situations like Kendall’s in limbo. Instead of a season, there’s an indefinite run of practices without anything to practice for or any college coaches coming through town.
“Naturally he’s disappointed, like everyone who’s a competitor, by not playing in the games,” Voulgaris said. “But he’s controlling what he can control, and making sure that he takes advantage of the practice time that he has and this extra time in the weight room and he’s gonna make gains where he can.”
Even in those practices, Voulgaris sees Kendall leading and setting the tone, other players looking up to him. He’s seen Kendall display that sort of attitude since they first met, three years ago.
“Even before I ever saw him get onto the field, this is someone who loves the game of football and you see it in the way he communicates about it, the way he interacts with coaches,” Voulgaris said. “His desire to learn the game, whether it’s on the white board, in the film room or when it comes to the actual being on the field and getting better from a physical standpoint and a competitive standpoint.
“He loves every aspect of football and that was evident from the first time I met him and had a conversation with him.”