Previously: Last year’s profiles. S Damani Dent, S/Nk Zeke Berry, S/HSP Keon Sabb, CB Myles Pollard, CB/Nk Kody Jones, CB Will Johnson, LB Deuce Spurlock, LB Jimmy Rolder, DE/LB Micah Pollard, DE Derrick Moore, DT Mason Graham, DT Kenneth Grant, DT Cam Goode, T Andrew Gentry, T/G Connor Jones.
|Montreal, QUE via Windsor, CT – 6’6”, 285|
#46 OT, #1 CT
NR OT, #3 CT
|3*, 78, #59 East
#49 OT, #1 CT
|not rated IOL|
|3*, 0.8702, #679 ovr
#56 OT, #2 CT
|Other Suitors||PSU, MSU, UGA|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello Post by Me.|
Imagine you were challenged to create the ultimate under-the-radar recruit. Rules are he has to be a recruit who gets the bare minimum coverage from the four sites, but also seem like a guy over 50-percent likely to eventually start for a contender. If we’re to engineer this correctly we have to start with some factors that often get players overlooked:
- Has to grow up away from football, preferably in another country or a part of America (like Connecticut) where scouts don’t want to waste their time.
- Competition level has to be low so his tape can’t be taken seriously.
- Stays away from all camps. Private workouts only.
- Projects to a position he’s not playing now.
- Make him an offensive lineman, since those are the hardest to rank out of high school.
- Can’t be close to playing size. Have him be a good 30-40 pounds under college weight, and a late growth spurt so what’s circulating from roster data is years outdated.
- Recruitment has to go quickly; no more than one school should have time to take more than a passing glance. Be on the board as little time as possible.
- Big offers should be kept quiet. Preferably no social media, but if so no edits except from where he commits and schools that often recruit well outside the top-1000 like Connecticut or Michigan State.
- No official visits, and bunch the unofficial ones into a single trip announced at the last minute so recruiting reporters don’t get wind.
- Minimal relevant football played. Stay out of America as long as possible. Pandemic- or injury-canceled seasons.
- No drama after he commits—guy has to be so about the place he’s going nobody looks at him again.
Alessandro Lorenzetti is going to be hard to beat. He got a huge head start by starting his life Montreal, transferring to Connecticut in time to see his junior season canceled by the pandemic, then had his senior year asterisked by playing with a shoulder injury. He was discovered by Michigan only because he was intercepted for a workout on his way to Michigan State. It wasn’t a perfect run; Penn State got involved, the SEC was poking around, and a workout at Ohio State was in the works at one point. He also slipped and put out some pretty good senior tape, though fortunately that didn’t cost him since he was literally the first player in Michigan’s class to get his LOI sent in.
Jake Moody still owns the Michigan Any% record for managing to slip into his class as a scholarship player without anyone taking him for more than a walk-on until he was literally on the field, but Lorenzetti’s record for least scouting on a position player might stand for a long time.
[After THE JUMP: This isn’t great news if you’re writing a summary recruiting profile]
A Moon Shaped Pool
Lorenzetti had nothing but workout film to peddle, so that’s what people saw…on Twitter. The first notice 24/7 took of him was April 2021, because of his “nice workout tape.” At that point MSU and some ACC schools were his only Power 5 offers. On his way to see Michigan State in June he stopped in Ann Arbor for a workout, and Michigan’s eyes perked up. Explained EJ Holland:
The staff was aware of him and kept tabs, but it wasn’t until Lorenzetti worked out in front of the staff that he earned an offer. Lorenzetti returned for Victors Weekend soon after, and the Wolverines were able to make a splash.
He canceled a trip to Virginia Tech a few weeks later to take a Michigan official, and canceled a workout for Ohio State to commit the Wolverines instead. It was weeks later before the one site that shared their evaluations made on. 24/7’s East Coast scout Brian Dohn “saw two things immediately”:
He is long and he bends well. And those are strong starting points.
MLive’s Ryan Zuke spoke to Lorenzetti’s coach at Loomis Chaffee in Connecticut, Jeff Moore, who said the first things to stand out about Lorenzetti are his athleticism and flexibility.
“I feel pretty confident to say that he’s just as athletic or flexible as any other offensive lineman that’s over 6-4 and weighs over 265 in the country,” Moore said. “Those are his big things. You can get a guy stronger in the weight room; you can teach him technique stuff. But flexibility and athleticism are two things that are very hard to accelerate when they get to college, so he’s got some great tools and some great assets. The sky’s the limit as long as it keeps working as hard as he has.”
ECU was his first offer, and there too Lorenzetti believed the offensive line coach was enthralled with the “overall technique and my bend.” MSU offered on “my overall athleticism, my technique and my hips and my bend.”
Dohn mentioned the gumbyness first and foremost when moving Lorenzetti up to an 88 (high 3-star) based on a Chafee practice:
…his abilities to bend and move in space were impressive … athleticism, flexibility throughout his frame … possesses the foot speed to cover the outside against speed.
…and later made it the centerpiece of our own good professional scouting report:
He bends well, and he has explosion. He can sink his hips and explode up and into the defender. His feet are quick, and he is active. He can scrape and get to the second level.
Touch the Banner, whom we can usually count on to get our expectations to come down a peg, was not letting us off the hook.
possesses tremendous feet, with the ability to kick slide and the willingness to constantly slide and mirror defenders.
The King of Limbs
The other thing Dohn mentioned was the length, later adding “He is active with his hands and is able to consistently get them inside.” How big seems to be a question. The sites listed 6’6″/285 (24/7) or 275 (the other three) but as of last summer his coach said 6’5″/268:
“He drastically changed his body. He showed up at 286, and we got him down to 268 and he’s been slowly building his body back up.
Via a program source, Lorenzetti’s closer to 6’5″ than 6’6″, but with longer arms than some of their guys two inches taller. EJ Holland’s commit post for Rivals noted “good length and a nice build” at 6’6″/275 with the frame to be a steal. ECU’s site also noted he’s “very long.” TTB thought dropping the excess weight revealed a “nice, athletic frame.”
That doesn’t answer what kind of run blocker he is. Dohn mentions the mentality, but has to hedge because these are Connecticut youths being upturned:
he wants to mash anyone he blocks … He wins the point of attack in the run game.
The senior film showed a lot more of this, which TTB seized upon:
When he gets underneath defenders, he runs his feet really well and finishes his blocks. He likes to get underneath shoulder pads and uses his hands really well to punch and fit defenders, keeping the hands inside to control linemen. He moves quickly up to the second level when necessary and does a good job working his feet to position himself and wall off defenders.
Yes, that was a “pad level” comment.
Usually OL recruitments, especially at Michigan, come with either glowing comments about the fella’s intelligence, or else a suggestion that he might move to defensive line. Dohn called him “smart, works hard and has a lot of room for growth … with a lot of upside, and not a lot of bad habits,” while cautioning his history in Quebec plus the canceled 2020 season cost him in development.
Moore, the high school coach told MLive Alessandro “takes football extremely seriously” and called him “a very meticulous technician.”
He is almost OCD-like in the way he prepares with getting in his stance. It’s not uncommon to just see him on a Sunday on the field by himself. He has his own little tripod and he’s videoing himself doing kick slides and stuff. He’s really a perfectionist in what he does.
Lorenzetti said they tried to emphasize that aspect in the videos they sent out on Twitter. But that’s mostly about doing things right, not reacting to things defenses do to him, which comes with experience.
There’s some question where on the line Michigan plans to use him. Moore said he can play all five positions on the offensive line. EJ Holland reported Michigan looks like a tackle, and that’s what Michigan was recruiting him to be, though admitting he “has the flexibility to play anywhere along the offensive line.” 24/7’s Josh Newkirk thought Lorenzetti “should be able to move as a pulling guard” in Michigan’s offense.
This might have shifted when Michigan got Gentry in the class; Lorenz mentioned on our podcast that Lorenzetti has “the traits they want in a guard” when we were trying to sort out who goes where.
In case the picture’s not clear yet, Lorenzetti is a guy they plan to put in the oven and see what comes out. On3’s only “analysis” was including him with Connor Jones as “upside takes.” Newkirk proposed “a couple years in the strength program.”
Dohn was more specific, in that Lorenzetti “has to increase his upper body strength and refine his technique,” but thinks that could happen fairly quickly since Chaffee is a far cry from Michigan’s weight and conditioning program. There’s still a way’s to go in all the on-field aspects:
Lorenzetti is still getting used to the speed of the game in the United States, and he is developing his kick step. Increasing his upper body strength will help with his initial punch to slow down the edge rusher. … In pass pro, Lorenzetti has to be more consistent in his base and stay low so he can add quickness to his lateral movement. Adding strength will also allow Lorenzetti to play more physically in the run game.
“He’s a good kid. He’s got extremely high potential. He’s just got to keep working the way he is right now.”
And Alessandro cheerleader TTB agreed:
The only qualm I have with Lorenzetti is something that can be said about probably 80% of high school linemen, and that’s that he needs to get in the weight room and continue to bulk up.
One possible hitch: though Lorenzetti skipped the CEGEP year that usually starts Quebecois a year older than other North American prospects, he’s still a May 2003 birthday. That doesn’t make him the oldest in the class (Marlin Klein, Keon Sabb, and Derrick Moore are 2002s), but already 19, he’s old*er*, almost a year beyond Denegal and most 2022 freshmen.
Academics are not an issue. In fact he sorta sniffed at the idea of an SEC degree, or at least this was his coach’s answer to why Georgia didn’t get any reciprocal interest:
“I think they wanted to go to a strong academic school that had great football,” Moore said. “That is what they wanted.”
This was a constant refrain; when ECU offered Lorenzetti told them he dreamed of playing in the Big Ten:
“I’m looking for a school that has good academics and good football and a place where I can see myself progressing. I love football, but I still want to get a good education,” said Lorenzetti. “It seems like for me, my dream has always been to play in the Big Ten since I was young.”
Hail to the Thief
It does look like Michigan got in right before a blowup; Dohn believes a few more camps would have done the trick:
Lorenzetti had a big spring and picked up offers from Penn State, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Duke, among others. He already made an official visit to Michigan State and worked out at Penn State last week and earned an offer. He was supposed to make an official visit to Duke beginning Monday, but he did not make the visit. He also cancelled unofficial visits to Ohio State and Penn State, and an official visit to Vanderbilt.
He also told Dohn the reason he didn’t take those visits was he wanted to keep playing for Moores:
“The one thing that really stood out to me and the reason I wanted to go back and visit instead of going to Virginia Tech was coach Moore. He’s just a really nice guy. I think I can do very well with him.”
I think Lorenzetti is underrated as a Rivals and 247 Sports 3-star (and obviously he needs to be evaluated by ESPN). I would rank him as a 4-star prospect, and I think he’s on par with 2021 signee Giovanni El-Hadi – who was a top-100 prospect. For anyone who’s reading this thinking I’m viewing this commitment through maize-colored glasses, you can check out the 4-star QB prospect to whom I gave a TTB Rating of 45 a few days ago
That is all.
Why Ben Bredeson? Bredeson is the go-to guard around here if we’re talking about bend. Bredeson was also 6’5″ but long enough that the sites thought him a tackle. Michigan put him at guard and made him the outside hinge of their Pin & Pull/Down G rushing attack, having him pull frontside and use that bend and athleticism to dig out the edge. Bredeson’s great agility and feet also made him an excellent pass-blocker, though susceptible to occasional breakdowns. Bredeson was almost a five-star recruit out of Wisconsin because he was able to play immediately, and did so. Lorenzetti probably needs two years in the incubator to get there, but should be a very Bredeson-like player if he gets there.
Guru Reliability: Very low. Dohn is the only guy who evaluated him, and that was still against Connecticut competition with a bummy shoulder. The rankings are based on projection.
Variance: Enormous. Classic boom or bust who was 265 on his last tape and could be 50 pounds more when he graduates. Needs all the development. If he gets there, however, he could be a Round 2-4 draft pick and Bredeson-level asset to Michigan.
Ceiling: Very high. Bend!
General Excitement Level: High. Strong candidate for Sleeper of the Class, after Dent. My own rationalization for why OL scouting is often so wrong is the sites try to correlate production in high school and readiness to levels of success four or five years down the road. What that gets them are guys who faced higher competition and had earlier growth spurts, but often come in with a tendency to lean, and not as much runway. But even the ones ranked highly out of high school usually shot up late. Lately they’ve learned how to look for more than “ran over high school kids” in these tapes, and bend and length are two of the biggest components in the new Moneyball. In a normal recruitment, Lorenzetti probably ends up in the top 150 or so.
Projection: Obvious redshirt, and I’m willing to bet 2023 is also a write-off. This is Kris Jenkins, the OL version, where anything we get from him before 2024 is bonus, and if we do start getting anything by next year it means very very good things because of the upside. The COVID year means there’s a lot of eligibility on the current line, but I think Zak Zinter will be in the NFL before his eligibility expires (after 2024), and Trevor Keegan and Reece Atteberry are only able to last that long as well. After them right now is Raheem Anderson and Gio El-Hadi (Crippen will be the center next year). That means we’ll start to know next year who’s going to be the next wave, and that wave will surface by 2025 at the latest. I expect Lorenzetti will be there with them, either starting with El-Hadi, or the third guard.