Posted at 8:20am — 2/25/2016

GBMWolverine Message Board Readers: Here is a overview of University of Michigan recently signed commitment Stephen Spanellis.

Signee Stephen Spanellis is a big high school tackle, one who GBMWolverine Message Board Staff and others believe will move to the interior line. He is, depending on various site reports, 6’ 5” and between 295-330 pounds (yes, quite a range). Spanellis is from a high school familiar to Michigan football followers, Gilman High School in Baltimore, Maryland, a high level private school that purports the development of basic success tenets known as the Gilman Five: Honor, Integrity, Respect, Humility, and Excellence.

Make no mistake, the reason that Spanellis was recruited and offered was that he presents an opportunity to achieve one of the most fundamental tasks of a lineman engaged in the running game- knock an opponent off the ball and push the line of scrimmage into the defensive zone. As all followers of Michigan football are painfully aware, over the past few years Michigan has struggled to even break even at the line of scrimmage, let alone collectively push a pile backward. Gilman coaches have stated Spanellis is very strong, possesses an intense work ethic, and is a good fit for Michigan’s offense.

Spanellis is a mid three-star prospect, certainly not due to size, but instead his physical attributes, discounting size, are currently raw and in need of excellent coaching. He does seem to have the ability to improve and not remain stagnant in his development. There seems to be some evidence that Spanellis takes some delight in simply overpowering an opponent. He is more blue-collar rather than entitled with previous, well publicized success.

Spanellis had a decent offer sheet, and noted Mauler types such as Michigan State, Arkansas, and Wisconsin offered. There is no speed element with Spanellis; his work is done in a small box of yards. Film shows better hands than feet. Simply, there is much work to do for Stephen to see the starting lineup. One could deduce that Coach Drevno and young Mr. Spanellis have touched this reality during the brief recruitment.

One possible analogy is to consider Spanellis a typical Michigan State type of unheralded offensive lineman recruit from the past few years that most football followers frankly paid little attention to, but through years of development, toughness, work, strength improvement, and technique eventually after a few years became a mauler and a competent starting lineman. He is a transformation type of project; clearly Coach Drevno believes the two of them together can complete the mission.

Stephen Spanellis
Height: 6'5
Weight: 315
Number: 78
Birthday: January 18, 1998
Current Position: Offensive Tackle
Future Position: Offensive Guard
City/State: Baltimore, Maryland
High School: Gilman
Head Coach: Biff Poggi
Recruiter: Tim Drevno
Committed: 1/21/2016
Official Visits: Michigan (1/15/2016).
Other Visits: Virginia (6/14/2015), Northwestern (4/4/2015), Boston College (3/19/2015), and Wake Forest (2/15/2015).
Top 5 other Offers: Arkansas, Miami (FL), Michigan State, South Carolina, Virginia.
40-Time: 5.83
Shuttle: 5.15
Vertical: 22.6″
Power Throw: 32.5′
SPARQ: 60.03
GPA: 3.8
Class: 2016 Michigan Wolverine Football Recruiting Class (Signed).

Follow Stephen Spanellis: on Twitter

Stephen Spanellis ‏@Big_Spanellis78 Feb 3

Great to sign today with all my brothers. Great to be signed with the Michigan Wolverines.



Note: Stars do matter, but are not absolute in predicting success within a football program. So, with that in mind the GBMWolverine Message Board Staff has cleverly come up with a new system of ranking. We are using footballs instead of stars, how can one argue against a system that clever? Below are the interpretations of football power predicted way too boldly long before it matters. In other words, we will give informed opinion with the crystal ball and let the players determine what will happen through years of hard work.

Criteria: Raw talent, athleticism, position of need, intangibles.

GBMWolverine Message Board Staff Rankings:

10 footballs: Instant impact player.
9 footballs: Three or four-year starter at a high level.
8 footballs: A starter with all league potential.
7 footballs: A meaningful starter at some time during a career.
6 footballs: A spot starter or special teams player.

5 footballs: Not in the two deep after a two years.
4 footballs: Never made it.
1-3 footballs: See the above.

We have him at 6 1/2 footballs.

Side Note: Remember just as we did during the season with grading positions or groups we are very tough graders and expect a lot out of those positions or players so this is no different here.

Michigan Coach Tim Drevno on Stephen Spanellis:

Stephen Spanellis comes from The Gilman School and was a teammate of Henry Poggi. They have a great tradition of football and are very well-coached. Stephen is a big, big man; he wears a size 18 shoe. He could play either tackle or guard. Stephen is the type of guy who can really move people off the ball. He has great arm length, plays with good initial quickness, and can finish blocks. Stephen is a very intelligent young man and we are excited about the opportunity to help him develop as a player.


• Three-star prospect by; rated as the No. 16 player in the state of Virginia
• ESPN three-star prospect
• Rated as the No. 60 offensive guard nationally and the No. 27 overall recruit from the state of Virginia by ESPN

In the Words of the Spanellis Family:

Stephen is a very well-rounded, fun loving young man that has a great sense of humor. He has an extremely strong work ethic in the classroom, weight room and on the field. Teachers and coaches throughout his life have told us that anyone would be hard-pressed to find someone that would outwork Stephen. He has a very high level of focus and determination, and leads by example. Stephen started playing football when he was eight years old, and he has always improved, game by game, year by year, both with his mind and his body. He is as much a cerebral player as he is a physical presence. We could not be more proud of his accomplishments from his GPA, to his test scores to his two all-state consensus honors. He has always been taught at home that actions speak much louder then words and traits like honesty and dependability have been stressed as some of the most important. We are so proud that he has these leadership qualities, and we are excited for him and his future at Michigan. Stephen is coachable, and knows the value of the team. Now he is part of a program with one of the best coaching staffs in the country. We know that Coach Harbaugh and his staff will bring out the absolute best in Stephen. We are very confident he will be successful at Michigan.


Stephen Spanellis is a massive high school linemen capable of playing any position along the line except left tackle. We like him best as an interior lineman. He is a good enough athlete to play center on the Gilliam basketball team. An excellent student Stephen has a reported 3.8 GPA, a notable accomplishment.


Stephen Spanellis plays the game with excellent intensity. He also competes until the whistle blows. His hand play is good and he has an excellent punch that he uses to over power defenders. Spanellis shows excellent upper body strength and power and he is very good at gapping down and can get to the 2nd level. He can completely dominate the line of scrimmage when run blocking straight ahead or gapping into a defender at an angle.

Concerns/Needs Work:

Stephen is far from a finished product. He is nowhere near a plug and plug starter. And that is all right, many young linemen find themselves in this position: some ascend and some do not. He is very raw and clearly needs to improve his footwork, pad level, and hip roll. He plays with a bit of heavy feet syndrome, which hurts his pass blocking. Like most high school linemen, Stephen must spend hard work on his over all conditioning and strength; both are not bad however. His lower body really needs some work. But more than anything the footwork must improve.

Red-shirt or play his Freshman Year?

GBMWolverine Message Board Staff believes he will definitely red-shirt his first year. End of discussion.

Stephen Spanellis reminds the GBMWolverine Message Board Staff of -- Current Michigan Football Player — Kyle Kalis — who played Offensive Guard.

Video Highlights:

2016 Michigan Wolverine Football Recruiting Class:

Michigan has twenty-eight signed commits at this time with Brandon Peters — Enrolled — (QB), Kingston Davis — Enrolled — (FB/HB), Michael Onwenu (OL), Chris Evans (Slot), Sean McKeon — Enrolled — (TE), Josh Metellus (S), Ben Bredeson (OL), Devin Gil (S/LB), Ron Johnson Jr. (DE), Brad Hawkins (WR), Ahmir Mitchell — Enrolled — (WR), Carlo Kemp — Enrolled — (DE/LB), Nate Johnson (WR), Devin Bush Jr. — Enrolled — (LB), Kareem Walker — Enrolled — (RB), Dylan Crawford (WR), Stephen Spanellis (OL), David Long (CB), Joshua Uche (DE), Elysee Mbem-Bosse (LB). Michael Dwumfour (DL), Eddie McDoom (Slot), Khaleke Hudson (LB/FB), Nick Eubanks (TE), LaVert Hill (CB), Quinn Nordin (K/P), Rashan Gary (DL), and Devin Asiasi (TE).

At this time Dytarious Johnson (LB) is still committed to Michigan, but has to complete some school work before his letter of intent will be accepted.

Final Thoughts:

We welcome Stephen Spanellis to Michigan and hope he has a successful career on and off the football field as a student-athlete at the University of Michigan. Go Blue!

Written by GBMWolverine Message Board Staff — CoachBT, Doc4Blu, and ErocWolverine

Go Blue — Wear Maize!