I did not make this headline up
Michigan's picked up a commitment from PA LB/DE Jordan Paskorz. Informative update coming… considerably later. I have to go suck at soccer.
Previously: S Vlad Emilien, S Thomas Gordon, CB Justin Turner, CB Adrian Witty, LB Isaiah Bell, LB Mike Jones, LB Brandin Hawthorne, DT Will Campbell, DE Anthony LaLota, DE Craig Roh, OL Michael Schofield, OL Taylor Lewan, OL Quinton Washington, WR Cameron Gordon, WR Je'Ron Stokes, and WR Jeremy Gallon.
|Detroit, Michigan - 5'8" 186
|Scout||3*, #44 RB|
|Rivals||3*, #37 RB|
|ESPN||78, #48 RB|
|Other Suitors||Iowa, Minnesota|
|Hello: Teric Jones|
|Notes||Cass Tech (Cissoko, Campbell, Gordon)|
Teric Jones, the third member of Michigan's 2009 class to graduate from Cass Tech, went from Indiana recruit Cortez Smith's backup to the sort of player who would net and accept an early Michigan offer over the course of a single combine in January of his junior year. Jones went down to San Antonio to participate in the Army All-American junior combine, where he was "one of the biggest stars" after knocking out a smokin' hot 4.37 40. Even if that trips your FAKE sensors, that was the fastest time at the event, and that's no mean feat. (Maybe it should trip those sensors, as that time is often reported as a 4.47; either way he was the fastest guy there.) Jim Stefani has more detail:
Very impressive at the 2008 U.S. Army Combine, running the fastest forty at the event (4.37), putting up 20 bench reps and looking great in drills, scurrying past LBs and showing soft hands catching the ball. An All-Combine performer.
Although small in stature, running back Teric Jones came up big everywhere else. His 4.47 40-yard dash time was the fastest heard about all day and he put those numbers to practice in the one-on-one drills, catching several long passes down the sidelines after leaving defenders behind.
"I wanted to let everyone know that I am one of the top backs in the nation," Jones said. "I wanted to show my speed and agility and show that I am a big playmaker."
USC was calling($), Michigan was offering, the track was still smoking, and after he committed there was sure to be a rankings surge…
…that totally failed to materialize. Jones ended the year a middling three star everywhere. Oh well. It's not like he hid, either, showing up at the Penn State Nike camp and racking up over 1,600 yards as a senior. Here are many of those yards in a nine-minute highlight reel (youtube killed the audio due to copyright stuff):
Despite this, the recruiting sites took a long look and said "meh."
ESPN did have some kind words, though:
Jones is a major sleeper in this class if he can land in an offense that utilizes his good speed and elusiveness in space. … Can attack a defense in a number of ways as a runner. Perimeter speed to take it the distance on the outside, suddenness and body-tilt to slice through the small creases in-line and deceptive strength breaking tackles. Has a natural smoothness and fluidity to him as a runner and shows good body control. A true weapon and homerun threat in space with his great burst and acceleration. Loses little speed when coming out of his cuts and squares up quickly assisting his power as a runner.
ESPN's main problem was a McGuffian lack of yards after contact "despite a strong frame". Despite that he's a "great one-cut-and-go slasher" that shows "spurts of great top-end speed"; they say he's a huge mismatch in a wide-open spread offense.
Hey! We've got one of those!
GAME MVP- Teric Jones, Cass Tech Jones finished with 161 yards and two TDs and constantly picked up chunks of 20 yards. He is just sick in the open field with great cut back ability and field vision.
NGS also took in Cass Tech's season-ending loss to Southeastern, during which Jones was "solid" (20 carries, 97 yards, TD) but "held in check."
In fact, Michigan might be shooting Jones into lots of space as a slot receiver. Rodriguez said Jones was a slot receiver who "may also get reps at running back" at the signing day press conference, and Jones did have some nice receiving numbers as a junior: 24 catches for 306 yards.
Why DeAndra Cobb? You may remember Cobb from such touchdowns as "What are you doing, Ernest Shazor?" and "Goddammit, Shazor!" during the Michigan State game that would turn into Braylonfest. He was a lightly-recruited JUCO jet engine who was mostly a kick return threat, so this comparison isn't particularly tight. I'm having a hard time coming up with a Michigan player main asset was his ability to make one cut and hit warp 9 without resorting to Tyrone Wheatley, which is obviously not the right comparison.
Guru Reliability: High. Combine, camp, healthy senior year on a team with Will Campbell. And they're all in agreement.
General Excitement Level: Moderate. This was trending towards low just because everyone's so eh about him, but Lord he's fast and that ESPN scouting report makes it sound like he's a guy better suited for the spread 'n' shred than the general population.
Projection: Whether he's a tailback or a slot receiver he's destined for a redshirt to add weight and not waste time.
There was some confusion lately on how these interviews are conducted, so: Tom uses a phone, with which he calls the recruits. Then he writes down what they said.
If there's a 2010 recruit with bloodlines better than Canton McKinley linebacker Jewone Snow, he's yet to show himself. Snow, a run-stopping middle linebacker, is the son of former Wolverine Garland Rivers and the nephew of former Spartans Eric and Percy Snow. The younger Snow is fielding interest and offers from all around the Midwest and plans to visit Michigan this weekend. Tom VanHaaren got the latest.
TOM: Are you going to make it up to Michigan for the BBQ, or a different date?
JEWONE: Yea, I'll be up next Saturday for the BBQ.
TOM: What are you looking forward to seeing up there?
JEWONE: I just want to visit the campus again. I went to the Spring Game, and ever since, I've just wanted to come back.
TOM: Is anyone coming with you, or are you friends with any other players going?
JEWONE: I'm not sure yet. I might bring some people, but I'm friends with [2011 DE] Steve Miller and Bryce Wilder.
TOM: How many times have the coaches came to see you so far?
JEWONE: There's been multiple coaches all over. Tennessee's coach came last week, other coaches visit almost every day. Bruce Tall came once or twice so far.
TOM: You've got a pretty healthy offer list, who else are you expecting offers from?
JEWONE: Possibly the rest of the Big Ten, Stanford, Duke, South Carolina, and Tennessee. I've been hearing from them, and I've even heard from Alabama.
TOM: Are there any schools you're hoping to get an offer from?
JEWONE: Those schools we've talked about, because I want to weigh all my options. So we'll see.
TOM: You play inside linebacker now, what are most schools recruiting you for?
JEWONE: Every school is recruiting me as a linebacker. I was told that Ohio State might be recruiting me as a fullback, but I'm not really sure.
TOM: What do you want to play?
JEWONE: I like to play linebacker, whether it's inside or outside. That's where I'm comfortable.
TOM: Your dad was a great player at Michigan, and your uncles played basketball at Michigan State. How has that factored in to this?
JEWONE: Surprisingly, they just want me to go where's best for me. They don't really mind which school I pick. I haven't really asked them anything though. My dad said that back then it was boring, but when we went back up there he saw all the new stuff, he was glad to be back there. He wished they had all that stuff when he was there. We both loved it. All the facilities at every school are great, but Michigan's campus and the Stadium was what caught my eye the most. One of my best friends is Jerald Robinson, and I'm cool with JT Turner too. Jerald's trying to convince me, he's doing a lot of recruiting for the coaches. He told the coaches a lot about me.
TOM: Have you gotten a chance to speak with Greg Robinson?
JEWONE: Yea when I went up there, I talked to him twice. I also talked to Jay Hopkins too. They said that at meetings they talk about me everyday, which feels good. We talked to Coach Carr, and he coached my dad when he played. He was saying that he wished they'd offered now. The linebacker coach was talking to me the whole visit, so I felt like they were really interested.
TOM: So, have you narrowed your list down at all yet? Who's near the top?
JEWONE: I'm still weighing it out, but I have an idea of where they're at. My top 5 is Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Tennessee so far.
TOM: When do you want to decide?
JEWONE: I'll just go with the flow, and take my time. I'm an Ohio State young scholar, so I have an academic scholarship there if nothing else works out.
TOM: If you take a visit, and you feel it's right, will you end it, or are you going to stay patient?
JEWONE: I'm not really sure.It just depends, for all I know that could happen. I can't really answer that, because it would just depend on the situation.
Update 5/12: Video of FL S commit Marvin Robinson. Articles on FL RB Corvin Lamb, MI CB Mylan Hicks (w/ mention of FL OL Brent Benedict), CT LB Khari Fortt, PA DT Sharrif Floyd, MI QB commit Devin Gardner (second), TN QB Barry Brunetti, FL LB Christian Jones (second), OH DE Derrick Bryant, OH S Bobby Swigert, FL OL Torrian Wilson.
Removed MI QB Robert Bolden(dropped M), FL OL Chaz Green(ditto), GA RB Kendrum Malcome(dropped M).
Editorial Opinion: Not a whole lot of movement this week except for some list-narrowing that unsurprisingly slices off Michigan. Next week should be more newsy, as Michigan hosts its major recruiting event between spring practice and summer camp season: the "BBQ at the Big House." A commit or two could shake loose then.
Recruiting board lives here.
- MI QB Robert Bolden narrowed his list to five, then replaced a couple teams when they took quarterback commitments. Michigan isn't on either list; he's off the board. Penn State or Michigan State, probably.
- OH TE Alex Welch committed to Notre Dame.
- GA RB Kendrum Malcome and FL OL Chaz Green have released shortlists that do not feature M.
No earth-shaking developments here: the Bolden writing was on the wall as soon as Gardner committed, and the other folk never seemed strong possibilities.
A few more names likely to find themselves wandering in the wildnerness, haunted by the ghost of Nefarious Eduardo:
- CT LB Khari Fortt is narrowing his list soon, and though Michigan has an offer out "schools expected to make the initial cut include Penn State, Boston College, Virginia, Florida and Southern Cal."
- SC RB Marcus Lattimore now has a solid top three of Auburn, Georgia, and Florida State with UNC and South Carolina following; that promised official visit now seems unlikely.
- FL CB Tony Grimes prefers to stay in state and an offer from Miami makes them the "team to beat."
The three big-time quarterbacks in Michigan gathered at a camp in Wixom last weekend to battle to the death. The result… a tie. Or something. No one's willing to commit to a revised opinion of anyone. Helmholdt on MI QB commit Devin Gardner and friends:
The consensus was that Boisture, a pro-style quarterback, showed the best overall passing ability on the day, but all three quarterbacks had their moments. Bolden and Gardner are of the dual-threat variety, so a camp setting does not showcase all of their abilities. Both have great arm strength, but still need to continue to develop their mechanics.
Rivals is also wishy-washy, headlining their report on the camp "Take Your Pick." Farrell on Gardner:
"Gardner has a release similar to those of Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor. His accuracy on Saturday was above-average considering his mechanics, and he threw some ropes downfield that were dropped by receivers. His frame is impressive, and he has excellent quickness and throws with velocity on the run."
"A release similar to those of Vince Young and Terrelle Pryor" is a backhanded compliment, eh? And then it's followed by another backhanded compliment: accurate "considering his mechanics." As per his rep, Gardner needs work.
A "GolVolsXtra" article starts with the sentence "Tennessee and [FL OL] Torrian Wilson seem like a perfect match," says UT is "looking good" to land him without anything to back that up and then goes into the other schools recruiting him:
Michigan is an intriguing team to watch with Wilson, who said he grew up rooting for the Wolverines.
Wilson, who took an unofficial visit to Michigan for the Wolverines' spring game last month, said he likes Michigan's physical style of play.
"I liked (former Michigan tackle) Jake Long and liked watching the offensive line go after the defensive line every play," Wilson said.
I'm filing this under hilariously slanted and holding steady on Wilson optimism. GBW aids with an interview of teammate (and FL RB) Corvin Lamb (broke fibula; plans signing day decision; "high" interest in Michigan) that goes into Wilson:
Q: You know Torrian Wilson made a visit to Michigan; has he talked to you about it?
Lamb: “Yeah, he’s been wearing his Michigan gear every day.”
JC Shurburtt runs down a bunch of the nation's best linebackers, asserting that OH LB Jordan Hicks is a heavy Texas lean, FL LB Christian Jones is a heavy Florida State lean, FL LB Jeff Luc is highly likely to stay in Florida, and providing this on TX LB Corey Nelson:
Billy Tucker on Nelson: Nelson may be a bit undersized at outside linebackers but like a few of the elite Under Armour All-American linebackers that played before him, he is extremely explosive and plays much bigger. He finds the ball quickly, takes direct angles and displays great acceleration pursuing sideline-to-sideline. His striking closing speed/ burst to the football on outside run support may be his most impressive attribute. Nelson is a collision tackler who generates very impressive velocity in the short-area.
Recruiting Buzz: LSU, Texas A&M, Texas and others are strongly in the mix for Nelson.
That's not even a mention for Michigan, which briefly led in the aftermath of teammate Tony Drake's commitment. Whee! I'm sure Michigan will continue to pursue a visit, but until such point as he comes up I wouldn't get your hopes a-soarin'.
Jones is apparently considering a visit, for what that's worth:
“I haven’t really put together a list, but if I did, (Michigan) would definitely be up there. They have that stadium that I’m pretty sure every player would love to play in,” said Jones. “That just makes you play harder because you don’t want to mess up in front of 100,000 people. That’s something I’d love to do.”
Jones is undecided as to whether or not he will attend a Michigan-run camp this summer. He and his father, however, do plan on visiting the University sometime in the near future.
That's a GBW article working overtime to provide a sunny view on his recruitment and should be eyed skeptically until more neutral parties provide anyone other than Florida State a shot. Watch for that visit, though. There's fluff on Jones from ESPN if you're so inclined.
OH DE Derrick Bryant said he was on the verge of committing to Michigan shortly after signing day, but then backed off that and said he'd wait. Now he's maintaining no leaders:
Bryant said he does not have a favorite at this point and plans to take most, if not all five of his official visits.
"I want to make sure I choose the right school," he said. "Each and every school has something to offer. My job is to find the school that is the best fit for me."
UCLA and Oregon, if the Ducks offer, are in line for some of those officials. I'm not sure if Bryant's coming up for the BBQ this weekend; it would be a bad sign if he didn't. Also from that article: PA DE Kyle Baublitz has 20 or so offers, no leaders, and plans an unofficial visit swing through the Midwest which will hit Michigan.
Speculation And Whatnot
Mike Farrell dropped a ton of stuff late last week; all of this is speculative but Farrell went from pariah to prophet amongst Michigan fans when Shavodrick Beaver did his Tulsa thing and at the very least these are data points. Welch's commitment to ND was predicted, FWIW. Categorized according to impact; Welch's commitment is omitted:
- MI CB Dior Mathis is likely to pick up a UCLA offer soon, with Ohio State possibly hot on their heels. Despite this, Michigan "is the team to beat." Other rumblings have Mathis a silent commitment who just wants to announce at the Army game, which you take seriously at your peril.
- FL QB Jeffery Godfrey is mentioned along with five chasing schools, none of which are Michigan.
- Ditto for TN QB Barry Brunetti, who favors WVU, Mississippi State, and PSU. Michigan hasn't offered, though, and might change that if they did. (Brunetti fluff from ESPN.)
- Michigan isn't mentioned for MD OL Arie Kouandjio, which is fine because that's even tougher to spell than "Smotrycz."
STUFF WE PRETTY MUCH ALREADY KNEW
- FL CB Spencer Boyd is "a heavy Notre Dame lean."
- LA QB Munchie Legaux just got an offer from… Baylor? And… Baylor(?) "could be the team to beat"? Why on earth would anyone from Louisiana with offers from a bunch of big programs go to the worst program in the Big 12 when that program currently has a dynamite starter who will play in front of Legaux his first two years. I do not believe this. It is not possible.
- This has nothing to do with Michigan, but later in the article Farrell says TX S Ahmad Dixon, who is in the Rivals 100 and is committed to Texas, which is Texas I repeat Texas is close to decommitting from the Longhorns in favor of…
LOL WUT goes here.
If either of these things happen my brain will explode.
Anyway, there is also this list of kids expected to show at Michigan's next recruiting event, the "BBQ at the Big House" at the end of the month:
Among those expected to attend include committed linebacker Antonio Kinard, defensive backs Latwan Anderson and Cullen Christian, linebacker Ken Wilkins, offensive linemen Skyler Schofner and Andrew Donnal, running backs Tony Jones and Andre Givens, defensive ends Jibreel Black and Marcus Rush and wide receivers Brandon Ifill and Andrew Carswell. This is, of course, in addition to the majority of the top prospects in the state of Michigan.
Rush, Wilkins and Christian are candidates to drop assuming their offers are, you know, committable. Christian's definitely is. Wilkins and Rush… maybe. Kinard, Wilkins, and Rush are all the same sort of player so Michigan might only take two of the set. Gholston is also scheduled to attend.
As mentioned last week, Tom Lemming promised to drop a couple Michigan prospects in his top ten, and while one of them didn't quite make it the other did. Folk of relevance in his top 100:
9. Devin Gardner
12. Will Gholston
33. Sharrif Floyd
36. Marvin Robinson
55. Dietrich Riley
56. Sean Bailey
69. Corey Nelson
88. Jeff Luc
89. Marquis Flowers
90. Zach Zwinak
98. Munchie Legaux
There are more Michigan has offered, but they're even more distant longshots than a guy like Luc.
You Cannot Replace Zoltan, But You Can Try
Michigan's offered WI P Will Hagerup:
“Michigan offered me,” he reported, adding, “It definitely has a football tradition that is hard to beat and the school itself is in the top two or three in the Big Ten probably. It makes my decision harder.”
Hagerup is probably the country's top punter, if early offers are any indication. He's got a wide variety of Big Ten offers plus Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.
Etc.: Michigan offered IN RB Roderick Smith; he remains an OSU lock so forget it. Many highlights of FL S commit Marvin Robinson (no embed, sorry). MI CB Mylan Hicks hasn't narrowed anything down. PA DT Sharrif Floyd picks up a Florida offer. Webb on Pahokee folk.
Site note. Yes, you have "points." They don't do anything yet and won't until I can integrate some simple voting mechanisms, but the general idea is: annoy enough people and get enough downvotes and you get temporarily banned; continue on that path and the bans get progressively longer. The math might be tricky, lest I unleash a thermonuclear banhammer holocaust, so be patient.
via reader Bill Rapai
Softballin'. This has been noted multiple times on ye olde right sidebar, but a front page mention: the softball team splattered Baylor this weekend by a total score of 15-2. This was mostly due to a zillion home runs, all of which came after I sagely advised someone that softball homeruns were extremely rare. Go me.
It was actually my first time at Alumni Field. I'd planned on going the week before the insistent rain changed minds. I sat on the other side of a bleacher section from Samantha Findley, marveled at the attendance and the facility, missed a (by then meaningless) home run attempting to find the bathroom, and wished it hadn't gotten chilly so quickly. It was a nice time.
The team has set up a blogslapfight THUNDERDOME against Alabama next weekend at the CWS:
The Wolverines (46-10), seeded No. 5 overall, will play fourth-ranked and fourth-seeded Alabama (52-9) at 7 p.m. Thursday in Bracket 2. The game will be televised live on ESPN from ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The winner plays the winner of #1 Florida—which is an astounding 60-3—and #9 Arizona; loser hits the loser's bracket.
There is much content elsewhere, including a profile of Carol Hutchins that contains this sentence: "My mom was right there and goes, 'Where else would you get a standing ovation but a bar.'"
Lynch. To hockey recruiting: We already knew that Kyle Woodlief of the Red Line Report was extremely impressed with Kevin Lynch's performance at the U18 World Championships, and his latest USA Today column confirms:
Other big winners from our time spent in Fargo include huge Russian netminder Igor Bobkov, sturdy Canadian winger Kyle Clifford, and two-way American center Kevin Lynch. … Lynch … continued to play his usual strong defensive game while battling ruggedly in front of the net and capitalizing on the chances his hard work created. …
Kevin Lynch— Was a two-way demon and key cog in the U.S. winning gold in Fargo. Showed more tenacity and skill than he had all year.
Lynch could have moved up into the second round with that tournament, and has radically upgraded expectations for his college career across just a few games. "Two-way demon" sounds excellent to me. He and Hagelin can have a fevered backchecking contest.
Smotrycz. I thought Rivals was the last scouting service to do a post-Smotrycz-explosion rerank, but I forgot about ESPN. ESPN has just done a revision and Smotrycz shoots all the way to #47, just in front of Wisconsin decommit Vander Blue and two slots behind Nate Lubick, the one who got away. He's actually in front of hyped MSU commit Keith Appling(!).
Other names of note are #20 Ray McCallum, #22 Casey Prather, #38 Trey Ziegler, and #93 Tim Hardaway, Jr. ESPN is way higher on mini-Hardaway than anyone else, FWIW.
Dingbats. The Detroit Tigers Weblog took a screencap of some young ladies who had dubbed themselves "Clete's Cougars" which got some play across the baseball blogosphere. Then Mike Valenti's crack team of web wizards cracked open their bananas and got to work, posting a non-attributed copy on their site. Billfer, the author of the DTW, was irritated:
Wednesday afternoon I was listening to 97.1 The Ticket (unfortunately the only sports talk around in the afternoon) when host Mike Valenti directed people to 971theticket.com for a picture of Clete’s Cougars. I was curious so I ventured over to see what picture they had, and I was a little surprised to see the picture I had posted. It was there with no mention or link back to my site.
Multiple attempts to contact 97.1 and get a link were not responded to, as per usual. Billfer notes the irony of Valenti complaining about bloggers' lack of accountability. As for me, I'm just glad the guys at 97.1 took my advice to heed and used the "save as" option; the last time they did this they put up a screenshot of this here blog. Way to go, guys. Next up: we discuss the anchor tag.
And now you're probably wondering… is he going to go with the American flag as an excuse for a light day of posting? Yes. Yes I am.
Until tomorrow. Eat some tube meat, kids.
Previously: S Vlad Emilien, S Thomas Gordon, CB Justin Turner, CB Adrian Witty, LB Isaiah Bell, LB Mike Jones, LB Brandin Hawthorne, DT Will Campbell, DE Anthony LaLota, DE Craig Roh, OL Michael Schofield, OL Taylor Lewan, OL Quinton Washington, WR Cameron Gordon, and WR Je'Ron Stokes.
|Apopka, Florida - 5'8" 165
|Scout||3*, #45 WR|
|Rivals||4*, #11 ATH, #151 overall|
|ESPN||77, #80 ATH|
|Other Suitors||Auburn, Kansas, Iowa|
|Brief TomVH interview. UV embeds some videos Gallon recorded on his official, and asserts he looks like Snoop from the Wire.|
|Notes||Still attempting to qualify. Huge SI article on the single wing features Gallon.|
There is no more concise description of Jeremy Gallon than his high school's nickname wrought singular: "Blue Darter." Given the winged helmet you can see above, it seems like fate itself ordained Gallon to be a slot receiver at Michigan.
And lo, it has come to pass. Gallon's commitment to Michigan was, like that of DeQuinta Jones, sudden and based on nothing more than his relationship with Michigan's coaches. Unlike Jones, Gallon stuck with his commitment, possibly once you've worn a winged helmet nothing else compares.
At the time, Gallon was a 5'8" slot ninja playing quarterback and still managed to rank amongst the top 100 on Rivals. Though he dropped in a re-rank—probably because various Rivals folk did a double take, saying "he's how tall?!"—he clawed his way back up the lists after an impressive showing at the Army All American game, at which he was the only slot receiver. This is a perfect summary of Gallon's projected talents: he's absolutely a slot, which brings with it the sort of limited upside that causes only one of them to get invited to an all star game, but he may be the best in the country. After all, how many guys of any size can levitate?
In fact, a quick scan of Rivals' rankings turns up only one slot electron ranked higher than him: Pahokee star Nu'keese Richardson, a
Florida Tennessee commit. Everyone else on the list under six foot is a defensive back or running back. Though Gallon doesn't rate as highly at ESPN or Scout, everyone lists "size" is the major downer and is otherwise positive:
Has great feet and is really slippery as a runner-- is very tough to get a clean shot at. Runs low and gets lost behind his blockers, does a good job using his stature to his advantage and doesn't take many big hits as a result. He can really accelerate and shows explosive first step quickness as a back. Has good vision, can hit the cutback and he has the speed and second gear to hit the edge and turn the corner. Shows wiggle and the ability to make multiple defenders miss in space.
Scout's Bob Lichtenfels:
"I think Gallon is a stud. I think for Rich Rodriguez, that's the next Darius Reynaud. He doesn't have elite speed, but his quickness and shiftiness is just out of sight."
There's a disconnect here between the talking and the numbers, some of which can be attributed to the usual disconnect between talking—which is invariably to people who want you to say good things and therefore more positive—and the numbers. But not all of it, possibly not even most of it. This is one of those guys that, as the theory goes, is a three or four star to everyone else but a five star in Rodriguez's offense.
And just look at him go:
"His game is: he's fast. And he's elusive -- he's hard to get a handle on. He changes directions real well. And he's also very strong. He power cleans 310 pounds, which is the most on our team."
Rivals' summary of his Army game performance:
Gallon was the star of practices all week and was effective in the scrimmage and during the game itself. He is tiny but he has great quickness and he is smart. He knows how to find space between the cornerback and the safety and catches almost everything thrown his way.
The catching is a major point, since there's always that question with high school quarterbacks turned wide receivers. Take Steve Breaston's well-documented (and slightly overrated) tendency to drop slants, or Terrence Robinson's reported struggles this spring. So it's encouraging to hear items like this from Rivals' Adam Gorney:
“He’s obviously not the biggest guy, but he doesn’t need to be. He’s going to be able to get open, get the ball in his hands and do a lot of things with it. He had good hands today and every time the ball was thrown his way, he caught it. He looked like one of the best guys there.”
If Gallon's existence as a single-wing QB has a downside it also has an upside: Gallon's versatility will serve him well at Michigan. Lichtenfels' reference to Reynaud is on point: at West Virginia Reynaud* lined up in the backfield regularly and wasn't above taking a carry or an option pitch. Gallon's extensive experience in the backfield—he racked up over 3,500 rushing yards in two years as Apopka's single-wing star—should provide the offense with a flexibility in formation they lacked last year.
And, you know… these passing stats aren't half-bad for a wideout. His junior year:
He also completed 56 of 88 pass attempts for 1,071 yards and eight touchdowns and no interceptions.
I can't find solid senior year stats, but Varsity Blue made a game attempt to total up the incomplete information provided and got a partial season count that was 15 of 29 for 341 yards. These aren't dinks: single-wing passing is a go-deep-or-go-home sort of enterprise. Gallon's approximate YPC in his two years as a quarterback is a Yossarian-worthy 19.9. While Gallon isn't going to give Tate Forcier a run for his money, he's going to be a slot receiver who takes a lot of pitches and screens that defenses will be freaking out about. Could he be an Antwaan Randle-El trick play factory? Let's hope, as that would be awesome.
Gallon is a Swiss Army knife of a player: pocket-sized, versatile, capable of surprising feats, and… uh… hard to tackle. (If you've ever tried to tackle a Swiss Army knife you know what I'm talking about. They're pointy.) It's hard to envision a scenario in which one of his diverse and sundry talents doesn't find him on the field, if not this fall than next.
Actually… there is one scenario. Despite telling TomVH this in January…
I asked him about the rumor that he wouldn't qualify, and he told me, "No, that's not true. I'm on track, and will qualify to play."
…there remains a possibility he won't make it in. Gallon remains "on track," which is better than signing with a JUCO but not as good as qualified. Though the latest reports are trending positive, Gallon still has work to do.
Why Steve Breaston? In high school Breaston was an electric quarterback who spent his time running around making various people look silly indeed. At Michigan he settled into the nascent slot receiver spot, was the recipient of a ton of bubble screens, and was generally a YAC terror. Breaston is considerably taller, but everything else fits.
Etc.: There is an unbelievable amount of video out there on Gallon: Interview from the Army game; smokes ND commit Zeke Motta for a TD in this AA practice clip; video of six touchdowns in a playoff game; GBW interview from AA bowl.
Guru Reliability: Moderate to high. All Star appearance but a big spread in the rankings.
General Excitement Level: High. He's a slot who promises to be a multi-purpose threat, and there might be some awesome trick plays in there somewhere.
Projection: If he makes it—about which I know nothing—he'll have an opportunity to contribute immediately what with Terrance Robinson enduring a case of dropsies in spring and Roy Roundtree being a poor target for bubble screens. Even if playing time in the slot is not immediately available he could potentially return kicks. Versatility and his existence at a shallow position suggest a redshirt is unlikely.
*(Reynaud, by the way, has a fan way into the metric system. His wikipedia page has a variety of touchdowns scored or yards gained, every single one of which is annotated with a conversion from yards to meters. Por ejemplo:
When Slaton was injured against Louisville, Reynaud filled in for him at running back, contributing to Reynaud's 221 yards (202 m) rushing on 14 carries for the season. Reynaud had a career-best 110 yards (100 m) on 5 catches with a touchdown against ECU, when the run offense wasn't productive.