Dytarious Johnson is mean
The question we no longer have to answer about basketball
Does it concern you yet that Harbaugh and staff are going after so many 3-star or less recruits (and even unranked ones) rather than shooting for more 4- and 5-star types? Might JH be underestimating his own standing and instead still be in "I'm at Stanford" mentality (i.e., "I need to find the hidden gems because the 5-stars are going to USC, Alabama, and such")?
Thanks for the blog, and give Ace a raise.
Hail to the bloggers,
This is so overblown. Michigan has ten commits. Five of them are composite four-stars (Swenson, Onwenu, Peters, Falcon, and Evans). Of the five who aren't, one committed to Brady Hoke (Harding), one is (probably) a fullback (Reese), and one picked up Nebraska, LSU, and Florida offers after his commitment (Davis). The two other guys are Kiante Enis and Dytarious Johnson. Enis ran for three thousand(!) yards last year and Johnson looks like a BAMF on his Hudl film.
That is not a high flier rate thus far. The two guys who truly qualify are both gentlemen an expert talent evaluator has seen in person.
Meanwhile, here is a list of high four star recruits who Michigan is thought to lead for: NJ WR Ahmir Mitchell, NJ WR Brad Hawkins, PA TE Nasseir Upshur, MD OL Terrance Davis, WI OL Ben Bredeson, MI DE Khalid Kareem, and NJ DE Ron Johnson. They are at or near the top for five star NJ DT Rashan Gary and CA LB Caleb Kelly.
They won't get all those guys; they'll get a healthy chunk, and they'll get involved with more guys down the road. It's not going to be an Alabama class but it should be comfortably top ten.
And that's only half the reason recruiting concern is overblown. The other half:
That class was Andrew Luck and three stars. It followed a class that was all three stars, and ranked ninth in the then Pac-10. Stanford was slightly better than that when those classes bore fruit. Recruiting is important; coaching is more important.
[After the JUMP: Countess impact, concerns that Michigan's skill position players are no better than Iowa's, outrageous afro.]
Guess what jerks?
This morning the freshmen got their numbers, and started telling people. Lorenz posted those he was able to gather, which was all but the transfers, Ulizio, and Shelton J. (Warning: 247 autoplays videos on their pages so mute first if you don't want blang blang blaring through your speakers).
May your obsessive compulsive videogame rosters be accurate, and your visions of greatness now come a bit more into focus around the chest and back areas. I'll update this as more come in today.
|#||Name||P||Hgt.||Wgt.||You may remember this digit from…|
|10||Zach Gentry||QB||6'6"||230||Tom Brady of course, but also Todd Collins, Jeff Cohen, and friend of the blog Kyle Anderson. Da'Mario Jones was wearing this through spring so looks like he'll have a new jersey.|
|12||Alex Malzone||QB||6'2"||205||(Spring) Surprisingly few 12's have remained such through graduation (Grbac and Gardner both wore it for a time). Dreisbach was the last QB to do so.|
|22||Karan Higdon||RB||5'10"||190||Harbaugh era mooseback Gerald White is the only RB I can remember wearing it.|
|81||Brian Cole||WR||6'2"||190||(Spring) Historically a TE # at Mich (I always think of Kattus). Was C'sonte's|
|9||Grant Perry||WR||6'0"||183||Dileo, Diallo, Martavious Odoms, and Mercury Hayes. And of course "The Rece" Butler|
|8||Tyrone Wheatley Jr.||TE||6'6"||245||Wore 9 in HS. Little round number on a big Wheatley body? I'm a fan. (Walk-on Joe Hewlett gave it up)|
|77||Grant Newsome||OL||6'7"||280||Lewan, Long, Pape, Jansen, Jenkins, Trgovac, Tabachino, Guy Curtis, Art Walker...|
|75||Jon Runyan Jr.||OL||6'4"||275||Sr wore 69, Jr wore this in HS. Last great interior OL to wear 75 was Baas. OTs include Schofield, Skrepanak, Yearby, and Bubba Paris.|
|70||Nolan Ulizio||OL||6'5"||293||Wore 70 in HS. Bobby Doherty is the one that springs to mind; Mark Erhardt wore it during Harbaugh years.|
|?||Shelton Johnson||SDE||6'5"||225||Waiting on #. Wore 7 in high school; I doubt Poggi gives it up.|
|4||Reuben Jones||WDE||6'4"||225||Less weird when you consider he'll be playing a role not too different from Cam Gordon's. Of course you remember a certain quarterback who wore this.|
|17||Tyree Kinnel||SS||5'11"||197||"Wolf" Dwight Hicks wore it in the '70s, J.O.W. in the early '90s.|
|6||Keith Washington||CB||6'2"||175||You remember Donovan Warren. One back you certainly don't remember wearing this was Harry Kipke when he played for Yost (he wore it one year).|
|16||Andrew David||K||5'8"||170||M used to leave 19 for kickers (Bob Bergeron, Remy Hamilton, Mike Gilette). Andrew's the first 16.|
Nothing yet from the transfers but their previous numbers were all available-ish except O'Neill's.
|Name||Prev #||Pos||Starts||Elig||You may remember this digit from...|
|Jake Rudock||15||QB||25||Grad transfer||Garrett Moores would have to move. Grbac obviously, also Loeffler.|
|John O'Korn||5||QB||16||So (RS)||Other than Tate you mean? Johnny Wangs! Walk-on Kenny Sloss will have to give it up.|
|Wayne Lyons||24||CB||20||Grad transfer||Took Blake's spot, took Woodson's NFL # – several safeties (Bobby Abrams, Charles Drake RIP) but I can't think of a CB other than Hollowell.|
|Blake O'Neill||39||P||12||Grad transfer||Finley! Complication: Houma wears this and plays punt coverage in case you forgot this.|
Camp Commits: Two Down, More To Go?
— Corey Bender (@Corey_Bender) June 7, 2015
If you actually did things this weekend, you missed two commitments, one piece of inflammatory recruiting material, and enough Harbaugh headlines that Brian mercifully covered the satellite camp stuff not directly related to recruiting in today's UV, or this post would be 19,000 words and published posthumously.
The camp tour continued on to Florida, and the in-person evaluations led to several offers, including the one that set off the latest commit watch:
— Terrell Lucas Jr. (@_TerrellLucas) June 7, 2015
Lucas is a three-star WDE/OLB, and he stood out to 247's Ryan Bartow as one of the top five performers at the Miami satellite camp:
2016 DE Terrell Lucas - Has over a dozen verbal offers. Michigan added their name to the list along with Syracuse and Minnesota, among others. Lucas is a prep defensive end that will likely transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker in college. He has a good frame. Takes coaching well. He was outstanding at last week's Alabama camp and was equally good in front of Michigan's staff.
- Three-star 2016 CB Antwaine Richardson, a high school teammate of incoming freshman DE Shelton Johnson.
- Two-star 2016 S Josh Metellus, a Georgia Southern commit.
- Two-star 2016 SDE/TE Rashad Weaver.
- 2017 WR Clevan Thomas, who reportedly stole the show at the Miami camp.
- 2017 RB Jordan Merrell, a Cincinnati commit.
- 2017 WR Daquon Green, who's added several top-notch offers recently.
This seems like a good opportunity to talk about recruiting rankings and camp offers, since the commitment of largely unranked Dytarious Johnson, the possibility of Lucas also committing, and the number of offers going out to lower-ranked prospects has caused consternation among a certain segment of the fanbase.
Yes, recruiting rankings have been proven time and again to matter when it comes to projecting success. Final recruiting rankings, that is. I'm not saying Johnson is going to turn out to be a five-star, but I'd also be shocked if he were anything less than a solid three-star come February, and I doubt there'd be complaints about his commitment if that were his current ranking. Recruiting rankings change all the way up to Signing Day because the services get more data to inform their ratings; that includes senior film and the very camp evaluations Michigan's coaches are making in-person at each of these stops.
If Michigan is frantically adding unranked recruits on Signing Day, there'd be plenty of reason for worry. It's June. Despite several top-tier players showing high interest, the coaches were comfortable extending these offers and accepting commitments from prospects they'd had the chance to see up close. Given Harbaugh's track record of identifying and developing talent—not to mention the potential readily apparent in Johnson's junior highlights—it's far too soon to use incomplete recruiting rankings as the ultimate gauge for the recruiting class. Michigan still has room to add blue-chippers—and lest we forget, they added a consensus four-star last week, too. Sounding the "it's RichRod recruiting all over again" alarm before it's officially summer is an overreaction at best.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Decent turnout in Indy [Mike Spath]
All the Harbaugh. We haven't had any, you know, games yet but so far the Harbaugh era has absolutely lived up to its promise.
CFB Twitter's hottest weekend topics: Fri.: Harbaugh shirtless Sat.: Harbaugh recruiting material Sun.: Harbaugh camp helps charity
— Jerry Hinnen (@JerryHinnen) June 8, 2015
As Ace has documented in cripplingly long recruiting roundups, the Summer Swarm tour is piquing the interest of dozens of high level recruits in this class and the next three. Michigan's nailed down a number of commitments already; there's a wave of guys naming Michigan their leader and/or plugged in gents making Crystal Ball predictions for Michigan.
While it's been a lot of under the radar types to date, 1) Harbaugh's first two recruiting classes at Stanford were generic three stars and Andrew Luck and 2) the wave of guys Michigan is thought to lead for has a lot of big timers in it.
Doesn't that mean… yes, it does. Michigan currently has 14 or 15 spots in its recruiting class. There are a few guys who will have fifth year options but don't project to be contributors; that still leaves Michigan at around 18 spots for a class that it feels like will hit 25. There is going to be some attrition before February.
If a couple of these medical hardships that are poorly kept secrets finally get announced in the near future that number looks pretty reasonable; I don't think we're ever going to see the near zero attrition Michigan had under Brady Hoke. Harbaugh drives people too hard for that.
Headlines. The Montgomery Advertiser:
That's today, three days after Michigan's Alabama stop. The last time I took a screenshot of a media organization days after something happened it was Sports Illustrated bombing Michigan dang near a week after the Shane Morris incident. Harbaugh has changed the script a little bit here.
Eliminating satellite camps? That makes a recruit's life harder. It would make a kid like Jovan Swann, a big-time defensive tackle recruit from Center Grove High, drive almost 300 miles to attend the Michigan football camp in Ann Arbor. Swann, whose brother Mario is a defensive back at Indiana, is interested in the Wolverines. He has a scholarship offer from Michigan State (and Indiana and Iowa and more), but not from Michigan.
"As a parent, I decided I'm going to take (Jovan) to any school that he has an interest in," said his father, Mario Swann Sr. "I would have taken him to Michigan this summer, but now I don't have to."
And this is wrong? This is not wrong.
The spectacle of millionaires complaining about their vacation days is not winning over hearts and minds here. Harbaugh, shirtless, weird Jim Harbaugh, is.
That charity camp BTW. Details:
Harbaugh said he found somebody to follow on Sunday.
"I got a new one. I got Lauren Loose now. I'm going to follow her," Harbaugh said. "I'm going to follow her example. Fighter, courageous, happy, spiritual. She's got what I'm looking for. I'm going to follow her. Find somebody. Find somebody every day. You know who's doing right. Go be a good follower. Learn how to do that."
Loose is the daughter of former Lafayette defensive coordinator and current Army defensive coach John Loose. She is a pediatric brain tumor survivor and the one who the football camp is named for. The event raises funds for brain tumor research and cancer services through the Lauren's First and Goal Foundation.
Sunday's event raised $101,800 and the total for the year is $132,787.
Michigan is keeping this on the up-and-up—they're travelling with a compliance person to make sure they don't rack up minor violations—and they're doing a lot of good for the kids who come out, the causes they're helping out, and themselves. You'd have to be a sociopath to be against such a thing, but we are talking about football coaches.
Also. Detroit will get an extended version of the satellite camps:
Harbaugh, his Michigan coaching staff and the team's sophomore football players will work with the United States Marine Corps to "teach life skills, football, language arts and STEM-based curriculum" to 100 Detroit-area boys from grades 6-8 from July 6-18.
Former NFL player Riki Ellison founded the program nine years ago, and runs similar efforts at Stanford, Northwestern and West Point. He'll assist Michigan with its own version of the program.
People were concerned when Michigan canceled its fantasy camps. They've more than made up for that karmic loss.
There will be no apology. You know me: I approve of anything short of a stabbing that makes a college football game spicier. Harbaugh is amping up damn near everybody, whether it's Saban in Alabama or a bit closer to home:
OSU's WR coach took this about as well as perpetually aggrieved DJ Byrnes takes a harmless tweet from a teenager, throwing a twitter shit fit that has since been deleted. Michigan has not scheduled a contrite press conference in the aftermath. Hail Hackett.
Speaking of the man. Random old This Is Sportscenter commercial featuring Harbs:
"This Is Sportscenter" has been around forever.
Just a rando with a story. Take it with a grain of salt:
Source: midway thru 2014, York walked into meeting Harbaugh was holding w/ players, & Harbaugh told Jed that the meeting was for "men only"
— Kyle McLorg (@Kyle_McLorgBASG) June 8, 2015
This is probably not a good move if you would like to continue your employment no matter how accurate it may be. Again, just some rando with SOURCES on twitter.
UNC details. Local paper with some excerpts from internal UNC emails:
“Occasionally when we have a number of people with special issues we can put them together in a special section but we never ever put an athlete into a special section alone – just too many red flags and we have a little bit of academic credibility to try to uphold,” Crowder wrote back. “All of that being said, talk to me and we’ll see if there are any creative options.”
There are hundreds of these emails, many of them heavily redacted. It's clear that the athletic department specialized in keeping kids eligible with non-classes. If anything will rouse the sleeping bear that is NCAA enforcement, this is it.
I suppose. A dozen people sent this to me and more yelled at me on twitter about it, so yes there was an embarrassing fluff piece on Dave Brandon in the Detroit News. It reads more like a People profile of Eva Longoria—"the couple intends to experience daily life in the Big Apple", etc—than something written by a person with self-respect. It thus says everything you need to know about its author, Daniel Howes, without me chipping in.
Just one thing:
Brandon sounds like a man pleased to be back on the familiar ground of corporate America. There he'll be tackling marketing and operational challenges, building (or repairing) a brand buffeted by changing technology and changing consumer tastes. (All of which, by the way, applied at Michigan, as much as the die-hards refuse to acknowledge it.)
Brandon's most important single act as athletic director was hiring Brady Hoke, a man whose main qualification was having been an assistant at Michigan during the 90s. Hoke was dead set against the changing technology of college football; his hire was anything but "innovating the space." All other gestures towards modernity are frippery around a fusty core.
Anyone who still believes Brandon is some sort of visionary after years of ham-handed missteps followed by lies probably contributed to the $607 United Passions brought in at the box office this weekend. But someone's got to believe the Emperor's new clothes are amazing.
Etc.: Michigan MLB draft primer from user Raoul. Summer Swarm tweet recap. Northwestern's "#funbad" game of the year is so obvious you don't need to click through. "#funbad" is such a Northwestern concept, and I mean that affectionately.
Johnson previously visited M with his Prattville teammates [Photo via 247]
The satellite camp tour has produced its third commitment in three days. Prattville (AL) outside linebacker Dytarious Johnson quickly accepted Michigan's offer after putting on an impressive performance in front of the coaching staff yesterday. The Wolverines were the first Power 5 offer for Johnson, who at the moment of his commitment only had a recruiting profile on Rivals, which gives him a perfunctory two stars.
Johnson is Michigan's third commitment from Prattville since Jim Harbaugh took over, joining incoming freshman CB Keith Washington and 2016 RB Kingston Davis. Prior to Harbaugh's arrival, the Wolverines hadn't landed a prospect from any Alabama high school since Madison Bob Jones RB Max Martin in 2004. While Johnson's commitment came as a surprise, he's been on the coaches' radar since they recruited Washington and Davis, and his strong showing at the satellite camp sealed his offer, per Sam Webb:
“When I went and visited (with Davis in April) they told me they wanted to evaluate me more,” Johnson recalled. “They wanted me to come to their (satellite) camp (in Prattville), and I guess they liked what they saw (because) they offered me today. So I wanted to commit.”
“(Harbaugh) told me, ‘congratulations and welcome to the team.’”
Johnson is the tenth commit in Michigan's class of 2016, and the third at linebacker, joining Dele' Harding and David Reese. (Reese could potentially end up at fullback.)
|NR WLB||2* OLB||NR OLB||NR ILB||NR ILB|
While it's safe to expect Johnson will at least rise into the three-star range as he gets more exposure, the recruiting services are still cobbling together profiles for him at the moment; Rivals remains the lone outlet to give him a ranking. The four sites are in relative agreement on his size, listing him at either 6'0" or 6'1" and 205-215 pounds.
As you can probably guess, there isn't a whole lot out there yet on Johnson. He earned a positive mention from Scout's John Garcia Jr. after Prattville came up short in last season's state championship game:
One of the few defensive standouts for the Lions, this underclassmen has versatility on his side. He lines up in the middle or on the edge at linebacker and makes plays against both the pass and the run. Though undersized at 6-foot, 185 pounds, he simply makes plays. A tackle for loss was among his four recorded stops.
That's all I could find on him—that article wasn't even linked to Johnson's Scout profile, since one didn't exist last night—other than Sam Webb's tweet about his camp performance on Friday:
2016 Prattville (Ala.) LB Dytarious Johnson may have been the best of the LB bunch today. Received a lot of love from the #Michigan staff
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 5, 2015
We do have Johnson's junior highlights, which I'm going to post up here:
Magnus posted an evaluation today based on that film, and I had much the same reaction after seeing it myself:
For being a linebacker, he's a very smooth runner who moves like a strong safety. The first highlight in his film below is of him playing man coverage on a slot receiver, staying right on his hip on a wheel route, and tracking the ball down in the air; he tips it to himself and races about 75 yards to the endzone. He also likes to hit, and he takes good angles to the football. One thing I also like is that he seems to understand his role as an outside linebacker, and he does a very good job of maintaining leverage and fighting off blocks to keep outside contain.
The athleticism is there, but some basic fundamentals are lacking. His stance and footwork will probably need to be adjusted, but that will come with reps and coaching. He will also need to get stronger and add a little bit of weight.
The coaches seem to have noticed some of the same technical issues, and had already started working through them at Friday's camp, according to the Montgomery Advertiser:
Johnson said he learned "a lot" at the four-hour camp.
"I learned how to get in my stance and how to turn my hips," said Johnson, who plays linebacker. "The footwork."
Magnus added that Johnson's highlights could easily be confused for those of a four-star prospect, and I'm inclined to agree; he looks strong against both the run and pass, closes quickly on the football, and hits hard. This is a very lofty comparison, but he reminds me a little of Ohio State strongside linebacker Darron Lee, a three-star safety with a similar build out of high school. Lee was one of OSU's most valuable players last season because he could disrupt opponent running and passing games while lining up in the box or over the slot. Johnson has the potential to fill a similar role.
Johnson also holds offers from Alabama State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Memphis, South Alabama, and Troy. Add him to the ever-increasing group of test cases for Harbaugh's eye for talent and his ability to identify it early.
Mostly covered above; Prattville has emerged as an unlikely Michigan pipeline, and given the program's recent success, that could get the Wolverines in on future talented prospects, as well.
Per MaxPreps, Johnson was second on Prattville with 82 total tackles (57 solo) as a junior. He also tallied four passes defensed and an interception he returned 71 yards for a touchdown (first clip in his highlights—it's well worth a watch).
FAKE 40 TIME
Johnson's Hudl page lists a 4.50, which gets five FAKEs out of five. (No obvious source, non-specific time, is a linebacker.) His page also lists a 4.30 shuttle time, 32.5" vertical, 315-pound bench press, and 405-pound squat.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Johnson seems like he could be anything from a Lee-style hybrid space player to a more traditional weakside linebacker, depending on his physical development and how the roster shakes out in front of him. The linebacker two-deep will be wide open after Joe Bolden, Desmond Morgan, and James Ross all graduate following this season, though I'd still expect Johnson to take a redshirt year. After a redshirt year—which will also see Ben Gedeon and Allen Gant exhaust their eligibility—he should be in position to compete for a spot on the depth chart.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Oh, heck, copy-and-paste again:
It's still far too early to take a stab at the final numbers for this class; it's clear the coaches are eyeing a class in the neighborhood of 20-25 prospects, which would require a decent but not unreasonable amount of attrition before Signing Day. Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, and—depending on where Enis and
maybeEvans end up—defensive back remain areas of need.
Michigan is in good position with several highly ranked linebacker prospects; expect them to continue pursuing guys who can fit at that hybrid BUCK spot, such as five-star Caleb Kelly.
The Wolverines are now up to ten total commitments, and pending the inevitable attrition they only have room for four more right now. While there is understandable concern about oversigning, a couple long-rumored roster moves that have yet to become official are still well within the realm of possibility. Right now the numbers look tight and recruiting shows no signs of slowing down; my guess is the coaches know a few things we don't about the roster outlook.
We will now attempt to answer your questions (last updated: July 17 by Seth).
What's the latest?
DUOs accidentally got an extra copy. Due to a mix-up with our fulfillment people, who tried to speed along the process, 181 "DUO" backers got a signed copy in addition to the two from your order. Since they didn't de-dupe either, some of you got two signed books. We can't really walk this back, so enjoy. If you feel strongly that you should pay this back (you don't have to pay this back), buy something from the MGoStore, or put $19.85 into Beveled Guilt. If you think you should pay this forward, put $20 toward your charity of choice.
Shirt level and above: Your second book is SIGNED. If you chose a $50+ option on the Kickstarter, you should have been among the first receive your first copies. Your second copy is a signed by Brian and will ship with your shirt.
T-shirts are now being printed. They'll be in the mail with your signed copies over the next few weeks. People who chose this year's shirt go first since that's most of you.
Your Kickstarter copy should have come. If you backed the Kickstarter and got us your address before 6/30 you should have any unsigned copy already. If you don't by Monday, email me.
If your inbox is filled with requests for your address you should send me that. As of last count we're down to 18 people who haven't done so. I'll bug you one more time in a few weeks and then I'll take the hint.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
I missed the Kickstarter can I buy a book?
Yes! Current options:
|The Book (Printed)||Kindle Edition||Digital Edition (PDF)|
|(Draft Kings Deal)||(please review)||(Draft Kings Deal)|
not to scale
I have a writeup on these options here. They will be available in stores too but not many because we have no newstand distribution (we would welcome newsstand distribution).
Where's my stuff?
[Just hit the jump.]