Previously: Last year's profiles. S Josh Metellus, S Khaleke Hudson, CB David Long, CB Lavert Hill, LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse, LB Devin Bush Jr., LB Devin Gil, LB Josh Uche, DE Ron Johnson, DT Michael Dwumfour, DT Rashan Gary.
|Boulder, CO – 6'3", 250|
|Scout||4*, NR overall
#42 DE, #1 CO
|Rivals||4*, #215 overall
#11 WDE, #1 CO
|ESPN||4*, NR overall
#42 DE, #1 CO
|24/7||3*, #451 overall
#19 SDE, #2 CO
|Other Suitors||ND, UCLA, CU, Stanford|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace.|
No senior highlights on HUDL. Junior:
You can't throw a rock in Carlo Kemp's family without irritating a guy who played or coached football, often at the highest level:
The four-star prospect's grandfather is Sam Pagano, the former longtime Fairview High, Colo., head football coach and Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame inductee. He also ran the prestigious Mile High Football Camp for 36 years.
In addition, Kemp's uncles are Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano and San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano.
"I pretty much have a connection to every college in America because my grandfather back at home knows everybody [in football] and everyone knows him," Kemp told HuskerOnline.com.
I mean, this is a dude Kemp lives with just hanging out on the sideline of an NFL game.
Kemp's first words were probably an audible to a matchup zone. Pedigree doesn't quite cover it.
While having a bunch of hard-bitten football dudes around isn't a guarantee of success, it's a nice head start. Harbaugh noticed Kemp's readiness almost immediately upon his arrival this spring:
"He seems like he’s been here a couple years. I’m not talking from a football standpoint, but just a guy that being around him, he’s at ease with everything. Maybe a little bit of the Pagano background: grandfather a football coach, uncle a football coach. He’s very mature. Very smart; a 4.0 type of guy. He just looks like he’s in the groove.”
Around the same time Steve Lorenz was hearing that Kemp stood out as "someone who fits the Harbaugh culture." With his background and intelligence, Kemp is a heavy favorite to hit his ceiling.
That ceiling depends largely on finding a solid positional fit. Despite his size he played MLB last year; Michigan gave him a run at the spot in spring practice. That didn't last long. By the spring game he was back at end. If you watch his film, which is his junior year, you might wonder why Michigan bothered to try him out there—that is an end, and a relatively large one. The plan under Durkin was to play him at the "buck" spot, which is hypothetically a LB/DE hybrid but played much more like a standard weakside end even when a Kemp-sized guy was manning it. That might still be the plan. Mattison:
…fills two voids for us as he plays a linebacker position and outside rusher position in passing situations. He has great size and strength and his upside and we are excited about what he brings to the Michigan program.
Carlo is very versatile. He will be a guy who can line up on the edge and go, or drop into coverage, stand up and play linebacker or put his hand down and get the quarterback. Carlo is going to be able to do different things because of his size and his ability to move his feet and use his quickness. He’s a very smart, headsy football player.
On the other hand, Kemp was paired with Rueben Jones in the spring game. Jones, who also moonlit as a linebacker this spring, is a WDE all the way; Kemp was playing SDE. Kemp has reasonable size for a hybrid weakside end right now, which means that in a couple years he's probably outgrown the position. 247 projects him at SDE for this reason, and also issues him the sole three-star ranking he got. It's a concern: Kemp is a tweener who could end up too big for WDE and not big enough for SDE.
Unfortunately, much of the scouting about Kemp talks about BUCK and standing up and dropping back and etc., etc., etc. Buck doesn't exist anymore (and it never did) and your author thinks the extent of Kemp's hybrid role will be short drops on zone blitzes. Meanwhile Kemp avoided the camp scene—he had no need for exposure—and some of the other scouting is contradictory. ESPN says he does bring athleticism to go with the pedigree:
…nice combination of size and bulk at this stage with some room to still develop his frame. Demonstrates very good playing strength and a good get-off. … Flashes good speed to power and can knock and drive blockers back when he keeps pads down. Can bring a hard up-field charge, but can lack a plan and needs to continue to develop his pass rush arsenal to fit his strengths. … Athletic player for size.
Clint Brewster's evaluation is in conflict with the get-off statement above; he doesn't seem to believe Kemp has a ton of pass rush upside in college:
…big, tough player that can rush the passer off the edge or drop into space. Kemp’s effort and want-to on the field really pop out at you when evaluating his film. He chases the ball downfield and doesn’t give up on plays. … When he makes contact with people they feel it. Has the leverage and strength to get under pads and bull rush tackles.
Kemp isn’t the most talented prospect as far as first-step quickness or explosiveness and from a frame standpoint he’s not a long and rangy player. … Kemp makes heady plays and is really good with his hands shedding blocks and scraping to the ball carrier. He can really anchor down the edge and control the line of scrimmage against the run.
Scout has "athleticism" as an area for improvement and "suddenness" as a positive, which… uh. Those are more or less the same thing when it comes to a DE. The evaluation itself…
…physically very strong, and can overpower multiple blockers and make a play. He shows a quick first step and can beat an opposing lineman off the snap. He's a good athlete for a big man, can move laterally and covers a lot of ground. Depending on how much weight he puts on, we could see Kemp playing on the edge of even moving inside and playing as a tackle.
…says he's a good athlete. Scout doesn't have much else, but they did mention they believe he'll grow into a full time end or "even a tackle" when they put him at the tail end of their top 300 last April.
Rivals's Blair Angulo is enthusiastic—Rivals is an optimistic outlier amongst a bunch of evaluations that are right on the 3/4 star borderline—and helpfully dismisses the LB/BUCK talk to focus on a more realistic college deployment:
"I think he's really good. He's very physical at the point of attack and he's a really hard worker. He plays with a good pad level [ed: !!!] and is football sound as far as gaps are concerned. I think his work ethic is going to carry him to great places in college. … Looking at his film and his skill set I think, if he can keep the speed and keeps the aggression he has now, he doesn't have a lot of weaknesses… [he does need] to get better at getting off of blocks. … he does well to contain gaps, engage blockers, and recognize plays but if he's going to rush the passer almost exclusively, getting off of blocks is a big part of that.
Good pad level! I have been doing these forever and this may be the first time ever that a high school player has had his pad level mentioned as a positive. I mean… if this is not evidence that Carlo Kemp is from a football lineage nothing will convince you.
Anyway. Angulo's evaluation is another one that points to Kemp evolving into a good, maybe slightly boring starter. These reports contrast with Ron Johnson's. Johnson had all four services say something about his explosion and rawness. Kemp's evaluations occasionally mention something that should translate into pass rush; mostly they focus on the fact he's going to be in the right gap and play with good technique. That sounds like a high-floor, low-upside player.
There are a couple of evaluations that think Kemp could be a college star. One of them comes from the Michigan coaching staff. Lorenz:
Michigan pushed for [Kemp] very hard late in his process to beat Notre Dame for his services. Kemp had a solid offer sheet, but one that those around the Michigan program thought should have been even bigger. They believe he can become an elite pass-rusher in any (Don Brown) defense and could be one of the higher impact signees in the class.
Michigan was coming from behind in Kemp's recruitment. Kemp's grandfather played at ND and was indoctrinated young.
"With Notre Dame, it's been rooted in my family for such a long time," Kemp said. "My grandmother started me at a young age always wearing Notre Dame clothes."
The push there was a real thing. Notre Dame's involvement also spurred the other highly positive evaluation, this from former ND QB Evan Sharpley:
Kemp flashes brilliant athleticism, the versatility to play multiple positions, and potential to be developed into an elite collegiate player. Kemp shows ample speed as an edge rusher, the physicality to play inside, and coverage skills to matchup with hybrid tight ends. … Kemp is a smart pass rusher. Impeccable ability to read the quarterback’s eyes will moving upfield.
Sharpley is usually positive, as team-specific evaluations tend to be, but this evaluation is an effusive outlier. Kemp does have some moments on his highlight film where he absolutely wrecks a dude; it could happen.
Yo guy has picture of prestigious award.
Why Jibreel Black? Black was a 6'2" guy who came in as a WDE; he was pretty thick as a high school recruit and ended up a 280-pound defensive tackle. The DT bit was in large part because Michigan was desperate at the tail end of the Rodriguez regime; he infamously was forced to play nose tackle in an OSU game, and that went about as well as you might expect. His best fit was at SDE.
Kemp is probably going to be better than Black because of his background and the slightly better defensive coaching he'll receive. He's also a better-regarded recruit than Black, who was a late pickup and something of a flier. ND was not pounding Black's door down.
Another couple guys who are potential comparisons: Brennen Beyer and Craig Roh. Both moved from LB to WDE to SDE over the course of their careers as they got bigger; both ended up undersized for SDE but managed to make it work with smarts and excellent technique.
Guru Reliability: Moderate-minus. Rankings mostly agree; significant conflict amongst scouting reports and some positional question marks.
Variance: Low-minus. 4.0 kid with football coaches out the wazoo who's already Harbaugh-approved. The only thing that'll disrupt his career is an injury.
Ceiling: Moderate. I think he'll end up like Beyer or Roh: a solid multi-year starter who grades out well in UFR and maybe gets an honorable mention All Big Ten.
General Excitement Level: Moderate-plus. At the very least he's a guy who gives you a ton of quality snaps. Michigan is going to need bodies on the line in 2017 and 2018 and Kemp's high floor is important.
Projection: Unlikely to redshirt given the Pagano stuff and his early enrollment. Similarly unlikely to have a major role given the many persons on the DL this year.
Future will depend on his weight. If he sticks as a WDE he'll be in competition with Chase Winovich, Lawrence Marshall, and some other guys. If he moves over to SDE, which I think he will, he's going to spend his sophomore year backing up Gary before a two-year run as an upperclassman starter. Shelton Johnson is the only other guy currently on the roster who projects to SDE in 2018 and 2019.
Just when you thought you'd seen peak Rutgers...
As Paramus Catholic High School officials prepare to host a football camp Wednesday featuring Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, authorities are said to be investigating a series of acts that the school president called vandalism.
Paramus Catholic president James Vail told NJ Advance Media his operations team arrived on campus this morning to find Rutgers magnets across the fields and a teddy bear and Rutgers paper packet on the 50-yard line of the football field.
A group claiming unofficial ties to Rutgers University took responsibility, emailing media outlets with pictures of its work and a letter slamming Harbaugh for starting a war with Rutgers.
The photos above depict the horrifying act of vandalism and the accompanying letter from "The Order of Bulls Blood," which for the sake of both brevity and accuracy will henceforth be called "Smirnoff ISIS."
There's so much to unpack here that I'm just going to start writing a list and see how long I can go before I can no longer see through the tears of laughter.
1. "The Order of Bull's Blood" is the oldest secret society at Rutgers—or is rumored to be, as its very existence is in question (see sidebar). "The Order of Bulls Blood" is a group of students who don't know how to properly deploy the possessive form.
2. According to an email sent to local media, this act of war was pulled off by "elite student leaders," which... you know what? That sounds about right.
Michigan has began a war with Rutgers University. Our Order, represented by some of Rutgers elite student leaders, see it fit that this rivalry be hereby declared.
We have had enough of Michigan. Fence the Garden was brought forth because of Mr. Harbaugh, and us Scarlet Knights are ready to protect our state. We R battle ready.
Tonight sparked the beginning of the end for Wolverine Football, and no longer will they return to their former glory. The Curse of The Bambino reigned for 86 years, Michigan's will last for 28.
The 2016-2017 Class
Order of Bulls Blood
The Yankees are invoked. I, for one, am shocked.
3. If an act of vandalism is best described as "adorable," it's probably not a very good act of vandalism. It's definitely not a good act of vandilism if it's already gone by the time the press picks up on it, let alone the event it's supposed to disrupt.
"The litter has already been cleaned up and we're ready to go for the camp,'' said Vail
This was not a good act of vandalism.
4. This is a textbook use of the passive voice by the NJ.com writer.
Because Michigan is perceived to be a rival to Rutgers both on the football field and on the recruiting trail, the camp has drawn intense criticism from Rutgers fans on popular Internet message boards.
Perceived by whom? Exactly.
5. The letter to Harbaugh. Good God, the letter to Harbaugh. There's the haphazard use of capitalization, the implication Rutgers is College Football David instead of College Football Job, "you will being to fade," and the invoking of their "powerful ally," Ohio State. Should somebody tell them?
The best part, though, is that the letter is meant to be an acrostic, a favored form among Facebook meme artisans and middle schoolers writing love letters. These elite student leaders cleverly inserted a message to Jim Harbaugh in such fashion. Or they tried to, at least, but their use of "The Sleeping Giant" screwed up the format.
As such, the capitalized letters down the side read: GO FUCK YOUGRSELF
Rutgers may be the worst thing to ever happen to the Big Ten, but at least they're the best thing to happen to this offseason.
Anu Solomon (Arizona), Eddie Vanderdoes (UCLA), Juju Smith-Schuster (USC)
The optics surrounding programs in the South are much different than those in the North. USC – the Pac-12’s most historically successful program, one that should theoretically be a playoff contender – has been a dysfunctional mess in the post-Pete Carroll era: sanctions and the hilariously ill-fated Lane Kiffin hire set the Trojans back and their former AD Pat Haden handled the Steve Sarkisian situation very badly. Now Clay Helton, a pretty uninspiring promotion from within the Carroll tree, is the head coach, handpicked by Haden. Their crosstown rivals have things better, as Jim Mora has gone 37-16 in four years at UCLA, but an 8-5 result last season is cause for some concern (though there were plenty of injuries, to be fair), as is the Bruins’ slide down the division standings year-over-year. Those two programs are the most well-equipped for success in the Pac-12 South due to natural advantages, but the odds of playoff contention seem remote.
Each of the other four programs in the division have their own questions – though Utah is definitely in a better place than the other three. Both Arizona schools regressed mightily last season: U of A followed up a New Year’s Six appearance with a 3-6 conference record in 2015 (and Rich Rodriguez had to fire DC Jeff Casteel after the season), ASU had two ten-win seasons in ‘13 and ‘14 before winning six games last season – and Todd Graham’s synonymous for fleeing programs for better jobs at the earliest available opportunity, though he’s now entering his fifth year at Arizona State. Colorado has been wandering in the wilderness since joining the Pac-12 and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Kyle Wittingham has been at Utah for over a decade and once went undefeated in the Mountain West – two consecutive losing seasons put him on the hot seat, but 9-4 in ‘14 and a 10-3 showing in ‘15 (including a bowl win over much-hated BYU) has him safe again.
Of the six teams in the Pac-12 South, Utah’s the only one who’s on an upward trajectory entering 2016 and they have to replace very productive starting quarterbacks and running backs. UCLA’s a strong candidate for a rebound and USC always has plenty of talent. Still, the South looks to be the worse of the two divisions in the Pac-12, one without an obvious frontrunner or a team that stacks up well for a playoff run.
[After the JUMP, team previews]
It’s still surreal to realize that Stanford(!) is the most stable program in the division
Last year, the Pac-12 was the power conference left out of the playoff – ultimately, Stanford’s week one loss to Northwestern, of all teams, left the league with a two-loss champion and the committee was given an undefeated (ACC) or one-loss champ (SEC, Big 12, B1G) by the four other conferences. At the risk of being too reductive, it was a pretty solid year for the conference, although the encouraging and disappointing seasons divided along division lines. The South was supposed to be a very strong division and it really underwhelmed. Both Los Angeles schools were preseason top 15 teams: USC had a ton of off-field problems (including a mid-season coaching change) but won the division and finished 8-6, UCLA finished third and 8-5. The Arizona Schools combined to go 13-13 after entering the season with some degree of hype. Only Utah really exceeded expectations at 10-3 and their blowout road win over Oregon was its best since joining the league.
In the North, five of the six teams finished with winning records: Stanford recovered nicely from that early upset to win the league and Washington State lost to an FCS team and went on to go 9-4, their most wins since 2003. Cal finally had a breakthrough of sorts with first overall draft pick, QB Jared Goff, and advanced stats favorite Washington arrived a year early with their own potential star QB, then-freshman Jake Browning. Even Oregon – who started the year in the top ten only to finish with a 9-4 record after blowing an enormous lead in their bowl game against TCU – took down Stanford on the road, denying their main competition at the top of the North a chance to make it into the playoff. The other four Pac-12 North bowl teams won those contests, highlighted by Stanford’s rout of Iowa in the Rose Bowl.
By and large, bowl wins mean little more than an increase in the trinity of hype / optimism / expectations and that will be the case again in the Pac-12 North. To open our rundown of the power conferences in college football, we’ll take a look at that division, home to a bona fide playoff contender with a star running back (Stanford), a potentially stumbling blue-blood (Oregon), and the return of good FBS football to the state of Washington as both programs look to be on solid footing for the first time in a while.
[after the JUMP, team-by-team previews]
Tiller was always good for some anonymous snark
I always miss Joe Tiller when these get published. ESPN does the anonymous coach quote article, and while some of it is of little utility…
Coach, can you talk about Indiana's tempo?
"They're unique in our league in that they're going to try to get 100 plays in a game and just literally outscore you." -- Big Ten defensive coach [who all Big Ten fans reading this article hope is not employed by their program]
…there are a couple interesting bits about Michigan. This isn't a huge surprise since the last coach was Brady Hoke:
"This coaching staff knows how to mask things. It's a lot more double-team, a lot more movement, a lot more point-of-attack doubles and down blocks. They're a team that embraces the 4- and 5-yard play, and not a lot of people in college football do that anymore." -- Big Ten defensive coach
It's still good to hear that Michigan's offense is reputed to be tricky. There is exactly zero chance opponents thought Michigan's offense was difficult to prep for under Carr or Hoke.
Another coach says the linebackers were the weakest part of Michigan's defense a year ago "but with the guys they have up front, if they're healthy, you can get away with whatever at linebacker." Our theory that Michigan could put out a lawn chair at LB and be okay if Glasgow is around: endorsed.
Yet more satellite camp stuff. It is insane how much people continue to talk about this. There are slightly more important things going on in college football at the moment, but there is just a nonstop train of satellite camp takes. Which, again, are about people showing up on a football field and doing football-related activities in full view of the world. And yet. Anyway here's the whatnot.
Jon Solomon stops by one of the satellite camps in Baltimore, discovering that the people who attend them are in favor of them:
I spoke to a couple dozen parents and players over a span of about five hours and this was the resounding message: Thank you for coming, Jim Harbaugh.
"It's huge -- huge -- to have this in inner city Baltimore," said Christopher Braswell, who took his 14-year-old son out of school -- almost all of the middle-schoolers played hooky -- to the middle school camp. "It gives kids a sense that someone's out there who cares about them. These guys come from Michigan. It's 10 bucks, so they're not making any money off it. A lot of people can't afford more. Bring your kid here to interact with college coaches and high school coaches. Black, white, they're just out there having fun. What's wrong with that?"
This is somewhat tautological, yes. People doing thing like thing. Thing is harmless to everything except Hugh Freeze's free time. Turns out you have to explain tautological things to lizard people sometimes.
Solomon's article is long and manages to blow up some arguments against the camps along the way. Greg Sankey:
Sankey on satellite camps: “These are not instructional. There are videos and pictures out there that don't look very instructional to me."
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) June 3, 2016
The middle school camp in the morning is largely about teaching and drills, all without pads and helmets, just like the high school session. These middle schoolers are too far away from college for serious consideration of recruiting them just yet.
Also, Gene Wojciechowski drew either the short or long straw, depending on your perspective, and took in Michigan's Australian satellite camp:
Spent 3 hrs in see-yr-breath cold/rain conditions at Michigan sat camp near Melbourne, last nite. Don't hv dog in sat camp fight, but...
— Gene Wojciechowski (@GenoEspn) June 3, 2016
...was impressed by Aussies' passion for game, and Mich coaches' desire to teach them. U wd hv thought u wr at Mich practice--high intensity
— Gene Wojciechowski (@GenoEspn) June 3, 2016
...Didn't matter there were maybe--maybe--a handful of college-level prospects. If this was abt spreading CFB word, then Mich coaches did so
— Gene Wojciechowski (@GenoEspn) June 3, 2016
I'm eagerly awaiting the first statement from Sankey that has any relationship to reality. Meanwhile Kirk Herbstreit says Michigan doesn't "need to do it." This is true. Michigan is doing it anyway.
Also, Harbaugh addresses the tucked-in jersey thing:
"I'm a tuck-in guy," Harbaugh explained, tugging at his belt. "In football, the advantage of tucking in your jersey is big. It's harder to grab the jersey when it's tucked in. When it's untucked, they can grab it, they can sling you, they can swing you, so I always like to tuck in it, and I like the sight lines better of a tucked-in shirt. Football is a game of sight lines -- a very symmetrical field with lines and hashes and dimensions. Sight lines are important."
He's thought long and hard about this.
And then this thing. I was maybe going to fisk that article about "absolute power" from a week ago but I've decided it's just too bad to go over in detail. Wendell Barnhouse, who used to have a job with the Star-Telegram and then the Big 12 but is currently writing for a site I've never heard of, put a bunch of words on paper he has to immediately refute because this is his thesis:
Now here is where this column will anger the thousands of Michigan fans, alums and Jim Harbaugh cultists. Harbaugh is corrupting his absolute power absolutely.
You have read the previous sentence, probably twice, trying to figure out if there is any meaning encapsulated in it. There is not. The Lord Acton quote this dude is trying to reference is about power corrupting individuals that hold it. Barnhouse is stating that Harbaugh is… corrupting power? Which is not a thing?
Barnhouse's point is that what Harbaugh is doing is "about optics" and it's bad for the NCAA, which who cares, and then he comes back around to be like BANG BAYLOR. Sorry. "BANG" "BAYLOR":
Harbaugh is engaged in “wretched excess” disguised as “outworking other coaching staffs.” Staging 38 satellite camps in 30 days might be more about carpet-bombing the “Michigan brand” more so than landing five-star recruits.
And it’s also about Jim Harbaugh having the all-encompassing power to do what he wants. There are numerous examples, including a recent one, that illustrates the danger that lurks.
This draws about 35 different false equivalencies and amply demonstrates why Barnhouse is no longer employed as a writer: he's bad at writing.
Harbaugh already had an opportunity to start off his career in corruption last year and passed. Logan Tuley-Tillman, who had a good shot at being the starting left tackle this year, was booted from the team the instant Harbaugh found out he'd done something seriously wrong.
Etc.: A three-part oral history on a basketball season that ended with a loss in the NIT final. Rutgers? Rutgers. Nitpickers gonna nitpick. ESPN's Where In The World Is Jim Harbaugh is entertaining. Scott Steiner on Harbaugh.
Malone-Hatcher: Ankle "Never Better"
Steve Lorenz's VIP Notes from Corey Malone-Hatcher's commitment feature a few notable tibdits about his recruitment. Jim Harbaugh remembering to ask about Malone-Hatcher's younger sister each time they talked apparently struck a chord with the family, while Greg Mattison—and his wife—may have been the most important factor in getting CMH's commitment. Lorenz also got details on how Malone-Hatcher expects to be utilized in Don Brown's defense:
"He was really clear with us," Orlando Malone mentioned after Corey committed. "Corey's worked really hard to put himself in a position to be a guy that will get to the quarterback consistently, and we wanted to make sure that's how he was going to use us. He was pretty blunt about how he wanted to utilize him. 'We'll put him on his own at end sometimes. We'll line him up next to another defensive end in certain sets. We'll shift him to middle linebacker. We want to do a lot of things with him, but we'll get him to the quarterback'. He has a complicated scheme, but was clear about how he'd use Corey. That was important to us."
Malone-Hatcher has some versatility; while he'll mostly be a defensive end, he played middle linebacker extensively during his junior season before it was cut short by an ankle injury. Speaking of which:
"Never better, man," Malone-Hatcher said when asked how he was feeling coming off his ankle injury. "My confidence is at an all-time high."
That is nice to hear.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]