in town for free camps
Photo via Scout
Fort Lauderdale (FL) Cooper City DE/TE Rashad Weaver announced his commitment to Michigan on Twitter this evening, becoming the 12th member of the 2016 class and the first at either defensive end or tight end. Weaver added his offer after performing in front of the coaches at the South Florida satellite camp, and it didn't take long for him to accept it.
|NR DE||2* WDE||NR DE||NR SDE||2*, #108 DT|
So much for not getting embroiled in the same debate we've been having about the value of recruiting stars versus in-person coaching evaluations. Weaver got a cursory two-star rating from Rivals and has yet to be evaluated by the other sites. Jim Harbaugh doesn't care about your opinion on this matter.
The sites are in agreement about Weaver's size, all listing him in the neighborhood of 6'5", 245 pounds. That kind of frame should help him fit as either an SDE or TE.
Once again, we go to the tape first, because there's practically nothing out there on Weaver. Here are his junior highlights:
And here are his highlights from this spring:
Weaver does a solid job of crashing down the line to clean up runs, and his size/strength combination allows him to hold up well at the point of attack against that level of competition—down the road, he's going to need to utilize his hands more to disengage from blocks. His pass-rushing ability seems limited, though the knack for batting down passes shouldn't go overlooked. We don't get to see him play much tight end at all. He's clearly not a burner, but he could easily get to the size where he's a useful blocker, and if he's got decent hands to add to that then Harbaugh will be pleased.
247's Clint Brewster tweeted his impression of Weaver's film after the commitment was announced:
Weaver is a long DE with size and point-of-attack strength. Makes hustle plays. Can cross the face of OT's and get inside to play the run.
— Clint Brewster (@clintbrew247) June 14, 2015
Weaver discussed how he earned his offer in a post-commitment interview with The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):
"I started camp at the D-end, and went all the way through all the drills and the one-on-ones, winning those," he explained. "Then with like 10 minutes left, they pulled me over to tight end one-on-ones, and I did four routes and caught a couple balls. They told me they like me at both positions and they're recruiting me as just a big athlete. Possibly even both ways at the next level.
"A couple days later I was sitting on the couch, and Coach [Jay] had asked me something. I don't remember what I responded, but he said, 'how would you feel if I told you that you have a full scholarship offer to the University of Michigan?' I told him that I was sitting there smiling like a little kid that just got a whole bunch of candy. He said again when I got off the phone with them that they like me on both sides."
Like Kiante Enis, Chris Evans, Michael Onwenu, and David Reese, Weaver has positional flexibilty and could contribute on either side of the ball at Michigan.
Weaver holds offers from Air Force, Columbia, Cornell, FIU, Illinois, Louisiana Lafayette, South Florida, Syracuse, and Temple.
Cooper City isn't a major D-I talent producer. Weaver is just the third major college prospect from the school since 2002, following 2010 Miami (OH) signee Travis Williams and 2013 Tennessee signee Lemond Johnson, according to the Rivals database.
The only stats I can find for Weaver are from the hardwood instead of the gridiron; he averaged seven points and nine boards for the Cooper City basketball squad in the eight games recorded on MaxPreps last season.
FAKE 40 TIME
ESPN lists a 5.23 40 that looks to be from a SPARQ camp, so it gets zero FAKEs out of five.
[Update: His Hudl page lists a 4.90, which isn't verified by SPARQ, but also doesn't seem too fake. Again, he's not a burner, but he doesn't look like a plodding blocking-only guy, either.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Your guess is as good as mine. Weaver could end up at strongside end, where he'd compete with incoming freshman Shelton Johnson for a role once the Charlton/Wormley duo graduates following the 2016 season. Or he could play tight end, where he'd figure into the rotation behind Jake Butt, Khalid Hill, Ian Bunting, and Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Either way, Weaver seems like a lock to redshirt while he develops physically and the coaching staff figures out where he should play—though with Harbaugh, there's certainly a chance he lines up on both sides of the ball.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan now sits at 12 commits in a class that currently has room for 14. Again, that number will inevitably go up due to unrenewed fifth-years, attrition under a new coach, and the like. Areas of need in the class include offensive line, defensive tackle, weakside end, outside linebacker, and safety.
Satellites are any object in orbit around a large body. Or in this case, a dad body. The Summer Swarm turned what would have been a week overwhelmed with "omigosh which clothing manufacturer is going to give us money to wear their clothing?" into a week of "omigod Harbaugh is in Alabama and not wearing any clothing!"
Reader CoachW reported back from the Dallas camp with an example of the goings on:
They broke the kids out into position groups and did some warm ups and then had races until they declared a winner in each group. After that, they did rotating agility drills all over the field. From there it was Indy for a good hour. After that, they broke the kids out into freshman and sophomores on one end and the upperclassmen on the other. Here they did basically a one-on-one, make the other guy miss drill with offense vs defense. It was 30 yards long and from the sideline to the hash and all the defender had to do was touch the offensive guy. The young kids really struggled with this as the defense won pretty much every time.
Amir_6 also put together a bunch of resulting recruiting bits that came up on Twitter. As I type this Harbaugh's speaking at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp. Let me say that again: Jim Harbaugh is speaking at the Sound Mind…
— Patrick Barron (@MGoDrone) June 5, 2015
Camp. Ironic coachspeak name aside, SMSB is turning out to be quite the showcase of the suddenly richer Midwest coaching talent: James Franklin, Jerry Kill, and Brian Kelly were also around, and defensive linemen present get to tell tales the rest of their lives of being coached by both Larry Johnson Sr. and Greg Mattison at the same time! The conference still has Hazell and Beckman, but what a difference the names at the top of Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan makes.
/remembers we just added Flood and Edsall
Players come from places. While I fix what used to be a computer speaker, head over to Lanknows's diary on in-state recruiting success, as measured by the percent of top-five Michigan players who went to Michigan. That's not a very good way of doing it since there are years when Michigan looked at that pool and said "we'll take Brandon Graham" and moved on. Also there are recruitments like Chris Norman (whose total Michigan recruitment was a conversation about Barwis he didn't understand), in the same box as Edwin Baker, whom RR overlooked while chasing rabbit chasers out of Pahokee, and RoJo, who seemed like a Michigan lock until a deity told him to go to USC. I'd love to see this expanded to really dive into each recruiting season in the state.
The other "here's how recruiting turned out" diary was Erik_in_Dayton went through all of the 2007 and 2008 Stanford recruits, arming us with information to combat the three-star mafioso. Conclusion: hits and misses, but way more hits than you should expect from that lot; he really did build the basis of that program from 2- and 3-star material. And Andrew Luck.
Other diaries: M baseball draftees and potential draftees. The records softball broke this year. LSA found no patterns in what round players are drafted in, though I bet he would find some shifts for OL and against RBs if he did it by actual draft number instead of round. Alum96 poked around offensive stats and found Michigan and Indiana falling off offensive cliffs later in the season maybe overrated opponent defenses.
[Jump for comments on Kelly's call for help]
Photo via 247.
Michigan's camp tour has paid off once again, this time in the form of a commitment from three-star Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic CB Antwaine Richardson, according to multiple outlets. Richardson, a high school teammate of incoming freshman DE Shelton Johnson, earned an offer on Sunday after performing in front of the coaching staff at the South Florida satellite camp. He's the 11th commit in the 2016 class and the first at cornerback.
|NR CB||3* CB||NR CB||
3*, 86, #81 CB,
3*, #88 CB,
As you can see, Richardson is another under-the-radar type, so let's head off some of the inevitable comments right now and note that his top two was Miami (YTM) and Wisconsin—yes, both programs offered—before Michigan swooped in.
All four sites list him at 6'0" and 162-168 pounds, a nice frame for a cornerback.
The only scouting reports out there on Richardson right now are quotes from... Richardson. Those can be helpful, but first let's take a look at his film:
I like what I see. Richardson has decent footwork for a taller corner, and he knows how to use his length to his advantage. He's not afraid to be physical; there are a few really impressive jams at the line and some big hits on his tape. A few of the special teams clips indicate he's the type of high-effort, high-athleticism prospect Harbaugh covets.
When Richardson got his Miami offer, he compared himself to a couple of the NFL's very best at his position, per 247's Nate Adelson ($):
“I compare myself to Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson,” Richardson said. “I’m a speed corner, I can play off or press, and I’m aggressive on the line. I’m trying to get out of my breaks quicker and sink my hips while I’m backpedaling. I have good footwork and I don’t let anybody catch the deep ball on me.”
He also relishes contact, something he told Scout's Benjamin Worgull after adding his Wisconsin offer:
“You have to be real good (to play) in the Big Ten because they have Ohio State, some good teams in the Big Ten,” he said. “You have to bring your ‘A’ game when you play those teams, so getting an offer from Wisconsin means I got to bring my ‘A’ game.”
In Richardson’s mind, his ‘A’ game encompasses all defensive schemes.
“In man coverage, I love covering,” Richardson said. “I am aggressive, I love to tackle, I love to hit hard and I don’t think nobody can catch a deep ball on me.”
For now, that's about it on Richardson in the scouting department. Despite the lack of articles on him, what's on film should answer any questions about why Michigan offered him and accepted his commitment.
Richardson holds offers from Florida Atlantic, Iowa State, Miami (YTM), Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and several others.
Delray Beach Atlantic has a solid history of producing D-I prospects, and specifically top-level defensive backs: Mike Rumph (Miami), Brandon Flowers (Virginia Tech), and Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech) were all picked in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. Current San Diego Chargers OT Orlando Franklin (Miami) is also an Atlantic product.
According to 247, Richardson had 37 tackles, ten pass breakups, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles as a junior.
FAKE 40 TIME
ESPN has full testing results that include a 4.70 40-yard dash, which gets zero FAKEs.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Richardson should be afforded a redshirt when he gets to campus, as Michigan is only set to lose Wayne Lyons (and, if his fifth year is unrenewed, Terry Richardson) from their group of cornerbacks after this year. The competition should be wide open when Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling graduate following the 2016 season. While Brandon Watson, who looked ready to play a bigger role this spring, and Reon Dawson will provide competition, Richardson and 2015 incoming freshman Keith Washington have the advantage of being hand-picked by Harbaugh and Co.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan is now up to 11 in the class, which is projected to have only 14 spots right now, but that number will inevitably rise between attrition and possible unrenewed fifth-year seniors. Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive tackle, defensive end, and outside linebacker remain pressing needs, and Michigan is likely to stay in pursuit of help at defensive back unless they decide they'd prefer Chris Evans at corner and Kiante Enis at safety.
Our fantasy partners at Draft Kings have been supporting Hail to the Victors since their main marketing guy helped us Kickstart the 2012 edition.
In 2013 he bought a bunch of the books off of us and gave them out to anyone who deposited at least the amount it cost the Kickstarter backers.
Last year they asked if they could just hand us money to keep making it, and I was like "can I tell people you gave us money?" and apparently this is called a sponsorship so they're sponsors. And they bought a bunch of books to give out again. As for this year…
They're the Sponsors Again!
Yay! But seriously I'm sure you've seen stuff for this daily fantasy sports website popping up all over the place lately, and we're very lucky that the people in charge of that are longtime and earnest fans of this site.
So once again if you missed the Kickstart you can still get this year's book basically for the Kickstart price by depositing $15 or more with them. (Or if you just want the digital edition—it's a PDF—deposit $5 or more).
The nice part for you is if you blow through that deposit, at worst you got a copy of a book you were buying anyway minus the shipping cost. But, like, it's a deposit; if you make money you got a free copy of HTTV, and you get money.
(The nice part for us is we get money if you do this.)
How this works:
2. You create an account using an email address that isn't associated with a Draft Kings account already.
3. You deposit $15 or more (for a full book) or $5 or more (for just a digital copy).
4. Within 24 hours I'll email you to say you get a book and ask for your address (if you don't hear from me or another MGostaffer within a day email me at [my name]@mgoblog.com
The books will be mailed out in batches so the sooner you act the sooner the book comes.
1. Gotta be a new user. They're looking for people who haven't tried out their games before, so if you're already in you're out of luck.
2. Gotta be in the U.S. (otherwise shipping's a nightmare). If you're from AZ, IA, LA, MT, or WA—i.e. states with prize laws—contact firstname.lastname@example.org to address that first.
3. Gotta be 18 (or 19 in Alabama or Nebraska).
What About the Kickstarter Books?
The final version has been approved at the printer so now we wait for them to physically print it. Make sure you sent us your address (just doing the Kickstarter isn't enough).
You should be getting your digital copies in your inboxes starting today. It's a 12mb PDF file but I have a lower-resolution 5mb one if you desire to put it on a Kindle or something that cares about hard drive space.
What if I find all this confusing and just want to pre-order a copy?
Go to the MGoStore! It's $15 plus about $5 for shipping depending on where you are.
Michigan has announced that two of their games will actually be at noon this year:
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The University of Michigan football program had a pair of non-conference games selected for noon broadcast nationally, announced today (Friday, June 12) jointly by the networks and the Big Ten Conference. The Wolverines will host Oregon State (Sept. 12) in their home opener and a week later will play UNLV (Sept. 19) in their second of three straight games at Michigan Stadium.
Oregon State is on ABC, UNLV on BTN.
The Michigan noon kick was all but dead. I don't know if this is Hackett, Harbaugh, or random fate, but hooray for a few noon games that allow Michigan fans to see the rest of college football. 3:30 games on the 12th include Iowa-Iowa State and ND-Virginia; on the 19th Nebraska-Miami and Auburn-LSU are at 3:30. A number of other interesting games are likely to join those as the TV people figure out what they want and when.
Coach Plastic Man
The satellite camp tour certainly can't produce anything stranger than shirtless Peruballing Harbaugh, right?
— Chris Brown (Chrissoo_valid) June 9, 2015
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 10, 2015
Michigan has made their way through two stops in Texas and is now in California; meanwhile, the Sound Mind Sound Body camp (TomVH preview here) is underway in Michigan, and many of the participants in that camp are expected to drop by Ann Arbor this weekend.
The satellite camps are moving so quickly—and the visitor lists have been so fluid—that I can only say I'm doing by best to hit the highlights here. Coverage of all this is certainly going to bleed into next week as reporters are able to catch up with the various high-profile participants.
Top performers from the Houston camp included four-star OLB Jeffrey McCullough and 2017 five-star DT Marvin Wilson, who has Michigan in his top five, per Steve Lorenz. Four-star TX DT Jordan Elliott, a Houston commit, also dropped by to connect with the coaching staff, per Scout's Ahmard Vital.
The Dallas camp featured a lot of talent, including top-100 OT Jean Delance, who told Lorenz that he's got a "great relationship with the staff," and he plans to visit Ann Arbor soon. Three-star DE Rahssan Thornton, whose recruitment has seemingly become a Michigan/LSU battle, told 247's EJ Holland($) it was "the best camp I've gone to that I can remember." (He also said "Jim Harbaugh is like someone's cool dad.") 2017 five-star QB Shawn Robinson called Harbaugh "a quarterback genius."
Michigan leads for a couple prospects from their camps in Florida. Three-star DE Terrell Lucas told Steve Lorenz that Michigan "is on top" in his recruitment ($). He laid out a timeline for The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):
"I like the whole thing about Michigan," Lucas explained. "When I hear 'Michigan,' I hear 'family.' You think of Ann Arbor, the town, you don't just think of the football team, you think of the city itself.
"Right now I'm open and trying to keep my options open. I'm considering all the colleges and trying to evaluate. I don't think it should take me that long to make my decision on which college I'm going to go to. Well before the end of the summer, I will have made my decision. End of the month or two I'll be done with it."
If he sticks to that timeline, Michigan is in very good shape. The Wolverines also emerged as the leader for DE/TE Rashad Weaver, who was offered as a jumbo athlete a few days after performing in front of the coaches, whose promise to uphold their end of the bargain stood out to Weaver, per TMI's Brice Marich:
“I would have to say yes (Michigan leads),” said Weaver. “At first when they offered, I had no leader, but when he said they would honor my commitment even if I got hurt, then that put them at the top of my list. They are the only coaches that have told me that.”
That's all from the camp tour for the moment; with SMSB this weekend, there will be much more next week.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]