alternate headline: man does job
Like my friend Captain Foresight said, you should have taken at least a QB in 2012.
It's been four classes since I played the Captain Hindsight game, where we go over a list of Michigan recruits going back as far as I can find crutin information (Lemming and Parade All-Americans and Sandeep's old page), and then pulling from stats and starts and awards and draft position and memory to give each guy a "results" star rating.
But this time instead of just 1-5 stars, I quartered that to fit the same ranking system I came up with last week as a composite rating. That is…
Seth's Rating System:
|Rating||Meaning as recruit||Meaning as player|
|Consensus top 25||Star by end 1st year, generational talent|
|4.75||Top 50ish. 5-star to 3/4 sites||Star by year two, 1st rounder or denard|
|4.50||Top 75ish. 5-star to 2/4 sites||Star by year three or long-term very good|
|4.25||Top 150ish. 5-star to 1 site.||Really good, UFR heroes, senior stars|
|Top 250, nationally ranked.||Very good, all-B1G, draftable|
|3.75||4-star not always ranked||Good, all-B1G upperclassman|
|3.5||High 3-star, some 4th stars||Mostly good, sometimes frustrating|
|3.25||Better than average 3-star||Better than okay, but frustrating|
|Consensus 3-star||Usable as upperclassman starter.|
|2.75||Low 3-stars||Serviceable backup, iffy starter|
|2.5||2-/3-star tweener.||Backup, can play a few series w/o disaster|
|2.25||High 2-star (by pos rank)||Depth, can steal a few snaps w/ him|
|1.75||Below 2-star||Can't play on this level.|
And here's the results of my re-ranking survey. Please (and I'm serious about this) lodge all questions and complaints about rankings in the comments. I plan to take them all into account and adjust. Or if you want to download it and make your own rankings I'd be happy to take that. This is a feels thing so the more input the better our information. That said, unless you think I'm way off with the bulk of guys, please preserve my fragile ego, since I'm putting the sum total of my Michigan fan knowledge into those numbers and would like to continue thinking all that attention over the years hasn't been for naught.
Notes on these: Since this is just judging talent scouting, anyone I could possibly rank (including the transfers) I did so. Those not ranked were injured before we got a chance to see them on the field or compare them with players ahead of them on the depth chart.
Also to handicap things for scouts this is not about who ended up being the best PLAYER but accurately representing a guy's talent and ability to convert it to footballing. This is NOT to say every 5.0 was better than every 4.25, because some truly great players who went on to long NFL careers weren't able to help out until they were upperclassmen. I did it that way because I know the ranking systems themselves judge a player by how college-ready he is, necessarily underrating ceiling. There's no skill that would let you see a 220-pound tight end and predict he'll be the NFL Draft's first OT taken in five years. Long careers therefore can catch up to loftier ones, and the top overall groups are guys who had both.
I'll repeat that just so we can shame the guys who didn't read it in the comments: it's not about who's BEST but how accurately he was scouted.
[After the jump: we compare services, and find fun things like best class ever, most underrated guys, etc.]
Michigan landed a commitment this morning from Winter Garden (FL) West Orange WR Eddie McDoom, whose name, again, is EDDIE MCDOOM. This is important for many reasons, including that I get to post some MF Doom on the blog:
As you either enjoy that or hate it (this is MGoBlog, after all), let's continue. Eddie McDoom is the 25th commit in the 2016 class, joining Dylan Crawford, Brad Hawkins, and Nate Johnson among receivers. We expect ATH Ahmir Mitchell to play safety and Johnson's spot in the class is tenuous—he's technically a commit but will make a NSD decision between Michigan, Notre Dame, and Miami, and the Irish look to be in the best spot for him. APB Chris Evans is a potential slot but he should also get a chance to make an impact in the backfield.
As Steve Lorenz mentioned on the MGoPodcast a week ago, this was quite the recruiting coup by Jim Harbaugh. McDoom initially committed to Oregon in December, which allowed Michigan to land Crawford—Oregon has been their biggest competition but were full at receiver with McDoom. Michigan held their Citrus Bowl practices at McDoom's high school and never stopped pursuing him; when McDoom wanted to visit Ann Arbor, Oregon's policy required he decommit, and the Wolverines ended up getting both receivers they coveted.
|3*, #68 WR||3*, #75 WR||
4*, 82, #23 WR,
3*, 88, #67 WR,
3*, #65 WR,
When it comes to McDoom, ESPN is your favorite scouting service. Given McDoom's impressive offer sheet and film, ESPN appears to be more correct in this instance than the other three sites, which peg McDoom as a middling three-star.
McDoom is slot-sized. ESPN probably has the most accurate listing since McDoom participated in the ESPN-sponsored Under Armour game; they list him at 5'11", 178 pounds. Every other site lists him between 5'11" and 6'1" at 170 pounds.
ESPN has easily the most detailed scouting report on McDoom. They praise his game speed, ability to separate with quickness and technical prowess, and ball skills; here are their sections on his big play ability and the overall conclusion:
This guy is sneaky good in his ability to create separation and make plays when the ball comes his way. Sometimes he can look flashy and sometimes he doesn't, but the end result is productive. He is very good at navigating zone coverage from the slot position. Understands the moving parts and can settle into open spaces. Is just fast enough quick enough to win one-on-one on the outside, but may not have a consistent edge at the next level if matched up against elite personnel. This is the type of player that can come out of nowhere and make a huge play but at the same time be a role player if need be.
McDoom is a polished and versatile target. Can be used as a utility weapon in the spread, a fulltime slot and an outside target that's capable of winning vertically. We like his natural feel for the game and he plays with a lot of confidence. He possesses some readymade traits for the next level as he is already a fairly precise route runner. A good player for power five conference programs.
McDoom emerged onto the scene in the summer prior to his junior season, when he'd already garnered offers from the likes of Clemson and Miami. His coach cited both his speed and his route-running as reasons for the early attention:
”This kid is a stud,” said Bob Head, West Orange’s coach. “He will go wherever he wants to. Eddie is a track kid and run the 400-meters. That’s a grown man’s race and he’s one of the best in the state. He made the finals. He’s a leader. He’s a polished route runner. He had great film last year and ever was in the shadow of Garrett Johnson (signed with Kentucky). He’s a very hard worker as well.”
Oddly, none of the sites have much on McDoom from a scouting perspective from that point until the recent UA game, for which McDoom was a late addition. He earned mention among the top Team Highlight practice performers for all three days by 247, which praised his big-play ability and route-running, though they did mention he dropped a few balls on day one. Scout's Corey Bender came away from the week quite impressed with McDoom's game:
McDoom was a late addition to the Under Armour All-American, but he definitely belonged with the best of the best in nearby Orlando. He's a quick-twitch athlete that consistently created separation off the line of scrimmage and kept defenders on their toes. McDoom has battled drops at times in the past, but he was consistent and made the most out of his opportunities. Really did a good job of sticking his foot in the grass and running crisp routes.
McDoom caught a 12-yard touchdown pass in the UA game itself; afterwards Rivals' Mike Farrell named him honorable mention for his own "Lightning In A Bottle" award for the week's most exciting and dynamic player.
In the wake of McDoom's commitment, 247's Clint Brewster provided a free film evaluation:
McDoom is a natural wide receiver with reliable hands and a good feel for the game. He’s got the ability to win off the line of scrimmage with his footwork and get open enough to snatch a pass. He’s really comfortable running all the patterns in the route tree and shows he can get open vertically although he’s not a 4.4 speed type of wide receiver. McDoom’s a savvy player with a nice feel for coverage and he knows how to stem his routes and set up opposing cornerbacks to think he’s running a different pattern. There's some nice subtleties to his game that stand out no film.
The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan also evaluated McDoom's potential impact:
McDoom is a slippery, quick-twitch inside receiver who is at his best getting upfield after the catch. He's not a juke-inside-a-phonebooth slot, but has adequate moves to get past one tackler, and the mentality to gain yardage afterwards. He has a solid understanding of how to get open against zone and man coverage, and uses his feel for the game to set himself up for that yardage after the catch.
He can be a screen or end-around merchant thanks to that YAC mentality, and although he doesn't have the physical makeup to be a great blocker yet, the mentality is there to return the favor when his teammates need a block, as well.
Sullivan mentioned McDoom lacks elite speed and occasionally lets the ball get into his body instead of plucking it right out of the air.
McDoom has the ability to play inside or outside and his route-running is advanced for a high school prospect. His film also shows a player who can make a big plays with the ball in his hands; I'm have no concerns about his game speed after watching it. His ability to consistently catch the ball will determine just how much he resembles Steve Breaston; the hope here is he'll be able to track and catch the deep ball better.
McDoom holds offers from Alabama, Boston College, Cincinnati, Clemson, FIU, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (YTM), Michigan State, Mississippi State, Mizzou, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Not a bad list for a three-star to say the least.
West Orange has produced one four-star prospect since 2002, according to Rivals: 2015 Notre Dame RB signee Dexter Williams. The program has also sent a handful of three-star players to SEC and ACC schools over that span.
While I can't locate senior stats, 247's profile lists impressive junior numbers: 47 catches for 854 yards and 15 touchdowns.
FAKE 40 TIME
McDoom's Hudl page lists an unverified 4.48 40, which gets three FAKEs out of five. While he's plenty fast, that would be an elite electronic time.
Junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
While Michigan is all set for 2016 at outside receiver, McDoom will get the opportunity to compete for snaps in the slot, where sophomore Grant Perry is the only returner who's seen significant game action—while Perry had a breakout of sorts in the Citrus Bowl, he didn't have a big role in the offense. McDoom, Dylan Crawford, and perhaps Chris Evans will battle for a chance to see the field early, either in a starting role or subbing in for Perry while preparing for a bigger role in the future.
After Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson graduate following the 2016 season, the competition opens up considerably on the outside, and McDoom could also factor in there. Even if he redshirts, he'll have a shot to see the field in year two on campus.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
McDoom is the 25th commit in the class and the fifth from Florida. Michigan is still in pursuit of a couple receivers, especially with Nate Johnson commitment in serious doubt. Paramus Catholic three-star Donald Stewart should stay on the board; he's a true outside receiver in a class currently lacking one. Florida three-star Pie Young could join the class as either a slot or a cornerback.
Johnson and Jordan Elliott are looking likely to flip to other schools (ND and Texas, respectively), and we know of one other current commit who won't end up in the class for academic reasons and another who's been told all along he'll be taken as a grayshirt. That leaves Michigan with as many as nine spots to fill in a class that could reach 30.
Top remaining targets include DT Rashan Gary, ATH Jordan Fuller, CB Lavert Hill, DT Boss Tagaloa, TE Devin Asiasi, WDE Connor Murphy, S Khaleke Hudson, TE Chase Allen, WR Donald Stewart, WR/DB Pie Young, and K Quinn Nordin. Hudson will announce his decision at 3 pm today; Michigan looks to be in very good position.
Here's the class as it currently stands:
via UConn Athletics
After most of a decade as one of two excellent candidates Michigan apparently had waiting in the wings, it looks like Michigan has decided on UConn AD Warde Manuel:
Report: It's Warde Manuel to be next AD at Michigan https://t.co/IPMnRGmHBS
— The Michigan Insider (@michiganinsider) January 27, 2016
Who says? AJerseyGuy is Mark Blaudschun, a former Boston Globe reporter who covers UConn. While it appears that Michigan didn't plan to announce until later in the week, the Freep's David Jesse and Mark Snyder posted the news soon after Blaudschun. While Michigan did its due diligence, Manuel and Boston College AD Brad Bates were consensus frontrunners for the position going back to the search that yielded Dave Brandon. If they did Crystal Balls for ADs, Sam Webb should get epic points.
A quick take: Manuel built a football program where there was none in two locations—Buffalo and UConn—and got Michigan to fill his stadium despite Brandon twisting in the wind to get it moved to a neutral New York site. Prior to those jobs he was Bill Martin's top lieutenant, running football and basketball operations at Michigan, his alma mater. He's considered one of the best ADs nationally. Brian will share his thoughts once he's done with a super secret important matter. Some bits he's shared in the past:
Manuel hired Turner Gill at Buffalo, who briefly made Buffalo not the worst team in D-I, and then ended up hiring Kevin Ollie at UConn, though that was not much of a decision. Paul Pasqualoni was already in place when he was hired at UConn; he fired him and replaced him with ND DC Bob Diaco after taking a swing at MSU DC Pat Narduzzi. That may or may not work out but that process seems pretty sensible to me.
My take: The best possible choice since tying Jim Hackett to a chair for the next 20 years had several legal and logistical disadvantages. Among the various tales of greatness that are about to emerge, my favorite is at Buffalo he swooped in to hire the woman who successfully sued Isiah Thomas and the Knicks.
[Left: Patrick Barron/MGoBlog; Right: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]
Zak Irvin's transformation from unabashed gunner into complete player has become especially apparent over the last month as he's arguably become Michigan's most important player on both ends of the floor in Caris LeVert's absence. In seven Big Ten games, Irvin is averaging 13 points and five boards per contest; more importantly, the man who never tallied more than three assists in a single game until last February is doling out four assists per game over that span.
While Irvin's rediscovered outside shot has opened up the rest of his game, he's also become adept enough as a ballhandler and passer that he can make a significant impact even when he's not scoring much. That came to the forefront in Saturday's victory at Nebraska; Irvin had eight points on seven shots, deferring to the hot hands of Duncan Robinson and Derrick Walton, but when asked to run the offense he excelled, dishing out five assists—all coming off some form of screen—with no turnovers.
I went to clip highlights and ended up cutting videos of each of his five assists; while they all utilized a pick, they all took slightly different forms.
1. Cut, drive, and kick.
On his first assist, Irvin started in the far corner, took a handoff from Mark Donnal that acted as a screen, and drove hard into the teeth of the defense. This is something relatively new from Irvin: a drive clearly intended to draw in defenders to set up a pass instead of a drive directly to the hoop for a layup attempt. A couple hard dribbles towards the paint are enough to freeze the defender tasked with defending Duncan Robinson in the corner, giving Irvin an easy dumpoff that results in about as automatic a three points as you'll find in the college game.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the post.]
You will not be surprised that the Rashad Weaver decommitment set off another media/twitter/message board tempest. The guy who called Kyle Flood "real" two weeks before his grade-fixing scandal came to light has weighed in. Teddy Greenstein has resumed calling Michael Spath a hack so he doesn't have to actually address Michigan's point of view. Lawyers from Alabama have invaded my mentions.
This is not a good state of affairs. It is not the End of Integrity, as the pearl-clutching wing of the fanbase has fretted. The decommits will sign elsewhere; they won't have to transfer or take a medical midway through their careers. Finding yourself with a guy who would be better off elsewhere is inevitable and it's better to rip off the bandaid.
Michigan isn't in this situation because it's evil or untrustworthy, but rather because it's been disorganized and sloppy. There are countless examples just this year of similar decommits that were handled much better, like when Florida commit Isaiah Williams flipped to Washington State in December. Was that a voluntary switch? Not bloody likely. Did it cause a rending of garments and beating of the breast? Not at all.
Michigan took a number of early commits from fringe players, and they did so without checking up on grades. While there have been no complaints from anyone other than Swenson and Weaver, the sheer number of decommits looks bad even if Michigan has valid reasons for consciously uncoupling. There was no reason to take commits from a slew of academically questionable three stars this summer. Michigan gave them a plan to get right and they couldn't get there, which is fine. More or less dropping contact with them is not.
Meanwhile Michigan's two talent-based decommits were given broad hints but not told flat out until they did not want to take those hints. Whether or not this is how it's done elsewhere, that's the equivalent of breaking up with your girlfriend via meaningful eyebrow arcing and the occasional pursed lip. It results in confusion and people buying you gun racks.
Erik Swenson should have been explicitly dumped as soon as he did not show for Michigan's summer camp, and certainly by October, when his midseason senior film arrived in Ann Arbor. Weaver got enough of a message that he started looking around in November; his situation should have been made explicitly clear by midseason at the latest as well.
This is both ethically better and less damaging to the program. A Swenson set loose in October is both more capable of finding an appropriate landing spot and less capable of setting off a media firestorm. If Rashad Weaver simply flips to one of the four schools he visited over the course of the season his decommit is as newsworthy as that of Isaiah Williams, ie, not newsworthy except to Washington State fans.
So. To prevent further outbreaks, pick up the damn phone. By December.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
#6 Michigan 5, US NTDP U18 2 (Exhibition)
Suthers goal, NTDP
M 0 U18 1 EV 03:54 Assists: Pastujov & Walker
Walker gains possession at the top of the NTDP’s defensive zone and threads a perfect pass through traffic to Pastujov in the neutral zone. With the puck now ahead of the rest of Michigan’s defense, the US is suddenly on a 2-on-2 rush.
Pastujov does a nice job of feigning toward the center of the ice before pulling the puck across his body and skating around Cecconi. Cecconi knows there’s an open skater to his right and tries to communicate that to Piazza, as he’s decided he’ll carry Pastujov.
Piazza has his stick down in an attempt to take away the passing lane; the only problem is that his stick isn’t in the passing lane. He doesn’t switch defenders, and Pastujov’s pass hits an open Suthers.
All’s not lost, however, as Nagelvoort’s read this well and is prepared for the shot. Then he misses it. It looks like he’s square to the shooter and isn’t sunk back too far in the crease, so this one’s a little ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
[After THE JUMP: Motte does Motte things, and a scouting report of sorts]