Michigan's 2017 class grew to five over the weekend with the addition of Covington (GA) Newton WR Jeremiah Holloman. Holloman plays high school ball with 2017 RB commit Kurt Taylor and 2017 S Jaquan Henderson, a UCLA commit who is expected to strongly consider joining his teammates at Michigan after a recent visit and offer.
While Holloman is either a three-star or unranked on the recruiting services, his tape suggests he's an early steal for the Wolverines; there's four-star potential here.
|3* WR||3* WR||NR WR||NR WR||NR WR|
Holloman gets cursory three-star ratings from Scout and Rivals and is unranked on the other two sites. Considering the dearth of scouting reports on him, this probably has as much to do with a lack of evaluations as anything else; he should see his rankings climb as the sites get around to looking at his junior film.
Holloman has a solid frame for an outside receiver, listed at 6'3", 190-195 pounds on three of the four sites (ESPN has him at 6'2", 187). He's got a stockier build that helps make him difficult to haul down after the catch.
[Hit THE JUMP for the informative portion.]
Michigan has only recruited late-rising Thompson's Station (TN) Independence WR Nate Johnson for a few weeks. Among the flurry of recent scholarship offers to Johnson, however, the Wolverines' stood out the most, and he committed yesterday while on his official visit.
Johnson had previously committed to Purdue over the summer, but as he accrued major offers during a breakout senior season—one that culminated in a state title—he opened his recruitment back up. Johnson is the 21st commit in Michigan's 2016 class and the third at receiver, joining Brad Hawkins and Ahmir Mitchell.
|NR WR||3*, #98 WR||3*, 72, #170 WR||
4*, 92, #40 WR,
3*, #88 WR,
Johnson's rankings cover quite a spread; he goes from unranked on Scout to a top-250 four-star on 247. That'll happen with prospects who break out late in the process; we'll see where he winds up as the recruiting services take a harder look at him following his Michigan commitment and strong senior year.
Johnson should be destined for the slot at Michigan. He's listed at 5'11", 170-175 pounds on three of the four sites; ESPN gives him an extra inch.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]
— Brice Marich (@BriceMarich) December 13, 2015
Michigan gained their second commitment of the weekend in the form of 2017 WR Jeremiah Holloman, a Covington (GA) Newton teammate of 2017 RB commit Kurt Taylor. Holloman, who's currently unranked on the recruiting services, is the fifth Michigan pledge in the 2017 class and the first at receiver.
I'll have a complete update on Holloman tomorrow; the full commitment post for Nate Johnson will be up early this afternoon.
Michigan has acquired a commitment from TN WR Nate Johnson. Johnson came out of nowhere, as it was just two days ago that he set up a visit. Johnson is the definition of a late-rising prospect: after decommitting from Purdue in November, he picked up offers from Miami, Tennessee, Penn State, and Michigan.
Johnson's a four star on 247; the other sites have him a three star save Scout, which hasn't ranked him yet. More after the basketball game.
Michigan added their second commitment from a "Pipeline 9" in-state junior today, as Scout's Allen Trieu reports 2017 Oak Park OT Ja'Raymond Hall will stay close to home for college. Hall has been a fixture on campus along with his highly regarded 2018 teammate, OL Marquan McCall. He becomes the fourth Michigan commit in the 2017 class, joining Brother Rice TE Carter Dunaway, Georgia RB Kurt Taylor, and Canadian DB Benjamin St-Juste.
4*, #21 OR,
|3*, #33 OT||
4*, 80, #25 OT,
4*, 94, #15 OT,
4*, #30 OT,
This is where the composite rating only tells you so much. Scout and ESPN are right in the same range, while 247 is a significant positive outlier and Rivals a negative one. Before you ask: yes, Hall has attended a Rivals camp.
The four sites are in general agreement on his size. Three of the four list him at 6'5" (ESPN says 6'4") with weights ranging from 255 to 272—he's probably closer to the high end of that range at this point. Hall is most likely a tackle prospect; with that frame he could also play inside.
Get ready for many slight variations on a constant theme: Hall has a great frame, quick feet, and plenty of work to do on the technical side and in the weight room. Here's ESPN's underclassman evaluation ($):
STRENGTHS:Possesses excellent height at this stage with good strength. Flashes ability to come off ball and gain physical leverage and when he does can drive defenders back. Displays good mirror and balance when stays low....AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Good frame, but needs to continue to develop and add good mass and further improve strength. Too inconsistent at this stage and needs to continue to work on pad level. Can improve angles.
Josh Helmholdt named Hall as one of the ten best performers at the RCS Cleveland camp in April, saying he flashed quite a bit of potential ($):
Measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, Hall has a tall, lean and athletic build that suggests a future at the offensive tackle position. Hall is still learning the fundamentals of the position, but the potential that has earned him two early offers certainly was evident. When Hall did get beat in one-on-one reps it was due to technique, not physical abilities. The rising junior showed excellent feet and does a good job when locked on, and staying between the quarterback and the defender. Added weight on his frame will certainly benefit Hall's overall game, and all that should come easily as he matures.
Scout's Dave Berk considered Hall one of the best O-linemen at last summer's Opening regional in Columbus:
Jaraymond Hall is a player to watch in the 2017. Against bigger and strong players at The Opening, Hall used his athletic ability and quick feet to battle. Must get stronger physically in the coming months but has the making to be a top prospect.
Allen Trieu called him one of the best underclassmen at any position at that event and specified that he most needs to add strength in his upper body.
247's Steve Wiltfong got straight to the point after seeing Hall at June's Sound Mind Sound Body camp:
When Oak Park (Mich.) High Top100 2017 offensive tackle JaRaymond Hall adds mass and strength to his long frame, he’s going to be a flat stud at left tackle. His feet are really good.
After seeing him in person against a quality Southfield squad, The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan gave a detailed analysis of the areas Hall can improve ($):
Hall shows the athleticism and punch to protect the quarterback on the edge. He'll have to clean up his technique, however. He's too prone to crossing over his feet against a speed rush, which will doom him when he faces top-level talent. He also keeps his hands too far outside, and although he wasn't called for holding Friday, there were a few instances where he could have been. Most importantly, he will have to add upper-body strength to complement what is already a good base to build upon.
While everyone else pegs Hall as a future tackle, 247's Clint Brewster broke down his junior film and suggested he could better fit on the interior:
Hall plays offensive tackle for Oak Park because of his ability top move and slide laterally but his frame probably fits guard better at the next level, depending on how much length and height he adds. Hall has a nasty streak that would correlate well to the interior line spots, especially with his ability to get out and move on pulls and screens. He blocks extremely well out in space and on the move. Hall is still raw from technical standpoint with his hand placement but he's coordinated and understands leverage and pad level. He's got a solid foundation to work with.
Last but certainly not least, we have ourselves a potential Piesman candidate:
But that doesn’t mean that Hall wouldn’t love to be the guy with the ball – even just one time – to relive his years as a youth football running back. Growing up playing in the West Seven Rams program, he was a hard-charging ball carrier who couldn’t be stopped.
While Hall said he embraced his move to the offensive line in eighth grade, he – like virtually every lineman – still has dreams of glory.
“It’s every lineman’s dream to score a touchdown,” he said. “I miss that part. I love being a lineman, but I’ll always be a running back at heart.”
The upshot: Hall has the frame, feet, base, and nasty streak to be an excellent lineman, either at tackle or as an agile guard; how close he comes to his ceiling depends on how much strength he can add and how much he develops from a technical standpoint. Given that's the norm for any high school lineman, it's hard not to like Hall's potential.
Hall's list isn't particularly long—perhaps in part because he's looked like a Michigan lock for a while, to the point that I wouldn't be surprised if there are unreported offers—but it contains a few other high-level programs, namely Ole Miss, Penn State, and Tennessee. Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Miami (NTM), and Western Michigan round out his offer sheet.
Oak Park hasn't produced an extensive list of D-I prospects, but they've got a couple notable ones: former MSU RB Edwin Baker and Tennessee freshman John Kelly. Michigan is heavily involved—probably the early favorite—for OL Marquan McCall, who'd be a great pickup for 2018.
Is OL, no stats.
FAKE 40 TIME
Hall ran an electronically timed 5.82 40-yard dash according to his ESPN profile, which gets zero FAKEs out of five. His Hudl page lists an unverified 5.03 time that merits a few FAKEs. Hall's plenty quick for a lineman; straight-line speed is far less important.
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Projecting a two-deep when Michigan isn't done recruiting linemen in the 2016 class is a pointless endeavor. It's safe to say Hall is going to take a redshirt since (1) he's an offensive lineman, and (2) even for a line prospect, he's got a lot of physical and technical development to do before he's college-ready. As he fills out his frame and settles into a position—I can see him at tackle or guard, but more likely tackle—he'll get his chance to crack the lineup a couple years into his time in Ann Arbor.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan's 2017 class stands at four commitments. They will take several more.
While Michigan fans were drowning their sorrows in the aftermath of the OSU loss, the coaches landed a big-time commitment from four-star Houston (TX) Westside DT Jordan Elliott, who was in Ann Arbor on an official visit. After prior commitments to Baylor and Houston didn't stick for long, Elliott slowed his recruitment and eventually narrowed his focus to Michigan and Texas; this weekend's visit sealed it for the Wolverines.
Go Blue pic.twitter.com/3N0JsIQ9nq
— Its Lit (@XCV____) November 28, 2015
Elliott is the 22nd commit in the class and the second at defensive tackle, joining Rashad Weaver.
4*, #13 DT,
|3*, #28 DT||
4*, 85, #11 DT,
4*, 96, #7 DT,
4*, #14 DT,
There's a significant gap between Rivals and the other three recruiting sites, which all have Elliott as not just a four-star but a borderline top-100 prospect or better. When asked on The Fort to explain Elliott's ranking, The Wolverine's Brandon Brown gave some insight ($):
He didn't do any Rivals camps....unfortunately that's where a lot of guys get evaluated against other big time prospects by Rivals staffers.
I understand wanting to evaluate a prospect in person, but if this is really their methodology, that's a rather huge conflict of interest.
Elliott has college-ready size; he's generally listed at 6'4", 300 pounds, with Rivals adding an extra inch and 247 tacking on five pounds. He could conceivably play the nose, three-tech, or even SDE in Michigan's defense.
Scout's free evaluation talks up Elliott's athleticism and versatility:
EvaluationAthletic enough to play defensive end and powerful enough to play inside and take on the double team as a defensive tackle. Very quick off the ball, and you often forget that he is a legit 300-pounder moving around the way he is. Very smooth and plays with a low center of gravity making it tough for offensive linemen to outposition him. Could be scheme versatile in college and play in many defenses, and that is why offers poured in for him. - GP
- Body Control and Balance
- Quickness off Ball
Areas to Improve
- Hand Quickness
ESPN is very high on Elliott's potential, calling him a potential early contributor. They see his potential to develop into a "disruptive interior rusher" against the pass, and with some technical refinements he should also be a major plus stuffing the run ($):
Demonstrates ability to fire out low and uncoil at contact and when he plays with leverage can be very tough at point of attack. At times can knock blockers back and flashes powerful upper body to separate and shed from blockers. Does need to watch pad level as it can quickly rise at times and needs to continue to refine hand usage and work getting off blocks little quicker at times. Displays adequate lateral mobility to be active between the tackles.
After Elliott committed to Michigan, ESPN analyst Craig Haubert compared him to one of the better Big Ten interior linemen of the last half-decade ($):
A bit fitting that the talented 2016 defender eventually landed in the Big Ten as in some ways he reminds us of former Iowa defensive lineman Carl Davis. Like the former Hawkeyes lineman, Elliott brings nice size and can move well and offer some versatility to a front. Like Davis, he also possesses the tools to be a very good and productive three-down-type player.
Davis anchored some very good Iowa defenses, recorded nine TFLs as a senior, and went in the third round of this year's NFL Draft. A similar career arc would be more than acceptable.
247's Clint Brewster added his analysis of Elliott's film in the aftermath of his commitment:
Elliott has the chippy demeanor you want on the defensive line and he's in the mold of a brawler in the trenches. He's a guy you can keep on the field for all three downs because he can help collapse the pocket against the pass. Elliott has a raw upside to him that coaches love to the get their hands on. He has the exclusive power combined with agility elite defensive lineman possess.
Brewster thinks Elliott can provide depth early in his career, which is really saying something considering the returning talent on the D-line.
Elliott holds offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Kentucky, LSU, Miami (YTM), Minnesota, Mississippi State, Mizzou, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, and Washington, among others. That's a heck of a list with elite programs from just about every area of the country.
Westside is part of Texas' largest classification (6A). They're not among the elite programs in that group—they lost to powerhouse Katy 77-0 in this year's playoffs—but they've produced 16 D-I signees since 2002, with most of them sticking in Big 12 country.
As a junior, Elliott accumulated 41 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, and two forced fumbles.
MaxPreps has incomplete senior stats that credit Elliott with ten TFLs and four sacks in eight games.
FAKE 40 TIME
Elliott's Hudl page lists a 4.86 unverified 40 that gets four FAKEs out of five; for a 300-pound high school lineman, that'd be a remarkable electronic time.
Half-season senior highlights:
Full junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Elliott should eventually make his way to nose tackle, where he's got the potential to be a star. He's already got the size to contribute early as a three- or five-tech, but that just happens to be where Michigan boasts the most depth next season. Elliott should be able to either redshirt and preserve some eligibility or, if the coaches expect him to be a major contributor as a sophomore, ease his way into some rotation snaps as a freshman.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
I'll have much more on this in the recruiting roundup tomorrow. For now, I'll note Michigan has 22 spots filled in a class Steve Lorenz reports will have 27 players. With some in-class attrition still expected, the coaches should be able to fit in several of the big-time prospects they're still recruiting, first and foremost among them Rashan Gary—Elliott's commitment by no means takes away his spot.
The recruitments of two other five-stars, Mecole Hardman and Isaac Nauta, just got a whole lot more interesting with today's news that Georgia fired Mark Richt, as well.