to play football, not to play trumpet
1 hour 48 minutes
OTHER THAN GARY starring Denard Robinson and Jake Rudock, 8:30, NBC
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All superlatives on this podcast are "Other than Rashan Gary" and many are also "Other than Khaleke Hudson." Brandon Peters is good; the wide receivers are diverse and plentiful; tight ends out the wazoo; tackle the main downer.
Starts at 37:18
Some guy named Rashan Gary. Suddenly a ton of linebackers. A couple of key pieces at corner. Safety a concern.
Ann Arbor Minute and Gimmicky Top Five
Starts at 1:07:56
Gimmicky Top Five is just "favorite recruits in the class" (other than Gary and Hudson). You can tell that this is a good class because Ace and I have almost entirely different lists.
Across the Crooked Blue Line w/ Steve Lorenz
Starts at 1:22:00
Having just run down the class in some detail we ask Steve for an overview of Michigan's PWO class, which is a dozen strong and possesses a number of players who could break through to be the next Kovacs, Glasgow, or Glasgow. We also ask him about the best recruiting story of the year and put him through the TERRIFYING LIGHTNING ROUND.
"Across 110th Street"
"Still Alive" by Jonathan Coulton
"We Were Sad But Now We're Rebuilding" by Bear vs. Shark
"Roc Boys(And The Winner Is)" by Jay-Z
THE USUAL LINKS
We projejct that Michigan loses one additional grad transfer, leaving Michigan with 18 seniors and 18 spots to start 2017 with. A normal rate of attrition should see them get to a class around 25. Michigan can backdate three or four early enrollees depending on what happens with Dytarious Johnson, giving them a maximum class size next year of 28 or 29.
Dylan McCaffrey isn't as fast as Christian but we'll look past that
The Roster. Michigan isn't scheduled to lose anyone but with a roster that goes six deep at the moment it's likely a couple guys in back decide to look for greener pastures. Michigan will take one, because only a lunatic skips QB recruiting, and may grab a second if he's a Viramontes/Gentry type with upside at multiple positions.
The Recruits. Michigan has been focused on CO QB Dylan McCaffrey (yes that McCaffrey) for months now. They are in excellent shape with a guy who says he will commit by spring. A Stanford offer is the main way this gets derailed. The Cardinal is focused on GA QB Davis Mills, another Michigan target.
The Projection. Michigan gets McCaffrey and calls it a day.
Stritzinger is a two way athlete
The Roster. Drake Johnson and De'Veon Smith graduate, leaving four true tailbacks and Wyatt Shallman. If Ty Isaac doesn't emerge into a contributor he may take a grad transfer; despite two backs in the previous class tailback is a priority.
The Recruits. GA RB Kurt Taylor committed in November. In-stater Allen Stritzinger is the most likely tailback to join the class. Stritzinger is guy on the fringe of four stars who could also be a defensive back.
Past Stritzinger Michigan will swing for the fences. CA RB Najee Harris is a soft Alabama commit who will give Michigan a look. PA RB D'Andre Swift is someone Michigan will go after, but he's a 5'9" guy who may not see Michigan as the best fit. He's also from Philly, which has not been kind to Michigan recruiting over the years. MD RB Anthony McFarland is another scatback type who's well-regarded early. Michigan is currently on the periphery of his recruitment.
Michigan also has an offer out to NJ RB Bo Melton, a teammate of Ahmir Mitchell.
The Prediction. Michigan gets and keeps Stritzinger as an ATH and keeps looking. Harris is probably their best bet for a blue-chip despite the Bama commit; it's likely that one or two additional guys who end up in the class are not mentioned in this post. Taylor is a guy who may end up elsewhere. Or maybe not.
Peoples-Jones is Cass Tech's highest-touted prospect ever
The Need. Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh both graduate, as does reserve DaMario Jones. Jaron Dukes looks unlikely to be back for a fifth year. That leaves Ways, Harris, and Perry plus 4-5 of the 6(!) WR types in 2016. (The others are likely ticketed for the secondary.)
Michigan will try to keep the numbers up by adding approximately three. They do not need to reach and can swing for the fences.
The Recruits. GA WR Jeremiah Holloman is already committed. He's a three star early in the process but just impressed at a camp and may move up into four-star range. Michigan wants him to impress, but not so much that Georgia gets involved.
Cass Tech's Donovan Peoples-Jones is a top ten national recruit and probably the highest priority for Michigan's staff in 2017 outside of OTs. OLSM's KJ Hamler is a dynamic 5'9" dude who really wants to go to Oregon right now. The rest of the board is extremely murky, with few top targets listing Michigan guy. They are after CA WR Joseph Lewis, an LA kid currently pegged for USC. CT WR Tarik Black is in an area of the country Michigan's done reasonably well in, but Michigan is trailing a bunch of schools.
The Projection. No idea. 50/50 that Holloman gets sufficient SEC interest to remove him from Michigan's equation. Peoples-Jones is reportedly coming around on Michigan as a potential power but Florida is consistently mentioned as a problem.
The Need. Michigan can go relatively easy here after signing three in 2016. They'll take at least one—they in fact have already done so. After that they can hold out for a top tier prospect, of which there don't seem to be a ton of in 2017.
The Recruits. In-state three-star legacy Carter Dunaway is already committed. Dunaway is a lot like Sean McKeon: a big frame that needs a lot of development. CA TE Jimmy Jaggers took an unofficial last fall, his second trip to campus. After Jaggers there's not much on the board; three of Michigan's top targets are already committed elsewhere, two to Notre Dame and one to Stanford.
The Projection. Michigan gets Jaggers to go with Dunaway.
Isaiah Wilson is a large man
The Need. Tackle is without question the #1 priority in the 2017 class. Michigan did not take a true tackle in 2016 and burned Grant Newsome's redshirt last year, leaving Nolan Ulizio the only tackle on the roster with freshman eligibility. Ben Bredeson could pop outside if necessary (and it will probably be necessary); he is a natural guard.
Michigan will also be on the lookout for a couple of interior linemen, with center a priority after Michigan did not get one in 2016.
The Recruits. Michigan has a commit from in-state four star JaRaymond Hall. More dudes are needed; fortunately, Michigan is well-positioned for a ton of high-end prospects. There are so many that we should grab us some bullets:
- 5* NY OT Isaiah Wilson has declared Michigan his leader repeatedly, most recently a few weeks ago. He said Michigan was a "big leader" while talking to a Florida site; that's a great sing. While Lorenz cautions that his recruitment is not likely to be a cut-and-dried thing over by March, Michigan is a solid favorite.
- FL OT Tedarrell Slaton also named Michigan his leader a few months back. Teammate Kai-Leon Herbert also has an offer; the pair is trying to visit over the spring. Even if they can't pull that off a dollar says they take in Michigan while they practice at IMG.
- CA OT Wyatt Davis will be a national recruit; Michigan is in an amorphous top group.
- NJ OT Micah Clark has Michigan in a top 15; he says OSU leads. OSU already has a couple of high-profile tackles committed.
- FL OC Cesar Ruiz is at IMG; before that he was at Camden with Brad Hawkins and Ron Johnson. Michigan is in an early top three that figures to expand before narrowing down again.
- TX OT Austin Deculus has a Michigan offer and some interest; he'll be a tough pull away from LSU even if Michigan currently sits in his top 3.
- WI OT Tyler Beach has a tentative top two of Michigan and Wisconsin; he's originally from Colorado and thus not as locked in to the Badgers as a lot of in-state OL are.
- GA OT Netori "Fifth Element" Johnson just decommitted from Alabama. Michigan grabbed Elysee Mbem-Bosse out of his school last year and he's interested in M.
Michigan will take four or five guys this cycle and I wouldn't be surprised if three of them were tackles.
The Projection. Hall sticks, Michigan gets Wilson and Ruiz and maybe Slaton. They add a fifth guy who is 30/70 to have been mentioned.
[this is obviously not from the presser but is obviously the photo I was going to use]
[I missed the question but it’s something about the goals of the event]
“That was the main objective, to celebrate these youngsters and all their hard work. Their parents made so many sacrifices; I had a chance to see it up close. So many sacrifices: their money, their energy. This needs to be celebrated, need to have some fun. We’ll go back to work at 2:30 but great to have some fun. ”
Is this everything you hoped it would be?
“It was. Mainly it was inspired by Chad Carr, the ChadTough Foundation, their family, the entire family. Got to see it for an entire year. Got to see the love, a family that loves this youngster and a community that loves Chad and to see all him loved back, it brings you closer to God. Or at least for me it does. And also the sanctity for life. Have been very inspired by Chad Carr
[something about the recruiting class]
“We are so excited about all of our signees. We are tremendously- I’m standing here with you, so…yeah. But from top to bottom, this recruiting class is youngsters that have a real heart for competing and heart for football. They’ve got football faces. Competitive in the classroom. As we said before, they’ve worked so hard to put themselves in a position to be here and they love ball. I have a real appreciation for the families that trust us to coach their sons, to teach them, because when you’re a family it doesn’t matter what you have monetarily or what you don’t have, your most prized possession is your son or your daughter. When you trust somebody to develop them, I take that very seriously. Just happy that they respect us and that they trust us.”
Where did you get the idea for today and how long has it been in the works?
“I guess just how could we do something fun and a celebration. I’ve been watching this process for years and experienced it myself; you pull a fax out of a fax machine and a coach stands up and talks about them and usually says kind of the same thing, so wanted to do something different. Wanted to do something awesome, and was really pleased. Thought today did that.”
On paper this is a great class. Can you talk about the expectations moving forward for this class?
“Yeah, I mean, it’s a process. I love that word, and talk about it especially going from high school to college. That’s…it’s uncharted waters. It’s the unknown. If you have sons and daughters of your own you know that step and what it takes, [and] it’ll be a process. It’s gonna be a team effort to it. Everybody here at the University of Michigan, the love that you surround the youngsters with, and also a team effort with parents and families. Really appreciate the trust there and with that we can do great things and expect great things. I think that’ll happen, especially with the group we have. All these youngsters all come from great families. They have great places to go and get advice from their parents or from their family, and I think they’re going to make the transition very well.”
What’s the cap number on the class? How high can it go?
“Well, there’s going to be some coming. There’s going to be another announcement later today. Youngsters that are going to be preferred walk-ons that we’ve been recruiting for a long time, they’re going to sign as well. It’s gonna be a good, big number.”
Do you know what the number of scholarships you can give out in this class is?
“Uh, yeah, in terms of scholarships I think it’s going to come in somewhere around 29.”
Did you guys use any grayshirts?
Did you guys backdate the early kids?
[After THE JUMP: sleepovers, honesty with early commits, non-apologies]
OKAY SO HERE'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO. You're gonna load this page and it's just gonna sit there. You will not hit refresh. Our two twitter collections will update automatically, putting the news in your eyeballs. Twitter collection #1 is news-only, who has gone where. Twitter collection #2 is the ongoing exultation/panic/depression thread. To participate just @ me.
We are caching the front page, which means you will appeared logged out. You will be logged in on interior pages. Going to interior pages may result in 503s and the like; staying on the front page will get you the latest and greatest news without such risk.
OKAY SO HERE'S OUR SPONSOR. Yep, Homesure Lending. It's like all those Rocket commercials except 1) Matt was not a major contributor to the subprime crisis, so he's got that going for him, 2) Matt never wrote a letter to LeBron James in comic sans*, 3) Matt goes out to various companies to get you the best possible rate. My lender has the word "wholesale" in its name, and this makes me feel great. Also the rate.
*[Probably. I have not checked with him to make sure this is true.]
OKAY SO THIS IS THE SCHEDULE.
- 8:10 AM: TN WR Nate Johnson. Michigan.
- 9 AM: MI CB Lavert Hill. Michigan.
10 AM: MI OL Alaric Jackson. M, Iowa, Nebraska.
- 11 AM: MI K Quinn Nordin. Michigan.
11:30 AM: AZ DE Connor Murphy. Michigan, USC, Oregon, ASU.
- 1 PM: NJ DE Rashan Gary. Michigan.
1 PM: FL WR Pie Young. Michigan, Louisville, USC.
- 3PM: CA TE Devin Asiasi. Michigan.
3PM: CA DT Boss Tagaloa. Michigan, USC, UCLA, UW. 4PM: CA QB Vic Viramontes. Michigan, Utah, Cal.
OKAY SO THIS IS THE NEWS-ONLY TWITTER COLLECTION
OKAY SO THIS IS THE EXULTATION/PANIC/DEPRESSION THREAD
Answering questions whilst chained to my laptop all day. If I don't get to yours it's almost certainly because it's already been answered several times already, or I'm answering it right now. Greg Little is not flipping. I deeply regret ever bringing his name up in speculation. There is no silent commit whose name isn't on the schedule above. Don't tweet at croots.
Back in the day the recruiting roundups that Ace would put together would show the star ratings from each site of the various Michigan targets. The problem was we kept noticing dramatic differences that weren't really dramatic. For example here's a table of guys given 5-stars by these services since the 2010 class:
Was Scout ludicrously high on M guys, or giving out more 5-stars? Actually they were all ranking not that far from each other, but Michigan just happened to get a lot of the guys in that 4-/5-star margin. It only looks dramatic because there are only five possible rankings.
This was recruiting until 247 introduced their composite rating. That composite is so amazingly useful for most "how good was he as a recruit" questions.
Since forever I've also been maintaining this spreadsheet of data on Michigan players that started as a naming sheet for some iteration of the NCAA game, and just kept gaining columns. My old way of tracking the recruiting ratings on that was to take the stars each service gave out, figuring they all roughly had the same definitions, and average them.
But that was throwing away a ton of information provided by the sites, which typically post national rankings for the top ~250-300 recruits, and in three of their cases have their own more precise star rating systems. For example Rivals's 5-star range includes "6.1" and "6.0", while ESPN (50-95) and 247 (69-102) have numeric scales with the decades roughly coinciding with the next star rating.
They also have position ratings, which don't match up since they split positions differently, but if they can all be turned into percentiles.
So far I've done all but the last bit. Matching table's above. What we end up with is not a composite system like 247's so much as a composite Star Rating system that quadruples the star precision level.
I tried to honor stars and what they mean, but I also took national rankings and position rankings into account when one site's rating spanned multiple ratings of its competitors. So a 5.8 on Rivals will be a 4.00 if he makes the Rivals 250, and a 3.75 if he doesn't. And a 3-star WR on Scout who's ranked just behind the 4-star receivers in the WR rankings is like a 3.5-star.
[After the Jump: charts until I literally break Excel]