to play football, not to play trumpet
Ratings are on a 1 (lowest) – 10 (highest) scale. 5 is the mean for comparative assessments. Above 5 is comparative advantage. Below 5 is comparative disadvantage. Northwestern/Penn State are the mean comparison for the conference. Ohio State/Alabama are the mean comparison for national titles.
Take-aways: Good recruiting on the offensive side, but not as elite as defense. QB and Interior line recruiting are the strengths of the class. Good prospects at TE and RB. LOTS of slot receivers, especially for a team that regularly uses multiple TEs and a FB. Principal concerns are the lack of speed at WR and the lack of offensive tackles.
Brandon Peters is a top-notch prospect who had a monster senior year. Will most likely red-shirt and compete in the future.
Importance to scheme: 10. Arguably the most important position on the team.
Importance to depth chart: 6. Important to take one every year, but there are many on the roster.
Comparative advantage to the conference: 7. The B1G is fielding some of the best QB play in the country. Even Iowa has a really good one. Still, I’d take Peters over any incoming recruit in the conference and Harbaugh will make one of the QBs great every year.
Comparative advantage to national championship contenders: 5. Harbaugh-coached QBs will be better than whoever Alabama fields, but there are still some crazy good, Heisman-level athletes that often emerge and carry a team unexpectedly to the playoff.
#2) running back
Kareem Walker is a very good all-around prospect who could compete for playing time early. Chris Evans is a good prospect for 3rd-down back or slot receiver.
Importance to scheme: 7. Important to have a good runner, but an elite runner is a luxury.
Importance to depth chart: 7.
Comparative advantage to the conference: 3. Most of the B1G has better RBs than us. Hopefully, Walker can help change that.
Comparative advantage to national championship contenders: 1. We need to get to the point where we have very good running backs. Our competition has Heisman candidates.
#3) full back
Kingston Davis is probably a very good prospect as a running fullback, like Houma. Probably not a feature back, though.
Importance to scheme: 7. We like to use the FB
Importance to depth chart: 6.
Comparative advantage to the rest of the conference: mostly N/A
Compartative advantage to national championship contenders: mostly N/A
#4) tight end
Asiasi, Eubanks, and McKeon are all very good prospects.
Importance to scheme: 8
Importance to depth chart: 7
Comparative advantage to the rest of the conference: 8, I guess. Why does Ohio State even recruit tight ends?
Comparative advantage to national championship contenders: 5. We have great tight ends, but so do Alabama, Florida State, and Notre Dame. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the top tight end prospects tend to go to schools that don’t really utilize the position much.
#5) slot receiver
This is the correlate of the weirdness at OLB on defense. What does it all mean?
Nate Johnson, Dylan Crawford, Eddie McDoom, maybe Chris Evans, maybe David Long. Very, very good prospects at this position, although we seem to be lacking top end speed.
Importance to scheme: 5 This year’s slot recruiting was very successful, but it also seemed kind of odd because we don’t utilize a slot as much as many teams. Jed Fisch does love the WR screen, though, and these players all seem to have good acceleration and YAC ability. I am kind of intrigued about whether or not the emphasis for this position in recruiting means anything schematically. It could signal an attempt to exploit Michigan State’s defensive schematic weaknesses or could just be what Jed Fisch likes or it could mean nothing.
Importance to depth chart: 5 We now have better depth at slot receiver than we do at nearly any other position. We could implement the run ‘n shoot, if we wanted to.
Comparative advantage to the rest of the conference: ? Have to wait and see. Having the best slot receiver outside of Ohio State isn’t usually a high bar to cross, though.
Comparative advantage to national championship contenders: 4. Some of our guys may become great, but right now the edge belongs to Clemson and Alabama.
#6) outside receiver
We might not have recruited this position at all, because Ahmir Mitchell and Brad Hawkins are likely to play safety. Maybe one of slot receivers is actually slated for the outside?
Importance to scheme: 7. I might be inflating this because I think it’s important to have an outside receiver who can take the top off the defense.
Importance to depth chart: 7. Starting to worry about this. Chesson is a legit All-American caliber player with blazing speed. Afther that, top end speed and athleticism is worrisome. Darboh is a solid possession receiver. Drake Harris is a question mark. Mo Ways is unproven.
Comparative advantage to the rest of the conference: 8/3. If Chesson stays healthy we have the best outside receiver in the conference. If not, I start to get really worried.
Comparative advantage to national title contenders: 6/1. Chesson just schooled Vernon Hargreaves. After that, we may have problems against national championship caliber defenses. One of these new shifty slot guys could be interesting on the outside, though. Some of them are pretty good blockers and they have ideal acceleration/shiftiness for the WR screens Fisch seems to like.
#7) Interior OL
Bredeson and Onwenu are elite prospects. Bredeson may end up at tackle. Onwenu could play DT, but I doubt that would be an every-down thing.
Importance to scheme: 8. Harbaugh and Drevno like to pull, trap, and road-grade our way to victory. 2013 flashbacks remind me that the line is anchored in the middle. It’s harder to find an athlete with the tools to be an elite LT, but the middle of the line is still most important.
Importance to depth chart: 7. We didn’t land any interior OL in last year’s class and we have a depth problem at OT that forces players best suited for the interior to kick outside. Mason Cole’s lack of a red-shirt and the recruiting gap in last year’s class raise worrisome depth concerns about 2017.
Comparative advantage to the rest of the conference: 6. Bredeson and Ownenu are each as good or better than other team’s best interior OL prospect ( Menet (PSU), Raridon (NEB), Gerald (OSU)). If we had landed Davis, we would have had a strong comparative advantage in this year’s class. As it stands we have a slight one. With respect to overall depth, we have a significant advantage over the good to middling B1G teams (Penn State, Maryland) and may be a draw with great teams (Ohio State) in 2016.
Comparative advantage to national championship contenders: 5. We did fine recruiting this year and we should have a good group this year. Depth concerns in 2017 are a problem. In Drevno we trust.
#8) Exterior OL
Maybe Bredeson. Maybe Spanellis. Both seem much better suited for the interior. Ouch.
Importance to scheme: 7. 2013 taught us that, contrary to popular wisdom, the interior might be slightly more important than the tackles. It’s easier for FBs and TEs to help out in pass-blocking in our scheme. It’s easier for play-action passing to help as well. Still, devoting extra bodies to that task is a limitation we’d rather not have to accept.
Importance to depth chart: 9. Depth at OT, especially LT, could only be worse if we had no starting caliber players at all. Magnuson is fine at RT, but it is his last year. Newsome has the physical tools to play LT, but he has yet to prove himself as a starter. After that, it’s Bushell-Beatty and Ulizio, both of whom are considered projects and huge question marks. Tulley-Tillman is gone. Mason Cole can play there, but should be on the inside. Dawson and Kugler are out of the question. Gaping hole in recruiting that the interior OL experienced in 2015.
Comparative advantage to the conference: 2. If Newsome meets his potential and stays healthy, everything should be gravy. If not, we are going to have an ok LT and a good RT. In a conference consistently stacked with pass-rushing DEs (especially our two main rivals), that is not ideal. Most B1G teams have a more proven LT and more depth. On the bright side, Newsome has the (completely untapped) potential to be All-conference and Cole/Bredeson are solid, if less than ideal, contingency plans. Bredeson lacks ideal height for tackle and no other recruits can play tackle. A commit was dropped in January due to a poor senior season and inadequate development. Stanford flipped our best tackle prospect shortly thereafter. We failed to flip an in-state tackle from Iowa at the last minute. Compare that to our slot receiver recruiting where we recruited a seemingly 4-5 deep set of talented prospects over the entire cycle, telling those lower on the board that we want them but need to wait to see how many slots are available. The obvious self-inflicted failure of this recruiting cycle.
Comparative advantage to national title contenders: 1. Newsome might work out, but he’s our silver bullet. Otherwise, we will have to help out the LT in pass blocking situations to compete with our in-conference foes, let alone the big boys. Fortunately, we have the scheme to do that and help may be on the way in the class of 2017.
Quinn Nordin is a Wolverine with the potential to be a great one!
We rarely hear about the programs that finish outside of the Top 30 rankings in recruiting, but this should be an exception. University of Alabama - Birmingham, who for financial reasons did not play football this year and will not play in 2016 either, just signed a class ranked in the mid 60's.
This is a class better than several P5 schools (looking at you Purdue), unfathomable considering they could offer no immediate playing time or even gameday experience to a single one of their 18 signees.
I don't know much about their Head Coach, Bill Clark, but hats off to the man. Amazing story and I know come 2017 who my second favorite team will be.
I think that this is the perfect mix of reverence and irreverence for our favorite coach.
He is turning us into a bipolar fanbase, and I both love him and hate him for it. But... I wouldn't have it any other way.
A full breakdown of Michigan's Signing Day class from Sam Webb and Ryan Terpstra along with Scout analysts Allen Trieu and Brian Dohn.
For those of you who paid attention to SotS yesterday, you might have noticed that Ric Flair said he was recruited by and offered a scholarship by Bump Elliott. Several former players confirmed that this is true, and they took him to Beta House during his university visit.
I must have misread, because I thought I read that he signed an LOI - did their used to be different rules on LOIs? Could you sign more than one and then choose? Or perhaps Bump let him out of it? More likely he just said he was offered one, I don't know.
Regardless, I wanted to see what became of his football career if this is indeed true. Turns out, Ol Richard Fliehr was in fact a Golden Gopher, ever so briefly.
He was an O-Lineman with the team in '69 and '70, though I can't find record of him after that. According to his wiki page, he started training for pro wrestling in the winter of 71 - so if they mean Jan/Feb '71, he probably dropped out of school following the end of the 1970 season. The Gophers last game that year was 11/21 - a loss at Wisconsin to cap a 3-6-1 year, so that timeline would fit.
Unfortunately, as an OL, there are no stats. He would've been a very small O-Lineman, as he's only billed at 6'1" - I suppose in that day he might have been a couple inches taller, 6'3" or so. Likely a center?