future blue originals
Deron Irving-Bey: very large human [Nasternak/MGoBlog]
The crystal ball may not reflect it just yet, but it seems that Michigan’s interest in Flint Southwestern SDE Deron Irving-Bey has risen of late, and vice versa. David and I took the opportunity to travel to Davison to take in the best game left on Irving-Bey’s schedule; Davison’s long been a local power with good linemen, and they had a right tackle who could provide something of a challenge for Irving-Bey.
Though lining up across from Davison RT Zach Slezak did provide an intriguing, back-and-forth matchup, the game itself was, uh, not as intriguing. Southwestern fell to Davison 42-6, dropping them to 0-4 on the season. Davison was perfectly content to hand the ball to running back Tariq Reid, a 2018 recruit who has exploded this season with 16 TDs in four games and a 200+ yard per game average. He understandably spent most of the game running to the side opposite the defense’s only D-I recruit. Irving-Bey did what he could to get involved in stopping the run; whether this was at the expense of his pass rush is a question for a different game, but he did look good in pursuit. That was good for Irving-Bey as it relates to our scouting, but infrequent enough that it was ultimately inconsequential for Southwestern considering the numerous other paths Davison had to the end zone.
[After THE JUMP: Irving-Bey video and scouting]
The photo above may seem slightly larger than what we usually run at the top of a post. That happens when one attempts to keep all of their subject in the frame, and when said subject is a 6’5, 240 pound sophomore offensive tackle. The FBO crew travelled to Belleville High School last week to take in the Tigers’ game against Dearborn Fordson, and more specifically to take in four prospects. That set of four was headlined by left tackle Devontae Dobbs, who already holds a Michigan offer.
The complexion of the game changed rapidly, and as that happened so too did the complexion of our scouting. Patrick Lupro, a 2018 three-star CB, exited early due to injury. Kmare Carey, another CB, factored into none of the film we have because Fordson almost exclusively ran the ball, and when they did throw it wasn’t toward him. Julian Barnett, a 2019 WR to keep an eye on, had one nice catch over the middle on which he made two defenders miss before turning up the sideline and getting tackled. That left Dobbs as the prospect with the most film to sift through.
[After THE JUMP: video and scouting of Dobbs]
I hope Rutgers is investing heavily in its material sciences department, because the fence around New Jersey failed once again. Paramus Catholic made a trip to Ann Arbor last Friday night to play under the lights (technically it was under the blinding setting sun, then the lights) at the Big House, taking on St. Frances Academy.
Paramus jumped out to an early lead before two quick St. Frances touchdowns turned what seemed as though it might be a Paramus blowout into a 14-13 Paladin deficit at halftime. Paramus then took control in the second half and cruised to a 38-20 win.
The stands were about as full as a 2014 home game without the ticket giveaways (not that you can blame high schools from New Jersey and Maryland for not packing the place), but there were some notable faces in the crowd. Jim Harbaugh, Don Brown and Chris Partridge were on hand, as well as Paramus Catholic alums Jabrill Peppers and Rashan Gary. It just so happens that two Michigan targets, linebacker Drew Singleton and defensive tackle Corey Bolds, were on the field for Paramus on Friday night. Both impressed; four-star LB Drew Singleton, a top-100 player per the 247 composite, looked every bit his ranking, while three-star DT Corey Bolds was a bit more up-and-down but still impressed on the whole.
[After THE JUMP: Singleton and Bolds scouting reports and highlights]
Ace, David, and I traveled to Wayne State last Saturday to take in part of the annual Prep Kickoff Classic. As they say, the best-laid plans of mice and men often get delayed by storms for almost three hours and force you to sit in a
sauna press box wondering if the game will be canceled. I may have altered the saying to fit the situation.
Anyway, the Martin Luther King v. Southfield game started late and ended early for both Ambry Thomas and your intrepid MGoScouts, and that’s no coincidence. Thomas cramped up at the end of the second quarter and exited the game. Trainers worked on Thomas extensively, and he appeared as though he was ready to enter the game early in the third quarter. When Thomas tried to get up from the bench, which he was using to keep his leg elevated, his coach told him to sit back down. With a 27-0 lead coming out of the half, there was no reason to let him re-enter. By the second time his coach help the stop sign up in his face, we knew both of our days were done.
There was still plenty to take in during the first half. Thomas shadowed three-star receiver Brandon Gray to great success; he also had over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, and that total could have been three if he wasn’t tripped up near the goal line on a screen pass he took 60+ yards and overthrown in the end zone once after putting a nice move on the DB.
On the other side of the ball, Sam Johnson cemented his status as a rising sophomore. He caught Ace’s eye last year, and the 6-4 potential Michigan target did so again this year thanks to his improvement in areas of relative weakness last season.
[After THE JUMP: Thomas highlights and a multi-player scouting report]
David and I didn’t have to travel far to scout our first game of 2016, as Corey Malone-Hatcher’s St. Joseph squad traveled to Michigan Stadium to face off against Kalamazoo Central as part of the three-day-long Battle at the Big House. St. Joseph started out slow, holding a 3-0 lead at halftime of a plodding back-and-forth contest. The second half, however, was a different story entirely, as Malone-Hatcher played a big part in St. Joseph’s 23 unanswered points; he got to the quarterback in the end zone on the second play of the half, forced intentional grounding that resulted in a safety, and the flood gates opened from there.
Malone-Hatcher finished with the kind of stat line you’d expect from a top-300 prospect: 10 tackles, four sacks, five TFLs, and one forced fumble. If you threw in QB pressures his stats would be even more impressive, as he was able to get into the backfield almost at will. It’s worth noting that he was able to accumulate those numbers while often deployed out of position at MLB; he certainly won’t be playing there in college, but he was able to tear through the middle of the line when asked to blitz.
[After THE JUMP: the highlight video and scouting report]
While we still have some time left to kill before football, there's some leftover football sitting right there on the YouTubes, and some of that leftover football features future Michigan players. With more high school games being uploaded in full these days, we're going to be doing more single-game film breakdowns here, starting today with last year's game between DePaul Catholic, featuring 2016 signees Kareem Walker and Michael Dwumfour, and Bergen Catholic.
DePaul fell 15-13 in a tightly contested game, and they may have pulled out the win if Walker hadn't sat out most of the first quarter for undisclosed reasons. He managed to break the 100-yard barrier anyway. Here are all of his carries from the game edited into one video:
As we learned during his late-cycle rankings plunge, Walker isn't a no-doubt prospect like Leonard Fournette—the eye-popping runs are largely absent from his highlight tape. Seeing him work over the course of a full game, however, improved my perception of Walker. His vision was very good, and he does subtle things that will become more apparent on the next level; I love the way he patiently set up his blocks like he did at the 0:55 mark.
Walker's acceleration is solid when he picks his spot to go. While he runs upright in the open field, he does a good job of getting behind his pads to get through tackles at the point of attack, and he uses his off-arm well to shed arm-tackles from defensive backs. When it gets down to it, he finds a way to get upfield. He's not the most explosive back, nor is he the most powerful—he could definitely add some muscle in his lower half—but I like his potential to be a productive college back; the instincts that Michigan's backs have often lacked of late are present in Walker.
As for Dwumfour, he mostly played right defensive tackle, and he's relatively easy to pick out in these clips—he's the only DePaul D-lineman wearing white gloves and white cleats/spats. Before posting this video, a caveat: this is every snap I could get a clear view from Dwumfour (all but 6-8 snaps he was out there, best I could tell), so don't look at this the same way you'd look at a highlight reel—a highlight reel would contain maybe three or four of these plays.
Let's start here: this was a rough game. Dwumfour has a bad habit of bolting upright after the snap, and in this game his opponents capitalized by stonewalling him again and again—there are a couple plays on which he literally gets turned around 180 degrees after the snap (and one more that didn't make the video because ESPN cut to the play too late). On a down-to-down basis, he wasn't very good—he didn't have the strength or motor to overcome his obvious lack of technique.
Of course, Michigan isn't recruiting Dwumfour to be the player he was in high school, and you can see flashes of why they took him that aren't "is best friends with Rashan Gary." Dwumfour has a quick first step and a couple of moves that can get him into the backfield in a hurry. When he does fire out low, he moves people, but he doesn't appear to have much technique that would allow him to disengage—something that can be corrected.
It's not surprising to me that Dwumfour was a generic three-star. He's a big body with athleticism, but there's a lot of work to do to get him to the point where he can contribute at the Power 5 level. Michigan shouldn't need him to be an instant-impact guy, and that's for the best; I'm not sure he'll be ready to play more than scattered snaps for a couple years.