future blue originals
Apologies for skipping FBO last week, but there’s only so much time in a week and the hockey preview wasn’t going to write itself. (Someone on North Campus just read that sentence and scoffed; email me if you have robots that will help us divvy up our workload and dump some of it on automatons, Michigan Engineering students/professors.)
The night before the Wisconsin game was a miserably rainy one in southeastern Michigan, but that didn’t stop David and I from climbing on top of the Oak Park press box (with their permission, of course) to film 2017 commit Ja’Raymond Hall, 2018 target Marquan McCall, and 2019 QB D’wan Mathis. We ended up primarily scouting Hall, however, as McCall was injured and didn’t play and Mathis didn’t start (though he did rotate in fairly often, he fumbled early, got pulled, got put back in, and then got fewer and fewer snaps as the game went on).
Hall’s an interesting prospect. He was offered early in the process and his enthusiasm for Michigan was palpable; the first time I watched him was at the 2015 Sound Mind Sound Body camp, and he was decked out in Michigan gear. Take a look at his visit history and you can see that he’s long held a serious interest in the program, and has continued to stay connected after committing last December.
At one time he was a Top100 prospect on 247, but he tumbled more than 200 spots when 247 updated their rankings in July. He’s currently the #31 offensive tackle and ranked #312 nationally per the 247 composite; Hall is a four-star in the composite, but just a three-star to 247. Did we see what they must have seen? You’ll have to…
[Hit THE JUMP for Ja’Raymond Hall film and scouting report]
David and I traveled to the friendly confines of Wayne State’s Tom Adams Field last Friday to watch Orchard Lake St. Mary’s take on De La Salle. It was a beautiful game for a certain definition of the word; if you like heavy sets and spread-to-run offenses, then this was a game for you. It was also kind of ugly. Neither team had much of a passing game to speak of, and a fairly strong wind made punting an adventure, as one punt looked like it was going out of bounds before a gust sent it careening past the sidelines toward the stands. OLSM ended up eking out a 14-7 win while holding De La Salle to 63 yards passing and 81 yards rushing.
De La Salle’s offense may not have been able to get much going, but their zone read and jet sweep action made it an interesting game for linebackers. It just so happens that a linebacker is exactly who David and I were there to watch, as we wanted to get a look at how Michigan commit Josh Ross had developed halfway through his senior season.
[Video and scouting of Ross after THE JUMP]
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]