in town for free camps
I just seen a tweet from Jabrill Peppers and he went off on the NCAA for how they treating the kids these days and its been going on for years. Here's what Jabrill tweeted.
Fluff piece by Angelique. Talks a little about the spring game, Peppers, OL, lack of pass rush, etc.
Not much new here, as per usual with Baumgardner. Sounds like Peppers is healthy and doing very well in spring practice. He's going to be fun to watch this fall.
Thought I'd take a look at the last 10 years of DBs in "5 star status" - which I chose as the top 25ish players in the 247 Composite rankings. There are a lot of names so I only got through 4 years in heavy detail: 2005-2008. 14 players. Here is how those players did in the first 2 years of their careers along with what happened to them down the road.
Obvious caveats are obvious - (i) every player is an entity unto himself, (ii) what a prior group of players did is no guarantee of what a future group of similar players will do, (iii) small sample size.
But... it should give us a reasonable variance of expectation.
|2005||8||FR||Started 11 games @ FS, ACC All Freshman, 67 tackles, 1 INT|
|Kenny Phillips||SO||Started 10 games, ACL injury, 54 tackles, 4 INT, 2nd Team All American|
|Miami||Eventual||Left school after JR year, 31st pick NFL (1st)|
|Demetrice Morley||SO||Started 2nd game forward @ SS, 51 tackles, 2 INT|
|TN||Eventual||Dimissed from team, CFL|
|2005||15||FR||RB/CB hybrid - 300 yards rushing|
|Justin King||SO||Started 13 games @ CB, 2nd team All Big 10|
|PSU||Eventual||Left school after JR year, graduated in 2.5 yrs! 101st pick (4th)|
|2005||23||FR||Special teams, 2 tackles|
|Jamario O'Neal||SO||Started 2nd half of year after injury to another player, 30 tackles|
|OSU||Eventual||Backup in JR/SR years, Arena League|
|2006||5||FR||Started 12 games, 77 tackles|
|Myron Rolle||SO||Starter, 67 tackles|
|FSU||Eventual||Played 3 years, 207th pick (6th round), Rhodes Scholar|
|2006||11||FR||Started 12 games @ FS, 62 tackles, Freshman of the Year|
|Taylor Mays||SO||Starter, 65 tackles, 3rd Team All American|
|USC||Eventual||Stayed all 4 years, 49th pick (2nd round)|
|2006||20||FR||Special teams in 7 games at USC, transferred|
|Antwine Perez||SO||Started 2 games @ FS, 24 tackles|
|Maryland (USC)||Eventual||Had a good senior year but was undrafted|
|2007||3||FR||Started 12 games, 86 tackles, SEC Freshman of the Year|
|Eric Berry||SO||Starter, 72 tackles, 7 INTs, SEC Defensive Player of Year|
|TN||Eventual||Left school after JR year, 5th pick NFL (1st)|
|2007||16||FR||Turned into a WR|
|2007||25||FR||Played 4 game as a FR, suspended in Dec. Transferred to|
|Eugene Clifford||SO||Tennessee State|
|OSU||Eventual||Undrafted, cup of coffee with Ravens|
|2008||4||FR||Part time player, 48 tackles|
|Will Hill||SO||42 tackles|
|UF||Eventual||Left UF early, undrafted, but some NFL time despite a|
|litany of issues|
|2008||6||FR||Started 4 games (played 13), 41 tackles|
|Patrick Peterson||SO||52 tackles, 2nd Team All SEC|
|LSU||Eventual||Left school after JR year, 5th pick NFL (1st)|
|2008||25||FR||Started 6 games @ CB (played 13), 30 tackles|
|Brandon Harris||SO||Starter, 58 tackles, 3rd Team All American|
|Miami||Eventual||Left school after JR year, 60th pick NFL (2nd)|
|2008||26||FR||Switched to WR, 2 catches|
|Bama||Eventual||Converted back to DB, transferred to South Alabama, undrafted|
- STUD level: 6* of 14 (42%*) - Phillips, Mays, Berry, Peterson, Harris, Rolle
- UNDERACHIEVER: 5 of 14 (36%) - Morley, O'Neil, Perez, Clifford, Scott
- WR: 1 of 14 (7%) - Johnson
- ABOVE AVERAGE college player: 2 of 14 (14%) - King**, Hill
It is interesting how this group panned out - there were not a lot of just "good college players" like I expected when a 5 star does not fully pan out - i.e. he was not "all that" but ended up being a solid CFB player. Instead most of these guys were elite... or bombed out. A few guys like Hill and Morley seemed like they could have been better as well but had off the field issues - which does not seem to pertain to Peppers (but I guess we never really know do we?)
Also every guy who was "stud" or "above average" except for Mays (7 of 8, 88%) left after their JR year. So if Peppers is anywhere near the hype, it would be unrealistic to expect more than 2 year more from him at UM. Which makes the freshman year injury that much more stinky.
One other note as I went through these; it felt like a lot more of this group turned into safeties than corners. And there were a lot less INTs than I expected from this group in general outside Eric Berry.
* I put Rolle in STUD level despite the NFL draft placement because as I recall he wanted to study to be a doctor and that put off some teams with the whole Rhodes Scholar thing (I think it required him to take a year off).
** Torn on putting King in stud category but decided to throw him in above average
- 2009 - Craig Loston (9), Dre Kirkpatrick (13), Branden Smith (19), Greg Reid (23), Darius Winston (24)
- 2010 - Keenan Allen (10), Lamarcus Joyner (12), Matt Elam (15), Trovon Reed (23)
- 2011 - Karlos Williams (4), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (7)
Ian Boyd has a really nice article on SB Nation's Football Study Hall (LINK) where he argues that
So the result is an iron law of defensive football in the modern era:
You have to have three good coverage players on the field to survive against the better passing teams.
The two corners have to be good, especially if the opponent has more than one good outside receiver or can move their best receiver around to create match-up advantages, and whoever is covering the slot needs to be strong as well.
There are a bunch of variations that Boyd goes through on how to deploy your defenders:
- The coverage safety: you put a bunch of coverage responsibilities on one of your safeties, allowing you to play your third linebacker (or your fourth LB in a 3-4).
- The nickel corner
- The ace ("shutdown") corner: Woodson back in the day.
With respect to Michigan, does moving Peppers to safety imply that we're going away from (2) and towards (1)? If the solution to hyper-agressive Cover 4 defenses is "attack the slot defender" then putting Peppers at safety negates that advantage while allowing Michigan to stay in its base 4-3 defense.
Get yourself pumped for start of Spring Practice with the MGoBlue video featuring Jabrill Peppers