I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
How long should we wait for this guy?
There is constant chatter on this board and in the media about how freshmen RBs should be able to contribute right away. The basic tenet of this belief is that if a RB is athletic and is any good, he'll be able to produce right away. Sure, he might not have the nuances of pass protection and route running down, but he should at least be able to pick-up some yards on running downs as a true freshman. Guys like T.J. Yeldon make this easy to believe.
So, I decided to find out how true this is. If you suck as a freshman RB, are you likely to be any good at any point in your career? If Derrick Green doesn't contribute significantly this season, should we ? Going even further, is Rawls a lost cause at this point? Hayes?
Having a little less time than I'd like to do a thorough examination of the data, I used a somewhat limited sample: the top 40 RBs in terms of yards/game from 2012. I broke seasons into three categories: Primary starter (PS), significant back-up (SB), and insignificant season (IS).
These categories are actually surprisingly simple to define: Primary starters are obvious, and guys that are significant contributors at the position are equally easy to separate from the dudes that get trash-time and spot carries. Insignificant seasons also include redshirts, but not medical redshirts. I also took out JUCOs.
Here are the top 40 RBs from 2012 (NOT in order of production):
|2||1||0||Le'Veon Bell||Mich St||JR|
|2||1||0||Joseph Randle||Okla St||JR|
|2||0||0||Jahwan Edwards||Ball State||SO|
|1||0||0||Kenneth Dixon||La Tech||FR|
|2||0||1||Giovani Bernard||N Carolina||SO|
|1||2||1||Kerwynn Williams||Utah State||SR|
|3||0||1||Robbie Rouse||Fresno St||SR|
|1||1||1||Dri Archer||Kent State||JR|
|1||1||1||Carlos Hyde||Ohio State||JR|
|1||0||2||Antonio Andrews||Western Ky||JR|
|1||1||2||Kasey Carrier||New Mexico||JR|
|1||1||2||D.J. Harper||Boise St||SR|
|1||0||3||Zurlon Tipton||C Mich||JR|
|1||0||3||Cody Getz||Air Force||SR|
I have to admit, I was pretty surprised. Only 15 (37.5%) avoided having insignificant or redshirt seasons their first year on campus. And only six (15%) were the primary starters as true freshman, leaving nine (22.5%) as back-ups. That means the vast majority, 25 players (62.5%) spent at least one year doing nothing or next-to-nothing. Of those 25, only four (10%) went from insignificance to starting in one season. The rest (21, 52.5%) spent at least two years developing before becoming starters. And nearly as many (14, 35%) spent multiple years doing almost nothing as jumped right in as contributors (PS or SB) in their true freshmen campaigns. Heck, even Eddie Lacy redshirted.
This is admittedly a small sample size, but it's enough to draw some basic conclusisons:
- Plenty of talented RBs have insignificant seasons; many have more than one
- RARELY does a freshman RB burst onto the scene as a primary starter
- About half of these guys spend at least two years developing before they start
- The experts are idiots (of course, I must admit that I believed the "if they're any good they'll contribute as true freshmen stuff before I looked at it)
And some Michigan-specific conclusions:
- If Green and/or Smith doesn't contribute significantly this year, he's unlikely to start next year
- We shouldn't worry if Green and/or Smith doesn't contribute significantly this year
- Hope is not lost for Hayes, Johnson, or even Rawls.
It's worth noting that a few of the guys that spent multiple seasons developing turned out to be pretty darn good players. Guys like Eddie Lacy, Venric Mark, Carlos Hyde, Kenjon Barner, and Stefphon Jefferson all spent at least a couple seasons as insignificant contributors. On the flipside of that coin, lots of the best talent contributed early: Ka'Deem Carey, Le'Veon Bell, Montee Ball, Johnathan Franklin, and Todd Gurley.
Basically, we don't need to worry if Green and Smith don't contribute this year. It's definitely a good sign if they do, but there are much better things to be concerned about (S, OG, OC, and now WR) in 2013.
[Ed-S: Bumped to Diary. Plus this man!]
So, Brian quit charting UMass before we even got to the 4th quarter, where one big time recruit Justice Hayes got the first carries of his Michigan career. I don't think enough attention has been paid to those carries, be they with backups in the game or not. A guy's first carries in Michigan Stadium deserve a little review, so I thought I'd try to UFR some of his plays
I don't have a full game video, only highlights, so I don't have all the information, but I can do a simple review. Unfortunately, the highlights only have two plays with him in it. If others have better insight, please share it. I'm very much an amature.
Set: Angle too tight, but it looks like a Shotgun Split, with Bellomy, Gyarmati and Hayes all pretty much on the same line, 3 Wide.
Play: Zone Read? Not sure if this is actual read or not, but while the others appear to be run blocking, Gunderson looks like he went to a pass block, so maybe?
Result: 9 yards
Players: Mateus - Burzynski - Miller - Glasgow - Gunderson
Gyarmati - Bellomy - Hayes
Glasgow pulls at the snap, taking off playside. Gunderson's man takes a wide circle around him, and Gunderson seems momentarily confused about who to block, first looking towards center, then back outside. He eventually gets in the way of the SDE who wasn't going to get to the mesh point in time anyway. Miller(+1) gets into his man and shoves him off the line, while Mateus (+1) and Burzynski(+1) double the other DT and take him well out of the play. Glasgow has pulled quickly (+1), while he, Gyarmati, Hayes AND Bellomy all take off playside.
The WDE crashes, but then squares up to take a block from Glasgow, who angles past him. He then turns to deal with a block from Gyarmati, who is headed behind him. Finally, he looks towards the Bellomy-Hayes mesh, his indecision making it impossible for him to get either. he chooses the wrong guy anyway. (-1, that guy. If you're gonna go with a guy, get there fast. If you're gonna hesitate, at least pick the right guy).
Bellomy sells it on the hand off, and Hayes follows Gyarmati behind the WDE while Bellomy follows Glasgow inside. I love how hard Hayes sells this, and the whole play side of the field follows him out. Beautiful fake. I'll +1 him on it.
Gyarmati gets out on the LB (I think. Can't see it, but he's got a block on someone), Miller loses his man but delayed him juuuust long enough, and Mateus & Bryant have crushed their donkey so hard that 5 yards upfield, Glasgow is still looking for someone to block. Bellomy hits a big time hole (+1). Glasgow finally finds a WLB to block, and the SLB and Safety combine to bring down Bellomy at the one.
- Seems like everybody did their jobs here, though I'd like to see Gunderson be more decisive. Not sure if it was the combo block that delayed the LB's, having to go out around it, or an RPS with them dropping to pass coverage. Curse you, highlight angles!
Set: I-form, 2 TE Set.
Result: 1 Yard, TD
Players: Same as before, with Kwiatkowski and Paskorz in at TE.
Solid blocking all along the line. Kwiatkowski, Burzynski and Glasgow get no push. Burzynski, Glasgow, Mateus/Paskorz and Kwiatkowski get linemen while Miller, Gunderson and Gyarmati get LB's. Miller(+1) and Gunderson(+1) have both gotten fantastic blocks, which is a shame, because Burzynski(-1) and Glasgow(-1) allow their men to roll together and completely fill what should be a massive middle hole while a safety fills the left side hole. This play was going right, so it's not a big deal, but this is goal line. EVERYBODY should go backwards into the endzone.
Gyarmati (+2) gets out on his LB and brings a safety along with him(!) and a sizeable hole opens right that Hayes hits with authority. The safety and guard both get a hand on Hayes, but not till after he's crossed the plane. Touchdown!
Anything to add?
Justice Hayes is at it again. He says Thomas will make his decision on the 31st. Is this Lawrence Thomas he refers to? Because I thought he was solid to MSU. If we can pick this guy up that would be huge and a big smack in the face to MSU
We might as well get this post up today since the list is growing by the minute it seems. If anyone had concerns about the new coaching staff and their recruiting ability, they're probably not asking anymore. Brady Hoke seems like he's in 10 different places at once, and the buzz they've started to create in a short amount of time has been outstanding. Here's a look at the visitors list so far for this weekend. Remember this list will continue to grow, and could shrink so check back.
- Commit RB Justice Hayes (4 Star, 5'10", 175 lbs)- Justice being on campus this weekend will help with recruiting. He's been talking up Michigan to quite a few recruits now.
- DB Stefan McClure (4 Star, 5'11", 170 lbs)- Defensive back out of California. Has a good relationship with Hoke from being at SDSU. I think Michigan has a real shot with Stefan.
- DB Raymon Taylor (4 Star, 5'10", 165 lbs)- Raymon might decide to wait a little bit to commit, but I think it's safe to say he'll most likely pick Michigan.
- K Matt Wile - (6'2", 210 lbs)Here's my interview yesterday with Matt's coach. I wouldn't be surprised if Wile was a Wolverine by Tuesday.
- TE/LB Frank Clark (3 Star, 6'2", 210 lbs)- Glenville prospect that I think Michigan has a good chance with.
- OL Tony Posada (3 Star, 6'5", 315 lbs)- The coaches were out to Florida this week to see Tony, and I think this visit will be his last. He should be firm to Michigan again.
- LB Leilon Willingham (4 Star, 6'3", 230 lbs)- I spoke to Leilon's coach today, and it looks like this visit is happening. Willingham is committed to Texas A&M and was supposed to visit the Aggies this weekend. If he cancelled that trip to visit Michigan then that's a pretty strong statement.
- DB Tamani Carter (3 Star, 5'11", 172 lbs) - Michigan's newest commit is visiting.
Per Justice Hayes' twitter account, we have more commit(s) on the way.
We bout to pick up some more commits. :)