"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
When Tamani Carter committed out of nowhere in late January Michigan fans scrambled to find out who the hell he was. The answer, oddly: a guy who had committed to Minnesota less than two weeks before. It's not hard to envision Hoke and company arriving at Michigan, surveying their secondary, and going "oh shiiiiiiiiii." Carter looked like a vaguely plausible guy so plunk went the offer gun.
But despite an extremely plausible story—and the fact that he signed up to play for Minnesota's perpetually beleaguered secondary—that implies Carter is just a random guy destined for special teams duty, he did have a decent offer list. Arizona was after him so hard they're still breathless about their not-very-narrow miss months later (they "made a huge run at him"). He made multiple visits to Stanford and seemingly had an Iowa offer. Those three schools seemed to constitute a top three through his senior season. Snagging a kid away from those three and Minnesota is considerably more encouraging than "best case: Gopher starter."
Of course, you're very cynical so you're asking yourself why on earth anyone with those offers would end up at Minnesota. While he did have an offer from the Hawkeyes at some point, he went from planning an official to Iowa City($) in October to not taking an officials other than one to Arizona, so it seems likely Iowa withdrew that sometime during the middle of the season. The same presumably goes for Stanford. So he wasn't an enormous priority for either. When you're adrift in a post-Process January, though, anyone who could play at Iowa or Harbaugh-era Stanford starts looking pretty good.
"Make all interceptions. Recover all fumbles," explained Carter.
Scouting type stuff. Carter's consistently listed at 6'0" or—at worst 5'11"—so it's odd that his size is consistently criticized. If he's fibbing surely he's not fibbing any more extensively than the vast populace of "5'9"" corners littering rosters across college football. Despite that a scouting article at… um… Scout published after Carter's Michigan commit features three separate guys worrying about it($). Allen Trieu:
My one knock would be size, and he's not very tall or thick at all. He will need time in the weight room before he's able to cover bigger, physical wide receivers.
First off, he's not very tall, but he's a nice, little athlete. It seems a little surprising for Michigan to go after him, because I would think they would be going after bigger defensive backs. He is a good player, and has skills, and the only real question would be his height. He's under 6-foot tall, and that will always be a challenge, covering the taller wideouts.
Assuming he overcomes his height limitations, and there are players that can do that, his speed and athleticism will get him on the field at Michigan, along with his intelligence.
ESPN($), meanwhile isn't too worried about height, but the other bit:
Has more than adequate height but his leaner frame and lack of great strength are concerns when projecting for the college level.
I was going to point out how weird Berk's assertion that Michigan wouldn't recruit Carter because of his size was by pointing to Michigan's roster, but it turns out that roster has dispensed with any pretense of reality by listing both Courtney Avery and Terrance Talbott at 5'11", which I'll eat my hat. Greg Brown is a mere 5'10", so he's probably just suffered a horrendous accident that leaves him without knees.
The point of all this is you will never get a truthful answer about any corner's height and if Carter can plausibly (or even laughably) claim to be six foot that makes him bigger than most of the guys already on the roster and probably as big as anyone else in the recruiting class.
So if Carter was crazy athletic that might not be a problem. That's up for debate. All the Scout guys were impressed ("light on his feet and has great quickness," "possibly sub 4.5," "moves really well"), but ESPN not so much:
Turns into a receiver in one-on-one coverage demonstrating great ball skills and body control. Has good extension, timing and leaping skills making him a very effective defender on the jump-ball. While fluid with good footwork, we do feel like he will be challenged in man-to-man coverage at the major college level. Appears quicker than fast and lacks great explosiveness and top-end speed needed to recover vertically. … Does not show great vertical speed or an extra though to project as a true difference-maker at the major college level.
"Tamani had a very special season," said Central coach Jay Sharrett to ThisWeek last fall. "When we needed a pivotal play, he was always there for us. Whether we needed a big reception, interception or fumble recovery. Tamani was the guy who made plays that won games for us."
"He's a corner that doesn't, he kind of enjoys the physical part of the game," Sharrett said. "He's a good, solid tackler and when it comes time to drive his shoulder pads, he'll do that.
Whether he'll have the athleticism to pull that off in college is a question. TTB mentions he'd like Carter more if he was going to be "playing a Cover 2 defense and sitting in the flat most of the day." It might not matter since a quick glance of at the roster shows someone has to move to safety. Greg Brown didn't and it doesn't seem like the other freshmen are suited to it, so Carter is the obvious candidate.
Why Markus Curry? Not a great comparison because Michigan hasn't recruited a whole lot of guys like Carter in the past, but Curry was a bit shorter than six foot, not heavily recruited, and seriously vulnerable to the deep ball because he didn't quite have the athleticism to keep up with college wideouts.
Guru Reliability: No reason evaluators would have anything wrong here: he was healthy and playing at a heavily scouted school. High. General Excitement Level: The usual level of disclaimer applies but: low. Projection: More of a lock to redshirt than anyone other than Russell Bellomy. There are three other corners in the class, all either more hyped or ahead of the curve after enrolling early, and three or four corners already on campus who will probably be ahead of him on the depth chart. Long term, someone's moving to safety and it's probably not Countess or Hollowell—the bet here is he moves to FS soon after arrival and ends up backing up Carvin Johnson for a while, possibly emerging as an upperclassman.
even if he doesn't pass the "eye-test" or some question his speed...if he can find a way to be a ball hawk at this level, I could care less. Hopefully he's of the Tyler Sash mold: doesn't look like a football player but man can he play.
successfully achieved 1 year self-imposed posting ban 4/10/13
This kid plays football. He doesnt run 40s, or shuttles, or show off his bench pressing. He hits people. Hard. Hes exacty what I want from my nickel CB.. steps up in run support and sticks his nose in there.
That being said, I dont buy this whole "He isnt fast enough" nonsense.. Football is about matchups. Not every receiver on a team is going to be a burner, and it seems that this kid has good hips and break/instincts. Could be a solid cover guy on a more possession type receiver.
On the fifth night—possibly the sixth—a breeze arose.
It was cool and dewy.
Couldn't say it better myself. The things that you can measure with a tape measure or a stop watch don't always tell the whole story. If the guy brings heart and love for the game, he could outperform guys that may be more fit for the position. It all comes down to how hard the guy wants to work, practice and play. I am excited to see what guys like Carter and Brown will bring to this team in the future. It's always fun to see what they become, even if they don't always pan out.
“What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve and those who stay will be champions.” - Bo
He's got Jacoby Boren as a former HS teammate. Tamani's got to have some GREAT Mike Boren/Jacoby Boren stories. He might have some good Zach Boren stories! Tamani might well have been an eyewitness to Zach going from Blue to Scarlet in front of the whole class the moment that offer letters went out and Zach didn't get one from Michigan.
How can anybody knock him for his height when he's listed at 6 foot. Even if he is 5'11'' or 5'10'' that means he's about average height for a corner in college and the nfl. It's not like every reciever out there is 6'5'' and runs a 4.23 forty.
This kid will show everyone he can play (@ safety) and redeem the good name of Picktown in the eyes of the UM faithful. Lower the boom, Tamani, and you'll do just fine. Not a bad school for Hoke & Co. to get into, either. They don't continually pump out studs like some other schools in OH, but they do send a steady supply of quality kids to D-1 schools each year. Love it when a fellow Tiger goes Blue.
Journal Entry - Day 782 of living amongst inbreds - Actually heard this today, "I don't see what the big deal is. All he was doin' was protectin' the players. What's wrong with that?"
sweet analysis, thank you. Hoke has already mentioned in a press conference that Carter will be projected to play safety and Carter is well aware of this. He has good ball skills and solid speed, I think he will be a great contributer in the coming years. Marvin robinson needs to step it up at safety, will greatly help our secondary.
Looking for BTTYS Nike sb Michigan Dunk Highs size 14, hit me up.
Hopefully Michigan can get back to redshirting its young players, rather than playing every single freshman. I know numbers were low, but it was pretty ridiculous how many true freshman defensive backs played in 2010.