and looks to be a great first and second down option. I hope he gets some reps, but I'd be okay with the RS too. Solid guy and love not just that he holds onto the ball, but the WAY he does so. Very deliberate with his two hands on the ball technique going into traffic. Very aware of his surroundings.
2013 Recruiting: De'Veon Smith
Previously: CB Reon Dawson, CB Channing Stribling, S Delano Hill, S Dymonte Thomas, CB Ross Douglas, CB Jourdan Lewis, LB Ben Gedeon, LB Mike McCray, DE Taco Charlton,DT Maurice Hurst Jr., DT Henry Poggi, OL Patrick Kugler, OL David Dawson, OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, OL Kyle Bosch, OL Chris Fox, OL Dan Samuelson, TE Jake Butt, TE Khalid Hill, HB Wyatt Shallman, WR Da'Mario Jones, WR Csont'e York, WR Jaron Dukes, RB Derrick Green, QB Shane Morris.
This marks the completion of the 2013 recruiting profiles.
|Warren, OH – 5'11", 224|
4*, #62 overall
3*, NR overall
4*, NR overall
4*, #218 overall
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace.|
|Notes||Older brother Lance was at Wisconsin for a time. Howland, his HS, has sent kids to MSU and PSU recently but no Michigan players.|
Brady Hoke's recruiting in a nutshell: a near-consensus four star with a crazy fun highlight tape who Michigan won in a head to head battle with Ohio State has been almost lost in the shuffle. De'Veon Smith may not have the avalanche of hype Derrick Green does, but he's pretty damn good in his own right, a pounding ball of legs with a big-time stiffarm and excellent balance. If he was fast, he'd be Mike Hart but fast, but people say he's not that fast, so maybe he's just Mike Hart. (This comparison is about to get run into the ground. Gird thyself.)
This lost in the shuffle thing is something we need to correct, M internet. If we don't, Smith's coach Dick Angle—who is awesome—is going to find us. This comes from the beginning of Smith's junior year:
“I don’t think there’s a hell of a lot of difference between 4.6 and 4.5, especially when you’re 215 pounds and you’re running the football and you never fumble it and you always end up in the end zone,” Angle said. “So they can have their 4.3 guys and 4.4 guys and I’ll take Smith, even if he was 5-flat, which he isn’t. He runs a 4.5-forty consistently and all he does is score touchdowns, run for first downs, catch passes and wins.”
…quite surprisingly, despite all the high accolades from his coach, Smith is still without any scholarship offers. So what exactly is the reason for that?
“Because there’s a lot of stupid coaches out there and that’s why they get fired,” Angle said. “They take 4.3 guys that can’t read, write, block, tackle, hold the ball or win. That’s the bottom line.”
"Because Stone Cold Dick Angle said so" is implied.
I'm seriously about the Mike Hart comparison on this one. For one, the first words out of his loquacious coach's mouth in another article:
"He does not fumble," said Angle. "He had one at the beginning of the year, and one in the playoffs, but that's it."
For two, Smith's low-cut, compact package of balance, vision and agility leads to a lot of Hart-like runs in which he hugs his blocking until it's time to burst upfield, at which point he often deploys Hart's patented hop-cut in the hole to evade most of tackler and bundle forward breaking infinite arm tackles. ESPN's evaluation is… is just Mike Hart:
…strong, sturdy frame that can withstand punishment … powerfully built low to the ground and it helps his impressive balance. He has good, not great, speed …runs with good vision and is quick to attack the hole. He makes subtle cuts through traffic and is able to burst through tight seams with his quickness. He runs with good lean, behind his pads … also an effective stretch and plant cutter. … He breaks through first contact on a regular basis, runs hard and generates great downhill power and momentum. He keeps his legs and body churning on contact, frequently bouncing off tackles while retaining his balance and forward drive. … can struggle to make second level defenders miss to spring long runs.
Smith isn't quite the wizard at avoiding backfield contact that Hart was, but he compensates by bringing more power to his game… actually nevermind that. Smith does seem a bit faster in the open field. (If there was a stat for "most times caught from behind against one team," Mike Hart versus Michigan State would be your far and away record-holder.)
Scout's Allen Trieu amps the Hart comparison up by noting his "uncanny balance and ability to break arm tackles":
The kid is strong and runs with a refusal to be tackled. His ability to keep his feet while making cuts, breaking tackles and shoving would-be tacklers into the ground, is outstanding. He may not be a 4.4 guy, but we really like him.
Smith may not have breakaway speed, but he displays everything else you'd like to see when running the football: great initial burst, good vision through the hole, legs that don't stop moving upon contact, and the power to punish defenders for attempts to arm-tackle.
I mean… if you watch his junior highlights above they are littered with plays in which Smith bounces off arm tackles, nearly falls over, keeps his feet, breaks a couple more tackles, gets swarmed by three guys, and then drives the ever-agglomerating mass of humanity a couple more yards before everyone falls over. Like this:
Via Ace, obviously
The run before this and after this on his tape (starting around 3:30) are basically the same thing, as are many others.
That is something you can't teach. De'Veon Smith is good. I mean, this is two games from his junior year. Try and count the broken tackles:
While he's not going to bounce off four guys on many plays in college, frankly his highlight reel is more impressive than Derrick Green's. Green brings an elite level of size and speed that Smith doesn't quite, but I give the edge in high school faces crushed to Smith.
Smith was not a camp guy or a look-at-all-my-offers guy. As a result Rivals, the low outlier in his rankings, has frustratingly little to say about him that doesn't come from Tim Sullivan, who doesn't have a say in the rankings. I'm not sure their Ohio guy does either, but here's his take anyway:
"He's the classic Ohio power back," Givler said. "He's strong, runs with a lower center of gravity, with good pad level. He's not overly fast but he gets through the hole, and you don't always have to be a 4.4 guy to be a success. Look at this rivalry - Maurice Clarett and Mike Hart weren't the fastest guys but both were great players.
"The thing I like about Smith is that he's one of those guys that will be better with his 22nd carry than his sixth. He's a north-south runner that gets stronger as the game unfolds."
Ah, look, Mike Hart again.
Meanwhile in an evaluation that praises Smith for "being such a well-rounded back"—ie, everything—247's Todd Worly raves about his "explosive burst, footwork, and change of direction," pointing out that while Smith does lack pure straight line speed his short-area explosion is outstanding. (You can see this in his defensive highlights as well, as when he sticks a guy he goes backwards.) Worly also puts the ball security in context:
For a big play back that is regularly breaking tackles, it is very impressive that he has only fumbled twice in three years.
It's relatively easy for Carlos Brown to not fumble because strong winds will knock him over. For a guy constantly fighting for extra yardage to have that ball security is… well… it's a lot like Mike Hart.
And, of course, the pattern is fulfilled here as well. His coach:
"Probably his greatest asset - by far - is non-measureable: it's his presence," said Angle. "He has an aura about him. He's a team player, and when you're around him he just picks you up. He's never moody, and he's always got a smile on his face. That's his greatest asset, he just radiates confidence in the people that are around him, and he has it in himself in a very humble and unique way."
Is his coach done? Nope. Obviously not. This is Dick Angle, who should be interviewed all the time whether he has a player going to Michigan or not.
“To me he’s the perfect player. And he’s got an attitude that makes his work ethic outstanding,” Angle said. “He’s very humble and he’s probably the most likeable kid in our school let alone on our football team. And he’s a great team player and he’s a great motivator through his hard work.”
Sing Dick Angle, sing!
"He works on the things that he knows he might have slipped up on the week before, or he hasn't been working on, He's relentless in the weight room, he's relentless on the practice field, so he doesn't have to be told very much what needs to be done."
This is where the comparisons to Clarett stop.
Etc.: Your last piece of laughable Bucknuts homerism for the year is Smith's drop from #5 in the state to #14 after winning the DII offensive player of the year. BONUS Bucknuts commenter a couple years ago:
I'd take him and Derrick Green for the 2013 class of running backs and call it a day.
Sounds like a plan.
“I’ll tell you what I like about DeVeon, he gets angry when you hit him. It pisses him off when you hit him. He just runs harder and harder after he gets hit. He is a contact kind of guy."
Why Mike Hart? The post has addressed this in depth.
Guru Reliability: Low-plus. Wide spread in the rankings, no camps, no All Star game, but was a healthy, known quantity.
Variance: Low. Already at excellent playing weight, fumbles not an issue, not a product of those high school teams where no one ever touches you en route to the endzone (see: Ty Isaac).
Ceiling: High-minus. Pure long speed seemingly the only issue, and while that's a big one there are a lot of excellent qualities Smith brings.
General Excitement Level: High. I like him, a lot, especially in the tight spaces Michigan will give him to work in.
Projection: Everyone expects a redshirt and one really makes sense here with Fitz a senior, good depth, Green in the same class, and Michigan apparently content to swing for the Fournette fences in this recruiting class. I bet he's at worst the third-most talented back on the roster right now, but Michigan can get away with an older guy picking up those snaps.
After a redshirt year (or frustrating non-redshirt year with spare playing time), Smith should emerge into Derrick Green's backup or platoon-mate, depending on how good Smith and Green actually are. I wouldn't be surprised if he got 30% of the carries as a redshirt freshman unless Green is unbelievable. Smith should split carries with Green for the next two or three years before emerging into the starter as a junior or senior, whereupon Damien Harris will play platoon-mate/backup.
"Deveon is lost in the shuffle" because, Brian, you lost him in the shuffle.
This marks the completion of the 2013 recruiting profiles.
No! What about Scott Sypniewski?
He will snap the football a long distance as a scholarship player. Preferably quickly. That is all.
YMRMSPA: Just kidding, you couldn't name a Michigan longsnapper without googling it.
Ceiling: Completely un-memorable.
Floor: see gif below.
The move he puts on the first would be tackler in that GIF is amazing. Reminds me of this:
Any photoshop experts out there?
He's Mike Hart, but bigger!
This kid is coming in and not only is a few inches taller, but already has a lot more weight than Hart did in the NFL. That's not a bad bonus.
You really have to like the two deep at running back we're going to have for years to come. I'm high on this kid; if he was the #1 back of this recruiting class no one would have any problems with it. I know Borges likes one back, but it's going to be nice to be able to have the rest guy be almost as effective, and a running back going down not being a disaster for the whole season.
Have to agree that his film looks much better than Green's. Green may be the future, but the highlights I've seen, coupled with Green's new injury, make me think Deveon might be the 2nd best RB we have right now.
I think we'll probably still reshirt him and bide time with Hayes/Rawls till Green comes back, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see Smith be amazing in a few years
The difference in highlights is likely the level of competition. Green's was apparently a good deal higher than Smith's, which was uneven.
But I remember a lot of people questioning Green's level of competition, too. That OFAAT of him destroying that safety is sweet ... but the dude on the receiving end looks like he's about 160 lbs. DII Ohio football may be just as good as Green's in Virginia - someone correct me if I'm out of line here.
You are wrong.
Green played against much better competition, and, as has been pointed out many times, the dude he trucked is a 3 or 4 star prospect that is now playing college football at UVA.
That said, Smith is a great player in his own right, and while he lacks some of the elusiveness that Hart had, he is more powerful and faster.
I LOVE De'Veon Smith, and if we hadn't gotten Green, I'd be comfortable with him being our #2 back this year. Getting both him and Green is pretty freaking amazing.
Well said. We are very fortunate to have Smith and Green in the same class.
Isn't he more of a Brandon Minor? Smith goes through guys. He's not as juke-y as Hart.
Really? Smith looks pretty juky to me. what reminds me so strongly of Hart is the way he rarely seems to take a "big" hit. He positions and angles his body so he always has leverage downfield.
Looking back at that last sentence it doesn't really make much sense, but his running style just screams Mike Hart to me. Minor's style produced big powerful hits (him hitting defender and vice versa). Smith slides off tackles rather than driving into them.
You're right, and my memory ain't what it used to be. I still think he's got some Brandon Minor in him, though.
Minor Rage in him?
Brandon Minor just kind of ran guys over - he ran more like Marion Barber or something. But I agree that DeVeon Smith isn't as juke-y as Hart. I think his style is more like Emmitt Smith (although obviously he has a long way to go to be as valuable as Smith was). He's a north/south runner with just enough wiggle to make would-be tacklers hit him at odd angles so that he can break their tackle attempts.
A few others have mentioned it too, but most of the thread discussions talk about Fitz vs. Green.
NSFMF! This kid's video is very impressive as well, plus he fumbled twice in three years? Mike Hart fumbled twice in his final game! /s (but true)
It wouldn't surprise me a bit if Smith has a better career than Green. Obviously pulling for them both, but regardless, we have a potentially awesome tandem going forward.
If he is Mike Hart, he is the best back on this team. So, yeah.
[EDIT]: Almost 1:40 into the highlight tape until he is tackled. Who does this guy think he is? Fournette?
My opinion means absolutely nothing, but why follow recruiting if I can't make useless predictions?
I think De'veon is going to have the better career at Michigan than Derrick Green. I know Green has elite speed, size, and strength, but I personally think the camp circuit way undervalues balance. They usually don't allow hits, and how else can you get a sense of a player's balance unless you are really hitting him?
Maybe I am disillusioned by the train of strong fast guys with poor balance (Rawls, Underwood, Grady, Brown), but I just have this feeling that Smith will be the guy next year.
First, I hope they both have great success and we are Auburn north with the 2 headed RB monster in the coming years. Second, I am with you so much. There are so many guys who do so well in production in college but then go to the combines and "are slow on that" or "dont lift as much as expected there" or "dont jump that high" and fall. Then they go in the NFL and outproduce the guys with all the sexy combine scores. I get why athleticism is important in the NFL (speaking of Mike Hart) but when the gap is not huge the fact the less productive player can move rounds ahead of the more productive boggles every year. Even worse is vice versa - the guy who produces like a 4th rounder in college but moves up 2 rounds since he has the 'measurables' - people, if he can't produce in college, he is not going to produce in the NFL. But yes, we need to account for level of competition but the fact this kid does not fumble, has that leadership type of skill/charisma, has that sort of production but is missing a measurable (OMG SPEED!) works for me.
I agree with both of y'all. I still have my doubts about Green. His senior film is significantly more impressive than the junior highlights, but in the latter he went down really easy for a guy his size. Always fell forward, but often on first contact past the LOS.
I think Deveon might be the more productive back. And if we've got enough big play potential with Gardner/Morris and the receivers who are going to be coming up the ranks, it might be better to have a Mike Hart I Will Get You 5 Yards Guaranteed type of guy in the backfield. Time will tell if Green can grind out those tough yards too.
Oh, and I'm admittedly a huge fanboy, but I think Hart coulda been a productive NFL back for a long time if it weren't for injuries. In the very limited time he wasn't injured, I remember him looking good, and I recall some buzz about him coming from Colts training camp.
He just couldn't Hold On to the Damn Ball.
Hopefully Smith can be the next Hart, but Green will not be the next Max Martin!
Glad to see the young man wasn't ingested by a cannibal at Simon and Schuster.
Dick Angle, Fred Jackson - separated at birth.
You said "Dick Angle."
Dogleg left, FWIW.
Until you typed that I hadnt really stopped to think about it... but gosh what a miserable elementary, middle school, and hs experience a guy with that name must have had. Gosh, I remember kids with half as bad a name like that teased to oblivion.
Would go with Rich, or at least Richard.
That the angle of my dangle is inversely proportional to the heat of my meat, right?
I could live with Beanie Wells and Mike Hart playing for the good guys. Nice little tandem.
The "bounce off tackles, hit the second level of linebackers and safeties, push against them in a tug of war until the offensive line gets back up off the ground and pushes him forward in that tug of war" running back.
If I remember correctly, Mike Hart was a generic 3 star who had run up amazing stats against weak competition in upstate NY. Max Martin was his RB classmate--bigger, four stars from Alabama. We all remember how that competition turned out. You never know for sure how a HS back will perform in big time college ball, and I think our enthusiasm for Green has obscured the fact Smith may turn out be the better back. Either way, it's great to have two highly regarded guys competing for time.
Hart as the all time leading rusher for UM is a pretty darn favorable comparison. Our best case scenario here isn't one or the other emerging as in the Hart - Martin era it's having Green and Smith as slightly different but interchangable parts like Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams. That kind of tandem behind the moster offensive line we should have in place in another year... well let's just hoep for the best for both Green and Smith. I think each can find a place on this squad.
Is it too much to hope for Darren McFadden (Green) and Felix Jones (Smith)? Toss in Peyton Hillis (Houma?) and you've got a pretty damn good backfield.
I thought this same thing as well. Sometimes guys get a ratings drop for not having all the measurables, but can just put it all together on the field. I'm very excited about Smith.
Im predicting this guy having a better career than Green.
Mike Hart? Maybe. I'd say Chris Howard. Smith: 5'11" 224 Howard 5'10" 223 power runners with a great stiff arm and (so far for Smith I guess) kind of get lost in the shuffle.
De'veon is THE PERFECT MICHIGAN BACK. How can you say he is slow? 40 times and playing the game are different!
He's not blowing away people in the games, either. Whether it's forties or on the field, he's just not super fast.
I like the Depth this coaching staff is building for the O-line and Backfield. If there is such thing as Alabama-style football in the B1G Ten, this is going to be the team... This year we start our build with a HOPEFUL RS to Smith... Toussaint- Green- Rawls can give a nice solid 1-2-3 Punch for rolling backs out. then the start of 14 looks like:
Green- Rawls - Smith or Green-Smith-Rawls (depending on how much Rawls improves with the O-line) then we go into 15 with... Green (JR) - Smith (RS SO) - Harris (FR). From this point onward we will be able to push out the Backs like Bama did in Richardson, Lacey, and now Yeldon. I however think ours are going to be better- Bias or not. Green > Richardson, Smith = Lacey, etc...
Will be better than a top 10 and a 2nd round pick? If either of those guys ends up as good as Lacy I'd be content.
uhhh.. all I can say is TJ Yeldon. Apparently you didnt watch much Bama football last year. And as the other commentator said - even with the reduction of importance of RB in the NFL draft Bama's players are being drafted in the 1st and 2nd. Cmon guy - let's be realistic. If ANY of these guys turns into Richardson (ANY) we should be tickled pink.
I counted 28 broken tackles.
Might be a dumb question (but not as dumb now that Green is losing reps for a couple weeks in Summer/Fall camp) but is there any chance this Smith fellow could be utilized as a 3rd down back in these younger years of his?!
I doubt it. That role is usually reserved for quicker players, and it's also tough for young guys to understand blocking schemes. My guess is that Justice Hayes takes on that role, although he's not the blocker that Vincent Smith was.
With Smith, Green and then Harris in 2015, it's no wonder why the staff is being really selective with 2014 RBs.