"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
"There's a certain level of confidence and composure he brings to the court," said sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins, who played the bulk of his minutes as a freshman while LeVert sat on the end of the bench in a sweat suit. "When you know you have a player like that on your team of that caliber, it's just like, we're in his hands and he can do a lot of things for this team. It's a comfort. It's nice."
"I just really wanted to see him in a game and I loved what I saw," Beilein said. "He was active. He's got a motor. He's got some things he's got to work on. He doesn't have the strength to (play) the way he'd like to in the Big Ten yet, but that's what we're going to work on in-between (games) without inhibiting his ability to play the next game."
Per Sam Webb and others, Michigan landed its third commitment of the 2014 class this afternoon in four-star Salt Lake City (UT) Highland DT Bryan Mone. A former high school teammate of current Wolverine fullback Sione Houma, Mone was the first player to be offered by Michigan in the 2014 class, way back in December of 2011($).
4*, #7 DT,
4*, #12 DT,
4*, 93, #8 SDE,
With the early rankings just being unveiled on all of the services save ESPN, Mone is a consensus top-200 player overall and among the top defensive tackles in the country. All four sites list him at 6'4", 315 pounds, which makes 247's ranking of him at strongside DE seem a little odd—this guy is destined for the interior.
There's little in the way of scouting out there on Mone, not a surprise given he's a rising senior from Utah—not exactly the most rigorously scouted region in the country. What we have at this point is his film, his offer list, and a quote from his coach back when Michigan offered ($):
Bryan right now is probably 6’4” maybe 6’4 ½”, 255 pounds. He’s a kid who put on about 15 pounds during the season. He’s real long – big strong, physical kid. He’s a smart football player; just phenomenal character. He’s a lot like Sione. In fact, the church that both of them go to is run by Bryan’s dad. He’s a Methodist minister. So, he comes from a great family and he’s of good moral character, which you love to have that on your team. Truly, he was a leader on the line this year. He’s young, he’s raw, but he’s really developed over the season into a force defensively. He’s 255 right now, I see him next year being probably close to 280. He has that ability to put on that kind of size. And he’s a good athlete… he’s a real good athlete. He runs well, he changes directions, he’s long, got huge hands, huge feet, so he’s definitely still a puppy.
If he gets up to 300 pounds, obviously I think he’ll be inside. If he can stay around 280 then and keep his quickness, then he has a chance to play on the edge. He’s so long, and he is a good athlete, but we’re going to play him at D-End next year as well. We’ll play him at D-End, three-technique, so we’re going to move him around and not let teams get comfortable with him.
You'll note that Mone has made remarkable gains physically since his sophomore year, bulking up to 315 pounds—despite adding the weight of a small child, his body still looks good on film and he's retained his athleticism, which is probably why he's considered such a strong prospect.
DT Bryan Mone, Salt Lake City Highland: Mone is a junior with some high-profile scholarship offers. Michigan is in the mix. So is UCLA. The buzz around him has been tempered due to his location and the fact that his high school coach has just recently started circulating his film. All indications are that the 315-pounder is a star in waiting. There will be plenty made of his talent as his senior year approaches.
Not much informative there, but Mone is generating quite a buzz for an underclassman from a region that doesn't produce a ton of national-level prospects.
Mone held offers from Boise State, BYU, Ole Miss, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Utah State, and Wisconsin in addition to his Michigan offer. Rivals lists interest but no offer from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Stanford, possibly indicating that Michigan got in early on a prospect who was on the verge of blowing up.
Highland is one of the better programs in the state of Utah, producing nine players who signed with FBS schools since 2002, per Rivals. Most notable among those is class of 2002 five-star DT Haloti Ngata, who had a dominating career at Oregon before moving on to NFL stardom with the Baltimore Ravens. Two other former Rams—Latu Heimuli (Utah) and Victor Filipe (Oregon)—earned four-star ratings, both at DT, but neither panned out at the college level.
Per 247, Mone recorded 70 tackles, ten TFLs, and three sacks as a junior en route to first-team all-state honors.
The evidence is flimsy indeed with the lack of scouting, but Mone's film shows a player with real promise. He's got a great frame, impressive athleticism and burst off the line, strength that proves dominant at the high school level, and solid play recognition. I could see him lining up at either defensive tackle spot at the next level; Michigan has placed an emphasis on athletic, disruptive tackles that can get into the backfield (think Mike Martin) in the last couple classes, and Mone fits that mold. He looks very impressive on film, and the fact that he's getting this much attention this early despite being from an under-scouted region lends credence to the idea that Michigan found themselves a potential star early in the process.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan now has three commits—joining Mone are LB Michael Ferns and QB Wilton Speight—in a class currently projected to be around 16 players (that number will almost certainly rise with attrition). Down the line I'd expect them to take another defensive tackle, and the big needs in this class remain at wide receiver and strongside DE.
Obviously the 2015 home opener @ Utah deserves the credit for this.
“Jon, don't they understand?! It's a privilege, it's an honor to coach for Michigan!” He said, “They don't understand. People don't understand. We're trying to do everything we can to bring Michigan back."
Seeing as every recruiting post mentions the need for receivers, what is the projected number the coaches should be reaching for? I would assume it is in the 3-5 range, but that really seems like a high number. After the last couple of years of taking what could be considered "projects" at the position, should they be looking at mid-level 3 & 4 star players or going all in on getting a kid from the upper echelon of the ranking services to go with a couple of to go along with a couple of less well-regarded kids?
I mean, you didn't really answer the question, but thanks for the input. I did enjoy you editorializing about perception though. From the tone of your comment, I take it you feel there is an elite receiver on the roster? Who do you think that is?
I thought I was answering your question. Having 5 scholarship WR's on the roster for 2014 already, I think that your estimate of 3-5 is on the extreme high side. I think 3 may be plausible - 4 or 5, no way. Historically, we have 7 or 8 scholarship WR's on the roster (prior to RR showing up and carrying like 11 or 12 - but he played more WR's than Borges does).
I don't really have anyone specific in mind for being "elite". That said - we basically haven't seen any of these 5 play yet - deciding that there isn't a good one already seems premature. Darboh was a top 200 recruit, so I guess I hold some optimism for him. Chesson seems like a good athelete. There's been good chatter about Jones.
Of course those will be the only 5 scholarship WRs on the roster. I doubt you'll find anyone that thinks that's enough depth. Maybe whwen Bo was still coaching, but not today. And considering that those 5 have zero career receptions, getting a couple elite receivers in who can challenge right away for playing time would certainly be a very good thing. I hope your implication that we have an elite WR or two on the roster is accurate, but until that's proven true, we probably should recruit as if we don't.
WR is a need from both a numbers and talent perspective.
I think it's hard going back and knowing for certain who was on scholarship but I count about 8 for 2005-2007. If you want to go back and claim there were less during the early part of the Carr regime, I'm not going to necessarily disagree, but modern football requires more than 5 scholarship WRs, and not just if you want to put 4 WRs on the field the majority of the time. Yes, we may be a little more dependant on pass catching TEs over the next couple years potentially lessening the need for more WRs, but I still highly doubt that the coaching staff is comfortable with any less than about 7 on the roster. We don't have to take 3-5 as the original OP suggested, but I don't think we can aim for just the top 5 in the country and if we don't land them settle with what we have already on the roster.
I think the math is pretty simple, you have 85 scholarships. You should aim for about 4 scholarship players at each of your 22 positions, realizing that you don't need 4 in position groups where there is overlap (O-Line, Secondary, etc.). If your base offensive set is RB, FB, TE, WR, WR, you should aim for 4 at each of those positions. Now, obviously you should be flexible. If you want to go with two TEs a lot you can take a scholarship or two away from WR/FB. If you're likely only going to use your FB on half the offensive plays, you probably don't need 4 on scholarship. If you're planning on having 2 or 3 WRs on the field 90% of the time, you want 5 or 6 that can play on any given day. You also need a couple spots for depth in case of attrition/injury. Anything less than 8 is pushing it in my opinion.
I also don't see any real indication that we're moving towards Wisconsin or Stanford. I think people are confusing the addressing of roster weaknesses for the Borges system left over from the Rich Rod days as an indication of what will always be under Hoke. We had a huge numbers need at OLine. We addressed it. Not with a bunch of 350 lb beheamoths that Wisconsin likes, but with good, well rounded linemen that most in the country were going after. We had no TEs because Rodriguez didn't use them much. We added TEs. We did all this while we had a bunch of WRs on the roster. Now through attrition and simple graduation we're back towards a number that is reasonable. Graduating 3 after this season creates a real need.
With Butt and Funchess in the mix as well our need is even less. While it's been consensus around here that what we took the last two classes wasn't enough and our receivers are generally considered big, but slow, the coaches say differently. On the big signing day broadcast, and Heclinskis radio interview they were almost raving about our receivers, their speed, and how they were brought in to "stretch the field." While the truth might be somewhere in the middle, I believe the coaches, and think we probably have a better group than is generally expected.
Anyone have any idea where there are so many Polynesian (Somoan, Hawai'ian, etc...) players/persons in Utah? I've never lived west of the Mississippi nor visited Utah, but my impression is that it is as white as WonderBread.
Has a strong presence in Polynesia, including American Samoa, among other locales. Thus there is a strong tie to the state of Utah. BYU is in Provo, UT, but their other large campus locations are in Idaho and Hawaii. They also run a large Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.
This guy is a very, very good prospect. He is enormous, yet moves like a DE. He needs to add some strength and play lower, as well as improve working with his hands, but as a prospect, WOW. I think he'll end-up a 5.9 or better on Rivals (Top 150). He's smart, fast, strong, and tackles well. He has a great motor. He reminds me a bit of Pee Wee...just quicker, a little less chubby and not as strong.
I liked how he showed that he could play DE or DT during that film. The only thing I'd say in opposition to what you said is that I thought he played with his hands rather well. I'm no expert, but I thought that was one part he was doing better than most HS kids I've seen.
“If worms had machine guns, birds would be afraid of 'em.”
It's funny how different people can see different things on film. My thoughts are almost precisely the opposite. I think he uses his hands very well but doesn't seem to have great speed or quick-twitch ability. He looks more like a plugger to me than a penetrator.
I keep reading people don't think he's very fast, but I guess they mean explosive off the line, because in pursuit he's very fast, and tracks down elusive runners very well. In space it'll be tough for mobile qbs to elude him the way he moves.