"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
"The experience he has from last year is starting to show," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. "He’s making shots, and he made some gutsy plays against Portland. He’s got a confidence about him that he can get the job done."
Conference play has come, and Big Ten teams can safely retreat to their thunderdomes to clobber each other in peace, insulated from the braying mockery of the national media. There is still upheaval. Michigan has fallen apart. Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke have been confined to the Touliers Palace.
Our long regional nightmare is over, as Michigan has finally* netted commitment #18 in the class of 2013. Scout's Allen Trieu broke the news this afternoon that Harper Woods (MI) Chandler Park Academy WR Csont'e York—first name pronounced "Son-Tay", according to Sam Webb—pledged to Michigan after receiving an offer yesterday while on an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor. York becomes the second receiver in the class, joining Jaron Dukes, and his stock is on the rise after a couple standout camp performances in recent weeks.
3*, #67 WR
3*, 88, #69 WR
As you can see, York is currently flying under the radar—ESPN didn't even have him in their recruiting database until today—with only Scout and 247 even bothering to rank him. Chandler Park isn't exactly a football powerhouse, however, playing in Michigan's Class B in the Charter School Conference, so he fits the profile of a sleeper recruit. Every service but Scout lists York at 6'3", with his weight at 185-190 pounds (Scout says 6'2", 180).
As mentioned above, York really burst onto the scene in recent weeks, earning offers from Michigan, Cincinnati, and Syracuse within the last 48 hours by excelling on the camp circuit. He was #5 on Barton Simmons's list of top performers at last weekend's Columbus NFTC, where he took home wide receiver MVP honors [EDIT: Sorry, misunderstood Sam Webb's Tweet; he said York was deserving of MVP honors, but they actually went to OH WR Gary Brown]:
The 6-2 prospect took countless reps, winning most of them and showing great ball skills, route-running and mismatch size. York has impressed us in several different settings and he deserves a lot more college interest than he is receiving.
Simmons wasn't the only scout lauding York after last weekend, as he also made Scout's Bob Lichtenfels's top ten ($):
York made everything look so easy that we started to take it for granted. By the end of the camp his circus catches were looking routine. He is very smooth in and out of his breaks. Possesses very good ball skills and gets separation from the defender. He uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball. Smooth, gliding type of runner. Not sure how good his top end speed is, but he is very tough to cover on the short to intermediate routes.
As you'll see on his film, York's ability to go up and catch the football is excellent; while it's an easy comparison to make, he's certainly reminiscent of a slightly taller, skinnier Junior Hemingway. Rivals's Josh Helmholdt scouted York at April's NLA 7-on-7 in Pittsburgh, where once again he was amongst the top prospects ($):
There were several big wide receivers making spectacular catches downfield on Sunday, and maybe none as interesting as York. At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, York is a great-looking, big wide receiver. His size gives him the ability to be physical with cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage, then go downfield and outmuscle them for the football. He made several spectacular grabs along the sideline and in the end zone, showing outstanding body control and a great pair of hands.
While I don't expect Michigan's passing game to continue to rely so much on the jump ball post-Denard, it's good to know that York could thrive in such an offense. He's also got the size and strength to be a very solid possession receiver. Allen Trieu has a free assessment on York's Scout profile:
Long, lean receiver who does a great job of tracking the football, adjusting to passes in the area and controlling his body to make tough and acrobatic catches. Has great hands and leaping ability. He's not a 4.4 guy, but has a solid burst and can create separation both underneath and downfield. He's not one who will give you a ton after the catch, but he has all the tools to be a productive college receiver.
York's strengths are listed as Body Control, Hands and Concentration, and Size, while his areas for improvement are Elusiveness with Catch and Speed. He sounds pretty similar to Dukes in terms of style of play; this coaching staff seems to have a specific type of receiver in mind unless they're track-star fast like Devon Allen or just plain elite like Laquon Treadwell.
York only held offers from Bowling Green and Toledo before Michigan, Cincinnati, and Syracuse joined the fray this week. Again, sleeper status here.
A quick Google search didn't turn up any stats. I'll update if I come across any, though judging by his film he scored a whole bunch of touchdowns.
FAKE 40 TIME
None of the sites list a 40 time, FAKE or otherwise. ScoutingMichigan has a profile for York with a self-reported 40 time of 4.52 (thanks to ScoutExile for pointing this out). If that's a hand-time it's in the right range given the scouting reports. If it's electronic, that probably merits a three FAKEs out of five.
Jump balls and touchdowns aplenty.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
The evidence is flimsy indeed, but York appears to fall into the same general category as Dukes: solid floor given his good size and hands, limited star potential due to a lack of top-end speed. Like Dukes, York will have every opportunity to see the field when he steps on campus thanks to Michigan's depth, as the only scholarship receivers on the roster will be Jeremy Jackson, Jeremy Gallon, Jerald Robinson, Drew Dileo, and this year's freshmen, Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson. The only remotely proven commodity among that group is Gallon, who will be a senior when York is a true freshman. Given York's current under-the-radar status, it's foolish to attempt to project beyond him having a shot to see the field. Luckily, I should be able to see him play at least once this fall and get a better feel for how he performs in a game situation.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan now has two receivers in the class, and they'll almost certainly take one more—Treadwell is the prohibitive favorite to take that last spot. After that, Michigan should have room for 4-5 more players, and the biggest area of need is at defensive tackle. Strongside DE is also a priority, and the Wolverines could also make a push for more help in the secondary. The last couple spots will likely be filled by the best players available, as Michigan now has that luxury after filling most of their major needs very early in the process.
*Tongue-in-cheek, obviously. Michigan could take one commit per month from this point forward and have a full class before the regular season is over.
York does play 7-on-7 with Shane Morris though Maximum Exposure, but I think that was just pure speculation. DLS already has a WR transfer coming in Jack Wangler; haven't seen anything about York making a move.
Absolute speculation based on the Max Exposure relationship. Csont'e attends Chandler Park Academy which is the old Harper Woods Notre Dame facility which would suggect he lives close to DeLasalle. Just wild unsubstantiated speculation.
I'm travelling this week so I haven't been able to keep up with the board. Its incredible how Hoke and company seem to get to the sleepers before the other coaches. York looks like he could be tremendous.
"Many will say that it is still a fan's obligation to support these players. I implore you to reconsider. I beg of you to support these players by putting pressure on those who are destroying them." - Genuinely Sarcastic
Over at Tremendous -- click here -- there's this quote:
The coaches were another major reason I felt comfortable with Michigan as well. Great coaches.
Love these coaches. They're the genuine deal.
My only complaint ... my only complaint ... is there was no mention of Coach Funk. Coach Funk has some magic mojo working with recruits. I refuse to believe he didn't have a hand in this. I imagine Hoke saying this: "Listen, I got one word for ya ... Funk. Got that? Funk." And the recruit saying, "Got it, Coach ... where do I sign!?"
+ Can get open with nice shifty moves
+ Ability to adjust to the ball in the air
+ Attacking the ball/not waiting for it to come to him
+ Aggressiveness when fighting for the ball
+ Hands are extremely soft
+ Done big things in camp against big competition
- Improving YAC
Under the "Needs Work" items -- coaching, and coaching.
The nice thing about "strength" as an area for improvement is that it's probably the easiest to correct (and one that almost every incoming kid needs to work on, to some extent). Unless he's even better than we think, he'll redshirt as a frosh and come out with some extra bulk and polish as a RS frosh once guys like Jackson, Dileo and Gallon graduate.
As for YAC, strength will help with that, but so will having a QB who can put a ball in the right spot to run after the catch. It's tough to get YAC when you stop and jump for half of your catches.
This commitment reminds me a lot of Shawn Conway, minus the meltdown. He's a WR that no one had heard of from a lightly scouted school with a PG recruit teammate. Conway had little hype from his junior season, but showed up at camps as a big, athletic, ball hawking WR that Michigan offered relatively early.
Obviously, the Conway thing didn't work out, but if it weren't for grades I think he could have been a really good WR for us.
I rarely forget about commits, even if they never play for Michigan. Somehow I had an "oh wow! I remember him" type moment. Whatever happened to Conway?
“True loyalty is that quality of service that grows under adversity and expands in defeat. Any street urchin can shout applause in victory, but it takes character to stand fast in defeat. One is noise — the other, loyalty.”
I thought we were pretty good for SDE at the moment. Heitzman is already in line behind Roh, Godin and Wormley are tweeners sitting more on the End side of their progression to the middle right now, and Strobel seems like a monster in the making. After Roh graduates Black might move outside again too if Pipkins and Henry work out better than any of the freshman ends do.
We're decent at SDE, but we could stand to take one more guy. You don't really want to skip a year at a position like that, because it rotates a lot, and none of the SDEs we have after Roh have seen a college field yet.
Definitely this. Even though Michigan filled in a lot on the D-line last year, the depth above the freshmen is pretty lacking (LINK), and by bringing in a player in the '13 class Michigan can potentially spread some depth across three graduating classes ('12 guys who don't redshirt, '12 guys who redshirt, '13 recruit presumably redshirting). On either line, having extra bodies is always a plus.