It's great... to be...
(can't finish til tomorrow night at roughly 7:00 EST)
After a long, strange recruitment, FL RB Demetrius Hart is (finally) committed to become a Michigan Wolverine.
|4*, #9 RB||4*, 5.9, #1 All-Purpose RB||4*, 80, #9 RB|
Hart is in the running for this year's "Marvin Robinson/Ricardo Miller Memorial Underrated Award," as the prospect that Michigan fans get really excited about early in the process, only to become disappointed when the recruiting services don't agree. He's still a four-star prospect, most likely, but that's a far cry from the National Top 10, where it seemed like Hart would end up.
On the Orlando Sentinel's Central Florida Top 100, he's fluctuated from anywhere between #2 and #14, and is currently #4. The big board provides the following brief comment:
Has all the moves and the grades
Both positives, in this guy's humble e-pininon. There's a little more detail on the Sentinel's profile page for Hart:
Hart is a playmaker in every sense of the word and will likely set the school's record for all-time leading rusher this season [ed: He did, along with records in single season touchdowns and career touchdowns]. Hart is a running back/receiver/return-specialist for the Panthers.
Some of Hart's disappointing rating can be attributed to his size, which doesn't translate to the running back position at the college level:
Despite his size Hart has owned central Florida the last two years.
That, of course, didn't stop him from getting offers to play either RB or slot from a number of top programs (about which more later). In an interview with ThaRinger.com, Hart broke down his game a little bit:
“Basically, a lot of schools when they recruit me, they recruit me for kick returner, punt returner, things like that but I also play running back. I’m more of an outside runner but I can run up the middle. I can do it all. I’ll put my head down and run through some people, so I can do a little bit of both.”
“I think my strengths are I can see the whole field. I can read a defense real well, watch a lot of film and I have speed so I can get around the outside or I can get through holes. I know how to be patient and wait on things like for blocks to happen and stuff like that. I think one of my weaknesses are just trying to get those extra few yards and taking that contact. I know as a running back you shouldn’t do that too many times, just try to preserve yourself and also just depending on my O-line to be there. I’m pretty good with reading the blocks so sometimes I kind of get ahead of them. Sometimes I see what they don’t see and I try to make a play on it, so that’s what I’m going to try and work on this spring.”
ThaRinger also gives its opinion on Hart:
He’s a smooth athlete with good speed and acceleration and he changes direction as good as anybody. He is also much more physical than his size would indicate. He definitely doesn’t shy away from contact. But perhaps his best attribute is his vision and he admits that when asked what his strengths are and what he would like to work on to continue his development.
He's versatile, excelling from the tailback position, as a receiver out of the backfield, and in the return game.
His coach provides a short-but-sweet comment on Hart:
"Dee is a student, and he's a tremendous competitor. There's a whole lot to like about him."
Scout.com talent evaluator Bill Greene echoes the coach's sentiments:
"Hart's physical ability, speed and quickness, are easily identified, but after watching him for two days there is much more to this impressive athlete," said Scout.com recruiting analyst Bill Greene. "His leadership ability, infectious attitude, and desire to win far outshine his impressive physical gifts. Demetrius Hart is a winner, on and off the field. He will be an outstanding addition to whichever college he chooses."
That drive for success has shown itself in the weight room, where he's packed on weight to become more of an every-down back:
Hart has been working hard this off-season. He has added 18 pounds since this time last year.
“My playing weight last year was 170 pounds. I have actually gotten faster. My quickness is the same. It’s just God given.”
Tying it all together: Shifty running back prospect with great hips who could also project to slot receiver or cornerback. Very good (but not great) speed, good balance, and improving ability to pound the ball inside.
Think of any football power, and there's a damn good chance they offered Hart. That includes the last two national champions, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson, Georgia... the list goes on. His impressive offer list says what should be obvious by now: this kid is a Big Deal.
As his recruitment wound down, he had several "final" lists of schools. Alabama, Auburn, and Florida started the party, with Florida replaced by Michigan shortly thereafter. Auburn dropped off the list, but resurfaced about a month ago.
Hart has been a highly productive player in each of his seasons at Dr. Phillips High School. As a sophomore, he ran 111 times for 758 yards (6.83 ypc) and 16 touchdowns. He also played in the return game and was a cornerback on defense.
Hart is the all-time leader at Dr. Phillips in just about every rushing and scoring category. His junior stats include a game that he missed completely, and one for which he was injured and missed the fourth quarter.
Somehow I didn't managed to find exact junior year stats, but he gained about 2,000 yards rushing, receiving, and returning, and scored 20 total touchdowns. Five of those touchdowns came in the return game, and at least three came receiving. Hart split carries with 2010 Colorado State signee Marvin Ford. He was named 1st-Team All-Central Florida and 2nd-Team All-State.
Hart has been even more productive this season(!), with 813 all-purpose yards on 89 touches (9.13 yard per touch) through just four games. Much, much more detail on his season in next week's Friday Night Lights post.
FAKE 40 TIME
Rivals credits Hart with a 4.43 40-yard dash time, and Scout says 4.50, both of which are fast but plausible (and therefore no fun). ESPN is even less bullish, pegging him in the 4.65 range.
Hart is known as a speedster, but not a blazer, so all these times range from realistic to pessimistic. I have no choice but to dole out just a single FAKE.
Here's his junior year:
There's also video available from the Nike Gridiron Kings 7-on-7.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Hart plans to enroll early, which gives him a better opportunity to contribute on the field early in his career. However, in his freshman year, Michigan will still have a bunch of running backs on the roster in senior Michael Shaw, redshirt junior Mike Cox, junior Vincent Smith, and sophomore Stephen Hopkins. That means carries will be limited, but Hart might be able to find the field in other ways.
With his receiving and returning abilities, there's a darn good chance that he'll be a starter or major contributor on special teams, and he could see some time in the slot. Couple that with a handful of carries in Michigan's stacked backfield, and it's not hard to see Hart get some good PT as a true freshman. However, with Michigan's depth at all of those positions, it's not necessary for Hart to play much as a freshman, unless the coaches want him to get his feet wet for the future. He could redshirt that season, then have a chance to play extensively the next year.
Hart's talent may be too much to keep off the field. He will probably get shuffled in during his true freshman year, become a big part of the rotation as a sophomore, and then have the opportunity to star as a junior and senior. As with Steve Slaton before him, Hart could become a Heisman contender before leaving Rich Rodriguez's program.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
The depth shown above is an indication that Michigan doesn't have a huge need for running backs in the class of 2011. If the coaches find another running back that they really like, they might take one (maybe Thomas Rawls?), but with 11 commits already in a class that should only go to about 22, the spots will likely be used elsewhere.
Hart's Dr. Phillips High School has put out plenty of talent in the past few years (Kenny Shaw of Florida State and a trio of Colorado State signees in the class of 2010, a trio of D-1 players in the previous class), and that trend looks to continue into the future.
Hart's commitment may not have an effect on Alabama commit S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, the #1 defensive back prospect in the cass of 2011, but the Wolverines are looking at several other teammates, including WR Chris Gallon and S Roderick Ryles. Michigan is also looking at 2012 QB Nick Patti, whose father is influential in the Dr. Phillips community. Hart's commitment could solidify the Dr. Phillips pipeline that Ricardo Miller helped start (prior to his move to Ann Arbor).
It's great... to be...
(can't finish til tomorrow night at roughly 7:00 EST)
It's officially high noon at the MGoCorral.
All this time I thought he was a long snapper!
Oh well, welcome and Go Blue Dee.
I think that he'll be the starter no later than the middle of next year barring injury, academic trouble, etc etc. Denard's explosion, some element of surprise, and crappy opposing defenses have hidden the one significant weakness that this offense has -- tailback. Demetrius eliminates that. Even though we need defense, I think that this is our most important recruit of the class.
i think we already have solid RBs with shaw and smith, but i think Dee adds a better dimension of pass-catching. also remember that DRob only has two years left, so we need good runners. not sure if Devin is a great runner, so maybe the RB recruits will need to pick up the slack.
we are adding depth which is great.. go blue!
If he is even half as good as the last Hart to wear Maize and Blue, then we just scored BIG TIME! Go Blue!
If he stays at WVU, he does not get players like Dee Hart and Devin Gardner.
The sky is the limit for RichRod's O with 4 and 5 stars starting to replace 2 and 3 stars.
Now if we can just do something about the D . . .
He did get Noel Devine.
Yeah, but Devine came with some baggage. Hart doesn't.
thats too funny Tim! Great work, love how Dee talks about watching film and his vision. Lets see Dee sees a hole were Lewan just cleared two donkeys, Hart waits patiently...dilithium speed has taken over Hart, there he goes is TD! Welcome to A2 Demetrius Hart, next up is Anthony Zettel or Avery Walls. Scary to think what this class could finish up with, just keep winning baby!
I have been talking to Avery about Michigan. He seems open, but Oregon could present some competition for us. Still think we have a good chance at landing him.
Drunk as hell right now. Welcome to the fold, Dee...
Welcome to the family Dee, we needed you. Just like I told everyone, he pulled a Will Campbell at the end. This offense will be even more electric now. Come on Dee, bring HaHa with you!
Welcome Dee - this is hopefully the start of a great weekend. I'm packed up for a early tailgate on the golf course and hope to see our Offense leave Sparty in the dust. The train is starting to roll....
You'll do big things in Ann Arbor.
1 Dee Hart - Check! WOOOOOOOO!
2 A Denarded Spartan fanbase -
3 Muppets for Everyone! -
...unless muppets are an accepted form of currency on this board. wait...they are? even better.
this news is damn skippy.
In the fortunate event that we beat MSC tomorrow, this board is going to explode...
You're going to love this place: you have teammates for life, and a devoted fan base who will promise to stop obsessing over every move you make if that's what you'd like us to do
going to dust of my mike hart shirt.
With Hart's single commitment, he moved Michigan's overall recruiting class from 33 up into the top 25 at 23 according to Rivals. 10 spots caused by one recruit. Gotta love it.
Pulling in a #1 rated recruit at any position is a jolt of adrenaline. Though this recruit was more of a jolt of dilithium. Welcome aboard Demetrius!
on that bitch.
Welcome Dee! Can't wait to see you in the winged helmet!
Welcome Dee. Feel free to bring some of your friends up to Ann Arbor with you.
I would very much like to meet those girls in your avatar.
It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine!!!!
Will provide needed quality on the RB depth chart and can rotate to slot as well. Great pick-up M!
OK, I'm real happy we got Dee, and obviously he's a great prospect, but the "like Steve Slaton before him..." remarks can wait. Hart, "could become a Heisman contender"? There's no guarantee he'll even beat out the other backs! It's amazing how Tim and others on this board will rant about the "3 star mafia" and the virtues in trusting the coaches and then immediately fall all over themselves to slob on the knob of a high four star. In case you've forgotten, Tim, the last running back we got with equal or greater guru approval was Kevin Grady. Cool the jets.
So happy that you are here!
i was waiting with baited breath. i feel no one guy means that much to any program. but, boy, does his skill set fit with this program. great choice Dee. welcome aboard.
So happy to steal this guy from my in-laws, big UF fans in Orlando who craved to get this kid on board for Suburban Meyer. See you in Dallas, Satan!
but he's carrying the ball in the wrong arm on too many of those plays. that'll need to be corrected.
matter when nobody is close to making a tackle on him? Keep the negative remarks to another blog...
Sorry ye with 60 points, but negative thoughts are allowed here, and you don't have the power to decide what can and cannot be posted.
I'm hoping by the end of next year Dee is moving from the backfield to slot and vice versa, similar to what Oregon is doing with their spread and shread.
Welcome to the Michigan family Dee. You will soon really find out about the Michigan Difference! Go Blue!
I'm sure you will enjoy playing in our spread offense with DROB!
However, in his freshman year, Michigan will still have a bunch of running backs on the roster in senior Michael Shaw, redshirt junior Mike Cox, junior Vincent Smith, and sophomore Stephen Hopkins.
Geez, is Touissant out for next year already?
+1 good sir.
who could also project to slot receiver or cornerback
I know somewhere he's guaranteed PT if he wants it .....
All of the Big Ten defensive coordinators have to racking their brains as to how they are going to stop our offense that is just going to keep getting better over the next couple of years.
was the 3.6 GPA!
Sounds like we got us a Michigan Man