“The player development is the main thing I like (about Michigan),” Williams said. “You can see that they develop their players. They get them in the gym and they work them hard. And their hard work pays off.”
"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."
Though Farmington Hill Harrison has traditionally been a Michigan State feeder, MI TE Devin Funchess has gone against the grain and committed to Michigan. He also told Tom he'll try to recruit his high-profile teammates to join the maize-and-blue fold.
4*, #6 TE
4*, 90, NR TE
We start, as we always do, with the measurements. Usually Scout is the over-estimator in prospect height, but this time it's Rivals that breaks the 6-4 consensus to credit Funchess at all of 6-5. In the weight department, it's 24/7 Sports that's not in complete agreement with the other sites. They say he clocks in at 215 pounds, whereas the others agree he's 205.
Since none of the premium sites have evaluations of his game (for the record, 24/7 Sports has ranked 10 TEs without getting to Funchess), let's dive straight into the newspaper articles. Funchess was one third of a Sam Webb profile a couple months back:
"(Funchess) was a surprise to us," [FHH Coach John] Herrington admitted. "He played much better than I thought he would and he is really developing. He really has dedicated himself. As a JV player I didn't know if he was going to go that hard or not, but he has. He is going to be a great prospect when he puts on weight. He can be a tight end, an H-back, a split end. He has big hands. I'm not sure what he's going to run the 40 in, but I think he could be around 4.6 or 4.7."
Scout's Allen Trieu also chimed in for the article:
"Devin Funchess has super upside. He's tall, can run for a kid of that size and can go up and make spectacular catches. I'd like to see him add some weight and keep working on his consistency. I think he will do those things... I think they're all BCS level players and among the top 10-15 players in the state. They're very talented. I think all three have a chance to be impact guys in college."
"I am an explosive player that will go get the ball where ever you put it. I have to work on my speed and try to get it down."
Rather than worrying on his speed, he should worrying about adding good weight while maintaining what he has right now. There's also not a whole lot of talk about his hands, choosing rather to focus on size/speed combo.
On top of some MAC offers, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, and Virginia were schools that had unofficially offered Devin. That's not exactly a murderer's row, but Missouri, Michigan State, and Nebraska have all had some decent success in the recent past, and Virginia has put out some good tight ends.
All free sources seem to have fallen into the internet memory-hole, but according to Scout ($), he had 33 catches for about 800 yards as a junior. He was named Honorable Mention All-State, according to the Free Press's Tom Markowski. Going into the playoffs, he had 22 catches for 410 yards.
FAKE 40 TIME
According to his high school coach (quoted above), he's in the 4.6 to 4.7-second range in the 40-yard dash. For a 205-pound tight end, that's not too unrealistic. None of the premium sites have listed times. I'll dole out 2 FAKEs out of five.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Funchess is one skinny bro for a tight end. Of course, he has another year of high school to put on weight, but he'll probably enter college undersized for the position. I'm not sure if he's planning on enrolling early, but if he doesn't, it's unlikely he gets much playing time as a true freshman, barring a physical transformation in the next 16 months.
That means a likely redshirt (also giving him a year of separation from Chris Barnett - and possibly other 2011 prospects who could end up at the position), as he molds his body and learns the offense. Following that season, he'll work into the lineup - Brandon Moore will graduate following Devin's redshirt year - getting some time in 2-tight end sets.
As an upperclassman, Funchess strikes me as the type of guy who is definitely not a liability, and will become a solid role player. It's tough to see All-Big Ten potential when he has so much developing to do, but it's not out of the question.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan's coaching staff continues the 2012 recruiting theme of landing two players at the same position group back-to-back, as they did on offensive line and at linebacker. If AJ Williams doesn't move to offensive line (a definite possibility), the coaching staff is probably done at the position. However, I think Williams does move down (or at least become a very different type of tight end), and there's still room in the class for Ron Thompson.
Going forward, Funchess could also help Michigan's case with his high school teammates Mario Ojemudia and Aaron Bubridge. The coaching staff has a need for wideouts, and Burbridge is one of the Midwest's best. Ojemudia is a DE/LB tweener, but the staff has shown a lot of interest in him.
The biggest needs for the remainder of the recruiting class are defensive linemen, a quarterback, a wideout, and maybe a safety or two.
You seem somewhat subdued about your expecatations for Funchess, largely because of his need to bulk up I guess. However, I see that he is classed as a 4-star (if I am reading this right). I would expect more optimism for a 4-star recruit. Do you have any comment on that?
I realize that the stars are just judgments and that they represent speculation about future success on the field, not guaranties. I also understand that there is a bit of a range among 4-stars -- more than 5-stars. However, your description here just sounded more like 3-star material and I wondered whether you disagreed with the Scout and 24/7 ratings. Do you think Rivals might only give him a 3-star?
If Devin does well and works hard, I don't really care about the stars. I am just curious.
I can definitely see AJ moving to o line/d line. If not he could me a run blocking mauler at TE for us which means he could possibly play early. On the other hand we got Funchess who can be that speedy reliable option at that TE spot that we haven't had since?....I don't know when. Anyway glad to see we are back to recruiting TE's who will actually a threat to stretch the defense down the middle. Welcome to the BLUE!
If I say a duck can pull a truck, shut up and hook the sucka up!
Congrats Devin!! Welcome to the family!! GO BLUE!!
And with regards to Mr. Thompson, everything I've gathered so far(Tom Beaver) is that Michigan will still most certainly take him in this class. AJ Williams could possibly move to the OL or strictly become a blocking TE. Funchess is very versatile, he could play H-back, TE, split back or even line up as an outside WR. Still leaving room for another hybrid type in Thompson.
Honestly, if he gets scared off it's his own fault for wavering back and forth with his decision to commit. He could've been the first one in if he'd committed pre-spring game like everyone thought he would. I agree that UM will probably keep his place open though.
Denard has spent the offseason working really hard and smiling at people.
Congratulations and welcome Devin. I'm happy to see a guy from Harrison going to Michigan. This program has a lot of talent (full disclosure, I went to high school at HHS, I am biased), and I can only hope that this year will be an opportunity for the new coaching staff to establish a strong recruiting presence there.