"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.
Though there's still plenty of time to recruit for the 2012 class, Michigan's coaches are continuing their in-state recruiting dominance into the future. 2013 MI QB Shane Morris has become Michigan's first commit in the sophomore(!) class, he told Tom tonight.
First, the size. The sites (except ESPN, which - big shocker - doesn't have any 2013 prospects in their database) agree he's 6-3, and though 24/7 Sports estimates his weight at 190, Rivals and ESPN are within a pound of each other at 183 and 182, respectively. So, 6-3, 183 it is.
The HALOLs you see above are not due to the presence - or lack - of any particular talent, but rather because the recruiting sites are about a year (almost exactly in Rivals' case) from ranking 2013 prospects. We'll start the evaluations in chronological order, starting with a Detroit National Underclassmen Combine following Morris's freshman year:
Morris, 6'1.5 174, won the 9th grade MVP. He had a 28 inch vertical, 8'7 broad jump, ran a 4.60 shuttle...
QB Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle) was in a class of his own. The 6-1, 174-pounder has a sensational arm, great vision, moves his feet well and carries himself like a pro. Talent wise, he is far beyond his age group and already has top-notch abilities.
Morris wasn’t the stud quarterback that I expected. It was the first time I’ve seen him. He has a decent arm and he runs the offense well–particularly for a sophomore. I don’t think he’s the Div. 1 lock that many fans are proclaiming. He’s not even the best in the CHSL Central. But, he’s only a sophomore and he will get better.
Though Prepseer is a hilariously biased Michigan State slappy, that report was long before Morris committed, so there's no bias present.
"Shane, for a young kid, has a really great arm," said Scout.com Midwest regional manager Allen Trieu. "I saw him as a freshman and that ball came out of his hand with great spin and velocity then... There's still a ways to go, but he has a lot of talent. He'll be a kid that gets attention from all over, not just the schools within a close proximity."
And his high school coach:
[De La Salle Coach Paul] Verska added: "He makes great decisions with the football, he has a very strong arm, and he is learning and getting better every day. As long as he continues to do that I think great things will keep happening for him."
Sound Mind, Sound Body Foundation's program director weighs in, primarily on how experienced he is for such a young guy:
"He has really been exposed to a lot more than your average 10th grader has," said program director and founder Curtis Blackwell. "He plays in one of the toughest leagues in the state in the Catholic League and he has a great coaching staff at DeLaSalle. At the same time he comes from a very strong family background where his mom is very influential and his dad is a middle school coach that coached him in football. He has had a great foundation. Then since the ninth grade he has been working out and a part of all of our programming here in the inner-city."
So what has Shane gotten out of the SMSB camps?
"I felt like it helped me out tremendously," he said. "It helped me out with my confidence. I feel I am a leader and so I'm going to lead everyone. That's what you're supposed to do as a quarterback, supposed to be the main leader on the field, and that's what I feel like I'm doing with this team."
At the Badgersport 7-on-7 in Pittsburgh, he was named "Best Young Arm:"
Not only was Morris an effective passer over the weekend, but he exudes the confidence and leadership you look for out of the quarterback position.
"[I]t was obvious he had a big arm to go with his frame. He has good mechanics as well, and I was doubly surprised to find out that the biggest kid on the field was only a member of the Class of 2013."
"He reminded me a little of how it was with Gunner Kiel and Zeke Pike at these events last year... Gunner and Zeke are going to be Top 5 quarterbacks this year, and while I’m not ready to say Morris is going to be there next year, he certainly has all of the tools to be."
Morris grew up a Michigan fan and modeled his game after Tom Brady (I'm sure most Michigan fans approve). It's so early that it's tough to know a whole lot about him, but "arm strength," "size," and "potential" are clearly going to be in his corner. Also, he's a lefty, so I'm fully in support (before all you evil righties wipe us out).
Michigan offered Shane on March 28th. He also held offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Syracuse, and Toledo. If that sounds light on the offers, keep in mind this kid can't sign with a school for almost two years. Waiting to commit would have seen plenty of top schools with pro-style offenses jump into the fray. He had interest but no offers from Stanford and Tennessee.
If you're into Mark Dantonio schadenfreude (and you really should be), there's a story on Rivals's Michigan State affiliate about how Shane is at the top of MSU's list for 2013 ($, info in header).
Scout says 1139 yards. That's good-not-great, but... dude's a sophomore, and almost certainly a first-year starter. It would be a 130.44 passer efficiency by the NCAA calculation.
FAKE 40 TIME
Rivals is the premium site providing the time, and it's a good one for a pocket passer: 4.63. They also credit him with a 4.6 shuttle time. For a kid who's not expected to be much of a runner in college, that seems a little FAKE, to the tune of three out of five.
Shane Morris is going to be a really good football player. However, he's got plenty of time to develop into his potential.
When he's a freshman, Denard Robinson will be a senior, and Devin Gardner will be a junior (or redshirt sophomore). Russell Bellomy will be a sophomore (or redshirt junior). With three QBs with at least a year in the system before Morris, he's got a chance to take a redshirt year.
Following that redshirt year, Devin Gardner will likely take over for Denard as the starter. Following Devin's graduation (he could even leave school after his redshirt junior year and still graduate), there will be a hot competition between Bellomy and Morris for the job, and I predict Morris will win it.
Let's try this again. When he's a freshman, Devin Gardner will be a senior or redshirt junior. Russell Bellomy will be a junior or redshirt sophomore. With two capable QBs on the roster (and likely another a year ahead in the class of 2012 - see below), Morris will redshirt, then either compete with Bellomy and 2012 Prospect X to take over for a Gardner that leaves early for the NFL, or gets another year of seasoning to do the same with Gardner's swan song in maize-and-blue.
He has NFL size, he has an NFL arm, and he'll be playing in an NFL offense. I think there's no question that Morris is the next in a long line (briefly interrupted) of successful pocket slingers at Michigan. All-American honors are not out of the question, and an NFL future is likely.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
More than what it means for the 2013 class (about which we currently know very little), is what Morris's commitment means for the 2012 class. He probably committed to Michigan with the knowledge that the coaching staff will not pursue a highly-rated passer for next February.
The coaching staff could take a lesser-rated guy, but it almost makes sense - with a numbers crunch already looming in May the year before Signing Day - to not take one at all, opening a slot for other positions. Shane told Tom that the coaches are thinking otherwise, but his commitment certainly opens that door down the road.
Wow, kudos to you for actually having a commitment post ready for a kid who might not even be old enough to have a driver's license. I was sure this was one where we'd have to wait for an informative update.
very happy to have picked up Morris, looks like a real talent. BUT before we go announcing him as the #1 QB in the country, lets just look at the past few classes and see that we tend to overvalue our early commitments. Lets just sit back and be happy that we got a talented kid without putting to great of expectations on a sophomore,
Agreed. M-Rob, Devin Gardner (who did end up a high 4 star to be fair), and Ricardo Miller were all supposed to absolute locks for that 5th star. I don't even think Miller got a 4th star on Rivals. This kid is very young yet, we'll see how it plays out.
Theres a lot of hype, justifiably, about a sophomore who can perform at an elite level on varsity, but it doesn't necessarily translate to the next level. Some guys just develop physically faster than others.
Then again, Lebron James looked pretty good as a high school freshman and he's doing OK...
This kids film is extremely impressive for a high school sophomore. He would be a high 3 star this year in my opinion. There are a few things he can work on obviously, but the sky is the limit for this kid. Let's hope he can get in the ears of some 2012 WR recruits *Dorial Green* (wishful thinking I know). Great job by the coaching staff.
Agree. Kid's got a long way to go physically (can he even drive yet?), and his stats aren't eye popping, but geez, the kid's only a sophomore and most of those throws were just beautiful. In stride and everything. And he's got some mobility, so that's a plus as well. I think he will be up there when the rankings come, especially if his stats increase.
Mgoblog and spartan tailgate really show the difference between the fan bases. When MSU gets a good commit (I guess that dates back to last year) we dont constantly insult MSU, we just move on. I wanna make an account just so I can post this:
Mgoblog and spartan tailgate really shows the difference between the fan bases. When MSU gets a good commit (I guess that dates back to last year) we dont constantly insult MSU, we just move on. I wanna make an account just so I can post this:
They've really got nothing else to say over there. They went 11-1 while Michigan went 7-5 and they're still something like 0-8 against Brady Hoke and Michigan on the recruiting trail. This is as good as it will get for them. They're doomed.
Also, that sparty topic reads like this to me:
Rudy watches inspirational movies about Shawn Hunwick
I went to HS with him so I know this well. He got in the very first game of the year. Henne was struggling and he got one series, short hopped a wide open guy on third and medium, and then came out. He also got in garbage time a few times. He then left, played baseball, and now starts for the Padres.
Interesting fun fact, Clayton was on the top 10 plays on SC because he played in a HS homerun derby and busted out the window of a moving car on one of his HR's.
I've been called the songbird of my generation, by those who have heard me. THAT GOOD
I doubt he was the last southpaw QB, but Rick Leach was famous for not only being a starter for four consecutive years but also for being left-handed. There was concern at the beginning of his freshman year that the receivers would not be able to catch his passes because the ball would be spinning the opposite way. (It was a long time ago. I can't remember whether there was also concern at the time that the world was flat.)
Anyway, Leach provides all the precedent you need for a southpaw QB at Michigan.