mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
Yes, I have a prepared Hello post for somebody. No, it is not IL TE Ian Bunting. Michigan was thought to be trailing in his recruitment, but a visit this weekend flipped the kid unexpectedly and now he's all committed and such($). Here is a picture.
The 6'7" Bunting is a four star to 247 and ESPN (where he's 113th), a three star to Scout and Rivals. He plays exclusively wide receiver in high school but everyone is recruiting him as a Funchess-style flex TE. A more informative update is coming.
|3*, #17 TE||3*, #14 TE||4*, #5 TE, #114 overall||4*, #11 TE|
A wide split in opinion probably due to the fact that Bunting is a 6'6", 215 pound kid that requires some projection if he's going to be an effective college player. That uncertainty leads to three-star rankings, especially when Bunting missed a big chunk of his sophomore and junior years with injuries. I couldn't find details on his sophomore year; his junior issue was a sprained ankle. He only played four games.
That didn't matter to college coaches, who were hurdling over each other to offer the guy. Not only did Bunting have the big three in the Midwest he also got a USC offer(!), especially impressive given their restricted class size. Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and many others jumped on board as well. ND's Scout site thought Bunting was their top target($) at TE. Mwa ha ha.
It was a little tough to find scouting out there; almost all of it came from 247 or Bunting's own mouth as he responded to the "scout yourself" question over and over again. Injuries, I guess.
What is out there emphasizes size and hands and routes. Rivals' take from a January camp:
4. IAN BUNTING, TE, HINSDALE (ILL.) CENTRAL
We have seen Bunting run at wide receiver in the past, but the 6-foot-7, 215-pound prospect has started to accept that he is headed to the tight end position in college and he performed well there on Monday. Bunting's speed creates mismatches with linebackers, and he complements that by being an outstanding route runner who possesses soft hands. His strength at the point of attack was better than expected, and he did a great job of getting off the line of scrimmage in one-on-one drills.
247 caught him a few times, mostly at Core 6 events: Wiltfong caught him at a Cincinnati event:
4. Ian Bunting: It’s a talented a year at tight end in the state of Illinois and the 6-foot-6, 210-pound Hinsdale Central standout may end up being the best one. He was dominant during 7-on-7 play, running away from the smaller defensive backs. Bunting has really good ball skills and catches everything thrown his way.
That #4 is no shame when Jamarco Jones, Clifton Garrett, and Malik McDowell are at the same event. An earlier camp:
10. Ian Bunting, TE, Hinsdale (Il.) Central
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Bunting continued to show that he is a sure handed flex tight end prospect. He ran precise routes in the short passing game, and caught the ball with soft hands and arms extended against attached coverage on numerous occasions. Bunting … was the top performer of the tight end prospects.
Hinsdale (Ill.) Central receiver/tight end Ian Bunting stands in at 6-foot-7, 190 pounds with a frame to really fill out. Despite his size, he does a great job of sinking his hips and getting in and out of his breaks. In agility drills, he was better than a lot of the smaller receivers. .
While the Core 6 White team struggle to find a rhythm on offense, Hinsdale (Ill.) Central four-star tight end Ian Bunting was one of the more impressive players there, as he can beat you in many ways in the passing game. Short passes and over the top, Bunting has fantastic hands and ball skills while running very well.
Bunting is a big high school receiver who will make a move to tight end in college and could be a highly-productive receiving target in that role. His strength at this stage is very much as a receiver and he displays very good hands with the ability to consistently extend and snatch the ball away from his body. Possesses good body control and can adjust and grab tough, off-target passes, and demonstrates the ability to pluck effortlessly on the run. He will attack the ball in the air, high-point it and shows he is willing to take a hit to make the catch. Can track the ball vertically well and make the over-the-shoulder grab.
Hands, hands, hands. Coaches' eyes must bug out at this fact:
How would you describe yourself as a player?
"I'm definitely a mismatch [threat]. I can take on a cornerback and I'd be a foot taller than him, but also, a lot of kids that are my size aren't quick but I've got really good feet actually for my size and great hands too. I've been playing a bunch of different sports all my life, so it's really helped me become a better athlete all around and keep my agility at a high level even though I'm a lot bigger and taller than a lot of the other receivers that'll be out there. I also have great leaping ability and big hands and feet. I wear XXXL gloves -- although I might have to go XXXXL next year cause they're getting kind of small (laughter) -- and have size 17 feet."
He told an OU site that he plays corner on defense. Yup.
So… this is good. A 6'7" guy with skillet-sized hands, body control, and not-quite WR athleticism who is already a good route-runner is going to be awesome once he's a linebacker-flattening weight. Can I make a sleeper of the year prediction on a guy who's 10 months away from signing and is four stars on two sites? No? Well, fine. Guy seems badly underrated, is what I'm saying.
Bunting's offers side with the more impressive rankings. Aside from Michigan he also had offers from Notre Dame (that very early), Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oregon, and others.
Hinsdale Central hasn't sent Michigan any prospects in the Rivals era. They did send Jack Allen to Michigan State a couple years ago; Allen's brother Brian just committed to the Spartans. Awkward.
Bunting only had four games last year, in which he caught 16 passes for 412 yards($). Over 100 yards per game and 26 per catch? Okay, we'll take that.
FAKE 40 TIME
Bunting lists his 40 at 4.63 on Hudl, which I award two FAKES out of five for a 6'6" kid.
His abbreviated junior year:
There's also an interview with Chantel Jennings:
Bunting also has a Hudl profile with separate blocking and receiving highlights.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Bunting should have an opportunity to redshirt with Devin Funchess, AJ Williams, and Jake Butt all on the roster for at least two more years once he arrives. He'll use that year to pack on weight, probably cool his heels for another year as Funchess and Williams play their senior campaigns, and then emerge into Funchess 2.0—maybe 3.0. Michigan is going to have no shortage of huge targets at TE in the near future.
A further prediction: if Bunting hits the camp circuit and stays healthy as a senior he'll jump everywhere save ESPN, who already projects him as a near top-100 player. He's got the profile of a guy who blows up what with the injuries and college coach trident fight over him.
The injury thing is probably just bad luck. Anyone can acquire the dread high ankle sprain, and that sort of thing doesn't develop into a chronic thing often, if at all. I get why a couple of the sites are cautious with his ranking as a result, but it's more that they don't have as much data on him than fear he won't be able to stay in one piece.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
With two tight ends in each of the last two classes and a smaller group this year, Michigan is probably done at TE for 2014. Maybe they would still take a Helm or a Mark Andrews, but only late, at which point those guys are likely off the board.
A side note not just in this class but on Michigan's recruiting in general: this is another guy who Michigan has come from behind on very quickly. 247's prediction crystal ball was 100% ND until today, when Steve Wiltfong got wind of the change and got a flip in just before the news dropped. For a certain sort of kid, the Michigan visit just about ends their recruitment. Bunting's take($) from Allen Trieu's article:
"When I went there and visited and got to spend a lot of time with the coaches, players on the team and got to spend the night with them. It felt like home. It felt like the right place for me. My parents came with me and they both loved it and the coaches were so nice and welcoming and it really had a good sense of family there which is one of my favorite parts about game of football is brotherhood and the bond with the teammates and could definitely sense that it was there. Not just with the kids, but coaches too. I got to meet all the coaches' families and it was just the right place for me."
That's how you snatch a kid who compares himself to Tyler Eifert($) out from ND's nose.
Snatching a kid like Bunting from Notre Dame and Ohio State was a nonexistent occurrence under Rodriguez and frankly pretty rare under Carr, too—remember Charlie Weis's inexplicable winning streak over Michigan? That's done. Ohio State's winning their share of battles, but four of Michigan's six commits so far this year are head to head wins over both ND and OSU—everyone save Mone and Speight. (With Michigan hot on the trail of McDowell, Hand, and Lawrence Marshall I'm assuming Brady Pallante's grayshirt doesn't get upgraded.)
I love the caliber of TE's hoke is going after. I have been watching Stanford play 2-3 tight end sets for the last few years, and they have just been eating up the other PAC 12 schools.
Awesome, it's great to welcome a fellow Hinsdale Central student to Michigan!!! Can't wait to see you in maize and blue Ian, and good luck next year as well!
"@TomVH: Michigan has 6 ESPN 150 commitments, the rest of the B1G has four combined"
Maybe Hoke should sit Urban down and give him a presentation on elite recruiting in the Big 10. He might need some pointers...
Your post has so much win in it.
plus: HE'S A TREE OMG GUYS A TREE IS POSTING
What you don't know is that, though I might be a tree, I'm a tree with a face. Something along the lines of http://mgoblog.com/content/ten-most-embarrassing-michigan-items-you-can-own
This makes it easier for me to post than most trees, though obviously I must use voice recognition software rather than type, so I apologize in advance for any transcription errors.
Good idea, but Dantonio would just butt in and ruin the whole thing.
...ESPN 150 this year...or shall i say the ESPN 150 are big fans of Michigan!
Obivously ESPN is the most accurate recruiting service. This year, at least.
He said he had a hello post prepared NOT for Bunting. Another commitment soon?
recruits in pairs.....,,
There are Mo Ways then one to read into that.
On the other Hand, I bet you two gold Bars, a pack of pickled Peppers and a signed autographed photo of Andie McDowell that someone from the West Phalls to Michigan.
Your comment is the reason we need real upvotes.
A lot of puns Peppered throughout.
I don't get it.
I don't think it'sa Ways out there to say we might see Mo commitments soon.
You can never have too many giant receivers.
UM goes with a two-TE set with Funchess and Bunting. How do you defend that? Too many options!
As much as I like the Hinsdale Central Red Devil Helmet's Horn's, I think a set of maize wings might be just what the doctor ordered.
I hope Ian likes the idea of playing in front of 115,000 people in the greatest stadium in all the land.
On what hopefully will be one of the best decisions of your life!
It's done. It is. : )
Welcome Ian! Great news. This kid will be a terror when he fills out.
I see us in the future running an offense that features 4-WR/TE, all of which exceed 6'3".
In college, there are few teams with a secondary tall enough to match up well with that.
It will take another year or so, but we are building the type of elite talent / depth that has allowed teams like Alabama, USC and Ohio to go to BCS bowls year after year after year. Aside from WR (where we aren't doing poorly so far in this class), I don't see a position on our roster that will not be loaded with 2-3 deap 4* or higher talent.
Shane's gonna win a Heisman. Sh*t, Shane's sister could probably win a Heisman with this much talent around her.
Are you ready to flourish under incredible coaching? Enjoy your time at Michigan!
....to hell with Hinsdale Central!
As if any of us know what LT is.
And David Hasselhoff.
Who does Hinsdale Central have?
In other news: Watch the second play in Bunting's highlight video. Be thrilled. Be enthralled. Be THRALLED, baby!
John Lynch grew up in Hinsdale - moved before high school...
LT : Ohio State :: Hinsdale Central : Michigan
And just no.
I will say, the better comparison for LT would be probably be Notre Dame.
Oh, I didn't mean that comparison as school types. I meant that LT is Hinsdale Central's biggest rival. From Central's perspective that comparison works really well. Hinsdale South is the Michigan State rivalry in that analogy.
I think this is what you meant:
LT : Hinsdale Central :: Ohio State : Michigan
Why are we discussing Chicago area high schools that 99% of people on this blog had never heard of before Ian Bunting committed today? I could care less about LT or Hinsdale Central if it makes you all feel any better
...which means you actually do have some amount of care for Chicago area high schools. If not, then wouldn't have any care that you could lessen if you wanted to.
FYI, IB is dominating my high school (LT) in the first picture. That's why I brought it up.
As a Hinsdale township high school (central) grad - that's a great analogy....
What, you don't like that picture of Ian at the top? Go Devils! Congrats Ian!
So will the coeds'.
You can see from the interview with Chantel Jennings that Ian's hands are enormous.
This kid being from Illinois, it's pretty clear, he is the seed of Abraham Lincoln if ever there was one.