Yes, i'll take you, you,you, and you. Oh what the heck ill take all of you.
Sam Webb just broke the news on Twitter; yes, Michigan has picked up another commit:
Columbus Marion-Franklin HS WR Jaron Dukes has pledged to #Michigan
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) February 22, 2012
LOL my life. Informative update forthcoming.
Informative Update: According to Michael Spath of The Wolverine, Dukes is the first-ever offensive skill position player from Columbus to commit to Michigan, which is pretty mind-boggling. Despite growing up in the heart of Buckeye country, Dukes actually is a lifelong Michigan fan, and he told me that he got emotional running onto the field at the Big House when he visited a couple weekends ago. Despite his trip going as well as it possibly could, he wanted to make sure he took the time to think things over and talk to his parents and coaches before coming to a decision; it appears he's thought things through.
|NR WR||NR WR||NR WR||3*, 87, #63 WR|
As you can see, Dukes is flying under the radar right now and has yet to be ranked by any of the recruiting services, though I expect that will change soon now that he's committed to Michigan [EDIT: Talk about your quickly-fulfilled predictions; 24/7 just gave Dukes a three-star rating]. Though Dukes is listed at anywhere between 6'2" and 6'5" in his recruiting profiles, recent observations peg him at a legit 6'5", 200 pounds; he's definitely the big type of wideout that Al Borges has been looking for.
Bucknuts listed Dukes as their #29 prospect in Ohio for the class of 2013, and their evaluation included this quote from scout Mark Porter ($):
“He’s the biggest wide receiver in the class. He’s not as big as TY Williams a couple of years ago. But he has great size and is useful down around the goal line. He had a nice game against Trotwood.”
In that game against Trotwood—playing against cornerback and consensus top player in Ohio, Buckeye commit Cam Burrows—Dukes tallied six catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Scout's Dave Berk was on hand for that game, and while there are questions surrounding Dukes's speed, he seems to think that won't be a big issue ($):
At 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, Dukes has the physical size Notre Dame coaches love from the wide receiver position. Besides his size, Dukes showed surprising speed during his six-catch, 173-yard two-touchdown performance.
On one of Duke’s [sic] two touchdowns, Burrows had the angle to make the stop, but Dukes showed a burst that sent him past the standout corner that already holds an early offer from the Irish.
A recent Tim Sullivan feature talked about the strength of Jaron's game—his ability to high-point the football, a la Junior Hemingway—and had a glowing quote from his head coach ($):
Whichever school he does ultimately pick will be getting a talented wideout. Standing 6-5 and weighing 197 pounds, he's a physically-imposing receiver who can use his mass to shield defenders - and make blocks on the edge. He also has the body control to high-point the ball once it's in the air, and a knack for making plays after the catch.
"He's 6-4 or 6-5 legit, 200 pounds, he runs a 4.6," said Coach Haffele. "He has great ball skills catching the ball. He's a pretty good blocker. All that god-given talent he has. And then, once you meet the kid and talk to him, that's the selling point. He's just such a great kid."
We'll see about that 4.6; Dukes himself knows that he has to work on his speed to take his game to the next level, and he told me as much when I first interviewed him before his visit:
JARON: My biggest strengths are being able to read the secondary, keeping a level head, going out there and having fun and being able to go out and catch, just catch the ball. I would love to get faster. They keep telling me speed kills, so I want to be the fastest one out there. I want to be the fastest one on the field.
As you'll see on film, Dukes is very reminiscent of Hemingway in his ability to go up and get the football. His speed doesn't stand out, though he's clearly working on changing that fact. Burner or no, he'll provide a big downfield target for Shane Morris and he should be a major weapon in the red zone.
Dukes also held offers from Illinois and Toledo while garnering interest from Cincinnati, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State; he visited OSU multiple times before reaching his decision, though he did not hold an offer.
Dukes told me he had 36 catches for 673 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.
FAKE 40 TIME
Rivals lists a 40 time of 4.6 seconds, the time his coach claims he ran. Seeing Dukes on tape, I have to give that a four FAKEs out of five; he's going to have to work on his speed, as has been said above, including by Jaron himself.
Junior highlights from ScoutingOhio:
It's difficult to get a read on his route-running from that short clip; hopefully more video surfaces in the near future, as there isn't even paywalled tape on Rivals right now.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
The evidence is flimsy indeed, but Dukes—like every receiver from the 2012 and 2013 class—is going to have every opportunity to compete for playing time right away. When Dukes arrives on campus, the Wolverines will have just six returning wideouts—Jeremy Jackson (SR), Jeremy Gallon (SR), Drew Dileo (SR), Jerald Robinson (JR), Amara Darboh (SO), and Jehu Chesson (SO)—and the only players with even comparable size are Jackson and Chesson, who both stand at 6'3".
That said, Dukes is a developmental prospect, and it seems likely he'll take a redshirt year as long as the Wolverines don't suffer attrition, especially if they can bring in a blue-chip prospect like Laquon Treadwell in the 2013 class. Dukes appears to be a late-bloomer—he told me his coaches said he "couldn't catch a cold" as a freshman—so there's a chance he makes a big leap up in the rankings and changes that opinion. With little film to go on, for now I see him as another Hemingway type; a big receiver who uses his body well and is a deep threat by virtue of his size and leaping ability, but not a burner who's going to be a steady possession receiver.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan now has 12 commits in the class of 2013, almost certainly more than half of what they'll take in a class projected to fill out at around 20-22 players. Dukes represents a player of major need at receiver, and the Wolverines will take at least one more player at the position; Treadwell seems to be the leader in the clubhouse for that spot, but Michigan has 14 other offers out to uncommitted prospects. Other positions of need include one more offensive lineman, an every-down running back, nose tackle, and depth in the back seven, specifically at linebacker (likely just one, and M can be picky) and cornerback.
Brady Hoke... I really just don't know what else there is to say about his—and his coaching staff's—effort on the recruiting trail. I've run out of platitudes, but this class is already on pace to be one of the top five—at least—in the country. It's still February. This is relatively unprecedented, but you know that already.
Yes, i'll take you, you,you, and you. Oh what the heck ill take all of you.
Can anyone clarify how this process works...
We will take one more WR and likely no more. With so many offers out, what happens if a solid WR commits first, then later a guy like Treadwell commits? I can't imagine that it's only first come first serve, but I also dont see offers being taken away from players who commited? Has this happened in the past and what is the typical procedure in this type of situation?
Normally coaches try to get certain positions of need. They chisel out X amount of spots for those. Michigan doesn't have too many at this point with all the O-Line commits. The biggest positions are probably WR and DT for 2013. The rest is depth. Michigan could use some back 7 depth on defense and perosnally I'd like to see another QB so we have more than 3 scholarship guys on roster. But certain players are too good to pass up, and you'd take guys like them over depth in some cases. Treadwell is probably one of those cases.
Recruits are being told that Michigan plans to take 3 WRs in this class, so there is still room. I think the no-scholarship-for-verbal commits thing happens in the SEC fairly regularly... there was a fair number of Alabama and LSU commits that got left at the alter this year from what I read. I've never heard of it happening in the Big Ten... but I agree, it makes you wonder if it will be a concern with so many recruits jumping on so quickly.
I wouldn't worry about his speed. If your 6'5" and going to be at least 220lbs eventually, then race horse speed isn't necessary. If he can run good routes and has good hands then a 4.6 40 is good enough. Mike Williams from USC had no problem and he looked really slow to me. He torched our butts in the rose bowl.
The two things you can't take away from a kid are speed and height. Dukes isn't fast, but damn is he tall. 6'5 in high school is 6'5 in college is 6'5 in the NFL. If he can jump up and catch a ball in HS at that height, no reason to think he can't in college, even with better DB's. Most DB's are still going to be a good 6 inches shorter than him, so if Gardner/Morris can throw it up there, I see many jump ball wins in our future.
The Next Level Football Combine in Columbus last May
He measured in at 6'4, 187.6 lbs - 4.95 40 - 4.47 Shuttle - 28.8" Vert - 106" broad jump
He was just a sophomore, and nobody at this combine was particularly fast (only three kids ran faster than 4.7), but I'm thinking 4.6 might be a bit generous.
I think we all feel 4.6 is a bit generous, but if he ran a legit 4.95 as a sophomore, the running a 4.6 in college is very realistic, considering how much maturing your body does from 15-21. A 29" vertical for a sophomore isn't bad either for a kid his size.
is his cannon arm. With the O-line recruiting we're doing, Shane will be able to sit in the pocket and wait for a tall leaper like this to get 70 yards down field and then deliver a laser rocket higher than anyone else can go.
I see something like a John Navarre to Jason Avant type thing in 2014.
Hello downfield blocking and someone who can pull down armpunts and fades in the redzone? YES PLEASE. I rikey!
In the posted picture it looks like Jaron has three arms.........that should make him a real sure handed receiver.
I'm pretty sure that was Cam Burrows that was covering Jaron on that first highlight, the other 2 players looked like #6 and #4. Plus they show pictures of him covering Jaron. If he burnt him like that, then I'm very happy.
Great to see not only Hoke planting roots within Columbus but a fellow Red Devil joining the Jedi side.
The logic is very effective. Fill half the class with major 4-star players early, creating a dimishing pool of available slots. Only the best need think about applying. We could have 3-4 five-star caliber players before we are done.
So Dukes is obviously not the most highly sought after recruit and we all know that. Over at TTB, and even in these comments its very clear that some people are all but saying this kid is a mistake and not the kind of player we need. My question is are you not the same people who praise the staff for their recruiting abilities? Their ability to see talent early and make offers now, ability to recruit the midwest, ability to take on Ohio for Ohio kids and others and win, ability to recruit to needs and system, ability to do a great sales job of the program and take kids who LOVE MICHIGAN?
11-2 . . . . does that ring a bell? Sugar Bowl Win, or how about a top 5ish recruiting class . . . any takers?? Some of you need to relax and know that the man has our best intrests in mind. I know it was from a previous staff but uhh . . . Patrick Omameh, and Jordan Kovacs were not nearly as highly rated as this Dukes scrub! I for one am willing to cut Hoke and staff some slack, and just trust that they know way more than you or I do.
Any kid this staff wants on the team I do as well. Stars are nice, but I really trust the staffs evaluation more than Rivals (or ESPN, etc...).
I was listening to Sam this morning in the early hour. Apparently Trotwood (Burrow's high school) conveniently lost the 2nd-half of the game film when our boy Dukes torched him all over the field. It was a pretty funny segment, I'd recommend the podcast (not the recruiting roundup, the other segment about Dukes).
Honestly, Dukes didn't torch anyone in the game against Trotwood. They played in zone or crashed the box with Burrows and a safety the majority of the game. They were able to throw the ball up to him and let him use his size to come down with the ball or settle him into open spots in the zone. There were five plays that I specifically remember him being matched up 1-on-1 with Burrows. 2 incompletions (poorly thrown), 1 PBU by Burrows, 1 completion where I think Dukes surprised Burrows with some acceleration, and 1 throw where Burrows was covering two receivers.
And before I get a trolling tag, I'm not being biased against the kid, just giving an honest opinion. Dukes has potential due to his good hands and size, but he's not an AJ Green or Julio Jones, torch the opposition type of WR. He's never going to run all over any secondary, even in high school. He doesn't have the speed or agility for that. If a QB can properly take advantage of his size and body control, then he'll be a very valuable player.
Good pick up for you guys. I've seen him play three times and he definitely has potential. He'll never be someone to stretch the field or be a homerun threat every time he touches the ball, but he'll be deadly in the red zone and for moving the chains. As stated in the article, he is most likely every inch of 6'5" and knows how to use that size. He's very good at shielding defenders with his size, like a rebounder boxing out. His game against Trotwood was impressive. They sold out to stop the run for the majority of the game and he made them pay. If he had any help from his team, they may have one. I don't think he'll start in his first couple years on campus, but he should be able to step in to red zone situations right away.
As a columbus native I'm sure Jaron is not the first offensive skill position player to sign with michigan. I don't know the whole list but I know for 100% fact that Marcus Ray played RB in high school.