This is exactly the type of prospect this new regime covets. With such speed, athletic ability and shape, this guy will be used differently from the rest. I know its said he will end up as a linebacker, but my gut just tells me he could end up at safety.....It usually goes the other way around as far as safeties ending up a linebacker, does anyone see it the other way with furman?
Hello: Josh Furman
Michigan has gained a commitment from MD LB/S Josh Furman. There was much rejoicing. How about we move on to the informative portion?
|4*, #20 S||3*, #28 ATH||3*, 78, #38 OLB|
All three recruiting site rank Furman at different positions, but it's most likely that he'll play linebacker when he gets to Ann Arbor. ESPN evaluates him at that position:
Furman is a big, rangy and physical football player with good vertical speed for such a lengthy athlete. Tall and physically intimidating as an outside linebacker. This guy is a real threat rushing from the outside. Has enough quickness to accelerate by an offensive tackle setting back to pass protect....
Don't just take their word for it, however, as Scout asked Furman himself to break down his game:
“I have great vision and explosiveness. I’m very athletic (claims a 40-inch vertical jump) and have great closing speed to the ball. I’m also real smooth and like to play old school like Erik Dickerson or powerful like Jim Brown. I want to improve my coverage on defense and be a better pass rusher. On offense I’m just working on my hands and catching the ball better.”
The word on Furman is that he's very, very athletic (as you'll see below). So why the low rankings? It might be due to the fact that he does most of his work as a high school running back, and needs to learn quite a bit before becoming a high-level defender:
In terms of skill set, Furman was a bit less extraordinary. Still, he showed good footwork in mirroring backs in one-on-one passing drills and overall athleticism pursuing and matching up in space. We did feel he looked a bit straight-lined in certain drills and also showed some stiffness and inflexibility at times. He projects best in a heavy-pressure defense in which he can attack vertically -- similar to the one he currently creates havoc in on his high school team.
Even then, though, he's highly productive (again, as you'll see in a little bit), which translates to high rankings, especially if he's ranked as an athlete, which Rivals does. In the case that hype does not match up with ranking, I guess it's better for us to go to the...
Practically everyone in the East offered Furman, including Pitt, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, UConn and Syracuse. Outside of the East, he holds an Illinois offer, Of course he holds a Michigan offer (which he has accepted), and Oklahoma also extended him an offer.
As a senior, Furman ran wild on his team's way to the Maryland State Championship. He ran for a total of 2284 yards and 31 touchdowns in 14 games, averaging over 8 yards per carry (I can't find exact stats on his number of carries). Defensively, he racked up a few sacks and at least one interception, as well as a fumble returned 51 yards for a touchdown.
FAKE 40 TIME
The criteria for FAKEness needs to be explored a bit here, since Furman's 4.39 40-yard dash time is combine-verified. However, dude is a future linebacker, so that's a ridiculously fast time. The 4.39 was wind-aided, and we can probably assume it was on a pretty fast track. Laser-timed is laser-times though, so we'll give it 2 FAKEs out of 5.
There's a ton of video from individual games of Furman's senior year on the Youtube, as well as a number of highlight reels (this one from his junior year on defense):
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Furman is a bit of a project as a defensive player, but has the athleticism to be a useful player still. I would imagine he won't take a redshirt his freshman year, but will contribute on special teams in the "be-dreadlocked punt blocker" role that has been vacated by Brandon Smith, who is leaving the program.
After the first year, Furman will probably work his way into the rotation as a backup linebacker. The question is whether he will play in the Stevie Brown SAM spot, which seemingly has a logjam (Mike Jones, Brandin Hawthorne, et al), or in the WILL position, which will lose Jonas Mouton after next year (if he's even able to hold onto his starting spot in '10). My guess would be on the weakside, where there is more opportunity, and his skill set might fit a little better.
As a junior and senior, Furman will have a chance to become an important contributor, and eventually a starter/impact player. He's the type of athletic-yet-unpolished guy that Rich Rod and co. turned into stars time and again at West Virginia.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Furman has been written in pencil as a member of Michigan's 2010 class for a while now, so his official commitment doesn't change much. The Wolverines are down to just a couple spots available, with FL CB Tony Grimes and teammate DE Clarence Murphy expected to commit officially in February. Michigan will only take other commits if they're top prospects or at a position of need (or preferably both).
We brought in a pretty good haul of DBs with this class already. I see Furman starting out as a LB and possibly getting moved if we have major DB problems, but that seems unlikely. We have more depth at DB than LB right now, so I don't think we'll be converting LBs.
welcome to ann arbor
He's the type of athlete with a high ceiling that we really lacked at LB this year.
So excited about this commit.
A Solstice miracle! Well, not really a miracle, but yay for LB recruits.
Yay for solstice too! Longer days PLZ
i was thinking this was a Festivus Miracle. Feats of Strength to follow official LOI signing.
It sure is good to read the Hello: headline.
Can't wait til he gets barwisized.
I am very excited about getting this guy. I think he will be special in time, and he already looks the part.
Why do I get so excited when someone commits to Michigan? I think it's because I know they're going to be psyched to be here!!! Welcome Josh Furman!
We're not going with Brandon Smith are we?
But I'd say Ian Gold
He's so tall, it's tough. Burgess was pretty tall, but slow. Gold was short IIRC...How fast was Shazor? He was tall
Gold was a former running back who could run like the wind and played around 220-225 lbs in college, which i expect Furman to do
would be a great legacy to repeat.
You can't go wrong with either of them. Speed and Dreads...that's where we seem to be going...whatever it takes to get back
Furman is a big, rangy and physical football player with good vertical speed for such a lengthy athlete. Tall and physically intimidating as an outside linebacker. This guy is a real threat rushing from the outside.
I think I could live with another Shawn Crable!!!!!!
I could live with a Shawn Crable who leads with his shoulder and not with his helmet.
I'm not the only one occasionally who wakes up in a cold sweat yelling, "No, Shawn... PULL UP!!!"
That is who I have been picturing him like when I first found out about his stature and ability to run.
Having nother Crable would be a good thing as long as Furman is a little more intellegent as a football player. On that note, he has to be right? He wears glasses.
I know Furman is a bit smaller than Harris, but with Furmans speed and athletic ability, I have visions of another dominating Michigan linebacker.
I'll sleep well tonight dreaming about Josh (No homo) chasing down running backs sideline to sideline a la David Harris.
Even though there is never a guarantee with high school kids playing on the major college level, I agree that Josh Furman is a quality young man that has a great upside. He's dominated on his current level, and once oriented to the Big Ten should transfer that same skill and intensity here as well.
Michigan needs to give serious attention to the defensive side of the ball, that being said, if that wasn't an issue, I would assume the staff would see what he could do with the ball in his hands. The kids got skills!
So glad to have JF on board!
Here's to hoping the class finishes out with Parker, Hankins, and the Hollywood Hills Duo. Great class at positions of need is coming together!
"The criteria for FAKEness needs to be explored a bit here". . .
Concur: if a laser can't get us down to 1 fake star out of 5, will we ever get there? Would it require multiple, independent laser tests, all subject to peer review? The wind and "fast track" shouldn't add a star, only a qualification. Meaning, he legitimately ran a 4.39, but, when comparing to other people's times, one must consider the wind and "fast track": a qualified 1 star 40 time.
4.39 is fast no matter where you think he's going to play. I don't understand why Tim's assuming it's wind-aided and it's on a fast track just because he's going to play linebacker. If he was projected as a corner, would we all believe the combine confirmed 40 time? I guess I just don't really get this obsession with FAKE 40's on this site. If the guy's recruiting coordinator is touting around a 4.10, yes I agree, FAKE, but dude got electronically timed. Time to let it rest.
which is why Tim wrote it
Thanks. I steer clear from ESPN recruiting.
Last years NFL combine
Percy Harvin - 4.41
Knowshon Moreno - 4.62
Pat White - 4.55
Aaron Curry (fastest LB) - 4.56
4.39 would've made him the fastest defensive player at the combine. When they say it's a fake time this what they mean. It doesn't mean its a lie, you just have to consider it in context. The oft quote measure for fake is Ben Johnson's steroid fueled run in the 1988 Olympics 40 yard split is timed at 4.38. He of course is reacting to a gun whereas I believe a lot of these timers start on movement. Furman is probably pretty fast and maybe he is that fast but they could've caught him on his best day ever on fast track with wind. Elite track athletes usually compete in track and when they compete for State Championships and consistently run elite times vs. legit competition like Denard Robinson did in his high school career. When this happens you can say a really fast 40 time ceases to become fake. The obsession comes from most recruits times being blatantly fake when you compare NFL combine times to high school times.
Yea, you're right, there is a lot of discrepency in 40 times, particularly when you compare with some of the track and field guys. Justin Gatlin, who won gold in the 100 m in 2004, reported ran a 4.42 40 yard dash. This may seem pedestrian for a world class sprinter, but they have to react to the gun in contrast with guys who are timed only once they start moving.
A little surprised with some of those 40 times from last year. I would have thought they might be a little lower. I think timing at the combine has evolved as well, as you don't see many sub 4.3s anymore (as were once more "common" in the 80s and early 90s). Those were most likely inaccurate or imprecisely measured, with the exception of Bo Jackson, who ran a 4.12 in 86, which must be true bc it was Bo, and Bo knows how to run a 40. To this day I gotta admit, Bo is still my favorite athlete of all time, and it's not even close.
My son still struggles to understand how anyone was a potential HOF Football AND Baseball player...stress potential. Unfortunately his career was cut short by injury and we never got to seperate hype from marketing and reality.
I'm super-stoked to see us get a big-time LB recruit. Now if we could just find someone to coach them.
"now if we could just find someone to coach them."
I was thinking along the same lines. I will be honest that I don't pay a lot of attention to the coaches and which are truly good/bad/average. I simply know that too often I read on the board here that Hopson isn't cutting it.
"In context" sounds a lot like "qualified", so I believe we are saying the same thing: he ran a 4.39, but that doesn't make him as fast as, say Ben Johnson. There are other factors than just a raw time. My only critique was that calling it to any extent "fake" makes me wonder what the point of having the possibility of a 1 out of 5 stars is. It's not fake; it just can't be compared to others' times without some explanation (probably).
...at a position of need....
OLB will be set starting in 2011 ( I think he will be red shirted in 2010)! Now we need a good MLB prospect. UM will be a different team in 2011 with a vastly improved defense. I'm still holding out hope in 2010! I think the offense will score a lot of points in 2011 as Fourcier get's his act together. I hope DROB will turn into our version of Percy! The defense in 2010 will be a work in progress! I think the team will surprise us to the up side next season.
Ever since we started hearing about his interest in UM I have really been excited about the prospect of having this guy in the maize and blue.
Having that kind of speed at LB (whether his 40 is fake or not) is going to be nice in the future.
Welcome aboard Josh, great to have you and very excited to see you play.
I'm really excited about this kid, we really need this type of speed at linebacker.
He looks perfect for the Stevie Brown position. Hopefully he can cover guys...Anyway, an exciting pick up. It's no small victory to pull this kid away from Va.Tech.
he has yet to grow into his big frame. I could be wrong, but you could see him adding some weight and not getting slowed down by it. This would make him a perfect fit for our Will spot, which will be open after Mouton leaves. I really like how RR is filling up our defense with depth. Another class like this, and we won't have to worry about how bad our depth on defense is for a long time. Go Blue!!!
We have Barwis, add the weight and keep the speed. This kid has the abilities to become something special on the field.
This kid looks like the kind of athlete that can be molded into a very good player. I will take pure athletes like JF any day of the week. Very nice commit.
4 more spots to fill?
Parker, Hankins, Grimes, and Murphy?
assuming that all current verbals sign LOI's in february and assuming that M will take a full class of 28, there are 4 more spots.
That does not take into consideration the potential non-qualifiers. Drake and Kinnard are most often mentioned as kids who are not qualified yet. I think the staff like both players a lot and will give them every chance, but Rod needs all 28 to enroll this year to start building back the depth that has eroded over the last several years.
Grimes and Murphy are widely believed to be silent commits. Hankins is back in the picture, and his family, if not he himself favors M strongly. We have a great shot with Parker, as he has us in his top three - we are the only out of state school in there. I think that they make room for Torrian Wilson if they can pry him away from Harbaugh, but the four you mentioned are all solid bets to come to M.
but it takes more than that to be able to read a play.
For those of you projecting him as the next Ian Gold, athletically yes - but as we have seen with Mouton, the mental game needs to be there too.
This kid is going to need a few years to learn the defensive game.
Thirlled he committed and has a great frame and from the sounds of it a great mental makeup, but he is not an imediate impact type of player.
Welcome aboard Mr Furman.
I said this a while ago in another recruting thread.....but, I'll say it again.
I notice UNC and Pitt were hot for the guy. These are 2 programs have excelled at identifying 3-star, borderline 4-star players with big upside and brining them to their campuses. Both programs have turned it around in recent years as a result.
The rankings are all crapshoots, but I like it when we get a commit from a 3-star, bordeline 4-star and find out that Pitt and UNC were pursuing him as well.
I know we all want to focus on the elite prospects and many feel we should only go after guys that the likes of Florida and USC go after, but building a class is done at many different levels. When we are recruiting this level of guru approved kid, we are on the right track if teams like Pitt, UNC and Stanford are involved.
has a pretty good track record of developing players who were not as highly rated. That does not mean that they should not go after the highly rated players, but these coaches will develop a good number of the 3 stars.
With those kind of ridonkulous stats as a high school RB, why is JF projecting solely as a defensive player? Not that I mind, lord knows we need to be more athletic on D. I just don't know what compels taking an offensive star and making him into a defensive project. Free me from my ignorance MGoBoard, but be nice (smile).