"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.
Brian already put up a placeholder post, but here's the whole deal. OH DE Tom Strobel has committed to Michigan. I was even beaten by a local paper ("smh," as the kids are saying these days):
"Like most people in Ohio, I was raised with a biased opinion against Michigan. However, it occurred to me that there was no justification for my prejudice, besides the fact that it was Michigan. I think it says something that despite my apprehension, Michigan still stood out above the rest. I am confident that I have made the right decision for my future, and I look forward to beginning my college career as a Wolverine."
Here we go:
4*, #24 DE,
4*, 5.8, #36 DE
4*, 93, #14 WDE,
#8 Ohio, #169 Ovr
ESPN is the outlier as far as Tom's quality as a player goes. While he's a solid 4-star to each of the other sites, the Worldwide Leader has him listed as a "meh" 3-star - though he's not far from four. As size goes, he's a consensus 6-6, with weights ranging from 240 (24/7 Sports) to 250 (Scout and ESPN).
He is a tall kid with solid bulk and he displays the room to add more good size with time in a college weight program. He gets off the ball well. For a taller kid he displays the ability to play with some bend and keep solid pad level. He uses his hands and reach well to take on blockers and keep some separation. He displays good upper body strength to not only keep blockers from getting into him but to also shed. He is a solid wrap-up tackler.
He's listed as "tough against the run," but needing work becoming more effective playing the pass (though he can bat down the occasional ball). To me, that sounds more like a strongside end, rather than a weakside guy, but what do I know? On a similar note, Bucknuts has considered him as a 3-tech tackle:
Strobel is one I am having trouble with. I have no doubt about his talent. He was at one time a top ten kid on my list. What I am having trouble with is Strobel being a three-technique tackle. I have not seen him up close so I will defer to those who have, including the Buckeye staff which has offered him as a tackle.
If Ohio State's offer for him was indeed at tackle, than he certainly has plenty of room to grow, and it remains to be seen what position he'll play. He was the subject of a Sam Webb column in the Detroit News earlier this spring:
"The first thing that sticks out about him is that he passes the eye test easily," said [Scout Ohio Analyst] Greene. "He is a true 6-6, with long arms, and probably weighs 240 pounds. He could probably carry another 30-35 pounds easily on that frame. I think he has the chance to maybe be great someday. I think he's a guy who is kind of growing into his body right now. He is just 17 years old and has got another year of high school left. I think his best football is three to four years ahead of us."
That speak to his upside down the road, rather than the idea that he's some sort of finished product. Of course, that means he could be a low-floor, high-ceiling, boom-or-bust type, as well. Greene does say that in a non-crazy year, he'd be the best DE in Ohio. Strobel himself speaks on his game:
"I've got a really good work ethic," Strobel stated. "I'm always hustling to the ball no matter what. Even if it seems the play is already made, I'm always going to be there right behind the tackle or I'll be making the tackle. I'm always hustling to the ball. I think that's the biggest thing you'll notice -- hustle."
Sounds like a gritty grit gritterstein, and a hard worker who can be an asset to any program. From a Scout article ($):
Strobel, 6-foot-6, 240-pounds, certainly passes the look test with flying colors. Strobel stood out for Mentor as an intense, big, physical athlete, and one who plays with a high motor, never taking plays off.
That confirms Strobel's own evaluation of his motor, and "passing the look test" generally equates with either a finished product, or a guy who has the frame to fill out well for the next level. Since it sounds like he's not polished yet, assume the latter. He definitely has the athleticism to dunk the basketball (and block fools, as pictured at right). He's also tough enough that he played through a cracked trachea(!) in a game last year.
He was considered an Ohio State lock as recently as March, and held a Buckeye offer (joining MI LB James Ross MI CB Terry Richardson as players on Michigan's commit list with that distinction). For an Ohio prospect - particularly this long before signing day, that is a Big Deal.
Aside from MAC teams, he also held offers from Stanford and Vanderbilt, the entire Big Ten - there are conflicting reports on whether he'd earned one from Penn State - and some of the higher-end Big East teams (West Virginia, Cincinnati, Syracuse, et al.) Another big name on his list is the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Though he didn't have many non-regional offers, his offer list within the region is about as good as it can get. In fact, it is as good as it can get.
Rivals lists Tom with a 4.8-second 40-yard dash time, while 24/7 Sports says 4.90. For a guy whose pass-rushing abilities are dogged in evaluations, but seems to otherwise be an excellent athlete, that doesn't sound too bad. A mere two FAKEs out of five.
The official Mentor account has his Youtube highlights:
Strobel sounds like a guy who can be a big asset down the road, but isn't likely to contribute as a true freshman. Luckily, Brady Hoke has a defensive end obsession, and there will be plenty of guys ahead of him, allowing for a redshirt.
On that note, the defensive ends in Strobel's own class, and the classes in front of him, might make it difficult for him to see the field early on, unless (as predicted by Bucknuts and/or Ohio State's coaching staff) he's a 3-tech tackle in college. SOMEBODY in Michigan's class is going to have to move inside.
Strobel seems like the sort of guy who will burst onto the scene as a redshirt junior or senior, and turn in a surprising All-Big Ten campaign (maybe not first-team, but earning recognition nonetheless).
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Dude, I have no idea. There are thousands of defensive ends on the roster and in this class, and Michigan is in good position for at least a couple more, including Chris Wormley. Somebody is going to have to move. I could see it being Strobel, maybe Matt Godin, or maybe even Wormley, should he end up in this class. Whether any of these guys could be offensive linemen remains to be seen.
At the end of the day, Michigan still needs a nose tackle-type (hopefully MO DT Ondre Pipkins), and sort out positions for all these other guys down the road. With the way this class is being filled out, I don't think it's possible for Hoke and Co. to fit in some of the positions we've been calling "optional," such as quarterback and running back. Without further attrition, there are 2 spots left in the class.
I'm going to reach out on a limb and say no. We need a WR for depth after this class graduates. We need two true DT's at least. We need at least one more OL. Take a look at the depth chart and see how many DE's we already have. And to say we're going to put a bunch of these 6-6 kids down to the 3 tech that seems a little aggressive. Assuming they even put on the weight, you need leverage in the interior D Line, so I doubt we'll see them there. We've got what, 5 spots left if we don't extend fifth years to Floyd, Robinson, and Cox?
Sorry, but not sure how we can justify another DE.
At minimum, I see 21, and up to 25 depending on future events. That means at least five spots remaining. I think my assessment bears out considering how Hoke and company are recruiting...they are not recruiting like there are only 2 spots left.
Just got home from work, poured a drink and enjoyed it while reading a "Hello post". It was so good I think I'll have another and read another Hello post. If Hoke and co. keep this up I'll have a serious hangover.....
Not at all, which is why I think they're going for the blowout now in terms of commits so they can shift emphasis during the season to 2013 and maintaining their hold on the commits. Hopefully this will make their job easier in the long run.
Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order because it is better organized.
So, I don't know if it adds anything or not, but Strobel is friends with Kalis and plans to discuss the decision with him (although he says "it's his decision"). Having a Blue friend in his ear can only help if and when the hammer hits OSU.
For this kid to grow up a big Buck fan and be open minded enough to choose blue, well that's maturity. Obviously OSU's current woes play in, but put yourself in his shoes...could you ever have chosen Ohio State?
Welcome aboard, Tom. You won't regret it.
"I promise you we would have walked to the University of Michigan." Don't look now, but you are about to be driven away.