"(skip to 1:48 for recruiting talk unless you want to hear Nicholson's thoughts on sneakers)"
The Wadsworth Constant, man.
Bunting and Funchess: Hopefully the football version of this minus the disappointment.
Tight end Ian Bunting was Michigan's lone representative* at Nike's invite-only camp The Opening, which wrapped up over the weekend. While he didn't crack any of the top performer lists I've seen, Bunting stood out in a more literal fashion, leading off 247's rundown of players with "eye-popping" measurements:
At 6-foot-6, Bunting measured in as the tallest prospect in attendance at The Opening. He also weighed in at 223 pounds and has added some strength to his frame, starting to look like a college tight end.
Bunting dealt with a balky hamstring during the combine and 7-on-7 sessions; with the injury, he recorded a 33-inch vertical leap and 5.0-second 40-yard dash ($). Assuming that 40 time improves when healthy, Bunting has some tantalizing measurables — combining that hamstring-hampered leap with his height puts Bunting at 9'3" off the ground, by my math, before he even puts his hands in the air. Putting him and Devin Funchess on the field at the same time could cause total matchup chaos for future Michigan opponents, especially in the red zone.
While slot receiver commit Freddy Canteen wasn't invited to The Opening, four-star CB Jalen Tabor told Sam Webb($) that he would've shined — a notable shout-out considering Tabor is one of the few to face Canteen in person:
“He’s got good routes. I definitely respect Freddy Canteen. We go at it all the time. That’s my man. We just had 7-on-7 at Maryland. The whole championship game it was just me and him. My coach said, ‘go get (Canteen).’ And they were testing me. We were going at each other. So I’ve definitely got a lot of respect for Freddy Canteen. He is going to be good in college.”
Asked if Canteen would've done well at The Opening, Tabor replied "without a doubt, yes." He also spoke highly of fellow corner Brandon Watson, specifically for his ability to jam receivers at the line: "I've seen him jam some people up... real good." Unsolicited praise about Michigan commits from a prospect who's not considering Michigan is always nice to see. This is your weekly Rank Our Guys Higher For Reasons update.
(via SBNation Recruiting)
PA S Montae Nicholson could be Michigan's most realistic possibility to fill the final spot in the secondary, depending upon your thoughts—or the coaches', really—about Parrker Westphal's prospects as a safety. He continues to play his cards close to the vest, telling SBNation in the above video that he's still open to several schools, including Florida State and Stanford (skip to 1:48 for recruiting talk unless you want to hear Nicholson's thoughts on sneakers). Nicholson's recruitment should extend through official visits, and in a good sign for Michigan, the only one of those he's set up so far is for Michigan-ND in September. Penn State is another school that could make a run; Michigan being one of the first schools to recruit Nicholson should help them be in the mix until the very end.
Meanwhile, five-star CA ATH Juju Smith told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz at The Opening that, despite the distance factor, Michigan is very much a player in his recruitment ($):
For Michigan, the interest on Smith’s end is sincere, with an official visit to Ann Arbor set in stone this fall.
“It’s really real,” Smith told GoBlueWolverine. “On an honest level, Michigan is up there. They’re one of my top five, I’m taking an official visit, and hopefully I can see what they have for me.
Smith originally planned to take an official for the Notre Dame game but instead will be in Ann Arbor for The Game. Michigan would likely take him as a safety who could moonlight as a receiver; Smith's top schools—including Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, UCLA, and USC—have all mentioned the possibility of playing on both sides of the ball. While expectations should always be held in check when it comes to top-flight West Coast prospects, the Wolverines have a legitimate shot here.
Michigan also has a real chance at another top California product, four-star OLB Dwight Williams, who confirmed to Bogenschutz that he'll take an official for the Notre Dame game ($). Florida, the only other school scheduled to receive an official from Williams, may be the biggest competition for the Wolverines.
Four-star GA DE Andrew Williams — Do I consistently get him confused with Dwight Williams? Yes. — also attended The Opening; not only is Michigan among his leaders, but he'll be on campus soon, per Sam Webb ($):
Though not yet ready at the time of this interview to lay out his entire list of finalists, he did open up a bit regarding the Wolverines’ standing.
“They’re up there,” Williams replied when asked if Michigan is in his top five.
“I would love to get down there for the 19th. That’s definitely one visit I personally plan on taking. I’m definitely interested in Michigan.”
Michigan is firmly in the mix for Da'Shawn Hand and Malik McDowell; Williams is quite the contingency plan should one (or both) of those two end up elsewhere.
*Drake Harris also received an invite, but couldn't attend due to summer school — if you missed the news, he did that to ensure that he can enroll early.
[Hit THE JUMP for LEONARD FOURNETTE VISIT POSSIBILITY (sirens), the latest on Shaun Crawford, and more.]
Yeah, what the header says ($):
Thanks to some outstanding timing, it looks like the 6-foot ½, 225-pound Fournette will get a chance to visit the Michigan campus the weekend of July 12.
Ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 1 prospect overall, Fournette will be in Cleveland that weekend for a 7-on-7 tournament and plans to shoot up to Michigan while he’s in the area.
“Me and Jabrill had a talk about it and I talked to my father about going up there, so I decided to take a visit up there,” Fournette said at The Opening on Wednesday afternoon.
Repeat this to yourself at least ten times: Michigan is Buster Douglas to the Alabama/LSU Mike Tyson here, only if Tyson actually took that fight seriously. While simply getting a visit is a major accomplishment, the Wolverines aren't even the only dark horse for the nation's top running back: Fournette camped at USC recently and said($) he was "surprised by how much [he] liked it," and also told Rivals' Texas outlet this week that he may visit Austin for a second time ($).
Regardless, somebody hurry up with that paper bag.
2015 OH CB Shaun Crawford visited Miami (YTM) last week, and while he enjoyed the campus and plans a return visit (namely to see the coaches, as several were on vacation when he was there), he told ESPN's Jared Shanker that Michigan still leads ($). Crawford is slated to visit Ann Arbor for both this month's BBQ and the Notre Dame game; a commitment at either setting is a distinct possibility.
Despite teammate Artavis Scott's commitment to Clemson, 2015 five-star ATH George Campbell still plans to visit Michigan for the BBQ, per Sam Webb ($). Campbell still has fond memories of his first trip to Ann Arbor:
“I’m the Mayor of Michigan,” [Campbell] said with a grin. “We were just up there, first visit or whatever, and I started hanging out with the coaches, and five minutes later I’m with every player from Michigan, and I was just roaming around doing my own thing, and everybody liked me, so I think I became the Mayor that way.”
It'll still be tough for Michigan to wrest Campbell away from SEC territory (Florida and Clemson, specifically), but they'll get their shot, and having high school teammate Mason Cole in the fold can't hurt.
2015 four-star Saginaw (MI) ATH Brian Cole should add plenty of top schools to his offer sheet, but his coach told 247's Clint Brewster that the in-state schools are hell-bent on keeping him in Michigan ($):
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Cole currently holds offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, Ohio State, and Tennessee.
“He really likes all the schools that have offered,” said Maloney. “Michigan and Michigan State both said that they aren’t letting him leave the state of Michigan for college. Michigan and Michigan State have both been recruiting the hardest probably but I wouldn’t say Brian is a lock for any team.”
Notre Dame, UCLA, and Nebraska are among the schools to show recent interest. Cole has visited Michigan several times; I've got him predicted to the good guys for now.
The M Block catches up with 2016 Trotwood-Madison QB Messiah DeWeaver, an early candidate for that coveted Michigan quarterback offer in his class.
As mentioned above, Artavis Scott committed to Clemson at The Opening. Fellow receiver K.J. Williams, meanwhile, pledged to Syracuse yesterday. Michigan is almost certainly done recruiting at receiver after Canteen's commitment; with Drake Harris and Moe Ways on the outside and Canteen in the slot, they've covered any needs there.
"(skip to 1:48 for recruiting talk unless you want to hear Nicholson's thoughts on sneakers)"
The Wadsworth Constant, man.
forget Montae and let's sign the blonde in the background.
with that...she's like Geno Smith at an NFL interview: can't keep her face outta her iPhone. She probably wants to go somewhere and play school.
Hey, leave my girlfriend alone. She was texting me the whole time.
Nicholson will major in (civil) engineering in college. UM had a professor make a huge impression on Hand when he was on campus. Let's do the same for Nicholson at the BBQ this month or on Sept 7.
problem number one with getting the professor on the phone was that the professor is that the professor who made the huge impression on De'Shawn Hand was a Sports Marketting prof and not an engineering prof. So if we want to get an impression like that than we need to get the top of the line guy from the engineering department there to meet him (which I have no doubt that Michigan will do)
I don't think a 5 flat 40 time for Bunting is bad if electronically timed. If he shaves two tenth a off of that between now and the NFL combine (reasonable in 5 years) he'd be right in the mix with that group (and taller than most of them).
He'll need to run faster than that to really stretch the field. Even if it's a 4.9, that makes a huge difference.
That said, from watching the kid's tape, I'm not the least bit concerned. He's plenty fast enough to be an elite TE.
Why is important that he's faster? TEs need to be quick because they'll often take on edge rushers, and anyone who's got quickness will have a decent 40 time, but beating linebackers in a foot race isn't a part-time lineman's game.
All due respect, I think the emphasis on an elite TE's 40 time is backwards. They're not lethal because they're fast per se; the lethal ones will just happen to be fast because it's impossible to be quick without some raw speed.
There's really not that much difference between a guy who runs a 4.9 and a 5.0.
I think we can all agree that faster = better, but let's not overstate things.
yeah, but keep in mind that he also needs to gain about 35-40 pounds.
Probably more like 25ish pounds. 40 pounds puts him at 263, which is like Gronk. If he can run a 4.8 at 6'6" 263, then he's an NFL shoo in. It's more likely he plays around 250 in college, and a 17 year old with his frame should have no problem adding 25 pounds while also adding some speed. He'll show up in the 230s and add 5ish pounds of muscle a year. That won't hurt his speed at all.
Is there any real evidence that college football players actually get faster? It seems obvious that they get bigger and stronger (demonstrated by weight gain)...but faster?
There is probably very little data on this, but I'm quite certain that, on th whole, yes they do. Men have so much muscular maturation between the ages of 18 and 23 that it would be hard not to in a college S&C program. Now, there are the guys who show up extremely athletic but very underweight for their position who probably don't gain speed. Craig Roh would be an example.
Outside of linemen, the weight that these guys out on is pure muscle, much of which is in their legs, and that makes you faster, not slower. So yes, I think you can expect almost every kid to get faster from HS graduation to college graduation.
Specific to football: 1. Much of the muscle gain isn't in the legs. Look at the upper body transformations. For linemen - just look at their faces and necks. 2. The weight gain isn't pure muscle - at least for linemen, which TEs sort of are. In football, speed is important but so are other traits, namely strength. A "low center of gravity" and "arm strength" are very important for blocking, but don't help with running fast. Size, strength, and speed aren't always mutually beneficial.
Regarding muscle maturation - you have a point here, but I'm not sure you have the right range. Male swimmers peak by age 21, male sprinters by 23 - and these are people who spend a ton of time refining their technique. Hand that perfected technique to someone 3 years younger and they might be even faster.
I'd hypothesize the pure speed is highest at around 18-19 for many people and I'm only PARTIALLY saying that based on nearly every person I know (admittedly 99% non-scholarship athletes who probably spent more time drinking than exercising, but still...)
Anecdotal evidence: Denard supposedly ran a 4.32 in HS and then a 4.43 at the NFL combine. Doesn't seem like he got any faster after 4 years of football training and physical maturation.
As for your last paragraph, I'm sure Denard never ran a 4.32 in high school. That's ridiculous.
As for the rest of your post, we've gone back and forth on this before, and I disagree with almost everything you say. The weight these guys add is mostly good weight that helps them run fast. College sprinters don't get faster because of technique, they get faster because of strength. And sprinters don't peak at 23, which is why nearly all Olympians are beyond college age.
You weren't asking a sincere question in your post above, you already had your opinion established. Just make your point next time instead of claiming to ask a sincere question when it was completely rhetorical.
Nothing insincere about my question. I was wondering if you had evidence or if it was just blind optimisim.
No evidence or "blind optimism," just common sense. Everyone else seems to agree except you. Men who are athletes get faster during their college years.
It's false intuition...the idea that you can't be fast unless you're a twig like De'Anthony Thomas and get blown away by a stiff breeze. It's a "bigger=slower" meme.
It's mostly a failure to realize that when you're not putting on bad weight and properly training your legs, your body's ability to move weight faster increases at a higher rate than the extra poundage from muscle.
I said weight could inhibit speed, not that every player who gains weight slows down.
Bigger=Slower isn't a 'meme', it's a logical observation from watching football. Linemen are slower and bigger than cornerbacks. Obviously there are big and fast players but they tend to be exceptional.
Adding upper body strength doesn't assist "your body's ability to move weight faster". It may or may not slow it down, but it doesn't help. Adding lower body strength probably does, but we don't know to what extent.
It is not common sense at all. It is an assumption based on only anectdotal evidence, which is conflicting anyway.
I can't speak for D1-level athletes, since I wasn't one, but at my little DIII school all of our players got bigger and faster in college (if they worked at it). I cut .24 seconds off of my 40 in college while adding weight. Many guys cut two tenths off of their electronic times. Some cut more, some cut less.
I'm confident U-M's strength program is more rigorous and more effective. That said, for the truly fast guys--those guys who show-up running a 4.4--they didn't improve much. But they got bigger and didn't lose their speed.
I wouldn't expect a track guy to get faster by becoming a football player full time, but I could see most other kids improving their overall fitness/strength and building speed through that. I wonder if you found the same to be true for linemen, linebackers, quarterbacks, etc.
that every single college football player is going to get faster when they get to college. From most posts I have read they are referring mainly to the skill positions where guys usually come in moderately undersized but usually not needing too much to get to an adequate playing weight. These guys are usually WR's, DB, RB's, Duak Threat QB's etc.
When you talk about linemen (whether offensive linemen or defensive linemen) some that come in at playing weight could gain some speed with conditioning but many don't do that. They come in needing to gain between 30 and 50 pounds from their HS weight and putting on that kind of weight (wether it is good or bad weight) makes it nearly impossible to keep your current speed, let alone get faster.
It is clear that there are unique individuals out there that are exceptional. They can gain that kind of weight and still get faster too, but the majority won't. You also mentioned LB's and QB's in your post too. For those positions it is going to depend what condition they came to college in. Were LB's converted from DB's or did they come in as linebackers and almost at the proper size. I would say in most instances they will be able to gain speed but there are always exceptions.
For QB's I just don't think the emphasis is on speed (unless you're a dual threat QB). I have said before I am far from a football guru like Magnus and others, but if I have a pocket passer and play in a prostyle offense I don't think I am going to be wasting a lot of time trying to get his 40 time faster. It may happen just because they are filling out and getting more muscular, but I wouldn't think they are actively trying to turn them into sprinters. I could be way off on that though.
but I do think people like WolveinLA do think that almost everyone gets fasters because of college conditioning program.
FWIW - I don't think speed changes very much unless you are specifically working on speed. Like you said - that's not a priority for many positions. Football coaches have to focus on technique and strength and execution, so speed is probably not a primary coaching objective.
I was a DIII female athlete (basketball and soccer), and most of us got faster. Much of that can be contributed to the complete lack of strength training in high school transitioning into an introduction to the weight room. Also, being pushed by better athletes.
Competition is a strong motivator my friend.
My only argument would be that maybe a lot of elite HS football athletes are already pushing themselves pretty hard at the HS level...but probably not the majority.
That's a really good question, and I'm not sure there's the data to say one way or the other right now. How many high school athletes do we have an accurate 40 time for (how many fakes out of five)? Without that information, there's really no way to say. However, if we look at track athletes and compare their high school to college performances, they are almost always able to improve their times, so that at least suggests the liklihood that football players could do the same.
I do wonder how much of the potential improvement is technique, overall fitness, muscle development.
For a track athlete, they're putting way more time into it at the college level and presumably the coaching is superior.
For a garden-variety football player (not a track star), they're also spending a lot more time in the gym and on the field, and probably doing it year round. That may be enough to offset any potential slowing effects from weight gain.
once he gets in the weight room he will get faster.
i enjoy the commentary re canteen and watson, though of course when Sam Webb is asking you a question about some michigan verbal commits, i would think you would feel some pressure to give him what you know he's looking for.
that last DB spot. Really, it could be the same for the rest of the open slots. This summer might actually be uneventful from a buckling-up point-of-view. But with the Barbecue coming up, anything is possible.
So going off my vertical and reach (which are 7 and 3.5 inches less than his), he hits 11'2" or 11'3" vertically. That's impressive.
I'm not sure how much of a longshot we are with Fournette, especially if he gets good vibes from the staff and players. We have as good a case as any team to look him in the eyes and tell him this is the best offensive line he can run behind in the entire NCAA. Our coaches love to work with linemen, and we have the best offensive linemen in the country the last two recruiting classes. If he wants to succeed in college, why would he not pick Michigan? The only thing that may scare him off is Green, but two primary backs worked out well at Auburn, among other schools.
Thunder and Lightning Part 2!
More like Thunder & Thunder, they're both pretty damn big backs
With those stats, each can be Thunder AND Lightning.
Honestly? Kid is looking at Alabama right now. I would have a damn hard time saying our OL is going to be any better than theirs going forward, or that we would be the better place for a RB to succeed, given Bama's recent trackrecord being nothing less than astonishing for RBs.
Do you have any idea how good our offensive line is projected to be in 3 years? We've recruited the offensive line better than anyone in the last two years. So, yes, I think they can make that claim. That's not to say that Alabama forgot how to play, or that their OL will not perform as well or better.
Using your line of reasoning, we might as well claim the 2015 national championship right now. Print up the t-shirts.
Does the concept of "proving it on the field of play" have any meaning for you?
Does the concept of "projection" mean anything to you? Foresight is a pretty valuable trait. Wait a couple of years and see where our OL is. Nice straw man with the National Title claim though. I clearly said that.
"five-star CA ATH Juju Smith told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz at The Opening that, despite the distance factor, Michigan is very much a player in his recruitment"
Is he any kin to Messiah DeCarpenter?
this is why we need posbangs back. +1000 to you.