More Like Jeremy Pint
Jeremy Gallon, an electron-sized wide receiver from Florida, has just committed to Michigan. He's the #74 prospect in the country to Rivals but only a three star (and the #132 player in the southeast) to Scout; other offers were from Auburn, Iowa, and a bunch of non-Big Three Florida schools. Informative update coming.
Informative Update: I'd actually gone out and collected items of interest on Gallon earlier this week after he named Michigan his leader in a Rivals article, so this is relatively quick.
At Apopka -- the Orlando Sentinel's #1 team in the state for 2008 -- he is a old-school single wing quarterback, which took a little getting used to:
"I was confused. I was like, no quarterback? What kind of offense is this?" Apopka running back Jeremy Gallon. "But then as the days went on and we started to play ... I started to like it."
He's variously listed as 5'8" or 5'9". Yes, he is another one of those guys.
Gallon has a super-weird disconnect between his Rivals rating, which is about as high as a 5'8" kid not named Noel Devine will ever get, and those offered up by Scout (as mentioned: meh) and ESPN. ESPN rates him a 77, also meh, and says($):
Ideally, he is a scatback/slot receiver/corner candidate with outstanding speed, quickness and change-of-direction skills. He is undersized, but compensates with his movement skills and toughness as an overall player. Has great feet and is really slippery as a runner-- is very tough to get a clean shot at.
The evaluation is can be summed up as "nice but electron-sized and thus limited." His offers -- Michigan, Auburn, Iowa, Kansas, and some others, no attention from the instate powers -- line up with the skeptical view.
Why is Rivals so high on him? This article gives an indication. Prepare for some gushing:
Rivals.com recruiting expert Barry Every got a chance to evaluate Gallon and loved what he saw.
"He's a cross between Noel Devine and Chris Rainey," said Every. "He's super quick, his change of direction is probably in the top 1/10th of the top 1 percentile. He's got good speed. He's magic with the ball in his hands. He could make a great punt returner. He could be receiver, cornerback and possibly a running back."
Jeepers. Some choice quotes from his coach:
"He really plays every position," Darlington said. "He plays quarterback for us but we run the single wing offense so our QB is really like a tailback. In 14 games though, he completed 65% of his passes. He was 6A [largest classification, btw -ed] player of the year in our area and he was runner-up in the state. He runs a 4.4 and he power cleans 300 pounds." ...
"Any college that's seen him has been flabbergasted by him," Darlington said. "But nobody has seen him. A lot of the bigger schools don't come by here, I guess because we're out here in the middle of the state."
Despite the limited recruitment activity, Darlington is sure that Gallon has high end potential and he should know. Darlington has coached players such as former Miami standout and current New England Patriot Brandon Meriweather.
"When he runs, he doesn't look like he's running very fast but nobody can catch him," Darlington said of Gallon. "He's very wiggly. He's a lot like Percy Harvin. He's got amazing hands. You can throw the football at him from anywhere and he catches with his fingers. He just snatches it out of the air like a baseball."
Percy Harvin, Noel Devine, and Chris Rainey: this serves as your explanation. A little more from his coach:
In Apopka's second-round playoff victory against Edgewater, Gallon rushed for 257 yards, caught a touchdown pass and covered Edgewater's best receiver the whole game.
"Jeremy Gallon may be the best player that's every played at Apopka," Darlington said of the school that was home to NFL players Warren Sapp and Brandon Meriweather.
And, what the hell, one more:
"This is the same staff that had (former North Fort Myers star) Noel Devine at West Virginia last year," Darlington said. "I think that's what they're thinking with Jeremy, to move him around and find different ways to get him the ball. He's a special athlete and he's a great fit for what they're going to do on offense."
Gallon is only 5-9, 165-pounds but is one of Apopka's strongest players. He led the team in six of eight categories and had the third highest point total in school history in the "Super-Darter" test, which measures strength, speed, agility and endurance. His led his team in the power-clean lift and had a 40-yard dash time of 4.38 seconds.
You get the idea.
Gallon is the second receiver to commit and will likely be joined by two or three more with Michigan thin on receivers during their transition to the spread 'n' shred; one of the two running back recruits will also get a look in the slot. He's Michigan's first commit from heavily-scoured Florida in this class and Michigan's fifth Rivals 100 recruit.
Now... uh... maybe some linemen or something? (TN OL Alex Bullard picks Friday but most expect it to be Tennessee.)