Michigan Probably Leads For A Five-Star Dual-Threat QB. Wait, What?
Michigan's 2015 quarterback situation is the subject of much conjecture and little more, as the only prospect offered at the position—California five-star Josh Rosen—has stated that he's not interested in the Wolverines. Several names have been thrown out there as potential backup options, with player types ranging from pocket statues to Gardner-like dual threats. If Michigan wants to go the latter route—and Al Borges seems more open to the idea now that the NFL is heading in that direction—then a five-star option has emerged in CA ATH Kevin Dillman, per 247's Ryan Bartow [free article, also contains sources saying that JuJu Smith currently favors Notre Dame and Alabama over the field right now, and Michigan gets mentioned among the leaders of several 2015 prospects]:
3- Kevin Dillman, 5-star QB, La Mirada (Calif.)
Michigan and Nebraska are his Top 2. If Michigan offers, the Wolverines could likely land a commitment this winter or spring.
“I grew up watching Tom Brady. If there was one offer I could wish for it would be Michigan. I really like their coaching staff,” - 5-star QB Kevin Dillman, La Mirada
Please and thank you, right? Well, we'll see. Dillman's sophomore highlights (above) show a lot more of the athlete side—the first clip is a kick return—than the downfield passing aspect that Borges will focus on heavily when deciding whom to offer. Personally, I'd love to see Michigan go the dual-threat route, and if Dillman has enough to work with as a passer, he seems like the best available—and highly interested—option.
Nobody seems to have a clear picture of the 2015 QB pecking order after Rosen, though, and I'm assuming the coaches are hoping to evaluate several options more extensively once junior film starts rolling in. With room for just one QB in the class, this approach makes sense—the coaches can't afford to miss.
One such option is Brother Rice QB Alex Malzone, who's off to a strong start this season. He's the headlining visitor for Minnesota in a quiet weekend for uncommitted prospects and another prospect who's likely to commit if offered, though I think Dillman and a handful of other quarterbacks are higher priorities. Malzone is mentioned as one of five Midwest juniors "on the rise" this season—along with Cass Tech RB Mike Weber—by Allen Trieu.
[Hit THE JUMP to see which Michigan commit is nominated for Gatorade's national player of the year—yeah, you probably guessed it—plus evaluations of a few commits and more.]
There's a 2% Chance That You're About To Freak Out
Sam Webb catches up with Jabrill Peppers to talk about his recruitment of Da'Shawn Hand ($) [emphasis mine]:
Sam Webb: Why are you confident Michigan is going to get Da'Shawn Hand?
Jabrill Peppers: “He is down for the education first and then the athletics. He wants to be an engineer and Michigan has the top engineering school, one of the top engineering schools. He definitely sees the bigger picture. I think he is open to see all the guys that we have already and just coming in and joining our unit. Bottom line is there is no place like Michigan. I know he felt that on that visit. He was able to do one thing that I couldn’t do and that was to attend the Michigan and Notre Dame game. That atmosphere was crazy, I know it was crazy and I know he was loving it. You can fit any college stadium in there at least one time. I’m feel it when I’m out there playing. I’m 98% sure that we are going to get him.”
So that's nice.
Meanwhile, Peppers is up for Gatorade National Player of the Year honors, and thusly gets a nice feature in USA Today.
While we've heard plenty about Peppers, his Michigan commit teammate, OT Juwann Bushell-Beatty, often gets overshadowed in the process. Tim Sullivan caught last weekend's Paramus Catholic-Cleveland St. Ignatius matchup and came away impressed with JBB's athleticism and strength while noting a few areas for improvement ($):
It is easy to see why Bushell-Beatty is not considered a finished product, however. In addition to a body that needs to be molded by a college strength and conditioning program, his technique could use some refining as well. He is a bit of a waist-bender, and puts his head down too frequently in run blocking, which can allow defenders to shed his blocks more easily. Many of his issues are typical of young linemen, and a redshirt year to get in the weight room and to learn technique should be enough to bring him up to speed.
Personally, I'd much rather have an offensive line recruit with the requisite size, strength, and athleticism but in need of technique work than vice versa; this goes double for JBB, who moved "exceptionally well" despite having a "bit of a belly," according to Tim—get him in the weight room and practice him up a bit and he could be a force.
In other commit-related stuff, 247 posted cut-ups of Freddy Canteen from last weekend:
Aside from the fumble on the reverse, everything here looks very good: his route-running, acceleration, top speed, and hands all impress, and he looks to be an intelligent player as well—I like the way he works his way back to the quarterback when a play breaks down.
Finally, Tim also watched Shaun Crawford's dominant performance against Erie McDowell—I'm pretty sure The Wolverine found a way to clone Tim, and the results have been great—and he concludes that the only thing keeping Crawford from potential five-star status is his size ($). Crawford shows off everything you'd want in a corner, though, including being a force in run support; even if he doesn't grow another inch, he's a top-notch prospect.
I've been remiss in not posting these segments before, as they're ten minutes of TomVH covering pressing Michigan recruiting topics—this week's edition includes talk about Malik McDowell, Alex Malzone, and the 2015 quarterback class as a whole.