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Wednesday Recruitin' 6-2-10
The 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board is your place for all-time updates. One important note before we get into individual prospects. Coach Rodriguez recently said the coaching staff will narrow its focus from about 150 offered prospects to "around 70" players. This may make me a little more comfortable removing guys that are less-discussed. The Michigan Elite Camp is this weekend, so that will provide a little clarity as well.
Chris Rock Goes Blue
Michigan gained a commitment from OH DE Chris Rock over the weekend (not the comedian). Unsurprisingly, the local papers in Columbus didn't pick up on the story, but Magnus breaks down his game on Touch the Banner:
To be honest, I'm not enamored with Rock. A large part of that is due to the fact that his highlight film is full of offensive linemen completely forgetting to block him. I find it difficult to get excited about a player who accrues a bunch of sacks while barreling unimpeded into the offensive backfield...
My biggest issue with Rock is that he stands straight up on the snap. He's able to push around weaker players when playing so high, but if he tried to push around a 310 lb. Big Ten tackle like that, Rock would get tossed around like a rag doll. He doesn't use his hands well to shed blocks, and he also finds himself losing contain a little too frequently. He has decent speed for a 250-pounder, so he can make up for his poor fundamentals at times. But some of his habits are less than ideal.
For more on Rock, read the Hello: Chris Rock post.
We transition from good news right into stuff not so positive, as a few prospects are coming off the board:
- AR QB Kiehl Frazier. He officially narrowed his list to Arkansas and Auburn last week, and then Black Righty Tebow committed to Auburn.
- OH QB Braxton Miller. He will choose between OSU (the likely destination), Florida, Notre Dame, and Alabama tomorrow.
- SC OL Brandon Shell. He's named a final 5 consisting entirely of Southern schools.
- FL CB Nick Waisome. He named a top 7 without Michigan in it.
Assume The Position: Wide Receiver
I did one of these a few weeks ago (for tight end), and with the amount of information available this week, it's time to take a closer look at the wide receiver position.
Michigan currently has one wide receiver commit, in Shawn Conway out of Birmingham Seaholm High School. Conway is a big outside leaper with great hands, in the mold of Braylon Edwards (though likely not as good, he probably won't have a case of the dropsies on easy balls, either). With the numbers of offers and visits taking place, it's clear that the Wolverines want one more outside guy, and maybe a slot receiver if they can find an elite one.
Fortunately for us, Sam Webb's weekly column in the Detroit News focused on on the wideout position last week, and ran down a few of the Wolverines' top targets. I don't intend to steal Sam's thunder by blockquoting too much of his article, but since the News evilly (and idiotically - good luck finding people to pay for it) puts its articles behind a paywall after a week, I'll be a little more liberal. Please click through to make up for it.
Sammy Watkins (at right):
"Sammy Watkins is the total package as a WR prospect," said Scout.com Florida analyst Geoff Vogt. "He can flat run, has incredibly light feet which allows him to make players miss in the open field, and a body to be that prototype 6-3, 215-pounder down the road.
"I have watched him snare balls thrown as bullets down the middle of the field and he will just leisurely catch them with one hand. He has elite hands. He runs very clean routes and understands how to get separation.
"While I view him as a WR prospect, Sammy could easily be a big-time safety if he chose to go that route."
Michigan, Miami (YTM), and Florida are his top 3. DeAnthony Arnett:
The second-rated prospect in the state dominated opponents in seven-on-seven competitions throughout the winter and spring thanks to his precise route-running and impressive quickness.
"It seems like every camp DeAnthony goes to, he kills it," said Scout.com Midwest analyst Allen Trieu. "He continued to impress with his route-running, hands, and ball skills at the Michigan Football Showcase. He made the play of the tournament when he went up between two defenders and made an outstanding catch to win a game. Arnett continues to move up in our eyes and has proven to be one of the very best in country."
If Michigan has a good season, the Wolverines will probably get back into the mix for Arnett. Theyr'e currently on the outside looking in. AJ Jordan:
"One of the top players in Ohio in his class," his Scout.com profile reads. "Also ranked one of the top 4 hurdlers in the nation. A smooth route runner with a great burst, he can make plays anywhere on the field and makes defenses game-plan against him."
On the recruiting roundup, Sam said Michigan is "definitely in the driver's seat" for Jordan. He'll decide earlier than the other two guys. Those are the three hottest prospects from a Michigan perspective, but there are a few more on the radar should all of these fall through. Michigan also has its eye on a few sot receivers, including NJ ATH Miles Shuler - though Northwestern leads ($, info in header - and MD ATH Darius Jennings.
Scout has had their 2011 prospects rankings out for a while, but the other two sites are slowly-but-surely releasing theirs. Both ESPN and Rivals now have the top recruits ranked, with neither site having any Michigan commits in their top group, but a number of Michigan targets. Some of those are longshots - FL DT Timmy Jernigan, who lists Michigan in his top 6, would still surprise everyone if he left the state of Florida - but many are realistic options. Magnus has a breakdown of Rivals's list. Top 100 lists were also released by the Sporting News and Tom Lemming.
Recruiting Quick Hits
You may remember that NC QB Marquise Williams recently named Michigan among his top three schools, before trimming his list to a final five. He's now made his decision timeline public, as he plans to commit to a school in October ($, info in header). He'll visit Ann Arbor for the Michigan State game on October 9th, so the Wolverines will be fresh in his mind when he makes a decision. I'll go into a little more depth on the QB recruiting situation next week.
Yay Demetrius and all that.
According to Cincinnati recruiting guru Mike Dyer, OH TE Benson Browne plans to visit Michigan this summer. My educated guess will be that he's coming in for camp to try for an offer. He currently holds them from West Virginia, Kansas, Louisville, Minnesota, Miami (Not That Miami) and Central Michigan.
Despite recently receiving a Michigan offer, OH TE Nick Vannett does not have UM in his top group. He's going to start taking trips soon, and wants to have a decision made by July.
FL OL Tony Posada will visit Michigan this summer ($, info in header). He also spoke to ESPN last week (video), mentioning Michigan first, and in his "big ones" category. He claims to be open at this time.
Though their class is starting to fill up, the Buckeyes will hold a spot open for IN DT/OL Joel Hale ($, info in header). It's unclear if Michigan is a player in his recruitment.
MGoBoard's very own Magnus breaks down the game of MD DT Vincent Croce on Touch The Banner:
Strengths: Listed at 5.17 but seemingly plays faster. Ability to chase some players from sideline to sideline. Relentless pass rusher. Very aggressive tackler. Strong upper body. Uses hands well to deliver good initial shock and shed blockers. Good initial surge off the line. Relatively lean frame
Weaknesses: Not a natural knee bender. Stands too high. May get overpowered by strong run-blocking guards. Played significant time at linebacker, which may stunt growth as defensive lineman.
Projection: Could be a solid rotation player as early as second year in program
His weaknesses are mostly technique-based, which could be worked on with college coaching. I also think playing DT only part-time may have led to some of that, and playing LB in high school actually means he has more upside than is shown on film.
GA DT Gabe Wright might officially visit Michigan:
“I’ll probably take all of my unofficial visits to schools that I can drive to and my officials to schools far away,” he says. “I will probably take official visits to schools like Miami, Michigan and maybe USC or UCLA. Also, I might visit Oregon State. It will be late before I make my decision.”
Taking an official would be a good sign for Michigan's chances to land him.
PA LB/DE Desimon Green will officially visit Michigan State, Texas Tech and Pitt, along with a couple other schools to be named later. He gave a slightly different top schools list to Tom, and is expecting a Michigan offer later this week.
TX LB Kellen Jones has picked up a Michigan offer, and called it "a dream come true" ($, info in header). THat sounds very promising should the Wolverines press him for a commitment.
Tom talked to OH LB Sean Duggan, who has Michigan in his top 5. However, it sounds like Notre Dame is a heavy favorite as long as they don't wait too long to offer. The Spartans offered him a couple days ago.
GA CB Avery Walls plans to visit Michigan at some point ($, info in header).
Tom also has (positive) updates on VA LB Corey Marshall, FL DE Giorgio Newberry, and NC LB Kris Frost, among others. Check out his post for the full info.
Michigan Sports Zone talked with NJ CB/RB Solomon Simpkins, and he mentioned that he has early interest in Michigan.
I really like that list of outside wide receivers. All three of those guys will be studs and it's looking pretty good for two of them right now. When we start throwiing the ball better in the fall I expect for us to be right back in it with DeAnthony too.
I love to see those stats from Dee Hart
Dee Hart, Zettel, and AJ Jordan all seem possible in the near future, and they're all very high level recruits. Add in all the DL guys we have looking our way and a couple LB (I'm looking at you, Kris Frost) and we've got the makings of a very solid class. More interest from a couple more top OL is about all I could ask for.
great info, hope that more recruits this summer get a good look at the program and decide in the near future. maybe a few top players (frost, hart, etc.) will start the ball rolling for others in the fall.
I had to +1 you simply for the Buckaroo Bonzai signature.
Yeah, but with a schnozz like that he can sniff out the plays before the ball is snapped.
Better question for opposing offenses: CAN YOU SMELLLLL! WHAT THE ROCK IS COOK'IN?!
Prediction: Rock will either be a DT or he'll switch to the Oline. So many DE's and he's a big kid already.
We really don't have that many defensive ends. Banks is graduating. When Rock arrives, the depth chart at strongside DE will be some combo of Van Bergen (Sr.), Lalota, Black, and perhaps Wilkins. Ash and Talbott are likely going to play DT/NT. So that leaves us about four-deep at DE after Rock redshirts.
You're entitled to your opinion, but I disagree.
No, DE won't be very deep. But you left out Paskorz, who you said you think will be a DE, and it's possible that either Beyer or Davion Rogers grows into a DE, especially if one of them becomes the heir apparent to Roh, or if a guy like Jake Ryan takes over for Roh. Also, we'll probably get another DE in this class based on how many we're high on.
And although we don't have too many DE's, we have fewer of the other positions I mentioned. In the 2 classes before his, we have a total of 3 DT's, 2 OT's and 1(!) OG. So although I agree with you that the depth at DE isn't saturated, those other spots are all lacking depth for the future. What if a guy like Q or Lewan or Schofield get injured? I know there is a lot of recruiting season left, but we'll have a small class, and we don't have a single OL or DT committed yet. If we come up a little short in one of those spots, he's a good candidate to switch.
And even if it weren't for all of those things, Rock is 6'6' and 250lbs a year before his freshman year. At any of those spots, he's likely to redshirt, so he could 280lbs in his first year of eligibility. That's a big DE.
I did forget about Paskorz...
But I really, really doubt that Beyer or Rogers grows into a DE. That's pretty far-fetched, IMO.
It's possible that Rock becomes a DT, but I also really, really doubt that he ends up on the offensive line.
If Washington, Lewan, or Schofield gets injured, somebody else will step in. Whether it's Khoury or Huyge or Barnum or Omameh or whoever. There's also about 8 months until National Signing Day, so I'm going to assume that we'll pick up a few offensive linemen between now and then to make this Rock-to-the-OL idea moot.
You're probably right, obviously he's being recruited to that spot. But my comment about the OL was assuming those 3 guys were older, once guys like Khoury and Huyge are gone, and there is no one in the class below them, and the 2 deep is full of true and redshirt freshman. Again, you're likely correct, I was just saying it's possible.
To be fair, this was commented on the other day in another thread, but Magnus' comments about Rock were more that there was insufficient evidence to form a full, fair evaluation on.
Everyone should be able to see the snap-up in the videos, and him being unblocked doesn't show you a whole lot. One thing that doesn't come through is that he does seem to "have a good motor" which is important. Good rip move too, even if he (and I agree here) doesn't have very good handwork.
Lots of potential, IMO.
"Despite East Ridge's best efforts on defense, DP keeps filling those holes."
that link doesn't say NW leads. Typical site fluff imo.
I think tomorrow I'll probably give a comprehensive overview of the rankings that came out this week, as it relates to Michigan.