this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
I attended the Sound Mind Sound Body camp at Dakota High School last Friday and had the chance to speak with a number of Michigan commits and targets. Today’s interviews include Michael Onwenu, who committed to Michigan earlier this month, and Corey Malone-Hatcher, a Michigan target with an impressive offer list.
Malone-Hatcher was unable to compete at the camp due to an administrative mix up, but Onwenu did and was dominant. You can check out a brief clip of Onwenu’s one-on-one drills here.
Michael Onwenu, 2016 OG/DT
Adam: How do you feel you did on the field today?
Onwenu: I feel I did okay. You know, you can always improve. I wanted to take more reps. I didn’t lose any reps but I wanted to take as much as I could.
Adam: I watched you in your O-line one-on-ones, but I didn’t see you take any D-line reps. Did you at some point today?
Onwenu: No, I didn’t. I wanted to, but the way they set it up it was like you had to rotate through so if I would have left it would have been…I don’t know, it would have been hard to go both ways.
Adam: In college, do you want to play on both sides of the ball?
Onwenu: If I could, I wish.
Adam: What have the Michigan coaches told you about that?
Onwenu: They haven’t told me anything yet about that. They just say when you come in freshman year and I work out at whatever I work out at and whatever I feel comfortable at, then that’s my choice.
Adam: What are your goals for the summer?
Onwenu: Shed about 20-25 pounds and just improve on everything.
Adam: What kind of feedback were you getting from the coaches out here today?
Onwenu: Well, I mean, all the coaches said I did good throughout the drills and one-on-ones. I got some good feedback.
Adam: Overall, what was your experience at this camp?
Onwenu: Overall this camp was good. I like- actually, I love Sound Mind Sound Body. Coming from the last two years, my sophomore year and junior year, and then this year, it’s been a great experience every time.
[After THE JUMP: Malone-Hatcher]
Photo via 247
Now this is a Jim Harbaugh recruit. Norco (CA) QB/ATH Victor Viramontes committed to Michigan last night after earning an offer at the Fresno satellite camp. He's a dual-threat quarterback who can also play—wait for it—linebacker at the next level. A quarterback/linebacker. Nicknamed "Vicious Vic" if his Hudl page is any indication. Harbaugh.
Viramontes is the 14th commit in the 2016 class, joining Brandon Peters at quarterback, and the eighth to pledge this month, which is only half over.
|3*, #31 ATH||3*, #19 D-QB||NR D-QB||
3*, 86, #57 ATH,
3*, #40 ATH,
Viramontes is ranked as a three-star on every site save ESPN, which apparently hasn't bothered to evaluate a significant portion of this class. He's relatively close to four-star status on both Scout and Rivals—three position rank spots away on Rivals, seven on Scout—while he's further off the pace on 247.
The listed heights for Viramontes range from 6'0" (Scout, ESPN) to 6'2" (247), with his weight listed anywhere between 205 and 220 pounds. Those extra couple inches would be of great use if he winds up at quarterback.
Viramontes is a run-first dual-threat quarterback—SouthernCaliforniaPreps went so far as to list him at running back on their 2014-15 All-SoCal offense team—but that doesn't mean he lack ability as a thrower. His arm strength is consistently noted as a positive in scouting reports, and Scout's free evaluation indicates he has the potential to stick at the position in college:
EvaluationViramontes is dual threat quarterback who can beat a team with his arm or his legs. He might actually be more advanced as a runner than a pure thrower but in the right system, he can definitely play QB in college. He has the size, athleticism and toughness to move to defense as well and could end up at LB or safety. He's a very physical player, loves contact and is a highly competitive kid-Biggins
Areas to Improve
- Change of Direction
At the B2G Los Angeles camp in May, Viramontes worked out on both sides of the ball, and Rivals named him their #3 performer in a field with some big-time talent ($):
This was the first time this offseason we've seen Viramontes in action and he was really impressive both at quarterback and linebacker. The Norco prospect is not going to play [blow?] anyone away with his size but he's a compact, physical prospect who has as much zip on his passes as any quarterback in California. On defense he flies around, reads the quarterback's eyes and has a real passion for playing the game.
At this month's Rivals Five-Star Challenge, Viramontes was the best quarterback in attendance, and he showed he's got more than just arm strength and athleticism to work with, per Blair Angulo ($):
Whether it was hitting receivers on underneath routes or completing passes deep, the strong-armed Viramontes did a bit of everything in Baltimore. The shaggy hairdo might suggest he's laid back -- something that is often the stereotype for prospects from California -- but the three-star prospect proved to be a fiery competitor and it showed, especially during the 7-on-7 competition. Though his future position has yet to be determined, particularly since he has garnered looks at linebacker, Viramontes showed the accuracy and timing that would make him a formidable signal caller at the next level.
Viramontes was the only quarterback to make the overall top performers list from the 7-on-7 portion, coming in at #12 after throwing seven touchdowns and no picks in five games ($). In the aftermath, Mike Farrell wrote that Rivals will have to debate whether to give him a fourth star ($):
Viramontes did emerge as the First-Team All-Challenge quarterback, so this is an impressive call, but the jury is out when it comes to four-star status. As a highly-rated three-star, Viramontes will be discussed at length during our next rankings meetings. He has a cannon of an arm, but doesn't show a ton of touch and despite some offensive talent his team, finished out of the finals in the 7-on-7. But he was the best of a group that struggled. Whether that earns him a fourth star or not will be determined.
We'll see what happens in the rankings; it's impressive for a dual-threat prospect to perform that well in a camp setting, which eliminates half the threat; at the same time, Viramontes' size could prevent him from being ranked higher as long as he's considered a quarterback, and there's much less film on him as a defensive player. Regardless, we know he can be very productive with the ball in his hands:
In one of the most memorable games of the year last season, Norco beat St. Bonaventure and USC QB signee Ricky Town in triple OT 71-70. Viramontes rushed for 354 yards, threw for 235 and accounted for eight touchdowns. When you look at his size, athleticism and toughness, it's easy to see why a lot of schools feel he's best suited to play on the defensive side of the ball but he's definitely a play maker with the ball in his hands as well.
That is a lot of yards.
Viramontes holds offers from Colorado, Colorado State, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Nevada, San Diego State, Washington State, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, among others. The Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington State offers are especially intriguing for a quarterback prospect with Viramontes' skill set.
Norco has consistently sent talent to Pac-12 schools, most notably former Stanford running back and Heisman finalist Toby Gerhart. Three-star 2016 safety Troy Dye also added an offer at the Fresno satellite camp.
MaxPreps has complete stats for Viramontes, and they're impressive. He completed 123 of 228 passes (53.9%) for 1,784 yards (7.8 YPA), 18 TDs, and only two INTs as a junior. He also rushed for 1,757 yards and 18 TDs on 214 carries (8.2 YPC), posting eight 100-yard games in 13 games played.
Since taking over at quarterback as a sophomore, Viramontes hasn't played much defense, but he's contributed on the side of the ball since he was a freshman; he recorded an interception in each of his first two high school seasons.
FAKE 40 TIME
Viramontes' Hudl page lists a three-FAKE 4.58; ESPN posts zero-FAKE SPARQ testing results that include a 4.71 40, which is still pretty fast for a high school quarterback.
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Viramontes looks like a viable quarterback prospect, and you've probably noticed Michigan aquiring quite a few of those recently. When he gets to campus in 2016, Shane Morris, John O'Korn, Wilton Speight, Alex Malzone, and Zach Gentry are all slated to be on the roster, as well as fellow 2016 commit Brandon Peters. With Viramontes much more experienced on the offensive side of the ball, he's a lock to redshirt whether he ends up at quarterback or linebacker. He told Scout's Greg Biggins his future position isn't of major concern to him:
“I’m coming in as an athlete,” Viramontes said. “I trust the coaches so wherever they want to play me, I’m fine with. I worked out at quarterback and got great feedback from the staff. They said I remind them of Kap (Colin Kaepernick) because of how I can run and throw but we’ll see where I end up.
“It’s really not an issue for me, I’ll play wherever they want me. This is such an exciting time for me and it feels great to have the decision out of the way. My goal all along was to commit sometime in the summer so I can focus on Norco football and having a great senior year with my brothers on the team.
After watching his film, I'd love to see what a Harbaugh offense would look like with Viramontes at the helm, whether as the full-time starter or a situational option. If he doesn't beat out the considerable competition at quarterback, linebacker seems like a solid backup plan.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan has filled all 14 spots currently open in the class. Of course, they're not done recruiting. Wide receiver, tight end (likely Naseir Upshur or Chase Claypool), offensive line, defensive tackle, weakside DE, outside linebacker, cornerback, and safety all remain needs, and recruiting shows no sign of slowing down. Again, I'll be taking a deeper look into the scholarship numbers in a post later this week. It's safe to say Michigan is set at quarterback for 2016, at least.
NOTE: Yes, I'm aware that Victor Viramontes committed last night, too. That post is coming up later.
Dudley (MA) Shepherd Hill tight end Sean McKeon became the 13th commit of the 2016 class—and the seventh this month alone—after informing the coaches of his decision following a strong showing at Michigan's camp today, per Sam Webb.
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 15, 2015
McKeon is the first tight end commit in the class. He chose the Wolverines over fellow finalists Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, and Virginia.
|3*, #51 TE||2* TE||NR TE||
3*, 84, #51 TE,
3*, #57 TE,
This post has been updated.
McKeon's rankings fall into familiar territory; only Scout had bothered to give him a positional ranking until 247 updated his profile last night. Massachusetts isn't exactly a football recruiting hotbed, so it's not a huge surprise that McKeon hadn't received a close look from the recruiting services. Based on his film, I don't think he'll be ranked this low for long.
All but Rivals (6'4", 230 lbs.) list McKeon at 6'5" and 226-230 pounds. He'll need to pack on some muscle before he gets to the next level, but he's got the frame of a guy who should be able to play with his hand in the dirt.
Scout has a full evaluation up on McKeon's profile—at the moment, he's definitely a receiving-first tight end:
EvaluationMcKeon is an intriguing prospect because of his combination of size, speed and athleticism. He needs to get stronger, which will help his blocking, but he releases well off the line of scrimmage and gets into his routes well. He high-points the ball in traffic and is also tough to bring down after the catch. When blocking, the intent and desire is there, but he needs to get stronger to stay on and finish the block. -- Brian Dohn
- Downfield Threat
- Route-Running Skills
- Running Ability
Areas to Improve
- Blocking Ability
McKeon caught Scout's eye at May's Pylon 7-on-7 tournament in New Jersey, landing several offers on his way to being named one of their recruits of the week:
McKeon had a strong showing at the Pylon 7-on-7 at Woodbridge (N.J.) High, and showed saw a burst of offers as Syracuse and Boston College extended ones to go along with Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Temple, Massachusetts, Air Force, Old Dominion, Yale and Harvard.
McKeon added size to his frame and was quick getting in and out of breaks at the event. He lined up as a receiver, and high-pointed the ball and was able to tuck it away quickly.
He also shared position MVP honors at April's NUC Five-Star Showcase in New Jersey; the Rivals analysis doesn't say anything beyond him having good size and athleticism ($).
247's Clint Brewster broke down McKeon's film and sees him as a red zone threat who can also stretch the defense vertically:
McKeon is a big weapon in the red zone with his mismatch ability and how he can sneak out into a route. He's got the straight line speed and ability to threaten the seam. McKeon can extend and pluck the ball when it's in the air but shows some stiffness when he has to turn and adjust his body. He shows some very good straight-line speed, being timed at 4.69 officially in the forty yard dash and also vertical jumped 36.5 inches. Has the toughness and hard-nosed demeanor that Michigan likes.
Brewster also likes McKeon's blocking more than Scout, though since that's based off a highlight reel I'd probably defer to Dohn's more extensive evaluation.
McKeon held offers from Air Force, Boston College, Colorado State, Columbia, UConn, Harvard, UMass, Pitt, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Yale. I don't think academics will be a concern.
Only one other Shepherd Hill product has signed with a D-I school since 2002: three-star 2015 OL Chris Lindstrom, who signed with Boston College.
According to Rivals, McKeon caught 19 passes for 354 yards and three TDs as a junior, in addition to tallying 57 tackles, 11 TFLs, and eight sacks as a defensive end.
FAKE 40 TIME
McKeon's 4.69 40 time is listed as verified by multiple outlets, and gets zero FAKEs out of five. That's excellent straight-line speed for a high school tight end prospect.
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
McKeon looks like a good bet to redshirt while he adds strength and waits behind Jake Butt, Ian Bunting, Khalid Hill, Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and perhaps Chase Winovich when he gets to campus in 2016. With his potential to line up as either a TE-Y (hand in the dirt) or split out, he should start competing for a spot on the two-deep as a redshirt freshman.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
McKeon's commitment brought Michigan to 13 commits, and with Victor Viramontes' commitment late last night, the Wolverines have fillled all 14 of the spots currently open. That number is certain to grow, and I'll have a post later this week taking a closer look at the scholarship situation.
Sound Mind, Bad Posture
Harbaugh demonstrates my "big recruiting weekend" resting position. [Bill Rapai/MGoBlog]
There's no way I'm getting this post up today unless I go rapid-fire and skip any commentary. If you've got questions you'd like answered, I'm planning a recruiting mailbag this week, so either email me or tweet me (use the hashtag #mgomailbag, please) your questions.
First, the essentials: If you missed it, Michigan added commitments from FL CB Antwaine Richardson and FL DE/TE Rashad Weaver over the weekend. They could be close to more: safeties Devin Gil and Josh Metellus, who visited campus along with linebacker teammate Devin Bush Jr., decommitted from Miami (YTM) and Georgia Southern, respectively, while they were in Ann Arbor.
Michigan had a ton of weekend visitors due to the nearby Sound Mind Sound Body camp. Reactions ahoy.
Top-100 KS DE Xavier Kelly had "a great visit," per 247's Steve Wiltfong ($). He has a who's-who list of offers and claims no favorites at the moment.
Top-100 FL WR Binjimen Victor stopped by campus after SMSB, and he's now considering the Wolverines, per TMI's Brice Marich ($):
“I’m pretty interested now in Michigan," said Victor. "I’m wide open for everybody, so I’m just giving everybody a chance and see what they've got. I canceled my top four and basically I am wide open to everybody. I’m just opening up to everybody and giving everybody a chance. I want to see what schools bring to the table and basically show me what they got. (Michigan) brought it to the table, so I like them.”
Florida (the presumed leader), LSU, Ohio State, and Tennessee were Victor's top four heading into last week.
Top-50 FL CB Trayvon Mullen told Marich that Michigan is "in it with me and I'm interested," and mentioned a desire to come back to campus ($). He'll be a tough pull from the usual SEC/ACC suspects.
Three-star CN TE/WR Chase Claypool got a lot of attention from the coaches at SMSB after visiting campus earlier in the week. He told TMI's Josh Newkirk that Michigan is now in his top three with Oregon and Washington ($). Notably, that list only includes schools he's visited, so it's subject to change, but it sounds like M made a significant move for him this week.
Another tight end possibility, three-star Sean McKeon, put Michigan in his top group along with Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, and Virginia after his visit, per Marich ($). McKeon plans to decide at the end of this month.
In the 2017 class, four-star Cass Tech S Jaylen Kelly-Powell named Michigan his leader following the weekend, per 247's Steve Lorenz. Lorenz also reports($) that Michigan and Michigan State are the two schools out in front for four-star 2017 OLSM WR KJ Hamler.
Four-star 2017 MD DE Josh Kaindoh added an offer shortly after visiting campus this weekend, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown.
The top-ranked 2017 quarterback in the country, Hunter Johnson, was on campus this weekend, per 247's Steve Wiltfong ($). Other campus visitors included four-star 2016 IL DE Daniel Joseph, four-star 2017 GA CB Jamyest Williams, four-star 2017 Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas, and five-star 2017 Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Michigan even extended another 2018 offer, this one to Oak Park OG Marquan McCall, per Wiltfong. McCall is teammates with 2017 four-star OT JaRaymond Hall. Michigan looks to be in very good shape with both of them.
[Take a deep breath, then hit THE JUMP.]
More On Weekend Commitments
The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan caught up with Antwaine Richardson to talk about his commitment and what he'll bring to the table ($):
"I'm a 6-0, 170-pound cornerback," he said. "I love pressing, I'm aggressive, love to tackle. I can jump up for the ball and catch it. I don't like nobody to catch the ball on me. Basically you're going to get a lockdown corner. Now, since Michigan plays a shuffle technique [in the defensive backfield], I would love to improve that. I'm good at it right now, but I want to be great at it. I would love to improve that.
"The camp was good. I came in their competing. During the drills, when we did the shuttle drill, we were going against the DB group, and nobody could [beat] me out there in the shuttle drill. Working hard throughout every drill, I was asking questions, and once it came to position drills, I did good too."
Over on Scout, Corey Bender posted an article on Rashad Weaver with an evaluation tacked on the end:
Weaver is a big-bodied athlete with the makings of an impressive strong-side defensive end. He shows good change of direction for a player of his stature, and does a good job of disengaging off blocks and making a play on the football as well. The defensive lineman simply reads and attacks.
Weaver has a frame that should be able to pack on an additional 20-30 pounds without hindering much of his athleticism in the trenches. He's a kid who's still fairly under the radar after surfacing earlier this offseason, but you can expect that to change.
He's a high-character and coachable kid that the Wolverines loved a few weeks back at their satellite camp in Davie, Florida. Weaver is just scratching the surface of his potential with his best football yet to come.
Weaver really looks like a 3-4 end, and that should prove valuable in DJ Durkin's defense.
Meanwhile, Michael Onwenu once again was a standout at a camp featuring lots of talent. This time, he came in fifth on Rivals' list of the top SMSB offensive performers ($):
The 6-foot-4, 368-pound Onwenu had an outstanding performance at the Five-Star Challenge last week, and he carried that momentum into the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp. After having competed against the best defensive linemen in the country out in Baltimore, Onwenu was easily able to dispatch all comers on Friday, displaying outstanding power and very good feet.
With all these solid camp performances, Onwenu is a good bet to move up the rankings.
More Offers, Visits, Etc.
Michigan appears to be open to taking a second 2016 quarterback after offering three-star CA ATH Victor Viramontes, who earned a lofty comparison from Harbaugh:
— Justin Hopkins (@JHopkins247) June 12, 2015
The Wolverines also offered 2017 top-100 ATH Bruce Jordan-Swilling, per 247's Sonny Shipp.
After working with M's coaches at the Dallas satellite camp, four-star OLB Jeffrey McCullough told Sam Webb that the Wolverines "will be there to the end" of his recruitment ($).
Three-star NC WDE Jimmie Taylor told Scout's Michael Clark that Michigan is one of four schools standing out to him, and he'll visit campus on Thursday ($).
Top-100 2017 WR Tarik Black will be on campus Friday, per Tarik Black.
Four-star 2017 FL WR Daquon Green, who added a Michigan offer after the South Florida satellite camp, also attended SMSB and told Rivals that Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida comprise his early top three ($). Green plans to visit Ann Arbor in either June or July.
Never not funny. Every day is an entertaining day with Harbaugh. Bill Rapai shot the Sound Mind, Sound Body camp for us and returned with this set of photos that were taken within a few minutes of each other. Each one is magnificent. As a set…
…they are almost a Broadway play.
A titanic clash. You really need to read Zach Shaw's account of the IM softball final between the football and hockey teams.
“The T-shirt means everything to us,” said self-proclaimed team manager and owner Jared Wangler, who redshirted as a freshman linebacker on the football team last fall. “We lost out last year in the semi-finals, and didn’t come back for second place. We’re back with a vengeance.”
Motte, who was once a standout baseball player and teammate with Michigan baseball star Jacob Cronenworth before settling for sophomore forward on the hockey team, was slightly less enthused after the loss.
“To be totally honest, I didn’t know we got T-shirts,” he said.
Good news for a change. Phil Steele's published a ranking of teams based on experience in their two-deep and Michigan is not languishing at the bottom of the list, trying not to get its face punched in. Far from it, in fact:
|Pts||SR ST||SR 2D||JR ST||JR 2D||SO ST||SO 2D||FR ST||FR 2D|
(As per usual with Steele if you drill down on the team you know you're going to find a few assumptions that are off or not up to date, but he's broadly accurate.)
That is a combination of Rodriguez's extreme attrition followed by Hoke's almost total lack of same, and would normally bode well. When that team is coming off a coaching change caused by whatever that was last year the route to a good season is less clear; still, a veteran and pretty good defense returns almost everybody, as does the not-so-veteran and maybe-okay offensive line. Skill positions are the big question mark.
This is both true and infuriating to Notre Dame fans. It comes from Brian Kelly:
"I think we recognized that all of my football players are at-risk -- all of them -- really," Kelly told Notre Dame Insider. "Honestly, I don't know that any of our players would get into the school by themselves right now with the academic standards the way they are. Maybe one or two of our players that are on scholarship."
ND Nation reacted to this about as well as Roll Bama Roll reacted to a camp sleeper committing to Michigan, because ND Nation believes that when a student with a 2.5 arrives on campus the magical fairy dust on ND's campus makes them into a Serious Business major.
To its credit, ND does come down much harder on malfeasance than everywhere else. Nobody else suspends five players for a whole season for academic issues, and the kind of things those guys did are at least as common around the country.
More Austin Davis highlights. This appears to be from a camp a few weeks ago:
It's not much; it does look like Davis is getting big and stronk. He has nice footwork around the basket and finishes with both hands; the Jordan Morgan vibe is strong.
“He visited Kentucky, he just visited Oregon, he’s thinking about visiting Michigan and a couple of others. Will he do that? He’s not sure. Right now, it’s a two-and-a-half horse race, Michigan being the half. If they get the visit, you have to consider them a full-fledged threat."
Murray is a potential one-and-done—Draft Express has him 21st in their 2016 mock draft—who would jam pack the Michigan roster in the same way Jaylen Brown would have. Long way to go before anything comes of that, competing against Kentucky usually doesn't go well, other rosters are probably more attractive in terms of playing time available, etc.
Another hockey exit, this one before an entrance. Michigan lost a recruit to the OHL today: Sam Miletic. Miletic isn't being hyped as an impact player after a 12-15-27 line in 58 USHL games, which is both good and bad.
The good: Miletic wasn't slated for a scoring line as a freshman and Michigan should be able to replace him without a ton of trouble. The bad: Miletic, who dropped out of the final CSB rankings after being listed 192nd—probably undrafted—in the midterms, is exactly the kind of player who should avoid the OHL like the plague. In college he'd have four years to develop and a degree; in the OHL he's going to age out after two and then face a decision between trying to use the OHL's education package (which will cap at two years for him since he's not playing four years in the league) or trying to catch on in the pros somewhere.
In a vacuum this is pretty meh. In an offseason where it seems like anyone with an option is opting out, though…
And now you're nervous again even though it seems like everyone's already left. There was a lot of speculation that the player London was going to announce today was Zach Werenski, the freshman D who is likely to be a top-15 pick. That would be the cherry on the poop sundae that's been this hockey offseason. Why would that speculation exist when Werenski would be nuts to make any move before the draft?
Zach Werenski, a potential top 10 pick, is a perfect example. The Michigan Wolverines defenceman over the weekend admitted that he’s “open” to possibly leaving behind college hockey life for a chance to play major junior.
Development is paramount in a player’s late teens and Werenski’s future NHL team will have great influence on where he’ll be plying his trade during the 2015-16 season.
Werenski said he will not sign off on a transfer before the June 26 draft.
“I was really comfortable (in Michigan) and I had a good year,” the Grosse Point, Mich., native said at the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo. “I plan on going back as of now.”
So there you go. The tone of this article ("development is paramount") suggests it was written by a juniors honk who badgered Werenski with some leading questions. But that departure is potentially another one on the horizon.
Hockey is officially this offseason's most depressing sport.
On expansion. Eleven Warriors surveys the 14-team Big Ten one year in. I'm mostly in agreement with their take—shortsighted, ham-handed, provides money. I don't think this bit is quite right:
One thing is for sure about Big Ten expansion: it made everyone in the conference a lot of money.
The Big Ten has expanded, and there is more money. I'm sure some of that is because of expansion. How much is an open question. Certainly not as much as the article implies:
In 2009, Big Ten schools each received about $19 million a year from the conference. It was a solid total, second to the SEC in per-school revenue, but not at its max. Adding Nebraska and Rutgers and Maryland to the conference made the Big Ten a whole lot more valuable. …
When the Big Ten signs its next TV deal in 2017, revenue distribution will be at least double what it was in 2009, $45 million or more per school. Ohio State's athletic department has been swimming in money since the move as well.
In terms of relative revenue the Big Ten has not increased its lead. It may have actually lost ground.The Big 12's largest payout in 2009 was $12 million to Kansas. By 2014, full members—of a conference that lost teams—grabbed $23 million. Average payouts were 21.4 million. Those numbers do not include school-specific rights that the larger leagues have bundled into networks. In 2014 the Big Ten distributed about 27 million. The gap is smaller in both percentages and raw numbers than it was five years ago.
The Big Ten is the last conference to have its rights come up and will get a bump to ever-more ludicrous numbers; that was going to happen with or without the two additions. The Big Ten would be swimming in dough either way; any benefit the Big Ten manages to extract from Maryland and Rutgers has zero impact on the ability of its teams to compete in major sports and a panoply of negatives for fans.
Etc.: I'm just talkin' bout Moe Ways. Tyus Battle has to pass on the USA U19 tryouts. Probable return to the court in July. Early signing period is happening for a test-run. Dan Beebe tried to tell 'em. They didn't listen. Caris will be good to go July 1st.
Photo via Scout
Fort Lauderdale (FL) Cooper City DE/TE Rashad Weaver announced his commitment to Michigan on Twitter this evening, becoming the 12th member of the 2016 class and the first at either defensive end or tight end. Weaver added his offer after performing in front of the coaches at the South Florida satellite camp, and it didn't take long for him to accept it.
|NR DE||2* WDE||NR DE||NR SDE||2*, #108 DT|
So much for not getting embroiled in the same debate we've been having about the value of recruiting stars versus in-person coaching evaluations. Weaver got a cursory two-star rating from Rivals and has yet to be evaluated by the other sites. Jim Harbaugh doesn't care about your opinion on this matter.
The sites are in agreement about Weaver's size, all listing him in the neighborhood of 6'5", 245 pounds. That kind of frame should help him fit as either an SDE or TE.
Once again, we go to the tape first, because there's practically nothing out there on Weaver. Here are his junior highlights:
And here are his highlights from this spring:
Weaver does a solid job of crashing down the line to clean up runs, and his size/strength combination allows him to hold up well at the point of attack against that level of competition—down the road, he's going to need to utilize his hands more to disengage from blocks. His pass-rushing ability seems limited, though the knack for batting down passes shouldn't go overlooked. We don't get to see him play much tight end at all. He's clearly not a burner, but he could easily get to the size where he's a useful blocker, and if he's got decent hands to add to that then Harbaugh will be pleased.
247's Clint Brewster tweeted his impression of Weaver's film after the commitment was announced:
Weaver is a long DE with size and point-of-attack strength. Makes hustle plays. Can cross the face of OT's and get inside to play the run.
— Clint Brewster (@clintbrew247) June 14, 2015
Weaver discussed how he earned his offer in a post-commitment interview with The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):
"I started camp at the D-end, and went all the way through all the drills and the one-on-ones, winning those," he explained. "Then with like 10 minutes left, they pulled me over to tight end one-on-ones, and I did four routes and caught a couple balls. They told me they like me at both positions and they're recruiting me as just a big athlete. Possibly even both ways at the next level.
"A couple days later I was sitting on the couch, and Coach [Jay] had asked me something. I don't remember what I responded, but he said, 'how would you feel if I told you that you have a full scholarship offer to the University of Michigan?' I told him that I was sitting there smiling like a little kid that just got a whole bunch of candy. He said again when I got off the phone with them that they like me on both sides."
Like Kiante Enis, Chris Evans, Michael Onwenu, and David Reese, Weaver has positional flexibilty and could contribute on either side of the ball at Michigan.
Weaver holds offers from Air Force, Columbia, Cornell, FIU, Illinois, Louisiana Lafayette, South Florida, Syracuse, and Temple.
Cooper City isn't a major D-I talent producer. Weaver is just the third major college prospect from the school since 2002, following 2010 Miami (OH) signee Travis Williams and 2013 Tennessee signee Lemond Johnson, according to the Rivals database.
The only stats I can find for Weaver are from the hardwood instead of the gridiron; he averaged seven points and nine boards for the Cooper City basketball squad in the eight games recorded on MaxPreps last season.
FAKE 40 TIME
ESPN lists a 5.23 40 that looks to be from a SPARQ camp, so it gets zero FAKEs out of five.
[Update: His Hudl page lists a 4.90, which isn't verified by SPARQ, but also doesn't seem too fake. Again, he's not a burner, but he doesn't look like a plodding blocking-only guy, either.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Your guess is as good as mine. Weaver could end up at strongside end, where he'd compete with incoming freshman Shelton Johnson for a role once the Charlton/Wormley duo graduates following the 2016 season. Or he could play tight end, where he'd figure into the rotation behind Jake Butt, Khalid Hill, Ian Bunting, and Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Either way, Weaver seems like a lock to redshirt while he develops physically and the coaching staff figures out where he should play—though with Harbaugh, there's certainly a chance he lines up on both sides of the ball.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan now sits at 12 commits in a class that currently has room for 14. Again, that number will inevitably go up due to unrenewed fifth-years, attrition under a new coach, and the like. Areas of need in the class include offensive line, defensive tackle, weakside end, outside linebacker, and safety.
Satellites are any object in orbit around a large body. Or in this case, a dad body. The Summer Swarm turned what would have been a week overwhelmed with "omigosh which clothing manufacturer is going to give us money to wear their clothing?" into a week of "omigod Harbaugh is in Alabama and not wearing any clothing!"
Reader CoachW reported back from the Dallas camp with an example of the goings on:
They broke the kids out into position groups and did some warm ups and then had races until they declared a winner in each group. After that, they did rotating agility drills all over the field. From there it was Indy for a good hour. After that, they broke the kids out into freshman and sophomores on one end and the upperclassmen on the other. Here they did basically a one-on-one, make the other guy miss drill with offense vs defense. It was 30 yards long and from the sideline to the hash and all the defender had to do was touch the offensive guy. The young kids really struggled with this as the defense won pretty much every time.
Amir_6 also put together a bunch of resulting recruiting bits that came up on Twitter. As I type this Harbaugh's speaking at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp. Let me say that again: Jim Harbaugh is speaking at the Sound Mind…
— Patrick Barron (@MGoDrone) June 5, 2015
Camp. Ironic coachspeak name aside, SMSB is turning out to be quite the showcase of the suddenly richer Midwest coaching talent: James Franklin, Jerry Kill, and Brian Kelly were also around, and defensive linemen present get to tell tales the rest of their lives of being coached by both Larry Johnson Sr. and Greg Mattison at the same time! The conference still has Hazell and Beckman, but what a difference the names at the top of Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan makes.
/remembers we just added Flood and Edsall
Players come from places. While I fix what used to be a computer speaker, head over to Lanknows's diary on in-state recruiting success, as measured by the percent of top-five Michigan players who went to Michigan. That's not a very good way of doing it since there are years when Michigan looked at that pool and said "we'll take Brandon Graham" and moved on. Also there are recruitments like Chris Norman (whose total Michigan recruitment was a conversation about Barwis he didn't understand), in the same box as Edwin Baker, whom RR overlooked while chasing rabbit chasers out of Pahokee, and RoJo, who seemed like a Michigan lock until a deity told him to go to USC. I'd love to see this expanded to really dive into each recruiting season in the state.
The other "here's how recruiting turned out" diary was Erik_in_Dayton went through all of the 2007 and 2008 Stanford recruits, arming us with information to combat the three-star mafioso. Conclusion: hits and misses, but way more hits than you should expect from that lot; he really did build the basis of that program from 2- and 3-star material. And Andrew Luck.
Other diaries: M baseball draftees and potential draftees. The records softball broke this year. LSA found no patterns in what round players are drafted in, though I bet he would find some shifts for OL and against RBs if he did it by actual draft number instead of round. Alum96 poked around offensive stats and found Michigan and Indiana falling off offensive cliffs later in the season maybe overrated opponent defenses.
[Jump for comments on Kelly's call for help]
Photo via 247.
Michigan's camp tour has paid off once again, this time in the form of a commitment from three-star Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic CB Antwaine Richardson, according to multiple outlets. Richardson, a high school teammate of incoming freshman DE Shelton Johnson, earned an offer on Sunday after performing in front of the coaching staff at the South Florida satellite camp. He's the 11th commit in the 2016 class and the first at cornerback.
|NR CB||3* CB||NR CB||
3*, 86, #81 CB,
3*, #88 CB,
As you can see, Richardson is another under-the-radar type, so let's head off some of the inevitable comments right now and note that his top two was Miami (YTM) and Wisconsin—yes, both programs offered—before Michigan swooped in.
All four sites list him at 6'0" and 162-168 pounds, a nice frame for a cornerback.
The only scouting reports out there on Richardson right now are quotes from... Richardson. Those can be helpful, but first let's take a look at his film:
I like what I see. Richardson has decent footwork for a taller corner, and he knows how to use his length to his advantage. He's not afraid to be physical; there are a few really impressive jams at the line and some big hits on his tape. A few of the special teams clips indicate he's the type of high-effort, high-athleticism prospect Harbaugh covets.
When Richardson got his Miami offer, he compared himself to a couple of the NFL's very best at his position, per 247's Nate Adelson ($):
“I compare myself to Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson,” Richardson said. “I’m a speed corner, I can play off or press, and I’m aggressive on the line. I’m trying to get out of my breaks quicker and sink my hips while I’m backpedaling. I have good footwork and I don’t let anybody catch the deep ball on me.”
He also relishes contact, something he told Scout's Benjamin Worgull after adding his Wisconsin offer:
“You have to be real good (to play) in the Big Ten because they have Ohio State, some good teams in the Big Ten,” he said. “You have to bring your ‘A’ game when you play those teams, so getting an offer from Wisconsin means I got to bring my ‘A’ game.”
In Richardson’s mind, his ‘A’ game encompasses all defensive schemes.
“In man coverage, I love covering,” Richardson said. “I am aggressive, I love to tackle, I love to hit hard and I don’t think nobody can catch a deep ball on me.”
For now, that's about it on Richardson in the scouting department. Despite the lack of articles on him, what's on film should answer any questions about why Michigan offered him and accepted his commitment.
Richardson holds offers from Florida Atlantic, Iowa State, Miami (YTM), Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and several others.
Delray Beach Atlantic has a solid history of producing D-I prospects, and specifically top-level defensive backs: Mike Rumph (Miami), Brandon Flowers (Virginia Tech), and Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech) were all picked in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. Current San Diego Chargers OT Orlando Franklin (Miami) is also an Atlantic product.
According to 247, Richardson had 37 tackles, ten pass breakups, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles as a junior.
FAKE 40 TIME
ESPN has full testing results that include a 4.70 40-yard dash, which gets zero FAKEs.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Richardson should be afforded a redshirt when he gets to campus, as Michigan is only set to lose Wayne Lyons (and, if his fifth year is unrenewed, Terry Richardson) from their group of cornerbacks after this year. The competition should be wide open when Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling graduate following the 2016 season. While Brandon Watson, who looked ready to play a bigger role this spring, and Reon Dawson will provide competition, Richardson and 2015 incoming freshman Keith Washington have the advantage of being hand-picked by Harbaugh and Co.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan is now up to 11 in the class, which is projected to have only 14 spots right now, but that number will inevitably rise between attrition and possible unrenewed fifth-year seniors. Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive tackle, defensive end, and outside linebacker remain pressing needs, and Michigan is likely to stay in pursuit of help at defensive back unless they decide they'd prefer Chris Evans at corner and Kiante Enis at safety.
Our fantasy partners at Draft Kings have been supporting Hail to the Victors since their main marketing guy helped us Kickstart the 2012 edition.
In 2013 he bought a bunch of the books off of us and gave them out to anyone who deposited at least the amount it cost the Kickstarter backers.
Last year they asked if they could just hand us money to keep making it, and I was like "can I tell people you gave us money?" and apparently this is called a sponsorship so they're sponsors. And they bought a bunch of books to give out again. As for this year…
They're the Sponsors Again!
Yay! But seriously I'm sure you've seen stuff for this daily fantasy sports website popping up all over the place lately, and we're very lucky that the people in charge of that are longtime and earnest fans of this site.
So once again if you missed the Kickstart you can still get this year's book basically for the Kickstart price by depositing $15 or more with them. (Or if you just want the digital edition—it's a PDF—deposit $5 or more).
The nice part for you is if you blow through that deposit, at worst you got a copy of a book you were buying anyway minus the shipping cost. But, like, it's a deposit; if you make money you got a free copy of HTTV, and you get money.
(The nice part for us is we get money if you do this.)
How this works:
2. You create an account using an email address that isn't associated with a Draft Kings account already.
3. You deposit $15 or more (for a full book) or $5 or more (for just a digital copy).
4. Within 24 hours I'll email you to say you get a book and ask for your address (if you don't hear from me or another MGostaffer within a day email me at [my name]@mgoblog.com
The books will be mailed out in batches so the sooner you act the sooner the book comes.
1. Gotta be a new user. They're looking for people who haven't tried out their games before, so if you're already in you're out of luck.
2. Gotta be in the U.S. (otherwise shipping's a nightmare). If you're from AZ, IA, LA, MT, or WA—i.e. states with prize laws—contact firstname.lastname@example.org to address that first.
3. Gotta be 18 (or 19 in Alabama or Nebraska).
What About the Kickstarter Books?
The final version has been approved at the printer so now we wait for them to physically print it. Make sure you sent us your address (just doing the Kickstarter isn't enough).
You should be getting your digital copies in your inboxes starting today. It's a 12mb PDF file but I have a lower-resolution 5mb one if you desire to put it on a Kindle or something that cares about hard drive space.
What if I find all this confusing and just want to pre-order a copy?
Go to the MGoStore! It's $15 plus about $5 for shipping depending on where you are.
Michigan has announced that two of their games will actually be at noon this year:
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The University of Michigan football program had a pair of non-conference games selected for noon broadcast nationally, announced today (Friday, June 12) jointly by the networks and the Big Ten Conference. The Wolverines will host Oregon State (Sept. 12) in their home opener and a week later will play UNLV (Sept. 19) in their second of three straight games at Michigan Stadium.
Oregon State is on ABC, UNLV on BTN.
The Michigan noon kick was all but dead. I don't know if this is Hackett, Harbaugh, or random fate, but hooray for a few noon games that allow Michigan fans to see the rest of college football. 3:30 games on the 12th include Iowa-Iowa State and ND-Virginia; on the 19th Nebraska-Miami and Auburn-LSU are at 3:30. A number of other interesting games are likely to join those as the TV people figure out what they want and when.