No draft this year. Just arguing over who's the third-best quarterback and whether J.K. Dobbins is a lead back or a Chris Evans.
Previously: Last year's profiles. S Sammy Faustin, S German Green, CB Gemon Green, CB Vincent Gray, CB Myles "Spider" Sims, LB Cameron McGrone, DE Taylor Upshaw, DE Julius Welschof, DE Aidan Hutchinson.
|Grand Rapids, MI — 6'5", 273|
|24/7||4*, #126 overall
#9 OT, #2 MI
|Rivals||4*, 5.8 rating
#17 OT, #4 MI
|ESPN||3*, NR overall
#72 OT, #17 MI
|Composite||4*, #268 overall
#16 OT, #4 MI
|Other Suitors||ND, MSU, Neb, Iowa, Minn|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace. Future Blue Originals and Derivatives from Dave and Adam.|
|Notes||Twitter. Army game. Minnesota decommit.|
The theme of this year's recruiting profiles is "what happened to recruiting?!" and few players in the class are a better exemplar of this than Jalen Mayfield. Mayfield was a wee offensive lineman indeed when he committed to Minnesota super early, whereupon he got the kind of ratings a 250 pound kid committed to the Gophers does. Then he got bigger, hit some camps, and started drawing more serious attention. The way the three remaining major recruiting sites reacted is emblematic of the new State of The Recruiting Industry.
ESPN did nothing, because they fired all their people. He remains in MAC territory in their ranking system and has no scouting at all.
Rivals got defensive and spent much of the recruiting cycle with Mayfield rated even lower than ESPN did. Even after Mayfield committed to Michigan, an event that should precipitate some rethinking, Rivals doubled down on their initial assessment with handwaving from the regional analyst. This was somewhat huffily documented in this space last June:
Rivals's rankings of instate OL Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield are two of the biggest outliers of the cycle so far. Both are composite four stars despite Rivals ranking them 16th and 19th in the state, behind a 5'8" King DB headed to Iowa State amongst others. ... Rivals currently ranks both instate Michigan OL commitments behind OL headed to Wake Forest, Duke, BC, and Kansas. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But because Rivals still exists, unlike ESPN, they were able to correct course after seeing him at the Army game and give him the solid-ish four star rating you see above. Yes, they had a guy headed to the Army game rated as barely a P5 prospect. Yes, it took them the whole cycle to correct this, and the regional analyst was apparently overruled:
Q: Michigan only signed two offensive linemen and they're both from Michigan. What do you think about the duo?
A: ...I’ll be interested to see how they pan out. I don’t think that we had them as highly valued as Michigan did or as other places did. We’ll have an interesting look back in four to five years and see who was closer to being accurate with that.
No, no reasoning was offered by the regional analyst. Yes, this is a familiar storyline.
24/7 took the spate of bigger offers Mayfield got as a cue to observe more closely and more or less immediately flung him into their top 100.
[Mayfield's] ranking skyrocketed to 106th overall in the country after 247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons and Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong watched him live at the Nike event in Chicago. After a rerun through his junior film, 247Sports doubled down on Mayfield, moving him up to 86th overall in the country and first in the state of Michigan in the 2018 cycle.
After, Mayfield had one of those characteristic slow slides that any highly rated prospect whose evaluation doesn't change suffers as more guys burst onto the scene. Despite the slight drop, 24/7stood pat on their assessment of Mayfield as a top ten OT prospect in the class.
[After THE JUMP: mean, fast, and burgeoning]