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
 

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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
YMRMFSPA Taylor Lewan
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Ace. Future Blue Originals and Derivatives from Dave and Adam.
Notes Twitter. Army game. Minnesota decommit.

Film

Senior:

 

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]

Previously: Attackers, Midfielders.

CENTER BACK

The top end here is slightly wobbly with Brooks's injuries and Miazga's club situation but there are a lot of bullets in the chamber here and thing should be more or less fine.

John Brooks (29), Wolfsburg. Injury-prone but still a first choice starter at a large-ish Bundesliga club and worthy of a big transfer fee. Brooks missed a large majority of last season with a knee injury; even when on the field he is in the mode of a promising defender in almost any sport where he looks spectacular for a while and then turns into a puddle of recriminations. To wit: a rusty Brooks's first appearance post-injury ended just 29 minutes in after one of those games where you're already on a yellow and the ref makes the "no more!" hand signal at you.

Brooks is big and fast and usually good and will hopefully spend the next few years healthy so he can refine the rough spots out of his game.

Matt Miazga (26), Chelsea. Technically still on Chelsea's books but Chelsea does the "I'm playing Football Manager" thing where you buy half the young talent in the world and loan it out annually. Despite his status as a mainstay for a middling club in the Dutch top flight he's unlikely to break through in London just yet, if ever. He's not amongst the 25 players heading to Australia for a friendly. Chelsea's weird coaching limbo doesn't help.

Hopefully he gets a loan to that gets him into one of the top four leagues in Europe. He seems to have earned it, and his time in the Dutch league has made him sort of Dutch:

If the US is going to be a possession team ever they need that ability on their back line.

This year's goal is to get a loan with an option to buy to a team in a good league and GTFO of Chelsea. He's already done enough with Vitesse to be a default starter with the USMNT.

[After THE JUMP: palpbable-ish outside backs]

TUEBOR is Latin for "Pothole!" because you can't sue us if we warn you

The best players in Michigan play for Michigan, but who were the best players from Michigan to play for Michigan?

Previously:

This week: We're looking to build the best possible team out of guys who grew up and played their high school ball in Michigan. Since we've covered a lot of these guys' Michigan careers already, I figured this could instead be a celebration of the programs they came from, and Michigan high school football in general. Special thanks to michigan-football.com, a highly valuable resource.

Rules: Only players recruited since 1990-on. Reasons are 1) Until the late '80s Michigan was a very regional recruiter. Quick chart of Michigan rosters (via Bentley) by state of origin, walk-ons included:

image

Moeller was the first coach since helmets were a thing to field a team that wasn't made up mostly of Michiganders and Ohioans. Reason 2) My database goes back to 1990. Reason 3: I was 10 that year, and kid memories aren't of much use. This gives us a pool of 171 players to choose from whose careers most of us are somewhat familiar with.

---------------------------------

Quarterback: Devin Gardner, Inkster

image
via AA News

Right off the bat this is a tough one, and a decision I'm personally going to get flak for because the other good candidate reads this blog. Drew, at your best you were the better player, and I promise to buy you a beer next time you're in Ann Arbor. However I'm sticking by the guy who should never have to buy a beer in the State of Michigan again. Also: 33 starts to your eight.

In high school Gardner played for UofD as a sophomore but was forced to sit out for off-field issues for five games. He transferred to Inkster, following coach Greg Carter from recently closed Saint Martin de Porres, and exploded, leading them to two straight state finals. While Devin was at Michigan Inkster was also closed, its students dispersed to four other school districts.

Backup: Drew Henson, Brighton
The rest of the field: Shane Morris, Steven Threet, Nick Sheridan, Alex Malzone, Craig Randall

[After THE JUMP: The greatest player in Michigan high school history]

four horsemen by mark wilkinson

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.

Another reason you should like Weston McKennie is that he has Devin Bush face. 

Warde Manuel seals up John Beilein.

Which non-aquatic mammal will fill the spot that was being held for DJ Carton? That and much more in this mailbag.

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