Jimmystats: July 2019 Recruiting Deltas

Jimmystats: July 2019 Recruiting Deltas

Submitted by Seth on July 13th, 2018 at 11:17 AM

Let's stare at stars [Patrick Barron]

Starting last year I began keeping track on the changes in recruiting rankings, since movement tends to tell us things about a recruit that their ratings at any given moment do not.

I was putting this together a month ago actually, but then half of the high schoolers in America committed to Michigan and this post was left in the bin. Since we have a bunch of new recruits and 247 just updated their rankings yesterday based on their scouting from various summer camps, it's a good time to check in. Anyway that's why there's the weirdness of June 15 rankings on everybody committed by then—I figured you'd prefer I leave those in.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Recruiting gravity means rankings will slowly drop as more players are scouted and slotted ahead of them. Going from the #209 to #225 player in a month isn't a drop unless his rating dropped too.
  2. I didn't get around to taking snapshots of Rivals and ESPN in late May, and only got the new commits' data when they dropped. As this series continues we'll have more complete data.
  3. By now I imagine you're familiar with the three sites' rating systems but just in case: For 247 the 80-89 range are 3-stars, the 90-97 range are the 4-stars, and 98+ are 5-stars. ESPN is on a 100 scale, so 70s are 3-stars, 80s are 4-stars, 90s are 5-stars. Rivals uses the old National Recruiting Advisor system: 5.5 to 5.7 are 3-stars, 5.8 to 6.0 are 4-stars, and 6.1 is a 5-star. The 247 composite can be read like you put a "%" next to their regular ratings, so .9000 is the cut-off for a 4-star instead of 90.

QB Cade McNamara

Service March 17 (committed) June 15 Today
247Sports 90, #305 Ovr, #9 PRO 90, #310 Ovr, #10 PRO 90, #321 Ovr, #10 PRO
Rivals 5.8, NR, #9 Pro 5.8, NR, #9 Pro 5.8, NR, #10 Pro
ESPN 78, #296 Ovr, #8 Pro, #45 West 78, #296 Ovr, #8 PRO, #45 West 81, #240 Ovr, #14 Pro, #36 West
Composite 0.9004, #316 Ovr, #9 PRO 0.9067, #263 Ovr, #10 PRO 0.9067, #269 Ovr, #10 PRO

Michigan's (first?) quarterback of the class is climbing steadily, and got bumped to a strong 4-star when ESPN solidified their Top 300, which means he survived a bunch of other recently scouted quarterbacks moving up. On the other hand they slid a good six other quarterbacks ahead of him, including BC-bound Sam Johnson from Walled Lake Western.

McNamara's been participating in whatever the new format of the Elite 11 is, and his performance so far has crystallized the opinion of him as a four-star but still just outside everyone's Top 250.

His reported weight is up too. He's now 206 (247) or 202 (Rivals) or 203 (ESPN) lbs, up from 179.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the class]

MGoPodcast 9.28: Party On, Steve

MGoPodcast 9.28: Party On, Steve

Submitted by Seth on July 9th, 2018 at 10:22 AM

1 hour and 15 minutes

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, our gracious hosts and yours this fall if you act fast enough.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan there would be VERY long hiatuses between podcasts.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure LendingPeak Wealth ManagementAnn Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni AssociationHuman Element (don't skip their new ad), and Ecotelligent Homes


1. There were many commits

starts at 1:00

The state of the recruiting industry: ESPN has checked out so blowhards can still cash a check, Rivals is good when it's a top 150 guy going to their camp. Scout and 247 have merged. As a result we have a lot of complaints about the state of the recruiting industry.

The 2020 guys: Khalil Branham has a jugs machine with noodles. Chicago Warren: "man-child." Seldon is a Jermain Crowell defensive back.

2. Inside the Crooked Blue Line with Steve Lorenz, Offense

starts at 19:45

A lot of this class looks like their rankings could go up. Rating over ranking. Elite11 is not as strong this year, Cade held. Charbonnet: Fournette Light, see you in the Top100. Eric Gray might have done too much. GJII: Michael Barrett disease. Erick All: if Iowa and Wisconsin like him we do too. Trente Jones: one of those Stanford-Michigan guys. Barnhart: Paw-Paw plays the Phil Paea schools.

3. Inside the Crooked Blue Line with Steve Lorenz, Defense

starts at 47:19

Hinton can't get higher. Herron: maybe not moving up but had one of the best SPARQ scores. Ojabo: OSU and PSU, one of the best camp performances since Harbaugh came, pretty good quote. Newburg: Motor of Winovich, plug for Bill Greene (247 scout who does great scouting). Velasquez: 87 is the rating to annoy Michigan State fans, perfect Viper. Quinten Johnson: Khaleke physically, top 10 SPARQ, got a Bama camp offer, can't believe he's not a 5-star of the year. CT: Michigan thinks he's a 4-star. D.J. Turner transferring to IMG (another top SPARQ score) star ranking doesn't match those offers—one of M's top corners in the class, like Gemon Green. Mazi's big.



  • “Future People”—Alabama Shakes
  • “Soul and Cigarette”—Daniele Luppi & Parquet Corps
  • “Across 110th Street”


He rolls outta bed and he's watching Mazi Smith. Also we're not doing phrasing anymore.

Post Commitment Spree Recruiting Overview: Defense

Post Commitment Spree Recruiting Overview: Defense

Submitted by Brian on July 6th, 2018 at 12:52 PM

Above: Ojabo, via 247. Previously: Offense

Now I'm just a couch. I turned into a couch. It's like "The Metamorphosis" except extremely comfortable. Let's play the feud!


STATUS: Michigan already had five-star GA DE Chris Hinton, four-star KY DE Stephen Herron, and three-star OH DE Gabe Newburg in the class; they added NJ DE David Ojabo [hello] during the blitz. Ojabo is Taco Charlton again, a huge bundle of potential that needs refining. 24/7 had an article about projecting high school defensive ends to the NFL that concluded you should go get the most absurd 220-230 pound athlete you can find that highlighted Ojabo as this year's best fit with that theory:

David Ojabo may be the most compelling candidate to prove out the 2018 draft trends. He’s late to football with 2017 being his first season ever putting on pads. ... diverse athletic background playing volleyball, basketball and soccer before finding football. He has tested extremely well in a combine setting with a 4.75 40 and a 33-inch vertical at 6-foot-4.5, 233 pounds and he has clocked a 10.93 in the 100 meters.

A sub-11 100 meter dash at 233 pounds. Yessir.

FWIW, Herron continues to insist that his Stanford flirtation is over and done:

“People think there was (wavering) because I’m really close with Stanford, but I’m not looking right now,” he said. “I chose Michigan for a reason and Michigan is very close and dear to my heart. Something is going to have to happen for me to go out there. Something has got to happen. It’s not like I’m the type of guy who de-commits because I don’t like that place anymore."

That's the third or fourth quote he's given to reporters about his status as a hard commit. Unless he schedules a visit it's probably time to take him at his word. (If he schedules a visit it's time for last rites for his commit.)

MORE? Apparently. Michigan's continued pursuit of DEs probably says something about where they expect Hinton to play—on the interior—and maaaybe signals that they're a bit uncertain about Herron even still. Michigan's best shot at adding another is NJ DE Aeneas DiCosmo, who's another one of those Michigan-Stanford battles. This is termed a "dogfight" by Wiltfong, which is an improvement from "foregone negative conclusion." DiCosmo is another super athletic three star sort.

Michigan is pursuing five-star OH DE Zach Harrison, who's been on campus multiple times and seems legitimately interested... but most discussions of his recruitment are framed to give Michigan fans a soft landing when he commits to OSU. IN DE George Karlaftis has seen his stock skyrocket over the past six months. He remains a commit to hometown Purdue but Michigan continues to poke. Maybe Brohm gets poached after the season? They're also vaguely in it for CA DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, the #1 overall player on the composite.

[After THE JUMP: the rest of this post!]

Post-Commitment Spree Recruiting Overview: Offense

Post-Commitment Spree Recruiting Overview: Offense

Submitted by Brian on July 5th, 2018 at 12:50 PM


[pokes head up from under couch]

is it over?


i think it's over.


All right folks, the dust has settled years after the meteor impact. Fewer complaints echo through the forest. The recruiting class is radically different than it was a couple weeks ago. Mammals can get big now. Let's play the feud!


STATUS: No change. Michigan has NV QB Cade McNamara, a mid four-star. McNamara did get invited to the Elite 11 finals, which naturally consists of 12 quarterbacks these days, and performed well, finishing third in 24/7's eyes on the first day:

...solid showing from start to finish with good ball placement. The Reno (Nev.) Damonte Ranch standout consistently spun a good ball, and might have been the surprise of the day of the quarterback group. We will see if the 6-foot-1, 206-pound McNamara can continue this good showing during seven-on-seven play.

The Elite 11 changes formats every year and had a period where it was absurd—Trent Dilfer was involved, they invited like 25 QBs and gave them all eight throws, that sort of thing—but IIRC it's now a three-stage process and McNamara has impressed at all three stages. So maybe it has some legitimacy?

MORE? No. No QBs are on the radar.


Charbonnet's film is all right

STATUS: Michigan went from zero to stocked up by adding CA RB Zach Charbonnet [hello] and TN RB Eric Gray [hello]. Gray is the #1 all purpose back per 247 and a lock to be compared to Chris Evans in a year when his recruiting profile gets posted; Charbonnet is the "thunder" in this package but is more of a slashing jump cut guy who happens to be 215 already than a De'Veon Smith reprise.

Both guys can credibly claim to be underrated by the composite. Gray has a prima facie absurd ranking from Rivals, which asserts the kid with 3,000 rushing yards and a committable-ish Bama offer is the #21 prospect in Tennessee; Charbonnet has a boatload of top-end offers, killer film at Oaks Christian, skipped the camp scene, and is in line for a big bump up on 24/7 per Greg Biggins.

That is quite a recovery from a fairly grim outlook earlier in the year when Charbonnet was the only back of note listing Michigan. Usually it takes five touted out of state interests to get one guy; Michigan got two out of one.

MORE? Uh, maybe? Michigan is still hot on the heels of NC RB Quavaris Crouch. Er. NC ATH Quavaris Crouch. Per Lorenz, on his recent unofficial Michigan told him he could play whatever he wants and Crouch might be favoring linebacker—at 6'3", 240 he's a truly enormous running back.

Michigan does have offers out to another couple APB sorts. CA RB Giles Jackson told 24/7 that Michigan was in his top four a couple days ago, and he's taken two visits so he's serious and Michigan is serious about him. KY RB Wandale Robinson made his second visit to AA, has Michigan in his top seven, and provided a really interesting quote about the future of the offense that explains the sudden profusion of waterbug sorts in the class and on the radar:

“They are spreading out the offense. With Shea Patterson and Joe Milton as the quarterbacks, they are opening things up. I saw some film and what they staff did with them in the spring and with the RPOs. They really need a slot guy, who can play running back too. They don’t really have a true touchdown maker and I can be that guy."

Robinson has a bizarre crystal ball split almost equally amongst Duke, Kentucky, Ohio State, and "dunno."

Smart money is Michigan being done at RB unless Crouch comes in as a two way player.

[After THE JUMP: one wild google image search. Bring a fan.]

Hello: David Ojabo

Hello: David Ojabo

Submitted by Ace on July 2nd, 2018 at 9:12 AM

The second wave of commitments continues, this time in the form of Blairstown (NJ) Blair Academy three-star defensive end David Ojabo, who announced his commitment this morning on Twitter:

Ojabo took a unique path to his Michigan pledge. Here's how his head coach describes his journey to playing football in the first place:

“(David Ojabo) was born in Nigeria, then he moved to Scotland when he was about seven, eight-years-old,” Saylor said. “Parents live in Scotland now but goes back and forth from Scotland to Nigeria – works for Shell Oil.

“He came to Blair Academy two years ago. As a junior, he played basketball and soccer. He was on the basketball team with [2018 top-100 Penn State DE] Jayson (Oweh), saw how Jayson was blowing up, came into my office and said, ‘hey coach. I’m more athletic and I’m tougher than Jayson. Do you mind if I play football next year?’ He’s 6-5, 240-pounds. I looked at him and said, ‘Oh yeah. You can play some football next year.’

Ojabo doesn't appear to lack confidence, nor should he: after his first year playing football, he picked up over 30 scholarship offers. As his stock blew up, so did his phone—but not quite in the way he wanted, he told The Wolverine's Andrew Vailliencourt:

“I’m not going to lie, when I look at my text messages, there’s no girls in there, it’s all coaches, so it’s kind of stressful,” Ojabo said. “It’ll be good to get it over with, but it’s a good problem to have.”

Ojabo can get back to the important things now that he's the 18th commit in Michigan's 2019 class, which ranks atop the conference and top-five nationally.

I've checked the database: Ojabo will be Michigan's first player to hail from Aberdeen, Scotland, where he still resides when he's not at Blair Academy.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.7, #41 DE,
#13 NJ
4*, 80, #37 DE,
#6 NJ
3*, 87, #36 SDE,
#8 NJ, #537 Ovr
3*, #32 DE,
#10 NJ, #488 Ovr

As you might expect, the recruiting sites want to see more before they rank Ojabo as high as his doppelganger/predecessor Oweh, who also switched from basketball to football for his final two years of high school. While Oweh ranked a bit higher (mid four-star) at this stage in his recruitment, he held a similar offer sheet, and he moved up with every subsequent rerank; Ojabo could easily follow a similar path.

While Ojabo lined up inside Oweh as a gap-shooting defensive tackle last year (think Mario Ojemudia at Farmington Hills Harrison), he's got the long frame of a prototypical edge-rusher. He's listed at 6'5" and 233-240 pounds, and he claims a 6'8" wingspan.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]

Hello: Eric Gray

Hello: Eric Gray

Submitted by Ace on July 1st, 2018 at 9:06 PM

Michigan didn't have a 2019 running back commit two weeks ago. Now they boast one of the best duos in the country in Zach Charbonnet and their newest pledge, four-star Memphis (TN) Lausanne Collegiate School all-purpose back Eric Gray, who committed via video this evening:

Gray, already one of the most decorated high school football players in Tennessee history, chose the Wolverines from a final five that also included Alabama, Ole Miss, Penn State, and Texas A&M. While late to the commitapalooza, he was on campus last weekend for the final visit of a string of trips to each of his finalists before heading off to The Opening, where he's doing stuff like this:

Update: And this!

Seems like a solid get.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.6, #9 APB,
#21 TN
4*, 81, #17 RB,
#11 TN, #275 Ovr
4*, 95, #1 APB,
#3 TN, #95 Ovr
4*, #3 APB,
#10 TN, #175 Ovr

There's quite a spread. Rivals, despite having Gray in top camp performer articles when he was an eighth grader, ranks him by far the lowest. Both ESPN and 247 consider him a prospect worthy of their top lists, with the latter especially bullish on him.

Gray is listed at 5'10", 191. He's in the Chris Evans mold; a smaller, versatile back who can run between the tackles or make an impact as a receiver from multiple spots on the field.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]

Hello: Mazi Smith

Hello: Mazi Smith

Submitted by Ace on June 26th, 2018 at 12:54 PM

In a weekend full of big pickups, East Kentwood (MI) defensive tackle Mazi Smith was the literal biggest, and you could make a strong argument for figurative, too. It's always good to grab a 6'3", 295-pound interior lineman with shades of Hurst burst; it's especially good when that guy is an in-stater with offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State.

Smith fills a major need as the first DT among Michigan's [refreshes Twitter] 16 commits in the 2019 class, which now ranks fifth in the country and first in the Big Ten.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, 5.8, #9 DT,
#7 MI, #160 Ovr
4*, 86, #2 DT,
#3 MI, #29 Ovr
4*, 91, #14 DT,
#5 MI, #225 Ovr
4*, #7 DT,
#4 MI, #123 Ovr

ESPN is good now!

Smith is well-regarded. How well-regarded appears to depend on when—or how often—each service saw him in action, as perhaps the primary knock on Smith is his consistency. ESPN loves him, putting him on the verge of five-star status. 247 is on the low end, though in this case that's still within the top 250 overall.

One reason his floor is so high is his size; he's listed at 6'3" and in the range of 285-302 pounds, and he doesn't look to be carrying much, if any, bad weight. He's likely ticketed for Mo Hurst's role as a penetrating three-tech who can slide to nose in certain schemes, and he's got a lot of upside there.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]

Hello: George Johnson III

Hello: George Johnson III

Submitted by Ace on June 25th, 2018 at 7:05 PM

Yes, another one.

Three-star Stuart (FL) Martin County ATH George Johnson III chose Michigan over Florida State this evening, becoming the sixth prospect to commit to the program since last weekend began. Coming off his official visit last weekend, he wrote an article for the local paper to explain his choice:

My decision for college is based off the academics, future teammates, coaches and if I see myself living in the area for the next few years of my life.

I’ve visited several schools, and Michigan will be where I’ll be playing football for the next three to four years of my life.

I love the Big House and the fan base. The first time I walked through the tunnel and onto the field I got chills. I love the history and the size of it. I’d seen it on TV, but it's bigger in real life. I was there with a group of other recruits, but I was so in awe that I went off my by myself and started running routes into the end zone and dreaming about what it would feel like catching touchdowns in front the Maize and Blue fans.

I like the enthusiasm of the coaching staff. They’re always amped up, and I like that vibe.

I like the bond the teammates had and the overall feel on campus.

It feels like a place I can call home.

I’m all in.

Go Blue!

While Johnson mostly plays quarterback in high school, he'll be a slot weapon at Michigan—he's listed at 5'11", 180. He's the 16th commit in the 2019 class, which now ranks fifth nationally, and the first among receivers. He told 247's Steve Wiltfong he doesn't plan to take any more visits.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.6 ATH NR ATH 3*, 85, #95 ATH,
#124 FL, #967 Ovr
4*, #85 ATH,
#139 FL, #947 Ovr

I'll spare you the rant. ESPN and Rivals both have Johnson unranked; ESPN has no scouting report, Rivals had him at a regional camp. 247 has also seen Johnson at a camp and has him in might-as-well-be-unranked territory. His rankings lag well behind his offers for now.

Part of that may be due to size and position. Again, this is a 5'11" future slot bug who's playing most of his snaps at quarterback. At Michigan, he could line up in the slot or the backfield and also factor in as a return man.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]

Hello: Zach Charbonnet

Hello: Zach Charbonnet

Submitted by Ace on June 25th, 2018 at 3:59 PM

Despite playing for a national powerhouse in Westlake Village (CA) Oaks Christian and rushing for over 2,000 yards as a junior, running back Zach Charbonnet has mostly flown below the radar of the recruiting services. (Yes, this drumbeat again.) While he's ranked as a four-star prospect on all three sites, only 247 has posted an evaluation. Ever-useless ESPN doesn't even have his picture, let alone a scouting report. Rivals evidently only writes up camps now:

Meanwhile, Charbonnet racked up an offer sheet befitting a top-100 prospect: Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, TCU, Tennessee, and Wisconsin were among the national programs to offer in addition to local recruiting powers UCLA, USC, and Washington. According to 247's Steve Lorenz, Michigan has long regarded him as the top back on their board over more touted prospects:

Even with Quavaris Crouch on the board, Charbonnet has been the staff's top target at the position for the duration of the cycle. This is partially because they believe he is better purely as a running back and because Crouch may play defense at the college level.

A decisive runner, Charbonnet is the best prospect Michigan has recruited at the position under Jim Harbaugh in my opinion. I believe the staff feels this way as well.

After watching his film, I don't think this is smoke-blowing.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, 5.8, #20 RB,
#31 CA
4*, 80, #26 RB,
#47 CA
4*, 91, #9 RB,
#31 CA, #220 Ovr
4*, #15 RB,
#306 Ovr

So, yeah, I've already started this discussion again. I'm very confident in predicting Charbonnet is going to move up all of these lists unless ESPN doesn't bother scouting one of the most prominent programs in the country, which... can't rule it out, actually. 247's Greg Biggins has already posted that he's in line for a "big rankings bump" and looks like a top-five back nationally.

Charbonnet is a big, strapping back, listed between 6'1", 190 (Rivals, ESPN) and 6'2", 215 (247). While many taller backs struggle to stay low enough to translate that size into power, that doesn't look to be an issue with Charbonnet.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, must-watch video, and the rest.]

Hello: Erick All

Hello: Erick All

Submitted by Ace on June 25th, 2018 at 2:57 PM

Fairfield (OH) tight end Erick All was the first of Michigan's three Sunday commitments. The coaches moved quickly on All after their top target at tight end, Luke Deal, dropped to Auburn a month ago. Despite his current three-star ranking, All checks a lot of boxes. He camped at Michigan last week, impressing tight ends coach Sherrone Moore enough to get an invite back for a visit this weekend, which ultimately prompted the commitment. All picked the Wolverines over Florida State, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin offers that all came in quick succession last month—the Irish, in particular, looked to be in hot pursuit after also losing out on Deal.

There's also 20(!) minutes of junior film, which we'll get to later in the post.

All is the only TE in the 2019 class so far, and given recent TE recruiting the coaches can afford to be very selective in targeting others at the position.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.7, #23 TE,
#20 OH
3*, 78, #13 TE-H,
#20 OH
3*, 88, #22 TE,
#16 OH
3*, #22 TE, #19 OH
#504 Ovr

Once again, we need to discuss recruiting rankings in the summer before a prospect's senior season, especially given the current state of the industry. ESPN has All well off the four-star pace; they haven't posted a scouting report on him yet, and since it's ESPN in 2018 who knows when or if that will occur. Rivals gives him a better grade but also doesn't have him on the verge of a fourth star; none of their articles on him contain an evaluation.

247 has actually posted scouting on All, they like him the most among the three sites, and their recent scouting gives the feel they'll move him up in the rankings before long.

Recruiting rankings are predictive—in February, when they're done. Right now, film and offers are probably more useful, and by those standards All looks like a very nice get.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]