Friday Recruitin' Is A Leverage Monster

Friday Recruitin' Is A Leverage Monster Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 18th, 2019 at 9:20 AM

Michigan’s 2019 class is more or less wrapped up with the exception of one position: running back. The Michigan staff has entertained the idea of bringing in one more running back after TN RB Eric Gray decommitted from the class, and the player they’ve set their sights on is similar to Gray in that he’s adept at catching the ball out of the backfield, shifty in the open field, and seems to have good acceleration and balance (though balance through contact, as important a trait for RBs as there is, wasn’t on film); he seems like a good fit for new OC Josh Gattis’ #SpeedInSpace philosophy. Washington DC RB Keilan Robinson should have been somewhat familiar with Michigan if for no other reason because his teammate, S Quinten Johnson, is a 2019 signee. He’ll be even more familiar with the program this week, as 247’s Steve Lorenz reports that Michigan’s staff was expected to stop in and see him this week after staying in communication with him the past few months. Robinson, a four-star ranked #362 overall and the #20 RB per the 247 composite, is currently committed to Alabama but has yet to sign.

With 2019 recruiting dwindling, attention from recruiting sites has turned to postseason all-star games and the re-ranks they birth. 247’s analysts sat down and re-watched the Under Armour All-America Game, then offered their take on Michigan’s signees. 247’s John Garcia has seen FL LB Anthony Solomon often in camps and wrote that his coverage skills were never in question. He was more interested in seeing what Solomon could do in a game setting. Garcia:

Looking back he actually closed downhill and finished much better than maybe his height and weight would suggest.

Allen Trieu believes that OH OL Nolan Rumler could play either center or guard in college. Trieu on Rumler going from good in practice to great in the game:

I know that on two of the touchdowns they ran right behind him, and on one he flat pancaked the guy. There was one play where he just drove Mazi (Smith) and nobody had done that all week. I though Nolan lived up to his billing, that whenever the lights are on, he is going to be a mauler.

Garcia noted that Rumler played high at times but was able to sustain blocks once he got his hands on a guy even if his pads were up. Rumler’s future linemate Trente Jones drew rave reviews during the week, and Garcia compared the two:

If Rumler is going to flash, it’ll be with power or maybe a pancake. But Trente will flash with running the defensive end way around a pocket and allowing his quarterback to step up. It will be his ability to get to the second level, to reach block, and get over TWO gaps, to lead the way on stretch plays, and things like that. His movement and skill will allow for so many different types of looks.

Garcia’s takes are some of the most interesting in this piece because he hasn’t seen much of the midwest guys until the week of UA practices and the game. For example, on MI DT Mazi Smith:

You know, the few times I was introduced to him came when we were cutting up top ten plays. Allen would send the film and I would ask “who is this guy?” It was always this ridiculous leverage guy. A leverage monster. If he got under you, he was going to be a problem even for the most physically gifted offensive linemen.

I start these posts with “[Insert day here] Recruitin’” and add the rest of the title as I read articles and start pulling things together and I don’t think I’ve ever scrolled up faster to insert the rest of the title. Garcia and Trieu closed their piece with a discussion of DC S Quinten Johnson’s daily improvement, but I wrote about that in the last recruiting roundup and didn’t find a great ARRRG TECHNIQUE GODZILLA RARR-type (sound effects mine) quote.

[After THE JUMP: Rivals' re-rank, reactions to staff additions and departures, and a number of new offers]

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Monday Recruitin' Raises Its Stock

Monday Recruitin' Raises Its Stock Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 7th, 2019 at 10:00 AM

The relative quiet of the recruiting calendar’s dead period gave way to two all-star games last week, and with that a ton of new material on the players about to age out of appearing in these recruiting roundups. Thursday’s Under Armour All-America Game featured five Michigan signees: FL LB Anthony Solomon, OH OL Nolan Rumler, GA OT Trente Jones on Team Flash, and DC LB Quinten Johnson and MI DT Mazi Smith on Team Ballaholics. CA RB Zach Charbonnet elected to sit out the week of practice and game with an injury, which should please the superstitious lot; Greg Biggins wrote after the first day of practice that 247 came into the week with Charbonnet on five-star watch.

Though Smith and Jones won’t earn fifth stars either, they did plenty in practice last week to raise their stock in the eyes of analysts. 247’s John Garcia called Smith “the best interior guy” while ESPN.com’s Craig Haubert named Smith to his list of the week’s best. 247’s Allen Trieu, who has probably seen Smith more than anyone in the country, added some detail to Garcia’s line. He noted that Smith hasn’t done any camps, but it seems he adapted to 1-on-1 drills against competition on par with his talent level rather quickly. Trieu mentioned Smith being told something about how to use his hands by the coaching staff, then using that to win reps later in the day. For a player who has been able to pin his ears back and run through his opponent at will until this past week, it was an encouraging sign of adaptability. (And a positive sign for next year, when he’ll be needed to be ready to rotate in at DT.)

[Other guys adapt after THE JUMP]

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Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Defense

Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Defense Comment Count

Seth December 26th, 2018 at 9:41 AM

We did the offense already. Before we get into the defensive side of contextualizing the 2019 recruits against every Michigan guy since Bo, I want to give a shout-out to some other Tableizers. Jacedeuce gave me several suggestions I incorporated into the money graph, and Bo McReady (son of Bennie, godson of Oosterbaan) created this magnificent visual that you can spend the rest of vacation clicking over. For example if you select all the New England states you can see this view…

image

…that shows just seven players from the region from 1990-2013, and nine players in four classes since Don Brown arrived. Mouse over the 2016 and 2017 towers and you'll find Sean McKeon, Tarik Black, Andrew Stueber, Kwity Paye, and Ben Mason from the first two classes, all of whom are working out better than their rankings suggested they would. On the other hand recruiting rankings do strongly correlate with the likelihood of playing in the NFL. I've recreated his NFL chart so you can mouse over the individuals:

Our fun had, let's dive into the defense:

[Player-by-player discussion, after The Jump]

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Hello: Anthony Solomon

Hello: Anthony Solomon Comment Count

Brian December 18th, 2018 at 11:58 AM

Anthony Solomon was rumored to be a flip candidate a few weeks back; then he set up a visit and the flip became fait accompli. I am now rooting for more Miami decommits, not necessarily to Michigan but anywhere, just because this business is amazing:

Ahead of this week’s Early Signing Period, when most teams sign most of their eventual new freshmen, the Miami Hurricanes have 14 verbal commitments. Their class is No. 34 nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite, which gives it 197 rating points.

On another hand, Miami has 15 decommits who were at one point or another pledged to play for the Canes but have since, for any number of reasons, backed away. Those players, together, would make for a class with 203 rating points. They’d be the No. 32 class, as of Sunday night, a couple of notches ahead of Miami’s actual class.

That decommit class does not count the guy who decommitted and then re-upped three days later. Because that's a thing we have to clarify when it comes to Miami recruiting.

Anyway: Solomon was reputed to be a big Michigan lean after an odyssey of an unofficial visit over the summer but pulled the trigger on a Miami commitment for reasons; Michigan never let up and eventually closed.

GURU RANKINGS

Rivals ESPN 24/7 Composite
4*, NR overall
#16 OLB, #39 FL
4*, #83 overall
#8 OLB, #13 FL
3*, #402 overall
#23 OLB, #41 FL
4*, #193 overall
#10 OLB, #28 FL

A sub-200 pound linebacker is bound to be polarizing and lo, Solomon is polarizing. ESPN has him a top 100 prospect; 24/7 has him in 3.5* range.

[After THE JUMP: viper]

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Wednesday Recruitin' Didn't Hear No Bell

Wednesday Recruitin' Didn't Hear No Bell Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 12th, 2018 at 4:12 PM

Yesterday I was driving home and a deer leapt a gosh dang guard rail and bounded across the road and I hadn’t been that surprised since, well, you know. So Saturday night got ugly in a hurry. Not only did Michigan hockey lose to Minnesota at home in a game they desperately needed to get points out of, but they lost on an even-strength goal with under two minutes to play. That same night, OK S Daxton Hill dropped the Thanos Snap of recruit tweets, flipping his seemingly rock-solid commitment from Michigan to Alabama. Judging by the texts I got and twitter and message boards and every other available piece of evidence, this went over poorly.

If you were surprised, you weren’t alone. According to 247’s Steve Lorenz, not only was Michigan’s staff caught off guard, Alabama’s staff was surprised to learn of the flip. Michigan visited Hill at home last Wednesday. Alabama visited Hill’s home the next day, but no crystal balls were flipped. Lorenz says that the Alabama staff felt better about flipping FL S and current Ohio State commit Jordan Battle and thought that, if anything, they might get an unofficial visit from Hill. The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb reiterated that Michigan’s staff found out when the public did and, though they wanted him to sign during the early signing period and he had apparently let them know he wanted to wait until February, there were no red flags presaging a decomitment.

The main point of Webb’s post centers around a quote from Hill’s father Webb obtained when he visited the family this fall. The family said they liked that Michigan was about winning all areas of life and not just winning at any cost, and Webb points out that Alabama was Alabama when Hill committed to Michigan, which was coming off a loss to Notre Dame that had people down for weeks. Webb went on to say that he feels Hill isn’t done grappling with whatever might have shifted his hierarchy of decision factors; when a poster on their message board asked if this wasn’t over, Webb responded with a clip from Rocky V of Mickey as a Force ghost or something that ends with Rocky yelling ‘Yo, Tommy! I didn’t hear no bell.” Now Lorenz checks in with a notes post in which he says he was also able to confirm that there's some optimism on Michigan's end that this recruitment may not be over. With Hill's decision horizon apparently extended two months, that makes some sense.

[After THE JUMP: Ann Arbor in December is a hot vacation destination]

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Friday Recruitin' Gets Used To Small Talk And The Smell Of Jet Fuel

Friday Recruitin' Gets Used To Small Talk And The Smell Of Jet Fuel Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 30th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

‘Tis the season for in-home visits and the subsequent flood of photos of coaches with their arms around recruits and their families to hit twitter. The coaching staff has spent a fair amount of time checking in on already-committed prospects—Jim McElwain visited phenomenal tweeter CA slot bug Giles Jackson, Al Washington had dinner with OH SDE Gabe Newburg, Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown visited the home of FL ATH George Johnson III, Sherron Moore checked in on OH TE Erick All Jr., and so on—while also jetting around the country to see a select few prospects that would fill out a class that, at 25 current commits, is close to full.

Tight ends coach Sherrone Moore went to Texas to visit TX WR Jaylen Ellis, who took a Michigan official in early September. Ellis has been committed to Baylor since summer 2017, has a crystal ball that is currently 100% Texas, and still plans to take official visits to Baylor, Houston, and Tennessee (he officially visited Arizona in late September). Crootin’! Ellis is coveted for his speed in a class that apparently lacks that. He runs a verified 4.59 40 but has been given the “plays faster than his time” scouting note, so he’ll be worth checking out at the All-American Bowl.

Jim Harbaugh and linebackers coach Al Washington visited the home of GA LB Kalen DeLoach yesterday. You may remember an earlier recruiting roundup in which his father more or less told Sam Webb that he asked Michigan to continue recruiting his son despite being verbally committed to Florida State; Webb said on The Michigan Insider’s recruiting roundup segment that DeLoach is thinking of decommitting from Florida State not because of their record this year but because they haven’t recruited him very hard post-verbal. Contrast that with Harbaugh, who visited DeLoach’s father and mother at work yesterday. DeLoach was a composite top-300 recruit when he pledged to Florida State, got a bit of a bump with his July verbal, got a nearly 50-spot preseason bump, and has hung just inside the top 250 since.

He may not be getting an in-home visit, but one seemingly out-of-nowhere flip candidate has set an official visit date. FL LB Anthony Solomon will take an official to Miami, the school to which he verbally committed in April, on December 7th before heading to Ann Arbor for a December 14th official. That’s good news if you’re a fan of the “he who goes last wins” theory of recruiting. This is something of a shock, as the last 11 events on Solomon’s 247 timeline are all Miami-related. 247’s Andrew Ivins checked in after Miami HC Mark Richt and DC Manny Diaz visited Solomon, and the sentiment seems to be that Solomon-to-Michigan has legs and that Solomon wants to get out of South Florida.

[Things get cloudy after THE JUMP]

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Tuesday Recruitin' Means It In A Good Way

Tuesday Recruitin' Means It In A Good Way Comment Count

Brian April 4th, 2017 at 12:32 PM

Hello: Matt Brown

Matt-Brown-475x417

Michigan's added a late PWO to their 2017 class, Ohio LB/FB Matt Brown, who decided to forgo a Quinnipiac lacrosse scholarship to walk on at Michigan.

Brown's HUDL page lists him at 6'0", 220; he was the AP and USA Today's Ohio defensive player of the year. With Michigan's extensive linebacker haul in this class, adding 20 pounds and playing fullback is the clearest path to playing time for him... but that path is very clear, what with both scholarship fullbacks graduating this year and no clear heir apparent.

Gant, Babb make it to campus

OH LB Dallas Gant, currently the only 2018 linebacker Michigan is recruiting, made it up to Ann Arbor over the weekend and was duly impressed:

"Coach Harbaugh was a great guy," Gant said. "He took a lot of time out of his day to talk with my dad and I one on one and gave us an inside look of what the program is like and how he runs things. It was definitely impressive, and his track record speaks for itself."

More encouraging than the quote is Gant telling Steve Lorenz that he's planning on coming back up for Michigan's spring game next weekend. Back-to-back visits speak to a real interest even though he's just a short drive down US-23. Gant plans to commit on his birthday on May 16th, so this one is going to wrap up quickly. Lorenz thinks he's a "Michigan/ND type kid," FWIW, despite a current OSU lead on the crystal ball.

MO WR Kamyrn Babb also took in Ann Arbor, offering Wiltfong some fairly generic quotes about the trip. Lorenz asserts Michigan is a "serious contender" but that OSU still is the likely leader. News is better for NJ WR Jahan Dotson, who is probably an OSU/PSU/M battle with neither other school feeling very confident.

Also visiting in the recent past are GA CB Christopher Smith and OH DE Tyreke Smith. Christopher is a 3.5* guy who might be due for a rise given the schools that are after him. Georgia is the crystal ball favorite and Michigan has been hot on the trail as well. Tyreke has been a name on the fringe of the board who most people assume will go to OSU because he is from OH and has an OSU offer.

Visits in the near future

3.5* FL QB Joe Milton will be up for the spring game, which means Michigan will have both of their top QB recruits on campus simultaneously. Confidence is "tepid, but existent" per Lorenz.

Confidence is still running high with 4* GA CB Myles Sims, who had an extensive interview with Sam Webb and plans a second long-range unofficial for the spring game and a decision shortly thereafter. The shape of that recruitment is very positive for Michigan.

Also coming up next weekend: 4* TX TE Mustapha Muhammad, who Michigan and everyone else badly wants. Michigan had seemed to be fading for him as he concentrated on schools closer to home; a second unofficial is obviously a big step in the right direction.

4* WA ATH Tre'Shaun Harrison has somewhat less vague plans to get to Ann Arbor this summer, or possibly earlier. Wiltfong put in an early CB for Michigan a few weeks ago; Lorenz relates that the unofficial is not something he expected a few months ago and that this indicates a level of mutual interest.

Camps, camps, camps

Soft commit and IN OL Emil Ekiyor checked in as a very big dude at an Opening regional in Chicago:

An extremely powerful player at 6-foot-3, 339-pounds, Ekiyor projects at guard or center on the next level.

He posted the top SPARQ score amongst linemen, as you can see above. When Emil Ekiyor says he trusts you as far as he can throw you, he means it as a compliment.

A second name from that same camp is instate OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who has not fielded Michigan interest to date because everyone projects him as a center and Michigan got a guy the recruiting industry believes is the best high school C prospect in a decade last year in Cesar Ruiz. Nonetheless Sampson might be a name of interest at some point:

Detroit (Mich.) East English Village Top247 offensive lineman Tyrone Sampson Jr.’s dominance on the camp circuit continued in the Windy City as the nation’s No. 2 center per 247Sports continues to have his way with interior defensive linemen. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound Sampson is strong, has good feet and plays with that nasty streak on every snap.

Sampson's offer list does not match up with his recruiting hype so far, as they're in the UK-Minnesota-Syracuse-Virginia range. Michigan State's lack of interest is especially perplexing.

Finally, Wiltfong mentioned MI OL Jalen Mayfield in passing as the guy "with the most upside" amongst the OL and MI DE commit Aidan Hutchinson as a "unique frame, high upside" guy. 

Grudging 2019 section is maybe less grudging this time

GA DT Chris Hinton is a potential five star and a name that's been in the grudging 2019 section at least a few times; his brother Myles is a 2020 OL. Steve Wiltfong has put in early—very early in Myles's case—crystal balls for both to Michigan based on "buzz at Atlanta Nike".

MD WR DeMarcco Hellams will visit for the spring game. Yes he is a real person and not a Fast and the Furious character. FL LB Anthony Solomon plans a return visit and that is a sign Michigan has a strong early lead for him; he just came up a couple months ago. GA RB STEELE CHAMBERS is a recent offeree and it won't take long for him to arrive in AA: he's got a visit scheduled for the 17th

Etc.

4* FL ATH Houston Griffith, the son of BTN analyst Howard, is "very interested" in Michigan, vague visit plans, no top list, etc. At IMG.

5* TX S BJ Foster rides horses, wants to be a cowboy.

4* TX TE Malcolm Epps has vague Michigan visit plans, mentions the cold.

Not quite happy trails but probably to IA DE John Waggoner, who was told by Greg Mattison that Michigan is looking for one more DE and that he'd have to wait for another spot to open up.

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Thursday Recruitin' Names Favorite Saints

Thursday Recruitin' Names Favorite Saints Comment Count

Brian February 23rd, 2017 at 12:19 PM

Game on in-state

Hutchinson vs 5* 2019 MI OL Devontae Dobbs

Michigan of course picked up a commitment from MI DE Aidan Hutchinson a couple days ago. I was chatting off air with Sam Webb today and we settled on Ryan Van Bergen with a bit more edge rush as a comparable for Hutchinson, FWIW. As a bonus, Harbaugh story:

Harbaugh paid a visit to Divine Child last month and was greeted by school pastor James Bilot.

“The priest meets him when he walked in and Harbaugh said, ‘Give me your top three,’” Hutchinson said, laughing. “The priest didn’t know what he was talking about. ‘Give me your top three saints. You’ve got to have a top three!’ My son’s school was like, ‘Whaaat?’”

I hope Harbaugh has a board on which he has his top saints ranked that he regularly rearranges. Tough day for St. Francis of Assisi, but St. Thomas More is really picking it up lately, etc.

Hutchinson, the #4 player in Michigan per the composite, is a legacy widely expected to end up in Ann Arbor; the rest of the instate crop is far less locked in to any particular school. Of the top ten in state, two are committed to ND already and #8 Jason Whittaker is headed to Northwestern; aside from Hutchinson everyone else is open.

That includes Traverse City West OL Ryan Hayes, who just picked up a Michigan offer and plans a visit next month. Trieu describes him as "Jake Fisher 2.0," referring to the instate lineman who decommitted from Michigan after Rich Rodriguez was fired and went on to have a successful career at Oregon. Fisher was a second round draft pick a couple years back. Per Trieu, Greg Frey recruited both Fisher and Hayes's older brother Connor, who ended up at Pitt. The younger Hayes is up to the #2 player in the state after a significant bump from 24/7.

#1, OL Marquan McCall, was widely regarded a Michigan lean but recently Lorenz said he might not be as high on Michigan's board as that would imply and there might not be room for him in a tight class. #5, OL Tyrone Sampson, is a legit four star but there is one complicating factor. Trieu:

Strong, great balance and base and technically very sound. True center and a potentially elite one.

Michigan took #1 C Cesar Ruiz last year. One or the other could play guard but if Sampson believes his best spot is C Michigan is not likely to be the destination. They haven't offered yet in any case.

File under crootin

GA OL Jalil Irvin, who was briefly a commit, took an unofficial to Ann Arbor and returned saying very positive things:

“I love Michigan after today,” Irvin, a former Michigan commit, said. “Just the campus, coaches, academics, and everything.”

Meanwhile, IN OL Emil Ekiyor, who is currently a commit, has visited multiple schools recently. A trip to Indiana is decidedly unthreatening:

"My main priority right now is Michigan. I'll look at other schools, but I'm pretty focused on them."

Going down to Tallahassee is considerably more alarming, especially considering his recent trip there was his second. That it's part of a southern swing through Georgia, Alabama, and the Noles is... not better, but not worse. Ekiyor, FWIW:

"Just exploring, making sure I am making the right decision," Ekiyor said. "But I am locked into Michigan right now. Nothing has changed with that. I'm just looking."

"I'm locked in ... I'm just looking" is a hefty slab of grade A crootin for you right there. Ekiyor decommit DEFCON is currently at 3, and will move up to 2 if he camps at FSU, like he told 24/7 he was "thinking about."

On the other hand, 4* GA LB Otis Reese seems totally solid. He's planning an April unofficial and Lorenz reports that Michigan has not let their pursuit flag despite the fact he is committed.

Large class complaints will be minimal this year

Per Lorenz, Michigan is currently done(!) at DE and LB with one guy at each spot (Hutchinson and GA LB Otis Reese), and there's some circumstantial evidence to back that up from 4* CA DE Jeremiah Martin, a weakside type:

“(I’m) not really (hearing from them),” said Martin. It just same with some other offers like offered then don't really communicate. I mean mail that's about it.”

Martin still wants to visit but feels like the interest is more on his end than theirs at the moment.

That seems a bit shortsighted to me since there's always attrition even when you don't want there to be attrition (see: Asiasi, Devin). But the depth chart is pretty stocked at both spots now, which was emphatically not the case a year ago.

Anyway: any class with just two guys at DE/LB is going to be pretty small. Especially if they're not going to push for FL DE Nik Bonnito as a result, as Lorenz asserts.

Obligatory Faalele section

FL OL Daniel Faalele checked in at 6'8", 400 pounds at the Orlando Nike Camp. Apparently Mike Onwenu convinced them to get bigger scales at these things. This news was the impetus for that rarest of birds: a Good Tweet.

Extremely grudging 2019 stuff

MI OL Devontae Dobbs is an early five star on 24/7 and continues tracking that direction after an impressive Elite Big Man camp:

Trieu asserts that he's "a blue chipper without a doubt."

FL LB Anthony Solomon took an unofficial last week and returned saying Michigan was his new leader, displacing Alabama. Solomon is at St. Thomas Aquinas, which is now Harbaugh's favorite saint. STA sends a lot of guys to ND and various northern schools, so it's not out of the question Michigan hangs on. Solomon told Sam Webb that he's very close with Devin Bush—"their family and my family grew up together"—and that can't hurt.

Another recent visitor who Michigan leads for is KY DE Stephon Herron Jr, per Lorenz. Here is the default sentence about vague leaders two years out.

Etc.

Brice Marich reports that Michigan is keeping tabs on 3* MI OL Michael Furtney. 4* IL OL Verdis Brown was "super excited" to get a Michigan offer, has vague visit plan. 3* AL DT Timaje Porter very much wants a Michigan offer. Michigan offers GA ATH Quindarious Monday, and yes I just mentioned this because of the name.

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