Tuesday Recruitin' Is Like, 'Dang, I Thought I Had That'

Tuesday Recruitin' Is Like, 'Dang, I Thought I Had That' Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 8th, 2019 at 2:44 PM

While the Michigan commits in Orlando impressed scouts and analysts in the practices that led up to last week’s Under Armour All-America Game, a group of three signees with arguably the best odds of playing early this side of Mazi Smith were doing the same in San Antonio. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown published an interesting set of articles in which he got other players to scout GA DT Chris Hinton and OK S Dax Hill. On Hill, GA QB and South Carolina commit Ryan Hilinski articulated what Michigan fans hope is the general sentiment of Big Ten QBs for the next three years.

“I'm telling you, when I go up to the line of scrimmage I'm always looking away from him," Hilinski said. "He's just a guy that covers so much space with his speed and he's so fluid with all of his motions. He's long too. That's the hardest thing to judge. I'll try to throw and out route and he'll get a finger on it. I'll be like, 'Dang, I thought I had that.' He doesn't even look like he's trying that hard yet either and he's still balling out. When he really takes it up a level, what is he going to do? He's a beast.

Brown talked to two Ohio State signees about Hinton, and if the roster’s composition wasn’t already enough to get him a shot at early playing time, his advanced technique should do it. GA OG Harry Miller is quoted first in the article and brought up one natural skill and one technical element of Hinton’s that stood out in practice.

"He's a really hand technician. He's just really good at using his hands and being quick," Miller said. "As an offensive player I have to be very aware of my fundamentals and be very sound with that. He's not a guy that you can just go out and attack and expect to beat him. You have to be really smart with how you approach him."

WV OG Doug Nester corroborated Miller’s scouting report.

"He comes off the ball really hard and he's very good with his hand placement," Nester said. "He knows where to hit you correctly. He'll hit you right in the chest and he extends away from himself so that you can't get into his chest. He's good at that."

[After THE JUMP: more players and analysts weigh in, plus updates from the UA Future 50 camp]

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Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Offense

Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Offense Comment Count

Seth December 20th, 2018 at 4:50 PM

More fun with rosters! With signing day behind us I've updated my spreadsheets and the associated interactive chart. Behold: the 2019 class contextualized against every Michigan recruit since 1990:

You can mouseover the big yellow bubbles to get a sense where each guy fits against previous Michigan players in the recruiting rankings. But let's still dig out each player to understand the context of his scouting. The full data are here.

QB Cade McNamara

image

The style of quarterback who uses his legs and is constantly being asked about his height is now considered a "Pro Style" quarterback, especially if he commits to Harbaugh, though it's not hard to find the guy Cade McNamara most reminds us of. Cade is a clear rung down from Tate's Top-150ish ratings, and for good reason. However Michigan's lone QB recruit in this class is still strongly above the 4-star line. Despite the other comps being substantially different players, the boom/bust nature of his ranking is evident in the range of success you see around him.

[After THE JUMP: The position you were dreading]

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Hello: Cornelius Johnson

Hello: Cornelius Johnson Comment Count

Brian December 19th, 2018 at 10:41 AM

An outside wide receiver with some rank on it, finally. After a four-WR class in 2017 that's currently on track to be discussed with the best in Michigan history, Michigan picked up just late sleeper Ronnie Bell last year. While there was good reason to believe Bell was a legit prospect that he started delivering on as a freshman, following up a class of "Ronnie Bell and that's it" with "uh… we hope Quintel Kent is also Ronnie Bell?" was a collar-pulling situation.

Cornelius Johnson is not a six-foot guy who may be able to hack it on the outside. He's got legit size, legit rankings, legit offers, and is just generally legit. He's not a five star but if you could pick one position at which Michigan's class needed highly-recruited mid-to-high four star, it was flanker. Check.

Thanks, Central!

GURU RANKINGS

Rivals ESPN 24/7 Composite
3*, NR overall
#69 WR, #4 CT
4*, #245 overall
#36 WR, #2 CT
4*, #185 overall
#25 WR, #1 CT
#256 overall
#39 WR, #2 CT

Note that Rivals does nothing with the Opening anymore and is usually very perfunctory about New England recruits. Their ranking was backed by no scouting. Neither is ESPN's, but we like it more.

[After THE JUMP: coming to play school]

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Cornelius Johnson Has Committed To Michigan

Cornelius Johnson Has Committed To Michigan Comment Count

Brian December 19th, 2018 at 9:22 AM

Michigan picks up a top 250 outside WR for the first time since the monster Collins/Black/DPJ/Martin class that is currently looking very, very good:

Hello post as soon as I finish it, which should be maybe 45 minutes.

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Wednesday Recruitin' Readies Commitment Graphics, Watches Inbox

Wednesday Recruitin' Readies Commitment Graphics, Watches Inbox Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 19th, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Welcome to the second annual early signing day, which is basically early Christmas for recruitniks and the day most likely to be celebrated by both those overflowing with optimism about the promise of the future and those who view the commitment of anything less than a five-star as a treatise on the state of the program. If you’re the kind of person who follows recruiting tangentially you can expect some suspense today, but it’s clustered around very few players. In case you’re looking for a primer, Michigan’s 2019 class is currently #9 nationally and #1 in the Big Ten with an average player rating of 0.90 per the 247 composite. Michigan expects 24 of its 25 verbal commits to sign and email in their letters of intent today according to 247’s Steve Lorenz, with the lone February signee slated to be KS ATH Amauri Pesek-Hickson. That leaves two suspense-generating commitments to wait on, and one that seemed to be going Michigan’s way until early yesterday morning.

On that note, things don’t look great for Michigan with regard to the nation's #4 overall player, OH DE Zach Harrison. The deluge of crystal ball flips started yesterday morning around 7:30 with Sam Webb and continued throughout the day. Webb said on the radio last week that he wasn’t going to flip until he had solid intel and to keep an eye on his crystal ball; five crystal balls flipped in an hour, and with those Michigan’s chances clearly flat-lined. It’s been well publicized that the outcome of The Game had an adverse impact on his recruitment, and it seems that Michigan’s multiple visits to try and assuage any fears weren’t enough to yank him out of Ohio State’s orbit. And it’s that part, that proximity and pull toward Ohio State, that appears to be too much for Michigan to overcome. 247’s Steve Lorenz posted his final thoughts heading into today and said that the rumblings about Michigan falling to third and this turning into a decision between Ohio State and Penn State illustrates how serious the people around Harrison were about him not going to Michigan. Lorenz went on to say that the biggest factors in Harrison not committing to Michigan are the people close to him who have his ear and Urban Meyer resigning. Harrison was reportedly not Meyer’s biggest fan, and Ryan Day getting the head job bolstered the Buckeyes’ chances. Lorenz said Michigan fans have a right to feel a little snakebitten at that particular development, which, yeah.

Moving to a recruitment that should jumpstart a second volume of Road to Ann Arbor for Tom VH should he flip (again), Michigan seems to be back in the battle for five-star OK S Daxton Hill. Multiple reports cite Alabama planting a seed of doubt in Hill’s mind that the current coaching staff would remain in Ann Arbor for long, with the poorly-timed Don Brown interview at Temple and the ever present Harbaugh-to-the-NFL rumors giving their staff the leverage they were looking for to flip Hill unexpectedly. It’s no surprise in light of this that Harbaugh went to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the next day to let people know that he was not leaving Michigan, calling the rumors a “choreographed message” that emerges every year before signing day. With Don Brown also staying, Michigan’s staff worked hard to erase any personnel doubts Hill had, and there was a surge of optimism that Hill would flip back to Michigan. That still appears to be a possibility, but a complication has emerged and somehow Ohio State’s involved in this one, too.

According to WolverinesWire’s Isaiah Hole, the commitment to watch today in relation to Hill's recruitment is that of FL S Jordan Battle. Though technically a Buckeye commit until this morning, it’s been expected for some time that he would flip his commitment to Alabama. Hole on the situation:

The word is, Hill is not looking to be a part of a class that has three safeties. So, in short, watch what happens with Battle and Alabama on Wednesday. Should he sign a letter of intent before Hill to end up in Tuscaloosa, there’s a strong indication that Hill could be back in the fold in Ann Arbor.

Hole goes on to write that the staff feels optimistic about flipping Hill back regardless of what happens with Battle, but it certainly seems that Battle signing before Hill would significantly bolster Michigan’s odds. The Wolverine’s Chris Balas reports that Alabama’s staff didn’t expect Hill to sign today as recently as this weekend, though they’re pushing hard to get him to do so. Balas says those close to Hill’s recruitment expect it to continue into January, so for today, keep an eye on Jordan Battle.

[The good news is after THE JUMP]

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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' Didn't See Your Text

Friday Recruitin' Didn't See Your Text Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 16th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

This week saw the release of a new Top247 in which most of Michigan’s commits stayed near their prior ranking. There were two moves worth discussing, though, as GA OL Trente Jones (pictured above) shot up and CA RB Zach Charbonnet entered rarified, dangerous territory. Charbonnet moved up from #41 to #26 in 247’s rankings, which puts him six spots over the five-star threshold. Michigan’s recent history with five-star running backs is woeful enough that an Angry Michigan Five-Star Running Back-Hating God may have been invoked at some point, but how can you watch Charbonnet’s highlights and not give him a fifth star?

 

I also recommend watching this video for the runs at 3:05 and 3:27. There’s a very useful every-touch/block video that someone cut up from the second half of Charbonnet’s playoff game two weeks ago, and that shows that he’s a pretty good blocker as well.

247’s Greg Biggins wrote about Charbonnet in the aftermath of Oaks Christian’s playoff victory last weekend and there are so many pull quotes you should just read the whole article.

His ability to make something out of nothing, take a pounding but not flinch and look even stronger in the 4th quarter than he did in the 1st really makes him special. His game translates really well to the college level and there is no question he has the ability to see the field as soon as next year at Michigan.

Biggins goes on to say that Charbonnet should be considered one of the best backs to come out of Southern California in the last decade and will eventually play in the NFL barring injury, so that seems good. Whereas TN RB Eric Gray’s visit this weekend was probably necessary for Michigan to keep him in the class (more on that after the jump), Charbonnet’s visit be this Saturday is the opposite. Steve Lorenz notes that Charbonnet spoke with 247 a few weeks ago and said he wasn’t sure whether other schools were pursuing him because he doesn’t respond to his texts and doesn’t check his phone much these days.

Jones may not have ended up as high in the rankings as Charbonnet but he did jet up 266 spots (!), earning a fourth star in the process. He also is reportedly his high school’s highest-graded lineman this season, which is very much worth noting as he is teammates with #9 overall prospect Wanya Morris. You may remember Morris from last week’s roundup; he’s the player who was taken first overall in the UA All-America Game draft, one spot ahead of Charbonnet.

[Hit THE JUMP for the longest 2019 update in a while]

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Friday Recruitin' Is Mostly About Meteorology

Friday Recruitin' Is Mostly About Meteorology Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 19th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

There were 17 crystal balls logged before last Saturday, each of them on Ohio State, some almost two years old. Unsurprising when the nation’s #5 prospect lives in a Columbus suburb. And yet. Michigan hosted OH DE Zach Harrison last Saturday, and the visit went well enough to get 247’s Steve Wiltfong to flip his crystal ball to cloudy and cause Steve Lorenz to almost submit his in favor of Michigan. According to Lorenz, this visit had the most impact on the largest contingent of people pulling for him to go to Ohio State this side of the Shoe.

This visit may have helped the staff with Harrison's family more than it did the prospect himself, as he's personally been high on the Wolverines for months at this point.

Wiltfong, though, reports that Harrison likes Penn State so much that he thinks he would commit there if not for the distance from Columbus, adding that one source told him Michigan has an edge over Penn State due to distance while another disagreed. Then there’s the obligatory it’s-not-over-til-it’s-over disclaimer with regard to Ohio State in almost any article authored about Harrison; we’re still subscribing to the theory that he would have picked them already if that’s where he was going.

Lorenz told the Free Press’ Orion Sang that he believes Michigan is ahead right now after a slow start to Harrison’s recruitment that had Notre Dame and Michigan State in front of Michigan but turned around thanks to the effort of linebackers coach Al Washington. Harrison’s first gameday experience in Michigan Stadium gave him a literal front-row seat to the steamrolling of Wisconsin, and it sounds like Michigan did everything possible on their end—from the seats to getting Harrison’s longtime friend Joey Velazquez and family on campus to the time his family was able to spend with the staff. A possible official visit to Ohio State looms, but one source told Lorenz that Harrison will not end up at OSU, full stop.

Another five-star who is warming up to Michigan is NC ATH Quavaris Crouch. If you remember, Crouch’s visit last weekend was mutually cancelled, and there was some speculation that moving the visit later in the season could hurt Michigan’s chances because Michigan, well, [/gestures toward frost I can see on my car windows as I write this]. According to Steve Lorenz, Crouch wanted to move the visit back in part to experience Michigan’s weather later in the year. Last week’s speculation was around a Crouch visit against Indiana so as to allow the staff to completely focus on him, but Lorenz is now reporting that both sides are working to get him on campus for the game against Penn State. Crouch said that Michigan and Clemson are currently tied for first for him in a TigerNet article that for some reason won’t let me copy-paste text, and there’s some solace to be found in Mark Dantonio being states away from his “cyclotron” (read: weather disruption device) on the day Crouch visits.

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

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