Tuesday Recruitin' Sees The Upside In Class Trips

Tuesday Recruitin' Sees The Upside In Class Trips Comment Count

Adam Schnepp February 26th, 2019 at 9:30 AM

A number of prospects from Baltimore’s St. Frances Academy, current home of LB commit Osman Savage and former Michigan staffer Biff Poggi, visited Michigan recently. One of those players is four-star Luke Hill, the #5 CB in the 2020 class. He told 247’s Brian Dohn that he spent most of his time on campus talking to cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich, whom he called “real” and said he related to.

Four-star MD RB Blake Corum, also of St. Frances and #194 in composite (but #355 to 247), told The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich that he’s very interested in Michigan and spoke about the quality of his relationship with running backs coach Jay Harbaugh. Jim and Jay Harbaugh told Corum about their plans for how they could use him, and it included running the ball, catching passes, and returning punts. In other words, he’s as quick and athletic as you’d expect for a 5’9, 180-pounder with offers from the SEC’s power players (minus Alabama), USC, and half the Big Ten. He’s also Steve Lorenz’s most recent Michigan crystal ball, which comes on the heels of 247 moving Corum up to Michigan’s top target list just before his visit.

And yet Corum isn’t the most recent player from St. Frances to commit to Michigan. That honor goes to OL Micah Mazzccua, who announced his commitment Monday night, spurring offers from Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse. Mazzcua is listed as 6’5” and 289 pounds in 247’s database, but recent scouting reports have him listed at 305. He’s currently #771 and the #76 OT in the 2020 composite, but 247’s Brian Dohn saw him play last fall and it seems Mazzccua is another guy Michigan is in on early that they could ride up the rankings.

Mazzccua could see his ranking increase as long as he continues to develop throughout the offseason. He is raw but came a long way from the start of his junior season to now. His athleticism and frame make him a very intriguing prospect, and someone who could turn out to be a steal on signing day.

Dohn also mentioned that Mazzccua has good enough footwork to eventually play right tackle and also does well on pulls, but he has issues with pad level. RIvals analyst Adam Friedman’s take is similar to what Dohn saw.

"He’s 6-6 and right around 300 pounds but he can really bend well and he fires off the line really well. He plays with a great aggressiveness too.

Friedman added that Mazzccua has four-star potential as long as he continues on his current trajectory. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown thinks that Mazzccua could be this year’s Trente Jones in that he’s a guy who’s far more athletic than a human his size should be and thus could be poised to make a big rankings jump by the end of the season. I took a cursory glance at his junior highlights and yeah, I could see it. Mazzccua transferred to St. Frances from Philadelphia’s Simon Gratz High School last year, so he’s only had one season of spotlight scouting. He told 247’s Maryland site that he felt like he learned to finish blocks consistently once he got to St. Frances, and that he’s still working on leg strength and getting more explosive, and I don’t doubt that he has rare enough athleticism for his size to make a splash once he cleans up his technique a bit.

[After THE JUMP: updates on the state's most highly touted prospects]


Friday Recruitin' Evaluates Talent Four Years Prior To Graduation

Friday Recruitin' Evaluates Talent Four Years Prior To Graduation Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 25th, 2019 at 3:00 PM

This post exists because Michigan’s coaching staff has been pounding the proverbial pavement in an unprecedented (since I took over writing these, at least) way. So many 2020 offers have gone out recently, and so many have generated quote-filled articles on the sites of the usual suspects, that it necessitated spinning off another post to cover everything; I realized this when I hit 1800 words and still had over 20 tabs open.

With the spate of offers, I feel going over a recent post from 247’s Steve Lorenz is a good way to start before diving into the minutiae of who got offered when and who’s got what other offers and when is such and such visiting. I wasn’t sure how to go about chronicling all the 2020 offers that went out because it just seemed like there so many that some must not mean that much, but Lorenz cautions against that. In his words:

Junior film is probably the most important opportunity for a prospect to establish themselves at the top of a school's recruiting board; offers made right now are usually notable and worth following.

He does, however, caution against putting too much stock in late-cycle in-state offers. Lorenz looked back at the last four classes and posited that Michigan’s in-state take rate might be around 50%. He says that we’re in the heart of the 2020 process right now, so reserve your skepticism for later in the season.

On that note, might want to hold back on casting judgement based on where a recruit is currently ranked. Lorenz:

There are numerous examples of prospects Michigan has gotten in on early who have risen continuously throughout the process. The flip side of this is true as well; many players who are ranked highly at this point will not be recruited heavily by the staff and you will see their ranking fall as the cycle continues. Overall, their evaluation abilities tend to be among the best I've seen.

Keep in mind that the final rankings for 2019 just came out and some 2019s are already enrolled and on campus. To Steve’s point, Trente Jones, Zach Charbonnet, Cornelius Johnson, Karsen Barnhart, and Giles Jackson are solid examples of guys who shot up the rankings from when Michigan first expressed interest to the end of the cycle.

[After THE JUMP: pretty sure Chris Hinton and DJ Turner have one degree of separation from everyone in the 2020 class below the Mason-Dixon line]


Friday Recruitin' Works Its Way Into Being Productive

Friday Recruitin' Works Its Way Into Being Productive Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 28th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Michigan added their fifth commitment of the 2020 class on Tuesday in Cornell Wheeler, and they didn’t have to go far to find him. The West Bloomfield LB, no. 466 in the composite ranking, had his fair share of ink spilled upon committing. 247’s Allen Trieu has a pair of scouting reports, one from Tyrice Grice, Wheeler’s defensive coordinator, and one from his observations from 2017 through camp season. Grice:

“Cornell's going to make sure he's a sideline to sideline player. He works hard on his athleticism because he compares himself to Lance [Dixon] which is a tough one to compare yourself to. He will fit in Michigan's defense. His instincts help him get to the ball so fast and he makes good reads and that's something we teach is understanding reads and he is good at that. It took him a while to learn it, but he worked with me and he got it and he is having a dynamic year. The mental aspect, Cornell has done well at, and Michigan runs the same defense as us and gave us everything we needed to run their defense and Coach Brown loves that.”

Trieu issued his player comparison as part of his scouting report:

“I can see some Desmond Morgan there too where, Desmond was not a combine type guy, but was smart, instinctive and worked his way into being productive. That is what I see with Cornell. And the few times that I have seen him in 7-on-7, he made a good amount of plays just by being in the right places as well.”

The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown also wrote up a player comparison in which he likened Wheeler’s game to that of James Ross.

Both have been billed as a tad sawed off while being extremely instinctive and violent when they arrive at ball carriers. Neither of them are very long but both have decent range because they run well and dissect plays in a hurry. Both also show a knack for blitzing because of how they anticipate and understand schemes and tells from the offense.

Brown also checked in with Rivals analyst Josh Helmholdt, and a picture of a tenacious, slightly undersized heat-seeking missile is starting to emerge. Helmholdt:

"His size and stature scream gap-filling thumper, but then he went out and nearly won position MVP honors at the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp in Chicago, an event that highlights a linebacker's ability to play in space. Wheeler is effective going forward, backward or sideline-to-sideline. He hits with bad intentions, but also has the explosiveness to blitz or cut off the alley."

Helmholdt also notes that his offer list would have seen the addition of national powers if he had decided to take his recruitment into the spring, but that Michigan pounced on Wheeler’s willingness to finish the recruiting process early.

Brown also spoke with former Michigan WR and current West Bloomfield head coach Ron Bellamy, who called Wheeler “the best middle linebacker in the state of Michigan.

[Hit THE JUMP for more]


Cornell Wheeler Commits To Michigan

Cornell Wheeler Commits To Michigan Comment Count

Brian September 25th, 2018 at 3:23 PM


Michigan's fifth 2020 commit is Cornell Wheeler, a *3.5 linebacker out of West Bloomfield. Ron Bellamy is his coach and compares him to a current Wolverine:

"He reminds me a lot of Josh Ross," West Bloomfield head coach Ron Bellamy said. "He is physical, instinctive, loves football and plays the game with aggression."


Friday Recruitin' Watches Sanford and Son

Friday Recruitin' Watches Sanford and Son Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 14th, 2018 at 2:00 PM

[Greg Powers]

This is Fine: Earnest Edition. Five-star OK S and no. 12 overall player in the 247 composite Daxton Hill is taking his official visit to Michigan this weekend. If frequency of texting recruits already committed to M is any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. If the path to playing time is any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. If academics are any indication of where Michigan stands, they’re in pretty good shape. Sam Webb sat down with Hill for an exclusive interview and pumped out this series of three articles, one of which further detailed Hill’s feelings on the importance of academics:

“(Academics are) real big,” he said. “(Booker T Washington) is a great school academically. Sometimes I’ll be in my room just doing homework for hours, so I take my academics serious. That plays a big part of it. I don’t want to make it too easy for me. Wherever I go I just want a challenge academically and athletically.”

That quote is so Michigan it just finished class 10 minutes before the hour. (Yeah, I’m cool, I’m with it.) Hill’s a pretty good athlete, too. Webb said this morning on WTKA that, should he commit, Michigan will not have had an athlete as good as him since Tripp Welborne and that he has the potential to start at any program in the country from the day he sets foot on campus. For quantitative confirmation, let’s turn to Hill’s test results from The Opening: 

For the man above 🙏🏼 #4.3laser pic.twitter.com/Ywq68b0hI9

— Dirty30 (@daxhill5) April 29, 2018

Sure, yeah, 99th percentile of all athletes tested in his class should be just fine. Beyond what Hill brings to the table or what Michigan can offer him are the relationships formed during the recruiting process, and Hill has been in contact with a few current commits for some time. Webb mentioned on the radio this morning that NV QB Cade McNamara is also going to be on campus this weekend, and that’s important as the two have built a friendship. Webb, in his free article about Hill’s parents perspective on his recruitment, talked to them about his relationship with other prospects:

But I know Daxton has made relationships with certain players. I won’t say the school, but he says with one school, ‘I have a relationship with more of the recruits than the others.’ I think I got a feel for which way he’s going (with that). That’s more important. One of the main (decision) aspects is his teammates – that class going in with him.”

There’s also a section in the piece about how Hill got close to committing somewhere this summer before realizing he needed more time; I highly recommend you check the piece out. One possible sticking point for Michigan could be that they don’t have a program in journalism, his desired field of study; Michigan can always point to Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, Brian Griese, Jim Brandstatter, Dan Dierdorf, or unfurl the scroll-length list of names of The Michigan Daily alums currently writing professionally and contend that things could work out just fine. Hill’s parents think this visit will help solidify things for Daxton, but who knows whether there will be a resultant Hello post or a keening board thread. It seems fruitless to predict what a guy will do when said guy spends his free time watching Sanford and Son or Good Times instead of playing Fortnite.

[After THE JUMP: the whole D is broken]