Sound Mind Sound Body 2016: WRs/DBs

Sound Mind Sound Body 2016: WRs/DBs

Submitted by Ace on June 13th, 2016 at 2:59 PM


KJ Hamler dominated the one-on-one portion. [Bill Rapai]

This year's Sound Mind Sound Body camp at Wayne State featured several of the state's best high school players, as well as some top out-of-state talent. Adam and I spent most of Friday afternoon watching the receivers and defensive backs—Seth covered the linemen on another field—and we saw impressive performances from a couple Michigan targets. Before running down the players who stood out to us, a few general notes/caveats:

  • At a camp this large, even the top prospects only get a handful of reps in one-on-ones, so a couple good or bad reps can really skew the perception of a player. Drills were taking place on both sides of the field, too, so I didn't see every rep each WR/DB took. I'll note which players got more reps in than others that I saw.
  • I mostly focused on the established prospects since there were usually two one-on-one matchups occurring simultaneously and I was trying to take notes between reps. If a prospect who stood out to another site isn't mentioned here, that's more a reflection of my focus than anything else.
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones was listed on the initial roster but chose to attend the Rivals Five-Star camp in Atlanta instead. 2018 commit Leonard Taylor, who was supposed to work out at tight end, was also a no-show. 2018 commit Antwuan Johnson attended but dinged up his ankle and sat out most of the day.

With that out of the way, some evaluations:

2017 MI WR/DB KJ Hamler (M Offer)

Camp settings are ideal for Hamler, whose quickness and precision make him nearly impossible to contain in unpadded one-on-ones. He was easily the quickest wideout going through the three-cone drill, and that agility and foot speed was apparent in his route-running. Defensive backs had trouble getting their hands on Hamler, who got separation on nearly every rep he took and caught everything he could get his hands on. His route-running is advanced for a high school prospect; combined with his athleticism, he's hard to slow down.

Hamler is undersized, to be sure. He makes up for much of that deficiency with his ball skills—he's got great timing and can go up and get it. That showed up as much on defense as it did on offense. Hamler took some reps at cornerback, and while he's not at technically sound there as he is at receiver, he stayed step-for-step with his marks and came away with a couple interceptions, including a spectacular leaping pick on his final rep. Hamler also showed a high level of competitiveness; he took more reps than anyone else as best I could tell, and on a couple occasions I noticed him drop to the turf to knock out a quick set of push-ups when he was waiting for his next rep.

There were a couple moments when Hamler's size hampered him. Still, from what I saw he was the best performer among the WR/DB group, and only Ambry Thomas came close to matching him. Even though Michigan took a number of quality slot-types in the 2016 class, I'll admit I'm disappointed they aren't pushing harder for Hamler. While he'd be an ideal fit in a spread, I think he could be successful in any offense.

[Hit THE JUMP for reports on Ambry Thomas, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and more.]

Friday Recruitin' Begins Ambassadorship

Friday Recruitin' Begins Ambassadorship

Submitted by Ace on May 27th, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Ambassador Long Already At Work

Jim Harbaugh called David Long a potential ambassador for the program, and that appears to be coming to fruition already. Five-star CA CB Darnay Holmes hasn't been mentioned much around here, but that's about to change, per 247's Steve Lorenz:

“Michigan is for sure moving up in things," Holmes told Huskers Illustrated analyst Mike Schaefer over the weekend. “Coach Jim Harbaugh is building a monster up there. My best friend David Long is going up there in June. Dylan Crawford is up there. A lot of California guys go up there. That shows Ann Arbor isn’t a bad place to go." 

There are a few promising things to note here. Holmes plans to take an official visit to Ann Arbor in the fall. Long is quoted in the article saying Holmes is "like a blood brother," and he's been talking to both Holmes and his father about Michigan. Perhaps most tellingly, Holmes talked up Michigan to a Nebraska reporter.

Lorenz added a report today that provides a new layer of intrigue. Yesterday, Jim Harbaugh contacted Desean Holmes, Darnay's cousin and a 2015 four-star receiver who didn't enroll at San Diego State for personal reasons. Desean could visit soon, and if he winds up at Michigan, Lorenz "strongly believe[s]" that would move Michigan up Darnay's list. Desean could fill a major 2017 need with Chesson and Darboh outgoing and help deliver a five-star corner. Sounds good to me.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Monday Recruitin' Awaits Test Scores

Monday Recruitin' Awaits Test Scores

Submitted by Ace on May 9th, 2016 at 3:06 PM

A Late Riser Emerges?

The young man you see above displaying a visceral hatred for rims is 2016 Grundy (VA) Mountain Mission SG/SF Harold Baruti, who at the moment looks like the most likely option to fill one of the two open basketball scholarships. Baruti came to Ann Arbor on an official visit last weekend, and it sounds like a scholarship offer is on the way as long as he clears an academic hurdle or two:

At 6'6", ~200 pounds, Baruti could provide much-needed depth on the wing. According to Quinn, Utah and Texas Tech are also showing late interest in Baruti, who holds scholarship offers from SMU, UNC-Wilmington, Utah State, and Tennessee Tech. While he doesn't look like the most polished prospect, he's got plenty of athleticism—he looks like a guy who could eventually fill the GRIII role of cutter/finisher who shoots just well enough on corner threes to keep defenses spaced out.

Speaking of wing depth, the just-released senior highlights of 2016 signee Ibi Watson are worth watching. While the highlight video caveat applies, he looks like a strong finisher and impressive passer; if he can hold his own on defense he can see a significant role right away as a backup at the two and the three.

In other hoops recruiting news, Michigan's offer has vaulted them into the top three for in-state 2017 SF Jamal Cain, per TMI's Josh Newkirk:

“(Michigan) is for sure top-three,” Cain said. “My top three, well, the schools that have been in contact the most have been Michigan, Marquette and Xavier.”

Cain mentioned academic support as something that stood out on his visit, and later said that factor is of significant importance in his decision, which should come during or after his senior season.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Future Blue Originals: 2014 Prep Kickoff Classic

Future Blue Originals: 2014 Prep Kickoff Classic

Submitted by Ace on September 2nd, 2014 at 4:28 PM


Mike Weber [Photo: Dave Nasternak/MGoBlog]

Yes, FBO is back after being mostly absent last year; if you're unfamiliar, this is the series in which I go to high school games involving Michigan commits/targets, get some video, and provide my best attempt at a scouting report. Helping me this year is MGoRightHandMan Dave Nasternak, who took all the photos and video for us at Friday's Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State.

The two featured games this week are Southfield vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's and Cass Tech vs. Oak Park; despite our two spare batteries, the camera started running out of juice during the late game, so I've only included highlights from Cass Tech's offense for that one. Show? On with it.

Southfield vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's

Overview: OLSM pulled out a 21-19 victory thanks to a big-time performance from soph. QB Kanye Harris (21-36, 303 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) and long touchdowns by senior MSU commit Tyson Smith (60-yard receiving TD) and sophomore WR Kahlee "KJ" Hamler (47-yard punt return TD). Despite being at a major size disadvantage up front, OLSM dominated Southfield in the trenches, leaving no room to run for four-star 2016 RB Matt Falcon (5 carries, 5 yards), who missed a decent portion of the game with an apparent ankle injury.

[Hit THE JUMP for video highlights and scouting reports on Mike Weber, Josh Ross, Lavert Hill, Matt Falcon, and several others.]