Preview 2018: Safety

Preview 2018: Safety Comment Count

Brian August 31st, 2018 at 2:31 PM

[Bryan Fuller]

Previously: Podcast 10.0A. Podcast 10.0B. Podcast 10.0C. The Story. Quarterback. Running Back. Wide Receiver. Tight End And Friends. Offensive Tackle. Interior Offensive Line. Defensive Tackle. Defensive End. Linebacker. Cornerback.

Depth Chart

Free Safety Yr. Strong Safety Yr. Nickelback Yr.
Tyree Kinnel Sr. Josh Metellus Jr. Brandon Watson Jr.*
Jaylen Kelly-Powell So. Brad Hawkins So. Ambry Thomas Fr.
J'Marick Woods So. Sammy Faustin Fr. Jaylen Kelly-Powell Fr.

When the land around you is flat as a pancake any bump on the horizon becomes Mount Something and some goof will stick a ski lift on it. This was the Michigan safety corps' 2017. Surrounded by Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich and Devin Bush and Mo Hurst, their lack of super powers stuck out. A missed tackle here, a dropped interception there, and portions of the fanbase saw Mount Oh My God The Safeties on the horizon.

This is all a matter of perspective. Relative to the rest of the defense, yeah. Relative to Michigan safety play in the not-at-all distant past, no. They'll be fine. They will aspire to boring and let the rest of the defense turn into werewolves. This is fine. All I ever wanted was a boring safety.


RATING: 3.5.


awwwww cumong [Patrick Barron]

The thing people are mad at TYREE KINNEL about isn't the thing they should be mad about, insofar as they should be mad. Many words have been spilled over the offseason about the Dreaded Slot Fade, and Kinnel more than anyone else was the victim of these. And, yes, that one time Lavert Hill got one he showed how it should be done. I still offer up (minor) coverage positives for this kind of business, though:

He's very close and gets a rake in but it's for naught; it required a perfect throw (note how Hill and WR slow up on his PBU, none of that here) and fairly difficult catch. I shrug at that. Sometimes the offense wins. It felt like Kinnel got the business end of that business far too often for the quality of coverage he was providing. The picture above? Catch. QED.

This was a larger trend. Kinnel's coverage was solid, as befits a player who came in as a CB/S hybrid. He was barely more targeted than the cornerbacks and while his results weren't quite as good he still made it tough for most of his opposition:

S #23 rotating down on motion

He wasn't the kind of safety you could put on DJ Moore and expect good things to happen but he had a hand in the secondary's massive coverage positives week-in and week-out; he was also a major contributor to Michigan's low number of long (30+) passes allowed, 12. A QB rating allowed slightly below the 50th percentile doesn't reflect Kinnel's play since it doesn't grade on a curve for tough coverage beaten and doesn't take Michigan's lack of big ol' busts into account. He was a solid B in coverage.

[After THE JUMP: grumbles accepted]


2018 Recruiting: German Green

2018 Recruiting: German Green Comment Count

Brian May 25th, 2018 at 3:02 PM

Previously: Last year's profiles. S Sammy Faustin.

DeSoto, TX – 6'2" 178


24/7 3*, #973 overall
#80 S, #115 TX
Rivals 3*, NR overall
ESPN 3*, NR overall
#105 S, #181 TX 
Composite 3*, #1230 overall
#98 S, #176 TX
Other Suitors Tenn, OkState, ISU, Houston, CU
YMRMFSPA Jeremy Clark
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Ace.
Notes Twitter. Twin brother is also in the class. He wears 10, Gemon wears 9.



This DB recruiting class is comprised of five near-identical guys, and to drive the point home two of them are twins. German Green, the focus of this post, is the one who tore his ACL, missed the critical-for-rankings-purposes rising junior summer and his entire junior year, projects to safety, and doesn't have much buzz; Gemon Green is the guy who didn't get injured and is a four-star corner.

Green also drives the point home about a certain lack of information out there these days: ESPN did not scout him at all. Barely anyone did. There was a little bit about both twins after their sophomore seasons ("tall, athletic corners that are poised to blow up"), but then German got hurt. It was so sparse out there that I transcribed a video interview in which not too much was said. Here's 24/7's Greg Powers at some sort of all star thing:

"A guy who can be a centerfield type. … not afraid to come down and stick his nose in on a tackle. And the German Green you see now is not going to be the German Green you see two years from now. Great frame … is really going to get jacked up. … very versatile prospect."

That's a lot more reserved than Powers was when the twins committed to Michigan

…his upside and potential is through the roof as a safety prospect. He is long, has tremendous coverage skills, and plays with an attacking style. He is able to sink his hips and get into and out of breaks easily, and coming off of his injury this spring he has been able to show that same ability post-injury.

…and might mean that Green's senior season didn't knock anyone's socks off.

All right then. Rivals didn't have much more; their most useful bits on German come at around the 1:15 mark in this video:

Rivals Texas guy Nick Krueger also chipped this in around Signing Day:

…really there’s a lot of upside potential there. He was hurt as a junior and came back as a senior and looked pretty good. Anything you get from him is a bonus. Physically he has a lot of similarities to his brother, obviously as a twin, and if he bounces all the way back from his injury he might end up being just as good as Gemon.

Green did get back for some camps as a rising senior, drawing reasonably positive mention during them. These mentions usually came after someone said something real nice about Gemon. German was "impressive in his own right as he frustrated wide receivers with his size and length" at the Dallas Opening regional and got an honorable mention call out as part of a "terrific" DB group at a UA camp. A 7-on-7 event where his brother was the Alpha Dog

The brother of our Alpha Dog selection showed off his own unique skill from the safety position. Green was able to make big plays from the slot position, and he organized the defense from the back end.

And that's it.

In rather desperate straits we turn to the highlight video above for hints. It's three minutes long and padded out with some fairly routine tackles where Green doesn't screw up a run fit; there's one instance of excellent coverage on a fade and a couple more incompletions he harasses. It's not the kind of video that makes you question what the recruiting sites are looking at; if you told me this was the #1000 player in the country I'd say that sounds reasonable, especially when he runs a 4.7 at the Opening regional.

The twins thing could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. The good bit is that he's literally the same physical package as Gemon, the 4.7 is probably an artifact of the ACL tear, and if Gemon is a Texas offeree and 4-star sort German might be the same except everyone missed it. And Michigan really wanted Gemon.

The bad bit is the way they demonstrated this. Lorenz:

Greens: Michigan's offer to 2018 three-star safety/cornerback German Green is about as good an indicator that the staff views his twin brother Gemon as a top target than anything else. We reported last week that Gemon Green has flown up Michigan's recruiting board this winter and that they'll push hard for him at the position.

German, another 6'2" prototype in the physical sense, has not seen his recruitment take off as much mostly due to the fact that he tore his ACL last spring. Many college coaches are waiting to see what he does this spring and summer as his recruitment could take off as well.

German's offer was a shot in the dark. Later in the cycle Texas offered Gemon but was a bit hesitant about German

— DeSoto cornerback Gemon Green said he was very excited about the Texas offer and wants to make another visit soon. Green said that Texas is in his Top 3 with Michigan and TCU.

— DeSoto cornerback German Green is still hopeful a Texas offer will come his way in the near future. Green added that cornerbacks coach Jason Washington will evaluate him closely this spring.

…and Michigan was the beneficiary. Texas continued their pursuit of the brothers even after Gemon's commitment but never offered German.

Michigan's last throw-in commit to get someone else, Mike Dwumfour, appears to be working out beautifully, but Dwumfour had a lot more positive arrows than Green does. Offers from Tennessee and Oklahoma State came just before the Greens went off the board. It's hard to tell how offer-y those offers were, and how much the idea of picking of Gemon appealed to schools a rung below the big time recruiters. And there was little interest in offering, or scouting, Green once he got back on the field.

Maybe that's a recruiting industry problem and we'll discover that more guys are getting misevaluated these days, but if a highlight video doesn't get you hyped up much and there's no super secret vibe out there, the ranking is the best thing to go on.

Etc.: Has a twin!

Why Jeremy Clark? They're all Jeremy Clark! Prepare yourself. The next three people are probably going to be Jeremy Clark YMRMFSPAs. In this case, Green is another large and lanky CB/S hybrid with meh offers and rankings. If you want me to splice out hair-thin differences and spit out other names, it's… still Jeremy Clark.

Guru Reliability: Low. So very low. Injury caused him to be barely scouted.

Variance: High. On the one hand, goes gene for gene with a touted CB with a Texas offer. On the other, is ranked in the wilderness.

Ceiling: High-minus. Like his brother, but apparently minus a step.

General Excitement Level: Low. All recruits can defy their recruiting rankings and these posts are always guessing; in this case the guessing at maximum uncertainty. That said, German doesn't really have much arguing against his rankings.

Projection: Redshirt is a near-guarantee, and then he's in the same boat as Faustin: fighting for one open job the next two years and maybe trying out corner as a backup plan. Faustin's already in tough against some older guys, and Green is further back yet thanks to the ACL tear. If he emerges it's likely as an upperclassman.


Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part II: Defense

Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part II: Defense Comment Count

Seth March 2nd, 2018 at 10:22 AM


Very different types of 3-stars [Eric Upchurch, 2013]

This is take two (take one got deleted) of Part II of my attempt to put the recruiting rankings of this year’s commits in context within the ~500 previous Michigan commits we have Part I: The Offense lives here.

Since the last one I’ve been dealing with a health thing. In fact I’m writing this from the hospital, where they’ve had me holed up since last Friday. Between tests, consultations, vitals, and literally almost 100 needle pokes into my vascular system, I’ve had time to complete a substantial update to my roster database, which now goes all the way back to Gary Moeller’s first year, plus some long overdue tweaks to how I value position and regional rankings.*

I’ve also been playing around with interactive charts on Tableau:


Click to get to the chart since I can’t figure out how to get embedding to work yet. I’m new at these so bear with me as I learn.

* [Methodology for stat nerds: I averaged the 247 composites of each rank for each position, then plotted it on a graph and used the logarithmic formula]




Young Wormley was 70 percent potential, 30 percent hair [Upchurch/Bryan Fuller]

After Michigan loaded up with linemen last year and secured two one of the top DEs for 2019, they could afford to get picky in 2018. They still got one potentially immediate contributor and two excellent choices for sleepers of the class. Aiden Hutchinson got a late ratings bump from the sites which pushed him up from a near-perfect Ryan Van Bergen comp to “not just a four star” range.


The only relatively recent guy Michigan captured in this range was Craig Roh, but if Rivals hadn’t been so contrarian with Wormley I think that would be your closest comp. 247 was the highest on Wormley and came out about the same on Hutchinson’s kid. He’s supposed to be coming in to play defense but if you want to project him at guard, well, here’s the closest comp:


We have to scroll down to the mid 3-stars for Taylor Upshaw and Julius Welschof:


Note that’s not “generic three star” like Greg Brooks/Rondell Biggs, but neither is it “just missed a fourth star” like Carlo Kemp and Jibreel Black. As I said, I love the potential with both of these guys. Upshaw is the son of an NFL player who didn’t start playing football until recently. Welschof is a German athletic freak and mogul skiier who gathered a lot of interest from the big-time schools he camped at. The recruiters were always playing catch-up there too. Rivals didn’t take to Welschof—otherwise the sites placed them in the same range as some other position-switchers or needs-to-gain-weight types with high ceilings to unwrap in a few years.

Defensive end is a position where the talent apparent in high school translates more directly to an NFL career:


(and that’s totally the reason I showed this)

Fortunately for our hopes here the only guy from the three-star bin considered an athlete on the level of Upshaw and Welschof was Shelton Johnson, and his career crumbled for off-field reasons.

[After THE JUMP: used to be better before I had to rewrite all of it]



Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence

Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence Comment Count

Ace May 22nd, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Buckle Up

If you want to get ahead of the game, you may want to familiarize yourself with the above highlight reel. Four-star Grand Rapids Catholic Central OT Jalen Mayfield is set to announce his decision tomorrow evening:

Jalen Mayfield, a 2018 four-star offensive tackle from Grand Rapids Catholic Central, is scheduled to make his commitment at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at his school's athletic complex. According to 247Sports, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska are his finalists.

Mayfield, as you may remember, committed to Minnesota in February, then decommitted a month later after fielding a Michigan offer. All 15 picks on his Crystal Ball are for the Wolverines.

In related news, 247's Steve Wiltfong reports that Michigan is in excellent shape with four-star Traverse City West OT Ryan Hayes, who could start his collegiate career at tight end while packing on weight to his 6'7", 252-pound frame:

A source with knowledge of the situation reiterated to 247Sports this week that Michigan remains in pole position for Traverse City (Mich.) West standout Ryan Hayes, who could play tight end or offensive tackle in Ann Arbor if he does indeed choose the Wolverines.

Hayes and Mayfield could eventually be the top two in-state prospects in the class. Mayfield moved up to the top spot in 247's latest update, though he's only sixth in the composite—ESPN and Rivals combining for zero scouting reports on him probably plays a factor there. Hayes is third in the composite despite Rivals giving him a cursory three-star ranking that puts him 17th in the state. With Michigan and other regional powers looking quite willing to pass on both Marquan McCall and Kalon Gervin, the current top two in the composite rankings, we could see a shakeup when senior evaluations come in.

Meanwhile, Michigan made the top four for four-star 2018 GA OG James Ohonba, alongside Alabama, LSU, and USC. Ohonba told Steve Lorenz that his interest in the Wolverines has grown considerably since he was offered:

"Honestly, my interest in Michigan was very little at first," he said. "After they offered, I did a little bit more research and my interest in them increased greatly. A few recruits have told me a lot of great things about the program as well, which has helped things. I really like the personalities on their coaching staff the more I've gotten to know them."

He has tentative plans to take a visit soon and says he wants to be an engineering major; "academic prestige" will be a factor in his decision, which can't hurt Michigan's chances.

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


Hello Hello: Gemon & German Green

Hello Hello: Gemon & German Green Comment Count

Ace April 20th, 2017 at 3:29 PM

German Green (left) and Gemon Green, Wolverines. [Horns247]

Never has the "commitments come in pairs" tag been more fitting. DeSoto (Texas) twin defensive backs Gemon and German Green both committed to Michigan this afternoon, becoming the sixth and seventh commits in the 2018 class. The Wolverines got a leg up on the competition by offering both brothers; Gemon is the higher-rated and more sought-after recruit at least in part because German missed his junior year with a torn ACL. Their recent unofficial sealed the deal, per 247's EJ Holland:

“The reason why we have chosen to commit to Michigan is because when we got down there, it felt like family,” German said. “The coaches are father-type role models. They each have their own personality.

“They all have the same goals as me and my brother. They want to get us better, succeed in life and win a national championship.”

I can't wait to see their uniform nameplates. Please, please go the full name route, Isiah Thomas-style.


Let's start with Gemon, the higher-ranked of the two:

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #17 CB,
#181 Ovr
3* CB 4*, 80, #42 CB 3*, 88, #35 CB,
#368 Ovr
3*, #32 CB,
#340 Ovr

Scout is easily the most bullish on Gemon, while ESPN and 247 have him as a fringe 3/4-star and Rivals has given only a cursory three-star rating.

As for German:

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #62 S 3* S NR CB 3*, 84, #74 CB,
#808 Ovr
3*, #84 CB,
#933 Ovr

The sites are split on whether German projects as a safety or cornerback, and he's either a middling three-star or unranked—not a surprise for a prospect who missed his junior year.

The twins fit Michigan's recent predilection for lanky defensive backs; both are listed at 6'2" and in the neighborhood of 170 pounds.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and more]


Wednesday Recruitin' Likes 'Em Both And That Other One Too

Wednesday Recruitin' Likes 'Em Both And That Other One Too Comment Count

Brian April 19th, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Quarterback situation resolving soon


yo Milton

NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson announces in four days:

Just hours after returning home from a weekend visit to Ann Arbor, the four-star quarterback from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman announced that he would be choosing between Michigan and UCLA on Apr. 23, ending what has been a fast ascending recruitment.

Lorenz recently flipped his crystal balls to UCLA, and many folks are following. Webb had been pessimistic a few weeks ago and hasn't given any indication he's heard differently. With Michigan out of visit ammo that would appear to be that.

If that recruitment ends in favor of the Bruins, Michigan moves on to its other main targets: FL QB Joe Milton and AZ QB Tyler Shough. They could get one... they could get both. Michigan recently told both DTR and Shough that they would take two QBs. That is a surprise in a small class after back-to-back high level prospects. That implies that Michigan likes all three of their targets quite a bit.

In Shough's case, so does Alabama:

"Coach (Tosh) Lupoi offered me and he told me I'm the QB they're looking for in this class. Jalen Hurts was more of a dual-threat type this last season but with their new offense they're trying to get back to more pro-style. They'd want me to command the offense. They came out of nowhere, really. I wasn't talking to them before but my coach gave me their number so I called them and they offered."

Whether that's an "offer" or an OFFER is, as always, unclear. Shough does have vague summer visit plans to Tuscaloosa. His May 13th visit to Michigan is still on and that could be a commit watch situation.

Meanwhile, Milton also visited for the spring game. Lorenz reports that the coaching staff is enamored with his general shape. Someone called him a "holy specimen," which is definitely a phrase used to describe angels instead of people. After returning he talked to 24/7 Florida mod Luke Stampini:

“The visit, it helped them move up, because I didn’t know Michigan was a school like that,” Milton admitted. “I didn’t know the background of Michigan, but now I do.”

Stampini thinks that it won't be Florida, the presumed leader, and that Michigan and Georgia are the main contenders. A decision won't be long coming here, either: Milton says he wants to commit this spring. We've put in a CB pick on Milton based on some things we've heard.

Either way won't be more than a month before Michigan's quarterback, or quarterbacks, situation is resolved.

Ditto instate OL?


Trieu has an article on upwardly mobile MI OL Ryan Hayes, who's moving towards a decision "sooner than late summer." It looks pretty good for Michigan:

"The most familiarity we had is with Coach Frey [at Michigan]," Hayes said. "He recruited Connor at Indiana and he and my family have a really good relationship."

"I had never been to Michigan actually," he added. "I just had never gotten there. It was really cool. It really blew me away and really surprised me actually."

It would be a "huge surprise" to Trieu if it wasn't Michigan, and in the near future. Frey loves bulking up athletic TE/OT types and Hayes was actually a tight end last year; this looks like a perfect match.

Meanwhile, MI OL Jalen Mayfield is going to be yet another Michigan/ND battle, it appears:

Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central four-star offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield will be in South Bend this weekend.

The 6-5, 255-pounder from the class of 2018, a former Minnesota commit, will make his first trip to Notre Dame in search of an offer from the Fighting Irish.

Mayfield recently worked out at The Opening Chicago and was terrific. He showed athleticism, impressive footwork, and the strength and physicality you look for in a top-level offensive tackle.

Just a few days ago Mayfield described his return visit to Michigan as "phenomenal" and named a final three of Michigan, MSU, and Iowa, so ND's interest is new and probably the only thing that can threaten Michigan's standing.

Side note: Mayfield makes it eight guys so far who have probably been down to Michigan and ND. Five of those have gone ND's way, with Christian Turner currently the Michigan win. Weird, since ND went 4-8 last year.

Also in instate OL going off the board in the near future or recent past: happy trails to MI OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who committed to Syracuse. Sampson recruitment is an odd one. Despite consistent high level praise from recruiting analysts he never picked up big, or even middling, offers. That includes MSU, despite the prospect that the Spartans will be shut out of the top 8 in state for the second straight year. Sampson might be a name who re-emerges late in the cycle if Michigan has an unexpected amount of room.

Uh... ditto the secondary?


imagine the jerseys if the Green twins commit

Michigan's hosted what might be their top three remaining secondary targets just after the spring game: TX CB twins Gemon and German Green and NJ S Shayne Simon both took in Ann Arbor early this week. Simon's mom and aunt are both alums; Lorenz and Webb both assert that Michigan has been pedal-to-the-metal with his recruitment. He's a the type of kid where ND/Stanford are the threats, FWIW.

Meanwhile the Green twins are candidates to drop soon. Webb asserts that his gut tells him that if signing day was today it would be Michigan for both; Texas 24/7 mod EJ Holland and Lorenz have both put in CBs for both to Michigan. Holland believes that both guys are interested in sticking closer to home but the package deal is a major consideration—as it often is with twins—and Michigan is currently the biggest offer for German, who tore his ACL last year.

Knife edge here, in your author's e-pinion. If they do not drop in the near future I'd interpret that as the Greens hoping that a Big 12 school will offer German as well and that Michigan will eventually fade away once that happens.

Mustapha re-eval

Some early chatter that Michigan and TX TE Mustapha Muhammad were very likely to get together faded, but after Muhammad returned to Ann Arbor for the spring game there's been a serious reversal in fortunes. Webb lets you read between the lines:

“I’m definitely taking my visits,” he continued. “I’ve always told myself that I plan on committing on national signing day.  That’s when I want to publicly announce where I decide to go to school.”

Publicly might be the operative word.

Judging by the 247 crystal ball: yup. Starting with Lorenz four days ago, 21 folks have issued M predictions, including Wiltfong and all the relevant Texas experts. Any guy taking his recruitment to signing day and going on visits is some threat to change his mind, but it really looks like it would be a change of mind if that were to happen.

Let's re-project the class

I did this in February, when it was very silly. It is much less silly now. So let's do it:

State Position Player Approx. Stars Confidence Level
AZ QB Tyler Shough 3.5 High
GA RB Christian Turner 3 Commit
USA FB Some Guy 3 Low
NJ WR Jahan Dotson 4 Moderate
WA WR Tre'Shaun Harrison 4 Moderate
FL TE Will Mallory 4 High
NY TE Jeremy Ruckert 4.5 Moderate
TX TE Mustapha Muhammad 4 High
IN OL Emil Ekiyor 4 Commit
FL OL Daniel Faalele ? Moderate
MI OL Ryan Hayes 4 Very High
MI OL Jalen Mayfield 3.5 Very High
NJ DT Tyler Friday 4.5 Moderate
MI DE Aidan Hutchinson 4 Commit
FL DE Nik Bonitto 4 Low
GA LB Otis Reese 4 Commit
TX CB Gemon Green 4 High
TX CB German Green 3 High
GA S Myles Sims 4 Commit
NJ S Shayne Simon 4 High

Still holding at 20 members of the class, FWIW.

Grudging 2019 section

MI CB Marvin Grant did not make it to the spring game because he could not get a ride; not likely to impact his recruitment, which seems to favor Michigan early. On the other hand, Michigan fielded a significant 2019 visit when KY DE Stephon Herron Jr returned to campus:

[Herron] was palling around with Emil Ekiyor quite a bit and was permanently smiling. I saw both of his parents afterwards walking around The Al Glick Field House and they were all smiles as well. I'd bet that their conversation on the way home was very, very pro Michigan.

That's a second long distance unofficial in two months for Herron and that was enough for us to put in an early CB for him. OSU has fielded three visits, so that's speculative. 

KY DT Jacob Lacey was highly positive on twitter after his spring game visit:

Michigan is "right at the top" for him; ND leads on the crystal ball.

You can pencil FL LB Anthony Solomon into the 2019 class, as his second long-distance unofficial to Ann Arbor was a five-day affair, which may be unprecedented in the annals of unofficial visits.

NJ CB Nyquee Hawkins visited for the spring game as well.


Lorenz says he's hearing "amazingly different" things on CT CB and Miami commit Josh Jobe, which range from him sticking with said commit to being a Michigan lock to being an Alabama flip. That "CT" is new, by the way, as Jobe is attending Cheshire Academy this fall. Don Brown is big in Japan Connecticut, so that can't hurt. FWIW, Tarik Black just graduated from Cheshire.

Michigan made a "huge move" with MO WR Kamyrn Babb; Wiltfong still sticking with OSU CB. Massive OH WR L'Christian Smith is "definitely" interested in Michigan; former teammate Tyree Kinnel is helping recruit him. Kid is nicknamed "blue," so that's a good sign, right?

OH DE Malik Vann commits to Cincinnati over Michigan State. Which is a thing that's happening now.