Future Blue Originals: Grand Rapids Catholic Central vs. Detroit Country Day

Future Blue Originals: Grand Rapids Catholic Central vs. Detroit Country Day

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 13th, 2017 at 11:09 AM

IMG_1007

new Braden shot every week y’all [Nasternak]

David and I headed to Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s gleaming new facility to see Jalen Mayfield’s Catholic Central squad play a rematch of last season’s D4 title game. Mayfield stood out among his peers physically; see the above photo for evidence. He’s every bit of the 6’5” the recruiting services have him listed at. His build is similar to Traverse City West’s Ryan Hayes; unlike Hayes, he’s exclusively a right tackle. That’s not to say that Mayfield isn’t athletic. The every-snap film is below so you can check it out for yourself.

Jalen Mayfield Every-Snap Film

Mayfield is #74 and lined up exclusively at right tackle.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting and more film]

Thursday Recruitin' Needs Rec Specs

Thursday Recruitin' Needs Rec Specs

Submitted by Brian on July 20th, 2017 at 2:46 PM

War. War against Notre Dame never changes.

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McGrone

A couple of impending linebacker commitments are part of this cycle's frankly bizarre quantity of straight-up Michigan-ND battles. Notre Dame, which went 4-8 last year, has a coach on the hot seat but is managing to split these about down the middle. That appears to be the case here, as well.

The good news is for IN LB Cameron McGrone, an Opening standout out of Indianapolis. Steve Wiltfong reports that McGrone's only remaining summer trip will be to Michigan's BBQ in little over a week, which is a change from a week ago when Notre Dame was potentially on the docket. Wiltfong hints that a commitment might be on the horizon:

McGrone doesn't have a commitment timetable. He does want to take officials before deciding but we'll see if the BBQ changes that line of thinking.

Tom Loy has flipped his CB to Michigan. That's usually the last thing that happens before an ND-M battle goes the right way.

McGrone flew all the way up to 40th at 24/7 after a dominant performance as a spacebacker at the Opening, and while the other site weren't quite as gonzo the reviews were universally positive. Allen Trieu discussed him in one of those horrible two-people-talking Scout videos, saying that he would be moving up from low four-star territory:

"Faster and more explosive … one of if not the most impressive guy. Very explosive, downhill kind of kid … blitzer, come-forward kind of guy. He's shown at these events that he can move backwards, he can drop into coverage, he can change directions. I think he's a complete linebacker. … He can play a couple of different linebacker spots; he's about 6'2", 220 pounds."

McGrone moved up… a bit. He's the first OLB outside of their top 300 now. ESPN and Rivals haven't reacted yet. ESPN only has an underclass eval for him so McGrone has a shot to move up from generic four star territory when they scout him again; Rivals has stopped attending the Opening for Reasons.

The possibly bad news is for NJ LB/S Shayne Simon, who told the ND 24/7 site that he would be announcing "this week or next week." Simon has been trending to ND recently and one of our heuristics is "who you talk to matters"; an ND site getting the news of an impending announcement is a bad sign.

FWIW, Loy is hedging a little:

The 247Sports Crystal Ball favors Notre Dame over Michigan by a margin of 89-percent to 11-percent, but this is a much closer race than the numbers reflect.

Simon took a sneaky visit to Michigan a few weeks ago, and there is a story here where ND optimism is largely because of his rabidly pro-ND coach and not reflective of reality. When you take a visit to one of your top schools and conceal it from your coach that says somethin' about somethin'.

Simon's mom and aunt are Michigan alums, and Michigan did not go 4-8 last year, so they've got those things going for them. As of about a week ago Lorenz was being told to "keep his crystal ball on Michigan regardless of where his initial commitment is," probably in case ND goes 4-8 again.

Still feels like ND, but this is a shotgun wedding maybe? With elopement possible?

Defensive tackle acquisition program

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DT with rec specs: hell yes

Michigan has been rising on NC DT Rick Sandidge's list for a few weeks now after a June unofficial; he talked to Rivals about his recent visit schedule, which includes stops at M, OSU, Georgia, and Florida:

"The Michigan and Georgia visits both stood out to me."

South Carolina, his mom's alma mater and crystal ball favorite, is up next, and then he's shutting it down until he takes his officials. Oddly, the 24/7 South Carolina site asserts that Sandidge has a loose top five of the Gamecocks, M, FSU, UF, and UNC. Scout adds UGA and LSU into a top seven.

This does not qualify as clarity

Rivals's rankings of instate OL Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield are two of the biggest outliers of the cycle so far. Both are composite four stars despite Rivals ranking them 16th and 19th in the state, behind a 5'8" King DB headed to Iowa State amongst others. That's… aggressive. Brandon Brown hits up regional analyst Josh Helmholdt to talk about both guys. The results are unenlightening. Helmholdt says Hayes is a tight end who projects to tackle and that he's somewhat raw because of it. This is the only other scouting-ish item in the piece:

"With guys like both Mayfield and Hayes, they have what it takes at that spot. Playing offensive tackle takes a certain kind of player. You can’t be heavy footed at that position and you have to be able to play with length and foot quickness and both of those guys have it."

Rivals currently ranks both instate Michigan OL commitments behind OL headed to Wake Forest, Duke, BC, and Kansas. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Crootin quote of the week

Bryan-Addison-1280.jpg (1280×720)

STRENGTHS: hair, enormousness
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: commitment to Michigan

From CA ATH Bryan Addison:

"Michigan has a real chance with me but at the same time maybe not."

Distance is the potential issue. He does plan a visit after picking up an offer, but an entirely West Coast (and Nebraska for some reason) top seven before that offer makes it seem like distance does matter quite a bit.

Addison knows David Long and is planning a BBQ visit; Michigan will know a lot more about their shot in the aftermath. Hopefully that shot is a good one because Addison is a 6'5" WR/S who showed out at the Opening. Scout's Eugene Hankerson on Addison:

Addison worked out strictly at safety at this event, looking extremely comfortable roaming the secondary and causing havoc for opposing quarterbacks … upside is through the roof. … Addison make play after play on the final day of competition, showing range and great closing speed to prevent pass completions.

He's moved into the top 50 at Scout.

Checking in with MSU

The tires are still aflame:

Randy Charlton and James Head, senior three-star defensive ends from Miami (Fla.) Southridge, planned to visit Michigan State today. Per Charlton's father Demetrius Charlton, his son Randy Charlton and Head aren't visiting the Spartans.

"He only visited Indiana," Demetrius Charlton said.

Etc.

5* 2019 NC RB Quavaris Crouch will be at the BBQ on the 29th. It's early but Crouch and IMG RB Noah Cain are the top two bcks in the 2019 class, and both are looking at Michigan.

GA WR Kearis Jackson has set August 19th as his commitment day. Michigan's in his top eight but the Crystal Ball is 100% UGA. Jackson has said he wants to visit Michigan, which he hasn't yet. Odds are he never makes it up.

Michigan offers 2019 TX WR Jordan Whittington.

2019 CO ATH Luke McCaffrey is coming out to visit, but says it's just to hang out with Dylan.

Kentucky is good and normal at recruiting.

Future Blue Derivatives: Jalen Mayfield

Future Blue Derivatives: Jalen Mayfield

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on July 7th, 2017 at 12:00 PM

mayfield

[Isaiah Hole/247 Sports]

Minnesota is the land of ten thousand lakes; PJ Fleck is the man of ten thousand oars. It’s a seemingly synergistic combination, and it’s easy to see why a 17-year-old from the west side of Michigan might want to join one of the first few Big Ten squads led by the man who just took Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl. Then Jim Harbaugh got involved.

Tim Drevno and Greg Frey did, too. Mayfield visited for Michigan’s pro day and was told that there was a scholarship waiting for him if he was interested. Two days later Mayfield decommitted from Minnesota and less than two months after that verbally committed to Michigan. There are plenty of lakes in Michigan, too, you see.

Mayfield’s commitment-decommitment-commitment only draws a two out of five on the Crootin’ scale, which is barely enough to raise an eyebrow for a player hovering near the top 300 in 247’s composite rankings. What’s likely to draw eyebrows, though, is where Mayfield ends up in the rankings. As Ace pointed out in his Hello post, the sites that are really high on Mayfield are—surprise!—the ones that have seen him play.

With that in mind, I jumped on the opportunity to cut together every-snap videos from two of Mayfield’s junior-year games. You’re looking for the right tackle, #74, in the videos below. He’s easier to spot in the video above the jump; he’s the one who doesn’t appear to be wearing socks.

[more run blocking and pulling]

[Hit THE JUMP to check out that sweet sweet pass-pro footwork plus a scouting report]

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Submitted by Ace on June 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Give This Kid A Raise

Michigan hosted one of their top targets on the defensive line last week in four-star TN DT Rick Sandidge, and the word from M recruiting gurus is universal: they knocked this one out of the park. While the likes of Jim Harbaugh or Greg Mattison are normally the focus when prospects and their families discuss these visits, Sandidge's mom couldn't stop raving about a support staff member when recapping the visit with Sam Webb:

In most cases the meeting with the headman serves as the crescendo for any school’s campus visit. While that is true typically at Michigan also, it wasn’t the case this time. The visit-show was stolen by a student recruiting assistant named Sam Popper, who served as one of the Sandidge’s tour guides.

"Sam is the best ever,” Sandidge’s mom Keshia said. “He should be the superstar of that school, I promise you. He made our visit absolutely wonderful. I wish there was a Sam at every program that we've been to thus far."

“He was down to our level trying to understand how our dynamics are built as a family.  He just kind of became one of us that day and let it all hang out. Usually folks don't do that.”

I haven't ever seen something like this before:

Getting mom in your corner is always a plus. Rick himself was also impressed with the trip, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

"I know that Michigan’s defense is amazing," he said. "I know that they run a four-man front which is something that I like. Those are definitely a couple of things that stand out. I also know that they don’t play all of their defensive linemen the whole game and that’s there’s a solid rotation to keep everyone fresh."

247's Steve Lorenz added that Michigan will be a "real factor" going forward in Sandidge's recruitment. Sandidge, Tyler Friday, and Michael Thompson are the top three targets at DT after Alim McNeill omitted Michigan from his top six. (No, I don't want to talk about it.)

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Bulks Up

Tuesday Recruitin' Bulks Up

Submitted by Ace on June 13th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

Scout Rankings Update: Milton Gets Fourth Star

When quarterback Joe Milton committed to Michigan a little over a month ago, Scout was the only site that didn't rank him as a four-star. After last week's rankings update, that's no longer the case; Milton jumped to #261 overall. While movement was relatively minor for Michigan's other commits, their top uncommitted target at quarterback, Tyler Shough, also leaped up the rankings:

Shough checks in to the Scout 300 at No. 182 and is one of two quarterbacks out West to jump in to the 300 along with Camm Cooper. The Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton signal caller saw his stock soar this off-season with scholarship offers flying in from all over the country. After seeing him up close at the Elite 11 Finals over the weekend, it was easy to see why. Shough is a pure passer with a great feel for the position. He has a smooth, easy delivery, is smart with the football and among the most accurate quarterbacks in the country. California, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina are his finalists.

Michigan remains in excellent shape there.

HARBAUGH

Harbaugh.

(Green is fine, by the way.)

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

Thursday Recruitin' Is Not Concerned, Dude

Thursday Recruitin' Is Not Concerned, Dude

Submitted by Ace on June 1st, 2017 at 12:58 PM

In-State Tackles Come In Pairs

Michigan added a pair of high-upside four-star in-state tackles last week in Jalen Mayfield (Hello) and Ryan Hayes (Hello). As per usual, there are some additional scouting reports that have come out after the commitments. Barton Simmons detailed why 247 ranks Mayfield higher than the other three sites:

"I think with Mayfield, you're seeing a guy who already possesses a lot of the tools you can't teach," he said. "He's long and extremely athletic for his size. Then you turn on his film and you're seeing a guy who is beating the hell out of the guy across the line from him on a consistent basis. Those are really three of the bigger things you look for in a high school offensive lineman; he has them in spades. In a 2018 tackle class that isn't the strongest, I think Mayfield is a guy who has the potential to develop into a first round pick down the line. Michigan will get time to develop him and work him into a big-time player. When you trust your weight program and can find a guy like this, you're going to want one like him 10 out of 10 times over a 330-lb. tackle who may be maxing out towards the end of his high school career."

247 ranks Mayfield as the top player in the state. Rivals has him way down at #19. Rivals' Josh Helmholdt explains why he's a bit wary:

"Any time you have to put weight on a prospect there are risks involved with that," Helmholdt explains. "You can’t perfectly project how that weight is going to affect their athleticism and with athleticism being one of Mayfield’s strengths, any additional weight is going to be a bit of a concern.

"The thing that concerns me when I look at him, frame wise, is that he doesn’t have those big coat-hanger shoulders that you look for on guys who need to add weight. The guys with shoulders like that are often able to add that weight and maintain athleticism a little easier in my experiences."

Scout's Allen Trieu, who's seen more of Mayfield than anyone else from what I can tell, doesn't share this concern:

As a sophomore, Jalen was about 230 pounds when we first saw him, then 245 the next time we saw him and now he is 260 pounds and measured nearly 6-foot-6 at the NIKE Opening Regional in Chicago, which is a tad taller than what we expected, so I am not concerned about his weight at all. He will fill in easily. He has not really been able to put forth his full effort into gaining weight as he plays basketball too and I, along with most schools, would much rather have to add weight to a kid than have to cut it off of him.

In message board rumors that seem too specific to be made up, a poster on the TMI board says Mayfield fielded an Alabama offer in the week leading up to his commitment and Brian Kelly made a late push for an in-person visit that Mayfield rebuffed.

There's been much less on the scouting front for Hayes, who's a bit out of the way in Traverse City and hasn't hit the camp circuit to gain exposure. We do have a fun note from Steve Lorenz about Michigan making up a lot of ground on Notre Dame to snag him:

This is a really nice win for Greg Frey over Notre Dame, as the Irish were well out in front to begin this recruitment (as Wiltfong posted yesterday). Frey is the potential beneficiary of two in-state players that fit his mold at the tackle position to a tee. You think about how the Wolverines were victimized by Florida State (more than anyone else) with speed rushers on the edge beating tackles consistently. Hayes and Mayfield are the types of prospects with the potential to slow those types of players down at the tackles. They're two really, really valuable commitments in that regard.

Lorenz thinks Hayes is arguably M's most important commit because of the flexibility he gives the staff in approaching recruiting at two positions: tackle and tight end. As detailed in his Hello post, Hayes will begin his career at TE while adding the requisite bulk to play OT.

Meanwhile, Michigan's other O-line commit, top-100 IN OG Emil Ekiyor, had previously mentioned his contact with the coaches hadn't been as frequent as he'd like, and Alabama emerged as a potential threat. In that light, Trieu's note that Ekiyor reached out to Mayfield after his commitment and said he's "all in" is comforting. The coaches won't let Ekiyor go without a fight.

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

Hello: Jalen Mayfield

Hello: Jalen Mayfield

Submitted by Ace on May 23rd, 2017 at 7:11 PM

Four-star Grand Rapids Catholic Central OT Jalen Mayfield announced his commitment to Michigan this evening, choosing the Wolverines over fellow finalists Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Mayfield, who 247 recently named as the top in-state prospect in the 2018 class, added a twist to a familiar pattern:

A month after the Minnesota commitment, Michigan offered and Mayfield opened his recruitment back up. Everyone correctly assumed he was destined for Ann Arbor. He's the ninth commit in the 2018 class and the second on the offensive line, joining top-100 guard Emil Ekiyor.

EDIT: Now with commitment video.

Jalen Mayfield: The Commitment by thecommitment

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #16 OT,
#221 Ovr
3* OT 3*, 77, #62 OT 4*, 94, #9 OT,
#86 Ovr
4*, #24 OT,
#310 Ovr

While there's a gap between 247, which gave Mayfield two significant bumps up the rankings recently, and Scout, there's a larger chasm between that pair and Rivals/ESPN. There's an easy explanation for this one: Rivals doesn't have any scouting reports on Mayfield's profile, and this is ESPN's very helpful scouting report:

The scouting services that have done actual scouting consider Mayfield solidly in four-star territory; he should get the requisite bump from the other sites before long, especially now that he's committed to a high-profile program.

Mayfield fits the mold of a lineman that new OT/TE coach Greg Frey has developed with great success. Mayfield is an athletic 6'6", 255 with a lot of room to pack on muscle. In his previous stint at Michigan, Frey recruited Taylor Lewan (6'7", 275 entering college) and Patrick Omameh (6'6, 265) and helped turn them into NFL players, then did the same with Jason Spriggs (6'7", 270) at Indiana. While Lewan garnered four-star hype, Omameh and Spriggs were fringe 2/3-star types. This isn't to say Mayfield will be Taylor Lewan, but Frey has an excellent track record with similar prospects.

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

Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence

Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence

Submitted by Ace on 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.]

Monday Recruitin' Takes A Walk

Monday Recruitin' Takes A Walk

Submitted by Ace on May 15th, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Small Town, Big Vibe, Big Ten

Three-star AZ QB Tyler Shough visited campus over the weekend. As you'd expect, the outlook is still quite good after he got one-on-one time with Jim Harbaugh. From Scout's Blair Angulo:

"It was a great experience to continue building that relationship with the coaches," Shough told Scout.com. "Coach Harbaugh has a great track record, but he's an even cooler guy in person when you get to talk to him. The whole experience, the whole environment in Ann Arbor was amazing because it has a small-town [feel], but you get a big-town vibe to it as well. Walking around the streets with coach Harbaugh, he's like a celebrity. Eating lunch with him was a cool experience.

In that same interview, Shough detailed a discussion with Harbaugh about how Michigan would manage bringing in two quarterbacks in the same class with different skill sets:

"The coaches told me that whichever quarterback wins that starting job, they would build the offense around him," Shough said. "They love my skill set in their base style offense with what I could do. I asked them about the quarterback situation and about Joe [Milton] as well because he's a freak athlete.

Shough's planned upcoming visits don't sound too threatening; he'll head to Indiana soon, and he may visit Cal after that. With a summer decision planned, Michigan is in great shape. 247's Steve Lorenz posted that the staff "killed it" with this visit and Shough is "all Michigan" unless they change course on taking two quarterbacks.

Meanwhile, here's a fun quote about Joe Milton from his head coach:

The quarterback from Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla., is right-handed but, while moving to his left, he launches the ball about 50 yards in the air down the sideline and over a pair of defenders for a touchdown.

It's just one play - and the first one at that - in Milton's highlight video. But, it offers a glimpse of his talent and potential.

"There's no drill for that," Olympia coach Kyle Hayes said. "We don't do the 55-yard throw against the grain drill. That's just being an athlete and making a play."

The future at the position looks bright. Speaking of which, the top-ranked quarterback in the 2019 class, California native JT Daniels, will take his next unofficial visit to Michigan, per Scout's Greg Biggins. Daniels is fresh off a trip to Stanford. Please go away, Stanford.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Attempts To Speak DaCoachO

Tuesday Recruitin' Attempts To Speak DaCoachO

Submitted by Ace on May 9th, 2017 at 2:44 PM

Hey: Joe

Four-star FL QB Joe Milton's commitment (Hello post here) has been followed by the usual post-pledge scouting reports. Scout:

Milton also does a good job of transferring weight and stepping into his throws. He has packed on solid mass over the past year, and measures in at roughly 6-foot-5 when lacing up the cleats. He can continue to work on his accuracy on some of his intermediate throws, but flashes great ball placement when extending the field with the deep ball.

The Central Florida native is also comfortable when throwing on the run. Milton's fleet-footed style allows him to dissect defenses with his legs, but he also does a nice job of keeping his eyes locked down the field in hopes of utilizing his arm first.

Rivals:

After completing just 46% of his passes as a junior, unfortunately the stigma of being inaccurate is going to be there for Milton. Farrell agrees that it’s something that needs to be dealt with but doesn’t believe it will be a long-term issue for the big QB.

“He’s going to have to be a little bit more less reliant on his arm,” Farrell explained. “His teams throws the ball down field a lot because that’s what he’s comfortable doing. On short and intermediate passes after seeing him in camps this spring and watching him on film, he’s not as comfortable with touch. He loves slinging the ball down the field and he loves showing off that big arm.

Via a Freep interview with Milton's high school coach, Pep Hamilton provides a player comp:

“He got in contact with and me and said, ‘Coach, tell me about this kid, I love him,’” Hayes recalled. “He always talks about how he reminds him of Steve McNair. I thought that was pretty big. Coach Hamilton may have had the job one week and we’ve been in constant contact since he’s had the job.”

Milton's commitment gives Michigan a connection to one of the top prospects in the 2019 class. As TMI's Brice Marich notes, he's a cousin of Palm Beach Central cornerback Akeem Dent, who's ranked as the #6 overall player in the 2019 class by 247 and boasts an offer sheet to match. Incidentally, Michigan offered Dent on Friday.

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