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]

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Friday Recruitin' Has Skills Like Eric Berry

Friday Recruitin' Has Skills Like Eric Berry Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 21st, 2018 at 2:00 PM

[Isaiah Hole]

That escalated quickly. The above-the-break portion of last week’s roundup was dedicated to coverage of Daxton Hill’s upcoming visit because obvious things are obvious. I did not expect to be writing about him in the same portion of the round up again a week later. Sure, the articles linked in that post were packed with restrained optimism, but this was a Michigan v. Alabama recruiting battle. And yet.

Things started to pick up with a Sam Webb board post that detailed Hill’s visit as close to minute-by-minute as possible and detailed everything from who Hill sat with to his body language. He closed that post by saying “My read on the confidence level in Ann Arbor coming off the visit is it's as high as ever.” Then WolverinesWire’s Isaiah Hole interviewed Hill on his podcast and Hill responded with a hesitant “Uh, I really don’t know” when asked about whether he was going to take any other officials and how long it would be before he made a final decision about committing. That’s no surprised in hindsight, as Steve Lorenz reports that the Michigan staff knew Hill was going to commit to them after his official visit. Hill even shared with Hole in an off-the-record conversation that, though he wouldn’t say where, he knew what school he would commit to but wasn’t sure when he would do it.

Then Hill dropped the news publicly on Tuesday night, and the recruiting sites are still surveying and reporting on the aftermath. Any recruit rated as highly as Hill by all of the services naturally induces some by-the-numbers content after he commits of the “highest-rated since…” variety like this post from The Wolverine, this post from Nate Wiggins of The Wolverine Lounge, and this list of 15 quick-hitters from The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen; Hill’s verifiably insane verified testing results from The Opening also lend themselves to these articles.

Analysis posts of various sorts have also popped up, such as this Josh Helmholdt piece and accompanying video (which features film of Hill from field level) on Hill’s skillset and what adding him to the class means to Michigan fans. WolverinesWire’s Isaiah Hole sat down with Devin Gardner for their weekly segment and Gardner gave a detailed scouting report based off of Hill’s ludicrous highlight reel. 247 has a few bits about who helped with the recruitment behind the scenes, including this Steve Lorenz piece that mentions lead recruiter Sherrone Moore, about whom Brice Marich has more.

Another round of articles were published after reporters had a chance to reach out to others for comment. Sam Webb put up a piece with some choice quotes based on an interview he did with Stan Edwards (yes that Stan Edwards) on the radio.

“Daxton Hill the player…I think you described him perfectly,” said Edwards. “I would agree with you because I was around when Tripp Welborne came through here. That is a pretty good comparison. I sat next to Daxton (at the SMU game). Berkeley (i.e. Stan’s son) is on the team now, so our tickets are always in the same area. So I got a chance to sit next to Dax during the game. We talked about safety play. I said, ‘listen, you’ve got skills like Eric Berry. You’ve got skills like Ed Reed.’ I said, ‘don’t ever forget about your man to man cover skills.’ He stopped me in the middle of conversation, put his hands on me and said, ‘nah, I work on that every day. That’s something I always work on.’”

[After THE JUMP: More on Hill. Also, remember that other five-star, the one who was supposed to commit and still hasn’t?]

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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]

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Friday Recruitin’ Is Probably Not My Neighbor Mike

Friday Recruitin’ Is Probably Not My Neighbor Mike Comment Count

Seth September 29th, 2017 at 4:33 PM

[That’s not the usual author note: Ace is off today for a family thing so you get me.]

Ol’ Doyle Rules

Yes we found a second quarterback for the class, and lo Kevin Doyle already has a prospectin’ name: a commenter in Ace’s Hello post suggested “Ol’ Doyle Rules” and this somehow got past the Sandler-hatin’ boss so it’s official. We also got a handful of post-commitment takes to share, no thanks to longtime/beloved Ireland striker Kevin Doyle who chose to muddy up recent news searches by retiring from soccer yesterday.

INSCMagazine’s Evan Massey posted an interview yesterday with Doyle (the quarterback) where he shared what Michigan liked:

“He has said that he thinks I am a very good quarterback and have played well this year against very good talent (we have played three to four games against Top 25 talent: #4, #7, #14). He said that I have shown very good signs of knowing the game cerebrally.”

He fits the pattern. Doyle described his game as a cross between Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith, two quarterbacks who tend to keep plays alive. Elsewhere, Rivals Adam Friedman on the apparent lack of offers:

He had his heart set on going to a Top 25 program and waited for one of those schools to come calling. In doing so, many of his earlier offers dried up.

Brandon Brown named offers from Iowa, MSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska, and West Virginia, FWIW. Also Yale and Princeton. In the first link Friedman also listed some areas for improvement:

He needs to consistently throw accurate passes and consistently get the ball out of his hand quickly," Friedman explained. "Those are things he's able to do early in games but it seems to fade late in the third and fourth quarters.

[Hit THE JUMP for what’s a guy gotta do to get a receiver offer, and some ill news from the southern front]

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Monday Recruitin' Alpacas A Guy

Monday Recruitin' Alpacas A Guy Comment Count

Ace August 21st, 2017 at 12:11 PM

Cameron McGrone Welcomes You To Football Season

I THINK I'M READY FOR FOOTBALL SEASON.

High school ball is underway for a few of Michigan's commits, including four-star IN LB Cameron McGrone, who killed a guy. McGrone spearheaded a dominant defensive performance in Lawrence Central's 40-6 season-opening victory over a ranked McCutcheon squad that may now be in search for a quarterback whose ribs haven't been smashed into a fine powder.

A pair of Peach State products were also in action. Three-star RB Christian Turner needed only 11 carries to rush for 128 yards and two scores in a blowout win for Buford, while four-star OLB Otis Reese put together a performance that raised his stock in the eyes of Rivals's Chad Simmons:

What is known is that he is a heck of a football player. In game one against Forsyth (Ga.) Mary Persons, he had numerous big hits including one which led to a fumble and turnover. He was around the ball a lot, he was very aggressive, and he is going to be a Rivals100 prospect when all is said and done.

Simmons also notes that Reese has gone completely quiet about his recruitment, which is a little unnerving given his recent visit to Georgia. Michigan, as expected, is going to have to keep recruiting him until the final bell. While Georgia has home-state advantage, Michigan has a couple factors in their favor: freshman DT Aubrey Solomon is Reese's former high school teammate and Reese's older brother plays at Central Michigan.

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

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