Friday Recruitin' Is A Leverage Monster

Friday Recruitin' Is A Leverage Monster Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 18th, 2019 at 9:20 AM

Michigan’s 2019 class is more or less wrapped up with the exception of one position: running back. The Michigan staff has entertained the idea of bringing in one more running back after TN RB Eric Gray decommitted from the class, and the player they’ve set their sights on is similar to Gray in that he’s adept at catching the ball out of the backfield, shifty in the open field, and seems to have good acceleration and balance (though balance through contact, as important a trait for RBs as there is, wasn’t on film); he seems like a good fit for new OC Josh Gattis’ #SpeedInSpace philosophy. Washington DC RB Keilan Robinson should have been somewhat familiar with Michigan if for no other reason because his teammate, S Quinten Johnson, is a 2019 signee. He’ll be even more familiar with the program this week, as 247’s Steve Lorenz reports that Michigan’s staff was expected to stop in and see him this week after staying in communication with him the past few months. Robinson, a four-star ranked #362 overall and the #20 RB per the 247 composite, is currently committed to Alabama but has yet to sign.

With 2019 recruiting dwindling, attention from recruiting sites has turned to postseason all-star games and the re-ranks they birth. 247’s analysts sat down and re-watched the Under Armour All-America Game, then offered their take on Michigan’s signees. 247’s John Garcia has seen FL LB Anthony Solomon often in camps and wrote that his coverage skills were never in question. He was more interested in seeing what Solomon could do in a game setting. Garcia:

Looking back he actually closed downhill and finished much better than maybe his height and weight would suggest.

Allen Trieu believes that OH OL Nolan Rumler could play either center or guard in college. Trieu on Rumler going from good in practice to great in the game:

I know that on two of the touchdowns they ran right behind him, and on one he flat pancaked the guy. There was one play where he just drove Mazi (Smith) and nobody had done that all week. I though Nolan lived up to his billing, that whenever the lights are on, he is going to be a mauler.

Garcia noted that Rumler played high at times but was able to sustain blocks once he got his hands on a guy even if his pads were up. Rumler’s future linemate Trente Jones drew rave reviews during the week, and Garcia compared the two:

If Rumler is going to flash, it’ll be with power or maybe a pancake. But Trente will flash with running the defensive end way around a pocket and allowing his quarterback to step up. It will be his ability to get to the second level, to reach block, and get over TWO gaps, to lead the way on stretch plays, and things like that. His movement and skill will allow for so many different types of looks.

Garcia’s takes are some of the most interesting in this piece because he hasn’t seen much of the midwest guys until the week of UA practices and the game. For example, on MI DT Mazi Smith:

You know, the few times I was introduced to him came when we were cutting up top ten plays. Allen would send the film and I would ask “who is this guy?” It was always this ridiculous leverage guy. A leverage monster. If he got under you, he was going to be a problem even for the most physically gifted offensive linemen.

I start these posts with “[Insert day here] Recruitin’” and add the rest of the title as I read articles and start pulling things together and I don’t think I’ve ever scrolled up faster to insert the rest of the title. Garcia and Trieu closed their piece with a discussion of DC S Quinten Johnson’s daily improvement, but I wrote about that in the last recruiting roundup and didn’t find a great ARRRG TECHNIQUE GODZILLA RARR-type (sound effects mine) quote.

[After THE JUMP: Rivals' re-rank, reactions to staff additions and departures, and a number of new offers]

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Monday Recruitin' Raises Its Stock

Monday Recruitin' Raises Its Stock Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 7th, 2019 at 10:00 AM

The relative quiet of the recruiting calendar’s dead period gave way to two all-star games last week, and with that a ton of new material on the players about to age out of appearing in these recruiting roundups. Thursday’s Under Armour All-America Game featured five Michigan signees: FL LB Anthony Solomon, OH OL Nolan Rumler, GA OT Trente Jones on Team Flash, and DC LB Quinten Johnson and MI DT Mazi Smith on Team Ballaholics. CA RB Zach Charbonnet elected to sit out the week of practice and game with an injury, which should please the superstitious lot; Greg Biggins wrote after the first day of practice that 247 came into the week with Charbonnet on five-star watch.

Though Smith and Jones won’t earn fifth stars either, they did plenty in practice last week to raise their stock in the eyes of analysts. 247’s John Garcia called Smith “the best interior guy” while ESPN.com’s Craig Haubert named Smith to his list of the week’s best. 247’s Allen Trieu, who has probably seen Smith more than anyone in the country, added some detail to Garcia’s line. He noted that Smith hasn’t done any camps, but it seems he adapted to 1-on-1 drills against competition on par with his talent level rather quickly. Trieu mentioned Smith being told something about how to use his hands by the coaching staff, then using that to win reps later in the day. For a player who has been able to pin his ears back and run through his opponent at will until this past week, it was an encouraging sign of adaptability. (And a positive sign for next year, when he’ll be needed to be ready to rotate in at DT.)

[Other guys adapt after THE JUMP]

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Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Defense

Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Defense Comment Count

Seth December 26th, 2018 at 9:41 AM

We did the offense already. Before we get into the defensive side of contextualizing the 2019 recruits against every Michigan guy since Bo, I want to give a shout-out to some other Tableizers. Jacedeuce gave me several suggestions I incorporated into the money graph, and Bo McReady (son of Bennie, godson of Oosterbaan) created this magnificent visual that you can spend the rest of vacation clicking over. For example if you select all the New England states you can see this view…

image

…that shows just seven players from the region from 1990-2013, and nine players in four classes since Don Brown arrived. Mouse over the 2016 and 2017 towers and you'll find Sean McKeon, Tarik Black, Andrew Stueber, Kwity Paye, and Ben Mason from the first two classes, all of whom are working out better than their rankings suggested they would. On the other hand recruiting rankings do strongly correlate with the likelihood of playing in the NFL. I've recreated his NFL chart so you can mouse over the individuals:

Our fun had, let's dive into the defense:

[Player-by-player discussion, after The Jump]

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Future Blue Originals: East Kentwood at Grand Haven

Future Blue Originals: East Kentwood at Grand Haven Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 31st, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Previously: Hello post, FBO 2017

David stopped by Grand Haven on his way to the Northwestern game, and though I’m sure the boardwalk is worth the trip it wasn’t to do touristy things. East Kentwood was in town, which was an opportunity to get eyes on two defensive line prospects, Mazi Smith and Bryce Mostella. Smith, a senior checking in at a nose tackle-y 6’3” and 290 pounds, committed back in June and is the rare player that has been on Michigan’s radar long enough while playing close enough for us to scout him more than once. He’s also one of the headliners of the 2019 class, as his composite rating of 94.29 places him fourth among Michigan’s current commits. Mostella, a junior, looks every bit of his listed 6’6” and 240 pounds. He is currently a composite four-star with offers from most everyone in the Big Ten (including Ohio State), so he certainly merits closer examination as well. Does Smith live up to the hype over the course of a full game? David texted me before the game that he was on the field and Mostella is the size of Cam Newton, but what are his strengths and weaknesses? And does he have the same sartorial fearlessness? Hit the jump for answers to most of those questions.

[After THE JUMP: Every-snap film and scouting]

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Friday Recruitin' Gains 15 Pounds, is Noticeably Bigger Throughout the Body

Friday Recruitin' Gains 15 Pounds, is Noticeably Bigger Throughout the Body Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 7th, 2018 at 12:25 PM

I’m sure Charbonnet added weight via lifting or whatever, but I personally guarantee what’s on the bandana works, too

Earlier this summer, Brian penned a recruiting roundup in which he noted 247 had CA RB commit Zach Charbonnet ranked in their top 50, and Michigan RB commits who end up with a fifth star usually go the way of the very real dog that, should 247 not knock Charbonnet’s ranking down, was definitely gonna get it. The outlook for this very real dog continues to get worse, as 247’s Greg Biggins took in Charbonnet’s Honor Bowl performance last weekend and came away feeling that he was “easily” the best player of the 20 or so high-level prospects on the field.

Charbonnet told Biggins that he worked on getting bigger, stronger, and faster in the offseason, and Biggins reports that it shows; Charbonnet found a way to add 15 pounds and some subsequent power without slowing down:

The 15 pounds is noticeable on Charbonnet as he definitely looks bigger throughout his body. He’s running with better pad level, finishing his runs and running right through defenders… He has a better burst and more short area quickness as well. He has always had good top end speed but there were times when it took him longer to get to it.

Rivals’ Adam Gorney viewed the same game and came away with nearly the same impression: fast, yes, but most impressive is his power and ability to run through contact. In his words, “when he’s on the field he’s there to hit people and hit them hard.” Seems like a good fit for the offense and a nice complement to the style of fellow 2019 RB Eric Gray.

Though there will always be some trepidation over the solidity of a commitment from a California kid who seems to be blowing up, Charbonnet says that UCLA and USC expressed interest in the past but his parents advised him that they felt moving away from home was good for one’s personal growth. With at least Karan Higdon vacating a seat in the running backs’ meeting room, there’s a fair chance Charbonnet could see playing time next season, a chance buoyed by his plan to graduate early and enroll in time for spring practices.

Mazi Smith, Under Armour All-American and Scion of Fred Jackson

Dream Big. Work Hard.@UMichFootball commit Mazi Smith is officially an Under Armour All-American. #UAALLAMERICA pic.twitter.com/C5SJsPH7Iu

— All-America Game (@AllAmericaGame) September 4, 2018

TMI’s Josh Newkirk caught up with 2019 DT Mazi Smith the day after his selection to the UA All-American game was revealed to talk about what led him to commit to Michigan earlier this summer. Smith, apparently a graduate of the Fred Jackson Academy of Media Relations, didn’t shy away from singling out one person.

"Of course coach Mattison is the greatest coach ever," Smith told The Michigan Insider. "So If I'm just looking at that it's a no brainer.

… "It's ridiculous what he does," Smith said of Mattison. "I've heard so much about coach. They say whatever he gets his hands on turns to gold. But being able to get in there and see it and see him work and  see what he does is pretty special."

I may be new at this, but Smith’s commitment seems as solid as solid gets considering the kind of praise he heaped on a guy who will be his position coach also happened to be his lead recruiter. Smith has been as productive as you’d expect a UA All-American to be; per The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown, he has recorded 11 tackles, one sack, and a number of QB pressures in his first two games.

[After THE JUMP: flips, film, and a whole bunch of texts]

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Friday Recruiting Changes The Deal

Friday Recruiting Changes The Deal Comment Count

Brian July 13th, 2018 at 3:47 PM

This was not the agreement, Steve

If you listened to our latest podcast you no doubt heard my impassioned plea for 24/7 to set a hard ceiling on CA RB commit Zach Charbonnet's ranking. You see, Rudy, five star tailbacks at Michigan generally fall over when whispered upon and fumble explosively a nanosecond from the ground. "Let's stay away from that," I begged, pleading for Charbonnet to top out at #51, a back-half-of-the-top-100 ranking that is in the feasibly productive range.

Instead:

image

Nuts to you, 24/7, for threatening the career of one of Michigan's running back commits before it even starts. Please find exactly 11 players you like more than him before Signing Day, or the dog gets it! I certainly have a dog! That I am threatening! With "it"!

The other back

TN RB commit Eric Gray had an abrupt left turn in his recruitment that started when someone got sidelined:

“After the camp, I didn’t really hear from Michigan because their offensive coordinator (Tim Drevno) was going a different route with running backs,” Gray said, calling his early interaction with Michigan weird. “Once he left (for USC), they started coming back.

“I didn’t think I wanted to go to Michigan because they used to not talk to me. I almost didn’t take the official, but taking it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It really opened my eyes.”

Once Drevno was gone Michigan picked up the pace and secured a commitment. Gray remains the top back on 24/7 after their re-rank and actually slid up 11 spots, because his Opening was impressive:

“He’s the ideal all-purpose back,” 247Sports director of scouting Barton Simmons said, “with great pass-catching ability out of the backfield, really good burst and change-of-direction and big-play potential, and he was one of the top backs in attendance in Texas.”

I'm all for having a guy like Evans or Gray on the roster at all times; if Michigan does run up against a team that is good at shutting down the straight-ahead stuff the scatback provides another avenue of attack.

[After THE JUMP: even more re-rank positives.]

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Hello: Mazi Smith

Hello: Mazi Smith Comment Count

Ace June 26th, 2018 at 12:54 PM

In a weekend full of big pickups, East Kentwood (MI) defensive tackle Mazi Smith was the literal biggest, and you could make a strong argument for figurative, too. It's always good to grab a 6'3", 295-pound interior lineman with shades of Hurst burst; it's especially good when that guy is an in-stater with offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State.

Smith fills a major need as the first DT among Michigan's [refreshes Twitter] 16 commits in the 2019 class, which now ranks fifth in the country and first in the Big Ten.

GURU RATINGS

Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, 5.8, #9 DT,
#7 MI, #160 Ovr
4*, 86, #2 DT,
#3 MI, #29 Ovr
4*, 91, #14 DT,
#5 MI, #225 Ovr
4*, #7 DT,
#4 MI, #123 Ovr

ESPN is good now!

Smith is well-regarded. How well-regarded appears to depend on when—or how often—each service saw him in action, as perhaps the primary knock on Smith is his consistency. ESPN loves him, putting him on the verge of five-star status. 247 is on the low end, though in this case that's still within the top 250 overall.

One reason his floor is so high is his size; he's listed at 6'3" and in the range of 285-302 pounds, and he doesn't look to be carrying much, if any, bad weight. He's likely ticketed for Mo Hurst's role as a penetrating three-tech who can slide to nose in certain schemes, and he's got a lot of upside there.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]

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Mazi Smith Has Committed To Michigan

Mazi Smith Has Committed To Michigan Comment Count

Ace June 24th, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Michigan football is getting reinforcements. MGoBlog may need them.

Top150 East Kentwood (MI) defensive tackle Mazi Smith announced his commitment on Twitter, becoming the third prospect of the day to join the 2019 class, following tight end Erick All and running back Zach Charbonnet. Smith is ranked as high as 29th overall (ESPN) and no lower than 225th (247). His Hudl page features a short, violent junior highlight reel:

Smith was the subject of last year's final Future Blue Originals. Adam's takeaway:

Smith has the current skillset and upside to play 3-technique, and though I won’t go so far as to Dwumfour him up and call him the next Hurst, there’s certainly some resemblance there. On the most basic level, Smith checks all the boxes you want in an underclassman HS lineman: size, speed, and strength. His hand usage is advanced and he diagnoses the run well for a player his age. His biggest strength at this point is his speed off the ball at 6’3” and 290 pounds. Smith doesn’t look like he weighs 290—there’s no evidence of bad weight here—and he certainly doesn’t move like he weighs that much, but he blows through blocks and tackles backs like it.

He also holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Oregon, and Wisconsin, among others. He's the 14th commit in the 2019 class, which now ranks tenth nationally and second in the conference. A full Hello post on Smith will be posted, uh, as soon as we're ready.

The fallout from this big recruiting weekend may not be over, either.

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Future Blue Originals: Mazi Smith

Future Blue Originals: Mazi Smith Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 1st, 2017 at 12:21 PM

IMG_1780

The FBO crew continued their stellar luck a couple of weeks ago when traveling to East Kentwood to scout Logan Brown and Mazi Smith, two 2019 prospects with Michigan offers. The first thing I saw when I got to the press box was Brown on the sidelines, in street clothes, with two bulky braces on his knees. Smith did play, however, and was excellent, even after he rolled an ankle and hobbled his way through the rest of the game.

This is the last FBO of 2017, which is good for the health and safety of high school student-athletes and Michigan targets around the Midwest. To review: David tried to scout Ekiyor in August but he was injured; I scouted Aidan Hutchinson in a game where he took a nasty shot extending for a catch and was slowed the rest of the game; we did scout Ekiyor in Indianapolis in September, then he decommitted last week; Ace and David went to scout McGrone a couple weeks ago but he was injured; I thought I was scouting two Michigan targets on East Kentwood but one was out with injury and the other was injured in the game.

Mazi Smith Every-Snap Film (Defense)

Smith is lined up at 3-tech.

[After THE JUMP: scouting and film of Smith at guard]

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Tuesday Recruitin' Is Immune To Dizziness

Tuesday Recruitin' Is Immune To Dizziness Comment Count

Ace September 5th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

B Button Right, B Button Left, R2

The roundup took a hiatus during previewpalooza. I'd be remiss if I didn't post this run by commit Christian Turner from last week.

Balance: Hart-like.

All The Hintons, Please

This is one of the Hintons.

It's not five-star 2019 Michigan commit Chris Hinton, however. It's his younger brother, 2020 OT Myles Hinton, who wouldn't look out of place lining up at tackle for Michigan right now. While we'll have to wait a few years to see that, it seems close to an inevitability we will; here's Myles talking with TMI's Josh Newkirk about joining his brother in Ann Arbor:

“Yes we are,” Hinton said on playing with his brother in college. “Before he committed I still liked Michigan, they were high on my list. So it kind of reassured that I love the school. I feel like I’m really close with my brother, so if we were separated it wouldn’t be as fun in college I don’t think.”

The Hintons attended Saturday's game, which couldn't hurt matters, either. They'll be back on campus for the Rutgers game. Michigan is already off to a great start in the 2019 class; a commitment from Myles Hinton would be the perfect way to begin the 2020 haul.

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

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