It took a few more months than we thought it would, but Michigan has finally flipped 2019 Massachusetts athlete Mike "Sweetness" Sainristil.
110% > 100%
Virginia Tech thought they had a gem secured in the heart of Don Brown territory, but couldn't maintain control through the entire process. Michigan now takes possession of this 5-10, 175-pound slot receiver prospect, or maybe a 5-9, 175-pound safety prospect, or another running back, or maybe 6'8"/375 offensive tackle for the 2023 class for all the scouting service evaluations out there on him. Steve Lorenz posted an Insider($) note after Sainristil visited on that big June recruiting weekend that at least added some clarity to his position:
Michigan is not recruiting Sainristil at cornerback; instead, they are recruiting him as an athlete with the current likelihood being wide receiver.
The crystal balls flipped hard to Michigan during the subsequent Commitapalooza but Sainristil remained committed to Virginia Tech until a few days before he set up his Michigan visit for Penn State. Don Brown visited his school during the recent bye, further adding to the least surprising flip of the year.
What Michigan appears to have secured is a bottle of lightning to assuage those of us still rankled that K.J. Hamler was never offered, IE a slot smurf. Caveat: Commonwealth, but he might be a really good one.
|3*, 5.6, #63 ATH, #2 MA
||4*, 80, #24 ATH, #33 Northeast, #1 MA
||3*, 86, #75 CB, #809 Ovr, #3 MA
||3*, 0.8676, #62 CB, #678 Ovr, #1 MA
Since he appeared on our radars in June, ESPN bumped Sainristil up to a low 4-star, shot him 20 spots up their athlete rankings, and moved him ahead of 23 other athletes.
That differs from 247, who's dropped him 4 spots in the cornerback rankings and 100 spots overall as various seniors around the nation popped. I plugged these into my composite stars formula and the ESPN bump moved him into the Nate Johnson/Grant Perry region. Squint at that with the Massachusetts curve and you get a Dennis Norfleet: a human highlight reel who generates a ton of local press (and blogger love) but equal incredulity from the scouting types trying to project a ceiling from a guy who's never touched one.
Sainristil's rankings also have a distinct whiff of "Eh, we haven't been up there, but the Boston papers seem to like him." ESPN had Sainristil the second "78" until they got a guy up there and bumped him to an 80 (unfortunately with no explanation), and 247 has been slowly dropping him the last month as they get to evaluations of the people under him—he was 56th in May. Rivals is the comparative skeptic, ranking Sainristil 12 spots below the last 5.7.
There's also disagreement about a crucial inch: Rivals has him 5-9, 175 pounds; 247 lists him at 5-10/175, and ESPN has 5-9 but 180 for weight. For what it's worth, in his highlight films Sainristil is average height for the guys on the field—he may be 5-9 but he's not "5-9" if you dig.
[Hit THE JUMP for two videos of Sainristil dunking on 8th graders, scouting based on two videos, and the FAKE-est 40 time yet]