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: Offense

Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Offense Comment Count

Seth December 20th, 2018 at 4:50 PM

More fun with rosters! With signing day behind us I've updated my spreadsheets and the associated interactive chart. Behold: the 2019 class contextualized against every Michigan recruit since 1990:

You can mouseover the big yellow bubbles to get a sense where each guy fits against previous Michigan players in the recruiting rankings. But let's still dig out each player to understand the context of his scouting. The full data are here.

QB Cade McNamara

image

The style of quarterback who uses his legs and is constantly being asked about his height is now considered a "Pro Style" quarterback, especially if he commits to Harbaugh, though it's not hard to find the guy Cade McNamara most reminds us of. Cade is a clear rung down from Tate's Top-150ish ratings, and for good reason. However Michigan's lone QB recruit in this class is still strongly above the 4-star line. Despite the other comps being substantially different players, the boom/bust nature of his ranking is evident in the range of success you see around him.

[After THE JUMP: The position you were dreading]

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Future Blue Originals: Nolan Rumler

Future Blue Originals: Nolan Rumler Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 10th, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Previously: Hello post

A one-week reprieve from breaking down film of a lineman sees us turn our focus that direction once again, this time to the offensive side of the ball and four-star 2019 OH OL Nolan Rumler. David filmed this game in early September, and I regret to inform you that I have scoured my texts and cannot find any sign of what restaurant he tried on this trip. Just like that, an emerging FBO tradition is squashed. [Edit: David just texted me that it was City BBQ] Also squashed that evening was Wayne, Archbishop Hoban’s opponent, 47-28. That’s not surprising given that MaxPreps has Archbishop Hoban ranked 47th in the nation and third in Ohio and Wayne 332nd overall and 25th in Ohio.

Rumler committed so long ago that his Hello post leads with a photo of him and Tim Drevno and features a good deal of speculative scouting, noting what he’s good at while also feeling the need to include how he might develop. This makes him an excellent candidate for a senior-season FBO. All you have to do is…

[…hit THE JUMP]

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Friday Recruitin' Evidently Doesn't Need A Spring Game

Friday Recruitin' Evidently Doesn't Need A Spring Game Comment Count

Ace April 13th, 2018 at 3:14 PM

Big-Time Visit Weekend Remains Big-Time Visit Weekend

Frankly, I wasn't expecting to write this post today once Michigan cancelled its spring game, but the recruiting process cares not for spring weather, and the coaches have ensured this is still a major visit weekend.

TMI's Sam Webb has a comprehensive, free rundown of this weekend's visitors. I'll hit on the highlights, including all of the official visitors—remember, this is the first year since the rule change that allows OVs in the spring.

The headliner is five-star OH DE Zach Harrison, who will spend Saturday on campus before heading home Sunday, per 247's Bill Kurelic. This will be an unofficial visit for Harrison, whose recruitment is shaping up to be a Midwest battle with Ohio State currently holding all 12 of his crystal ball picks. Michigan and Penn State are chasing the Buckeyes. The Wolverine's Brandon Brown is hearing Michigan is at least making things interesting:

"It was a two-horse race for a while with Ohio State and Penn State but Michigan has probably made it a three-horse race in recent weeks," a source close to the situation said. "I don't think anyone else has a realistic shot, though he'll still list Clemson and Notre Dame."

This weekend's visit will be important for making up ground on the Buckeyes, who are still the presumed favorite.

While this isn't setting up to be a carpal tunnel weekend, Sam has sounded a potential commitment watch—albeit without a gut feeling—for four-star FL CB Te'Cory Couch, a very soft Tennessee commit who's expected to wind up at either Michigan or Miami (YTM). He told 247's Andrew Ivins those two schools are the ones he's most focused on, and he's certainly hearing the right things from the Wolverine coaches:

"I just want to see what it's like there how the players live and stuff like that," he said when asked about the Wolverines. "I just want to see what they do on a day-to-day basis and the education. I'm talking a lot with [defensive coordinator Don Brown]. He loves me. He tells me that I'm the No. 1 corner on his board all the time."

A decision could come soon. While Sam didn't issue that gut feeling, he put in a Crystal Ball pick for Michigan, which is pretty close.

[Hit THE JUMP for more on weekend visitors.]

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Thursday Recruitin' Goes To The Source

Thursday Recruitin' Goes To The Source Comment Count

Ace August 17th, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Chris Hinton Slides Into Your DMs

ESPN released their initial Junior 300 for the 2019 class, and they're a major outlier for Michigan's top commit, five-star defensive lineman Chris Hinton. They rank Hinton, who's no lower than 14th overall and 2nd among SDEs on the other three sites, at 97th overall and 9th among DTs, with the rationale that they believe he's a better prospect on the offensive line:

Highly touted Hinton should switch to offense
Defensive tackle Christopher Hinton is the son of a former All-Pro offensive linemen. The younger Hinton should follow in his father's footsteps and switch to OL. The four-star Michigan commit is a stout run-defender, but defensively he would be more of role player and run stopper. As an OL, he possesses good flexibility, feet and a frame that can support more size and on that side of the ball, by contrast he can be an excellent, "full-time" player.

Many prospects would ignore this perceived slight or lash out at the site in question. Hinton chose a different tack and went straight to the source to see how he could improve:

That's certainly not how High School Me would've handled things.

Meanwhile, Michigan still did well in ESPN's rankings. The rest of the commits:

  • OH OG Nolan Rumler: #3 OG, #48 overall
  • KY DE Stephen Herron: #11 DE, #82 overall
  • IMG ILB Charles Thomas: #3 ILB, #250 overall

Two players in the top three at their position and two more in the top 100 overall. Not too shabby for a four-person class.

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

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Thursday Recruitin' Reheats Star Debate

Thursday Recruitin' Reheats Star Debate Comment Count

Ace August 3rd, 2017 at 2:08 PM

There's enough to cover from the BBQ that I'm splitting this edition of the roundup into two parts. Today I'll cover the five recent commits; tomorrow I'll go over the rest.

If you missed them, the five recent Hello posts: Luke Schoonmaker, Nolan Rumler, Stephen Herron, Cameron McGrone, Sammy Faustin.

Sammy Faustin and When Stars Really Matter

Let's start this roundup with the most recent of Michigan's slew of commits, three-star FL S/CB Sammy Faustin. It was quite clear from the comments that many around here didn't see much past this...

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #75 CB,
#876 Ovr
3* CB NR CB 3*, 86, #74 CB,
#730 Ovr
3*, #78 CB,
#870 Ovr

...before passing judgment on Faustin and questioning why the coaches would take such a low-rated player this long before signing day. One of the main arguments against Faustin is one we've made many times here: star rankings really do matter.

They do. There's a mountain of evidence to back up that assertion. Context is key, however. The recruiting rankings that matter are the final rankings, once the recruiting services have as much data as they can gather. Nobody is going back to look at rankings at the time of a player's commitment. 

Faustin hasn't even played his senior season. We already have a couple recent examples of who-dat defensive back commits taken by this staff developing into (or being recognized as) solid prospects by the time signing day rolled around. Josh Metellus was either a two-star or unranked on all four services when he committed in the 2016 class; three sites subsequently gave him the Michigan bump to three stars, while ESPN got fresh eyes on him and rated him a four-star prospect with an evaluation to match. Metellus saw the field as a true freshman, impressed, and should start this year. More recently, Benjamin St-Juste was a literal unknown when he committed—initial camp reports got his name wrong—then starred at The Opening and cracked the 247 top 100.


Faustin is skeptical of your armchair scouting.

"Trust the coaches" can be a lazy deflection. Between Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown, though, it's hard to question these guys when they identify a player they want early. At the very least, we should let the process play out a little further. Sometimes it only takes a day; read Scout's post-commitment writeup on Faustin and tell me where you think he should be ranked:

Faustin, who passes the eye test with prototypical size in the secondary, is a versatile defender who does a great job of reading and reacting from his cornerback position. Once dissecting the play, Faustin turns heads with the ability to burst out of his back pedal by pushing off his back foot, flashing impressive acceleration in the process. This is a kid who also shows decent technique for a cornerback of his stature.

Faustin is one who does not shy away from physicality either. Once finding his lane to the ball carrier, Faustin closes on the ball in a hurry while also playing under control. There are times when he loses track of his tackling technique, but for the most part, Faustin is a sound tackler in space who strikes with good pad level. He is not the most explosive kid and can work on his flexibility, but does not have much of a problem flipping his hips and readjusting. Faustin is a defender who provides that pop at the point of attack.

For a safety who'll cover the slot, that's a pretty ideal evaluation. It jives with the junior film, which doesn't look like that of the #78 corner in the country. The Wolverine's Brandon Brown caught up with Tom Lemming for a scouting report, and this one also sounds like it's meant for someone better than a middling three-star:

"Faustin is one of my 'Other Players to Watch' in Florida," Lemming said. "He's 6-2, 175 pounds and has legit 4.5 speed. He has good range, quick hands and loose hips and does a very good job of playing the ball. He needs to add weight and strength but is an exceptional athlete."

In related news, recent tight end commit Luke Schoonmaker got a 14-spot bump in Scout's tight end position rankings, added a three-star ranking from Rivals, and got evaluated by ESPN, which now has him as the #19 in-line TE in the country. There's plenty more in last week's roundup.

If you're going to star-gaze without watching the film, I recommend at least waiting until February.

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

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Hello From The Future: Nolan Rumler

Hello From The Future: Nolan Rumler Comment Count

Ace July 29th, 2017 at 12:15 PM

It didn't take long for this weekend's BBQ at the Big House to produce a commitment. Four-star 2019 Akron (OH) Archbishop Hoban offensive lineman Nolan Rumler, whose father and grandfather are both alums, made his long-anticipated commitment this morning:

Even though Rumler has been long considered a Michigan lock—Steve Lorenz has had a Crystal Ball pick in for him since September of 2015—he fielded offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Ohio State before ultimately going with his childhood favorites.

Rumler is Michigan's second commit in the 2019 class, joining four-star IMG linebacker Charles Thomas.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #15 OT,
#123 Ovr
4* OG NR OT 4*, 92, #15 OT,
#123 Ovr
4*, #18 OT,
#142 Ovr

I know Scout and 247 have semi-merged but this is a bit much: the two, which are the only sites to give Rumler a numerical ranking, have him in the exact same spot in the both the position and overall rankings.

While he's got time left to grow, for now Rumler isn't quite prototype tackle-sized; he's listed at 6'4" and either 290 or 300 pounds on all four sites. That's great size this early, especially since he doesn't look like he's carrying much bad weight, but if he doesn't get a little taller his future may be limited to the interior of the line.

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

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Friday Recruitin' Coaches Up The Youths

Friday Recruitin' Coaches Up The Youths Comment Count

Ace July 28th, 2017 at 2:41 PM

BBQ Visitors: McGrone Ready To Commit

The annual BBQ at the Big House takes place this weekend; in fact, some visitors are already on campus. As usual, it's one of the biggest visit weekends of the year, and it should produce at least one commitment. Four-star IN LB Cameron McGrone, who recently shot into the top 50 in 247's rankings, is visiting and will then announce his decision on Monday at noon between Michigan, Notre Dame, and Indiana, per TMI's Evan Petzold.

The Irish were seen as Michigan's biggest competition but the Wolverines have all the momentum; they have the last 19 picks on McGrone's Crystal Ball, including those from Steve Wiltfong, Allen Trieu, and (most tellingly) Irish247's Tom Loy. It'd be a shock if McGrone went elsewhere, so expect a lot more on him in this space come Monday.

Along with many current commits, some top 2018 prospects will also be on campus this weekend. The notables, culled from 247's Steve LorenzTMI's Brice Marich, and The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

  • Top-100 MO DT Michael Thompson, who has Michigan in his top five but looks to be leaning towards in-state Mizzou at the moment.
  • Four-star CA S Bryan Addison, who Lorenz believes is M's top safety target in the cycle. USC is the favorite but this is his first visit to campus.
  • Four-star TX OT Rafiti Ghirmai, a longtime target despite being somewhat off the radar who may be a tough pull from Texas.
  • Three-star FL CB Sammy Faustin, who Lorenz says M "quietly lead" his recruitment with Don Brown spearheading the effort.
  • I usually don't take much note of visits by current commits, but in the case of Emil Ekiyor, who's coming off a visit to Alabama, his is worth mentioning.
  • Four-star MO DE Ronnie Perkins, an Oklahoma lean and perhaps M's top defensive end target, is a maybe as he's looking for transportation to Ann Arbor, per Lorenz.
  • Lorenz reports that Michigan is also expecting top-100 MD DE Eyabi Anoma, who plays for Biff Poggi at St. Frances, to be on campus this weekend. TomVH subsequently reported, however, that Anoma plans to visit Maryland. Crootin!

Michigan may not add to the 2018 class this weekend beyond McGrone, but if they can make progress towards solidifying Ekiyor's pledge it'd be a successful BBQ. A big visit for Thompson is high on the wish list, too.

Meanwhile, there's a star-studded group visiting from the 2019 class, which I'll cover after the...

[JUMP]

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Friday Recruitin' Tips Domino

Friday Recruitin' Tips Domino Comment Count

Ace June 30th, 2017 at 12:18 PM

Hoops: Johns To Michigan, Nance To Northwestern

If you missed it yesterday, Michigan picked up a commitment from East Lansing four-star Brandon Johns, who could be a day-one starter at power forward for the Wolverines. The pace of basketball recruiting has picked up in a major way, and this commitment looks like it's going to tip a couple more dominoes.

Fast-rising Belleville wing Gabe Brown, a potential backup plan for Michigan's top choices, committed to Michigan State a couple weeks ago—perhaps a sign MSU knew where it stood with Johns. Shortly after Johns committed, four-star OH wing Pete Nance, who was expected to take an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend and likely commit, pledged to Northwestern; to be clear, this was not a case of Michigan passing on a prospect after landing their top target—they still wanted Nance even though he's had an underwhelming spring.

This afternoon another in-state spring standout, Grand Rapid Catholic Central four-star PF Marcus Bingham, also pledged to the Spartans. Meanwhile, Michigan is hosting three-star NC wing Hunter Tyson on an unofficial visit today, and he's an offer candidate with Nance off the board.

Michigan currently has two open spots in the 2018 class with point guard David DeJulius also in the fold. With Beilein now recruiting with attrition in mind it's likely they'll bring in a five-man class. They'd like to take another combo forward—top candidates include Jerome Hunter, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Tyson—and a shooting guard, where they've zeroed in on Noah Locke (Tyson could also be a fit there but a recent growth spurt got him to 6'7", so that may not be ideal).

That third spot in the class could go to another wing—the pipe dream is a Hunter/Brazdeikis haul—but a rumor emerged from The Michigan Insider mod DOTMAN this morning that could change those plans: big man Taylor Currie, currently a 2019 commit, says he's reclassifying to 2018. That gives Michigan insurance against Moe Wagner departing early for the NBA; it also means they'll likely only be able to grab one of the highly touted combo forwards. While that kills the pipe dream, Michigan isn't the outright leader for either player; Scout's Brian Snow has mentioned that Hunter may be a Xavier lean, and there's plenty of competition for Brazdeikis, who isn't expected to decide any time soon.

There are a number of possibilities, and as Nance's surprise commitment to Northwestern yesterday shows, it's tough to confidently predict any one outcome.

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

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