Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin, Part Two

Goal-by-Goal Analysis: Wisconsin, Part Two Comment Count

Adam Schnepp February 22nd, 2017 at 3:03 PM

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[Patrick Barron]

Friday, February 17, 2017

#20 Wisconsin 5, Michigan 2

1st period

Frederic Goal

UW 1 UM 0 EV 10:53 Assists: Linhart & Tischke

Tischke passes to Linhart and gets the defense moving from the goalie’s left to right.

mich wisc fri 1-1

Linhart executes an exaggerated step to his left, which pulls the defense further outside his shooting lane. From there, he sees an opening and shoots it off the boards behind the goal.

mich wisc fri 1-2

Michigan’s about to get beat by a Lidstrom. This may be called something else by others, but those people are wrong. Aside from steering everyone under the sun harmlessly into the corner for, like, two decades, this was his signature move. The puck hits the boards and bounces right to Frederic. He just has to throw the puck at the open net, as there’s no way LaFontaine can get over fast enough to square to the shot.

As for the unnerving openness of Frederic, this could have been prevented had De Jong and Cecconi not doubled the skater in the slot. This is especially frustrating considering how often Michigan has left guys unchecked in the same area.

mich wisc fri 1-3

[After THE JUMP: turnovers of the nonfood variety]

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Hello: David Reese

Hello: David Reese Comment Count

Ace April 4th, 2015 at 11:29 AM

It didn't take long for Michigan to land their second pledge of the weekend, as 2016 Farmington (MI) FB/ILB David Reese flipped his commitment from Louisville prior to the spring game, per multiple outlets. Reese was being recruited by most schools as an inside linebacker, but has committed to Michigan as a fullback. He'll immediately get to work trying to get more in-state prospects into the fold, including his Farmington teammate, WR Desmond Fitzpatrick:

Reese is the fourth commit in the 2016 class, and the first at fullback; he'd be the second linebacker in the class, joining Dele' Harding, should he end up on defense.

This post has been updated.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #9 MLB 3*, #17 ILB 3*, NR ILB 3*, 87, #14 ILB,
#525 Ovr
3*, #18 ILB,
#586 Ovr

All four sites peg Reese as a three-star inside linebacker. At 6'1", 235 pounds, he certainly has the build of a inside 'backer or a fullback.

SCOUTING

While Reese is being recruited by Michigan as a fullback, nobody's really evaluated him there, and it's not like there's too much to say about a fullback recruit aside from "he's big enough and likes hitting people, so that should work out." Reese fits that mold. Given Jim Harbaugh's proclivity for testing out players on both sides of the ball, it's worth exploring how he measures up as an inside linebacker; he should at least get a chance to make an impact on defense.

Despite not being the type of player that would normally thrive in a camp setting, Reese has been impressive on the camp circuit. Tim Sullivan named him one of the top linebackers at last May's RCS Detroit ($):

Reese looks like a tweener between defensive end and linebacker, and in fact he played both positions during the course of the day (whereas most of the other defenders who played multiple positions were linebacker/safety types). A true middle linebacker type is expected to struggle in a passing camp, and though Reese wasn't flawless, he lived up to expectations, at the very least.

Rivals analyst Josh Helmholdt slotted him as the #3 overall performer at December's Adidas Showcase in Pontiac ($):

You can count on Reese showing up wherever there is an opportunity to compete. He is constantly working to elevate his game and always gives 100 percent. Camps should not be ideal settings for the stout 6-foot-1, 225-pound Reese. He is a run-stuffing, head-knocking middle linebacker, yet he consistently surprises by how well he plays in space and his ability to stick with running backs and tight ends in pass coverage.

Scout's Allen Trieu provides an evaluation of Reese's play when there's actual 11-on-11 football to be played, and as you'd expect, his run-stuffing ability comes to the forefront ($):

Reese is a big, powerful kid who is built like a college linebacker already. He has a nose for the ball, as evidenced by his high tackle numbers each of the last two seasons. He's come-forward kid who reads his keys and is not afraid to take on and absorb contact from lead blockers. Physicality is not an issue. He's a big hitter who plays aggressively. He has good tackling technique. You rarely see him take on ball carriers or blockers too high. Where he can continue to improve is in space. He has worked on that and we've seen the strides he's made in coverage.

Finally, here's an excerpt from 247's Clint Brewster's free film breakdown:

Reese doesn't have the biggest frame at around 6-foot, and 230-pounds but he packs a punch. He's got the tenacity you like inside the box and wins in tight spaces. His timing when he shoots the gap is outstanding on run plays and when he's blitzing. He makes a ton of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Reese doesn't have great agility but he takes great angles in the open field to make a tackle and he's got good straight line speed. Reese tackles low and wins the leverage battle because he's built low to the ground with good strength overall. Reese has strong and active hands and his leverage and lower body strength frees him from blocks. Highly aggressive player you want on the inside. Solid in coverage but not great.

It certainly sounds like Michigan should at least give him a shot on defense; at the very least, his ability to utilize leverage and willingness to hit people should make him a solid fullback.

OFFERS

Reese held offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville, Pitt, and most of the MAC.

HIGH SCHOOL

Farmington High School hadn't produced a Power Five commit during the Rivals era (2002-present) until Reese and Fitzpatrick pledged to Louisville.

STATS

Per Scout, Reese had 117 tackles and six sacks as a junior, and recorded 108 tackles as a sophomore.

FAKE 40 TIME

Despite the multiple camp appearances, none listed.

VIDEO

Junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights, freshman highlights, and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

If Reese starts his Michigan career on offense, he should get a chance to play right away; fullbacks Joe Kerridge and Sione Houma are both in their final season of eligibility.

Should Reese get a crack at defense, he'd likely either take a redshirt year or moonlight as a fullback, then work his way into the rotation for a year before completing to replace Mike McCray at middle linebacker.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan should be set at fullback, at the very least.

Comments

Hello: Zach Gentry (Updated)

Hello: Zach Gentry (Updated) Comment Count

Ace January 25th, 2015 at 4:57 PM

He added an 85-yarder two minutes later.

The headliner of a huge recruiting weekend is undoubtedly Jim Harbaugh reeling in four-star Albuquerque (NM) Eldorado QB Zach Gentry, who until recently had been a Texas commit. The Longhorns, who'd reportedly told Gentry he'd be the only QB in their class, brought in five-star Texas A&M QB commit Kyler Murray for a visit last weekend, and their new focus on dual-threat types made Gentry uncomfortable with the direction they were going with their offense, he told the Albuquerque Journal.

From that point on, Michigan put on the full-court press, sending Harbaugh and a couple assistants to visit him in New Mexico, then hosting him for his official visit this weekend, ultimately earning his commitment at halftime of the Wisconsin game:

“It’s been crazy,” Gentry said in a phone interview with the Journal late Saturday night. “I do feel settled right now. It feels good ultimately laying my head on the pillow tonight thinking I’ll be Jim Harbaugh’s first quarterback recruit at Michigan.”

Gentry took his official visit to the Ann Arbor campus on Friday and Saturday. The only other official visit he had made was to Texas.

Gentry attended the Michigan-Wisconsin men’s basketball game Saturday night. At halftime, he and some other recruits were led into a room for some food and drinks at Crisler Center. He saw some football coaches, and “decided to do it then. I had talked about it with my dad (Tom) and stuff, and he told me to follow my gut.”

Gentry became the eighth commitment in the 2015 class (Nolan Ulizio has since become the ninth), and the second at quarterback, joining early enrollee Alex Malzone.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #19 QB,
#278 Ovr
4*, #4 P-QB,
#105 Ovr
4*, 83, #9 P-QB,
#118 Ovr
3*, 88, #16 P-QB 4*, #8 P-QB,
#175 Ovr

There's a bit of a spread here—Rivals and ESPN both consider Gentry a fringe top-100 prospect, Scout has him closer to 300th, and 247 places him as a three-star a few position ranks away from getting a fourth (Gentry is, incidentally, one spot behind Malzone in their pro-style QB rankings).

Gentry is a large dude. He's listed at either 6'6" or 6'7" and 230-237 pounds, and he might actually be even bigger than that. Here's a picture tweeted out by Nolan Ulizio from yesterday's visit—Gentry is #11 on the far right, standing next to Jake Pickard (6'6", 230) and down the line from Ulizio (#70, listed at ~6'5", 280):

He may be a legit 6'8".

SCOUTING

Since Texas is pretty into football, in case you hadn't heard, there's a ton of stuff out there on Gentry. To get a general sense, let's start with his free Scout eval:

Gentry is an intriguing quarterback with NFL size but surprising mobility for a big man. He has a downfield arm and can make every throw but also shows the ability, when flushed out of the pocket, to run for positive yards. He looks to have a good feel in the pocket and doesn't panic when the rush comes at him. He can keep his eyes down the field and throws an accurate ball whether in or outside of the pocket-Biggins

The only weakness listed is release point—Gentry often throws from a pretty low arm slot, though that's not a huge issue since he's so tall in the first place.

There are a few common threads among Gentry's scouting reports: impressive athleticism for his size, need for mechanical improvement, and great upside. All of those are present in the report from ESPN's Tom Luginbill after Gentry committed to Texas ($):

An impressive blend of raw physical tools and outstanding measurables. Very few players of his size possess the level of athleticism he brings to the game. This is a player with an extremely high ceiling and upside for development. He's got a big arm, can make all the throws and is a deceptively good runner who is strong and difficult to tackle. He has the look of a pocket passer, but can run the zone read if need be. There is still a lot of technical polish that needs to take place over the next couple of years but Gentry has the physical traits you cannot coach

Luginbill compared Gentry to a young Ben Roethlisberger. Orangebloods, the Texas Rivals outlet, broke out a couple NFL comparisons, the second one quite tantalizing ($):

Gentry will remind evaluators of a sturdier version of Tampa Bay Bucs second-year QB Mike Glennon. Like Glennon, Gentry is confident in his arm and can display often sloppy mechanics. Gentry is, like Glennon was - in college at least - deceptively skilled with his feet. In Glennon, this was shown in his ability to climb the ladder and manipulate a pocket, while in Gentry it is seen in his ability to operate on the move. 

So, having a established that Shawn Watson would rather have the "stiff" pro-style guy, what happens when that guy has a little bit of "athletic" to him? 

Well, you can go watch some Teddy Bridgewater tape and see for yourself. 

Barking Carnival broke down his junior film after his initial commitment and came away impressed with his athletic ability:

Gentry is a long strider who eats up ground once he gets going and he has a reasonable amount of niftiness despite his height.  Some recruiting services claim a 4.7 40, which isn't unrealistic, but he's not going to be confused with Jamelle Holloway in small space.

While Gentry doesn't project to a traditional run threat in the college game, he'll be very capable of pulling the ball down and making a defense pay if they ignore containment - sometimes even big yardage if the sea parts properly.

BC noted that Gentry is an accomplished basketball player—a 20/10 guy his junior year—and that type of athleticism usually translates well to the gridiron.

SBNation's other Texas site, Burnt Orange Nation, threw together a ton of great info on him as well, which included a couple reasons why he may not have developed as much as some of the elite QB prospects in the class:

"The thing that sticks out about Zach is that he is probably going to be a better college player than he is in high school," Dodson said. "Being (so tall) he was a little bit of a late developer. His motor skills had to catch up with his body because he grew so fast. He's 230 pounds right now. He'll be 240 next year. He's an athlete, a very good basketball player. I don't think he's reached as far as where he's going to get as far as his arm strength."

Gentry actually had some injury issues due to growing so fast; he lost three months between his freshman and sophomore seasons after surgery to repair his kneecap, then had a ligament pull away from the growth plate in his right arm later in a 7-on-7 tournament. He's played full seasons each of the last three years as best I can tell, though, so now that he's (presumably) done growing there shouldn't be lingering injury concerns.

An in-person evaluation from Horns247 gave off a distinct Cardale Jones vibe ($):

He's one of the more unique quarterback prospects I've seen since I've been doing this because you don't see many guys at his size (legitimately 6-6, 230) who move as well as he does. The way his athleticism translates to the field functionally was the most surprising aspect of Gentry's game and at the end of the day he's more so a dual-threat quarterback trapped in the body of a prototypical pocket passer, but I can't peg him into either hole.

As a runner he's got a good feel for running the zone read and Eldorado uses it a ton in its offense. He's not afraid to use his body to keep the ball between the tackles and barrel over defenders, which with his size at the high school level makes him a nightmare to deal with.

They were also impressed by his arm strength and touch, with the areas of concern his mechanics and how he'll adapt from New Mexico high school ball—not the highest quality in the country—to the college game.

ESPN is one of a couple outlets that points out a specific flaw in Gentry's mechanics, a propensity for leaving his weight on his back foot, but they note his apparant potential ($):

Accuracy: At times very strong, but can be erratic due to mechanics. When feet are set and he is in rhythm he is consistent and hits the strike zone. Can be flat footed and deliberate in his methods almost as if his back foot is nailed to the ground which limits weight transfer. He can change ball speeds and can also drop the ball in between or over the top of coverage while throwing guys open. ...

Release/Arm Strength: Displays impressive arm talent. Reminds us of David Cornwell in this regard from the 2014 class. He can be inconsistent in his delivery methods and while he has a low elbow at times, he is so tall that it isn't much of a concern. Can whip the ball a bit, but also does not always control the ball very well with consistent velocity and RPMs. This prospect can get rid of the ball quickly and has a powerful motion. This kid has moments where he will do things with the ball that jump off the screen and get you excited.

Gentry made a late rise in the Rivals rankings, at one point sneaking into the top 100 before sliding back to #105, and here's how they justified the late bump in his rating ($):

Gentry doesn't get a chance to play much stiff competition. Still, at some point, consistency must be rewarded. Gentry had the type of season you would expect from an elite quarterback playing against sub-par defenses. So while he certainly still has a little left to prove on a big stage, it's hard to knock his talent. He has always had the build of a star passer and moves decently for his massive size. His presence in the pocket and his arm strength are what set him apart, though. While we would love to see Gentry play against better competition, it's hard to argue with the film. Finding a weak spot in his game is difficult.

Given Gentry's New Mexico competition, it would've been hard for him to rise much higher in the rankings without being a truly special athlete. A couple sites noted that his stats weren't as impressive as they could've been in large part because his receivers often had a tough time hanging onto some of his high-velocity throws.

Finally, the venerable Bruce Feldman tweeted this when Michigan flipped Gentry:

Alabama took a hard run at Gentry earlier in his recruitment, before Texas started looking at other prospects, only to be rebuffed.

OFFERS

Gentry held offers from Alabama, Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, San Diego State, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, among a couple others. That list likely would've been longer if he hadn't made the early Texas commitment; until the last week, Gentry had been very firm in his pledge, and was quick to tell inquiring schools he wasn't looking around.

HIGH SCHOOL

Eldorado has only produced one other FBS player in the Rivals era, 2011 two-star Colorado signee Tyler McCullough. They do have a little history producing quality quarterbacks, however, as former NFL QB Jim Everett—most famous for doing what so many have wanted to do to Jim Rome—is an Eldorado grad.

STATS

Gentry was New Mexico's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2014, throwing for 2978 yards and 26 TDs with a 60% completion rate and adding 1057 yards and 22 more scores on the ground, per 247. Late in the season, he had 21 pass TDs against just five picks, and his interception rate was very low in both his sophomore and junior seasons.

FAKE 40 TIME

247 lists a 40 time of 4.68, which gets four FAKEs out of five. Gentry can cover ground, but I don't think he's quite that fast.

VIDEO

Senior highlights:

Junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

While Gentry has considerable potential and looks like an ideal fit for what Harbaugh wants in a quarterback, it might be tough for him to work his way into the quarterback competition this fall. Shane Morris and Wilton Speight will be viable candidates who've been through college grind, while Alex Malzone will have the advantage of being on campus for spring ball. Add in the significant step up in competition from New Mexico, and Gentry may spend his first year redshirting while adjusting to the speed of the college game.

From there, all bets are off. Gentry may have the most physical potential of any Michigan quarterback, including Morris, and his size/athleticism combo could be remarkably effective at the collegiate level. His throwing ability looks good on tape even with the mechanical issues, some of which are pretty much negated by his height. He's an exciting prospect.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

It's safe to say Michigan is done at quarterback for the class.

Michigan now has nine members of a 2015 class that could reach 16 or 17 total. Current needs include wide receiver, tight end, defensive end, linebacker, and cornerback; if the numbers work out, M could also pursue running back and safety prospects, and they're pushing for a commitment from fullback/H-back Reagan Williams, a Stanford commit who took an official this weekend.

Comments

Hello: Nolan Ulizio

Hello: Nolan Ulizio Comment Count

Ace January 25th, 2015 at 2:03 PM

With that, West Chester (OH) Lakota West OL Nolan Ulizio became Michigan's third commitment in the last day, joining DE Reuben Jones and QB Zach Gentry. Ulizio had been a UConn commit heading into his official visit this weekend, but as expected the lure of joining M's class overcame what the Huskies could offer. Ulizio is the ninth commit in the 2015 class and the third on the offensive line.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #42 OT 2*, NR OT NR OT 2*, 79, #187 OT 2*, #222 OT,
#2324 Ovr

Ulizio hasn't received much attention from the recruiting services; only Scout gives him three stars while Rivals and ESPN don't even bother to rank him. His height is listed at anywhere between 6'4" and 6'6" with his weight in the 280-293 range. If he's on the higher end of that height range, he could end up as a tackle; given Michigan's needs that would be preferable.

SCOUTING

There's very little out there on Ulizio. Scout's profile features a free evaluation from Dave Berk:

One of the more improved prospects from junior to senior year. Ulizio is a strong drive blocker with above average feet and the strength to compete early. Must work on overall flexibility, but showed great improvement in past year. Plays tackle in high school but projects as a guard with the ability to pull or a power tackle. Must get lower to get more power out of his hips. Dave Berk - Ohio Recruiting Analyst

His strengths are listed as drive blocking, feet, and power/strength; body control/balance, flexibility, and pass protection are noted as his areas to improve.

247's Clint Brewster posted a quick scouting report just after Ulizio committed:

He shows fluid movement getting out of his stance and displays a natural lateral shuffle to stay in front of defenders. Ulizio has the tenacity and aggressiveness you like to see on the offensive line, driving defenders back and putting them on skates. He does a great job on his drive blocks, getting underneath opponents and pushing them back. Ulizio is good at blocking on the move when he gets out on pulls and screens, staying engaged with smaller and quicker defensive lineman.

Ulizio's ability to block in space should be a plus in Harbaugh's pull-heavy offense whether he ends up at tackle or guard.

That's about it as far as available scouting goes. Brian and I talked to 247's Steve Lorenz this morning for a podcast segment, and he mentioned that the coaches liked Ulizio's mean streak and feel for the game when breaking down his film. While Ulizio went largely unnoticed by both recruiting services and major college programs, M's coaches seem to be seeing something others aren't—they offered Ulizio over more heralded options Sam Madden and David Moorman, both of whom have displayed interest in Michigan.

OFFERS

Ulizio's offer sheet included UConn, Cincinnati, Kentucky, and Pitt.

HIGH SCHOOL

Lakota West has a couple other solid 2015 prospects in four-star LB CJ Stalker (Virginia commit) and three-star OT George Asafo-Adjei (Kentucky). They've produced a few Ohio State commits, most notably four-star 2007 DE Soloman Thomas, a couple four-stars who ended up at Kentucky, and 2010 five-star LB Jordan Hicks, who ended up at Texas. Current Alabama starting center Ryan Kelly is another Lakota West product.

STATS

No stats for O-linemen. Ulizio was named second-team AP All-Southwest District as a senior.

FAKE 40 TIME

None listed, FAKE or otherwise.

VIDEO

Senior highlights:

Junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

The evidence here is certainly flimsy, though you can see on Ulizio's film how he'd be a fit in Harbaugh's offense—he does well pulling into space, ID'ing his target, and locking on, and he finishes his blocks with authority. He looks like he could find a home at guard or right tackle.

Whether he ends up at tackle or guard, Ulizio will certainly take a redshirt this fall before trying to work his way up the depth chart. Based on the current roster, the earliest it's realistic for Ulizio to compete for a starting role would be when he's a redshirt sophomore, after Ben Braden and Erik Magnuson have graduated.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Ulizio fills a major need along the offensive line. Steve indicated that Michigan is likely done with offensive line recruiting for the class, though with the relative lack of linemen in the last couple classes—exascerbated by Mason Cole not taking a redshirt year—it wouldn't be a bad idea to take one more.

Michigan now has nine members of a 2015 class that could reach 16 or 17 total. Current needs include wide receiver, tight end, defensive end, linebacker, and cornerback; if the numbers work out, M could also pursue running back and safety prospects, and they're pushing for a commitment from fullback/H-back Reagan Williams, a Stanford commit who took an official this weekend.

Comments

Hello: Zach Gentry

Hello: Zach Gentry Comment Count

Ace January 24th, 2015 at 8:31 PM

He added an 85-yarder two minutes later.

Michigan just pulled in their second commit of the night, and it's a big one. Four-star NM QB Zach Gentry decided to flip from his prior Texas commitment at halftime of tonight's Wisconsin game, per multiple outlets. Gentry is the eighth commit in the class, joining Alex Malzone—who's already enrolled—among 2015 quarterbacks.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #19 QB,
#278 Ovr
4*, #4 P-QB,
#105 Ovr
4*, 83, #9 P-QB,
#118 Ovr
3*, 88, #16 P-QB 4*, #8 P-QB,
#175 Ovr

Full, informative update coming later.

Comments