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 Derivatives: Trente Jones

Future Blue Derivatives: Trente Jones Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 6th, 2018 at 4:00 PM

ESPN may have pulled back on publishing scouting reports of recruits, but with a little bit of ingenuity, some luck, and a whole lot of editing we’re still able to use the Worldwide Leader’s coverage to our advantage. Not in the form of scouting reports from their analysts, of course—sorry, you’re stuck with me—but in their programming. The funny thing about having to fill nearly 9,000 hours of air time each year across each network is that they occasionally shelve the talking heads for a bit and broadcast actual games that are relevant to our interests.

Some of those games, such as the one scouted here, feel like what ESPN 2 should be broadcasting as often as humanly possible. Here they took advantage of a mid-October marquee matchup of schools that are top-tier nationally (Grayson was 153rd per Maxpreps, Archer 69th), both with rosters littered with DI prospects. Grayson has highly-regarded, heavily-recruited bookends on their offensive line. At left tackle is Wanya Morris, a five-star and the 13th-ranked player in the country. At right tackle is the focus of this post, Trente Jones. The most recent re-rank on 247 saw Jones shoot up more than 280 spots with no signs of stopping. He has moved up 55 spots in the composite in the last week alone, now checking in at #167. After watching him against Archer, I’m more surprised that he spent so much time ranked around #300 and less about the jump to the edge of the top 150.

[After THE JUMP: "Hm, a person who weights 100 pounds more than me moves in ways I could only hope to," says the guy with a bag of Jelly Belly next to him]

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Friday Recruitin' Didn't See Your Text

Friday Recruitin' Didn't See Your Text Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 16th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

This week saw the release of a new Top247 in which most of Michigan’s commits stayed near their prior ranking. There were two moves worth discussing, though, as GA OL Trente Jones (pictured above) shot up and CA RB Zach Charbonnet entered rarified, dangerous territory. Charbonnet moved up from #41 to #26 in 247’s rankings, which puts him six spots over the five-star threshold. Michigan’s recent history with five-star running backs is woeful enough that an Angry Michigan Five-Star Running Back-Hating God may have been invoked at some point, but how can you watch Charbonnet’s highlights and not give him a fifth star?

 

I also recommend watching this video for the runs at 3:05 and 3:27. There’s a very useful every-touch/block video that someone cut up from the second half of Charbonnet’s playoff game two weeks ago, and that shows that he’s a pretty good blocker as well.

247’s Greg Biggins wrote about Charbonnet in the aftermath of Oaks Christian’s playoff victory last weekend and there are so many pull quotes you should just read the whole article.

His ability to make something out of nothing, take a pounding but not flinch and look even stronger in the 4th quarter than he did in the 1st really makes him special. His game translates really well to the college level and there is no question he has the ability to see the field as soon as next year at Michigan.

Biggins goes on to say that Charbonnet should be considered one of the best backs to come out of Southern California in the last decade and will eventually play in the NFL barring injury, so that seems good. Whereas TN RB Eric Gray’s visit this weekend was probably necessary for Michigan to keep him in the class (more on that after the jump), Charbonnet’s visit be this Saturday is the opposite. Steve Lorenz notes that Charbonnet spoke with 247 a few weeks ago and said he wasn’t sure whether other schools were pursuing him because he doesn’t respond to his texts and doesn’t check his phone much these days.

Jones may not have ended up as high in the rankings as Charbonnet but he did jet up 266 spots (!), earning a fourth star in the process. He also is reportedly his high school’s highest-graded lineman this season, which is very much worth noting as he is teammates with #9 overall prospect Wanya Morris. You may remember Morris from last week’s roundup; he’s the player who was taken first overall in the UA All-America Game draft, one spot ahead of Charbonnet.

[Hit THE JUMP for the longest 2019 update in a while]

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Friday Recruitin' Is Mostly About Meteorology

Friday Recruitin' Is Mostly About Meteorology Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 19th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

There were 17 crystal balls logged before last Saturday, each of them on Ohio State, some almost two years old. Unsurprising when the nation’s #5 prospect lives in a Columbus suburb. And yet. Michigan hosted OH DE Zach Harrison last Saturday, and the visit went well enough to get 247’s Steve Wiltfong to flip his crystal ball to cloudy and cause Steve Lorenz to almost submit his in favor of Michigan. According to Lorenz, this visit had the most impact on the largest contingent of people pulling for him to go to Ohio State this side of the Shoe.

This visit may have helped the staff with Harrison's family more than it did the prospect himself, as he's personally been high on the Wolverines for months at this point.

Wiltfong, though, reports that Harrison likes Penn State so much that he thinks he would commit there if not for the distance from Columbus, adding that one source told him Michigan has an edge over Penn State due to distance while another disagreed. Then there’s the obligatory it’s-not-over-til-it’s-over disclaimer with regard to Ohio State in almost any article authored about Harrison; we’re still subscribing to the theory that he would have picked them already if that’s where he was going.

Lorenz told the Free Press’ Orion Sang that he believes Michigan is ahead right now after a slow start to Harrison’s recruitment that had Notre Dame and Michigan State in front of Michigan but turned around thanks to the effort of linebackers coach Al Washington. Harrison’s first gameday experience in Michigan Stadium gave him a literal front-row seat to the steamrolling of Wisconsin, and it sounds like Michigan did everything possible on their end—from the seats to getting Harrison’s longtime friend Joey Velazquez and family on campus to the time his family was able to spend with the staff. A possible official visit to Ohio State looms, but one source told Lorenz that Harrison will not end up at OSU, full stop.

Another five-star who is warming up to Michigan is NC ATH Quavaris Crouch. If you remember, Crouch’s visit last weekend was mutually cancelled, and there was some speculation that moving the visit later in the season could hurt Michigan’s chances because Michigan, well, [/gestures toward frost I can see on my car windows as I write this]. According to Steve Lorenz, Crouch wanted to move the visit back in part to experience Michigan’s weather later in the year. Last week’s speculation was around a Crouch visit against Indiana so as to allow the staff to completely focus on him, but Lorenz is now reporting that both sides are working to get him on campus for the game against Penn State. Crouch said that Michigan and Clemson are currently tied for first for him in a TigerNet article that for some reason won’t let me copy-paste text, and there’s some solace to be found in Mark Dantonio being states away from his “cyclotron” (read: weather disruption device) on the day Crouch visits.

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

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Friday Recruitin' Has Come On A Little Bit

Friday Recruitin' Has Come On A Little Bit Comment Count

Adam Schnepp October 5th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

[Isaiah Hole]

In an otherwise slow week, word came out yesterday that NC ATH Quavaris Crouch is set to take an official visit to Michigan for the following weekend’s game against Wisconsin. There aren’t many visits as crucial as this one given the small number of sure-take prospects left in the 2019 class (Crouch is ranked 28th in 247’s composite), and it’s made all the more important by Michigan’s standing in Crouch’s mind. Clemson247’s Anna Hickey reports that Michigan is one of three schools—the others are Tennessee and *shudder* Clemson—that have separated themselves from the pack.

The game-day atmosphere for Crouch’s visit should be impactful, and 247’s Steve Lorenz is reporting as much. There’s no other game on Michigan’s home schedule—night game, ranked opponent, early fall weather—that is likely to be as much of a spectacle. Whether Michigan wins that game, though, may be less important than you might think. Crouch spoke to Clemson247’s Anna Hickey about what he has seen from the colleges he’s considering so far this season and his comments were interesting.

"Everybody started off kind of slow. It's like 'oh my god.'," he said. "Michigan has come on a little bit. But you never know, you and some other guys they recruit could come in and change the program. It might just take time, you've just got to be patient. I'm not going to say I'm used to losing, but I've played at places where you've had to build a foundation."

So, uh, thanks Florida and Georgia, and almost-thanks Syracuse and Texas A&M. It’s not only unclear what school Crouch will choose but what position he will play at said school is also up in the air. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown recently wrote that Crouch seems to be planning to play linebacker in college, while 247’s Steve Lorenz said this week that it works to Michigan’s benefit to have a number of recent examples of two-way players they can point out to Crouch.

TN RB Eric Gray, the subject of a great deal of speculation with regard to the solidity of his commitment, is also expected to be in Ann Arbor for the Wisconsin game, according to 247. Steve Lorenz notes that Gray’s recent visits to SEC schools, including a visit to Ole Miss that ended with a few crystal balls in their favor and rumors of flipping in its wake, did not catch the Michigan coaching staff off guard. They still believe Gray is solid, and it can only help that he’ll be in town for a game in what will be his first visit back to campus since committing.

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

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Jimmystats: July 2019 Recruiting Deltas

Jimmystats: July 2019 Recruiting Deltas Comment Count

Seth July 13th, 2018 at 11:17 AM

Let's stare at stars [Patrick Barron]

Starting last year I began keeping track on the changes in recruiting rankings, since movement tends to tell us things about a recruit that their ratings at any given moment do not.

I was putting this together a month ago actually, but then half of the high schoolers in America committed to Michigan and this post was left in the bin. Since we have a bunch of new recruits and 247 just updated their rankings yesterday based on their scouting from various summer camps, it's a good time to check in. Anyway that's why there's the weirdness of June 15 rankings on everybody committed by then—I figured you'd prefer I leave those in.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Recruiting gravity means rankings will slowly drop as more players are scouted and slotted ahead of them. Going from the #209 to #225 player in a month isn't a drop unless his rating dropped too.
  2. I didn't get around to taking snapshots of Rivals and ESPN in late May, and only got the new commits' data when they dropped. As this series continues we'll have more complete data.
  3. By now I imagine you're familiar with the three sites' rating systems but just in case: For 247 the 80-89 range are 3-stars, the 90-97 range are the 4-stars, and 98+ are 5-stars. ESPN is on a 100 scale, so 70s are 3-stars, 80s are 4-stars, 90s are 5-stars. Rivals uses the old National Recruiting Advisor system: 5.5 to 5.7 are 3-stars, 5.8 to 6.0 are 4-stars, and 6.1 is a 5-star. The 247 composite can be read like you put a "%" next to their regular ratings, so .9000 is the cut-off for a 4-star instead of 90.

QB Cade McNamara

Service March 17 (committed) June 15 Today
247Sports 90, #305 Ovr, #9 PRO 90, #310 Ovr, #10 PRO 90, #321 Ovr, #10 PRO
Rivals 5.8, NR, #9 Pro 5.8, NR, #9 Pro 5.8, NR, #10 Pro
ESPN 78, #296 Ovr, #8 Pro, #45 West 78, #296 Ovr, #8 PRO, #45 West 81, #240 Ovr, #14 Pro, #36 West
Composite 0.9004, #316 Ovr, #9 PRO 0.9067, #263 Ovr, #10 PRO 0.9067, #269 Ovr, #10 PRO

Michigan's (first?) quarterback of the class is climbing steadily, and got bumped to a strong 4-star when ESPN solidified their Top 300, which means he survived a bunch of other recently scouted quarterbacks moving up. On the other hand they slid a good six other quarterbacks ahead of him, including BC-bound Sam Johnson from Walled Lake Western.

McNamara's been participating in whatever the new format of the Elite 11 is, and his performance so far has crystallized the opinion of him as a four-star but still just outside everyone's Top 250.

His reported weight is up too. He's now 206 (247) or 202 (Rivals) or 203 (ESPN) lbs, up from 179.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the class]

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Hello: Trente Jones

Hello: Trente Jones Comment Count

Ace February 22nd, 2018 at 3:40 PM


Jones on his visit last weekend. [Isaiah Hole/247]

It's not all bad on the recruiting front for Michigan. In the midst of a disappointing February, the 2019 class gained a much-needed offensive lineman last night when Loganville (GA) Grayson four-star Trente Jones announced his commitment on Twitter. Jones picked up his Michigan offer in January, and despite being pursued by a good chunk of the SEC, he didn't feel the need to wait long after visiting Ann Arbor last weekend:

A long list of schools have offered Jones and he has taken numerous visits, but none compared to the one in Ann Arbor.

“Michigan is the perfect fit for me. I love the atmosphere and I can honestly say that this is the first school that I felt at home.

“The environment was family friendly and I felt as if I could talk to anyone. It was just like home.”

Jones is Michigan's fifth commitment in the class and the second on the offensive line, joining Nolan Rumler, though the commitment of top-100 DE Stephen Herron is reportedly shaky at best. (I've added a flip pick to Stanford for him.)

GURU RATINGS

Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.7, #35 OT 4*, 81, #19 OT,
#203 Ovr
3*, 88, #46 OT,
#373 Ovr
4*, #36 OT,
#333 Ovr

ESPN is the most bullish on Jones; unfortunately, they haven't actually written up a scouting report yet, so we don't know why they consider him a solid four-star instead of a high three-star like the other two sites. Jones did move up in the Rivals position rankings in their recent re-rank and he's only four spots away from the last four-star OT; he's nine position ranks behind the last four-star on 247.

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

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Trente Jones Commits to Michigan

Trente Jones Commits to Michigan Comment Count

Seth February 21st, 2018 at 6:43 PM

Huzzah a good recruiting thing happened! Yes, for us! 2019 GA 4-star OT Trente Jones (247 profile/highlights) has committed to Michigan.

Jones pulled the trigger after visiting this weekend—if you were in Crisler it was hard to miss the mountain sitting by Partridge. Listed at 6’6/282, he had offers from just about the whole SEC.

Informative update tomorrow, probably.

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