when you see the ball and realize #26 is not on offense [photo via 247]
Now this is how an offensive lineman commits.
Late last evening, at the tail end of a rare busy May news day, three-star Cincinnati (OH) Archbishop Moeller OG Zach Carpenter announced an out-of-nowhere commitment—even Sam Webb was caught off guard—with one word and a hashtag:
You'd be excused for not having Carpenter at the forefront of your mind. His rankings range from middling to high three-star, he didn't add his Michigan offer until last month, and his recent campus visit was overshadowed by higher-profile visitors and a few subsequent commitments, including two on the offensive line.
Michigan's coaches, especially primary recruiter Al Washington and O-line coach Ed Warinner, turned up the heat in recent weeks, however, as it appeared Carpenter was destined for a Clemson commitment. The Wolverines liked what they saw enough to make a strong push, per Sam:
Some are questioning why this didn't go down after Carpenter visited two weekends in a row back in April? My answer is two-fold. First they had to answer the obvous numbers queston above (i.e. would they take another interior guy). The second part is further evaluation. I know that Ed Warinner was in Carpenter's school last week. I also know Carpenter is tipping the scales at about 310 and benching around 430. Pair that with his road-grading film and you have a physical interior guy that fits the the bill by the eyeball test athletically also.
At 6'4", 310 or so, Carpenter joins four-star Nolan Rumler among interior-only commits; the other three linemen in the class—four-star Trente Jones, three-star Karsen Barnhart, and three-star Jack Stewart—could all play tackle or guard, with Jones looking the most likely to be a pure tackle. As Sam noted in the post above, Michigan will continue to pursue another tackle in the class.
Meanwhile, if you're wondering how the Amazon series would impact recruiting, here's a data point from after his visit, via Steve Lorenz:
Cincinnati (OH) Moeller 2019 three-star offensive lineman Zach Carpenter says Michigan's Amazon documentary helped set the table for what was an excellent two-day visit to Ann Arbor over the weekend.
"It really gave me an idea of what Coach Harbaugh was like and how involved he is with the program," Carpenter told 247Sports on Sunday evening. "Getting to meet and know Coach Harbaugh was probably the highlight of my visit. My parents and I have the utmost respect for Coach and what he's about after taking this visit. The time he invested in us during our conversations was more than any head coach has done at any school we’ve visited to date. We truly feel like he treated us like family and are grateful for his transparency and honesty (during the visit)."
That feeling stuck, evidently. Carpenter is the 11th commit in the 2019 class, which sits fifth nationally and first in the Big Ten in the composite rankings.
|3*, 5.7, #15 OG
||3*, 78, #34 OG
||3*, 88, #21 OG,
|3*, #19 OG,
Hey, ESPN scouted a guy! Who's not in their top 300, even!
Anyway, Carpenter is either a high three-star—the top three-star guard on Rivals, four position spots away on 247—or a meh three-star (ESPN). ESPN should be taken with at least some seriousness here since they actually got eyes on the guy. That said, the other sites and Carpenter's offer list—plus Michigan's obvious desire to beat Clemson to the punch—are good indicators that he'll at least wind up on that 3/4-star borderline by the end of the cycle.
He certainly has the size for the interior. Carpenter is listed at either 6'4" or 6'5" (I'd guess the shorter end is more accurate) and somewhere between 290 and 325 pounds. While he plays tackle in high school, he projects as a people-moving guard or center.
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