Re-Ranking Rivals: Are U-M players beating their rankings?

Re-Ranking Rivals: Are U-M players beating their rankings?

Submitted by Ron Utah on August 19th, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Rivals is my favorite recruiting system.  Not my favorite site, and not my favorite rankings (ESPN is winning that title this year), but my favorite system.  In addition to stars, they have a relatively simple system for ranking recruits:

The ranking system ranks prospects on a numerical scale from 6.1-4.9.

6.1 Franchise Player; considered one of the elite prospects in the country, generally among the nation's top 25 players overall; deemed to have excellent pro potential; high-major prospect

6.0-5.8 All-American Candidate; high-major prospect; considered one of the nation's top 300 prospects; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

5.7-5.5 All-Region Selection; considered among the region's top prospects and among the top 750 or so prospects in the country; high-to-mid-major prospect; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

5.4-5.0 Division I prospect; considered a mid-major prospect; deemed to have limited pro potential but definite Division I prospect; may be more of a role player

4.9 Sleeper; no Rivals.com expert knew much, if anything, about this player; a prospect that only a college coach really knew about

A 6.1 player is basically top 35; 6.0 = 35-85; 5.9 = 85-160; 5.8 = 160-300.

To put it in NFL terms, a 6.1 is a 1st or early 2nd-round NFL draft pick. A 6.0 is a 2nd-3rd rounder.  A 5.9 is a middle-round pick. A 5.8 is a late round or undrafted FA type. A 5.7 is a player with fringe NFL potential, a 5.6 is an NFL longshot, a 5.5 isn't going to make it. 5.4 and below are guys that are unlikely to see snaps at U-M.

Keep in mind that the standard at Michigan is high.  Jeff Backus keeps a picture of a Michigan huddle on his wall.  Why?  Because everyone in that huddle would go on to play in the NFL.  While that's not typical, the majority of our starters on both sides of the ball should at least find themselves on NFL rosters for a season or two.

That said, I have taken the Rivals Rankings and re-ranked our players according to my current expectations.  This is based on the evidence I have, which is obviously flimsy for the guys that haven't played yet.  It's a combination of what I've seen on the field, practice buzz, and my gut.  Using Derrick Green as an example, I don't think we've seen or heard anything at this point that would suggest he is a 1st-round NFL pick (PLEASE remember that I haven't seen him play an actual down of college football yet).  The flipside is that Dymonte Thomas is already showing signs of an impact player, justifying his 5.9 ranking, while Gardner appears on his way to being a solid early-round NFL draft choice. 

I have ONLY ranked the players I believe are likely to contribute this season.

Player Position Rivals Re-Rank
Derrick Green RB 6.1 5.8
Kyle Kalis OG 6.1 6.0
Ondre Pipkins DT 6.1 5.8
Devin Gardner QB 5.9 6.0
Dymonte Thomas CB/S 5.9 5.9
Jeremy Gallon WR 5.9 5.9
Justice Hayes RB 5.9 5.7
Amara Darboh WR 5.8 5.8
Blake Countess CB 5.8 5.8
Brennen Beyer OLB 5.8 5.7
Cam Gordon OLB 5.8 5.8
Chris Bryant OG 5.8 5.7
Dennis Norfleet WR/KR 5.8 5.8
Fitz Toussaint RB 5.8 5.8
James Ross III WLB 5.8 5.9
Jarrod Wilson S 5.8 5.8
Joe Bolden MLB 5.8 5.8
Mike Schofield OT 5.8 5.9
Raymon Taylor CB 5.8 5.8
Richard Ash DT 5.8 5.6
Royce Jenkins-Stone WLB 5.8 5.8
Taco Charlton DE 5.8 5.8
Taylor Lewan OT 5.8 6.1
Tom Strobel DE/DT 5.8 5.7
A.J. Williams TE 5.7 5.7
Ben Braden OG/OT 5.7 5.8
Chris Wormley DE 5.7 5.7
Delonte Hollowell CB 5.7 5.7
Devin Funchess TE 5.7 5.8
Jibreel Black DT 5.7 5.7
Mario Ojemudia DE 5.7 5.7
Matt Godin DE 5.7 5.7
Drew Dileo WR 5.6 5.7
Frank Clark DE 5.6 5.8
Jake Ryan OLB 5.6 5.9
Jehu Chesson WR 5.6 5.7
Quinton Washington DT 5.6 5.8
Willie Henry DT 5.6 5.7
Courtney Avery CB/S 5.5 5.7
Desmond Morgan MLB 5.5 5.8
Jack Miller C 5.5 5.5
Keith Heitzman DE 5.5 5.7
Thomas Gordon S 5.5 5.8
Brendan Gibbons K 5.4 5.8
Joe Kerridge FB 5.4 5.6
Matt Wile K/P 5.3 5.7
Graham Glasgow OG/C 4.9 5.5
  avg 5.71 5.77

No, I'm not going to explain the rankings one-by-one.  What I will say is that I believe our average needs to be closer to 5.83 before we are considered "elite."

Also note that the rankings should be slightly inflated.  Why?  Because these are the guys that are projected to contribute to our team this season.  They have gone from recruits to players, and have either demonstrated performance on the field or generated significant buzz.

You'll also notice that higher-ranked players are likely to see rankings revised downward.  This is part common sense, part timing: a top-ranked player has nowhere to go but down and most of our higher-ranked players are young and not yet fully-developed.

Finally, you'll notice a few grades below 5.7 in the re-rank.  If we are to be an elite team, we should not have any (other than kickers) players below 5.7 pushing for playing time.

Here are the rankings, with my projected starters only:

Player Position Rivals Re-Rank
Kyle Kalis OG 6.1 6.0
Jeremy Gallon WR/PR 5.9 5.9
Devin Gardner QB 5.9 6.0
Dymonte Thomas CB/S 5.9 5.9
Dennis Norfleet WR/KR 5.8 5.8
Amara Darboh WR 5.8 5.8
Jarrod Wilson S 5.8 5.8
Fitz Toussaint RB 5.8 5.8
Mike Schofield OT 5.8 5.9
Taylor Lewan OT 5.8 6.1
Chris Bryant OG 5.8 5.7
James Ross III LB 5.8 5.9
Cam Gordon LB 5.8 5.8
Blake Countess CB 5.8 5.8
Raymon Taylor CB 5.8 5.8
Devin Funchess TE 5.7 5.8
Jibreel Black DT 5.7 5.7
Drew Dileo WR 5.6 5.7
Jake Ryan LB 5.6 5.9
Quinton Washington DT 5.6 5.8
Frank Clark DE 5.6 5.8
Thomas Gordon S 5.5 5.8
Desmond Morgan LB 5.5 5.8
Keith Heitzman DE 5.5 5.7
Jack Miller C 5.5 5.5
Joe Kerridge FB 5.4 5.6
  avg 5.72 5.81

This includes a slot WR, nickel CB, KR, and extra LB (JMFR).  If we're looking to be a dominant team, I think we need an average closer to 5.88.

I will revisit these rankings after the season, and perhaps once in the middle.

Noah Spence & Ronald Darby in All-American Game

Noah Spence & Ronald Darby in All-American Game

Submitted by InDee on January 5th, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Just watching out for former targets and future competition.. Noah Spence (Ohio commit) and Ronald Darby (ND) are having a huge day at the UA All American game. The only thing that can make this sweet is if Garnett decides to commit to M during the game..

In other news, Wes Brown committed to Maryland..

Chris Wormley Profiled

Chris Wormley Profiled

Submitted by MGoShoe on August 8th, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Ryan Autullo of The Toledo Blade has a two part profile of the Whitmer HS football team.

Part 1 has good insights into the type of program that's produced Kevin Koger and Chris Wormley.

Part 2 has what may be new details about Wormley's recruiting.

"Chris Wormley, you're the best D-end in America," [Whitmer football coach Joe] Palka said in front of the team. "We can't block you."

Actually, Wormley is anywhere from the 16th to the 22nd best defensive end in the country, depending on who's list one looks at. But Wormley's three to four-star rating doesn't tell the whole story.

Those who slot a recruit at a certain ranking like to look at a prospect's 40-yard time and bench press, but above all else, they want to see which schools have offered him a scholarship. Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee all offered Wormley, a rarity that schools from the Southeastern Conference would poke their head up north to recruit a prospect when there is an abundance of talent nearby. Wormley declined their overtures almost immediately, telling Alabama's Nick Saban and Florida's Will Muschamp he wants to stay in the Midwest for college. Michigan fans will have him on their side next fall.

Wormley, private and humble, never informed analysts that these three programs... offered him a scholarship. Based on Wormley's body of work in the first three days of practice, one thing is obvious: there's no way 20 senior defensive ends living in this country are better than him. He destroys the right tackle on almost every play, sometimes using technique over power, and other times effortlessly shoving the blocker to the side.

A quick check of Wormley's Rivals and Scout profiles confirms that the Tide, Gators and Vols are not listed as having offered Wormley.

"He's not just talented and big, he's coachable and smart," defensive coordinator Greg Kubicki said of Wormley. "As talented as he is, his technique is pretty damn good too."

Wormley's chest and back extend forever, a physique 99 percent of grown men will never achieve. His hands will engulf yours, and his feet have sat in size 18 shoes since eighth grade. Chris Wormley is a man child. Better yet, Wormley is a man among manchildren.

When Wormley did make his college choice, selecting Michigan last Sunday, he did so before camp started so as not be a distraction to his teammates. "I'm hard pressed to find a better guy than Wormley," Palka said.

Sounds like he'll fit right in at Michigan.

Wojo on the Ohio border opening

Wojo on the Ohio border opening

Submitted by wolverine1987 on July 14th, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Although there is too much sparty mention here, Wojo discusses the opportunity presented by the recent OSU trouble. Discussing the Kalis commitment: "Of course, this is just one verbal agreement from one kid. But it's especially notable because he originally committed to the Buckeyes, until Jim Tressel was busted for serial lying and replaced by Luke Fickell."


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110714/OPINION03/107140366/U-M--MSU-gladly-step-over-battered-Ohio-State-in-recruit-race#ixzz1S5UWz300

 

 

OT-Mike Blakely to transfer from Florida

OT-Mike Blakely to transfer from Florida

Submitted by SoCalWolverine on May 10th, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Since there's not a lot going on today...

Apparently, 2011 Freshman RB Mike Blakely is going to be transferring from Florida. He enrolled early at Florida and today Florida released a statement saying he was leaving the program. Seems kinda strange to me considering he's only been there a few months, he's from FL, and was ranked #10 by Scout coming in this year for RB's. This is all according to The Ringer, and he still has to sit out a year even though he's technically not played.