2009 Recruiting: Michael Schofield Comment Count

Brian April 23rd, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Previously: S Vlad Emilien, S Thomas Gordon, CB Justin Turner, CB Adrian Witty, LB Isaiah Bell, LB Mike Jones, LB Brandin Hawthorne, DT Will Campbell, DE Anthony LaLota, and DE Craig Roh.

Orland Park, Illinois - 6'6" 272
michaelschofield_thumb5 Scout 4*, #10 OT, #135 overall
Rivals 4*, #18 OT, #221 overall
ESPN 77, #42 OT
Others #171 to Takkle
Other Suitors Notre Dame, Penn State, Miami
YMRMFSPA Jeff Backus
Previously On
June commit article.
Notes Little brother is an OL prospect in class of 2010.

Michigan didn't need a huge offensive line class one year after taking six big uglies and graduating zero, but you never want fewer than three and you always want quality. Michigan picked up three four-stars: check. Michael Schofield was the first. Schofield holds the record for most unexpectedly annoying name to google because he shares a name with some character on "Prison Break," but the assembled intel follows. Warning: this stuff is always sparser for offensive linemen, whose skills remain arcane to all but a select few.

Schofield's rankings are all over the board, with ESPN saying "meh," Rivals saying "hey, pretty good," and Scout very enthusiastic indeed. Scout's rating was a huge late change, too, as when Schofield committed they had him an anonymous three star. Then Schofield attended a high school all star game in Hawaii (good choice, that) and seriously outperformed then five-star Morgan Moses($). Scout shot him up to the #10 tackle in the country.

College coaches didnt wait that long, as by June Schofield had picked up offers from Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Miami (That Miami), Oregon, and a dozen others.

Here's a backhanded compliment from Tom Lemming:

“He’s the first good catch for Michigan out of Chicago in some time,” recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said. “In one or two years, he can really develop into an All-American. He has a lot of potential.” …

… it wasn’t his makeup [uh? –ed] that caught the attention of recruiters, rather it was his feet.

“When you watch him on film, he can really move,” Lemming said. “He can slide and mirror.”

Michigan's offensive scheme prizes agility in its linemen. This would seem to be a good fit, especially because this seems insane for a guy who's now 6'6", 275:

In his first two years at Sandburg, Schofield ran the 110 high hurdles for the Eagles’ track team, winning a conference title his freshman year and finishing second his sophomore season. He also moved up to the varsity team for the state tournament during his sophomore year, finishing sixth in sectionals.

“[College recruiters] like hearing he ran track his freshman and sophomore years,” said Sandburg football coach Dave Wierzal, who also coaches Schofield in track. “After his sophomore year, he continued to fill out and grew taller. He turned out to be really something to get excited about.”

Lemming also adds he has "perfect size" for left tackle.

While there has been some buzz that Quinton Washington could step right onto the field this fall*, this is Rodriguez on Schofield at the signing day press conference:

”Very aggresive, physical player. … He’ll grow into the type of player that we want. … The foundation that we’re building up front is key to our offense.”

That says redshirt. This Rivals AMP piece echoes the above, emphasizing his mobility, upside, and need to see a college strength and conditioning program:

Further highlights for those so inclined:
ESPN, for its part, says he's an impressive run blocker:
Especially impressive when double team blocking or down blocking on the of tackle play. Could come out of his stance lower with more knee bend but does a great job of hand control. Really works his hands into the frame of the defender and doesn't allow defensive man to spin out of the block. Moves feet well and gets great knock back off the line of scrimmage. Runs well for a large lineman; gives effort downfield to get the extra block. Has even showed the ability to cover punts. Pass protection is sound; sets back and, as in the run game, has active hands in stopping and controlling the pass rusher. Has a tendency to over extend at times allowing defender the opportunity to go underneath.

Pretty positive and then… eh… 77. I think a large portion of the difference here is ESPN's tendency to fire and forget on a scouting report; it seems like there's a lot more movement on Rivals and Scout and Schofield was a guy who didn't start rising nationally until he hit the camp circuit hard in the summer between his junior and senior years. Both Rivals and Scout evaluations are based on tape and in-person sessions, with Rivals being the first to rate him highly and Scout coming around later; ESPN's ranking seems like it's based on old information.

In any case, Schofield is highly-rated by two of the three scouting services, seems a good fit for the offense, and has a lot of nice offers. The chance of success here is high.

Etc.: Fluffy piece about no-quit attitude; another from earlier in the year.

Why Jeff Backus? Well, I dunno. There aren't many differences between the playing styles of offensive linemen that filter down to the layman's level. So that's just a shot in the dark, really.

Guru Reliability: Moderate; big spread in the rankings here.
General Excitement Level: As high as it gets for non-slam dunk offensive linemen. Schofield is a highly-rated kid with a lot of nice offers who seems to fit the offense precisely, but offensive linemen are hard to project.
Projection: Obvious redshirt and then a candidate to start at left tackle as a freshman; more realistically will probably have to wait until his sophomore year.

*(This is doubtful given the excellent depth on the interior created by Steve Schilling's move and Washington's lack of an early enrollment, but the possibility has been thrown out there. That gives an indication of readiness, if nothing else.)



April 23rd, 2009 at 2:32 PM ^

The 1 on 1 drill they were doing says enough to me about how talented he is. That is an exremely tough drill for the offensive guy. The only advantage the offense has is the snap count. Other than that the defender has a wide area to cover and is going forward. He passed the test in my eyes. I could watch o-line hilights all day!


April 23rd, 2009 at 3:24 PM ^

I'm certainly no expert on o-line play, but I will admit that he looked pretty impressive. Not sure about the D guy's ability, but he certainly kept him close throughout the drill, which is a good sign for most pass blockers. What impressed me was that he was (a) not a heifer and actually looked athletic, (b) he looked like he COULD add some weight without losing anything athletically, and (c) he got some height blocking that kick. I'm a huge fan of blocked kicks, even though they may the most random play in football outside of a TD-after-INT. Looks like a good kid, and I'm sure RR is happy to nab him on the uptick.


April 23rd, 2009 at 6:01 PM ^

This guy is a ton of fun to watch. The highlights remind me of the McGuffie mixtape... watching that tape I would always think, "We should've brought that left tackle in, too" Schofield, like Sam's lineman, makes holes up front like there's no one to stop him.... just messin' guys up like it's his calling. I love it! When he's ready to go, get a solid backfield behind this guy and whoooosh we are smokin' some real Jah Herb


April 24th, 2009 at 11:58 AM ^

All we need is that sure fire can't miss five star running back to run behind these bulldozers. That isn't too much to ask- after all nobody else is recruiting that type of running back are they?


April 23rd, 2009 at 6:42 PM ^

I'm quite happy with the 3 linemen we brought in for this class. All three of them have not only the potential, but also a strong likelihood of being All-Big Ten or beyond. Solid group.


April 23rd, 2009 at 11:03 PM ^

brian I'm sure you know this (as much impressive google-stalking as you do), but you've mentioned this problem twice so --
putting a dash in front of words on google will filter out all results with that word.
so: "michael schofield sandburg -prison break" might make your life a little easier.