2010 Recruiting Class: 1,000 Foot Overview, Offense

Submitted by Brian on February 10th, 2010 at 2:32 PM

I'll be embarking on a project similar to last year's recruit profiles in the near future, but that effort will last into the summer—the final profile last year (Tate Forcier) didn't go up until June 25th—and some words about how Michigan did will be far less timely then.

First, highlights of all but three incoming Wolverines:

And an updated chart from StinkyP1nky with Michigan's rank relative to everyone else:

final-recruiting-rankings-2010As always, a caution that recruiting services tend to favor large classes* and Michigan has just signed its biggest ever; these may be slightly optimistic. Also, the final locations of Latwan Anderson (here assumed to be WVU) and Seantrel Henderson (USC) could shift things a bit.

Caveats aside, Michigan is a consensus 12th after the year they just had. Take it and run.

With these items, we have set the table. Preposterously hasty letter grades ahoy.

*(Potentially unnecessary digression: all things being equal, they probably should favor large classes. If Team A has 25 kids who are on average equal to Team B's 20 kids, Team A has a better class. It's an article of faith around here, however, that recruiting sites don't do enough division when putting together their team rankings.)

Quarterback

The Gentlemen Of Leisure

devin-gardner-paul

Devin Gardner and Conelius Jones. Gardner you may have heard about. MGoBlog sent its MGoCreeperVan out several times this year to follow Gardner's progression throughout the season and documented his throwing motion's regression in impressive HD. That caused a dip in ratings late; despite that Gardner ended up somewhere between the #1 and #3 dual-threat quarterback nationally. Michigan targeted him above all others and landed him despite offers and interest from many sources; he was the best-case scenario.

Jones was a weird, super early offer for a guy who hadn't even played varsity football at the time of his offer but he did manage three stars to both sites and is a developmental prospect who won't mind redshirting and waiting. He'll bring stability to a backup spot at first and possibly move to wide receiver or defensive back down the road, either of which he is fine with.

Preposterously Early Letter Grade

A. Gardner was a critical recruit for Rich Rodriguez. Michigan could not have done better.

Impact This Year?

The Great Devin Gardner Redshirt Debate will rage on until the fateful decision is made clear. This guy is on the pro-redshirt side and will slay the infidels who dare oppose his viewpoint. Coner 3000 is a redshirt lock.

Tailback

The Gentlemen Of Leisure

Stephen Hopkins and Austin White. This section will be fairly redundant since yesterday's post about spring position battles mentioned these guys and aw hell let's just make it a quote:

True freshmen Austin White and Stephen Hopkins have enrolled early and will get their shots as well. White is a slot/tailback who might be reminiscent of a Dorrell Jalloh or Darius Reynaud; he comes with less hype than Toussaint and I assume he will redshirt. Hopkins is the lowest-rated back of anyone on the roster but at 6-foot and 230-240 pounds there is a distinctly vacant role on the roster he might be the man to fill. Michigan needs a short-yardage moose.

White's excellent out of the backfield and has the flexibility to move from slot to tailback, something that was a frequent feature of West Virginia's offense but is yet to be seen at Michigan. That's where he'll find a role… eventually. Hopkins is just a horse, highly unlikely to be a star but a guy who will fill a role on the Michigan offense.

Preposterously Early Letter Grade

C+. Both of these guys have a shot to be starters but it's unlikely either ends up a star. Michigan swung and missed on a host of blue-chip backs this year and ended up with good, not great prospects. White's versatility and Hopkins's clear utility are worth a plus.

Impact This Year?

Hopkins is a big bruiser the likes of which is now almost wholly absent from the Michigan roster. He's 50-50 to be Michigan's short yardage back, with Mike Cox the other reasonable option. White's versatility would help him get on the field… if slot receiver and tailback didn't have three players each obviously in front of him. He'll probably get a redshirt.

Wide Receiver

The Gentlemen Of Leisure

ricardo-miller-paul There are many. In the slot there is Drew Dileo. On the outside the are Ricardo Miller, Jeremy Jackson (no hello post), DJ Williamson (ditto), and Jerald Robinson. In bullets:

  • Dileo is a little pale kid from a Catholic school in Louisiana who is basically Wes Welker unless he moves to defensive back, in which case he'll be basically Jason Sehorn. He was a jack of all trades in high school and will
  • Williamson is a total flier who won the Ohio state championship in the 100 meters as a junior and suffered through an assortment of minor injuries as a senior.
  • Jackson is Fred Jackson's kid, a lanky receiver with a good frame and poor speed who seems extremely likely to be a reliable, if uninspiring, possession option.
  • Robinson had a disappointing senior year due to injury but tore up Michigan's camp, apparently, and hovers on the 3/4 star borderline.
  • Miller was supposed to be a hot ninja after his junior year at Dr. Phillips in Orlando but fell off the map after a bad camp and his move to Michigan. He's built like Jason Avant but doesn't have his ridiculous hands yet; he may be faster.

Preposterously Early Letter Grade

C+. Again, most of these recruits have obvious limitations or are fliers, with Ricardo Miller the possible exception. The rest of the players could be good, functional Big Ten players but unless Williamson is a crazy sleeper the only one who could be a star is Miller.

Impact This Year?

Williamson is a holy lock to redshirt, but each of the others could find themselves on the field. If Dileo ends up playing it's because he's the starting punt returner, in which case the gamble on him will have worked out as long as he HOLDS ON TO THE GODDAMN BALL. If he's not returning punts, he's waiting for Roundtree and Odoms to clear out.

Miller, Jackson, and Robinson will battle to be the fourth and fifth wide receivers. (Given Rodriguez's statements on signing day, the assumption here is that Cam Gordon moves to linebacker, where bodies are badly needed.) Past the starters there is only sophomore Je'Ron Stokes, so a couple of the freshmen are going to get on the field. All are enrolled early.

Tight End

N/A. Michigan did not sign any. They went after Alex Smith from Cincinnati but that was all.

christian-pace-action Offensive Line

The Gentlemen Of Leisure

Gentleman, actually, as there's just one: center Christian Pace. Pace is the player I think is most likely to outperform his recruiting rankings, a heady center from Avon Lake in Ohio who's somewhat undersized but very agile. Florida State, current home of former Rodriguez offensive line coach Rick Trickett, was after him hard as well.

Preposterously Early Letter Grade

D+. Let this not reflect on Pace, who I believe is the Molk apparent unless he's just too small. Since he's got two and a half years to become not too small that's probably not going to be a problem. But just one offensive lineman is a major issue, especially when the class before it was just three guys. If there are additional transfers or guys who wash out due to injury, things could be scarily thin on the OL.

Impact This Year?

None. Pace obviously redshirts.

All Things Collected And Told

Acquiring Garner overshadows everything else. Michigan needed quarterback depth in a huge way and managed to pick up an OMG SHIRTLESS prospect despite starting a true freshman. That's a major win. On the other hand, offensive line has to be a major priority next year because of the one-man class and there's a paucity of guys who look like true gamebreakers at the skill spots unless Miller was done a major disservice by the gurus after his move.

A grade for this side of the ball? B-.

Comments

goody

February 10th, 2010 at 4:49 PM ^

get the nod over Cox as the "power back". He could be a great complement to all the other skat backs Michigan has on the roster. Here is hoping for a healthier, but probably slower, version of Brandon Minor. Hopkins RAGE!!!

Crime Reporter

February 10th, 2010 at 4:52 PM ^

I had not seen all of our recruits in action, so those snippets were a nice addition to the post. Too bad that no-talent ass clown Kanye West had to ruin the second half of the video with his fish sticks song.

AC1997

February 10th, 2010 at 5:08 PM ^

This might be over-kill, but now that Rodriguez is developing the preferred walk-on program I wonder if it warrants mentioning in these position break-downs. I know we have a TE and a WR who plan to play for the team that might have a chance of contributing. Obviously they don't need a paragraph written about them, but some of the less informed readers might want to know that.

Considering we had four walk-ons in the 2-deep on defense last year you never know when they're going to contribute.....which just makes me want to slam my head into the table a few times.

hokiewolf

February 10th, 2010 at 5:46 PM ^

I cannot believe that I've wasted half my life spelling Notre Dame* without the asterisk.

This is a new beginning--a goodness--and so it shall remain, forever and ever, amen.

*sucks

me

February 10th, 2010 at 6:11 PM ^

only take into account the top 20 commits. Not sure how Scout or ESPN do it. But at least there is some normalization to Rivals rankings.

blueblueblue

February 10th, 2010 at 7:19 PM ^

"Caveats aside, Michigan is a consensus 12th after the year they just had. Take it and run."

Not exactly - consensus would mean that all the services agree UM is #12, not just that everyone if accounted for. What Brian means is simply that UM is, relatively speaking, #12. Either way, I like it.

M-Wolverine

February 10th, 2010 at 7:40 PM ^

And if by consensus he meant average, the average RANKING would actually be 14. But it's a flawed system choosing between points and rankings (epecially when some on the chart don't even have points).

Not that there's much difference between 12 and 14, but still.