2012 Recruiting: Erik Magnuson

Submitted by Brian on August 14th, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Previously: S Jeremy Clark, S Allen Gant, S Jarrod Wilson, CB Terry Richardson, LB James Ross, LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, LB Kaleb Ringer, LB Joe Bolden, DE Chris Wormley, DE Tom Strobel, DE Mario Ojemudia, DT Matt Godin, DT Willie Henry, DT Ondre Pipkins, and OL Ben Braden.

       
Carlsbad, CA – 6'6", 285
       

magnusonaction[1]
not Chris Wormley, btw

Scout 4*, #15 OT, #82 overall
Rivals 4*, #10 OT, #78 overall, #12 CA
ESPN 4*, #27 OT, #31 CA
24/7 4*, #6 OT, #71 overall, #11 CA
Other Suitors Notre Dame, USC, Stanford, Oregon, Oklahoma, rest of Pac-12
YMRMFSPA Michael Schofield
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Tim. TomVH interview. Tom talks to his coach.
Notes Not related to Magnus Magunsson. I may accidentally call him "Kevin" from time to time due to obscure old hockey defender.

Film

Ace didn't go to CA to scout Magnuson but a site called Sports On The Side did basically what Ace does, returning with five minutes of footage from La Costa Canyon's state quarterfinal:

The opponent alternates chopping Magnuson at the knees and getting clubbed. He's also got a standard highlight reel from his junior year. Also, local news on his commit.

Just-covered Ben Braden was the first guy to jump aboard a Hoke recruiting class, but it was Erik Magnuson that first indicated Hoke might have the recruiting mojo that sees him ripping dudes away from Ohio State and Notre Dame like it is not even a thing. A highly touted kid who had offers from virtually the entire Pac-12 (USC did offer, but well after his commitment), Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and others, Magnuson ignored everything within 2000 miles of home for one reason:

Choosing Michigan: "Well, it's pretty simple. It was coach Hoke. I wouldn't have much interest in Michigan if it weren't for Coach Hoke going there from San Diego State. So I had a relationship with him and I was pretty close with him. He started recruiting me early my sophomore year, and I had a good relationship with him all that year, and then he moved, and then I called and said, 'Get me on board. I want to play for you.'"

And so it began.

The reasons Magnuson could have gone anywhere are the usual ones when you're talking about a position with the exacting physical specifications required for a left tackle. 247's Clint Brewster)$):

…has everything you look for in a Big Ten offensive tackle in size, strength, quickness, toughness, and smarts. … Magnuson’s best attributes are his feet and his arms. He has a lightning quick kick-step when pass blocking so that his defender has no chance to get the edge on a speed rush. Once Magnuson gets his long arms on his opponent on a run block, you are caught in his web and are not a factor from then on… Magnuson plays with determination and passion as he doesn’t let up on a play until his man is buried beneath the turf.

Rivals's Kevin Scarpati($):

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound left tackle prospect has the kind of athleticism, size and tenacity that make him a great option to protect a quarterback's blind side. Magnuson displays quick feet, long arms and excellent technique in his pass-pro sets, but can seal the edge on weak side running plays.

JC Shurburtt:

Magnuson has an excellent frame, good feet and plays with a nasty streak. He was dominant in one-on-ones and looked good athletically moving around in position drills.

And Michigan's own Courtney Morgan(!), who was a position coach at one of the many camps Magnuson impressed at:

"Magnuson is a superior athlete," Morgan said. "He's 275 pounds, if he was 250, he could be a tight end. He has great feet. I could see him playing on the left side.

"Early on, he was overextending himself with his kick, he wasn't taking a short kick, he shortened it up in the second practice and I'm looking forward to showing him the film because he's a totally different player. …He really wants to learn."

247's Adam Gorney was at that camp scouting and came back with effusive praise; this is a take from an event that featured Zach Banner amongst others :

Magnuson was arguably the top offensive tackle at the event - and it was loaded with outstanding linemen. The recent Michigan commit is aggressive, tough, not afraid of anyone and also has great technique, extends his arms out and doesn't let defensive ends move and has great feet where he can move and block people out of the way. Magnuson continues to prove he's one of the nation's elite offensive tackles.

Those are the strengths; the weaknesses consist solely of the stuff Morgan coached out of him in a day and are declared "nitpicky." If we're trying to place all the guys labeled "tackle" into the right two-deep bin; Magnuson slots in on the blindside, fending off speed rushers and defeating pass rush arsenals. That's what Darryl Funk told him:

"Eventually I'll end up playing left tackle. . . . As far as anything he [Coach Funk] has ever said to me is that I could project to right tackle so I can play early, but eventually he wants me playing left tackle. That's what they recruited me as, and that's what they want me to play."

He's the leftest tackle in the class.

Despite that, Magnuson had a weird Army game. His coaches moved him across all five offensive line positions($) and ended up playing him at more than one. In the actual game he probably played more snaps than anyone else on either team…

Magnuson was a mainstay along the offensive line, sitting out only one drive and playing both guard and tackle. According to Magnuson, the West's ability to handle pressure up front was the difference in the game.

…and drew praise for his technique but knocks for his lack of hugeness—they were listing him at 275. Rivals named him an "Unsung Standout($)" in one article and listed him as a guy for whom there was a "Bear Market($)" in another. So… uh. Their final verdict was slightly on the negative side, as they dropped him about 40 slots after his commitment. They did leave him solidly in their top 100.

Also weird are the some of the other scouting reports, which directly contradict the stuff you see above. TTB noted his technique and mean streak but wasn't that impressed with his athleticism:

Something Magnuson lacks is truly elite athleticism. Although he has the traits I mentioned above, his feet aren't particularly quick. …seems like a LT/RT tweener to me. He doesn't have the elite quickness that I'd like to see in a left tackle, but he doesn't have the mass (right now) or run blocking technique to be great at right tackle.

His coach has the exact opposite take:

"He's one of the most athletic offensive linemen in the country," he said. "That's his big selling point is that he's a real athlete. At that size, a full 6-foot-6 and 280 plus pounds he can run with just about everybody on the team. It's ridiculous how athletic he is."

Meanwhile, Scott Kennedy praises his "power and strength"… something no one else did, and knocks his pass protection, something no one else did. This Rivals report from the Stanford Nike camp is 180 degrees in the other direction:

…Magnuson did the best in one-one drills, showing great lateral movement and balance in his kick step. At only 270-pounds, he is prone to being bull rushed, but that's not a problem coaching and weight won't solve.

I just don't know, man. The impression I get is that Magnuson needs a year, probably two, to get up to 290-300 and that plus quality coaching is about all he'll need.

------------------------------

We already did this bit about where he goes: left tackle, or right when Shane Morris ascends to the throne. There's some possibility he goes on the right if Braden works out really well or one of the 2013 guys ends up being Lewan/Long good, but not much of one. Guard doesn't seem likely given his size since Michigan probably won't be in need of any Schofield-like stopgaps during his time on the roster.

He's your Lewan heir apparent. Enjoy!

Etc.: Was busy unicycling when Touch The Banner interviewed him. Duelin' banjos. MLive interview. Jerk.com says he is not a jerk. This is probably not his Stack Overflow account. MANBALL:

"That's a man right here," Pankey said. "He's a man. He has the mentality, he listens, he's a ballplayer. He's going to do well wherever he goes."

Why Michael Schofield? Man, it is tough to come up with a Michigan comparable here. We want a left tackle. Jake Long is pretty much verboten and probably too big anyway, Adam Stenavich is too small and lacked Magnuson's hype and ceiling, I don't remember Tony Pape really being that good, and don't remember Thomas Guynes at all.

So how about a guy who probably would be a left tackle if Michigan didn't have an All-American there? Michael Schofield has demonstrated the versatility to play guard at 6'6" or 6'7" and now moves outside to pass protect opposite Taylor Lewan. One of the recruitin' tidbits about him coming out of high school was that he was a high school hurdler, and this tidbit doesn't sound that different:

"He's big, but he's a trim big," Sovacool said. "Some big guys are big and sloppy, but there isn't anything sloppy about him. We were running on the track, doing some accelerated runs, and he was running as well as the secondary kids. On top of that he's dedicated. He hasn't missed one morning workout since the start of the semester. He's not afraid of hard work."

Schofield got approximately the same amount of recruiting hype (though Magnuson does pip him there) and came to Michigan an athletic, undersized guy with a reputation for meanstreakery. It took him a couple years to get up to the required size and strength, but now that he's there the expectations are high.

Jeff Backus is also a decent comparable.

Guru Reliability: High. All Star appearance, ton of camps. Some varying opinions.

Variance: Moderate. A solid bet to be a starter-level player with good upside. OL unpredictability factors in.

Ceiling: High. Short of very high; he doesn't quite seem to have that Long/Lewan length that would make him a truly elite tackle. A notch or two down from that is possible.

General Excitement Level: High-minus. All conference potential; is OL, so hard to project.

Projection: Should redshirt unless there's an injury disaster at tackle. Kyle Kalis is likely the first freshman OL off the bench, and Michigan may shuffle their line to avoid putting any freshman on the field, let alone the guy seemingly second in the pecking order. He may even be third since Braden is so much bigger at the moment.

After his probable redshirt, he'll have another year to learn the position and get stronger unless Lewan enters the draft early; assuming that doesn't happen Magnuson's first shot at starting will be as a redshirt sophomore. He'll be fighting Braden and redshirt freshman versions of this year's recruiting class; I'd peg him as the slight favorite on the blindside but it's going to be a rock-em-sock-em affair.

Comments

msoccer10

August 14th, 2012 at 11:48 AM ^

Isn't he over 300 lbs now. I thought I read that on the weights listed for Fall camp. I think Lewan goes pro and Magnuson starts as a red-shirt freshman.

M-Wolverine

August 14th, 2012 at 12:06 PM ^

You're always tougher on your own kids.

And at LT we might be going from a twosie to a unicycle? Does one of our incoming 2013 linemen ride around on one of these?

bronxblue

August 14th, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

So, outside of Kalis I was highest on Magnuson because of the athleticism mentioned in so many reports.  Yet here, it seems that this area may not be as great as previously mentioned.  So are the conflicting reports just a couple of outliers based on weird camps/videos, or are there concerns that he won't be able to stay with the best rushers in the conference? 

Reader71

August 14th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

I don't know how similar they are, but if Magnuson has as good of a career as Pape had, we'll be in good shape. Pape was a two-time All-B1G tackle and a guy who almost never had an MA or MM in his three years as a starter. He was a great player (better than Stenavich but worse than Long), regardless of how Brian remembers him. Let's hope we can say the same for this young man.

AC1997

August 14th, 2012 at 10:15 PM ^

I don't remember Tony Pape being as good as one of the commenters desribed, though I don't remember him being a liability either.  Maybe that's a good comparison. 

I've always thought of him like Backus though.  He'll never be the best player on the OL, but he'll never be a liability either.  And despite Backus' long NFL career, he's always been thought of as someone who wasn't an elite LT but maybe more of a RT or G.  Seems similar. 

And think of the comparison from the Hutchinson-Backus pairing to Magnuson-Kalis.... now THAT is something to get excited about! 

2000 (one of the best ever):

  • LT - Backus
  • LG - Hutchinson
  • C - Brandt
  • RG - Goodwin
  • RT - Williams

 

2014?:

  • LT - Magnuson
  • LG - Kalis
  • C - MIller/Kluger
  • RG - Dawson
  • RT - Braden/Fox/LTT