2015 Recruiting: Jon Runyan Jr Comment Count

Brian August 3rd, 2015 at 3:35 PM

Previously: Last year's profiles, S Tyree Kinnel, CB Keith Washington, DE Shelton Johnson, DE Reuben Jones, OL Nolan Ulizio, OL Grant Newsome.

Philadelphia, PA – 6'4", 276



Scout 3*, NR overall
#39 OG
Rivals 3*, NR overall
#45 OG, #15 PA
ESPN 3*, NR overall
#96 OT, #21 PA
24/7 3*, NR overall
#162 OT, #35 PA
Other Suitors None
YMRMFSPA Dave Pearson
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Ace.
Notes Twitter. Son of—surprise!—Jon Runyan, Sr., Michigan All Big Ten tackle and longtime NFL player.





Don't let the "none" in other suitors put you off too much. When Jon Runyan, Jr., camped at Michigan in 2013, an offer came. Runyan took approximately 1.5 looks at his dad, Jon Runyan, Sr., and committed. Nobody else had an opportunity to take a crack at him.

All OL take a lot of projection; when Michigan took Runyan the squinting at the future was even more strained than usual. Hoke and staff offered a 6'3", 245-pound sophomore based on his camp performance and the guy next to him in the picture above. Runyan didn't go to many camps—I found a mention of him at a local Nike camp and nothing else—and isn't the kind of player to physically wow you, so recruiting sites filed him as a generic three star and mostly forgot about him.

With Runyan mentions over the past few years generally limited to a sentence or two here and there, by far the most useful item we have is a Tim Sullivan visit to one of his games when he was a senior.

The good news is that Runyan made up about half the difference between the sophomore version of himself and a Big Ten offensive lineman, adding 30 pounds. Sullivan also listed Runyan at 6'5", which is just on the edge of "plausible tackle" territory. Sullivan still saw a future interior OL, one that needed to up the HULK SMASH:

In the run game, Runyan was solid at standing up the opposing defensive lineman, but didn't always get quite as much push out of a player headed to Michigan… has developed the physical attributes needed to become a top lineman, but doesn't always know exactly how to use them. …. too willing at times to deliver a blow with his forearm, letting the defender take control of their individual battle, rather than using his hands to move the defender where he wants him to go. … his positioning and angles left him chasing the linebacker, rather than getting between him and the play, walling off and creating a big hole.

That would be the less good news. There's still a lot of projection there.

Judging by the fact it's followed by an "underclassman evaluation," ESPN's undated scouting report does seem to be based on senior film. Here are a few of the bits that don't seem to feature in every middling OL prospect's profile:

needs to add bulk while improving playing strength, pop and explosion when run blocking; his quickness, balance and agility allow him to play on his feet and adjust to tight space movement. …nimble feet and hand quickness are assets; sets quickly showing good flexibility; can bend and slide to the top of the pocket … needs to play stouter vs. the bull rush … athletic guy with a quick first step; can handle quick inside movement, protecting his inside gap; … initial pop and surge must improve;… effective trap blocker.

In that evaluation, Runyan sounds like a center, one that Rich Rodriguez would have enthusiastically recruited.

I'm not sure how much credence to lend scouting reports from 247 and Scout, as they are old. Brian Dohn had an evaluation post from October of 2013 that praised his athleticism and feet but notices that he is not 300 pounds. He's trying his best to project:

knows how to position his body and he does a fantastic job of recognizing whom to block, even if it is on the second level. …has the athleticism to play guard and be effective pulling as a lead blocker … His ability to move his feet and sit back in his base in pass protection is already an asset.

He took in a St. Peter's game last year as well, but was scouting a half dozen guys in that game. The resulting post only briefly touches on Runyan, mentioning that he was "solid, but not overwhelming" and offering a back-handed compliment that echoes what Sullivan said: "when he was able to engage the defensive player, Runyan did a good job of finishing the block."

Clint Brewster had a take based on junior film. His numerical evaluations are Lake Wobegone grades in which everyone's above average—it's a ten point scale and I can't remember ever seeing a 4 or lower—and the big question is right there first:

Size- 5

Frame gets a 7, though, so… yeah. Numbers are tough with recruiting because so many people are waiting to yell at you. More text-type stuff:

Runyan has plus athleticism but it looks as if he is still getting used to his body. … Very good footwork for a young player and always takes the right steps. He’s got a smooth kick back in pass protection and has pretty quick feet. He does great job of staying infront of his man in pass protection. …very smart player with high ceiling and great technique.

There's obviously some disagreement here about just how much of a technician Runyan is at this stage. Brewster's instant eval after his commit called him a "pure technician" who "does everything right with flawless technique," which is completely impossible. That was a discussion of a kid who had just finished his sophomore year of high school.

The more recent reports indicate a coachable kid who is going to need plenty of said coaching and time in the weight room. He has the genes; he's got a path to reasonable size; it is completely understandable that recruiting sites filed him in the vast pile of offensive linemen who have a chance but only a chance.


Etc.: If Runyan doesn't work out—or if, like, anyone doesn't work out, this will be your most longstanding ARRRGH BRADY HOKE issue. Runyan camped next to Chuma Edoga, future top 50 interior line recruit and USC commit, and Edoga was chomping at the bit to commit. But no offer came.

Why Dave Pearson? Pearson overcame some serious size limitations (he entered college 6'3", 240) to be a reliable, heady starting center in the mid-aughts. He was undrafted and had a cup of coffee in the NFL.

Pearson was actually a weakside end to recruiting sites before packing on the necessary weight to be an OL; Runyan has a head start on him in that department since he'll enter at around 275. Still, acquiring the necessary size and strength will be Runyan's biggest challenge.

Guru Reliability: Moderate. Peripheral OL prospects don't get a ton of attention and a lot of the scouting here is really old. But they're all in approximate agreement and the things they say make sense.

Variance: High. Is OL. Is sleeper OL.

Ceiling: Moderate. Sounds like he's a better fit for a zone system; under Harbaugh he's probably a center and a center only, and one that gets by instead of being David Molk.

General Excitement Level: Moderate. Those genes though.

Projection: Is OL, redshirt. Can compete for the starting C job as early as next year; more realistically that will be someone else's job—probably Patrick Kugler. Runyan's first real crack at time is likely to be as a redshirt junior, when he'll be big and strong enough to play for Harbaugh.



August 3rd, 2015 at 4:09 PM ^

I am always amazed at the sizes of recruits.  When a high schooler coming in at 6'5" 275 is looked at as too small, it just seems crazy. I honestly have no idea how they get to that size so quickly.  Seems like a small stretch to say he can bulk up to low 300s in 3 years time. 


August 3rd, 2015 at 4:54 PM ^

Well, this seems like as good a place for this as anywhere...

A couple weeks into my freshman year at Michigan (1993), I am at a party in somebody's off-campus house and I head into the bathroom to do #1.  While I'm in there, I hear a loud banging at the door.  So I say, "just a minute," and continue my business.  But the banging continues.  So I say it again, "one minute!"  Still banging.  So then I decide I'll just take a little bit longer than usual.  More banging.

By the time I've completed my, uh, deposit, I've decided I will just lay into whoever is banging at the door.  But when I open it, all I see is this ginormous mountain of a man peering down at me.  The only words I can manage are, "dude--how tall are you?"

He responds, "that's not a wise question to ask," then goes into the bathroom.

I then go find the person who's hosting the party and ask, "man, who's that huge guy who just went into the bathroon?"

The host chuckles and says, "oh, that's Jon Runyan, starting tackle on the football team.  He likes to mess with people."


August 3rd, 2015 at 5:39 PM ^

ha, well i recall reading some poll where runyan's peers voted him as the nfl's dirtiest player - though by most accounts hes a nice, respectful dude off the field.

(great news if he plays anything like his pops - this program could use an infusion of attitude, especially at OL)


August 3rd, 2015 at 5:45 PM ^

".....when he'll be big and skrong enough to play for Harbaugh." Not sure if you meant to say "strong" there, but I kind of like SKRONG. Has a certain HULK SMASH feel to it.


August 5th, 2015 at 12:48 PM ^


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