Previously: Last year's profiles. S J'Marick Woods, S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, S Brad Hawkins, CB Ambry Thomas, CB Benjamin St-Juste, LB Drew Singleton, LB Jordan Anthony, LB Josh Ross, DE Kwity Paye, DE Luiji Vilain,
DE Corey Malone-Hatcher, DE Deron Irving-Bey, DT Donovan Jeter, DT Phil Paea, DT James Hudson, DT Aubrey Solomon, C Cesar Ruiz, OT JaRaymond Hall, OT Joel Honigford.
|Darien, CT – 6'7", 290|
|Scout||4*, #248 overall
|Rivals||3*, NR overall
#74 OT, #4 CT
|ESPN||4*, NR overall
#41 OT, #4 CT
|24/7||4*, #307 overall
#38 OT, #2 CT
|Other Suitors||PSU, UNC, BC, Harvard|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from yours truly.|
Andrew Stueber had an old-fashioned sort of recruitment: he camped for an offer (twice), got one, and immediately committed. Back in the day this was usually a good sign, because up-close evaluations were often more revealing than recruiting rankings still based largely off highlight reels and absurd physical claims. As things crept into the late Carr era and a… less enthusiastic coaching staff started to rely too heavily on camp, guys who committed at one flamed out at increasingly prodigious rates.
The lack of camp guys in Michigan's recruiting classes of late should restore faith in the guys who do come out of nowhere to claim spots. Steve Lorenz:
He's actually a relatively polished prospect who could very easily see the field in his second season in Ann Arbor if he puts in the work. … Michigan took Stueber knowing full well where they sit with a plethora of tackle targets. They evaluated him twice in person. … it says something when they not only offer Stueber, but take him almost immediately.
Also the fact that the two camp offers—Benjamin St Juste is the other—flew up to four star territory, or at least the edge of it, afterwards.
Stueber did not start there. He was ranked like a new-era Michigan State recruit when he committed: 1485th on 247. By the time I wrote him up he'd already moved up several hundred spots, but was still a virtual nobody. ESPN had nothing on him; he was a generic three star at Scout and Rivals.
This isn't a huge surprise for a player from Connecticut, a barely scouted state. If anyone laid eyes on Stueber it was a different prospect entirely. Stueber went from a 320 pound sophomore to a 280 pound junior, with the usual results:
“My strength is improving, I definitely feel better as a player. I can get off the ball faster and I feel like a better player when I’m faster.”
He proved that at Michigan's big man camp, where he won four of five agility/explosiveness events.
Stueber went from some lower-level and Ivy offers to a suite of regional/academic suitors (Maryland, UNC, Pitt, Duke, Vandy) and Penn State, which was actually first off the mark with a shrewd, if ultimately unsuccessful, courtship. This wasn't their fault, really. Stueber had already made up his mind:
ANN ARBOR - Andrew Stueber was a freshman when he targeted Michigan.
He was just one year removed from his first season of competitive football and admittedly a raw prospect, but felt Michigan was his ideal future home - despite being an East Coast prospect with no ties to the Wolverines.
"I picked them out in the beginning as the school I really liked academically and football-wise," Stueber said. "That's what my parents always told me about - you've got to plan for the future and I think Michigan does a great job of that academically."
If this sounds like a Harbaugh kind of guy, yep:
"I don't mind working for my offer. I had some offers that were just over the phone, I had some that were in-person over my visit, but the fact that I had to work for my offer at Michigan was something that I like.
"I don't like anything coming easy. I know it takes a lot of work to get your offer so it just made me more intrigued that I would have to work for my time there and it kind of set the tone for that school and that offer."
Hand in glove.
Once Stueber committed, recruiting sites started catching up. Three of the four would eventually offer four stars, with Rivals the lone holdout. And even though Rivals didn't bother with a rerank their regional analyst talked him up anyway:
"excellent frame. Even though he’s over 300 pounds he doesn’t have much bad weight on him. There’s still a lot of room left to fill out his frame … moves really well. He’s a great bender and is a very athletic guy … very good run blocker because he also does a good job level keeping his balance when moving forward. … great wingspan and that’s helped him a lot in pass protection. …could easily play at 320 or 330 and still be an athletic guy."
That sounds like a top 100 eval, but he's the #74 OT in the country. Rivals shruggie dot emoji. Other evals accompanying much higher rankings are actually less effusive. Still good, but not that good. ESPN:
Tall with good bulk and big, lengthy frame … good arm length to be able to push rushers past the pocket. Doesn't display a real powerful punch. Flashes effective kick-step … can set too high and open too quickly at times. … adequate balance and lateral quickness … Big body that can engulf defenders and control and steer them when he gets hands on, … Limited range, but locates well with good balance. … big fish in a smaller pond.
…engulfs defensive linemen … quick off the snap, has a tremendous burst and is strong with his initial punch. … drives his legs well while maintaining engaged on the defender. He can scrape and get to the linebackers quickly, and he has the body control to make the block. … needs to improve his pass protection. … needs to widen his base and sit back more. … needs to work on his kick step. … natural right tackle, but he could develop into a left tackle.
"very athletic … possesses great initial quickness. We love his athleticism. He has a great frame and going to put the right kind of weight on … will play with great strength and can be a force for us."
The more athletic version of Stueber started bubbling up the rankings. Scout said he was "already technically sound" and that his improved athleticism warranted a 16-spot jump in the position rankings; ESPN and 24/7 both moved him up to low four-star range as well. Like Khaleke Hudson last year, I shook my fist at these changes for removing a slam dunk from the "sleeper of the year" pool, which is restricted to guys with at most one four-star ranking.
Even after the rerankings, if you poke Steve Lorenz in his sleep he mutters something along these lines:
Will beat his ranking: Andrew Stueber. This one is relatively easy for me. …we've reported for months that the staff believes he could potentially contribute in year one. … Fans should maybe start looking at Stueber in a similar light to some recent versatile OL the staff has recruited like Ben Bredeson and Mason Cole.
Elsewhere he picked Stueber out as Michigan's "most college-ready" OL commit—this was pre-Filiaga but when Kai-Leon Herbert was in the class. This despite the fact that he's pretty young. He was just 16 when he committed a year ago; he'll just be turning 18 around when fall camp starts. That further enhances some already promising upside and provides an easel on which his high school coach paints a hell of a picture:
…he still has three or four years of physical maturity that will turn him into a monster. … Andrew is unusually strong for his size. Usually a 16-year old kid who’s that big can be a little awkward and a little weak. They are as big as a house but they are weak and haven’t put it together yet — not this kid. He can squat 450, he can bench press 275 with extremely long arms. Coaches love that about him, by the way. And he also cleans about 240 and that’s the measure of athleticism.
"So if you take those numbers and fast-forward three years from now, oh my God."
Early returns agree. Stueber didn't enroll early but has been on campus for a couple months doing summer conditioning. As you might remember from the Honigford profile, both he and Chuck Filiaga rate as "huge dudes" to John Runyan while Honigford checks in as "pretty big, too."
Etc.: Got nothin'.
Why Taylor Lewan? Lewan was another late rising OT from a state that doesn't get much attention—in his case Arizona—with the height, strength, and arm length to project to left tackle at a high level. Lewan rose more quickly, becoming a consensus four star, but stayed outside of everyone's top 100s. Lewan did field more praise about his upside than Stueber, who is not likely to become an All Pro NFL tackle. Because that's not likely for anyone.
Fellow huge dude Ben Braden is another potential comparable, if Stueber only sort of works out and ends up stiffer than is ideal.
Guru Reliability: Moderate. Stueber was at least afforded the courtesy of a re-rank from three of the four sites and his rankings are more in line with his potential than Honigford. Still: OL against questionable competition.
Variance: Moderate. OL, questionable competition, but of all of Michigan's OT candidates he's the closest to a finished product physically.
Ceiling: Very high. Could be an ideal left tackle at this level and maybe the next.
General Excitement Level: High. Lorenz's chatter is coming from folks close to the program and is a reliable proxy for the opinios of the coaches; I'd bet they think Stueber is the best of the tackle prospects they brought in.
Projection: Will have a shot at the right tackle job immediately and is the most likely freshman to wrest it away from Runyan. The other guys are too small or too big; Stueber is just right. The bet here is still on Runyan, which then creates a bit of a redshirt dilemma: obviously you'd like to preserve a fifth year for a high upside tackle, but if Stueber is the #6 or #7 guy that might be tough to accomplish.
As for the rest of his career, see the Hall and Honigford profiles: big opportunity next year for anyone tackle-shaped when Mason Cole graduates. The winner of that battle is going to be a 3 or 4 year starter. The losers of it will have to wait two more years for anyone to depart. I'd give Stueber the slight edge in that race.