This was not the agreement, Steve
If you listened to our latest podcast you no doubt heard my impassioned plea for 24/7 to set a hard ceiling on CA RB commit Zach Charbonnet's ranking. You see, Rudy, five star tailbacks at Michigan generally fall over when whispered upon and fumble explosively a nanosecond from the ground. "Let's stay away from that," I begged, pleading for Charbonnet to top out at #51, a back-half-of-the-top-100 ranking that is in the feasibly productive range.
Nuts to you, 24/7, for threatening the career of one of Michigan's running back commits before it even starts. Please find exactly 11 players you like more than him before Signing Day, or the dog gets it! I certainly have a dog! That I am threatening! With "it"!
The other back
TN RB commit Eric Gray had an abrupt left turn in his recruitment that started when someone got sidelined:
“After the camp, I didn’t really hear from Michigan because their offensive coordinator (Tim Drevno) was going a different route with running backs,” Gray said, calling his early interaction with Michigan weird. “Once he left (for USC), they started coming back.
“I didn’t think I wanted to go to Michigan because they used to not talk to me. I almost didn’t take the official, but taking it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It really opened my eyes.”
Once Drevno was gone Michigan picked up the pace and secured a commitment. Gray remains the top back on 24/7 after their re-rank and actually slid up 11 spots, because his Opening was impressive:
“He’s the ideal all-purpose back,” 247Sports director of scouting Barton Simmons said, “with great pass-catching ability out of the backfield, really good burst and change-of-direction and big-play potential, and he was one of the top backs in attendance in Texas.”
I'm all for having a guy like Evans or Gray on the roster at all times; if Michigan does run up against a team that is good at shutting down the straight-ahead stuff the scatback provides another avenue of attack.
[After THE JUMP: even more re-rank positives.]
Seth's recent post on recruiting deltas missed one 24/7 boost because of a glitch on their site: OH TE Erick All, who's still listed as the #23 TE and as a 3* on his player page but got a two-point bump in his rating, which brought him to a 4* and the #13 TE; that'll place him a hair outside the top 250.
Rivals may soon follow suit. It sounds like Josh Helmholdt's a new fan after watching him in 7 on 7:
He was uncoverable in Wednesday evening’s 7-on-7, regularly beating linebackers and safeties tasked to cover him in the slot and making ridiculous one-handed catches when a defensive back did give him enough cushion.
Survey says: yup.
— Josh Helmholdt (@JoshHelmholdt) July 11, 2018
All's coach had the money quote from his Hello post if you'd like a reminder:
“...he has tremendous ball skills. We went to the Toledo 7on7 this weekend and won the whole thing. The last three games all we had to do was throw it up to Erick All and he was going to go get it. It was almost comical in the semifinal game, balls behind him, one-hand catches, even the other team was laughing saying ‘you’re kidding me, how can we stop this guy.’ Those are the ball skills he developed.”
All recently hit up a South Carolina camp and came away as the—deep breath—2018 FBU Top Gun Overall MVP, which is not often given to a TE in 7 on 7 situations. There he also showed his ability to distance himself from linebackers:
— Hale McGranahan (@HaleMcGranahan) July 10, 2018
Travis Beckum, anyone? He's got the athleticism. Barton Simmons:
All also has the traits that translate at TE. He's a multi-sport athlete and a good baseball player and that multi-sport background is almost non-negotiable as a tight end prospect. He's physical when asked to be and he has legit elite athleticism with a 4.2 shuttle and a 34.5 inch vertical at 6-4, 215 pounds. He is another one that will move up when we have our July update.
This ranking upgrades trend is encouraging; Michigan's getting out ahead of the pack on a number of guys. Lorenz pointed out that 24/7's latest update made their RB board a lot closer to Michigan's, with moves up for Gray, Charbonnet, and offeree Giles Jackson while a couple of folks Michigan stopped pursuing saw big falls.
Find me a touted WR at any cost please
Post-commit-blitz the obvious hole in Michigan's class is at outside WR, where they do not have a commit a year after taking only a late flier. All hands are probably on deck to repair that issue. Doing so is probably going to require hitting on a longshot. Amongst those longshots are:
- CA WR Kyle Ford, whose standout Opening got him moved into five-star territory and the top 15. I'm pretty pessimistic about getting five star WRs out of California but Ford's genuine interest in Colorado of all places might mean that Ford's not the USC lock everyone presumes a SoCal five star skill player is. He says he will official in the fall.
- AL WR George Pickens, an Auburn commit, says he will official at some point. Pickens says his commit is "very solid" but is talking about five trips and we all know the game by now. Even if that commitment is soft, pulling a guy from Alabama away from an in-state commitment is a very tall order.
- TX WR Jaylen Ellis, a Baylor commit, plans a trip to Michigan. Ellis is a consensus three-star but did get an "All-American Bowl" invite. The AA Bowl is the Army Bowl after the Army cancelled its sponsorship, but on the bright side Tyroil Smoochie-Wallace is in this year's game. Mom is a fan, and he knows Jonas Mouton. This latter is apparently an asset!
Michigan has offers out to OH three-stars Quintel Kent and Trevon Raphael; they're likely to get one or both if they are in fact takes. Kent is completely off the radar, with an "ask again later" 24/7 ranking and nothing on the other two sites. Raphael is in the 3.5* range on 24/7 and unranked elsewhere. This is a bit less concerning given Michigan's recent rankings uptick hot streak, but it would be real nice to grab a highly touted guy.
2020 has been such a ridiculous sounding year for a prospect to be that it's hard to wrap my head around the fact that it is now entirely reasonable to start talking about rising juniors. But it is. So:
- CA CB Elias Ricks is "in the discussion" for top overall DB in 2020 per 24/7 and will be coming up at the end of the month for the BBQ. USC is his mom's favorite.
- East Kentwood 2020s Bryce Mostella, a DE, and Dallas Fincher, an OG, will also be at the BBQ. Both are 3.5* types who carry early offers and are talking about a package deal; Michigan is the only common school in their top threes. 2019 DT commit Mazi Smith is a teammate.
- Various other 2020 attendees can be found on Wolverines Wire's list of BBQ attendees.
The BBQ is likely to be the next major move in that class.
I'm not going to get into OH DE Zach Harrison stuff too deeply because any time you host a guy and the vibe coming out of it is "Michigan's definitely behind one specific school" you're very probably not going to get that guy. Would love to be wrong, obviously. Ditto 5-star DE George Karlaftis, who is in "might" visit mode. Michigan will stay on him in case Jeff Brohm gets poached this offseason but until a visit happens or the poaching occurs it's probably not worth talking about much.
NJ DE Aeneas DiCosmo is still a Stanford-Michigan thing.