Brandon Peters is Michigan's third 2016 commit. [Photo: 247 Sports]
The big spring game visit weekend is off to a strong start, as four-star 2016 Avon (IN) QB Brandon Peters announced his commitment to Michigan:
— Brandon Peters (@Bpeters2118) April 4, 2015
I know, I know, he'll figure it out.
Michigan offered Peters in February and quickly emerged as the leader in his recruitment. He also held offers from Arkansas, Iowa, LSU, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin, among several others. Peters joins four-star OL Erik Swenson and three-star LB Dele' Harding in Michigan's 2016 class.
This post has been updated.
|4*, #20 QB||
4*, #5 P-QB,
4*, 81, #12 P-QB,
4*, 93, #7 P-QB,
4*, #9 P-QB,
Peters is regarded as one of the nation's better pro-style quarterbacks, placing in the top lists on every site except Scout. He's listed at 6'4", 195-ish pounds on all but 247 (6'5", 205), so he fits with Jim Harbaugh's preference of having a quarterback taller than... Jim Harbaugh (6'3").
Peters isn't exactly a late riser, but he's also not a recruit who hit a ton of camps early; most of the recruiting services didn't get around to him until he excelled in his junior season. Rivals bumped him from unranked all the way up to #198 overall in December, once Josh Helmholdt had a chance to evaluate one of his games in person ($):
Besides having great height, Peters also has a very efficient arm motion that produces a lot of velocity. His accuracy was off for most of the game, but I suspect that had more to do with the Lawrence Central defense providing a lot of pressure than any mechanical issues.
Two things that took Peters from simply a thrower to a true quarterback, though, were his athleticism and his guts. With his team down late in the third quarter, Peters willed things to happen on the football field that led to touchdowns and, ultimately, the win. That's the intangibles aspect that is so often discussed, but so hard to come by. Part of his success was being able to move outside the pocket and make throws or pick up yards on the ground.
Scout's Allen Trieu noted that Peters made "huge strides" between his sophomore and junior seasons, praising his athleticism, pocket presence, and ability to read defenses ($):
He's a good athlete who can move around the pocket and escape pressure, then make plays with his feet. He shows a good sense of where pressure is coming from and has good pocket presence. What he does very well is get rid of the ball quickly. He makes quick reads, seems to understand defenses and where his receives will be and does not hold onto the ball too long. He has a good arm and can the ball into tight windows and downfield. He's probably not quite elite in the arm strength category, but it's very good and he can make all the throws on the field.
ESPN's underclassman evaluation doesn't laud his athleticism as much as the others, but they would like his fit in Harbaugh's offense ($):
STRENGTHS: Is a prototypical sized pocket passer with time to mature and grow into his big frame. Sees the field very well given his measurables. He's smart pre-snap and understands defensive coverages. Gets the ball out quickly and accurately to his receivers. He has the ability to make all the throws necessary at this stage. Shows a powerful delivery. Can drive the ball downfield. ... AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Is just an average athlete. Not a guy that can improvise. His big frame will allow for added strength/weight over time. Can be more consistent with his footwork and set up. Delivery can be a bit long at times. ... BOTTOM LINE: Peters has all the tools to be a very productive college quarterback from within the pocket. He's only going to become bigger and more physically imposing as a passer over time. Is an ideal fit for multiple, pro-style attacks.
Peters moved into the Top247 in March, and when explaining the rankings bump 247's Barton Simmons noted an important point about his coaching and potential for improvement:
At 6-5, 205 pounds, we love the frame that Peters has to work with. We also love that Peters is a star on the basketball court and has the kind of functional pocket athleticism to be a effective in chaos. Peters is also a prospect that doesn't have year round private quarterback instruction so as good as he looks now on film, we think he can continue to improve dramatically in college as he focuses in on football year round. While we're anxious to get an in-person evaluation on Peters this spring, we're ready to put him in the discussion among the nation's top passers.
That basketball experience helps Peters with his athleticism; once he fully focuses on football, the more technical aspects of his game should progress quickly.
Peters held offers from Arkansas, Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Miami (OH), Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.
Avon High School's football site doesn't exactly provide much insight into the team's past success. According to the Rivals database, Peters is the third four-star prospect to come out of Avon since 2002, joining 2009 Georgia signee Montez Robinson and 2013 Auburn signee Elijah Daniel, both defensive ends.
Per 247, Peters completed 148 of 263 attempts (56.3%) for 1876 yards (7.1 YPA), 21 touchdowns, and six interceptions as a junior. He added 244 yards and five TDs on 73 rushes (3.3 YPC).
FAKE 40 TIME
None of the sites lists a 40 time.
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Peters will join what has suddenly become a very crowded group of quarterbacks. With only Jake Rudock set to depart after this season, Peters will step in behind a senior Shane Morris, junior John O'Korn (Houston transfer), sophomore Wilton Speight, and this year's freshman duo of Alex Malzone and Zach Gentry (who'll either have freshman or sophomore eligibility) in 2016. A redshirt undoubtedly beckons, likely followed by an apprenticeship before he competes for a spot on the two-deep.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Peters is the third commitment in the 2016 class, and the first at quarterback; while this is currently projected as a small class—our depth chart by class projects 14 open spots, though that number will undoubtedly grow with attrition—it's possible Harbaugh will pursue another quarterback, given his preference to take two per class.