Hello: Chris Rock (The Football One)

Submitted by Brian on May 28th, 2010 at 4:14 PM

chris-rock-desalesGBW is reporting a commitment($) from Columbus DeSales defensive end Chris Rock. Rock visited for the BBQ and was widely regarded a possible commit going in; it took a little longer but he did indeed sign up. Rock has the offer list of a solid four star, with Nebraska, Michigan, Oregon, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Pitt, and West Virginia among his suitors.

More later after we sift through a thousand links about that other guy named Chris Rock. This is going to be worse than Michael Schofield's commitment.

[Ed: Tim's update below.]

Michigan has gained a commitment from OH DE Chris Rock. Not that Chris Rock.




Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #49 DE 250 Watchlist DE 46, NR DE

Scout says that, although he's a talented DE/TE in high school, there's a chance he could play defensive tackle at the next level:

Rock had another fine season at DeSales. He plays defensive end and tight end currently, but could possibly be a defensive tackle at the next level. Needs to continue to add strength, but has good size and plays with intensity...

As a sophomore he projects as a TE/DE but he's got the physical build to become a OT/DT in the coming years. Very good player who will have played and started at the varsity level for four seasons.

They list his strengths as "Body Control and Balance" and "Intensity/Effort," while saying he needs to improve "Lateral Range" and "Strength." He also describes his own game:

“I work really hard and have a great motor. I’m not the strongest kid, so I use my quickness to my advantage. I’m very disciplined.

“I definitely want to get stronger. I’m also working on my passing rushing moves and learn more moves.”

He's listed consistently at 6-5, and reports on his weight fall in the 235-260 range. GBMW took in a DeSales game, and gave a quick rundown of his physical appearance:


Chris stated his size at 6”5 and 250 pounds. His father appears to be marginally taller than Chris, leading to the possibility that Chris may not be finished in his vertical ascension. There is clear room for Chris to put 20 plus pounds on his frame. Chris does not appear to have much interest in the usual measurements of 40 time and bench press figures. But around 4.9 seemed to be the likely 40-time number.

The usual groaning about the quality of writing on that site applies, but it's still informative. From his next game:

Chris does not mind mixing it up, a trait that is an absolute necessity for a college defensive lineman, where the environment is one of survival of the fittest with no mercy asked or given. Chris contained pretty well all night and several times tackled guys outside the pocket area. He did not get locked up often. Chris also applied good pressure and used those long arms to knock down several passes. Chris rushes the pocket reasonably well, but as of yet is not the rare lightning fast edge rusher every university craves.

So: he's a pass rusher, but not an elite physical specimen like, say Brandon Graham or Craig Roh. That hasn't stopped him from being the most disruptive player on a DeSales defense that has featured several D-1 recruits.

Ohio State recruiting guru Duane Long has had him pegged as high as the third best player in Ohio(!). In any class, that position would be a lock for 4-star status, and potential for 5-star. Not sure where Long currently slots Rock, though certainly lower than he did before. How much of that is on the basis of reduced production due to illness or injury his senior year?


At the beginning of his junior season, he already held offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Pitt, Cincinnati, and Duke. He followed up with most of the non-Ohio State Big Ten, Nebraska, Stanford, West Virginia, and others. He wasn't getting the attention of the USC/Florida/Alabamas of the world, but a solid BCS-level offer sheet is nothing to sneeze at. Nebraska's offer, given Bo Pelini's eye for talent, is also a big deal.

Michigan and Notre Dame were his long-standing top two, until the Irish filled up at defensive end and pulled his offer. He recently told Tom he would be deciding soon, and the BBQ at the Big House may have help push him even closer. A late Oregon offer slowed down the decision process very slightly, but he chose the Wolverines this afternoon.


His ESPN profile says he notched 64 tackles and 15 sacks as a sophomore. As a junior, he was fighting through either illness or injury through most of his football season, and his production dropped off considerably. My estimates based on game articles are in the 50-tackle range, and he had 11.5 sacks including a three-sack outing against Cincinnati Wyoming and future teammate Jibreel Black:

"We definitely harp about our defense being the heart of the team," [Rock] said. "All week, our coaches kept telling me to stay low and get pressure on the quarterback. I knew their quarterback was quite a runner. We had to control him..."

"Chris was sort of in a zone," coach Ryan Wiggins said.

In his next game, DeSales lost to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney and another of Rock's future teammates, Ray Vinopal. That ended DeSales's playoff run.

He showed off some athleticism with a 55-yard interception return against New Albany, and a punt block against Findlay. There's significantly less talk about his performances on offense, but a 33-yard TD catch in a playoff game was notable. From the sounds of things, DeSales had a ground-oriented attack.

He was named 2nd-Team All-State on the defensive line, the only 2011 prospect so honored.


JJHuddle provides a nice FAKE 40 time:

The 6-foot-5 and 255-pound Rock is a talented athlete in a big body. Rock runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds and is also a key reserve on a very good DeSales basketball team.

That's slightly FAKE for a guy whose scouting reports unanimously indicate he doesn't have great speed - even for a defensive end. I'll give it four FAKEs out of five.


Junior year highlights from ScoutingOhio:

You can also see a highlight video of DeSales's loss to Cincinnati Anderson, in which Rock alternates good pressure with giving up contain. There are a couple more individual game and highlight videos available on Youtube.


From the sounds of things, Rock is something of a tweener between a big strongside defensive end, and a potential defensive tackle down the line. That'll actually work out well at Michigan, where he can play defensive end in a 3-man front, or tackle on passing downs. His athleticism and size combination probably means he won't be an elite pass rusher, but can still get into the backfield a little bit.

He can be penciled in at Ryan Van Bergen's defensive end position. When Rock arrives on campus, Van Bergen will be a redshirt senior, with a number of prospects from the classes of 2010 (Jibreel Black and Terry Talbott) and 2009 (Anthony LaLota) littering the roster, he's a near-lock to redshirt to add weight and strength under Mike Barwis's program.

Following his redshirt season, it will probably take Rock a couple years to earn significant playing time in the rotation, considering all the guys ahead of him. By the time he's a redshirt junior and senior, he could become a starter, with potential All-Conference (but not likely All-American) potential in his final season.


Rock is the first true big guy in a 2011 class that should be pretty heavy on them. At least one more defensive lineman, a nose tackle, is guaranteed to end up in this class, and there's potential for even more than that. Either another nose tackle, or potentially another big-ish defensive end could join the fold as well.

Michigan continues to pick up commitments from prospects who play positions other than those considered to the most important: offensive line and linebacker. With each commitment at a different position, it reduces the number of spots available for non-OL/LBs. A couple more spots will go to offensive skill players and defensive backs, but expect the focus to be on those two positions of need.


Hopefully Rock's commitment is a sign that Michigan is going back in the "defenders with badass names" direction, peaking in the mid-90s with the likes of Foote, Steele, Sword, et al.

St. Francis DeSales pumps out talent each year, including Travis Jackson of Michigan State, Chi Chi Ariguzo of Northwestern, and Adam Griffin of Ohio state in last year's class alone. The class of 2008 brought Patrick Omameh to Michigan, and it never hurts to develop pipelines at talent factories.



May 28th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

See - the BBQ at the Big House guys just wanted the allegation response / proposed sanctions to break before committing. This is very good news.

Welcome Chris. We're so glad to have you join our team!

OSUMC Wolverine

May 28th, 2010 at 4:41 PM ^

Desales plays probably the toughest schedule in Ohio, so dont fret that he is from a smaller school.  To give an idea of how tough their schedule is, they went 4-6 regular season a few years ago (or 5-5, cant remember), made the state play-offs with that, and won the title that year.  They play all the D-1 Catholic powerhouses year in and year out.  This kid has had plenty of stiff competition.


May 28th, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

Let's just hope that Everybody Doesn't Hate Chris!  Seriously.  Just told my boys (they are big Chris Rock  fans  via the EHC show).  They are stoked about the commitement.  Didn't tell them that he's white and from Ohio.


May 28th, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

I am happy to see this commit but I just hope nobody gives him the nickname "pookie". Who wants to be identified with a crack addict from New Jack City!


May 28th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

soon, the comedian will be known as "No, not that Chris Rock"

if he is not already, that new movie with him, the fat guy that has never been funny, the blond guy that used to be funny, the guy who was last funny as billy madison and the guy that is friends with the guy who used to be funny as billy madison looks awful.

exhibit A:

Section 1

May 28th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

we won't have to be worrying about, burning up the interwebs with rumors and innuendos and things of such a nature.  I hope he ends up a 5-star, just to stir up Columbus.


May 28th, 2010 at 5:50 PM ^

Interesting anecdote. I interviewed a scout for a story I did for this year's HTTV. He kinda scoffed at the notion that Michigan had been improving its recruiting efforts in Ohio. He said they werent getting any "game changers" despite the number of recruits. He said he'll take notice when they get a real stud, somebody Ohio State would want like, and hear I am using a direct quote, one not used in the HTTV piece, "like a Braxton Miller, Michael Bennet, Doran Grant or Chris Rock."

I actually thought the quote was stupid since he led with two guys, especially Miller, who never ever were going to go to Michigan. Why would Miller, for example, even think about it? And, unlike another scout I interviewed in Ohio, he was an obvious Buckeye homer, IMHE. But,  hey, here's Chris Rock. Signing up with the Maize and Blue.

However, I will bet everyone a dollar that if I called this guy today for a comment on this signing, he would spit out some OSU didnt want him mumbo-jumbo. He seemed that much of a homer. Whatever. Based on a previous interview with him, this is signing that a strong doubter of our program's direction has said he would begin to believe if we got. Thought y'all would appreciate the insight.

Very nice news heading into the holiday weekend

Not a Blue Fan

May 28th, 2010 at 6:09 PM ^

It's a good pick up and helps build depth at the position, but Chris Rock didn't even have an offer from OSU. It's hard to say that he's highly desired if he doesn't even have an offer. FWIW, I think he's at least as good as some of the commits we've got on the DL (not all of them, but a few). So there's that.


May 28th, 2010 at 6:19 PM ^

I didnt say anything definitive about OSU's interest. I was reporting on a conversation I had with a scout who basically said wake me up when michigan gets a recruit like this. My quip about what he would say now is a reflection of what I thought was his obvious partisanship during our long interview, not any insight I have on OSU's true interest. I just want to clarify that.

That said, I could care less about a lack of OSU offer. I have more than 40 years of examples of Ohio recruits that OSU wasnt interested in, who then came up to Ann Arbor and kicked OSU ass during their time at Michigan. Tell will tell if Rock, or any of the other guys MIchigan has imported from Ohio in the last 1-2 years, will add to this tradition.

One thing we know: It will be an exciting ride as we it all plays out.

Not a Blue Fan

May 28th, 2010 at 6:27 PM ^

Not that I disagree with your overall sentiment, but for the sake of clarity let me point out that my reply was to this snippet:

However, I will bet everyone a dollar that if I called this guy today for a comment on this signing, he would spit out some OSU didnt want him mumbo-jumbo.

"mumbo-jumbo" isn't really accurate. If he doesn't have an offer, by definition OSU doesn't want him. Should OSU want him? Hell, I don't know. I'm not a talent scout. I think he's about the same level as some of the guys who have committed to OSU already this year, but my opinion isn't really worth much here.

At any rate, whether this kid is any good or not is irrelevant. He's going to get a good education for free (ignoring the significant football related demands on his time). If he's a great football player, that's just a bonus.


May 28th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

If he doesn't have an offer, by definition OSU doesn't want him.

True enough when we're talking about a prospect who's still uncommitted in January.  Not so much in June.  Surely OSU isn't finished sending out offers?  Granted, Rock plays in OSU's backyard, so no doubt they know plenty about him, but all the lack of an offer says at this point is there's others they wanted more, not that they didn't want Rock.

Not a Blue Fan

May 28th, 2010 at 6:48 PM ^

That's true, but you have to draw a line somewhere. Theoretically, you want every single recruit to go to your school so the coaches can always pick the best players from the biggest pool. So "do not want" is necessarily somewhat relative.

That being said, you're right that it's foolish that assume that everyone that the coaches want has received an offer at this point. Hell, Eddie George didn't get an offer until September, and he turned out OK.


May 28th, 2010 at 6:39 PM ^

Well if mumbo jumbo isnt accurate, then this mumbo jumbo scale I just bought is absolutely worthless. I always get ripped off at the flea market.  Rats.

Yeah, and i'm no scout either. just trying to add perspective from the scouts I have talked to. And, man, you can get confused just by talking to two different scouts on the same player, so who knows? All these recruits basically look the same to me anyway.

Do you live in o-h-i-o?


May 29th, 2010 at 1:03 AM ^

Maybe I'm wrong, but wasn't Justin Turner the #1 recruit in Ohio a couple years back?  A 5-star?  I'd think he would fall into that "real stud" category...but maybe that scout forgot.

This kid looks like a real Big Ten player and I'm happy to have him.  I'm even happier that ND and MSU wanted him but got a bag of nothing instead.


May 28th, 2010 at 6:18 PM ^

I was wondering why The Wolverine hadn't mentioned it yet then saw one of their editors posted on their $ board a little after 5pm:

[...] at this point, it is our understanding that the commitment has not officially been made between Rock and Rodriguez. Until that happens, as always, we are not going to report it on this site...

So, what the dilly, yo?  Anyone know what the Scout article said (were there quotes from Rock saying he committed)?  Or is this the typical "Recruiting Site A breaks the news before Site B, so now Site B has to deny the report until they can confirm it then try to make a big deal out of it and their users can 'rah rah' their fact checking" sort of thing?


May 28th, 2010 at 11:21 PM ^

Yes, Rivals should be very sanctimonious about it, since they got burned in this exact same situation with Holmes Onwukaife last year... wait.


May 28th, 2010 at 7:56 PM ^

I just checked out those Ohio rankings - AJ Jordan is #6 and Greg Brown is #16.  That's not a bad ranking at all for Brown, probably a high 3 star, and if Jordan is really that good, we should pick him up.  Yeah, he might not be as good as Arnett, but he probably won't be far behind, and I would hate to lose out on both.  Plus, keeping the Trotwood pipeline alive would be nice.