Hello: Erik Magnuson

Submitted by Tim on June 10th, 2011 at 5:12 PM

They started close to home, but the Wolverines have started to venture out of Michigan and Ohio with commitments from Illinois (DB Anthony Standifer) and now the West Coast in CA OL Erik Magnuson. As Erik told to Tom a couple weeks ago:

"I just feel comfortable with the coaches, and I know them so well. I feel the program is going in the right direction. I know some of the 2012 commits and I think they're all good players. They're bringing in a good offense, and I want to get out of California. I just feel like Michigan is the right place for me."

Welcome to the fold, young man. For what it's worth, part of that "knowing the coaches so well" stems from their time at San Diego State. Hoke's Aztecs were Magnuson's first offer.

mugnuson.jpg

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*, #16 OT,
#97 Ovr
4*, 5.9, #8 OL
#34 Ovr
4*, #24 OT 4*, 95, #13 OT,
#10 Cali, #85 Ovr

As usual, we will start with the premium sites' takes on his height. This will be quick however, as every single site lists his weight at 275, and only ESPN breaks the lockstep at 6-6, by calling him 6-5. So let it be blogged: Erik Magnusen is 6-6 / 275.

The sites get a little more varied on him as a player, though not by much. Scout and 24/7 Sports think about the same of him, putting him near the back of their top-100 lists, and in the teens among offensive tackles (ESPN is even more pessimistic, keeping him out of their 150 and as the #24 tackle). Rivals is significantly more impressed, unofficially calling him the 8th-best offensive lineman and the #34 prospect at any position in the country.

The line on Magnuson is that he's been impressing everyone who's seen him this spring ($, info in header), and there are a few firsthand reports to back that up. JC Shurburtt:

I saw him at the Stanford NFTC- I liked him. He's big, athletic and seems to have a mean streak (no pads, mind you).

Shurburtt went into a bit more detail in a story on 24/7 Sports:

Magnuson has an excellent frame, good feet and plays with a nasty streak. He was dominant in one-on-ones and looked good athletically moving around in position drills. Combine what he showed Sunday with what he shows on film and there’s a good chance that Magnuson could move up our rankings when they are updated again.

That certainly makes it sound like he's going to be closer to Rivals's positioning than Scout's next time 24/7 updates the rankings. Adam Gorney of Rivals calls him one of the most physical guys he's seen in person:

On the offensive side I think Erik Magnuson is pretty tough. He just embraces the physical side of being an offensive tackle and he's not afraid to compete in a really tough way.

magnusonaction.jpg

He was named MVP of the Asante Trenchmen Academy ($, info in header), and Rivals provides some highlights from that event. Note the quick footwork out of such a big dude. Picture at right from that event, via Scout.

He's a pretty good pass blocker, but has said himself that he'd like to improve on his drive-blocking. It's natural for high schoolers to be good at one or the other, so once he gets into a college weight program and adds some strength, his run blocking should improve. More from Magnuson himself, via Scout ($):

"I work harder than anyone else. I have good footwork from playing basketball and I'm real aggressive and physical with my opponents. I am further along as a pass blocker than I am in blocking in the run game, though. Opposing coaches have said they notice my athleticism and speed despite being my size."

He made similar comments to Tom earlier this spring. Irish Sports Daily caught up with his head coach:

“Erik's a very athletic and aggressive player,” said Sovacool. “He's a really big kid too and he hits all the benchmarks that you're looking for in a football player, especially at offensive tackle. He's all of 6-foot-5, 290 pounds, but the difference between him and other kids his size is that he can run. He's also a guy that isn't afraid of the weight room and has a little bit of an edge to him, which I think recruiters like as well.”

That size listing is a serious outlier, but the coach is likely just overstating weight, and Erik might be a little shorter than his listed 6-6. He's been named to the US Army All-American Bowl, and he's mentioned enrolling early (he's a very good student, and was all-academic in his league as a junior).

He's a big true tackle who can play on either side of the line. There's no mention of his long arms - typically considered necessary for left tackles at the next level - but based on pictures and video alone, it doesn't seem anything is amiss. As somebody who's most comfortable as a pass blocker in high school, starting at left tackle is likely.

He's not the physical freak of a Jake Long is (but is anybody? [Ed-M: Lewan, so far]), but he has the attributes needed to succeed at the next level.

OFFERS

As a West Coast product, Erik's offers were a Pac-12 who's who: Arizona, Cal, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. Only Arizona State and USC didn't extend him the scholarship opportunity (though in a video interview he states that USC is the only offer he lacks).

He's not just a regional prospect -- Cincinnati, Miami (YTM), Notre Dame, and Oklahoma offered.

STATS

magnusonblockin.jpg

Offensive linemen don't have any stats. However, he's performed well enough each of the past two seasons to earn All-League recognition, per his Scout profile. He's also earned all-Academic honors (as mentioned above), which is nice both because having intelligent dudes is never a bad thing, and because OL is one of the more brain-intensive positions on the field.

FAKE 40 TIME

None of the premium sites list a 40 time for Erik. In the Rivals video linked above, you can see that he's not quite as fast or quick as the offensive lineman he's "racing" in the ladder/running drills, but speed isn't necessarily his game, either. I'm assuming that, as a relatively slender OT prospect, the 4.9-5.1 range is most likely. This gets five FAKEs out of five.

VIDEO

His impressive Youtube highlight:

As he pointed out himself, he's not the strongest run blocker at the point of attack, but that will improve as he adds mass. What he does show is good agility in pass blocking, as a pulling lead blocker, and in getting downfield blocks. He also has a basketball highlight reel.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

So, this guy is a serious player, right? Although offensive linemen almost always redshirt, Michigan's depth at offensive tackle is pretty light for 2012, and Magnuson has mentioned potentially enrolling early. That could mean (depending on who else ends up in Michigan's recruiting class) that he's immediately the most likely OL candidate since Mr. Plow to make the 2-deep as a freshman.

In that season, Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield will be redshirt juniors, and as long as they stay healthy (and depending on what depth develops among backup tackles), Erik will hopefully still be afforded the chance to redshirt. Either way, in his second year on campus he should get a bit of playing time as a backup as he prepares for the following season.

In 2014 Lewan and Schofield will have shuffled off the collegiate coil - hopefully as Picks 1 and 2 in the NFL draft - and Magnuson will be one of the players with a chance at a starting spot. He'll either lock down one of the tackle positions, or get heavy time as a backup. By the time he's a senior or redshirt junior, I think Magnuson is a lock to be a starter. He has all-Big Ten potential, and if he lives up to it, 2nd or 3rd-team All-American honors are a possibility as a redshirt senior.

The recruiting sites certainly think highly enough of Erik to place him in that spectrum (24/7 Sports is going to move him up in their next re-rank, and Rivals has already anointed him as a top-40 prospect in the nation).

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

This is a huge weight off Michigan fans' shoulders. A true left tackle is finally on board. That said, weak tackle recruiting classes over the previous two years (Tony Posada and Chris Bryant of the 2011 class seem more like guard or right tackle prospects, and center Christian Pace was the only lineman in 2010's crop) means that Michigan is in dire need of at least one more tackle. That would preferably be one that could play on either end of the line, such as IL OT Jordan DIamond. Another highly-rated interior guy would be nice as well, but is not nearly as necessary.

Away from the offensive line, defensive tackle is now the only remaining priority. At least one highly-rated wideout is important, and a quarterback and running back would be nice. Other than that, remaining scholarships (assuming there are some) can be spent on prospects that the coaching staff really likes, regardless of position.

Comments

turtleboy

June 10th, 2011 at 5:19 PM ^

You sure are one fast writer ;o) I wonder after his senior season if he doesn't get bumped up by ESPN once they have more film to look at. At #34 on Rivals is there a chance someone gives him the coveted 5star?

 

MaizeAndBlueManGroup

June 10th, 2011 at 5:25 PM ^

What a day! Those throwback jerseys must look better than we thought...

Also, I love that along with their athletic achievements, Magnuson is all-academic and Strobel has a 3.9 GPA. Both seem like great additions to the Wolverine family.

big10football

June 10th, 2011 at 5:29 PM ^

I've been thinking. Isn't right tackle gonna be the new left tackle when Shane Morris is here? It would probably be better to develop a solid right tackle to protect Moriss's blind side. I don't know if the coaches will think ahead like that, or change the development of their lineman just for one quarterback. Who knows?

Bodogblog

June 10th, 2011 at 6:07 PM ^

"MSU is coming off an 11-2 season and a share of the Big Ten championship. That should allow the Spartans to be very selective about whom they offer. U-M is in a rebuilding stage and new coach Brady Hoke is being aggressive and stirring early interest." - Matt Dorsey, Spartanmag.com

Bo_Knows

June 10th, 2011 at 9:10 PM ^

May you spend your summer competing on ESPN2 against your namesake!

(That was a reference to World's Strongest Man btw.)

Can you imagine if we trained our O-linemen with these stones? 

Bodogblog

June 10th, 2011 at 5:38 PM ^

Even love the spelling of the last name.  Ann Arbor is an exceptional town, and you've made a decision that will benefit the rest of your life.  Watching elite players grow and compete for championships is the reason I shell out for season tickets - there's nothing better than Michigan football.  Welcome aboard

MI Expat NY

June 10th, 2011 at 5:43 PM ^

Sooooo, I guess Magnuson was "expected," but Strobel's commitment was a bit of surprise, based the comparitive length of the Hello: Recruit pieces. 

It's got to be tough to sit on that insider information, but also that much sweeter when we pull a relatively suprising commitment. 

neoavatara

June 10th, 2011 at 5:46 PM ^

...thought Strobel was even a lean.  I think everyone thought that he might consider us with time, but that if anything he was a Buckeye lean, or maybe even looking at Stanford.  The OSU board is quite shocked. 

RagingBean

June 10th, 2011 at 5:47 PM ^

Is anyone else positively chomping at the bit for these kids to be on the field for us? I have to keep reminding myself that all of these commitments cannot even suit up for another 15 months, and most won't see real playing time for even longer, but GODDAMN is this an exciting group.

Maize97

June 10th, 2011 at 6:35 PM ^

I thought this would happen due to Tom's updates.  This is great news along with Strobel.  Guys that are on the fence better reserve a spot or they'll have to go elsewhere.

Michigasling

June 10th, 2011 at 7:40 PM ^

but is this the first to say getting OUT of California was one of his criteria?  A man after my own heart. 

Must admit I thought he'd at least wait until Sunday.  Must have underestimated the glory of Ann Arbor in June.  Welcome, Erik!

In The Shadow …

June 10th, 2011 at 8:18 PM ^

Looks like ESPN is going to have to readdress their class rankings already!!!  Its a great day to be a Wolverine!!!  Welcome aboard Tom and Erik you have made a great decision not just in football terms but for your entire lifetimes.  GO BLUE!

615Wolverine

June 10th, 2011 at 9:19 PM ^

Commitments from California have been inconsistent but I believe Erik will be a great one.

Previous commits from state of califonia within past ten years

Matt Wile c/o 2011 ?

Tate Forcier c/o 2009

Zion Babb c/o 2007

Avery Horn c/o 2007

Donovan Warren clo 2007

Michael Williams c/o 2007

Jonas Mouton c/o 2006

Jason Forcier c/o 2005

Eugene Germany c/o 2005

Chris Richards c/o 2005

Johny Sears c/o 2005

Keston Cheathem c/o 2004

Leon Hall c/o 2003

Matt Gutierrez c/o 2002

archangel2k12

June 12th, 2011 at 1:14 AM ^

A few years ago, while playing NCAA 07 on my XBOX, I created an OL to recruit to my Michigan Dynasty. I had 'Giant Nasty Viking Left Tackle' in mind. I made him 6'6" and 285lbs. I made him from North Dakota. I am not making this up; I named him Erik Magnusson. Close enough for prophetic?