Hello From The Future: Messiah deWeaver

Submitted by Ace on June 18th, 2014 at 4:47 PM

2016 four-star Trotwood (OH) Madison quarterback Messiah deWeaver received some much-anticipated news this afternoon:

From there, the decision-making process took approximately three hours:

DeWeaver* becomes Michigan's second 2016 commit, joining four-star OT Erik Swenson, and the clear-cut leading candidate for class NOTY honors.

[*Corrected—this will come in handy for the next several years.]

Let's Just Get This Out Of The Way

Obligatory.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
NR QB NR QB NR QB 4*, 90, #9 P-QB,
#244 Ovr
4*, #13 P-QB,
#309 Ovr

While deWeaver didn't make the initial Scout 300—they've only handed out stars to 25 quarterbacks in the class—he landed solidly in the four-star range on 247 (Rivals and ESPN have yet to release 2016 rankings). ESPN hasn't even done their initial evaluation. Based on the camp reports you'll see below, the guess here is deWeaver will move into consensus four-star range—though probably not to the very top of the QB position rankings—once he's fully evaluated.

The four sites are in almost exact agreement regarding his measurements, with all listing him at 6'3" and between 198 and 202 pounds. Per Scout, he may still be growing, too ($):

"As a player, he is extremely gifted with size," [Trotwood-Madison coach Maurice[ Douglass added. "He continues to grow everyday and keeps getting taller and bigger. His dad is 6-foot-5 and Messiah is already 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds. He's got the physical tools. He's a great kid who wants to learn and get better."

As it is, he already has the frame to be a college quarterback.

SCOUTING

Although ESPN didn't get the memo, there's no shortage of scouting reports on deWeaver, as he first appeared on the recruiting radar as an eighth-grade phenom camping at Michigan among several other top schools.  He came back to U-M's camp after his freshman season, in which he took the reins midway through the year and helped Trotwood-Madison to the state title game, and caught the eye of Al Borges ($).

That spring/summer saw deWeaver make a serious impact on the camp scene. He earned top underclassman honors from Woody Wommack at the Rivals camp in Cincinnati ($):

There's no doubt that DeWeaver was one of the best quarterbacks in attendance, showing tremendous consistency for a rising sophomore. He moves well for a player his size and could grow into a terrific prospect. 

Then, competing against a group that included top 2014 prospects, he turned heads at Ohio State's Friday Night Lights camp, garnering the #14 spot among all performers from Rivals' Josh Helmholdt ($):

This entire offseason, DeWeaver has stood toe-to-toe with quarterbacks two and three years older than himself and proven to be every bit as good, and in many cases better. He is a good-sized quarterback at 6-foot-2, 184 pounds, but what we have continually been impressed with is how the football jumps off his hand. And the rising sophomore never is out there trying to overthrow the football, so his accuracy is also impressive because of the way he spins the ball. 

ESPN's Brad Bournival was even more impressed, slotting deWeaver inside his top ten players at the camp ($):

8. 2016 QB Messiah DeWeaver (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) 
6-2, 190 
ESPN rank: N/A
 

What impressed: Every time DeWeaver camps he seems to get better. The pocket passer can throw the out route, zip in a heater on a slant or throw the fade. His arm strength was incredible again under the lights, as he hit one receiver after another. 

“I think I competed well against the upperclassmen,” DeWeaver said. “Whenever I go out on the field I feel like I’m the best quarterback on the field. I try to prove that every time I go out there.” 

He apparently doesn't lack confidence, either.

The starter from day one this time around, deWeaver had an excellent sophomore season, leading the Rams to their third straight state title game before falling to St. Vincent St. Mary's for the second year in row. Once again, he hit up a bunch of camps, and again, he stood out as one of the best in his class. Helmholdt ranked him fourth among underclassmen at the Columbus Nike camp ($):

DeWeaver was clearly among the best quarterbacks in a top-heavy group on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound sophomore has good size for the position already and gets a lot behind his passes. His key over the next couple years will be to shorten his delivery, which not only will get the ball out of his hands more quickly but also improve his accuracy.

Then it was on to the Elite 11 regional, also in Columbus, where he was the first 2016 QB mentioned by BuckeyeGrove's Marc Givler ($):

DeWeaver continues to put himself firmly in the discussion for Ohio's top signal caller in the 2016 class. I thought he threw it better at the Nike Camp on Sunday than he did on Monday at Elite 11 which is understandable as that is a lot of football's to throw in a 30-hour window. Still, he spins it well and the velocity was still there on Monday even after a pretty heavy workload on Sunday. His throwing motion has steadily improved over the last 18 months, though I'd still like to see it become a little more compact. Just looking at Monday's performance, I thought he had a better time with the touch throws down the field.

After camping at Texas and Cincinnati, picking up an offer from the Bearcats after his camp performance, he also appeared at last weekend's Sound Mind Sound Body camp, earning praise from the 247 staff:

Trotwood (Ohio) Madison Top247 2016 quarterback Messiah deWeaver spun the ball well, has a powerful arm and has good mechanics. He still needs to speed everything up, his feet, his throwing motion but he was one of the top performers. Can really drive the football and had a couple nice touch throws in the back of the end zone. Early offers include Cincinnati, Kentucky and Louisville.

Helmholdt placed him behind only Malik Henry, the top 2016 dual-threat QB in the country, among day one performers at SMSB ($):

After camps at Cincinnati and Texas in the last week you would think DeWeaver's arm might be feeling some fatigue, but the rising junior was as sharp as we have seen him during Thursday's action. He went through position drills efficiently but really shined in the one-on-one session where he was varying his trajectory to put passes in windows that didn't appear to be there until the receiver caught the ball.

Finally, of course, came Michigan's camp, which ultimately earned him the offer. Sam Webb broke down his showing in front of his future coaches ($):

Sam’s Take: This kid has come a really long way in the last year. Gone are the days where he didn’t consistently throw spirals… where it looked like he would struggle making the “arm” throws… where his footwork was all out of whack.  His mechanics have tightened up significantly and the result is a kid that spun the ball extremely well during Michigan’s camps (and also at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp last week).  He also showed really nice touch on deep ball over the middle.  He won’t fire out-routes from the far hash with as much velocity as Alex Malzone, but those plays no longer need to be eliminated from DeWeaver’s playbook.  In my opinion he has gone from being an unlikely offer to a kid that just picked one up from the Maize & Blue Wednesday afternoon.

247's Steve Lorenz also took in Tuesday's camp session and noted deWeaver's aptitude for putting the right touch on the ball ($):

2016 Top247 quarterback Messiah DeWeaver continues to build off the momentum he built during a strong showing at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp last week in Detroit. DeWeaver doesn't have a ton of zip on his throw, but he usually has enough. He throws an excellent deep touch ball and can throw it to any side of the field. He's also built himself up nicely in the weight room while being able to maintain his scrambling ability, which is apt.

Finally, let's kick it back to his high school coach for the traditional The Pattern™ quote ($):

"I think Messiah can be a top level prospect, without a doubt," said Douglass. "It's not just because of the talent he has. It's also because of how smart and dedicated he is in the classroom. Messiah has a 4.2 grade point average now. That kind of effort and maturity can translate to the football field."

I think he'll pass admissions.

OFFERS

DeWeaver also held offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville, Toledo, and Western Kentucky at the time of his commitment. Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, and Tennessee were among the larger programs that showed interest but hadn't come through with an offer yet.

HIGH SCHOOL

You're likely familar with Trotwood-Madison, one of the powerhouse Division III programs in Ohio. In the Rivals era, they've produced four Michigan players: WR Roy Roundtree, TE Brandon Moore, DB Reon Dawson, and LB Mike McCray. Sophomore Ohio State corner Cam Burrows, one of the top-ranked recruits in the state in 2013, is also a former Ram.

STATS

The Greater Ohio Western Conference may keep the most detailed high school stats in the country, so click here to get a full game-by-game rundown of deWeaver's numbers. The short version:

Freshman year: 59/124 (47.6%), 831 yards (6.7 YPA), 13 TD, 4 INT
Sophomore year: 137/231 (59.3%), 2265 yards (9.5 YPA), 21 TD, 9 INT

The improvement is apparent.

FAKE 40 TIME

Despite all the camps, I can't find a fake 40 time for deWeaver. He's very much a pro-style QB, with negative rushing yards in each of his first two high school seasons (though that includes sacks); he's got the athleticism to make a play or two breaking the pocket, but he's not looking to run.

VIDEO

Sophomore highlights:

Yes, the mechanics are a bit wonky, and he doesn't exactly possess a cannon, but I'm quite impressed with his accuracy and ability to change speeds to fit the ball into the right window.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

With two full seasons left in his high school career, the evidence is flimsy indeed, though it's not too difficult to project this: a freshman year redshirt, a probable apprenticeship behind Wilton Speight and/or Alex Malzone, and then deWeaver enters the conversation for starting quarterback. To remind you how far into the future we're looking here, Shane Morris will be a senior when deWeaver gets to campus.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan has two commits for 2016, and given how this coaching staff operates it's safe to assume they're done at quarterback. I can assure you they will add more prospects at other positions. Otherwise, class projection at this juncture is probably pointless.

Comments

AlaskanYeti

June 18th, 2014 at 5:05 PM ^

Wanted to think of a snarky comment about how unfortunate it is that the Michigan program Messiah is coming from Ohio, but then thought about how Bo and Charles Woodson came from Ohio too, so who cares! Welcome to the family Mr. deWeaver!

BlueCube

June 18th, 2014 at 5:10 PM ^

commitment.

Link

 

 

"I wasn't immediately sure I was going to commit, but my dad was at camp with me and we talked about it," he said. "It didn't take really long for me to realize that Michigan was the place I wanted to be. They have been recruiting me for a long time, and I have always loved it up there. It was an easy choice for me to make." While sitting in Coach Hoke's office to discuss the commitment, the four-star made a promise to his future head coach. "I know what needs to be done now," he noted. "I told him that I plan to do whatever it takes to get the best guys in the country around me. That's part of my job now as a Michigan commitment, and I am going to do whatever I can to get some great players to play here."

FreddieMercuryHayes

June 18th, 2014 at 5:11 PM ^

So is he a lifelong UM fan like Morris was?  Does he have any other offers at this point?  I really dont' know a lot about him.  But hooray!  Good to have a QB in the fold for the 2016 class.

Jon06

June 19th, 2014 at 11:05 AM ^

Jon06's picture
Joined: 09/19/2009
MGoPoints: 3110
 
 
Messiah DeWeaver

Is he any kin to Messiah DeCarpenter?

RIP my avatar, June 14, 1998 - October 26, 2012

http://mgoblog.com/content/monday-recruitin-envisions-matchup-chaos

Unfortunately that was in the days before the return of the posbang :(

But seriously we should call this kid deCarpenter.

Space Coyote

June 18th, 2014 at 6:37 PM ^

I came away with a slightly different evaluation than Magnus:

Seems very much in the mold of a Borges-type QB (similar to Speight), but wasn't expecting Nuss to offer him this early, so this feels more like a staff-wide offer and potentially gets a QB early in the class, which is nice for recruiting purposes.

As a player, he's an interesting prospect. He doesn't really have a naturally strong arm, and you see that with how he throws outs and bench routes. But he does get really good rotation on the ball, and the ball cuts through the air better than it does for most QBs, and drops down well on his deep ball. But with the way he kind of pushes the ball from his shoulder and probably throws with the ball a little too flat (tough to tell on the tape, but the trajectory and push lead me to this conclusion), the ball acts a bit like a split-finger fastball, in that it kind of drifts down and back to the throwing hand (in this case right). In this way, despite his good ball rotation and having the ball really split through the air, he's also constantly fighting his arm to get the ball to it's target (when he loads up and goes deep, he gets the front tip of the ball up and he doesn't have to fight it as much), and this could lead to some intermediate accuracy issues, especially if he's pressured. His throws on out routes don't really have that pop because they kind of loop. He's capable of making the throw without lofting it, but it's a minor concern as well.

Seems like an accurate passer, nice deep ball, drops the ball down nice. In those ways similar to Speight. Still fights his natural arm (note difference between arm strength and throwing strength) with mechanics, and that can be the cause for some concern when pressured. Overall, a good prospect that would be a good pick up (again, in the mold of Speight), but I do think there is a gap between him and the other 2016 offered QBs.

It's noted above that he does have to speed things up a bit, from his drop to his draw back. This is addressed in the OP and in Magnus's post. Magnus also touches on the point that he drops his elbow, and I agree. That's where I reference him "pushing" the football above. His ball will float a bit, especially on the short and intermediate, and tends to take longer getting to the WR on deep throws, but my belief is that is more is true arm strength, and his ball rotation actually improves his throwing strength relative to his actual arm strenght.

Space Coyote

June 19th, 2014 at 11:29 AM ^

Because it was all but assumed (Brian even stated he was slotting deWeaver in the '16 class about a year ago) that Borges was going to offer him. Borges was very high on deWeaver previously, not to mention the similarities in throwing styles between Speight and deWeaver. I'm not advocating or insinuating anything else, other than saying it appears that the staff as a whole liked deWeaver, at least enough to have Nuss give him an early look and offer, rather than waiting on other prospects.

Nuss hasn't typically offered QBs that have film similar to deWeaver. And while, yes, Nuss doesn't have a history at Michigan, he does have a history. I don't think it's unfair to look at that history and notice it appear slightly different in this case. Don't try to read anything more into that.

Magnus

June 19th, 2014 at 6:47 AM ^

I think an Ohio State offer for an Ohio kid is always a threat. However, he has always seemed more interested in Michigan than OSU, and I don't believe he's an Urban Meyer-style quarterback. So I don't see that developing into an issue going forward.

woodfeld

June 18th, 2014 at 6:03 PM ^

Does anyone know if they are only taking 1 QB in the 2016 class?  Reason I ask is because they'd offered quite a few guys, a number of which were interested (specifically Shea Patterson).

Bodogblog

June 18th, 2014 at 6:14 PM ^

Great news today

Start working this kid to block for you:

2016 5* OL Liam Eichenberg names his leader and will visit Ann Arbor again in July. More here (VIP):

MGoBender

June 18th, 2014 at 11:15 PM ^

I know it's fairly obvious since he's a 5 star, but if you're talking Ohio State, I would type Ohio State.  Not just Ohio.  Cuz Ohio is a different school.  It may be just my pet peeve, but I know the lead writers of the blog have ditched the "Ohio" schtick and I think for good reason.  It's schticky and it actually can be confusing.  

I don't follow recruiting extremely closely anymore and for all I know this recruit's dad coaches at Ohio U and he could be considering it.