Michigan has recently been looking around for a second quarterback to join Joe Milton in the 2018 class. They got their man last night when three-star St. John's College High (Washington DC) pro-style QB Kevin Doyle announced his commitment. While Doyle had previously been on Michigan's radar, participating in last summer's A4 quarterback camp, interest from the coaches took off over the last few weeks when Doyle got off to an impressive start to his senior season:
Doyle, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound prospect, had offers from Ole Miss, Iowa, Nebraska, Pitt and many others, but had only recently crossed more heavily onto the Michigan radar.
"It came up probably three weeks ago after my game on ESPN," he said. "We played [Concord (Calif.)] De La Salle on September 2nd and it was a tough loss, but we fought hard. Coach [Pep] Hamilton said he was watching the game and told Coach Harbaugh 'we need to re-evaluate this Kevin Doyle, he's a nice player.' They re-watched the film, got in touch and and I got to go up with my teammate Quentin Johnson for the Air Force game. We spent a lot of time together and it was all positive.
"After watching our St. Joseph Regional game -- they're ranked No. 14 in the country -- they started to take more interest in me. They offered me and I decided it was the best place for me."
Doyle is the 14th commit in Michigan's 2018 class.
|3*, #30 P-QB||3* P-QB||4*, 80, #27 P-QB||
3*, 88, #15 P-QB,
3*, #21 P-QB,
Doyle's rankings are in a relatively tight window, as Scout and ESPN give him position ranks around 30th among pro-style QBs and Rivals is likely right there with them (they only rank 30 P-QBs and Doyle has the same 5.6 rating as the #22 P-QB). While ESPN is the service to give Doyle a fourth star, 247 is actually the most bullish, ranking him 15th among P-QBs. On Michigan's commitment list, Doyle slots in between Christian Turner and Sammy Faustin.
All four sites list Doyle at 6'4", 210 pounds, and the scouting reports indicate he has room to pack some muscle onto that frame.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and more.]
Sometimes you can get insight into a prospect simply based on which articles are and aren't present on his recruiting profile. Doyle seems like one of those guys. There are multiple articles mentioning that he'd be participating in one of the Opening regional camps or the like; many of them lack follow-ups, indicating that Doyle doesn't always stand out in a camp setting. That's far from a kiss of death; it is a sign that Doyle's raw physical skills don't always stand out in a crowd.
The scouting reports we do have back that up to an extent. Rivals' Adam Friedman mentioned a need to add arm strength after the Beast of the East Underclassman Showcase in January of 2016:
Doyle has good size and is accurate but he needs to improve his arm strength to continue to be viewed as one of the region’s top underclassmen quarterbacks.
He does seem to be improving in that regard. Six months later at Michigan State's elite camp, Scout's Allen Trieu named Doyle one of the top ten overall performers:
In a good group of young quarterbacks, he was another who stood out. Solid size and good arm.
He also displayed traits important for a QB lacking an arm-cannon, according to then-MSU-beat-writer Mike Wilson:
This year, the group had four main competitors from the 2018 class: Rockford's Jason Whittaker, Divine Child's Theo Day, Malvern (Pa.) Prep's Kevin Doyle and Morristown (Tenn.) West's John Foreback.
I thought Doyle and Day had the best days, with Whittaker right behind them and then Foreback - but all were solid. I liked Day's delivery and the way he moves around, as there is very listed wasted movement in his motions. His footwork is nice and he has a big arm.
Doyle threw a good ball often, as he threw the most consistent spiral and made some of the most accurate and well-anticipated throws at the camp.
Doyle otherwise had a relatively quiet camp season, at least as it comes to making top performer lists. 247's Steve Wiltfong mentioned him as one of the QBs who "flashed" at the Opening DC regional, mentioning his steadiness during the Elite11 drills. That's about it from this spring and summer.
While that must be taken into account, it's possible Doyle is one of those players who's much better when the pads are on. ESPN's scouting report highlights a lot of little things you don't necessarily get to see in a camp setting:
STRENGTHS: Tall with an excellent frame and stature to see the field. Smart player who makes the right decisions with the football from the pocket. Possesses a decisive release and flashes good zip to get the ball where it needs to be. Throws his receivers open and keeps the ball away from defenders. ... AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: Will need to fill out his ample frame. Can be tense and deliberate in his methods as a passer. Not sure he can change arm angles. ... BOTTOM LINE: Doyle is a big, adequately athletic signal caller who has a nice feel for the game. He'll need to hit the weights, but he has some tools to mold.
The free evaluation from Scout's Brian Dohn doesn't sound like one for a middle-of-the-pack three-star:
Doyle stands tall in the pocket and gets through his progressions. He uses his size well and throws the ball from the top. The ball spins well coming out of his hand and he is quick to set his feet, turn his hips and throw the ball effortlessly. He feels pressure well and moves around the pocket. He can throw the ball to the numbers and he shows nice touch down the field. Doyle needs to continue to get stronger, which will also increase his already strong arm. Doyle has the ability to make yards with his feet, but that is not the strength of his game. -- Brian Dohn
I started to highlight the good bits in there and ended up bolding practically the entire paragraph. Dohn added some detail after Doyle's commitment:
Doyle is a hard worker, at his physical skills and in watching film. He does a good job with pre-snap reads, and in St. John's offense, he is asked to make quick decisions and deliver the ball quickly. There are times his arm drags a bit as his release lengthens, but for the most part, he is quick in getting ride of the ball.
Accuracy is something Doyle worked hard on and improved since his junior season. He has nice touch on short passes, especially swinging the ball to the running back, and he is not afraid to try and fit balls into tight windows. He throws a nice deep ball, and knows how to look off the safety.
Dohn concluded it will require "a bit of time for him to develop, but he has a nice starting base."
Doyle looks like the right type of player to add to a class that already has a quarterback like Milton, who's got incredible arm strength and a lot of refining to do. Doyle has a lower ceiling but also a considerably higher floor.
Doyle's most notable offers were from Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Pitt, Purdue, Syracuse, and West Virginia. He also holds offers from Princeton and Yale, in case anyone had concerns on the academic side. Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and Penn State were among the schools that showed interest without extending an offer.
St. John's is one of the top programs in the DMV area, producing nine prospects with four- or five-star ratings since 2002, per the Rivals database. Doyle transferred from Malvern Prep High School (PA) to St. John's before this season to replace four-star QB Kasim Hill, who's already earned playing time for Maryland as a true freshman.
I couldn't find complete stats for Doyle.
FAKE 40 TIME
Doyle has a SPARQ-verified 4.92 40 time, which gets zero FAKEs out of five. While he doesn't possess elite athleticism, he can break the pocket and make some plays with his feet.
The single-game De La Salle reel from this season that caught Pep Hamilton's eye:
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Doyle and Milton are both dead locks to redshirt, as Michigan should have Wilton Speight, Brandon Peters, and Dylan McCaffrey manning the two-deep in one order or another next season. Unless one develops ahead of schedule, they'll likely sit behind the winner of the Peters/McCaffrey QB derby for a couple more seasons before competing for a shot at the starting gig. Attempting to project who will have the edge between Doyle and Milton is nearly impossible at this stage; Milton could be anything from a no-doubt NFL prospect to a converted wide receiver by then.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan is very much set at quarterback with two in the class. They're up to 14 total commits in a class that should settle into the low 20s. You can expect M to fill out the class with prospects at WR, TE, OT, DT, and S, and they're in the mix with a couple RBs as well.
Michigan's 2018 class now ranks 15th nationally and third in the Big Ten. Here's the class as it currently stands: