Hello: Kevin Doyle

Submitted by Ace on September 25th, 2017 at 3:31 PM

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.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #30 P-QB 3* P-QB 4*, 80, #27 P-QB 3*, 88, #15 P-QB,
#390 Ovr
3*, #21 P-QB,
#544 Ovr

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.]

SCOUTING

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.

OFFERS

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.

HIGH SCHOOL

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.

STATS

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.

VIDEO

The single-game De La Salle reel from this season that caught Pep Hamilton's eye:

Junior highlights:

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:

Comments

Gentleman Squirrels

September 25th, 2017 at 3:43 PM ^

Are there any recruits that are favoring Michigan? Besides Mustapha Muhammed, I can't think of any.

Similarly, are there any recruits expected to announce anytime soon?

Final question, how many early enrollees can Michigan take this year?

corundum

September 25th, 2017 at 3:50 PM ^

Just because Milton has dreadlocks doesn't mean he's a canditate to become a converted WR. He's coming in as a developmental prospect and with the options in front of him, he deserves at least 2-3 years to refine his QB skillset. He features athletisicm to break the pocket, but he's absolutely a pocket-passing QB. Not sure if his speed and agility translates to a P5 WR, if anything he could possibly bulk up and become a TE.

MGJS SuperKick Party

September 25th, 2017 at 3:54 PM ^

100% agree with you. People tend to think he is a duel threat because of his recruiting profile said it for a bit. He’s got an elite arm that you don’t see in many high school kids. He’s raw, but the desirable skills to set himself apart from his peers are there. Milton is a Harbaugh dream QB.

Kevin13

September 25th, 2017 at 4:07 PM ^

but, he is very raw and if in 2 years he doesn't look like he's going to have a shot at starting he would probably change positions. You would have to give him some time to adjust to a new position and if he doesn't make a change until his 4th year he will probably never really contribute. With his athleticisim you want to find a way to get him on the field.

I think he has the chops to play QB and could be something special, but with as raw as he is you never know if you can harness it and make him a top flight QB and why I think it's mentioned he could also be a candidate to change positions. I think a player like Doyle is an all out QB or else he doesn't play like a Malzone.

Brimley

September 25th, 2017 at 4:39 PM ^

To be fair, I'm not sure that Ace was suggesting Milton's coming in as a possible WR at some point.  I think his greater point is that Joe is really hard to project and used the NFL lock/WR thing to accentuate that.

Either way, welcome to both these guys and I hope that they enjoy their friendly competition...and lots of Michigan wins.

JeepinBen

September 26th, 2017 at 10:59 AM ^

However as a big athlete Milton has a great "plan B" if the whole QB thing doesn't work out. Harbaugh has a track record of turning developmental QBs into productive players at other positions. See Gentry.

If Milton is truly a "boom or bust" prospect, he has better fallback options than truly "bust"

WoodleyIsBeast

September 25th, 2017 at 3:47 PM ^

That any QB under 6'4 is off limits for Harbaugh.  He knows what he wants, the odds of one of them hitting in a big way and being a top pick is high, and it just seems like the right thing to do if you can make it happen.

smwilliams

September 25th, 2017 at 3:52 PM ^

Wow, I saw the initial commitment post on the board and didn't really read it. Had zero idea he went to St. John's, which is where I went. Certainly the first player I can remember from St. John's to go to Michigan.

Now I'm definitely hoping he becomes the next great Michigan QB. 

Blue Mind and Heart

September 25th, 2017 at 4:07 PM ^

With Speight taking a step back, next year is about as open as you will get with a major college program. Surprised they didn't push for a flip somewhere. I am not a huge recruiting guy so maybe there isn't anything but seems like you have a slightly different story to push. What's the rush?

S5R48S10

September 25th, 2017 at 4:54 PM ^

"... will likely sit behind the winner of the Peters/McCaffrey QB derby for a couple more seasons..."

 

Boy, what a dizzying fall for Speight.  From "a decision to make about the NFL" in the preseason to projected to be passed as a 5th year senior by guys currently 3rd and 4th on the depth chart.  Don't get me wrong, I hope Peters/McCaffrey are ready to play next year, but that's a long way down for Wilton.  

MightAndMainWeCheer

September 25th, 2017 at 5:12 PM ^

 

I mentioned this in the thread on the board.  Doyle has a very compact and smooth trhowing motion (in contract to Joe Milton's throwing motion).  I think Milton has a stronger arm but Doyle has far less mechanical work ahead of him.