Photo via Scout
Fort Lauderdale (FL) Cooper City DE/TE Rashad Weaver announced his commitment to Michigan on Twitter this evening, becoming the 12th member of the 2016 class and the first at either defensive end or tight end. Weaver added his offer after performing in front of the coaches at the South Florida satellite camp, and it didn't take long for him to accept it.
|NR DE||2* WDE||NR DE||NR SDE||2*, #108 DT|
So much for not getting embroiled in the same debate we've been having about the value of recruiting stars versus in-person coaching evaluations. Weaver got a cursory two-star rating from Rivals and has yet to be evaluated by the other sites. Jim Harbaugh doesn't care about your opinion on this matter.
The sites are in agreement about Weaver's size, all listing him in the neighborhood of 6'5", 245 pounds. That kind of frame should help him fit as either an SDE or TE.
Once again, we go to the tape first, because there's practically nothing out there on Weaver. Here are his junior highlights:
And here are his highlights from this spring:
Weaver does a solid job of crashing down the line to clean up runs, and his size/strength combination allows him to hold up well at the point of attack against that level of competition—down the road, he's going to need to utilize his hands more to disengage from blocks. His pass-rushing ability seems limited, though the knack for batting down passes shouldn't go overlooked. We don't get to see him play much tight end at all. He's clearly not a burner, but he could easily get to the size where he's a useful blocker, and if he's got decent hands to add to that then Harbaugh will be pleased.
247's Clint Brewster tweeted his impression of Weaver's film after the commitment was announced:
Weaver is a long DE with size and point-of-attack strength. Makes hustle plays. Can cross the face of OT's and get inside to play the run.
— Clint Brewster (@clintbrew247) June 14, 2015
Weaver discussed how he earned his offer in a post-commitment interview with The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):
"I started camp at the D-end, and went all the way through all the drills and the one-on-ones, winning those," he explained. "Then with like 10 minutes left, they pulled me over to tight end one-on-ones, and I did four routes and caught a couple balls. They told me they like me at both positions and they're recruiting me as just a big athlete. Possibly even both ways at the next level.
"A couple days later I was sitting on the couch, and Coach [Jay] had asked me something. I don't remember what I responded, but he said, 'how would you feel if I told you that you have a full scholarship offer to the University of Michigan?' I told him that I was sitting there smiling like a little kid that just got a whole bunch of candy. He said again when I got off the phone with them that they like me on both sides."
Like Kiante Enis, Chris Evans, Michael Onwenu, and David Reese, Weaver has positional flexibilty and could contribute on either side of the ball at Michigan.
Weaver holds offers from Air Force, Columbia, Cornell, FIU, Illinois, Louisiana Lafayette, South Florida, Syracuse, and Temple.
Cooper City isn't a major D-I talent producer. Weaver is just the third major college prospect from the school since 2002, following 2010 Miami (OH) signee Travis Williams and 2013 Tennessee signee Lemond Johnson, according to the Rivals database.
The only stats I can find for Weaver are from the hardwood instead of the gridiron; he averaged seven points and nine boards for the Cooper City basketball squad in the eight games recorded on MaxPreps last season.
FAKE 40 TIME
ESPN lists a 5.23 40 that looks to be from a SPARQ camp, so it gets zero FAKEs out of five.
[Update: His Hudl page lists a 4.90, which isn't verified by SPARQ, but also doesn't seem too fake. Again, he's not a burner, but he doesn't look like a plodding blocking-only guy, either.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Your guess is as good as mine. Weaver could end up at strongside end, where he'd compete with incoming freshman Shelton Johnson for a role once the Charlton/Wormley duo graduates following the 2016 season. Or he could play tight end, where he'd figure into the rotation behind Jake Butt, Khalid Hill, Ian Bunting, and Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Either way, Weaver seems like a lock to redshirt while he develops physically and the coaching staff figures out where he should play—though with Harbaugh, there's certainly a chance he lines up on both sides of the ball.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan now sits at 12 commits in a class that currently has room for 14. Again, that number will inevitably go up due to unrenewed fifth-years, attrition under a new coach, and the like. Areas of need in the class include offensive line, defensive tackle, weakside end, outside linebacker, and safety.