Michigan has a 2012 commitment from MI LB Royce Jenkins-Stone.
|4*, #7 OLB||NR LB||NR OLB||4*, 93, #18 OLB#174 Overall|
The recruiting sites are in near-complete agreement: Royce is 6-2, 215 pounds. When I saw him play early last season, I thought he looked pretty skinny, so either that's an overestimate of his weight, or he has the frame to get up to 230 or 240 pounds pretty easily. I think both are true to a degree.
Since it's so early in the process, there's very little out there on him. Scout's Allen Trieu:
He just might have as much upside as any other prospect in the state. He has a great frame at 6'2, 215-lbs, and has athleticism and speed to go with it. As a junior, he really stepped it up one more notch by adding discipline and the ability to make reads and attack to his game.
He plays as much fullback for Cass Tech as he does linebacker, and he's a punishing inside runner in their spread-type attack. The criticism on Royce has been that he needs to play with equal violence on defense as he does on O.
Once he learns to play with a nasty attitude, he seems like an excellent prospect. His frame and athleticism are both near-perfect, and he has a lot of upside if he lives up to his potential.
Cincinnati, Michigan State, Iowa, Pittsburgh, and Toledo were Royce's early non-Michigan offers. However, he blew up over the past month or so, earning offers from the likes of Alabama, Oklahoma, and Florida. This kid is a Big Deal.
ESPN has his junior stats:
Registered 90 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions. Rushed for 10 touchdowns..
Not bad, but keep in mind that Detroit Public Schools often inflate player stats. Adjust accordingly.
FAKE 40 TIME
None of the sites have listed 40 times. I'll shame them by saying five FAKEs out of five.
You might be able to catch a few glimpses of him (#10) from last year's Friday Night Lights video on Delonte Hollowell.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Royce has excellent physical skills and potential. He could eventually slot in at any of the linebacker positions, though I think strongside seems the most likely at this point.
With Michigan's huge haul of linebackers in 2011, Royce won't have to play right away, and should be able to spend his freshman year redshirting. The new depth in front of him should allow him to spend another year learning the system and playing special teams, before he works into a bigger role as a redshirt sophomore.
As an upperclassman, Royce should be a heavy member of the rotation, taking control of a starting position by the end of his redshirt junior year, and potentially earning All-Conference honors as a senior.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Royce is Michigan's second linebacker commit in 2 days. Since Michigan took several linebackers last year (though maybe not any who are naturals at strongside 'backer), they don't need more than a couple in this class. One more (probably the first of MI LB James Ross and OH LB Joe Bolden to commit) should close out the recruiting class at the position.
Basically every position other than linebacker is a remaining need in the class. Offensive and defensive lines in particular are needs, because Michigan's depth is light there.