Hello: Sammy Faustin Comment Count

Ace August 2nd, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Michigan continued their recruiting roll today by adding three-star Naples (FL) defensive back Sammy Faustin, the fourth BBQ at the Big House visitor to commit since Saturday.

Faustin is a Don Brown target who went from no offers at the end of 2016 to 20+ in the spring. Michigan joined the fray in February and immediately jumped out to a lead; they see Faustin as a safety:

“When they called me, it was like, yeah, doesn't matter to me, it's cool," he said. "They also asked if I'd like to come play at Michigan, like if I'd come play safety, because they're recruiting me as a safety. I was like, yeah, I'll play wherever you need me to play. It doesn't matter to me.”

Faustin is the 13th commit in the 2018 class and the fourth in the defensive backfield, joining fellow lanky CB/S prospects Myles Sims, Gemon Green, and German Green. Brown definitely has a type.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #75 CB,
#876 Ovr
3* CB NR CB 3*, 86, #74 CB,
#730 Ovr
3*, #78 CB,
#870 Ovr

So, yeah, prepare for some comments. Faustin is well off the four-star pace at this point at every site save Rivals, which gives him a 5.7 rating, their highest for three-star prospects. (Somehow this doesn't merit giving him a position ranking.) Scout and 247 have given him cursory three-star ratings, while ESPN—the only site that has an evaluation on him—hasn't bothered to rank him yet.

Every site save ESPN (6'1", 177) lists Faustin at 6'2", 170 pounds. He's built, well, like all of Michigan's other defensive back commits, and like the others should have the versatility to play cornerback or safety.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]


There's surprisingly little out there on Faustin given he's from Florida, so let's start with his junior highlights:

The main attribute that jumps out to me is Faustin's football IQ. He has a great sense of where the ball is going and reacts with remarkable quickness. The play at 1:55 is something I'm not sure I've seen from a high school corner: Faustin plays press man, runs his man's route for him, somehow realizes the quarterback is throwing to the next receiver over, and breaks on the ball in time to make a play on it.

He also looks equally comfortable in press man, off man, and zone coverage, which is rare for a high school prospect. Again, his recognition and ability to break on the ball stand out, whether it's a pass, screen, or run—a great trait for a safety. While he's not a forceful hitter, he takes good angles to the ball in the open field and looks like a sure tackler. He looks quite underrated to me as a safety prospect, and he also displays the potential to be a significant contributor on special teams—in addition to solid open-field tackles, he tears off the edge for a couple blocked kicks in that reel.

ESPN has the only full-blown scouting report from any of the four recruiting services:

Strengths: Versatile defender who can play outside and projects as a FS. Shows ball skills and ability to stick his foot to drive on the ball. ... Areas of Improvement: Strength in his tackling, consistency of footwork and leverage in his pedal. Development of more size will benefit the position. ... Bottom Line: FS prospect with ball skills and versatility. Leverages routes effectively and is consistent to make plays. Will need to develop short area burst, balance and base in his pedal and his strength to realize his upside.

Adding strength and refining technique are the main areas of improvement; these are coachable areas. Meanwhile, his coverage skills will translate well to playing safety in Brown's defense, which often requires safeties to play man-to-man in the slot.

Faustin's high school coach, who's admittedly not the most unbiased source, believes he has a future in the NFL:

Naples High School's Hall of Fame head coach has seen dozens of Division I prospects come through his program over the years. He knows rising senior defensive back Sammy Faustin has a chance to be special.

"I don't say this, you've never heard me say this, but he's the guy that can play on Sundays," Kramer said. ...

"When you see the length and the ability to run, we knew there was something special, plus his attitude. He's the sweetest guy.  He's a true competitor, but he is a gentleman off the field. God gave him a whole bunch of tools in his tool kit, and I'm proud of him for maximizing it."

SBNation's Bud Elliott was asked about Faustin on Twitter, and while Elliott didn't think he was Florida-FSU-Miami caliber, he made him sound like the ideal Don Brown safety:

It appears opponents largely avoided throwing at Faustin last year, as noted when he was named third-team all-state:

DB — Sammy Faustin, Sr., Naples
Teams stayed away from Faustin, creating opportunities for the rest of the team. Had 31 tackles.

Of Michigan's current defensive back haul, Faustin looks most likely to wind up at safety (it's either him or German Green) and I like his potential there quite a bit.


Faustin holds offers from Arizona, Iowa State, Kentucky, Maryland, NC State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Purdue, UCF, USF, Virginia, Appalachian State, ECU, FIU, Georgia Southern, and Western Kentucky. Florida has shown interest but has yet to offer.


Naples competes in Florida's 6A classification, the third-largest in the state. They've produced three four-star signees since 2002, most notably former OSU and current San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde, according to the Rivals database.


According to MaxPreps, Faustin recorded 39 tackles (30 solo) with an interception, four passes defensed, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries as a junior.


Faustin has an unverified 4.63 40 time on his Hudl page, which gets three FAKEs out of five.


Single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.


Faustin looks like a safety to me, which means he'll likely have the luxury of developing for a couple years behind Josh Metellus, J'Marick Woods, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and Brad Hawkins before working his way into the rotation. While he could potentially line up at corner, the path the field is tougher at that spot, and Faustin's skill set seems best-suited for safety regardless.


Faustin is the 13th commit in a class that should eventually end up at 20-24 prospects, depending on attrition. Michigan took five defensive backs in the 2017 class, so they can stay put with this group of four unless they can land a top-tier prospect like Josh Jobe or Isaac Taylor-Stuart. They'll continue to recruit targets at RB, WR, TE, OT, DT, and DE.

Here's the class as it currently stands:



August 2nd, 2017 at 4:15 PM ^

Good for the guy but we could easily get these type of prospects in October or November. I was hoping we would be more selective with a small class but we're filling up and don't have much room for higher end prospects that have committed to us in December and January like the past two years. Maybe it's going to be a bigger class like 22 or 23?


August 2nd, 2017 at 4:29 PM ^

It could also be that the staff feels he's a good fit (who might get better offers down the road considering he went from nothing to 20+ in a couple of months) and who knows who sticks around in a class or not. It's why I don't get the complaining about class composition in August; this staff is as smart and professional as any, and I trust they know why they accept offers from kids when they do.

Gucci Mane

August 2nd, 2017 at 6:07 PM ^

No way. Is OSU struggling to find higher ranked players ? Unless Harbuagh is the smartest guy in coaching (maybe he is) then its not fair to make excuses for every low ranked recruit. I do however believe that guys like this will be pushed out of the class if we can get plan A targets later.


August 3rd, 2017 at 12:46 AM ^

was top-notch trollish, but an ad hominem attack here?  

This has nothing to do with his ability to evaluate talent.  It's not GucciMane vs. Harbaugh who are deciding how good this guy might be.  It's every other top 10-20ish program's coaching staff that hasn't offered and doesn't think highly enough of the guy to offer.  I'll still take Brown and Harbaugh's talent evaluation, so that's the correct response:  Harbaugh knows more than those other guys, not Harbaugh knows more than you.


August 3rd, 2017 at 9:09 AM ^

Third team all-state in Florida is pretty high company. Seems to me somebody sees the same thing the staff does. The recruiting sites have just seemed to turn to meaningless. They are so inconsistent it makes it vertually impossible to know who's evaluation to trust. I have flat out learned to trust the staff and the fact that they have the inside tract on everything and more professional experience than anybody.


August 2nd, 2017 at 8:11 PM ^

Or they could just like the guys they have and recognize that the difference between the #18 safety and the #23, to them, isn't a meaningful distinction. OSU is doing it's best Alabama impression on the recruiting trail, but I don't think there is any value in assuming Michigan is doing something wrong just because they aren't looking like a rival.


August 2nd, 2017 at 9:42 PM ^

People really need to quit with this "why can't we recruit like OSU" stuff. We can't recruit like OSU right now for many reasons, so we got a coach who churned out NFL players at the same rate that OSU does while recruiting like a good MAC team. And he's recruiting better than any Michigan team has since the 90's.

Kmart Carcajou

August 2nd, 2017 at 10:30 PM ^

Your comment was so rediculous that you've compelled me to creat an account just to reply to it and I've been happily lurking here several times daily for over ten years. 3 star guys may not be 5 star guys, but they're far from being low ranked commits. If there are about 130 1A teams and a hundred or so guys on each, your looking at 13,000+ players. A guy ranked at 700 in a given year isn't exactly low. Not to mention that the staff probably feels that they have enough "sure thing" guys that they can take some shots on projects with very high ceilings due to work ethic, size and football IQ (which all of our 3 stars seem to have in spades). And I trust the assesment of our coaches more so than recruiting sites. Much like so called experts Mel Kiper and Todd Mcshay are never even close to how the draft actually goes down nor are they in line with the evaluations of pro football scouts. Some previous 3 star guys for example

Aaron Rodgers

Richard Sherman

Von Miller

Our own Chris Evans

Braylon Edwards

Neither Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger had a single star

Just trust in the staff, they know what they're doing. Harbuagh was running up the score on top recruiting teams at Stanford with way less heralded recruits than he's bringing in here.


August 3rd, 2017 at 5:13 PM ^

a reflection of the opinion of the collective football coaching community than they are of non-football coaches.  A guys offer list is heavily weighted.  That's why you see guys get bumped when they get higher offers.

This guy has a fairly mediocre offer list.  That obviously doesn't mean he's not a good fit for our program and our defense, but he is not currently a widely coveted player, and that is indisputable.


August 3rd, 2017 at 5:19 PM ^

3-star doesn't mean a guy will absolutely be mediocre.  He still has a probability distribution of productivity outcomes.  It's just less likely that 3-stars will be all-conference players.  For every Stribling, there is likely to be about three JBB's, Mo Ways, Noah Furbush's, Jared Wangler, and Brady Pallante who weren't starting material at Michigan and who make up 5/7 of our three stars in the 2014 class.

It's a numbers game and it's very hard to escape the numbers.  If anyone can consistently though, it's Harbaugh.

Honk if Ufer M…

August 3rd, 2017 at 9:56 PM ^

Not that this is what's happening here, but there are other factors in building a team, such as team chemistry, so called locker room guys, and guys who will work their asses off with every possible ounce of effort and be good examples or inspiration for other guys. Guys who will put their all into being the best scout team guys they can be or the best back ups and sideline guys, knowing that all those parts working together with enthusiasm make a big difference.

Not everybody can play or play enough, you need a certain amount of guys that are ready to deal with lesser roles without becoming a problem for the team but will work their asses off to contribute if they can on game day, but help just as much as they can in practice even if they never play, and to be ready if ever called upon. 

You need a mix of role players, want to guys, blue collar guys, love Michigan guys, good teammates and top talent and big stars. 

Harbaugh has already consistently had scads of guys show remarkable improvement or previously hidden abilities from what they had shown all career to what they showed in his first year, and, or dramatic improvement over the course of a season. So there is no reason to suspect he can't turn underrated guys into quality players. 

Look at the extreme number of walk on's with success and that looked good in the spring game. So with all the top talent he's stockpiling and has interested in us and that will continue to be from now on, there is plenty of room for a certain amount of guys who will be projects but hard working good teammates that will eventually be good players, and guys who will just be part of the team.


August 2nd, 2017 at 8:05 PM ^

Stars and offers are just indicators that a prospect has a higher probablility of having success, but it is not the end all be all, in fact a ton of three stars have been first round NFL pick studs. More than half of Jim Harbaugh scholarship players make it to the NFL in some form and Don Brown made a power five defense of just two stars into the best in the nation. If they think this guy is scholarship worthy, than I'm on board.

If anything, if the guy doesn't pan out, I'm pretty sure this is the staff that will let him go before he signs.