Hello: Sean McKeon Comment Count

Ace June 15th, 2015 at 4:44 PM

NOTE: Yes, I'm aware that Victor Viramontes committed last night, too. That post is coming up later.

Dudley (MA) Shepherd Hill tight end Sean McKeon became the 13th commit of the 2016 class—and the seventh this month alone—after informing the coaches of his decision following a strong showing at Michigan's camp today, per Sam Webb.

McKeon is the first tight end commit in the class. He chose the Wolverines over fellow finalists Syracuse, Pitt, Boston College, and Virginia.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #51 TE 2* TE NR TE 3*, 84, #51 TE,
#1124 Ovr
3*, #57 TE,
#1392 Ovr

This post has been updated.

McKeon's rankings fall into familiar territory; only Scout had bothered to give him a positional ranking until 247 updated his profile last night. Massachusetts isn't exactly a football recruiting hotbed, so it's not a huge surprise that McKeon hadn't received a close look from the recruiting services. Based on his film, I don't think he'll be ranked this low for long.

All but Rivals (6'4", 230 lbs.) list McKeon at 6'5" and 226-230 pounds. He'll need to pack on some muscle before he gets to the next level, but he's got the frame of a guy who should be able to play with his hand in the dirt.

SCOUTING

Scout has a full evaluation up on McKeon's profile—at the moment, he's definitely a receiving-first tight end:

Evaluation

McKeon is an intriguing prospect because of his combination of size, speed and athleticism. He needs to get stronger, which will help his blocking, but he releases well off the line of scrimmage and gets into his routes well. He high-points the ball in traffic and is also tough to bring down after the catch. When blocking, the intent and desire is there, but he needs to get stronger to stay on and finish the block. -- Brian Dohn

Strengths

  • Downfield Threat
  • Route-Running Skills
  • Running Ability

Areas to Improve

  • Blocking Ability
  • Strength

McKeon caught Scout's eye at May's Pylon 7-on-7 tournament in New Jersey, landing several offers on his way to being named one of their recruits of the week:

McKeon had a strong showing at the Pylon 7-on-7 at Woodbridge (N.J.) High, and showed saw a burst of offers as Syracuse and Boston College extended ones to go along with Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Temple, Massachusetts, Air Force, Old Dominion, Yale and Harvard.

McKeon added size to his frame and was quick getting in and out of breaks at the event. He lined up as a receiver, and high-pointed the ball and was able to tuck it away quickly.

He also shared position MVP honors at April's NUC Five-Star Showcase in New Jersey; the Rivals analysis doesn't say anything beyond him having good size and athleticism ($).

247's Clint Brewster broke down McKeon's film and sees him as a red zone threat who can also stretch the defense vertically:

McKeon is a big weapon in the red zone with his mismatch ability and how he can sneak out into a route. He's got the straight line speed and ability to threaten the seam. McKeon can extend and pluck the ball when it's in the air but shows some stiffness when he has to turn and adjust his body. He shows some very good straight-line speed, being timed at 4.69 officially in the forty yard dash and also vertical jumped 36.5 inches. Has the toughness and hard-nosed demeanor that Michigan likes.

Brewster also likes McKeon's blocking more than Scout, though since that's based off a highlight reel I'd probably defer to Dohn's more extensive evaluation.

OFFERS

McKeon held offers from Air Force, Boston College, Colorado State, Columbia, UConn, Harvard, UMass, Pitt, Syracuse, Temple, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Yale. I don't think academics will be a concern.

HIGH SCHOOL

Only one other Shepherd Hill product has signed with a D-I school since 2002: three-star 2015 OL Chris Lindstrom, who signed with Boston College.

STATS

According to Rivals, McKeon caught 19 passes for 354 yards and three TDs as a junior, in addition to tallying 57 tackles, 11 TFLs, and eight sacks as a defensive end.

FAKE 40 TIME

McKeon's 4.69 40 time is listed as verified by multiple outlets, and gets zero FAKEs out of five. That's excellent straight-line speed for a high school tight end prospect.

VIDEO

Junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

McKeon looks like a good bet to redshirt while he adds strength and waits behind Jake Butt, Ian Bunting, Khalid Hill, Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and perhaps Chase Winovich when he gets to campus in 2016. With his potential to line up as either a TE-Y (hand in the dirt) or split out, he should start competing for a spot on the two-deep as a redshirt freshman.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

McKeon's commitment brought Michigan to 13 commits, and with Victor Viramontes' commitment late last night, the Wolverines have fillled all 14 of the spots currently open. That number is certain to grow, and I'll have a post later this week taking a closer look at the scholarship situation.

Comments

wildbackdunesman

June 15th, 2015 at 4:47 PM ^

Harbaugh has gotten a lot of commits that also have Ivy League offers.  I wonder if there is a conscious effort to recruit IQ in some of these spots.

McKeon has Ivy League offers from Harvard, Yale, and Columbia.  He also has an offer from the Air Force Academy.

dragonchild

June 16th, 2015 at 12:29 PM ^

I think when coaching Stanford he either realized or re-affirmed the benefit of really smart players.  This isn't just to avoid eligibility issues or for bragging rights; he's turning around the usual disdain football has for academics into a huge advantage.  Since Michigan is a top-20 university, it's easy to attract the brainy guys, so let's use those brains.

The Stanford playbook was supposedly 300 plays and didn't fit on a single arm chart.  That didn't just include plenty of constraints and multiple schemes, it put serious pressure on the opposing defense.  If you're We-Ain't-Here-To-Play-School U so you recruit a corner because he can run 40 in 4.4 but couldn't be bothered to memorize a goddamn multiplication table, good luck preparing that guy for a playbook the size of a dictionary.  Of course if they're less athletic it won't matter, but McKeon runs a 4.69 at 225-230 pounds.  Big, fast AND smart is the ultimate matchup nightmare.

alum96

June 15th, 2015 at 4:56 PM ^

I just found this post from the future, dated Jan 28, 2016:

"Remember that one time the Sean McKeon committment bogged down the MGo servers more than today's Rashan Gary committment?

That was cool."

--------------

Anyhow sounds like a superior athlete for his size which speaks to a guy who could (yet again) change positions down the road if TE is not the best spot.

...holding the fastest verified 40-time of any tight end in the country at 4.65 and also the highest vertical jump (36.2 inches).

Quail2theVict0r

June 15th, 2015 at 5:28 PM ^

I'm glad we're picking up recruits, but it's hard to get excited about under-the-radar prospects like this. Maybe he'll turn out, but it's very unlikely that the majority of these two star kids we've picked up over the past two days will amount to much. Maybe one of the three will statistically. 

dragonchild

June 16th, 2015 at 12:34 PM ^

Not all of these commits will attend Michigan; that's just an inevitability.  What I like, though, is that these offers are based on camps where the coaches were there.  Not just visiting schools or looking at recruiting rankings.  These are "under the radar" prospects but Harbaugh wasn't looking at the radar; this was a canopy view of the dogfights.

ThoseWhoStayUofM

June 15th, 2015 at 7:00 PM ^

This recruiting class is quickly becoming an embarrassment... Maybe we could have helped Hoke hire a competent staff instead of firing him. He was a great recruiter and coach, and of course, there's the added bonus that Hoke tends to keep his shirt on.

cigol

June 15th, 2015 at 8:28 PM ^

If we have a great season and show huge upward trajectory, there are going to be a lot of stud recruits on the outside looking in at kids with Harvard offers.  I know we take pride in whatnot in seeing our recruits with Harvard offers, but this isnt 1935 any more. We dont need the all american gentleman.  We need some Sparty-esque batshit crazy d-linemen that can get after the QB.

In Harbaugh we trust and all, but cumong mang.  Tweak the wheel, but lets not reinvent the damn thing.

WolvinLA2

June 15th, 2015 at 9:20 PM ^

I kind of want Harbaugh to only recruit two stars at this point because the reaction on the board might be more fun than winning actual games.

This kid doesn't have only an offer from Harvard. He has a handful of P5 offers and combine confirmed size and speed. Hardly worth getting so worked up over.

bronxblue

June 15th, 2015 at 10:16 PM ^

I think Harbaugh knows what the roster situation will be in a year, how many spots he'll have, and is recruiting some of the more under-the-radar kids now so that when he swings and misses at some of the bigger recruits (which happens to everyone), he isn't left scrambling for bad fits.  Instead, he'll have the kids he wants plus, if a couple blow up, he'll have gotten in on the ground floor.

Again, if the rest of the class is 2*, let's worry.  But Harbaugh seems to have a plan here, and it's worth seeing how he uses these satelite camps.

oingoboingo

June 16th, 2015 at 12:49 PM ^

Michigan is a top ten program. Michigan is not like 70-80% of all teams in the NCAA, it is in rare air ... Michigan is a national brand, a big time product. This isn't Wisconsin, Baylor, Vanderbilt ... this is Michigan. 

Teams competing at the highest levels, recruit at the highest levels. Do they all take 3* talent, absolutely. Should we trust Harbaugh and Co.'s evaluations, absolutely ... but don't write it off as, well, most teams take a majority of 3* talent, because the top dogs simply are not doing that. 

2015 recruiting from 247 Composite (number of 4 & 5*/total # recruits):

Playoff Teams:

Alabama 20/24

Florida State 14/20

Ohio State 15/27

Oregon 7/22

Others:

USC 18/26

Auburn 19/27

ND 14/23

Oklahoma 10/26

Michigan State 5/21

I included the last two teams there to show that not everyone is loading up on blue chip talent and that yes, evaluating kids and coaching them up is an important aspect of program building also. 

A quick glance at 2016 recruiting, again from 247 composite (same ratio):

FSU 12/18

Ohio State 13/16

Alabama 8/15

USC 7/11

The truth of the matter is this, stars do matter ... they aren't everything, but the evidence over the years says the same thing over and over - the coaches who recruit the best and annually have top 5-10 classes, win the national championships, the conference championships.

My concern is this ... are we getting in on these kids at the ground floor because they are going to explode or are we jumping the gun? There is a long time till signing day, are we jumping on kids after one good camp performance? Why can't we slow down, take time, and be certain - more tape, another camp, see how the senior season goes. That just seems the more prudent route to me. 

HarBooYa

June 16th, 2015 at 1:08 PM ^

Of those other programs are doing the satellite camp thing and basically getting personal interviews and tryouts from these kids. I can't believe I am comfortable with all of the three stars coming in but I think this is different than year's past and think 1) this creates momentum 2) dudes are going to be coached up 3) creates a Harbaugh-foundation/core of hard core committed work horse guys 4) Abu ch of these guys will be pure diamonds in the rough, and 4) they a 5 star eye candy for this year and years to come ("you could be 'the' stud of this class....sign here")( or the Beilien, "look what we did with all of these three stars, just think what we could do with you and your two extra stars?!"). At the very least, it's going to be absolutely fascinating to see what happens next.

Lanknows

June 16th, 2015 at 1:19 PM ^

So this argument does not apply in this case. They did do an in-person evaluation at their own camp, but that's no different than what they've been doing for decades.

You trust the coaches or you trust the consensus.  It's that simple.  No need to build a rationalization.  What's different now than Hoke/Rodriguez? Only our hope that the coach knows what he is doing is (arguably) more justified.

Michigan football was never in the Ellerbe plus sanctions induced extended funk that Michigan basketball was. In other words, Beilein didn't have the option of going beyond Stu Douglass types early on.  Harbaugh is doing this by choice.  Agree it's going to be fascinating to see played out.

Danny Bonaduce

June 16th, 2015 at 1:43 PM ^

We can sit here and pound our chests and say things like "this is Michigan" all we want but the fact of the matter is for the last 7 year's Michigan is not even a top 25 program.  I think a better exercise would be to compare similar blue blood programs that had down periods and hired a coach that turned things around, and look at their first classes.

Nick Saban at Alabama (2007) - 9 out of 25 were 4/5 stars

Jimbo Fisher at FSU (2010) - 9 out of 30 were 4/5 stars

Charlie Strong at Texas (2015) - 14 out of 29 were 4/5 stars

Brian Kelly at ND (2010) - 5 out of 25 were 4/5 stars

I'm sure there are many more examples but these were the first to pop into my head.  This is a little more apples to apples than your comparison above.

 

 

Albatross

June 16th, 2015 at 3:14 PM ^

was hired in January of 2007. His first recruiting class was 2008 and 22 of his 32 recruits were four star or better, including 3 five stars.

Jimbo Fisher was named coach at FSU in January of 2010, His first recruting class was 2011 and 15 of his 29 recruits were 4 star or better, including 2 five stars.

Brian Kelly was hired in Dec. 2009. His first recruting class was 2011 and 10 of his 23 recruits were four star or better, including 2 five stars.

Charlie Strong hasn't really turned anything around yet to do an analysis on him.

Your excerise is a good one and you can come to your own conclusions, just wanted to get the apples to apples right.

xxxxNateDaGreat

June 16th, 2015 at 2:16 PM ^

- How many of those teams were/are going through a coaching change?

- How many of those teams have titles, championship game appearances, or even top 5 finishes in the last 5 years?

- How many of those teams are coming off of the most embarrassing seven year stretch of football related incompetence in the history of (probably) ever?

"Michigan is a national brand"

This is true. But the thing you are glossing over is that Michigan's brand has represented incompetance, greed, and lackluster play for going on 7 years now. That kind of widespread public failure doesn't just get washed away in an afternoon.

mackbru

June 16th, 2015 at 12:09 PM ^

Seriously, do you not realize we'd end up with 10-12 three-stars no matter what (assuming a class close to 25)? Nobody recruits 90 percent 4-5 stars. We still have about 20 spots saved for the tougher gets, who tend to hold out until later in the process. Better to fill out your roster now, then focus on the touch pulls. We'll get some, lose some. But the current pattern makes sense.

bluecrush

June 16th, 2015 at 12:36 PM ^

Sparty..  IIRC The way they built that program was with 2-3 star prospects.  Red shirting them and coaching them up.  They see the field after 3 to 4 years.  They are just now starting to get the higher ranked prospects. 

I feel the staff is taking players they think can be coached up and contribute later in their careers.  Also these commits should not interfere with other higher ranked targets looking at the Michigan program and seeing a crowded roster.  Lastly as far as I can tell most if all are players that have a shot at multiple positions decreasing their bust rate and increasing their ability to contribute.

dragonchild

June 16th, 2015 at 1:28 PM ^

Marecic was a Yale recruit.  Sherman was #2 in his HS class academically.  Luck was co-valedictorian.  Turns out you can do some pretty sweet football things when your key players are brainy.

I like this development.  I'm tired of treating our football players like idiots.  Anyone who can remain academically eligible at Michigan has an asset above the neck.  Our QB graduated in 3 years and Borges wouldn't trust him to ID the goddamn Mike; no wonder they never developed.  Let's build a program that has opposing teams screaming with frustration because their pampered noggins hurt, and then pound those bugbrains into mush.

samdrussBLUE

June 15th, 2015 at 10:27 PM ^

This blog is going to explode soon! What's the avg star ranking of all Harbaugh commits at this point, just a shade over 3 (maybe)!? The mob cannot handle this much longer.

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samdrussBLUE

June 15th, 2015 at 10:29 PM ^

This blog is going to explode soon! What's the avg star ranking of all Harbaugh commits at this point, just a shade over 3 (maybe)!? The mob cannot handle this much longer.

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