Chris Hinton was elite, then he wasn't, now he's back [via Rivals]

Jimmystats: Class of 2019 Recruiting Deltas: Defense Comment Count

Seth February 20th, 2019 at 9:14 AM

Recruiting rankings are contextual, and sometimes you can learn a lot more about a player by the movement of their ratings than the actual score they got. Quick reminder of how things go:

  1. Players will always slowly drop as more get scouted. Moving from the #30 DE to the #35 DE over a few months means nothing.
  2. I usually grabbed a first ranking when a guy committed so historical ranks might only include 247's history
  3. Which sites' camps a kid goes to matters for that site, and the sites have regional holes (for example ESPN overrates southerners because they're contractually obligated to pretend the SEC isn't just a bloated, corrupt, second-rate conference of third-rate schools.
  4. A quick table of what the scores mean:
Site 5-star High 4* Solid 4* Low 4* High 3* Decent 3* 3* Pile Meh/?
247Sports 98-104 94-97 90-93 88-89 86-87 81-85 70-80 67-69
Rivals 6.1 6.0 5.9 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.5 4.9-5.4
ESPN 91-100 86-89 81-85 80 79 77-78 70-76 59-71
Composite 0.99+ 0.97-0.98 0.90-0.93 0.88-0.89 0.86-0.87 0.81-0.85 0.7-0.8 <

I first did one of these last summer, and then I covered the offense last week; here's the defense.

NOTE: On reader request I switched the timeline to go from left to right.

NT Mazi Smith

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports #214 OVR 91 (#14 DT) #224 OVR 91 (#14 DT) #225 OVR 91 (#17 DT) #240 OVR 93 (#12 DT) #170 OVR
Rivals   5.8 (#9 142) #160 OVR 5.8 (#9 DT) #160 OVR 5.8 (#8 DT) #174 OVR 5.9 (#9 DT) #142 OVR
ESPN   86 (#2 DT) #29 OVR 86 (#2 DT) #29 OVR, #4 MW 86 (#2 DT) #38 OVR #4 MW 86 (#4 DT) #4 MW #45 OVR
Composite #133 OVR 0.9457 (#7 DT)#122 OVR 0.9456 (#7 DT)#119 OVR 0.9407 (#9 DT)#137 OVR 0.9536 (#11 DT)#105 OVR

ESPN believed Mazi Smith was the kind of guy who'd end up in their Top 50 from the very start, and ultimately remained higher on Mazi than the other two sites. Rivals and 247 both had Mazi in their early Top 150s—as you would expect for a nearly 300-pound DT with athleticism. Rivals kept him there while 247Sports slowly dropped Mazi closer to the edge of their Top247 rankings. A big All-Star showing however caused a late re-rank, with Rivals moving Smith up 32 spots and into the 5.9 range. 247Sports had further to go and ultimately placed Mazi the lowest of the services, but still in relatively close range.

What's the delta say? I tend to believe the Rivals and 247 view here: he looked like a 4-star DT that was hard to tell from the other 4-star DTs but bodily tossing interior OL prospects in his all star appearances necessitated a bump to wherever was just under the DTs they think are truly elite. ESPN held their ground impressively, but they're also the site that does the least amount of re-review.

DT Chris Hinton

Service Aug 2017 Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports 96 (#2 SDE) #14 Ovr 96 (#2 SDE) #13 OVR 96 (#3 SDE) #26 OVR 96 (#3 SDE) #36 OVR 94 (#7 DT) #104 OVR 96 (#4 DT) #47 OVR
Rivals 6.1 (#1 SDE), #3 OVR 6.1 (#1 SDE) #13 OVR 6.1 (#2 SDE) #18 OVR 6.1 (#2 SDE) #18 OVR 6.1 (#5 SDE) #15 OVR 6.1 (#2 DT) #15 OVR
ESPN Not rated 83 (#9 DE) #97 OVR 84 (#7 DE) #65 OVR, , #17 SE 86 (#4 DE #38 OVR #21 SE 86 (#4 DT) #21 SE #42 OVR 85 (#5 DT) #25 SE #48 OVR
Scout 5*, #1 SDE, #3 OVR Merged with 247   - -   -   -
247Comp .9983 (#1 SDE) #9 OVR 0.9897 (#1 SDE)#15 OVR 0.9903 (#2 SDE)#22 OVR 0.9889 (#2 SDE)#22 OVR 0.976 (#5 DT)#49 OVR 0.9867 (#4 DT)#31 OVR

This is a more interesting one because I grabbed his rankings at the time of his commitment way back in August 2017. Not much of the 2019 class had been ranked then but Hinton was one of the big names emerging early. Those never stick, and Hinton dropped out of the top 10 (and even top 100) as the rest of his class filled in. He also was re-rated as an end until last summer.

There was also a lot of disagreement over time. Rivals kept Hinton just over the five-star line the whole time, though they were the last to move him into their DT rankings (Rivals tends to call most DEs strongside ends FYI). ESPN initially put Hinton in the bottom of the top 100 but then moved him twice last summer, only bumping his final score down one point in their final ratings. That conflicts with what 247 saw—they had him a bit lower to start with and the slide after that was within the margin of a guy they hadn't changed their opinions on, but after the season there was a big slip out of the top 100 and down two rating points. Then that all returned in their final ratings/rankings, the result being basically where ESPN wound up.

What's the delta say? There's a type of kid who develops way ahead of his peers (see: Ricardo Miller, Marvin Robinson), bursts into the top group of early rankings, and then slowly falls as he grows out of the position he looked like as a 16-year-old. It's a good sign then that Hinton more or less ended up where he began, ratings-wise (the rankings are just standard rankings gravity). Since he's a top Georgia prospect, ESPN even paid attention, and the steady rise from #97 overall to near 5-star range after camp season is either a good sign, or a sign that they just moved up top Georgia prospects who went to camps. I don't like that 247Sports moved Hinton down after the season—that suggests they didn't quite see what they wanted to on the field this year. The return bump at the end mitigates it, but still leaves a whiff of camp setting vs. game setting to the final ratings.

[After THE JUMP: Categories]

DE/DT Mike Morris Jr.

Service Aug 2016(!) Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports #58 OVR #212 OVR 91 #223 OVR 89 (#31 SDE) #462 OVR 88 (#36 SDE) #505 OVR 88 (#41 SDE) #575 OVR #59 FL
Rivals   #219 OVR 5.8 (#23 WDE) #45 FL 5.8 (#25 WDE) #45 FL 5.8 (#21 WDE) #45 FL 5.8 (#18 WDE) #42 FL
ESPN         80 (#38 DE) #164 SE #45 FL 80 (#38 DE) #166 SE #52 FL
247Comp #58 OVR #226 OVR #255 OVR #331 OVR .8891 (#22 SDE) #322 OVR #44 FL 0.8891 (#27 SDE)#396 OVR #48 FL

I've got incomplete data here because people wrote about Mike Morris Jr. (yes THAT Mike Morris) when he committed to FSU way back in 2016, and then only a few remarks made it into posterity before he flipped in September from a loose commitment to his dad's former school. The bloodlines made sure he made the super-early 247 list for 2019 prospects, but I don't think those early ratings mean much more than "Mike Morris's son had a good freshman year."

Rivals is the fuzzy one here because they had Morris in their top 250 a year ago and since did the thing where they keep a prospect they rated highly above the 4-star line. They also still list Morris as a weakside end, a legacy of a time when the FSU legacy was 230 pounds. He's now 260 and Rivals moved him up as they moved other WDE types to SDE, so the sense I get is they haven't re-evaluated him since last year. On the other hand he did move up three slots in their Florida rankings.

Also bulwarking that opinion is ESPN's rating is pretty close to Rivals. Note that ESPN ranks DEs together. In my conversion formula* the 18th WDE to Rivals should be a 3.91 on the 5-star, and 38th DE gets a 3.88. Unlike Rivals, ESPN didn't bump Morris up any that I can see, but they're both hanging on to "Is a 4-star DE" in their final rankings.

The relative downer here is 247, who dropped Morris every time they had more guys to add. Some positional uncertainty has to be in play here too. They're not too far off from each other, however.

* [Not really a formula. I took the average composite score of all players at that position for 2008-2018 and convert it to a 5-star scale. Here's my tool if you want to use it:]

What's the delta say? This is more like what happens to a Chris Hinton who does drop back to the pack. The ratings at the end of the day are of a guy right on the 3-/4-star borderline, but the people who do this rankings are usually loathe to move a guy too far down once he's been placed highly. That said, the positional uncertainty creates a sort of Chris Wormley effect, where it's hard to rank him until you know where he'll play. At 6'6"/260 already, I'm guessing that will be at DT.

DE Gabe Newburg

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports 85 (#55 WDE) #813 OVR 86 (#58 WDE) #810 OVR 86 (#61 WDE) #822 OVR 86 (#55 WDE) #901 OVR 86 (#63 WDE) #990 OVR
Rivals 5.6 (#53 WDE) not ranked 5.6 (#53 WDE) not ranked 5.6 (#54 WDE) not ranked 5.6 (NR WDE) not ranked 5.6 (NR WDE) #35 OH
ESPN not ranked not ranked 79 (#61 DE) #39 MW 79 (#64 DE) #46 MW 79 (#62 DE) #45 MW
Composite 0.8527 (#53 WDE)#798 OVR 0.8655 (#53 WDE)#685 OVR 0.8655 (#55 WDE)#689 OVR 0.8655 (#49 WDE)#737 OVR 0.8655 (#51 WDE)#773 OVR

This is a surprising amount of agreement for a guy the sites all agree belongs in the bin of okay three-stars. Newburg debuted either shortly before or after he committed to Michigan (minutes before the national championship game vs Villanova), and wherever they put him they more or less left him. The only significant changes were Rivals dropped him out of their WDE rankings (which now only go up to 50) and 247 upped him to an 86 last year.

Here again we kinda have to lean on Bill Greene, the Ohio scout for 247, who put a ceiling on Newburg for his athleticism but loved him as a team guy and hard worker. An injury (on the day Adam and David went to scout him) essentially canceled any chance of a re-review.

What's the delta say? That they're not sure what Michigan saw and aren't really going to bother to find out. ESPN didn't even throw up a rating until a few months ago and then shuffled a few more guys above Newburg. The senior injury didn't keep him out and our in-house scout agreed Newburg is a high-floor/low-ceiling anchor prospect.

DE David Ojabo

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports #737 OVR 87 (#36 SDE) #537 OVR 91 (#16 SDE) #193 OVR 91 (#18 SDE) #208 OVR 92 (#16 SDE) #220 OVR
Rivals   5.7 (#41 SDE) not ranked 5.7 (#41 SDE) not ranked 5.7 (#38 SDE) not ranked 5.7 (#34 SDE) not ranked
ESPN   80 (#37 DE) not ranked 80 (#37 DE) #32 East 81 (#35 DE) #28 East #286 OVR 81 (#32 DE) #31 East #282 OVR
Composite #924 OVR 0.8784 (#32 SDE)#488 OVR 0.8961 (#21 SDE)#318 OVR 0.8998 (#22 SDE)#312 OVR 0.8986 (#19 SDE)#314 OVR

For many years the athletic developmental DE confounded recruiting sites, who tend to prefer players much closer to their ceilings for their four-star types, and those ready to play immediately for anything higher. But after watching the NFL stock up on former 18-year-old freaks just learning to play football, 247Sports and ESPN both seemed willing this year to start cashing in on the market inefficiency, bumping Ojabo past the 4-star barrier and into their national rankings.

That leaves old timer Rivals as the skeptic.

What's the delta say? There really was just one bump—it just came a little sooner for 247 than for ESPN (who added a bunch of prospects in December that Ojabo had to leap). I take this as recruiting sites noticing one of their flaws, not necessarily something Ojabo himself did to change opinions.

SAM Joey Velazquez

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports Not ranked 87 (#52 S) #650 OVR 87 (#53 S) #661 OVR 87 (#59 S) #698 OVR 87 (#61 S) #767 OVR
Rivals   5.5 (NR S) not ranked 5.5 (NR S) not ranked 5.5 (NR S) not ranked 5.5 (NR S) not ranked
ESPN   not ranked 75 (#62 S) #103 MW 75 (#81 S) #131 MW 75 (#85 S) #133 MW
Composite Not Ranked 0.8532 (#74 S)#929 OVR 0.8532 (#75 S)#934 OVR 0.8532 (#84 S)#1076 OVR 0.8531 (#88 S)#1076 OVR

This is what it looks like when you are in the pile of super-projected athletes. Velazquez is ranked by everyone as a safety, and Michigan's plan—to my understanding—is to turn Velazquez into a Josh Uche-style light DE/LB edge rusher. Velazquez was also an Ohio State baseball commit at this time last year so the sites have had to scramble to get anything on him much too late to have more than one cursory opinion.

That opinion is a non-opinion. The sites are only just now becoming aware of the fact that freakishly athletic DE prospects tend to turn into NFL DE prospects more often than the muscular 6'6" types (see: Tom Strobel) whose speed doesn't translate to college—asking the scouts to project a baseball player Don Brown suddenly decided might move down two position groups is way too much.

What's the delta say? Nothing at all. They looked, said "that's not a safety" and gave him a cursory 3-star because Michigan might know something.

ILB Charles Thomas

Service June 2017 Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports 90 (#4 ILB) #196 OVR 90 (#6 ILB) #206 OVR 90 (#12 ILB) #274 OVR 90 (#14 ILB) #287 OVR 90 (#21 ILB) #324 OVR 90 (#21 ILB) #354 OVR
Rivals Not rated 5.6 (#NR OLB) not ranked 5.6 (#25 OLB) not ranked 5.6 (#33 OLB) not ranked 5.6 (#31 ILB) not ranked 5.6 (#35 ILB) not ranked
ESPN Not rated Not rated 80 (#7 ILB) #150 SE #293 OVR 80 (#7 ILB) #150 SE #293 OVR 80 (#8 ILB) #150 SE #295 OVR 80 (#12 ILB) #150 SE
Composite Not rated 0.8954 (#9 ILB)#308 OVR 0.886 (#16 ILB)#397 OVR 0.886 (#17 ILB)#401 OVR 0.8857 (#23 ILB)#433 OVR 0.881 (#26 ILB)#507 OVR

The first commit of the class had a top-200 ranking from 247 back when he committed, and nobody changed their opinions really once they'd seen him—all you see above are the results of a year of recruiting gravity. There's still a big disagreement between the sites. 247 and ESPN have him in the low 4-star rating that misses the Top 300 they publish, while Rivals began as a relative skeptic and remained so, only changing "outside" to "inside" linebacker after everyone told them to. They see a 6'0"/216 guy and don't get it.

They also probably didn't see him again, since Thomas used to play at IMG and transferred to an academy in Connecticut last year.

What's the delta say? This is a good lesson in the natural slip over time, since it's a near certainty that the sites are basing their ratings on the IMG junior from Georgia they saw; going up to New England for a second opinion wasn't going to happen. It's weird that Rivals is a star off from ESPN/247.

LB/Viper Anthony Solomon

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports #344 OVR 89 #368 OVR 89 #375 OVR 89 (#23 OLB) #402 OVR 89 (#30 OLB) #445 OVR
Rivals       5.8 (#16 ILB) not ranked 5.7 (#25 ILB) not ranked
ESPN       84 (#7 OLB) #43 SE #83 OVR 84 (#7 OLB) #40 SE #81 OVR
Composite #138 OVR #156 OVR #206 OVR .9212 (#12 OLB) #193 OVR 0.9137 (#14 OLB)#223 OVR

Michigan flipped Solomon from Miami (YTM) in December so I only have his ratings from then unfortunately. The 7-spot fall among OLBs from 247 in the latest re-rank might be them classifying more guys as OLBs, because his national ranking slip is still on the edge of the margin for regular slip. In other words, 247Sports thought Solomon a good candidate to put below a lot of guys they recently decided they like. I get some sense that part of that is Miami didn't fight hard to keep him (on the other hand the Canes had 17(!!) decommits this cycle). Rivals already had Solomon in that range (though as an inside LB) of the 4-/3-star border and dropped him below it in their final rankings.

Meanwhile ESPN has been keeping the guy in their top 50 of Southeast prospects. Just in case I haven't hammered this point enough:

Top 50 in the Southeast basically means Top 100 in the country. Their strong belief in Solomon was enough to push him into the Top 250 in the Composite despite the reservations of Rivals & 247, and it's notable that he even moved up a couple of spots in their final rankings.

What's the delta say? That final bump from ESPN might be a sign that the site that pays closest attention to recruits in the SEC footprint thinks Solomon is going to be an extremely good (ie top-100) player. It's hard to say, though, especially since ESPN still has Solomon's underclassman eval up, and the other services had no compunction about moving Solomon down. I don't put that much stock in the Rivals drop only because they still think he's an ILB while I believe Michigan sees him as Khaleke Hudson.

S Daxton Hill

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports #66 OVR 99 #9 OVR 99 #8 OVR 98 (#1 S) #7 OVR 98 (#2 S) #23 OVR
Rivals       6.1 (#1 S) #24 OVR 6.1 (#1 S) #24 OVR
ESPN       90 (#1 S) #2 Midlands #13 OVR 90 (#1 S) #2 Midlands #13 OVR
Composite #27 OVR #13 OVR 0.9935 (#1 S)#12 OVR 0.9954 (#1 S)#8 OVR 0.9927 (#1 S)#14 OVR

The top commit in Michigan's class was considered a top 10 prospect to 247 right up until the last ranking, when they dropped him near the bottom of the top 25. That's still a 5-star, and the general agreement on Dax from all the sites kept the composite ranking high. But *MAN* in an age when 247 seems to be the site paying closest attention it's a bit of a bummer that they're no longer the highest on our guy. I couldn't find a reason; he was a top performer in the AA game and their scout David Lake rated him 8th in the country this month before the final rankings came out.

If Jordan Battle or Lewis Cine had been the guy to jump Hill I might cry SEC bias, but it was ND commit Kyle Hamilton who jumped Dax as 247's top safety. Hamilton committed back in April and has been shooting up recruiting boards the last year. A couple of Michigan prospects whom Michigan got in on too slowly—Penn State linebacker commit Lance Dixon out of West Bloomfield, and Wisconsin-bound OT Logan Brown from East Kentwood—also passed Michigan's highest-ranked prospect.

Most of the guys who leapt Hill, however, were some SEC-bound signees who were the subjects of all-but-public bidding wars between the bagmen.

What's the delta say? I don't think you need to take the drop from 247 too seriously. Now that they've got an army of scouts, I believe they wanted to make a splash with some of the players they thought were major finds. Hill's still the same elite athlete.

S/Viper Quinten Johnson

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports Not ranked 88 (#37 S) #484 OVR 88 (#38 S) #489 OVR 88 (#36 S) #446 OVR 88 (#36 S) #492 OVR
Rivals   5.7 (#24 S) not ranked 5.7 (#52 S) not ranked 5.8 (#20 S) #237 OVR 5.8 (#16 S) #182 OVR
ESPN   79 (#38 S) 79 (#40 ATH) #45 East 80 (#35 ATH) #42 East 80 (#35 ATH) #44 East
Composite #484 OVR 0.8797 (#37 S)#469 OVR 0.8797 (#39 S)#478 OVR 0.8909 (#29 S)#372 OVR 0.8982 (#27 S)#316 OVR

Big disagreement in the final rankings here, as Rivals seems to think they've found a Dude and 247/ESPN think it's a guy. The Rivals bump came right after the season, when they put him in their Top 250, and then he was bumped again in their final rankings, so somebody's scout really liked what they saw.


Here might be a good example of Which All Star Game Syndrome, since Rivals covered the Under Armour game, which QJ participated in, thoroughly and skipped the Opening.

The other two sites stared QJ at almost identical rankings among safeties, with ESPN changing that to Athlete. Going to 80 (and thus a 4-star) wasn't just about standing pat as the higher ratings rolled down, since ESPN added a bunch of prospects at the time as well. 247Sports also gave Johnson a bump after his senior tape, though it was a relatively small bump that's only visible in context of more competition. Then QJ got caught in the final wash and ended up still in that high 3-star range that they don't want to give a 4th.

Some of their thought process must be body type. QJ is compact—more Peppers-shaped than Metellus. There have been plenty of short, short-armed safeties who starred in the Big Ten, but given how Michigan plays that body type is better at viper.

What's the delta say? That senior tape must have been good. Here's a good example of why watching the deltas matters, because the sites all definitely saw something, though it doesn't appear to have been THAT much of a something. QJ participated on Team Flash in the Under Armour game. Positional uncertainty remains; Brown said Quinten will come in at Rover (strong safety) but expects to move him to Viper eventually.

CB/S Jalen Perry

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports #156 OVR 94 #138 OVR 93 #168 OVR 91 (#26 CB) #254 OVR 91 (#26 CB) #268 OVR
Rivals       5.8 (#15 CB) #170 OVR 5.8 (#17 CB) #190 OVR
ESPN       81 (#21 CB) #124 SE #235 OVR 81 (#21 CB) #119 SE #235 OVR
Composite #126 OVR #138 OVR #168 OVR #194 OVR 0.9186 (#23 CB)#200 OVR

The rankings drop occurred at the same time that Georgia pushed Jalen Perry out of the class/asked him to come in as a safety. That also came with plenty of talk about Jalen's lack of elite speed, and the ratings drop followed in due course. It wasn't that bad of a drop; he barely fell out of the Top 247 and managed to stick in solid 4-star range with the other sites as other guys got added. ESPN even kept him at #235 overall and moved Perry up the Southeast rankings with their final ratings.

What's the delta say? This was a comedown from a high 4-star to a solid 4-star and came with a very obvious reason. How big of a deal that was is unknown. My guess is Perry would have been a high 3-star and we'd be excited about Michigan finding another underrated Stribling if he played in the Midwest, but all the extra scouting from playing in Georgia, and the extremely high ranking after his junior year, had a lot of stick.

CB DJ Turner II

Service Mar 2018 Jun 2018 Aug 2018 Dec 2018 Feb 2019
247Sports #410 OVR 88 (#41 CB) #450 OVR 88 (#42 CB) #456 OVR 88 (#47 CB) #443 OVR 88 (#51 CB) #490 OVR
Rivals   5.7 (#52 CB) not ranked 5.7 (#52 CB) not ranked 5.7 (#53 CB) not ranked 5.7 (#47 CB) not ranked
ESPN   80 (#23 CB) 80 (#23 CB) #154 SE 81 (#21 CB) #154 SE #278 OVR 81 (#22 CB) #138 SE #274 OVR
Composite #285 OVR 0.8817 (#41 CB)#439 OVR 0.8817 (#42 CB)#443 OVR 0.8884 (#41 CB)#409 OVR 0.8888 (#40 CB)#400 OVR

So this is the guy I got all infuriated about because he was playing in Georgia's top league and nobody seemed to have any scouting on him. Turner remains relatively the same guy to all the sites, with ESPN incrementing him up their Southeast rankings and thus into their Top 300. I think we're seeing about 100 spots of ESPN's bias there—not a knock on Turner so much as he was easy for them to scout and the other two sites, like, know where Grand Rapids is.

Turner had a very strong performance at The Opening last summer but didn't get any ratings bump from it, probably because the school transfer was going down at that time. He's a weird story because he's a projected cornerback but his high school secondary was so loaded that he offered to play free safety as a junior. Then he transferred to IMG to get out of the backlog and play his natural position. Turner also picked up a bit of last-minute interest from somebody who got IMG to stick Turner in a room with their coach.

What's the delta say? IMG is a weird place to come out of because a guy on the 3-/4-star borderline can get lost to scouts even when their games are national broadcasts. Even with the positional and scholastic vagabondness, you can't call a guy who played at Gwinnett and IMG Academy under-scouted. I would imagine if they saw a Jourdan Lewis/Lavert Hill in him it would have shown?


I think you can roughly put these guys into five categories:

1. Same guy as last year (that's a good thing): Michigan managed to bring in five blue chips who were highly regarded throughout this year's cycle, staying ahead of the numerous climbers to pop up over that time.


2. Beilein Says There's Gold in Them Thar Hills: These are the climbers—guys Michigan found at or below the 4-star border who ended up ranked significantly higher than they began. They're supposed to be rare; they make up almost a third of the class!


3. Fell a Bit Because Gravity: Players once ranked higher who fell down the rankings as other players at their positions popped or showed higher ceilings. Their rankings slipped not so much because of a change of opinion on them but because more under-scouted players moved up. Historically this group has been most of Michigan's classes.


A few of these might be more concerning than others but I didn't see anyone in this class who dropped super-far. Rumler was still a 4.5-star and is OL. Thomas and Solomon confound recruiters because they're small, but Michigan likes their linebackers that way. Morris and Perry were flips who didn't seem to generate a big market. DJ Turner dropped because he wasn't playing his position but rose again after this season.

There's nobody in this class who fell very far, which is a big deal. Morris and Turner were four-stars who became three-stars, something the sites are often loathe to do.

4. Hold or ever so slight rise up the 3-star ranks that might be disappointing overall because it means the scouts saw them and thought "Hey, that's just a three-star":


When the three-star mafia gets upset it's because Michigan took a chance on a guy the sites weren't that excited about, and remained so or didn't rise as far as you'd want them to. That doesn't mean they won't be good players, but it does usually mean they've got a visible ceiling. Michigan's got three such guys in this class—a DE (where we need bodies), and two OL, which: OL.

5. Scout? Heck, haven't had a scout in this town since the Johnson boys back in '56: Players who for whatever reason the scouting services couldn't/wouldn't/didn't ever get much of a look at.


We won't know if Michigan's scouting found some diamonds here or what. The slots did move up when someone did bother to see them, which is encouraging, but that wasn't very often. Kent and Velazquez weren't even ranked until late in the process.

Final thoughts

The whole class is just impressively way warmer in color on the right than the left, with more green arrows than red. Again, that's pretty incredible since a gradual drop is the norm.


We'll have to wait and see on them all, but in all I think it's a credit to this staff that this class looks a lot starrier now than if they'd signed all of these guys a year ago.


Bo Glue

February 20th, 2019 at 10:10 AM ^

What's the delta say? That final bump from ESPN might be a sign that the site that pays closest attention to recruits in the SEC footprint thinks Solomon is going to be an extremely

Seem to have missed a word or few.


February 20th, 2019 at 11:58 AM ^

Most encouraged by the fact that the highest ending rankings are at S, RB, and DT. Jones at OT is icing on the cake. I also have an irrational belief in Rumler, likely because he looks like a bowling ball, as should most OG.

Shop Smart Sho…

February 20th, 2019 at 12:06 PM ^

Thanks for the left to right adjustment. Really makes it easier to read.

Since the Hello links didn't go in, any chance that a new page under Useful Stuff could be made to hold all of the Hello posts by year?


February 20th, 2019 at 2:05 PM ^

This should be read by all those pre-summer recruiting star gazers who like to complain a lot. This is why you don't start your whining about the amount of stars to a prospects name and/or overall ranking before the final evaluation (or at least before the fall begins). Yes, there are still some fliers, but many of these kids that got the initial star gazer "do not want" treatment turned out to be excellent prospects.