2014 recruit to watch out for

Submitted by robbyt003 on October 15th, 2012 at 2:22 PM


Chicago (Ill.) Hales Franciscan junior offensive tackle prospect Denzel Ward (6-foot-9, 285 pounds) was able to add an offer from the Michigan Wolverines over the weekend when he was an unofficial visitor in Ann Arbor. Ward talks about adding his latest offer from one of his dream schools and much more in this update.


The article discusses a possible early commitment and calls Michigan one of his dream schools.  I'm not saying buckle up, but don't be surprised if he pulls the trigger and commits early.  




October 15th, 2012 at 2:28 PM ^

Ya, he's been interesting already. He visited Purdue last weekend against Michigan and got his first offer from them and then decided he loved it so much that he was going to go back there this weekend for the game vs. Wisconsin. Then, the Michigan coaches called him and probably hinted that if he visited they would offer and he really should come check it out, so he visited and got the offer before the game. Then he spent all Sunday hanging out with LTT and he's been enamored with Michigan ever since and says he'll be back for the State game this weekend.

In other news, Twitter is a hell of a drug.


October 15th, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

I actually hope he takes more time and sees a few more schools before he commits. Dawson committed within minutes of getting his offer and then continued to receive offers and attention from other schools. Better he does due process before committing than to feel trapped by the no visit policy (which I like, I'm not criticizing it). 


October 15th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

spending two weekends getting to know the coaches, the players, and the school should be enough for him. Look, everyone is different. Some people make up their minds quickly and stick to that decision and some people need time. I think the situtation we had last spring was unique in that so many recruits were committing at the same time that it's possible a few of them committed before being 100% sure. 


October 15th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

2014 TE Kyle Rachwal.

From Tremendous:

"It was a lot of fun. There were a bunch of recruits there! I got to talk with the coaches and it went even better than last time. I got to talk with them for a lot longer about my season and they seem to be taking more interest in how things are going for me. I didn't get a chance to talk to Coach Jackson. He's supposed to be coming out soon to watch me play. I'm hoping to come back next weekend for the MSU game but I'm not sure right now because I may be taking another visit. I've gotten two visits now and will hope for a third, so I'm feeling good right now about where I stand and feel like things are building for me with Michigan".

Steve Lorenz

October 15th, 2012 at 3:01 PM ^

These are all players Michigan has at least sent mail to, if not contacted. I'm probably missing a few. 

DE Malik McDowell (Detroit Loyola) 

OL Ka'John Armstrong (Detroit Loyola)

WR Drake Harris (GR Christian; MSU) 

DB Byron Bullough (Traverse City; MSU) 

CB/WR Damon Webb (Detroit; CT)

OL Tommy Doles (GR Christian; M leads with offer) 

LB Will White (Detroit; CT)

RB/LB Gary Hosey (Detroit; CT)

LB Deon Drake (Detroit; MSU)

DE Lawrence Marshall (Southfield) 

LB Carl Fuller (Detroit King)

ATH Avonte Maddox (Detroit King) 

OL/TE Jordan Van Dort (Zeeland) 

TE Kyle Rachwal (Lapeer East) 

DT Jake Khoury (Traverse City) 

QB Chance Stewart (Sturgis; Wisconsin) 

QB Travis Smith (Ithaca; visited this weekend) 

QB Tyler Wiegers (Detroit Country Day)

RB Richard Wilson (Detroit Country Day) 

WR Moe Ways (Detroit Country Day) 

DB Rico Lewis (East English Prep) 

ATH Jalen Watts-Jackson (Orchard Lake St. Mary)

DB Spencer Viening (Zeeland) 

RB Lorenzo Collins (Farmington Hills Harrison) 

DB Gairus Coleman (Farmington Hills Harrison) 

OL Connor Hayes (Traverse City; visitor) 

OL Alec Stevens (Ogemaw Heights; M leads with no offer) 

DE Dylan Roney (Detroit Catholic Central) 


Steve Lorenz

October 15th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

Hard to say exactly whom, but Khoury, Wiegers, Watts-Jackson and Collins are possibilities. Kief will get an offer at some point I'm sure; Snodgrass doesn't seem interested in Michigan at all and if Booth gets an offer this weekend on his visit, he'll be interested. If he doesn't, I think he's out. 

I forgot to add DT/DE Kenny Finley and OL Malik King to that list as well. Both are from my hometown of Muskegon and are visiting this weekend. Finley is one who definitely could get an offer. 


October 15th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

There are Moe Ways than one to get a good recruiting class.

In all seriousness though, 2014 does look like a pretty down year for Michigan talent, especially from a depth perspective. The top end talent is there no doubt (Harris, Webb, McDowell) but there doesn't seem to be a ton behind that. I think Michigan will land 3-5 Michigan prospects this year and in general will give out a lot fewer offers than the past couple of years. I think they've got all of their offensive linemen from their offers so far except they might offer Kyle Trout. They might get up to 100, but I wouldn't be surprised to see them stay under the triple digits.

Section 1

October 15th, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

Byron Bullough in Traverse City?  Is there a YouTube clip of the Bulloughs torching the letter?

These are all players Michigan has at least sent mail to, if not contacted. I'm probably missing a few.


DB Byron Bullough (Traverse City; MSU)  



October 15th, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

6'9" How can he even block with height? Seems like any DL (even the huge, strong ones) would be able to get leverage on him very easily. Plus there's no way any college QB can throw over that side of the line. Guess I trust the coaches on this one.


October 15th, 2012 at 3:11 PM ^

You know Taylor Lewan is 6'8", right?  Do you think one inch makes that much difference?

First of all, with good knee bend, his head won't be too tall to throw over, not that QBs throw over the tackles head that much anyway.  The big thing for a tackle is to maintain separation, and long arms make that job a lot easier.  Generally speaking, taller guys have longer arms, which is why you see really tall OTs.  Leverage is more important for the interior guys. 

Keep in mind, too, that elite WDEs are usually tall as well, and that's who a LT lines up against. 

Ali G Bomaye

October 15th, 2012 at 5:19 PM ^

Jonathan Ogden is 6'9", and he was a borderline HOF NFL tackle.  Height can be disadvantageous for a guard, after a point, because they work in close quarters.  But with height comes long arms, which are great for a tackle.  If a tackle can keep pass rushers away from his body, he'll usually win the matchup.


October 15th, 2012 at 3:10 PM ^

A D-lineman, yes. Because they have to beat their man in a particular way. A tackle MIGHt need to execute a special block, but for the most part, if you can put the 3-tech or end on his back for a run, or present a massive, great wall of China style roadblock when passing, you're a great tackle. Tackles don't have to "get under" people, as it were, generally.

Hardware Sushi

October 15th, 2012 at 4:21 PM ^

Agree, to an extent. Definitely agree the leverage angle is much more important for the interior linemen, both O and D.

Tackles can still be "too tall", especially in the NFL, if they can't get a quick enough step out or play low enough to hit speed rushing-types in the Dwight Freeney/Robert Mathis/Elvis Dumervil height range (5-11" to 6-2")  that use speed to get under the outside arm of really tall tackles.

Additionally, even though tackles play outside, they still have to get leverage against DEs with speed and power moves - Chris Long and Clay Matthews (6-3", still relatively short) come to mind absolutely planting their hands in tackles and driving them into the QB - and then next snap faking a bull rush and swimming right around the tackle for a sack.

This article from a year or two ago's draft does a good job hitting on a lot of the height vs. length pros and cons.


October 15th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

This is a good point. 

Height for linemen is a lot like that for CBs - it's not that any height is "too tall" but there is a point where it becomes more difficult to do your job well because of your height.  This is why there are so few good 6'2"+ corners, because it's just so rare to find a guy that tall who can be agile enough for the position. 

You get a similar situation with safeties and DTs, and point guards in basketball.  You don't want your PG to be short, it's just that 6'6" guys with great handle are tough to find. 

So the 6'9" part isn't bad, it's what goes along with 6'9" kids that make them rare.  But if he can play OT well, the 6'9" part by itself is not a cause for concern.