How Good is Thomas Rawls ?

Submitted by chris1709 on January 28th, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Despite his on the field accolades Rawls only has 3 stars and doesn't appear to have any impressive offers. I know grades are an issure but i would think if he was that great the SEC would overlook his SAT score. So my question is why does the board seem to think hes a sleeper ?



January 28th, 2011 at 7:12 PM ^

I've never seen him personally but from what I read it seems he's a pretty good run-up-the-middle back. The guys on Rivals seem to think he's a bit under rated but the grades really scare me. If there are spots for him, go for it.

Webber's Pimp

January 28th, 2011 at 7:23 PM ^

Look, don't get carried away star gazing. Mark Ingram was a 3 star RB coming out of high school and this kid (Rawls) has shattered all of his records. To answer your question he is damn good and I think he'd be the best RB on our roster the moment he walks through the door. He is a must get as far as I'm concerned. 

Hoken's Heroes

January 28th, 2011 at 7:33 PM ^

As to what he'll do in the NCAA ranks is anyones guess. But if he makes it to A2 and those pompous aholes in the admission office let him in, hopefully he'll rewrite the record books for U of M.


January 28th, 2011 at 7:33 PM ^

He didn't get big offers for one reason - He wanted to go to Michigan, Michigan told him they would offer if he was qualified.  MSU didn't even really go after him for that reason. 

Like someone said above, don't get too worried about stars.  Yes, they are generally correct, but there are reasons players get missed by the major services.  Flint has good football, but it's not a major city like Cleveland or Pittsburgh, and it's not in CA, TX or the south.  Kids fly under the radar a lot more easily up here, despite having big stats.  Rawls also didn't go to all the sponsored camps, and because of his grades and his very public love for Michigan (and the fact that his coach is the son of our RBs coach), a lot of other big programs didn't waste their time, so his offer list isn't impressive.

Stars are good, over a large sample size I'd take the 4 stars over the 3 stars, but on a case by case basis you have to look deeper than that.  Sam Webb has been raving about Rawls.  Sam Webb is local so he has more insight than a national recruiting guy and he's proven to be pretty credible in the past. 


January 28th, 2011 at 7:55 PM ^

If a recruit is impressive enough on the field he'll get offers thrown at his direction just to attempt to get his attention. Furthermore, if his academics are in question and Michigan has higher admissions standards (as frequently asserted on this board), why wouldn't other schools (with less stringent academic standards) seek his favor?

Flint/Saginaw isn't off of the recruiting radar.  Kendrick Roberts (3 Star WR) was offered by Iowa and Arnett was offered by schools all over the country.  If you can play, schools will know about, especially if you're at a high profile position like QB, RB, or WR.

Agree with most of your point about 4 vs 3 stars but theres different ways of looking at the local influence.  Webb is a local guy so he's more knowledgeable locally but he's also less knowledgeable nationally and therefore more prone to having a bias towards local players.  Furthermore, he isn't really a "scout" in the talent evaluation sense as much as he is an "insider", which he would fully admit.


January 29th, 2011 at 8:48 AM ^

By your rationale. Well done. I Since when did any recruits "public love" for a certain school stop other schools from offering? Or poor grades, if you are an outstanding recruit, stop schools either? This doesn't add up to me. Why aren't other MAC schools (besides CMU) offering either? He has one offer, one. That doesn't mean he won't be good, but it does mean to me that schools don't look at him as a top recruit.


January 28th, 2011 at 7:45 PM ^

The guy is ranked a mid-3 star by all the ranking services and has a total of three offers -- CMU, Cincy and Toledo. If he is as underrated as some of you claim, he is not just a sleeper he is in a coma.


January 28th, 2011 at 8:05 PM ^

If he's that good, I'd like for him to get signed. But with limited scholarships and a coaching transition I am worried about taking on another marginal qualifier. To me the priorities for the rest of the class are:

1. OL (Fisher)
2. DT (Cooper)
3. OL (Bryant)
4. TE (whoever they can)
5. S (doesn't look promising)
6. RB (Rawls)
7. LB (surprising depth here now)


January 28th, 2011 at 8:17 PM ^

He didn't camp a whole lot.. mainly aimed for in-state offers. MSU probably would have offered if the grades were good, but they are very deep and pretty young at RB.

I'm caught him in person once (when he was healthy). Kid was an animal. He's strong, but also has a great burst and good speed. Would love to have him.


January 28th, 2011 at 9:03 PM ^

I believe Rawls is that Damn good. Don't forget the numbers he put up were in a shortened season and like ppl pointed out before, he wanted to come to Michigan especially with his coach being the son of rb coach Fred Jackson. Also the grades were a big factor, but I think when we look back to this class we will say he was the STEAL because he will be a game changer...GO BLUE!!!


January 28th, 2011 at 9:26 PM ^

Without putting anyone out there, I know of a very good linebacker that told me he considered faking an injury this year prior to the game against Rawls simply because he didn't want to take the punishing blows of trying to tackle him.


January 28th, 2011 at 9:53 PM ^

You pretty much answered your own question.  His offer list doesn't match his perceived abilities as a RB, so UM fans dub him a sleeper


January 28th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

you watch his highlights tell us which RB in our "stable of backs" can beat him out. 

Shaw=tries to juke to much inside and his balance isnt all that impressive

Smith=my opinion to small, got mad respect for him though tough kid for his size the injury killed his speed though

Cox=fumbling issues

Hopkins=good back, fumbling issues as well as needs to get some more speed

Toussaint=injury prone

Rawls from what i have seen is pretty quick in and out of his cuts and can damn well run over people. Top end speed is decent and will get better in our S&C program. I think he redshirts Freshman year and if he isnt starting in 2012 I will be surprised. like stated above Mike Hart/Mark Ingram. Just my opnion

Crazy Canuck

January 28th, 2011 at 10:13 PM ^

Check out ESPN's Big Ten blog by Adam Rittenberg. Yesterday he wrote about what each one of this years All Big Ten team was ranked coming out of high school. Leshoure(unranked), Outland winner Carimi(unranked), Kerrigan (**), Watt (*), Jones(**). Eleven of the twenty-four starters on offence or defence were ranked  2 stars or less. With only one 5 star and five 4 star players. That basically means that stars don't mean sh!t. Recruiting players is a crap shoot just like drafting them is. Tom Brady was drafted 6th round 199th over all but JaMarcus Russell drafted first over all. Rankings don't mean sh!t.

Black Socks

January 29th, 2011 at 12:19 PM ^



You should know first hand about rankings.  ND has had highly ranked classes for the last fifteen years but the team has been terrible, including the first bowl win in forever this year.

That being said you finally hired a good coach and I expect big things from ND.