New 2020 QB Offer

Submitted by jbibiza on December 7th, 2018 at 8:53 AM

After losing the Georgia kid to Tennessee (?!?) it looks like our 2020 QB board is opening up. This kid is a three star but he just released his Junior highlights (linked below) and I think he will rise quickly. Reminds me of McCaffrey, though this kid is already up to 210 so will be more physically ready. 


https://www.hudl.com/profile/8257319/JD-Johnson

 

https://247sports.com/player/jd-johnson-46056030/

Comments

Naked Bootlegger

December 7th, 2018 at 12:42 PM ^

My typical coaching perception rule:  never trust a head coach wearing a visor.   The Spurrier, Kiffin, etc. visor wearing crowd always seemed slimy to me.  I know.  It's rather shallow of me to cast aspersions on other coaches that choose to go the visor route.

I promise to change my attitude, though, if Jedd ever comes back and wears his visor on the sideline.

Lakeyale13

December 7th, 2018 at 9:09 AM ^

Shame on me, but I totally assumed that the hiring of Harbaugh would have 5 star QB's beating down our door.  Guess my expectations should have been tempered.

Sten Carlson

December 7th, 2018 at 10:38 AM ^

This meme is never going to die, it seems, and it’s clearly coloring your perception.  

Harbaugh is not averse to “opening up the offense” and has shown a willingness to throw on first down — which is what you’re ultimately talking about.    Unfortunately, whether it was Shea, JOK, or Speight, the QB’s haven’t seemed to be able to go through their progressions and hit the WIDE OPEN receivers.  Whether is due to poor OL pass blocking, or a QB who seems intent upon bailing out of the pocket, it’s not for lack of trying.  

I think next year will be different as Shea becomes better in the pocket.  If you’re waiting for Harbaugh to call 70 passes a game, you’re not going to be pleased.  But he’s perfectly willing to call first down passes.  

Ghost of Fritz…

December 7th, 2018 at 11:39 AM ^

People keep rolling this argument out and it STILL makes no sense at all.

Patterson was, at the very worst, the third best QB in the Big Ten.  I would put him at second best, because he is a better passer than McSorley.

Yet it is claimed that Patterson was not good enough to allow Harbaugh to do what he supposedly really wants to do--"open up the offense." 

If this reasoning were correct, then until Harbaugh has a Heisman finalist, he will have to self-limit the offense, run a predicatible runs on 70% of on 1st and 2nd down, totally under utilize one of the best receiver groups in the nation, play offense with one hand tied behind his back, blah, blah, blah.

If you cannot run the offense that you really want to run with the second best QB in conference, then you are only going to run that offense two or three years per decade. 

Personnel limitations are NOT the reason Michigan was bad in the red zone most of the season, has a terrible offensive game plan against OSU (and stuck too it until it was too late), and targeted DPJ an average of only 3 times per game, etc., etc. 

The real reason is that Pep and/or JH misplayed their cards.  The offense was good enough to win 10 games and score a good amount on several pretty good teams.  But it was NOT an offense on the level of most teams that have made the playoffs.  If you really want to make the playoffs, you have to develop an offense that can match playoff teams.  They did not do that. 

 

Sten Carlson

December 7th, 2018 at 5:39 PM ^

"People keep rolling this argument out and it STILL makes no sense at all."

People keep rolling out this agreement because it fits with the #FirePep meme that many on MGoBlog adhere to, and this bias causes people to see only what they want to see.  It's like a conative dissonance and people are totally blind to Shea running from a perfectly formed pocket, the under thrown deep balls, or DPJ standing alone in the end zone.  Yet, these things happened nearly every game, and it cost Michigan a mile of yardage, and a ton of points, especially in the redzone.

I don't adhere to #FirePep, I simply watch the game, listen to the announcers like Klatt, and read the UFR's, and it's pretty plain to see.  Again, Harbaugh is never going to throw the ball as often as some people in here seem to want.  But, all the stats about how many times Michigan threw the ball only count the plays in which the ball was ACTALLY thrown, not sacks nor scrambles.  How many times SHOULD Shea have thrown the ball but didn't?  Again, I saw great many of those plays, and plays where when he threw it he was inaccurate and/or late.

"Yet it is claimed that Patterson was not good enough to allow Harbaugh to do what he supposedly really wants to do--"open up the offense." … If this reasoning were correct, then until Harbaugh has a Heisman finalist, he will have to self-limit the offense, run a predicatible runs on 70% of on 1st and 2nd down, totally under utilize one of the best receiver groups in the nation, play offense with one hand tied behind his back, blah, blah, blah.""

I did not say Pattrson was not good enough to allow Harbaugh to "open up the offense," I said that when Harbaugh called pass plays, Shea didn't hit them; and by extension, that Harbaugh called a lot more pass plays than many think, but the ball was never thrown.  I keep going back to the Northwestern game because, as I've said elsewhere, I think it was a perfect microcosm of the season from a play calling standpoint.

Harbaugh broke tendency and came out throwing early.  The plays were there to be made, but unfortunately, Shea didn't execute them.  A quick 3 & out (after three incompletions) was followed by a decent drive that again started out with Shea passing, but again, passes were missed and the drive stalled.  Maybe, if you wanted to fault Harbaugh, you could blame him for not continuing to break tendency and call something different on 4th down.  Ok.

Harbaugh does not need a Heisman quality QB, he needs a QB who -- when asked to throw -- can step up into the pocket, go through his progressions, and deliver on on-time pass to the appropriate receiver.  I know I am coming of as harsh on Shea, but his was very good, but only in spurts unfortunately.  For example, how many times did you see Shea throw properly thrown "jump balls" to our tall WR/TE's?  One would think this would be his go to throw and that he would just "arm punt" it and "trust his receivers to go up and get it."  He did make that throw successfully twice in the OSU game, both for TD's to Niko.

"Personnel limitations are NOT the reason Michigan was bad in the red zone most of the season, has a terrible offensive game plan against OSU (and stuck too it until it was too late), and targeted DPJ an average of only 3 times per game, etc., etc." 

What I find amazing is that in order to keep the #FirePep meme alive people actually convince themselves that Harbaugh & Co., out of sheer stubbornness and "dinosaur ball," would intentionally only get the ball to target DPJ three times a game.  You do understand that, in most instances, who get's the ball is determined by the QB's read, right?  If DPJ was either well covered, or Shea missed him, or that's not the fault of the play caller necessarily. 

How many deep passes were called?  How many the WR in stride?  I saw many attempts, and they connected a few times -- obviously the pass to DPJ vs. MSU was perfect -- but too often when a similar pass was called, either Shea bugged out of the pocket or threw a poor pass.  Obviously, you want MORE of those deep passes, I'm right there with you, as I'd suspect Harbaugh is as well.  But, what I'd like to see, and what I think has to happen for Harbaugh to call more of them, is that a greater percentage of them connect.

"The real reason is that Pep and/or JH misplayed their cards.  The offense was good enough to win 10 games and score a good amount on several pretty good teams.  But it was NOT an offense on the level of most teams that have made the playoffs.  If you really want to make the playoffs, you have to develop an offense that can match playoff teams.  They did not do that."

This is where the rubber really meets the road, and where the meme really falls apart.  Fans can sit back and criticize and say that things should been done differently, but they don't have to decided what to ACTUALLY call.  They can throw out comments like, "throw more on 1st down" but what if the QB doesn't hit those throws?  They'll then yell, "call better plays!"  But what if you called the plays that your QB executes the best and he still missed them?  Do you just keep on throwing because that's what "modern" football teams do?

You don't know what "cards" Harbaugh & Co. held.  You THINK you do, but you don't know what is or isn't going on in meetings, in practice, and on the sidelines.  I don't pretend to know.  I only go by what I saw, and what I saw was an offense that, although greatly improved, left a ton yards and points on the field because the QB (mainly) failed to execute the counter punch passing plays -- to be honest, I'd be willing to bet Shea would agree with me 100%. 

It's not that the coaches don't ever make mistakes and are beyond reproach -- there were several play calls I didn't like and wondered why they called them, and most of those were oddly timed run plays.  It's that regardless of the scheme and philosophy a coach chooses, the players are the ones that have to make the plays.

Ghost of Fritz…

December 7th, 2018 at 7:38 PM ^

I do not have time to respond to everything in your post.  However, most if it is wrong.

One of your main points is that Patterson is not a very good QB, misses a lot of open guys, and is inaccurate.

You are cherry picking a limited number of Patterson's plays, and also pointing to TWO offensive series in one game to support your "no Pep/JH did it right this year" thesis.  

Patterson's numbers, however, do not lie.  65% completion rate, 21 TDs and just 5 picks.  And he did this in an offense that (1) is not about creating a lot of easy throws (by contrast, Haskins can make the hard throws, but OSU's base pass plays only ask him to make easier throws), and (2) regularly put him in bad down and distance obvious pass situations.

Patterson is also really good at read option runs.  He is very much a plus QB.  He is the best QB JH has had in 4 years at Michigan. 

Yes, I do know the cards JH/Pep has to play.  And you do, too. 

He had the 2nd best QB in the Big Ten.  He has one of the better receiver groups in the nation.  He had a really good o-line.  By October the o-line was very solid.  He had a very nice RB group.  He had in in Evans a great guy to use for quick passes on the edge. 

He had a lot.  And with what he had he made a good offense, but also absolutely failed to use his pieces to maximum advantage.  Only rarely used Evans the way he should be used.   Completely underutilized the excellent receiver group.  Didn't maximize Patterson either. 

Patterson's does not always step up into the pocket and make it though all of his progressions.  This may be an area where he can improve.  However, he is already decent at this, and much better at it than you imagine. 

Regardless, he is accurate, he throws really well on the run, and he only very rarely makes a bad decision with his throws.  Plus he is really good when he takes off running.  Again, 2nd best QB in the Big Ten.  He is really good.  He has a very strong and very deep set of receivers.  USE THEM.

Michigan had all of those tools, but was 107th in the nation in pass attempts per game.  That is all you really need to know.  But to boil it down to just one of many things...why on Earth are you getting DPJ just three touches (sometimes less) per game?

 

 

 

Sten Carlson

December 7th, 2018 at 10:04 PM ^

I never said Shea isn't good, nor that he's not the best QB that Michigan has had in a long time.  Further, I agree that he is excellent at the read option, that he throws very well on the run, and is very good when he takes off and runs.  However, his deep passes were surprisingly inaccurate and late too often to really take advantage of the athletes at WR.  As far as his decision making goes, I agree that when he decided to throw his decision-making was good insofar he didn't make stupid, dangerous throws.  But again, where I continue to disagree (and a point that you concede) is his decision-making in relation to his reads and progressions.

That is the, "USE THEM" you scream.  I agree, 100%!  They're there, throw the ball up and let them go up and make a play -- just like he did to Niko for 2 TD's.  Further, you're clearly agitated about the number of targets and touches DJP was getting, and once again, I agree 100%.  But, where our disagreement lies, is that you think that is due to some sort of schematic decision to keep the ball out of DPJ's and Evans' hands, while I see it as a QB still thinking and learning his way through his progressions, and whose first instinct is to break the pocket.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that his stats lie, but they don't tell the entire truth of what actually occurred because they're binary and provide no situational context.  Total attempts, for example, provide no insight about downs on which pass plays were called, receivers were open, but instead of throwing it, the QB scrambled -- it was either thrown, or it wasn't.  Similarly, completion percentage says nothing about whether it was completed to a check down when the deep shot was open, nor whether the receiver was hit in-stride so that he could pick of YAC -- it was either completed or it wasn't.  To say that being 107th in passing attempts is, "all you need to know" is overly simplistic.

All I am saying is that there were explosive plays, to the talented WR's, in every single game that weren't made, and that that has everything to do with the guy throwing the ball (and possibly something to do with the guys running the routes) and nothing to do with scheme.  Personally, I feel like Shea would 100% take that upon himself and agree with my contention, and would flatly disagree with yours that the coaches are limiting him and the WR talent.  

I really like Shea, and I am excited to see him in the bowl game and next season.  I think he's got an very high ceiling, and if he improves his pocket presence, learns to trust his WR's more, follows his progressions, and gains command of the audibles, he's going to be lethal.  But, Michigan is likely still going to be a run-centric offense, that uses the run to set up the pass.  There is nothing wrong with that, it's not archaic, and QB's and WR's can have great statistical seasons within that scheme.  But, as I said, it doesn't matter what scheme a team employs, the players have to make plays.  

Ghost of Fritz…

December 8th, 2018 at 8:56 AM ^

I just think we are bogged down in a bunch of overly detailed back and forth.

To return to the bigger  picture...

1.   The offense was good.  But it was not on the level of what real playoff teams have.  Michigan did not hire Harbaugh to merely be a Wisconsin-like program (win a lot but decidedly below OSU and never really a playoff team).   Michigan hired him to get on the level of OSU.   And that means making the playoff several times, which in turn absolutely is going to require an offense that is on a level higher than what it was in 2018.

2.   Roster issues should not be a excuse.  Michigan's roster on the offensive side the ball is about as good as it will get (at least until the program gets into the playoff a couple of times).  Per 247 it is a top ten roster, but not a top 5 roster.   That is not going to change until Harbaugh wins a couple of Big Ten championships and gets to the playoff at least two times.  This is it.  This is pretty close to the best JH is going to have, top to bottom, on offense. So you can't self-limit your offense on the theory that your roster is not yet good enough to run the offense you really want to run.

3.   If Patterson is not as accurate as Kyler Murray on deep throws (or whatever), so what?   That is not a valid excuse.   Patterson is really good.  Use his skill set, and his strongest skills, to maximum advantage.  Include more pass plays that feature his strongest skills as a passer.  And besides, he is far from terrible on deep throws anyway, even if that is not the strongest part of his game. 

4.  As Pescadero points out, Michigan was 107th in 2018 in pass attempts per game.   Sorry, but that is just stupid.  That is a failure to properly use your five star QB and one of the best receiver groups in the nation. 

5.  The above probably arises out of a stubborn approach to offense that focuses more on some Platonic ideal of what JH and/or Pep thinks an offense should be/look like, rather than on an approach that focuses on building the scheme and play calls around the skills of you best/most dynamic players in any given roster year.

6.  Don't know if this is more JH's or Pep's fault.  But JH is the HC, so it is his responsibility.  Harbaugh needs to learn a lesson from Beilein, who realized that his program had reached a ceiling due to being mediocre on defense.  So he went out and hired assistants that could bring something that he alone could not--the ability to install a feature that has holding his program back.  Harbaugh probably needs to do something similar on the offensive side. 

7.  If Harbaugh does not improve the offense, it seems unlikely that he will ever get above the 10-2 and 2nd best in the Big Ten level.  Even after a very good 10-2 (but still short of the real goal) year, acknowledge the problem areas and make changes to address them.  If you do not already have it on your staff, go out and hire the best assistants to address the weaknesses. 

8.  In sum...why make excuses?  The goal is to be a playoff team and even win games in the playoff.  The kind of offense Michigan used in 2018 is not the kind of offense that will get that done.  Seems simple.  Do the things necessary to reach your goal. 

[edit:  had to add these bits from from Maize and Blue post below because they succinctly capture most of what is wrong about Michigan's offense: "... our top two WRs combining for all of 62 catches which is 41 less than Rondale Moore and would rank them tied for 54th on the individual reception list. "

"Of the top 25 P5 offenses only two rushed for more yards than they passed, Georgia and Wisconsin, and they averaged 6.3 yards per carry which was a full yard more per carry than we did."].   

pescadero

December 7th, 2018 at 12:28 PM ^

Pass attempts per game rank:

2015: #66 of 130

2016: #94

2017: #98

2018: #107

 

Since Harbaugh has been here we've never even finished in the top 50% of college football in pass attempts per game. Not with Rudock, not with Speight, not with last years mess, and not with Patterson.

 

...and the trend doesn't create much optimism - with the best QB he's had, he threw the least.

 

Maize and Blue…

December 7th, 2018 at 2:43 PM ^

62% runs is what he is referring to.  Not to mention our top two WRs combining for all of 62 catches which is 41 less than Rondale Moore and would rank them tied for 54th on the individual reception list.  We ranked 49th in yards per game, 27th in rushing yards/game and 82nd in passing yards/game.  Of the top 25 P5 offenses only two rushed for more yards than they passed, Georgia and Wisconsin, and they averaged 6.3 yards per carry which was a full yard more per carry than we did.

Not expecting 70 passes per game, but I would like to see more balance and us to take advantage of what was possibly our best WR recruiting haul in our storied history.  If they don't, I suspect recruiting highly ranked WR to become harder and harder.  

As for QB recruiting, storied passers like Nate Stanley, Brian Lewerke (who missed a bunch of games), Joe Burrow, and Felipe Franks all threw the ball more times than Shea who was tied for 76th in pass attempts, but was 60th in yards.  Yet only 6 P5 QBs had a higher rating than Shea.

 

JohnGalt

December 7th, 2018 at 11:53 AM ^

I agree.  These kids want to sling the ball in college.  They see what Alabama and Oklahoma and OSU are doing on offense and want a part of that.    Michigan doesn’t need a 5 star QB to throw for a 180 yards a game.  High school QBs want to play for a college team that is going to prepare them for today’s NFL, not the 1987 Chicago Bears.  

Compare Patterson’s stats last season at Ole Miss to this season at UM.   The only thing Harbaugh did this year was blow Shea’s chances of going pro as a potential first rounder. 

Blue In NC

December 7th, 2018 at 9:55 AM ^

Dylan was a borderline 5-star when we recruited him (I think the #1 or #2 pro QB at the time).  He later fell down the rankings a bit but was a strong QB recruit.  McNamara is a strong 4 star.  Yes, I think we all hoped top QBs would be easy pickings but it's not like QB recruiting has been sub-par.

Lakeyale13

December 7th, 2018 at 11:43 AM ^

QB recruiting has not been subpar...but QB play has been.  Another revelation I never thought would be the case under Harbaugh. 

Essentially his recruiting has failed (up till now...who knows Dylan looks like he could be amazing) and Harbaugh has had to rely on transfer QB's to get anything that resembles a competent QB.

Matte Kudasai

December 7th, 2018 at 12:24 PM ^

Ruddock - good to very good by end of year

Speight - very good for most of year

O'Korn - brutal

Peters - Inc/OK

Patterson - very good.

Other than O'Korn and Peters in the bowl game, our QB play has been pretty good if you ask me.  It's the offense and play calling that limits the QB's.  

QB roster is in good shape with McCaffrey & McNamara.  I'm not sold on Milton, but it's still early with him, plus whomever we bring in for 2020.

QB should not be an issue moving forward.

 

JPC

December 7th, 2018 at 1:36 PM ^

Your stupidity is impressive. Have you ever heard of a school called Stanford?

https://247sports.com/college/stanford/Season/2016-Football/Commits/

https://247sports.com/college/stanford/Season/2017-Football/Commits/

https://247sports.com/college/stanford/Season/2018-Football/Commits/

It's a pretty good school that cares about football a lot less than Michigan... 

 

FrozeMangoes

December 7th, 2018 at 10:45 AM ^

I think a large problem is the NFL isn't running traditional pro style offenses anymore.   I thought the same thing, that the top QBs would want to learn from JH to get prepared for the next level.  But, they can do that at a lot of places now.  The best two young QBs in the NFL ran the air raid in college. 

FrozeMangoes

December 7th, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

Matt D talked about this in a different thread yesterday.  He said top guys don't want to be developed.  They just want a place where they can show their skill set without a lot of on court structure.  Beilen's system is pretty much the opposite of that.  JB is back to pushing for top 100 guys which I think is his money spot.  A lot of talent but still need 2-3 years in a college system to develop.