Rivals 250 notes

Submitted by ish on May 21st, 2013 at 1:45 PM

rivals release the rest of their 250 today.  here are some players with michigan interest or commits.  perhaps someone else can tell us if these players' rankings moved since the last iteration of the 250.  (everyone listed here is ranked 101-250 b/c the top 100 was covered yesterday).

  • 118, commit Mason Cole
  • 127, potential target PA S Montae Nicholson
  • 128, commit Michael Ferns
  • 154, potential target PA WR KJ Williams
  • 181, commit Bryan Mone
  • 229, target Parker Westphal

a few other notes:

  • Speight not in their top 250
  • Neither is Bunting, who we expected to climb
  • Marshall, Bunting, Speight, Ways and JBB all got 3 stars.



May 21st, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

Is that just because our recruits are ranked higher on ESPN or is it because of other reasons? I tend to like Rivals a bit more than ESPN and as Magnus mentions below there are some head scratchers in ESPN's rankings. Was just wondering what your thoughts were on why you like ESPN more


May 21st, 2013 at 4:06 PM ^

the quicker you realize that Rivals is par excellence for the recruiting sites, the better....  I heard many here rip Rivals during our 3-star mafia run with RichRod... appears they were right, weren't they?  More than half of them transferred and/or didn't meet traditional Michigan performance standards.... considering our depth has been so poor the past few years, seems to correlate well with Rivals' ratings.....  and many of those you mentioned, will likely get another star, in the end....     It is what it is.


May 21st, 2013 at 5:31 PM ^

Well, on the other end of the spectrum, it appears that Rivals may end up being WAY off on their rankings of the 2012 class as it relates to Michigan and 3 stars.

The 3 stars of interest with my notes included:

Ben Braden - labeled "as talented as Lewan, if not moreso" by a scout team player.

Mario Ojemudia - played as a 230 lb true freshman, touted as future star by some practice observers.

Willie Henry - named the most impressive RS FR by numerous players, regardless of position.

Chris Wormley - many think he would have been 2nd string as a true FR last year, many close to the program expect him to overtake Heitzman sooner than later this year. Future NFL level player.

Devin Funchess - pretty obvious here.

AJ Williams - pretty much a starter as a true freshman.

Jehu Chesson - expected to be a huge contributor going forward. Was dinged in ratings for lack of speed...runs 10.7 in 100 meter dash. Does not compute...

Jeremy Clark - named best RS FR by at least one player. Noted as great athlete with great size who REALLY hits people by practice observers.

Matt Godin - many say that if Womrley had not recovered, you'd replace Wormley with Godin as the next player in line to eventually beat out Heitzman. Practice observers love the kid.

Some will debate my "notes" on the players here, but I base these on pretty reliable sources (including player comments and coach comments as indicated). Also, being a good player or starter doesn't mean you shouldn't have been a 3 star still, I get that. Also, not all of these guys can start when they play similar positions etc. Finally, I understand that practice hype does not equal stardom, but it's probably going to more often than not with this staff.

I'm merely pointing out that in a top 10 class the Rivals rankings included numerous 3 star players who were actually on top 100 lists of other sites, and these guys have all panned out well (as well as you can after just a year at least). In fact, the 3 stars from the class may outplay the 4 stars from the class eventually. That's a huge miss.

I think the biggest problem schools like Michigan will face will be the inherent flaw in rankings - regional bias and inconsistency of rating criteria. Josh Helmholdt, a UM guy originally, is WAY too obsessed with a player's current size and skill set. This really hurts Midwest guys because they often have half the football exposure as southern kids and Cali kids etc. Coaches look for teachable athletes, not finished products. Helmholdt is yet to master this art.


May 21st, 2013 at 1:56 PM ^

Dammit Damon Webb!!! Why did you have to buck Cass Tech Tradition? He's easily the best of the defensive backs produced there over the past few years or so.


May 21st, 2013 at 1:56 PM ^

regarding so many players. Every now and then there will be that guy that Rivals has like 42 and ESPN 136 but I don't know if I've ever seen almost half a class with almost a hundred player spread across it. Quite perplexing but there's still a whole season plus camps and such before everything is settled.


May 21st, 2013 at 1:59 PM ^

While ESPN is likely a little bullish on Michigan's class, I wonder if the other half of the equation has to do with with Josh Helmbolt (sp?) coming from Michigan's Rivals site.  Seems like he has gone out of his way to not be a homer.  


May 21st, 2013 at 2:05 PM ^

Tim Sullivan at Rivals said that no bump should be expected for most of those guys who are outside the top 250.  They're there for a reason, not because they were previously overlooked.


May 21st, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

I'm like 99% sure I saw Sullivan say on twitter that Moe Ways was getting a big bump during the next rankings.  While it's not surprising he didn't jump into the 250, I wonder if he'll be one of the "other" 4 stars that get released tomorrow....or if he'll end up a high 3-star.


May 21st, 2013 at 2:14 PM ^

it's just strange that there would be such discrepancy if what Magnus says is true in that Rivals is all like "Well, we know they suck" and ESPN is all like "We know they're awesome". Especially considering that they aren't likely to lose a fourth star on ESPN, and aren't likely to gain one on Rivals.


May 21st, 2013 at 2:26 PM ^

It is a little odd, but Rivals has a better track record than ESPN.  Some of those ESPN 150 guys are really a little bit questionable.  These guys might end up being good down the road (as low rated guys always do), but Lawrence Marshall at #107, Wilton Speight at #125, and Ian Bunting at #114 are all head-scratchers at least a little bit.  Bunting is very skinny and played WR, Marshall is very raw, and Speight had zero offers when he committed to Michigan.  When he had a chance to earn an invite to the Elite 11 finals, not only did he not receive one, but he wasn't even mentioned by Trent Dilfer in the roundup.  Now, Dilfer might not be the greatest QB guru in the world, but he's got a better track record of college success and NFL experience than the guys who work for ESPN, Rivals, etc.  If Speight were truly the #125 player in the country, I would think he'd be a shoo-in for the Elite 11 finals.


May 21st, 2013 at 2:30 PM ^

but as a point of comparison Shane Morris did not earn an invite to the Elite 11 his first go around either.  I think he went to the camp in Dallas (?) and was not the MVP and did not get an invite.  It wasn't until he attended his second camp (Ohio?) where he earned an invite.  And if memory serves, Morris ended up somewhere in the top 50 (varied by service obviously).


May 21st, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

Taken in the context of the Elite 11, you're absolutely right. But he also received offers earlier than Speight, was ranked as a 5-star or high 4-star from the beginning of the process, and was widely considered to be a blue-chip prospect. If the Elite 11 says "thanks but no thanks," a bunch of schools concur, and so do most of the recruiting services, the majority of the evidence suggests that ESPN is going out on a limb with their ranking on Speight.

I'm not saying ESPN won't be proven right in the long run, of course.


May 21st, 2013 at 2:37 PM ^

I agree that some of the ESPN rankings are weird, but isn't this all projection anyway? I don't see any reason not to put Bunting that high because he's skinny/plays WR. If they think he has the upside of being a very good TE, isn't that sufficient to get a top 150 rating? I'm not saying Bunting will be that good, but just saying that its not just about what they've done so far, but also about what the services think they will be.


May 21st, 2013 at 2:44 PM ^

They can do whatever they want. Personally, I don't put a ton of stock in the rankings. They're fun to look at and keep track of, but it's all very subjective.  I'm just saying when you count on a guy to add 35-40 lbs. and change positions to meet your ranking's expectations, there's a lot of room for error (what if he can't add weight? what if he can't block? what if he adds weight but gets really slow?).


May 21st, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

for what it's worth ESPN were the only ones who told the truth about William Campbell who I think they rated as a 3 star OG...  so there is every reason to believe that Speight, Marshall, and Bunting will all be stars!


May 21st, 2013 at 5:27 PM ^

Absolutely agree with this point.  The Hoke/Mattison talent evalualtions obviously have by far the most weight.  Most (if not all) of the current commits--and Speight in particular--were given offers over other highly rated guys (i.e. David Cornwell, #24 in the country per ESPN, #66 on Rivlas), so the Michigan coaches apparently had Speight very high on their list.  Jake Ryan was a middling 3* type on Rivals (I'm sure he couldn't move laterally/had short arms/etc..)--and he's pretty good.  Desmond Morgan was barely a 3*.  I could go on.  ESPN > Rivals may be debatable.  Hoke > Rivals is not.

South TX MFan

May 21st, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

He's joking. Implying that Rivals is intentionally ranking the Michigan commits lower, and if Hand or Peppers commits their ranking will also suffer.

Come on people turn on your sarcasm meters!


May 21st, 2013 at 3:23 PM ^

Rivals analyst says that he has only one pass rush move. Said he struggled against D-1 level OL who have the kick step to nullify his speed rush. Rivals is also not sure if he has the frame to carry more weight.

Someone asked in their "chat" if he could possibly play SAM and they said he lacks the lateral agility to play SAM.

They were asked to pick between Marshall and Gelen Robinson and they both picked Robinson.

They also said the best chance for Marshall to move up in the rankings is showing improvement during the season.