Sam Webb on Wide Receivers

Submitted by jbibiza on August 11th, 2011 at 8:19 AM

No gut feelings or anything definite, but just listened to Sam say (in answer to a question) that he thought there was an excellent chance that we would have one wideout committed before the ND game.  Blending that with the news that Darboh wants to take his official for the Western game brings a bit more certainty to the speculation that he may commit on that visit.  Payton is coming for ND and no definite word on when Madaris will return to campus so the signs point to Darboh.  Has anyone been able to find any highlight videos for him?



August 11th, 2011 at 8:59 AM ^

They're all the same size.  And frankly, I don't think this coaching staff is going to differentiate as much between slot receivers and wide receivers.  Rodriguez wanted 5'8" or 5'9" guys in the slot, with the exception of Roy Roundtree.

The Michigan of old (and of new, I'm guessing) put guys like Greg Mathews and Steve Breaston in the slot.  Basically, whoever our #3 wide receiver is will probably be out there in 3-wide sets, and our #4 wide receiver will probably be out there in 4-wide sets.


August 11th, 2011 at 9:16 AM ^

His slot receivers at WVU were small, and his slot receivers at Michigan were small.  Furthermore, he recruited very few tall guys for the slot.  Roundtree, DJ Williamson, and Miles Shuler were about the tallest guys he recruited for that spot, and all are/were listed about 6'0", which means they're really 5'10" or 5'11".

I don't think it's a stretch to say that he wanted small guys for the slot.


August 11th, 2011 at 9:44 AM ^

I think you are still missing the point of what he said so I will repeat. It is not necessarily that he wanted short guys. There are just far more guys who are shifty and quick that are short. If there were more guys who are 6'2 and shifty then he'd recruit them.  The fact of the matter is those guys are few and far between.  If you have that kind of size AND are quick and shifty you are probably a 5 star or a high 4 star. 


Guys over 6 foot who are super quick and shifty do not grow on trees. So there is a skillset that RR recruited for the position and it just so happened that more short guys fit that skillset. 


August 11th, 2011 at 9:55 AM ^

I'm not missing the point.  I understand your point.  There ARE tall receivers out there who are shifty.  We either didn't offer them or we recruited them as outside receivers.

I kept track of our offers during Rodriguez's tenure (2011, 2010, and 2009).  I didn't separate WR's and SR's until the 2011 Offer Board, but you'll find if you go back that small guys were recruited almost exclusively for the SR position.

Blue in Seattle

August 11th, 2011 at 11:02 AM ^

But I think what the poster wanted your opinion on is what the advantage is to smaller shifty people over tall shifty people.  From a physical standpoint I would think everyone would take tall shifty over small shifty.

But just speculating myself there are two reasons.  First, short people have an easier time gaining leverage when blocking, it especially helps if you don't have the weight advantage, which fast receivers will likely not have over OLB and SS.  Second, the quantity of tall shifty fast people is probably not the same volume as small fast shifty people.  Breaston is an elite talent that was only possible at the Lloyd peak of recruiting.  So do I think Rich Rodriguez wanted a Dileo over a Breaston?  No way.  I think he settled for Dileo over any potential Breaston's out there.  I think this would apply to WVU as well, despite the success that was being generated.

I think the latter reason is more likely.


August 11th, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

I think of this small SR receiver argument in the same way I do with cornerbacks.

Over the past few years, Michigan (under Carr, RR, and Hoke) have receruited some really short CBs that are supposed to be pretty solid in coverage.

However, I don't think it would be accurate to say that those coaches wanted small CBs. I just think that 6' or taller CBs with excellent coverage skills are EXTREMELY rare. We were fortunate to have some in the past - Woodson, Marlin Jackson, etc - but in general they are very difficult to land.

I think the same is true with the WR situation, as some posters have already said. I think if RR had two receivers that were 6'1" with average speed/shiftiness and one that was 6'2" with excellent shifitness, the taller receiver would have been in the slot.

I also think that RR always seemed to have small WRs in the slot because you don't really need to be as tall in that position because of the kind of passes you are catching and routes you are running.

Outside receivers on the other hand might find themselves in more situations where they need to go up for the ball, hence leading to taller WRs typically ending up on the outside.


August 11th, 2011 at 5:40 PM ^

Again though... if you are tall and shifty most likely you are a 5 star and you are not coming to UM the last few years. 


Steve Breaston, Mario Manningham..... I can't think of many others who are a combo of taller and shifty.


Braylon, Terrell, Walker, Avant, etc. were not shifty at all. In the NFL, Andre, Calvin, Randy, T.O., etc. are not shifty guys.


The point is that in the slot position RR wanted shifty guys.. the taller guys are for the outside wideouts.  He wanted shifty, quick guys being matched up with linebackers and safeties.  Short guys just happen to be a hell of a lot shiftier/quicker than taller guys.


The most quick/shifty wide outs in the NFL are short too.  Wes Welker, Steve Smith, Desean Jackson.. all short and shifty.


It's not so much that he specifically WANTED short guys. Given a choice of short and shifty vs. tall and shifty I'm sure he'd choose tall every time. The point is that most taller guys do not have the hips and foot quickness that shorter guys have. It's just the facts.


August 11th, 2011 at 8:55 PM ^

Yes, and my point is that he didn't even try to get those 5-stars who you say wouldn't come to Michigan.  He didn't make the effort.  So he was either lazy, or he preferred small guys.


August 11th, 2011 at 9:47 AM ^

The college that I played at ran an offense very similar to what we will see this year at Michigan a little more zone blocking out of power sets, but still pretty similar. I played WR and we had guys on the depth chart designated at a certain, outside/slot position, but when going to 3 WR sets or 4 WR sets the best 3 or 4 were on the field regardless of position on the depth chart. Really as a receiver you need to be able to know all positions and if you run good routes you're going to do just fine. The only big factor on the height scale is for jump balls or straight fly routes where the receiver is going to have to go up and compete with the DB.


August 11th, 2011 at 10:29 AM ^

Differentiating between slots and outside receivers is unnecessary and absolete (with a shift to the pro-style offense).  Some guys may be used primarily as slot receivers but it's more about formation, play-calling, and positioning than having a different skill set that a position group would entail.  It's the equivalent of calling Denard's position as a "Shotgun QB" and Chad Henne's as a "Behind Center QB" (i.e. There's some truth to it, but it's not really a different position - just being utilized differently.)

Based on how the roster is looking and how recruiting is going, I'd argue that we're better off seperating our TEs by type than our WRs.

Somebody should update the depth chart by class to lump the slots with the other WR.


August 11th, 2011 at 8:58 AM ^

I would guess he is talking about Darboh, as there were some rumblings other places from non-verified sources that he was leaning Michigan's way a few days after his visit.  

Payton and Darboh would be nice.  I really thought we had no shot with Payton and he's slightly overrated - but he is a four star and that won't be taken away from him.  I would love them both.  

FWIW I think Rivals lists them as #1 and #2 in their latest "Sweet 16" rankings.  Going off memory here though.  Would love these two along with Garnett and O'Brien.  Would be an unreal class.

Charlie Chunk

August 11th, 2011 at 9:29 AM ^

It must be hard to find a good receiver out of high school. I've been to a lot of games over the last couple of years and there aren't a lot of good passing offense's out there. The high school game built around the run.

I'm not saying they won't pass, they just don't throw the ball that often. As a result, there is not a lot of completions to evaluate.  That’s why I think they key on size weight and speed stats.

Am I way off base?


August 11th, 2011 at 10:01 AM ^

I'm an alumni of Dowling Catholic, where Amara Darboh goes to school.  Received an email recently stating that all football games will be webcast this year, in case anyone is interested in seeing him play.  The webcast is free.

Direct link to webcast isn't out yet, but I'm sure it will be posted on the school's website when available.  First game is August 19th.  Link below.

B Edwards 17

August 11th, 2011 at 2:37 PM ^

I'm not a huge fan of Payton after watching his film. He doesn't seem to be a player that can take over a game or produce big plays. Just a great possession receiver.