Scouting Report: 2014 Quarterbacks

Submitted by Magnus on February 3rd, 2013 at 8:29 AM

In an attempt to distract you from the frustration of last night, here's a (brief) scouting report on the quarterbacks who have been confirmed or rumored to be in contact with Michigan about potentially receiving a scholarship offer for 2014.  When I put all the names together, the list came out at the nice, round number of 10.  Hopefully I didn't forget anyone important, but if I did, you can only blame yourself for not following me on Twitter and tossing out suggestions.

The list includes David Cornwell, Andrew Ford, Caleb Henderson, Coleman Key, DeShone Kizer, Michael O'Connor, Travis Smith, Wilton Speight, Chance Stewart, and Tyler Wiegers.…




February 3rd, 2013 at 11:01 AM ^

When offers are that far off in the future, especially from a school like 'Bama, it could be more to get a foot in the door than anything else. 

Especially with a kid like Jayru, who is far away from reaching his potential. We'll see if 'Bama still recruits him in 2 years or not.

Mr. Yost

February 3rd, 2013 at 12:18 PM ^

But watching him reminds me of Ben Rothlisberger when he was at Miami (OH)...I'll take it.

I just watched regular YouTube highlights of Wiegers and O'Conner as well.

Wiegers looks like Kirk Cousins to me. O'Connor looks like Landry Jones with a weaker arm.

From simply YouTube videos...

1. Cornwell
2. Henderson
3a. Wiegers
3b. O'Conner

I think we have to get one of the top 2. Not saying the other two are bad at all. I'd welcome any of the 4.


February 3rd, 2013 at 10:14 AM ^

In my opinion 2014 recruiting will be the true test of how good this staff is at recruiting.

  In 2012 the uncertainty at Ohio State helped us land a lot of good Ohio prospects and the coaches did a nice job of pulling kids from some other places. 

2013 seemed to just all fall together perfectly.  The coaches got an early commitment from a top tier QB who was also a lifelong Michigan fan and he really put his recruiting hat on for us and the Dominos started falling for us that weekend of the basketball game last February.  The coaches also did a great adding some other players down the road. 

2014 will be the true test.  There are 2 elite in state prospects( Harris, Mcdowell) both garnering national attention and both of them seem open to exploring their options.  The third best prospect, Damon Webb, was of course already lost to OSU.  Ohio has some good kids once again, but Ohio State is strong right now so it will be a battle for the top kids in Ohio.  With this class seemingly looking smaller than the previous two and the midwest looking a little slim on elite talent the coaches have their work cut out for them to lock up a high quality class. 


February 3rd, 2013 at 1:13 PM ^

Yeah whatever are we going to do without Shane Morris as our recruiting coordinator... Come on man. That's ridiculous. Players don't come to a school because of one player. Shane helped promote a family atmosphere but thats about it. If you need another year to judge Hoke's recruiting ability you haven't been paying attention.


February 3rd, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

I have been paying plenty attention, and I call it like I see it.  Please identify one statement that I made that is not true.  There is no doubt that Hoke is a good recruiter.  The question is, is he a great one?  Thats what I want to know, and I believe 2014 will be the year we find out.  Our class this year(other than Derrick Green) is dominated by Midwest prospects.  Hoke will have to land multiple kids from outside of the midwest footprint next year in order to achieve another top 10 recruiting class.  The jury is still out on whether he can pull that off or not.


February 3rd, 2013 at 3:34 PM ^

A while back there was a fair amount of analysis on this blog to the effect that Michigan's failure to effectively recruit the midwest in the late Tressel era was a major culprit in M's struggles since 2007.  The main points were: (a) taking a high-level recruit from the Midwest not only adds that player to your roster, but also keeps him off OSU, Penn St., ND, etc.; and (b) going outside the region to get players may help your own roster but also leaves more quality recruits for teams like MSU, Wisc., et al.  

I'm not against recruiting nationally, but dominating (or at least getting our fair share of) the midwest is more important.


February 3rd, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

Video footage of Jayru Cambell, I like what I see... Decent arm strength, great pocket awareness, speed to burn, good height (with room to still grow). The only knock on him I have is his rail thin body... He will get annihilated in college football if be doesn't start working out lol. But that tends to be one if the biggest concerns with all prospects.


February 3rd, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

Assume he is a year younger given 2015 class originally. His technique is probably slowed by weak coaching/competition for years (a reason for moving to the South) and his low weight indicates strength limits at this stage.

He has a ton of upside if he gets 3 yrs of S&C and technique work, but right now Cornwell seems the most ready.


February 3rd, 2013 at 11:04 AM ^

Cornwell and Speight yesterday. IMO Cornwell has a very strong arm and has very good pocket awareness. But the thing I like most about his video is his ability to get out of the pocket and throw accurately on the run with zip on the ball. He is a big kid and his throwing motion is very good. He is strong and stands in the pocket without happy feet. He can shrug off tackles because if his size and get outside to throw.

Speight has decent arm strength and is pretty big also. When you watch his tape you'll see that he lobs the ball a lot and doesn't throw the ball with that straight line zip you like to see. He is mobile and can throw on the run but still doesn't throw the ball very fast.

I think Cornwell has the best potential. I haven't had the opportunity to watch video on Henderson. But Cornwell looks pretty good. IMO.

Mr. Yost

February 3rd, 2013 at 11:40 AM ^

I see you compared Henderson to Tate.

Can you do that for all of these guys in terms of playing style?

Natually, people are going to what whichever compared player is the best...but I'm speaking of STRICTLY playing style.

For example, I think the ideal QB for our offense is an Andrew Luck type of course someone is going to say "who wouldn't want Luck." But what I mean is a smart QB, a coach on the field, someone who is accurate and make NFL type reads and someone who can escape the pocket and extend plays with his legs.


February 3rd, 2013 at 11:48 AM ^

I threw in player comparisons where I saw fit (Kizer throws like Byron Leftwich, Henderson plays like Drew Tate, Stewart plays like John Navarre, etc.).  I don't necessarily see comparables in every player.


February 3rd, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

We have not signed a kid from Oklahoma in the age of Rivals (since 2002). 

However, that's mainly because Oklahoma doesn't normally have much talent, and the little they do have gets sucked up by OSU, OU, and Texas most of the time. 


February 3rd, 2013 at 1:41 PM ^

have played for Michigan. Most recently Woodrow Hankins from 1992-96.

Also, if you don't mind a self-plug, this is that same geographic information used differently by yours truly, on the off chance anyone might be interested.…


February 3rd, 2013 at 1:10 PM ^

I think it'd be a huge disadvantage if we revert back to QBs who can't run.  The game has changed, it's important to have a dual threat.  We may not need to go as far as a Denard Type, but I really hope Devin Gardner's performance and style of play next year makes coaches re-think the statue QB, even if he can just scramble and have 5 or so designed runs per game.


February 3rd, 2013 at 2:17 PM ^

If you look at a lot of the quarterbacks the coaches are pursuing/offering, many of them aren't mobile by any means, but definitely have some escapability to them. 

I think recruiting has also changed a lot as well. There are still a number of "statue-quarterbacks" but a lot of good athletes play quarterback for their high school teams now too. 


February 3rd, 2013 at 8:59 PM ^

AJ McCarron is a pocket quarterback with limited running ability. Luck is known for his smarts, decision making and his arm more than his legs. The key is to fill the team with quality talent so the O-line can create holes, the RB can find them and extend plays, and your QB can make the pass to a receiver who can get open, catch the ball and create in space when the opportunity arises. In short, we need talent in all positions, and then we don't need a QB who can run like Denard.


February 4th, 2013 at 8:13 AM ^

I don't think it's important to have a dual threat.  It's important to have a good quarterback, and it's important to design the offense properly around your quarterback.

The Super Bowl was between a pocket statue (Flacco) and a dual threat (Kaepernick).  The statue won.  The national championship game was between a pocket statue (McCarron) and a guy who can run a little bit (Golson), although not as well as Kaepernick.  The statue won.  

How were those two winning teams built?  They're predicated on good defense and good running games, with passing offenses built around play action.  Michigan seems well on its way toward building a traditionally strong defense and a strong running game.  Of course, that's not the ONLY way to win games, but I think you're overly concerned.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: almost any system can work in college football, as long as you find the right personnel and develop it properly.  The 4-3, 3-4, 3-3-5, 4-2-5, spread option, I-formation, passing spread, triple option, etc.  It all works, as long as you don't suck at it.

True Blue Grit

February 3rd, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

could potentially work out well here.  Arm strength is a big plus, but I like to see kids who throw accurately.  We've had guys here who had really strong arms but constantly threw the ball over receivers' heads.  But, I like the size of all these guys, because they'll be able to see the field better.  Hopefully, we'll be able to nab one of them before the music stops and they're all gone.


February 3rd, 2013 at 2:49 PM ^

Accuracy is one of those things that's difficult to judge unless you see a guy in person.  Highlights don't do a guy justice, because obviously, all the throws on a highlight film are going to be on target.  You might catch glimpses of guys who throw passes behind guys or don't lead receivers perfectly, but that's about it.  I also don't think completion percentage is very helpful, because some quarterbacks have great receivers and some quarterbacks have receivers with hands made of stone.  That's why I mostly leave accuracy out of the equation when watching these guys, unless there's a particularly high number of accurate throws on the run, under pressure, etc.

Ron Utah

February 4th, 2013 at 11:14 AM ^

I'm excited to see who we might offer on Wednesday.  It seems like getting your QB is the unofficial start of recruiting season for the next year.  Obviously, we've been recruiting already and have Ferns committed, but getting the QB and past signing day seems to really add juice to the process.  I expect a few "Hello" posts this month.

I do wonder if Bellomy is a viable long-term option.  I'm not sure what happened to him this year or what his "issue" was, but I feel like QB depth is a real concern at this point, and I wouldn't be disappointed if our signing day surprise this year was a QB.  I'm very excited about Shane, but I do think he'll need some time to develop, and I'm not sure Bellomy is a reliable back-up.  Of course, it's highly doubtful we sign a second QB this year, but it wouldn't bother me at all.

From everything I've looked at and read, Cornwell seems to be the best fit.  Missing a season of football would be a very bad thing, IMO, as there is no substitute for game experience.  That said, I hope he's not playing until the 2015 season at the earliest, and that's a long way away.


February 4th, 2013 at 5:42 PM ^

Thanks.  I agree on taking a second quarterback.  I feel like Michigan is in a position where they can take "the best player available," and if that guy is a quarterback, then so be it.  I don't know if Shane Morris would be happy about it, but I think he could handle a challenge.