Scouting Report: 2015 Quarterbacks

Submitted by Magnus on January 7th, 2014 at 9:12 AM

I've spent chunks of the last three days watching film of the 13 quarterbacks rumored to have Michigan's interest for the class of 2015. Two of them have already been offered, but the other 11 have been suggested as possibilities at various times. In an attempt not to bias myself, I did not look at each player's ranking(s) before watching the video of each one and writing about their strengths and weaknesses. The #1 guy on the list probably won't come as a surprise, but perhaps #2 will be.…



January 7th, 2014 at 9:26 AM ^

From what I've heard, Dillman is a ways down the list. I've read that Fitzgerald and Neal are high on the list. 

I don't really have an idea of who will commit to Michigan, since only 2 of them have offers and both are likely to go elsewhere. I can confidently say that the guys who don't get offers won't commit to Michigan.


January 8th, 2014 at 2:52 PM ^

I'm glad you agree. I was amazed that nobody's offered yet. I have no idea what the reason might be, but I feel like he could be a guy who gets his first offer to break the ice, and then a bunch of other teams come calling.


January 7th, 2014 at 9:37 AM ^

I think this is a particularly strong year in California. This list doesn't even include Ricky Town (committed to Alabama), Blake Barnett (committed to Notre Dame), or Jake Browning (who beat all the other guys out for Gatorade Player of the Year in California).

PB-J Time

January 7th, 2014 at 11:00 AM ^

That's an interesting point. It would be nice to have a few guys who you know more-or-less what you're going to get out of them (I would argue perhaps Bellomy fits in this category), so that you can shoot for a hit-or-miss type player. (I would argue that although he had good measurables, Morris is more towards this category, with favorable early returns)


January 7th, 2014 at 10:05 AM ^

Great stuff Magnus, thanks.

I am wondering based on your methodology (best fit for Mich/best Qb etc), why White was so high on your list?  Although some of it sounded like solid coach speak (room for technical improvement etc), I read your review and felt like you liked other guys below him better. 

Also, is there anyone out there that you would just go ga ga for, for Michigan at the position?  Trying to figure out who I should get my hopes up for (e.g. prepare to be disapointed about).

Thanks man!


January 7th, 2014 at 10:14 AM ^

White is such a good athlete that I think he could overcome the differences in offensive philosophy from high school to college. It's kind of moot, since I have doubts that White will get offered.


January 7th, 2014 at 10:21 AM ^

If we get a top flight QB, the offense should be built, in large measure, upon his strengths.  There is an interesting article in Grantland about Gus Malzahn's evolution.  This quote - at least to me - helps illustrate the difference between his offensive philosophy and Al Borges's offensive philosophy:  "Over the last several seasons, Malzahn and his offensive coordinator, Rhett Lashlee, have evolved the offense beyond its wing-T roots. Rather than chase the latest trends floating around coaching clinics, however, the two have always built their offense around their players, in particular their quarterback. While many consider Malzahn a run-game guru, he has coached pass-happy offenses, run-heavy attacks, and evenly balanced offenses over the last seven years."  Borges seems to try to make everyone fit into his approach regardless of strengths and weaknesses, thus minimizing Denard's strengths and Devin's strengths while making the backs run into stacked defenses.

One Inch Woody…

January 7th, 2014 at 10:38 AM ^

Guess what. Michigan was an extremely run focused team when Denard was here. In denards second year, when he was getting into the system, the offense became balanced. This year, the offense turned into a super pass heavy offense and we got burned for it. Sometimes, it doesn't matter if you can't bust a run for 6 yards a pop as long as you show that you're willing to do it. A pro style offense is based on setting up tendencies and breaking them and you can't do that without running the ball.


January 8th, 2014 at 9:14 AM ^

I disagree. While Borges isn't the best offensive coordinator and has done some odd things with his personnel, he has utilized the inverted veer option and some speed options at Michigan that he didn't necessarily use before. Denard and Gardner have both put up some very good rushing numbers under Borges. If you want Borges to use their strengths, I think he's done that. Has he done it enough? Maybe not. Has he incorporated the necessary play action from those runs? Maybe not. But he has clearly made an attempt to play to their strengths.


January 7th, 2014 at 10:42 AM ^

If he were still uncommitted, where would you have Jayru Campbell on this list? I remember (long before he went to MSU) posting something about how I thought Campbell was a meh-ish 3 star talent, and I vaguely recall you agreeing. Is that still the case? 


January 7th, 2014 at 10:50 AM ^

Well, I would have put Campbell on this list if I thought Michigan had any interest, but it doesn't seem they ever really have. From what I've seen of Campbell, I would probably have put him in the bottom 4 or so, but I haven't spent much time looking at him. He's nothing special, in my opinion.


January 7th, 2014 at 11:36 AM ^

Of all the film I've watched, the prospect I really want to see land at Michigan is Gentry. Big frame, strong arm, high release, and mobile enough to extend plays.


January 7th, 2014 at 11:43 AM ^

I know Dillman has a strong interest in Michigan, but what about the rest of these guys? Who would likely end up in the class IF they were offered? 

Mr. Yost

January 7th, 2014 at 11:46 AM ^

Answers my question on Stills vs. Malzone

I want Malzone...because he's from Brother Rice and it makes me think of Brother Malzone (which I just found out right now is actually Mouzone) from The Wire.



January 7th, 2014 at 11:47 AM ^

I really enjoyed this summary of QB prospects - thanks for sharing it, Magnus. 

As for Kearns, from the description you gave, I think that does sound like what Michigan might go after - someone who is not only productive as a QB but who also takes charge when he is out there. That seems like the preferred combination of traits historically as well as now. 

Bo Nederlander

January 7th, 2014 at 12:37 PM ^

I like the write-up you did here, Magnus. I usually enjoy your imput. But I have to disagree with 2-4 being where they are. I youtube these kids all the time and I have to say, I'm a Dillman fan hands down. I'd take Rosen first for sure, but two things stand out to be about Dillman other than the obvious skill. He's got a ton of upside, being that he's extremely athletic, and the other is the fact that he wants to be in A2 more than anyone on this list.

He's got the measurables, plays in a state with great competition, he can run if the play breaks down, but doesn't sacrifice skill, and if that wasn't already enough, he'd likely commit on the spot. If you look at his 247 profile, he's warm on only two schools. Nebraska and MI, and has the Nebraska offer. If it was really a toss-up between MI and Nebraska, what would he be waiting for when he already has the latter offering? 

The fact that the coaches haven't offered yet is very frustrating, coupled with the fact that neither of the offerees have much interest in MI. But nonetheless, thanks for the write-up. I always enjoy them.


January 7th, 2014 at 4:59 PM ^

Wanting to be here doesn't really register with me. Any quarterback who accepts an offer to Michigan is going to want to be here. I mean, obviously, there are going to be morons like Tate Forcier. But if the coaches find someone of good character (which I have no reason to doubt they would, since that seems to be high on their list of desired traits), then he's going to want to be a good leader, helps his team win, get to the NFL, etc.

Bo Nederlander

January 7th, 2014 at 5:37 PM ^

But it's not like that's the only attractive aspect of the kid either. He plays in California which I'm sure we can both agree is one of the top five states to play in when considering talent and competition, if not the top three. He's got decent-to-pretty good speed, probably 8 out of 10 arm strength, makes good reads, 3.4 GPA at a good school, ideal size for the position, and myriad other upsides. AND, he wants to be here. You see where I'm coming from?


January 7th, 2014 at 5:40 PM ^

I sort of see where you're coming from, but I disagree. To me he looks like a slightly larger version of Russell Bellomy (granted, with a leg up in overall athleticism). He's constantly checking down and throwing slants, and I just don't see the willingness to push the ball down the field, make big-time throws, etc. He looks like a game manager. That doesn't mean he can't develop into something more, but he's not a no-brainer offer, either.