Scouting Report: E.J. Levenberry

Submitted by Magnus on April 19th, 2012 at 6:20 AM

I wrote up a scouting report on E.J. Levenberry this week.  After breaking down his film, it seems a slight bit odd that Michigan would put all/most of its linebacker eggs in the Levenberry basket.  He's a good player, but I don't think he's a "can't miss" prospect.  He's definitely going to need some good coaching to succeed at the next level.



April 19th, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

I agree that it could have been worded differently.  It wasn't.  Oh well.  Regardless, the evaluation was honest and said a lot of good things, too.  Unfortunately, people can't always see the forest for the trees.


April 19th, 2012 at 9:38 AM ^

First and foremost I do not click your "scouting reports" anymore, I did once some time ago and that was enough for me. Your "scouting" is laughable at best, I don't know what kind of expierience you have as a talent evaluator but I would love to see your credentials. Instead of calling it a scouting report you should really title it "my shitty, negative critique" I believe a while back I read you are a high school volenteer assisstant or something, that makes you a evaluator of some elite high school football players? In another thread you stated that Shane Morris had accuracy problems ever since he has been on your "radar" LOL Give me a break bud, I trust the coaches that are at Michigan to evaluate and judge what kind of player they bless with an offer. That being said why dont you try to be a little more positive in your "evaluations" or give it up and try and get a real job. Best Regards Dr. Jay  


April 19th, 2012 at 10:00 AM ^

I believe Magnus is a HS football coach (or something along those lines).  He has always voiced his opinions very strongly (sometimes a little too strongly for my liking), and kinda comes off as a d*ck if you disagree with him.  That said, take solice in the fact that Hoke and Mattison have a hell of a lot more experience evaluating players, and get payed a hell of a lot more money to do so.  They also have access to hours of film on these prospects, where people like Magnus make scouting reports based off of a 5 min highlight film or some limited game action (I've always laughed at this point).


April 19th, 2012 at 10:03 AM ^

Not that I have any football scouting experience but I would read it before I comment on the negativity of the report. It basically says has strong physical attributes, lacks some technique, and has the potential to be an all-conference or NFL player. Same as pretty much every high school athlete; they have some work to do to be ready for the college level and then more if they're able to continue playing professionally.


April 19th, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

I agree with you... I find these reports more realistic than negative.  These are juniors in high school... none of them are ready to start in the NFL right now.  They all have aspects of their game that need improvement.  And I think they all realize that. 

It's not like Magnus is saying, "this guy sucks compared to all these are perfect prospects out there" or "hell never make it at the college level."  Typically he says these are good solid players who have strengths and weaknesses... that's reality.

Space Coyote

April 19th, 2012 at 10:21 AM ^

These kids all know they have things to work on, and like it or not, not all of them are going to pan out and be all-americans.  It just doesn't happen.  Yet you guys get all up in arms like it's going to hurt recruiting.  I got news for you guys, things like this have very little impact on recruiting.  The coaches, the program, etc. are what dictate recruiting, not one guys honest opinion of what he sees in a highlight tape.

And trust me, almost all these kids know they have things to work on.  Maybe it's a little harder to take it from a high school coach (who by the way, I'm sure knows a lot more about the game than most here.  You may think you know a lot, but you realize quickly once you get into coaching that you know very little at the start) that he doesn't know, but it's still fair criticism.  It's an opinion, not some flowery, unrealistic praise like some people around here seem to want.  I think some of you need expectations tampered a bit, because you expect everyone to be the best at everything.

I disagree with Magnus on some things, but he knows a lot more than most here, and he has a right to an opinion that isn't all positive.  I don't think that's going to hurt recruiting.  If anything it will get players to have a chip on their shoulder when they get here.  Players will get criticism in college anyway, it's not going to always be flowery no matter where they end up, much less at Michigan where we have UFR's tell us how bad/good a player is playing (oh no, Obi Ezeh's parents might have read a UFR and now they hate Michigan... not so much).  

These players aren't flawless, deal with that.  If you don't like reading a different take on things, then don't read it.  I myself like seeing another person's opinion.  I trust the Michigan coaches' opinions more, but they see more film and have more experience, and still you guys act like the coaches want these players because they are already perfect.  All Magnus is doing is seeing what he sees, yet you people complain about having more educated opinions.  A spoiled and sensitive bunch, great.  

And by the way, this isn't a very negative report.  It's way more positive than anything, Magnus pointed out things most high school players need to work on, and, just as he did with LTT, said he has a very high ceiling if he takes to the coaching.


April 19th, 2012 at 11:42 AM ^

Agreed. None of these kids are operating anywhere close to their physical or technical potential. Even All Pro NFLers know they have areas they can improve. While kids should have a healthy amount of pride in how they play, they'll probably have problems taking coaching if they can't also be realistic about their deficiencies. 99+% of recruits aren't at an All American or even All Conference level the minute they step on campus. Magnus' evaluations do much more to explain what a recruit has to do to get there than others. Not to take a shot at the Tremendous (aka thisismichiganfootball) blog, but in their last two evaluations the only two concerns listed were tempered with "hard to find anything to work on" and "but not a need for concern". Are you kidding me? Does anyone think there's a single recruit our coaches will struggle to find fault with? A kid isn't going to want to play for a coach like that. There's a reason kids want to play for coach Mattison. He's a guy who has helped develop Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata. Kids aren't stupid if a coach or evaluator tells them "you are basically Terrell Suggs" the kids will laugh them out of the room. If the coach can credibly say "I will develop you to be as good as Terrell Suggs" the kid will ask "where can I sign?"


April 19th, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

I'm still perplexed that we would turn away Dorian O'Daniel (who is rated higher by some and had Michigan as his leader and who is at a school that consistently develops top D-I talent including coveted CB Kendall Fuller in this class) and Alex Anzalone from even visiting (presumably because Gedeon was a silent and Levenberry was close).  I was similarly perplexed regarding our stiff-arm to Tommy Schutt and cold-shoulder to Danny O'Brien last year.  That being said, I COMPLETELY trust Coaches Hoke & Mattison regarding their assessment of recruits (physically, mentally, emotionally) and their character and fit within the system and program. 


April 19th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

I believe its more a matter of that they only wanted to take 2 LBs in this class due to the 4-5 they took last season, and the limited numbers remaining for this class.  They have their two, but consider Levenberry a high enough talent to be worth making room for.

They turned away O'Daniel because we were full with 2.  Levenberry is the icing on the cake.  Also, factor in that they probably see O'Danien and EJ playing different LB positions.


April 19th, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

I think the staff had reasons to believe that Gideon was very likely on board (whether he would admit to being a silent commit or not).  Whether it actually was a silent commit, or just a really good vibe, I don't believe they would risk their own careers on LB depth by turning players away if they didn't feel really good about what they had.


April 19th, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

Agree that they felt Gedeon was likely to commit and people need to factor in that the coaches look at more than game film and measurables.  Gedeon is also a great student and I'm guessing will be a strong leader, considering his brother is captain of the Harvard team.  I think this is what pushed him ahead of O'Daniel and Anzalone.


April 19th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

and multi-tasking at work as I now see several posters made similar comments from when I started typing to when i actually posted.  I will stick to just reading them!


April 19th, 2012 at 11:08 AM ^

Cant help but wonder if the coaches just really like him as a person as well as a player. He seems like a really smart kid with a good family network. Fit seems very important to Hoke & Co.


April 19th, 2012 at 10:05 AM ^

I liked the report Magnus.  I don't see how saying:

All of his physical talents suggest that he could be an all-conference player and develop into an NFL linebacker, but he needs some good coaching to get there.

can be taken as a bad thing, and its probably something that Levenberry already knows. The criticism that he is a bit raw is fair, especially when you compare him to our recent LB hauls (Bolden).

On the other hand, how excited would we have been to get this kid two years ago? I think we would have been thrilled (Magnus included). We have some pretty crazy expectations these days given the NOLA win and the start of this class.


April 19th, 2012 at 10:22 AM ^

Magnus, I really appreciate your insights, honesty, and football knowledge. Having said that (Curb reference) you are the biggest goddamn buzzkill in the entire world. You would criticize the grammar on a suicide note.


April 19th, 2012 at 10:26 AM ^

...or guys with great offer lists fit this profile:  big-time athletes who are fairly raw.  Magnus just said that they guy isn't "can't miss."  How many players are? 

Space Coyote

April 19th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

Low ceiling: what we saw of Ezeh in high final 3 years.

High ceiling: Courtney Upshaw (Former Alabama OLB/DE, 4* prospect coming into school)

Most likely: somewhere between the two.  Though it appears some people only think you're allowed to say he'll be the next Courtney Upshaw.


April 19th, 2012 at 11:11 AM ^

Mattison is the one who really has to sign off on defensive recruits. Like the rest of us, he isn't infallible. However, his opinion is much more informed than mine, and than that of most everyone on the board. The fact that Levenberry has so many offers (including Alabama) and the fact that our coaches are high on him, matters more than what ESPN or Rivals or Scouts rank him.

And it is noteworthy that Rivals, ranked by the Mathlete as the best recruiting service in terms of how their rankings pan out, has Levenberry the highest.

I appreciate Magnus' scouting reports and analysis. While sometimes somewhat negative, I would say that he is not so much negative, but realistic. We don't need more puff pieces that are out of touch with reality. It is better to sift through several informed opinions on a player before making one yourself. Magnus is part of that process.

This whole discussion reminds me of grade inflation and "positive feedback." If everyone gets an A, then an A no longer really matters. If everyone wins, then competition no longer means anything. Our coach's careers depend on having solid players, and so they are staking their own livelihoods on who they offer. Regardless of a mistake here and there, Hoke and crew are doing an excellent job.


April 19th, 2012 at 12:02 PM ^

In case you hadn't noticed, the Hoke staff puts a bit of a premium on guys who have both top flight skill AND a work hard and earn it attitude. Levenberry seems nothing if not the type of guy who'd come in and quitely work his ass off to get better, keep his head down and not get in any trouble otherwise.

The one thing that bothers me about magnus sometimes is how he'll ding a guy who jogs into the endzone, but not give a guy credit for having an above average level of commitment to the game and a program.


April 19th, 2012 at 12:50 PM ^

Seems like a positive review I'm not sure what blew the skirts up. I prefer Hutchings instincts but otherwise am very high on Levenberry. I see Hutchings as the Cravens of this years LBs, disruptively awesome. But to me Levenberry can get there. I wasn't nearly as high on O'Daniel. Levenberry seems like a team guy where as O'Daniels teammates didn't even celebrate with him often, that's a red flag. Saying a high school kid needs coaching is hardly an over the top critique. I prefer to see a balanced report over a rose colored report any day.


April 19th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

I have heard the same.  I have a friend that coaches 2014 Deshawn Hand who plays at Woodbridge(VA) Levenberry's rival.  My friend played LB in college and coaches DL/LB, and works with 247.  He isn't as impressed with Levenberry as he is with Gedeon.  He thinks Levenberry will end up at FSU because he might not have the talent to crack our starting lb core until a RS JR year at best.  I won't bore you with the flaws in his game, but thats just his opinion.

As far as character, he is a me first guy, with a control freak dad (who is a former cop I believe) who got into a fight at one of his sons games last year, and has been known to argue and yell at opposing high school players.

Blue boy johnson

April 19th, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

With this coaching staff the most common denominator seems to be how "physical" a player is. They will skim over many things but when a player lays the lumber, smiles asplode. Knock somebody on their ass and Mattison will like you. Mattison likes Morgan. I don't know anything about Levenberry, but if he likes to hit, these coaches will notice, technique and all that crap they will figure out later.


April 21st, 2012 at 7:58 PM ^

Appreciate your analysis and I was glad to see you admitted he was good. The weaknesses you listed can be taught to someone of his ability. I especially liked the one where he's "Not technically sound when it comes to technique." I know you're a coach and you see things I don't, but who am I to argue with Hoke and Co.? Other things I won't do--Argue with Ford Motor Co. about engineering issues with their automobiles.

Bull Dog

April 20th, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

To Canzior-  Before you go on a web site and post information you should try to verify your facts especially when they are second hand. A responsible adult would take such action. 

I am not a former cop as you state.  I am a 20 year supervisor in law enforcement currently.  I would not represent myself in such a negative light because my profession requires me to carry myself at a higher standard than the general public.

Second, your friend/coach that you are quoting false information from was probably the Woodbridge High School coach that was yelling at my son at the football game from the sideline.  This incident was reported to the Woodbridge Principal and documented.  Such a person should not be coaching High school football. 

Third, I have never got into a fight at any football game as you state.  The facts are a federal law enforcement officer struck my son on the football field after a football game.  This federal law enforcement officer was arrested by Prince William County Police, VA, and he pleaded guilty in the case.  These facts are documented in the Washington Post other media outlets and in court records. 

Maybe if you google before you press the send button you would not expose yourself to a slander law suit.  I am a mentor to kids as a football coach in Prince William County, VA and I do not yell at other peoples children.

Your friend/coach at Woodbridge or you can speak with me directly face to face if you want to know the type of character person I am.  Don't hide behind a web name and put out false information.

I coach at Saunders Middle School every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8pm. Please feel free to introduce yourself.



Eric Levenberry Sr.



April 20th, 2012 at 5:33 PM ^

Mr. Levenberry, don't take one guy spreading hearsay about you and your son too seriously. There are people who believe anything they hear, or read, without question no matter where you go. I believe most of us have heard nothing but positive things about you and your son. I choose to believe those and I think that at least 99.99% of Wolverine fans would jump for joy if you guys joined the UM family. 

Bull Dog

April 20th, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

Furthermore, as you state, your friend is a coach at Woodbridge High School.  Every coach should be trying to help a young man.  I have personally told several coaches aboun his player Da'shawn Hand. Michigan and several other D-1 schools have offered that kid based on what I told them about him.  That is what you call character.

Every reporter that has interviewed my son can tell you that he always talks about his team mates before he talks about himself.  My son tells every college recruiter that is recruiting him about his team mates who should be offered also. 

He has been telling recruiters about our 6'7 offensive tackle that does not have a scholarship offer.  He heas been telling recruiters about the other linebackers on his team that deserve a college scholarship.

Now you tell me if that is a me person? ??/ 

I have personally driven his team mates to colleges in an effort to get them schollarships.  I have personally contacted every school in the CAA in an effort to inform them about the good football players at my sons school.

That is not a me person.  My ministry is to help kids get into college. 

Maybe what you and your friend should discuss is the number of Woodbridge High School football players who have to attend Hudson Valley Community College.  Maybe a little structure and tutoring after school will help these young men.

I want to see every kid in Prince William County, Virginia, get a college football scholarship no matter what school he plays for.  You will never see me bad mouth a young man especially on a national blog.

Every adult should be trying to help every kid he can for this is where he will get his blessings.  Your comments clearly reflect your character!  I wish your friend/coach at Woodbridge HS nothing but the best.


Eric Levenberry Sr.





April 20th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

What I have noticed about Hoke's recruiting style (compared to RR) is that he is recruiting high-character individuals who will not show up in the crime section of the newspapers. EJ Levenberry definitely fits that bill of Brady Hoke's vision of a Michigan man.

Bulldog, please ignore all these so-call experts and rumour mill mongers. Wish EJ the best irrespective of his choice.


April 20th, 2012 at 6:03 PM ^

It's inevitable that every coach will recruit a kid here or there who gets into some trouble.  That's just the nature of recruiting and being in college.

That being said, I certainly agree that Coach Hoke is recruiting high character kids.

FWIW, this story about Levenberry being a "me first" person is the first I've heard of it.  We should also take with a grain of salt anything that comes from a rival coach's mouth.  That's not exactly an unbiased opinion, and most coaches find reasons to dislike opposing players/programs.