Would you want a third TE or RB

Submitted by iawolve on March 18th, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Knowing that we are still scouting TEs and now that Smith is a commit, it sort of raises the question of if we would give one of those few last spots to a third TE or RB. Granted, I know we want to have more 2 TE sets and I don't think that we will be running the wishbone, but I sort of feel that I would rather fill that spot with a guy like Issac who is an everydown back than a guy like Ornoff at TE (who just gave a verbal to Pitt, only using him as an example since he as been in the conversation).

Considering the current size of Shallman, I am not sure he doesn't keep growing or can even be as effective as a tailback at a D1 level where he will need some shiftiness. With that unknown, it seems to me that we need another RB rather than another TE. Not sure what the board thinks. Crazy that I am worried about a class filling up in mid-march, but he we are.


Mr Mxyzptlk

March 18th, 2012 at 7:35 PM ^

Yep, depends on who the RB and TE are.  I'd take Isaac over any TE.  I'd probably take Derrick Green over an extra TE too for that matter.  I hear his visit went very well.

As far as TE's go, there doesn't seem to be that many high quality guys left not committed or heavily leaning towards other schools, so lets use the scholly on a better player at another position of need please.


March 18th, 2012 at 9:18 PM ^

We're in a "take the best available player" position here. If the talents were equal, I would take a TE what with our holes at the position and the position's increasing importance in modern-day offensive philosophy. Whatever position offers us the best chance to have a difference-maker, though. 

Just for example, let's say that we were applying this logic to RR's first recruiting class, except using the positions of quarterback and anyone in the defensive back seven, and that Forcier was already in place but Denard was targetted (I'm taking historical liberties, obviously). Defense would have been a bigger need, but RR's lasting legacy is that he recruited a true difference-maker at a position where he had players already in place. 


March 18th, 2012 at 6:57 PM ^


And I agree that as much as the coaches want a third TE, they haven't gotten the ones they wanted. Meanwhile, two very good RBs are in the mix if they take a third. If either Green or Isaac wants aboard, they take him. If neither wants to commit, I assume the coaches would go back to evaluating TEs.

turd ferguson

March 18th, 2012 at 6:57 PM ^

BPA, and if we're talking about positional needs, I'd take a third WR before a third RB or TE.

It seems to me that TE is a short-term problem, not a long-term one.  In a few years, we should be fine there, with guys like Funchess, Williams, Butt, and Hill coming in.  Given that, I think it makes sense to take a third TE only if he's the type of guy who can come in and contribute quickly and significantly (unless he's a mega-prospect type).


March 18th, 2012 at 6:59 PM ^

I'll take another running back. Having said that, it seems like everyone has forgotten about Rawls. Does anybody think he can carry the load for a year or two?

Mr Mxyzptlk

March 18th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

I don't think we've seen enough of him to tell if he can "carry the load" one day.  He played a little last year (true freshman) so I think that is a good sign of his potential.  Anyway, I think spring practices are going on right now so there may be info coming in the next few weeks about our running back situation.

Michigan J. Frog

March 18th, 2012 at 7:01 PM ^

I really like the TE position. Really versatile. If you can find one athletic enough, he can perform just about any role on offense you can think of, which forces the defense to account for those various roles.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:02 PM ^

I would rather take TY and go hard at TE next year. That would make 3 TE's in the 2012 class one small  with speed with WR skills, 1 with size and great blocking in AJ and 1 right in the midde with the walk on. They're all going to be freshmen this year so who knows what you'll get from any of them.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:10 PM ^

Fitz will be back I like your optimism though. Green or Isaac as most have said would be great. I think Shallman becomes a short yardage back that plays another full time position on defense. Just my opinion but he is too talented to just be a situational back. We have either landed or missed on our Plan A guys at TE. The kid down in SEC country is still out there but I think he is a long shot. I like our options at other positions right now. 


March 18th, 2012 at 7:05 PM ^

Is anyone else as amazed as me that we're even having this "which would you rather" conversation in freaking MARCH....a full 11 months before signing day?

This is truly groundbreaking.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:06 PM ^

i don't think we ever need to take more than 2 TE in a class, seeing as how TE probably won't leave early thats 8 scholarship TEs at a time, more than enough.  With Shallman, lets see where he excells his senior year of HS, it could be on the defensive side of the ball.  how about a 2nd qb, just to be safe in the future.

Mr Mxyzptlk

March 18th, 2012 at 7:47 PM ^

Sounds like we're going to be using a lot of 2 TE formations heading into the future.  That means we need more on the roster.  I also hear some people talking about sub-positions that I'm not as familiar with.  I wish Ace or someone would come out and explain what is the difference between a U-back, Y-back and TE.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:09 PM ^

Obviously Michigan needs more TEs.  It was conventional wisdom on this site 6 months ago that AJ Williams was going to be a tackle, and Funchess has the speed to be a WR.  Thus, they should recruit TE.

After all, many on here know more than the coaches, which is part of the rationale for this thread.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:13 PM ^

Please. Looking forward to some guys that can run with power, break tackles, and enough speed to break long ones. A running game you can count on is a beautiful thing.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:19 PM ^

I actually would rather take 3 d-linemen if it meant getting Poggi, Vanderdoes, and Mathis, which would in turn give us a great shot at Cravens.  I love Isaac as well, but contrary to what some others have said today, he's no longer in my top 3 wants for this class now that we have Smith locked in.  He's gone from being #1 or 2 on my list to a big luxury.  Top 3 for me now becomes EJ, one of the above mentioned D-linemen, and one of the stud WR we're in on.  

I just don't think we need another TE or RB, but if he's a stellar prospect I'd obviously take him gladly.  So to answer the question the way you asked it, since the best player at either of these positions is Isaac, I'll say RB.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:25 PM ^

I think it's a little bit of an unfair exercise to compare a 5* top 25 guy in Isaac vs. a 3* guy.  A more fair discussion would be something like, if Breneman were to decommit would you rather take him or Isaac?  Or would you rather take a guy like Orndoff vs. a 3* RB?  I think in the case of the 4/5* you take the RB given the number of touches he'll get and his potential upside.  For a depth guy with 3 or borderline 4* you take the TE.  I have a sneaking suspicion Hoke wouldn't be averse to even having some of those Stanford-type sets with 3 TEs out there on one side of the line to mess up the defensive alignment.

That said I think we might all be asking the wrong question.  Seems the coaches want a 3rd TE in any case.  We might eventually be asking ourselves, do we want another RB, vs an additional S or LB....


March 18th, 2012 at 7:30 PM ^

I want Ty.  We have a power back.  I want a speed back.  We have enough TEs for our purposes right now.  We need to spread out TE recruiting... take two next year.


March 18th, 2012 at 8:47 PM ^

I think Norfleet could end up as a weapon similar to how Ole Miss used Dexter McCluster a couple years ago. He's probably too small to take a 20 carry per game pounding, but could have an impact in the return game, getting a handful of carries, running routes in the slot, in the screen game, and on reverses.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:51 PM ^


call me crazy, but if shallman comes in an inch or two taller we'd have a highly rated athlete already in the fold who could almost act as a tweener between a gronk and Aaron hernandez... I say push for blue chip rb and hope for more growth.


March 18th, 2012 at 7:53 PM ^

with their highlight films and whatnot, but I'm not sure that we should take anyone beside Isaac. Green looks like a clone of Smith. And we took 2 rb's 2 years ago, 2 last year and 2 this year already. It seems more pressing to fill the middle of our DL and the WR.


March 18th, 2012 at 8:03 PM ^

I think this new coming Michigan manball team doesnt really need another back to be honest. If we miss out on ty I doubt it will bother the coaches much. We got two physical backs and have two freshman backs (hayes and norfleet) to be our change of pace speed back. If you remember old michigan manball teams we didnt have that extra back we could throw in to change  the pace like what hayes and norfleet bring to the game. So im happy with what we got right now. Its kinda like we finally figured it out  We need to return to the old days of brusing tackle breaking running backs(rawls,smith,shallman) but still remember that speed is much needed so we get a couple players like(hayes, norfleet) to be more rounded. this is something Debord didnt undrstand


March 18th, 2012 at 8:08 PM ^

We have positional needs that we need to meet in this class. The breakdown leaves a few spots open for players that you like enough to take. It's not a situation of the coaches wanting another TE or RB. It's a situation of them liking a certain player enough to use one of those freebie spots on him. The identities of people the coaches feel that strongly about is becoming clear (Isaac, Orndoff, Green, Levenberry, etc). The fact that the coaches continue recruiting guys at positions that are "full" speaks much more to how much they value the individual player moreso than how much they value a certain number of recruits at a given position. If I'm ever going to trust the coaches it's going to be in regard to who they let snatch up these precious free spots.


March 18th, 2012 at 8:28 PM ^

It's not unrealistic to think that Fitz could leave early if he has a comparable season to last year or better.  RB's have a finite number of carries in their bodies and their draft value has become marginalized in recent years.  There's usually one elite first round back per year and maybe 2 - 3 in round two these days.  If you don't have that elite size / speed combination it's very difficult to improve your draft stock at that position no matter how productive you were in college.  Not much incentive for backs to stay in school...  take the (elite) RB if you can over a extra TE any day.


March 18th, 2012 at 10:12 PM ^

I'm not buying that Fitz is going to demonstrate that kind of elite talent. And the short lifespan of NFL RBs is as much of an enticement to stay for the degree (though Fitz could get it next year, maybe?) as it is to leave early. 

One RB is expected to go in the first round this year. Now, Fitz could be a late-round surprise, as there are many of those, but there's no way he's a first-round talent.


March 19th, 2012 at 12:47 AM ^

It's not that he's a first round talent, you don't need to be to leave early as a running back.  Different situation but Edwin Baker is arguably a similar talent and there are other examples.  Guys like Ronnie Hillman and LeMichael James came out because nothing they could do next year was likely to change their draft position... at least not enough to offset the increased injury risk and extra mileage?

If your likely best case scenario is third or fourth round in two years, than your draft position next year is not going to be significantly different.  It's just different with RB's now, at least half the NFL uses them situationally now and really good college backs (who go on to be NFL starters) consistently go in the fourth round or later.

And he did RS, so he'd be leaving after his fourth year and could be finished with his degree.

Hope it doesn't happen, just saying it's possible he could leave and it's possible it could be the right decision even if he's not a first round talent.



March 18th, 2012 at 8:34 PM ^

RBs are usually the best athletes on their teams. And i think Hoke has mentioned the same. You can sometimes position switch RBs that are not going to contribute.


March 18th, 2012 at 11:20 PM ^

I would rather take a running back than a tight end.  We signed a few TE's last year, I know they look like they both could switch positions but AJ Williams said that part of the reason he was so excited about Michigan was because we were actually recruiting him as a TE.  So i think they both stay as TE's ,and with Jake Butt and this new 2012 Walk on I think we will be okay there for now.  I would rather take an extra RB or LB since we are in on such elite talent.

Sione's Flow

March 18th, 2012 at 11:50 PM ^

Coach Hoke has said he'd like to take 2-3 RBs in every class, because they're versatile athletes.  I would think 3 RBs would better suit the type of offense the staff is trying to implement.  Plus who's to say one of those RBs doesn't turn into a lights out LB or DE after a couple of winter workout sessions.


March 19th, 2012 at 4:49 AM ^

It would appear that by getting an excellent walk on like Mandle we no longer need another TE for 2013. Great job by the staff to boost our depth with a quality kid and no loss of scholarships.