Monday, August 3, 2015

Recruiting Update: August 3, 2015

Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy tight end Isaac Nauta
Upper Marlboro (MD) Riverdale Baptist cornerback Sir Patrick Scott committed to Michigan (LINK).

Dallas (TX) South Oak Cliff running back Jordan Stevenson was not admitted to Wisconsin, so he became a "free agent" over the last couple weeks. Wisconsin's stringent admissions standards were reportedly a big reason why head coach Gary Anderson left town for Oregon State in the off-season, and perhaps Stevenson was a casualty of that system. It's not clear whether Michigan offered him or not, although there was word the coaching staff would be in contact. Regardless, he went ahead and committed to Nebraska, so he will still be wearing red and white in the Big Ten.

New Orleans (LA) Riverdale defensive tackle Tyrus Butler was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'2", 300 lb. prospect with offers from Mississippi State and Tulane, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #114 defensive tackle, and #1893 overall. As a junior in 2014, he had 67 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, and 9 sacks. New offers to defensive tackles may mean that the coaches don't want to put all their eggs in the Rashan Gary basket.

Amarillo (TX) Amarillo defensive tackle Ivory Jackson was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'3", 275 lb. prospect who committed to Texas Tech in early June; he also has offers from Kansas and Kansas State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #88 defensive tackle, and #1513 overall. As a junior in 2014, he made 74 tackles and 6 sacks.

Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy tight end Isaac Nauta decommitted from Florida State. Michigan has always been in his top group, and he has maintained that he will take an official visit to Ann Arbor, so this would seem like a good thing for the Wolverines. However, he is expected to commit to Georgia, which is where he played high school ball before transferring to IMG Academy in the off-season. And in even more damaging news, now the Seminoles are looking for a tight end, which might push them ahead of Michigan for Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep tight end Naseir Upshur, who had been thought of as a Michigan lean. Upshur has since postponed his announcement date of August 8th.

Hit the jump for a couple new 2018 offers, some guys who went off the board, and some random bits.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sir Patrick Scott, Wolverine

Upper Marlboro (MD) Riverdale Baptist cornerback Sir Patrick Scott
Upper Marlboro (MD) Riverdale Baptist cornerback Sir Patrick Scott committed to Michigan on Sunday at the BBQ at the Big House. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan State, Pitt, Wake Forest, and Wisconsin, among others.

Scott is a 6'1", 175 lb. prospect.

ESPN: 3-star, #57 CB
Rivals: 3-star CB
Scout: 3-star, 77 grade, #40 CB
247 Sports: 3-star, 87 grade, #64 CB, #653 overall

Scott came to Sound Mind Sound Body in Detroit, and he attended Michigan's summer camp. Shortly afterward, he was extended an offer by the staff. The Wolverines jumped to the top of his list, and overtook the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. He set a visit for the BBQ, but it had been unclear if he would have a chance to commit before some other players got to the spot first.

Scott is a physical corner. He has long arms, and he does a good job of jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. He also does a good job of flipping his hips, turning to run, and tracking the ball in the air. He is not a big hitter, but he tackles well and plays fundamentally by holding outside contain. He tackles low and wraps up nicely.

Scott's athleticism is somewhat lacking, however. He does not change direction well, he takes some time to get up to top speed, and he does not have great makeup speed. There are a lot of "almost" plays on his highlight reel, and in college, I'm afraid the plays he is "almost" good enough to make in high school will turn into big plays for Big Ten opponents.

I am not enamored with Scott, but that is partly because I want the Wolverines to pull in a dynamic playmaker at the cornerback position. Especially with Jabrill Peppers playing safety, there is basically no heir to Jourdan Lewis's throne as a true cover corner. I think the Wolverines are getting a lot of mid-level guys who are big and physical, but perhaps that's not the best way to go in college. I think boundary corners are pretty easy to find, whereas field corners are rare.

Michigan now has 22 commits in the 2016 class, including three corners: Scott, Floridian Antwaine Richardson, and Canadian Benjamin St-Juste (who could reclassify to 2017). All three seem to be boundary guys or perhaps safeties. They will probably continue to look for a true cover corner in the class, and I assume they're done with boundary types.

TTB Rating: 68 (ratings explanation)

MLive: Ty Isaac has to prove himself to Jim Harbaugh

Nick Baumgardner talks about Ty Isaac (LINK). It may be noteworthy to a certain reader that Harbaugh says he only practiced for "a day" in the spring due to injury.

Hit the jump for some good looking girls.

2015 BBQ at the Big House Visitors

Detroit (MI) King wide receiver Donnie Corley
Michigan's coaching staff will be holding the annual BBQ at the Big House on August 2, 2015. The tradition was started by Rich Rodriguez and has normally been held in July, so this is a later date than normal. It could get interesting seeing how many players can travel from a long distance, because high school football practices usually begin at the start of August. Regardless, there are several players scheduled to attend, including a posse from Maryland and the New Jersey area.

Ben Bredeson - OT - Hartland (WI) Arrowhead: Bredeson committed to Michigan in June (LINK).

Donnie Corley - WR - Detroit (MI) King: Corley is a 6'2", 180 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, and USC, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #18 wide receiver, and #114 overall. Reports differ on how seriously he is considering Michigan, but Michigan State and Tennessee seem to be high on his list.

Terrance Davis - OG - Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha: Davis is a 6'4", 305 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Maryland, and Michigan, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #2 offensive guard, and #76 overall. He has been rumored to be a silent commit to Michigan, but Maryland and others are in the mix. UPDATE: Davis did not make it to Ann Arbor.

Hit the jump for several more prospects, including kids all the way through the class of 2019.

2015 Season Countdown: #28 Ben Gedeon

Ben Gedeon
Name: Ben Gedeon
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 241 lbs.
High school: Hudson (OH) Hudson
Position: Linebacker
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #42
Last year: I ranked Gedeon #38 and said he would make 30 tackles and 1 sack as a backup linebacker. He made 17 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack; plus he returned a blocked punt for a 32-yard touchdown.

Gedeon is one of those players who is hitting his later years on campus with fans thinking, "Huh? How is this guy so old already?" Despite not being needed, he played immediately as a freshman in 2013, making 19 tackles and 1 sack. The same sort of role recurred in 2014 when he made 17 tackles and 1 sack. Michigan had several more proven, more experienced guys ahead of him, but he played in all but one game during his first two years. His most impressive play of last season came when fellow linebacker Mike McCray blocked a punt; Gedeon corralled it, showed off his high school running back skills, and found the goal line 32 yards later.

Gedeon's a junior now, and he is arguably the best athlete in the linebacker corps. He has been pretty good when he gets playing time, but the path to the field is blocked by seniors Desmond Morgan, Joe Bolden, and James Ross. Gedeon will probably be the first linebacker to sub in, and an injury would likely give him a starting job. He has good size, speed, and instincts. Additionally, despite never being a starter, Gedeon is quite possibly the spearhead of the 2016 linebacker group, if not the entire defense. He has been a role player the past two seasons, but he should get more of a chance to shine this year.

Prediction: Backup linebacker; 35 tackles, 2 sacks

Saturday, August 1, 2015

MLive: Special teams preview

Nick Baumgardner previews Michigan's special teams (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies.

2015 Season Countdown: #29 Patrick Kugler

Patrick Kugler
Name: Patrick Kugler
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 297 lbs.
High school: Wexford (PA) North Allegheny
Position: Center
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #57
Last year: I ranked Kugler #75 and said he would be a backup center. He played in one game.

Kugler has not lived up to the expectations some people had for him coming out of high school. A highly ranked player, the son of an NFL offensive line coach (and now the head coach at UTEP), Kugler was expected to compete for playing time very early on an offensive line that was not very productive. Some thought he would play as a true freshman or beat out Jack Miller as a redshirt freshman. Instead, he has never been higher than the third-string guy, and the one game he played last season was when part-time center Graham Glasgow was suspended.

Whether we like it or not, Kugler is a key backup this season. The Wolverines have not done a great job of recruiting the center position in recent years. It's perhaps the most important position on the offensive line, so it's dangerous to ignore. The danger level rose a bit this offseason when Jack Miller, who would have been a fifth year senior in 2015, chose to leave the program. He had been the starter for all of 2014 and part of 2013, and he had been a solid contributor. In steps Glasgow, who played center quite a bit in 2013 but spent most of his time at left guard last year. Glasgow ran into some more legal trouble this offseason, and I don't know if he can be counted on to be available for an entire season. The coaching staff tried left tackle Mason Cole at center this spring, but his snaps were very inconsistent. Backup interior lineman Blake Bars has also snapped the ball a little bit, but he can get overpowered and does not maintain leverage well. If anything happens to Glasgow, the easiest thing will be to insert Kugler, but he has a lot to prove.

Prediction: Backup center