|Cornerback Tamani Carter (#3) digs pink. And maize and blue.|
Tamani Carter, a 6'0", 175 lb. cornerback from Pickerington Central (Ohio) committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He was offered a scholarship by new coach Brady Hoke on Sunday night and took a few days to mull it over, but ultimately decided to switch his commitment from Minnesota to Michigan. And really, who wouldn't rather be a Wolverine than a Gopher?
Carter is a 3-star to Scout and Rivals, and a 2-star to ESPN. He had offers from Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, and Stanford, as well as a few others. Carter's Rivals profile also lists a bench max of 295, a 35-inch vertical jump, and a 4.48 forty yard dash.
Prior to Carter's commitment, Michigan had only used 10 of its approximately 20 scholarships available for the Class of 2011. Many fans and some analysts think that if Michigan can't get elite prospects to fill out this recruiting class, then they should bank those unused scholarships for the next recruiting cycle. I disagree with that theory. As of now, approximately 16 players should be graduating after the 2011 season, leaving at least 16 scholarships open for next year. More likely, that number will swell to 20 or so, which is a decent sized class. This "banking scholarships" thing only really makes sense if next year's class would be a very small number, say 10 or 12; that's not the case.
Therefore, I'm not that concerned with Michigan using a scholarship on Carter. Including Class of 2011 additions to the roster, Michigan could have nine cornerbacks on the roster. I expect that at least one of those nine will move to safety, so the numbers are fluid. The ultimate goal is to get talented players on the roster, and I'd rather Michigan use a scholarship on a guy like Carter than just handing it to a walk-on whose maximum contribution might be running down the field on kickoff coverage a few times.
That being said, nothing about Carter really stands out on film. He has decent size (unlike many cornerbacks Rich Rodriguez recruited), he has decent speed, he's not afraid of contact, etc. It's not a wasted scholarship. At the same time, I don't see the suddenness and change of direction that I'd like to see from a cornerback. This is not an "elite" player, but Michigan can't exactly hold out for elite players when the class has ten guys and less than two weeks until National Signing Day. I would like Carter more if he were going to be playing in a Cover 2 defense and sitting in the flat most of the day, but that's not what I'm expecting from new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
At this point, Michigan needs to secure the commitments of a few linemen (Jake Fisher, Tony Posada, Chris Bryant, and maybe a fifth guy), a quarterback, a tight end, a linebacker, a safety, and hopefully a couple defensive linemen. That would bring the class to approximately 19. I'm hopeful that Michigan can also convince a highly touted cornerback like Stefan McClure or Floyd Raven to join the squad. Michigan lacks a true free safety outside of Ray Vinopal, in my opinion, and while McClure is purely a corner, I think Raven has the instincts, speed, and tackling ability to be an outstanding free safety.
TTB Rating: 62