Friday, April 22, 2011

Devin Funchess, Wolverine

Farmington Hills, MI wide receiver/tight end Devin Funchess flies through the air with the greatest of ease

Farmington Hills, MI tight end Devin Funchess committed to the Wolverines on Saturday.  He chose Michigan over offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, and Virginia, among others.  He's a 4-star recruit to Scout and the #6 tight end prospect in the country.  The 4-star ranking is echoed by 247 Sports.

Funchess stands 6'5" and weighs approximately 210 lbs., although he will surely continue to add weight.  He caught 34 passes for 709 yards (20.8 yards per catch) and 5 touchdowns as a junior while playing a lot of wide receiver.  Two of his high school teammates, WR Aaron Burbridge and DE/LB Mario Ojemudia, also hold offers from the Wolverines, but Funchess was the most likely to choose Michigan.  Harrison High School generally seems to be a Michigan State pipeline, but that didn't affect Funchess, whose sister currently goes to school in Ann Arbor.  The last Harrison product to choose Michigan was Charles Stewart in 2004.

The number of offers given out to tight end recruits suggested that Michigan wanted at least one blocking tight and at least one pass receiver from the position in the class of 2012.  The coaches seem to have filled that quota with earning commitments from Funchess and Ohio TE A.J. Williams.  When those two players arrive on campus in 2012, the only other scholarship tight ends on the roster will be fifth year senior Brandon Moore and sophomore Chris Barnett.  I will not be entirely surprised if Michigan continues to recruit the position, but the need has obviously been greatly diminished.  Southfield, MI Ron Thompson has been on commitment watch for several weeks, and these two commitments early in the process may have been an attempt on these players' parts to reserve their spots before they were taken.

When I watch Funchess, the first player that comes to mind is Ben Troupe, the former Florida Gators and NFL tight end.  He's a wide receiver with a tight end frame.  It may take him a while to get his body to fill out to adequate proportions, but San Diego State's starting tight end in 2010 was a redshirt freshman who was 229 lbs.  They split him out at times and got him some decent numbers, and that's what I expect from Funchess, too.  He catches the ball with his hands and adjust to the ball well when it's in the air.  He ought to be able to make an impact in the passing game early in his career, and he has the lateral movement and feet to be a solid blocker at the second level once he adds some strength.  If you want a Michigan comparison, he's Carson Butler with a good head on his shoulders.  I have high hopes for Funchess in the coming years.

Funchess is the sixth commitment in the class of 2012, which currently stands at 17 players.  That number will likely grow with the odds high for further attrition in the coming months.

TTB Rating: 75

7 comments:

  1. Magnus,

    No Caron Butler comparisons until Manbearfreak-ness is confirmed.

    On a side note, despite being Manbearfreak, Butler was notoriously terrible at blocking. Was this just a faulty perception?

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  2. @ David 1:59 p.m.

    My comparison to Butler is from a purely physical standpoint. That's why I said "like Butler but with a good head on his shoulders." Blocking is all about effort, and Butler didn't really seem to care. So I think you were right.

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  3. This kid looks pretty good to me. Even if he does not fill out well, I still think the coaches can use him. I agree though that if he does fill out, he could be excellent. Sounds like a strategic recruit from a good HS program to boot.

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  4. With the class size creeping up, any chance they take three tight ends, with Thompson and Funchess as pass-catchers and Williams as the quintessential tackle-lined-up-at-TE TE?

    For that matter, what are the odds that this class turns out to be composed entirely of offensive linemen, tight ends, and linebackers?

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  5. I don't know why people are getting worked up about the TE numbers. To me, you land 5 OL, 2 pure TEs, and call Williams an OL/TE. Thats 8 guys for OL/TE. Add a QB, RB, WR on offense (11), 4 DL (15), 2 LB (17), and 2 DB (19) and you have yourself a class, with maybe a luxury (extra skill position guy, LB, or DB) thrown in if the class reaches 20 - which it will - if not more. No worries.

    - Lankownia

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  6. I know that this guy is a highly rated recruit at scout but I'm not a big fan of the TE/WR hybrid types. Any more than I was a fan of Rodriguez's hybrid S/LB types. If you want a blocker, then get an OT. If you want a guy who can get open and catch the ball, get a receiver. If you've got a tight end who either can't block or can't catch, then the defense knows what to expect when he's in there.

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  7. Anonymous @8:04pm

    Football isn't all about surprising or deceiving the defense. There's a little thing called execution in there. Ask Lloyd Carr.

    I don't think it's any coach's objective to have a tight end who either can't block or can't catch. It's just that most do either one or the other better and some do both very well.

    It's like safeties...some are better at coverage, some are better at run support and tacking well. This doesn't mean Brian Dawkins can't cover for shit or Darren Sharper tackles like a pussy.

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