Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Royce Jenkins-Stone, Wolverine

Detroit, MI linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone spits with such force that his helmet pops off

The Cass Tech pipeline continues to be good to Michigan.  Linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone committed to the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Miami, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Tennessee.  His talent and those offers have added up to a 4-star ranking from both Scout and 247 Sports, while Rivals and ESPN have yet to rank him.

Jenkins-Stone is listed at 6'2", 215 lbs. and is being recruited by Michigan to be a middle linebacker.  He had long been considered to be a Michigan lean, but he raised a bit of a stink when he wasn't offered quite as early as he wanted.  Then the offer came early in February, and that calmed the waters.  Despite all the big-time schools that swooped in with recruiting pitches, Jenkins-Stone liked what was happening in Ann Arbor and finally pulled the trigger on Saturday.

He has the perfect frame to add weight proportionately and grow into a protypical MIKE.  With his height and musculature, I expect Jenkins-Stone to bulk up to 245 lbs. or so within a few years.  Speed and agility shouldn't be a problem as he adds bulk.

I have a lot of questions about Jenkins-Stone, though.  Detroit prospects are difficult to gauge, and he's no exception.  Too many Public School League players just kind of go out there, stand in the vicinity of where they should, and then take off running when the ball gets snapped.  The athleticism is there, but his technique and on-field discipline are questionable.  His stance is erratic, he leaves his feet and reaches too much when attempting to tackle, etc.  These are things that can be taught, but they're also things that a player has to choose to learn.  Once Jenkins-Stone adds a little bit of muscle, he should be able to compete for playing time whenever he chooses to refine his technique.

As I mentioned in the Kaleb Ringer commitment post, Michigan has a plethora of young inside linebackers.  The 2012 season should have presumed starter Kenny Demens, redshirt junior Isaiah Bell, and sophomores or redshirt freshmen like Kellen Jones and Desmond Morgan. Ringer could compete at either WILL or MIKE.  That means Jenkins-Stone could be pushing for time as early as 2013, although the competition will be stiff.

I think Jenkins-Stone has the potential to be a very good player.  However, my guess is that he will take several years to develop.  Cass Tech players like Boubacar Cissoko, Teric Jones, and William Campbell have been a little slow to develop at Michigan.  The jury is still out on Thomas Gordon, who hasn't played much in his first two years, but exists on the border of starting.  Brandon Graham took two or three years to realize his potential, depending on whether you think that happened in late 2007 or early 2008.  Dior Mathis and Daniel Easterly went to Oregon and Missouri, respectively, as part of the 2010 class, and both redshirted this past season.  Cortez Smith, who went to Indiana a few years back, was booted from the team for legal problems.  Exceptions exist - Joseph Barksdale and Vernon Gholston both had pretty early success at LSU and Ohio State, respectively.  It just seems that kids from the PSL take a little while to shake the bad habits.  But I do see leadership and passion when I watch Jenkins-Stone play, so if he can avoid some common pitfalls of inner city players (legal trouble, bad technique, etc.) and channel that passion into being the best player he can be, this kid could be a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine for the Wolverines in a few years.

TTB Rating: 86

16 comments:

  1. Hopefully this gets the ball rolling on some of these in-state kids. A big time commit like him should make others feel more at ease and confident about picking Michigan, as I'm sure a lot of the in-staters want to pull the trigger but aren't yet comfortable with the new coaches yet.

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  2. OT: On the subject of Cass Tech players ...

    * What would you do with Teric Jones if you were Brady Hoke? Where do you think he'd fit best on the field?

    * Given that Thomas Gordon was a low-level recruit, are you pleasantly surprised that he's even in the conversation (for starting)?

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  3. @ Anonymous 11:17 a.m.

    If I were Hoke, I would probably keep Jones at RB. He's a career backup, in my opinion. There's no need to bounce him back and forth. Maybe he can help out on kick returns or something, but he's supposedly out for 2011 due to a knee injury. He'll be a fourth year player in 2012, and I'm not sure that he'll be asked back for a fifth year.

    I don't know if I'm pleasantly surprised that Gordon is a borderline starter. It's not a bad thing or a good thing, just a thing. He was a 3-star coming out of high school and there's not a great deal of talent at safety, so that's about where he should be.

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  4. "inner city kid" problems like legal troubles and bad technique? seriously? white kids from Saline and Hillsdale don't have those problems? Whatever. You are now off the rotation. I'll read something less stupid.

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  5. @ Saz 4:04 p.m.

    You can do what you want. If you don't realize that inner city kids (in general) have more legal problems and get worse coaching, then I don't know what to tell you. If you didn't notice, Detroit has quite a bit of crime, and two of those Cass Tech players I mentioned went to jail (Cissoko and Smith).

    And if you've ever watched a PSL game, technique and discipline go by the wayside sometimes.

    Read or don't read. That's up to you. The truth is the truth, whether you're here or not.

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  6. Inner City coaches are not as good as rural coaches? Or not as good as suburban coaches? Or do you mean white coaches? That's what you really mean. Truth? Ha. I came back to see if you would amend your myopic observations but you are entrenched. You're an embarassment to the insitution. Go cover Hillsdale. You'll fit in there.

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  7. Its pointless stereotyping. You also can't back it up with anything more than anectdotal evidence. There's just no reason for it. Furthermore, your unprovable and unsubstantiated OPINION isn't the unassailable TRUTH you imagine it to be.

    Everyone is entitled to their views but what's the point of casting such dispersions on Michigan recruits, particularly at the best (only?) consistent pipeline of talent to the school? Why not just say you have doubts about RJS's ability to make an immediate impact based on how unrefined he looks on video and move on without the potshots at the PSL and 'inner city' kids.

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  8. @ Saz 5:17 p.m.

    I didn't say that inner city coaches aren't as good as rural coaches.

    Let me explain it to you.

    The inner cities struggle with education. There's not a whole lot of funding. There aren't a whole lot of football fields. Whereas many suburban and rural areas have a lot of land for multiple sports, practice fields, etc., city environments have lots of concrete and blacktop.

    If you follow what's going on in Detroit's schools, you surely realize that the education system is failing miserably. Do you think sports are immune to poor funding and leadership? That English, science, and math classes are suffering but everything's hunky dory on the football field? Riiiiiiight.

    Furthermore, when I watch film of PSL games - and I've seen a lot - the techniques and fundamentals quite simply aren't there. Do you think it's a coincidence that our 5-star defensive tackle out of the heart of Detroit can't keep his 333 lb. body low enough to avoid getting blown off the ball? And in addition, I know and have worked with people from Detroit's public school system who have discussed the quality of coaching/athletics/fundamentals in Detroit. And a couple of those people just happen to work at...well...Cass Tech.

    But of course you don't care about that. You saw the words "inner city" and immediately jumped to a conclusion that I must be racist. My coaching background can't possibly lead me to the conclusion that PSL players might be lacking in fundamentals, can it?

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  9. @ Anonymous 7:24 p.m.

    I didn't simply say that I have questions about Jenkins-Stone, and that's because it's an overall trend I have seen in players from Detroit. It would be intellectually dishonest for me to ignore the trend that I've noticed. It's not stereotyping at all if I look at a player and say, "These are the weaknesses I see in his play, and I see them in many players."

    It would be stereotyping if I had never seen Jenkins-Stone play and said, "Well, he's from Detroit, so I bet his fundamentals suck." That's not the case.

    And yeah, I know I'm casting horrible dispersions at a Michigan recruit when I say, "If he can channel his passion into being the best player he can be, this kid could be a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine for the Wolverines in a few years." I complimented his passion and leadership. I complimented his speed and agility. I said he might be competing for the MLB job as soon as his 2013, which is his second year on campus.

    I'm not somebody who pulls any punches just because. If I see something as a fair and honest assessment, I'll bring it up. That goes for both positive and negative things, and you'll find that there's a fair amount of each in this post.

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  10. Blue in South BendApril 20, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Back to... you know, football...

    Any chance Mattison is loading up on ILBs with the hopes of transitioning to the 3-4 he's been running for the last few years?

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  11. @ Blue in South Bend 10:17 a.m.

    If he wanted to run a 3-4, I would think that we would be recruiting more OLB's. That doesn't seem to be the case.

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  12. I came here hoping to get some good insight on RJS. Instead, I am reading a bunch of stereotyped nonsense being packaged as "truth".

    The list of non-innercity recruits who have gotten into legal troubles on U of M's campus is pretty long. I can recall Brian Griese getting drunk and smashing windows, all without the benefit of lame, innercity steroetypes, including low funding.

    Thunder, stick to hewing as closely to talking football as you can and leave the Tea Party ruminations to other sites.

    You aren't talking "truth", you're just rationalizing your obvious prejudices with a healthy larding of rationalizations.

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  13. @ Anonymous 9:04 p.m.

    Nobody's forcing you to read my blog. If you don't like what I have to say, then you are free to find your information elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, I'll say what I have to say. You can suggest that I'm prejudiced and racist all you want. I'm not exactly going out on a limb in suggesting that inner city youth have more problems with the law.

    However, Brian Griese getting drunk and smashing windows is clearly equivalent to Boubacar Cissoko's armed robbery conviction, so I guess you're right.

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  14. What is the "true word" on RJS's speed? There is a group of guys (Ross is another) that don't have anything posted in terms of measurables let alone verified. I know it's not the sole determinant.

    He does not look blindingly fast. To be honest Ross isn't a 4.7 guy on a great, great, day.

    What is the word on RJS's grades? Will he be "there" academically?

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  15. @ Anonymous 11:16 a.m.

    I haven't seen combine numbers for RJS. All I can go by is what's on his highlight video, which says he runs a 4.56 forty yard dash and has a 3.0 GPA. I haven't heard any concerns about him qualifying, so I think he'll be okay there.

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  16. Royce is a top notch person and student. As it goes with all of the cass tcch players, there is so much talent that players like teric jones and thomas gordon can easily go under the radar. They are going to only let so many players on one team be rated a 4 or 5 star. They have the talent howeverm, the most prominant player gets that and the others normally are 3 star. Michigan got Campbell, Gordon and Jones in one year. Name one school who has done that. This year they have Jenkins, and Richardson. They could come back and get at least 5 others that have that much talent or more. They just have the greatest exposure......

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