Sunday, December 4, 2011

Amara Darboh, Wolverine

Amara Darboh

West Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic wide receiver Amara Darboh committed to Michigan on Sunday.  He picked the Wolverines over offers from Florida, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin, among others.

Darboh is 6'2" and 190 lbs. with a 4.42-second time in the forty yard dash and a 4.28-second time in the 20-yard shuttle.  As a senior he played in only seven games due to a shoulder injury, but he grabbed 48 passes for 765 yards and 11 touchdowns.  As a junior in 2010, Darboh had 49 receptions for 646 yards and 6 touchdowns.

ESPN: 3-star, 78 rating, #77 WR
Rivals: 4-star, #31 WR, #208 overall
Scout: 4-star, #33 WR, #206 overall
24/7 Sports: 4-star, 93 rating, #19 WR, #191 overall

Darboh visited unofficially back in the summer, but his official visit happened during Michigan's 40-34 victory over Ohio State last week.  There was a time when Notre Dame looked to be the leader for his services, but he was reportedly turned off by some of head coach Brian Kelly's antics early in the season when Kelly was seen blowing up on the sidelines.  (In case you're counting, that's at least two Michigan recruits who didn't appreciate Kelly's attitude; freshman running back Justice Hayes was the other.)

Darboh is a solid but unspectacular wide receiver prospect.  He has good size, which should serve him well in the Big Ten and in Al Borges's pro-style offense.  He shows the ability to high point the ball and catch passes away from his body.  He shows some elusiveness and has above average speed, but viewers of his highlights should remember that he plays in the state of Iowa for a Catholic school with an enrollment of roughly 1,300.  The competition level in these highlights is somewhat questionable.  Darboh also looks like a willing and able blocker who should be helpful in the running game.

There are few glaring faults in Darboh's game, at least not major ones that won't be coached.  I would like to see him get off the line quicker; he needs to work on his footwork and explosion.  I would also like to see him create more separation on his routes.  He's not a lazy route runner, but there are times when he could create more of a window for the quarterback to throw.  Once he realizes that college cornerbacks will be quick enough to stay with him, he should get a feel for those nuances.  Darboh also has a tendency to catch the ball with his body whenever possible.  I would like to see him snatch the ball out of the air with more consistency.

Overall, Darboh looks like he should be a productive wide receiver at Michigan.  As long as the Wolverines can field quarterbacks who can distribute the ball to their receivers with consistency, Darboh could very well be a 1,000-yard receiver in a few years.  The closest comparison I see is to Adrian Arrington, who just happens to be the last Iowan to come to Michigan.  Arrington had good size, good speed, and good leaping ability, but his best quality was the skill to make difficult, acrobatic catches.

Darboh is the 24th commitment in the 2012 recruiting class and the first wide receiver.  Michigan is expected to take one more receiver, perhaps coming from the pool of Jordan Payton, Jehu Chesson, and Stefon Diggs.

TTB Rating: 80 (ratings explanation)


  1. Do you think that with Stonum, Roundtree, Gallon and Dileo as our best WRs going into next season we'll see Daboh play to give Denard a taller WR who can fill the possession role? Ideally he'd RS since we have 3-4 good WRs but Denard clearly favored Hemingway this year and I assume that in this offense he'd prefer to throw to a 6-2 WR than a 5-10 WR. Maybe it was just a personal comfort with Hemingway and not his size/role but I don't think that that's the case.

    I can see that role theoretically being filled by the TEs but our TEs next year our weak and I really don't think we'll start a true freshman TE since they have to learn basically two positions to start in the Big 10. On our roster I could see Jackson or Miller slide into that role but neither has impressed so far in their career. Then again, Gallon was a disappointment before this season. What do you think? Also, do you see Funchess as our starting TE next year? Besides QB I think TE is the hardest offensive position to learn (not like OL where it's physically hard to be ready as a true freshman) is TE and I can't think of the last successful true freshman TE Michigan had.

  2. @ KB 10:28 p.m.

    I see Jackson being more of the possession guy than Darboh. Not that Darboh couldn't fill that role, but that's exactly what Jackson is - a tall possession receiver who won't do much after the catch.

    I don't think Funchess will be the starter at TE. I think it will be Brandon Moore or perhaps another freshman like Taylor McNamara, whose body is more ready to play in college. Funchess is very thin.

  3. Magnus, how do you rate Darboh relative to the other receivers Michigan is recruiting (i.e. Diggs, Payton, Chesson)?

  4. @ Lutha 8:18 a.m.

    Diggs is the best of the bunch because of his big-play ability. I like Darboh a little more than Payton because Darboh is a little more athletic, but not by much. They're pretty equal, in my opinion. Chesson has good speed and athleticism, but he's also quite thin and I think he might get pushed around a little bit.

    1. Diggs
    2. Darboh
    3. Payton
    4. Chesson

  5. I just watched one of Darboh's highlight tapes and agree with your comments. The important factor from me is that Darboh appears to at least have the skills to be a potential #1 WR (size/speed/hands combo). Not saying he will develop and get there. I do not see any players beyond Stonum on the current roster who have that potential. We should know about Darboh quickly next season because I expect the coaches to play him early and often in an attempt to develop the 2013 WR corp.

    The word is that Chesson may be the 2nd WR to pick UM. He seems like a slightly more skilled version of Jeremy Jackson.

    It would have been nice to pull in a consensus stud WR this year, but getting these two guys is not bad considering that Hoke arrived in January and that UM's passing offense looked pretty bad at times this year. I expect a stud or two to sign in 2013.

  6. In my opinion, Michigan is in dire need of playmaking skill players. Aside from Denard and (the late emergence of) Fitz, I struggle to find anybody on the offensive side of the ball who has the coveted "big play ability". I think that aside from Dunn, Diggs is the most critical player that we need next year if we don't want to have our entire receiving corps consist of solid-but-unspectacular possession receivers.

  7. @ GregGoBlue 5:21 p.m.

    I think Gallon can be a big-play guy, and I think Stonum has that capability, too (in different ways, obviously). A team with Denard, Toussaint, Gallon, and Stonum has plenty of options for playmaking, in my opinion. Roundtree can be a big-play guy, least he was when Rodriguez was here.

    I agree that Diggs can be a big-time player, but I'm not getting my hopes up that he'll end up at Michigan. He's a longshot.

  8. Stonum has always had the CAPABILITY to be a big play guy, but since 3 years out of 4 he hasn't shown it consistently I'm not getting optimistic. Gallon is above average, but he's certainly no Manningham, Braylon, Arrington or Breaston. Remember when most of those guys were on the same team along with Henne and Hart? Those are playmakers. Gallon is not quite that caliber. Diggs is.

    Not too optimistic on Diggs either but a guy can dream can't he?

  9. I don't want Diggs at all after standing up the Michigan coaching staff in order to take an official to California. Maybe he grows up and matures, but stunts like that can be cancer to a team.