Monday, June 18, 2012

2012 Michigan Summer Camp Participants

Here's a rundown of the prospects I've gathered who were planning to camp at Michigan next week (June 17-21).  This is not a comprehensive list, and certainly there are a lot more kids who will be visiting (and some of these kids might not make it).  If you have any additions to make, please leave a name (and a link to a source that says he's visiting), and I'll try to incorporate some info and a brief analysis to the list.  Thanks!

Darren Carrington - WR - San Diego (CA) Horizon: Carrington is a 6'2", 187 lb. quarterback and wide receiver.  He's the son of former San Diego Chargers safety Darren Carrington, who played in their Super Bowl loss to the San Francisco 49ers.  He received an offer from Michigan last week, so his main reason for camping would seem to be for seeing the campus and meeting the coaching staff. (Highlights here.)

Johnny Daniels - DT - Chicago (IL) Foreman: Daniels is a 6'5", 250 lb. defensive tackle with a single offer from North Illinois.  He also participated in last week's Sound Mind Sound Body camp, so he's really trying to get exposure at these camps.

Caleb Day - ATH - Hilliard (OH) Darby: Darby is a 6'0", 188 lb. athlete who could play lots of positions in college, including running back, wide receiver, cornerback, or safety.  Michigan hasn't offered yet, but he really seems to be hoping for one from the Wolverines.  He does, however, have offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio State, and several others.  Day looks a little too stiff to play cornerback at a big-time program, but I could see him fitting in at any of those other positions.  Michigan has bigger fish to fry at running back (Jordan Wilkins, Derrick Green) and wide receiver (LaQuon Treadwell), and they're pretty set at safety.  However, Day could be a backup option at any of those positions and reminds me of a slightly less skilled Dymonte Thomas.

Berkley Edwards - RB - Chelsea (MI) Chelsea:
 Edwards is a 5'9", 189 lb. running back prospect and the younger brother of Braylon Edwards.  He started off with some MAC offers, but has more recently picked up offers from Cal, Iowa, and Minnesota.  He reportedly ran a 4.32 forty at an Adidas Combine.  Speed is not really an issue, but at his size, he might not be the running back for Michigan.  He's not exactly a clone of incoming freshman Dennis Norfleet, but both are small-ish and fleet of foot.  I do not think Edwards will be receiving a Michigan offer anytime soon. (Highlights here.)

Kenton Gibbs - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Gibbs is a 6'2", 290 lb. nose tackle prospect who has been angling for an offer from Michigan for some time.  He has a steady stream of high school teammates going to Michigan, but without an offer from the Wolverines, he committed to Illinois last month.  The coaches may still be looking for an impact nose tackle, so if they like what they see from Gibbs at the camp, we could see Gibbs switch his commitment.  It's a little early, but his recruitment reminds me a little of the Jonathon Hankins recruitment from a few years ago. (Highlights here.)

Heath Harding - RB - Dayton (OH) Christian: Harding is a 5'10", 170 lb. running back with offers from Ohio and Toledo.  As a junior in 2011, he rushed for 1,500 yards and 33 touchdowns. (Highlights here.)

Paul Harris - WR - Upper Marlboro (MD) Douglass: Harris is a 6'3", 186 lb. wideout who has already been offered by Michigan, as well as Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and USC.  As a junior in 2011, he had 38 catches for 875 yards (23.0 yards per catch) and 11 touchdowns.

Taivon Jacobs - WR - District Heights (MD) Suitland: Jacobs is a 5'11", 165 lb. wide receiver who already holds offers from Florida State, Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, along with several others.  He also wants to run track in college and has been timed at 4.35 seconds in the forty.  As a junior in 2011, he had 35 receptions for 921 yards.  He can absolutely fly and, unlike a lot of track guys, Jacobs has some shiftiness. (Highlights here.)

Clark Kissick - QB - Owingsville (KY) Bath County: Kissick is a 6'1", 235 lb. lefty quarterback without any FBS offers yet. (Highlights here.)

De'Niro Laster - WR - Cleveland Heights (OH) Cleveland Heights: Laster is a 6'3", 220 lb. jumbo receiver/tight end with offers from a few MAC schools and Cincinnati.  He visited Michigan a few months ago and came away without an offer, and now he'll be back looking for more exposure.  He's now teammates with national WR prospect Shelton Gibson and attends the same high school as class of 2012, Ohio State-bound Kyle Dodson. (Highlights here.)

Dan Monteroso - WR - St. Clairsville (OH) St. Clairsville: Monteroso is a 6'3", 180 lb. wide receiver with offers from Boston College, Iowa, Marshall, and some MAC schools.  As a junior in 2011, he had 23 catches for 454 yards and 7 touchdowns.  He's the teammate of 2014 linebacker Michael Ferns, who has been offered by Michigan. (Highlights here.)

Jazz Peavy - WR - Kenosha (WI) Tremper: Peavy is a 6'1", 170 lb. receiver.  He had been planning to camp, but he committed to Washington on June 17, so he may decide not to show up after all.

Demetrius Stinson - RB - Detroit (MI) Douglass: Stinson is a 5'10", 190 lb. running back whose lone offer comes from Toledo.  As a sophomore in 2011, he ran for 1,462 yards and 22 touchdowns, to go along with 35 tackles and 4 interceptions from his cornerback position.  He will probably not get a Michigan offer at the camp because he's small-ish and not extremely fast, but he could come away having earned offers from other schools. (Highlights here.)

Poet Thomas - DT - Beverly Hills (MI) Country Day: Thomas is a 6'6", 295 lb. offensive or defensive tackle with offers from Colorado and Florida, along with a few MAC schools.  He was recently ranked as the #30 prospect in the state of Michigan, so I doubt he'll earn an offer from Michigan.  For being such a big kid, he plays a little soft and might be better off playing offense in college. (Highlights here.)

Brian Allen - C - Hinsdale (IL) Central:
 Allen is a 6'1", 245 lb. center prospect with offers from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.  He's a little undersized right now, but he's a very aggressive player who reminds me a little bit of redshirt freshman center Jack Miller.  I would probably rank Allen ahead of Miller in overall talent.  He seems like a kid that Iowa will turn into an All-Big Ten player if they get ahold of him. (Highlights here.)

Brendan Ballard - OT - Sebawaing (MI) Unionville-Sebawaing: Ballard is a 6'6", 300 lb. offensive tackle prospect.  He does not hold any FBS offers yet, but at that size, he has a good chance of earning some.

Drew Barker - QB - Burlington (KY) Conner: Barker is a 6'3", 204 lb. quarterback with offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Louisville, and Purdue.  As a sophomore in 2011, he threw for 1,473 yards and 7 touchdowns, and also ran for 1,570 yards and 22 touchdowns. (Highlights here.)

Ty Barrett - OG - Dallas (TX) Skyline: Barrett is a 6'5", 290 lb. offensive guard prospect with offers from Texas Tech and West Virginia so far.  He has family in Michigan, so perhaps that would make the distance from Texas a little easier to handle.

Mike Barwick - DT - Cincinnati (OH) Summit Country Day: Barwick is a 6'2", 255 lb. defensive tackle prospect who holds no offers at this point.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 68 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery.  Barwick plays fullback and linebacker in high school, but his future clearly lies on the defensive line. (Highlights here.)

Tinashe Bere - LB - Cincinnati (OH) Sycamore: Bere is a 6'1", 210 lb. inside linebacker prospect with a single offer from Illinois.  He attends the same school as incoming freshman tight end A.J. Williams.  As a sophomore in 2011, Bere had 65 tackles and 4.5 sacks.  His sophomore highlights show a kid who's a decent hitter and athlete, but the game is moving too fast for him.  He'll have to develop fundamentally to earn more elite offers. (Highlights here.)

Dante Booker, Jr. - LB - Akron (OH) St. Vincent-St. Mary's: Booker is a 6'3", 210 lb. linebacker with offers from Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Penn State already.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 157 tackles, 11 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries.  St. Vincent-St. Mary's is generally considered to be an Ohio State feeder, and that seems to be the way Booker is leaning right now, although his father played defensive line at Auburn. (Highlights here.)

Dominique Booth - WR - Indianapolis (IN) Pike: Booth is a 6'1", 195 lb. wideout with offers from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Mississippi, Purdue, and Wisconsin.  He had 46 catches for 585 yards and 5 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011.  Booth is a slithery kid with good size who could play on the outside or in the slot. (Highlights here.)

Robert Bowers - DE - Columbus (OH) Walnut Ridge: Bowers is a 6'5", 210 lb. weakside end prospect with a single offer from Cincinnati.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 49 tackles and 8 sacks.  He's teammates with class of 2013, Wisconsin-bound receiver Rob Wheelwright, whom Michigan offered. (Highlights here.)

Justin Brent - WR - Indianapolis (IN) Speedway: Brent is a 6'3", 193 lb. wideout who holds no offers at this point.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 40 catches for 819 yards and 10 touchdowns.  He claims a 4.6 forty and a 270 lb. bench press, which is pretty impressive for a high school sophomore.  He has the speed and athleticism to be a well regarded prospect, but he's a little bit raw when it comes to route running and catching the ball.  (Highlights here.)

Orlando Brown - OT - Duluth (GA) Peachtree: Brown is a 6'9", 376 lb. (not a typo) offensive tackle with offers from just about every school in the country.  His father is the late Orlando Brown, who played offensive tackle in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens (and who was famous for shoving an NFL referee to the ground after Brown was hit in the eye with a penalty flag).

Daniel Cage - DT - Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods: Cage is a 6'3", 265 lb. defensive tackle with offers from Cincinnati and Illinois.  He attends the alma mater of Michigan linebacker Antonio Poole.

Lorenzo Collins - RB - Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison: Collins is a 6'0", 210 lb. tailback prospect without any FBS offers yet.  Many people assume that he will commit to Michigan State if the Spartans offer. (Highlights here.)

Nathaniel Devers - OG - Massillon (OH) Washington:
 Devers is a 6'3", 265 lb. guard prospect whose sole offer so far comes from Toledo.  He attends the same high school as 2013 cornerback commit Gareon Conley, as well as former Michigan players Justin Turner and Shawn Crable.  Devers visited last month but came away without an offer, so he'll be trying to earn one with his camp performance. (Highlights here.)

Deon Drake - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Drake is a 6'1", 215 lb. running back/linebacker with an offer from Cincinnati, Pitt, Syracuse, and Western Michigan.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 42 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, and 4 fumble recoveries.  Cass Tech has been a Michigan pipeline for the last several years and Drake is the teammate of Terry Richardson, Royce Jenkins-Stone, and Jourdan Lewis from the 2012 and 2013 classes. (Highlights here.)

Daniel Gresham - RB - Fort Worth (TX) All Saints Episcopal: The teammate of Michigan offeree Demetrius Knox, Gresham is a 5'11", 226 lb. tailback/fullback prospect with no offers yet.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 62 carries for 584 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns.  He has pretty good feet for his size and decent speed, but he has very good balance and is tough to bring down.  As with Knox, there's a chance he visits for camp but it's not likely.  (Highlights here.)

Drake Harris - WR - Grand Rapids (MI) Christian: Harris is a 6'4", 175 lb. wide receiver who has already been offered by Michigan, but he could end up playing basketball in college. As a sophomore in 2011, he had 57 catches for 1,118 yards and 14 touchdowns.  (Highlights here.)

Caleb Henderson - QB - Burke (VA) Lake Braddock: Henderson is a 6'4", 223 lb. quarterback with offers from Maryland, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.  He's currently considered to be leaning toward the Hokies.

James Hendren - OT - Brookline (MA) Dexter: Hendren is a 6'7", 305 lb. sophomore with no offers yet.  Hendren moves pretty darn well for his size, and I'm very surprised that he has no offers at this point. (Highlights here.)

Brandon Hines - DT - Mequon (WI) Homestead: Hines is a 6'2", 280 lb. defensive tackle with no FBS offers yet.  He has visited Michigan previously and seems to be angling for a Michigan offer, so a good camp performance could put him on their offer board.

Jeremy Holley - QB - Elyria (OH) Catholic: Holley is a 6'5", 210 lb. passer with no offers yet.  He threw for 1,925 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011.  Holley grew up as an Ohio State fan, but he's a pocket passer, so Urban Meyer might not be very interested.  He doesn't exactly have a Howitzer for an arm, but he definitely looks like an FBS prospect. (Highlights here.)

Corey Holmes - WR - Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas: Holmes is one of the more established recruits planning to camp at Michigan.  He's a 6'1", 172 lb. wideout who already holds offers from Florida, Rutgers, South Florida, and Wisconsin.  St. Thomas Aquinas consistently puts out top-notch athletes (Joey Bosa, Jelani Hamilton, Bryan Cox Jr., Marcus Roberson, Bobby Hart, Lamarcus Joyner, Cody Riggers, Giovanni Bernard, Duron Carter, etc.).  I would be surprised if Holmes doesn't earn an offer at camp or shortly afterward.

Gary Hosey - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech:
 Hosey is a 6'0", 230 lb. inside linebacker without any FBS offers yet.  He transferred in the offseason from Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison to Cass Tech and will now be playing at Michigan pipeline.  In my opinion, Hosey is the least talented of Cass Tech's three main linebacker prospects and somewhat unlikely to be offered by Michigan.

Ricardo Johnson III - QB - St. Paul (MN) Cretin-Derham: Johnson is a 6'0", 175 lb. quarterback with a single offer from Hawaii.  Cretin-Derham has put out some excellent athletic prospects in recent years, including Notre Dame-bound wide receiver James Onwualu and former Irish receiver Michael Floyd.

Coleman Key - QB - Broken Arrow (OK) Broken Arrow: Key is a 6'5", 210 lb. quarterback prospect. He was a backup to his older brother Kason last year, so he doesn't have any film or notable statistics.

Jake Khoury - DT - Traverse City (MI) St. Francis: Khoury is a 6'3", 268 lb. defensive tackle prospect.  And before you ask, yes, he's related to former Michigan center Rocko Khoury . . . but they're cousins, not brothers.  Jake doesn't hold any offers yet. He's a pretty stout kid with decent athleticism, and I'm guessing he'll have some Big Ten offers by the time all is said and done.  (Highlights here.)

DeShone Kizer - QB - Toledo (OH) Central Catholic: Kizer is a 6'4", 205 lb. quarterback with offers from Boston College, Illinois, Louisville, and Nebraska, along with a bunch of MAC schools.  He's on the record as being high on Michigan, but Kizer is a dual-threat kid who might not be exactly what Michigan's coaches want.  With Shane Morris in the class before Kizer, though, the coaches might be able to take a developmental guy like Kizer and see what he can add to the team. (Highlights here.)

Demetrius Knox - OT - Fort Worth (TX) All Saints Episcopal: Knox is a 6'5", 300 lb. lineman with an offer from Michigan, as well as ones from Alabama, Ohio State, and Texas.  As with any elite kid from Texas, he's going to be tough to pull out of the south. Knox mentioned an interest in visiting for the camp, but chances are slim that he actually makes it.  (Highlights here.)

Darryl Long - TE - Westerville (OH) South: Long is a 6'4", 220 lb. tight end.  He played defensive end as a sophomore in 2011 and made 35 tackles, so playing tight end will be a new adventure for him.  He doesn't hold any offers yet, but he reminds me a little bit of former Michigan tight end Martell Webb.

Montae Nicholson - S - Monroeville (PA) Gateway: Nicholson is a 6'3", 200 lb. safety prospect with offers from Penn State, Pitt, and a couple MAC schools.  Gateway has sent a few kids to Pitt and a few kids to Ohio State in recent years, so even if Michigan offers, it will likely be an uphill battle.

D'Andre Payne - CB - Washington (DC) H.D. Woodson: Payne is a 5'9", 172 lb. cornerback with offers from around the country, including one from Michigan. (Highlights here.)

Gelen Robinson - DE/LB - St. John (IN) Lake Central: Robinson is a 6'1", 230 lb. high school defensive end who will probably have to play linebacker in college.  He's the son of former Purdue and Milwaukee Bucks basketball player Glenn Robinson and the brother of incoming freshman basketball player Glenn Robinson III.  He's an aggressive kid who looks like he could play MIKE at Michigan, but playing defensive end in high school might stunt his development for college. (Highlights here.)

Conor Sheehy - DE - Milwauke (WI) Marquette University: Sheehy is a 6'4", 255 lb. defensive end or defensive tackle without any offers yet.  He's a pretty fundamentally sound player, but he lacks the athleticism of an elite defensive end prospect. (Highlights here.)

Enoch Smith - DT - Chicago (IL) Mt. Carmel: Smith is a 6'3", 260 lb. defensive tackle with offers from Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois.

Thaddeus Snodgrass - WR - Springfield (OH) Springfield: Snodgrass is a 6'1", 175 lb. wideout with offers from Michigan State and Toledo. (Highlights here.)

Chance Stewart - QB - Sturgis (MI) Sturgis: Stewart is a 6'6", 205 lb. quarterback whose lone offer right now comes from Western Michigan.  As a sophomore in 2011, Stewart threw for 1,361 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.  I've stated before that Stewart reminds me a little bit of John Navarre, with a pretty big arm and not a ton of mobility.  Out of Kizer and Stewart, I would probably prefer Kizer in the 2014 class, mainly because of Kizer's position flexibility and mobility, which Al Borges has proven to use well. (Highlights here.)

Jordan Van Dort - OT - Zeeland (MI) West: Van Dort is a 6'5", 280 lb. high school tight end who will probably move to the offensive line in college.  He has no FBS offers at this point.

Damon Webb - ATH - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Webb is a 5'11", 180 lb. athlete whom Michigan is recruiting as a cornerback.  He received an offer after camping at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp, and there's a strong likelihood that he carries on the tradition of Cass Tech kids coming to Michigan. (Highlights here.)

Darius West - CB - Lima (OH) Central Catholic: West is a 5'11", 189 lb. cornerback or safety with a lone offer from Illinois.  West does not look to me like a Michigan-caliber prospect, as he's not particularly sudden or fast.  I think his best position appears to be at safety.  (Highlights here.)

William White - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: White is a 6'1", 215 lb. linebacker without any FBS offers at this point.  Along with teammates Deon Drake and Gary Hosey, Cass Tech has a very formidable linebacker trio.  White's father is former Detroit Lions safety William White. (Highlights here.)

Josh Kirshenbaum - QB - Bloomington (IL) Normal: Kirshenbaum is a 6'2", 175 lb. quarterback with no FBS offers yet.

Michael O'Connor - QB - Chattanooga (TN) Baylor: O'Connor is a 6'5", 205 lb. quarterback with offers from Michigan State and Mississippi State, along with a couple MAC schools.  He's moving from Ottawa (Canada) to Tennessee to gain more exposure and improve his football skills, since coaching and competition in Canada are poor.  As a freshman in 2011, he threw for 51 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions against that poor competition. (Highlights here.)


  1. Very informative post Magnus, I really liked the short descriptions and evaluations on the players.

    I also agree that Hendren should be getting some serious offers his way in the near future. Not to mention that the kid is angling for a Michigan offer in a baaaad way.

    1. I agree, great post Magnus. It may be a bit of extra work but can you link to the Tremendous interviews with these 2013/2014 players? I think having all the info in one place would make this a really complete reference guide.

  2. I think Gelen Robinson will grow into a DE. His brother was a bit of a late bloomer and his dad is 6'8. I just can't see him staying at 6'1. Either way he's a nice prospect.

  3. What are your thoughts on Gibbs? Do you think he'd be a good pick up, or more of a depth guy they offer just to fill out the class? Aside from his commitment to Illinois (and the general view that Michigan could pull him at will), I don't remember seeing much discussion of him as a prospect.

    Great post! I'm not ready to wade into 2014 territory too much yet, but definitely a good read.

    1. I'm not too high on Gibbs. Poggi and Hurst are better athletes, even if they're not prototypical nose tackles. I think Gibbs is more of a depth guy. He's not a bad player, but he's not on par with those other guys. I'd rather use the scholarship on a wide receiver or defensive back, or maybe even an offensive lineman.

  4. Glad that we have the '13 class close to wrapped up because that is not the most impressive list especially when compared to camps around the country. It seems like the southern schools really make these camps important tools in evaluation. Michigan doesn't seem to look at them that way. Very different strategies.

  5. Isaac's gone. Green's not coming. Michigan has 1 true RB in the class and wants another guy in the mix.

    Now that he's Soup Campbell approved, Michigan should be offering Berkley Edwards before its too late. A local legacy kid that is a true burner, with a brother who was s Heisman contender (and not highly regarded as a recruit either). Go get him.

    1. Soup Campbell is a wide receivers coach, not a running backs coach.

    2. Don't need another RB in this class. Need another WR (or two), a DB and/or a DL. I predict 2 WRs and a DB.

    3. Yeah, I know Campbell is a WR coach, but are you suggesting that Iowa offers based on the opinion of their RB coach, unilaterally? More importantly, while Edwards is primarily a RB, he fits in the mold of guys who can swing over to slot WR. I'm sure Campbell (considering he is the area recruiter for Iowa and coaches a related position) had a strong say in the matter.


      The coaches obviously want another guy at RB, and one with some potential flexibility between WR and RB could fill a need at either position. The team definitely does not need 2 more WR, not unless they're going back to the spread. I'm not even sure they need one more other than the fact that there aren't any proven players...yet. We'll know more about positional needs once Darboh and Chesson have season under their belts.

  6. We're chasing 5 good WRs. Does Treadwell have a spot regardless of timing? Only 1 spot left - surprised Carrington or Harris don't commit on the spot to get in the class.

    1. I don't think Treadwell has a guaranteed spot, but he's got the first option. If he's not ready to commit and another high profile guy is, then I think the coaches would accept somebody else's commitment.

  7. Green will say yes. So will Treadwelll. So will Fuller. #1 class locked up.

    1. Why do you think so? I think we get Treadwell. Green and Fuller don't end up any further north than the state of Virginia. Pretty confident of that.

  8. Attaching this to Lankownia's comment of 6:21, I wonder where TTB would rank B. Edwards relative to Justice Hayes and Norfleet. Also, why do you think he hasn't been offered?

    There's one very significant and obvious difference between Braylon and Berkley. As a HS senior Braylon was probably close to his adult height of 6'3". Berkley is listed at 5'9", which often seems to be the catch-all height for anyone between 5'6.25" and 5'8.5".

    Also, I don't get the Soup Campbell reference. I guess he *is* known for identifying developmental prospects and coaching 'em up, so his opinion would count more than most others. Is that the idea?

    1. I like Norfleet more than Edwards and Edwards more than Hayes. I think the coaches have an idea of what they want out of running backs, and I don't think Edwards fits that mold. Other guys in that mold are either returners exclusively (Norfleet) or haven't seen the field yet (Hayes) while bigger, heftier guys have seen the field or been recruited to be every-down backs.

    2. @Thunder, I'm wondering about your take on the little RB hierarchy. I'm surprised to see that you like Edwards more than Hayes. Hayes was pretty highly rated, and I went back and looked at a couple of TTB and MGoBlog posts about his commitment. Seems like people were generally high on him, with the caveat that the staff would have to figure out how to use him.

      I'm terrible about critically evaluating HS film, so my opinion isn't worth anything. But from reading evaluations of them as prospects, I would have expected a Hayes > Norfleet > Edwards ranking, with Norfleet probably having the highest ceiling of the three. Have I just overestimated people's views of Hayes or has your view of him (and the other little RBs) changed?

    3. Hayes committed to Rodriguez, who was big on getting guys in open spaces. I would have liked Hayes better in Rodriguez's spread. If you look at my commitment post, I even said that I would prefer to see Hayes play slot receiver:

      Hayes doesn't fit so well in what I presume will be more of a power offense once Denard Robinson leaves. I think Edwards gets downhill better than Hayes, and I think Edwards has better top-end speed. I'm not particularly in love with either one, though.

      I don't know whether you've overestimated people's views or not. He was pretty highly rated by the recruiting services, but he wasn't a can't-miss type of guy.

    4. Wow! Thunder's going with the 'trust the coaches' argument that he has railed against many times. On this matter, I don't. Sorry, there's just too many small backs that get the job done from High School to the NFL to focus on size at the expense of other traits.

      The comments about guys 'not fitting' are ridiculous. Yes, the coaches talk about size but they've brought in Hayes and Norfleet. They might have been 'plan B' types for this staff, but the coaches obviously see some role for them. The current 3rd down back is small. The current primary back is small. The current QB (and leading ball carrier) is small. The coaches elevated Gallon to the starting lineup over bigger players. They moved their best 'big back' to FB. Hayes is battling with Rawls to be the primary 'lead' back. Robinson easily beat out Gardner even though many (including Thunder) thought he was a better fit for the (presumed) offense -- he wasn't. People can anticipate this team becoming Wisconsin if they want, but it's hack conjecture. These coaches want TEs and FBs, that much is clear. They also want big backs on the roster, but they're going to give the ball to the most effective player in the end. Theres a good chance that guy/those guys will be small pretty often.

      Edwards has Nick Hill written all over him (another guy that 'didn't fit the system', albeit a different system).

      As for Braylon, he supposedly had a growth spurt fairly late and was generally a late bloomer, Berkley just finished his junior year - he could grow too (physically and ability-wise). Regardless of that, Braylon was a lightly regarded recruit, that these days people would gripe about because he was taken in part because of his ties to the program. And Soup Campbell loved him... Not to imply that Berkley will end up being 6'3, but he's got more speed than his brother. He doesn't have to be the same player to be good.

      Campbell has been excellent at identifying WR talent - he did it at Michigan and he did it at Iowa. Maybe it's 'coaching up', maybe not. A lot of his WR go on to the NFL and some of them were 4-star types while others were not. I don't know what role he played in recruiting them or recruiting other positions, but he's a guy that was well regarded and success has clearly followed him. So, he's earned a good deal of my respect over the years and I was bummed when he was let go by Rodriguez.

    5. I'm not going with a "trust the coaches" argument at all. I'm not sure where that comes from. All I said is that these coaches have a different offense in mind, and for that different offense, I don't think Hayes fits.

      I wouldn't call Toussaint small. He's over 200 lbs. now, he's pretty thick, and he's always been a powerful runner. Gallon is starting because nobody else is any good. Hayes is behind in the race with Rawls. The "big back" moved to fullback because he's not a very good runner. The third down back is small because third down backs are typically small. I don't want to get into the Gardner vs. Robinson debate, because it's not really relevant (and would turn into a very long post). So on and so forth. This is just a really weird argument.

      I'm bummed that Campbell is gone, too, but his relevance to the recruitment/development of running backs is iffy at best. I'm never going to credit Jerry Montgomery for the development of Jake Ryan or Mark Smith for the development of Blake Countess...

  9. Fitz was 5'10 185 coming out of high school while Edwards is 5'9 189. Their rivals profiles indicate Edwards is at least as big, if not bigger, as a high school player.

    Gallon isn't starting because 'nobody else is any good', he is starting because he beat out proven performers like Odoms, Roundtree, and even Grady. He also beat out a promising player in Jerald Robinson and at-least-decent receivers big (Jackson) and small (Dileo). Gallon's starting because he is a good player.

    The point about Gardner/Robinson is that the assumptions about where the offense is headed, what the coaches will choose, and what size brings to the table is vastly overstated my many Michigan fans. A smaller guy won nearly every skill-position battle last year (Hemingway being the exception) despite the coaches talk about power. I'm sure you can and will come up for an excuse about Robinson beating Gardner, Toussaint beating all the bigger backs, Gallon beating all the other WR, Hopkins moving to FB. Of course those all seem like obvious talent-driven choices now, but looking back a year ago that wasn't the case at all. At that time people were arguing Gardner was a better fit for the coaches pro-style offense and Robinson should move to WR. Those people were dead wrong - flat out. Yet, the same logic is being re-asserted because people decided this team was going in the direction of blunt-force power.

    Here's a couple clear signs that it isn't: the FBs being recruited are not walk-on grunts who are willing to 'shrink' - they are skilled players used to handling the ball. the TEs being recruited are not mammoth lugs - they're guys with good hands. There are players who scream "the power offense is coming" like Shallman and AJ Williams, but for every one of them there is a Norfleet, a Hill, a Funchess, a Houma. These coaches really wanted big/fast backs like Ty Issac and Brionte Dunn but...who didn't? They're 5-stars.

    The offensive co-ordinator is a west-coast bred and has shown a willingness to adapt. He has had success with the spread. He'll also continue to use the spread for the next 2 or 3 years since Gardner is a far better runner than a passer and that's what he's been learning.

    So, when people talk about how X player 'doesn't fit what the coaches want to do' on the assumption that they'll look like Wisconsin in 2015 -- I'm not buying it. They were proven wrong in 2011 and they'll very probably be proven wrong again.

    In fact, I'd go so far as to argue you'll keep seeing a significant spread-element to the offense, even if/when Shane Morris is the QB. After 4 years of seeing it's benefits, Borges (if he's still the coordinator) is unlikely to toss it all aside. And Shane Morris is a decent-enough athlete to be a running threat, just as Tate Forcier was.


    Jerry Montgomery didn't recruit Jake Ryan - so that would be weird, but if Sione Houma ends up being a player you can give some of the credit to Montgomery for recruiting him. Since, you know, you have to recruit a player before you can develop them. Coaches usually recruit regionally, not just by position. Montgomery played a big role in Houma's recruitment and probably, at worst, had veto power on his scholarship offer assuming he was making at least a character assessment.

    I don't know what role Campbell has had in recruiting running backs, but I know that Brandon Graham's recruiter was Campbell. I also know that Campbell came up as a running backs coach and was a DB as a player and earned a promotion to 'assistant head coach' at Michigan, so he's far from a WRs-only guy, even though that is his area of expertise.

    1. Gallon would not be starting if Michigan had other good receivers. I'm not saying he's a bad player. The coaches want bigger receivers. That's obvious. He didn't "beat out" Roundtree; Roundtree started 13 games, Gallon started 1. Odoms had a broken wrist to begin the year and still started 4 games. Jerald Robinson hasn't proven anything and is a year younger than Gallon. Dileo and Jackson are both mediocre. Your argument is full of holes.

      The reason people are saying that Michigan will become more of a power team is because Hoke keeps saying it. I wouldn't say it or argue it if the head coach wasn't saying it. I have to trust him at his word that he wants to move away from the spread offense. If he keeps his word, the smaller backs don't really fit. If he proves to be a liar, that's fine and you win the argument. There's not much I can do about whether he's lying or not.

      Ugh. I'm not going to argue the position coach thing anymore. It's a stupid argument. You can't prove that Campbell okayed Iowa's offer to Berkley Edwards. There are 10 coaches on a staff, and Kirk Ferentz (or whoever a head coach is) doesn't need his staff to unanimously decide that a kid is offer worthy. Nobody except the coaches on Iowa's staff knows whether you're right or not, including you.

  10. Gallon played more and produced more. You could be right about who started and who didn't but it seemed clear to me that Gallon passed Roundtree in the coach's eyes, therefore I feel it's accurate to say he beat him (and others) out. Even when Odoms returned from injury Gallon was used more frequently. I don't know what stats are out there to prove it, but it seems to clear enough to me.

    Michigan does have other good receivers. It was an 11-2 team with a guy you described as 'not a good QB' throwing the ball. The WRs made tons of very difficult catches, pressure catches, and had some nice runs after the catch. It wasn't all Hemingway. Most teams in college football would love to have the talent Michigan has at WR.

    Hoke said they would be power and then they weren', at all. And they weren't at SDSU either. You don't 'have to trust his word' when he's proven he's not telling the truth about this. He's a borderline politician, like any other prominent coach or athlete, they choose their words carefully or get burned. Hoke wants to sound tough, but he's not the offensive coordinator.

    More importantly - small backs fit in power offenses!!! I mean seriously, where do you get the idea that they don't? Certainly not from the NFL. Not from Wisconsin. Where does the idea that you need a big back come from? You need a FAST back, if he's big that's great (assuming his size correlates to production somehow), but it's a secondary concern.

    Your argument about Campbell is getting even more silly. No one said it had to be unanimous, but it's more than reasonable to assume the area recruiter has input on the matter. Maybe even more than Ferentz, even though Ferentz obviously has ultimate power. Campbell is well regarded, proven, and well-respected. He's obviously connected with the Edwards family and the recruiting sites have said that Soup and Berkley "have a good relationship". You think they didn't ask Campbell? You think they overrode his NO vote? I know he's the WR coach, but he has RB experience, and it's extremely likely their RB and WR coaches talk. I have no clue why you think he has no say in the matter. It makes absolutely no sense. Especially when you consider Edwards could well end up at WR anyway. You're seriously arguing "you don't know that for a fact"? No, I don't, but that's also true with the majority of this blogs content, especially when it comes to recruiting. It's almost all conjecture based on reasonable evidence. This is like arguing a 220 lb player can't play OT - I don't know that for a fact either, but I can make a reasonable assertion.

    1. I'm done with the argument. Sorry. I've made my points.

  11. TTB/Andrew/whoever:

    What is up with the Florida offers to Mid-Major-ish (state of) Michigan players like Dillard and Thomas? Seems highly irregular with all the talent in SEC country and the state itself.

    Also, any opinion on this guy?;_ylt=AizApbAHqw4X_bbUgT71z6lGPZB4

    #27 player in Michigan ... with an OSU offer.

    1. I don't understand the offer to Poet Thomas. I'm kind of stumped there. I think Cameron Dillard is a good player, so I'm not surprised with that one. Sometimes I think Florida likes to keep a foot in the door of Michigan, so if they find an equivalent player in Michigan to one in Florida/SEC country, they offer both. I don't necessarily think it's because they think Dillard/Thomas or players of their ilk are superior to ones they can find in the south.

      If you watch Finley's film, he's not an extremely powerful blocker. He's a big kid with some athleticism, but at his size, he should be blowing people off the ball. These coaches are going after big athletic guys who are nasty blockers. Chris Fox, Logan Tuley-Tillman, David Dawson, etc. all have attitudes on the field. I just don't see that from Finley. He's got potential, but he's further from that potential than those other guys.

    2. I also meant to mention in the previous post that Finley doesn't get off the ball well. He's a beat slow in getting out of his stance, and that will get you killed as an OL against good competition. He's not slow, mind you, just slow to get out of his stance sometimes.

  12. Magnus, what are your thoughts on Jayru Campbell vs. Michael O'Connor for 2015? Any chance the Wolverines take both? If they had to pick one who would it be?