Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012 Season Countdown: #65 Chris Wormley

Chris Wormley
Name: Chris Wormley
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 270 lbs.
High school: Toledo (OH) Whitmer
Position: Defensive end
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #43
Last year: Wormley was in high school.  He had 66 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup.

Final TTB Rating: 73

Wormley's reputation as a football player went through a bit of a rough patch last year.   Widely regarded as an elite recruit early in his high school career, questions arose about his health and aggressiveness.  Some people (including me) thought that perhaps he had suffered an injury or, worse, had lost his fire for the game. The numbers above look pretty good, but it seemed they could have been better if he had given a little more effort on the field.

Wormley claims to be 270 lbs. now and he's headed for the strongside defensive end position, unless or until he outgrows the position.  There has been a lot of discussion about his potential to play the 3-tech defensive tackle spot, and that seems to be a distinct possibility down the road.  Strongside end is a tough position to play for a true freshman because of the technique and strength required to hold up against double teams, so Wormley should probably redshirt.  After senior starter Craig Roh graduates, Wormley can battle with his classmates, Keith Heitzman, and Nathan Brink for the starting job.

Prediction: Redshirt if possible

20 comments:

  1. Again, like RJS, motor, aggressiveness and desire rumors abound. Hopefully it clicks for him when he gets to campus. This kid has all the physical tools and a less imposing depth chart than RJS, though, so I think his future is bright if he can get motivated. I'm admittedly a huge Tom Strobel fan though, and I secretly hope that Strobel locks down the 5 tech and Wormley moves inside.

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    1. It's not a secret anymore!

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    2. Holy cats, I've exposed myself!

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    3. Wouldn't put too much stock into such rumors for high school kids. Sure, you want a self-starter/run-through-walls type ideally, but not every kid, and certainly not every kid with athletic gifts is wired that way. But I don't sense it's a big negative for either RJS or Wormley. These are kids who play a lot of sports and have had great success. Plus, our coaches are some of the best in the country at getting kids motivated.

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    4. I will say that a lot of times in recruiting, where there's smoke, there's fire.

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    5. It's not just in sports, but motivation becomes difficult when you're by far the best player on your team. When there's no one to really push you while you play, it's hard as a teenager to find a reason to go balls-out all the time.

      Coaching should also be taken into account. Not every coach is an ass-kicker, and not all coaches are charismatic enough to make players fight for them.

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    6. The best way to deal with motor/motivation issues is with depth. Since under any set of circumstances you would prefer to be able to rotate your defensive line positions. Here's the perfect scenario where coaches can say, "Son you're taking snaps off in practice, you're gonna get fewer snaps in the game until we see a far more consistent effort. Get to work on your consistency and your conditioning if you want more snaps."

      The beauty here is that with all the three and five techs recently signed and committed, they ought to be in a position to make it stick.

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  2. Not sure the "motor" stuff is fixable. We'll see. It's a good sign though that the coaches were very consistent in their pursuit of him when a lot of other top DL were showing interest in UM. Wormley was definitely their guy. On a big recruiting weekend during basketball season, I noticed that Hoke sat next to him.

    Agree that he could use a redshirt. Just looking at his build, I expect him to put on a lot of weight over time. He has bulk in his rear end, but lots of room for growth in the upper body. Like a lot of other fans, I expect him to compete with Godin and Strobel to get reserve snaps at the 5-tech this year. Depending upon how that competition goes, the decision to move him down to the 3-tech could come early in the season.

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  3. Somewhat off-topic and unscientific: When I'm evaluating high school players for "bigness" potential, I like to see a large, well-developed lower body. In my experience the upper body generally lags in terms of reaching its potential size. In Wormley, I see a big lower body. Bellomy, too, actually. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon, or am I imagining things?

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    1. No, I think you're right. Wormley expects to eventually be 290-295.

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  4. Was so excited about this commitment and very relieved when he stuck. He does strike one as the casual type, almost blase at first. I think he might have to have a big, young, aspiring Kugler(sp)push him around the practice field for the lights to come on. We'll have to see if he has blood or cool-aid in his veins. Thanks as always for your analysis...

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  5. I'm not at all worried about this kids motor. It's not like this is the first kid who coaches will get to work harder and be more intense in college than high school... What I am worried about his height. He might end up too big/slow to be an impact SDE and too tall to be a DT.

    I don't think he'll red-shirt this year. Strobel and Godin seem farther away from contributing right away and I think the coaches will lean on a couple freshman. Best guess is Wormley is one of them.

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    1. He might end up too big for DE if he gets to 295, but right now, he's 6'5". Unless he grows, I don't think he'll be too tall to be a 3-tech DT.

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    2. Clearly, the coaches agree with you. But I see a lot more 6'0-6'2 DTs than 6'5 ones. Give me an 'undersized' Mike Martin, Brandon Graham, or T.Taylor any day. Alan Branches are more rare.

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    3. Brandon Graham was a DE after his freshman season. I loved Mike Martin as a player and Taylor was pretty good, but Branch, Gabe Watson, and Van Bergen were comparable and all were at least 6'4".

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    4. I meant DL in general of course but if you're just talking DT you can't really include Van Bergen either, since he was a DE for the majority of his career too. Gabe Watson and Van Bergen weren't on that level in my opinion comparable in my opinion, though perhaps I'm rating Taylor too highly. There have definitely been a lot of 6'4 or so DT in Michigan's history, but that's an area where Michigan has been historically weak in producing NFL-caliber talent compared to other positions. My personal preference is for shorter DL players, especially on the interior.

      I like short RBs too, in case I hadn't made that clear yet.

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    5. MGoBlue states that Van Bergen started 18 games at DT and 20 at DE, so he was essentially a 50/50 player.

      I think you're rating Terrance Taylor too highly. He had 17.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks in his career, was named 2nd team All-Big Ten, was drafted in the 4th round, and never did anything in the NFL.

      Van Bergen made 27.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks, though he wasn't drafted. Watson made 13 tackles for loss and 4 sacks at Michigan, was named 1st team All-Big Ten, was drafted in the 4th round, and has made a moderate impact in the NFL (81 tackles, 2 sacks).

      I think Martin is the best of the bunch at 6'2", but I'm not really buying the argument that a guy who's 6'5" is unlikely to be successful because of his height.

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    6. Heininger played pretty well at the 3-tech last season and he enrolled at 6'6" 235 as a freshman. So I don't see why Godin or Wormley, who both are coming in much beefier, couldn't be effective there. By taking Stobel, Wormley, and Godin, I think it's clear that the coaches are cool with taller 3-techs. There is no way they recruited all three to play one spot. Same goes for Poggi who is a good 6'4".

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    7. Convincing arguments. I feel better now.

      For the record, I love Strobel and Pipkins, like Wormley (but see him as a little bit riskier) and Henry and am so-so on Godin. Despite my doubts on Godin, I could see him develop into a useful player somewhere between RVB or Heininger. It is unlikely that all five pan out, but I like each one individually as a prospect. Love that we took 5 DL, not even counting Ojemudia.

      I do think the fact that there are 5 guys here makes it pretty likely that at least 2 of them play right away.

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    8. I would think that the main issue facing a player Wormley's height, should he move inside, would be technique. Playing mostly on the end of the line, the main concern is leverage. He can get away with standing up because he's mainly working with an angle on his blocker and concerned with keeping the action inside and then collapsing in to make the tackle. With a move inside, it would seem like he'd have to work a lot on staying low and not allowing guards and double teams to get under his pads and root him out of position.

      Even Alan Branch, who's probably the best recent a tall interior D-linemen at UM, could get moved around in the run game when he got tired/didn't pay attention to technique, and Branch was a lot heavier than Wormley's ever likely to get (IIRC, he was 330.)

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