Monday, February 18, 2013

Recruiting Update: February 18, 2013

Arlington (TX) Martin defensive end Myles Garrett
Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams has been offered by Michigan.  Allen-Williams is a 6'2", 218 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, USC, and lots of others.  As a junior in 2012, he had 99 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Arlington (TX) Martin defensive end Myles Garrett was offered by Michigan.  Garrett is a 6'4", 240 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, and Texas A&M, among others.  Early in the process, he's the #36 overall player to Rivals and #81 overall to 247 Sports.  Garrett attends the alma mater of Michigan quarterback Russell Bellomy, 2012 defensive end target Devonte Fields (TCU), and 2013 running back target Kyle Hicks (TCU).

Lithonia (GA) Martin Luther King cornerback Wesley Green was offered by Michigan.  Green is a 5'11", 168 lb. corner with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and USC, among others.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 30 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery.

Southfield (MI) Southfield defensive end Lawrence Marshall decommitted from Ohio State.  He committed on Sunday, then visited Michigan State and Michigan, and was de-committed by Wednesday night.  The 6'4", 215 lb. defensive end has offers from all those schools and several others.  I reported just prior to his commitment that he was a Michigan lean, which I thought to be the case.  Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer supposedly told him that he may not have an offer from the Buckeyes if he left campus without committing, so it sounds like they really put on the full court press.

Here's a list of 2014 and 2015 prospects who visited Michigan this past weekend.


  1. Are there a lot of quality DEs out there this year or are we just all over that position?

    1. I don't know that there are more quality defensive ends this year or not. We've offered 11 defensive ends, but we've also offered about the same number of running backs, offensive tackles, linebackers, and cornerbacks, so it seems to be on par with the other spots.

    2. So, seemingly this years goal, 3 DEs with/if McDowell a possible real tall 3 tech, 3 LBs. 3 corners (one of each kind), 3 Tackles, a couple more Running Backs?

      You're now at your 16, counting Speight and Mone, with on the positive side no more glaring holes at any position group except if you consider "Real Fast Wide Receiver" to be a position group.

      I wish we had offers out on the fastest 11 or 17 WRs in the country.

    3. There's no way we don't take a few WR this year. WR is our biggest position of need on the team HANDS DOWN.
      Position Scholarships Spots on the field We are Losing
      QB 4 1 0
      RB 6 Between 1 and 2 1
      WR 8 Between 2 and 5 3
      OL 12 5 2
      FB 2 Between 0 and 1 0
      TE 5 Between 0 and 3 0

      DL 14 Between 3 and 5 2
      LB 11 Between 2 and 4 2
      DB 18 Between 3 and 5 3

      The 5 leftover WR this year are all freshmen or redshirt freshmen excluding Amara Darboh. This worries me, unless one of the new receivers can exceed my expectations. I think at a minimum one blue chip receiver, hopefully Harris, that has the ability to step in and start from day one.

      There is no reason we should be taking 3 corners, 3 LBs, 3 tackles, 3 DEs, or a couple running backs. We SHOULD be taking 3 receivers.

      If I had my way, our recruiting class of 16 would go to:
      3 OL
      1 QB
      2-3 DL
      1-2 DB
      3-4 WR
      2 TE
      1 Elite RB or 0

      This year we can hold off and be real selective with our scholarship situation. I hope Hoke doesn't start accepting players who are prematurely destined for special teams.

      85 scholarship limit.
      we have 43 defensive scholarships right now. That seems a little high to me. I think the breakdown should be closer to 41 offensive, 41 defensive, kicker, punter, return man if needed, and long snapper.

      In your scenario, if we added 10 more defensive players, we'd tip the scholarship limit to 46 defensive scholarship without any attrition. I don't want this team to turn into the opposite of Rich Rod, where we had 10 scholarship slot receivers on the team at one time. Can't have that again.


    4. I don't really agree about wide receivers. Already on the roster, we have Chesson, Darboh, Dukes, Jones, and York. Michigan is purposefully loading up on defense (so they can rotate players), and wide receiver is a position where guys can play early. You don't need to stash two or three redshirting wideouts on the bench. I think Michigan could take 2 wide receivers this year and be happy. Taking 4 wide receivers would be overkill for a team that clearly wants to make a habit of using multiple tight ends. Why would you need 9 receivers? These aren't the Rich Rodriguez days.

    5. Agreed. Plus, what criteria are you using to claim it as the biggest position of need. Do we want a Marquise Lee? Hell yes. But it's not essential for the style of offense we're putting in. Also, I'm not sure that Drake Harris is blue chip at this point. Treadwell was. Green was. Hand is. But Harris the jury is still out on.
      Personally, I'd like to see a ball-hawking safety. Otherwise, get the best talent we can while building depth. I don't see a "critical" position right now.

    6. Don't see how 'the jury is still out' on Drake Harris. He may not be a top 20 national recruit like Treadwell and Green were, but his offer list reflect that of a top 50-100 player, and top 5 at his position. None of these kids are sure things and Harris is among the elite in the country. As an in-state prospect it's sort of beside the point if he's a high 4-star or a 5-star -- any kid with that talent is going to draw Michigan's interest.

      At every position other than WR there is returning talent that is either proven or comes with stellar recruiting accolades. WR is the lone position that doesn't have anyone in the pipeline for fans to get excited about. The recruits are low 4-stars or 3-stars. That's why people see it as a major need. This season, at least one of the freshman (or Darboh) will probably play and people will be less worried about WR, but until then... some people want to pencil in starters into their mental 2014 depth charts and right now WR roles are most unclear. I think the need is overblown, but you can see why people are thinking this way.

      Regarding Safety, I think the coaches view Thomas and Wilson as the future but they've recruited that position so heavily the last few years...I think, unless they find an elite player, they'll grab a bunch of CBs and then move some of them over down the line.

      The most critical position, IMO, remains OL, specifically tackle. Until one of these recruits establishes themselves as a viable LT type we need to keep hunting. Hoke's entire offensive strategy is predicated on having an elite OL and right now all we have to go on are recruiting rankings. The few current kids who have played have shown squat, so even basic depth remains a question. They still need to get the roster numbers back up. I do trust the coaches approach with this position because they watch the kids practice during their RS seasons. It seems like they still view OL as a priority in '14.

    7. Lanknows- I'm definitely not degrading Harris by any means. But to say he's a "blue chip" player (my response to the post above) doesn't equate to the kid being among the top 100 in the country. Unless, of course, we're making the definition of blue chip players more generic. He can get there and prove it this year with 100% dedication to football. But to say he's a can't miss product today; I'm not ready to do that just yet. Good points about why people feel certain ways but just because they feel that way doesn't mean it's factual.

      I agree with you on the tackle position and I don't think the lines on either side of the ball will ever be overlooked.

    8. Thunder - we have 5 on the roster after this year, none of which I think will be game changers. Chesson and Darboh have a bit of potential, but neither are blue chip prospects. I understand WRs can play early and often, but I don't think we have a lot of talent at the postion right now. We need to change that.

      I remember the days when we had a rosters with Arrington,, Breaston, Manningham, Avant, and Edwards. I don't see that talent on this team.

      Anon - I'm excited to have Jarrod Wilson and Dymonte Thomas in the backfield at the safety positions. They're going to be something special. Having 18 DBs on the roster is a bit much, in my opinion.

    9. @ Anonymous 6:09 p.m.

      I agree that the talent at WR needs to be upgraded, but that doesn't mean Michigan needs to take 3-4 wide receivers. There's absolutely no reason to have 9 receivers on Michigan's roster when they show so many double-tight sets. Michigan had a ridiculous amount of WR talent at one point in the early/mid-2000's, but that was an aberration. You're not going to get that much talent on one team at one position very often. And Edwards was possibly the best receiver in Michigan history. So while I agree that there's no Braylon Edwards on the team and there's not a combination of that level of talent, I think your expectations might be a little inflated.

    10. @Anon1 - Yes, I'm not saying people are correct to think WR is a problem, just trying to explain the concern. I think we'll be OK, but I'm assuming someone is going to emerge just because of the fact they've brought in so many kids the last 2 years -- that logic failed under Rodriguez, so I'm hoping Hoke's crew is better at identifying "underrated" WR talent.

      As for Harris, I don't think he's any more or less of a risk of being a bust than Green for example. I'd rather have Treadwell, but Harris doesn't seem too far off that mark IMO. Size alone makes him a strong bet to be at least useful.

      @Anon2 - Arrington was a big deal, but IIRC Manningham and Breaston and Avant didn't have significantly different recruiting accolades than a guy like Darboh. Give it time. Edwards was a kid that red-shirted and a 3-star legacy. His profile was not unlike Jeremy Jackson coming out of high school, he just blossomed into a superstar.

      Yes, we have less WR talent than we brought in under Carr (e.g., Terrell and Walker were the top 2 recruits in the country that year and we got both). It was disappointing to get 3 different WRs in the '12 class - all of them seem like generic 3-star sorts - but the cupboard isn't totally bare either. The argument some are making is that those guys are going to be better fits into the offensive system. I don't necessarily buy that, but maybe in the long run - when Speights is QB for example - there will be more focus on lofting touch pass jump balls with frequency - making the WR's height a more important attribute.

      It's confusing to have multiple anonymous posts from obviously different people. Is there a way to maybe force them to at least use the 'NAME/URL' reply?

    11. Yeah, I know it's confusing... It's not ideal, but the options are limited. What I've found over the last month or so when I've been making people sign in is that it has really limited comments/discussion and page views. I prefer the other way for multiple reasons (for example, the spam in my e-mail inbox drives me bonkers sometimes with the anonymous posters), but this format seems to make the most "business sense."

    12. Seems like there is (or at least should be) a happy medium between forcing people to create a login and ID on an external site (which was kind of annoying) and just selecting anonymous, which is TOO easy.

    13. Yeah...unfortunately, Blogger doesn't allow anything else in between.

    14. Cured! This is Anonymous "I don't have a problem with the WRs" postings.

      Great points on Harris again. Change of topic- does anyone else feel that the deregulation of recruiting rules by the NCAA might cause earlier commitments from the athletes in order to stop or reduce the crazy outreach efforts?

  2. Michigan has taken 5 WR in the last 2 classes, maybe more if one of the DBs moves. Taking 8 or 9 across 3 classes is overkill for the offense they want to run. They don't need more than 8 total on the roster, and can probably be fine with as few as 6. I think they take 1 or 2 in this class, if one of the younger players steps up. If not, they'll take 2 or 3 to keep hunting for a viable starter.

    The class will end up well north of 16. It seems like this is a popular conversation for people to have - it's a fun game to play - but the number of spots is simply not something to worry about, at least until you get a good ways through the season. It's very unlikely this class ends up under 20 players.

    It seems like this coaching staff would prefer taking more or less the same numbers of positions every year (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 4 OL, 2 TE/FB, 4 DL, 3 LB, 4 DB, 1 K/P). My impression is that this staff values stability and will target having class sizes be in the 20-23 range, annually.

  3. Just a quick question. Are players at LT and RT interchangeable and with Morris being a lefty do you now put your best tackle at RT.

  4. Quick question. Are RT and LTs interchangeable, and with Shane Morris being lefty do we now put our best tackle at RT?

    1. Most QBs are right handed, so most teams are going to prefer their most athletic/mobile Tackle on the left side protecting their QB's back/blind side as opposing defenses for obvious reasons will be looking for opportunities to get their best pass rushers into your QB unseen.

      Which explains the invention of the famed "lookout" block

      Most teams whether they admit it or not are at least a little bit right handed running the football, and as a result prefer their Right Tackle to be the guy more able to seal/drive a Defensive End off the corner and out of a running play.

      So yes, Shane Morris being left handed, is going to at minimum cause conversation in the coaches room about who plugs in where.

    2. As Roanman explained, tackles aren't exactly interchangeable. You want slightly different skills in both. If/when Morris enters a season as the starting quarterback, then you will probably see a prototypical left tackle playing right tackle to protect his blind side. In the meantime, while Gardner's starting and Morris is watching from the sideline, Michigan likely won't flip. It's not something you can go back and forth on from week to week or quarter to quarter, because the habits, communication, footwork, etc. won't be there.

    3. Good conversation - Is there anything that makes it more important to run to the left or to the right? My assumption is that there is not, and if that is the case, it's more about the players limitations than a desire for different skillsets. What I mean is that the bar is simply lower for a RT. For example, a guy like Lewan - any coach will take him at RT too.

      The difference is that a LT absolutely MUST be able to pass protect very well. You want that from your RT also, but it's less important because the QB can see it when he messes up and react. In terms of run game, your best run-blocker can go on either side, but your best pass blocker has to be on the blindside. The only reason RTs tend to look like run-blockers is that RT is where you can hide a 'one-dimensional' linemen. That's the spot where you put a less mobile 'road-grader' whose run-blocking is so good you can accept his limitations as a pass-blocker. But again - you'd obviously prefer a Lewan/Long at both spots.

      Interesting point about not wanting to flip the sides from week to week. Makes sense to me. Could present some interesting decisions for the staff in the next few years.

    4. I don't think it's an issue of importance as much as it is wiring. Most people are right handed, consequently most RBs are right handed, as are most coaches. Most guys are a bit to a lot more comfortable with the ball in their right hand despite hours practicing (hopefully) carrying it with the left and switching. Juke left, cut right is typically the more natural move for the right handed guy, although years ago I ran into a basketball kid that completely made toast of that tendency.

      Youth basketball coaches spend countless hours putting a left hand on their kids. The goal of course being to develop a kid that can't be shaded, but then when scheming their defense, they'll set up on the opponents right hand and make him prove he can go left.

    5. I hadn't considered that. Makes sense - thanks.

  5. Would love to hear your opinion on Brady Pallante as a player. Even as a grey-shirt offer that means they are serious about having him on scholarship at least 1 year down the road.

    1. Pallante is not a great athlete, but he's a pure nose tackle who's going to be VERY tough to root out of the middle of the line. He's not on the same level as Mike Martin (to whom everyone is comparing Pallante) because he's a little less athletic, but he's a nose tackle in the form of Kelly Gregg, who has been successful as a NT for the Ravens. I don't really have a problem with a greyshirt offer.

    2. To me, this seems like the equivalent of offering Spike Albrecht a scholarship in basketball. You give up on a chance at gaining a star (and you only have so many chances), but you have a reliable 5 (or 6) year program-contributor. A guy that can rotate in and contribute on the field, but whose main asset will be hard work off of it.

      The DT spots can be manned by role-players in Hoke's preferred scheme, so I think finding a grey-shirt type of kid isn't necessarily a bad thing. Won't help Michigan's recruiting rankings but so what.

  6. By the time sugar Shane hits the field magnuson should be at LT and LTT should be at RT

    1. I don't know if Tuley-Tillman will be ready by then. I guess it sort of depends on how long it takes Morris to win the starting job and/or how long Gardner sticks around.

  7. @drock
    I'd rather have Magnuson protecting Shane's blind side than LTT

    1. I'll wait till at least one of those kids plays before making those sort of judgements. Decent chance that one of them doesn't pan out and no one can say with too much confidence which it will be just based on the recruiting profile.