|Kenton (OH) Kenton linebacker Noah Furbush|
(image via Scout)
As a junior in 2012, Furbush had 115 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 1 forced fumble. This spring he attended a combine where he measured in at 6'4", 236 lbs. He also ran a 4.78 forty, had a 31" vertical, ran a 4.22 shuttle, had an 8'10" broad jump, ran a 7.37 L-cone, and threw a Powerball 36'9".
ESPN: 4-star, 80 grade, #21 ILB
Scout: 3-star, #59 OLB
247 Sports: 3-star, 87 grade, #53 OLB
Furbush was offered by Michigan back in April. He visited Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, and Tennessee in the meantime, and he camped at Ohio State, but no offer came from the Buckeyes.
Furbush is obviously a big-bodied kid, and he's a heavy hitter. He does a good job of getting extension and using his hands to shed blocks. That long reach also helps him wrap up ball carriers. He does a good job of staying low and using leverage against blockers, which is pretty impressive for someone as tall as he is. There's one highlight where he shows nice awareness to get his hand up to bat down a pass and makes the interception after the deflection; otherwise, his pass coverage abilities aren't really highlighted.
I see good see-ball-get-ball instincts out of Furbush, but he's a half step slow with his read-and-react skills. Michigan is reportedly recruiting him for the middle linebacker position, so that might be an issue. I also don't see great change-of-direction skills from Furbush, which is a bit of a concern in pass coverage or if he has to redirect in traffic.
Overall, I'm a bit torn on Furbush. As mentioned above, he's supposedly being recruited for middle linebacker, and I don't think he's a good fit there. I don't see the play recognition skills to play there, and once he adds more muscle to his frame, he would be very big for a MIKE. We would be looking at a Brian Urlacher-sized linebacker without as much athleticism. In my opinion, Furbush is a strongside linebacker or a weakside end. He might be one of those guys who should start off at SAM and eventually put his hand down once he develops. I would have a higher opinion of him as a prospect if he weren't slotted to play in the middle.
This gives Michigan fourteen commitments in the class of 2014, plus grayshirt defensive tackle Brady Pallante. Furbush joins MIKE recruit Michael Ferns III and SAM prospect Chase Winovich in the class. Furbush is the first player from Kenton since Tony Osbun in 1977. Michigan also pursued Kenton quarterback Maty Mauk in the class of 2012, but Mauk chose Missouri instead.
TTB Rating: 64 (ratings explanation)