Monday, June 15, 2015

Victor Viramontes, Wolverine

Norco (CA) Norco quarterback
Victor Viramontes (image via 247Sports.com)
Norco (CA) Norco quarterback Victor Viramontes committed to Michigan on Monday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Colorado, Nebraska, Washington State, and Wisconsin, plus a few others.

Viramontes is listed at 6'2", 220 lbs. He claims a 4.58 forty. As a junior in 2014, he was 123/228 passing (53.9%) for 1,784 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions; more impressively, he ran the ball 214 times for 1,757 yards (8.2 yards/carry) and 18 touchdowns.

RATINGS
ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 3-star, #19 dual-threat QB
Scout: 3-star, #31 ATH
247 Sports: Unranked

Viramontes participated in Michigan's satellite camp in Fresno, California, last week. Despite being in a hotbed of talent, the participation in Fresno was not at the same level as previous stops, so it looked like the Summer Swarm tour was ending on a bit of a flat note. But reports came out of the camp that head coach Jim Harbaugh was keeping an eye on Viramontes, pulled his father aside, and had a lengthy discussion. An offer came following the camp, and it only took a few days for "Vicious" Vic Viramontes to publicly accept, despite never having visited Ann Arbor.

EDIT: Here's an excerpt from my post on Monday morning:
Even better is that his nickname is "Vicious Vic," so if he ever decides to pursue MMA, he's got a pretty nice, alliterative name for it: Vicious Vic Viramontes. (You can hear Michael Buffer saying that name, can't you?) Anyway, Viramontes is a veritable virtuoso on the field who has various valuable skills, like vision and a vibrant arm, to victimize a defense on his way to taking a viselike, victorious grip on a quarterback job. (That's my way of saying that Vicious Vic can probably go somewhere and be The Man at quarterback in this class, rather than possibly playing second violin fiddle to Brandon Peters.)
I see a little bit of Jim Harbaugh himself in Viramontes. The Norco quarterback plays with a carelessness for his body that shows competitiveness and passion for the game. He will bulldoze tacklers or jump over guys rather than run out of bounds. That's probably part of why he was offered. As for his more traditional quarterback skills, Viramontes has a strong arm and can throw the outs, the deep ins, the long ball, etc., and he makes some of those throws off of his back foot. He also has an ability to feel pressure in the pocket and keep the play alive while still keeping his eyes downfield. When he tucks the ball to run, he brings all 220 lbs. with him, and at a faster speed than you might guess. He's not afraid to run over would-be tacklers, and Derrick Green could learn a thing or two from Viramontes about balance and running through low tackle attempts. He also shows nifty feet to keep defenders off balance, he can cut without losing much speed, and he can outrun most of the guys on a high school field.

All those positives aside, Viramontes has a lot of mechanical things to work on before he can succeed at the next level. I imagine Harbaugh will work with him on his footwork and dropback, whether it's from under center or out of shotgun. He tends to favor one side directly on the snap, and he does not look off defenders, although his ability to keep the play alive can get guys out of position at times. He finishes his throws high, but he tends to drop the ball down, which elongates his delivery like a mirror image of Tim Tebow. He also carries the ball loosely with one hand when he scrambles, which can lead to turnovers. The big rumor with him is that he wings everything with 100% velocity, so he will need to dial it back at times; there are examples of a little touch in his highlights, though, so the ability is there but maybe not with consistency. A lot of coaches would probably advise him to run out of bounds and take a little less of a beating, too.

When it comes to quarterbacks, I am of the opinion that too many is better than too few. I said this many times during the 2012 and 2013 recruiting cycles, but it was a mistake to skip the 2012 cycle and crown Shane Morris as the heir apparent for 2013. At one time under Brady Hoke, Michigan had about 12 scholarship linebackers and three quarterbacks, so they had a full four-deep at linebacker - a position that's often interchangeable with at least one of the other linebacker positions - and went just three-deep at the most important spot on the field. Numbers breed competition, and sometimes you need your second or third quarterback. Quarterbacks are also smart guys who are often some of the better athletes on a team, so they can transition to tight end, slot receiver, safety, etc.

As for Viramontes himself, he joins Brandon Peters at quarterback in the 2016 class. The nice thing about this addition is that it allows for so much flexibility. Even if Peters proves to be the superior quarterback, Michigan could employ Viramontes as a Tebow- or Blake Bell-type short yardage player who can be a dual-threat. With the way he plays, he could be a short-yardage back like Wyatt Shallman, an H-back like Aaron Shea, a linebacker, maybe a safety, maybe a special teams coverage guy. I said previously that I thought Viramontes would end up committing elsewhere because he could be "The Quarterback" in another school's class. Instead, it looks like he will be Michigan's Swiss Army knife to deploy as needed. I do think he can be a full-time quarterback with some development because the physical tools are there, so that part of his game comes down to whether he can handle the information and tutelage from Harbaugh.

Norco is a school that produces quite a bit of talent, sending players to places such as Arizona State, Boise State, Duke, UNLV, USC, and others over the years. Harbaugh has some experience with a Norco product in the form of former Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. While out in California, Michigan also offered Viramontes's teammate, 2016 linebacker/safety Troy Dye.

TTB Rating: 75 (ratings explanation)

24 comments:

  1. Wow, RR would have loved this kid. Intriguing prospect. To go along with the his speed and power running the ball, he has nice pocket instincts and has no trouble keeping his cool in scramble mode. Looks like a bigger, stronger, faster version of Tate Forcier. He is not quite the athlete that Kaepernick is of course, but I get Harbaugh's comparison.

    Could not agree more with Thunder on recruiting the heck out of the QB position. Harbaugh definitely gets the importance of it. He has nabbed like 6 of them in his first six months. Unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My favorite film since Peppers. Check out 1:53. Remind you of anything?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Denard's first snap!

      Delete
  3. I like him.. and he is even faster than Harbaugh was back in the day, stronger arm as well.

    QB U

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a fan of this recruitment. BP is the bigger and more polished QB, but this kid really plays with heart and as you said, could play a different position and be a change-of-pace guy. Harbaugh really will recruit multiple QBs in every class.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whoa!!!!!

    I can't believe that Oregon and Arizona won't be all over this kid before this thing is put to bed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what their recruiting strategy is, but both teams already have a QB commit for 2016.

      Delete
    2. Good!!!!! Although, so did we.

      I just watched this vid for the fourth time. This kid is Urban Meyer's wet dream.

      As an aside, I was mildly disappointed that you stayed from the alliteration thing.

      Delete
    3. I fixed it, just for you.

      Delete
  6. Nebraska was recruiting him as a linebacker.I think Michigan recruited him as an athlete who will have the opportunity to try out as quarterback. I don't think he will be a quarterback at Michigan but will see the field in one form or another. Looks like a terrific athlete.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think this is the type of kid who can have a lot of success at the college level as a QB regardless of the system. Peters has a higher upside down the road, but this is the type of kid that can come in and immediatly make the offense better. Very nice pick up.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm a bit skeptical of the notion that he'll happily accept a non-QB role at Michigan by the time he's graduated from Norco, which will be his third year as a starting QB in a football hotbed region. His verbal to Michigan won't prevent other high-profile schools from offering him as a QB; if anything, the UM offer will increase his visibility. He was named the top DQB at a recent Under Armour camp, and it would be pretty unusual if he wasn't increasingly thinking of himself as the guy at the most prominent position on a football team instead of a lower-profile guy getting his head beat in on defense. I guess this is going to be the true test of his commitment to Michigan—if he gets the feeling he's not likely to be "The Man" at QB here, will he eventually end up someplace else? —Don

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Valid point - but if he wants to play QB I am sure the coaches will let him compete there.

      Delete
    2. If the kid's a competitor, he should stick with Harbaugh and Michigan. Harbaugh knows a thing or two about sending kids to the NFL. I really think even if the QB doesn't pan out this kid's athleticism will allow him to thrive.

      Delete
  9. Not sure how good the QB competition was there, but he was the top performer at the Rivals 5 star challenge. Don't see many top names from 2016 but it's still a nice accolade.

    https://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1774860

    ReplyDelete
  10. Who is WR (No.1) in these videos? He seems big and able to track/catch the ball very well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cameron Sutton (6'5", 190 lbs). Will be playing at Montana State this fall. I have a hunch he will do pretty well at that level of competition.

      Delete
  11. Love this kid. hopefully harbaugh keeps him at quarterback and makes a special package for him

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Michigan could [have its] Tebow" - Thunder.

    You said Tebow twice! One more time and we all go to heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like this type of ATH commitment, especially if they play HS QB.

    Nice comparison to Harbaugh as a player here. Not huge, not super fast, not a traditional QB profile, but a good solid player with all-around skills and athleticism.

    Based on the dearth of pure ILBs taken in the '14-16 classes, my best guess is he ends up there down the road, but this is one that will be fun to watch.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have to say one of these QB"s has got to be a winner. Whoever it is we shall have to wait and see.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What are your thoughts on him as a full time tailback? His highlight reel shows a combo of power/speed/vision that our current stable lacks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he could potentially pull that off, too. I like him more as a runner than, say, Wyatt Shallman. Heck, I think he's a more athletic runner than De'Veon Smith.

      Delete