Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jehu Chesson, Wolverine

Jehu Chesson (#5)

St. Louis (MO) Ladue Horton Watkins wide receiver Jehu Chesson committed to Michigan on Wednesday.  He picked Michigan over offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Purdue, and others.  He took official visits to Northwestern in October and Iowa last weekend.

Chesson is 6'3", 180 lbs. with a 4.5-second forty yard dash.  He's also a sprinter who notched a 37.44 time in the 300-meter hurdles.  As a senior Chesson had 53 catches for 757 yards (14.6 yards per catch) and 6 touchdowns.  He also made 57 tackles and 2 interceptions.  As a junior in 2010, he had 60 receptions for 600+ yards and 12 touchdowns.

Chesson originally visited Michigan's program in the summer of 2010, but obviously the coaching staff has changed since then.  He received an offer from the new staff this past summer and visited at the end of July.  He went quiet for a little while at the beginning of the fall, but news in recent weeks suggested that it was only a matter of time until Chesson committed to Michigan.

The ratings for Chesson are pretty consistent, and yet I disagree with them.  He's a 3-star to the four major recruiting services (ESPN, Rivals, Scout, and 247) and anywhere from the #51 to the #89 receiver.  Chesson attends a school not known for producing great high school talent in a state that isn't typically very talented, but it's not Rhode Island, either - just this year Missouri boasts highly sought after recruits like Dorial Green-Beckham, Michigan commit Ondre Pipkins, and interior lineman Evan Boehm.  At 6'3" Chesson has good height and at 180-185 lbs., he has a solid frame on which to add weight.  He has good speed, but his ability to be a deep threat will be based more on his ability to high-point passes and outjump defenders.  He also does an excellent job of catching the ball with his hands, rather than in his body.

For all his positives, though, Chesson doesn't look like an elusive runner after the catch.  He stops his feet on contact and often gets knocked backward.  He's just not a quick-twitch athlete with the ability to change direction quickly.  He'll be able to exploit a seam if there is one because he has decent straight-line speed, but I won't be expecting him to dance his way downfield after catching short passes.  He needs to add size and should end up at a smidge over 200 lbs.  He also needs to refine his route-running skills, because he tends to drift to certain areas of the field without trying to set up defensive backs.

Overall, I have warmed up to Chesson throughout the recruiting process.  Early on I thought he was just an average receiver, but the more film I've seen from his junior year, the more impressed I have become.  Based on interviews and his behavior on the field, I also get the sense that he is a quality individual.  Combined with his athletic talents, he ought to have a good career in Ann Arbor.

Chesson is the second wide receiver in the 2012 class, following West Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic Amara Darboh.  With Cincinnati (OH) Moeller wideout Monty Madaris setting a visit for January 13, it's possible that Michigan will take another player at the position, but wide receiver is no longer a priority.

TTB Rating: 77 (rating system)


  1. Good write-up. Glad to hear he's a quality kid.

    Historically, Michigan WRs haven't been great after-the-catch guys. There have been exceptions, but usually the focus is on finding guys who get open and reliably catch the ball. Sounds like Chesson may fit that mold.

    I'm not a huge fan of how Michigan has approached WR recruiting this year, but it is true that, after 2012, there is a need for bodies, especially after not taking anyone last year. Both Darboh and Chesson seem like decent prospects but nothing a recruitnik is going to get excited about. I'd be shocked and disappointed if they took a third WR in the class. I'd rather they kept an opening for an elite target in 2013.

    Like most others, I'd like to see OL, CB, and TE round out the class. Plus, whatever highly rated guy they can find. Still many weeks till signing day...

  2. This seems like a decent job at WR to me. The WR class was down for 2012 overall, the coaches got in late on guys, and they had to sell a future passing game that was not evident on the field this year. Both Darboh and Chesson seem to have the basic measurables and potential to be well-rounded WR's, if not all-stars. I also hope UM is done at WR and move onto 2013 WR's. I watched film on Madaris and pictured him more as a fallback option if UM could not reel in two better players. Again, I am really hoping they save a spot for a QB this cycle. I think there is a good chance Gardner does not get a third year and we want to have 3 QB's competing in 2013. If the coaches do not bring in one this year, I think it will be just Bellamy and a freshman Shane that year.

  3. @Smurf
    That's not quite correct, as Devin Gardner will be a SR/RS JR in 2013. We are set to have 3 scholarship QB's through 2013. However, Michigan has historically tried to keep 4 scholarship QBs on the roster - taking 1 in every recruiting class for 12+ years.

  4. FYI, Chesson now has Sr film available on youtube ( His junior highlights are all outs and curls thrown by a pathetic QB. His Sr. film showcases his speed a little more on some kick off returns and longer plays. He actually looks pretty fast for a guy his size on second look. I like him.

  5. Plus, i'll trust Oakie St and Iowa in this one.. After all they had Dez Bryant A 4 star, with few big time offers), Justin Blackmon (fiftysomething WR and a 3star in his class), Johnson Kulianos(fortysomething and a 3 star in his class) and McNutt... (a 3 star QB...) In the last few classes.

  6. What do you think now that his senior highlights are out?

  7. @ Anonymous 3:45 a.m.

    Eh, the senior highlights don't really change my mind, except it does seem like he got a little bigger and stronger.

  8. What is the likelihood that Monty Madaris will still pay us a visit, now that Michigan got two WR commits? Do you think the coaches would take him or reserve the spot for other positions?

    As for Chesson, I actually like him and I think he has a good upside. It was said on another site, remember that Justin Blackmon came to Oklahoma State a similar size to Chesson, and was actually rated lower. I think he was a 2-star. A high 4-star/5-star rating does not mean automatic superstar and a 2/3 star rating does not automatically mean "mehh" player. I agree with Thunder in that I feel that Chesson will actually be a very good receiver at Michigan. From the interviews I've seen, he seems like an intelligent kid, and physically, he is very talented and has a big frame. If he grows a bit more and adds bulk, he'll be a very solid receiver. He may not be a blazer, and can't make cuts, like Diggs, but I think he'll be pretty good for the Maize and Blue.

  9. I thought he looked much better as a receiver his senior year. He supposedly only started playing football a few years ago, which suggests his improvement will be significant. I really like this commit.

  10. For a kid who needs to put on some weight in college, he sure has impressive balance to break tackles like he does in his highlights. He doesn't just out-muscle defenders.

    No Koger or Hemingway next year, so we desperately need a guy or two who can run the seam and haul in jump balls.

  11. In reading the article there is mention of Jehu running track and lists his time in the 300m Hurdles at 37.44. I looked up last years large school (class 3A) champion in that event here in Illinois and found that 37.60 won the state meet. So, I thought.....wonder how Jehu did at the Missouri High School State Finals....1st place!

    300mH-36" 11 Jehu Chesson II 37.44

    Anyone that knows a little about T&F knows that the 300m Hurdles is a very tough race and usually the guys running those kind of times have an excellent blend of speed, strength and toughness. All very good attributes for a WR at Michigan.

    BTW, RGIII ran the 300m Hurdles in High School...pretty darn fast as he was only one-hundredth of a second short of breaking the national high school record. He also ran the 400m Hurdles for a time when he arrived at Baylor, until football took over his time in the spring.