|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)