Sunday, February 10, 2013

In-state Preview of 2014 Recruiting

Detroit (MI) Loyola defensive end Malik McDowell is one of the top prospects in Michigan
You can take a look back at my 2013 in-state recruiting preview, which offered mixed results.  From a Michigan perspective, the Khalid Hill offer was a bit of a surprise, and we will see how he pans out for the Wolverines.  This is a significantly more comprehensive list, going from 23 prospects last year to 44 this time around.  In my opinion, the 2014 in-state class is a little bit deeper.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

Ka'John Armstrong - OG - Detroit (MI) Loyola: The 6'5", 270 lb. offensive lineman plays tackle in high school, but he looks like a guard to me.  In the limited film I've seen of him playing with Malik McDowell, I do not think he will become a serious Michigan target.  However, purely based on size and decent athleticism, he should get some attention from MAC-level programs at the very least.

Lucas Bezerra - TE - Troy (MI) Athens: Bezerra is a 6'4", 220 lb. tight end with no offers at this point.  He claims a 4.95 forty.  He does a little bit of everything for his high school team - running back, tight end, wide receiver, defensive end, and outside linebacker.  I do not think he's a Big Ten-caliber player.  He doesn't jump off the screen with his athleticism or his size.

Jalen Brady - QB - Grand Ledge (MI) Grand Ledge: Brady is a 5'11", 185 lb. prospect with no offers at this time.  He lacks size, has inconsistent footwork, and isn't the most mobile guy around.  He also struggles to put zip on the ball.  He does not appear to be a high Division I prospect.

Breon Briggs - WR - Detroit (MI) Consortium: Briggs is a 6'4", 186 lb. receiver with FCS offers from Robert Morris and Youngstown State.  He doesn't have great speed, but he's long and lanky with plenty of room to add weight.  The speed thing will likely hold him back from high level offers, but his size could bring him some tenders from MAC-level programs.

Derek Brown - OG - Yale (MI) Yale: Brown is a 6'4", 295 lb. lineman who looks like a guard or center at the next level.  He does not have any offers at this point, and I do not think he is a Michigan-caliber prospect.  He's a little bit stiff and is more of a waist bender than a knee bender.

Byron Bullough - LB - Traverse City (MI) St. Francis: Bullough is a 6'2", 195 lb. linebacker who committed to Michigan State last August.  His brother Max is a rising senior linebacker for the Spartans, and his other brother Riley will be a redshirt freshman at MSU in the fall.  Considering all the family connections, it's extremely unlikely that Byron could be swayed from his decision.

Raquan Carter - CB - Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison: Carter is a 5'10", 155 lb. slot receiver/running back/cornerback.  He has decent speed and good lateral movement, and I think he could play either cornerback or slot receiver at the next level.  He does not appear to be a high level prospect, but he could play at a lower level BCS program.  He attends the same high school as rising sophomore defensive end Mario Ojemudia.

Tim Cason II - CB - Clarkston (MI) Clarkston: Cason is a 6'1", 185 lb. cornerback/wide receiver with offers from Bowling Green and Toledo.  He has good hips and hits well, so I think he would fit best at cornerback.  He needs to work on his backpedal and wrapping up when tackling, but I would guess he'll start to get some Big Ten-caliber offers in the coming months.

Lorenzo Collins - RB - Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison: Collins is a 6'0", 210 lb. tailback with no offers at this time.  He's a very violent runner who looks like a Big Ten fullback or perhaps a MAC tailback, and he also plays linebacker, where he's a violent hitter.  He looks better on offense and shows good lateral movement, but he lacks top-end speed.

Jordan Cry - LB - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Cry is a 6'2", 205 lb. linebacker with no offers at this time.  He bounces back and forth between OLB and ILB, but I like him more as an attacking outside linebacker.  Unfortunately, he's a little bit undersized and doesn't really win many of the physical battles.  He has a hard time wading through trash and doesn't deliver solid blows when he arrives at the ball carrier.  He looks like an FBS prospect, but he's not a Michigan-caliber player.

Jalen Dingle - LB - St. Clair Shores (MI) South Lake: Dingle is a 6'2", 218 lb. prospect who looks like a future outside linebacker or weakside defensive end.  As a junior in 2012, he had 82 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 1 interception.  He's a big hitter with good speed, but he doesn't have the best lateral movement or explosion when dealing with blockers.  He looks like a lower level Big Ten or MAC outside linebacker, but he plays more like a weakside end, in my opinion.  I think he would fit well as an OLB in a 3-4.

Dillon Dixon - WR - Detroit (MI) U-D Jesuit: Dixon is a 5'11", 170 lb. wide receiver/cornerback with no offers at this point.  He looks more comfortable on offense, where he runs fairly crisp routes and runs well with the ball in his hands.  He does not seem like an aggressive defensive player and doesn't show great hip flexibility, and he just generally looks less interested in playing cornerback.  I could see him getting some offers from the Indianas and Purdues of the world, along with MAC-level schools.

Tommy Doles - C - Grand Rapids (MI) Christian: Boles is a 6'4", 255 lb. high school offensive tackle who will move inside for college.  He shows excellent feet and solid technique, but he lacks size and strength right now.  Once he gains the requisite bulk for the interior line position, he could make an excellent center because of his quickness and footwork.  His only offers right now are from Iowa State and Michigan, and there are some who think he might be the next player to commit to Michigan.

Curtis Doyle - OT - Alma (MI) Senior: Doyle is a 6'6", 290 lb. offensive tackle with an offer from Central Michigan.  He's clearly a big body and shows some ability to run block, but I'm not a fan of his feet.  He's somewhat stiff and gets his feet crossed up.  He looks like a right guard or right tackle at the next level, and I would be surprised if big-time offers come down the pike.

Deon Drake - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Drake is a 6'1", 215 lb. running back/linebacker who picked Michigan State over offers from Cincinnati, Iowa, Nebraska, Pitt, Syracuse, and Wisconsin.  He also plays running back and has some potential there, although 2015 prospect Mikey Weber seems to be the superior talent at that position.  Michigan seems to be hoping to take only the best of the best at linebacker this year, and Drake doesn't really fall in that category.  In past years, however, I think Drake would have received an offer from the Wolverines.  Cass Tech is also the alma mater of several current or future Michigan players, including Thomas Gordon, Terry Richardson, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Jourdan Lewis, David Dawson, and Delano Hill.

Jalen Embry - CB - Detroit (MI) King: Embry is a 5'11", 180 lb. corner with a lone offer from Toledo.  He's a bit of a long strider who doesn't look like he's running very fast, but there are clips of him beating Michigan-bound Jourdan Lewis and Ohio State-bound Damon Webb.  I think there's a good chance that he earns some Big Ten offers down the road, but with five cornerbacks in the previous class, Michigan can hopefully hold out for one or two blue-chippers.

Ian Eriksen - FB - Clarkston (MI) Clarkston: Eriksen is a 5'10", 185 lb. running back with no offers at this point.  As a junior in 2012, he had 314 carries for 2,179 yards and 34 touchdowns.  He shows decent speed and some ability to change direction, and though he runs rather upright, he shows a willingness to lower his shoulder and initiate contact.  I do not see him as an option for Michigan, but he reminds me a little bit of Nebraska's Rex Burkhead.

Zach Evans - DE - Grand Rapids (MI) Kenowa Hills: Evans is a 6'2", 235 lb. defensive end with no offers at this time.  I don't see much special about Evans in his film.  He's not very big or explosive, and the most impressive play on his highlight film is the final one, in which he hustles for the entire play and chases down the runner about 70 yards downfield.  He might be more of an FCS prospect.

Kenny Finley - DT - Muskegon (MI) Muskegon: Finley is a 6'4", 259 lb. defensive tackle with no offers at this point.  He has a strong lower body with the ability to stay low, and he should be able to add significant weight to his current frame.  He lacks a little bit of speed and initial quickness, so he looks like a college nose tackle.  The lack of offers is going to change - this guy will get some looks from the lower half of the Big Ten at the least.

Josh Flye - WR - Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice: Flye is a 5'7", 165 lb. wide receiver with no offers at this time.  He has good speed, but not great.  He dances a little too much for my liking, and he lacks the bulk to run through tackles.  I do not believe he is a high level FBS prospect.

Carl Fuller - LB - Detroit (MI) King: Fuller is a 6'3", 195 lb. inside linebacker with offers from Eastern Michigan, Syracuse, and Toledo.  As a junior in 2012, he had 83 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 interception.  I don't think he has the football instincts and reaction skills to play inside linebacker at a high level, and he looks like he would fit in more as a SAM if he were to earn a Michigan offer.  Michigan is likely going to be picky with linebacker offers, so he may not get one.  He's teammates with Embry and played with Michigan kick returner Dennis Norfleet.

Drake Harris - WR - Grand Rapids (MI) Christian: Harris is a 6'4", 180 lb. wide receiver with offers from Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State; he committed to Michigan State last June in the hopes of playing both football and basketball, but he has since backed off the intention to play both sports and wants to concentrate on football.  He is unlikely to remain committed to the Spartans.  As a junior in 2012, Harris had 91 receptions for 2,015 yards and 25 touchdowns.  Harris has excellent size, good leaping ability, and very good speed.  He's a little bit more of a body catcher than I would expect from an elite basketball player, but that's nitpicking.  Harris has the chance to be an elite college receiver.

Connor Hayes - OG - Traverse City (MI) West: Hayes is a 6'4", 285 lb. offensive guard prospect with offers from Central Michigan, Duke, Indiana, Pitt, Syracuse, and Western Michigan.  247 Sports has him rated as a 3-star and the #29 offensive tackle, along with the #8 player in Michigan.  He's a mauler and a very good run blocker, but he doesn't have the best feet and needs some work in pass protection.  He looks like a right guard or perhaps a right tackle at a smaller school.  He may get a Michigan offer down the road, but he's not an elite prospect.

Raylan Hill - LB - St. Clair Shores (MI) South Lake: Hill is a 6'0", 220 lb. inside linebacker prospect with no offers at this time.  He plays like one would expect from someone his size, a thick kid who lacks speed but provides a pop when he arrives.  He is not a Big Ten-caliber prospect, in my opinion.

Gary Hosey - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Hosey is a 6'0", 225 lb. inside linebacker with offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Toledo, and Wisconsin.  Hosey also plays running back for Cass Tech, and I think he could play a few positions in college.  He could play tailback at a smaller school, or he could play fullback or linebacker at the bigger programs.  He's a big hitter with a strong lower body and decent short-area quickness, but I don't think he has the long speed to be a big-time tailback.  My guess is he'll end up somewhere as a middle linebacker, but not likely at Michigan.

Jake Khoury - OG - Traverse City (MI) St. Francis: Khoury is a 6'3", 285 lb. defensive tackle with no offers at this time.  He is the cousin of former Michigan offensive lineman Rocko Khoury.  The only highlights available are from his sophomore year, so he may have grown since then; however, he lacks ideal length to be a high level defensive lineman and does not use his hands well.  He may have a better chance to play center or offensive guard at the next level.

Avonte Maddox - CB - Detroit (MI) King: Maddox is a 5'9", 165 lb. cornerback with a lone offer from Toledo.  As a junior in 2012, he had 1,133 all-purpose yards, 10 touchdowns, 24 tackles, and 3 interceptions.  He claims a 4.38 forty, which is likely exaggerated, but he does have very good speed and acceleration.  Maddox may not get big-time offers because of his slight body stature, but I would not be surprised to see him garner offers from Indiana, Purdue, and the like because of his playmaking ability.  He could help out at slot receiver, cornerback, or returner.

Lawrence Marshall - DE - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Marshall is a 6'3", 225 lb. defensive end with offers from Bowling Green, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Pitt, San Diego State, Syracuse, Tennessee, and Toledo.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 79 tackles, 15 sacks, and 4 interceptions.  247 Sports has him ranked as a 4-star weakside end, the #6 player in the state, and the #246 player overall.  I don't know what it is about his highlights, but it's play after play where the opposing team fails to even attempt to block him.  He is definitely a Michigan-level prospect and has been rumored to be a Michigan lean.  He reminds me of Mario Ojemudia.

Malik McDowell - DE - Detroit (MI) Loyola: McDowell is a 6'7", 290 lb. defensive end/defensive tackle with offers from Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Stanford, Syracuse, USC, and Wisconsin.  It's tough to get good film of McDowell because a) there isn't much video of him, period and b) the teams he plays against are so poor that they don't stand a chance of blocking him.  As a junior in 2012, he had 63 tackles, 15 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.  He has impressive speed and agility for his size, and he also has the ability to stay fairly low.  247 Sports has him ranked as a 4-star strongside end, the #1 player in Michigan, the #2 SDE, and the #25 player nationally.  Rivals has him as an early 4-star.  Michigan and Notre Dame are the two front-runners.

Chukwuma Okorafor - OT - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Okorafor is a 6'5", 270 lb. offensive lineman with an offer from San Diego State.  He shows pretty good feet in pass protection, but he tends to get very high when run blocking and is inconsistent at finishing blocks.  His size and nimble feet should earn him several offers, but he's not a polished prospect in the least.  I would be a little surprised if Michigan got involved, and he would likely have to move inside to guard for some of the bigger programs.

Kyle Rachwal - TE - Lapeer (MI) East: Rachwal is a 6'3", 220 lb. tight end with no offers at this point.  He visited Michigan several times this past fall and seems to be angling for an offer.  He's an aggressive blocker who really needs to work on his technique, and he plays in a run-oriented offense, so he doesn't catch many balls.  He looks like an H-back prospect, but I would be a little surprised if a Michigan offer comes through.

Dylan Roney - DE - Novi (MI) Catholic Central: Roney is a 6'3", 238 lb. defensive end with a lone offer from Toledo.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 75 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery.  He's teammates with incoming running back Wyatt Shallman and played with redshirt freshman defensive lineman Matt Godin, and it looks like Roney would jump on the chance to play for the Wolverines.  Roney is a high-effort player with decent speed (4.69 forty) and agility, but he plays a little high at times and doesn't have great explosion off the ball.  He appears somewhat limited athletically, but he should garner a number of FBS offers.

Sean Scullen - S - Rochester (MI) Stoney Creek: Scullen is a 6'3", 205 lb. quarterback/wide receiver/safety, but he looks like a future college free safety or maybe wide receiver.  He claims a 4.55 forty, but that's probably exaggerated somewhat.  Scullen isn't a very aggressive tackler and looks like a MAC-level prospect.  He recently transferred to Catholic Central, where he'll be the teammate of Roney. (EDIT: Scullen has not and will not transfer to Catholic Central. I got some misinformation. I apologize for the error.)

Travis Smith - QB - Ithaca (MI) Ithaca: The 6'2", 200 lb. prospect has a lone offer from Central Michigan. There's a lot to like about this kid. He runs his offense very efficiently, seems to do a good job of making pre-snap reads, is a very accurate passer, and runs the ball well. A couple concerns I have are his size (if he lists 6'2", he's probably 6'0" or 6'1") and his arm strength. I don't think he has the ability to drop straight back and hit a receiver streaking down the sideline 50 yards away. He also runs a shotgun spread offense, which might slow the learning curve in an offense like Michigan's.

Matthew Sokol - TE - Rochester (MI) Adams: Sokol is a 6'5", 220 lb. high school quarterback with no offers at this time.  He has some potential as a quarterback at the lower levels, but he looks like he'll fill out to be 245 lbs. or so.  I think it's more likely that he turns into a tight end and becomes a MAC-level prospect.

Alec Stevens - OT - Ogemaw (MI) Ogemaw Heights: Stevens is a 6'4", 265 lb. offensive tackle who lacks great length, so he might be more of an offensive guard at the next level.  He's an aggressive blocker who's decently athletic, but his footwork needs tons of refinement.  Someone with his size and strength will grab several offers before all is said and done, but I don't think Michigan will be one of them.  Jim Stefani said that some around the Ogemaw Heights program believe he could be a better prospect than class of 2011 lineman Anthony Zettel, who had 4 sacks this year for Penn State.  Personally, I believe Zettel was the more impressive prospect.

Chance Stewart - QB - Sturgis (MI) Sturgis: Stewart is a 6'6", 205 lb. quarterback who committed to Wisconsin over an offer from Western Michigan.  As a junior in 2012, he had 1,500 yards passing, 16 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions.  Stewart was very interested in Michigan, but he seemed to get the vibe that the coaches weren't very interested.  He's a pure pocket passer who has decent arm strength, but he won't offer much outside of that.

Jalen Watts-Jackson - CB - Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's: Watts-Jackson is a 5'11", 172 lb. wide receiver/cornerback with a lone offer from Toledo.  As a sophomore in 2011, he had 31 tackles and 7 interceptions.  To be honest, I'm a little surprised that more schools haven't offered, and I would bet they'll come rolling in at some point, unless there are grade/character issues of which I'm unaware.  He has good speed, decent hips, and nice ball skills, and I think he would make a pretty good corner.

Maurice Ways - WR - Detroit (MI) Country Day: Ways is a 6'3", 175 lb. receiver with offers from Bowling Green and Toledo.  As a junior in 2012, he had 51 receptions for 952 yards and 9 touchdowns.  Depending on how many receivers Michigan takes in 2014, I think there's a chance that Ways gets offered.  He's not in the elite class of Drake Harris, but he's a notch or two below.  He has a big body, gets the ball at its highest point, and is faster than the two big guys Michigan took in 2013 (Csont'e York and Jaron Dukes).

Damon Webb - CB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Webb is a 5'11", 180 lb. cornerback who picked Ohio State over offers from Illinois, Indiana, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Toledo, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  As a junior in 2012, he had 42 tackles, 7 interceptions, 10 pass breakups, and 4 forced fumbles.  247 Sports ranks him as a 4-star, the #11 cornerback in the nation, and the #146 player overall.  Despite Cass Tech normally being a pipeline to Michigan, he bucked the trend.  Unlike most corners that come out of Cass Tech, though, he's bigger and more solidly built.  He could end up as the highest rated corner to come out of Cass Tech, a group that includes Terry Richardson, Jourdan Lewis, and Dior Mathis, among others.

William White - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: White is a 6'1", 220 lb. linebacker with offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, and Toledo.  As a junior in 2012, he had 145 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and 5 forced fumbles.  White is the son of former Detroit Lions safety William White and was the teammate of Wolverines Terry Richardson, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Jourdan Lewis, Delano Hill, and David Dawson.  I do not think White is in the elite category of linebackers that Michigan is likely going to try to rake in for 2014, but he should rack up a few Big Ten offers by the time all is said and done.  He's a short but stout inside linebacker prospect with average speed.

Tyler Wiegers - QB - Detroit (MI) Country Day: The 6'4", 200 lb. prospect has offers from Central Michigan, Toledo, and Western Michigan. He has a good, strong arm and stands tall in the pocket. When he's in the pocket or on the move, he always has the ball cocked and ready to throw. He already plays in a pro-style offense, which is good, but his three-step drops in high school will turn into five- and seven-step drops in college. Wiegers is not a dynamic runner, but he's stout enough to shake off some tacklers. One concern I have about him is his lack of progressions; he has a good receiver in 2014 prospect Maurice Ways, but Wiegers tends to pre-determine where the ball is going. There are few highlights where he really scans the field and makes check-downs, which is always a problem at the higher levels.

Richard Wilson - RB - Detroit (MI) Country Day: Wilson is a 5'11", 197 lb. tailback with no offers at this time.  He claims a 4.63 forty, which might be about accurate - he has good but not great speed.  Wilson runs with good body lean and falls forward after contact, but he's not very elusive.  I would not expect Michigan to get involved, but he should get some FBS offers before too long.


  1. Would you say Harris, Webb, and McDowell are the three blue-chip prospects?

  2. It will be interesting to see if Webb sticks it out at OSU when he notices the raft of Freshmen and Sophomore CBs in the two deep come next November.

  3. Is damien harris 2014 .......he said michigan was his leader u think will make him reconsider

  4. i'm pretty sure he's a 2015 kid.

  5. I'm not one of those people who think the state boundaries mean much of anything in recruiting, but it seems like most fans (and recruiting analysts) think it's vitally important for Michigan to win the in-state recruiting battle. If that's the case -- we're in big least if you're expectation is a rekindling of the 10-year war with OSU.

    Michigan/Hoke did pretty well in 2012: landing Ross, Richardson, and Jenkins-Stone but they did let Burbridge and O'Brien end up elsewhere. In 2013, things went even better; with Morris, Dawson, Lewis, Shallman and Elmer being the only loss, which didn't sting too bad since they landed other quality OL recruits.

    2011 was a disaster though, as Beyer was the only near blue-chipper Michigan got. 2013 is looking like it could be a repeat, or even worse. McDowell appears to be the only kid Michigan has a good shot with and 2 of the top 4 have gone to our rival. That stings. It stings especially to hear Marshall's coach say Meyer outworked Hoke. For an instate kid. What, was he not tall enough for Hoke? It stings especially for Meyer to steal a kid from the only legitimate 'pipeline' Michigan has.

    The objective view right now has Meyer continuing to Tressel's butt-kicking and Hoke continuing Carr's 2nd-rate production. I know that a lot of people will disagree with it, but frankly - they're optimists. Meyer is getting faster kids while Hoke gets taller kids. Meyer is beating Hoke for national recruits, he's beating him for most Ohio recruits, and now he's even beating him for Michigan recruits. Meyer has a proven system that works and he's running it. Michigan SEEMS to have a vision but Borges is simply not in Meyer's class in terms of scheme. Our lone advantage appears to be our aging DC.

    This situation CAN be turned around, but so far it has not. Michigan is going to need to outplay the buckeyes on the field, as it always should be. But they'll be starting from a position of weakness - a situation that is frustrating given the penalties that OSU has faced and the coaching transition. If Kyle Kalis, Dymonte Thomas, and a win in 2011 are all Michigan gets out of OSU falling on it's face - that will be a great failure on the program's part.

  6. You need to look at WR Brandon Sowards out of Wyandotte, MI. Worthy of consideration. Was a sub 50 guy in the 400m as a sophmore.

  7. William White of Cass Tech is not the son of the former Detroit Lion

  8. Also, White of Cass Tech had 12.5 sacks.

  9. i think that most of your assesments are decent but,you were completly off on the jalen brady kid! i have seen his highlight tape,hes just the opposite from what you said,accept for the height, and i have seen him out perform the two other qbs (wiegers & stewart)at bseveral summer camps and 7 0n 7s, you might want to take another look at some the other kids as well! pretty good article though!

    1. It doesn't appear that college coaches agree with you, but thanks!