Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wilton Speight, Wolverine

Richmond (VA) Collegiate quarterback Wilton Speight
(image via Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Richmond (VA) Collegiate quarterback Wilton Speight committed to Michigan on Tuesday morning.  He chose Michigan over . . . no one.  No other schools have offered up to this point.

Speight threw for 2,500 yards, 29 touchdowns, and a reported 17 interceptions as a junior in 2012, along with over 300 yards rushing and a few touchdowns.

Rivals: Unranked
Scout: N/A
247 Sports: 3-star QB, 86 grade, #28 pro-style QB

Speight visited Michigan for the Michigan State game back in the fall.  He was recently stated to be one of Michigan's top three quarterback targets for 2014, along with Oklahoma's David Cornwell and Florida's Michael O'Connor.  Wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski visited Speight's school last Friday morning to see him throw in person, and Speight was told that he would find out whether he would get an offer this morning.  Well, he called the coaches at 8:00 a.m. and got the offer, then committed on the spot.

I evaluated Michigan's quarterback targets last week.  Here's what I said about him at the time:
The 6'6", 217-pounder has no offers at this time. Speight might be the sleeper of the group. I like the way he throws the ball under pressure. Sometimes it's unbelievable how accurate he is with guys in his face, but to be honest, it seems like he's in a habit of throwing off his back foot because of a porous offensive line. He barely has a chance to breathe before two or three defenders are in his face. He's a little too stiff in the pocket for my liking and will struggle to avoid college rushers; he lacks great arm strength and has a little bit of a hitch in his delivery. He just looks very unpolished. I could see him going somewhere like Texas Tech or Washington State and lighting it up a few years down the road, but I don't think he's a good fit for Michigan.
Well, it's just a few days later, and nothing has really changed.  As I mentioned above, he has potential as a quarterback.  He does some really good things, and he has some issues to work on.  If Shane Morris pans out, that should give Speight plenty of time to work on some mechanical issues, improve his footwork, and just become a more fundamental football player.  While I stated that he doesn't have great arm strength, he's not noodle-armed, either.  He puts some air under the ball and puts it in a place where his receiver can catch it, rather than trying to throw a ball 100 miles per hour.  In some ways, he and Morris are complete opposites.  Morris is a smaller, thinner guy with a rocket arm and some accuracy issues; Speight is a tall, thick kid with a decent arm who puts a lot of touch on his throws.

Speight is the second commitment in the class of 2014, joining linebacker Michael Ferns.  The class will start out at about 18 players, although it will likely increase in size over the next year to a number north of 20.  Michigan also pulled running back Derrick Green out of Richmond (Heritage High School) in the class of 2013, joining fellow Richmond natives Marell Evans, Brandon Minor, and David Terrell.  Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson came out of Collegiate back in 2007, and Jake McGee (Virginia, converted to tight end) was another quarterback out of Collegiate.

TTB Rating: I'm going to hold off here until I finalize the ratings for the 2013 class.


  1. I made this happen, I said he probably wasn't one of our top targets, and the next day he was visited and became one of our top 3. Later I said he might not get offered right away, and a day or two later he's committed.
    I'll do one better and say he likely won't be the greatest qb in the history of football. You're welcome.

    1. Well done.

      Perhaps you could add that no way in hell will we ever get a true deep threat with blazing speed for our QBs to throw to.

      Thank you.

  2. How would you compare his arm strength to Bellomy?

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  4. The coaching staff's height fetish continues. Will it translate to on-field production? TBD

  5. Magnus... question on how this plays out... I'm not too familiar on the offer game and such, and wonder what the probability/possiblity of being Cornwell to Michigan at the end... ie is this Speight offer and acceptance only a "we'll take you but are still recruiting Cornwell, and if Cornwell committs, he has first dibs"... I ask that because it seems like Michigan won't want to wait on Cornwell, yet are still open for him when he decides.

    1. I get the vibe that Michigan is only going to take one quarterback UNLESS Bellomy leaves or Gardner doesn't get his redshirt. I think the coaches are going to stay in touch, and they probably told him that they offered Speight because they knew he would commit early. There's something to be said for getting a guy in the fold now, but I don't think Cornwell is going to wait until next February to announce. He'll probably have committed somewhere by April or May, like most top quarterbacks do.