Saturday, April 4, 2015

Brandon Peters, Wolverine

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Avon (IN) Avon quarterback Brandon Peters committed to Michigan on Friday evening. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin, among others.

Peters is a 6'5", 205 lb. prospect. As a junior in 2014, he completed 148/263 passes for 1,876 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. He also ran 73 times for 244 yards and 5 scores.

Hit the jump for more on Peters and his commitment to Michigan.

ESPN: 4-star, 81 grade, #12 pocket passer, #181 overall, #2 in Indiana
Rivals: 4-star, #5 pro-style QB, #211 overall, #3 in Indiana
Scout: 4-star, #20 QB
247 Sports: 4-star, #7 pro-style QB, #157 overall, #3 in Indiana

Peters was offered by Michigan a few weeks after Jim Harbaugh was hired. Immediately, many recruiting followers pegged him to commit to Michigan. When he scheduled his first visit to campus for the spring game (complete visitor list), many thought that would be the weekend. However, in the days leading up to his visit, he told Rivals that he would not be committing to Michigan at the spring game and would wait until after some upcoming visits to the likes of LSU and Nebraska. He arrived in Ann Arbor on Friday and was committed to the Wolverines by Friday night.

I wrote a scouting report on Michigan's offered quarterbacks back in February (LINK). While you can see that I did not have Peters high on my list, it's also a list of elite quarterbacks - several 5-stars and other high 4-stars. Even before he committed to Michigan, I started to warm up to him a little bit. Not only have I come to appreciate his pocket presence, but I also think he's a good physical match for what Jim Harbaugh wants in a quarterback. Based on his physical skills, I would move him up to #6 on that list, ahead of Messiah DeWeaver.

When Peters arrives in 2016, he will have to fight his way up the depth chart. If there are no departures, he will be behind senior Shane Morris, redshirt junior John O'Korn, redshirt sophomore Wilton Speight, sophomore Zach Gentry, and sophomore Alex Malzone. It's unclear right now what that depth chart might look like going into the season, but there will at least be several more experienced guys in Peters's way. Physically, he is a better athlete than O'Korn, Speight, or Malzone, but they could still have an edge. Peters is probably looking at a redshirt and a season or two on the bench before getting a real shot at the starting gig.

The good thing for Peters - and the rest of the quarterbacks - is that Jim Harbaugh is the coach. Harbaugh took some mediocre recruits at Stanford and made them pretty good, took Andrew Luck and made him great, and took a couple mediocre NFL guys (Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick) to great heights in the NFL. In fact, Luck and Peters share similar body types, physical skills, etc. If you look back at Luck's high school highlights, you'll see a lot of the same traits as you see in Peters, although Luck did it at against better competition in Texas than Peters plays against in Indiana. Luck had a stronger arm, but Peters shows better pocket awareness. This is not to say that Peters will be the next Andrew Luck, because Luck is an elite NFL quarterback with a great football mind, but there is a great deal of potential with the coaching he will get.

Peters is the third commit in the 2016 class, joining offensive tackle Erik Swenson and linebacker Dele' Harding. He will probably be the only quarterback unless there are other departures at the position or if the class size swells dramatically. Michigan does not often push hard for a lot of players in Indiana, and the last commit from the state was from offensive guard Dan Samuelson in the 2013 class. The last time Michigan recruited Avon High School was when they went after defensive end Elijah Daniel (Auburn) in 2013. Despite it being a pretty strong program, Peters will be Michigan's first player from the school.

TTB Rating: 86 (ratings explanation)


  1. Watch his tailback take on on much bigger kid and win at about 8:48. Excellent work there.

  2. I have a thought rattling around in my brain, but I'm not sure if it's just crazy thinking ...

    The thought is this ... is there any chance Harbaugh is mildly "target fixated" on recreating the Andrew Luck QB model? Yes, he was very good at Stanford, and he's become a great NFL QB ... but with respect to the college game and where it's going, is that the past, the present or the future?

    This thought popped into my head when I got to thinking about Rodriguez ... I always get the sense he is trying to recreate the Pat White success. But the college game in 2015 is a whole lot different than 2007. That made me wonder if the college game in 2015 is that much different from Harbaugh's Stanford days.

    It's a serious question. Ohio State's championship run last year was expected by pretty much nobody. The Wisconsin/Alabama/Oregon three-game run with Cardale Jones was something to watch ... OSU man-handled them all. Was that kind of play -- very physical, with a massive run-threat QB -- a glimpse into the future of the college game?

    Don't get me wrong -- I'm supremely happy Harbaugh is at Michigan and I think he's going to do very, very well. I'm just sitting here (6:20am on a Saturday morning here in Tucson) and thinking about the ebb and flow of the college game and how the model QB Harbaugh seems to prefer maps to what we'll see from the game's elite teams (OSU, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn, etc.) over the next five or so years.

    1. I think your general concerns about coaches profiling certain types of players has some validity to it, but in most cases I don't see it as an issue. There are a variety of ways to win in football and if anything I think Harbaugh has shown he will take a variety of types and move them around where they fit best.

      There is a concern with a pure old school style approach like Hoke wanted or Carr used because it limits your upside and puts a lot of pressure on you to have great players and execute perfectly. But Harbaugh has shown that he is creative and uses a variety of techniques to win.

      Plus.....I am not sure there is a better model to go after than Andrew Luck - a great passer, great at reading D, physical, able to run now and then, and a good leader. Yes please!!!


    2. I'll repeat something I've said many times before, which is that there are many ways to win at football. The bottom line is that good football is going to be good, and bad football is going to be bad. Paul Johnson has made a pretty good career out of running the option, even though he has never had high-profile recruits. Chip Kelly, Rich Rodriguez, Mark Helfrich, and several others have made careers out of zone read option, spread-to-run types of offenses. Jim Harbaugh, Nick Saban, Les Miles, and others have made careers out of old-school, smash-mouth football.

      There's no "right" system to run, nor is there a "right" type of quarterback to look for. They look like Andrew Luck, they look like Russell Wilson, they look like Tim Tebow, they look like Marcus Mariota, etc.

      If Harbaugh chooses to fixate on what works for him, then we'll be fine. I don't think he should be looking at Denard Robinson types (who can't throw very well) any more than Rich Rodriguez should be looking for K.J. Costello types (who can't run very well). Obviously, getting a guy who can do both things well is a plus, but that's not the norm.

      Regardless of the direction of football in general, good coaches are going to continue to win. I think it's very rare that you see a great college coach get passed up by the game itself. The good ones seem to adapt, even if they start to slip a little bit in their old age (and Harbaugh isn't there yet). Look at Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden, who both had very long careers with continued success until the end (or close to the end) of their careers.

    3. Thanks ... yes, agree: given the choice of having Luck 2.0 or not, I'll take the reincarnation every time. :-)

      After posting my comment above, I got to thinking about whether Zach Gentry is kinda-sorta the Tebow/Jones mold that Meyer seems to like. None of those players are break-away run threats like Denard, but that's not really the goal. The goal seems to be a credible run threat on 3rd and 6 or 8+ yards. Pass is indicated, but if the defense doesn't respect the QB's feet, he can pick up that 1st.

      We saw that with Cardale Jones in the Alabama game (especially) and the Oregon game. He's a load to bring down, particularly when he has a head of steam. He'll drag most corners and safeties 2 or 3 more yards before he comes down.

      I'm just wondering if the current trend in college QB isn't the Tebow / Winston / Jones model -- big body, big arm, smart enough to not make too many mistakes, and mobile enough to pick up the first when needed? NFL caliber isn't needed ... just good enough to win in college.

    4. I think a hidden blessing with regards to this conversation/concern is the fact that the people managing the athletic department have finally figured out that, This is Michigan, we don't have to pay coaches and upgrade facilities." don't work. Harbaugh will have the budget for the entirety of his career here to go out and get the best minds available, and they will come because this is Michigan, he is Harbaugh and they're gonna get paid.

      Somebody posted a link to a nice piece lately, it might have been Thunder, about changes in approach and staff at Oklahoma State over the years and how because of some different kinds of personal, especially offensive linemen and new coordinators and position coaches, they might well look a lot different going forward than they have in the last 5/6 years. If Mike Gundy can rework Oklahoma State football, I don't know why Harbaugh couldn't adapt as well. Again, particularly with the resources that we finally are putting back into our programs.

    5. I think administrators figured out that we have to spend serious cash to keep up with the competition since Carr retired. Carr was seriously underpaid. We overpaid Hoke and his staff as well. As for Harbaugh, we are lucky to have him, and Hackett sounded like he will throw him and his staff a raise if we have a successful first season. So Michigan brass will write those checks.

  3. I am thinking Coach is stockpiling these QB's with the idea that at least one is going to rise up and be an all B1G type QB. After what we've had QB wise the last few years, can't fault him for this approach.

    1. I look at the measurements of the last couple out of high school, and I have to think he's thinking, maybe one of these kids is a tight end or a defensive end or something. You never know.

    2. Yeah. I can def. see a few of QB recruits eventually changing positions (or transfer). That's what happened to Stanford once they settled on a starter.

  4. By the way, it seems like you gave 87 to Shane Morris. I wonder how you see Peters measure vis-a-vis Shane Morris.

  5. Bama ran plenty of spread, read option w a mobile QB and don't they have the number 1 dual threat QB commit in 2016?

  6. The idea that Andrew Luck is out dated is absurd. Michigan football is pretty good with Rudock cant wait to see michigan with a 2 or 3 year starter under harbaugh