Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Benjamin St-Juste, Wolverine

Benjamin St-Juste
Montreal (Quebec) CEGEP du Vieux cornerback Benjamin St-Juste committed to Michigan last week at the Wolverines' Exposure U camp, although the news just came out publicly. He does not have any other offers listed.

St-Juste is a 6'3", 170 lb. corner.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: Unranked
Scout: Unranked
247 Sports: Unranked

I had heard last week that St-Juste had a positive showing at the Exposure U camp. When I went to look up some more information, there wasn't much out there. Supposedly, he was offered and accepted during the camp.

There is very little film on St-Juste, and what film there is lacks much clarity. He is tall for a corner, and he does a good job of using his hands and long arms to disrupt receivers' routes, raking the ball out of receivers' hands, and batting down passes other corners might not reach. He changes directions fairly well for a big corner.

St-Juste lacks great speed, and he could get burned in the open field. He will probably be limited to boundary corner at the next level, or he might move to safety. He shows some aggression when blocking and defeating blockers, but he is not a great tackler and needs to get stronger in both the upper and lower body. He also does not show great instincts for the ball and settles for breaking up passes rather than intercepting them. I find these things concerning since he does not play against great competition and his opponents are not coached extremely well, although that lack of great coaching probably applies to St-Juste as well.

Overall, this is a questionable pickup for a Michigan team that needs speed and field corners in the defensive backfield. It's unclear whether St-Juste will be a 2016, 2017, or later recruit. He attends a CEGEP in Montreal, which means that he is basically in what Americans would call a prep school. Most CEGEP students are at least 17 years old already, and when he will finish his education there is a little murky. Until we get some clarity, I will assume he's a 2016 prospect.

The Wolverines have a need for speedy corners, and the combination of St-Juste and Antwaine Richardson doesn't offer a great deal of explosiveness in the defensive backfield. Aside from Keith Washington, Michigan is basically putting together a bunch of corners who are big and physical. That concerns me for the long-term, because it limits what the defense can throw at record-setting offenses.

It doesn't happen often, but this is not the first time that Michigan has dipped its toes into Canadian waters. Over the years, Michigan has recruited running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka, tight end Deitan Dubuc, defensive end Alain Kashama, defensive tackle Renaldo Sagesse, and others from America's top hat.

TTB Rating: 51 (ratings explanation)


  1. Would agree with you on most points. Definitely needs to hit the weight room. More of a project although he does have good length for a corner who can play the possession wr.

    I did disagree with you on the Richardson comment. He looks plenty fast to me.

    Question: Would you rather have a really fast corner or a guy who has most of the tools you want but not a burner? This is the Big Ten and not the SEC. OSU and MSU are going to try and establish run games so being physical is a premium to have on your defense.

    1. I think you want to have a mix of the two types of corners. You need speed and you need physicality. Ideally, you can find a guy who has both skills (Leon Hall, Charles Woodson, etc.), but obviously those guys don't grow on trees.

      If you're making me choose one or the other, I choose speed. You can make fast guys stronger, teach them how to tackle, etc. But you can't teach a slow guy to be fast. Speed kills.

    2. "This is the Big Ten and not the SEC. OSU and MSU are going to try and establish run games so being physical is a premium to have on your defense."

      I'm pretty sure Alabama, LSU, Arkansas et al. from that conference are going to "try and establish run games," too.

      Have you watched them play recently?

    3. Yes but the point was the Big Ten is not as prolific as the SEC in passing the football. It plays in the Midwest where physical play is more a part of the culture. See Iowa and Wisconsin as examples.

      The SEC runs the ball and the Big Ten passes too but if you stop the run in the Big Ten then you won't be exploited quite as much in the passing game. Please see UM as an example of this viewpoint.

  2. I dunno about this one. After a slew of guys wanting to hit you in the mouth, here comes this kid rolling on the ground hoping you trip.

  3. It's a real problem if UM is in a situation where they need to choose between the two, because the programs they want to be competing with aren't having to make that choice. Guys that are big, fast, and hit hard don't grow on trees (like you said), but they're not unicorns either. OSU finds a way to recruit several of them every class.

  4. Uninspiring...shrug --> trust the coaches!

  5. Boggling. At least Stribling had some speed to him.

  6. This kid should play for the hockey team.

  7. Are we to the point of thinking Harbaugh is being overconfident in his eye for raw talent? Maybe he has started to drink his own koolaid?

  8. So....your choice for a better football coach is?