Friday, June 19, 2015

Devin Gil, Wolverine

Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan safety/linebacker Devin Gil (image via Scout)
Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan linebacker/safety Devin Gil committed to Michigan on Friday. Previously a Miami commit, he also holds offers from Central Florida, Colorado, Louisville, Marshall, and South Florida, among others.

Gil is 6'1", 205 lbs. As a junior in 2014, he made 64 tackles and 3 interceptions.

ESPN: 3-star, 78 grade, #33 S
Rivals: 3-star S
Scout: 3-star, #93 S
247 Sports: 3-star, 83 grade, #79 S, #1147 overall

Gil committed to Miami in January, but he immediately said that he still wanted to check out other schools who might have interest in him. Michigan started pursuing him in March, and he seemed excited by the offer. As the weeks went along, he showed more and more interest in the Wolverines. He and two of his teammates (2016 safety Josh Metellus, who committed to Michigan earlier this week, and linebacker Devin Bush, Jr.) visited Ann Arbor last weekend, and that sealed the deal. He went public with his announcement Friday morning.

Gil is solidly built in the upper and lower body. He plays some safety and some linebacker for his high school team. As a linebacker, he does a good job of taking on and shocking blockers with his hands, which frees him up to make plays in the run game or coming up on short passes. He is a very physical player and will stick his nose in there against guys who are bigger than him. He also likes to lay out players coming across the middle, and there are some hits which might get him in trouble at the higher levels of football. He reads plays quickly and takes good angles to the football, which is something I have noticed about the Flanagan kids, so they appear to be well coached defensively. (According to Maxpreps, Flanagan went 12-1 in 2014 and allowed point totals of 0, 0, 2, 3, 6, 6, 8, 10, 10, 16, 21, 21, and 28 for an average of 10.1 points allowed/game. They also beat fellow commit Rashad Weaver's Cooper City squad by a score of 42-2.)

On the negative side, I have questions about where Gil will play in college. I believe he is too stiff in the hips and too slow to trust with deep coverage, so he may be limited to playing strong safety in the box. At roughly 6'0" and already supposedly over 200 lbs., he may end up as a linebacker, too. The interceptions shown on his highlights are not particularly athletic ones, and his touchdown return on one shows a guy who lacks burst.

I am reminded of 2009 recruit Isaiah Bell, who ended up at linebacker/defensive end before transferring to Lake Erie College, a D-II program in Ohio. I don't necessarily think Gil will end up being 252 lbs. like Bell, but I do think Bell was a smoother athlete coming out of high school (check out Bell's highlights HERE). I just can't buy into Gil as a quick-twitch athlete on the back end. He looks like a limited safety, a small-ish outside linebacker, and/or a special teams guy. The coaches might have to chisel out a role or certain packages for him so he doesn't get exposed.

Michigan now has 17 commitments in the 2016 class. If Gil is a safety, he's Michigan's second at the position, joining Metellus. If he's a linebacker, he's either the third or the fourth, depending on whether David Reese is a fullback or not; the other two are Dele' Harding and Dytarious Johnson. The other offered 2016 teammate, Bush Jr., tweeted out today that he would not be making his commitment at January's Under Armour All-American Game, which seems to imply that a decision is close at hand. The odds are strongly in favor of him choosing the Wolverines as well.

TTB Rating: 58. This is exactly the rating I gave Delonte Hollowell, and that seems to have been roughly accurate (ratings explanation).


  1. Agree: He is probably going to wind up a weakside linebacker. Maybe a strong safety. He is a big guy and not overly explosive but would be a good mover at linebacker and has the size to put on 20 lbs of solid muscle.

    Disagree. Doesn't remind of Bell in the least. I remember his highlights. Not nearly as physical and as good of an athlete. I don't like Gil as much as Richardson or even Metellus but he looks better than Reese at linebacker.

    1. On the contrary, I think Bell was a BETTER athlete. But the only reason I said that I'm reminded of Isaiah Bell is because I'm wary of safeties who are too big or too slow to play the position. I think if you watch those highlights that I linked above, you'll see that Bell was pretty smooth returning kicks and interceptions, and he also lit people up. But once he filled out, he was too big to play safety.

    2. By the way...I like your honest assessments. Keep em coming.

      I watched some additional clip on Bell. He is faster than Gil but I don't think that necessarily means he is a better athlete. I think Gil is actually more explosive. Here is a great question for you to answer.

      Why are all majority of clips of Bell on Special Teams? Does it really show him going sideline to sideline. Reading plays? It's basically a ball thrown exactly where he is standing. Mobility is not his strongsuite. He was too slow for SS and not fluid at all for a linebacker whereas Gil looks more explosive and quicker. Not as fast but this isn't a 40 yard dash.

      Appreciate your viewpoint. I agree that it is yet to be determined whether Gill can put on 20 lbs and be as fluid as lb'er. I don't think as highly of him as Dytavious Johnson but he looks like a tweener now (SS/WLB) but could be a good WLB.

      I'll watch the tape again.

  2. I don't know that I've ever seen an uglier uniform than the grey pants, green jersey outfit that this team wears.

    There is a theme that continues in this last batch of kids regardless of rating, they all run to the football intent on hitting somebody, hit hard and then mostly wrap up. Despite Baxter's recent defense of playing "starters", there is or at least should be a place on a college football team for a kid that wants to run downfield and hit somebody. Both Devin Gil and Josh Metellus comfortably fall into that category.

    While I do agree with the part about Isaiah Bell being a smoother athlete, he was mostly a really big center fielder that was hard to drag down when he got his hands on the football. I can't remember ever thinking that either Isaiah Bell or Delonte Hollowell were very interested in putting a hit on anybody. I think that has been mostly true of much of the rest of our defense for a good long time now.

    I think this group is a clear upgrade with regards to toughness,

  3. I'm not feeling the love here. You seem down on the recent commits.

    1. Eh, I gave Josh Metellus a decent rating for him being a 2-star with small-time offers. I also gave Bredeson a good rating. It's just on a case-by-case basis.

  4. Well from this review and ranking I say his best bet would be to add 25 lbs and play LB

    1. That's an issue. When you're 6'5" and 240, 25 lbs. is doable, if not inevitable. At 6'. 200 or so lbs. that's a far less certain outcome, especially when it comes to putting on the "good weight" and then maintaining it during the course of the season.

      James Ross is a real good example of the issue as rumors abound of him running out onto the field weighing 215 lbs or less.

  5. Eh - I'd say a rank for Hollowell in the 40s would have been more accurate. He was an average backup at best (at least if you define backup as guys who actually play) and really made his contributions on special teams. I'd say low 50s at best, because he did seem to be a very good special teamer.