Thursday, May 17, 2007

Commit #4????

Rumor has it that Michigan has received a verbal from Indiana offensive lineman Kurt Wermers. I'll save a full profile for later once it's confirmed, but we offered Wermers a while ago, so the staff obviously likes him, he probably grades out at a bout a high 3 or low 4 star. Probably a Justin Schifano like prospect, definitely an interior lineman, solid but not spectacular. Still, this makes three well-regarded linemen so far, and I'll take that anyday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Class projection..insanely early

Well, here's a post I'll look back on in February and regret. Here's my insanely early class projection...

QB Brendan Kay
RB Sam McGuffie
FB Christian Wilson
WR Daryl Stonum
WR Fred Smith
WR Jonathan Baldwin
TE Brandon Moore
TE Tyler Hoover
OL Dann O'Neill
OL Elliott Mealer
OL Lane Clelland Committed to Notre Dame
OL Kurt Wermers
OL Sean Hooey
DE Kevin Koger
DE Nick Perry
DT Omar Hunter Committed to Notre Dame
LB Marcus Witherspoon
LB Jon Major
DB Boubacar Cissoko
DB Robert Blanton
DB Brandon Smith
DB Vaughn Carraway
DB Spencer Adams

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Names to Keep in Mind for 2008...

Sorry for the lack of posts, I've been busy with school-related stuff, hopefully posting will become more frequent as the quarter progresses...
In the meantime, here are some names to remember for this recruiting class, prospects with * before them have reportedly been offered...
*Terrelle Pryor - Jeanette, PA
*Dayne Crist - Sherman Oaks, CA Notre Dame Commit
Brendon Kay - Marine City, MI
Chris Lum - Lake Orion, MI
Bryan Berens - Phoenix, AZ
*Sam McGuffie - Cyprus, TX
Jonas Gray - Detroit, MI
*Darrell Scott - Ventura, CA
*Covaughn Deboskie - Chandler, AZ
*Darius Ashley - Cinncinati, OH
*Daryl Stonum - Sugarland, TX
*Fred Smith - Detroit, MI
*Vaughn Carraway - Laureldale, PA
*Kenny Tate - Hyattsville, MD
James Wade - Ann Arbor, MI
*Jonathan Baldwin - Aliquippa, PA
*Brandon Moore - Trotwood, OH Michigan Commit
*Kevin Koger - Toledo, OH
Cody Aughney - Henderson, NV
*Hubie Graham - Scranton, PA
*Lane Clelland - Owings Mill, MD Notre Dame Commit
*Bryce Givens - Denver, CO Nebraska Commit
Matt Greiser - Columbus, OH
Chris Groth - South Lyon, MI
Kenneth Hamilton - Detroit, MI
Khaled Holmes - Santa Ana, CA
Rocko Khoury - Traverse City, MI
Matt Lipski - Ashland, OR
*Elliott Mealer - Waseon, OH Michigan Commit
*Zebrie Sanders - Clayton, OH
*J.B. Shugarts - Klein, TX Ohio State Commit
Joel Turrubiates - Bakersfield, CA
*Vaughn Dotsy - Ventura, CA
Andrew Sampson - Aurora, CA
*Kurt Wermers - Crown Point, IN Michigan Commit
Donald Mathis - Detroit, MI
*Tyler Hoover - Novi, MI
*Nick Perry - Detroit, MI
*Darius Fleming - Chicago, IL Notre Dame Commit
Chris McDonald - Sterling Heights, MI
*Omar Hunter - Buford, GA Notre Dame Commit
*Chris Henderson - Harrisburg, PA
Cameron Wagner - Batesville, MS
Brandon Newman - Louisville, KY
*Steven Filer - Chicago, IL
*Jon Major - Parker, CO
Nick Schneider - Cincinnati, OH
*Christian Wilson - McKees Rocks, PA
*Mike Zordich - Youngstown, OH Penn State Commit
*Brendan Beal - Roxbury, NJ
*Arthur Brown - Whichita, KS
*J.B. Fitzgerald - Princeton Junction, NJ
*Shayne Hale - Monroesville, PA
*Marcus Witherspoon, Absecon, NJ Michigan Commit
*Will Hill - Jersey City, NJ
Johnny Adams - Akron, OH
Marc Anthony - Chandler, AZ
*Robert Golden - Fresno, CA Arizona Commit
*Jarred Holley - Easton, PA
Mike Jones - Harrisburg, PA
Troy Tidwell - Detroit, MI
Charles Burrell - Detroit, MI Michigan State Commit
*Spencer Adams - Matthews, NC
*Robert Blanton - Matthews, NC
Brandon Leslie - Fresno, CA
*Brandon Smith - New Brunswick, NJ

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Recruiting Board Update

Some changes to the recruiting board since last updated...

RB Jonas Gray - Now listing Florida as his leader, was offered on a visit there, but I think we could still have a great shot if we offer
TE Kyle Rudolph - Committed to Notre Dame, no surprise, not sure how they keep landing these TE's though (Konrad Reuland, Mike Ragone, Rudolph over the last three years)
TE Jake Stoneburner - Committed to OSU, no surprise, once he was offered, it was only a matter of time before he committed
TE Brandon Moore - We reportedly lead, which is a bit of a surprise, since he was thought to be favoring Georgia, losing Butler can only help our TE recruiting
OT Dann O'Neill - Became our 2nd commit for the 2008 class, post coming soon
OL Michael Brewster - Listed his official visits, Alabama, USC, Florida, OSU, and LSU. We're out of it.
OL Bryce Givens - Lists a top two of Michigan and Nebraska
OL Lane Clelland - Top three of UM, ND, and Maryland

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

2008 Recruiting Board - TE/OL

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph 6-7 220 Cincinnati, OH Notre Dame Commit
Rudolph is definitely one of the top TE prospects in the country. Sadly it seems that Notre Dame is pretty much in the drivers seat, and he’ll probably commit sooner rather than later.
Brandon Moore 6-6 230 Trotwood, OH
Moore is an athletic freak, far faster than someone his size should be. We have an offer out to him, but at this point it seems he’ll either head to OSU (if they offer) or somewhere in the south. UPDATE: visited Michigan for spring practice, came away really liking us. We might lead, and at the very least are in great position. UPDATE: We're listed in his top two with Georgia.
Jake Stoneburner 6-5 225 Dublin, OH Ohio State Commit
Tall fast WR/TE hybrid. Teamate of OSU commit Mike Adams. Recently received an offer from OSU, and it seems only a matter of time before he follows Adams there.
Hubie Graham 6-4 227 Scranton, PA
Don’t know much about Graham as a player, but he’s got a pretty good offer list, and he said he was “honored” to get a Michigan offer, in the process of planning a trip to AA. Cautiously optimistic on this one.
Mark Wedderburn 6-6 235 Springfield, PA
Penn State legacy, older brother Floyd played O-Line there. Has decided to let the process run a bit longer than he originally planned, but I’ll be surprised if he ends up anywhere but PSU.
Cody Aughney 6-6 220 Henderson, NV
Visited unofficially last year, lists Michigan in his top two with Oregon State. Says UM coaches want him to put on some weight and to see some senior tape. Could be an intriguing prospect, potential camp offer.
Tyler Edwards 6-3 222 Monroe, LA
Early Rivals 100 player, has a Michigan offer, but it seems like he’s likely to stay in the south.

Offensive Line

Dann O’Neill 6-7 290 Grand Haven, MI Michigan Commit!
Top 3 prospect in Michigan, finished 7th in the state in his wrestling weight class. Definitely a potential top 100 player, really likes Michigan. I wouldn’t be surprised to see O’Neill be our next commit, and he’d be a great one.
Michael Brewster 6-6 305 Orlando, FL Ohio State Commit
Arguably one of the top o-line prospects in the country, same school as Greg Matthews. Lists a top 3 of OSU, USC, and UF. Most people think he’s OSU’s to lose, with only UF having any shot at all of pulling him away.
Bryce Givens 6-6 250 Denver, CO Nebraska Commit
Same school as 2007 signee Steve Watson. Has mentioned UM in the top 3-4 schools he’s considering. He has been offered, this one could play out a while.
Khaled Holmes 6-4 301 Santa Ana, CA
A double legacy, father Mike played DE at UM, brother Alex played TE at USC. Reportedly a USC lean, just received an offer from the Trojans. If he leaves the state, it’ll be to Michigan, but unfortunately that seems increasingly unlikely.
Zebrie Sanders 6-6 270 Clayton, OH
Top Ohio prospect, lists Michigan in his top 5, we might be able to poach him from OSU if they continue to wait to offer. Seems like a raw prospect, but has the measurables to develop into a dominant tackle.
J.B. Shugarts 6-7 299 Klein, TX Ohio State Commit
Probably our top target at tackle outside of O’Neill. Same school as Mark Ortmann. Listed us in his early top four, but that seems to have been expanded to around a top 6-7. Currently listing UM, OSU, OK, LSU, TAMU, UF, and Alabama. I think we still have a shot, we have have to really impress him when he comes up for camp. If a commit comes from Sam McGuffie, that could help too, as the two are close friends.
Matt Lipski 6-8 330 Ashland, OR
First thing you notice about this kid, he’s ENORMOUS! That combination of pure size and inexperience (only started playing football his sophomore year of HS), makes the sky the limit for his potential. Visited AA for a game last year. Lists UM and Oregon as his leaders. This guy is one of those prospects I really hope we get, just because I’ve taken a liking to them.
Joel Turrubiates 6-7 340 Bakersfield, CA
Another enormous tackle prospect, kind of a sleeper at the moment, but lists UM in his top three. Can you imagine having him and Lipski as O-Line bookends?
Elliott Mealer 6-6 280 Wauseon, OH Michigan Commit!
Lists OSU and Michigan as his top two, seems like a bit of a plan B guy, wouldn’t be surprised to see him get an offer if we miss out on some more nationally regarded targets.
R.J. Dill 6-8 295 Camp Hill, PA
Art Forst 6-8 288 Manasquan, NJ

Dill and Forst fit into the same category for me, I don’t know much about them, but they’re fairly highly rated and list interest in Michigan. While they both seem like they’d be great pick-ups, I’ll wait to assess our chances until I get more info on them.
Lane Clelland 6-5 265 Owings Mills, MD Notre Dame Commit
Sleeper, older brother played at Northwestern. Has offers from Maryland and ND. Is planning to make a Michigan visit, probably needs to put on some weight, but looks like he could make a good guard prospect.
Vaughn Dotsy 6-5 346 Ventura, CA
Same school as 2007 signee Michael Williams, will block for RB target Darrell Scott this year. Michigan was first to offer. Enormous kid, but surprisingly quick for his size. Says he want’s to approach recruiting the same way Williams did, slowly, take his visits, and make an informed decision. Here’s hoping that his recruitment ends with the same result.
Trevor Robinson 6-5 300 Omaha, NE Nebraska Commit
Lists UM in his top three, but rumor has it he’s a Nebraska lean. Probably a long shot for us.
Andrew Sampson 6-3 275 Aurora, CO
Earlier listed UM as his favorite, but not sure how much we’re returning the interest. Potential camp offer.
Kurt Wermers 6-5 260 Crown Point, IN
Good looking interior line prospect, says Michigan is at the top of his list, hoping to make a mid-summer decision. Looking good for us so far.
Matt Greiser 6-5 305 Columbus, OH
Chris Groth 6-4 295 South Lyon, MI
Rocko Khoury 6-4 253 Traverse City, MI

A trio of likely plan B prospects, will probably have to have a good showing at camp or during their senior year to earn an offer.

2008 Recruiting Board - Skill Positions

Terrelle Pryor 6-6 220 Jeannette, PA
Clemons cousin, but unlikely to land a QB of this caliber the class after Mallett, likely headed to a program with solid FB and BB. OSU, PSU, Pitt, and WVU seem to be the early leaders.
Brendon Kay 6-4 221 Marine City, MI
Chris Lum 6-2 185 Lake Orion, MI

Both seem interested in Michigan, will likely battle it out for a camp offer, either would probably commit shortly after receiving one.
Dayne Crist 6-5 221 Sherman Oaks, CA Notre Dame Commit
Appears to be a USC lean, but he might be open to other schools.

Darius Ashley 5-8 185 Cincinnati, OH
Small scatback type, seems like a plan B recruit, states interest in M, but if OSU offered he’d probably jump on it.
Sam McGuffie 6-0 185 Cyprus, TX
#1 Target at RB, amazing highlight tapes, called the “White Reggie Bush”, family originally from Flint area, good friends with J.B. Shugarts. Recently named Michigan as his leader. I’m optimistic, especially as Oklahoma just signed two top RBs for this class already.
Marcus Dowtin 6-2 195 Fork Union, VA
I really don’t know anything about Dowtin, but he’s listed on both sites as having a Michigan offer. Also plays LB, not sure what he’s being recruited as.
Jonas Gray 5-9 206 Detroit, MI
Gray is the #1 back in Michigan this year, and has been named to the early Rivals top 250. His videos remind me a lot of Kevin Grady, big kid, not especially fast, bulls through defenders. I think that this may be why the staff has put him on the back burner a bit behind more athletic backs like Scott and McGuffie. Named Notre Dame as his early leader, but with their RB class from last year, everything seems to be even again, the sooner we offer, the better our chance at landing him. UPDATE: Visited Florida and recieved an offer, almost committed on the visit. Says Michigan is still one of his favorites, but I think he'll go elswhere unless we offer fairly soon.
Dontavius Jackson 5-11 195 Franklin, GA
Attends same high school as Carlos Brown, lists us among his early favorites. Not offered yet, but lists one from Florida. Seems likely to stay in the South even if we offer, but then again, so did Carlos.
Latavius Murray 6-3 215 Nedrow, NY
Same high school as Mike Hart. Also plays LB, but prefers offense, grew up a Florida fan. Might be one to watch if we miss out on top targets like Scott, McGuffie, and Gray.
Darnell Scott 6-0 215 Ventura, CA
Strong candidate for the #1 running back in the country. Just transferred to St. Bonaventure HS, home of incoming DB Michael Williams. Highlights aren’t as impressive as I was expecting, but it will be interesting to see how he performs with a better supporting cast. Shows high interest in Michigan, as does OG Vaughn Dotsy from the same school, the two have mentioned playing together, may be a package deal, but I’ll remain skeptical on that until it happens.
Covaughn DeBoskie 5-11 187 Chandler, AZ
Has a Michigan offer and lists us in his top three. I think he'll probably stay out west, but he appears to have genuine interest, so he'll be one to keep an eye on.

Wide Receiver
Jonathan Baldwin 6-6 225 Aliquippa, PA

Huge prospect who could play WR or TE. Cousin of Ty Law. Names Michigan as his leader. Unless he changes his mind, which seems unlikely, it’ll either be Michigan or basketball for Baldwin. Depending on what the rest of the WR class looks like this year, I think he may end up a TE if he chooses Michigan, his tapes show great speed and athleticism, but he also is a very good blocker and would make a dangerous weapon at TE. I think his recruitment ends up a lot like Toney Clemons, drags on a bit, but we lead all the way.
Vaughn Carraway 6-2 175 Laureldale, PA
I know very little about Carraway, but he lists interest is Michigan, and is reported to have an offer. UPDATE: Carraway visited Michigan for a spring practice, and was blown away, he now names us as his clear leader.
Wes Kemp 6-4 226 St. Louis, MO
Another prospect I don’t know much about, may or may not have an offer, also being looked at as a TE.
Fred Smith 6-3 215 Detroit, MI
Likely a top 5 player in the state this year, has been offered, lists a top list of UM, MSU, and OSU. Things look pretty good for UM with him.
Daryl Stonum 6-2 180 Sugarland, TX
Top 100 player nationally, probably one of the top 5-10 receivers in the nation. Same high school as 2007 signees Troy Woolfolk and Brandon Herron. Has previously stated Michigan was his leader, but in a recent interview he said it was between Michigan and Florida.
Kenny Tate 6-4 215 Hyattsville, MD
One of the nations top receiving prospects. Offers include UM, UF, OSU, ND, and PSU. Not sure how interested he is in Michigan, but there is an offer on the table for him.
James Wade 6-3 175 Ann Arbor, MI
Local kid. Grew up a Michigan fan, says Braylon Edwards is his idol. I think if he gets an offer he’d commit on the spot. Might be a James Rogers sort who impresses at camp and gets an offer. With us looking to be in good position with several other higher priority WR’s he might get a look at DB.
Dajuan Miller 6-5 200 Metuchen, NJ
Long-shot, has an offer but lists a top three of Rutgers, PSU, and Oklahoma, but Michigan seems to be right behind those three at the moment.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Sorry Everybody!

Not sure if I have managed to attract any real readers yet, but if any of you are out there occasionally checking for content, I'd just like to apologize for the recent lack of it. I've been a little distracted due to some personal issues and haven't had time to devote to the site at all. I'm trying to get some stuff up within the next few days, and I'm gonna try to have the rest of the 2007 class bios and roster analysis up by the middle of next week. Bear with me a bit, and hopefully I can keep this thing going for a good long while.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Offensive Line Roster Analysis

Offensive Tackle
Jake Long - SR - 6'7" - 313 lbs - Lapeer, MI
Brett Gallimore - JR - 6'4" - 308 lbs - Parkville, MO
Mark Ortmann - SO - 6'6" - 298 lbs - Klein, TX
Cory Zirbel - SO - 6'5" - 296 lbs - Murray, KY
Steve Schilling - RFR - 6'5" - 300 lbs - Bellevue, WA
Perry Dorrestein - RFR - 6'7" - 317 lbs - Plainfield, IL
Mark Huyge - FR - 6'6" - 280 lbs - Grand Rapids, MI

Offensive Guard
Adam Kraus - SR - 6'6" - 297 lbs - New Orleans, LA
Alex Mitchell - JR - 6'5" - 317 lbs - Reese, MI
Jeremy Ciulla - JR - 6'4" - 292 lbs - Kennesaw, GA
Tim McAvoy - SO - 6'5" - 290 lbs - Bloomington, IL
Justin Schifano - SO - 6'4" - 300 lbs - Webster, NY
Justin Boren - SO - 6'3" - 314 lbs - Pickerington, OH

Grant DeBenedictis - JR - 6'5" - 286 lbs - Boca Raton, FL
David Moosman - SO - 6'4" - 298 lbs - Libertyville, IL
Dave Molk - FR - 6'2" - 280 lbs - Lemont, IL

2007 Season Analysis: The 2007 offensive line is filled with both certainties and questions. The left side of the line, anchored by Jake Long and Adam Kraus, will likely stay the same, and brutalize big ten defenses again, but the right side and middle are huge question marks. Right now the battle for center appears to be between Moosman and Boren, while either Boren or Mitchell will take the right guard spot, unless Mitchell plays RT.... you know, I think I'll just try to explain it with a, chartish thingee....the way I see it, the only spot on the line that's locked up is Jake Long at Left Tackle, so here's how it might play out...
LT: Long - No ifs ands or buts, barring injury, Long's the one
LG: Kraus/Boren - Kraus most likely, but if Kraus is forced to center, then Boren will probably take the spot
C: Boren/Kraus/Moosman - Winner of Boren and Moosman, unless they both prove incapable, in which case Kraus will be moved over
RG: Mitchell/Boren/Schifano - Mitchell is frontrunner, if he is forced to RT, then Boren takes over, but if Mitchell's at RT and Boren's at C, the job likely goes to Schifano
RT: Ortmann/Zirbel/Schilling/Mitchell - Three way battle, but if none of them are up to it, Mitchell could pull a Reuben Riley and move out
Long Story short, most likely lineup is Long - Kraus - Boren - Mitchell - Ortmann/Schilling in my mind.

2008 Needs: O-Line is Michigan's most crucial need in the 2008 recruiting class. I think the staff will try to get anywhere from 5-7 players at the position this year. Likely 2-3 tackles and 2-3 guards, maybe 1 center. Hopefully at least 2 of the tackles are supers. The top few targets appear to b Texas' J.B. Shugarts and MI's own Dann O'Neill.

The O-Line Recruits

Dave Molk - 6'2" - 280 lbs - 5.00 - Lemont, IL

Analysis: Dave Molk is slighty short, Dave Molk is big, Dave Molk is smart, Dave Molk is nasty, Dave Molk hates Notre Dame. All of these ingredients add up to make one tough football player who'll fit well at Michigan. Molk is that rarest of offensive line prospects, a true center. While he's a little vertically challenged, he's a tough kid who has a knack for picking up schemes. The coaches at the East-West All-Star game had nothing but praise for him, despite the fact that he was playing center for the first time. Molk will likely redshirt his freshman year, as do almost all Michigan linemen, but I expect him to be starting at center sooner rather than later.

Mark Huyge - 6'6" - 280 lbs - N/A - Grand Rapids, MI

Analysis: Huyge is the latest in a long line of project linemen. He follows in the footsteps of players like Tim McAvoy, Mark Ortmann, and Perry Dorrestein. In all likelyhood little will be heard from Huyge for about 2-3 years. While his tapes don't show a dominating blocker, he displays good footwork and a quick burst off the line. Whether these raw materials can be trained up into a good lineman remain to be seen, but I'd say withhold judgement on Huyge for a couple years, then see what he's made of.

Wide Receiver - Tight End Roster Analysis

Wide Reciever
Mario Manningham - JR - 6'0" - 182 lbs - Warren, OH
Adrian Arrington - JR - 6'3" - 190 lbs - Cedar Rapids, IA
Doug Dutch - JR - 5'11" - 201 lbs - Bowie, MD
Lateryal Savoy - SO - 6'2" - 205 lbs - Mamou, LA
Greg Matthews - SO - 6'3" - 195 lbs - Orlando, FL
Antonio Bass - SO - 6'0" - 197 lbs - Jackson, MI
Junior Hemingway - FR - 6'3" - 205 lbs - Conway, SC
Toney Clemons - FR - 6'2" - 205 lbs - New Kensington, PA
Zion Babb - FR - 6'0" - 197 lbs - Alhambra, CA

2007 Season Prospectus: This unit is incredibly deep and talented this year. Last year Mario Manningham established himself as the clear #1 receiver, and Adrian Arrington stated his claim to the #2 spot. The battle for the #3 spot vacated by Steve Breaston will be an interesting one, and I think Matthews will win out over Savoy and Hemingway. Rumors of Dutch and/or Savoy making the switch to DB have circulated, and I wouldn't be surprised if one of them did. I'm fairly sure that one or two of the freshman will play, and while I think it will be Hemingway, Clemons is equally possible, and even Babb has a decent shot at some time. Bass is the x-factor, if he's recovered from his catastrophic knee injury, he'll be a dangerous weapon in the arsenal, but that's looking extremely unlikely at the moment, and it's more likely he won't be back until 2008, if at all.

2008 Needs: How many receivers we go after depends heavily on several things. 1) Is Bass' career done? 2) How many, if any, of the above mentioned receivers end up making the switch to DB, and 3) Do Mario and Arrington leave early for the NFL? Right now the plan is to take 1-2 receivers, with hopefully at least one being a super. Likely prospects include Pa's Jonathan Baldwin (also a possible TE prospect), TX's Daryl Stonum (same high school as Troy Woolfolk and Brandon Herron), IN's John Goodman, and Detroit's Fred Smith.

Tight End
Mike Massey - JR - 6'4" - 234 - Brecksville, OH
Carson Butler - SO - 6'4" - 247 lbs - Detroit, MI
Chris McClaurin - SO - 6'3" - 234 lbs - Farmington Hills, MI
Steve Watson - FR - 6'4" - 235 lbs - Denver, CO
Martell Webb - FR - 6'5" 225 lbs - Pontiac, MI

2007 Season Prospectus: With the injury to Tyler Ecker last season, Mike Massey spent most of the season as the #1 tight end, but with an injury to him, Carson Butler also got his fair share of time. These two give Michigan great depth and experience at TE this year. McClaurin will likely get some snaps, but if he doesn't impress in the spring and fall he could be passed up by one of the freshmen. I think one of the freshmen could see some time, my money's on Watson, because Webb needs some time to adapt to blocking and put on size.

2008 Needs: Tight End is one position where we can afford to skimp this year. I think the staff will go for Jonathan Baldwin as a receiver, and if they land him he might end up at tight end, but other than that, unless a big-time TE shows interest, maybe Kyle Rudolph from Ohio, we'll probably pass this year.

The TE's Webb and Watson

Martell Webb - 6'5" - 225 lbs - 4.63 - Pontiac, MI

Analysis: Martell Webb is the latest in the new wave of Michigan tight ends. Over the last few years the staff has seemed to every year pick up a "big athlete" who's tall, has doubts about what position he'll end up at, and is extremely raw. These people all seem to end up at tight end. Webb is the latest of these, following in the footsteps of Tim Massaquoi, Carson Butler, and Quintin Woods. Webb is big, has good hands, and is far faster than anyone of his size has any right to be. There is still some uncertainty about where he'll end up in the end, as he is adamant about getting a shot at wide receiver, but it seems inevitable that he'll grow out of that position. Coach Carr and the staff seem to have a policy of letting players try their position of choice for a year or so, and then if it doesn't work out, the staff asks them to move. You see a lot of WR to TE, LB to DE, and SS to LB. Whether Webb plays WR or TE at first, I feel he will redshirt either way, as neither position has a particularly favorable depth chart. He'll take a year, bulk up a bit, work on his blocking, and then work his way into the tight end rotation.

Steve Watson - 6'4" - 235 lbs - 4.70 - Denver, CO
Analysis: Steve Watson is prety much the exact opposite of Webb. He fits the mold of the traditional Michigan tight end. Big, smart, a good blocker, reliable, but not an athletic freak. He definately will fill the role of guys like Tyler Ecker and Mike Massey. The son of former NFL receiver and current Denver Broncos WR coach Steve Watson Sr., Watson is, like many coaches sons, a smart kid who's well trained and has great football smarts. He doesn't seem like he'll ever be an explosive playmaker, but he's a tenacious blocker with good hands, and will be a reliable red zone target. On e of the things that impressed me most about Steve Watson, was that he proved that he was a man of integrity late in his recriting process. After committing to Michigan fairly early on, in July, he never swayed in his certainty until January, when Tim Brewster was hired to coach at Minnesota. Brewster and Watson's father coached together in the NFL, and Brewster's son Clint is Steve's high school QB and best friend. When Clint and another high school teamate committed to Minnesota, Steve agreed to take a visit there. This scared many avid followers of Michigan recruiting, seeing as we'd just been burned by Jerimy Finch, who decided to go play with his high school friends at Indiana (And we all see how that worked out). But unlike Finch, Watson deliberately decided to make his visit separate from his friends, saying "I didn't want them to be the reason I made my decision.". After his visit, Watson decided to stick with his word, and that Michigan was the right place for him. Watson seems like a class individual, and regardless of how his on-field career turns out, I think in 4-5 years we'll all be proud that such a quality young man donned the Maize and Blue. I think that Watson might stand a better chance of seeing the field early than Webb, as he is the much more polished tight end prospect, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him redshirt as well, seeing as we have solid depth there.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Zion Babb

Zion Babb - 6'0" - 177 lbs - 4.67 - Alhambra, CA
Analysis: Zion Babb is a bit of an enigma, when he first committed, most assumed he'd be brought in as a defensive back, and James Rogers as a receiver, but now it seems the roles have been reversed and Rogers will be a cornerback while Babb seems poised to make his contribution with the ball in his hands. Babb's videos show an extremely explosive player with speed to spare, and great field vision. He repeatedly bursts through the hole and out races the secondary, in one case hurdling a player on his way to the endzone. As well as recieving, Babb has some impressive clips returning kicks. While Zion had some academic trouble during his senior year, everything appears to be resolved. I think Babb will likely redshirt, but once he puts on some more muscle and learns the offense I see him filling the slot receiver role very well, he'd be great as a kick returner and on underneath routes.

Toney Clemons

Toney Clemons - 6'2" - 205 lbs - 4.50 - New Kensington, PA

Analysis: Toney Clemons is a great addition to this recruiting class. A big kid with great hands, he's got the potential to be a go-to guy in the Michigan offense. Compared by's Mike Farrell to Mario Manningham, he's a more raw prospect than Hemingway, but he may have a higher upside. A big guy at 6'2" with a 34" vertical leap and great body control in the air, Clemons has the ability to bring a jump ball element that the Michigan offense hasn't seen since Braylon Edwards graduated in 2004. He's got a long loping stride which is really confusing on video, because it looks like he's moving really slow, until you realize he's blowing past linebackers and DB's. The cousin of both Steve Breaston and 2008 recruit Terrelle Pryor, Clemons has great bloodlines, and while his style is nothing like Steve's, hopefully he'll follow in his footsteps as a great Michigan player.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Junior Hemingway

Kenneth "Junior" Hemingway - 6'3" - 205 lbs - Conway, SC

Analysis: Probably the most polished of this years wide receiver class. Hemingway started the year highly rated by the recruiting services, but dropped late, despite having by all accounts an excellent senior year. His videos show a very solid receiver with great hands. Hemingway doesn’t have game-breaking speed, but he makes up for it with great route-running. Hemingway was offered by a who’s who of big name schools, including Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida State, and Miami. I think Hemingway will likely not redshirt, and battle with Greg Matthews and LaTeryal Savoy for the #3 receiver spot. I see him filling the Jason Avant role in the Michigan offense, the #2 guy who’s not as flashy as some, but extremely consistent and reliable.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Offensive Backfield Roster Analysis

Chad Henne - SR - 6'2" - 224 lbs - Wyomissing, PA
Jason Forcier - SO - 6'2" - 218 lbs - San Diego, CA
David Cone - RFR - 6'6" - 201 lbs - Statesboro, GA
Ryan Mallett - FR - 6'7" - 250 lbs - Texarkana, TX

2007 Season Prospectus: Henne goes into the year the undisputed starter, and unless something catastrophic happens, nothing will change that. The real battle is for 2nd team, while it appears to be an open battle, good money is on Mallett to take the backup job. He enrolled early, and Coach Carr has already stated that they'd like to get him some game reps, so he seems to be destined to play the minimal garbage time available. Forcier will probably also get a few opportunities, while Cone and walk-ons Jeff Ziegler and Lee Mondol provide depth and injury insurance.

2008 Need: 0 - 1
While QB seems set with Mallett as the chosen one for the next few years, it's always good to get a quarterback in every class, and Michigan will likely try to pick up a mid-tier prospect for depth this year. Unless they can pull all-everything two-sport superstar Terrelle Pryor (Toney Clemons' cousin) out of Pennsylvania, I think the staff will target an instate player with high upside, likely either Marine City's Brendan Kay or Lake Orion's Chris Lum.

Running Back
Mike Hart - SR - 5'9" - 196 lbs - Syracuse, NY
Kevin Grady - JR - 5'9" - 216 lbs - Grand Rapids, MI
Brandon Minor - SO - 6'0" - 210 lbs - Richmond, VA
Carlos Brown - SO - 6'0" - 200 lbs - Franklin, GA
Avery Horn - FR - 5'11" - 195 lbs - Hanford, CA

2007 Season Prospectus: Over the past 3 years, as Mike Hart has gone, so has the team. He's the Hart (rimshot!) and soul of the Michigan offense, and will again recieve the majority of the carries this season. When he needs a breather, the baton will likely pass to sophmore Brandon Minor, who passed up Kevin Grady for the 2nd string job midway through last season. Interesting will be the fate of sophmore Carlos Brown, who the coaches were raving about during last years spring training, but who saw very little action, rumors have abounded that he'll switch full time to DB, but the coaching staff has yet to confirm anything. Freshman Horn will likely redshirt.

2008 Need: 1-2
With Hart graduating, the job will likely pass to the winner between Minor and Grady, but a stud back is needed to be their successor. Optimally this recruiting class would include two backs, a big grinder in the mold of Grady and Minor, and a smaller, scat-back type to mix things up. Top prospects include California's Darrell Scott, Detroit's Jonas Gray, and Texas' Sam McGuffie.

Andre Criswell - SO - 6'1" - 258 lbs - Detroit, MI
Vince Helmuth - FR - 6'1" - 235 lbs - Saline, MI

2007 Season Prospectus: With the loss of Obi Oluigbo and Will Paul, the Wolverines return no starting experience at fullback, while Criswell has earned praise from the coaches, he's got some big shoes to fill. With Helmuth enrolling early and participating in spring practice I think he's got a shot at the starting job, but likely Criswell at least begins the season at first string.

2008 Needs: 0-1
While a fullback this year would be nice and help alleviate depth concerns, I'd be very surprised if one ends up a part of this class, there are to many needs elsewhere and to few scholarships available to use one at this spot this year.

Vince Helmuth

Vince Helmuth - 6’1” – 235 lbs – 4.70 – Saline, MI
Analysis: Vince Helmuth may not be the most glamorous member of the class of 2007, but he may be one of the first to make an impact. With the departures of Obi Oluigbo, Brian Thompson, and Will Paul, the depth chart at fullback is extremely sparse, so I’d be surprised if Helmuth redshirted. A big pounding running back in high school, Helmuth played his to All-Conference honors at both RB and defensive tackle. While he’s shown that he can carry the ball, he likely won’t get many chances to do so in Ann Arbor, and apparently he’s ok with that, Vince seems to be a real team player, at the risk of sounding cliché, and repeatedly in interviews pushed credit for victories away from himself and onto his teammates. A devout workout warrior, Helmuth dropped almost 20 pounds before his senior season, and increased his 40 time by almost .2 seconds. Vince comes from good football bloodlines, as his older brother, Chris Baker, played tight end for Michigan State and now plays for the New York Jets. Appears to have a fondness for ridiculous hats. I see Helmuth following in the footsteps of great Michigan fullbacks past, such as Chris Floyd, Kevin Dudley, and Obi Oluigbo. A backfield of him and Brandon Minor in a year or two should put the fear of god into opposing linebackers.

Avery Horn

Avery Horn - 5’11” – 195 lbs. – 4.50 – Hanford, CA
Analysis: Avery Horn is an interesting recruit. I’m intrigued to see what the coaching staff is going to do with him. Is he going to play RB? DB? KR? Widely viewed as a plan B recruit, he was actually offered fairly early, when recruits like John Clay, Robert Hughes, and Dan Herron were still on the board. The question is, was he offered because the staff already knew those guys weren’t coming, or is he legitimately good enough to be our plan A at running back for 2007? I’m inclined to say that the staff believes him to be a plan A recruit, because of the timing of his offer, but I’m not sure if I agree with them. Horn can be summed up in one word, FAST. The kid has some serious straight line speed. His videos remind me a bit of a faster Mike Hart, but without the shiftiness. Almost every clip in his videos are the same, great acceleration through the initial hole, then once he gets into the secondary he cuts outside and tries to beat the defensive backs down the sideline. It almost seems like he relies on his speed a bit to much, and that could hurt him at the college level where the defense is a lot faster than high school. If he can develop a few nice jukes and moves, I think he could do pretty well in the new zone-blocking system, which relies heavily on running backs finding the holes and creating. His clips don’t show him making to much contact, so we’ll have wait and see how he stands up to the pounding. One place I’m very excited about Horn’s potential contribution is on kick returns, while he might not have the shiftiness for returning punts, if he can get a kick and ten yards to build up steam, he’ll be tough to catch. Horn could surprise, similar to Hart his freshman year, but at first glance, I feel that he’ll end up primarily contributing in the return game, and likely get passed up for carries if we can land a top flight RB target in the class of ’08.

Ryan Mallett

Ryan Mallett - 6'7" - 250 lbs. - 4.85 - Texarkana, TX

Analysis: Super Grand #1 Texas QB.

Mallett is the #1 guy in this class, the kind of recruit that defines a program for his time there, whether for good (Vince Young, Brady Quinn) or bad (Ron Powlus, Reggie Ball). The general consensus on Mallett is that he's got the arm of a howitzer, and the speed of a tectonic plate. From what I've seen of him (film, AAA game), this is selling the kid short. Mallett's arm is truly a thing of beauty, able to rifle frozen ropes 20-30 yards downfield with little apparent effort, and launch 60-70 yard bombs with ease. His accuracy is very good, and he appears to have fixed the tendancy to put unecessary force behind short passes that was a knock on him earlier in his career. He's by all reports a smart kid, very football savvy, won the "Best in the Chalk Talks" award at the Elite-11 camp, so he should have no trouble adopting the Michigan offense. No worries there, that brings us to Malletts main reported weakness, his feet. I think this concern has been overblown, Mallett shows an excellent ability to move around in the pocket, and those blitzers who he can't sidestep are going to have a tough time taking him down, seeing as he probably will outweigh half of them. He's never going to be a running QB, and when he does run, it really will be an incredibly surprising QB draw, but I think his size will help a lot in goal-line QB sneak situations. My only worry with Ryan is that he will fall victim to Mike Gittleson's Jewish-Mother strength and conditioning program ("Eat, EAT! You're to skinny! What has that goyish wife of yours been feeding you!"). At 6'7" and 250 lbs. he's already at a size that usually makes you think project offensive tackle, if he gains to much weight, he could lose his ability to evade rushers.

In summation, Ryan Mallet is a truly elite recruit, and probably the best one Michigan has recruited since Drew Henson. He's got a mammoth arm, great accuracy, solid feet, shoots laser beams from his eyes, and bakes an apple crumble that makes Martha Stewart cry tears of joy... Sorry, got a bit carried away there. Anywho, he'll be a heck of a lot of fun to watch in the Maize and Blue for the next 3-5 years.

Hello World

Welcome to Winged Helmet Wannabes. I'm Dave and I'll be your guide to the wonderful world of Michigan Football recruiting for as long as I can manage to keep this up. I'd like to thank Brian Cook of MgoBlog for inspiring me to start this blog (and also for enabling me to take my already obsesive love for Michigan football to an all new life-consuming level)

Here's what you can expect for starters here...
1. A player by player review of the 2007 class (posted as I write them)
2. A roster analysis, strengths, weaknesses, recruiting priorities for next year
3. An early recruiting board for 2008