Future Blue Derivatives: Giles Jackson

Future Blue Derivatives: Giles Jackson Comment Count

Adam Schnepp February 21st, 2019 at 9:25 AM

Way out west there was this fella… fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of Giles Jackson. At least that was the handle his loving parents gave him, but he never had much use for it himself. Mr. Jackson, he called himself "G." Now this here story I'm about to unfold took place in the late '10s, just about the time of our conflict with Urban and the Ohioans. I only mention it because sometimes there's a man— I won't say a hero, 'cause what's a hero? But sometimes there's a man— and I'm talkin' about G here. Sometimes there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's G, in Ann Arbor. And even if he's a speedy man— and G was most certainly that. Quite possibly the speediest in Washtenaw County, which would place him high in the runnin' for speediest worldwide. But sometimes there's a man…sometimes there's a man. Aw, I lost my train of thought here. But... aw, hell. I've done introduced him enough.

[After THE JUMP: every-snap film and scouting]


Jimmystats: Class of 2019 Recruiting Deltas: Offense

Jimmystats: Class of 2019 Recruiting Deltas: Offense Comment Count

Seth February 15th, 2019 at 4:29 PM

I've been tracking changes in recruiting rankings at regular intervals, since sometimes the shift tells us more about the star than the brightness. I think the sites are done with their re-ranks after the all star games now, and several of the 2019s moved substantially.

Please remember the rules (even though they're theories):

  1. Gravity! Players will slowly drop as more players get scouted. Moving up means you did something; slowly dropping a few spots means the guy is the same.
  2. Climate! The rankings have more than player goodness in them. They'll overtly bump guys who went to their camps over those who didn't, for example. ESPN doesn't pretend to care about recruiting outside of the southeast, or bother to rank 2020 3-stars from the Midwest.
  3. Measurements! If you follow recruiting you know the various rating systems. Rivals uses the old National Recruiting Advisor system: 6.1 is a 5-star, 3.7 is a high three-star, etc. ESPN is on a 100 scale where the 70s are three-stars,. 247Sports is on 100-ish scale where the 80s are three-stars, and their composite is that but a percent.

Let's go to the re-ranks! I'll highlight big leaps up in green and big drops in red.

QB Cade McNamara

Service Feb 2019 Dec 2018 Aug 2018 Jun 2018 Mar 2018
247Sports 90 (#8 PRO)
#375 OVR
90 (#10 PRO)
#351 OVR
90 (#10 PRO)
#321 OVR
90 (#10 PRO)
#310 OVR
90 (#9 PRO)
#305 OVR
Rivals 5.8 (#8 PRO)
not ranked
5.8 (#8 PRO)
not ranked
5.8 (#10 PRO)
not ranked
5.8 (#9 PRO)
not ranked
5.8 (#9 PRO)
not ranked
ESPN 81 (#12 PRO)
#253 OVR
81 (#13 PRO)
#257 OVR
81 (#14 PRO)
#240 OVR
78 (#8 PRO)
#296 OVR
78 (#8 PRO)
#296 OVR
Composite 0.9052 (#7 PRO)
#268 OVR
0.9048 (#11 PRO)
#275 OVR
0.9067 (#10 PRO)
#269 OVR
0.9067 (#10 PRO)
#263 OVR
0.9004 (#9 PRO)
#316 OVR

Cade more or less ended up where he began. The only slight excitement over his rankings history was staying ahead of all the guys ESPN added as they filled in behind the other sites. He was the #45 player in the West to the Worldwide Leader when he committed, and finished #38. That site is the highest on McNamara, ranking him in their top 300 while 247 and Rivals have him hanging out just above the 4-stars line.

What's the delta say? That stability speaks to a guy who met expectations. I believe an early Michigan commitment also played a role in maintaining McNamara's status at the top of the wave of guys who are good but not elite.

RB Zach Charbonnet


I got this from MGoFish who got it from Bobby Curtis/Acorn Newspapers

Service Feb 2019 Dec 2018 Aug 2018 Jun 2018 Mar 2018
247Sports 97 (#4 RB) #38 OVR 97 (#3 RB) #26 OVR 95 (#4 RB) #40 OVR 91 (#9 RB) #220 OVR #209 OVR
Rivals 6.0 (#4 RB) #60 OVR 6.0 (#4 RB) #60 OVR 5.8 (#20 RB) not ranked 5.8 (#20 RB) not ranked  
ESPN 84 (#5 RB) #101 OVR 84 (#6 RB) #105 OVR 80 (#26 RB) not ranked 80 (#26 RB) not ranked  
Composite 0.9760 (#4 RB)#46 OVR 0.9800 (#3 RB)#42 OVR 0.9240 (#10 RB)#187 OVR 0.9000 (#15 RB)#302 OVR #277 OVR

After Michigan, 247Sports was the first to see Zach Charbonnet as an elite running back prospect. Rivals and ESPN were playing catch-up after the season, when 247 was even more enamored with him. Fortunately for those of us who were concerned about Michigan's luck with site-sanctioned running backs, a small injury held Charbonnet out of his All-Star game last month, and that prevented what seemed an inevitable push up the rankings and that dangerous fifth star.

What's the delta say? This is a borderline 5-star prospects that Michigan found early and the sites were slow to catch up, though catch up they did.

[After THE JUMP: Big guys who go up and little guys they don't know what to do with]


Friday Recruitin' Wants To Go To Dental School

Friday Recruitin' Wants To Go To Dental School Comment Count

Adam Schnepp February 15th, 2019 at 10:50 AM

Looks like it’s going to be another big visit weekend in Ann Arbor. 247’s Steve Lorenz has the list and the name that stands out as the one who’s ranked highest and most likely to be swayed by Michigan is four-star MI DE Braiden McGregor. You may remember from the last roundup that McGregor was the one whose basketball game was attended by Jim Harbaugh, Sherrone Moore, and Shaun Nua, along with Michigan State headman Mike D’Antoni Mark Dantonio and a couple Notre Dame coaches. People want him to come play football at their school, it seems. Lorenz writes that he believes McGregor’s family prefers Michigan and that Michigan’s staff will make a big push for him this weekend. His most recent crystal ball, this one from Steve Wiltfong, is a couple weeks old and is foggy. The other four are old and split 2-2 between Michigan and Notre Dame; maybe this weekend provides some clarity for the prospect Lorenz believes could be the top prospect on the Michigan staff’s big board right now.

Another four-star prospect with an interesting crystal ball who will be on campus this weekend is MD WR Taeshon Holden. Currently forecast 100% to West Virginia, Lorenz says he’s no longer believed to be a lock to move to Morgantown. Holden is teammates with current commit MD LB Osman Savage and is co-head coached by former Michigan staffer and dad of guy with excellent food opinions (and a dang good fullback, S/O Henry Poggi) Biff Poggi. We’ll probably have a better idea how much those connections matter after this weekend.

Michigan, undeterred by Rutger basketball’s recent Res Inn conference room thievery, is making a push to reassert their recruiting prowess in New Jersey. That starts with getting some of their best prospects to open the garden fence and take a visit to Ann Arbor. One player who might be taking a Michigan visit in the near future is four-star NJ S Jordan Morant. Lorenz believes that Morant is one of the top safeties on Michigan’s board, and 247 analyst Brian Dohn believes that Morant will be in Ann Arbor sometime this month or next month Lorenz adds that three-star NJ DE Aaron Lewis is another Jersey boy to keep an eye on, as staffs at big schools around the country have seen his film and started to offer.

[Let's talk about organic chemistry after THE JUMP]


Future Blue Derivatives: Daxton Hill

Future Blue Derivatives: Daxton Hill Comment Count

Adam Schnepp February 6th, 2019 at 12:00 PM

It took two years, but it seems the OG signing day that used to thaw our frozen midwinter hearts has been usurped by its pre-bowl season sibling. Michigan is expected to sign one prospect today, Washington D.C. safety Quinten Johnson. That signing barely even counts, as the only reason Johnson didn’t submit his letter in December is because his head coach asked that he do so with all of his teammates in a ceremony at their school in February. I thought an interesting alternative to pulling together a recruiting roundup that has nothing to do with players that can sign today would be to look at Michigan’s highest-rated player in the 2019 class, OK S Daxton Hill. His 0.9927 composite rating on 247 places him eighth on their list of all-time recruit rankings, sandwiched between Brandon Graham (0.9930) and Donovan Peoples-Jones (0.9925). Not bad company to keep. Hill’s every-snap film is particularly relevant to our interests because of Michigan’s roster; there’s certainly real competition in the form of Brad Hawkins and J’Marick Woods, but Hill is the Twitter favorite to step in and fill Tyree Kinnel’s vacated free safety spot. Taking in a full game should allow us to better assess whether he’s mentally and physically ready for the next step.

[After THE JUMP: every-snap film and scouting]


Thursday Recruitin' Watches Charles Woodson On Youtube

Thursday Recruitin' Watches Charles Woodson On Youtube Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 24th, 2019 at 2:15 PM

The last installment of this series led with 2019 recruiting (M might take a running back) before segueing into how Rivals’ post-All-Star game bumps (and drops) impacted Michigan’s 2019 class. Call it chronological organization or lack of imagination but with no other 2019 updates, this post is going to lead with how 247’s post-All-Star game bumps (and drops) impact Michigan’s 2019 class.

The biggest move in the rankings was GA OT Trente Jones’ 88-spot leap from #197 to #109. If you’re a regular reader of recruiting roundup this shouldn’t come as a surprise; if you aren’t, I’ll shamelessly plug a Future Blue Derivatives post I put together about Jones in December. In short, he pairs prototypical tackle size and weight with athleticism far greater than you’d expect from a guy his size.

Another guy who’s more athletic than someone his size has a right to reasonably expect to be is GA DT Chris Hinton. Rivals has him as the #15 overall player in the 2019 class, and though 247 didn’t bump his ranking quite so high, he did get moved from just outside the Top100 (#104) to the upper half of that distinguisher (#47). All told, the movement was enough to make him a composite five-star and #31 overall, up from #49 in pre-postseason-camp composite ranking.

Two other players made big moves up 247’s rankings. MI DT Mazi Smith had such a good week of practice prior to the Under Armour game that 247’s John Garcia was prompted to coin one of my favorite player descriptors of all time: leverage monster.  The Leverage Monster (Ol’ Leverage Monster?) is still a four-star to 247 but moved from #240 to #170. Another in-state four-star jetting up the rankings is MI OL Karsen Barnhart, who moved from #247 to #161.

There were no free-fallers; those who moved down were mostly bumped down by risers, and they generally slid about 10 spots down. OK S Daxton Hill was moved from #8 to #23 because…stuff and things. He didn’t have much to do at practice during the practice week in San Antonio and therefore didn’t get an All-Star game bump, and 247 gave 10 players a fifth star that they then ranked above Hill. All told, the bumps up were enough to lift Michigan's class to sixth overall.

[Hit THE JUMP if you want the post title to make sense]


Friday Recruitin' Is A Leverage Monster

Friday Recruitin' Is A Leverage Monster Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 18th, 2019 at 9:20 AM

Michigan’s 2019 class is more or less wrapped up with the exception of one position: running back. The Michigan staff has entertained the idea of bringing in one more running back after TN RB Eric Gray decommitted from the class, and the player they’ve set their sights on is similar to Gray in that he’s adept at catching the ball out of the backfield, shifty in the open field, and seems to have good acceleration and balance (though balance through contact, as important a trait for RBs as there is, wasn’t on film); he seems like a good fit for new OC Josh Gattis’ #SpeedInSpace philosophy. Washington DC RB Keilan Robinson should have been somewhat familiar with Michigan if for no other reason because his teammate, S Quinten Johnson, is a 2019 signee. He’ll be even more familiar with the program this week, as 247’s Steve Lorenz reports that Michigan’s staff was expected to stop in and see him this week after staying in communication with him the past few months. Robinson, a four-star ranked #362 overall and the #20 RB per the 247 composite, is currently committed to Alabama but has yet to sign.

With 2019 recruiting dwindling, attention from recruiting sites has turned to postseason all-star games and the re-ranks they birth. 247’s analysts sat down and re-watched the Under Armour All-America Game, then offered their take on Michigan’s signees. 247’s John Garcia has seen FL LB Anthony Solomon often in camps and wrote that his coverage skills were never in question. He was more interested in seeing what Solomon could do in a game setting. Garcia:

Looking back he actually closed downhill and finished much better than maybe his height and weight would suggest.

Allen Trieu believes that OH OL Nolan Rumler could play either center or guard in college. Trieu on Rumler going from good in practice to great in the game:

I know that on two of the touchdowns they ran right behind him, and on one he flat pancaked the guy. There was one play where he just drove Mazi (Smith) and nobody had done that all week. I though Nolan lived up to his billing, that whenever the lights are on, he is going to be a mauler.

Garcia noted that Rumler played high at times but was able to sustain blocks once he got his hands on a guy even if his pads were up. Rumler’s future linemate Trente Jones drew rave reviews during the week, and Garcia compared the two:

If Rumler is going to flash, it’ll be with power or maybe a pancake. But Trente will flash with running the defensive end way around a pocket and allowing his quarterback to step up. It will be his ability to get to the second level, to reach block, and get over TWO gaps, to lead the way on stretch plays, and things like that. His movement and skill will allow for so many different types of looks.

Garcia’s takes are some of the most interesting in this piece because he hasn’t seen much of the midwest guys until the week of UA practices and the game. For example, on MI DT Mazi Smith:

You know, the few times I was introduced to him came when we were cutting up top ten plays. Allen would send the film and I would ask “who is this guy?” It was always this ridiculous leverage guy. A leverage monster. If he got under you, he was going to be a problem even for the most physically gifted offensive linemen.

I start these posts with “[Insert day here] Recruitin’” and add the rest of the title as I read articles and start pulling things together and I don’t think I’ve ever scrolled up faster to insert the rest of the title. Garcia and Trieu closed their piece with a discussion of DC S Quinten Johnson’s daily improvement, but I wrote about that in the last recruiting roundup and didn’t find a great ARRRG TECHNIQUE GODZILLA RARR-type (sound effects mine) quote.

[After THE JUMP: Rivals' re-rank, reactions to staff additions and departures, and a number of new offers]


Tuesday Recruitin' Is Like, 'Dang, I Thought I Had That'

Tuesday Recruitin' Is Like, 'Dang, I Thought I Had That' Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 8th, 2019 at 2:44 PM

While the Michigan commits in Orlando impressed scouts and analysts in the practices that led up to last week’s Under Armour All-America Game, a group of three signees with arguably the best odds of playing early this side of Mazi Smith were doing the same in San Antonio. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown published an interesting set of articles in which he got other players to scout GA DT Chris Hinton and OK S Dax Hill. On Hill, GA QB and South Carolina commit Ryan Hilinski articulated what Michigan fans hope is the general sentiment of Big Ten QBs for the next three years.

“I'm telling you, when I go up to the line of scrimmage I'm always looking away from him," Hilinski said. "He's just a guy that covers so much space with his speed and he's so fluid with all of his motions. He's long too. That's the hardest thing to judge. I'll try to throw and out route and he'll get a finger on it. I'll be like, 'Dang, I thought I had that.' He doesn't even look like he's trying that hard yet either and he's still balling out. When he really takes it up a level, what is he going to do? He's a beast.

Brown talked to two Ohio State signees about Hinton, and if the roster’s composition wasn’t already enough to get him a shot at early playing time, his advanced technique should do it. GA OG Harry Miller is quoted first in the article and brought up one natural skill and one technical element of Hinton’s that stood out in practice.

"He's a really hand technician. He's just really good at using his hands and being quick," Miller said. "As an offensive player I have to be very aware of my fundamentals and be very sound with that. He's not a guy that you can just go out and attack and expect to beat him. You have to be really smart with how you approach him."

WV OG Doug Nester corroborated Miller’s scouting report.

"He comes off the ball really hard and he's very good with his hand placement," Nester said. "He knows where to hit you correctly. He'll hit you right in the chest and he extends away from himself so that you can't get into his chest. He's good at that."

[After THE JUMP: more players and analysts weigh in, plus updates from the UA Future 50 camp]


Monday Recruitin' Raises Its Stock

Monday Recruitin' Raises Its Stock Comment Count

Adam Schnepp January 7th, 2019 at 10:00 AM

The relative quiet of the recruiting calendar’s dead period gave way to two all-star games last week, and with that a ton of new material on the players about to age out of appearing in these recruiting roundups. Thursday’s Under Armour All-America Game featured five Michigan signees: FL LB Anthony Solomon, OH OL Nolan Rumler, GA OT Trente Jones on Team Flash, and DC LB Quinten Johnson and MI DT Mazi Smith on Team Ballaholics. CA RB Zach Charbonnet elected to sit out the week of practice and game with an injury, which should please the superstitious lot; Greg Biggins wrote after the first day of practice that 247 came into the week with Charbonnet on five-star watch.

Though Smith and Jones won’t earn fifth stars either, they did plenty in practice last week to raise their stock in the eyes of analysts. 247’s John Garcia called Smith “the best interior guy” while ESPN.com’s Craig Haubert named Smith to his list of the week’s best. 247’s Allen Trieu, who has probably seen Smith more than anyone in the country, added some detail to Garcia’s line. He noted that Smith hasn’t done any camps, but it seems he adapted to 1-on-1 drills against competition on par with his talent level rather quickly. Trieu mentioned Smith being told something about how to use his hands by the coaching staff, then using that to win reps later in the day. For a player who has been able to pin his ears back and run through his opponent at will until this past week, it was an encouraging sign of adaptability. (And a positive sign for next year, when he’ll be needed to be ready to rotate in at DT.)

[Other guys adapt after THE JUMP]


Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Defense

Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Defense Comment Count

Seth December 26th, 2018 at 9:41 AM

We did the offense already. Before we get into the defensive side of contextualizing the 2019 recruits against every Michigan guy since Bo, I want to give a shout-out to some other Tableizers. Jacedeuce gave me several suggestions I incorporated into the money graph, and Bo McReady (son of Bennie, godson of Oosterbaan) created this magnificent visual that you can spend the rest of vacation clicking over. For example if you select all the New England states you can see this view…


…that shows just seven players from the region from 1990-2013, and nine players in four classes since Don Brown arrived. Mouse over the 2016 and 2017 towers and you'll find Sean McKeon, Tarik Black, Andrew Stueber, Kwity Paye, and Ben Mason from the first two classes, all of whom are working out better than their rankings suggested they would. On the other hand recruiting rankings do strongly correlate with the likelihood of playing in the NFL. I've recreated his NFL chart so you can mouse over the individuals:

Our fun had, let's dive into the defense:

[Player-by-player discussion, after The Jump]



Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Offense

Jimmystats: 2019 Recruiting Comps: Offense Comment Count

Seth December 20th, 2018 at 4:50 PM

More fun with rosters! With signing day behind us I've updated my spreadsheets and the associated interactive chart. Behold: the 2019 class contextualized against every Michigan recruit since 1990:

You can mouseover the big yellow bubbles to get a sense where each guy fits against previous Michigan players in the recruiting rankings. But let's still dig out each player to understand the context of his scouting. The full data are here.

QB Cade McNamara


The style of quarterback who uses his legs and is constantly being asked about his height is now considered a "Pro Style" quarterback, especially if he commits to Harbaugh, though it's not hard to find the guy Cade McNamara most reminds us of. Cade is a clear rung down from Tate's Top-150ish ratings, and for good reason. However Michigan's lone QB recruit in this class is still strongly above the 4-star line. Despite the other comps being substantially different players, the boom/bust nature of his ranking is evident in the range of success you see around him.

[After THE JUMP: The position you were dreading]