Saturday, April 21, 2012

Reasoning our Recruiting Rankings (Class of 2012)


First of all, calm down and stop shouting.

Secondly, keep in mind that recruit rankings is as inexact a science as they come. Sure, the consensus five-star guys generally end up in the NFL and overwhelmingly the low three- and two-star guys end up...well... not in the NFL. But all those guys in between? They're usually up for grabs. Scout, Rivals, ESPN, and 24/7 are generally considered the National Recruiting High Council, and even their rankings show a tremendous amount of disparity.

The point is, sometimes recruiting rankings by the 'big 4' are ridiculous. For reference, lets take a look at one of my personal favorite recruiting profiles: Isaiah Bell. Bell came to your University of Michigan Wolverines in one Richard A. Rodriguez's 2009 recruiting class. By most accounts, Bell was your standard safety-linebacker tweener type (a 3-star, #46 Safety for Scout, a 3-star, #26 OLB for Rivals) unless you asked ESPN, in which case Isaiah Bell was THE ED REED OF CHAMP BAILEYS OF RAY LEWISES OF DEFENSIVE OVERLORDS. (See MGoBlog's similar assessment on ESPN's Bell ranking here).

Pictured: Isaiah Bell
So, with all this in mind, FerGodSakes has taken some liberties in our own rankings for Michigan recruits. We do of course factor in what we learn from the main recruiting sites, but we also watch as much film as we can find on these kids, not to mention having seen several of them in person. Most of the guys are on par with general consensus: Kyle Kalis is a five-star stud; Ondre Pipkins, Joe Bolden, and Jarrod Wilson are arguably the best defensive acquisitions in the class; under-recruited and lower-impact guys like Kaleb Ringer, Sione Houma, and Drake Johnson fill in the lower-ranked spots.

However, there are some guys bout whom we can't help but be unconditionally excited, AND other guys who many are high on, yet we find ourselves skeptical.


-Ben Braden, (Consensus 3-star, 6'7" 320 lbs.): Ben Braden is large. Let me reiterate: Benjamin (Middle Name (Maybe it's another B-word like Bernard or Bluto or shut up get back to the post)) Braden is a very very large mass of human being. For being as massive as he is, and based on what we've seen of his film, he blocks his man and does not stop. The motor on this kid is worth getting excited about, as he mops up, does not get complacent, and immediately looks to the second level to contribute even further to the play. He's a consensus three-star but we expect him to outplay his ranking, step in early, and make a splash in the two-deep as early as this fall.

-Devin Funchess, (low four-star, 6'5" 225 lbs.): FerGodSakes has already made its opinions fairly clear on the incoming TE/WR hybrid

-Dennis Norfleet (again, four-star, 5'7" 170 lbs.): Look, at this point, if you're still concerned with this kid's measurables then I'm not sure what to tell you. We've already delved into his electrifying electric electrocution on the field. He's gonna make you be all "OOOHHHH AHHH AOAHSOAHOHAOSDIJFAOWEIFK." Fact.


-Matt Godin (6'6" 280 lbs.): losing Ryan Van Bergen, or RVB to you nickname-savvy kids, hurts. We're not saying this young fella's gonna step in and take over the role off the bat, but he's got the same sort of build/game and he's a hard worker. A redshirt- is entirely possible for Godin, but we wouldn't be surprised to see him: a) surpass his ranking, and b) step up early in his career and move all over the line. 5-tech, 3-tech, even WDE, the kid can play. We've been hard-pressed to find a player who has worked as hard as Matt has at getting bigger, stronger, and better from his senior year in high school to his freshman year at U of M.

I must break you.
-Willie Henry (6'2" 270 lbs.): Plain and simple, Willie looks like a faster Jibreel Black. That might not be giving Jibreel his due, and he may well surprise many as Michigan's breakout D-lineman, but our point for this post's sake is that Willie is the perfect complement to a guy like Ondre Pipkins. He lines up anywhere from nose tackle to defensive end, and never looks out of place. He can shoot the gap as well as he can take up double teams. He's aggressive (can't coach that) and rarely - if ever - looks out of place. In short, a redshirt is quite likely but a year to learn is exactly what a young man like Henry needs, both to gain strength and wherewithal. In the same breath, don't be surprised if Willie starts making a push for some playing time early this fall.


-Terry Richardson (5'9" 169 lbs.): It's tough to figure out just exactly how much one should put into a recruit's measurables, but Terry's smaller than your average broski in the English 125 class from freshman year because you have to get through those f*$#@ng LSA requirements. Moreover, we're just concerned that he doesn't display the top-end speed and aggression needed to really make his consensus 4-star ranking viable. FerGodSakes saw his performance at the Cass Tech-Harrison game last fall, and truthfully were underwhelmed. If we're being honest - IF WE'RE BEING TOTALLY HONEST, we thought Jourdan Lewis was Terry for a good portion of the game. As such, Lewis was ultimately more impressive. Here's hoping Mr. Richardson proves us wrong.
Royce Jenkins-Stone: The guy so nice, we had to name him thrice.

-Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2" 215 lbs.): Look, we don't want to seem discriminatory towards the Cass Tech contingency. Despite BWC's underperformance thus far (breakout this year plz?), we have high hopes for the 2013-2014 Cass classes. As far as Royce is concerned, it seems his high rankings precluded an anticipation of his growth throughout his junior and senior seasons (which ultimately never came). It really feels like he's been 6'2" 215 for two years now, and honestly we don't see the same sort of instinct and football IQ that we see in guys like James Ross or Joe Bolden. At one point, RJS was one of our highest ranked dudes for this class, but after seeing him in person we couldn't help but lower his ranking. Once more, we hope we're wrong on this one, but it's tough not to be skeptical.

-Amara Darboh (6'2" 190 lbs.): First and foremost, this is in no way a knock on Amara's potential; we just don't see enough thus far to warrant the hype normally reserved for a 4-star wideout. At this point, Darboh might have the higher ceiling, but 3-star Jehu Chesson seems more refined in route-running so far. Darboh could be a future number-1, but hold your breath for the time being, at least until he gets on campus.

Truly we do NOT hate anyone in this class. After the 2008-2011 classes (Richardo! (¬_¬)), this one gets us a little bit tickled. Yes, tickled. I'm not afraid to say it. Have fun feeling uncomfortable saying 'tickled.' Maybe we're just OK with it alright? Stop being weird about things and just calm down. Naturally, as noted, we sincerely hope our predictions for guys like RJS and Terry do not come true. It just feels like a necessary component of any balanced analysis that some skepticism be included with the usual OMG GO BLUE HYPE!!!!

On the off chance that this made you mad, here's a fun thing! words...just emotions...

2013 recruiting explanation coming soon. Latress on the menjay.


  1. This is a horrendous blog.

  2. no actually I love this blog, i don't know what anonymous is smoking, but don't take his opinion at all...big fan guys

  3. Don't knock kids....they read this stuff. You will piss off recruits. What exactly is your expertise anyway? Where do you coach and what college program did you play for?

  4. Good lord, you just committed negligent manslaughter of the English language.

  5. I'm the head coach for the Remember the Titans school and I played running back/left tackle at SMU in 1987.

  6. Please think twice before posting something of this quality

  7. Maybe you should have paid more attention in English 125 instead of just hating on it.

  8. Well... Hey... Like he said... We watched a bunch of their film, took the other services' analysis into account, and these are the players we think will over or under perform their rankIngs... J

  9. I took English 124. I learned many englishes for my smart. If there's one thing that's my fantastic, it's talk!

  10. Love the analysis guys. I love that you aren't just throwing out rankings, but are giving us examples of what led you to those rankings. Keep up the good work