Monday, April 23, 2012

Reasoning the Rest Pt. 1 (Class of 2012)

Evidently, Ferdgodsakes Joe's writing style did not resonate well with many members of the Michigan Football community... In light of the MGoMob calling for his head, I've decided to take the liberty in reasoning the rest of our rankings for the 2012 class... 

We do still hold an extremely high opinion of Ben Braden, Devin Funchess, Dennis Norfleet, Matt Godin, and Willie Henry. We are not guaranteeing that these players end up as All-Americans and on the Cover of NCAA '16, but we think they will outplay their recruiting rankings from the other websites....

-Ben Braden (85) has proven that he is still capable of playing at a high level with a 'college-ready' weight. He is not faced with the task of adjusting to added weight, and will only become stronger after spending time in a college weightlifting program.
-Devin Funchess (88) has the size and athletic ability to contribute at multiple spots on the field. In our opinion, Devin can line up on the outside as a receiver, or in the slot as a TE. His jump-ball capabilities make him a match-up nightmare for CB's, and his athleticism makes him an issue for OLB's
-Dennis Norfleet (83)...For us, the conversation is over. We obviously do not think he will be limited strictly to a role on special teams. We do not care how big he is, and we do not care what anyone else has said about him. We have watched the same film as Rivals, ESPN, Scout and 24/7, and we think his athletic ability is better than anyone else in Michigan's class. To us, this is the recruit with the biggest game breaking ability since Denard.
-Matt Godin (81) is 6'6 280 pounds, and according to his twitter page has increased his close grip bench to 315...Our biggest concern with Godin, originally, was that he had inferior strength and athleticism to the other DL prospects in the class. We feel like his hard work and size make him a very valuable prospect to the near future of Michigan Football, and we expect him to find himself into the depth chart for the 5 tech spot. 
-Willie Henry (80) is extremely athletic. He already is playing at the same weight as Jibreel Black and has demonstrated outstanding versatility, athleticism, and aggression on the DL. Henry plays sideline to sideline as a defensive lineman, and we feel like he is grossly underrated on all four major recruiting websites. We expect Henry to have an impact as early as 2013.

-Terry Richardson (72) is very small. Obviously, size is not the only indicator of success in college football. Former CB prospects Tyrann Mathieu (LSU), Greg Reid (FSU), and LaMarcus Joyner (FSU) have had outstanding careers and are all on the small side for corners. However, Terry Richardson is still easily 15 pounds away from a B1G level playing weight, and we have not seen the elite athleticism that will guarantee he will be able to live up to a 4 Star ranking at a much higher playing weight. 
          -Do we want Terry to have a wonderful career, and do we think he still can? Yes.
-Royce Jenkins-Stone (75) has seemingly been the same weight since his sophomore year. We thought much of his high ranking was predicated on his ability to develop throughout high school, and we just do not see it. He does not display the killer instinct like many other 4 star LB's, and it seems like he relies on superior athletic ability against HS players that will not hold up in college.
          -Once again, Royce could very well be outstanding, and we want him too.. Just not yet...
-Amara Darboh's (80) film just does not display the refined route-running skills and sharp attention to detail that is required of game-breaking B1G WR's. We feel like Jehu Chesson is more college-ready than Darboh based on his film. We still are extremely impressed by Darboh and think he will be a Michigan starter someday, but we just wanted to temper the expectations for immediate impact.

The Rest..... Part One

-Kyle Kalis (97)...Mr. Kalis is about as college ready as any prospect in the 2012 class overall, in our opinion. Physically, he looks like an absolute mauler. From a technique standpoint, we have not seen another prospect that does a better job of getting his hands inside a blocker, with the ability to completely neutralize him. He has a fantastic drop step from the tackle position (revealing his athletic ability), and we feel like he could easily compete at any position along the OL.
-Joe Bolden (92) has revealed through his senior film, all-star game performance, and spring development that he is an extremely 'complete' LB prospect. Joe has the size, instincts, and blue-collar style of play that will earn him playing time in 2012. Joe is a tackle machine and always seems to find himself by the ball, regardless of where the play is. 
          -I would be hard pressed to find a legitimate argument that disagrees.
Hello, I am ready to go to work... THIS YEAR
-Ondre Pipkins (91) played at 360lbs during the Army All-American game, and he was still capable of decimating a QB out of bounds and chasing down Stefon Diggs... He is easily the most hyped DT prospect Michigan has seen since Will Campbell, but he has a much more stout frame and is coming in with Hoke, Mattison, and Montgomery to assure his development... instead of RR and the 'Beaver-Waver'.....Additionally, we had the opportunity to speak to Ondre for about 20 minutes the other night on the phone, and the kid has the PERFECT attitude. He has no sense of entitlement, and we feel like he will embrace hard work the second he steps on campus.
-Jarrod Wilson (88) is a lengthy, rangy safety that has the 'center-fielder' style of play that Michigan has been missing. Wilson has outstanding ball skills, and his film reveals his interception and return capability. We feel like Wilson will have to improve his tackling ability, but after the graduation of Kovacs (and maybe Marvin), he will find himself in a starting role in Mattison's D.
-James Ross (86) is not a big LB. The kid looks like he is pretty filled out at 210 pounds, without much more room to grow....We do not care. If Ross can play at 225 pounds with the same instincts that he possessed now, he will lead this team in tackles at some point in his career. He his a missile to the ball. There is no explaining the way this kid diagnoses plays and puts his hat on the ball-carrier on almost every play. We have seen Ross in person and were very impressed with his game. He will be a great fit at Will LB in our scheme.
-Mario Ojemudia (83) absolutely dominated throughout his senior season. When we went to the FHH game vs Cass Tech, Ojemudia easily had the most memorable performance. He lined up all over the DL and was able to fly past his opponents. We do not feel like he is actually a 'tweener,' and we have no problem comparing him to Frank Clark. They are a very similar size coming out of high school, and we feel like they were both underrated. Mario will add weight throughout his college career, and he will be a great edge rusher from the weak side.

Hi, I will kill your QBs.

-Chris Wormley (82) is an interesting prospect and was of much debate in our house. There is a huge rankings disparity over Wormley. If it makes any sense at all, we feel like Wormley's film is extremely underwhelming, but we think that playing against such small high school players contributes to this. His height and weight have been reported as high as 6'7" and 280lbs, and if he is anywhere near that size, it shows why his film may not reveal a Julius Peppers. It is extremely difficult to execute superior pass-rushing techniques against OL that seemingly just fold in your presence. We feel like when Wormley is able to go against college-sized OL, we will see his true ability.  Wormley possesses unlimited potential at his size, but until we see him on a college campus, we are still giving his film some credence. 
-Jehu Chesson (79) has some of the most impressive interviews out of any Michigan prospect, if that matters to you. The kid is extremely well-spoken and seems to really have his priorities in order. Some of his biggest knocks in his film analysis on the recruiting websites are his lack of elite speed. Interestingly, Chesson is an accomplished track star and may have more speed than initially believed. In addition to that, Chesson seems like a very technique conscious and polished receiver. He displays the ability to run short, intermediate, and deep routes in his film, and he also shows some jump-ball ability. I believe that Chesson could see time as early as this season.

We will continue to rank the rest of the Class of 2012 tomorrow, and if you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding our player rankings, we would love to answer....
Go Blue


  1. Excellent analysis. Your candor and perception are making this site a go-to destination for recruitniks who want a solid opinion about our guys. Obviously we all want every Michigan recruit to become an All American, and we don't want to dis any of them. But there is also room within those parameters for constructive analysis like yours.
    Keep it up.

  2. great analysis. love the blog