Michigan Football Recruiting: Preliminary look at 2014 Class — Part I
The fireworks show meant to be National Signing Day was a mere puff of smoke for Michigan. In this case that is probably more good than bad. The commit total was small. There are some real reaches. As such, there could be some real rewards. I do like the idea of locking up a class far in advance and moving on to the next year or two. No real final assessment can come forth for a class until three years down the road: who stays, who leaves, who surprises, who bombs, etc.
This is done independent of the other mods, so their visions will likely be added.
The overall rating for this class is a B. The class is small and has only a number of potential impact players. There are plenty of system type kids, there are plenty of very bright students, there are plenty of kids who really are Michigan types that seem to self- select to Michigan.
The leading question is about Peppers. Is he really that good? My answer is yes, he is and with the correct development could be a true monster impact player, something UM has not had since Martin was a senior. The staff needs to have a very open mind with Peppers. He can play many positions. A freshman cannot be overwhelmed, but it is easy to run a few routes out of the slot, run back kicks, and play the nickel. That is not really overwhelming. He is meant to be a cornerback, but at a reported 210 pounds, this could change. Boy, I hope not. Peppers has the it factor and a bonus becomes he has the potential to also be a impact human as well as athlete. All the pro guys watching Peppers unanimously proclaimed him the best athlete of the mix. Michigan better use him to advantage.
Mone shows nice potential: quick and big. At 6′ 4″ he is not the short guy that UM hopes becomes a star. Right now he is big enough and there is no indicator that he is not tough. It will come down to coaching with Mone, he must come through as Michigan continues to strike out with the impact guys in the middle for several years. Pee Wee is a still to be determined job. Coach can comment on how he will be used in the 4-3 under (assuming it survives).
Chase Winovich is an interesting read. The view here is Michigan made a really good move going full bore for Chase after striking out with the linebackers that eventually went to OSU. OSU may have the best group of linebacker signees over the last two years in the nation. Winovich is not the athlete that the Ohio recruits are, but he is a sideline to sideline player, who has very good speed and instinct. His problem in the rankings was size. He clearly has the frame to gain 20-30 pounds. His football background is excellent. Chase made a good choice, he is a Michigan type of kid, but maybe a little more intense in his preparation and execution than some in the current crop.
Freddy Canteen has the ability to be a real pain in the side to opponents at the slot. Yes, indeed, he may play outside, and he may do both, like Roundtree. My view is Canteen has the ability to be better than Roundtree. He is quick off of cuts and seems to have good hands. Good hands to me remains as important, or more so, than burner speed. Make a cut and if the ball is in the outstretched hands, and the defender is at a bid disadvantage. He played against very good competition this year, and while his high school coach seems to send big smoke signals into the air, his evaluation is not all hyperbole. The belief here is UM jumped on a high reward type player.
Drake Harris is in my to be determined category. He suffered a very bad hamstring injury in the fall. That is not a good thing for sprinters. Drake is rail thin, ala Roundtree, but probably four inches taller than Roy. His potential at wide-out, considering football has not been a total focus, is outstanding. Like Canteen, it is easy to see Harris playing inside or outside and being a tough cover. His hands and catching ability are not yet confirmed with the short period of time he has had to develop as a receiver. I do not know to what extent Harris would ever be motivated to hit the basketball floor.
Michael Ferns is a recruit many do not hold in high regard. I am not among that crowd, nor is this site. In Ohio he has been stated as being not quite good enough to be a starter. His speed has been questioned. Ferns did not play the recruiting game roulette that gets prospects up the ladder in the star-gig. He is smart, and loves to play football. Unlike many past linebacker recruits, Ferns has plug and play size at 6′ 3″ and 235 pounds. Many guys currently on the roster still do possess his size. He is clearly a Michigan type of guy. Think of a combination of Gedeon and Bolden. The question is will he be an impact player and if so how long will this take? No one knows for certain, but again, he may be better than the so-called number 300 athlete in the class.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu
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