Michigan Football Recruiting: Wilton Speight — 2014 Time Capsule
Wilton Speight is already on campus getting ready for spring practice to start February 25th. While enrolled early not only gets him prepared for spring football, but also getting acclimated in a few classes as well and being a student-athlete at the college level eight months ahead of the normal student at the University of Michigan.
GBMWolverine Readers: Here is a overview of University of Michigan 2014 Signed Commit Wilton Speight.
Birthday: December 6, 1994
Current Position: Quarterback
Future Position: Quarterback
City/State: Richmond, Virginia
High School: The Collegiate School
Head Coach: Mark Palyo
Recruiter: Coach Jeff Hecklinski and Doug Nussmeier
Official Visit: 12/13/2013
Top Offers: Miami (FL) and N.C. State
All-Star Game: 2014 Under Armour All-American Game
Class: 2014 Michigan Wolverine Recruiting Class (Signed).
Follow Wilton: on Twitter
Coach Hoke on Speight:
“Wilton’s a big quarterback out of Richmond, the same school that produced Russell Wilson. We feel he can be a very good quarterback. He has great size and is a very good athlete for a prototype drop-back quarterback.”
Passed for 2,845 yards and 33 touchdowns and rushed for 292 yards as a senior. Threw for 3,034 yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior. Also assumed punting duties for Collegiate, averaged 42.2 yards per punt.
Starting quarterback for Team Nitro in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game. Also named team captain for Team Nitro. Named to the Richmond Times-Dispatch All-Metro Team. 2013 Prep League Offensive Player of the Year. Participated in the San Francisco Elite 11 Football Camp.
Note: Stars do matter, but are not absolute in predicting success within a football program. So, with that in mind the GBMWolverine Staff has cleverly come up with a new system of ranking. We are using footballs instead of stars, how can one argue against a system that clever? Below are the interpretations of football power predicted way too boldly long before it matters. In other words, we will give informed opinion with the crystal ball and let the players determine what will happen through years of hard work.
Criteria: Raw talent, athleticism, position of need, intangibles.
10 footballs: Instant impact player.
9 footballs: Three or four-year starter at a high level.
8 footballs: A starter with all league potential.
7 footballs: A meaningful starter at some time during a career.
6 footballs: A spot starter or special teams player.
5 footballs: Not in the two deep after a two years.
4 footballs: Never made it.
1-3 footballs: See the above.
Remember just as we did during the season with grading positions or groups we are very tough graders and expect a lot out of those positions or players so this is no different here.
His Recruiting Story:
Michigan had three quarterbacks in mind after the 2012 recruiting class was signed, Wilton was the first to get offered, and excepted almost immediately before the coaches could move on to their other two choices. This early recruiting can be a little dangerous not knowing how a recruit will do his senior year and how he will progress. Like anything time will tell and we will see how he does at Michigan.
“I didn’t think I was going to get offered until I got the phone call,” Speight said. “I am very honored they put the trust in me. I just can’t wait to get up there and lead (Michigan) to a couple national championships.”
A lot times in recruiting, coaches will come in and tell you one thing and mean another,” Speight explained. “With Michigan and the coaches I talked to, I know what they are telling me is what I am going to get. And right off the bat, I can trust any of those guys. And to be able to say right off the spot and say, ‘ I commit the next four or five years of my life you guys.’ It says a lot.”
When starting any conversation about a future Wolverine, the author prefers to start with important constructs related to football, but sometimes undervalued. Wilton attends the Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia, a private school with a long history of success. Throughout the school’s publications, and on-line sites, character and leadership are constantly and clearly communicated as points of emphasis for attendees. The end result is expected leadership, true leadership, not word-speak. Wilton, according to one source, has about a 3.0 average, a figure that must be advanced upward when comparing what a typical 3.0 student is across the nation.
So, right off the bat, Michigan has a commit that matches what the university desires in student athletes. Never discount the importance of such constructs.
Wilton throws best when he steps into the ball: better accuracy, better speed, and a common sense conclusion. He frequently throws flatfooted off his back foot, sometimes it seems to escape trouble. His motion may or may not contribute to what looks like a slightly slow arm release.
Wilton does a really superb job in the pocket. He is deft at avoiding the rush by stepping up, rolling out, or wriggling out of a defender’s grasp. While such a trait may not be instinctive, some guys have this quality and some do not. Web folks immediately compared Wilton to Big Ben Roethlisberger. The comparison about movement in the pocket is not unreasonable. Wilton hangs in the pocket until a choice must be made, and the choices on highlight film appear to be sound. Many times his pocket decisions culminated in finding scrambling receivers downfield for big plays.
Third, for a guy that is 6’ 6” Wilton is a good athlete. It is not unreasonable to think that Wilton could run the inside and outside reads a few times a game as a change-up. His listed speed is 4.7, and his cutting skill is at least average for a guy that big.
Fourth, Wilton can really put air under the ball and hit his receivers in stride. To do this a quarterback must master the old skills of nose-point and release-point, something frozen rope guys are not good at.
Tall, well built pro-style pocket passer who led his high school team to the play-offs this season. He will be a three year starter. Speight has thrown for around 5,000 yards and 54 touchdowns the last two seasons. Also ran for 6 more touchdowns as a Junior. Attends a very prestigious private school so grades should not be an issue.
Shows not only great length, but the frame to get much bigger and stronger. Moves his feet very well for a player that is 6’6 tall. Throws a very accurate deep pass. Has okay arm strength that we think is going to improve. More on that in a moment. Sees the entire field and spreads the ball around.
We were a bit leary early, and as we watched more film we noticed a flaw. Wilton throws almost completely with his arm and upper body, and still has solid arm strength. Once he learns to properly set his feet and turn them towards the receivers his arm strength will dramatically improve.
Red-shirt or play his Freshman Year?
GBMWolverine believes he will likely red-shirt his first year with having Devin Gardner, Shane Morris, and Russell Bellomy back for Michigan. No reason to play him unless major injuries occur and also will give some separation between himself and Shane Morris.
Wilton Speight reminds the GBMWolverine Staff of — Former Michigan Football Player — Elvis Grbac — who played Quarterback.
Definitely a work in progress. With a couple of adjustments he has a much higher ceiling than we first thought. Very high upside!
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff
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