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Stadium and Main: 2007 Recruiting Off to a Good Start

Friday, May 12, 2006

2007 Recruiting Off to a Good Start

Michigan has picked up 6 commitments early on in the recruiting process this year, many of whom are potential impact players. This is more "early commits" than usual, but Michigan has a few more scholarships to hand out this year than in most years. Here's a quick look at the first 6 commits, in order, followed by some comments on remaining needs for this class:

Michigan's 2007 Commits

Artis Chambers - Safety - Fort Wayne, IN - Michigan's first commitment for the 2007 class was a bit of a surprise. Many fans had not heard of him, and even some "insiders" didn't know that Michigan had been in touch with him very much. However, he has good stats and a better-than-expected highlight reel. 68 tackles and 8 or 9 INTs (depending on the source) as a Sophomore; 50 tackles and 4 INTs as a Junior; a sub-4.5 second 40-yard dash. Could be another "diamond in the rough" type (I hope).

Vince Helmuth - Fullback - Saline, MI - A real physical Fullback. Was recently named Bigger Stronger Faster Athlete of the Year, and has extensive, impressive highlight reels ($) on FYI - his brother is former Michigan State and current New York Jets Tight End Chris Baker. Vince might grow out of the Fullback position, which would be a shame because he seems to have a low center of gravity and is hard to tackle.

Ryan VanBergen - Defensive End - Whitehall, MI - Seems to have a quick burst off of the line, but this is against somewhat weaker High School talent in West Michigan. Friends with all-world Muskegon CB Ronald Johnson, which *should* help with his recruitment. Comes from a military family, and is originally from Vegas, baby! Might end up on the Offensive Line, and will definitely Redshirt. Worst case scenario: never sees the field. Best case scenario: Glen Steele clone.

Ryan Mallett - Quarterback - Texarkana, TX - A huge pickup for Michigan. Arguably the best QB in the 2007 class. First QB selected ($ link) for the prestigious Elite 11 QB camp. At 6-7, 235, the word "Navarre" is being bandied about. But Mallett will be much better - or else!

Martell Webb - TE/WR - Pontiac, MI - More likely a TE at Michigan, in the mold of Michigan Redshirt Freshman TE Carson Butler - good basketball player, faster than usual for a TE. In a talent-rich year in the state of Michigan, it is a good sign that recruiting guru/weasel Tom Lemming said that Webb might be the best prospect in the state (sorry, can't find a link here, but I'm sure I read/heard this - just gonna have to trust me!).

Jerimy Finch - Safety - Indianapolis, IN - Our most recent commitment. Probably the consensus #1 player in Indiana, although his ranking might be hurt by his early commitment (recruiting services are dumb like that). Already listed as a 4-star recruit by Scout, and could/should be a Top-100 guy according to many. Here is some decent free video (thanks to mgoblog for the find). Might play at Weak-side Linebacker eventually, especially if he gains weight and/or loses speed (which I expect he will).

A Good Start - But What Else Does Michigan Need?

-Cornerbacks: Priority #1 is Muskegon CB Ronald Johnson, as mentioned above. He is a 5-star prospect, and likely a National Top-10 recruit. CB Dionte Allen from Orchard Lake St. Mary's is allegedly a Michigan "lean," but probably won't announce until he takes his Official Visits this Fall.

-Offensive Tackles: Missing out on OTs Sam Young (Notre Dame), Daron Rose (Florida State), and Josh Oglesby (Wisconsin) over the past 2 recruiting seasons has made OT a priority.

-Wide Receivers: Really looking for a game-breaker or 3 here. Toney Clemons from PA, Junior Hemmingway from SC, and Taurian Washington (another Orchard Lake guy) seem to be the most likely options, and all 3 are very good (in my opinion).

Don't Expect To See:

-Any more "good" QB recruits. Ryan Mallett is the man there. I doubt that Lloyd gave him "the Drew Henson promise" to not recruit other QBs in 2007 or 2008. But most high quality QBs will not be looking at Michigan now due to Mallett's commitment. We might get a "project" type of QB, or a walk-on at the end of the recruiting season, but probably not a future star.

-A Punter or Kicker getting a scholarship. Shocking! After handing out 'ships to Punter Zoltan Mesko and Kicker Bryan Wright the past two years, there is no need here. Quality MI Kicker Rockne Belmonte wants to play at Michigan - I'm just not sure if they will have room for him.


Blogger matt said...

fyi - i've seen vanbergen play a couple times, and he's definitely got some potential as a glen steele type. you're correct in pointing out that he doesn't face the greatest competition, but he could be a productive guy...

2:07 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Where is this week's off-topic Tuesday??

12:30 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Off-Topic Tuesday had to go on hiatus for a week - it will be back with a vengeance this week.

10:11 AM  

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