|Offensive guard Chris Bryant|
Best overall recruit: OG Chris Bryant
Bryant has the size, strength, footwork, and athleticism to be a great offensive lineman at Michigan. As long as he can get rid of some of his bad weight and stay well conditioned throughout his career, I think he’ll be an All-Big Ten player by the end of his career.
Best offensive recruit: Bryant
Best defensive recruit: CB Blake Countess
Countess isn’t the biggest or fastest kid out there, but he’s got a good quality for a cornerback – sticky. Receivers just don’t seem to get away from him. He probably needs to bulk up before playing (we all saw what happened to Courtney Avery and Terrence Talbott last year), but he could be a slot corner early in his career before taking over on the outside after a year or two.
Recruit most likely to make an early impact: K Matt Wile
If former walk-on Seth Broekhuizen or redshirt sophomore Brendan Gibbons steps up his game, then Wile might not be needed as a freshman. But those first two combined for 4-for-14 on field goals last season. It’s also entirely possible that Wile will redshirt as a freshman, but Michigan returns the vast majority of its two-deep from last season, so a lot of these 2011 recruits will probably be redshirted. Wile seems like the best candidate.
Fastest recruit: CB/S Raymon Taylor
Taylor reminds me of departing cornerback James Rogers in many ways. While Taylor is probably more physical, he has good straight-line speed and a smooth stride.
Strongest recruit: Bryant
Bryant reports a bench press of 395 pounds and a squat of 420. Even if he couldn’t bench press Charlie Weis, all Bryant had to do with most high schoolers was get a hand on them and they fell to the ground, begging for mercy.
Best under-the-radar recruit: LB Desmond Morgan
Michigan has a good history with linebackers from western Michigan, and I like the fact that Morgan was a bulldozing quarterback in high school. Quarterbacks just seem to understand the game better. I think there will be a good battle for the middle linebacker job between Morgan and classmate Kellen Jones once redshirt junior Kenny Demens graduates.
Most overrated recruit: LB Frank Clark
The problem with this “award” is that nobody’s rated very highly. And while my choice if Rich Rodriguez were here would be Justice Hayes, I actually think Hayes will fit better in Hoke’s system than that of Rodriguez. I don’t think Hayes is a threat to start anytime soon, but he could be a very good change-of-pace back. So I’m going to go with Clark, who is only a 3-star. But I haven’t seen anything from Clark that shows me he’s going to be a successful college football player, especially as a linebacker. If he were rated as a 2-star recruit, I probably wouldn’t bat an eyelash. He has some potential with his size and speed, but he needs a lot of coaching.
Personal favorite recruit: LB Antonio Poole
This kid looks like the future at weakside linebacker. He can run, he can hit, and best of all, he plays downhill. He might have to bide his time for a couple years, but he might be the second coming of Larry Foote.