2016 Recruiting Awards

2016 Recruiting Awards

February 5, 2016
David Long 607x

David Long, Jr. is perhaps Michigan’s fastest 2016 recruit

Every year I post my recruiting awards to look back on in future years. You can look back on past years here (LINK) to find the hits and misses.

Best Overall Recruit: DT Rashan Gary
There’s no real suspense this year. Gary is the consensus #1 player in the country, and I gave him a TTB Rating of 100. He is awesome at the football.

Best Offensive Recruit: TE Devin Asiasi
I think the combination of Asiasi’s athleticism and Jim Harbaugh’s propensity for developing tight ends will do great things for Asiasi’s profile.

Best Defensive Recruit: DT Rashan Gary
See above.

Hit the jump for the rest of the awards.

Recruiting Most Likely to Make an Early Impact: DT Rashan Gary
This is starting to sound like a broken record, but Gary is probably the most likely individual recruit to start next year, since Willie Henry departed early for the NFL. Even if he doesn’t start, he’s guaranteed to play a ton.

Fastest Recruit: CB David Long, Jr.
Michigan has a handful of recruits who are speedy, including CB Lavert Hill (reported 4.39 forty), Long (4.4), Nate Johnson (4.47), and Eddie McDoom (4.48). It’s tough to pick between those four, because reported forty times are notoriously inconsistent. I’ll go with Long, though, who I think has a bit more giddyup than the others.

Strongest Recruit: DT Rashan Gary
I think Gary is probably the obvious choice here, because he generates so much power with his quickness off the ball. He’s not going to get overpowered very often, and when he does, it will be because he stands up too high and not because he just lacks the appropriate strength. But I’ll give an honorable mention to 367 lb. offensive guard Michael Onwenu. He was stoning defensive tackles at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and he has a very powerful lower body. At only about 6’2″ or 6’3″, it’s very difficult for opponents to get underneath him, which is one reason why I think he might be a better nose tackle than offensive guard.

Best Under-the-Radar Recruit: DE/OLB Joshua Uche
I require this category to be a 3-star (or lower) recruit. Unfortunately for the category – but fortunately for Michigan – even the under-the-radar recruits were pretty highly touted. Uche is the 247 Composite #705 player in the country, despite having offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Miami, among others. Whether plays a weakside end position or becomes a rush linebacker, I just think he has the quickness and speed to be a terror off the edge. He might be a bit undersized at 6’2″, 212 lbs., but I like the way he bends coming off the corner, and he could turn into a Robert Mathis-like player.

Most Overrated Recruit: WR Brad Hawkins, Jr.
This player has to be a 4- or 5-star kid, and my choice is going to be Hawkins. I don’t have any huge problems with his game, but I think we’re going to find that Hawkins is a little slow-footed in college. He looks like a possession receiver to me, and there have been some people saying he could play safety, too. As a 4-star and the #290 player in the country, I would like to see some more big-play ability. To put it in different terms, I don’t think many people would strongly disagree or be too upset if he were, say, a 3-star and the #400 player in the country.

Recruit Most Likely to Redshirt: DT Michael Dwumfour
The 6’2″, 286 lb. Dwumfour joins a defensive line that is pretty well stocked and loses just two players from last year’s interior rotation (Willie Henry and Tom Strobel); meanwhile, Bryan Mone should return from a season-long injury, and Ryan Glasgow should come back from a torn pectoral muscle he suffered halfway through the year. Toss in the fact that Rashan Gary is a shoo-in to see the field, and I think Dwumfour can take at least a year to develop his upper body.

Personal Favorite Recruit: DT Rashan Gary
If I have to pick a lone favorite, it has to be Gary. The thing that makes the difference with him is his attitude and hardworking nature; combine that with his pure talent, and he’s going to be very fun to watch. But he’s not the only one. I also have a fondness for WR Eddie McDoom (a potential big-play wideout), DE Joshua Uche (speedy edge rusher), and safety Khaleke Hudson (hard-hitting hybrid space player or pinball running back). This recruiting class has a wide array of talented athletes.


  1. Comments: 79
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    Feb 05, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    I think Onwenu is going to be one of the more fascinating players to watch in this class. Rarely would you ever think a high school kid weighing 360 is carrying that well and yet he seems to deliver on the field and in drills. I hear what you’re saying about being a dominant NT and that’s intriguing, but I also like the idea of Harbaugh having a planetoid sized guard to work with and neutralize huge NTs or A-gap blitzing LBs.

    I will ask you this though – please reassure us that Onwenu isn’t the second coming of Will Campbell.

    • Comments: 2231
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 05, 2016 at 8:02 PM

      Onwenu isn’t tall enough to have the same issues with leverage. Campbell was 6’5″, whereas Onwenu is about 6’2″. So I don’t think we’ll have the exact same issues. However, I do think Onwenu needs to lose weight (like Campbell did) to be effective. He’s going to get gassed, and he does need to move a little better than he can right now.

  2. DonAZ
    Comments: 338
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Feb 05, 2016 at 8:20 AM

    For “Most Valuable Under the Radar” I’ll go with Ben Bredeson … from what I can gather, he has all the markings of being one of those OL guys who’s not flashy … just very effective.

    For “Most Curious to see How Soon He Plays” I’ll go with Stephen Spanellis … he is a legit OL or was he a minor panic selection?

    For “Can’t Wait to see How the RBs Shake Out” I’ll go with Kareen Walker … I’m picking up a buzz about him from comments from Harbaugh and Drevno, and I’m wondering if he is (finally!) our threat-on-the-edges RB.

  3. Comments: 79
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    Feb 05, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Looking at your database of all-time recruit rankings I was also struck by how high Peters is. Compare his hype to that of Gardner or Morris. We signed a highly ranked and well regarded QB who gets two years to learn under Harbaugh before he has to take the field. This isn’t throwing Tate and Denard out early, jerking Gardner around for his whole career, playing Bellamy, putting Morris out to make the AD happy, playing RS-Fr John Navarre or Fr Ryan Mallet.

    Bredeson better be Mason Cole 2.0 as predicted and not Kyle Kalis 2.0 because we’re going to need him to start soon at a critical position and not take 3 years to ease into the job.

  4. Comments: 16
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Feb 05, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    I see Onwenu at NT, too.

  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Feb 06, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    So Gary over Eubanks eh?

    In all seriousness – how’s Eubanks not win the most overrated award after the ranking you dropped on him. KInd of agree on Hawkins though.

    I don’t really get the idea that slow WRs will move to safety. Especially these days, I think you can make an argument that your fastest players (e.g., Peppers, Cole, Thomas, Clark) belong at safety (or corner) and if they’re too slow for that maybe they can play some WR or LB.

    I have my doubts about Uche. Those type of system-hybrid specialists seem to flame out more often than not.

    • Comments: 2231
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 06, 2016 at 12:45 PM

      Eubanks wasn’t a 4-star, so I didn’t even put him in the running.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Feb 06, 2016 at 7:54 PM

        Wasn’t he a 4-star to 3 of the 4 services? Scout was the only one to rank him a 3-star, at least according to Mgoblog.

        • Comments: 2231
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Feb 06, 2016 at 7:57 PM

          He’s a 247 Composite 3-star. #364 player overall, if I remember correctly.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Feb 08, 2016 at 3:25 PM

            This was a case of one low ranking (Scout) bumping his composite down, but he’s a 4-star to most.

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