SITE NEWS: I’ve been asking you to upload avatars, and many of you have. Yesterday I promised to pick a name out of first 25 users who made an avatar, and the winner was BigSouthFork. But he’s such a nice guy that he donated the $25 back to the site. That makes this a bit easier, then: When we get to 50 avatars, there will be a $50 gift card up for grabs.
Stribling attended Matthews (NC) Butler and was part of the 2013 recruiting class. I gave him a TTB Rating of 77 (LINK). Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote about him back in 2012:
Stribling is a pretty physical player, especially for playing his junior season at 160 lbs. or so. He’s a willing tackler who wants to come up and hit, but he gets overpowered a little bit at times. That should change as his body matures and he starts to add weight. Where he currently lacks the confidence to wrap up ball carriers and instead chooses to go low and dive at legs, he should eventually be a solid run supporter. Stribling has decent hips and ability to change direction, but his mental discipline helps him there. He seems to read plays well and recognize developing route combinations. When the ball is in the air, he shows an ability to go after it, timing his leaps well and using his length to disrupt receivers and bat the ball.
Despite thoughts that Stribling might redshirt, he played a fair amount as a freshman. He made 16 tackles and 1 forced fumble as a freshman, though probably the most memorable play was when Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson outjumped him for a key reception in the loss to the Nittany Lions. As a sophomore in 2014, Stribling made 7 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss in a pretty forgettable season. In 2015 he became a part-time starter (4 games) and made 17 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 3 pass breakups while splitting time with Jeremy Clark. With alternating injuries to Jourdan Lewis and then Clark, it’s not clear whether Stribling would have been a starter on the outside in 2016, but he ended up starting every game, anyway. He was named Second Team All-Big Ten for making 28 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 4 interceptions, and 13 pass breakups.
68 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 6 interceptions (91 yards), 16 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble
Second Team All-Big Ten (2016)
You can see by reading Stribling’s commitment post that I generally had a fond opinion of him from the beginning. He was a camp offer in the summer before his senior year, and people were worried that he didn’t have much of a recruiting profile, but he’s yet another example of a camp offer working out in Michigan’s favor. I was critical of Stribling early in his career, because he didn’t make some plays that he probably should have – he was an “almost” guy, as evidenced by him not making any pass breakups until his junior season. He even tweeted about me at one point during the 2015 season. Then as an upperclassman, issues with tackling became apparent. He made a particularly feeble attempt to tackle against Michigan State in 2016, and it almost seemed like he was trying to preserve himself. Overall, though, Michigan had some very good cornerback play over the past couple seasons, and the combination of Stribling, Jourdan Lewis, and Jeremy Clark was probably one of Michigan’s top few trios they’ve ever fielded at one time. Stribling graded out as the #2 coverage corner in 2016 (LINK), and he was a key component of Michigan’s win over a good Wisconsin team. This was a pretty darn good career for a scrawny, little-known kid who just happened to camp in Ann Arbor back in 2012.
I WILL REMEMBER HIM FOR . . .
. . . the play that got tattooed on Allen Robinson’s side. Not because it was a terrible play – a true freshman Stribling was bested by a talented, bigger, older player – but because it’s a really lame-ass tattoo:
Stribling had a fine college career, but where he has always been lacking – even going back to high school – is strength, athleticism, etc., the physical aspects of playing cornerback. Despite having decent height at 6’1″, he was below 180 lbs. for most of his college career, only did 5 reps on the bench press at the NFL Combine, and ran a reported 4.68. Donovan Warren put up some arguably more impressive numbers on a bum leg several years ago, and he didn’t get drafted. On the plus side for him, Stribling was coached by Jim Harbaugh, Don Brown, D.J. Durkin, and Greg Mattison, a crew that has more pull than the guys who coached Warren his final couple seasons. I think Stribling will get picked in the latter half of the draft.