Final TTB Ratings for 2016

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23May 2016
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Final TTB Ratings for 2016

Rashan Gary

This post has been delayed for a bit. It probably would have been done sooner if not for the fact that Michigan got commitments from 29 players in the class of 2016, so there was a lot of film to review. Also, life got in the way a couple weekends ago when I planned to spend some time putting together this post.

Anyway, these ratings are designed to project how I see their careers developing at Michigan. For example, a running back who might get a chance to shine early at Indiana could be in a tooth-and-nail battle for playing time at Michigan. So these ratings are specific to Michigan, and do not necessarily reflect a prospect’s overall ability.

Ranked from highest final rating to lowest final rating, here are Michigan’s members of the 2016 class:

Rashan Gary: 100
He’s the consensus #1 prospect in the country, and his game translates well to a lot of places, including the NFL.

TE Devin Asiasi: 92
With his prodigious talent and Jim Harbaugh’s usage of the tight end, I see no reason why Asiasi – who is big, can block, can catch, and can run – can’t be a high draft pick in three to five years. Sometimes other things get in the way, but he’s the most well rounded TE prospect to come to Michigan in a long time.

CB David Long: 92
I still think Long is an excellent prospect who brings a good combination of physicality and athleticism, along with a good head on his shoulders.

Hit the jump for the rest of the 2016 recruiting class.

read more

22May 2016
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2016 Season Countdown: #94 Nate Johnson

Nate Johnson 936x

Jim Harbaugh and Nate Johnson hit the dab at the in-home visit

Name: Nate Johnson
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 175 lbs.
High school: Thompson’s Station (TN) Independence
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Johnson was a senior in high school (LINK). He caught 87 passes for 1,713 yards and 27 TDs.
TTB Rating:
 76

Johnson popped up on Michigan’s radar fairly late in the process. He was a Purdue commit for a while, flipped to the Wolverines, and then said he would make a final decision on National Signing Day after flirting with the prospect of going to Miami or Notre Dame. He signed with the Wolverines after a meeting with Jim Harbaugh in which he was assured that Michigan still wanted him; rumors existed that Miami and Notre Dame would no longer take him at that point. It was perhaps the strangest recruitment of any of Michigan’s signees. Anyway, Johnson was extremely productive as a high school senior, scoring 27 touchdowns and catching 87 passes. I’ve always been a part of run-oriented high school offenses, so the idea of putting up those numbers in high school boggles the mind.

Production aside, I don’t think Michigan needs to rely on Johnson this season. He’s tiny and bound for the slot receiver position, which Michigan does not utilize extremely often with all the tight ends and fullbacks and such. Grant Perry returns as Michigan’s incumbent slot, and both Kekoa Crawford and Eddie McDoom are physically more prepared for college, though neither of them enrolled early. Johnson could help down the road as a punt returner, but again, that position already has some experience. This season should see him watching and learning, but there will be more opportunities next year after Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson graduate, allowing Crawford, McDoom, and Perry more opportunities to potentially play outside.

Prediction: Redshirt

21May 2016
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2016 Season Countdown: #95 Stephen Spanellis

Stephen Spanellis 937x

Stephen Spanellis (image via MGoFish)

Name: Stephen Spanellis
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 315 lbs.
High school: Baltimore (MD) Gilman
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Spanellis was a senior in high school (LINK).
TTB Rating: 63

Spanellis was offered by Brady Hoke in Hoke’s final fall in Ann Arbor, but then communication fell off between Michigan and Spanellis after the coaching transition. In the meantime, Spanellis committed to Virginia and seemed pretty solid for a long time. But then Jim Harbaugh came calling in January, and things progressed fairly quickly. He visited and committed a couple weeks before National Signing Day.

I have Spanellis listed above as an offensive tackle because that’s the position he played in high school, but he will probably be an offensive guard in college. Either way, Michigan has a decent top three at tackle and top four at offensive guard, or at least decent enough to allow Spanellis to redshirt. Nolan Ulizio looked solid at right tackle in the spring, and Jon Runyan, Jr. held his own at guard, joining David Dawson, Ben Braden, and Kyle Kalis as viable offensive guards. Most linemen redshirt, and Spanellis probably won’t be an exception.

Prediction: Redshirt

21May 2016
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2019 Recruiting Update: May 21, 2016

James Cook 935x

Miami (FL) Central RB James Cook (image via USA Today)

ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2019
Miami (FL) Central running back James Cook was offered by Michigan. Cook is a 5’11”, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, and USC, among others. He claims a 4.5 forty, but he also claims to be the brother of Florida State running back Dalvin Cook; that’s part of the reason why James committed to FSU in March. As a freshman in 2015, he ran 99 times for 709 yards and 8 TDs.

Fairburn (GA) Langston Hughes linebacker Charles Thomas was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’0″, 213 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan, Toledo, Tulane, and West Virginia. Thomas is a solid, hard-hitting inside linebacker.

20May 2016
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2016 Season Countdown: #96 Dytarious Johnson

Dytarious Johnson 936x

Dytarious Johnson

Name: Dytarious Johnson
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Prattville (AL) Prattville
Position: Linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Johnson was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 64 tackles, 3 sacks, and 4 pass breakups.
TTB Rating: 77

Johnson was offered by Michigan during a satellite camp at Prattville High School last June, and he wasted no time in committing. A teammate of running back commit Kingston Davis, Johnson had transferred to Prattville from Selma (AL) Selma prior to his sophomore year. He was a hard-hitting outside linebacker who made some plays in the run game, but also had a titillating interception return for a touchdown on which he showed some nice speed with the ball in his hands. Largely unknown before grabbing the offer from Michigan, I gave him a TTB Rating of 77 after evaluating his film. Statistically, he regressed a bit as a senior, and film is oddly non-existent for his 2015 season.

Adding to the issues for Johnson, he did not make it through the NCAA Clearinghouse by National Signing Day or even by the April 1 deadline to sign a National Letter of Intent. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, the transfer from Selma to Prattville messed with his transcript situation, since the schools had different grading scales. Now it’s unclear whether he will be able to get through the Clearinghouse by the fall and help the team, or if he will perhaps have to go to a junior college or enroll in January. We’re in wait-and-see mode on his eligibility.

As for Johnson’s game, I still like what I saw from him on film as a junior. He’s physical, takes good angles, and is a plus athlete for an inside linebacker at the next level. I think he could fit at either inside linebacker position. My concerns are that film is readily available for most players in this day and age, but Prattville – a school with a good football program – was apparently unable to produce a highlight film for Johnson. That’s a red flag, but maybe something happened with their camera or their Hudl account. His mediocre senior statistics are a bit of a question mark. Were teams running away from him, or was he just not producing? Maybe he missed some time due to injury. Then, of course, there’s the academics issue. So there are a lot of red flags, and to be honest, this many red flags do not generally add up to success at the next level. I have Johnson at #96 because I think it’s going to be hard for him to contribute this season when he can’t start practicing until the fall, and his chances of ever contributing to the Wolverines naturally hinge on whether he can get accepted to a pretty difficult school.

Projection: Redshirt…or JUCO…or something

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