Preview of 2019 In-State Recruiting: #1-5

Preview of 2019 In-State Recruiting: #1-5

March 21, 2018

Logan Brown (image via The D Zone)

I’m going to do things a little bit differently for 2019 than I have before. I started off this series several years ago just listing the big-time prospects within the state, and then I tweaked that by doing my own rankings the last couple classes. While I prefer doing my own rankings, the truth is that I just don’t have the time at this juncture to watch the film and go through the process of ranking each player. Therefore, I’m just going to run through the top players in the 247 Composite with my analysis of their abilities and recruitment. I don’t think my own personal rankings generate enough buzz or eyeballs to warrant making that extra effort

1. Devontae Dobbs – OT – Belleville (MI) Belleville
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 270 lbs.
Notable offers: Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State
Commitment: Uncommitted
247 Composite: 5-star, #1 OT, #9 overall
Analysis: Dobbs is athletic enough to play tackle at the next level, but the question with him is whether he will have the combination of length and bulk to play on the outside in college. It’s not impossible to succeed as a 6’4″ offensive tackle, but usually those guys are taller and longer. If tackle doesn’t work, he could be an excellent pulling guard because of his athleticism. But based on what I’ve seen, I think he’s ranked too highly at #9 overall.

Hit the jump for #2-5.

2. Logan Brown – OT – Kentwood (MI) East Kentwood
Height: 6’6″
Weight: 285 lbs.
Notable offers: Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State
Commitment: Wisconsin
247 Composite: 4-star, #7 OT, #44 overall
Analysis: Everything I said for Dobbs, think the opposite. Brown is large and long, and he won’t have any problem matching up with various types of defensive ends; however, he is slightly less athletic. Furthermore, he doesn’t move his feet as well and tries to overpower people with his upper body, which is usually pretty effective at his level. He will need to get more consistent, but he looks like more of a “sure thing” on the outside.

3. Julian Barnett – CB – Belleville (MI) Belleville
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 186 lbs.
Notable offers: Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State
Commitment: Michigan State
247 Composite: 4-star, #7 CB, #73 overall
Analysis: Barnett is a silky smooth athlete who could play a number of positions, including wide receiver, cornerback, or safety. I liken him to former Muskegon product Ronald Johnson, who played his college ball at USC. Barnett can run, catch, jump, and tackle. If his commitment to MSU sticks, he’s going to be a thorn in Michigan’s side for the next several years.

4. Mazi Smith – DT – Kentwood (MI) East Kentwood
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 290 lbs.
Notable offers: Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State
Commitment: Uncommitted
247 Composite: 4-star, #8 DT, #134 overall
Analysis: Smith is a very good nose tackle prospect, and a slightly less good 3-tech prospect. He can stay low, but he’s a little inconsistent in that area. He also uses his hands well, and at 6’3″, 290 lbs., he’s a handful for offensive linemen to take on. I view him as more of a guy who can handle double-teams rather than someone who will constantly live in the opposing backfield.

5. Marvin Grant, Jr. – S – Detroit (MI) King
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 200 lbs.
Notable offers: Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Notre Dame
Commitment: Uncommitted
247 Composite:  4-star, #15 S, #213 overall
Analysis: Grant is a heavy hitter who plays strong safety in high school, and that’s probably where he fits best in college. I think he still has room to fill out, and he might be a guy who ends up around 215 lbs. or so. If he were to play at Michigan, he could be a Viper prospect, too. Grant can set the edge, he can be an enforcer in the secondary, and he has some ball skills, too. He might be rated a little too high as a 247 Composite #5 in the state, but this is a strong year in the state, and he’s a good prospect either way.


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1155
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Mar 21, 2018 at 7:16 AM

    I know he’s a DE, maybe that’s where he wants to play, but Berghorst is the guy i want for my in state OT prospect. Actually, my anywhere OT prospect.

    Since I’m switching positions on guys, it would be very difficult for me not to take Devontae Dobbs over to coach Mattison and introduce him. If you think Paea is a 3 Tech or penetrating Nose Tackle, how can you think Dobbs is anything else?

    Marvin Grant Jr. shows some hands, gets there, wraps up and causes people to fall down. I don’t see him as an enforcer type, but then when I hear “enforcer” I think Jack Tatum.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 199
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:30 PM

    I don’t know what happened in Belleville but the UM staff better fix their relationship quick. Too many good players coming out of there now and in the future. They can’t miss on guys like Barnett, to MSU especially, and Dobbs. These guys are right down the road from UM. No reason you can’t have them taking unofficial visits almost every weekend. That goes for some of the other high schools producing D-I players lately. Still seems like we are slow-playing them for out of state guys with lower ceilings or guys that look raw.

    I guess that’s why this season is so important. Personally, I believe the Shea Patterson ruling will be the biggest determining factor on how competitive UM can be into the future. If he’s ruled ineligible UM may be on a steep downward slope over the next few years.

    Overall, I’d like to see “Thunder Thoughts” on some of the other guys in-state like Marcel Lewis, Lance Dixon and Ruke Ohrobhoro (something like that). How many deep will you be evaluating?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2814
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Mar 21, 2018 at 12:40 PM

      I agree. Someone from Michigan dropped the ball at Belleville. They took too long to offer someone like Julian Barnett – and I don’t think Michigan can recover in that one – and they spend too little time recruiting that school. There are some more good prospects coming after the 2019 class, so it’s not just a flash-in-the-pan type of class. Belleville has always had good athletes, and now they have a coach who I think will push them in a positive direction.

      I’ll probably do at least the top 25 within the state.

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