Sammy Faustin, Wolverine

Sammy Faustin, Wolverine


August 6, 2017

Naples (FL) Naples defensive back Sammy Faustin (image via Naples Daily News)

Naples (FL) Naples safety Sammy Faustin committed to Michigan last Wednesday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Arizona, Kentucky, Maryland, UCF, and USF, among others.

Faustin is 6’2″, 190 lbs. He claims a 4.63 forty, a 305 lb. bench, and a 385 lb. squat.

RATINGS
ESPN: N/A
Rivals: 3-star CB
Scout: 3-star, #78 CB, #913 overall
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #74 CB, #734 overall

Hit the jump for more on Faustin’s commitment.

Faustin was offered by Michigan this spring, and it was a bit of a surprise offer – something Jim Harbaugh has become known for in Michigan recruiting circles – because no other big programs were going after him. Defensive coordinator Don Brown liked him, and the Wolverines jumped out to the forefront of his recruitment. It was unclear if Michigan would keep pushing for Faustin or let him commit, but when he was invited to the BBQ at the Big House, that seemed to indicate he was a take. Shortly after the BBQ, he made his commitment public.

Faustin is a solidly built safety prospect. He’s listed anywhere from 177 to 190 lbs., but he shouldn’t have a ton of weight to add when he hits campus. He’s fluid flipping his hips out of his backpedal, and he’s willing and able to break on short throws and support the run. He’s a solid tackler and shows the ability to wrap up and drive through contact. His anticipation skills are above average, and he makes some hustle plays. His best asset is probably his physicality, whether it’s in coverage or tackling.

That 4.63 speed isn’t spectacular, and he doesn’t have great makeup speed. He doesn’t seem to be a difference-maker from an athletic perspective at the next level, and he lacks the added bonus of being able to contribute in the punt/kick return area. He could also afford to be more consistent with his tackling attempts, since there are several occasions where he’s just happy to dive at receivers’ legs and try to take them out without wrapping up.

Overall, Faustin is an uninspiring but solid pickup. His playing style reminds me of Jeremy Clark, a guy who’s going to be physical and consistent as a player, but who probably won’t make many flashy plays. Michigan has had success with these types of players over the past couple years (Clark, Delano Hill, Channing Stribling), and I think Faustin could play boundary corner or either safety position. He may have a chance to redshirt in 2018 since no defensive backs are scheduled to graduate, but I think Faustin could contribute as a freshman.

Michigan now has 13 commitments in the 2018 class, including four total defensive backs: Faustin, Spider Sims, Gemon Green, and German Green. The Wolverines will continue to recruit elite defensive backs like Isaac Taylor-Stuart and Josh Jobe, but their pursuit will probably slow down with some others. The only other Michigan player from Naples High School was safety Ken Mouton in the 1980s, and defensive tackle/fullback Brady Pallante was from Naples (FL) Barron Collier.

TTB Rating: 76 (ratings explanation)

23 comments

  1. Comments: 857
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Aug 06, 2017 at 6:21 PM

    Don Brown certainly seems to like them at 6’2 175.

  2. Comments: 2772
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 06, 2017 at 7:15 PM

    Bottomline: the coaches know better than the websites. The websites are paid to entertain not be accurate. The coaches don’t care to entertain by making their preferences public, but we can put together the intel and make a decent guess at their priorities.

    The intel here tells us Faustin was probably not a Plan A in their minds. With guys like Jobe and Simon committing elsewhere, Michigan had to look down the line at the next tier of DBs. That’s the bad news – Michigan failed to close the gap with OSU/Alabama in this case. Fuastin’s commitment doesn’t mean that, the commitments of Jobe and Simon elsewhere did (or whoever else belongs in the Plan A group).

    The good news is that it’s early enough in the cycle where we can consider Faustin a legit Plan B target. This isn’t an end-of-class desperation grab like Dennis Norfleet or Karan Higdon. In these cases I think timing is more instructive than getting caught up if a guy is the #22 Safety or #75 safety.

    • Comments: 607
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Aug 06, 2017 at 9:59 PM

      What is your hard, objective evidence that “the coaches” know better than the websites? Which coaches? Exceptions notwithstanding, there is very clear evidence that star ratings of high school players correlate with college and NFL success. The higher a player is rated, the more likely (not certain) they are to be a better player than someone lower rated. Period.

      Maybe this was the best player the coaches through they could get to fill that scholarship, but if so, that doesn’t speak well for our recruiting, especially not with this long to go before signing day. Especially not when we’re already taking a flyer on so many guys in this class. Maybe he’ll be a good player for us, but that’s not the important issue. What matters is how our recruits stack up head to head against our biggest competitors. Whether our coaches like him or not, he represents a talent gap with the teams we need to beat.

      • Comments: 2772
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 06, 2017 at 11:17 PM

        There is very clear evidence that scholarship offers from powerhouse programs/conferences correlate with college and NFL success.

        In the specific instance of Michigan:

        http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/gallery/2017-nfl-draft-recap-reaction-picks-most-players-selected-college-michigan-alabama-clemson-lsu-utah-042917

        • Comments: 607
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Aug 07, 2017 at 6:35 AM

          Your article offers no evidence whatsoever that “the coaches know BETTER than the websites”, as you claimed.

          Try again.

          • Comments: 2772
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 07, 2017 at 9:44 AM

            The evidence that the recruiting rankings know better than the coaches isn’t there either.

      • Comments: 2772
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 06, 2017 at 11:23 PM

        You are dodging the question.

        If the stars are all that matter (for probability) why do the people who decide on the stars rely so heavily on coaches?

        • Comments: 87
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Aug 07, 2017 at 1:20 AM

          The reverse question could be why don’t the coaches just follow the star rankings? It’s because they don’t trust the ranking ‘experts’.

          Here is the 2nd point and a very important point. If you have a particular coach, Don Brown, would you rather have a bigger physical player or a guy who isn’t as big but can blitz? Don’t you want the coach who knows his system get a guy who plays to his system even though lower ranked? Of course.

          As said by LK, UM will need to outperform the bigger fish in the pond on the field in order to win off the field with head to head recruiting.

        • Comments: 2772
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Aug 07, 2017 at 10:01 AM

          The stars react to coaches, not vice versa.

          The coaches are the experts.

          But the coaches don’t get to pick whoever they want so sometimes they get their 28th favorite guy and that’s probably a defeat not an instance of “trust the coaches”.

      • Comments: 2772
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 06, 2017 at 11:28 PM

        “he represents a talent gap with the teams we need to beat.”

        A. You don’t know that yet. He PROBABLY represents a talent gap. It might be smaller than you think once the website star-raters find out he committed from Michigan. PROBABLY it will be the case that his ranking rises becaue “trust the coaches” is a website star-raters core belief.

        B. We knew that already. Whoever they got, once they missed on the blue-chippers, was going to be less than.

        C. We’re not going to out-recruit OSU until we beat OSU. Not the other way around.

      • Comments: 2772
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 06, 2017 at 11:32 PM

        I don’t think you should assume the elite coaching staffs (of which Michigan is one) can’t outperform the website authors. These are professional talent-evaluators vs hacks. If they weren’t hacks they’d be getting paid a lot of money in college or NFL.

        The website authors are relying very heavily on what the coaches out there decide. They are info-leeches, not scouting experts.

      • Comments: 857
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Aug 07, 2017 at 6:27 AM

        “Maybe he’ll be a good player for us, but that’s not the important issue.”

        Really? I’d have to say that’s the only thing that matters.

        • GKblue
          Comments: 164
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          GKblue
          Aug 07, 2017 at 8:25 AM

          Agree Roanman.

          WCB is better than many give him credit for, it’s when he starts riffing when he gets in trouble. “Maybe he’ll be a good player for us, but that’s not the important issue. What matters is how our recruits stack up head to head against our biggest competitors.”

          I’ll be damn if OSU,MSU or even ND have an off year, I will not throw our big fish back! LOL

          • Comments: 2772
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 07, 2017 at 9:50 AM

            It wasn’t put very well, but I think his point is legit. A “good player” is nice but we need to find some players who are better than “good” to beat Ohio State.

            I suspect the difference in opinion is that many of us think we can find enough “better than OSU” players to win without finishing ahead of OSU in the website recruiting rankings.

            • GKblue
              Comments: 164
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              GKblue
              Aug 07, 2017 at 11:01 AM

              Yes Lk his point was legit.

              I think WCB will understand I was using humor. At least I hope so. Seems like too often we are splitting hairs with a boolean war axe.

    • Comments: 87
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Aug 06, 2017 at 9:59 PM

      Yes. This was plan B and who knows how his career develops but you could take guys from #30 to #60 and I’ll bet you some years #30 would come out on top and other years #60 and in-between based on performance. You are working with essentially the same canvas so to speak.

  3. Comments: 14
    Joined: 8/31/2015
    coyote57
    Aug 07, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    Greetings

    This thread on 3 stars v. 5 stars is turning into a memo from the ‘Dept. of Redundancy Dept.’ Projecting H.S. kids’ success in college comes with a boatload of caveats, and as near as I can tell, we’re all on board on this part of the thread. ISTM, we can save a lot of time just getting to the Question of “Why this kid, at this time?”

    I’m kinda wondering why some folk aren’t doing a jig over the high stars of the 2019’ers (usual caveats being recognized about projecting kids 2 yrs down the road) when they seem committed to lamenting the commits of lower star value.

    • Comments: 404
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Aug 07, 2017 at 9:10 AM

      “Why this kid, at this time?”

      That’s my only question, for this guy & the TE (already forgot his name). Certainly they’d be available to later; are both better fits at their position than what was left on the board?

      At TE, we have at least two higher prospects still uncommitted, so I don’t think the answer is YES. IMO, at least that commitment could have been held off

      • Comments: 2772
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 07, 2017 at 9:59 AM

        Bird in hand tho right? Michigan can’t just wait till december.

        They’ll keep talking to better players that they’re in touch with but they probably aren’t going to invest as many resources in watching HS film as they could during the summer. The focus will move to the season, keeping the guys they have, and trying to close ones they’ve targeted so far.

        • Comments: 404
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Aug 07, 2017 at 10:40 AM

          Perhaps. But also considering this small class, and it’s probably safe to wait a bit longer on Mustapha and/or the Illinois TE first. That kid we got would likely commit later on

          • Comments: 2772
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 07, 2017 at 12:06 PM

            They’re still going to take Mustapha if he wants, according to the insiders.

            The class isn’t going to be that small. There’s a lot of “competition” right now. Pretty soon there will be losers of those competitions who aren’t too happy.

    • Comments: 2772
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 07, 2017 at 9:56 AM

      FWIW I’m very happy with 2019. I don’t feel any kind of way about Faustin really. He’s about the baseline expectation for a Michigan recruit. Not a cause for worry given it’s August, but also not moving the needle towards where we might want it to be.

      More generally, DB recruiting has had too few blue-chip recruits in recent years. I’d like to see a loaded class like what we saw with DL and WR this year at some point.

  4. Comments: 2772
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 07, 2017 at 12:55 PM

    Don Brown:

    “Guys that we’re involved with in recruiting, if there’s any chink in their armor or we sense any kind of waaah, [with] that aggressiveness that we’re looking for, probably not a good place to come in honest reality because we want guys that accept the one-on-one challenge and that’s just me. That’s what we’re looking for”

    I think that gives you some idea why Michigan might choose a 3-star kid over a 4-star kid. Some reasons why Blake Countess and Wayne Lyons were successful in other schemes but kind of fell to the side when Michigan adopted the aggressive coverage they’ve had so much success with the last 2 years. Same reasons they’re looking at 6’5 string beans at CB. etc.

    They don’t want guys who are going to just stick near you and swat a pass away – they want guys who will physically overwhelm you at the line and snatch an INT away from you if given any chance.

    The interesting question to me is how this fits with the expectation that the CBs will also be excellent tacklers in space. Not something you necessarily expect from the lanky types.

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