Anthony Standifer, Wolverine

Anthony Standifer, Wolverine

June 2, 2011
Anthony Standifer (#3, with ball)

Anthony Standifer, a cornerback from Crete, IL, committed to Michigan on Wednesday.  He chose the Wolverines over offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Iowa, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Toledo, and Western Michigan.

The 6’1″, 178 lb. cornerback is a somewhat under-the-radar recruit to the services, which baffles me a bit because I was smitten with Standifer when I first learned about him a couple months ago.  He’s a 3-star to both 24/7 Sports and Scout, the latter of which ranks him as the #26 cornerback in the land.  Rivals and ESPN are still waking from their long winter hibernations.

Speaking of recruiting rankings, in a rare bout of the dreaded I-agree-with-Tom-Lemmings, I have to admit that I . . . agree with Tom Lemming, who ranks Standifer as the 98th best player in the country.  The kid had 44 tackles, 9 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble as a junior.  When the ball is in the air, he goes up and gets it at its highest point.  He also has very smooth hips for a kid who’s 6’1″.  (Check out the clip at 2:05 of the highlights below, which showcases both of those skills.)  I also really like the way Standifer deals with blockers; they’re nuisances to him and he finds crafty ways to get around people who are in his way.  At 2:37 and 3:54 below, watch how he ducks inside the blocker and gives the blocker his back to hit.  In those instances, the blocker either allows him to make the tackle or the ref throws a flag for blocking in the back.  These things are done in the manner of a natural athlete, not someone who ponders what to do for a split second before making the play.  Another plus is that Standifer doesn’t suffer from Cullen Christian Paralylyzing Fear of Making a Tackle.  Standifer doesn’t really light anyone up, but he’s not afraid to stick his nose into the fray, either.

There are some concerns about Standifer.  He doesn’t have great straight-line speed, he’s a bit skinny, he doesn’t look to have much experience in press man coverage, and his backpedal needs some work.  That first drawback should be somewhat mitigated by the fact that Standifer is likely headed for the boundary (or solid) corner position, which is predicated more on physicality than pure speed.  Those last three things are correctable, and while they might be cause for concern in the short term, a couple seasons of weighlifting and solid coaching ought to fix them.

Standifer offers Michigan some versatility in that he could play some free safety, so Michigan isn’t locked into playing him at corner if his speed is too much of a concern.  When I first saw his film, though, the player that popped into my mind was Chris McAlister, of Baltimore Ravens fame.  I’m not quite sure that it’s an apt comparison, but there we are.  I also see a little bit of Donovan Warren in Standifer, and that might be more accurate.  Warren was a cornerback/safety tweener by the time he left college, but he was a solid college cornerback despite being timed somewhere between a 4.59 and a 4.68 prior to the NFL Draft.  I have doubts that Standifer can be a truly elite corner because of his lack of high-end speed, but I think he has sufficient speed to be an impact corner in the Big Ten.

Standifer is the 14th commitment in Michigan’s 2012 class.  There are roughly four more spots to fill, but more slots will probably open up before February.

TTB Rating: 83 (Prospect Rating System)


  1. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 3:34 AM

    Wow really that high? I think he looks good too, but I thought you'd peg him around a 75-77 or so.

  2. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 4:11 AM

    I think Tom Lemming would give him an 83 too. :o) I find that I agree with him (but only when he agrees with me, if not then he's crap.)

  3. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    Standifer contrasts sharply with Countess, but seems to have an "it" factor of his own. I like this. Countess is "sticky" as you put it, which makes him effective, but Standifer uses his size to blanket routes, jam receivers, and high-point the ball.

    Diversifying skill sets for each position is a good idea, and it's one that's been rather scarce in defensive recruiting these past years, as it seems we pulled in loads of tweeners who were all good and bad at the same things.

  4. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    9 INT's in a season is a fantastic number regardless of competition or how "easy" the picks were and some of those picks (the one hander and the Woodson-esque dive in front of the WR) were pretty awesome.

    I also want to express my appreciation for the addition of a former UM player as an example in your prospect ranking system post. That was very helpful. I had no idea who the bottom two guys were…which is sort of the point I guess.

  5. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    @ Anonymous 11:34 p.m.

    Well, I think he's a lot like Donovan Warren, but Donovan Warren was a freshman in 2007 and then had crappy coaching for 2 years. So if, as I expect, Standifer gets solid coaching during his time at Michigan, I think he has a fairly high ceiling as a college player.

  6. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    @ David 1:12 a.m.

    Yeah, I'm glad to have a decent sized corner in the mix. There's something to be said for good cover guys, but there's also a plus to having a 6'1" kid who can play at 190 lbs. or so, match up with bigger receivers, and come up to tackle.

  7. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    @ Anonymous 9:43 a.m.

    I can see why Brandon Logan might be forgettable, but Darnell Hood was a beast of a special teamer. If there was a punt, he was the first guy down there every time.

  8. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Are you planning to compile a page that comprises the list of the players that you have rated so far? This would be a useful tool.

  9. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    @ bada bing 10:33 a.m.

    The ratings will be on the 2012 Offer Board shortly (as well as the 2011 Offer Board for the kids who signed in February). That way people can access them whenever they want.

  10. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Warren was a 5 star recruit and rated right beside Eric Berry in the top 5 national CBs. Standifer is… not. What do you think separates these two in the eyes of recruiting analysts? Did they just miss the boat on Warren's lack of speed? Have they not seen much of Standifer? Both?

  11. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    @ Lankownia 10:56 a.m.

    Well, I'm not sure that Warren's rating really stands up now that we're looking back at his 2007 class. So I'm not really too concerned that he was a 5-star cornerback, because he obviously didn't pan out the way the recruiting services expected.

    Warren is from California, and I think that probably bumped his recruiting profile a little bit. He also played for a good program in CA. Standifer, on the other hand, plays in a small community in the middle of Illinois, a state that isn't exactly a recruiting hotbed. Standifer's offer list has been expanding recently, so it seems like he was under the radar for whatever reason (whether it's location, school, he didn't go to camps, whatever).

    I do think Warren was probably a shade faster than Standifer, but if you drop Warren down into the mid-range 4-star category and put Standifer at a low 4-star or high 3-star, then I think the comparison makes a little more sense.

  12. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Interesting – you'd think that his ideal height would give him an edge. Plus, while Crete may be pretty rural it's within the Chicago metro area and less than an hour from downtown. You probably have a point re: Warren being from Long Beach Poly/CA though. I don't think Warren's speed was really questioned at the time.

    Regardless of rankings, he seems like a good prospect. I'd guess he ends up at Safety, but like Woolfolk that may depend more on how other recruits work out than his own abilities.

  13. Comments: 21384
    Jun 02, 2011 at 6:31 PM


    I know exactly what you mean…isn't Champ Bailey like 6' and around 205? I realize he's a freak of nature, but still.

  14. Comments: 21384
    Painter Smurf
    Jun 03, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    Looks like a good pick-up. I read somewhere that his stock is rising due to some off season camp or workout. Anyway, if he does not pan out at boundary corner, he may make a decent FS. As you mention, he has some tackling ability. Good to bring in guys who have potential at more than one position.

  15. Comments: 21384
    Jun 03, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Sounds like a legitimate sleeper/under the radar prospect. Maybe he'll end up as a 4* guy.

  16. Comments: 21384
    Jun 03, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    I'm hoping that Standifer can grow into a Tramon Williams-type corner. If you don't know who Tramon Williams is, don't feel so bad because he's one of the most underrated defensive players in the NFL.

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