Recruit Tracker: Benjamin St-Juste

Posts under: Blog

27Aug 2015
Blog, homepage 5 comments

2015 Season Countdown: #5 Jourdan Lewis

Jourdan Lewis

Jourdan Lewis
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 176 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Position: Cornerback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #26
Last year: I ranked Lewis #26 and said he would be a backup cornerback with 20 tackles and 1 interception. He started seven games, making 39 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 6 pass breakups.

Going into last season, Michigan had two established starters at cornerback (Blake Countess, Raymon Taylor). Countess had been all-conference in 2013, and Taylor had played well, so I assumed Lewis was going to have to ride the bench for a while. That turned out not to be the case, as Countess struggled and Taylor did not make forward strides, either. In stepped Lewis, who was Michigan’s feistiest, most skilled, and most consistent corner. Aside from leading the team in interceptions, his most impressive feat was tracking down a Utah running back on a screen pass from the backside corner position (you can see the play HERE). It was a play that showed off his speed and determination.

One year later, I expect Lewis to be an anchor of the defense. I’m not quite sure why Countess (who is now at Auburn) and Taylor (graduated) stagnated, but both are gone and it’s clear that Lewis is the best true corner on the team. Jabrill Peppers has played a little bit of both corner and safety, but he is expected to play safety and in the slot. The Wolverines improved at pressuring the quarterback from 2013 to 2014, and another incremental step forward should help out the defensive backs. The hope is that new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin can dream up some blitz packages and get some higher level performances out of Taco Charlton, Willie Henry, and Chris Wormley, among others. If things fall just right, then the speedy and clingy – clingy in more ways than one – Lewis could find himself in the discussion for All-Big Ten honors.

Prediction: Starting cornerback; 50 tackles, 3 interceptions, 8 pass breakups

27Aug 2015
Blog, homepage 17 comments

2015 Season Countdown: #6 Amara Darboh

Amara Darboh

Amara Darboh
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 216 lbs.
High school: West Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #82
Last year: I ranked Darboh #20 and said he would be a starting wide receiver with 30 catches for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns. He made 36 catches for 473 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Last year Michigan’s clear #1 target – both literally and metaphorically – was Devin Funchess. Unfortunately, Funchess looked reluctant to carry that mantle, and the steadier target turned out to be Darboh. In a pretty weak passing game, he found himself open fairly regularly and almost never dropped the ball. Funchess made some spectacular plays, but Darboh was the possession guy. His best career game came against Indiana (whose doesn’t come against Indiana?) when he caught 9 passes for 107 yards and 1 touchdown.

This year Darboh is still a #2 guy in a lot of ways. He might be the best wide receiver on the team, but he’s not a guy who scares a defense or can take over a game. Furthermore, Michigan’s most talented catcher of passes is probably tight end Jake Butt, who will be deployed in a tight end-friendly offense. Because of his sure hands and solid frame, Darboh should be targeted often for a team that will probably need to dink and dunk its way down the field. The Wolverines have a couple speedsters, like Jehu Chesson and Drake Harris, but neither player has proven to be very reliable in their five combined years on campus. I expect Darboh to lead the Wolverines in catches and yardage.

Prediction: Starting wide receiver; 50 catches, 650 yards, 4 touchdowns

26Aug 2015
Blog, homepage 4 comments

Rivals 250 for 2016 updated

Ben Bredeson

Rivals updated their top 250 players for the 2016 class today (LINK). A few changes for Michigan commits:

– Ben Bredeson dropped from #49 to #60
– Michael Onwenu jumped from #191 to #83
– Erik Swenson dropped from #103 to #115
– Ron Johnson dropped from #109 to #222
– Brad Hawkins dropped from #206 to #224
– Brandon Peters dropped from #229 to #242

Beyond the jump are all the Michigan offerees on the list:
read more