As I like to do on occasion, I took a look at the remaining tight end targets on the board for Michigan and created my pecking order. These are my opinions of which players I would rank highest for Michigan’s needs. I specifically avoid referring to recruiting rankings for guidance, although as an avid follower of recruiting, I do have a general idea of the players’ general star ratings. I posted my list for receivers on Sunday (LINK).
1. Devin Asiasi – TE – Concord (CA) De La Salle:
Asiasi, at 6’5″ and 275 lbs., looks like a slightly taller version of former Arizona and NFL tight end Brandon Manumaleuna. He fancies himself as a skill player, and it’s tough to argue. De La Salle lines him up out wide or in the slot sometimes, and they count on him to make plays in space. He shows soft hands and some delightful agility. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but he is an effective and pretty strong runner after the catch. His blocking skills are also impressive at times; he bends well and looks for contact. He could probably afford to lose some bad weight, but he can contribute early while he reshapes his body.
Hit the jump for the rest of the list.
2. Jacob Mathis – TE – Tampa (FL) Berkeley Prep:
Mathis is not the most explosive athlete, but at 6’5″, 227 lbs., he has a good combination of size and athleticism. He’s a bit of a jack-of-all-trades for his high school team, lining up out wide, in the backfield, etc. They hand the ball off to him, throw him deep routes, hit him on short stuff, catch him on crossing routes, etc. He has smooth hands and isn’t afraid to mix it up physically. He’s lacking a little bit of speed and struggles to get separation, but separation at tight end can be created by good route running, play action, etc., so that’s not the biggest concern. This is a very close race for #2 on the list, but I’ll give it to Mathis over . . .
3. Chase Allen – TE – Nixa (MO) Nixa:
The 6’7″, 224 lb. Allen is also a standout basketball player, and it shows. His biggest asset is his height, along with the basketball instincts to go up and high-point the ball. Somewhat surprising for such a tall, reedy kid is his ability to bend, keep his feet nice and wide, and be an effective blocker. He is very thin, though, and needs to add considerable weight. He probably needs a redshirt year . . . or two. Allen runs decent routes, but could use some work there, and he’s not particularly special after the catch.
4. Irvin Smith, Jr. – TE – New Orleans (LA) Brother Martin:
Smith is a 6’4″, 238-pounder. The son of former Notre Dame and NFL tight end Irv Smith, he appears to be more of an H-back prospect than an in-line tight end. He has decent speed and nice hands. He could afford to be more dedicated as a blocker, and he does not run the most precise routes. He also needs some work on the technical aspects of playing the position, as he is often lined up in a two-point stance, takes some false steps when releasing from the line of scrimmage, etc.
5. Nick Eubanks – TE – Plantation (FL) American Heritage:
Eubanks is a 6’5″, 215 lb. prospect who spends a lot of time split out wide for his high school team. He has pretty good straight-line speed and fair athleticism, but I do not see a great deal of positives. He gets mixed up in a lot of extracurricular activities, and he does not finish plays as a blocker. While he is listed at 6’6″, 230 lbs. in some places, I do not believe he is that tall or heavy unless he hit a major growth spurt after his senior season. He also catches the ball with his body and does not run crisp routes.
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