Nick Eubanks, Wolverine

Nick Eubanks, Wolverine


January 28, 2016
Nick Eubanks 594x

Nick Eubanks (image via Scout.com)

Plantation (FL) American Heritage tight end Nick Eubanks committed to Michigan on Thursday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Oregon, Texas, and USC, among others.

Eubanks is listed at 6’6″, 230 lbs. by 247 Sports. He claims a 4.69 forty, a 4.46 shuttle, and a 33″ vertical. As a senior in 2015, he caught 23 passes for 344 yards and 3 touchdowns. As a junior in 2014, he caught 26 passes for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns.

RATINGS
ESPN: 4-star, 81 grade, #2 H-back, #258 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #9 TE
Scout: 3-star, #29 TE
247 Sports: 4-star, 91 grade, #11 TE, #291 overall

Hit the jump for more on Eubanks’s commitment.

Michigan offered Eubanks in March of 2015. He was thought to be staying down south for college, so he was a little bit off of fans’ radar for a long while. Michigan’s staff rekindled the relationship in December, and though an official visit did not happen immediately, it was rescheduled for January. Florida was thought to be the front-runner, but the official visit to Michigan this week convinced him to pull the trigger. He has canceled his planned Florida visit for the final weekend, so he is expected to sign with Michigan next Wednesday.

In my “If I had my Druthers” post earlier this week (LINK), I listed Eubanks as my #5 most wanted tight end out of 5 prospects. He has an athletic frame, although he does not look close to the 6’6″, 230 lbs. at which he listed on 247 Sports. If I were guessing, I would put him at 6’4″, 215 lbs. He has pretty good straight-line speed, both on the track and on the field. He has pretty good feet and can be a slippery runner. As a blocker, he’s not afraid to lower his shoulder once in a while and lay into a defender.

The reason he was #5 on my list has to do mostly with the stuff that he can control (effort, body language, discipline, etc.), not the stuff he can’t (size, speed, etc.). Lo0king at highlights – which are supposed to show you at your best – he gets involved in extracurricular stuff during and after the play. He stands over players who end up on the ground. At one point approximately 2:50 into the video below, he gives a so-so effort at blocking, holds a little bit, and lets his man go; while the guy he’s supposed to be blocking slips off to make the tackle, Eubanks struts toward the sideline while his teammate fights for extra yardage. Eubanks is a body-catcher, so he doesn’t get his hands away from his body. When he settles down into a hitch route (apparently one of the very few routes his team knows), he drifts rather than coming back to the ball. There are at least two plays in which he blocks defenders in the back and deserves a penalty. On several plays he blocks without bending, lowering his hips, and moving his feet well. He does not appear to fight very hard for extra yardage after the catch.

On the one hand, Jim Harbaugh knows what he wants in a player and has a very good track record of developing tight ends. On the other hand, there are players like Brian Cole, Logan Tuley-Tillman, etc. who have red flags and bomb out of the program for one reason or another. I am not fond of what I see on Nick Eubanks’s film. I guess I’ll leave this part of the discussion at that.

As far as things go for Michigan’s future on the field, Eubanks looks like an H-back with his size and skill set. He is a little bit light to be a true tight end, and I don’t know that he has the frame to develop into a traditional 6’6″, 250 lb. tight end. I imagine he will assume a role like Khalid Hill, where he will go in motion, line up as a wing, bump out to the slot, etc. I am reminded a bit of former North Carolina Tarheel and current Detroit Lion tight end Eric Ebron, although I think Ebron is more athletic. Eubanks would have a chance to play early, if only because Jim Harbaugh likes to use as many tight ends as legally allowed.

Michigan is trying to make inroads at American Heritage, where they have also offered 2016 DE Brian Burns (uncommitted); 2017 RB Kyshaun Bryan, OT Kai-Leon Herbert, OT Tedarrell Slaton, and CB Marco Wilson; and 2018 S Tyson Campbell and CB Patrick Surtain, Jr. The last Michigan player to come from American Heritage was quarterback/athlete Justin Feagin in 2008.

Eubanks likely takes the spot that was looking like it would go to Nixa (MO) Nixa tight end Chase Allen. Allen announces his commitment tomorrow, and he will probably pick Iowa State. (Allen was #3 on my list.) It’s still a possibility that Michigan will add Concord (CA) De La Salle tight end Devin Asiasi (who was #1 on my preference list) next week, someone who is reportedly “a take” regardless of other developing situations. They would join Sean McKeon, a tight end who is already enrolled early for winter semester.

TTB Rating: 44 (ratings explanation)

32 comments

  1. Thunder
    Comments: 3849
    Joined: 7/13/2015
    Jan 28, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    Keep in mind that the TTB Rating takes *everything* into account. I would be happy to see Eubanks outperform this rating, and he does have the ability to do so. But I know Jim Harbaugh won’t put up with some of the effort/behavior issues, so he’ll either change or he won’t get on the field.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jan 28, 2016 at 7:57 PM

    I like him better than a 44, but I can absolutely see a personal foul in a big game down the line.

  3. Tartarsauce
    Comments: 77
    Joined: 1/22/2016
    Tartarsauce
    Jan 28, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    Eubanks has Nike sparq verified numbers of – 6’5″, 215, 4.69 40, 4.46 shuttle, 33″ vertical. Those are pretty impressive stats for a TE prospect. Read that he’s only played football for two years. Huge upside

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 28, 2016 at 9:39 PM

      As mentioned in the post, he has stats from his sophomore through senior years. So he has played at least three years of high school football.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 23
        Joined: 1/29/2016
        maizinblue88
        Jan 28, 2016 at 10:37 PM

        He only has 2014 and 2015 stats on his 247 profile page. Maybe you are getting sophomore numbers from somewhere else, but your numbers for his sophomore year in this post match the “total” column on 247, so I wonder if you misread that.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3849
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 29, 2016 at 7:06 AM

          I guess you’re right. My mistake.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1357
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Jan 29, 2016 at 7:31 AM

          247 had labeled Eubanks total stats as “2013”. The only reason I know this is that I stopped and thought about how much better his numbers were as a sophomore than as an upperclassman and went so far to see if there was a QB change or something. I gave up and moved on when I couldn’t figure it out.

          Keeping track of all this stuff has to be a borderline overwhelming proposition. 247 is making corrections by the minute, another example is that they had Uche committed to Auburn on their “Michigan Targets” page for a couple days, that got fixed last night as well.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3849
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Jan 29, 2016 at 7:37 AM

            Thanks, Roanman. I could have sworn that it said 2013 on there, too. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 26
    Joined: 10/14/2015
    Tanisr4
    Jan 28, 2016 at 9:29 PM

    44? This is a kid who’s a 4 star in 3 of the 4 services and you mention most of his weakness is stuff he can control so why the score so low…and knowing you like allen more which one do the 2 you think have an higher upside

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 28, 2016 at 9:38 PM

      He can control them, but he chooses not to. That’s the concern. I think Allen has the higher upside, not only for his attitude but for his size/athleticism combination.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 71
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      umfarnn
      Jan 28, 2016 at 9:40 PM

      I would guess this score is pushed low partly because it comes right after Cole was dismissed from the team. After not weighing those issues enough in rating Cole, he’s extra sensitive to off the field issues. Would be interesting to know what the score would be if he didn’t have those red flags and based just on ability.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 295
      Joined: 12/19/2015
      Extrajuice
      Jan 28, 2016 at 10:28 PM

      Wow. 44. I knew he’d be low but that’s a record right? I think if I sent my tape from 1994 you’d probably rank me in the high 30’s and I only had division 3 offers!

      Actually, as I’ve stated previously, I didn’t want Connor Murphy nor Eubanks. Those were the only 2 remaining possible guys that I thought were a wasted scholarship. Obviously you see similar things. My biggest complaint with Bob’s son, Nick, is that he doesn’t catch with his hands. He’s like the polar opposite of Allen. Especially with tight ends who have to get their heads turned around quick on routes, you need a TE who can catch with their hands. I hate the extracurricular activities too but I think those won’t be tolerated anyway so I don’t really factor that as much when changing levels and coaching staffs.

      Also, we should read between the lines on this. I think the staff knows that Asiasi won’t be committing. I don’t think they waste this offer if he’s still possible. Really makes me wonder why talented TE’s don’t commit to Michigan.

      • Tartarsauce
        Comments: 77
        Joined: 1/22/2016
        Tartarsauce
        Jan 28, 2016 at 10:36 PM

        Eubanks’s commit to UM says nothing about Asiasi. Word is, Asiasi and Tagaloa have been telling people at their school that they’re going to Michigan. Only hold up is Tagaloa’s parents want him to stay close to home.

        I also disagree with you that Eubanks is a wasted offer. Very few TEs have his kind of athleticism. He needs to learn how to play football the right way, but he has big upside. A boom or bust type recruit, but it’s okay to roll the dice on one or two of these kids a year. The fact that the staff took Eubanks over Allen should tell you all you need to know.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 295
          Joined: 12/19/2015
          Extrajuice
          Jan 28, 2016 at 11:22 PM

          Considering Harbaugh and company have been trying for Allen for weeks and they just visited his home makes me believe Allen didn’t choose Michigan so they settled for Eubanks. Who knows why Allen didn’t choose Michigan. Doesn’t make sense to us but that seems to be the case.

          As for Asiasi, you’re right, we don’t know about his choice. If they thought he was leaning Blue I’m not convinced they’d take a 3rd TE like Eubanks over a position of more need (Safety) or even of more talent like kicker Nordin, which may be the case by Wednesday.

          • Tartarsauce
            Comments: 77
            Joined: 1/22/2016
            Tartarsauce
            Jan 28, 2016 at 11:38 PM

            If you believe the paysites, Eubanks simply beat Allen to the punch. It sounds like Allen isn’t a take anymore, unless the staff gets word that Asiasi has dropped UM before Allen decides tomorrow.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3849
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Jan 29, 2016 at 2:21 PM

        By the way, 44 isn’t a record. I gave Kaleb Ringer a 39 in the 2012 class.

  5. DonAZ
    Comments: 523
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Jan 28, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    I’m going to channel my inner Lanknows and point to his offer list, which is pretty damn good — Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Texas, USC among others. That’s a lot of big names willing to risk on a recruit.

    Point being … there’s *something* there.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 29, 2016 at 1:23 PM

      That’s the right move Don. Eubanks was hotly pursued by a lot of top southern programs. He may or may not pan out (like all recruits) but there’s a lot to like here and he’s clearly a high upside player.

  6. UM_1973
    Comments: 111
    Joined: 10/14/2015
    UM_1973
    Jan 29, 2016 at 1:17 AM

    Thunder, do you think Eubanks commitment push out Chase Allen? Do you think the coaching staff will take both Eubanks and Assiasi? I still think we will run out of space come Signing Day.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 29, 2016 at 7:10 AM

      Yes and yes. I mentioned both of those things in the final paragraph of the post.

  7. Avatar
    Comments: 1364
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Jan 29, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    Is this kid undisciplined on the field? He may well be. But we have these things called coaches, whose JOB it is to turn undisciplined piayers into disciplined players who can contribute on a winning team. If you don’t think our coaching staff can do that, then why have any confidence in them at all?

    Eubanks has great athletic potential..most everyone agrees on that. Grab him, and let the coaches do their job bringing him into line mentally.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 29, 2016 at 2:27 PM

      “If you don’t think our coaching staff can do that, then why have any confidence in them at all?”

      This question is a non sequitur. Bob’s job is to serve every customer at Chili’s and have them leave the restaurant with a smile. If he gets a chronically rude customer, then does it mean I have no confidence in Bob as an employee? There are more factors in play than Bob’s competence.

      If I were to believe that Harbaugh would coach up every player until that player were perfect, then every player would be ranked between 80-100 and we would win championships every year. Of course, if he were able to keep every player in line, then we wouldn’t have seen Brian Cole, Logan Tuley-Tillman, and others depart, get benched, etc.

      “Grab him, and let the coaches do their job bringing him into line mentally.”

      Okay. Coaches, do your job! I’m glad we got that settled. Easy peasy.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1364
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jan 29, 2016 at 7:10 PM

        Seriously? Talk about a non-sequitur. We’re not talking about a chronically rude customer. Or a chronic anything. If Bob has a track record for making people feel better when then leave than they did when they came in, then you’re justified in having confidence that if a particular person comes in cranky that there’s a good chance they’ll leave less cranky.

        And of course there are no guarantees…but you don’t dismiss athletically talented players just because they’re not emotionally mature. 18 year olds, remember? And nobody said anything about “perfect” being part of the equation. Just a straw man from you.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3849
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 29, 2016 at 7:46 PM

          It’s not a non sequitur. It’s called an analogy.

          You are certainly free to disagree with my evaluation.

  8. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 29, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    So, the “this guy isn’t enough of a southern gentleman because he doesn’t tip his hat after plays or give a friendly HI when he walks by and with his hippin and his hoppin ya gotta wonder…” critique gets thrown around pretty often by you Thunder.

    Have you looked back on the times you’ve evaluated recruits and made some sort of character judgement based purely on on-field body language, trash talking, end zone celebrating and such? Like – do you have a feeling about these sort of opinions of character being valid in terms of on-field production at Michigan?

    Not saying you are right or wrong about them, they just don’t sound very convincing to me. Normally I put stock in what you say about recruits. I think you have a good track record at a) not just blindly taking the recruiting rankings at face value and b) (with the notable exceptions of RBs and your anti-PSL bias) a good track record at calling guys under/over rated (e.g., Blake Bars overrated, Desmond Morgan underrated) based on various attributes you’ve read about or seen on their highlight reels. But, despite valuing your opinions on player ability and being a long time reader, I still don’t know if I should take any stock in these character judgements or dismiss them.

    Of course you are free to respond “these are my opinions – take them or leave them” but I’m wondering if you care to make a case for your character judgements specifically.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 29, 2016 at 2:38 PM

      I addressed this yesterday on MGoBlog. Some of the guys I have taken a lot of heat for criticizing in the past are Logan Tuley-Tillman, David Dawson, and Kaleb Ringer. Tuley-Tillman got booted, Dawson is probably going to be a backup for the fourth year in a row, and Ringer transferred to Ferris State/Georgia State. I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I should have taken Cole’s issues more into account, but I failed to do so. Going a little farther back, I mentioned concerns about Austin White, and he had off-the-field issues, never played a down at Michigan, etc.

      As far as “character” goes, I hesitate to throw around that word. I’m not judging “character.” That’s beyond the scope of this blog, for the most part. For all I know, Eubanks volunteers at a soup kitchen after school every day and knits booties for premature babies. What I’m judging is effort on the field.

      As for on-field production at Michigan, I don’t think Brady Hoke recruited a great deal of bad apples. Of course, there are examples of players who got into trouble (Frank Clark, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Graham Glasgow, Kyle Bosch, etc.), but those aren’t players that I identified as potential troublemakers, and Toussaint was a Rodriguez recruit. So I don’t think I’ve really brought up these issues very often.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 29, 2016 at 3:47 PM

        Well, I think there’s a lot of people who would go to LTT’s defense. Dawson we’ll see what his role is next year but he seems valuable. Ringer got hurt from what I recall. Too small of a sample to be relevant. I feel like there have been a bunch more. As you said – the real off-field questionmark guys haven’t registered as on-field behavior issues.

        I had major concerns about Austin White too. I also had doubts about Drake Harris. My concerns don’t come from on-field stuff it’s strongly considering or having connections to MSU. Harris chose Hoke over Dantonio for football and Izzo over Beilein for basketball. MSU love = Lanknows character red flag!

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3849
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 29, 2016 at 4:11 PM

          Dawson was the seventh or eighth lineman this past season (with Newsome and Strobel ahead of him at times). We lost Glasgow, so maybe Dawson is sixth or seventh of the guys currently on the roster.

          You asked for examples, and I gave you examples. Now you’re saying “that’s too small of a sample size.” That’s a bit of a cop-out to say “I don’t think your evaluations have much weight” when I just named about four guys about whom I raised concerns who are now out of the program or not playing. And for the record, I have NOT said that Eubanks would be an off-the-field problem. Let’s not make this into something bigger than it is.

          As for Ringer “getting hurt,” he is still playing football. The TTB Ratings are an application of how I feel players will pan out at Michigan. I gave him a 39. He did not pan out at Michigan. That’s really where the story ends, as far as I’m concerned. The TTB Ratings aren’t designed to determine where a player will be in 10 years playing football, whether he will be a good father, and how big his 401k will get. I’ll give someone like Chris Fox an “Incomplete” grade because his football injury(ies) ended his career. Ringer’s career was not ended by injury. Logan Tuley-Tillman’s grade did not entirely reflect my concerns because I thought he could overcome some of his football issues with a few years of coaching, but ultimately, my grade and the comments I made about him did reflect those concerns. And whether people “come to his defense” or not, he never really developed for Michigan, did something bad enough to get booted out of the program, and is facing legal issues. People defending him does not change the fact that he failed to mature into a quality football player at the University of Michigan.

  9. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 29, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Eubanks sounds really good to me. I accept he might not pan out, for whatever reasons, but he sounds like a kid you take a chance on given his talent. Could form a nice combo with McKeon as a a more traditional in-line TE.

    Part of me worries about so many TEs, but I think Asiasi is just a talent you take and worry about the numbers later. Furthermore, Harbaugh loves to flip guys between TE and DE/OLB so these things tend to sort themselves out. If they do take 3 TEs in this class, I don’t think that’s too many – as long as they don’t do it again in the next class.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 29, 2016 at 2:43 PM

      As you’ve said, I’m not too concerned about all these tight ends. Some of them have position flexibility, and Harbaugh uses them a lot. There is a belief by some that Wheatley has grown/will grow into an offensive tackle, Asiasi could be a defensive end, even McKeon could be a DE, etc. I think Michigan can afford to take three tight ends in this class. After all, we lost Williams to graduation, and Winovich is back to playing linebacker. As of right now, we have the same numbers at TE as we did in 2015. Asiasi would put us at +1 from last year.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 29, 2016 at 3:34 PM

        Well, we have added several PWO TEs too, but I agree with you. I am hoping that Wheatley sticks as a jumbo TE who can block like a 6th OLmen but is athletic enough as a pass catcher to keep LBs from cheating away from him. VIVA the 3-TE Jumbo package – especially if there is an Ebron/Funchess type of pass catching threat, a Butt-type of ‘dual threat’ TE in the mix.

        With so many teams moving to faster, lighter defensive players and more nickel-package personnel, I’d love to see Michigan exploit that with 4-quarters of jumbo power manball run game.

        What I don’t like is taking a ton of WRs AND taking a ton of TEs, but I assume some of the WR are headed for DB.

        Is the Winovich move confirmed? Everyone scratched their heads and assumed he’d go back to LB by 2016 but I have not heard if he was “officially” back to LB or not.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3849
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 29, 2016 at 3:44 PM

          Winovich supposedly moved back to linebacker during bowl practices.

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