Review of 2006 Recruiting: The Defensive Linemen

Review of 2006 Recruiting: The Defensive Linemen


October 5, 2011
Brandon Graham turned out okay.

The Returning Players
Alan Branch, DT
Eugene Germany, DE
Will Johnson, DT
Pat Massey, DT
Will Paul, DT
Terrance Taylor, DT
Jeremy Van Alstyne, DE
Marques Walton, DT
Gabe Watson, DT
Lamarr Woodley, DE

The Recruits

Greg Banks
High school: Montbello High School in Denver, CO
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #42 SDE; Scout 3-star, #40 DT
Other notable offers: Arizona State, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, UCLA, Washington
College: Michigan
Scoop: Banks chose Michigan over his home state school of Colorado in December 2005.  He redshirted as a freshman.  As a redshirt freshman in 2007, he played sparingly in eleven games and notched 7 tackles as a backup defensive end.  When Rich Rodriguez arrived in 2008, Banks’ production and playing time slipped to eight games, 6 tackles, and 1 tackle for loss.  He gain played in eleven games in 2009, notching 5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss as a backup defensive tackle.  In his fifth year, Banks earned a starting spot at defensive tackle and had decent production: 38 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 2 pass breakups.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

John Ferrara
High school: Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island, NY
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #46 SDE; Scout 3-star, #58 DE
Other notable offers: Michigan State, Mississippi, Northwestern, Penn State, Rutgers
College: Michigan
Scoop: Ferrara selected Michigan as soon as he was officially offered in October 2005, saying he knew from the first time he visited that he wanted to play in Ann Arbor.  As a mediocre talent, he redshirted as a freshman in 2006.  As a redshirt freshman in 2007, Ferrara played a significant amount as a reserve defensive tackle, making 2 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.  When offensive lineman Cory Zirbel had to prematurely end his career due to back trouble, a need for offensive linemen arose during August practice of 2008 and Ferrara became an offensive guard; he started five games at left guard and played decently.  However, in 2009 right tackle Steve Schilling moved to LG and Patrick Omameh emerged at RG, leaving Ferrara to start only one game (Eastern Michigan) while playing on special teams during the rest of the season.  Ferrara contributed on special teams in six games as a redshirt senior in 2010, missing several games due to injury.  He finished his career with 7 starts on offense, plus those 2 tackles and 1 tackle for loss from his redshirt freshman season.  Ferrara went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Brandon Graham
High school: Crockett High School in Detroit, MI
Ratings: Rivals 5-star, #1 ILB; Scout 5-star, #3 LB
Other notable offers: Penn State
College: Michigan
Scoop: Graham picked the Wolverines almost a year before National Signing Day and was told that he could potentially start at inside or outside linebacker in his first year.  Then he showed up overweight – even for a defensive end – and played some defensive tackle as a true freshman in 2006.  He had 3 tackles and half a sack during his freshman season.  By 2007 he turned into a part-time starter and made 25 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 pass breakup.  As a junior in 2008, Graham was a full-time starter who made 46 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks; he was named as a Second Team All-Big Ten player and finished second in the NCAA in tackles for loss.  Continually improving, he was named a captain in 2009 and had 64 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recover, and 2 pass breakups; he was awarded Second Team All-American status and led the NCAA in tackles for loss, along with several other accolades.  Graham was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft (#10 overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jason Kates
High school: Bishop McDevitt High school in Harrisburg, PA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #20 DT; Scout 2-star DT
Other notable offers: Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State
College: Michigan
Scoop: Kates came out of high school with lots of offers, largely due to his size (6’2″, 324 lbs.).  He struggled with that weight for much of his career.  After redshirting as a freshman in 2006, he played sparingly in 2007, notching 1 assisted tackle against Purdue.  He left the team after the 2007 season and did not pursue football afterwards.

Adam Patterson
High school: Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, SC
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #7 DT; Scout 4-star, #22 DT
Other notable offers: Auburn, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee
College: Michigan
Scoop: Patterson committed to Michigan on the eve of signing day in 2006.  A highly touted prospect coming out of high school, he was a little bit undersized for the defensive tackle position (6’2″, 256 lbs.) and remained that way, playing both defensive end and tackle in his career.  He finished his career as a 276 lb. nose tackle.  As a true freshman in 2006, he made 2 tackles.  As a sophomore in 2007, he played consistently as a backup DE and made 4 tackles and 1 sack.  He played early in 2008, but ended up redshirting due to an injury.  Patterson posted only 1 tackle as a reserve defensive end in 2009 and ended his career as Mike Martin’s backup at nose tackle in 2010, notching 16 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 pass breakup on the season.  He finished his college career with 23 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 pass breakup.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Marques Slocum
High school: West Catholic High School in Philadelphia, PA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #1 DT; Scout 5-star, #5 DT
Other notable offers: LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Oklahoma
College: Michigan
Scoop: Slocum originally committed to Michigan as part of the 2005 class, but he spent a year at prep school before entering college in 2006.  He redshirted as a freshman in 2006 and then played occasionally in 2007.  Slocum finished the 2007 season with 8 total tackles and 1/2 a tackle for loss.  He left the program prior to the 2008 season and played football at Eastern Arizona for two seasons.  He went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft but signed a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins, who promptly cut him.

Quinton Woods
High school: Southwestern Academy in Flint, MI
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #44 SDE; Scout 2-star DE
Other notable offers: Iowa, Michigan State
College: Michigan Kansas
Scoop: Woods was an academic non-qualifier for Michigan and instead headed to Bakersfield Community College, where he recorded 80 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks as a sophomore.  He then transferred to Kansas, where he saw limited playing time over the next couple seasons.  He had 4 tackles in 2009 and another 13 in 2010.  Woods went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Neli A’Asa
High school: Big Rapids High School in Big Rapids, MI
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #48 DT; Scout 3-star, #75 DT
Other notable offers: BYU, Michigan State
College: Utah
Scoop:  A’asa redshirted in 2006 as a freshman.  As a redshirt freshman in 2007, he played only special teams, where he a caught a 41-yard pass on a fake punt and made 3 tackles.  He switched to tight end in 2008 but was used only as a blocker and special teamer.  As a redshirt junior in 2009, A’asa was a backup offensive lineman but once again played only on special teams.  He moved back to defense for 2010 and totaled 8 tackles and 1.5 sacks.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Jason Adjepong (a.k.a. Jason Worilds)
High school: Carteret High School in Carteret, NJ
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #7 SDE; Scout 4-star, #8 DE
Other notable offers: Iowa, Ohio State
College: Virginia Tech
Scoop: Adjepong played as a freshman in 2006 but received a medical redshirt due to shoulder surgery; he totaled 4 tackles before season’s end.  He once again did not play in 2007.  As a redshirt sophomore in 2008, Adjepong made 62 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks, along with forcing 2 fumbles.  His redshirt junior season in 2009 saw him end the season with 49 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.  He left with a season of eligibility remaining and was selected in the 2nd round (#52 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers to play outside linebacker.  As a rookie last season, he notched 17 tackles and 2 sacks as a backup.

Micah Johnson
High school: Fort Campbell High School in Fort Campbell, KY
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #2 SDE; Scout 5-star, #2 LB
Other notable offers: Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Tennessee
College: Kentucky
Scoop: Johnson made an immediate impact at Kentucky, starting two games as a freshman in 2006.  On the season he had 29 tackles, 1 pass breakup, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recover; he also scored a touchdown as a running back.  He was even better as a sophomore, when he totaled 58 tackles, 2 interceptions (1 for a touchdown), and 5 pass breakups.  As a junior in 2008, Johnson had 93 tackles despite missing a couple games due to injury.  In his senior season, Johnson made 105 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 4 pass breakups.  He went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft and has bounced around the league between the Giants, Dolphins, and Chiefs; he has only 1 career tackle, for the Dolphins in 2010.

Dexter Larimore
High school: Merrillville High School in Merrillville, IN
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #39 DT; Scout 3-star, #60 DT
Other notable offers: Illinois, Michigan State
College: Ohio State
Scoop: Larimore redshirted in 2006.  As a redshirt freshman in 2007, he had 16 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss.  In 2008 he started several games at defensive tackle, notching 15 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.  He logged 20 tackles as a redshirt junior in 2009 but missed a few games due to injury.  As a fifth year senior in 2010, Larimore made 40 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft before being signed as a rookie free agent by the New Orleans Saints, who cut him prior to the season.

Butch Lewis
High school: Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, CO
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #4 DT; Scout 4-star, #11 OT
Other notable offers: California, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame
College: USC
Scoop: Lewis went to USC as a defensive tackle, but switched to offensive tackle in the middle of his freshman season in 2006, when he redshirted.  As a redshirt freshman in 2007, he started 3 games at offensive tackle and earned Second Team Freshman All-America honors.  He started 5 games in 2008 at offensive tackle, then 8 games at offensive guard in 2009, when he earned All-Pac 10 honorable mention.  He started 9 games at guard as a fifth year senior in 2010, but was benched for a stretch of games.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft but was signed as a rookie free agent by the Kansas City Chiefs, who cut him prior to the season.

McKenzie Mathews
High school: Christian Brothers High School in Syracuse, NY
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #14 WDE; Scout 4-star, #27 DE
Other notable offers: Miami, North Carolina, Ohio State
College: Pitt
Scoop: Mathews had 10 tackles and 1/2 a tackle for loss as a freshman in 2006.  After his freshman season, he transferred to Bentley, where had 30 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks in 2007.  In his junior season of 2008, he had 42 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 quarterback hurries.  Mathews left Bentley prior to the 2009 season but was not drafted to the NFL.

John Paul
High school: Immokalee High School in Immokalee, FL
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #22 SDE; Scout 4-star, #20 DT
Other notable offers: Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami
College: N/A
Scoop: I can’t find any information on John Paul from once he graduated high school.  According to Rivals and Scout, he never signed a national letter of intent to play anywhere.  I’m assuming his football career never blossomed due to grades, injury, legal trouble, etc., but if anybody knows anything more, please let me know.

Corey Peters
High school: Central High School in Louisville, KY
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #24 DT; Scout 3-star, #54 DT
Other notable offers: Auburn, Clemson, Ohio State
College: Kentucky
Scoop: Peters started 2 games as a freshman, making 18 tackles and 1 sack.  He was named Kentucky’s most improved defensive player as a sophomore in 2007 when he made 43 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.  He kept that production going in 2008, notching 36 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks.  Peters filled up the stat sheet as a senior in 2009 with 56 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 5 pass breakups, 6 quarterback hurries, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery.  Peters was selected in the 3rd round (#83 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.  He started 15 games for the Falcons in 2010, picking up 25 tackles and 1 sack.

Jason Pinkston
High school: Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh, PA
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #46 DT; Scout 4-star, #25 DT
Other notable offers: Ohio State, West Virginia
College: Pitt
Scoop: Pinkston played defensive tackle in August of his first year, but by September 2006 he had switched to offensive tackle, where he played as a backup and special teamer in 7 games.  In 2007 he started the first 3 games at right tackle before he suffered a shoulder injury that ended his season.  As a redshirt sophomore in 2008, Pinkston started 12 games at right tackle.  He started all 13 games in 2009, earning All-Big East honors and being named Second Team All-American by some publications.  Once again in 2010, he was named All-Big East after starting all 13 games.  Pinkston was drafted in the 5th round (#150 overall) by the Cleveland Browns in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Conclusions

Biggest bust: The biggest bust for Michigan was Marques Slocum in a way, because Slocum never accomplished anything for the Wolverines.  But Slocum did actually turn into a decent player and got a whiff of the NFL after bouncing around a little bit.  Meanwhile, Adam Patterson was a unanimous 4-star recruit who never amounted to much of anything at Michigan.  Despite playing on a depleted defensive line at times, he played sparingly . . . and when he did, he played poorly.  Patterson was too slow to be a defensive end and too small to play defensive tackle, leaving him in No Man’s Land.  For a 4-star recruit to end his five-year career with 23 tackles and 2 sacks, it’s pretty disappointing.

Biggest miss: Jason Adjepong (Worilds) turned out to be the best player Michigan offered that Michigan didn’t get.  He had an excellent career at Virginia Tech and turned into a second-rounder.  While the Wolverines had Brandon Graham to play defensive end, they were lacking at outside linebacker/defensive end opposite him.  Worilds would have been an upgrade over players like Tim Jamison and Craig Roh, among others.

Best in class: I’ll do this in two parts, since there are two very different positions here: defensive tackle and defensive end.  The top defensive tackle in the 2006 class turned out to be Gerald McCoy, who went to Oklahoma.  McCoy was the #3 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after making 25 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks as a redshirt junior in 2009.  He made 28 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles as a rookie in 2010.  The top defensive end in the 2006 class turned out to be Brandon Graham (see above), who turned into the #10 overall pick in 2010; he has been limited due to a knee injury suffered partway through the 2010 season.

One comment

  1. Comments: 21386
    Les Miles
    Oct 05, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    BG was the 13th overall pick in the draft.

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