Review of 2006 Recruiting: The Offensive Linemen

Review of 2006 Recruiting: The Offensive Linemen


August 23, 2011
Trent Williams was the #4 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft

THE RECRUITS
Justin Boren
High school: North High School in Pickerington, OH
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #1 OC; Scout 5-star, #7 OL
Other notable offers: Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma
College: Michigan Ohio State
Scoop: Boren committed to Michigan and was just the fourth true freshman offensive lineman to start a game for Michigan in the modern era.  He started 1 game in 2006 and played in 4 others at offensive guard.  He replaced center Mark Bihl in 2007 and started all 13 games, 8 at center and another 5 at offensive guard.  After Rich Rodriguez was hired in December 2007, Boren and his family (which includes a father who played football at Michigan and a mother who ran track at Michigan) disliked the new regime and Justin transferred to hated Ohio State.  He sat out the 2008 season and redshirted.  Boren started 24 games at Ohio State at offensive guard from 2009-2010 and was named First Team All-Big Ten both seasons.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft and is currently fighting for a spot on the Baltimore Ravens roster.

Perry Dorrestein
High school: Central High School in Plainfield, IL
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #43 OT; Scout 3-star, #81 OL
Other notable offers: Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern
College: Michigan
Scoop: Dorrestein had some middling offers coming out of high school, but chose the highest profile school on the list.  He redshirted as a freshman in 2006 and played sparingly as a redshirt freshman in 2007.  He started 4 games in 2008, 8 games in 2009, and 10 games in 2010.  He was a serviceable spot starter, but lacked the athleticism and strength to be a high performer.  Dorrestein went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Stephen Schilling
High school: Bellevue High School in Bellevue, WA
Ratings: Rivals 5-star, #2 OT; Scout 5-star, #3 OL
Other notable offers: California, UCLA, USC, Washington
College: Michigan
Scoop: Schilling was an all-everything high schooler who took some time to adjust in college.  He redshirted as a freshman in 2006, a year in which he suffered not only a shoulder injury but also a bout of mononucleosis.  But by the beginning of 2007, he was on his way to becoming a four-year starter.  He was overmatched at right tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2007 and had a mediocre season under Rich Rodriguez in 2008.  For the 2009 campaign, Schilling moved to left guard and remained there through 2010.  Overall, he started 49 games in his career, missing only the 2008 Ohio State game due to injury.  He was named Michigan’s top offensive lineman from 2008 through 2010 and earned All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in both 2009 and 2010.  He was drafted in the 6th round (#201 overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Justin Anderson
High school: Irwin County High School in Ocilla, GA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #7 OG, and #100 overall; Scout 4-star, #21 OG
Other notable offers: Georgia Tech, Nebraska
College: Georgia
Scoop: Anderson failed to qualify in 2006 and didn’t attend Georgia until January 2007.  He redshirted as a freshman but rebounded by starting 7 games at offensive tackle and getting some freshman awards as a redshirt freshman in 2008.  Anderson started only 5 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2009 and then switched to defensive line prior to the 2010 season.  He had 1 tackle from his DT position in 2010 before undergoing season-ending surgery for turfo toe.  For 2011 he’s listed at #1 on the depth chart to start at right offensive tackle.

Jim Barrie
High school: Berkeley Prep High School in Tampa, FL
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #15 OT; Scout 3-star, #58 OL
Other notable offers: Florida State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee
College: Florida
Scoop: Barrie redshirted as a freshman in 2006.  He played in 1 game as a redshirt freshman in 2007, but suffered a knee injury in August 2008 that essentially ended his playing career.  He dressed out for a couple games at the end of the 2008 season, but received a medical scholarship after the year was over.

Marcus Gilbert
High school: St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #13 OT; Scout 4-star, #32 OL
Other notable offers: Auburn, Florida State, Miami
College: Florida
Scoop: Gilbert played sparingly in 2006 and thus received a redshirt.  He was a frequently used backup as a redshirt freshman in 2007, seeing action in 13 games and starting 1 game.  He was once again a backup in 2008, playing in 13/14 games.  Gilbert started the final 27 games of his career at Florida in 2009 and 2010 and he was a 2nd round pick (#63 overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 NFL Draft. 

Daron Rose
High school: Jefferson High School in Tampa, FL
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #2 OT; Scout 4-star, #32 OL
Other notable offers: Florida, Notre Dame, South Carolina
College: Florida State
Scoop: Rose began his college career at Florida State, where he played in two games as a freshman before receiving a redshirt.  As a redshirt freshman in 2008, he started 11 of 13 games at offensive tackle but did not play particularly well.  Due to undisclosed reasons, he did not return to FSU for the 2009 season and announced a transfer to South Florida.  However, he never joined USF’s program and instead attended North Alabama.  He started 6 games for North Alabama in 2010 and remains on their roster for the 2011 season.  He’s projected as the starter at right offensive tackle.

Conner Smith
High school: Colerain High School in Cincinnati, OH
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #4 OG; Scout 5-star, #4 OL
Other notable offer: Oklahoma
College: Ohio State
Scoop: Smith redshirted in 2006 and remained a permanent backup throughout his career.  Prior to his redshirt senior season in 2010, Smith changed positions from offensive guard to defensive tackle.  However, he failed to accrue any statistics and went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Alex Stadler
High school: Liberty High School in Bealeton, VA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #12 OT; Scout 4-star, #33 OL
Other notable offers: Boston College, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech
College: Alabama
Scoop: Stadler redshirted in 2006 and transferred to Liberty University prior to the 2007 season.  He started 16 games total in 2008 and 2009, earning Second Team All-Big South honors for his play in 2009.  Stadler was slated to be the starting left guard in 2010, but it’s unclear whether he played out his eligibility or not.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Joe Thomas
High school: St. Edward’s School in Lakewood, OH
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #43 OG; Scout 4-star, #12 OL
Other notable offers: Michigan State, Ohio State, West Virginia, Wisconsin
College: Pittsburgh
Scoop: Thomas played as a true freshman in 2006, starting 7 games at offensive guard for injured starter John Simonitis.  Thomas started 7 games once again in 2007 before suffering his own injury.  As a junior in 2008, he started all 13 games.  It’s unclear whether he played out his eligibility in 2009, but he went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Bartley Webb
High school: Springdale High School in Springdale, AR
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #29 OT; Scout 4-star, #52 OL
Other notable offers: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas
College: Notre Dame
Scoop: Webb redshirted in 2006 and then played 1 game as a redshirt freshman in 2007.  He then suffered a career-ending shoulder injury and acted as a student coach until he graduated.  Most recently he was a video assistant at Middle Tennessee State University.

Sam Young
High school: St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ratings: Rivals 5-star, #1 OT; Scout 5-star, #2 OL
Other notable offers: Florida, Miami, Penn State, Stanford, USC
College: Notre Dame
Scoop: Young was one of the best linemen in the country coming out of high school, and his college career started off with an immediate starting gig as a freshman, when he earned Freshman All-America honors.  He started all 50 games of his college career.  After his senior season, he was a 6th round pick (#179 overall) by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2010 NFL Draft and played in 2 games as a rookie.

CONCLUSIONS
It was not a stellar year for Michigan’s talent identification in 2006.  At a school that has regularly produced NFL linemen for decades, most of these guys went kaput quickly or are in the process of ending mediocre careers.  And obviously Justin Boren turned out to be more trouble than he was worth, even though he ended up having a decent career in Columbus.

Biggest miss: Marcus Gilbert.  He was the highest draft pick of the bunch, going in round #2.  Gilbert was probably going to be a backup LT for the Steelers, but he recently injured his left knee and it’s unclear how much time he will miss.  The Wolverines could have used some good offensive linemen on a team that started journeyman-type starters such as Mark Ortmann, Perry Dorrestein, and Mark Huyge in recent years.

Biggest bust: Conner Smith.  As much as I would like to say Boren was the biggest bust, Smith was a consensus, elite blue chipper who saw the field only rarely in college.

Best in class: Trent Williams.  It’s tough to pick this category for linemen, because stats are scarce and it takes a long time for even the good ones to develop.  Just going by draft status, though, the former Oklahoma Sooner was the highest NFL draft pick from the 2006 lineman class, having been picked #4 overall by the Washington Redskins in 2010.  Other notable players from the 2006 class are Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung (#6 to the Seahawks in 2010) and Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi (#29 to the Bears in 2011).

One comment

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    Comments: 21382
    Anonymous
    Aug 23, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Great write up. Probably the best yet. I think the talent evaluation that year was a real question.

    Schilling always left the impression on me that his strength left something to be desired, even late in his career. I never thought much of him inside because of that. He almost seemed a guy without a perfect position fit.

    Sam Young was another interesting case that really underperformed pretty much all the experts evaluations. Every year more predictions about how he would dominate like the Jake Long type guys, but never really materialized.

    Although he went undrafted, Boren likely was the best recruit we landed that season. Considering he walked into OSU and started every game, all big-ten both years. If it wasn't for the speculated (or true) motivation issues, he might have been something really great. (I know, flame on)

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