Review of 2013 TTB Ratings

Review of 2013 TTB Ratings


July 29, 2020
Ben Gedeon (image via MGoBlue)

I’ll just cut right to the chase and say that I did not do a good job with rating the class of 2013. A bunch of good recruits bombed, and in their absence, a bunch of so-so recruits starred. In some ways, it’s not that I whiffed on everyone. It’s that it was a huge boom-or-bust class.

Keep in mind that the ratings (fully explained here) are intended to project how players will fare at Michigan and, to a certain extent, in the NFL Draft. I do not take into account how players will do once they get to the NFL or how they will pan out if they transfer to other programs. I will give myself a grade of 1-5 like a 5-point grading scale (5 is best, 1 is worst) for each player; I reserve the right to give myself an incomplete if the guy never even got a chance to get on the field. I’ll work down the list from highest to lowest with a brief career recap for each player:

100

None

90-99

95: Derrick Green – RB – Richmond (VA) Hermitage
Green ran for just 898 yards and 7 touchdowns on 4.2 yards per carry during three years at Michigan. It didn’t help that his first two years were spent behind a Darrell Funk-coached offensive line, but he fell behind De’Veon Smith, transferred to TCU, and didn’t do anything there, either.
Prediction accuracy: 1. Big oops.

Hit the jump for more ugliness.

80-89

89: Dymonte Thomas – S – Alliance (OH) Marlington
Thomas didn’t end up making the splash plays I thought he was capable of coming out of high school, and he took longer to develop than we hoped. But he was pretty good by 2016 and made honorable mention all-conference. He made 128 tackles, 1 interception, and 17 pass breakups throughout his career.
Prediction accuracy: 4. He probably should have been rated in the low 80s rather than almost in the 90 range.

88: Kyle Bosch – OG – Wheaton (IL) St. Francis
I really liked Bosch coming out of high school, but unfortunately, he had some personal issues that forced him to transfer. He ended up as a pretty good player at West Virginia. I won’t take credit for what he did post-Michigan, but it’s also difficult to predict whose off-the-field issues will affect their career.
Prediction accuracy: 2. Bosch played as a freshman and was probably on pace for a solid career at Michigan.

87: Shane Morris – QB – Warren (MI) De La Salle
If you read this site regularly, you’ve probably seen me post this amazing stat before, but Morris literally never accounted for a touchdown in a Michigan uniform, whether it was rushing or passing. Meanwhile, he threw 4 interceptions. He had a decent year as a grad transfer at Central Michigan, but he never realized his potential in a winged helmet.
Prediction accuracy: 1. Whoops.

86: Patrick Kugler – C – Wexford (PA) North Allegheny
Kugler’s career did not go as planned, probably for various reasons. His body did not develop in the way that I hoped, and he also had consistent shoulder problems that delayed his contributions. He did end up starting for one year but . . . it was not a good performance.
Prediction accuracy: 2. I appreciate Kugler’s efforts and he ended up going into coaching instead of playing professionally, but he didn’t live up to expectations as a player.

85: Chris Fox – OT – Parker (CO) Ponderosa
Fox suffered a knee injury toward the end of his high school career and never got on the field at Michigan except for the season opener in 2014.
Prediction accuracy: Incomplete. Fox’s high school knee injury ended his career prematurely.

84: Jourdan Lewis – CB – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Lewis turned out to be probably the best cornerback at Michigan since Leon Hall; he was an All-American and all-conference player. He finished with 133 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 6 interceptions, and 39 pass breakups, including several highlight reel-worthy plays.
Prediction accuracy: 4. He probably should have been ranked in the low 90s.

82: Jake Butt – TE – Pickerington (OH) North
I stand by my take that Butt was not a “next generation” tight end, but he was a very good traditional tight end. Much like Lewis, he probably should have been in the 90s. He made 138 catches for 1,646 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he won the Mackey Award for the nation’s best tight end.
Prediction accuracy: 4. This is one of the issues with the TTB Ratings. The switch from Brady Hoke – whose best tight end had to be switched to wide receiver because he wouldn’t block – to tight end guru Jim Harbaugh raised Butt’s ceiling significantly.

81: Ben Gedeon – LB – Hudson (OH) Hudson
Gedeon should have played more than he did as a younger player and somehow got stuck behind Joe Bolden. He finished with 177 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 2 pass breakups. He ended up as a 4th round pick of the Minnesota Vikings.
Prediction accuracy: 5. I think my take was pretty spot-on, though I think a little higher in the 80s would probably have been even better.

81: Da’Mario Jones – WR – Westland (MI) John Glenn
Jones made 2 catches in his career. Two. That was not a good career.
Prediction accuracy: 1. Oopsie.

70-79

79: Henry Poggi – DT – Baltimore (MD) Gilman
Poggi switched to fullback/tight end. He caught 9 career passes and ran the ball 2 times, scoring 1 touchdown (against his home-state Terrapins). He was picked up by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent for a short time.
Prediction accuracy: 4. I would say Poggi was an average starter at fullback, so I was 10 points off or so.

78: Maurice Hurst, Jr. – DT – Westwood (MA) Xaverian Brothers
I bumped Hurst up from my initial grade of 73, but that wasn’t even enough. Hurst turned into a potential first rounder, and through two NFL seasons, he actually has more sacks than any of the 2018 first rounders, even though Hurst went in the fifth. He made 32 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks at Michigan.
Prediction accuracy: 3. In retrospect, Hurst should have graded out in the 90s. He’s one of the best few defensive linemen I’ve seen in my time watching Michigan football.

77: Csont’e York – WR – Harper Woods (MI) Chandler Park Academy
York was booted out of Michigan before he ever had a chance to play. That’s what happens when you punch a dude in the face outside of Scorekeeper’s.
Prediction accuracy: Incomplete. York obviously didn’t get a chance to show his stuff either way, but he probably wasn’t going to live up to this ranking.

76: Taco Charlton – DE – Pickerington (OH) Central
I was a little concerned about Charlton outgrowing the weakside end position because his technique might not have stood up to playing on the strong side, but he turned into a 1st round pick after making 28 tackles for loss and 18 sacks.
Prediction accuracy: 3. This is another guy who should have been ranked in the 90s, like Hurst. He really took off once Jim Harbaugh was hired.

75: Logan Tuley-Tillman – OT – Peoria (IL) Manual
This was a very interesting cycle all around. I’ve never received more blowback for my “hot takes” than I did during this cycle, and Tuley-Tillman was one of them. Ranked as the #169 overall prospect, I had big questions about his technique. After getting booted from Michigan for some illegal activity, he then bounced around to Washington State and UTEP, where he finished out as a starter.
Prediction accuracy: 3. Unlike York (see above), Tuley-Tillman did actually have a chance to play but only appeared in a couple games. He probably could have been an okay player at Michigan if he continued, but his performance post-Michigan suggests his upside was limited.

74: Mike McCray II – LB – Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison
McCray ended up as a team captain and was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten during his final two years. He took a lot of guff for being unable to cover running backs on wheel routes, but the guy made 161 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions during a career that looked like it might end early due to a nagging shoulder injury.
Prediction accuracy: 4. Maybe you could push him into the 80s in my rankings, but despite some nice sack numbers and such, the All-Big Ten voters never thought a ton of him and the NFL didn’t show much interest.

73: Channing Stribling – CB – Matthews (NC) Butler
I view Stribling somewhat in the same way I view McCray. He was a good player but largely a product of the system and people around him. He finished his career with 68 tackles and 6 interceptions, and he allowed a very low completion percentage during his senior year. But he never put on weight (listed at 6’2″, 175 lbs. even as a senior), his speed was so-so, and the NFL didn’t show much interest. He has played in the AAF and XFL for as long as those leagues existed.
Prediction accuracy: 4. This is another guy whom I probably could have ranked in the low 80s.

71: David Dawson – OG – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Much like Tuley-Tillman (see above), I took a lot of flak for my take on Dawson. As a local product, I thought he might stick it out for five years and maybe become a starter in year four or five. Ultimately, he played a backup role in 16 career games before bouncing around to a couple other places during his final “year” of eligibility.
Prediction accuracy: 3. Based on how his career played out, he probably should have been ranked in the 50s as a good backup.

60-69

69: Delano Hill – S – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Hill is still a real head-scratcher for me. I somewhat whiffed on my evaluation of him, as he became a 26-game starter, finishing his career with 119 tackles and 3 interceptions; he was named Second Team All-Big Ten as a senior. The Seahawks took him in the 3rd round, and he has made 37 tackles for them in three seasons. He put up a good 40 time at the NFL Combine (4.47), but his other testing numbers were so-so.
Prediction accuracy: 4. Looking at the rating system, I see Hill as a guy who should have been rated in the 70s. He was never a standout in college, the 3rd round pick was a surprise even at the time, and his 37 tackles in three seasons isn’t a superb number to make me think I was just way off. I try to own it when I’m wrong (see: Derrick Green), but his career just seems a little fluke-y.

65: Wyatt Shallman – RB – Novi (MI) Catholic Central
This is the third guy that I took a lot of criticism for, along with Dawson and Tuley-Tillman. People kept insisting he was going to play running back, and I was very confused. He ran the ball 4 times for 14 yards during his career before eventually finishing up his career in the MAC playing defense. If he would have accepted playing defense earlier in his career, he might have been able to do something.
Prediction accuracy: 3. I ranked him pretty low, and I probably should have ranked him in the 40s.

63: Ross Douglas – CB – Avon (OH) Avon
Douglas was recruited as a slot corner, couldn’t get on the field, moved to running back, ran 10 times for 18 yards, and eventually lined up as a starting hybrid linebacker/safety . . . at Rutgers.
Prediction accuracy: 3. He too probably should have been ranked in the 40s.

63: DeVeon Smith – RB – Warren (OH) Howland
Here’s another tough one for me, and I assume this will probably spur an argument in the comment section. Smith beat out the highly touted Derrick Green (so yes, I was wrong) and ran for 2,235 yards and 22 touchdowns during his career. He also produced one of the greatest highlight-reel runs at Michigan when he emerged out of a pile against BYU and then spun out of a tackle around the 10-yard line on his way to a long touchdown run. Smith. My issue with him was always his lack of big-play ability, which is reportedly why he didn’t get drafted (he refused to run the 40 at the Combine and then ran a 4.8 at his pro day). He started 26 games at Michigan and was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten as a senior, so I undervalued him, but a short stint with the Dolphins and then some time in the AAF and XFL has not convinced me I was too far off. It just so happened that he was a pretty good pass protector and had the mentality of toughness that Jim Harbaugh really likes, which helped him lead a pack of uninspiring backs.
Prediction accuracy: 4. He seems like a guy who should also be in the 70s, like Delano Hill.

62: Reon Dawson – CB – Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison
Dawson spent a few years on the team at Michigan and never played. Not only that, but he never reappeared anywhere, even at a lower level.
Prediction accuracy: 2. I should have ranked him in the 1-39 area, which very, very few scholarship guys should end up in.

60: Khalid Hill – TE – Detroit (MI) East English Village
Hill is a little bit of a head scratcher in the opposite direction than fellow Hill, Delano. First, I ranked Hill too low, because Jim Harbaugh took full advantage of his talents when he arrived. Hill converted to a quasi-fullback role, where he ran for 13 touchdowns, and he also caught 29 passes for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns. (Side note: I probably would have ranked him higher if Harbaugh had been the guy who recruited him, but I had less confidence in Brady Hoke developing a fullback/tight end guy. That’s an example of where some of these rankings have a good-sized flaw.)
Prediction accuracy: 4. I think Hill should have been rated somewhere in the 70s, because he was a good player but at a position without a ton of value.

50-59

59: Dan Samuelson – OG – Plymouth (IN) Plymouth
Samuelson didn’t really do anything at Michigan and eventually ended up at Eastern Michigan.
Prediction accuracy: 3. This went pretty much as expected.

58: Jaron Dukes – WR – Columbus (OH) Marion Franklin
Dukes spent a few years on the team and played in one game.
Prediction accuracy: 3. I feel pretty confident saying he also belonged in the 1-39 range.

INCOMPLETE

Scott Sypniewski – LS – Ottawa (IL)
I don’t bother with long snappers.

CONCLUSIONS

5: Gedeon
4: Butt, Delano Hill, Khalid Hill, Lewis, McCray, Poggi, Smith, Stribling, Thomas
3: Charlton, David Dawson, Douglas, Dukes, Hurst, Samuelson, Shallman, Tuley-Tillman
2: Bosch, Reon Dawson, Kugler
1: Green, Jones, Morris
Inc.: Fox, Sypniewski, York

That’s 74 points spread out among 24 guys, giving me an average grade of 3.1. That’s probably not a bad average overall, but similar to last year, there are some blue-chip recruits (Green and Morris in this year’s study) who just totally bomb. This was a painful class when it comes to offensive line recruiting, too, because not only did the high-end guys underperform, but so did the low-end guys. Sometimes you have certain guys (Derrick Green, for example) bomb but up steps someone like De’Veon Smith to have a decent career. There was no Graham Glasgow or Jon Runyan, Jr. on the line in this class, though. It was all bad, and the best guy (Kyle Bosch) was playing for WVU.

17 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 69
    Joined: 10/3/2015
    UM2013
    Jul 29, 2020 at 10:41 AM

    Just curious, but who would be your highest rated player in hindsight? I would assume Lewis based on production at Michigan, but I was a little surprised at your comment that he would be in the low 90s. I would have thought an All-American and 2 time all conference player would be in the high 90s.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 29, 2020 at 5:17 PM

      Yeah, Lewis would probably be around a 94 or so. He was very good, but he got exposed a couple times (the bowl game against FSU sticks out), and his NFL potential is/was limited by off-the-field stuff and his size. (Not that I could have known about his off-the-field stuff back then.) He just wasn’t 1st round pick material, so that would keep him out of the high 90s for me, but I wouldn’t argue if you gave him a 97 or so.

      My highest graded player would probably be Maurice Hurst, Jr. Unlike Jourdan Lewis, I think Hurst had a legitimate shot at being a 1st rounder if not for his heart issue. He was also just extremely disruptive snap after snap after snap. But those would be my top two, and I think Butt would be #3.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 76
    Joined: 1/10/2017
    Julio
    Jul 29, 2020 at 11:06 AM

    Trivia at a level that I should probably generally avoid:

    I think Dawson (like Dukes) was “medicaled” and didn’t bother transferring somewhere else. Not sure if either actually graduated …

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 29, 2020 at 11:41 AM

      I don’t know all the particulars, but Dawson at least planned to go to a few places, including Iowa State, Morgan State (I think), and Grand Valley State. So he might have been “medicaled” like Ondre Pipkins or Benjamin St-Juste.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 286
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Extrajuice
    Jul 29, 2020 at 12:58 PM

    I enjoy these posts, great job.

    I’ve been saying this for years now but I think this backs me up a bit. In general, offensive line is just a difficult position to assess and recruit. Sure, there are Ruiz’s but there are a lot more busts at those positions than the others.

    I never saw the draw for Derrick Green. Especially after watching how out of shape he was in the Army AA game. He ran tentatively for a guy his size. I remember thinking highly of Kugler too. Wasn’t his dad an OL coach in the NFL?

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 29, 2020 at 5:05 PM

      This class was really weird for the offensive line. It is a big boom/bust position, but I think people – including me, I hope – are getting better at evaluating the position. In retrospect, Kugler and Fox are two guys I probably would evaluate differently here in 2020. I don’t like Kugler’s body type, and I think Fox was too top-heavy to evaluate so highly. I do wish Fox could have stayed healthy because I have a little bit of a “what-if” mindset when it comes to him, but I wouldn’t give him the same grade now as I did then. I’m totally okay with my evaluations of Samuelson and Bosch.

      I agree on Green. Not to let myself off the hook, but I thought he would be better because I thought the offensive line would be better. If Michigan could get a 235-pound bowling ball of a back running downhill – and he did have decent speed – then I thought that would be a good combination. But the line sucked, and he wasn’t the type of guy who could make yards on his own. When the offensive line bombed, Green bombed, so the whole offensive side of the ball got screwed up except for the TE types (Butt, Hill, Poggi).

      Kugler’s dad was the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach, and he went on to become the head coach at UTEP. He resigned from there, and now he’s with the Cardinals.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 69
        Joined: 10/3/2015
        UM2013
        Jul 29, 2020 at 10:45 PM

        That’s actually my only problem with the TTB rating system – your methodology makes it a bit difficult to rate the actual player vs. the player in a particular system. It’s a lot to ask, but I’d love to see more top 5 / top 10 ratings by position within the recruiting class. Just curious if you’d say “Trevor Lawrence is an absolute study” or “I like him, but….”

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3658
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jul 30, 2020 at 7:07 AM

          That’s fair, but at the same time, I do admit when I’m ranking players differently than how they are as a general prospect. I think the best example is probably Donovan Peoples-Jones. I said from the beginning that he was more talented than what Michigan would show, and I said at one point that he would be a better pro than collegian. I guess we’re about to find out if that’s true.

          Ultimately, there are already three major recruiting sites giving their top 5/top 10, and they have the resources to evaluate all of them. I just don’t have the time and resources to track every offensive line prospect, every quarterback, etc. to give a top 5 or top 10. There are times where give a TTB Rating of “100” for the best prospect at his position, but I usually only do that after making an attempt to evaluate the top 10 guys or so at that position.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 69
            Joined: 10/3/2015
            UM2013
            Jul 30, 2020 at 4:31 PM

            Yup, that’s certainly true – you can generally glean your feelings about the player vs the fit at Michigan from your write up.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1307
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Jul 30, 2020 at 6:03 PM

        Can you expand on Kugler’s body type?

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 13
    Joined: 9/2/2018
    johnnavarresrightarm
    Jul 30, 2020 at 12:06 AM

    For one, I don’t think you deserve any criticism for Kugler. I remember reading Rivals’ evaluation and thought this guy was a future Steve Hutchinson. His all star game review made him out to be a future stud, especially because of his family line. He seemed like the one guy in this class that was destined to play early.

    In regards to Gedeon, I never understood why he wasn’t played more. When he did play, he seemed pretty solid.

    Dawson also hurt a bit because I remember his brief commitment to Florida and Hoke making an exception to let his come back to the class.

    Lastly, I am not going to lie, I was never sold on LTT. I know some players are projects and take time to develop, but I just never saw the hype. I don’t think he would have ended up starting at Michigan.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 30, 2020 at 7:17 AM

      I think Tuley-Tillman was a better player than Juwann Bushell-Beatty and Nolan Ulizio, both of whom started at either LT or RT in 2016 and 2017. His presence also might have allowed Mason Cole to stay at center in 2017 (keeping Kugler on the bench). This lineup (L to R: Tuley-Tillman, Bredeson, Cole, Onwenu, Bushell-Beatty) looks better than this one (L to R: Cole, Bredeson, Kugler, Onwenu, Bushell-Beatty).

      Yeah, the Gedeon thing was weird. That goes down as probably one of the top 3 depth chart mistakes Michigan has made in the past 20 years or so.

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 13
    Joined: 9/2/2018
    johnnavarresrightarm
    Jul 30, 2020 at 12:15 AM

    Sorry, one last point: I think this class highlighted the issue with Hoke’s offensive recruits. He loved to recruit highly-ranked players like Green and Morris, but this is where I think he was over his head. He was able to recruit some solid players on defense that weren’t highly touted, but the fact Michigan State was able to recruit lower-rated offensive players, who were mostly from the Mid-West, showcased the many flaws in his recruiting.

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 1307
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jul 30, 2020 at 10:19 AM

    Once again, I hated this period of Michigan football and would prefer that we never speak of it again.

    Having said that, there were some interesting stories in this class that caused misses on everybody’s part.

    Dawson and the Hill brothers are interesting for me because I know dad’s, boosters and PSL guys who saw them a lot. They would go on and on about the Hill brothers … and then go on some more, but with Dawson, it was, He’s a big boy.” Sometimes, “Good kid.” and that would be it. When the booster guys aren’t babbling, something is up.

    Somebody, probably Thunder accurately pointed out that Green, while big, fast and strong, fell down too easily. Then there was the weight thing that developed between the end of his senior year and camp. I think insiders had to suspect the kid was gonna get heavy. I doubt Hoke was smart enough to puzzle his way past that trap.

    Then there’s Shane, who had the huge arm, the huge sophomore tournament game, followed by a solid but not awesome Junior year, who worked the camps harder than about anybody I can think of. Actually, he worked harder at football than most people work at anything. But, of all the things you can’t teach, I’m thinking accuracy is right up there at the top of the list. I saw him throw a lot and, “Whoa!” was the comment of choice. But you could just see that he only had a fair idea of where it was going and where to put it in the first place. His lack of accuracy limited him to being a very solid MAC kid. Although I have DLS friends who insist that the mistake was not going to Central or some place like that in the first place. They like to think he could have grown up to be Big Ben were he able to get four years of starter snaps under his belt. The argument is always that the mono, and the lost senior year really set him back. Maybe, and Shane really is a great kid, but I dunno about that one.

    On the positive end. Forget “in retrospect” you could see the incredible quickness from Hurst on his high school film. It smacked you square in the eyeball. I don’t know how the rest of the country wasn’t all over that guy. They whiffed huge on that one. Good for us.

    Gedeon … WTF???????????

    Somebody should have looked hard at Fox’s knees. I know for sure Thunder, at least will be checking out conformation and physical structure going forward.

  7. Avatar
    Comments: 5
    Joined: 7/14/2020
    Moonraker
    Jul 30, 2020 at 10:11 PM

    I didn’t understand the high rating for Green at the time…. the HS film I saw, he was being ghost tackled… Or finger tripped…I’d be rewinding it and trying to find WHY he fell down, and he did, over and over. How wasn’t he docked in eating for this. I mean, when kids, if a much bigger kid would trip or go down with single arm, we’d have had zero respect for him as a player no matter how good he looked physically. A guy like this would have never carried the ball with Bo.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3658
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 31, 2020 at 9:17 AM

      You’re absolutely right. The following is from my scouting report on him, but unfortunately the whole line thing didn’t work out (http://touchthebanner.blogspot.com/2012/08/scouting-report-derrick-green.html)

      Weaknesses: Poor downfield vision . . . Does not go side to side well or make people miss . . . Runs through head-on tackles but lacks great balance . . . Gets taken down too easily by tacklers coming from either side . . . Needs to be more patient at times and let blocking develop . . . Mediocre receiver

      Projection: Running back. As I’ve said before, any running back who picks Michigan in the next year or two will have a chance for a very good career because of the offensive line being assembled by Brady Hoke. Green is somewhat overrated by Rivals (the #1 back and #12 player nationally), but his career could be reminiscent of the P.J. Hills and John Clays from Wisconsin in recent years. He’s a kid who could have a very good career in the right system by running behind very good offensive lines and then punishing smaller linebackers and defensive backs. But he’s not a dynamic runner who can carry a college team by himself.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1307
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Jul 31, 2020 at 10:13 AM

        Would cheerfully take a John Clays in about any class you might care to name.

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