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