Stephen Hopkins, Wolverine

Tag: 2010 Recruiting

16Apr 2009
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Stephen Hopkins, Wolverine

At Michigan’s spring game this past weekend, running back Stephen Hopkins, from Flower Mound, TX, committed to the Wolverines. Hopkins is a 6’0″, 220 lb. bruiser whose high school team dresses itself in the silly looking uniform above. (No, that’s not Ohio State vs. Texas A&M.)

Hopkins ran 343 times for 1,663 yards and 16 TDs as a sophomore. In 2008 he ran for slightly more yards (1,689) and more TDs (22) on seventy fewer carries (273 for the math-deficient). Apparently his coach thinks he’s Jamal Anderson, which is bad for Michigan, because Jamal Anderson came up with annoying dances and then snorted cocaine off of a toilet.

Hopkins reminds me a little of Chris Perry, who’s now riding the bench in the NFL. I was never a big fan of Perry when he was at Michigan. He was a serviceable back, but I didn’t think he ran hard until his senior year. I’m not comparing their effort levels, but I see some similarities: they both run upright, neither one has gamebreaking speed, they’re both downhill runners, and I don’t see Hopkins having an immediate impact.

He is a big back and, if nothing more, he will likely develop into a short yardage back or fullback. Michael Cox is also a big back and will have three years of eligibility remaining once Hopkins gets on campus, so I’d expect a redshirt.

9Apr 2009
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Spring Game Visitors

According to, the following players will be attending the spring game:

Latwan Anderson
Jibreel Black
Derrick Bryant
Daniel Easterly
Devin Gardner (commit)
William Gholston
Jonathan Hankins
Mylan Hicks
Nick Hill
Stephen Hopkins
Jeremy Jackson (commit)
Dior Mathis
Ricardo Miller (commit)
Christian Pace
Jerald Robinson (commit)
Marvin Robinson
Ishmael Thomas
Austin White
D.J. Williamson (commit)
Torrian Wilson

In this interview with MGoBlog, Warren, MI, defensive end C.J. Olaniyan says he’ll be at the game, too. He said there’s a possibility that he could commit this weekend, but I sincerely doubt that will happen.
9Apr 2009
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Scouting Report: Skyler Schofner, OT – Johnstown, OH

Skyler Schofner’s name has been bandied about as someone who might commit soon, perhaps at Michigan’s spring game. Offensive linemen might seem boring, but games are won in the trenches. You don’t see championship teams with poor line play, so I’m spreading the wealth. Here’s what I’ve gathered about Schofner.

Height: 6’7″
Weight: 276 lbs.
Position: Offensive tackle
Jersey number: #70
School: Monroe High School in Johnstown, OH
40 Yard Dash: 5.0 seconds (reported)
Bench max: 340 lbs.

Notes: Holds offers from Akron, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, NC State, Ohio, Toledo, Vanderbilt, and Wisconsin, among others . . . Plays OT, DT, and DE . . . Transferred from Washington Court House High School to Johnstown Monroe in January 2009 . . . Named Second Team All-State in Ohio in 2008

Scouting report: Good waist and knee bend in stance . . . Comes off the ball well without wasted steps . . . Initiates excellent blow with first-level defenders . . . Has good athleticism and moves well for someone so tall . . . Has agility to play left tackle . . . Lacks motivation or desire to finish blocks . . . Often stops blocking after initial contact . . . Must improve hand punch on second-level defenders, as they are often too agile for his efforts . . . Too often blocks with a high pad level, using his chest to block rather than his shoulders or hands . . . Will get outmuscled by shorter or technically sound defensive linemen . . . Too often watches his skill players run downfield alone rather than run with them and continue to block . . . Will need to add at least 20 lbs. of lean muscle to be effective

Projection: Despite nearly identical size, Schofner should not be confused with 2009 commit Taylor Lewan. Both have similar athleticism, but Schofner lacks the intensity of Lewan. Still, the lack of intensity could be due to his lack of feeling challenged. Schofner has the athleticism to play left tackle and the run blocking ability to play right tackle. He would definitely require a redshirt year and probably wouldn’t be a viable BCS-level player until his redshirt sophomore year, but he could develop into a solid Big Ten starter by his junior or senior year.

29Mar 2009
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Scouting Report: Drew Dileo, WR – Greenwell Springs, LA

Drew Dileo has exactly one FBS scholarship offer. That offer came from the University of Michigan Wolverines. Dileo is a similar player to recent commit Tony Drake, so I’m not entirely confident that Michigan will hold a place for Dileo. But here’s what I can gather about him.

Height: 5’9″
Weight: 175 lbs.
Position: Wingback/wide receiver
Jersey number: #3
School: Parkview Baptist in Greenwell Springs, LA
40 Yard Dash: 4.5 seconds (reported)

Notes: Holds a single offer, which is from Michigan . . . Rushed 87 times for 540 yards and 4 TD’s as a sophomore in 2007 . . . Caught 17 passes for 305 yards and 3 TD’s as a sophomore . . . Rushed 102 times for 760 yards and 9 TD’s as a junior in 2008 . . . Caught 21 passes for 315 yards and 4 TD’s as a junior . . . Accumulated 1077 kickoff return yards (35 yard average) and 391 punt return yards over two years . . . Plays RB, WR, CB, KR, and PR . . . #19 player in Louisiana, according to

Scouting report: Good acceleration . . . Runs hard and does not look to avoid contact . . . Keeps feet moving in traffic . . . Good vision . . . Natural looking athlete . . . Excellent kick returner who looks to get upfield in a hurry . . . Good pass receiver who doesn’t mind going across the middle . . . Above average change of direction skills, although more of a slasher than an east-west runner . . . Attends a school with about 600 high school age students, so competition is questionable . . . Needs to add size and strength to power through a few more tackles . . . Running form could use some tweaking, as there’s too much wasted movement in his sprinting strides

Projection: Dileo looks to be a low to mid 3-star player. He’s a standout at a small school against weaker competition, but I question his ability to be fast enough or elusive enough to be a major contributor at the next level. Michigan is recruiting him as a slot receiver, but he could play running back; however, he will probably make his biggest impact in the return game.

26Mar 2009
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Tony Drake, Wolverine

Apparently, the world went haywire when Toney Clemons decided to transfer from Michigan a couple days ago, because his name was quickly replaced by that of Tony Drake, a rodent-sized slot receiver from Skyline High School in Dallas, Texas. In case the name of that high school sounds familiar, that’s because Michigan targeted current Minnesota Gopher Keanon Cooper for the class of 2008.

Drake is listed at 5’9″, 170 lbs., which means he’s probably 5’8″ and 155 lbs. He plays slot receiver for his high school team, in an offense that closely resembles Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense. In an article with Rivals, he said that the coaches want to use him like a combination between Steve Slaton and Noel Devine. They offered him Wednesday and he committed on Thursday; this was a quick, perhaps hasty, marriage. Unlike a few former recruitments – ones that played out dramatically and didn’t make sense from the get-go, like Kevin Newsome, Bryce McNeal, and Dewayne Peace – this one seems logical. Despite the distance from Texas, Drake seems like a perfect fit for the offense.

Skyline is a giant high school, educating somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 students. Their team finished the 2008 season with a record of 12-2 and ranked 22nd in the state of Texas and 164th in the country. On a high school team with several FBS prospects/commitments – Keanon Cooper, Spencer Reeves, Mike Davis, James White, and others – over the past couple years, Drake earned playing time as a freshman. As a sophomore, he gained 605 yards from scrimmage and averaged 10.5 yards per touch.

I have been unable to find junior year stats for Drake, but his film is very impressive. He has excellent acceleration, and what’s most impressive to me is his ability and patience in the area of setting up and following his blocks. As a slot receiver in that offense, he sometimes takes the equivalent of a jet sweep handoff, but once he gets going upfield, most of his movements continue to take him in that direction; he doesn’t move laterally as much as many small backs do, so he’s going to gain some yards after contact.
The biggest knock on Drake might be his top-end speed. You can see several occasions on film where he accelerates faster than everyone else on the field…and then starts to lose ground to defenders, and not necessarily just the fastest defender on the field. By the time he gets on the field at Michigan, though, he’ll have plenty of time to work on his speed. Hopefully it’s a weakness that he’s willing and able to strengthen.
Drake reminds me of Martavious Odoms in many ways. Despite the lack of dreadlocks, Drake’s field awareness and balance make the two similar.
I’m usually not overly excited about players whose only offer comes from Michigan before they commit, but for some odd reason, the three guys I’m most excited about are Antonio Kinard and Tony Drake (who only have offers from Michigan) and Devin Gardner.