Recruiting Update: July 7, 2014

Tag: David Sills

7Jul 2014
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Recruiting Update: July 7, 2014

Glen St. Mary (FL) Baker defensive end CeCe Jefferson (#7)

Glen St. Mary (FL) Baker defensive end CeCe Jefferson was offered by Michigan at some point in the past. He’s a 6’2″, 250 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, and USC, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 5-star, the #1 strongside end, and #4 overall. Michigan apparently offered him a while ago, but it was not made public until recently. Obviously, that does not bode well because Jefferson clearly hasn’t publicized his interest. Meanwhile, he appears ticketed for Florida.

Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy quarterback David Sills decommitted from USC. I can’t help feeling a little badly for Sills, who made national news for committing to the Trojans as a seventh grader when Lane Kiffin offered him. It underlines the uncertainty of early recruiting, but Sills watched two coaching changes at USC, saw current coach Steve Sarkisian grab Ricky Town from Alabama, and now finds himself searching for a lower-tier home, which seems likely to be West Virginia at this point.

New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic wide receiver Miles Boykin committed to Notre Dame. Michigan thought they might have a chance after he visited for the spring game and was offered shortly thereafter, but things had been trending toward Notre Dame for a few weeks. The Wolverines ended up finishing third behind the Fighting Irish and Michigan State.

St. Paul (MN) Cretin-Derham Hall defensive end Jashon Cornell committed to Ohio State. I have noted all along that Cornell was overrated as a defensive end, and Michigan’s coaches apparently saw him more as a defensive tackle as he added weight. They were reportedly not pursuing him very hard toward the end of his recruitment, although it likely would not have mattered either way.

Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard also committed to Ohio State. I wrote a scouting report on Hilliard last November (LINK), and I do think he will be a force to reckon with as a Buckeye. In my opinion, he’s the best prospect to come out of Ohio in the last few years.

Douglasville (GA) Alexander running back Mikell Lands-Davis committed to Georgia Tech. Lands-Davis is a sturdy back with good balance, and I can picture him making a good triple-option fullback for the Yellowjackets.

Dallas (TX) Bishop Dunne wide receiver A.D. Miller committed to Illinois. I considered Miller one of the top three receivers likely to commit to Michigan in the 2015 class, so now the Wolverines are down to two (Brian Cole and Auden Tate) unless they extend more offers.

Orange Park (FL) Oakleaf linebacker Shaquille Quarterman, a 2016 prospect, committed to Miami. His teammate was linebacker Darrion Owens, who also held a Michigan offer and chose Miami in the 2014 class.

Douglas (GA) Coffee tight end Jalen Wilkerson committed to Florida State. Michigan never had much of a chance, and his highlight reel entitled “The Chosen One” made me not want him in Ann Arbor, anyway.

I posted a list of players planning to attend the 2014 BBQ at the Big House (LINK).

I also posted a list of participants in Nike’s The Opening (LINK).

Last week on Recruiting Season, I profiled Orchard Lake St. Mary’s linebacker Joshua Ross, Detroit Cass Tech’s Demetric Vance and Donovan Peoples-Jones, Brighton’s Alexx Zielinski, and Traverse City West’s duo of Jacob Cerny and Tommy Roush.

16Mar 2014
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Visitors: March 14-16, 2014

Richmond (VA) St. Christopher cornerback Garrett Taylor
(image via 247 Sports)

C.J. Conrad – TE – La Grange (OH) Keystone:
 Conrad is a 6’5″, 225 lb. prospect with offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pitt, and Syracuse, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #8 tight end, and the #208 player overall. He recently named Kentucky as his leader, but offers from bigger programs could very well have an impact him, including one from Michigan. He also visited Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game last fall. As a junior in 2013, he had 59 receptions for 924 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Justin Hilliard – LB – Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier: I did a scouting report on Hilliard earlier this offseason. He has recently pulled in an offer from USC, and he took a junior day visit to Notre Dame, which left a good impression. His top group consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa (where his older brother signed last month), Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.

Alex Malzone – QB – Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice: Malzone’s interest in Michigan has been well documented, and he has visited Ann Arbor numerous times. The 6’3″, 200 lb. prospect has pulled in offers from Pitt and Wake Forest in recent weeks, but it seems pretty clear that he would jump at the chance to wear the winged helmet. Michigan is looking for a quarterback in the 2015 class, and it’s pretty clear they’ll have to expand their search because the four current offerees are unlikely to end up playing for Michigan.

David Moorman – OT – Northville (MI) Northville: Moorman is a 6’5″, 275 lb. prospect with offers from Cincinnati and a handful of MAC schools. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #46 offensive tackle, and the #394 player overall. Moorman has been making the rounds to Big Ten schools (Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin) but so far hasn’t been extended any big-time offers. I would not expect the Wolverines to offer on the visit, either, but he may be worth watching down the road if Michigan strikes out on other targets.

Josh Rosen – QB – Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco: Rosen is a 6’4″, 205 lb. prospect with offers from Cal, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, UCLA, and USC, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 5-star, the #1 pro-style quarterback, and the #5 prospect overall. I did a scouting report on him back in January. He has set his decision date for March 20th, and he is widely expected to choose UCLA unless Michigan gives him a reason to delay or alter his choice.

David Sills – QB – Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy: Sills is a 6’3″, 180 lb. prospect who holds a Michigan offer but has been committed to USC since February of 2010. The Trojans also received a commitment from quarterback Ricky Town in January, who is unanimously considered a superior player. Sills has two class of 2014 teammates (wide receiver Freddy Canteen and safety Brandon Watson) who enrolled early in January, so that may be a draw for Sills, who is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #21 pro-style quarterback, and the #483 player overall. I recently did a scouting report on 2015 quarterbacks, and Sills came in at #18 out of 20 players being courted by Michigan.

Garrett Taylor – CB – Richmond (VA) St. Christopher: Taylor is a 6’1″, 188 lb. prospect with offers from LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, South Carolina, Stanford, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #8 cornerback, and #92 overall. Taylor played against Michigan freshman quarterback Wilton Speight in high school, and he may be the most likely offered cornerback to commit to the Wolverines.

Reagan Williams – LB – Jackson (OH) Jackson: Williams is a 6’3″, 232 lb. prospect with offers from Indiana, Purdue, and a few MAC schools. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #18 inside linebacker, and #472 overall.

Jonathan Berghorst – DE – Zeeland (MI) East:
 Berghorst is a 6’2″, 210 lb. prospect with no offers at this time.

7Jan 2014
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Scouting Report: 2015 Quarterbacks

Josh Rosen

Since quarterback is such an important position, I like to look at the players that Michigan is reportedly considering for offers. The only two 2015 quarterbacks to be offered so far are Josh Rosen and David Sills, but with Rosen most likely staying on the west coast and Sills committed to USC, it seems like the Wolverines might have to extend another offer or two before they land their guy. Here’s a numerical ranking of the 13 guys rumored to be of interest to Michigan; players are ranked in order of my perception of how they would fit at Michigan, not necessarily their overall talent.

1. Josh Rosen – QB – Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco: Rosen is a 6’4″, 205 lb. prospect with offers from Cal, Duke, Fresno State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, and USC, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 5-star, the #1 pro-style QB, and #4 overall in his class. As a junior in 2013, he had 3,200 yards passing, 39 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and a completion percentage of 69%. He also ran for 404 yards and 8 touchdowns. Physically, Rosen reminds me of Chad Henne with his frame and running style, a guy who can pull the ball down and run if you leave him open, but not a guy who can really beat you with his feet. His mechanics and throwing style remind me of Aaron Rodgers, who’s always ready to throw the ball and has a quick release. Rosen has a very strong arm and can put the ball anywhere on the field, but he shows nice touch, too. The biggest question I have about Rosen is whether he can look off safeties, go through progressions, etc. because he tends to stare down his receiver and wait for him to come open.

2. Kyle Kearns
 – QB – Pleasanton (CA) Foothill: Kearns is a 6’3″, 195 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star and the #17 pro-style quarterback, and he had 2,500 yards passing and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2012. After watching his highlights, I was surprised to click on his profile and find out that he hasn’t received any offers yet. Kearns is a guy who looks like he’s in command of the offense, knows where to go with the ball, gets rid of the ball quickly, and can throw his guys open. He also shows good quickness, the ability to throw on the run to his left or his right, and solid arm strength. I also like that he keeps his eyes downfield while scrambling. He’s not the biggest guy, and he won’t leave defenses in the dust with his speed, but I like the way he runs his football team.

3. Brady White – QB – Santa Clarita (CA) Hart: White is a 6’2″, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Colorado State and San Jose State. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 2,575 passing yards with 25 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. 247’s Composite rankings puts him at a 4-star level as the #3 pro-style QB and #73 overall. He claims a 4.68 forty. Frankly, I’m surprised that he’s ranked as a pro-style quarterback because a big part of his game is running the ball, and that’s the first thing that sticks out on his highlight film. He’s very mobile and accelerates quickly up the field while showing good vision and elusiveness. He has good feet and is always ready to throw, although the technical part of his footwork needs to be cleaned up. He can throw the ball from multiple angles, but his standard release is kind of a three-quarters delivery, which could get balls knocked down at the line of scrimmage since he’s only a little over 6′ tall. One thing that troubles me about White is that the ball almost never comes out on time, and he has a little bit of a hitch in his release where he takes an extra little crow hop before he gets rid of the ball. Windows will close on him in college if he can’t fix that, and he doesn’t have the pure arm strength to make up for it. White also runs a very shotgun-heavy offense and rarely drops back from under center, which doesn’t exactly mesh with the offensive philosophy of Brady Hoke.

4. Zach Gentry – QB – Albuquerque (NM) Eldorado: Gentry is a 6’6″, 230 lb. prospect with offers from Louisville, New Mexico, New Mexico State, San Diego State, and Tennessee. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #12 pro-style quarterback, and #269 overall. He claims a 4.68 forty and as a sophomore in 2012, he had 2,022 yards passing with 17 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, plus 110 carries for 305 yards and 9 touchdowns. Gentry is a tall quarterback with a well developed frame, so he probably won’t get significantly bigger. He runs mostly a shotgun/pistol spread offense. He has a strong arm but throws a very catchable ball, and he has a high release when he sets his feet in the pocket. His straight line speed is good for a guy his size, but he lacks lateral quickness and agility. He may be tough to bring down because of his size, but he could improve his pocket awareness – he seems to throw the ball on time or get flushed out of the pocket, instead of sliding around or moving up in the pocket. I would also like to see him attack the line of scrimmage more when he rolls out, so he can get more on the football, but that’s a pretty easy thing to coach up.

5. Kevin Dillman – QB – La Mirada (CA) La Mirada: Dillman is a 6’4″, 220 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Nebraska, Tennessee, UCLA, Utah, and Vanderbilt, among others. He claims a 4.7 forty and is a 247 Composite 4-star, the #4 dual-threat quarterback, and #145 overall. Dillman runs a pro-style offense and takes a lot of snaps from under center, so he would appear to mesh well with Michigan’s type of offense. When I was watching his junior highlights, I kept waiting for him to do something dynamic – make a long run, uncork a great throw while scrambling, something – but he was very methodical and took a lot of checkdowns. He runs well for a guy his size, but he probably won’t be a dynamic runner in college, despite being ranked as a dual-threat. He has a fairly strong arm and can push the ball down the field when he wants, but he mostly seems to settle for throwing hitches, slants, square ins, etc. It’s difficult to say whether that’s his decision or his coach’s. He has a high release and active feet, although there are times when he pushes the ball from the shoulder, aiming rather than throwing. He’s another guy who could end up as a tight end if the quarterback position doesn’t pan out.

6. Alex Malzone – QB – Bloomfield (MI) Brother Rice: Malzone is a 6’2″, 185 lb. prospect with offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Toledo, and Western Michigan. As a junior in 2013, he completed 190/281 passes for 2,785 yards and 25 touchdowns, adding 3 more scores on the ground. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #33 pro-style QB, and #649 overall. Malzone runs a somewhat multiple offense and has experience dropping back, from shotgun, or from the pistol formation. He has a slight build and is a little short at a listed 6’2″. He runs his offense very well, is a good ball handler, and seems to be in command. He’s a good athlete who can get on the edge a little bit and make some things happen with his feet, but he’s not a blazer. Malzone gets the ball out on time and shows good accuracy and touch. His throws on skinny posts appear to be right on the money, but I question whether he has the arm strength to squeeze those in there against faster and longer defenders. He has a little bit of a hitch in his throwing motion where he brings the ball down to throw it, not totally unlike a right-handed version of Tim Tebow. Michigan’s coaching staff has been somewhat erratic with the quarterbacks they’ve recruited (the 6’3″ sorta dual-threat Russell Bellomy, the 6’3″ Shane Morris with a rocket arm, the 6’6″ Wilton Speight), but I look at Malzone and see him being too short and lacking the arm strength that Michigan likely wants.

7. Jack Beneventi – QB – Glen Ellyn (IL) Benet Academy: Beneventi is a 6’6″, 190 lb. prospect who’s committed to Iowa and also has offers from Illinois, Louisville, UMass, Notre Dame, and Western Michigan. As a junior in 2013, he was 134/246 passing for 1,482 yards and 7 touchdowns. He’s very tall and plays like it by standing tall in the pocket and using a high release. He has decent arm strength and looks good throwing the ball when he can get rid of it on time. His footwork is very inconsistent, and he tends to push the ball from his shoulder rather than whip it, which is something that’s somewhat difficult to fix; that can somewhat limit arm strength and the ball can die on longer throws. While he moves well for a guy his size, that foot speed is going to disappear as his body matures and he faces better competition. With his size, I wonder if Beneventi might be the type of guy who goes to Iowa as a quarterback and comes out a tight end.

8. Jimmy Fitzgerald – QB – Champaign (IL) Centennial: Fitzgerald is a 6’3″, 205 lb. prospect with offers from Florida International and Illinois. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #28 pro-style quarterback, and #561 overall. As a sophomore in 2012, he was 96/195 for 1,300 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. The first thing I noticed about Fitzgerald was that his footwork is sloppy and inconsistent, so that’s something that will have to be coached quite a bit. He does have good arm talent, and he throws a nice, catchable ball. Fitzgerald runs a shotgun spread offense in high school, which may not translate well to Michigan’s offensive style.

9. Sheriron Jones – QB – Moreno Valley (CA) Rancho Verde: Jones is a 6’3″, 180 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona and Arizona State. He claims a 4.6 forty and is a 247 Composite 4-star, #6 dual-threat quarterback, and #171 overall. Jones is a raw pure quarterback prospect. He has a slight build and lacks a strong arm. His footwork needs significant tweaking, and he runs a shotgun spread offense that does not necessarily mesh with what Michigan wants to do. Jones is a good runner with some speed and agility, but he’s not a dynamic runner.

10. David Sills – QB – Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy: Sills is a 6’3″, 180 lb. prospect who is committed to USC and has other offers from Clemson, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, and Virginia Tech. Two of his teammates (Brandon Watson and Freddy Canteen) are 2014 Michigan commits. At one point I saw full season highlights of Sills, but now I can’t find them. I believe Sills is a very polished quarterback prospect who is one of the top few players on the list at the moment. He runs a very pass-heavy offense, which is mostly a shotgun/pistol spread, but I think he has the mental acumen to make the adjustment to playing from under center when necessary. He has an overhand release, which helps make up for his average height. All that being said, I think Sills has pretty much maxed out his physical skills due to his refinement, and I’m not sure how much better he will get. He has a good but not great arm, and he’s decently mobile for a pocket quarterback.

11. Riley Neal – QB – Yorktown (IN) Yorktown: Neal is a 6’5″, 210 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. As a junior in 2013, he completed 188/292 passes (64.4%) for 2,751 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. If you watch Neal’s highlights, you may be reminded of former Michigan quarterback John Navarre. Neal is a tall guy who will probably play college ball around 230 lbs., but he’s a little bit slow of foot without much of an ability to create on his own. You will see a couple jump passes on his reel, which I don’t remember seeing out of Navarre. Neal has a strong throwing arm, and he does a good job of anticipating when his receivers are going to come open. With a strong offensive line, I think Neal could put up some good numbers, but it seems like Michigan’s coaches want a little more mobility.

12. Nick Johns – QB – Washington (DC) Gonzaga: Johns is a 6’3″, 215 lb. prospect with an offer from Virginia. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #26 pro-style quarterback, and the #551 player overall. He broke his collarbone halfway through his junior season and missed half the year. Johns is one of the more polished quarterbacks on this list, and he runs a pro-style offense that often puts him under center. He’s a good ball handler, has a good looking release, and delivers the ball on time. What Johns lacks is elite athleticism. He does not have a particularly strong arm, and despite solid mechanics, the ball often seems to sail high, which prevents his receivers from having much of an opportunity to run after the catch. He also lacks mobility and isn’t much of a threat to run or keep plays alive with his feet.

13. David Edwards – QB – Downers Grove (IL) North: Edwards is a 6’6″, 225 lb. prospect with offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, and Wisconsin. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #42 athlete, and #399 overall. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 512 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 719 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground. Edwards looks almost comically large under center, and his highlights mostly include him running some form of option. However, he is not particularly nimble or fast and makes the option work by being very large. He has a questionable arm and poor feet for a quarterback, and I think he’s almost certain to change positions in college, likely to tight end.

9Dec 2013
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Recruiting Update: December 9, 2013

David Sills as a seventh grader (image via MaxPreps)

Manassas (VA) Stonewall Jackson defensive tackle Tim Settle was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’3″, 305 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, and Virginia, among many others. Settle is good friends with 2014 defensive end target Da’Shawn Hand, who spurned Michigan in favor of the Crimson Tide in mid-November. Settle visited Ann Arbor for the Notre Dame game in early September and came away raving about the visit, but things seem to be trending toward Alabama or Ohio State. Stonewall Jackson produced Ryan Williams in the class of 2008, who went on to play for Virginia Tech and become a second round pick of the Arizona Cardinals.

Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy quarterback David Sills was offered by Michigan. I hinted at this back in September when Lane Kiffin was fired from USC, but Sills – who committed to the Trojans in seventh grade – could be on the free agent market. His “stock” has fallen considerably since that early commitment, and he is now a 247 Composite 3-star, the #22 pro-style QB in the country, and the #485 prospect overall. There have been hints that new USC coach Steve Sarkisian may want to go in a different direction. Meanwhile, Michigan has verbal commitments from 2014 wide receiver Freddy Canteen and cornerback Brandon Watson, both of whom are high school teammates of Sills. I will be posting a scouting report on Michigan’s 2015 quarterback targets soon, but my own view of Sills is that he’s a very polished prospect who lacks great athleticism and arm strength.

Warren (OH) Harding defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt committed to Arkansas. Froholdt played his sophomore year at Harding, moved back to his homeland of Denmark, and plans to return for his senior year of high school in 2014 (location to be determined). It will be interesting to see if he moves closer to Arkansas for his senior year or if he re-opens his recruitment.

Gallaton (TN) Station Camp wide receiver Josh Malone committed to Tennessee. Malone never showed much interest in the Wolverines, and while he was long considered a lean to the Volunteers, Clemson was also making a push near the end. He’s the #2 receiver in the country, according to Rivals.