Justice Hayes, Wolverine

Tag: Demetrius Hart

23Nov 2010
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Justice Hayes, Wolverine

Grand Blanc running back Justice Hayes

Running back Justice Hayes, from Grand Blanc, MI, committed to the Wolverines on Monday night.  Hayes is a 5’10”, 182 lb. running back/slot receiver who’s a 4-star recruit to all three recruiting services.  Rivals is the biggest fan of Hayes, giving him the #84 ranking overall and placing him as the #3 all-purpose back in the nation.  Those are pretty high accolades.

Up until a couple days ago, Hayes was a Notre Dame commitment.  He committed to the Fighting Irish in July 2010 and seemed solidly in their corner.  However, after attending a recent game in South Bend, he stated that there were a “couple situations” in South Bend that made him uncomfortable.  It didn’t take him long to call his recruiter at Michigan, running backs coach Fred Jackson, and make a commitment to the Wolverines.

As for Hayes’s high school production, he injured his wrist three games into his senior season and missed the majority of his final year due to that injury.  However, he had solid seasons as a sophomore and junior.  As a tenth grader in 2008, Hayes carried the ball 163 times for 1,122 yards and 10 touchdowns.  He followed that up with 175 carries for 1,295 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Hayes also caught 41 passes for 447 yards over those two seasons.

According to GoBlueWolverine.com, Hayes committed to Michigan as an “athlete.”  This does not surprise me.  Michigan has a similar (but better) back already in the fold for the Class of 2011, Demetrius Hart.  Hayes catches the ball out of the backfield well, and he runs with kind of a slashing, herky jerky motion.  He has a variety of moves and looks nearly impossible to tackle one-on-one.  In some ways, he reminds me of a taller Jeremy Gallon.

What Hayes lacks is ideal size and top-end speed.  He doesn’t exactly run away from defenses, and while he runs through some tackles by picking up his feet and keeping them moving, he won’t run over anybody.  When I ranked uncommitted backs in June, Hayes checked in at #5 on my list (Dee Hart was #2).

I think the position in which Hayes would be most effective is slot receiver.  Hart is a more dynamic runner and has better speed, so I’d like Hart to get more touches from the backfield.  However, as I said above, Hayes is spectacular in open space.  I would like to see him catching some bubble screens and getting to the edge one-on-one.  That would also give the team the slot receiver they desired in the 2011 class, as evidenced by the offers to Prince Holloway, DeVondrick Nealy, and Shane Wynn, among others.

Hayes is commitment #13 in the Class of 2011.  Barring any early departures or transfers, there should be approximately nine spots left in the class.

TTB Rating: 72

21Aug 2010
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The Effect of the Troy Woolfolk Injury on Recruiting

There was immediate frustration felt by Michigan fans upon Troy Woolfolk’s ankle injury, and that injury will have a ripple effect on the team and Michigan’s recruiting. As a true senior in 2010, Woolfolk’s eligibility status throws an interesting wrench into the plans to recruit for 2011.

Woolfolk’s senior status had Michigan fans and recruiting gurus planning to “take him off the books” for 2011, who assumed that his scholarship could be used toward bringing in a new recruit. I presume that Woolfolk will now return for a fifth year of eligibility in 2011. As a solid Big Ten starter with NFL measurables, Woolfolk had a chance to be a mid-round pick in the NFL Draft next year. Assuming that he recovers fully from his injury, that potential still remains but will likely be postponed until the 2012 NFL Draft.

According to my unofficial calculations, Michigan would have had 17 scholarships to give in the Class of 2011. Twelve seniors should be graduating, and five scholarships are unused. Ten of those scholarships have been filled up to this point. However, since Woolfolk will probably return for a fifth season, that number of graduating seniors drops to 11 and the total scholarships available drops to 16. And despite the fact that Michigan’s cornerback depth is very thin, Michigan should return at least three cornerbacks with starting experience in 2011 – the presumed 2010 starters in J.T. Floyd and Cullen Christian; and Woolfolk. And although it wasn’t completely necessary for Michigan to bring in an immediate-impact corner in the Class of 2011, now that need has likely been diminished even further.

Michigan already has two cornerbacks committed for 2011. The goal for a number of defensive backs may have swelled to four by Signing Day, but if Woolfolk returns, the need for a fourth DB disappears. There are now six scholarships available, and Michigan can only afford to use a maximum of one of those remaining scholarships for the defensive backfield. Here’s how I see those scholarships being used:

1. Running back: Demetrius Hart is the most likely option, as long as Michigan’s season goes fairly well.
2. Tight end: There are no impending commitments, but a WR/TE tweener could be offered and commit, such as Ben McCord.
3. Wide receiver: More depth is needed at wide receiver, especially with Darryl Stonum, Junior Hemingway, and Martavious Odoms being seniors in 2011. AJ Jordan is a possibility.
4 and 5. Offensive line: Anthony Zettel offers some position flexibility, which would be helpful with needs at both OL and DL. Chris Bryant would also be an option.
6. Defensive tackle: There’s talent already at defensive tackle, but not a lot of bodies. Michigan needs one big body in the middle.

Cornerback isn’t as pressing of a need as those other positions. Including Woolfolk and the two current Class of 2011 needs, Michigan will have seven cornerbacks on the roster in 2011. As mentioned, at least three of them will have starting experience. The needs at TE, WR, OL, and DT are more pressing. Interestingly, the position Michigan least needs to recruit is the running back spot, but Demetrius Hart is the highest-rated and most anticipated Michigan target at this point. If no additional scholarships open up and Hart commits elsewhere, I would not be surprised to see Michigan go without a running back in this recruiting cycle.

Addendum: If 2010 commitments Conelius Jones and Antonio Kinard end up qualifying and enroll in January, that could add more twists to the scholarship situation. However, usually it seems that Michigan’s non-qualifiers don’t end up at Michigan, so I’m not counting on them being a part of the picture.

5Jun 2010
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If I had My Druthers . . . Running Backs

I’m not sure what this guy’s name is . . .

Okay, here’s the list of running backs Michigan has offered. Players who have committed elsewhere are barred from my prestigious list. It’s a dog eat dog world out there, my friends, and you’re wearing Milkbone underwear.

1. Mike Bellamy
Only 5’9″ but has good speed and is extremely slippery. He shrugs off arm tackles.

2. Demetrius Hart
He might be pictured above. He’s fast, tiny, and will run you over if you’re not ready.

3. Mike Blakely
Great speed and quickness, but doesn’t break as many tackles as Bellamy.

4. Savon Huggins
Slightly above average speed, but runs hard and has tremendous balance.

5. Justice Hayes
Good speed and decent power. Good pass receiver, too. Runs a little high.

6. Bill Belton
Tiny, quick-twitch high school quarterback. Extremely elusive, but I’d like someone with a little more power.

7. Malcolm Crockett
Runs hard and makes cuts at full speed.

8. Remound Wright
Only average speed, but runs with purpose. Most impressive: the kid sprints through the goal line, even when nobody’s close to him. I’d love to have him on my team. His video got me pumped.

9. DaVondrick Nealy
Very good speed and moves, but dances a little too much for my liking.

10. Quan Bray
Good speed, but very thin. Doesn’t run as hard as I’d like to see him run.

11. Jarrell Oliver
Just doesn’t have the explosion I’d like to see in a running back. Not the gamebreaker Michigan needs.

12. Demetrius Williams
Good initial burst, but not a natural breakaway runner. Seems to be running in quicksand when he gets into the open field.

13. Melvin Gordon
Good size. Decent speed. Could also play safety.

2Jun 2010
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Rivals100 released

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney
Rivals released its initial top 100 rankings today at 1:00 p.m. A cadre of Michigan targets litter the Rivals100, making it a very interesting list. To the best of my knowledge, these are the 42 players who have been offered by Michigan:

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE – South Carolina
3. James Wilder, Jr., RB – Florida
4. George Farmer, WR – California
7. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT – Maryland
8. Curtis Grant, ILB – Virginia
11. Lawrence Thomas, DE – Michigan (Michigan State)
12. Christian Westerman, OT – Texas (Texas)
13. Mike Bellamy, RB – Florida
18. Jarvis Landry, WR – Louisiana (LSU)
19. Gregory Robinson, OT – Louisiana
22. Mike Blakeley, RB – Florida
23. Doran Grant, CB – Ohio
27. Kris Frost, LB – North Carolina
28. Hasean Clinton-Dix, S – Florida (Alabama)
30. Michael Bennett, DT – Ohio (Ohio State)
32. Matt Hegarty, OG – New Mexico (Notre Dame)
34. Demetrius Hart, RB – Florida
37. Karlos Williams, S – Florida (Florida State)
39. Sammy Watkins, WR – Florida
40. Jay Rome, TE – Georgia
45. Tim Jernigan, DT – Florida
49. DeAnthony Arnett, WR – Michigan
55. Josh Turner, CB – Oklahoma
56. Braxton Miller, QB – Ohio
57. Savon Huggins, RB – New Jersey
58. Anthony Zettel, OG – Michigan
62. Kiehl Frazier, QB – Arkansas (Auburn)
65. Christian LeMay, QB – North Carolina (Georgia)
66. Desmond Jackson, DT – Texas (Texas)
70. Bobby Hart, OG – Florida
72. Cyrus Hobbi, OG – Arizona
73. Tyler Moore, OG – Florida (Nebraska)
74. Brandon Shell, OT – South Carolina
75. Justice Hayes, RB – Michigan
81. Andre Yruretagoyena, OT – Arizona
85. Wayne Lyons, S – Florida
87. Marqise Lee, S – California
88. Andrew Buie, RB – Florida
91. Charone Peake, WR – South Carolina
93. Trey DePriest, LB – Ohio
95. Lamar Dawson, LB – Kentucky
97. Giorgio Newberry, OT – Florida

Michigan has a fighting chance with many of these players, but running back Demetrius Hart and offensive guard/defensive end Anthony Zettel are the only two that seem to have Michigan as their clear front-runner. If Michigan starts winning more, maybe their chances with more of these players will increase. Regardless, it’s somewhat nice to see that Michigan’s early offers align themselves with analysts’ ratings, too.

15Feb 2010
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Mailbag: 2011 RB and DT Recruiting

Jacksonville running back Andrew Buie

Out of the RB’s we have already offered in 2011, who do you think has the most potential in our offense? How many DT’s will we sign and which DT has shown a lot of interest in Michigan.
Anonymous from Maldives

Unlike certain blogs out there, I won’t make up mailbag questions. I’ll use the mailbag posts to answer questions posed to me in e-mail. I’ll also place some questions here that are asked in comments sections that might interest a broad range of people.

However, I will make up locations for those e-mailers.

Michigan has offered six superbacks so far: Demetrius Hart, Demetrius Williams, Allan Wasonga, Andrew Buie, Jarrell Oliver, and Justice Hayes. In my opinion, the one who projects best to Michigan’s offense is Andrew Buie. Buie is from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, FL, the same high school that 2010 recruit Rashad Knight attended. The competition at TCA is questionable, but Buie’s 5’9″, 188 lbs. and has very good speed and acceleration. He also has good vision and gets upfield rather than dancing, which is necessary for a good read option runner.

As far as defensive tackles go, I think Michigan will take two in the class of 2011 – one nose tackle and one defensive tackle. Ryan Van Bergen will likely move to defensive end, so current tackles with eligibility remaining after 2010 will be Mike Martin, William Campbell, Richard Ash, and Terry Talbott. By the time 2011 recruits get on campus, Martin will be a senior and Campbell will be a junior, so it’s imperative that Michigan gets some more depth on the interior defensive line. Unfortunately, none of the four defensive tackles Michigan has offered seem likely to be Wolverines. Desmond Jackson already committed to Texas, and Timmy Jernigan is considered a lock to attend Florida. That leaves Vincent Croce (Olney, MD) and Kevin Williams (Holland, OH). Croce plans to visit for Michigan’s next Junior Day on February 20, but I’m not sold on Rodriguez’s ability to recruit the Atlantic region. Williams seems the most likely and also plans to visit on February 20, but I have a feeling that Williams will head south.