Michigan Recruits are Speedy

Tag: Josh Furman

6Mar 2010
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Michigan Recruits are Speedy


A few days ago, Dr. Saturday wrote another column about how 40 times are exaggerated. In the recruiting world, 40 yard dash times are thrown around by players, coaches, and fans in a careless game of one-upmanship. You know that guy at the party who says he drank 30 beers when you say you had 12? That guy is all over the place in high school and college football.

With the recent NFL Combine results being posted on the internet, I thought I’d compare those times to the times of recent Michigan recruits at a few positions.

Denard Robinson – 4.48
Jarrett Brown (WVU) – 4.54
Tate Forcier – 4.55
Dan LeFevour (CMU) – 4.66
Zac Robinson (OK St.) – 4.71
Tim Tebow (UF) – 4.72
Colt McCoy (UT) – 4.79

Sam McGuffie – 4.32
Jahvid Best (Cal) – 4.35
C.J. Spiller (Clemson) – 4.37
Michael Shaw – 4.40
Ben Tate (Auburn) – 4.43
Austin White – 4.44
Ryan Matthews (Fresno) – 4.45
Joe McKnight (USC) – 4.47
Teric Jones – 4.47
Montario Hardesty (Tennessee) – 4.49
James Starks (Buffalo) – 4.50
Fitzgerald Toussaint – 4.50
Mike Cox – 4.50
Stephen Hopkins – 4.52
Lonyae Miller (Fresno) – 4.53
Shawnbrey McNeal (SMU) – 4.56
Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss) – 4.58

Jacoby Ford (Clemson) 4.28
Roy Roundtree – 4.40
Darryl Stonum – 4.40
D.J. Williamson – 4.40
Taylor Price (Ohio) – 4.41
Emmanuel Sanders (SMU) – 4.41
Golden Tate (ND) – 4.42
Brandon Banks (KSU) – 4.43
Kyle Williams (ASU) – 4.43
Je’ron Stokes – 4.44
Marcus Easley (UCONN) – 4.46

Josh Furman – 4.37
Jamar Chaney (Miss. St.) – 4.54
Dekoda Watson (FSU) – 4.56
Davion Rogers – 4.60
Jake Ryan – 4.60
Kavell Conner (Clemson) – 4.63
Cody Grimm (VT) – 4.64
Harry Coleman (LSU) – 4.65

So if one were to believe Rivals, Scout, and other recruiting articles, you would find that in the last three years, Michigan has recruited running backs who would have posted 7 of the top 14 times in the 2010 NFL Combine; wide receivers who would have posted 3 of the top 4 times; and linebackers who would have posted 3 of the top 5 forty times.

Furthermore, one would believe that Sam McGuffie would be the second-fastest player in the draft (behind Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford) and that linebacker Josh Furman would have tied Clemson running back C.J. Spiller for the third-fastest time.

What conclusions can we reach from this information? The first answer is . . . well, nothing that we didn’t already know. High school forty times are exaggerated greatly. But the degree to which they are exaggerated borders on the ridiculous.

The second conclusion is that if Clemson can’t win with such elite speed on its roster, then heads need to roll.

And the third conclusion is that, whether his time is fake or not, Denard Robinson is still really, really fast.

5Dec 2009
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Ray Vinopal, Wolverine

Ray Vinopal
Cardinal Mooney (Youngstown, OH) safety Ray Vinopal celebrated today’s state championship victory by announcing that he had committed to Michigan. He called the coaches on Wednesday to let them know about the commitment, but it was kept quiet so Vinopal could concentrate on beating DeSales High School (Columbus, OH) in the championship, which he and his teammates did with a 35-7 win.
Vinopal is a 5’10”, 178 lb. high school free safety/running back who will most likely play strong safety in Greg Robinson’s defense. (Remember, the strong safety for Robinson is usually the deep safety.) Cardinal Mooney is a traditional powerhouse, having produced players like Penn State RB Brandon Beachum, Ohio State DT John Simon, and Notre Dame safeties Dan and Kyle McCarthy in recent years.
I have been lukewarm on Michigan’s pursuit of Vinopal since he was offered. He’s a 2-star recruit to each of the three recruiting services (Rivals, Scout, ESPN), but more than that, I’m just not that impressed with the film I’ve seen. Vinopal has some physical limitations. He’s listed at 5’10” or 5’11” and anywhere from 170 to 178 lbs., but he looks small on the field. His 40-yard dash time is listed at 4.56, which you know is a lie, considering the fact that Pat White ran a 4.55 at the NFL Combine last year. Vinopal’s other scholarship offers came from the likes of Bowling Green, Kent State, and Air Force.
When I read Bruce Feldman’s Meat Market last year, I read an interesting quote from former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron. When he and his coaches were looking at a prospect’s film, he said something along the lines of, “You can’t knock a kid for technical faults. As a coach, you have to believe you can fix that.” From reading that book and using that philosophy, I’ve taken that advice and applied it, not only to my reviews of recruits, but to my coaching.
And that’s the problem I have with the Vinopal offer and commitment. When I watch him, I don’t see a whole lot to fix. He’s pretty technically sound. He reads plays well, he accelerates well, and you can see that he goes full-speed. He goes all out . . . and I’m still not impressed. He’s not a great tackler. He’s not extremely fast. He’s going to get overpowered in the run game, outrun in open space, and outjumped in the passing game. When he gets to full speed, his running form goes completely out of whack, although that’s something that may be able to be fixed.
Meanwhile, Michigan still has two somewhat realistic options for 4-star safeties Sean Parker (Narbonne, CA) and Rashad Knight (Jacksonville, FL). They’re also recruiting Glenville, OH, safety Latwan Anderson, although he’s almost surely ticketed for Ohio State. The Vinopal commitment also puts the Wolverines at 23 commitments for the 2010 class, a class in which Michigan can only take 25 scholarship players. There are still uncommitted players at other positions out there, such as Maryland linebacker Josh Furman, Florida cornerback Tony Grimes, and Grimes’s teammate, defensive end Clarence Murphy.
Something has to give. Perhaps Michigan’s offer to Vinopal is as a grayshirt player, someone who will pay for his first semester of college until a scholarship opens up. Perhaps Michigan knows that one of their commitments isn’t going to qualify; linebacker Antonio Kinard and slot receiver Tony Drake are rumored to be on the verge of not qualifying.
Either way, I’m not excited about Vinopal’s commitment. Michigan already has Vinopal’s brother on the roster – his name is Jordan Kovacs. Both are short on speed and talent, and both are undersized. I hope Vinopal turns out to be Michigan’s version of former Iowa safety Bob Sanders or even former Minnesota safety Tyrone Carter, but I just don’t see that happening. Vinopal looks like a career special teamer.
5Nov 2009
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Scouting Report: Josh Furman, LB – Millersville, MD

Height: 6’3″
Weight: 194 lbs.
Position: Linebacker
Jersey number: #2
School: Old Mill High School in Millersville, MD
40 Yard Dash: 4.36 seconds (reported)

Notes: Holds offers from Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, among others . . . His father, Tyrone, played defensive tackle for Maryland . . . 87 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 blocked punts as a junior on defense . . . 105 carries, 796 yards, 14 TDs as a junior on offense . . . Plays RB and LB in high school . . . 3-star recruit and #28 athlete on Rivals . . . 4-star recruit and #20 safety on Scout

Scouting report: Shows very good straight-line speed . . . Frame could easily hold another 25-30 pounds . . . Uses speed well when blitzing off the edge . . . High-motor player who makes plays even when he’s seemingly out of them . . . Running technique is excellent as his leg drive and upper body synchronize well . . . Tends to be undisciplined regarding his gap responsibility . . . Does a poor job of using his hands to disengage from blockers . . . Not a big hitter, more of a grabber . . . Does not bring his feet with him when he tackles . . . Too stiff in the hips to play defensive back at the college level

Projection: Although smaller in stature, Furman reminds me a bit of Shawn Crable. He’s long and lean with good speed and a good motor, but he’s extremely raw. Michigan would probably slot him in the WILL position, as Furman could play at 220-225 lbs. without sacrificing too much speed.