Review of 2007 Recruiting: Defensive Tackles

Tag: Renaldo Sagesse

30Apr 2014
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Review of 2007 Recruiting: Defensive Tackles

This is Joe Barksdale. Notice that the maize isn’t quite maize enough and the blue is more of a purple.

Will Johnson, Sr.
Terrance Taylor, Jr.
Marques Slocum, So.
John Ferrara, RS Fr.
Jason Kates, RS Fr.

Renaldo Sagesse
High school:
 Montreal (Quebec) Vieux School
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #34 DT
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Illinois
Scoop: Sagesse played in six games as a true freshman in 2007 but didn’t accrue any statistics. As a sophomore in 2008, Sagesse made 3 tackles as a backup defensive tackle, mostly in goal-line situations. Then in 2009 he made 8 tackles and 2 tackles for loss in a backup role. He made 5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss as a senior in 2010. He went undrafted by the NFL in the 2011 NFL Draft but was picked in the 4th round (#25 overall) by the Montreal Alouettes in the 2011 Canadian Football League draft. He played for the Alouettes in 2011 and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2012, but he has not played in the CFL since then.

Joseph Barksdale
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #6 DT, #67 overall
College: LSU
Other notable offers: Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC
Scoop: Barksdale was a backup right offensive tackle as a true freshman in 2007 and played in every game that year, some on special teams. After that he became the starter at right tackle for the 2008 and 2009 seasons and flipped to the left side in 2010, running his streak of consecutive starts to 39 over his final three seasons. As a senior in 2010, he was named Second Team All-SEC. He was chosen in the 3rd round (#92 overall) by the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 NFL Draft, but the Raiders released him before his second year. The St. Louis Rams picked him up prior to the 2012 season and he has started ten games for them over the past couple years.

Josh Brent
High school: Bloomington (IL) Central Catholic
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #11 DT
College: Illinois
Other notable offers: Ohio State, Wisconsin
Scoop: As a true freshman in 2007, Brent made 8 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and .5 sacks as a backup defensive tackle. He became a part-time starter in 2008 and made 34 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. Then as a junior in 2009, he tallied 29 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery as a full-time starter. Brent was declared academically ineligible for the 2010 season, which caused him to enter the NFL’s supplemental draft, where he was taken in the 7th round by the Dallas Cowboys. He made 44 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble for the Cowboys before getting into some serious legal trouble in 2012 when he got drunk and flipped his car with teammate Jerry Brown in the passenger seat. Brown was killed in the accident. The accident and Brent’s treatment afterward caused quite a stir, and he “retired” after failing multiple drug tests while awaiting trial. In January 2014 he was convicted of manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation.

Tonio Celotto
High school: Simi Valley (CA) Royal
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #38 DT
College: Oregon Humboldt State
Other notable offers: Ole Miss, Washington State
Scoop: Celotto was a backup as a true freshman and made 16 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss in 2007, including 4 stops in the Ducks’ win over Michigan that year. As a sophomore in 2008, he made 10 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. Slowed by injuries, Celotto left Oregon before the 2009 season and ended up at Humboldt State University. He made 1 tackle in 2011 in an injury-shortened season and received a sixth year of eligibility for 2012. As a sixth year senior, he made 14 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 pass breakups, and 1 blocked kick but could only participate in six games. He went undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft and appears to have completed his football career.

Da’John Harris
High school: Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #3 DT, #48 overall
College: USC
Other notable offers: Miami, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA
Scoop: Harris redshirted as a freshman in 2007. In 2008 he was a backup defensive tackle and blocking tight end, making 1 tackle in limited time before missing several late games for academic reasons. As a redshirt sophomore in 2009, he became a key backup and made 14 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and .5 sacks. He finally became a starter in 2010 and finished the year with 35 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup. Then as a fifth year senior in 2011, he had 22 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 6 pass deflections. He went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and has played for the Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins, last appearing in 2012 for the Titans and making 3 tackles total. He is not currently on an NFL roster.

Rolando Melancon
High school: Lutcher (LA) Lutcher
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #22 DT
College: Tennessee Louisiana Tech Texas Southern
Other notable offers: Nebraska, Ole Miss
Scoop: Melancon signed with Tennessee out of high school but failed to qualify academically. He then enrolled at Louisiana Tech, where he took a redshirt for the 2007 season and also sat out 2008 due to academic ineligibility. He got into some off-the-field trouble in the off-season and was dismissed by then head coach Derek Dooley. Melancon transferred to Texas Southern, playing nine games in 2009 and five more in 2010. In that 2009 season, he made 31 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 interception that he returned 26 yards for a touchdown. Then in 2010 he made 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft and his career appears to be finished.

Recruiting defensive tackles is always an iffy proposition, because some players have lots of size and some natural quickness but don’t have the technique to be successful. It’s also tough for any player to carry that much bulk and stay injury-free. When 300+ pounders are diving at your legs and you’re 300 lbs. yourself, you never know what can happen. This class had a mish-mash of talent, and looking through the whole list of defensive tackles from the 2007 class, it didn’t seem to have a ton of depth. Sagesse turned into a decent player and may have been more if not for some shoddy defensive coordinating, although defensive line coach Bruce Tall did okay with what he had.

Biggest miss: Joseph Barksdale. This one is obvious. Barksdale attended Cass Tech – before it became a pipeline to Michigan – and was right in Michigan’s back yard, but they couldn’t reel him in. He started off as a defensive tackle at LSU but almost immediately switched to offense, which worked out well for him. Even if he had made the same move at Michigan, the Wolverines could have used him on the offensive line during that stretch of time.

Biggest bust: Josh Brent. Brent had a decent college career and the beginnings of a promising NFL run, but the college portion was cut short by bad grades and the pro portion was cut short by terrible life decisions. And by the way, 180 days of jail is way too short for someone who chooses to drink and drive, resulting in a death.

Best in class: I would like to say Nick Fairley, but he’s a moron, too. I can’t bust on Josh Brent and then say Nick Fairley was a real gem. Let me just say that I was angry when the Detroit Lions drafted Fairley #13 overall, and I still am. I guess I’ll have to go with Devon Still, the former Penn State defensive tackle who was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals. Still hasn’t done much in the NFL (21 tackles, .5 sacks), but he was the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American in 2011, earning himself a 2nd round pick.

27Apr 2011
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NFL Draft Preview: Michigan-style

Jonas Mouton (#8) should be one of just two Michigan players drafted this weekend

The NFL Draft has always been a fun time for me, because I would always sit around and wait for the next Michigan player’s name to get called.  Between watching for a Michigan player to get drafted and waiting for the Lions to pick, one Saturday in April was perhaps the most exciting day of the football off-season.  But Michigan’s production of NFL players has waned in recent years.

Ever since six players were taken in the 2008 draft – four in the first three rounds – the Wolverines have only been able to muster five total draft picks in 2009 (4th round: Terrance Taylor; 6th: Morgan Trent) and 2010 (1st: Brandon Graham; 5th: Zoltan Mesko; 7th: Steve Brown).  That’s an average draft position of the 4.6th round.

By contrast, 60 players were taken from 1995-2007, an average of 4.62 per year.  On average, those players were drafted in the 3.68th round.  Not only has the number of Michigan draftees been lower in the past couple seasons, but they’re getting picked lower, too.

That average draft position might rise slightly this year, but there will probably only be two Wolverines chosen this coming weekend:

Jonas Mouton – Linebacker
Mouton measured in at the NFL Combine at 6’1″ and 239 lbs.  I think he could play a couple positions, either as a weak inside linebacker in a 3-4 or as a weakside outside linebacker in a 4-3.  He’s pretty solid in coverage and changes direction well (video here, senior profile here).
Projection: 5th round to the Patriots

Steve Schilling – Offensive guard
Schilling measured in at the NFL Combine at 6’5″, 304 lbs.  He had a pretty good Combine performance, but nothing stellar.  He played a lot of offensive tackle at Michigan, but I think he’s strictly a guard at the next level.  Four years of starting experience should help him (senior profile here).
Projection: 4th round to the Browns

Undrafted: DT Greg Banks, OT Perry Dorrestein, LB Obi Ezeh, OG John Ferrara, LB Kevin Leach, FB/LB Mark Moundros, DE/DT Adam Patterson, CB James Rogers, DT Renaldo Sagesse, TE Martell Webb

I do think there is a remote chance that two other players get drafted late – Obi Ezeh and Martell Webb.  Ezeh was, for all intents and purposes, a four-year starter at middle linebacker.  That might be worth something to a team late in the draft.  And Webb turned into a very good blocker.  If a team is looking for a cheap blocking tight end in the 7th round, they could do worse than picking a 6’4″, 268-pounder with decent athleticism.

2Nov 2010
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Michigan vs. Penn State Awards

PSU wide receiver Graham Zug catches a touchdown pass over freshman
safety Ray Vinopal.

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Vincent Smith as slot receiver.  He can catch the ball and make an occasional person miss in space.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . Vincent Smith as running back.  I don’t care if it’s Michael Shaw, Stephen Hopkins, Michael Cox, Teric Jones, whatever.  I’ll take the heat if the experiment doesn’t go well.  Just get Smith off the field when you slam the ball up the middle.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Renaldo Sagesse at nose tackle.  I guess the experiment with Adam Patterson at nose tackle didn’t work out.  Gee, I wonder why.  There are lots of 275-pound nose tackles in major college football, right?  Right?  Anyway, Sagesse is clearly a more capable NT now that Mike Martin is missing significant time due to injury.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Cameron Gordon at Spur.  I felt like this game was Purdue 2008.  In that game Carson Butler played defensive the week following a position switch from tight end.  In this game Cam Gordon replaced Thomas Gordon at Spur, even though Thomas Gordon looked decent throughout the year.  Seriously, a redshirt freshman goes from starting free safety to starting outside linebacker from one game to the next?  At least give him a few weeks to get acclimated to his new position.

MVP of the Penn State game . . . Denard Robinson, obviously.

27Jul 2010
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2010 Countdown: #38 Renaldo Sagesse

Name: Renaldo Sagesse
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 285 lbs.
High school: Vieux Montreal in Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Senior
Jersey number: #95
Last year: I ranked Sagesse #34. He made 8 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.

Sagesse is one of those guys that you feel for a little bit. He’s a big guy and a solid talent. He could probably be a starter and the defense and the defense wouldn’t miss a beat, but he’s not a star player. He’s been essentially the same player now for three years, and while I don’t expect a giant leap forward from him in 2010, I do expect him to continue his consistency.

He offers some versatily in that he can play nose tackle and defensive tackle. In fact, he played 3 games at NT and 6 games at DT last season. But Michigan didn’t lose anyone from the interior defensive line, and Sagesse remains a backup. Fellow lineman William Campbell was more highly touted, but also lacks consistency. Both will get plenty of time on the line, but right now, I believe Sagesse to be the more solid player. Sagesse’s final season should be virtually a mirror image of his junior year – maintaining his gap, making a smattering of tackles, and being a good glue player for the Wolverines.

Prediction for 2010: Backup defensive tackle/nose tackle; 12 tackles, 1 sack

28Jun 2010
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2010 Countdown: #71 Richard Ash

Name: Richard Ash
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 263 lbs.
School: Pahokee High School in Pahokee, FL
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Prediction for 2010: Redshirt

Ash is a big kid from south Florida pipeline Pahokee, the same school that provided Michigan with Martavious Odoms, Brandin Hawthorne, and Vincent Smith. That 263 pounds thing up there might be a lie. A State of Florida insider said around signing day that Ash was up around 300 lbs. at the time. If Ash maintains that weight, he’ll likely be a nose tackle. If he can work himself closer to that 263, then he could have more flexibility to play 3-tech defensive tackle as well.

Ash’s conditioning will be sorted out by Mike Barwis and Co., and I imagine that Ash’s playing weight will be below 300. Observers from Florida also indicated that Ash played better when he was around 240 lbs., so I get the feeling that he’s not someone who wears weight well. Regardless, Ash is probably headed for a redshirt this year to get his conditioning sorted out. I placed him somewhat higher on this list than I wanted to, but that’s largely because depth on the interior defensive line is somewhat thin. The Wolverines have a solid four interior linemen (Mike Martin, Greg Banks, Renaldo Sagesse, William Campbell), but any injuries might disrupt that depth and force a freshman to play. Furthermore, both Banks and Sagesse won’t be returning in 2011, so there may be a need to get a young guy some garbage time reps this season.