Matt Falcon, Wolverine

Tag: Southfield (MI) Southfield HS

10Apr 2015
Uncategorized 20 comments

Matt Falcon, Wolverine

Southfield (MI) Southfield running back Matt Falcon

Southfield (MI) Southfield running back Matt Falcon committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arizona State, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Oregon, among others.

Falcon is a 6’1″, 215 lb. prospect. As a junior in 2015, he had 75 carries for 1,109 yards and 7 touchdowns. He claims a 4.41 forty.

Hit the jump for more on Falcon and his commitment to Michigan.

ESPN: 3-star RB
Rivals: 4-star, #13 RB
Scout: 4-star, #8 RB, #149 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, #10 RB, #263 overall, #7 in-state

Falcon has been on the big-time recruiting radar for a long time, but an ACL tear during his sophomore year sort of delayed his true arrival. While he had been in contact with the previous coaching staff, they never offered. Shortly after National Signing Day 2015, Jim Harbaugh’s staff extended an offer. He visited Michigan several times, but on Monday, Alabama running back Kingston Davis committed to the Wolverines. With just one running back spot left, Falcon went ahead and picked Michigan two days later.

Back in February I ranked Falcon the #3 player in the state (LINK). Despite the knee injury, he was extremely productive in 2014. He has good straight-line speed, makes some nifty moves in the hole, and runs with good body lean. He shows a strong array of skills that should allow him to be a three-down back who can gain short yardage, make people miss, outrun people, and break tackles in the open field.

The only real concern I have about him is that knee injury. It seems like anyone who tears an ACL tears it again at some point, so it might not be a question of “if” but “when.” Of course, the hope is that he can be permanently healed, but we’ll see.

Overall, I really like the pickup of Falcon. He has the skills I want to see in a Michigan running back. Michigan has lacked a big-time running back for a while, although there are a couple guys with potential currently on the roster. The Wolverines have had a history of great running backs, but the last time they had a successful, prototypical back was perhaps Chris Perry in 2003. (I might argue that Brandon Minor had the potential, but he never had the production, for various reasons.) Falcon and a couple other backs on the roster represent an opportunity to return Michigan to the level they were at before the Rich Rodriguez years. For many years, Michigan was a running back factory, but now schools like Ohio State, Alabama, and Georgia have jumped well ahead of the pack.

Michigan is scheduled to need 15 players in the 2016 class, although that number will increase over time. He is the second running back, and that should fill up the class at the position. Regarding Southfield High School, they have churned out a lot of talent in the past few years, including sending defensive end Lawrence Marshall to Michigan in 2014. The 2015 class at Southfield was perhaps the best ever, but it would be a good school at which to build a pipeline.

TTB Rating: 85 (ratings explanation)

11May 2013
Uncategorized 17 comments

Lawrence Marshall, Wolverine

Southfield (MI) Southfield defensive end Lawrence Marshall

Southfield (MI) Southfield defensive end Lawrence Marshall committed to Michigan on Saturday morning.  He chose the Wolverines over offers from Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, among others.

I wrote up a scouting report on him just . . . uh . . . yesterday.  That has pretty much all the information you might need.

As I mentioned in said scouting report, Marshall looks like a guy who could start off at weakside end as a youngster and eventually bulk up into being a strongside end.  In my opinion, he’s not an elite pass rusher, and he lacks a variety of moves that would help him circumvent college left tackles.  Those pass rush moves can be taught, however, and Marshall does have decent athleticism and pretty good straight line speed.  People have asked me if I think he can add enough weight to play on the strong side, but current starting weakside end Frank Clark came in at about 6’2″ and 215 lbs. and is now almost 280 lbs.; Marshall will be coming out of high school 10-20 lbs. heavier than Clark did and with an added inch or two in height.

You can see that I have some questions about Marshall, and there’s also evidence that kids who change their commitments during the recruiting process often struggle to find success at the next level.  Maturity and level of commitment come into play when talking about kids who make such big decisions rashly.  Hopefully, for Marshall and Michigan’s sake, he breaks that trend.  In the above linked scouting report, I made comparisons to Craig Roh – who started off at WDE before bulking up to SDE – and Tim Jamison, who remained at WDE throughout his career.  Jamison was a better athlete than Marshall coming out of high school, but the weight he added in college seemed to slow him down just enough to prevent him from becoming a top-notch player.  However, Jamison has been a fringe NFL player, and Roh signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent, so following in their footsteps would be a pretty decent achievement.

Marshall is the ninth commitment in a class that is probably going to be in the upper teens or maybe even reach twenty, so we’re about halfway home.  Michigan is also looking to take at least a couple defensive ends in the 2014 class, with guys like Detroit (MI) Loyola’s Malik McDowell and Woodbridge (VA) Woodbridge’s Da’Shawn Hand still on the board.  The only other defensive lineman currently committed is Salt Lake City (UT) Highland’s Bryan Mone, a defensive tackle.

TTB Rating: 72 (ratings explanation)