Messiah DeWeaver, Wolverine

Tag: Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison

18Jun 2014
Uncategorized 5 comments

Messiah DeWeaver, Wolverine

Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison quarterback Messiah DeWeaver

Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison quarterback Messiah DeWeaver committed to Michigan today. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, and Louisville, among others.

DeWeaver is 6’3″, 202 lbs. As a sophomore in 2013, he passed for 2,300 yards and 21 touchdowns while also rushing for 6 touchdowns.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: Unranked
Scout: Unranked
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #9 pro-style QB, #244 overall, #12 in-state

DeWeaver has been visiting campus regularly for a couple years due to Trotwood-Madison’s connections to Michigan. The school sent former Wolverines Michael Shaw, Roy Roundtree, and Brandon Moore to Ann Arbor, and DeWeaver’s teammates Mike McCray II and Reon Dawson will be redshirt freshman Wolverines in the fall. DeWeaver will hit Michigan’s campus in 2016 when they will presumably be redshirt juniors. DeWeaver has been his varsity team’s starting quarterback since his freshman season.

Trotwood-Madison runs a diverse, modern pro-style offense that involves some single-back plays, some I-formation, and a lot of shotgun, five-wide, bunch formations, etc. DeWeaver does a good job of directing the offense. There’s a play roughly 5:25 into his Hudl highlights where he makes and adjustment with his slot receiver, who runs a drag route across the field, catches the ball, and turns it up the sideline for a 60+ yard touchdown. DeWeaver seems to know where to go with the ball rather quickly, so he doesn’t take a lot of time sitting in the pocket waiting for the rush to get to him. Accuracy is difficult to gauge from a highlight film, but he does seem to manage putting the ball in a place where only his receiver can catch it. He also is willing to take a hit in order to get rid of the football and does not seem jumpy in the pocket. The mental aspect of playing quarterback seems to be there. As for his athleticism, he keeps his feet active in the pocket but does not appear to be a huge threat on the move.

The biggest issue I have with DeWeaver is (to quote the great Trent Dilfer) his “arm talent.” DeWeaver lacks a great arm, and he tends to drop his elbow, which can make the ball sail a little bit. He does not put great spin on the football, and he has a tendency to step to the left of his target, which affects the zip on his passes. I would also like to see him speed up his dropback from under center, but that is easily coached.

Overall, I think DeWeaver has considerable potential if his body and arm strength mature. It’s difficult to keep in mind that the highlights available show an athlete who is entering his junior year of high school. If that arm strength matures with age, then he could be a very good college quarterback. If he does not get stronger in that area, I think he will have some serious issues completing passes against tighter coverage and quicker defenses. This will be something to watch over the next two years.

DeWeaver is the second commitment in Michigan’s 2016 class, joining Downers Grove (IL) South offensive tackle Erik Swenson. The class is scheduled to be roughly 16 players strong right now.

TTB Rating: I will not release TTB Ratings for the 2016 class until the 2015 class is completed.

15Jan 2013
Uncategorized 7 comments

Reon Dawson, Wolverine

Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison cornerback Reon Dawson (image via Twitter)

Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison cornerback Reon Dawson committed to Michigan on Monday.  Up to that point, he had been committed to Illinois; he also has offers from Arizona, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Pitt, Purdue, Virginia, and West Virginia, among others.

Dawson stands 6’2″ and 175 lbs., claiming a 4.39 forty.  He had 21 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery on the year.

ESPN: 3-star S, 77 grade, #41 S
Rivals: 3-star ATH
Scout: 3-star CB, #64 CB
247 Sports: 3-star CB, 84 grade, #82 CB

Dawson – who is not related to fellow 2013 commit David Dawson – is the teammate of linebacker Mike McCray II, another member of the recruiting class.  The cornerback visited Michigan for the Iowa game, and an offer was extended in early December, around the time that Massillon (OH) Washington cornerback flipped to Ohio State.  A Michigan offer is clearly a rung or two above an Illinois offer, and some believed that Dawson would flip immediately, but he also has a teammate (defensive end Jarrod Clements) committed to the Illini.  He took an official visit to Michigan this past weekend and came away impressed enough to change his commitment.

At 6’2″ Dawson has good length and a broad wingspan for the cornerback position.  He shows an ability to use his hands at the line of scrimmage to redirect receivers and disrupt routes, which could be valuable on both Man and Cover Two schemes.  He does a pretty good job of flipping his hips, and he runs well in a straight line.  While I doubt the 4.39 forty time he lists, his highlights don’t really ever show a point where he has to let loose and really motor.  He does a good job of staying in the receiver’s hip pocket.

Even though 175 lbs. seems skinny for his height, I wouldn’t be surprised if he weighs less than that, maybe in the 165 lb. range.  He’s very thin and needs to add weight and strength before he becomes a viable college player.  His lack of strength prevents him from redirecting receivers as effectively as possible, and it also might be a big reason why he’s a tentative tackler.  Dawson tends to stop his feet on contact and try to drag down ball carriers rather than drive his feet, but he does show a willingness to wrap up rather than diving at ankles, so there’s some potential there.  He also tends to sit a little high in his backpedal, which prevents him from breaking on balls thrown in front of him.  Dawson does not appear to be a dynamic player with the ball in his hands.

Overall, there are a lot of technical issues to work out with Dawson, but he has some of the basic assets that one would look for in a boundary corner: size and speed.  If he’s able to add size and willing to clean up his technique, he could be a serviceable starter down the road.  I would expect him to redshirt as a freshman and perhaps challenge for a starting spot as an upperclassman.  He’s a “high floor, low ceiling” type of kid who probably won’t ever be a superstar but probably won’t spend his entire career standing on the sideline.

This is Michigan’s 26th commitment in the class of 2013 and the fifth cornerback, joining Ross Douglas, Delano Hill, Jourdan Lewis, and Channing Stribling.  Dawson, Hill, and Stribling would all seem to be headed for the boundary corner position, although Hill and Stribling could easily play safety.  In addition to McCray, Michigan got three commitments from Trotwood-Madison kids back in 2008: wide receiver Roy Roundtree, tight end Brandon Moore, and running back Michael Shaw.  I would expect Michigan to be done recruiting defensive backs.

Here are his highlights from Hudl.

TTB Rating: 62 (ratings explanation)

6Mar 2012
Uncategorized 33 comments

Mike McCray, Wolverine

Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison linebacker Mike McCray

Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison linebacker Mike McCray committed to Michigan on Tuesday.  He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arizona, Illinois, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Penn State, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and several others.

McCray is a 6’4″, 230-pounder who claims a 4.61 forty.  As a junior in 2011, he made 132 tackles, 5 interceptions (3 of which he returned for touchdowns), 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery.  As a sophomore he made 65 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles.

ESPN: 4-star LB
Rivals: 4-star LB, #44 overall
Scout: Unranked
247 Sports: 4-star ATH, 92 grade, #10 ATH, #168 overall

McCray’s father, as you all probably know by now, played linebacker at Ohio State in the 1980s.  Ohio State has yet to offer the Buckeye legacy, which is reportedly a thorn in the McCrays’ side and perhaps a reason why Mike the Younger has decided to choose the Wolverines.  It might not be wise to close the door on Ohio State making a run at him, but at this point, he seems solidly committed to Michigan and convinced that Ann Arbor is the place for him to be.  There were rumblings recently that Tennessee was his leader, but he canceled a scheduled trip to Rocky Top and instead visited the Michigan campus, where he pledged to the coaching staff.

McCray is a very good athlete with excellent straight line speed for a guy his size.  As a receiver and interceptor, he shows soft hands, makes good breaks on thrown footballs, and is hard to catch in the open field.  However, I tend to disagree with a lot of the scuttlebutt out there that he’s destined for the MIKE linebacker.  He does say that he’s being recruited as an inside linebacker, but he doesn’t have the requisite skill set for the position, in my opinion.  He needs to play downhill more and read run plays quicker.  There are times when he takes poor angles in run pursuit, and he’s also not as aggressive of a hitter as I would expect from a kid his size.  I don’t think his highlight clips are that impressive for a linebacker who’s supposedly the 44th-best player in the country (to Rivals), aside from the interception returns.  Defensive touchdowns are great, but a middle linebacker needs to make his biggest impact as a run stopper.

I also don’t think he should play defensive end.  Do you really want to take a guy who had eight interceptions in his sophomore and junior seasons (at least three of which were returned for touchdowns?) and make him a defensive end, where he’ll only drop into coverage on a rare zone blitz?  That doesn’t make much sense, either.

The way I see it, McCray looks like a future SAM linebacker.  He could still be used in coverage at times, and since he’s not the most instinctive run stopper, rushing him off the edge would force him to play downhill and take some of that indecision out of the process.  I see some similarities at this point between McCray and outgoing senior J.B. Fitzgerald.

For people who didn’t like my Logan Tuley-Tillman scouting report, stop reading here.  There is a monster at the end of this book.

I don’t see McCray as a truly instinctive linebacker, at least not to the same level as James Ross and Joe Bolden.  He doesn’t seem to be a real “finisher” when it comes to tackling.  He leaps at a bunch of guys and drags them to the ground with his weight, rather than wrapping up and driving his feet; on the numerous highlights I’ve seen, I think I’ve seen one impressive tackle.  There are times where he almost gets a guy to the ground and needs somebody else to come and clean up.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t like it when dudes jog into the end zone, and he does it multiple times.  This is a kid with all kinds of athletic potential  but he’s not college ready from the perspective of technique and football maturity.

Cue the nasty e-mails.

Trotwood-Madison High School is the alma mater of current Wolverines Roy Roundtree and Brandon Moore.  McCray, commitment #14 for Michigan in 2013, is also teammates with former Michigan target Cam Burrows, a cornerback who is committed to Ohio State.

TTB Rating: 74