Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2007

Tag: Zion Babb

23Feb 2018
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Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2007

Ryan Mallett (image via Sports Illustrated)

Here’s a wrap-up of the 2007 signees who left Michigan before their eligibility was completed.

Zion Babb – Wide receiver/cornerback – Alhambra (CA) Alhambra
Babb committed to the Wolverines as a speed-burning wide receiver, but bounced back and forth between receiver and cornerback in his two years at Michigan.  He redshirted as a freshman in 2007.  As a receiver in 2008 during Rich Rodriguez’s first year, Babb caught 2 passes for 45 yards.  However, there were multiple behavior and attitude issues – including reported verbal altercations with coaches on the practice field – that forced the program to part ways with him.  He attended a junior college in 2009 and was reportedly considering transfers to Colorado and New Mexico, but did not appear on either team’s 2010 roster.
Current status: Out of football

Artis Chambers – Safety/linebacker – Fort Wayne (IN) Snider
Chambers committed to the Wolverines as part of a seemingly excellent defensive back haul in 2007, joining Jerimy Finch and Donovan Warren.  Chambers played immediately, making 7 tackles as a freshman in 2007.  He added 4 tackles in 2008 while playing a linebacker/safety hybrid role, but left the team prior to the end of the season.  After the 2008 season, he announced a transfer to Ball State and sat out the 2009 campaign.  He was not on Ball State’s 2010 but popped up at Delta State in 2012, where he played in seven games and made 6 tackles.
Current status: Out of football

Hit the jump for several more decommits and transfers.

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16Apr 2014
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Review of 2007 Recruiting: Wide Receivers

Michigan procured Junior Hemingway in the 2007 class

Adrian Arrington, RS Jr.
Mario Manningham, Jr.
LaTerryal Savoy, RS So.
Greg Mathews, So.

Zion Babb
High school: Alhambra (CA) Alhambra
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #42 WR
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Cal, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington
Scoop: Babb redshirted in 2007 and bounced back and forth between receiver and cornerback. As a redshirt sophomore in 2008, he caught 2 passes for 45 yards. He reportedly had verbal altercations with Michigan’s coaches and was released from his scholarship. To my knowledge, he did not continue his football career elsewhere.

Toney Clemons
High school: New Kensington (PA) Valley
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #12 WR, #91 overall
College: Michigan Colorado
Other notable offers: Colorado, Pitt, Purdue, West Virginia
Scoop: Clemons burned a redshirt for 1 catch and 5 yards a freshman in 2007. With the arrival of Rich Rodriguez for the 2008 season, Clemons moved to slot receiver due to little or no depth behind freshman Martavious Odoms. He caught 11 passes for 101 yards as a sophomore in 2008, but transferred to Colorado after the season. He used that redshirt to sit out the 2009 season due to NCAA transfer rules. As a redshirt junior in 2010, Clemons caught 43 passes for 482 yards and 3 TDs; he also rushed the ball 3 times for 17 yards. Then as a fifth year senior in 2012, he caught 43 passes for 680 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers but was cut and ended up catching 3 passes for 43 yards for the Jacksonville Jaguars that season. He spent time with the Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers in 2013.

Junior Hemingway
High school:
 Conway (SC) Conway
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #38 WR
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina
Scoop: Hemingway caught 4 passes for 37 yards as a freshman in 2007, when both he and Clemons burned redshirts. As a sophomore in Rich Rodriguez’s first year, Hemingway was expected to be a starter; however, after catching 2 passes for 41 yards and 1 touchdown, including a 33-yard score against Utah, he developed mononucleosis and missed the remainder of the year. He returned as a redshirt sophomore in 2009 to catch 16 passes for 268 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a redshirt junior in 2010, he was Denard Robinson’s favorite target on the outside and caught 32 passes for 593 yards and 4 touchdowns. He followed that up with another solid season in 2011 and totaled 34 catches for 699 yards and 4 scores, finishing with a 20.6 yards/catch average. He was picked in the 7th round (#268 overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2012 NFL Draft and has 13 catches, 125 yards, and 2 touchdowns as a pro.

Jon Ditto
High school: Monroeville (PA) Gateway
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #59 WR
College: Penn State
Other notable offers: Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Pitt
Scoop: Ditto was a jumbo high school receiver who played tight end for a bit before switching to linebacker. He left Penn State prior to the 2009 season but did not resume his career elsewhere.

Ronald Johnson
High school: Muskegon (MI) Muskegon
Ratings: Rivals 5-star, #1 WR, #8 overall
College: USC
Other notable offers: Florida, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas
Scoop: Johnson was a backup wideout as a freshman and grabbed 7 passes for 110 yards and 1 touchdown, and he was the primary kick returner with 25 returns and a 24.8 yards/return average. As a sophomore in 2008, he started a couple games and finished with 33 catches, 570 yards, and 8 touchdowns, plus a 27.1 yards/return average on 14 kickoffs. Johnson missed part of the 2009 season with an injury but finished with 34 catches for 378 yards and 3 touchdowns. In his 2010 senior season, Johnson caught 64 passes for 692 yards and 8 touchdowns, and he became the team’s punt returner with 22 returns, 312 yards, 14.1 yards/return, and 1 touchdown. He was drafted in the 6th round (#182 overall) by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft and has been on the rosters of the 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, but he has never played a game.

Gerald Jones
High school: Oklahoma City (OK) Millwood
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #5 ATH, #87 overall
College: Tennessee
Other notable offers: Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech
Scoop: Jones contributed early in Knoxville, catching 11 passes for 111 yards and 1 touchdown, along with 8 rushes for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2008, he had 30 catches for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 23 carries for 126 yards and 1 score. His explosiveness peaked in 2009 with 46 receptions for 680 yards and 4 touchdowns, and he capped his career with 55 catches for 596 yards and 4 more scores. He was also an occasional kick and punt returner for the Volunteers, but his biggest accomplishment was leading the team in receptions for three consecutive seasons (2008-2010). He was not drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles for a short time but never played. He also stirred up a little controversy when he allegedly gave some advice to a high school recruit to go to Auburn instead of Tennessee. Jones’s football career appears to be finished.

Greg Little
High school: Durham (NC) Hillside
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #13 ATH
College: North Carolina
Other notable offers: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State
Scoop: Little played running back, wide receiver, and returner during his time in Chapel Hill. As a freshman in 2007, he ran 59 times for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns while catching 13 passes for 99 yards and 1 score. In 2008 those number improved to 78 carries for 339 yards and 3 scores, plus 11 catches for 146 yards. During his 2009 junior season, he became more of a receiver and ended with 62 catches for 724 yards 5 touchdowns, but he still ran 29 times for 166 yards and 1 touchdown. He was suspended for his senior season in 2010 due to the academic/illegal benefits scandal at UNC, but he still managed to be selected in the 2nd round (#59 overall) by the Cleveland Browns in the 2011 NFL Draft. In three seasons with the Browns, he has totaled 155 catches for 1,821 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Rashad Mason
High school: Nashville (TN) Pearl-Cohn
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #18 WR
College: North Carolina Georgetown College
Other notable offers: Kentuky, Louisville, Mississippi, UCLA
Scoop: Mason went to North Carolina and was a hybrid receiver/tight end, but he barely played and was suspended indefinitely for undisclosed reasons. After the 2009 season,  he transferred to Georgetown College in Kentucky and had 20 catches for 340 yards and 5 touchdowns as a fifth year senior in 2011. He went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and appears to have concluded his football career.

Marquis Maze
High school: Birmingham (AL) Tarrant
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #52 ATH
College: Alabama
Other notable offers: Auburn, Miami, Tennessee
Scoop: Maze originally committed to Michigan but ended up signing with Alabama. He redshirted as a freshman and had 11 catches for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman in 2008. Maze became a starter in 2009 and finished just behind Julio Jones in several categories with 31 catches, 523 yards, and 2 touchdowns. As a redshirt junior in 2010, Maze caught 38 passes for 557 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was targeted more frequently as a fifth year player in 2011 when he caught 56 passes for 627 yards and 1 touchdown. Maze was also a solid punt returner who had 54 punt returns for 703 yards and 1 touchdown between 2010 and 2011. He earned Second Team All-SEC honors in 2011, and you may remember him pulling his hamstring on a punt return against LSU in the BCS Championship game against LSU. He went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft and was cut by the Steelers after signing as an undrafted free agent.

Niles Paul
High school: Omaha (NE) North
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #10 WR, #73 overall
College: Nebraska
Other notable offers: Iowa State
Scoop: Paul played sparingly as a freshman in 2007, notching just 1 catch for 6 yards. He became a part-time starter in 2008 and grabbed 23 passes for 214 yards. As a junior in 2009, he broke out with 40 receptions for 796 yards and 4 touchdowns, all of which earned him Second Team all-conference honors. He finished up his career with 39 receptions for 516 yards and 1 touchdown in 2010. Paul was also a quality returner; he had 60 punt returns for 647 yards and 1 touchdown, and he had 77 kickoff returns for 1,887 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was selected in the 5th round (#155 overall) by the Washington Redskins in the 2011 NFL Draft. As mostly an H-back type for the Redskins, he has amassed 14 catches for 228 yards and 1 touchdown in three seasons.

Markques Simas
High school: San Diego (CA) Mira Mesa
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #20 WR
College: Colorado
Other notable offers: Arizona State, Oregon, San Diego State
Scoop: Simas redshirted as a freshman in 2007 and was declared academically ineligible to play in 2008, but he still managed to win the program’s Scout Team Player of the Year. During his first year of seeing the field in 2009, he managed to catch 43 passes for 585 yards and 3 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he got charged with a DUI in 2010, failed to show up to court, and got kicked off the team. There was some noise about him transferring to San Diego State, but that appears not to have materialized and his football career seems to have ended.

Taurian Washington
High school: Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’s
Ratings: Rivals 4-star WR
College: Ohio State
Other notable offers: Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Scoop: Washington played sparingly as a freshman in 2007 and caught 3 passes for 46 yards and 1 touchdown. He was limited mostly to special teams in 2008 and contributed 1 tackle. Washington sat out the 2009 season. As a redshirt junior in 2010, he caught 5 passes for 61 yards. He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft but popped up in the Arena League in 2012, when he played for both the Milwaukee Mustangs and the Orlando Predators, totaling 40 receptions for 485 yards and 6 touchdowns. His career appears to be finished.

Biggest miss:
 Marquis Maze. This is a tough choice because none of the guys Michigan offered really turned into stars, so I see it more as an issue of “fit.” Any of these guys would have played the majority of their careers for Rich Rodriguez, and Maze would have been a solid slot receiver for Rodriguez, and possibly a punt returner, too. Michigan got decent production from its slot guys (Martavious Odoms, Kelvin Grady, Roy Roundtree, etc.), but Maze was pretty consistent and could have played on the outside once Brady Hoke was hired.

Biggest bust: Markques Simas. This is close between Simas and Taurian Washington, but Washington got opportunities to get on the field and just never did much. Meanwhile, Simas clearly had talent and did well as a redshirt sophomore, but he just couldn’t stay out of trouble. Considering the guy who vaguely took his place (Toney Clemons) got drafted and has bounced around the league, Simas could be earning a paycheck in the NFL right now.

Best in class: Titus Young. Just kidding! He’s a head case. Dez Bryant was a 4-star wideout and the #54 player in the nation coming out of Lufkin (TX) Lufkin. He picked Oklahoma State over Arkansas, Louisville, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and others. Okay, he’s a head case, too, but he has the talent to back it up. As a sophomore in Stillman, he caught 87 passes for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns and was named an All-America in 2008. Some eligibility issues caught up to him to end his career prematurely, but he was the #24 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and has 293 catches, 4104 yards, and 40 touchdowns in his four-year pro career.