Aaaand this concludes our 2006 recruiting stuff.
DT Jason Kates
|Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - 6'2" 324|
|Rivals||4*, #20 DT|
|ESPN||6.6, #36 DT|
| So about this Kates Guy|
|Notes||Sort of committed to ND maybe; questions about motivation.|
Kates is an enormous space-eating DT. He saw his stock drop over the year with a senior year that did not match expectations. Motivation has been mentioned as a problem. Was initially a Michigan target before falling off the radar for several months, only to re-emerge near signing day. Chose Michigan over NC State, Minnesota, Syracuse and Maryland. Held offers from Florida State, Notre Dame and Penn State but did not seriously consider them. [Or perhaps vice-versa... no one seems that enthused about him.]
Projection: Will probably see time, due to lack of DT depth. Could rotate up front with Slocum, Terrence Taylor and Will Johnson. [By the sounds of it I would expect a redshirt. If he's that out of shape and disappointed in high school, I doubt he's ready to play.]
Context: Michigan brought in Terrence Taylor at DT last year and Will Johnson the year before. James McKinney or Eugene Germany could also move inside.
DT John Ferrara
|Staten Island, New York - 6'4" 258|
|Scout||3*, #59 DE|
|Rivals||3*, #46 SDE|
|ESPN||5.2, #113 DE|
| Nothing useful, sorry.|
|Notes||NY Daily News article.|
Listed as a DE, Ferrara will likely add weight and play inside. He was part of the group (and the first to commit) that received offers after it became apparent some of the Top 100 kids weren't interested in Michigan. Chose Michigan over Penn State, Boston College, Michigan State, and many others.
Projection: Redshirt unless disaster strikes.
Context: See Kates above.
DE Adam Patterson
|Columbia, South Carolina - 6'2" 256|
|Scout||4*, #22 DT|
|Rivals||4*, #91, #7 DT|
|ESPN||7.2, #7 DE|
| Horrible pun based headline|
|Notes||Times-Democrat article; The State.com article.|
Patterson earned the award as the best defensive lineman as a sophomore at Michigan's camp. Patterson has great measurables and produced on the field as well. Chose Michigan over South Carolina, Auburn, Tennesse and Virginia Tech.
[The senior year production was somewhat lacking, actually. He's still one of those guys who is far too fast for a guy his size.]
Projection: Patterson will probably redshirt. UM has excellent depth at DE.
Context: Woodley's heir apparent.
DE Quintin Woods
|Flint, Michigan - 6'6" 218|
|Rivals||3*, #44 SDE|
| Commit article.|
|Notes||Scout article; Free Press article.|
The classic sleeper who arrives late in the recruiting game, Woods played his first year of HS football this past season. Woods is also a player who could possibly play TE. [M listed him there on the official press release.] Where he will start out is not yet completely clear. A supremely talented athlete, Woods has the makings of a great pass rusher. Also has expressed interest in playing basketball for Tommy Amaker, and was the recipient of several Division 1 basketball scholarship offers. Chose Michigan over Iowa, Michigan State and Missouri
[Antonio Gates comparisons, start your engines.]
Projection: Redshirt. Still has a lot to learn about football, so he may take some time to come along, either at DE or TE.
Context: Michigan took Carson Butler at TE last year but there are no other TEs in this class. DE is clearly crowded.
DE Greg Banks
|Denver, Colorado - 6'5" 260|
|Scout||3*, #40 DT|
|Rivals||3*, #43 SDE|
|ESPN||6.1, #92 DE|
| Nothing useful.|
|Notes||Scout article; January enrollee.|
Banks is a rangy DE prospect. It is unclear at this point if he will stay at DE or eventually move to DT. His HS coach noted that he may not have the ideal frame to play inside. Banks is an excellent pass-rusher. He chose Michigan over hometown Colorado, California, UCLA, Washington, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
[I have nothing to back this up, but I'm not particularly excited about Banks. There's no reason for him to be overlooked, since he played consistently for his high school team. I think Biggs is a good comparison for his ceiling: a contributor but no one you'd miss when he graduates.]
Projection: Redshirt. Probably a strongside DE in the coming years.
Context: Much like James McKinney and Eugene Germany, Banks could add weight and play inside or attempt to remain around 275 and play outside.
LB Brandon Graham
|Detroit, Michigan - 6'2" 250|
|Scout||5*, #3 LB|
|Rivals||5*, #15, #2 ILB|
|ESPN||7.6, #2 ILB|
| Nothing useful... early commit and all.|
|Notes||#1 player in Michigan; DetNews article; Rivals "Breakdown."|
Graham is the best in-state prospect on the defensive side of the ball since LaMarr Woodley came out of Saginaw. He's big and fast and already has NFL size. He was named captain of his team at the US Army All-America game and made some bone-jarring hits. Is an excellent tackler. Committed to Michigan early on over offers from Penn State, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
[He's actually higher ranked than Woodley. He's already 250 so there's been some speculation about an eventual move to defensive end, but there are a ton of DEs in this class (and last year's), so I think he sticks at LB. Possibly a SAM... he has a size and speed combination that you don't often see.]
Projection: Graham will likely see time next year as a backup to David Harris.
Context: Will probably start as a sophomore at either MLB or SAM. [No whammies, no whammies, no whammies.]
LB Quintin Patilla
|Flint, Michigan - 6'2" 193|
|Scout||3*, #58 LB|
|Rivals||3*, #26 OLB|
|ESPN||6.7, #18 OLB|
| Brief commit note.|
|Notes||Could play WR if LB doesn't work out. Camp commit.|
A jack-of-all-trades for his HS team, Patilla excelled at RB, TE, WR, DE and LB for C-A. He came to camp and impressed enough to earn an offer, and quickly accepted. He has good speed for the LB spot and is another tremendous athlete. He has said that the Michigan coaches envision him playing primarily at the weakside linebacker spot. Chose Michigan over Northern Illinois, Toledo, and many other MAC schools. Was considered unknown at the time of his commitment, but has since climbed up the charts.
[As far as our three-star guys type go, Patilla and Woods are the ones that I think have the best chance to be good to great players.]
Projection: Redshirt. Patilla will need to add weight. His tall and slender frame should allow him to easily add another 25-35 pounds, so expect him to earn a PhD in weight training by the end of his first year.
Context: Patilla looks like he'll be a WLB. He'll compete with Brandon Logan and Chris McLaurin, who were recruits from last year. McLaurin may end up at DE, though.
LB Cobrani Mixon
|Cincinatti, Ohio - 6'2" 220|
|Scout||4*, #30 LB|
|Rivals||4*, #8 ILB|
|ESPN||6.8, #17 ILB|
|Who needs a nickname for a guy named "Cobrani"?|
| Boring video; Some chatter from Colerain watchers; Cobra Commander photo.|
|Notes||Played on partial ACL tear as a junior.|
Mixon was hurt for much of his junior year, but had impressive enough measurables to garner attention from some top-flight programs. [Early interest and offers from LSU, M, OSU.] He is an excellent tackler with good speed. He is a candidate to play either inside or outside at Michigan. There is still some low murmuring that he may not yet have qualified academically. [Not to my knowledge.] Chose Michigan over Ohio State.
[Also: Best. Name. Ever.]
Projection: Mixon will probably redshirt unless he comes in an wows the coaches and beats out an incumbent.
Context: Ticketed for MLB. Will have to win the job from John Thompson and possibly Brandon Graham after Harris graduates.
LB Obi Ezeh
|Grand Rapids, Michigan - 6'2" 220|
|Scout||3*, #74 RB|
|Rivals||3*, #51 RB|
|ESPN||5.9, #129 RB|
| Brief mention... useful comments, though|
|Notes||Could get a look at FB or TE.|
Ezeh played LB and RB during his time at GRCC. He is a powerful inside runner and a big hitter at LB on defense. He will start at defense at Michigan, especially as the class before him had a FB (Andre Criswell), as does the one after him (Vince Helmuth). Ezeh is also one of the nation's top rugby players for his age group. Chose Michigan over Michigan State and Indiana.
[Carr claimed Ezeh would be a "great special teams player" in his signing day PC. I do not find such words inspiring. They did take him after picking up three linebackers, so they must like him.]
Projection: Redshirt. Has mentioned that the coaches may want him to play some TE, but should start out at LB.
Context: Will probably end up a backup at MLB.
S Jonas Mouton
|Venice, California - 6'2" 212|
|Scout||5*, #6 S|
|Rivals||4*, #45, #3 S|
|ESPN||7.1, #14 S|
| Nothing useful.|
|Notes||Scout article; possible move to OLB if S doesn't work out.|
Mouton was one of a half-dozen major safety prospects that Michigan made an emphasis of targeting this year. The others (Rolle, Mays, Perez, Jones) are going elsewhere. Mouton held out his decision until the end, causing much worry amongst recruitniks. Mouton is physically ready to step right in and play today. Chose Michigan over Texas, USC, LSU, Nebraska.
[We were greatly aided by USC stealing the remainder of our safety prospects.]
Projection: Mouton will certainly play next year. He may start, depending on many factors. Depending on the future (ie, Eugene Clifford) it would not surprise me to see Mouton eventually move to LB. A lot will depend on where the coaches feel the bigger need is.
Context: Michigan brought in no safeties last year. Brandon Harrison slid over because of need. Harrison may move back now that there is more safety depth.
S Steve Brown
|Columbus, Indiana - 6'0" 197|
|Scout||4*, #10 CB|
|Rivals||4*, #7 S|
|ESPN||7.0, #14 CB|
|YMRMFSPA||Abstain so as to avoid tainting Brown with memories of safeties past|
|ATH CB, Scout article, Scout commit article, first HS game.|
|Notes||Broken ankle in second game of senior year depressed rankings.|
Brown has had some injury problems over the past two years, but did an excellent job at camps and committed to Michigan over the summer. Listed as a CB by Rivals, he will likely play safety at Michigan. Possesses great speed. Chose Michigan over Notre Dame, Nebraska and Purdue.
[Brown's rise and fall was an interesting example of the strange influence short stints of time in front of scouts have on a player. He was a who-dat when he showed up at a Nike camp this summer. Then he ran fast, jumped high, and blanketed people around him, shooting up into the top 50 from nowheresville. Michigan and ND offered him at the camp. He committed to Michigan over the summer, scored touchdowns every which way his first two games, then broke his ankle. When he showed up at the AA game he was still gimpy, and did not impress. Bang: out of the top 100.]
Projection: Will probably play unless his injury lingers. Will compete for a starting spot at either safety spot. [Well... that's doubtful, I think, with four experienced players coming back. I wouldn't be opposed to trying him at corner.]
Context: Michigan brought in no true safeties last year, though corner Brandon Harrison moved over and played extensively. Harrison may move back to corner if a need presents itself.
K Bryan Wright
|Salem, Ohio - 6'2" 205|
|Much like vampires, kickers do not appear in mirrors... or on film.||Scout||NR|
|Rivals||2*, #12 K|
|ESPN||6.2, #16 K|
|Scapegoat of the Future|
| Skinny Yes, Foreign No|
|Notes||Salem News article.|
It is my policy not to speculate on kickers. [Also MGoBlog's...] Reports on message boards say that he has one hell of a leg. But of course he would, Michigan would never take someone who didn't have a hell of a leg by HS standards. Chose Michigan over Cincinnati and Bowling Green.
[I think it's pretty big by any standards, since he hit a 57-yarder this year. This ESPN snippet will send shudders down the spine of anyone who remembers Hayden Epstein: "all leg and zero technique." Mama! Make the bad man stop missing 27-yard game-winning field goals!]
Projection: Is a kicker. Will redshirt.
Context: Michigan took Zoltan Mesko last year, but he is strictly a punter. Ideally, Wright will be good enough that there will be no need to use an scholarship on a kicker for a few years.
Thanks again to Keith.