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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ryan Mallett

Texarkana, Texas - 6'7" 250

Scout5*, #2 QB, #5 overall
Rivals5*, #2 QB, #4 overall
ESPN85, #2 QB, #12 overall
Lemming#2 QB, #2 overall
All That Is Good And Right With The World
YMRMFSPAJamarcus Russell
Previously On
Facts About Mallett; Elite 11 Champion; Firsthand at the Elite 11
NotesThree-time WSOP winner; craps diamonds; plans to solve world hunger by 2012

Ah, Mallett. Mallett Mallett Mallett. The pending graduation of starter Chad Henne and two years of meh QB recruiting -- Navarre-sized option QB David Cone and only slightly shirtless Jason Forcier -- made some damn quarterback or three priorities A, B, and C for Michigan's recruiting year. Mallett was already known to the Michigan coaches, having attended their summer camp as a junior. He turned in a glove-shredding, eye-opening experience and had Michigan coaches hounding him immediately thereafter. Mallett considered Texas, but when Florida QB John Brantley wanted to make a commitment to Texas, the Longhorns made an ultimatum that was not accepted. Brantley, like everyone else in the universe, decommitted to go to Florida.

Over the course of the year Mallett bounced around the top end of various recruit rankings, sliding from the top ten on most boards down to the 20s, 30s, or even 50s because of concerns over his battleship-sized torso's lack of mobility. Those concerns evaporated when Mallet turned in an outstanding practice week at the Army All-American bowl, then coupled that with a dynamite performance in the game itself. Mallet was 6/9 with two drops. Most of his passes were darts downfield, seams and outs thrown on a rope. Late in the game he displayed an ability to get out of the pocket and throw on the (tentatively classified) run. Afterwards, he shot up guru boards in concert, landing in everyone's top five except for recalcitrant ESPN. Most still have him behind ND's Jimmah Clausen, but the gap between Mallett and the first player to win six Heismans is now regarded as wafer-theen.

Guru Reliability: Strong
Projection: Carr irritates me by wasting his redshirt year; Mallett starts for three years afterwards.

Avery Horn

Hanford, California - 5'10" 180
Scout3*, #77 RB
Rivals3*, #13 AP RB, #67 CA
ESPN78, #33 RB
YMRMFSPAJerome Jackson
Previously On
Useful Googlestalking; firsthand info
Notes !!!!No other 4x100 team in HHS history has ever won Valley!!!!

(Horn is Rivals' #13 "all purpose back"; some sites break positions down ridiculously in order to facilitate increased hype, e.g. "OMG we got the #1 Mormon strongside defensive end with a peanut allergy!")

One of a few players in this year's class that may or may not be placed on the correct side of the ball as of this very moment, Horn is nominally a tailback but may end up in the secondary. Unreliable but fun local internet rumors have Michigan looking at him as a potential free safety:
I forgot to mention, that I heard that there are rumbling of Michigan using Horn as a Free Safety prospect. My source told me that the coach recruiting him was Alvin's (Avery's dad) DB coach at UNLV. hmm interesting possibility.
A quick check of the Michigan coaching bios on turns up no one even remotely connected to UNLV, so take that with a grain of salt. It was a possibility that popped into my head when he committed, for what that's worth. Post-Rojo fiasco/pre-Warren miracle rumors had Carlos Brown, who spent a portion of spring practice at CB last year, potentially moving to the secondary, something that would make the Michigan depth chart at RB fairly thin without Horn. He'll spend at least a year at RB, as Michigan lets you play where you want to your freshman year, and then a mutual decision will be made.

As a runner, Horn racked up impressive numbers when healthy. This junior year he rushed for over 1,600 yards at 7-8 YPC and returned four kickoffs for touchdowns. Unfortunately, Horn picked up a nasty ankle sprain this fall and missed three and a half games. His final, reduced numbers:
  • 111 carries for 921 yards (8.2 ypc), 9 TD.
  • 8 catches for 110 yards (13.7 YPC), 1 TD.
Either he didn't have any KO TD as a senior or data was not provided.

Horn had offers from an array of respectable schools (Nebraska, Oregon, Washington, and most of the rest of the Pac-10) but was not recruited by USC or Cal.

Guru Reliability: Fairly good. Senior-year injury and eyepopping YPC numbers make a case he's underrated, but though his offers weren't bad neither were they outstanding.
General Excitement Level: Jerome Jackson, maybe?
Projection: Irritatingly fails to redshirt, spends a year at tailback. 50/50 as to whether he's good enough to continue there with Minor a year ahead of him and (presumably) some hyped recruit or another hot on his heels.

Vince Helmuth

Saline, Michigan - 6'2" 235
Scout4*, #1 FB
Rivals3*, #9 FB
ESPN78, #1 FB
YMRMFSPAKevin Dudley
Previously On
"Bulldozer," sayeth ESPN.
NotesGap in front teeth vaguely reminiscent of David Letterman

Michigan generally starts the recruiting year off with a sexy commitment from some high-profile junior who plays a skill position. This year: Vince Helmuth, fullback extraordinare. This was disappointing to the basement-bound recruitniks, but you've got to have one and Helmuth is by general acclimation this year's best notwithstanding Rivals' ranking, which features non-fullbacks like Robert Hughes.

At Saline, Helmuth was part of a grinding power attack that frequently featured him as a ballcarrier. This is unlikely to be the case when he sees the field at Michigan, but he might come in handy as a short-yardage back from time to time after Kevin Grady graduates. An early enrollee, Helmuth is a strong candidate for playing time as a true freshman. His only other competition at fullback is redshirt sophomore Andre Criswell, a high school defensive linemen who was a who-dat pickup a couple years ago. Will Paul may or may not return for his fifth year.

Also: Helmuth is good at throwing things real far.

Guru Reliability: Strong
General Excitement Level: I find the idea of a head-thumping fullback pleasing, but it's just a fullback.
Projection: Multi-year starter and a fan favorite.