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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Martell Webb

Pontiac, Michigan - 6'5" 210
Scout4*, #17 TE
Rivals4*, #29 WR
ESPN77, #56 WR
Lemming#3 TE, #34 overall
Spiderman. HA!
YMRMFSPACarson Butler
Previously On
Commit article.

Obviously, widespread disagreement from the gurus here. Lemming falls all over him, ranking him the top player in Michigan and amongst the top 50 recruits in the country. Scout and Rivals say he's a solid prospect, but no star, and ESPN is pretty meh. Like Michigan TE recruits Carson Butler and Quintin Woods before him, Webb was known more as a basketball player than a football player before Michigan offered him way early -- Junior day -- and got a commitment from him.

Webb's publicly stated many times that he's coming in at wide receiver, but given the relative depth charts at WR and TE, the class announcement (which has him at TE), and his overall hugeness, the safe bet is that Webb ends up at tight end. Functionally, the differences in the position are minimal with Michigan's extreme focus on WR blocking.

Guru Reliability: Mediocre? They disagree so much, though the average appears to be Fairly Good.
General Excitement Level: High. Michigan has proven over the years that they're extremely adept at identifying two to four in-state prospects per year who will significantly outperform their guru rankings. Webb was on track to be one of those guys this year, but uncooperative gurus actually shoved them fairly high up their lists. Early offer == great success.
Projection: Hopefully redshirts at WR this year, realizes this whole Manningham-Arrington-Mathews-Hemingway-Clemons thing is way more intimidating than Butler-Massey-nobody and starts looking like Butler apparent in 2008.

Steve Watson

Denver, Colorado - 6'4" 240

Scout4*, #15 TE
Rivals3*, #19 TE
ESPN74, #35 TE
Lemming#9 TE
Previously On
Commit article
NotesSon of former Bronco WR Steve Watson

Watson should be polished but uninspiring if the gurus are right. The son of a former NFL player and current NFL coach, Watson is a big guy well proportioned for the TE spot but unlikely to have the sort of athleticism that Webb or Butler does. When ESPN got around to ranking him they constantly referenced his lack of speed, finishing with:
Watson should be able to contribute as a receiver and blocker in college, but he will earn his spot with his blocking. He has to make some improvements to his technique, but should be a big and productive blocking presence for an offense.
I found precious little on him when he committed, though he did have a respectable set of Pac-10 offers. Late in the recruiting year he took a visit to Minnesota, as their new coach Tim Brewster's son was the Mullen QB, but stuck with Michigan.

Of note: rumors that Watson may be moved to guard have been batted around for the past couple months. Something to keep an eye on.

Guru Reliability: High.
General Excitement Level: Meh.
Projection: Never starts, but with he TE-mad offense we're running now is likely to see significant playing time.

Mark Huyge

Grand Rapids, Michigan - 6'6" 275

Scout2*, #34 C(?)
Rivals3*, #65 OT
ESPN68, #149 OT(!)
Huge. Ha.
Previously On
Commit notice
NotesWill block your face.

Well... this one will be short. Mark Huyge was Michigan's second and last OL commit this year and was clearly some sort of backup plan. The other schools recruiting were exclusively of the in-state MAC variety and no recruiting service bothers to mention him at all. The timing of his offer was such that it was clear Michigan was waiting on senior year film, and then waiting on tea leaves from various higher profile recruits before deciding to offer. They did, he accepted, OL recruiting done.

Caveat: offensive line is the position most prone to wild guru inaccuracy. While the sites seem to get the top-end guys pegged pretty well (Alex Boone, Andre Smith, Schilling and Boren), once they get down past the obviously huge and nimble there's so much projection going on that it's a real crapshoot. Huyge may be less likely to contribute than your typical low-four star, but the gap isn't nearly as wide as it might be for a position like corner.

Guru Reliability: Low. Obscure OL and all that.
General Excitement Level: Similarly low.
Projection: Dunno. Seems stuck behind a probable four-year starter in Schilling and then the Zirbel/Ortmann/Dorrestein trio in front of him. Unlikely to ever play extensively.

David Molk

Lemont, Illinois - 6'1" 270

Scout4*, #3 C
Rivals3*, #5 C
ESPN78, #6 C
Lemming#10 G/C
YMRMFSPADave Pearson
Previously On
Commit article.
NotesThinks ND is smelly.

Molk is small for an offensive lineman at just 6'1", but the impression the recruiting sites give is that he has all the other attributes you look for in an offensive lineman: intelligence, the proverbial "nastiness," strength. Granted, this is like saying "except for his inability to catch anything, Matt Trannon is an excellent receiver," but if he can get big enough to maintain the POA on the college level he could be a long term starter at center, the only place a guy his size can conceivably play in college.

Scout liked him far better than Rivals. Molk was a member of their top 100 early in the season; when he dropped out he didn't go far, retaining a fourth star and a high positional rating. That '78' bestowed by ESPN roughly corresponds to a mid-four on Scout/Rivals. Lemming is in agreement (Illinois bias alert, though), as he throws all the interior linemen into one pool and fishes Molk out tenth. So everyone other than Rivals has him in the same ballpark.

It seems simple: if Molk can get strong enough he has the other attributes to be a steady collegiate starter, though not a star, and could start for multiple years before being summarily ignored by the NFL.

Guru Reliability: Good. Molk has a clear physical issue that limits his potential but everything else appears to be there.
General Excitment Level: Good pickup and a fine member of an OL class that he's the third best player in. Unfortunately, we don't have that OL class.
Projection: 60% to start a couple years.