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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A disclaimer on the "You May Remember Me From Such Players As": YMRMFSPA is supposed to be a rough estimate of what kind of player the recruit could turn into if he pans out. It is not a projection. The players listed tend to be very good because no one knows what kind of player Doug Dutch is; we just know he can't get on the field. I am not saying that I expect Martavious Odoms to be Devin Hester, the best return man in the history of the NFL. I'm saying that Odoms is sort of like Devin Hester and if we roll a second critical hit on our critical hit roll he might be half as good.

End disclaimer. On with shew.

Brandon Moore

Trotwood, Ohio - 6'6" 245
Scout3*, #43 TE
Rivals4*, #8 TE, #187 overall
ESPN81, #4 TE, #115 overall
Others#91 to Lemming
Other SuitorsGeorgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Florida, Miami
YMRMFSPAMario Urrutia
Previously On
Rapid Fire Commitment Party Hats
NotesTeammate of Roundtree and Shaw

Brandon Moore is a tough recruit to figure out. The good: He started popping up on recruiting sites after his sophomore year. As a 6'6" 200-ish pound freshman he ran a 4.61 at Ohio State's summer camp. Georgia and a few others offered him before his junior year even began, and the initial wave was followed up with offers from a who's who of college powers including LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Florida, and others.

By the time Moore short-circuited what looked to be a thunderous nationwide recruiting battle by committing to Michigan in mid-May he had his choice of virtually any school in the country except Ohio State. Scout ranked him the #98 prospect in the country; Rivals placed him #53 in their initial Rivals 100 for 2008.

Pro scout Randy Rogers on Moore:
Very impressive on tape. Long limbed, can really create space when he blocks. Has the frame to really fill out. Runs really well. His highlights have a heavy dose of "hitch screens", where you can really see him run after the catch. Has the potential for big "YAC yardage" (yards after catch). Big, soft hands. Is the type of player where you want him to get the ball early and often, because he can create big plays.
His junior year highlight reel agrees:

Then his senior season started and the slide began. Bob Lichtenfels, effusive about virtually everyone else in the Trotwood-Highlands game at the Kirk Herbstreit Classic this fall, said Moore was "disappointing" and "doesn’t seem to like blocking very much." His stats for the year were underwhelming to say the least: eight catches. By the end of the recruiting cycle, Moore had dropped 100-some slots in Rivals' estimation and even further in Scout's, which now has him the #43 tight end, five spots lower than some kid going to SMU.

You take high school statistics for wide receivers seriously at your peril, and there are mitigating factors here for Moore: the presence of fellow D-I recruits Roy Roundtree and Michael Shaw absorbed a lot of touches. QB Dominick Britt ended up at a I-AA school and often decided to scramble when his first read -- usually Roundtree, according to his numbers -- was covered. But as a high-profile recruit at a heavily scouted program, the guru's reliability here is good. The picture painted is of a player with an enormous amount of physical ability that disappointed as a senior. There may be work ethic or motor issues that need hammering out --Moore doesn't exactly remind you of hulk-beast Mike Martin when his shirt comes off (eee!). Scout sees only the issues; Lemming only sees the potential, and Rivals a mix of the two. ESPN rated him last summer and then forgot about him.

You may note that Mario Urrutia, the "You May Remember Me From Such Players As" above, is not actually a tight end. Rather, he was Louisville's enormous, slightly ponderous jump ball threat the past few years. Moore will end up much bigger than Urrutia, but his film from Scouting Ohio reminds me of the ex-Cardinal. Trotwood often lined Moore up as receiver and, amazingly, tossed him WR screens. When they went deep he can go up and rip the ball away from smaller defenders.

If Moore isn't much of an inline blocker he could still be a hell of a weapon in the spread as a wideout, where his blocking would likely be crushing against defensive backs.

Guru Reliability: High, though the wild variance in estimated ability is offputting.
General Excitement Level: High, with caveats. Moore is a boom-or-bust guy with much potential but a long way to go.
Projection: Great success, great failure, or somewhere in between. Specific cat is specific.

Kevin Koger

Toledo, Ohio - 6'4" 225
Scout4*, #6 TE, #115 overall
Rivals4*, #4 TE, #145 overall
ESPN73, #113 DE
Other SuitorsOhio State
YMRMFSPACarson Butler minus the attitude
Previously On
Hurray For Being Wrong
NotesIs not named "Kroger," message board doofi.

One of two recruits Michigan really went head-to-head for against Ohio State this year, Kevin Koger is the one who picked the light side. (Defensive tackle Garrett Goebel is the darksider with Pryor still pending, obviously.) His father's lifelong Michigan fandom helped, as did Ohio State's attitude towards tight ends, which is roughly "block, son, and maybe drop a touchdown against Texas and get death threats."

Koger was a nonentity when he popped up on Michigan's radar. IIRC, both recruting services had him an uninspiring three-star recruit, though they quickly changed their tune once it became clear Koger was wanted badly by the two biggest programs in the Midwest. Koger's now just outside the top 100 on both major sites. ESPN lags, rating Koger exclusively as a DE and poorly at that. It's tough to give them any credence when they give the equivalent of a low three-star rating to a guy both M and OSU chased hard and ended up giving an early offer.

Koger's Scouting Ohio film reveals a very large man who can run very fast. You might be confused by a punt return midway through. Koger isn't the returner:

That's a lot of impressive athleticism split across two positions. It must be said: Koger is widely regarded a prospect of equal or greater merit at defensive end, and with Nick Perry's escape to Southern Cal Michigan finds themselves with one defensive end recruit across two classes. Though it's possible one of the linebackers -- most likely Marcus Witherspoon -- could end up with his hand down, Michigan is critically short there.

Meanwhile, Michigan has Martell Webb, Steve Watson, and Moore along with Koger for a single starting spot in the spread offense. This is not an efficient allocation of talent, and someone will end up moving.

At first it will not be Koger. A reader with a connection to the Toledo Whitmer program emailed a short while ago:
Last week Carl Koger(dad) had RRod at the Koger house for several hours visiting to secure Kevin. They had a great visit along with the O coordinator and yes they plan on using Kevin on offense.
So... not yet.

Guru Reliability: High, with the obvious exception of ESPN.
General Excitement Level: High.
Projection: I think the need at DE will eventually force a move, but not this year. He's a high-caliber athlete, but might need a while to learn his position.