Michigan welcomed the fifth member of its 2007 football recruiting class on Tuesday when Pontiac (MI) Northern's WR/TE Martell Webb committed to the Wolverines. Read about the story here. (And check out his picture there. Don't do a Google Image search or you'll get this and have nightmares.)
Webb is said to be a "big" WR (he's 6'5" and runs a 4.7 forty) and that is the courteous recruiting-speak coaches use with kids who will wind up at tight end and just don't know it yet. Michigan hasn't lied to the dude; I'm sure he will get a shot to win a spot in the WR rotation. But my suspicion is that as he adds weight and competes against actual college-level WRs, he'll see his future at tight end. Think Tim Massaquoi.
And honestly, that's fine with me. As you can see above or here, here, here, and here, Webb is a basketball player of some distinction. And as Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez and, to lesser extents, Jai Lewis and Graham Brown, have shown us, basketball players are the new tight ends. Kind of.
If you'll recall, Michigan already has "jumbo athlete" and commitment #3 Ryan VanBergen in the fold, and there is/was some uncertainty about which position he'll play in college. Note, for instance, that Brian has VanBergen at tight end on his board. Given VanBergen's speed, that is a possibility, although with prospects like Pennsylvania's Steve Paskorz and Michigan's Rocky Weaver still on the board, and UM likely looking to take two tight ends given depth issues, I suspect that VanBergen will end up on defense.
Webb will join Carson Butler as the we-hope-they're-freak-athletes-in-a-good-way-since-they-played-basketball future of the tight end position at Michigan. Webb is likely going to be rated as a three-star player (at least for now), but you don't get a Michigan offer in the spring if you can't play, so again, no one should be mad at this.
Welcome aboard, Martell. Your undrafted free agent contract is waiting for you in the spring of 2011. Start eating pizza now if you'd like.