Damon Webb didn't waste any time showing off his playmaking ability for Cass Tech (Photo credit: Matt Pargoff, Maize and Blue News)
Football season is upon us. Did you get that? FOOTBALL SEASON IS UPON US. COMMENCE FREAKOUT SESSION.
Before we see Denard Robinson face the Alabama Crimson Tide we get to watch all sorts of high school film. Football recruiting has outgrown its coverage and will force everyone from ESPN to unpaid dudes with cameras to get video of the top players in the country. Expect to see some of Michigan's commitments and 2014 targets on national television now and again.
Commitments and Laquon Treadwell Playing Well
Let's start off with Laquon Treadwell, who did this with the first catch of his season:
Quon doesn't even have what's considered to be "elite" speed yet still blows past that poor corner with ease. He still has a solid burst off of the ball and is a threat to go deep because of his ability to high point the ball and muscle his way through contact. Treadwell displayed all of his strengths as a receiver in one long play.
Defensive back Channing Stribling is no longer playing like the under the radar type:
CB Channing Stribling (— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) August 25, 2012
@prettyboi_strib) has 2 INT's, 6 Rec. for 77 yards, 6 tackles and 1 Kickoff returned for a TD in 2 games.
I don't know what the level of competition is like in Stribling's area but those are impressive numbers against anyone. He's beginning to turn heads with surprising quickness for a player with such a long frame. Scout has bumped him up to a three-star and it shouldn't be long until Rivals follows suit.
Tight end Jake Butt played well despite only recording one reception. His opponents double teamed him to take him away in the passing game but he feels like his run blocking and overall feel for the game have improved.
Shane Morris had a good but not great first outing, throwing an easy interception on his first attempt and making other poor reads before redeeming himself through two touchdowns:
The interception got into his head and ultimately lead to him seeing an open skinny post but waiting far too long to throw it. He doesn't see the field as well as some of the other top quarterbacks and clearly needs to work on it, but what makes him so special are his physical tools. It only takes a few plays (see 0:48) for him to flash that Gustav gun, launching a twenty-yard comeback route from the middle of the field on a rope. No one in the country can throw that route with the same velocity.
Cornerback Gareon Conley helped Massillon dominate in their opener by playing receiver:
Maybe it's just me but he looks a bit taller, and he still reminds me of Steve Breaston in his running motion. He finished the game with 3 catches for 81 yards and a rushing attempt that went for 8 yards.
Cass Tech commitments David Dawson and Jourdan Lewis played well but were clearly outplayed by 2014 teammate Damon Webb, who played like a man possessed. The football contest itself went smoothly but there were multiple altercations in the crowd that at one point caused everyone on the field to duck in fear of bullets. MLive reports that the ruckus wasn't caused by a gun but instead by a fistfight.
Dawson looked strong on the offensive line and Lewis made a few plays, including a huge punt return, but the night belonged to Webb. The future corner caught two touchdowns and forced turnovers by causing a fumble and picking off a pass. Fellow 2014 prospects Gary Hosey and Deon Drake both showed physicality when running the ball, combining for 175 yards on the night. Youngster Jayry Campbell struggled but did manage to throw one of Webb's two long touchdown receptions.
Tight end Khalid Hill caught a touchdown pass and won player of the game in his team's opener.
Safety commitment Dymonte Thomas had a solid outing, playing everything from quarterback to safety for his high school squad.
Finally, 2014 running back and Michigan target Jalen Hurd absolutely went off, rushing for 460(!) yards and 5 TDs on 36 touches. Damn.
Green To Decide By October
Five-star Virginia running back Derrick Green played well in his opener and has an idea of when he'd like to commit should things go as planned:
Michigan's depth chart situation should be intriguing with Thomas Rawls set to be a junior by the time Green steps on campus. The coaching staff thoroughly impressed him on his visit and although Auburn is a respectable school Michigan definitely holds the upper hand in the classroom.
2013/2014 General News and Notes
Morris received that coveted fifth star from Rivals in their new rankings. Treadwell didn't get his but is the first four-star prospect and the top-ranked receiver overall. The other top Wolverine commitments saw a drop in the rankings thanks to others being bumped up, or in some cases a lack of great camp showings.
Florida CB/S Leon McQuay also received his fifth star from rivals and still plans on visiting Ann Arbor for the MSU contest despite not having Michigan in his top group. If someone commits before the Michigan State game the pressure will be on anyone looking to be the last Wolverine commitment of the 2013 class. The MSU weekend has the potential to be very interesting with Derrick Green scheduled to be there as well.
Speaking of Treadwell, he recently tweeted that he'd be back in Ann Arbor "soon, like real soon". I don't expect a commitment that soon but any time he's in town it's a possibility.
Wide receiver Corey Holmes is a solid 2014 prospect with heavy interest from elite schools and he can't wait to see Notre Dame play Michigan. The Wolverines will be contenders for his services.
Nick Watkins, a 2014 cornerback, will be in Texas to watch Michigan take on Alabama.
Lastly, Tom VH gets some time with 2014 QB DeShone Kizer to see how he reads defenses. The system might be just a bit more complex at the next level.
Other General Notes
Cass Tech High School in Detroit, home of both past and future Wolverines, is one of the best talent producers in the entire country. Their impressive list of D1 competitors includes Boubacar Cissoko, Joseph Barksdale, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Dior Mathis and Terry Richardson, and that's only the pre-2013 four-star players. It's safe to say that Cass Tech will remain a Michigan priority for years to come.
Make sure to check out this Michigan recruiting map. Something that jumps out to me is the amount of offers to skill players outside of the Midwest. And that old "Florida produces speed" adage seems to prove itself time and time again.