After a short week of practice, four Michigan commitments – Jabrill Peppers, Wilton Speight, Bryan Mone and Juwann Bushell-Beatty – took the field in Florida for Team Nitro at Tropicana Field. In general, the week was a huge success for the four Wolverines, who all shined at different times during practice and during the game itself. It's important to remember that the practices are where prospects have the most opportunity to shine in front of scouts, so don't look into limited game reps too much. Let's take a look at what each prospect did this week to help or hurt his stock.
CB Jabrill Peppers
Quote of the Week: "It's not even close. He's the best one I've coached. I called Deion (Sanders) over and said look at that guy, and Deion saw the same thing. I played that position and coached that position for a long time and he's a special talent." -- Former NFL head coach Herm Edwards
It would have been difficult for Peppers to impress the Under Armour coaching staff – a staff that includes plenty of former college and NFL coaches and players – more than he did this week. Playing against one of the most stacked receiver groups in recent All-American history, Peppers was lauded as an extremely physical lockdown corner all week long. He did a little bit of everything, taking reps at corner, wildcat quarterback and kick returner, which in turn allowed him to flash his speed, solid size for his position and pure strength – strength that he used on more than one solid tackle in the final game.
Peppers' stock is up, regardless of how high he was ranked coming into the week. He still hasn't played the cornerback position long enough to play at his fastest speed, yet everyone at the camp seemed to come away thinking that he's already an elite talent. He came into the game wanting to prove to the nation that he's the top player in his class, and I believe he did just that.
QB Wilton Speight
Quote of the Week: "(Wilton Speight) continued to make his case for 1st string. Like others, Steve Walsh praised Speight's ability to throw on the move." -- Scout's Sam Webb
Speight helped his stock more than any other Michigan commitment this week. More than one scout came away impressed by his ability to feel the pocket, escape and find an open receiver while still on the move; this finally made me realize why many were calling him the second coming of Ben Roethlisberger despite his lack of an elite arm. Surprisingly, Speight's arm was not seen as a weakness during the week, and some actually reported that he can put some spin on the ball.
The game itself didn't go so well for Wilton, who was a victim of poor offensive line play, especially at offensive tackle and center. After doing his best to catch more than one errant snap, Speight was continually flushed from the pocket before being able to take a look down the field; this led to a nice roll-out and completion to Miami commitment Braxton Berrios, but it also led to some of his four incomplete passes. He threw one ball into the dirt on an easy slant route and also lobbed a ball directly to Adoree Jackson, although his receiver did slip and fall on the latter play. Overall, Speight's performance during the week should be enough to make up for his lackluster game and bring him up to four-star status on more than just ESPN.
DT Bryan Mone
Quote of the Week: "Michigan DT commit Bryan Mone is a brick. Beef is needed for Wolverines and he'll provide it along with quick twitch." -- Scout's Kyle Bogenschutz
Mone didn't show out as well early on in practices as some would have liked, splitting many of his reps while showing great size, strength and build for a future BCS-level defensive tackle. He came into the camp with a bit of unclean weight hanging on his torso, admitting that his game would step up when his physique improves. Still, you can see from the video that he has some violent hands and strong legs and already has the tools needed to compete on day one – a fast-approaching day one for the early enrollee.
Bryan shouldn't move much in the rankings. He needed a dominant week to reach the elite level of the rankings, but his performance proved that he still has work to do and belongs in the bottom half of the nation's top 100 players. He'll become a dominant lineman some day should he clean up his frame and take in Michigan's coaching like a sponge.
OT Juwann Bushell-Beatty
Quote of the Week: "Loved (Alabama) DE commit Da'Shawn Hand during 1-on-1, including back-to-back reps when he slung Juwann Bushell-Beatty off him." -- ESPN's Jeremy Crabtree
Juwann had the unwanted task of attempting to stop Da'Shawn Hand and Lorenzo Carter in practice before taking on another stellar group of defensive ends during the final game. He managed to hold his own against Hand on a few reps before being thrown to the ground on others. The play that spoke volumes to me came early on in Thursday's game, when Bushell-Beatty opened his stance up far too early, watching as the defensive end sprinted by to take down fellow commitment Wilton Speight.
Bushell-Beatty didn't have a horrific week, but it is now crystal clear that he's a borderline three- to four-star prospect because he's extremely raw and still has work to do on his body. The athleticism and raw physical attributes are all there for him to eventually become a good right tackle, but it's all just potential as of right now. He should see a slight drop in his ratings when all is said and done.
Overall, this set of future Wolverines came out an performed well. Peppers and Speight both played well enough to raise their stock in the minds of scouts from faraway parts of the country, and Bryan Mone at least flashed the potential to become a dominant defensive tackle, which is something some scouts actually had doubts about coming into the week. Bushell-Beatty showed us exactly what we thought we would see from him: a tackle with good upside but a long way to go. The week was a win for Michigan, which is getting four fine football prospects.