Quick note- I apologize for having dropped off as a writer. The summer is normally where most of my free time pops up, so I hope to be resuming fairly regular programming now.
After a surprisingly extensive search, Michigan finally landed its quarterback for the 2015 class in Alex Malzone. He becomes the sixth commit in the class and the first player from the state of Michigan. With RB Mike Weber and LB Tyriq Thompson starting to look more interested in the Spartans as time wears on, he could very well end up being the only player from Michigan in this class (barring late risers/offers). While I don't think him being alone is a very likely outcome, it would be the first time in the Rivals/Scout era a Michigan class has included 1 or fewer players from the home state.
Malzone's recruitment was one that started slowly- for a while, it seemed as though he would be a safe backup option should higher touted out of staters fell through. His recruitment picked up a bit of steam in February/March when offers from Pitt and Wake Forest came through. However, things didn't really start moving in Michigan's direction until he threw privately for their coaches, eliciting this type of response..
I'm hearing that @alexmalzone KILLED it in his throwing session this morning! Crisp, accurate... very few balls hit the ground— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) April 28, 2014
Malzone was then invited to campus on Monday, where an offer was extended with a commitment following shortly thereafter.
Last year, Michigan got a commitment from a similarly lowly-touted QB, and my reaction was less enthusiastic. However, this kid actually has me fairly excited. Unless he goes on a serious weight binge, he'll probably always be somewhat slight for a kid going through the Big Ten gauntlet, but I think everything else about him spells serious potential. Many people have harped upon his 'baseball-like' delivery, and that's very obvious when watching tape on him. Developing consistency in his delivery will be key to maximizing his potential, and I think that all starts with work on his lower body. That's a relatively simple thing that most college coaches will devote ~15-20 minutes of practice a day working on anyway.
What really excites me, however, is how good he looks when he does everything right. He doesn't have a huge arm, but it's certainly strong enough to get it done in college. More importantly, his accuracy can be phenomenal-a trait which most quarterbacks really struggle to improve over time. He also looks mentally advanced for his age; I was really impressed by how smoothly he looked off coverage on several plays, seemed to really understand the defense's zones, and his timing routes when they were in man. His upside? People might roll their eyes at this, but when everything's working for Malzone, I think he compares favorably to recently drafted QB Teddy Bridgewater. His slight build will always be held against him and he doesn't have the strongest of arms, but his accuracy and mental edge give him a real shot at being a strong contributor for Michigan.