2016 QB Messiah deWeaver prevented any sort of quarterback drama in the upcoming recruiting class by committing to Michigan yesterday, mere hours after receiving the offer. He becomes the second commit in the 2016 class, joining OT Erik Swenson. Often times, bringing in a quarterback early in the process can help to strengthen a given recruiting class, as most act as recruiters just as much as the coaches do. The obvious example is Shane Morris, but Speight and Malzone have recently shown this trait as well.
This commitment is a hard one to fully digest at the moment, simply because "online recruitniks" don't have access to everything relevant for deWeaver. There are both positive and negative angles to look at this, so let's get the negative out of the way.
Watching deWeaver's sophomore film is simply underwhelming. The arm strength just isn't there, there's very little zip on the ball, and the accuracy is inconsistent. He leads with his hips on every throw, so the ball is almost always headed upward instead of straight. His delivery is long and slow, and it just doesn't seem like he has great command over the ball. If I were a pessimistic person, I might point to 2 quarterbacks in the 2015 class who plenty of coaches seemed to clamor over early; David Sills and Jayru Campbell. Sills committed to USC in 8th grade, though now he struggles to stand out from FCS bound competition. Campbell had Michigan fans up in arm at the staff's negligence to offer once Saban and other schools "offered", but even outside of his legal issues, looks like he's developed into an average QB talent at best. I would be surprised if he ends up at a better school than Cincinnati. While the time frames might be different for these prospects, the idea is the same; offering a kid before he's finished developing is a risk. With Michigan's ability to bring in top talent, should they be taking that risk? And by the way, don't tell me that sophomore highlight films can't be impressive/telling.
HOWEVER, I'm not a pessimist, and there's plenty of evidence to suggest that deWeaver has gone through quite the development in the offseason. First of all, he's now listed as 6'3 by most sites including 247Sports. There's no way you can tell me the QB throwing in his highlights is that tall. As kids start to grow upward, they also develop bigger hands, longer arms, and get more muscle on their bones. All of these things help a quarterback's strength and accuracy, and they're a major reason that (in my opinion), for most top QB prospects, the biggest development phase is between sophomore and junior year of high school. Second, he's been ranked as high as 4 stars by the aforementioned 247Sports. This has to be a consequence of his strong camp performances, because I cannot imagine any self respecting recruiting analyst looking through those highlights and calling it the play of a 4 star talent. Lastly, and likely as a consequence of the physical development and camp performances, he racked up a pretty decent offer list in recent months. Cincinnati, Louisville and Kentucky had all thrown their hats in the ring before Michigan, and it seemed as though Texas and Tennessee might join them after he visited their campuses.
In essence, I'm simply admitting that there just isn't enough information out there to determine whether or not I'm excited about this commitment. I'm willing to bet that deWeaver's junior film will show significant improvement, but maybe it won't! Perhaps after landing Shane Morris, a solid-but-unspectacular Wilton Speight, and the ever-rising Alex Malzone, the staff felt justified to gamble a bit on a potential boom of a quarterback. Only time will tell, so keep checking back for updates.