Top Three Performances by Michigan Targets
If a look test would have been administered today, Jason Hatcher would have passed it with flying colors. The Louisville (KY) Trinity DE was among the most explosive players at the combine. Standing at 6-2.5 and weighing in at 231-lbs…. he played and looked much bigger than his size. Pair that with his speed and power, and he was a load to deal with. The recent Michigan offer recipient registered a 4.7 forty yard dash, 4.32 in the shuttle, and did 21 reps of 185 on the bench. He was dominant off the edge at the beginning of 1-on1s according to Scout.com Director of Scouting, Scott Kennedy, but that dominance waned as the session went on (stamina?). Nevertheless, it was an impressive showing overall… one indicative of his status of the most heavily recruited defensive linemen in his class. In addition to Michigan he already has offers Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and a number of other BCS schools. For the time being he claims no favorites and says that he will seriously consider all of his suitors. Despite his lack of knowledge familiarity Maize & Blue, the news of the offer from Brady Hoke & company particularly because of his family ties to the Great Lake State. We’ll have more on Hatcher’s recruitment in a video interview tomorrow.
Moving on, the second most impressive Michigan target was a youngster that hasn’t yet received an offer from the Wolverines. Wylie (TX) East wideout, Marcell Ateman was a true head-turner. That might surprise some considering the 4.81 forty time he registered. The 6-4, 190-pounder disputed that time, and based on his showing, his gripe appeared legitimate. Even if it wasn’t (and for the record he claims to be a mid 4.5-4.6 guys)… there’s track speed and there’s football speed. During 1-on-1s Ateman sparkled, showing football speed for days. He ran precise routes, showed a great burst out of his breaks, and extremely good hands. His polish was evident on an out & up against a DB that fared better in the forty. Only a ball that hung a bit in the air allowed Ateman’s opponent to get back in the frame… and that wasn’t Ateman’s only time getting deep.
Ateman gets deep
Ateman got deep with ease throughout the session. His teammate Vequan Jones had more buzz coming into event, but Ateman left with a respect all his own. He already holds offers from Tennessee, Baylor, Arizona and is hearing an increasing amount from Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, and Michigan. He has exchanged messages with Michigan assistant Darrell Funk in recent months and says they will have more interaction after the Sugar Bowl. He has definite interest in the Maize & Blue.
The wideout in attendance already holding a Michigan offer was Akron (OH) Firestone’s Kevin Gladney. The Buckeye State star measured in at a shade over six-feet, ran a 4.59 forty, and a 4.55 shuttle. A long strider, Gladney’s ate up the cushion given him by few unsuspecting defensive backs. On the other hand, there were a few others that had success thanks to muscling him at the line of scrimmage or by jumping his routes when he didn’t sell them well enough. Those are aspects of his game that will improve after an experience like today. As far as recruiting goes, the Michigan definitely has a significant head start thanks to its standing as his first offer. The Maize & Blue sits atop his leaderboard at the moment, but an offer from Ohio State will make things extremely interesting for this lifelong Buckeye fan.
Avon (OH) CB Ross Douglas measured in at 5-9.25 and 178 pounds and ran a 4.61 forty. The Ohio junior pulled up lame after the forty and wasn’t able to participate any further. His dad reiterated today that his son is in consistent contact with Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and that they’ve been told that coaching staff in Ann Arbor has indicated they will be reviewing young Douglass’ junior film after the Sugar Bowl.
Solon (OH) CB Darian Hicks was up and down on the day. A few of the speedier wideouts were able to get on top of him. Hicks was the same height as Douglas, but five pounds lighter and ran a 4.71 forty. He attended Michigan’s games versus San Diego State and Ohio State.
Wylie (TX) WR, Vequan Jones tested better than his wide receiver cohort, Marcel Ateman. Jones checked in a 6-4, 192 and ran a 4.67 forty and a 4.22 shuttle. Michigan has been in contact with his coach about him and Ateman, but unlike Ateman he has yet to correspond with the Wolverines directly.
Too early to Jump in?
The recruiting clock gets earlier and earlier every year it seems. The lone freshman at the event was Orangewood (FL) Christian LB, Jimmy Martin. The 5-11, 203-pounder acquitted himself well on the day, running a 4.84 forty, a 4.27 shuttle, and did 19 reps on the bench. His size and testing stats will surely improve in the coming years, making him one to keep an eye on in the years to come. Michigan apparently will be doing so. Martin has a sister that received a water polo scholarship to Michigan. That development prompted his dad to send his son’s film into Michigan’s Florida recruiter, Jerry Montgomery. Apparently the Wolverine defensive assistant informed the youngster’s coach that the Maize & Blue will indeed be monitoring his progress.
Too Late to Jump in?
That could be the case with two tight ends our experts informed us the Wolverines have asked coaches about. Lake Charles (LA) Barbe high’s, Desean Smith and New Orleans (LA) Edna Karr’s, Standish Dobard delivered stellar performances. After Alabama commitment O.J. Howard (who by the way was a bona fide stud), were the next best prospects at the position. Smith was particularly impressive. At a little over 6-4, 224-lbs., he ran a 4.71 forty and a 4.35 shuttle. He showed great release moves, the ability to get off the jam, and very soft hands. Dobard stood 6-3, weighed about the same as Smith, but ran a 4.85. Smith already has offers from LSU and Texas A&M among others. Dobard has Alabama, Texas, and Florida. Would the Wolverines be ice-skating uphill if they offer? Probably. We’ll keep an eye out to see if Michigan decides to jump definitively into the fray.