Michigan Gets a "Jim" of an Athlete

Two weekends ago Sam Webb scouted Michigan commitment Jake Long's game, and Sam provided you with his scouting report. This past Friday Sam made the trek to Milford-Highland Michigan to see Michigan's top-rated commitment, linebacker Jim Presley (The Insiders' #64 prospect), in action. What kind of prospect is Presley? Here is Sam's scouting report -- with photos.

My first impression of Jim, in warm-ups, was that he IS a physical specimen. Those who have followed recruiting for quite a while have become accustomed to the embellishment of physical stats by many prospects. Because of that, many take such listings with a grain of salt. However, every now and then we come across a prospect who actually measures up to his reported physical stats. In Jim's case, he was measured in the spring a the MSU Nike camp as 6-2 1/2, 215 lbs., 4.56 in the 40, 4.06 in the shuttle; 30.3 inch vertical jump, 18 bench press reps of 185 lbs. I'd seen Jim numerous times at camps during the spring and summer, but never with pads on. During those time that I noticed that his athletic ability was exceptional. However, as was the case with Jake Long the week before, I got a better appreciation of what type of FOOTBALL PLAYER Jim is when he put on the pads Friday night.


Presley (#34) gets the defensive signal

The second thing I noticed was that Jim is a leader on the field. I spoke with one of his neighbors on the sidelines during the game, and aside from mentioning what a genuinely good kid he is, he also mentioned that Jim was quiet. On the field, however, he is the player that the other guys 'feed off of'. In warm-ups, he was one of the hype guys. During the games, he liked to stick his nose right into the action. At fullback he definitely delivered punishment. And at linebacker, this kid created high speed collisions.


Jim gets in his linebacker stance

Jim has the physical traits to make an outstanding WILL linebacker (he ran a 10.8 second 100 meters in track this spring). I spent most of my time trying to pick up his reads. On several occasions in the game, Jim did a really good job of reading his keys and flowing across the defense to make the play.


Scraping across the defense

However, many times Presley got caught in the 'wash' and was not able to get to the ball carrier. A lot of what Jim does is instinctual. Popular football lingo for this trait is, "See ball, get ball." When Jim sees it, he goes after it full speed. He'll get better at shedding blocks and reading keys when he gets to college.


Presley in pursuit

The added dimension Jim brings to the table is the ability to play fullback. He gets in and out of the hole very quickly and is a willing blocker. One of the most surprising aspects for me was his hands. He showed very good hands when the ball was thrown his way. On one occasion, he released into the flat, beat the linebacker in one on one coverage, caught the ball, and then outran the entire defense for a 30+ yard touchdown.


Jim goes into the flat for a pass

This game solidified, for me, the fact that we got an outstanding athlete. Presley's skills at linebacker need more developing, but he has the raw material to be outstanding. Further, the versatility of being able to play offense increases his value as a prospect.

That said, the most pleasing aspect of the trip was hearing what others had to say about Jim. I spent the better part of my sideline time talking to the father of one the other Milford players. He lives across the street from the Presleys -- and he could not say enough good things about Jim. Of course, he talked about what a great athlete he is. But, he also mentioned how down to earth Jim is and how he didn't 'big time it' with the other kids just because he was getting recruited. He went on to say that Jim is the same kid now as he was before.

The most sincere opinions about someone are given when that person isn't even around. I think I have a pretty good idea of what type of kid Jim Presley is. Michigan is certainly happy that be decided to make the Ann Arbor his home for the next 4-5 years.

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