Ray Buford – CB, Southfield (Mich.) - 2015
Sam’s Take: Buford’s length is clearly his best trait. At 6-1 he is a worthy adversary in jump ball situations. He also has loose hips and is fluid out of his back pedal. He does his best work when he can gets his hands on wideouts in press coverage. He isn’t a burner though. That makes technique (especially when playing off) all the more important. Route recognition, reading receiver keys… he was drilled on the nuances of the position by Michigan cornerbacks coach Roy Manning throughout the day and the talented youngster responded. He drove on routes in zone/off coverage much better as the day went on. It was the type of solid showing that will keep him on the Wolverine’s radar.
Liam Eichenberg – OL, Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius - 2016
Allen’s Take: Eichenberg was much more comfortable when he was at his natural position of tackle than inside at guard (where we project he will play at the next level). He plays with good bend and technically sound. He reminds me a great deal of current Michigan lineman Kyle Bosch.
Sam’s Take: Michigan appears to really be making serious headway in this recruitment. His rapport with Greg Mattison is extremely obvious. When he received his Michigan offer back in the winter he insisted that he was not an Ohio State lock. I’ve finally started to believe him. Michigan is far from a token presence in his recruitment.
Messiah deWeaver – QB, Trotwood (Ohio) Madison - 2016
Sam’s Take: This kid has come a really long way in the last year. Gone are the days where he didn’t consistently throw spirals… where it looked like he would struggle making the “arm” throws… where his footwork was all out of whack. His mechanics have tightened up significantly and the result is a kid that spun the ball extremely well during Michigan’s camps (and also at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp last week). He also showed really nice touch on deep ball over the middle. He won’t fire out-routes from the far hash with as much velocity as Alex Malzone, but those plays no longer need to be eliminated from DeWeaver’s playbook. In my opinion he has gone from being an unlikely offer to a kid that just picked one up from the Maize & Blue Wednesday afternoon.
Elijah Holyfield – RB, Atlanta (Ga.) Woodward Academy - 2016
Sam’s Take: The phrase “looks the part” certainly applies here. Evander’s kid certainly hasn’t skipped any days in the weight room, that’s for sure. It was clear even without pads that Holyfield is a true downhill runner. He won’t win many lateral quickness drills, so don’t expect him to leave defenders’ jock straps all over the field. At the same time, he is not so stiff that he can’t find a cut back lane. Shifting his momentum to make an initial cut was actually something he did quite well. So while he’ll lower his shoulder in the open field the majority of the time, he will occasionally side-step a defender that has squared him up for a tackle. He flashed good, not great speed. Most impressive was his burst to daylight. Once he sees an opening he gets through it in a hurry. He also showed really good hands and the ability to lose linebackers (including Tyriq Thompson) that tried to cover him in the passing game. This kid is tailor made for a pro-style attack.
Michael Jordan – OL, Plymouth (Mich.) – 2016
Allen’s Take: This rising junior from Plymouth has a great frame and is very athletic. He uses that athleticism to handle speed rushers, but must continue to get stronger. One question on him was his level of intensity and he is done a good job going hard and taking multiple reps during the one-on-one sessions this week.
Khalid Kareem – DE, Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison – 2016
Allen’s Take: Kareem is long kid that is very smooth and athletic. He used his agility to get around offense of lineman particularly by setting them up and using counter moves. He still must get stronger and a little bit more explosive off the snap of the ball, but all of the athletic qualities to be a highly recruited guy are there.
Corey Malone-Hatcher – DE, St. Joseph (Mich.) - 2017
Allen’s Take: Malone-Hatcher is skilled for a 2017 kids. He plays with a good motor, uses his hands well, and has been well-schooled in the art of pass rushing. He would sometimes get too far up field and offensive tackles would run him past the target, but he has a good package of skills and physical tools. Given his age he certainly looks like he will end up being a very highly recruited guy. He took on the best lineman at the camp including Eichenberg and more than held his own.
Alex Malzone – QB, Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice – 2017
Sam’s Take: The more I watch the more it is clear that Michigan is fortunate Doug Nussmeier’s QB quest didn’t overlook a real gem on the home front. No doubt Michigan’s new offensive coordinator is walking around camp thinking to himself, “I got this one right!” Malzone has been really good this week, and his time working with Nussmeier is invaluable. This kid takes instruction extremely well and only needs to be shown something once before being able to execute it. Strong arm, accuracy, leadership ability, a just enough edginess. This is a broken record comment, but he was three inches taller he would have been one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the country. It matters not at this point. What does is Michigan got itself a good one.
Jon Runyan Jr. – OL, Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Josephs – 2015
Allen’s Take: The Michigan commitment continued his strong week by winning the vast majority of his one-on-one wraps. He lined up all over the line and it did not seem to matter where he was… he had success. He looks like a future center but is very quick, has good feet and showed impressive strength for a kid who's about 270 pounds.
Tyriq Thompson – LB, Detroit (Mich.) King - 2016
Sam’s Take: Great day by the Detroit King star. He had at least four interceptions during the one-on-ones and he was the most effective linebacker in seven on seven. He just has pass coverage instincts. On a number of occasions he read his man like a defensive back, keying on the receivers hands for a sign as to when to make a play on the ball… noting when backs or TEs stood up at the top of their respective routes to tip him off on when they were going to make cuts. Simply put, this kid is a really smart football player. On the physical side of equation, all the things we thought we knew about Thompson were again confirmed. He has good speed for the position (probably in the mid-4.6s), good but not great lateral quickness, and he competes. He never loafs on the football field. Where many kids with his profile participate in a half day of camps like this, Thompson came out and worked all day long. And that less than a week after he competed both days of Sound Mind Sound Body. On the recruiting front his vibe with Greg Mattison is apparent and he insists Michigan is still in the race. Time will tell of course.