Press Conference Player Info Part III

Reminder: Tim will be appearing on WTKA 1050AM today with John U. Bacon on the Big show at 4pm. You can tune in or listen online here. **CHANGE** The A-Rod “scandal” has forced WTKA to recshedule on me. I’ll let you know when I actually go on. -T

(Part 1 Part 2)

Taylor Lewan

Rodriguez said that Taylor has exactly the type of frame that he looks for in his tackles.  He has a big frame, but still has a ton of athleticism.  Taylor himself has said the Jake Long is his favorite player, and he could end up having a similar game. He’s a bit smaller, only 6’6″ and 270lbs, but with a year or two in a college conditioning program, he should be a monster.  Coach noted that he has only been playing OL for a year, so is somewhat a blank canvas and may have been underrated by the recruiting services.  I’m guessing he’ll redshirt, but I would be surprised if he didn’t contribute down the line.

Denard Robinson

Coach said that Robinson may be the fastest kid they recruited. He doesn’t have the fake 40 times of Teric Jones, but watching his game film, you can really get a sense of how fast he is out on the field.  Rodriguez also conceeded that while Denard may not be the tallest player out there, he has a knack to make plays when it appears there’s nothing there.  The consensus of Robinson is that this is his year to compete to start at QB. If he wins it, he could start for a long time, if not he’ll likely switch positions down the line.  He’s got a lot to work for this offeseason and fall.

Craig Roh

I was kind of under the imppression that Roh would end up taking a red shirt this year, but Rodriguez said that he was excited for Roh to make an “instant impact.”  That could mean pushing the older guys to work harder, but maybe playing time. He’s kind of slight right now coming in at 6’4″ 230lbs, but he’ll have summer conditioning and fall practice to put on some size.  Roh has a unique technique where he starts extemely low. Also, judging by the UA All-American game, he has a mean spin move that is very effective against good HS tackles. It will be interesting if Coach Tall will try to change his technique to a more orthodox style or just help Roh improve his technique.

Michael Schofield

Schofield is very similar in size to Taylor Lewan (I think we’ve figured out Rodriguez’s type), but maybe not quite the all around athlete that Lewan is. Coach seemed very proud to share that not only did Schofield not give up a sack all year, but also the entire unit went the entire season without a holding penalty.  Obviously Schofield has experience playing on a talented, well-coached offensive line.  Hopefully that will help as he gets used to the college game. I have to imagine he’ll red shirt as the OL is fairly deep at this point and he still needs some size.

Vincent Smith

Smith was at the press conference, and he is tiny.  I’ve talked with Odoms face to face, and I’m pretty sure Odoms has 2-3″ on Smith. He’s listed 5’6″; I’m pretty sure there are rides at Cedar Point he can’t get on, but he can apparently run the ball really well.  Rodriguez seemed as impressed with his high school production as the recruiting services were (went from a middling 3 star to a solid 4 star). He had over 2,000 yards as the leading rusher for the Florida state champs (division III).  Coach said he would start working at running back and almost certainly work in some at the slot down the line.

Je’Ron Stokes

Rodriguez didn’t seem to be taken on the rollercoaster ride the blogosphere was subjected to regarding his commitment.  Coach made it pretty clear the he expects to Stokes to make a pretty quick impact on the football team.  He said Stokes will immediately compete at inside and outside receiver in addition to returning kicks.  Having that amount of flexibility should allow him to see quite a bit of playing time his freshman year.

Fitzgerald Toussaint

Early favorite for best name of the class along with Vlad Emilien.  Tim and I had a chance to see Fitz play live, and while he was largely held in check, he still busted some great runs when it looked like he would be hit for a loss. He has a huge stable of moves and flat out athleticism.  Rodriguez wants him at running back and returning kicks. Coach predicts the Fitz will have an immediate impact on the team.

J.T. Turner

Rodriguez mentioned that some sources considered Turner the best player in the state of Ohio. So that means, along with Campbell and Roh, University of Michigan got commitments from, arguably, the best players from Michigan, Arizona and Ohio.  Turner had a great performance at the UA All-American game, playing corner and some safety.  Coach said he expects to play Turner to play both Safety and CB, and said that unless something unforeseen happens, Turner will see the field as a freshman.  I always get nervous at freshmen in the defensive backfield, but Warren, Jackson and Woodson all had good freshmen years, so maybe my anxiety is misplaced.

Quinton Washington

This was probably the biggest suprise of this class. I was pretty sure he was going to stay at home in South Carolina, but Washington chose the maize and blue, which is good as Schofield and Lewan both appear to be tackles while Washington is an interior lineman. He’s listed at a sizeable 6’3″ 315lbs, and is reported to be athletic to boot.  Like the other two linemen in this class, I’m going to guess that he’ll get a redshirt. There’s a ton of depth this year and having that extra year at the end can really make a huge difference.

Adrian Witty

I’m not sure if this is Rodriguez being political or sincere (probably somewhere in between), but he called Adrian Witty the most “overlooked” recruit in this class. The more cynical fans see Witty as additional bait in order to get a commitment from Robinson, but Coach mentioned that Witty had a very productive senior year with quite a few interceptions.  I have to assume Witty will redshirt this year, and I’m not quite sure where he’ll end up when all is said and down. Hopefully, he’ll be able to contribute.

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3 Comments so far

  1. West Texas Blue says...

    JT Turner played in the AAA game. Appreciate the press conference recap and info.

  2. Ricardo says...

    Cant wait to see how is the backfield gonna play! Tate and DRob can obviusly pass but Gallon also can. I wonder if RR will use them at a same time on a formation.

  3. CDubbs says...

    From the looks of things our biggest offensive threat is BEARS! That’s right, especially polar bears; their still all extra pissed about global warming. They gonna be all, “Hey RichRod, give us cheezburger and we’ll eat Tressel!”

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