Ceilings and Floors

The third annual post in which I approximate the baseline and potential of each Michigan commit for the Class of ’09. Of course, it goes without saying that these are estimates, and don’t take into account any extenuating circumstances (i.e. transferring to Arkansas/Ohio State, etc).

Ceilings and floors are on a different scale from each other (yes, this is different than past years, and I probably should have said something about it the first time around, since it’s no longer a strict “floor/ceiling” measure). Floor is a 1-5 scale of readiness to play right away, while ceiling is a 1-5 scale of overall potential.   

Name Pos Floor Ceiling
Tate Forcier QB 4 3
Tate is as well-coached at the QB position as any prospect in the country. Rich Rodriguez thought he was ready enough to play immediately that he didn’t beg Steven Threet to stay. His ceiling, on the other hand, is somewhat limited. He doesn’t have ideal height, and questions about his arm strength persist, though we won’t know for sure until he hits the field. As of now, his potential could be enough to get him to the NFL, but it would be a mild upset, at the least.
Denard Robinson QB 2 4
What if Robinson can’t throw all that well? Hell, what if he can’t run all that well? His stats in high school weren’t as impressive as you’d think for a guy who was so highly-recruited (of course, many were recruiting him as an athlete), so perhaps he isnt’ as ready to play as he may need to be. In terms of ceiling, part of me says “not tall, weak-ish arm,” but the other part counters with a very convincing “Pat White clone.”
Fitzgerald Toussaint RB 4 5
Maybe it’s because I saw him in person, and maybe it’s because of his impressive video and stats, but I really think Toussaint has what it takes to be a star. His current physical buildup is more solid than a lot of people realize, and should be able to contribute shortly after arriving on campus. He has great speed, balance, and vision, and plays a more physical game than several people as short as he is.
Vincent Smith RB 4 3
Smith comes from a very successful program and has enrolled early. Those two factors should mean he is ready to play right away. He is a speed back who doesn’t have elite speed, and he is just a tiny little guy, so his upside may be limited.
Teric Jones RB/slot 2 4
His readiness to play might be quite low, as he didn’t even start as a high school junior, and might need to move to a different position when he hits campus. However, his upside is good, as the fastest 40-yard time at the Army Junior Combine has to mean something.
Jeremy Gallon Slot 3 4
Switching from high school QB may require an adjustment, but he also plays some wideout and running back, which may help out a bit. He’s a little guy, so he may need to bulk up to avoid injury. As far as potential, he has great balance and legendary ability to avoid tackles in the open field. A lack of top end speed prevents him from being very highly-rated.
Je’Ron Stokes WR 3 4
Stokes was a starter on one of the Army All-American teams for a reason, so he should be ready to play. Learning multiple wideout positions (split end and slot) will slow down his process getting onto the field. I don’t see him as having elite size for the wideout position, or optimal shiftiness for the slot position, so his potential might be slightly lower than hoped.
Cameron Gordon WR 2 4
Gordon has a reputation as a heck of an athlete who isn’t yet a football player. He’ll get a run at wide receiver, where he may be a step slow, but his better potential is at linebacker, where hopefully he won’t hesitate to bring the physicality that his 6-3 frame is capable of.
Taylor Lewan OL 2 5
Lewan has great measurables for offensive tackle, and an admirable mean streak. However, he’s only been an offensive lineman for one year, and he played defensive tackle his entire high school career before that. Once he has time in a strength program and a bit of coaching from Frey, one of the best in the business, the sky is the limit for Lewan.
Quinton Washington OL 4 4
Washington was a multi-year starter for a dominant program in South Carolina, which is a pretty good high school football state. He should be as ready to play immediately as any offensive lineman. Of course, that still means a redshirt in nearly every case.
Michael Schofield OL 3 3
Schofield has good size and a decent attitude towards blocking, but like every offensive lineman, he’ll need a year to gain size and strength. His video is not nearly as impressive as that of the other two freshman OLs, and while he may end up starting in the future, he doesn’t have “Future All-Conference” written all over him like the other two have the potential to accomplish.
William Campbell DT 1 5
The comparison for Campbell coming out of Cass Tech was to former Wolverine Gabe Watson, which explains both the floor and ceiling numbers. When motivated, Watson could be a truly dominating defensive lineman. However, it was getting him motivated that was the issue. I’d like to think Campbell is a little more mature mentally than Watson (though who really knows?), and that this staff has a better ability to motivate. Having a starting spot all-but-assured as a true freshman might not force him to work his ass off like he might need to.
Anthony LaLota DE 2 4
LaLota has only been playing football for a little more than one year, so he wont be as able to play as many other players, and he’ll almost certainly redshirt to mold his body and learn some technique. Enrolling early should help him a bit. As far as potential, he has very good measurables for the position, and if he can learn as well as he should be able to, he’ll be pretty good down the road.
Craig Roh DE 3 4
Roh isn’t quite ready to play this year, because he’s very light for a defensive lineman, but he may get some spot duty in the Memorial Wasted Redshirt position. He has an unorthodox style, but good technique, and with his speed and quickness on his feet (spin move is awesome), he should have the ability to be stellar once he builds up his body.
Brandin Hawthorne LB 2 3
A tiny guy out of high school, who, despite enrolling early, has a lot of bulking up to do. Even then, he’s a sub-6-foot linebacker. Even if he has very good speed, it’s hard to imaagine him being an all-purpose backer, rather than a pass-rush or pass-coverage specialist.
Isaiah Bell LB 2 4
He’s a high school safety who needs to learn a new position in college. That alone will require a likely redshirt year, and he’ll need to adjust his body pretty significantly to be able to play at the next level. Once he’s acclimated though, he’ll be a very speedy linebacker, with the skills to cover the pass better than most of the players Michigan has now.
Mike Jones S 2 4
A similar situation to Bell. His body isn’t quite as naturally big as Isaiah’s, but he also has enrolled early to go through the Michigan weight training program. He’s coming off a series of nagging injuries his senior year, so he might take some time to get back into game shape. After that, he was a little more highly-rated than Bell, but that may be mostly by virtue of where he’s from.
Vladimir Emilien S 1 4
He missed much of his junior year with an injury, and isn’t even sure if he’ll be able to go through spring practice at full speed. Hopefully, once that gets worked out, he’ll be able to return to his ball-hawking safety ways.
Thomas Gordon S 2 3
He is a short guy with non-blazing speed. That doesn’t bode well for his long-term potential, but he’s certainly capable of surprising me. As far as his floor, he’s only played safety for one year, and the former high school quarterback will have to continue learning a new position when he comes into college.
Justin Turner CB 4 5
A tall defensive back who still has the hips and feet to play corner is a very rare thing, indeed. He acquitted himself well in the Army All-American Game (despite giving up a TD), so he’ll probably be fairly ready to play right away. Down the road, fans are expected to see Charles Woodson, but would, say Marlin Jackson be soimeone you turn away for not being C-Wood?
Adrian Witty CB 1 3
A little guy who missed his entire senior year with a knee injury probably is not going to come into a BCS-level program and contribute right away. Even after that, Witty doesn’t have great height (listed as short as 5-8), and the only thing really keeping his potential afloat is the state,ent by his high scl coach that he was faster than Robinson before his knee injury.
Brendan Gibbons K 1 5
Kickers are generally a crapshoot. Gibbons could awful, he could be awesome. Hopefully the latter is true.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

15 Comments so far

  1. Ann Arbor 1879 says...

    Vincent Smith could be so bad that he could be better than is possible for him! That is not as easy as it sounds.

  2. Tim says...

    Ceilings and floors are on a different scale. Man, do I wish there was a confused smiley emoticon in the VB comments.

  3. barney gumble says...

    Arm strength is highly over rated. I’ll take accuracy over arm strength. Mallet had great strength but was highly inaccurate.

  4. Anthony says...

    Why is Tate’s floor higher than his ceiling? I think he has better NFL potential than you give him credit for. If he adds bulk he will add zip to the ball, so a someone picking him up in the late rounds wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  5. John says...

    How can Tate’s floor be higher than his ceiling? That makes no sense…

  6. Adam Gross says...

    Not sure if this is what you meant Tim, but 2 of your first 4 rankings have higher floors than ceilings. Color me confused. I still enjoyed reading the analysis though. Thanks for all the info.

  7. Maize&Smeef says...

    how do ceilings and floors work again? I remember your first post about them way back when, but I cannot remember the exact definitions anymore.

  8. Paul says...

    First Ceilings and Floors post (w/ handy explanation!) and the one from last year.

    Hopefully these help.

  9. Tim says...

    Floor = Readiness to play right away.
    Ceiling = Overall total potential.

    Not complicated stuff, people.

  10. Jivas says...

    Strictly from a college standpoint, I don’t see Tate’s size or arm strength really limiting his upside. Is Chase Daniel not an elite college quarterback? I’m not saying that Tate will be Chase Daniel – he might be Todd Reesing or Matt Grothe or Colt McCoy – just that with the use of spread offenses in college, a short-ish QB with moderate arm strength can be an elite player.

  11. Tim says...

    You do raise a good point.

  12. Louis says...

    Absolutely foolish post. Smith is sure to redshirt. After I read his ceiling/floor I immediately stopped reading. I lost much respect for this site.

  13. Paul says...

    I’ve heard Coach Rod talk about Smith and have seen him in practice. So far everything points to him playing in Fall. He’s not going to magically grow 3-4″ during his redshirt year. He’s going to be a small running back, and in the Spring, he’s been looking really good.

  14. Tim says...

    Yeah, we’ve been to practice and you’re wrong, guy.

  15. Adam Gross says...

    You should probably change the name of these metrics from Ceilings and Floors to Readiness and Potential. The words you are using have implied meanings that are very different than what I guess they actually mean.

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