2007 University of Michigan Signees: Ceilings and Floors
First, some background.
The recruiting rating universe is “star-centric” and a prospect is typecast as either a 5-star, 4-star, 3-star, etc. In my opinion, assessing a prospect is a lot more complicated than that and what I have tried to do is come up with a different paradigm in identifying the potential of a prospect.
When I look at players I try to determinewhat sort of ceilings and floors they have. By that I mean what is their upside and what is their downside. Nothing novel in that concept, as players are often referred to as being high ceiling types.
What I will attempt to do below, however, is broaden the context of the term from that of being a mere adjective to in some way “quantify” the potential upside and downside of a prospect. That will give us a better idea of what sort of athleticism we are bringing into this class and also give a sense as to what extent
A lot of D-1 prospects have high floors but just average to slightly above average ceilings (when speaking in D-I BCS terms). In a sense, what you see is what you get. There will be an average amount of improvement in college but they are often already pretty sound fundamentally and will be solid to very, very good college players (and in some cases exceptional college players but not NFL types).
What is meant by a "high ceiling" is a prospect who has the speed and athleticism that may enable him to play at the NFL level if he puts everything else together (hard work, fundamentals, discipline, developing-if they can be developed-football instincts/understanding as to how to play the game). Usually the term is used on its own without also adding that the prospect has a "low floor" (i.e. a raw football player who may never contribute). Of course, prospects who have both high ceilings and high floors are called difference-makers (instead of being referredto a high ceiling kids) and are usually only the top 25-40 prospects in the nation (i.e. 5 stars).
After you get below the 5 stars, you have the 4 and 3 stars who have some combination of ceiling and floor which is below high/high. A lot of these kids could be average ceiling/high floor, which means that it is pretty sure that they will be very good college football players but they probably lack the great athleticism tobecome NFL-type difference-makers. Others will be high ceiling types with lower floors. These high ceiling types may have as much upside as the five stars but they have more downside (i.e. they are higher risk recruits)
Historically (until just the past 4-5 years), most (not all) of Michigan's defensive line and linebacker recruits had not been high ceiling types but rather high floor types who were athletic enough to get the job done when playing within the Michigan team system.
I think that a few years ago when the lack of speed on our defense was exposed by
Here are some examples of how I would have rated some recent
Erick Anderson Slightly above average ceiling/High floor
Mike Mallory Slightly above average ceiling/High floor
Jarrett Irons Slightly above average ceiling/High floor
Mike Boren Average ceiling/High floor
Glen Steele Slightly above average ceiling/High floor
MikeHammerstein Slightly above average ceiling/High floor
Larry Foote High ceiling/Low floor
Braylon Edwards High ceiling/Low floor
Charles Woodson High ceiling/High floor
Demetrius Smith High ceiling/Low floor
Jason Brooks High ceiling/Low floor
LaMarr Woodley High ceiling/High floor
Mike Hart Above average ceiling/High floor
DesmondHoward High ceiling/Low floor
This years class, although lacking in five and four stars, has more than its fair share of High ceiling/Low floor types. THAT is what I REALLY like about this class. Some of these kids will not pan out, but others will emerge as NFL type talents.
Just to give an example, a LB like Brandon Herron has the sort of high ceiling to be an Ian Gold type linebacker in the NFL. I would not say that about a prospect such as Chris Colasanti (a 4-star Michigander who signed with
For you old-timers, an example of a program that had problems by recruiting High Floor types is Notre Dame back in the 1980s under Gerry Faust. He would go through the old Parade All-American listings and bring in loads of these prep stars who were great high school players but lacked high ceilings. Often they would be prospects who had the benefit of playing for top Catholic Schools such as Cincinnati Moeller and they were much more developed as players when arriving at Notre Dame. The problem was that many of these kids weren’t even great athletes and some (remember the undersized prep AA LB Tom Roggeman out of
Here’s my breakdown of this year’s signees:
Ryan Mallett High Ceiling/High Floor – Entire package
Donovan Warren High Ceiling/High Floor – Great athlete from nations top program. Gone against AA WRsin practice for4 years
Martell Webb High Ceiling/Slightly BelowAverage Floor – Has the frame, speed and athleticism to dominate. Just need sto fill out and learn the game more. A bit raw.
Kenneth "Junior" Hemingway High to Above Average Ceiling/Average Floor - Great receiver skills
Michael Williams Above Average Ceiling/High Floor - Lacks athleticism and speed of
Ryan VanBergen Above Average Ceiling/High Floor – Motor always on go makes him a low rick kid
Dave Molk Above Average Ceiling/High Floor – Another low risk get, but upside limited by height
Toney Clemons High Ceiling/Low Floor- Has all the tools but senior season he wasn’t thrown to much and there were some other issues
Renaldo Sagesse High Ceiling/LowFloor – Great combo of size and speed,same as Alain Kashama. Most Canadians are low floor due to levelof competition
Austin Panter Above Average Ceiling/Low Floor – Nice size and athleticism but questions whether he can do it at a high level
Steve Watson Above Average Ceiling/High Floor – Well-schooled as he plays for a top program as pops was in the NFL
Avery Horn Above Averge Ceiling/Average Floor – Should be a solid contributor
James Rogers High Ceiling/Low Floor – Big and fast but will play a new position and his prep competition was poor
Mark Huyge Above Average Ceiling/Low Floor – I have a feeling he will be either a hit or miss. Reminds mea bit of Adam Kraus
Vincent Helmuth Above Average Ceiling/High Floor – Already physically developed and with th skills we are lookingfor at FB
Marell Evans Above Average Ceiling/Low Floor – Late-bloomer could surprise
Brandon Herron High Ceiling/Low Floor – Tests off the charts. Just needs to be more Tarzan and less Jane on the field
Troy Woolfolk Above Average Ceiling/Low Floor – Raw but upside high as he is getting bigger and you can’t teach his speed
Artis Chambers Above Average Ceiling/Average Floor – Very good skill set and fills a need