Thursday, June 27, 2013
Roundtable: Who should top '15 board?
By Chantel Jennings
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Every Thursday our writers sit down to discuss a few topics in and around Michigan sports. With Tom on vacation this week, WolverineNation editor Bob McClellan joins the conversation to look at The Opening, freshmen and other varsity sports.
1. Of the 2015 offers, which prospect do you think should be No. 1 overall in Michigan's war room?
Bob McClellan: Plain and simple, Michigan needs offensive playmakers. Considering the 2015 season likely will be the first without Devin Gardner at the helm, that becomes even more critical. And I believe George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) will prove to be one of the top playmakers in the 2015 class. His measurables, considering he hasn’t even started his junior year of high school, are astounding -- 6-foot-4, 184 pounds, 4.44-second 40-yard dash. Campbell, a teammate of Michigan commit Mason Cole, already has offers from Florida, FSU, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State, among others. It’s easy to picture Shane Morris lofting the deep ball and Campbell running under it.
Chantel Jennings: Running back Mike Weber (Detroit/Cass Tech). The Wolverines want to dominate in-state recruiting, and they recently lost Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech) to Ohio State. I think Weber will be the top in-state prospect in the 2015 class, and the Wolverines want to keep that Cass Tech pipeline open. What better way to do so than getting your next big back out of there?
Michael Rothstein: Easily Stephen Zimmerman (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman). He’s going to be a special player and an almost definite pro. Oh, we're talking football? Never mind then. Look at Damien Harris (Berea, Ky./Madison Southern). The running back is going to be one of the top players at his position in the country. Considering there's a chance both Derrick Green and Deveon Smith will be juniors by then, if they don't redshirt this year, the Wolverines will need to bring in a top-flight tailback in that class. Get Harris and you accomplish that.
2. The freshman class just got on campus at Michigan; what do you think is the single hardest aspect of college for those players to adjust to?
McClellan: Time management. Let’s face it: A parent or parental figure keeps the buses running on time when you’re in high school. These guys will be on their own for the first time, in the most difficult classes they’ve taken to date, with more football demands than they’ve ever faced. It can get overwhelming quickly.
Jennings: I’m with Bob on this. It’s totally how kids manage their time. Yes, the workouts are harder and more intense, but they’re used to pushing their bodies. But never before have these kids balanced a full-time job and a full slate of classes, and that’s basically what they’re doing. For a kid who isn’t accustomed to being regimented like that or doesn't enjoy carrying a daily planner, it can be a really difficult task.
Rothstein: This isn't really a definitive answer, but it depends on the player. For some players, who come from either really conservative families or areas of the country, it will be the lifestyle in very liberal Ann Arbor. For some, it'll be academics. For those who came from small towns, it could be the size/strength of their teammates and competition, since they likely never saw it before.
3. Of Michigan's projected starters next season, which player do you think could contribute on another varsity team at U-M?
For a guy who stands 5-foot-8, Jeremy Gallon can get up. How would he fare in basketball? Or track?
McClellan: I’d like to see Taylor Lewan play for John Beilein. Obviously he could do some work on the boards, but I’m mainly thinking of him setting picks. Nik Stauskas will be hounded even more closely this season without offensive weapons such as Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. around, and he will need to find ways to create space and get off shots. What could create more space than coming off a pick from Lewan?
Jennings: I’ve heard Jeremy Gallon has insane hops on the basketball court, but I’d like to see him take on the long jump or high jump for track. He might not be the athlete who goes the farthest or highest, but if it were somehow broken up on how far/high you go versus your height, I think he might have an advantage.
Rothstein: Depends what sport we're talking. Michigan's football coaches have been vocal about their want of Mitch McGary to play tight end or the defensive line. That's an obvious one. Among football starters, Desmond Morgan is probably the best bet to contribute to another sport. Morgan played hockey through high school, and there was a point his father, Scott, thought hockey might actually be his better sport. Considering his football success, it would have been intriguing to see that.