February 8, 2013
Doug Skene's top five 2013 recruits
Former Michigan offensive lineman Doug Skene sits in with TheWolverine.com every week to discuss the state of the football program. Today, he's offering his take on the 2013 recruiting class, including the five players he's most excited about.
Jordan Lewis - CB: Lewis committed early to the 2013 class and the fanfare about this outstanding player fell off due to focus on other recruits. The importance of the "lock down" corner cannot be minimized and Lewis has the skills to become that kind of player for Michigan. As we learned in 2012, the lineup can change with just one play when the injury bug bites. Lewis can come in and compete for playing time from day one.
Patrick Kugler - OL: Kugler may be the most technically-sound offensive lineman in this class. Combine great technique with his nasty style of play and we may be looking at the next great center to play at Michigan. Kugler will bring height and length to the center position that has not been seen since the great Steve Everitt.
He should redshirt his first year at Michigan to allow him to develop the strength and stamina he will need to play Big Ten football. Look for Kugler to compete for playing time the fall of 2014.
Derrick Green - RB: Green's exceptional skills will allow him to compete for playing time right away. His development greatly depends on the progress of the offensive line in front of him, including the tight ends.
Green's arrival will force the other backs on the roster to pick up their competitive drive and in the process, Michigan will get better production out of all it's backs. U-M can expect to see this great young player on the field in a productive roll this fall.
Henry Poggi - DT: The key to any great defense is strength and toughness in the middle. Michigan must have great interior linemen to anchor the defense and protect the line of scrimmage. Poggi can be that player and much more. He will play the 0-technique (over the center) or the 3-technique (over the guard). Michigan fans should expect this player to have an early impact for the team.
The depth along the defensive front is not quite to a place where U-M can redshirt the good young linemen that are brought in. Poggi will most likely see the field in the 2013 season. The 2014 season is where we should see him make his biggest improvement.
Shane Morris - QB: So much has been written, broadcasted, chronicled, tweeted, posted, and said about this young man that expectations about him are sky high. There is no doubt that Morris is a great player coming out of high school and he has all the measurables to become the next great Michigan QB. The question about Morris is not "if" he will be a star player, but "when."
In a perfect world, Morris will be redshirted in 2013. He can spend his freshman year learning the speed of the college game and developing his strength with time in the weight room. Like Green, Shane Morris will bring a new level of competitiveness to the QB room inside Schembechler Hall. Look for Morris to challenge for playing time in 2014 and be a star by 2015.
And here are three players to keep an eye on down the road.
Taco Charlton - DE: His 6-6 frame gives this young player an automatic advantage at his position. He has the length to create problems for offensive tackles. When Charlton develops his strength and weight, look out. He has the potential to be a great edge player along the defensive line.
It would be great if Charlton can be redshirted in 2013 so he can spend some quality time in the strength program. Charlton, along with this defensive line classmates, will have the luxury of working against all the great young offensive lineman in practice. Great players make each other better in practice, and Charlton will be surrounded with a very competitive group.
De'Veon Smith - RB: Smith was overshadowed by the commitment of Green in the class of 2013. When the fanfare subsides and Michigan fans look for running backs to move the ball down the field, Smith will be a factor. He runs hard with great balance and always finds a way to fall forward at the end of the play. He will remind Michigan fans of Mike Hart but with more speed.
Smith, like all Michigan backs, will have to prove he can be an effective blocker and he will do just that. Smith will press for playing time early in his Michigan career. He is that good.
Jaron Dukes - WR: Michigan has pressing needs at the wide receiver position and Dukes has the size and skills to step in early. His 6-4 frame gives him an edge against typically shorter defensive backs.
Like all kids transitioning from high school to the physical play of Big Ten football, Dukes will have to step up his game. Devin Gardner will need new options to throw the ball to this fall and Dukes could play a large factor in Michigan's passing game.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial