When building a quarterback prospect, there’s a mix of size, arm strength and athleticism that just about every coaching staff would want. And, even though he’s a bit raw as a quarterback at the moment, the Wolverines staff may have just landed one of the most physically impressive prospects in the class as 2018 Olympia (FL) QB Joe Milton has committed to Michigan.
Hard not to see a little Cardale Jones in Milton thanks to his size and arm strength. Though he’s more fleet of foot than Jones, like the former OSU standout, he’s a throw-first quarterback that can make every throw and burn you with his escapability when plays break down. His arm looks to be the biggest in the class but he struggles a bit with knowing when to take some off of the ball on shorter routes and when to put more air on the ball on deeper routes. However, that’s something most strong-armed quarterbacks deal with early on in their careers.
With Jim Harbaugh being able to work with him throughout his years at UM, he should be able to improve that issue and fully utilize his natural talent and frame. He’s got a ways to go but, if everything clicks, Milton could be a superstar in Ann Arbor.
Very good arm strength at the high school level. Shows very good capability to throw deep down field on the run. Shows noticeable zip on the ball when stepping into throws. He can make all the necessary throws at the next level.
Does not always replicate his release point and shows inconsistent stroke. Noticeable load on some deep balls and will drop his arm elongating his release on roll outs. The variable arm slotting leads to some accuracy concerns. Milton completion percentage his Junior year was 46%. (Per Max Preps Sports)
Shows the ability to throw the ball down field on roll outs to both directions. Is not afraid to take shots down field and his ability to stretch the defense vertically intensifies when rolling out.” – via CanesWarning.com
Milton first popped up on the Michigan recruiting trail when the staff offered him back in February. Though, at the time, it was a bit of an afterthought as UM was in prime position with 2018 Bishop Gorman (NV) QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Milton looked like a near lock to Florida. But as signs started pointing for DTR to end up at UCLA and rumors of things cooling between Milton and UF, both he and Milton made their way to Ann Arbor for the 2017 spring game.
First reported by Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, it was Milton who caught the eye of the entire staff when seeing both players in person ($).
From that point on, it was Milton who became the top target on the board. And it looked like Michigan went to the top of his list as well as he raved to The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown about his relationship with Pep Hamilton, what UM offers in terms of a world-class educational opportunity and how the staff can help develop him into an NFL caliber quarterback ($).
Add in him planning on announcing plans to make his commitment right after the visit, him being cousins with former San Francisco 49er Anquan Boldin and multiple analysts hearing that Michigan jumped to the top of his list, and I decided to put in my Crystal Ball for Milton to Michigan.
Though he made a spring game visit to Georgia (the team who looked to be the main competition for UM heading into his decision) the weekend after his trip to Ann Arbor, things looked to be all set for the big quarterback to commit to the Wolverines. But it wasn’t a slam dunk. He actually requested four different commitment edits a week before his commitment. However, he stuck with his lean to the Wolverines and committed with the help of a pretty awesome SBNation video that featured “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix as well as Milton throwing a football that explodes into a Block M.
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 220lbs
- Hometown (School): Orlando, FL (Olympia)
- Notable Offers: Florida, Georgia, LSU, Louisville, Miami, Tennessee
- Rankings: Scout (3*, #29 QB) – Rivals (4*, #113 overall) – 247 (4*, #272 overall) – ESPN (4*, #124 overall)
- Composite Ranking: Four star, #247 overall, #10 Pro QB, #44 in Florida
— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) February 12, 2017
As for the Rest of the Class
Milton is the 8th overall public commitment for the coaching staff, the first quarterback, the first from Florida, and the fifth from SEC country. But even with him on board, it doesn’t look to be completely off the table that the staff would take another quarterback in this class. The top option is Hamilton (AZ) QB Tyler Shough, while Fitzgerald (GA) ATH James Graham or Lowndes (GA) ATH Michael Barrett could fill the wildcat/athlete role in the class.
Photo Credit: 247Sports.com