Who Will It Be? 2015 Quarterback Recruiting

UPDATED: March 17th

In the past two years, the Michigan coaching staff had their quarterback a year before National Signing Day. 2013\’s Shane Morris committed more than a year and a half before setting foot on campus, while 2014\’s Wilton Speight committed on the NSD of his junior year. As for 2015, the class\’ signal caller is up in the air like a Denard Robinson \”arm-punt\”.

The coaching change is one big reason QB recruiting is a bit behind the normal pace. Al Borges is gone and Doug Nussmeier is in charge. And he has a completely different view on what he wants his quarterback and offense to look like.

The difference, you may ask? Borges is old school and wanted pro-style pocket passer, similar to John Navarre, while Nussmeier is a new school coordinator that is looking for a duel threat pocket passer, like Robert Griffin III.

Nussmeier\’s need in a quarterback casts a much wider net than Borges\’, which really helps Michigan\’s chances of landing a top prospect because in this class, and the future, the QBs are becoming much more athletic and dynamic.

Just an FYI for Michigan Recruiting: Get any recruit on campus and Michigan has a chance.

So, the main question is: Who will be the 2015 class\’ quarterback commitment?

Here are the top 4 quarterback options for the Team 136 class:

1. 5* Josh Rosen, 6\’4\’\’ 205lbs. Bellflower, CA (St. John Bosco)

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Josh Rosen #3, QB

– The #1 QB in the class, Josh Rosen is one of the many great California signal callers that nearly every school is going after. However, he is a very smart young man on and off the field, so his search is down to schools that excel on the field and in the classroom. Unlike the other players on the list, Rosen will be making a decision very soon (March 20th) and has released his final three schools.

Those schools are: UCLA (the favorite), California, and Michigan.

Not too bad, right? The fact that the Wolverines are the only team in his final three that he has yet to visit and are outside of California, which most analysts are saying that he will not leave. However, Rosen has said himself that he is not stuck on staying home in Cali and that Michigan is the school he would travel to to attend.

Now, no one is predicting the Wolverines in this race. Without a visit, and the fact that he has admitted that UCLA is his leader, it looks like a slim to none chance. But that could all change.

According to the Michigan recruiting guru\’s, 247\’s Steve Lorenz and Scout\’s Sam Webb, a \”big time 2015 prospect\” will be visiting this weekend but did not want to make it public. And it doesn\’t take a mathematician to put two and two together. Rosen just released his final 3, including Michigan, and is deciding next week. It only makes sense that the nation\’s #1 quarterback will be in Ann Arbor this weekend.

Update: Rosen did visit this weekend.

Ok, so I was right and Rosen did visit. He wanted to keep it hush-hush because he is actually not into the whole recruiting fame thing. However, he did talk to the main recruiting sites about the visit. In the interview with Scout\’s Greg Biggins ($), Rosen said that he didn\’t want to like Michigan to help affirm his decision for March 20th. However, he ended up loving it and said \”Michigan is an incredible place\”. All sounds good. Rosen will be a Wolverine later this week, right? Not so fast. He also mentioned that Michigan would be a great option, \”if UCLA wasn\’t around\”.

Even though I would LOVE to land Rosen and have him go after the biggest names on the recruiting trail, like he said he planned to, I think Michigan got into it too late. His visit was more than anything he expected and he loved it. But he\’s making his decision Thursday (March 20th) and unless him and his parents really realize the opportunity that Michigan offers above UCLA when they sit down to discuss, than I believe he will be a Bruin on the 20th.

UPDATE #2: Rosen committed to UCLA over Michigan.

Their Rankings: Scout (5*, #2 QB) – 247 (5*, #1 PPQB) – Rivals (5*, #1 QB) – ESPN (4*, #1 QB)

Our Rankings: 5*, 99 Rating

Stock Market: Trending Up

Visit: Yes, March 13th & 14th

Throwing Session: No

Offer: Yes

Top Schools: UCLA (committed) 

Michigan\’s Chances: Possible, 25%

Quarterback Traits: Smart, Mechanics, Arm Strength, Size, Sneaky Athleticism

NFL/College Comparison: Andrew Luck 

2. 4* Travis Waller, 6\’3\’\’ 185lbs. Anaheim, CA (Servite HS)

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– One of the newest names on the board, Travis Waller is a long, athletic, duel threat pocket passer that has all of the upside in the world. He has a great frame to put on weight, which is much needed to compete at the college level. But as a highschool QB, he is dominant. His athleticism and speed makes him a nightmare on the read option, and his ability to throw from the pocket and on the run shows his college potential.

As far as his recruitment goes, he is just starting to heat up. He has only three offers but his game has caught the eye of Doug Nussmeier.

His ability to run, throw and make plays is exactly what Nuss wants in his quarterbacks and he has let Travis know. In a recent interview with Sam Webb of Scout ($), Waller mentioned how Nussmeier wants his quarterback to be able to run a spread that involves a lot of \”under center, single back\” type of an offense.

Getting in early with Waller is a great move by Michigan. I think Waller has a ton of upside and will start to blow up as the camps and year goes along and Michigan looks like they are in great shape, especially if they offer. That will all rely on how he looks when Nuss goes out to see him throw this spring and when he visits for a spring practice.

Their RankingsScout (4*, #19 QB) – 247 (4*, #7 DTQB) – Rivals (3*, #16 QB) – ESPN (NR)

Our Rankings: 4*, 85 Rating

Stock Market: Trending Up

Visit: Not Yet

Throwing Session: Spring \’14

Offer: Not Until Throwing Session Evaluation

Top Schools: Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Arizona

Michigan\’s Chances: Very Good if offered, 35%

Quarterback Traits: Swag, Athleticism, Escapability, Strong Throw on the Run, Hard Worker

NFL/College Comparison: Robert Griffin III

3. 4* Brandon Wimbush, 6\’2\’\’ 205lbs. Jersey City, NJ (St. Peters Prep)

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– Easily one of the best arms in the class, Brandon Wimbush is a perfect fit for Nussmeier\’s offense (IMO). He is listed as a duel threat QB, but has the throwing ability to run a pro-style offense. As one of the most talented and highest ceiling quarterbacks in the class he is coveted by many and will be a tough pull, but Michigan is already involved.

As far as his recruitment is concerned, Michigan may have thrown a wrench into his decision. He was planning on making an early decision and Ohio $tate was the favorite. Then the Wolverines and others came calling and he put a hold on everything.

In an interview with MGoBlog\’s Brandon Brown, Wimbush talked about how much he likes Coach Nussmeier and how he wants him to go through a throwing session with him. He also went onto say
\”The stuff with Michigan is sounding very promising so I can\’t say I\’m leaning towards anyone right now because things are really starting to open up\”.

The staff\’s throwing session planned for Wimbush, which will likely be the deciding factor if he is offered. This is a big deal because he has admitted that he is not interested in visiting schools that have not offered him, which makes sense. I believe that if the coaches give him an offer and show him that he is a priority, they will be in it until the end with Ohio $tate and Penn State.

Their RankingsScout (4*, #14 QB) – 247 (4*, #5 DTQB) – Rivals (4*, #6 QB) – ESPN(4*, #5 DTQB)

Our Rankings: 4*, 91 Rating

Stock Market: Idle

Visit: Getting Set Up

Throwing Session: Spring \’14

Offer: Not Yet

Top Schools: Ohio $tate, Penn State, Miami

Michigan\’s Chances: Better if offered, 10%

Quarterback Traits: Great Arm, Sneaky Athletic, Smart, Leadership, Fundamentals

NFL/College Comparison: Tahj Boyd

4. 5* Torrance Gibson, 6\’4\’\’ 200lbs. Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage)

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– 247\’s #1 ranked duel threat quarterback is one of, if not, the best athletes in the class. He has the talent, size and ability to be a 5 star QB, WR or S. He\’s that good. I mean, just watch his highlight tape. He can escape any situation and can make just about any throw. This would be perfect in the new look Michigan offense.

The big lefty wants to play quarterback in college and it looks like Michigan is, in fact, recruiting him as a signal caller. That is huge because his recruitment is obviously blowing up, with interest from the biggest schools in the country. And lucky for Michigan, it looks like they showed up at the right time.

Rumored to be favoriting Ohio $tate and Miami, Gibson finally received contact from the Wolverine staff. Recruiting coordinator Chris Singletary reached out to TG6 (as he\’s called) recently and the interest was received with open arms.

In an interview with 247\’s Steve Lorenz ($), he mentioned that Singletary let him know that they are very interested and want to start to build a relationship. They are trying to set up a visit, in which Gibson believes an offer will be extended. Honestly, an offer will likely be extended either way thanks to his eliteness.

If offered, I think Michigan can really get into the final picture. Ohio $tate clearly isn\’t going to land two top guys, and I think that once the recruits finally see the new look offense (maybe at the Spring Game), Gibson and the others will see that Nussmeier not only is implementing a high powered college offense, but also an offense that translates to the new age NFL.

Their RankingsScout (5*, #3 QB) – 247 (5*, #1 DTQB) – Rivals (4*, #2 DTQB) – ESPN (4*, #2 ATH)

Our Rankings: 5*, 98 Rating

Stock Market: Trending Up

Visit: Not Yet, Planning Spring \’14

Throwing Session: No

Offer: Not Yet

Top Schools: Miami, Ohio $tate, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Michigan, etc.

Michigan\’s Chances: Possible with an offer and a visit, 15%

Quarterback Traits: Big, Athletic, Playmaker, Escapability, Strong Throw on the Run

NFL/College Comparison: Cam Newton

These are the top four targets. But with Michigan not having a fantastic shot at any of them, at the moment, there are obviously other names to look out for. Those names include:
  • 3* David Sills (USC Commit)
  • 4* Blake Barnett (ND Commit)
  • 5* Jarrett Stidham (Texas Tech Commit)
  • 4* Kyle Kearns
  • 4* Alex Malzone
  • 4* Zach Gentry