In The Film Room: 2015 Quarterback Zach Gentry

Name: Zach Gentry
Class: 2015
Position: Quarterback
Height: 6’7
Weight: 230
Gentry hails from Albuquerque, NM and is a 24/7 composite four star recruit. Rated the number eight pro style quarterback for 2015, the one time Texas commit also held offers from Maryland, Louisville and most impressively, Alabama. There are only five recruits rated two stars or above in the state of New Mexico, so needless to say Gentry did not face elite competition at the high school level. Gentry committed to the Longhorns back in may of 2014, but once Harbaugh was hired, he made Gentry a top priority and got him on campus for an OV on Janurary 23rd. On Janurary 24th, Zach flipped from Texas and Committed to U of M giving the Wolverines their second quarterback of the class.

Style Of Passer: Pro
Body: A
Gentry has the rare but coveted monster build for a QB standing at over 6’6 yet slight at 230 pounds. At his height, Gentry will be able to scan the field with ease and have every throwing lane at his disposal. His frame could add some weight if the coaching staff sees fit, as he could pack on some lower body muscle. He is not quite as thick as Wilton Speight, who is similar in size.
Arm Strength: A-
There isn’t a spot on the field that Gentry cannot reach with his 12 gauge of an arm. In high school, his team lived by the motto of GGD (Gotta go deep) and its hard to blame them with a quarterback the caliber of Gentry. He throws the deep ball phenomenally, weather he needs touch to fit it into a tight space or put some heat on it to hit a guy in stride, Gentry will get it there. Something that Gentry does lack, is Zip. There is not a large sample size of three step throws (Slant, Out, Hitch) but it stands out to me that he needs work in this area. Gentry will get it there fast but not necessarily quick if that makes sense. An example of someone who has a cannon arm but also great Zip is Aaron Rodgers, he is the poster child for having it all, and at this point Gentry does not have the Zip.
Accuracy: B+
Gentry did not have the luxury of throwing to D1 caliber receivers throughout his career like Alex Malzone did, but his tape will clearly show him making his pass catchers better players, which is something all great Qb’s do. Gentry’s height gives him an advantage with putting the ball where he wants it on second and third level routes. He can put the ball where only his guy can get it, especially on fade and go routes. We don’t see much back shoulder throws here but honestly it’s a rarity in high school. Gentry can throw a goal line fade as well as anyone and as I mentioned before his deep ball is great. Gentry has great touch, but almost to a fault. Every few throws you will see him putting too much touch when its not needed, which will cause his receiver to either stop their route or slow down to catch the ball. So occasionally Gentry will under throw his guy but its due to too much touch, not arm strength. On the small amount of underneath throws we see from Gentry, he often places them too high, most likely due to his 6’7 frame. There Is definitely room for improvement here.
Mobility/Pocket Presence: A-
Gentry’s mobility and athleticism are elite, especially considering his size. His stride is so long, and it doesn’t take him long to get up to speed. His running ability is to the point where I would consider him a dual threat QB, as he most certainly was in high school. Weather it was the read option, a sprint out or an improvisation, Gentry looked like Kaepernick in the playoffs against the Packers versus opposing defenses. Where Gentry will get marked down however, is his pocket presence, as he has very little. Gentry has happy feet, and is almost comparable to Johnny Manziel for the fact that if a defender even flashes, He’ll scramble out of the pocket. Its hard to blame the kid, he made so many plays with his feet in high school with his legs. Great pocket passers need to step up into the pocket, with their eyes downfield looking for an open receiver, and Gentry does not do that to this point, however I see no reason Jimmy wont have him coached up on this in no time.
Mechanics: B-
Gentry’s motion is long and slow. Even on short, quick throws that require zip (he has none) it takes longer for the ball to come out than you would like. The biggest no-no I see from Gentry is he throws off his back foot far too often. His film shows a wide range of throws; short, intermediate, deep, sprint out, play action and 3 step, and you can see him throwing off his back foot on every type of throw. Gentry does a decent job of keeping the ball close to his body, and away from defenders and another thing Gentry does a good job of is bringing his feet along and squaring his shoulders up to make an accurate throw, its some of the best Ive seen in a prospect.
Decision Making/Football IQ: B
This is the hardest skills set to grade, especially without multiple game films. Zach Gentry would not be a top 10 quarterback in the 2015 class without having decent decision making skills, however from what I can ascertain, his knowledge of the game is average. This will hurt his overall grade and that may be too bad but you will only see good things on a highlight tape, a highly regarded football mind recently said “A kids highlight tape is the ten best plays of his career” and while Gentry’s highlight tape is impressive, it will not reflect his IQ to what it could be.

Overall: B+
Gentry’s combination of frame and athleticism is so rare at the quarterback position; guys like him usually transition to a tight end of defensive end at the next level. What is preventing this from happening to Zach is his elite arm. With average mechanics and already good footwork, Gentry will only get better once he is on campus. Gentry is at a huge disadvantage not being early enrolled, as Alex Malzone will have fifteen practices under his belt before Gentry even moves into his dorm. I feel that Gentry is the least ready of the Qb’s that will be on the roster in 2015, but he may have the most potential and upside. Expect a redshirt for this young man, but do not count him out making some noise during the 2016 spring practice session. While not his first official commit at U of M, This was a huge flip for Harbaugh & Co. Plucking a kid out of the southwest that was already committed to an elite program was a show of things to come from Jim.

@BleedBlueCoachT

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KJ Costello: Michigan Man?

This piece is something I’ve been meaning to touch on for weeks now, and with some down time the duty calls.

KJ Costello, out of Santa Margarita, CA is by all accounts the top prospect for the Wolverines at quarterback for the 2016 cycle.  While offers have been going out for the last few weeks to other quarterbacks, Costello is the one person that has remained a constant target over the last calendar year.

With Brandon Peters high interest in Michigan, the timeline has changed for Costello in my mind, and I feel like this is why Costello will end up at Michigan and also I touch on the reasons and effect that he would have.

Reasons

-Just as a I mentioned before, Costello had planned on taking a visit during the spring time.  That is, until Brandon Peters picked up a Michigan offer a mere 10 days ago and he immediately said that Michigan led for him.  This falls in direct correlation with the recruitment of Costello.  After Peters made that announcement, 247’s Steve Lorenz spoke with Costello and KJ said that he plans on taking a visit to Ann Arbor within the NEXT TWO WEEKS.  Add to that  the fact that KJ plans on bringing along his father, and you have a brewing commit watch ensuing.  KJ Costello nearly committed to Michigan last summer at the Michigan camp, but held off to not make a decision off purely emotion.  With Jim Harbaugh in the fold and a top rate coaching staff to boot, his interest has skyrocketed and Michigan fans, and other recruits have taken notice.

-The next reason is indeed, Jim Harbaugh himself.  KJ Costello grew up watching Jim and his dominance at both Stanford and in the NFL with the 49ers.  For those of you who don’t know, Jim Harbaugh brought upon a rockstar appeal in California while coaching these two entities.  He reversed their fortunes in months and created powerhouses at the two highest levels of football in the world today.  Costello took notice, and saw this growing up.  Harbaugh, is also one of the best at developing QB’s in all of football.  At Stanford, he took a gangly Andrew Luck and made him a number one pick and laid the groundwork for a player who would go on to now be one of the top 5 QB’s in the NFL.  At San Francisco, Jim developed Colin Kaepernick from a mid round pick into one of the elite playmakers in the league while inheriting one of the highest grossing contracts for a QB in recent league memory.  The fact isn’t that he is an elite coach, the fact is that he has a knack for developing quarterbacks unlike any other and KJ Costello knows that.

Effects

-KJ Costello would be the first person from the west coast to commit to Michigan under Harbaugh and would be the first of many, in a revived pipeline out of the west coast.  If KJ were to commit the Michigan brand would be revived on the west coast and with the host of players that Michigan is targeting on the west coast, you can be assured Michigan would be able to reinvigorate their roster with the elite speed and playmaking ability that you can find on the west coast, while building a connection to players that Michigan hasn’t recruited or even been in the neighborhoods of since the Lloyd Carr era.

-KJ Costello would follow the past roles of Shane Morris, Wilton Speight, and Alex Malzone in being the leader of the class.  KJ could and would have the ability to help Michigan land many of the top prospects they are targeting, including close friends and homegrown brethren, Theo Howard, David Long, and top WR target, Dylan Crawford.  If Michigan was able to land them, their roster would have a huge boost in terms of pure athleticism and bring a new era of playmakers to Ann Arbor that Michigan fans haven’t seen in years.

KJ Costello Is a natural born leader both on and off the field.  He has a great makeup as a QB and an even better makeup off the field in the classroom and in the community.  His name is one that Michigan fans that follow recruiting have known for nearly two years  and if all goes as planned on his upcoming visit, do not be surprised if he beats Brandon Peters to the punch  for the 2016 class QB spot while also building foundation for the best recruiting class in recent Michigan memory.

 

Mike Weber Situation with OSU

This will be quick, but offering my thoughts even though technically he is now a Buckeye.

As we all know Mike was down to OSU and Michigan and OSU put on a full scale late midnight push to keep him.

Not to mention the addition of star Karan Higdon.

Mike went on to sign with OSU but you could see it in his face on that day, he wasn’t ready. He didn’t know fully where he wanted to go.

He later signed with OSU but now with 24 hours removed from the pen to paper exchange, OSU RB’s coach Stan Drayton has left for the NFL without Mike having prior knowledge.

I feel awful for Mike. He was a great kid to interview and meet and someone who for the most part remains quiet and close to himself. This is terrible to see, and ultimately hurts even more from a recruiting perspective because Michigan could have told him this, had they known much like UGA with Roquan Smith.

Early on the top possibility, if he were to choose to transfer would be to break the NLI and file a report with the NCAA and apply for a waiver, even though it could possibly result in him sitting out a year.

This is surely a story to keep an eye on.

In The Film Room: 2015 Class Projections

This is what I project of the 2015 class for this upcoming season. Just my opinions, players ranked from best to worst chance at playing time. The guy at the bottom of this list could start from day one. No one in 2014 would have predicted Mason Cole starting twelve games at left tackle. Anything can and will happen, this is just how I see it right now.

1. Andrew David
Projected Role: Starting Kicker
The Wolverines have a need here and I believe David will beat out sophomore Kyle Seychel with his big leg for kicking duties.

2. Brian Cole
Projected Role: Special Teams contributor
Cole’s athleticism, coupled with his play making and early enrollment will earn him playing time early. Cole will be a receiver for the wolverines and could get snaps there sooner than later.

3. Tyree Kinnel
Projected Role: Nickel/Dime back
While I believe Kinnel will be a strong safety, we simply do not need early help there. With that being said, Kinnel is one of the most ready commits in this class.

4. Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Projected Role: Tight end
The kid is a monster, however we have a lot of talent and depth at tight end. TJ will have to beat out a upper classmen or see the field on certain multiple tight end packages. He is a rare talent.

5. Shelton Johnson
Projected Role: 3-4 package edge rusher
Johnson is a slight 225 at 6’5 and is very athletic for his size. I think they will keep him at this size as opposed to packing on twenty pounds and let him play standing up in Durkin’s multiple defense.

6. Keith Washington
Projected Role: Redshirt Corner
Washington has great size and athleticism and will certainly have an opportunity to see the field with there being a lack of experience or proven corners on the roster.

7. Alex Malzone
Projected Role: Third string QB (Redshirt)
Malzone has an opportunity to push for the starting quarterback job. He is the most ready of the freshman quarterbacks, and being enrolled already will only make the gap larger. However, I think ultimately Morris will win the job with Speight backing him up.

8.. Karan Higdon
Projected Role: Third down back/Offensive Weapon (Redshirt)
Higdon has the ability to do a lot of things for this offense, but he will have to make early leaps and bounds in fall camp to take time away from our already loaded backfield.

9. Grant Newsome
Projected Role: Redshirt Tackle
Newsome is the most ready of incoming lineman, but there is just too much depth on the roster for me to see him earning even garbage time snaps.

10. Zach Gentry
Projected Role: Redshirted Quarterback
The big armed QB is at a major disadvantage not being enrolled early. He will have to climb a mountain to see playing time this season, although I do see him having a promising future.

11. Grant Perry
Projected Role: Slot Receiver (Redshirt)
Perry is a great addition to this class, and will have a chance to earn PT without there being a proven WR core. In my opinion there is a boat load of talent at receiver, most of which Perry would have to leapfrog in order to see time.

12. Reuben Jones
Projected Role: 4-3 Defensive End (Redshirted)
Jones will have to pack on a few pounds during his freshman season in order to play with his hands in the dirt in the B1G. I do not think Jones has the athleticism of a Shelton Johnson to play standing up or right away.

13. Jon Runyan Jr
Projected Role: Redshirted Guard
Runyan is a mauler up front, but as is the case with Newsome there is just too much depth for him to overcome in order to see PT as a freshman

14. Nolan Ulizio
Projected Role: Redshirted Tackle
Ulizio will benefit from a year of learning and getting in the weight room.

Van Jefferson Update

Earlier in the day 247 sports reported Van Jefferson was down to Ole Miss and UGA but it is now being reported by JC Schurburtt that Michigan has been the school thrown around most recently the past hour.

In conjuncture with Demarkus Lodge announcing with Ole Miss, Van Jefferson has now pushed back his announcement until 130, and per a source this may bode well for Michigan.

If you recall, he mentioned Michigan felt like home and his good friend Grant Perry also signed this morning. Van lived in Michigan from 2005-2012 while his dad was the WR coach for the Lions and played some HSFB at OLSM.

Stay tuned on this one!

Mike Weber Sticks with OSU

Despite a hard press from Jim, and an OV last week and face to face meeting with Jim, Mike has decided to stick with OSU.

Mike let Jim know on TE car ride to the ceremony and just made his mind up for good this morning.

Mike says he plans on playing three years and than going to the league while also adding that he expects to play this season. He also added he was surprised Michigan added a RB in Karan Higdon as he thought he was the only RB being recruited.

This is surely a gut shot for Michigan , but they are still loaded at RB with Isaac, Green, Smith, Johnson, and Higdon.

Sam Webb on Weber

Per Sam Webb, this morning he mentioned Weber took an OV to Michigan last week.

Also, in the conversation over lunch a week ago, at the end Mike said, ” Wow coach I have a lot to think about.” Another man with them said, “No you don’t”, and Mike added “You’re right, I guess I don’t.”

Announcement is scheduled for 1030 with the tea leaves reading everything towards the Bucks.

Signing Day Files: CB Keith Washington

Keith Washington

6’2, 180lbs

Prattville, AL

Washington is the biggest shocker of the day. He has a big time size frame that allows him to cover any WR and Durkin has said he plans to use him at CB. Washington is a big get for the fact that he never stepped a foot on the campus in A2.

Washington will redshirt more than likely but has a ton of raw ability and with his size and speed could develop into a starter by the end of his second year.

Signing Day Files: OL Grant Newsome

Grant Newsome

6’7, 280lbs

Trenton, NJ

Newsome was one of the few recruits who stuck throughout and may very well have the most potential of any OL. Newsome has a big frame and projects as a tackle.

Newsome may redshirt and will use his elite hands and leg strength to build into a nice frame suitable for the college level. Grant loves the University and brings toughness that JH desires.

Signing Day Files: QB Zach Gentry

Zach Gentry

6’7, 230lbs

Albuquerque, NM

Zach Gentry was long a Longhorn commit and was single handedly targeted by Jim. Harbaugh was able to get him up for an OV and a commitment came on that Saturday.

Gentry has the legs of a WR with a reported 40 time near 4.6 and May very well compete this fall for a spot but a redshirt would not hurt. Gentry is the big fish of this class and has a big arm to go with big time playmaking ability. We like to think of him as Ryan Mallet 2.0 but with better legs and decisiveness. Also safe to say his game mirrors that of JH under Bo.