Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Quarterback Position Secured for 2009...At Least for Now

In addition to signing four-star stud at QB, Kevin Newsome, last week, Michigan picked up another four-star QB today in Shavodrick Beaver from Texas. Beaver is 6'2" 177 and is a dual threat just like Newsome. These are the Rodriguez type quarterbacks of Michigan's future and since Justin Feagin is the only quarterback in this classification that will be on campus this fall, this was the single most pressing issue for Michigan recruiting in the class of 2009. Before their senior seasons even start, Michigan has their commitments meaning Michigan fans can rest easy, at least for now. Both of these guys are taller than Feagin and are more highly regarded.

Beaver definitely has faced tough competition playing in Texas and is a pretty good passer over his running ability. In his junior season last year, Beaver completed 61% of his passes for 2,629 yards, 31 TDs and just 10 INTs. He also averaged 6.1 YPC for 462 yards on the ground and 5 TDs. Now what really stands out with Beaver is his production in the passing game. Those are huge numbers for a quarterback coming out as a pocket passer. Yet Beaver runs a 4.55 and tends to pass first and only run when he has to. His offense also seemed very similar to what I saw at Michigan's spring scrimmage. They ran a lot of quick screens to the outside where the offensive line would flood out to one side to block for the receiver. At the same time Beaver could throw the ball down field at times and look really quick and elusive when he needed to run. HOWEVA, Beaver's delivery is extremely questionable and looked forced. He has a side armed delivery and what I mean by "forced" is that it seems like he has to throw his entire body into the throw. This was common in every throw I watched of him on tape. That could be a major concern, but with his production through the air, its obviously working. He is only 177 poounds so perhaps if he puts on some muscle, he won't have to use his entire body in every throw and that would really help out his delivery.

Newsome, on the other hand, has a better delivery, but has not had quite the production of Beaver through the air. Newsome threw for around 1,600 yards and 12 TDs while rushing for 500 and 11 TDs. He also runs around a 4.55, but seems a little slower than Beaver on tape. But, Newsome is much bigger at 210 pounds and was very hard for defenders to bring down. At times it seemed as though Newsome had no where to go, but would barrel through defenders and break out for a big run. This escapability of Newsome is probably why he was Michigan's first target. While his passing numbers pale in comparison to Beaver's he has a much more fundamentally sound delivery, throwing over the top. He keeps his eyes down the field when he scrambled and is able to throw on the run. Newsome is the homerun for the Rich Rodriguez system.

While Newsome will most likely see the field before Beaver, if Beaver is able to put on some muscle and tweak his delivery at least slightly, he should compete as well. Having both of these guys ensures that Michigan will have an extremely reliable dual threat QB starting in 2009. 2008 is Steven Threet's year. He better make the most of it because a year later, there will be two guys with the inside track on taking his job. Again that is if they stay committed. Yes other coaches, even so called gentlemen like Jim Tressel (stealing an Illinois commit this week) can put on the ole wizard hat with their snake oil.

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