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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So... new guys. Jordan Barnes is a shortish linebacker from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a three-star to both Scout and Rivals. ESPN basically agrees, giving him a 77 ("meh"), and saying:

Overall, Barnes is ideal for a team struggling to slow down two-back, power-running schemes but could have difficulty playing cutback versus heavy zone teams. Tough, strong and physical with good short-area burst; should be very productive in the middle for a tradition[al] 4-3 team.
Hey... that's us! Stats:
The 6-foot, 225-pound prospect recorded 146 tackles in 2007 with 38 tackles for loss.
Your standard "save me, Jebus" stuff.

Okay, so he sounds like a Sam Sword type, a two-down run stuffer. There are a couple indications he could be something more: a pretty decent offer list (Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Louisville, and Alabama according to Jim Stefani) and the opinion of the Wolverine's Josh Helmholdt, who suggests Barnes has made a leap forward in recent months and could be headed for a breakout senior year. FWIW, Stefani has a similar take:
Very athletic. Great combination of power and quickness. A bit raw as a player, but has a lot of upside………….Very impressive at May 2008 Columbus Nike Camp………….Tested second best in the SPARQ at the February 2008 Orlando Nike (4.50(hand 40, 4.24/sh, 38.1/vert, 37′0″/pb, 125.88/SPARQ)
Upside is the word of the day here. That SPARQ score is super high, especially for a linebacker. He's not that far away from a four-star ranking on Rivals (he's the #20 ILB and #17 has the fourth star) and could get that if he performs up to his combine numbers this fall.

A fun biographical fact: Barnes is the son of former Lions LB Roosevelt Barnes.

Peace is the guy on the left. I hope.

Dewayne Peace, meanwhile, is the only thing approximating a camp commitment we're going to get this year, and he's rated like one: the #128 wide receiver to Scout, #76 to Rivals, and currently unscouted by ESPN. He did have offers from Kansas and Texas A&M and was impressive at all his camp stops:
Peace, the MVP at his position from South Grand Prairie, will be one to watch. His ability to make the tough catch despite going against a very aggressive group of DB's was impressive. With just two offers in hand from Kansas and SMU, things should continue to grow in the recruiting arena.
Video via VB:

There's also some fluffy stuff over at something called Prep Ticket. And that's all there is on young Mr. Peace. At 6-foot and 160 or 170 pounds Peace could be ticketed for defensive back or wide receiver.

Argh three stars? Cranky emailer:
Hi Brian, how are you?

quick question for short, why in the F are we recruiting all of these three star athletes like Dewayne Peace and jordan Barnes?

I guess this Barnes guy is somewhat of a freak of nature (I mean hey, Alabama wanted him too), but Peace? He has offers from Kansas, Texas A&M, CSU, UCF, SMU, and MICHIGAN....

what decision does this kid have to make? Isn't it a no brainer he is going to Michigan? The only question is, why do we want the 76th best wide receiver? We are Michigan, shouldn't we be settling for a LOT better?

Talk to me goose....make this right in my head so I can stop fuming!

chris joseph
Every school takes guys rated at about Peace's level when they find them and like them enough to offer. Even Ohio State's admittedly monster 2009 class has Adam Homan, Rivals' #38 MLB, Zach Boren, the #64 "athlete," and Duron Carter, the #73 wide receiver. In general, I'm okay with camp commitments since they come after an extended look at a prospect and his abilities. When Michigan has Peace on campus for a week they probably know much more about his abilities than the recruiting gurus -- working off a day camp here and there and maybe some highlight video, of which Peace doesn't have much -- do.

Serenity now, Mr. Joseph.