September 3, 2008

Analysts say Forcier a perfect fit for Michigan

Michigan fans stressed over the loss of four-star quarterback commitment Kevin Newsome didn't have to wait long to feel well again. Twelve days later, Aug. 31, four-star signal-caller Tate Forcier committed, and he's a perfect fit …

"You really can't be too disappointed if you're a Michigan coach or fan," recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree said. "Both Kevin and Tate are excellent players but if you're looking for a guy that is better suited to run Rich Rodriguez's offense right away, it's Forcier.

"He runs a similar offense in high school, against great competition, and it won't take him long to adjust. Newsome maybe has a greater upside, once he gets coached up, because his athleticism is through the roof, but Forcier can go out there as a freshman and pick up the offense very quickly and be pretty good right away.

"I think he's a tremendous football player and would, personally, rank him higher than we do [No. 153]. You cannot overlook his accomplishments so far, his numbers in that league. Michigan should be very happy to have him."

A 6-1, 190-pounder, Forcier chose Michigan over Arizona State, Penn State, Oregon, Texas A&M and others. In 2007, U-M's newest pledge threw for 2,387 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 733 yards and six scores for San Diego Scripps Ranch. His 2008 season gets underway Sept. 5 versus Poway.

"Is it a good trade-off? We're going to find out," recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said. "Kevin Newsome has the higher ceiling. He's bigger, stronger, faster and more athletic. But Forcier is the better quarterback right now. When you look at his mechanics, his confidence, his comfort in the pocket - those are all areas he's stronger than Kevin Newsome today. We'll see how it plays out over the next few years.

"The one thing Michigan needed, though, was a drop-back passer and Kevin Newsome is not that. With [four-star quarterback] Shavodrick Beaver committed also Michigan is getting one of both - a drop-back pro-style guy that is athletic and can run in Forcier and a dual-threat, game-breaking runner in Beaver.

"I don't think we can undervalue that Forcier wanted to be there too. With Newsome, if he had stay committed, you were always going to have some doubts there. Forcier is locked in."

Beaver, the 6-2, 179-pound Wichita Falls, Texas, native, ranked the No. 202 player nationally, seems to have been lost in the shuffle of the Newsome decommitment and Forcier commitment, but he's someone U-M fans should remain excited about.

"When you're the second quarterback commit, you're obviously not going to be as big of a deal as the first and then just recently Forcier swoops in to save the day," Farrell said. "But this is the kid that has the potential to be Pat White. He's not a polished quarterback but neither was White. Five years ago we were talking about Pat White as a wide receiver but look how good he turned out.

"To be great in Rodriguez's system you have to be an athlete and Beaver has a lot of athleticism."

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