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We're back with another edition of the #AskLoogs Twitter mailbag. If you missed last week's discussion, check it out here.
As always, make sure to use the hashtag #AskLoogs to get in on our discussion. I'll answer fan questions on player rankings and scouting each Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. ET on Twitter, with the five best making it to this weekly mailbag, but you can send questions in any time and I'll get to as many as I can.
This week, I'll tackle questions about players who are on the rise after The Opening, top offensive line classes, if Michigan's top-ranked class can get even better and more. No more delaying, let's get right to your questions.
@TomLuginbill What defensive player ranking will improve after their opening performance #AskLoogs— Christian (@Time2Strive) July 10, 2013
I would have to say DE Chad Thomas. This is a class that is heavy with good run-stoppers along the defensive front but isn't quite what we have seen in the past from a pure pass rush standpoint. Thomas was the most explosive and fluid edge player in attendance at this event. His length, long arms, sudden first step and flexibility allowed him to consistently win one-on-one battles even against some the nation's best offensive lineman. The best part about Thomas is that his best football is ahead of him. His frame allows for a high ceiling for development as he is very light right now, which is one of his few weaknesses when playing the run or anchoring at the point of attack. That will all change once he hits a college weight program and blossoms physically.
@TomLuginbill what #Buckeye commit will make the biggest jump in your rankings after #TheOpening #AskLoogs— Daniel Goodwin (@goodwindaniel83) July 10, 2013
It will likely be WR Terry McLaurin, although I wouldn't rule out ATH Parris Campbell Jr. and LB Kyle Berger, both of whom will see jumps in the rankings. McLaurin undoubtedly made the biggest impression, especially from a testing standpoint, which immediately forced us to go back to the film and look at other cut-ups and games to reassess. His top-end speed is not as evident on tape as it is in person, which is something you don't see often. Usually it is the other way around. We loved his competitive temperament and the fact that he was all business, all the time. He was there to prove himself, no doubt.
@TomLuginbill why is Mixon rated so low at 137, seems like a top 5 RB to me #askloogs— Scott P (@RealScottP) July 10, 2013
Joe Mixon is a wonderful athlete, and yes, he will be seeing an increase in his rankings. Our concerns/questions have always been about how dynamic of a runner he is instinctively. He is at his best as a downhill, shoulders square to the line runner. He isn't all that elusive or creative -- more straight-lined. Not sure he is ever going to be a guy who will put multiple moves together fluidly without having to gather or gear down some. He's not the same caliber of athlete, but his running style is similar to FSU tailback James Wilder Jr. On another note, his receiving skills are highly undervalued. He is one the best pass-catchers in this class of running backs. Don't get us wrong; we like Mixon, but some guys like Sony Michel, Joseph Yearby, Dalvin Cook and Racean Thomas might have a little more big play juice.
@TomLuginbill @RecruitingESPN With the #2 player Peppers committed, what would getting #1 player Hand mean for #Michigan? #AskLoogs— Matt DePoint (@mattdepoint) July 10, 2013
Well, Da'Shawn Hand is actually our No. 4 overall player, but it would mean that Michigan is furthering its bid to build a defensive front seven that can not only compete for a Big Ten title, but for a national title. Seeing Alabama last year and having former Florida assistant Greg Mattison as defensive coordinator, the Wolverines know what it takes to compete with the best of the best, so Hand would be another piece to the puzzle along with DT Bryan Mone, DE Lawrence Marshall, Michael Ferns and other front seven recruits.
@TomLuginbill #AskLoogs if BAMA signed Cam Robinson and Braden Smith would this be the best OL class in recent history?— Jason Metz (@jmetz75) July 10, 2013
I'm not sure it would rival Stanford's 2012 offensive line class that featured Andrus Peat, Kyle Murphy, Josh Garnett, Nick Davidson, Brandon Fanaika and others, but it would be a nice haul at a position of need for the Tide. We are high on Viane Talamaivao and J.C. Hassenauer, no doubt. Braden Smith isn't the athlete that Talamaivao and Cameron Robinson are, but he is a rugged OG in his own right.