Michigan’s football staff saw Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward wide receiver Quintel Kent perform at a camp early in June. Impressed, they invited him to their camp in Ann Arbor for a second look. Not only did he impress there, he won wide receiver MVP. From there, he was offered a scholarship and would eventually commit to the Wolverines.
The commitment has been met with scrutiny from fans on social media due to Kent’s lack of other Power Five offers or his mid-three star rating via the 247Sports Composite.
Michigan has taken these shots on kids who no other Big Ten schools have offered, though, and it has worked out. One example happened right near Cleveland, where Kent is from – Jake Ryan, who had a handful of MAC offers in 2008 and became an All-American at Michigan.
For every Jake Ryan, there are sleepers who do not turn out, but recruiting analysts say the fact that Jim Harbaugh and his staff had an opportunity to work with Kent in person makes this a different scenario.
“I think you should always weigh heavier, and weigh more favorably, the camp offers,” The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb said. “That doesn’t mean they’re fool proof, but the coaches get an opportunity there to test a guy physically, assess height, weight, speed, see how he responds to coaching, to different competitive scenarios, and that is about as thorough of an eval as you can get. After all that, with this staff’s background, if they decide to offer, that should carry a lot of weight. That doesn’t mean this kid will be a star, but this offer was vetted more thoroughly than other offers.”
Kent was also the go-to guy at a traditionally-strong St. Edward program as a junior.
“He was good last year,” 247Sports Ohio analyst Bill Greene said. “They are a run team and he does a lot of things for them. He is a really good kick returner, he can play in the slot, but he can play outside too. When they do throw it, he’s their guy. He’s maybe not the fastest guy, but he is real smart, gets open, catches everything, and he is tough. He will block. He has been taught the game the right way there.”
Kent said the Michigan offer was very unexpected and he nearly took it on the spot, but decided to go home and talk to his parents more before making the decision. That wait allowed him to visit Michigan two more times.
“He got offered Monday at camp when he went there, then he came back Saturday with his mom and they brought him back for the BBQ and then when he got the written offer (on Aug. 1), he took it.”
According to Webb, Michigan is not done at the wide receiver position, but Kent was a kid who impressed the staff enough to warrant his spot in the class.
“Both Giles Jackson and Wandale Robinson officially visited in June, but Giles seems to be an Oregon lean,” Webb said. “And Wandale is still looking at a few other schools. Michigan is still in it with both guys, and Michigan would still take them, but our experts and the Crystal Ball have them leaning elsewhere. With Quintel, you have a kid who wanted to come to Michigan, who the staff likes, and can play inside or out, and it still doesn’t take away from Kyle Ford or Cornelius Johnson, who are pure outside guys.”
Ultimately, time will tell the story. But Webb urges those who may question the offer to look at the circumstances.
“They gave this kid a hard look at felt more secure about what caliber of player he is,” he said. “Considering this staff’s collective background in evaluating players, I think we should see how it pans out. If he doesn’t, then maybe you become more skeptical of offers of this ilk, but for the time being, with their track record, I think you have to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Michigan now has 19 total commitments in their 2019 class.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.