Michigan picked up a commitment from Detroit Eastpointe wide receiver Tay'Shawn Trent yesterday and in doing so, landed a matchup nightmare. Trent isn't even done with his junior year yet but he already checks in at 6-4, 205 pounds. When you put on his tape, he makes big play after big play, and it's not just jump balls or box outs.
The thing that stands out most to me is how sudden Trent is at his size. Jumbo wide receivers weighing more than 200 pounds aren't supposed to stop and start like he does. He also uses that quick-twitch ability to shake defenders in the open field, cut back and turn short catches into long touchdowns. Athletically he looks special.
Obviously being as big as he is serves him well too. He's a natural when it comes to going up high to get the ball and routinely puts people on posters when in the red zone or on fade balls. He also seems to be pretty good at fighting for extra yardage but honestly, a lot of his highlights finish with him standing up.
Of course, there are always a few things to wonder about when it comes to wide receivers playing at the next level. One is blocking, which Trent seems to be pretty darn good at, and the other is whether or not the speed, quickness and separation will translate when cornerbacks are suddenly on the same level athletically. Trent certainly appears to have the size and strength to be an effective blocker, and I'm beyond impressed with his quickness and ability to move laterally for his size. When you combine his size with that suddenness, I do think he'll be able to get separation at the next level.
As soon as I put on Trent's tape, I immediately thought of former two-star recruit and UCF standout Brandon Marshall. The former All-Pro played for seven different teams during his 13-year NFL career and made a name for himself because of his size, speed and athleticism combination. He played at 6-4, 230 pounds, which is right around where Trent could be after a four-year stint in college.
They aren't clones of each other, but because of their big bodies, there are a lot of similarities. Even as a youngster at UCF, Marshall looked like a stronger and more physical receiver, while Trent seems to be a bit smoother and might be a better jump-ball guy at this stage of his career. Both are dynamic after the catch for big receivers and both certainly know how to use their bodies to get open. If Trent can achieve Marshall-like success in college, which led to Marshall being drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft, he'd have to be happy with that.