Position Rank: 9
Scout.com Profile link:
(includes links to all GoBlueWolverine Stories
on this player)
Scout.com Player Video:
Antonio Bass Video
His Recruiting Story:
Antonio Bass emerged from relative obscurity last winter to become one of the
most sought after prospects in 2005 class. Ranked the #2 player in the Michigan
high school class of 2005, Bass played quarterback in an option styled attack
at Jackson high. With his desire to play quarterback at the college level already
expressed, programs that utilize similar systems subsequently wooed him. Though
Michigan was the favorite for his services throughout his recruitment, they
always made it clear that they were recruiting him as an WR/athlete and not
a quarterback. That provided an opening for two teams to muddy the waters considerably.
Early on in the process it was the Virginia Tech Hokies with their promise
of making him the next Michael Vick. Eventually, the distance from home proved
to be too large a factor. As his process wound down, the Michigan State Spartans
(a team that he had not seriously considered previously) jumped heavily into
the fray. Spartan coach John L. Smith used his explosive and versatile offensive
attack as a selling point. Bass was enamored with Smith's system and when the
charismatic coach switched from recruiting him as an athlete and began to recruit
him exclusively as a quarterback, it almost landed the Spartans what would have
been the catch of their recruiting class.. As enticing as the offer was, it
wasn't enough to overcome the pull to Ann Arbor. Citing his relationship with
the players and coaches at Michigan, and his overall comfort level in Ann Arbor,
Bass decided to become a Wolverine on December 22nd, 2004.
He will line up at wide receiver for the Maize and Blue and see a little time
at quarterback in specially designed packages.
At nearly 6-2 and 200 lbs., Antonio can blaze the forty in 4.4 seconds and jump
over 35 inches. While that combination is pretty rare, there are still a number
of other highly regarded prospects nationally that can legitimately boast similar
attributes. What separates Antonio from even that class of players and makes
him one of the truly elite prospects in the country is his inline quickness.
Bass has the uncanny ability to stop and start on a dime. He can freeze defenders
with a shake and then reach top speed in just a few steps. That is something
generally seen only in much smaller players, so he very is unique in that regard.
When you combine his speed, size and elusiveness with power, you get an accurate
picture of what Antonio brings to the table. Defenders can get lulled to sleep
thinking that he is just a finesse player but that’s huge mistake. He
is also a very physical runner that can be punishing at times. He literally
drags players around at the high school level. Simply put, he is a defensive
nightmare when he has the ball in his hands. He is the type of player that coordinators
have to account for on every play. He’s a true difference maker.
Antonio’s skill set reminds me most of another high school quarterback/receiver
that went on to almost win the Heisman trophy six years ago. Peter Warrick had
the same electric ability with the ball in his hands that Antonio does. The
former Florida State star would have taken home the esteemed trophy all of those
years ago if it were not for his off-field troubles. The scary thing is, Antonio
is both bigger (6-2 vs. 5-11) and faster (4.4 vs. 4.5). The key now will be
how fast he grasps playing a new position.