Signing Day Capsule: Zion Babb

Scout.com scouting report: "Has good size and runs very crisp routes. Is quick off the line and with his strength, can beat jams easily. Can make the tough catch, but needs to be consistent in making the easy catch." For more, including video, check inside.

Zion Babb
WR/DB - 6-2/185/4.5
Alhambra HS (Alhambra, CA)
NR: ***** - Position Rank: #55

Scout.com Player Video
Zion Babb Defensive Highlight Reel -
Zion Babb Highlight Reel - Part 3 -
Zion Babb Highlight Reel - Part 2 -
Zion Babb Highlight Reel - Part 1 -
Zion Babb B2G Highlights -

The son of former USC track star Lance Babb, Zion Babb was one of the best kept secrets on the West coast last year.  The 6-2, 180-pound wideout had a strong junior campaign, hauling in 54 passes for 919 yards and 11 touchdowns.  His impressive performance combined with ringing endorsements from Alhambra coaches Gil and Manny Rudaflores was enough to draw intense interest from Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English.

The Wolverines were among the earliest to offer but were soon joined by the likes of California, Nebraska, Arizona, UNLV, Oregon, and Washington.  Babb expressed a desire to stay closer to home early in his recruiting process so English & company attempted to get him to the summer camp.  He wasn't able to make it to Ann Arbor, but the good news was he wasn't able to make it to the USC camp either.

"I haven't been offered by UCLA or USC," Babb said at the time. "They said they wanted to see me in camp. That B2G camp was the weekend before and I was sore from that camp and I couldn't go to SC."
B2G, a 7-on-7/skills camp, featured some of the best athletes on the West Coast. On day two of the talent rich combine Babb was being called the best receiver in attendance.

"With all of the standouts at receiver on the day, the best was easily Zion Babb, a four-star prospect out of Alhambra," wrote Scout.com analyst Brandon Huffman.  "Babb struggled in the morning session on Friday but bounced back on Friday afternoon, setting the table for a strong performance on Saturday. Babb is quick out of the blocks and is a very physical presence. On numerous occasions, he gained separation relatively early and easily and caught the ball with more fluidity."

Michigan stayed persistent in its pursuit and was able to secure one of Babb's official visits.  It was on his trip to Ann Arbor that the Wolverines were able to seal the deal.

"I talked to Coach Carr Sunday morning (October 8th), and was thinking about committing," Babb said.  "Then I talked for quite a while to Coach (Ron) English (Michigan's Southern California recruiter). And I decided to commit, but I still wanted to take some visits. So I talked to Coach Campbell and told him I wanted to commit, but that I wanted it to be a 'silent commitment' and I wanted to take some official visits. Coach Campbell said he didn't know about that. So I just said, 'Okay, I'll just go ahead and commit then'." Coach Campbell was real happy -- he told Coach English, who told Coach Carr."

GoBlueWolverine Commentary
Babb was coveted by the Wolverines due in large part to his versatility.  He is a big physical athlete, with deceptive speed…both of which are traits that could also transfer to the defensive side of the ball.  Either way, Michigan believes it has a player that will make an impact at some point in his career.

As a wide receiver he can out-muscle defensive back off of the line of scrimmage or beat them with an array of release moves.  He is also a good route runner and shows a willingness to go over the middle for the ball.  The only real knock against him is more of a glider than a sprinter and lacks elite level speed.  That said, he is still fast enough to get deep on most DB's he faces, and opponents will have to respect that.

Defensively Babb's size and ball-hawking ability would be great assets at safety.  He played corner in high school and demonstrated good man to man cover skills while there, but he'll probably outgrow that position at the college level. 

At this point in time Michigan plans to start him out on offense and see where things go from there.