Saturday, August 1, 2015

2015 Season Countdown: #29 Patrick Kugler

Patrick Kugler
Name: Patrick Kugler
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 297 lbs.
High school: Wexford (PA) North Allegheny
Position: Center
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #57
Last year: I ranked Kugler #75 and said he would be a backup center. He played in one game.

Kugler has not lived up to the expectations some people had for him coming out of high school. A highly ranked player, the son of an NFL offensive line coach (and now the head coach at UTEP), Kugler was expected to compete for playing time very early on an offensive line that was not very productive. Some thought he would play as a true freshman or beat out Jack Miller as a redshirt freshman. Instead, he has never been higher than the third-string guy, and the one game he played last season was when part-time center Graham Glasgow was suspended.

Whether we like it or not, Kugler is a key backup this season. The Wolverines have not done a great job of recruiting the center position in recent years. It's perhaps the most important position on the offensive line, so it's dangerous to ignore. The danger level rose a bit this offseason when Jack Miller, who would have been a fifth year senior in 2015, chose to leave the program. He had been the starter for all of 2014 and part of 2013, and he had been a solid contributor. In steps Glasgow, who played center quite a bit in 2013 but spent most of his time at left guard last year. Glasgow ran into some more legal trouble this offseason, and I don't know if he can be counted on to be available for an entire season. The coaching staff tried left tackle Mason Cole at center this spring, but his snaps were very inconsistent. Backup interior lineman Blake Bars has also snapped the ball a little bit, but he can get overpowered and does not maintain leverage well. If anything happens to Glasgow, the easiest thing will be to insert Kugler, but he has a lot to prove.

Prediction: Backup center

Welcome to the Weekend!

It's Saturday morning, so enjoy some pictures of beautiful women, including a gif of a weather girl.

MLive: Defensive backs preview

Nick Baumgardner previews the defensive backs (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies.

Friday, July 31, 2015

2015 Season Countdown: #30 Shane Morris

Shane Morris
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Name: Shane Morris
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 209 lbs.
High school: Warren (MI) De La Salle
Position: Quarterback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Morris #25 and said he would be the backup quarterback. He started one game and completed 14/40 passes (35%) for 128 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. He also ran 9 times for 28 yards (3.1 yards/carry).

Morris had a very controversial season in 2014 that had to have been difficult for reasons out of his control. He started off the year as Devin Gardner's backup. When Gardner and the team were underperforming halfway through the year, head coach Brady Hoke turned to Morris to start against Minnesota. A lot of people - including me - were opposed to the idea of benching Gardner, but it wasn't Morris's decision. He rolled his ankle, got concussed, and was left in the game despite stumbling around while trying to get back to the huddle. The handling of that issue would lead to tons of criticism of Brady Hoke, and eventually, the handling of the matter became the last straw for athletic director David Brandon's tenure.

Hit the jump for more on Morris and the quarterback situation.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

MLive: Linebacker position preview

Nick Baumgardner previews Michigan's linebacker situation (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few nice looking ladies.

2015 Season Countdown: #31 Taco Charlton

Taco Charlton
Name: Taco Charlton
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 273 lbs.
High school: Pickerington (OH) Central
Position: Defensive end
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #33
Last year: I ranked Charlton #38 and said he would be a backup strongside end. He made 19 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.

For a backup defensive end, it's hard to argue much with Charlton's production last season. He started one game against Rutgers, but he was mostly a backup to Brennen Beyer throughout the season. He got to the quarterback against Maryland, Rutgers, Minnesota, and Appalachian State, and he had three tackles against the Buckeyes. It was a decent year, but it was also somewhat forgettable. Charlton did not leap out as a player who was forcing his way into the starting discussion, and Beyer was not a standout whose play demanded a starting position, either. Charlton was largely inconsistent, making a good play here followed by getting out of position there.

This season Charlton might find himself playing a backup role again. Redshirt junior Chris Wormley had a good spring by all accounts, and Charlton missed a chunk of time to injury, including the spring game. Wormley has been mostly a defensive tackle during his career so far, but the coaching staff thinks his speed can hold up on the edge. If that's not the case, then Charlton is capable of stepping in to play the position. The worry with Charlton is his inconsistency. He's tall and has put on some good weight, but sometimes he stands up too high, sometimes he gets out of his gap, and sometimes he gets too deep. Those are the reasons that he was behind Beyer last season, and those might be what keep him behind Wormley this season. Michigan does not have many options beyond Charlton, which increases his value here. Henry Poggi made a move to offense in the spring, Tom Strobel has barely played during his career, and guys like Reuben Jones and Shelton Johnson are small and freshmen. Charlton will get plenty of playing time, but his consistency needs to improve if he wants to force his way into the starting lineup.

Prediction: Backup strongside end

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MLive: Defensive line position preview

Nick Baumgardner previews the defensive line (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of model Anna Faith Carlson.