Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 Scholarship Count

Players are listed in order of remaining eligibility.  With 13 seniors scheduled to graduate and 77 scholarships allotted, Michigan has room to add 8 more scholarship players to the 2015 class between now and February 4. The 2016 class is scheduled to be at least 16 players strong.


- Russell Bellomy will transfer.

- Keith Heitzman will not return for a fifth year.

- Justice Hayes will transfer.

- Kyle Bosch will transfer.

- Michael Ferns will transfer.

REDSHIRT SENIORS = 4 (Final season 2015)
OL Graham Glasgow
OL Jack Miller

LB Desmond Morgan
CB Blake Countess

FB Joe Kerridge

SENIORS = 9 (Final season = 2015)
FB Sione Houma
WR Dennis Norfleet
TE A.J. Williams
DE Mario Ojemudia
DT Ondre Pipkins
LB Joe Bolden
LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
LB James Ross

S Jarrod Wilson

REDSHIRT JUNIORS = 14 (Final season 2016)
RB Drake Johnson
OL Blake Bars

OL Ben Braden
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
WR Jehu Chesson

WR Amara Darboh

DE Matt Godin
DT Willie Henry
DE Tom Strobel
DE Chris Wormley
LB Allen Gant

CB Terry Richardson

S Jeremy Clark

QB Brian Cleary
FB Bobby Henderson
WR Bo Dever
TE Michael Jocz
OL Ben Pliska
DT Ryan Glasgow
LB Nick Benda
LB Mark Lawson
LB Dan Liesman
S Shaun Austin
S A.J. Pearson
P Kenny Allen

JUNIORS = 11 (Final season 2016)
QB Shane Morris
RB Derrick Green
RB DeVeon Smith
WR Da'Mario Jones
TE Jake Butt
DE Taco Charlton
LB Ben Gedeon
CB Jourdan Lewis
CB Channing Stribling
S Delano Hill
S Dymonte Thomas

RB Antonio Whitfield

REDSHIRT SOPHOMORES = 15 (Final season 2017)
RB Ty Isaac
FB Wyatt Shallman
WR Jaron Dukes
TE Khalid Hill
OL David Dawson
OL Chris Fox
OL Patrick Kugler

OL Dan Samuelson
OL Logan Tuley-Tillman

DT Maurice Hurst, Jr.
DT Henry Poggi

LB Mike McCray
CB Reon Dawson
CB Ross Douglas
LS Scott Sypniewski

QB Garrett Moores
WR Blaise Stearns
WR Jack Wangler
OL Greg Froelich
DE Leon Johnson
DE Garrett Miller
LB Michael Wroblewski
CB Anthony Dalimonte
S Francois Montbrun

SOPHOMORES = 3 (Final season 2017)
WR Freddy Canteen
OL Mason Cole
DT Bryan Mone

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN = 12 (Final season 2018)
QB Wilton Speight
WR Drake Harris
WR Maurice Ways
TE Ian Bunting
OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty

DE Lawrence Marshall
DT Brady Pallante
LB Noah Furbush
LB Jared Wangler

LB Chase Winovich
CB Jabrill Peppers
S Brandon Watson
LB Alex Kaminski
LB Nick Volk
CB Matt Mitchell
S Joe Hewlett
K Kyle Seychel
LS Andrew Robinson

FRESHMEN = 9 (Final season 2018)
QB Zach Gentry
QB Alex Malzone
WR Brian Cole
OL Grant Newsome
OL Jon Runyan, Jr.
OL Nolan Ulizio
DE Reuben Jones
S Tyree Kinnel
K Andrew David

National Signing Day Predictions

Michael Weber
With National Signing Day coming up soon, here's a rundown of the uncommitted prospects (2015 Offer Board) on Michigan's board, plus a few who seem to be on the fence. I'll make a prediction here for each player, although I reserve the right to change it before NSD if new information comes out during/after official visits, etc.

Dexter Williams - RB - Florida: Notre Dame

Sotonye Jamabo - RB - Texas: UCLA

Michael Weber - RB - Michigan: Michigan

Hit the jump for a ton more prospects predictions.

Mailbag: Two quarterbacks a year?

Kevin Hogan
Numerous people have been asking about Jim Harbaugh's "standard" practice of taking two quarterbacks in each class. At Stanford he took 2, 1, 2, and 3 quarterbacks during his four years there, so it averaged out to two per year. Without getting into actual quarterback performance (which has been pretty good), here's how the position has fared over the years. I used Rivals ratings since 247 Sports Composite ranking doesn't work for ye olden days.

Alex Loukas (3-star):
 Redshirted in 2006. Backup quarterback in 2007, 2008, 2009. Moved to safety in 2010.

L.D. Crow (3-star): Crow sat on the bench in 2007 and 2008. Transferred to UCF, so he sat out 2009. Third-stringer in 2010.

Kellen Kiilsgaard (4-star): Kiilsgard immediately became a safety in 2007 when he realized he had a better shot to play on defense. Spent one year on the team before quitting in favor of a baseball career.

Andrew Luck (4-star): Redshirted in 2008, then became starter for 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons. Became #1 overall draft pick in 2012.

Taysom Hill (3-star):
 Signed with Stanford out of high school. Went on his Mormon mission and ended up at BYU when he returned. Backup in 2012, starter for Cougars in 2013 and 2014.

Josh Nunes (3-star): Other than part-time starting gig in 2012 trying to replace Andrew Luck, spent rest of time on the bench. Medically retired before 2013 season due to weightlifting injury.

Darren Daniel (3-star): Sat on the bench in 2010. Moved to wide receiver in the spring of 2011, then transferred to Itawamba Community College, then to Alabama State.

Dallas Lloyd (3-star): Signed in 2010. Went on his Mormon mission and then returned to Stanford in 2012. Spent 2012 and 2013 as a backup quarterback. Moved to strong safety in 2014.

Brett Nottingham (4-star): Signed in 2010. Backup quarterback in 2011 and 2012. Lost quarterback job to Kevin Hogan, so Nottingham transferred to Columbia. Sat out most of 2013 with broken wrist. Started for Columbia in 2014 but got benched and then quit the team.

Evan Crower (3-star): Sat on bench in 2011 and 2012. Backup quarterback in 2013 and 2014. Potential for a return as a fifth year senior in 2015.

Kevin Hogan (4-star): Redshirted in 2011. Backup quarterback in 2012. Starter in 2013 and 2014. Will reportedly return as a fifth year senior in 2015.

2006: T.C. Ostrander/Trent Edwards
2007: T.C. Ostrander/Tavita Pritchard
2008: Tavita Pritchard
2009: Andrew Luck
2010: Andrew Luck
2011: Andrew Luck
2012: Josh Nunes/Kevin Hogan
2013: Kevin Hogan
2014: Kevin Hogan
2015: Kevin Hogan (probably)

As you can see, taking multiple quarterbacks per year did not affect Stanford negatively when it comes to scholarships. Of the eight quarterbacks Harbaugh signed during his tenure, only two (2!) spent four years at the quarterback position for the Cardinal. The rest of them transferred, changed positions, or quit football. Stanford also recruited a couple Mormon players who either never played for Stanford (Taysom Hill) or became a backup QB and then moved to defense (Dallas Lloyd). That situation may not arise for the Wolverines because the Big Ten imprint - Michigan's primary recruiting grounds - does not have a huge Mormon population. Unless recruiting Mormons makes a drastic difference between the two schools, the numbers should not be an issue. Furthermore, that practice for Stanford led to a great three-year starter (Luck) and a solid almost-four-year starter (Hogan)

As for position changes, we'll just have to see. Shane Morris has never played defense, although he probably has the speed to be some kind of safety. Wilton Speight has the size to move to tight end. Alex Malzone is too small and too slow to do anything else. Zach Gentry has the size and athleticism to become a tight end.

If Michigan continues to recruit two quarterbacks in each class, things will sort themselves out. Guys will quit, change positions, or transfer. In the meantime, Stanford has had solid to great quarterback play over the years, and I would expect that trend to continue for Harbaugh at Michigan. The cream rises to the top.

*I included the years before and after Harbaugh's Stanford tenure just for a fuller picture of the roster dynamics.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bleacher Report: The Best Football Prospect Nobody has Ever Heard of

Here's a story about a high school senior quarterback in New Mexico who can't get any scholarship offers despite some outstanding numbers (LINK). You'll also see a mention of Michigan quarterback commit Zach Gentry.

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies, especially the first one. You're welcome.

Official Visitors: January 30 - February 1, 2015

Manlius (NY) Canisius tight end/defensive end
Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. (image via MaxPreps)
Jarius Adams - CB - Palm Beach Gardens (FL) Dwyer: Adams is a 5'11", 180 lb. prospect who has been committed to Rutgers since July. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #127 cornerback, and #1405 overall. Along with Michigan, Florida Atlantic and Wisconsin have also come in with offers in recent weeks. He took an official to FAU but won't visit Madison, so his decision probably comes down to sticking with Rutgers or flipping to the Wolverines.

Titus Booker - RB - Grayslake (IL) North: Booker is a 5'11", 172 lb. prospect who has been committed to Wisconsin since mid-November, and he was previously committed to Indiana. The Badgers want him as a cornerback, whereas Michigan is looking at him to run the ball. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #60 running back, and #767 overall. As a senior this past season, he rushed 184 times for 1,931 yards (10.1 yards/carry) and 26 touchdowns based on his 4.4 speed. He appears to be canceling an official visit to Iowa in order to visit Michigan. UPDATE: Booker no longer plans to visit Michigan and says he's solid to Wisconsin.

Deontay Burnett - WR - Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra: Burnett is a 6'0", 166 lb. prospect who has been committed to Washington State since last July; he also has offers from Arizona State, Miami, and Utah, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #85 wide receiver, and #686 overall. Burnett just got his offer from Michigan this week, so this is a quickly planned official visit. Junipero Serra produces a lot of high-quality talent, so getting a commitment from Burnett might help to get a foothold in the program.

Van Jefferson - WR - Brentwood (TN) Ravenwood: Jefferson is a 6'2", 183 lb. prospect who has been committed to Ole Miss for just a few days now; he has also taken visits to Georgia and Oklahoma. He's a U.S. Army All-American, a 247 Composite 4-star, the #11 wide receiver, and #108 overall. As a senior this past season, he caught 47 passes for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns. For those worried about the rumored shady recruiting practices at Ole Miss (and elsewhere in the SEC), I'll throw this out there: Jefferson's father is former NFL wide receiver and current wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, so the draw of a $500 handshake may not be as enticing to the son of an NFL player and coach. Even so, Michigan is late to the party, but growing up in Michigan (Van used to attend Orchard Lake St. Mary's while his dad coached for the Lions) may be a draw.

Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. - TE - Manlius (NY) Canisius: Wheatley is a 6'6", 260 lb. prospect who has listed a top four that includes Alabama, Oregon, UCLA, and USC. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #12 strongside defensive end, and #310 overall. He recently played in the Semper Fi All-American Bowl. Wheatley could also play tight end or offensive tackle at the next level, although most coaches have been saying his highest upside is on defense. He is, of course, the son of former Michigan great Tyrone Wheatley, who went on to a solid NFL career with the Giants and Raiders. There's also a younger brother, Terius, who is a 2016 prospect with no offers at this point. Tyrone, Jr. maintained for a while that Michigan had not talked to him in a while, the new staff was slot to contact him, and he was not sure if he would visit. Flying under the radar, however, he is taking a mid-week official visit to Ann Arbor, beginning on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MLive: Pete Carroll discusses Jim Harbaugh

It's Super Bowl-bound coach Pete Carroll talking about his old rival from the USC days, Jim Harbaugh (LINK).

Hit the jump for some very nice looking ladies, including a gif you might enjoy.

Messiah DeWeaver, Ex-Wolverine

Messiah DeWeaver
Huber Heights (OH) Wayne quarterback Messiah DeWeaver decommitted from Michigan on Tuesday night. He had been committed to the Wolverines since June of 2014. DeWeaver is a 6'3", 202 lb. kid in the class of 2016. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #14 pro-style quarterback, and #310 overall.

Before he was originally offered a scholarship, I was hoping the coaching staff would hold off. The Wolverines were evaluating or had offered several other quarterbacks who I believed had higher potential, and I thought DeWeaver would jump at the chance to play for Michigan. The poor 2014 season for Michigan may have derailed their chances with some of the guys I viewed as better prospects, so for Michigan's long-term prospects, that may have been a blessing in disguise. Once a player decommits from a program, it can be tough to tuck the tail between the legs and come back.

Now Michigan has a fresh start with a well-established new coach in Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh has had success developing quarterbacks in the past, including former #1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck (Stanford) and former 5th round draft pick Josh Johnson (San Diego), not to mention NFL quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. When Harbaugh was at Stanford, he brought in an average of two quarterbacks per class, and he looks to continue to do so at Michigan. The Wolverines already have Alex Malzone enrolled early, and last weekend saw a commitment from Zach Gentry, who will sign with Michigan next week. Meanwhile, even with DeWeaver committed, Harbaugh had been meeting with California QB K.J. Costello and Washington QB Jacob Eason, who are the #4 and #1 pro-style quarterbacks for the 2016 class. The previous staff had offered seven quarterbacks (LINK), and that number may increase in the near future.

With DeWeaver committed, I had secretly been hoping to avoid doing scouting reports on 10-20 quarterback prospects for 2016. But now it looks like that's exactly what I'll be doing in the next couple weeks.