Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ESPN 300 for 2015 updated

Saginaw (MI) Heritage wide receiver Brian Cole is the #139 player in the country.
ESPN released their updated top 300 players for 2015. Here's what it looked like back in June (LINK). Movement for Michigan commits:

- Chris Clark drops from #108 to #109
- Garrett Taylor drops from #110 to #111
- Brian Cole drops from #137 to #139
- Tyree Kinnel drops from #188 to #192
- Grant Newsome drops from #240 to #242
- Darrin Kirkland, Jr. drops from #263 to #266

5-stars:
1. Josh Sweat - DE - Virginia
4. Terry Beckner, Jr. - DE - Illinois
5. Kevin Toliver II - CB - Florida (LSU)
7. CeCe Jefferson - DE - Florida
8. Iman Marshall - CB - California
9. Kendall Sheffield - CB - Texas
10. George Campbell - ATH - Florida
11. Justin Hilliard - LB - Ohio (Ohio State)
15. Tim Settle - DT - Virginia
16. Blake Barnett - QB - California (Alabama)
17. Mitch Hyatt - OT - Georgia (Clemson)
18. Jashon Cornell - DE - Minnesota (Ohio State)

4-stars:
19. Josh Rosen - QB - California (UCLA)
22. Rasheem Greene - DT - California
27. Minkah Fitzpatrick - CB - New Jersey (Alabama)
28. Keisean Lucier-South - DE - California
30. Damien Harris - RB - Kentucky
31. Shy Tuttle - DT - North Carolina
32. Soso Jamabo - RB - Texas
33. Preston Williams - WR - Georgia (Tennessee)
36. Christian Kirk - WR - Arizona
38. Jarrett Stidham - QB - Texas (Texas Tech)
39. Malik Jefferson - LB - Texas
41. Jeffery Holland - LB - Florida
45. Keenan Walker - OT - Arizona (Arizona)
46. Jacques Patrick - RB - Florida
54. Arden Key - DE - Georgia
55. Deondre Francois - QB - Florida
58. Ronald Jones II - RB - Texas (Oklahoma State)
61. Matt Burrell, Jr. - OT - Virginia
63. Adonis Thomas - LB - Georgia
64. Drew Richmond - OT - Tennessee
69. Abdul Bello - OT - Florida (Florida State)
70. DaMarkus Lodge - WR - Texas (Texas A&M)
72. Jerome Baker - ATH - Ohio (Florida)
73. Hale Hentges - TE - Missouri (Alabama)
75. Devonaire Clarington - TE - Florida
79. Jaylon Lane - CB - Texas (Oklahoma State)
80. Rashad Roundtree - S - Georgia
82. Anthony Wheeler - LB - Texas
84. Dexter Williams - RB - Florida (Miami)
86. Johnny Frasier - RB - North Carolina
90. Jalen Dalton - DE - North Carolina
95. Jake Fruhmorgen - OT - Florida (Clemson)
98. Christian Pellage - OT - Florida
99. Hjalte Froholdt - DT - Florida
103. Sterling Jenkins - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
105. Ryan Bates - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
106. Clelin Ferrell - DE - Virginia (Clemson)
108. Tyler Jordan - OG - Florida (Florida)
109. Chris Clark - TE - Connecticut (Michigan)
111. Garrett Taylor - CB - Virginia (Michigan)
124. Osa Masina - LB - Utah
135. Ty'Son Williams - RB - South Carolina
136. Kirk Merritt - ATH - Louisiana
138. Jordan Whitehead - CB - Pennsylvania
139. Brian Cole - ATH - Michigan (Michigan)
141. Devante Peete - WR - Florida
150. Ray-Ray McCloud III - ATH - Florida (Clemson)
152. Marcus Lewis - CB - Washington, D.C.
161. Shaun Crawford - CB - Ohio (Notre Dame)
163. Joshua McMillon - LB - Tennessee
165. Darian Roseboro - DE - North Carolina
168. John Reid - CB - Pennsylvania
169. Michael Weber - RB - Michigan191. Juwan Johnson - WR - New Jersey (Penn State)
192. Tyree Kinnel - S - Ohio (Michigan)
227. Rashard Causey, Jr. - CB - Florida (Florida Atlantic)
236. Isaiah Prince - OT - Maryland
238. Pat Allen - OT - Maryland
242. Grant Newsome - OT - New Jersey (Michigan)
256. Cameron Townsend - LB - Texas
259. Cameron Ordway - CB - Tennessee
266. Darrin Kirkland, Jr. - LB - Indiana (Michigan)

Rivals 250 for 2016 released

Messiah DeWeaver
Rivals released its top 250 players for 2016 this morning. Yesterday they released the top 100 (LINK). Offensive tackle commit Erik Swenson was #70, and Michigan's only other pledge in the class is quarterback Messiah DeWeaver, who comes in at #210 overall. Here's a list of the rest of Michigan's offerees:

109. Joseph Jackson - DE - Florida
115. Binjimen Victor - WR - Florida
130. Elijah Holyfield - RB - Pennsylvania
133. Shaquille Quarterman - LB - Florida (Miami)
136. Kyree Campbell - DE - Virginia
145. Michael Menet - OT - Pennsylvania
146. Justin Layne - WR - Ohio
147. Michael Onwenu - DT - Michigan
157. Antonio Williams - RB - North Carolina
165. Luke Farrell - TE - Ohio
170. Austin Mack - WR - Indiana
182. Kentrail Moran - RB - Illinois
186. Dele' Harding - LB - Maryland
197. Kaden Smith - TE - Texas
201. Steven Smothers - WR - Maryland
204. Richard Merritt - OG - Washington, D.C.
210. Messiah DeWeaver - QB - Ohio (Michigan)
213. Robert Washington - RB - North Carolina
216. Auston Robertson - DE - Indiana
222. Lavert Hill - CB - Michigan

Rivals 100 for 2016 released

Erik Swenson (image via MGoBlog)
Rivals released its top 100 prospects for 2016. There are a number of Michigan targets on the list, including offensive tackle commit Erik Swenson at #70. Other offerees on the list include:

5-stars:
1. Nate Craig - WR - Florida (Auburn)
2. Jacob Eason - QB - Washington (Georgia)
3. Ben Cleveland - OT - Georgia (Georgia)
4. Dexter Lawrence - DT - North Carolina
6. Gregory Little - OT - Louisiana (Texas)
8. Rashan Gary - DT - New Jersey
9. Malik Henry - QB - California
11. Kareem Walker - RB - New Jersey
14. Levonta Taylor - CB - Virginia

4-stars:
17. Daelin Hayes - LB - Michigan (USC)
18. K.J. Costello - QB - California
23. Scott Bracey - WR - Virginia (Duke)
29. Sam Bruce - WR - Florida (Miami)
31. Janarius Robinson - DE - Florida
32. Brandon Jones - S - Texas
33. Jake Hausmann - TE - Ohio
36. Ben Bredeson - OT - Wisconsin
39. Collin Johnson - WR - Texas (Texas)
40. Shea Patterson - QB - Louisiana (Arizona)
42. Miles Sanders - RB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
48. Cameron Chambers - WR - New Jersey
50. Josh King - DE - Illinois
51. E.J. Price - OT - Georgia
54. Naseir Upshur - TE - Pennsylvania
59. Dylan Crawford - WR - California
62. Dwayne Haskins, Jr. - QB - Maryland
63. Isaac Nauta - TE - Georgia
70. Erik Swenson - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
74. T.J. Chase - WR - Florida
80. Ahmir Mitchell - WR - New Jersey
92. Jauan Williams - OT - Washington, D.C.

2014 Season Countdown: #28 Ondre Pipkins

Ondre Pipkins
Name: Ondre Pipkins
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 306 lbs.
High school: Kansas City (MO) Park Hill
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #56
Last year: I ranked Pipkins #31 and said he would be the backup nose tackle. He made 7 tackles as a backup nose tackle before tearing his ACL.

Last year was a tough year for Pipkins, who was a 5-star to ESPN coming out of high school. In what perhaps should have been a breakout second year, he tore his ACL in early October against Minnesota. Even up to that point, he was not living up to that 5-star status and was playing behind fifth year senior Quinton Washington, who was also underperforming a bit. Between those two guys, the nose tackle position was somewhat underwhelming, and the coaching staff at times had to resort to walk-on Ryan Glasgow and the undersized Jibreel Black, a DE-turned-DT. Nose tackles typically don't put up great numbers, but the difference between someone like Mike Martin - who graduated after the 2011 season - and last year's rotation was stark.

Pipkins should be ready to go for the opener on August 30th, but ACL injuries are tricky, especially for big guys. Ideally, the centerpiece of the defense would be able to be ranked higher than #28 in this sort of thing, but the position is a huge question mark right now. Michigan had a lackluster run defense last season, often seeming soft in the middle. They have moved outside linebacker Jake Ryan to the middle, but both projected starting defensive tackles (Pipkins and Chris Wormley) have had ACL tears within the last two years, and nobody on the interior defensive line has proven himself as a legitimate starter in the Big Ten. The hope is that Pipkins can hold his ground in the middle, but I am not confident that his burst - which was perhaps his most impressive trait coming out of high school - can return ten months after that kind of knee injury. He will probably be the first one on the field, but there will be plenty of rotation with the likes of Glasgow, redshirt freshman Maurice Hurst, Jr., redshirt sophomore Willie Henry, Glasgow, and freshman Bryan Mone. The Wolverines have plenty of bodies, but production is lacking.

Prediction: Starting nose tackle; 20 tackles, 1 sack

MLive: RB position preview - Green, Smith compete while Isaac waits

Nick Baumgardner previews the running back position for 2014.

Hit the jump for three girls with nice behinds.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 Season Countdown: #29 Derrick Green

Derrick Green
Name: Derrick Green
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 227 lbs.
High school: Richmond (VA) Hermitage
Position: Running back
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #27
Last year: I ranked Green #16 and said he would be the #2 running back with 100 carries for 500 yards and 6 touchdowns. He started one game and had 83 carries for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns.

It's tough to tell whether Green was overrated or rated accurately for last year. On the one hand, he showed up overweight (~240 lbs.) and out of shape, stumbling to just 3.3 yards/carry. On the other hand, Michigan's failure to run the ball contribute heavily to the disappointing 7-6 record. It's tough to blame that crappy running game on the backs, since they were attempting the impossible: success behind a porous offensive line. And yet Green seemed to take college success lightly by not being in shape. That's a huge reason why freshmen are often untrustworthy, because they have to adjust their diets, workouts, technique, work ethic, intensity level, and mental preparation for college. Some kids get it immediately, and some kids don't. Green didn't.

This year Green seems to be starting to get it a little bit. He has pared himself down to 227 lbs., which is roughly where he was in peak high school condition. Of the available running backs on the roster (not counting transfer Ty Isaac), Green looks to me like the most physically talented back. He has light feet, good acceleration, and pretty good speed for a power back. The thing that has always concerned me about Green is his lack of balance and an inability to stay on his feet when 230-pounders should be able to do so. If Michigan can open holes like Michigan teams of yesteryear could, then Green is the best bet because he can get out in the open field and outrun people. If the line continues to struggle - which it probably will - then I think Green will probably be the #2 option. De'Veon Smith is the most physical back and the most capable of shaking off tackles in the hole, so he would be my choice to start until the line comes around.

Prediction: Backup running back; 120 carries, 500 yards, 5 touchdowns

Saturday, July 26, 2014

It's Still the Weekend!

I'm on the road, so here are about 25 good looking ladies to tide you over until your regularly scheduled programming returns.