Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wolverine Nation: David Dawson interview

Chantel Jennings talks to incoming offensive guard David Dawson.

Former Michigan Athletes in Super Bowl XLVII

Michigan had excellent representation in last year's Super Bowl, but this year, the Maize and Blue presence will be felt more strongly on the sidelines than on the football field.  Four former Michigan athletes will take part in Super Bowl XLVII, which will be played between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens on February 3, but only one will be playing in the game.

Jonathan Goodwin (1999-2002) is the starting center for one of the league's top offensive lines and a team that is coached by former Michigan player and graduate assistant, Jim Harbaugh (5,449 passing yards and 31 touchdowns from '83-'86).  Of course, WR Mario Manningham (137 receptions for 2,310 yards and 35 touchdowns from '05-'07) is also a 49er and has a shot at a second straight Super Bowl ring, but he won't play in the game due to a torn ACL that was suffered late in the season.

On the other side of the ball, Andy Moeller (linebacker from '83-'86 and TE, OT and OL coach from '00 - '07) coaches the offensive line for the Baltimore Ravens.  Their defensive backs coach Teryl Austin also coached at Michigan as a defensive assistant from 1999 - 2002, although he never played for the Wolverines. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wolverine Nation: Patrick Kugler interview

Ashley Sky
Tom VanHaaren talks to incoming center Patrick Kugler.

Scouting Report: Mason Cole

Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake offensive tackle Mason Cole
(image via
Name: Mason Cole
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 275 lbs.
Position: Offensive tackle
High school: Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake
Class: 2014

Notes: Holds offers from Alabama, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, South Florida, Stanford, UCF, USC . . . ESPN Watch List . . . Rivals 4-star OT . . . 247 Sports 4-star OG, 96 grade, #4 OG, #62 overall . . . Teammate of 2014 wide receiver offeree Artavis Scott and 2015 wide receiver offeree George Campbell

Strengths: Athletic enough to play left tackle . . . Shows ability to pull effectively . . . Works combo blocks well . . . Agile enough to double team, then latch onto second level defenders . . . Stays low and shows good knee bend when run blocking . . . Thick lower body that should handle added weight well . . . Intelligent football player who recognizes stunts and defensive alignments and makes line calls . . . Communicates well with linemates

Weaknesses: Telegraphs run vs. pass by stance . . . Needs to be quicker off the ball . . . Inconsistent footwork in pass protection . . . Shows a good kick set at times, but sometimes opens up hips too quickly . . . Needs to be more consistently aggressive in run game . . . Lacks ideal length to play tackle at next level

Projection: Left guard.  Cole is a very good athlete and moves well for a guy his size, but he doesn't have the ideal size and wingspan to remain at tackle on the next level.  He could be a pulling guard in a system like Michigan's, or he's agile enough to play in a zone scheme.  I might even look at him at center if I were running zone, but he's too athletic to waste that agility snapping the ball in a pro-style system.  He doesn't have the frame to ever be a huge road grader on the offensive line, but he will pull well, pass protect well, and be effective when moving to the second level.  He has the makings of a high-level BCS starter.

Reminds me of: Steve Schilling

Here are Cole's highlights on Hudl.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sports Illustrated: Brady Hoke, Michigan recruiting at elite level

Catalina Otalvaro
Stewart Mandel over at Sports Illustrated  has taken notice of Michigan's stellar recruiting class.

Denzel Ward, ex-Wolverine

Denzel Ward
Denzel Ward, a 2014 offensive tackle out of Chicago (IL) Hales Franciscan, is no longer a part of Michigan's recruiting class.  The 6'9", 285-pounder committed to Michigan shortly after receiving an offer last year, but things have changed since then.  He was offered by Florida and decided to take a visit there, a move the coaches don't like.  But he also transferred to IMG Academy in Florida, which is a school specifically geared toward athletes who want to develop and train for the next level.  The problem with the transfer is that he reportedly didn't even think to tell the coaches that he was moving from Illinois to Florida.  It's unclear whether the coaches will continue to recruit him, but it appears that the staff decided that he should no longer be considered a commit.

Here's my commitment post on Ward from October.  I have to say that he was nearly going to commit to Purdue until he got the Michigan offer, and then he immediately jumped on the offer from the Wolverines.  He seemed to be making a hasty decision at the time, and in retrospect . . . it still appears to have been a hasty decision.  There's still plenty of time for Michigan to replace Ward in the class, but most of the offered recruits with an eye on Michigan look like guard prospects rather than tackles.  Some new offers will likely have to be sent out to get a tackle to take his place, but Michigan might be able to reel in someone like Andy Bauer, Damian Prince, or Braden Smith.

B-Ball Highlights: Michigan 74, Illinois 60

Jordan Kovacs, #11 . . . and #32

This will be one of the lasting images of Jordan Kovacs (who used to wear #32)
Despite being the son of a former Wolverine, Jordan Kovacs was not recruited out of high school. His father, Lou, was a 5'10", 195 lb. safety for Bo Schembechler in 1982.  Jordan played at Curtice (OH) Clay and was an all-district defensive back as a junior, then an all-district wide receiver as a senior; he was an All-Toledo defensive back both seasons.  He enrolled at Michigan as a student in 2008.

Kovacs tried out for the team as a true freshman, but a knee injury from high school forced Michigan's coaches and doctors to tell him to come back in a year after he got his knee fixed.  He came back to tryouts in 2009 and earned his way onto the team.  Injuries at the safety position helped him get on the field against Notre Dame, and he earned his first start two games later against Notre Dame.  He finished the season with 75 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 2 forced fumbles.  His starting job was solidified by 2010, when he earned All-Big Ten Honorable Mention on a horrible defense - he finished that year with 116 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup.  He earned the same honor again in 2011 with 75 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup.  As a team captain in 2012, he had 68 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 2 pass breakups.

334 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 5 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, and 4 pass breakups

Sporting News Freshman All-Big Ten in 2009; All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2010; All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2011; Captain, Bo Schembechler MVP, Robert P. Ufer Bequest Award, All-Big Ten Second Team in 2012

I remember watching the Notre Dame game in 2009 and seeing #32 on the field, thinking, "Uh-oh. This team is in dire straits at the safety position."  And while that was technically true - of not only safety, but most defensive positions during the Rich Rodriguez era - Kovacs slowly started to earn my trust.  His 116 tackles in 2010 was not only a ridiculous accomplishment, but it was indicative of poor defensive play in front of him.  However, lots of safeties wouldn't have been the sure tackler that Kovacs was, and he prevented that monumentally porous defense from being even worse.  He was almost always in the right place.  Despite a lack of elite athleticism, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's arrival in 2011 helped to use Kovacs in an optimal way - blitzing him off the edge and using him almost like a fourth linebacker.  His 334 tackles place him fifth on Michigan's all-time list, but perhaps the more impressive ranking is his place at #13 in tackles for loss at Michigan.  That places him above such players as Mike Martin, Sam Sword, Rob Renes, and Carl Diggs.

. . . his sure tackling.  While his coaches and game film might tell a different story, I wouldn't even need a full hand to count the number of missed tackles I saw Kovacs make in his four years as a starter.  There were plays he could have chased down if he were a bit faster, but if you were one-on-one with Kovacs in open space, you were going to lose 98.39% of the time.

I don't foresee Kovacs getting drafted because of a lack of measurables (he's not very big, and he's not extremely fast), but I think he'll get quite a bit of interest as an undrafted free agent.  I've seen former Wisconsin safety Jim Leonhard whittle out an 8-year NFL career without much size or speed, so as long as Kovacs get a chance with the right team(s), I see no reason why he can't go play some special teams and be a backup safety somewhere.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wolverine Nation: Delano Hill interview

Paris Roxanne
Chantel Jennings talks to incoming defensive back Delano Hill.

Video: Denard Robinson Senior Bowl highlights

Recruiting Update: January 28, 2013

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Mikey Weber (image via Michigan Citizen)
Richmond (VA) Hermitage running back Derrick Green committed to Michigan.

Louisville (KY) Trinity defensive end Jason Hatcher decommitted from USC.  Hatcher is not considering Michigan, but he is now open to Louisville (where his teammate James Quick is committed) or Kentucky, the new head coaching home of former Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops.

Cleveland (OH) Glenville safety Erick Smith was offered by Michigan.  Smith is a 6'1", 185 lb. prospect with offers from Georgia Tech, Louisville, Ohio State, and West Virginia, among others.  Michigan has also offered his teammate, wide receiver Marshon Lattimore.  Like a lot of Glenville products, Ohio State seems to be the leader.

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech defensive tackle Joshua Alabi was offered by Michigan.  The 6'5", 245-pounder doesn't hold any other offers.  He doesn't get off the ball very well defensively, but the athleticism is apparent.  He moves like a future left tackle, but I'm not sure he'll have the height and length to play that position; if he can get more aggressive, he's the type of athlete you would want at strongside end or 3-tech defensive tackle.  Alabi has visited Michigan a couple times, including for last season's Michigan State game.  He played defensive end, defensive tackle, and offensive tackle for Cass Tech, and is the teammate of 2013 commits David Dawson, Delano Hill, and Jourdan Lewis.

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Mikey Weber was offered by Michigan.  The 5'10", 195 lb. running back also has offers from Illinois and Syracuse.  As a sophomore in 2012, he had 1,700 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns.  Weber's body type looks a lot like Fitzgerald Toussaint's, but Weber's more of a slasher and doesn't show the same kind of lateral movement.


Phoenix (AZ) Brophy Prep wide receiver Devon Allen committed to Oregon.  Allen flirted with lots of teams out west, and even seriously considered Michigan and Notre Dame for a while.  But he always coveted an Oregon offer, which came recently, and the choice seemed to be pretty easy at that point.

Avon (IN) Avon defensive end Elijah Daniel committed to Ole Miss.  Daniel had previously been committed to Clemson along with the consensus #1 defensive end nationally, Robert Nkemdiche.  Now that Nkemdiche appears to be headed for Oxford sooner or later, Daniel seems destined to be a Rebel, too.

Hamilton (GA) Harris County defensive tackle Jay Ellison committed to Georgia Southern.  That's an odd development for a player who listed offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Santa Monica (CA) Santa Monica wide receiver Sebastian Larue committed to Texas A&M.  After decommitting from USC in recent weeks, Larue flirted with the idea of visiting Michigan.  He is now one of about eight wide receivers committed to the Aggies.

Belton (TX) Belton tight end Durham Smythe committed to Notre Dame.  Smythe had previously been committed to Texas, but since he decommitted, it has mostly been a race between the Fighting Irish and Stanford.  He was originally scheduled to take a visit to Michigan this past weekend, but he rescheduled in order to visit South Bend with a bunch of other visitors.  Now it looks like next weekend's visit to Ann Arbor won't happen after all.

Euless (TX) Trinity defensive end Gaius Vaenuku committed to Utah.  The 6'6", 260-pounder pickes the Utes over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, and UCLA.

Tempe (AZ) Marcos De Niza cornerback Priest Willis committed to UCLA.  Michigan was never strongly in the running.  The Wolverines were recruiting him as a cornerback, but most teams project him to safety.

There were some rumors that Saginaw (MI) Heritage wide receiver Brian Cole, a 2015 prospect, was offered by Michigan.  However, that is not a solid offer, and he was apparently told he'll have to wait until his junior year for an offer.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

ESPN: Vincent Smith discusses hit by Jadeveon Clowney

Sandra Valencia
Vincent Smith will forever be a part of the Jadeveon Clowney highlight reel, and here ESPN talked to Smith about the hit.

A History of #1 Rated Tailbacks

Is this what we should expect from Derrick Green?
Recruiting is an inexact science, and we have no idea what we'll get in the coming years from Derrick Green (commitment post).  But Rivals is generally considered to be the best recruiting site for predicting future success, so I thought I would take a look back at their top tailbacks over the last decade or so.

Rivals: Ciatrick Fason, Florida - In three seasons at Florida, Fason had 315 carries for 1,877 yards (6.0 yards/carry) and 14 touchdowns.  Fason was drafted in the fourth round (#112 overall) by the Minnesota Vikings in 2005, for whom he played two seasons.  He had 50 career carries for 161 yards (3.2 yards/carry) and 5 touchdowns.

 Reggie Bush, USC - In three seasons at USC, Bush had 433 career carries for 3,169 yards (7.3 yards/carry) and 25 touchdowns, along with 95 career receptions for 1,301 yards and 13 touchdowns.  He won the Heisman Trophy in 2005.  He was the #2 overall pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2006.  In five seasons with the Saints and two with the Miami Dolphins, he has 967 carries for 4,162 yards (4.3 yards/carry) and 29 touchdowns.  He also has 372 receptions for 2,730 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma - In three seasons at Oklahoma, Peterson had 747 carries for 4,045 yards (5.4 yards/carry) and 41 touchdowns.  Peterson was the #7 overall pick by the Vikings in 2007.  In six seasons with the Vikings, he has 1,754 carries for 8,849 yards (5.0 yards/carry) and 76 touchdowns.  He had the second-best season rushing total in NFL history this past season with 2,097 yards.

 Jonathan Stewart, Oregon - In three seasons at Oregon, Stewart had 516 carries for 2,891 yards (5.6 yards/carry) and 27 touchdowns.  Stewart was the #13 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2008.  In five seasons with the Panthers, he has 818 carries for 3,836 yards (4.7 yards/carry) and 27 touchdowns.

Chris Wells, Ohio State - In three seasons at Ohio State, Wells had 585 carries for 3,382 yards (5.8 yards/carry) and 30 touchdowns.  Wells was the #31 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2009.  In four seasons with the Cardinals, he has 625 carries for 2,471 yards (4.0 yards/carry) and 24 touchdowns.

 Joe McKnight, USC - In three seasons at USC, McKnight had 347 carries for 2,213 yards (6.2 yards/carry) and 13 touchdowns.  McKnight was drafted in the fourth round (#112 overall) by the New York Jets in 2010.  In three seasons with the Jets, he has 112 carries for 502 yards (4.5 yards/carry) and 17 catches for 177 yards; he has also averaged 29.0 yards per kickoff return with 2 return touchdowns.

Darrell Scott, Colorado - Scott spend his freshman and sophomore seasons at Colorado before transferring to South Florida.  Altogether, he had 263 carries for 1,252 yards (4.8 yards/carry) and 6 touchdowns.  He was undrafted and has not played in the NFL.

 Bryce Brown, Tennessee - Brown spent his freshman year at Tennessee before transferring to Kansas State; in his freshman and redshirt sophomore seasons, he totaled 104 carries for 476 yards (4.6 yards/carry) and 3 touchdowns.  Brown was drafted in the seventh round (#229 overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.  As a rookie he had 115 carries for 564 yards (4.9 yards/carry) and 4 touchdowns.

 Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina - In three seasons at South Carolina, Lattimore had 555 carries for 2,675 yards (4.8 yards/carry) and 38 touchdowns.  He will skip his senior season to enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

Malcolm Brown, Texas - In two seasons at Texas, Brown has 233 carries for 1,066 yards (4.6 yards/carry) and 9 touchdowns.

 Johnathan Gray, Texas - In one season at Texas, Gray has 149 carries for 701 yards (4.7 yards/carry) and 3 touchdowns.

Ignoring Gray and Malcolm Brown altogether, and removing Lattimore from NFL Draft consideration, here's the average production that we should expect from Rivals' top tailback:

College career length: 3 seasons
College rushing production: 429 carries for 2,442 yards (5.7 yards/carry) and 22 touchdowns
NFL Draft slot: 2nd round, #63 overall

Where would that career rank among former Michigan players?  The 429 carries would put him at #22 in Michigan history, behind Rick Rogers and ahead of Chris Howard.  The 2,442 yards would put him at #17, behind Ron Johnson and ahead of Ed Shuttlesworth.  The 22 touchdowns would place him at #18, behind Lawrence Ricks/Tshimanga Biakabutuka and ahead of Brandon Minor.  Of players with at least 100 career carries, that 5.7 yards/carry would tie him at #7 behind Jon Vaughn, Denard Robinson, Kerry Smith, Tyrone Wheatley, Biakabutuka, and Rob Lytle.

Based on Michigan's offensive system and Green's skill set, if you're looking for a comparison to another former #1 tailback, I think the best replica would be Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells.

Video: Derrick Green picks Michigan

Saturday, January 26, 2013

MLive: Campbell standing out in Shrine Bowl practices

Michelle Keegan
William Campbell's college performance disappointed some who expected big things from the former 5-star, but he's trying to work his way up the NFL Draft rankings by playing in the Shrine Bowl.

EDIT: This was supposed to be posted over a week ago. Oh well.

Derrick Green, Wolverine

Richmond (VA) Hermitage running back
Derrick Green at his announcement
(image via 247 Sports)
Richmond (VA) Hermitage running back Derrick Green committed to Michigan on Saturday.  He chose the Wolverines over offers from just about everyone in the country, and the other two finalists were Auburn and Tennessee.

Green is 6'0" and 220 lbs.  As a senior in 2012, he had 185 carries for 1,285 yards and 20 touchdowns.  As a junior, he had 1,493 yards and 20 touchdowns.  In his sophomore season, he had 800 yards and 10 touchdowns.  He claims a 4.58 forty.

ESPN: 4-star RB, 85 grade, #5 RB, #38 overall
Rivals: 5-star RB, #1 RB, #8 overall
Scout: 5-star RB, #1 RB, #6 overall
247 Sports: 4-star RB, 95 grade, #8 RB, #84 overall

Green was offered last February when Michigan went on a spree of offering running backs.  At the beginning of his recruitment, Michigan did not seem to be a serious option.  He was considering a long list of places, most of them down south; other than Ohio State in the north, he was looking at Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and a few other places.  The longer Green's recruitment lasted, however, things started to fall into place for Michigan.  He always maintained a desire to play in a pro-style offense, and the hiring of Gus Malzahn at Auburn and Butch Jones at Tennessee didn't really align with Green's desires.  He also wanted a chance to play early, and with no established starter at Michigan (incumbent Fitzgerald Toussaint is coming off a nasty leg injury and has just one year left), the opportunity will be there immediately.

I have had my eye on Green for a long time.  Aside from watching his highlights, I had a chance to see him in person last May in a 7-on-7 tournament.  I put together a scouting report on him prior to his senior season, and that interpretation largely holds true still, but I will say that his senior highlights showed significant improvement.  One of the things that I may have underestimated was the fact that Green was 260-270 lbs. early in high school and decided to shed the weight in order to play running back.  I think losing that weight and increasing his agility may have been - or may be - a long process that wasn't completed by his junior year.  He's a lot shiftier in his senior highlights and seems to have a better understanding of how to make people miss.  Green is still a north-south runner and won't ever be Barry Sanders, but there's a little more lightning to his thunder now.

While I don't think Derrick Green is the best running back in the country like Rivals and Scout do, I think he's one of the top three to five backs in the nation.  With the offensive line Michigan is building in the 2012 and 2013 classes, he should have plenty of room to run.  A 6'0", 220 lb. running back with his acceleration should be able to wear down second- and third-level defenders, making it quite a grind for opposing defenses.  Depending on how quickly Toussaint heals from his leg injury, Green could very well be the starting running back for the Wolverines on opening day 2013.  In my opinion, he is already better than the other running backs on the roster, save perhaps a healthy Toussaint; and I also think Green is superior to fellow 2013 commits Deveon Smith and Wyatt Shallman.

Green is Michigan's 27th commitment in the 2013 class and the third running back.  The Wolverines may be done recruiting in this class, but I expect that we'll see another scholarship offer or two here in the last couple weeks to try to sway a player already committed elsewhere, somewhat like what happened with Dennis Norfleet last year.

TTB Rating: 92

B-Ball Highlights: Michigan 68, Purdue 53

2013 Senior Bowl roster

Denard Robinson will play wide receiver in the Senior Bowl
The Senior Bowl will be played today at 2:00 p.m. EST on the NFL Network.  Here are some players of interest to Michigan fans:

Mike Glennon - QB - North Carolina State*
Denard Robinson - WR - Michigan
Braxston Cave - C - Notre Dame*
Hugh Thornton - OG - Illinois
Ricky Wagner - OG - Wisconsin
Michael Buchanan - DE - Illinois
Jordan Hill - DT - Penn State
Kawann Short - DT - Purdue
John Simon - LB - Ohio State
T.J. McDonald - S - USC*

Xavier Nixon - OT - Florida*
Carson Tinker - LS - Alabama
John Jenkins - DT - Georgia*
Nico Johnson - LB - Alabama
Marc Anthony - CB - California*
Robert Lester - S - Alabama

*Recruited by Michigan

Review of 2012 Season Predictions

This guy led the team in sacks.
Nobody else probably cares, but this is one of the things I enjoy most about the post-season: looking back and seeing how many things I got right or wrong.

Leading Rusher
Prediction: Denard Robinson, 1200 yards
Actual: Denard Robinson, 1266 yards

Leading Receiver
Prediction: Roy Roundtree, 750 yards
Actual: Jeremy Gallon, 829 yards (Roundtree had 580)

Leading Tackler
Prediction: Kenny Demens, 90 tackles
Actual: Jake Ryan, 88 tackles (Demens had 82)

Leading Sacker
Prediction: Jake Ryan, 5.5 sacks
Actual: Jake Ryan, 4.5 sacks

Leading Interceptor
Prediction: J.T. Floyd and Jordan Kovacs, 2 interceptions (tie)
Actual: Thomas Gordon and Raymon Taylor, 2 interceptions (tie); (Kovacs had 1, Floyd had 0)

All-Big Ten First Team
Prediction: Taylor Lewan, Denard Robinson
Actual: Taylor Lewan, Patrick Omameh, Will Hagerup (Denard Robinson was Honorable Mention)

Leading Scorer (non-QB, non-kicker)
Prediction: Fitzgerald Toussaint
Actual: Fitzgerald Toussaint

Breakout Offensive Player
Prediction: Thomas Rawls
Actual: Devin Funchess. Funchess didn't light the world on fire, but he showed flashes of what he can do if Michigan can get him the ball in the coming years.  Rawls didn't show much elusiveness or much power.

Breakout Defensive Player
Prediction: Thomas Gordon
Actual: Quinton Washington.  Washington went from a bit of an afterthought to a viable Big Ten nose tackle.  While he didn't put up great numbers (32 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack), he took up blockers in the middle of the line and didn't get blown off the ball.

Most Disappointing Offensive Player
Prediction: Jerald Robinson
Actual: Fitzgerald Toussaint.  Robinson was disappointing and then left the team, so he was clearly a disappointment.  But the starting running back, who averaged 5.6 yards/carry in 2011, dropped all the way to 4.0 yards/carry this season.

Most Disappointing Defensive Player
Prediction: Jibreel Black
Actual: J.T. Floyd.  Floyd didn't make a single interception this season and got himself suspended for the Outback Bowl.

Prediction: Loss
Actual: Loss

Air Force
Prediction: Win
Actual: Win

Prediction: Win
Actual: Win

Notre Dame
Prediction: Win
Actual: Loss

Prediction: Win
Actual: Win

Prediction: Win
Actual: Win

Michigan State
Prediction: Loss
Actual: Win

Prediction: Win
Actual: Loss

Prediction: Win
Actual: Win

Prediction: Win
Actual: Win

Prediction: Win
Actual: Win

Ohio State
Prediction: Loss
Actual: Loss

Out of 23 predictions, I got 12.5 right.  I'm like Nostradamus or something.

Friday, January 25, 2013 Loyalty a big motivator for Chudzinski

This is partly about the Cleveland Browns, but mostly I post it here because it reveals something I didn't previously know about Michigan center Jack Miller's family.  I highly recommend clicking through.

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week

If you have any other pictures of girls wearing Michigan gear, drop me an e-mail.  Go Blue!

Mini Recruiting Update: January 25, 2013

Future teammates? Jourdan Lewis, Dymonte Thomas, Derrick Green, Jake Butt, and Chris Fox pose together
There aren't many visitors coming to Michigan this weekend, so here's a mini update on the week's news:

Grand Rapids (MI) Christian offensive lineman Tommy Doles will be visiting Michigan tomorrow.  The 6'5", 255 lb. lineman holds two offers, one from Michigan and one from Iowa State.  Doles would likely play center or perhaps guard at the next level.  His teammate is wide receiver Drake Harris, a highly touted recruit who has pulled in offers from Alabama and Ohio State recently; however, there's been no indication that Harris will join Doles on this trip.

Southfield (MI) Southfield defensive end Lawrence Marshall visited Ann Arbor for the basketball game against Purdue last night.  Along with a Michigan offer, the 6'4", 205-pounder has offers from Michigan State, Ohio State, Pitt, San Diego State, and Syracuse.  He hasn't talked about his recruitment a ton, but Michigan is presumed to be his leader.

Richmond (VA) Hermitage running back Derrick Green will be announcing his college decision at 4:00 p.m. tomorrow.  Michigan has been his stated leader, and it sounds like Tennessee is running second with Auburn third.  Green appears to be looking for a stable coaching staff; with Brady Hoke appearing to be in it for the long haul and running backs coach Fred Jackson entering his 22nd year with the program, Michigan looks pretty stable.  Both Auburn and Tennessee replaced their coaches this offseason.  Green has also stated that he wants to play in a pro-style offense, which neither of those schools offer.  However, the major hangup for Green seems to be that he thinks the SEC will prepare him better for the NFL.  The Big Ten has not produced elite running backs in recent years, and Green has always maintained that he wants to play at the next level.  If he chooses Michigan, he'll be choosing a school that hasn't churned out a productive NFL back since Anthony Thomas, whose last college season was 2000.  In approximately that same span, Tennessee has produced Travis Henry, Jamal Lewis, and Arian Foster; Auburn has the success stories of Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams, and even Ben Tate, who rushed for 942 yards as Foster's backup in 2011.  I have no reason to think that Michigan won't be the choice, since that's his recently stated leader, but there are factors working against the Wolverines.

Here are the names I've gathered of whom the Michigan staff has visited this week (all prospects are 2014 guys unless otherwise noted):

Joshua Alabi - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech**
Dominique Booth - WR - Indianapolis (IN) Pike
Shane Evans - OG - Crystal Lake (IL) Prairie Ridge
Derrick Green - RB - Richmond (VA) Hermitage*
Damien Harris - RB - Berea (KY) Madison Southern**
Johnathan Hilliman - RB - Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep
Elijah Hood - RB - Charlotte (NC) Catholic
Jamarco Jones - OG - Chicago (IL) De La Salle
Derek Kief - WR - Cincinnati (OH) La Salle
Brandon Lee - LB - Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central
Lawrence Marshall - DE - Southfield (MI) Southfield
Mike McCray II - LB - Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison*
Malik McDowell - DE - Detroit (MI) Loyola
Peyton Newell - DE - Hiawatha (KS) Hiawatha
Austin Roberts - TE - Carmel (IN) Carmel
Enoch Smith, Jr. - DE - Chicago (IL) Mt. Carmel
Durham Smythe - TE - Belton (TX) Belton*
Mikey Weber - RB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech**
Parrker Westphal - CB - Bolingbrook (IL) Bolingbrook
Mikale Wilbon - RB - Chicago (IL) De La Salle

*2013 prospect
**2015 prospect

Thursday, January 24, 2013 High on ability, low on reps, Robinson transitions to receiver

SI's Andy Staples talks about Denard Robinson's attempt to make it to the NFL at the receiver position.

Video: Denard Robinson at Senior Bowl practices

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh played a long time ago, and I don't have any memories of his time at U of M.  People tell me he was fairly good.

What I do remember are the disparaging remarks that he made about Michigan academics right around the time I began packing my bags for Ann Arbor.  Those comments did not endear him to me.

But regardless of anyone's feelings toward Harbaugh, he is a second generation Michigan Man and a former three-year starting quarterback who had a "special relationship"* with Bo Schembechler.  Harbaugh's Michigan roots run deep, and his experience as a Wolverine can arguably be called the single most important factor in his development as a coach.   And everyone agrees that Harbaugh is a good coach.

After defeating the Atlanta Falcons, 27-24, in the NFC Championship Game, Harbaugh and his 49ers open as 4.5 point favorites against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

I'll be rooting for him.

*Freep  article

Honorable mention:  Center Jonathan Goodwin anchored a 49er offensive line that paved the way for 149 rushing yards while giving up only one sack.  Goodwin already has one Super Bowl ring as a member of the New Orleans Saints.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

CBS Sports: Star Power - Reviewing Super Bowl starters as college recruits

Adrianne Curry
CBS Sports takes a look at the Super Bowl's projected starters through the lens of their star ratings coming out of high school.  Ray Lewis doesn't have a star rating, because before 2002, they rated people with symbols of daggers.

Scouting Report: Nic Weishar

Chicago (IL) Marist tight end Nic Weishare (image via Chicago Tribune)
Name: Nic Weishar
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Chicago (IL) Marist
Position: Tight end
Class: 2014

Notes: Holds offers from Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Purdue, Vanderbilt, and Wisconsin . . . As a junior in 2012, had 89 receptions for 1,100 yards and 5 touchdowns . . . As a sophomore in 2011, had 77 receptions for 1,160 yards and 13 touchdowns . . . 247 Sports 4-star TE, 90 grade, #6 TE, #231 overall

Strengths: Good frame to add weight . . . Catches ball with hands away from his body . . . Plays wide receiver in high school, which prepares him to play against more skilled players . . . Willing blocker in open field . . . Runs with good body lean . . . Keeps shoulders square when running after catch

Weaknesses: Lacks in-line blocking experience . . . Not an elite athlete . . . Lacks explosive speed and leaping ability . . . Not particularly elusive . . . Should break more tackles with his size advantage . . . Needs to use hands better to break press coverage

Projection: Tight end.  Weishar is a little bit stiff to split out wide in college, so he likely projects to Michigan's Y-receiver spot rather than U-back.  He would obviously need to add some weight, and he would presumably require some technique work since he doesn't play in a three-point stance.  He doesn't show the athleticism to be a huge matchup problem, but he has the hands and size to be an effective receiver in the middle of the field.  He has the look of a future BCS-quality starter and could even develop into an all-conference player in the right system.

Reminds me of: Tyler Ecker

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wolverine Nation: Kyle Bosch interview

Kaitlynn Carter
Chantel Jennings interviews freshman offensive guard Kyle Bosch.

Rivals 250 for 2013 finalized

Jourdan Lewis (left, pictured with once and future teammate Delano Hill) jumped up to the #131 player in the nation
Rivals released its final top 250 players for the class of 2013.  The top 100 was released yesterday:  Here's what the top 250 looked like on December 4.

Movement for Michigan players:

- Kyle Bosch fell from #99 to #104
- Dymonte Thomas fell from #107 to #109
- Mike McCray fell from #88 to #115
- Jourdan Lewis jumped from #147 to #131
- Chris Fox fell from #123 to #142
- Jake Butt fell from #141 to #144
- Taco Charlton fell from #231 to #237
- Ross Douglas fell from #238 to #241
- Logan Tuley-Tillman fell out of the top 250

Here are the rest of Michigan's offerees

104. Kyle Bosch - OG - Illinois (Michigan)
106. Dorian O'Daniel - LB - Maryland (Clemson)
107. Elijah Daniel - DE - Indiana (Mississippi)
109. Dymonte Thomas - S - Ohio (Michigan)
110. E.J. Levenberry - LB - Virginia (Florida State)
112. Larenz Bryant - LB - North Carolina (South Carolina)
115. Mike McCray II - LB - Ohio (Michigan)
124. Isaac Rochell - DE - Georgia (Notre Dame)
127. Jake Raulerson - DE - Texas (Texas)
131. Jourdan Lewis - CB - Michigan (Michigan)
133. Cole Luke - CB - Arizona (Notre Dame)
139. Kameron Miles - S - Texas (Texas A&M)
142. Chris Fox - OT - Colorado (Michigan)
143. Maurice Smith - CB - Texas (Alabama)
144. Jake Butt - TE - Ohio (Michigan)
146. Michael Hill - DT - South Carolina (Ohio State)
147. Jake Oliver - WR - Texas (Texas)
149. Jon Reshke - LB - Michigan (Michigan State)
161. Joe Mathis - DE - California (Washington)
162. Hunter Bivin - OT - Kentucky (Notre Dame)
165. David Dawson - OG - Michigan (Michigan)
174. Darren Carrington - WR - California (Oregon)
175. Billy Price - DT - Ohio (Ohio State)
179. Tim Harris - CB - Virginia (Virginia)
181. Na'Ty Rodgers - OT - Maryland (South Carolina)
183. Jordan Cunningham - WR - Florida
186. Devon Allen - WR - Arizona
200. Kevin Olsen - QB - New Jersey (Miami)
202. Nadir Barnwell - ATH - New Jersey (Rutgers)
204. Jayme Thompson - S - Ohio (Ohio State)
209. Ishmael Wilson - OG - Texas (Texas A&M)
210. Sebastian Larue - WR - California
212. Ebenezer Ogundeko - DE - New York (Clemson)
213. Cameron Hunt - OG - California (Cal)
221. Jason Hatcher - DE - Kentucky (USC)
226. Chase Abbington - ATH - Missouri (Missouri)
237. Taco Charlton - DE - Ohio (Michigan)
239. Darius Latham - DT - Indiana (Wisconsin)
241. Ross Douglas - CB - Ohio (Michigan)
245. Darrell Daniels - WR - California (Washington)
249. Eldridge Massington - WR - Texas (UCLA)

J.T. Floyd, #8

J.T. Floyd
Floyd attended Greenville (SC) J.L. Mann.  Throughout his career, he made 139 tackles and 13 interceptions, along with 127 catches for 2,208 yards and 16 interceptions.  He committed to Rich Rodriguez on January 31, 2008, over offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.  He was a Rivals 3-star athlete and a Scout 3-star/#75 safety.

Floyd redshirted as a freshman in 2008.  As a redshirt freshman in 2009, he started two games and made 17 tackles and 1 pass breakup.  In part because of attrition at the cornerback position, Floyd started nine games in 2010, making 66 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 4 pass breakups; he broke his ankle in practice prior to the Illinois game and missed the final four games of the year.  As a redshirt junior in 2011, he returned from injury to start twelve games at boundary corner, making 48 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 8 passes defensed.  As a senior in 2012, he started the twelve regular season games and tallied 48 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 5 pass breakups; he was suspended for the Outback Bowl against South Carolina.

179 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions returned for 59 yards, 2 forced fumbles, and 18 passes defensed

All-Big Ten Honorable Mention (2011, 2012)

It's no secret that I was never a fan of Floyd's abilities, and that started at the time he was recruited.  His lack of speed and change-of-direction ability always made me think he would be best suited for free safety, but there was never really an opportunity to bench Floyd.  Unfortunately, due to attrition and poor recruiting, he was always the best option to start.  Unlike when I was calling for Vincent Smith to give up carries to Michael Shaw, Michael Cox, and Fitzgerald Toussaint, the guys behind Floyd were tiny, inexperienced, and/or just not very good.  Floyd turned into a three-year starter at the position and got a couple of all-conference honorable mentions out of the deal, which was perhaps the best we could hope for from a guy with his limited physical capabilities.

. . . getting suspended for the Outback Bowl.  I find it inexcusable that he was silly enough to get suspended (allegedly for smoking marijuana) for his final college game, and it very well might have been the key reason that Michigan lost a close game to South Carolina.

Floyd was already a borderline NFL prospect, likely to get a shot as an undrafted free agent simply because he started three years at a school like Michigan.  His on-field production and testing numbers likely won't garner much attention, but he could latch on as a practice squad player.  The suspension thing can't help, but that type of thing isn't a death sentence for an NFL career.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wolverine Nation: Taco Charlton interview

Jade Ashley Kelsall
Chantel Jennings interviews freshman defensive end Taco Charlton.

Rivals 100 for 2013 finalized

Baltimore (MD) Gilman defensive tackle Henry Poggi is Michigan's highest ranked commit, according to Rivals
Rivals finalized its rankings of the top 100 players for the class of 2013. Here's what it looked like in December.

Movement for Michigan commits:

- Shane Morris fell from #27 to #81 and lost his fifth star
- Henry Poggi fell from #68 to #70
- Patrick Kugler fell from #79 to #82
- Mike McCray II and Kyle Bosch fell out of the top 100

Here are the rest of Michigan's offerees:

2. Vernon Hargreaves III - CB - Florida (Florida)
3. Jaylon Smith - LB - Indiana (Notre Dame)
5. Laquon Treadwell - WR - Illinois (Ole Miss)
8. Derrick Green - RB - Virginia
9. Kendall Fuller - CB - Maryland (Clemson)
11. Jonathan Allen - DE - Virginia (Alabama)
12. Su'a Cravens - S - California (USC)
14. Laremy Tunsil - OT - Florida
21. Eddie Vanderdoes - DT - California
22. Leon McQuay III - S - Florida (USC)
25. Montravius Adams - DT - Georgia
27. Ty Isaac - RB - Illinois (USC)
28. Alex Anzalone - LB - Pennsylvania (Florida)

34. Chris Hawkins - CB - California (USC)
37. Marquez North - WR - North Carolina
39. Cameron Burrows - CB - Ohio (Ohio State)
44. Tray Matthews - S - Georgia (Georgia)
46. Robert Foster - WR - Pennsylvania (Alabama)
47. Joey Bosa - DE - Florida (Ohio State)
48. Keith Ford - RB - Texas (Oklahoma)
49. Al-Quadin Muhammad - DE - New Jersey (Miami)
50. Ethan Pocic - OT - Illinois (LSU)
56. Priest Willis - S - Arizona
58. Brendan Mahon - OG - New Jersey (Penn State)
59. Wyatt Teller - DE - Virginia (Virginia Tech)
60. Steve Elmer - OT - Michigan (Notre Dame)
62. Justin Davis - RB - California (USC)
63. Alvin Bailey - WR - Florida (Florida)
70. Henry Poggi - DT - Maryland (Michigan)
74. John Montelus - OG - Massachusetts (Notre Dame)
76. James Quick - WR - Kentucky (Louisville)
78. Adam Breneman - TE - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
81. Shane Morris - QB - Michigan (Michigan)
82. Patrick Kugler - OG - Pennsylvania (Michigan)

85. Demore'a Stringfellow - WR - California (Washington)
88. Yannick Ngakoue - LB - Washington, D.C.
89. Eli Apple - CB - New Jersey (Ohio State)
90. Evan Lisle - OT - Ohio (Ohio State)
96. Justin Manning - DT - Texas (Texas A&M)
97. Peter Kalambayi - LB - North Carolina (Stanford)
98. Antwuan Davis - CB - Texas (Texas)

Recruiting Update: January 21, 2013

Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius linebacker Kyle Berger
Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison cornerback Reon Dawson committed to Michigan.

Cordova (TN) St. Benedict running back Jordan Wilkins decommitted from Auburn. He is now considering Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt.  While Michigan was on his list early in the process, he has expressed reservations about playing in the cold.

Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius linebacker Kyle Berger was offered by Michigan. Berger is a 6'3", 205 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and West Virginia, among others; Ohio State appears to be his current leader.  He current plays outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, and he looks like a SAM linebacker.  As a junior in 2012, he had 44 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. St. Ignatius is the alma mater of Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan.

Chatham (IL) Glenwood tight end Daniel Helm was offered by Michigan.  He's a 6'5", 220-pounder whose only other offer comes from Illinois.  As a junior in 2012, he had 44 catches for 821 yards and 17 touchdowns.  Based on his film, I'm surprised he doesn't have more offers.  I doubt John Beilein is interested in getting him on the basketball team, though.

Peoria (IL) Peoria defensive tackle Josh Augusta committed to Missouri.  It's unclear whether Augusta ever held an actual offer from the Wolverines, but one site (Rivals) listed him, so I include him.  He's the cross-town rival of Michigan offensive tackle commit Logan Tuley-Tillman, but it looks like their personal rivalry will end now that Augusta is SEC-bound.

Philadelphia (PA) West Catholic offensive tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith committed to Pitt.  The 6'7", 300-pounder is considered to be quite a project, but his size and athleticism make him a nice developmental prospect for the Panthers.

Crete (IL) Crete-Monee wide receiver LaQuon Treadwell committed to Ole Miss.  At one time Michigan was his leader, but he kept holding off on committing.  Anytime a player has a stated leader but won't commit for a long time, that's a bit of a red flag.  Treadwell joins former class of 2012 teammate Anthony Standifer, a cornerback who was committed to Michigan at one time; Standifer redshirted this season.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Grantland: This Jadeveon Clowney Stuff Seems Pretty Legit

Helen Owen
Here's a Jadeveon Clowney feature, just in case you haven't seen enough of this guy in recent weeks.

B-Ball Highlights: Michigan 83, Minnesota 75

Brandin Hawthorne, #7

The 2011 game against Notre Dame was probably Hawthorne's best career performance
Hawthorne was a 3-star to both major sites, and was similarly rated by both Rivals and Scout - the #35 and #33 outside linebacker, respectively.  He committed to Rich Rodriguez on August 29, 2008.  Hawthorne attended Pahokee (FL) Pahokee, a teammate of fellow future Wolverines Vincent Smith and Richard Ash.  He made 200 tackles, 76 tackles for loss, 42 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, and 5 fumble recoveries throughout his high school career.

Hawthorne enrolled early in January 2009 and proceeded to burn his redshirt for four games of special teams action, during which he accrued no statistics.  Hawthorne was a third string outside linebacker during his sophomore season in 2010, when he made 1 tackle against Bowling Green.  During his junior season in 2011, Hawthorne worked his way up the depth chart; there was a pretty good three-way battle between Hawthorne, senior Brandon Herron (who got hurt immediately), and freshman Desmond Morgan (who eventually won the job).  Hawthorne still managed to start five games before getting benched, making 43 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 interception throughout the year.  He had a pretty poor effort against Michigan State, though, which seemed to be the final nail in the coffin.  Despite a strong spring game effort in 2012, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison openly criticized his physicality; he was mostly limited to special teams as a senior and got himself buried on the bench at inside linebacker, playing just one game on defense.  His final campaign consisted of of just 19 tackles and concluded with a suspension for his final college game, the Outback Bowl against South Carolina.

63 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception


. . . making a "highlight reel" one-handed interception in the 2012 spring game.  It flashed his athletic potential while hinting at what could have been.

I wasn't very high on Hawthorne when he was coming out of high school, and he was one of those guys whose homeland - he's from Florida! - seemed to define his recruitment more than his football prowess.  Sure, he made lots of tackles in high school, but he didn't explode off the screen in those highlights.  Furthermore, Rodriguez recruited him as a "box safety" for the 3-3-5 when he seemed too slow to play safety and too small to play linebacker.  He eventually grew to 220 lbs., which is small-ish for a linebacker.  Ian Gold was about that size, but he was a better athlete; Larry Foote was about that size, but he was more physical.  But Hawthorne flashed the potential to at least be a situational player, because he was quick enough to get around the occasional offensive lineman or speed to his pass drops.  Ultimately, he just wasn't consistent enough, and the final straw for me was when he had a chance to wrap up Michigan State's Keshawn Martin in the 2011 loss, and he just gave Martin a halfhearted shove, which allowed a touchdown. Players might loaf once in a while, but on a goal line play where he could save a touchdown?  There's no excuse for that.  Still, Hawthorne had the right set of skills to be an effective special teamer, and he was that . . . until the Outback Bowl suspension.  I can only wonder how the outcome may have been different if it was Hawthorne trying to tackle Ace Sanders on that 63-yard punt return touchdown, instead of freshman fullback Sione Houma.  It seems to have been a career of missed opportunities for Hawthorne.

Hawthorne's failure to nail down a starting job, his off-the-field issues, his lack of size, and his so-so athletic skills indicate that he will not make it in the NFL.  I would be slightly surprised if he even signed somewhere as an undrafted free agent, but stranger things have probably happened.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Grantland: The Latest Brand of Crimson Tide Dominance

Nikola Weiterova
It was fun to watch Alabama eviscerate Notre Dame on national television, but I sure hope Alabama starts their inevitable downslide sometime soon.

2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Michigan offensive lineman Elliott Mealer will play in tonight's NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 9:00 p.m. EST this evening.  There are several notable players for Michigan fans:

Will Compton - LB - Nebraska
Dayne Crist - QB - Kansas/Notre Dame*
Pete Massaro - DE - Penn State
Sam McGuffie - WR - Rice/Michigan*
Elliott Mealer - OT - Michigan*
Marsalis Teague - CB - Tennessee*
Vaughn Telemaque - S - Miami*
Michael Zordich - FB - Penn State*

Benjamin Cotton - TE - Nebraska
Marcus Cromartie - CB - Wisconsin
Byron Jerideau - DT - South Carolina
Orhian Johnson - S - Ohio State
Sean Stanley - LB - Penn State

*Recruited by Michigan

2013 Raycom College Football All-Star Classic

Roy Roundtree will be playing in the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic
The first annual (does that make any sense?) Raycom College Football All-Star Classic will take place this afternoon, and several players will be participating who might be of interest to Michigan fans, including wide receiver Roy Roundtree.

Jaron Brown - WR - Clemson*
Mike Golic, Jr. - OL - Notre Dame
Omar Hunter - DT - Florida*
Alex Means - LB - Air Force
Russell Shepard - WR - LSU*
Kenny Tate - LB - Maryland*
Robby Toma - WR - Notre Dame
Shaq Wilson - LB - South Carolina

Greg Castillo - S - Iowa
Quinton Dial - DT - Alabama
Justin Green - CB - Illinois
Kelly Johnson - TE - Alabama
Robert Marve - QB - Purdue
JaMarkus McFarland - DT - Oklahoma*
Roy Roundtree - WR - Michigan*
Jeremy Shelley - K - Alabama
Damion Square - DE - Alabama
Carson Tinker - LS - Alabama
Matt Tobin - OG - Iowa
James Vandenberg - QB - Iowa

*Recruited by Michigan

2013 East-West Shrine Game

William Campbell (third from left) will participate in the East-West Shrine Game.  Teric Jones (#14) and Boubacar
Cissoko (#33) have both left the program, but Thomas Gordon (#15) now starts at safety.
The 2013 East-West Shrine Game will be on the NFL Network this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.  Some players of interest for Michigan fans, including defensive tackle William Campbell:

Gerald Hodges - LB - Penn State
T.J. Johnson - C - South Carolina
Brandon McGee - CB - Miami*
Chris Pantale - TE - Boston College*
Branden Smith - CB - Georgia*
Nick Speller - OG - UMass
Matt Stankiewitch - C - Penn State
Devin Taylor - DE - South Carolina

Josh Boyd - DT - Mississippi State*
William Campbell - DT - Michigan*
Alex Carder - QB - Western Michigan
Keenan Davis - WR - Iowa
James Ferentz - C - Iowa
Terry Hawthorne - CB - Illinois
DeVonte Holloman - LB - South Carolina*
Micah Hyde - CB - Iowa
Zeke Motta - LB - Notre Dame
Dann O'Neill - OT - Western Michigan/Michigan*
Nathan Williams - LB - Ohio State

*Recruited by Michigan

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grantland: One-trick pony

Dannie Riel
This isn't quite as timely as it could have been, since the Broncos lost to the Ravens last Saturday, but Chris Brown details one of Peyton Manning's favorite passing plays.

Attractive Michigan Girls of the Week

If you have any other pictures of girls wearing Michigan gear, drop me an e-mail.  Go Blue!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Deadspin, MGoBlog: Manti Te'o hilarity

Is this Manti Te'o's girlfriend?
Here's the awesome Deadspin article that reveals that Manti Te'o's girlfriend was totally non-existent and, on the bright side, not dead at all.

Or is this Manti Te'o's girlfriend?
And here's MGoBlog's entertaining response to the news about Te'o.

As a man who isn't a total idiot, I don't believe there is any possible way that Te'o wasn't involved with the hoax.  Maybe he was originally duped, but he would have found out that his "dying girlfriend" was just a Hawaiian dude with a strange hobby.

Detroit News Blue Chip list for 2013

Shane Morris is the top player in Michigan, according to the Detroit News
The Detroit News released its "blue chip" list for 2013, and unsurprisingly, there's a handful of future Wolverines on the list.  A quick rundown:

1. Shane Morris - QB - Warren (MI) De La Salle: Committed to Michigan.
2. David Dawson - OG - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Committed to Michigan.
3. Steve Elmer - OT - Midland (MI) Midland: Committed to Notre Dame.
4. Jourdan Lewis - CB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Committed to Michigan.
5. Jon Reschke - LB - Birmingham (MI) Brother Rice: Committed to Michigan State.
6. Wyatt Shallman - RB - Novi (MI) Catholic Central: Committed to Michigan.
7. Cameron Dillard - OG - Plymouth (MI) Canton: Committed to Florida.
8. Gerald Holmes - RB - Flint (MI) Carman-Ainsworth: Committed to Michigan State.
9. Delano Hill - CB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Committed to Michigan.
10. Khalid Hill - TE - Detroit (MI) East English Village: Committed to Michigan.
11. Da'Mario Jones - WR - Westland (MI) John Glenn: Committed to Michigan
12. Dennis Finley - OT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Committed to Michigan State.
13. Csont'e York - WR - Harper Woods (MI) Chandler Park: Committed to Michigan.
14. Kenton Gibbs - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Uncommitted.
15. Luke Maclean - LB - Grand Blanc (MI) Grand Blanc: Committed to Pitt.

So Michigan has 8 of the top 15 players in the state for the class of 2013, in addition to 8 of the 15 from last year.

2013 Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game

Former Michigan receiver Darryl Stonum played sparingly for Baylor this season
(image via CBS Sports)
The third annual Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game took place last Friday, and there were a handful of players participating who might be of interest to Michigan fans.  The West squad won by a score of 40-7.

Dayne Crist - QB - Kansas/Notre Dame*
Darryl Stonum - WR - Baylor/Michigan*
Troy Stoudermire - S/KR - Minnesota

Larry Black - DT - Indiana**
Mike Farrell - OT - Penn State
Chris McDonald - OG - Michigan State
JaMarkus McFarland - DT - Oklahoma*
Mitchell White - CB - Michigan State

*Recruited by Michigan
**Brother of Michigan defensive tackle Jibreel Black

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Tom Brady

Brady wearing an Ohio State jersey after losing a bet on The Game to teammate Mike Vrabel
A Michigan Man now holds the NFL record for most playoff wins by a starting quarterback.  The 41-28 Brady-led victory over the Texans on Sunday earns him a 17th playoff victory and a #1 spot in the record books directly above Joe Montana.  Brady's three touchdown, 344-yard performance also elevates him to third place for most touchdowns thrown in the playoffs and extends his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 48.  Only Drew Brees has more (54).  Brady's work is not yet finished this year, of course, as he and the Patriots are scheduled to take on the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game this weekend.

Honorable Mention:
  • Zoltan Mesko booted two 60-plus yard punts.
  • Jonathan Goodwin helped pave the way for 323 rushing yards and a 49er win, and in his second year in the league, Coach Jim Harbaugh leads his team to the Conference Championship Game.
  • Charles Woodson and Alan Branch end their seasons as the Packers and Seahawks lose in the Divisional Round. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ESPN: Five teams on the rise for 2013

Catalina White
Phil Steel is a special contributor to ESPN for this piece, where he writes that Michigan - along with four other teams - should improve next season.

School in the News: Oregon

Oregon head coach Chip Kelly will now be coaching another mostly green team with wings on its helmets, the Philadelphia Eagles.  Chances are slim that Michigan might benefit from this turn of events, but it's worth taking a look anyway.

2013 Oregon commit with Michigan offer: WR Darren Carrington
Current roster players recruited by Michigan: DE Arik Armstead, TE Evan Baylis, TE Pharaoh Brown, OT Jake Fisher, DT Ricky Heimuli, CB Dior Mathis, QB Jake Rodrigues, WR Dwayne Stanford, OT Andre Yruretagoyena

Oregon is expected to promote offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to head coach, so the program won't change much, and I wouldn't expect mass defections.

247 Sports: Top 247 finalized

David Dawson made a large jump in the new 247 rankings
247 Sports released its final top 247 prospects on Tuesday.  Here's what it looked like back in November 2011 when it was originally released.  The following shows the movement for Michigan recruits since October:

- David Dawson jumped from #109 to #65
- Dymonte Thomas dropped from #67 to #80
- Shane Morris dropped from #19 to #81
- Patrick Kugler jumped from #157 to #97
- Henry Poggi dropped from #118 to #120
- Logan Tuley-Tillman dropped from #107 to #129
- Chris Fox dropped from #114 to #137
- Maurice Hurst, Jr. jumps from off the list to #190
- Mike McCray dropped from #181 to #194
- Ben Gedeon dropped from #179 to #199
- DeVeon Smith remained at #218

Here are Michigan's offerees:

3. Laremy Tunsil - OT - Florida
4. Vernon Hargreaves III - CB - Florida (Florida)
5. Jaylon Smith - LB - Indiana (Notre Dame)
6. Eddie Vanderdoes - DT - California
10. Montravius Adams - DT - Georgia
11. Jonathan Allen - DE - Virginia (Alabama)
16. Su'a Cravens - S - California (USC)
18. Robert Foster - WR - Pennsylvania (Alabama)
27. Elijah Daniel - DE - Indiana
28. Laquon Treadwell - WR - Illinois
31. Kendall Fuller - CB - Maryland (Virginia Tech)
32. Alex Anzalone - LB - Pennsylvania (Florida)
33. Keith Ford - RB - Texas (Oklahoma)
42. Leon McQuay III - S - Florida (USC)
43. Hunter Bivin - OT - Kentucky (Notre Dame)
45. Eli Apple - CB - New Jersey (Ohio State)
47. Priest Willis - CB - Arizona
48. Adam Breneman - TE - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
50. Larenz Bryant - LB - North Carolina (South Carolina)
53. Joey Bosa - DE - Florida (Ohio State)
58. Alquadin Muhammad - DE - New Jersey (Miami)
60. Cameron Burrows - CB - Ohio (Ohio State)
65. David Dawson - OG - Michigan (Michigan)
72. Ethan Pocic - OT - Illinois (LSU)
74. Chris Hawkins - CB - California (USC)
77. Cole Luke - CB - Arizona (Notre Dame)
80. Dymonte Thomas - S - Ohio (Michigan)
81. Shane Morris - QB - Michigan (Michigan)

84. Derrick Green - RB - Virginia
85. Ty Isaac - RB - Illinois (USC)
89. Evan Lisle - OT - Ohio (Ohio State)
94. Kevin Olsen - QB - New Jersey (Miami)
96. Elijah Qualls - DT - California (USC)
97. Patrick Kugler - OG - Pennsylvania (Michigan)
99. Tray Matthews - S - Georgia (Georgia)
103. Kyle Bosch - OG - Illinois (Michigan)
105. Justin Manning - DT - Texas (Texas A&M)
108. Taco Charlton - DE - Ohio (Michigan)
109. James Quick - WR - Kentucky (Louisville)
110. Wyatt Teller - DE - Virginia (Virginia Tech)
116. Demorea Stringfellow - WR - California (Washington)
119. Dajaun Drennon - DE - New Jersey (North Carolina)
120. Henry Poggi - DT - Maryland (Michigan)
121. Maurice Smith - CB - Texas (Alabama)
123. Darrel Daniels - WR - California (Washington)
125. Dorian O'Daniel - LB - Maryland (Clemson)
126. Sebastian Larue - WR - California
127. Isaac Rochell - DE - Georgia (Notre Dame)
129. Logan Tuley-Tillman - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
130. Darren Carrington - WR - California (Oregon)
131. Mike McGlinchey - OT - Pennsylvania (Notre Dame)
136. Steve Elmer - OT - Michigan (Notre Dame)
137. Chris Fox - OT - Colorado (Michigan)
141. Tim Harris - CB - Virginia (Virginia)
148. Gareon Conley - CB - Ohio (Ohio State)
152. Jake Oliver - WR - Texas (Texas)
155. Marquez North - WR - North Carolina
160. Darius Latham - OT - Indiana (Indiana)
162. Matt Rolin - LB - Virginia (Florida)
167. Jordan Wilkins - RB - Tennessee (Auburn)
172. Jake Raulerson - OC - Texas (Texas)
175. Greg Webb - DT - New Jersey (North Carolina)
180. Eldridge Massington - WR - Texas (UCLA)
183. Kameron Miles - S - Texas (Texas A&M)
186. Shaq Wiggins - CB - Georgia (Georgia)
188. Durham Smythe - TE - Texas
189. Devin Butler - CB - Washington, DC (Notre Dame)
190. Maurice Hurst, Jr. - DT - Massachusetts (Michigan)
194. Mike McCray II - LB - Ohio (Michigan)
199. Ben Gedeon - LB - Ohio (Michigan)

202. Justin Davis - RB - California (USC)
206. Josh Augusta - DT - Illinois
208. Nadir Barnwell - ATH - New Jersey (Rutgers)
209. Peter Kalambayi - LB - North Carolina (Stanford)
211. Jayme Thompson - S - Ohio (Ohio State)
216. Billy Price - DT - Ohio (Ohio State)
218. DeVeon Smith - RB - Ohio (Michigan)
221. Alvin Bailey - WR - Florida (Florida)
226. Kyle Hicks - RB - Texas (TCU)
233. Michael Hutchings - LB - California (USC)

Scouting Report: Corey Holmes

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Corey Holmes (image via 247 Sports)
Name: Corey Holmes
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 166 lbs.
High school: Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas
Position: Wide receiver
Class: 2014

Notes: Holds offers from Florida, Florida State, Houston, Michigan, Notre Dame, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, UCF, and Wisconsin . . . Scout 3-star WR, #48 WR . . . 247 Sports 4-star WR, 90 grade, #36 WR . . . Claims a 4.48 forty yard dash . . . Claims 35.5" vertical . . . Teammate of 2013 DE target Joey Bosa (Ohio State)

Strengths: Already operates like college receiver . . . Slippery route runner . . . Sets up routes well . . . Shows good timing getting in and out of breaks . . . Uses hands well to catch ball away from body . . . Good but not great speed . . . Shows good field awareness to find open spots in zones and avoid big hits . . . Willing and able to go over the middle and catch balls above his head

Weaknesses: Willing blocker but needs to add strength . . . Generally needs to add some size to increase durability and help him run through tackles . . . Gets brought down a little too easily upon contact

Projection: Wide receiver.  It's tough to find weaknesses in Holmes's game.  He's not the biggest, fastest, or most explosive receiver, but he's very polished and looks like he's already prepared for college.  He'll need to add some size to deal with the pounding that comes with playing major college football, but Holmes should be able to contribute early wherever he plays.

Reminds me of: Roy Roundtree