Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Video: Countdown to Kickoff - Days 4, 6

Here are the Countdown to Kickoff videos from:

Day 6
Day 4

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2014 Season Countdown: #3 Graham Glasgow

Graham Glasgow (image via Michigan Daily)
Name: Graham Glasgow
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 311 lbs.
High school: Aurora (IL) Marmion Academy
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #61
Last year: I ranked Glasgow #45 and said he would be a backup center. He started thirteen games at both guard and center.

Going into the 2013 season, nobody really knew what to expect from Glasgow. He was a highly regarded walk-on - for whatever that's worth - but he really struggled to pull in his early spring game appearances, which caused me to question his ability to play that position for a team that wanted to "power" the ball down the field. He began the year as a left guard, and despite some difficulties, he eventually became a solid player. Along with Taylor Lewan, the left side was the strongest side of the line. When center Jack Miller had problems holding the point of attack, the coaches bumped Glasgow to center, benched Miller, and played musical chairs with the left guard position. The move was frustrating to watch, because Glasgow botched at least one exchange per week for his first four games at center; prior centers Elliott Mealer and Miller had zero memorable exchange issues during 2012 or the first few games of 2013. However, Glasgow ironed out his problems by the last third of the season and turned into a solid player.

Observers and coaches seem to agree that Glasgow is Michigan's best lineman going into 2014. He has experience at center and guard, and he also has the ability to play tackle. When I saw him play in high school, I thought he looked like a natural right tackle. Unfortunately, due to a DUI incident this offseason, he will be watching this Saturday's game against Appalachian State. He does not appear on the depth chart, so it's not clear where the coaches see him fitting once he returns from suspension. The possibilities are numerous with his ability to play several positions, but he will almost certainly be a starter from week two onward. Michigan has a true freshman left tackle, a once-benched redshirt junior center, a questionable trio of guys fighting for right guard, and a first-time starter at right tackle; realistically, any of those players could be sidelined in favor of Glasgow, but my guess is that he will play right guard, at least until Kyle Kalis returns to full strength after having back issues for much of August.

Prediction: Starting right guard but will play multiple positions

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SB Nation: 25 maps that explain college football

These are some interesting maps showing college football fandom, recruiting trends, etc. from around the country (LINK).

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Recruit Tracker: Garrett Taylor

Garrett Taylor
August 26, 2014: Taylor tore his ACL in practice prior to the year, so he will miss the entire 2014 football season.

Ex-Wolverine Update: Another Pre-Season Edition

Demetrius Hart (#1) has moved on from Alabama to Colorado State (image via 247 Sports)
Former DT Richard Ash: I already reported that Ash will be playing for Western Michigan this fall. What I didn't know until recently is that he will wear the #9 as a defensive tackle. You have to love single-digit numbers on defensive linemen, especially tackles.

Former S Josh Furman: Furman is listed as a 6'2", 202 lb. linebacker for Oklahoma State. He's #1 on the depth chart at "Star," and you can see why they wanted him - his backup is a 6'2", 190 lb. freshman, and the other four players on the linebacker two-deep are one junior, two sophomores, and another freshman. They open against Florida State on August 30th.

Former RB commit Demetrius Hart: Hart is a grad transfer from Alabama to Colorado State. He struggled to break through at Alabama and had some off-the-field troubles, but former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is now at CSU. Now Hart is trying to earn the starting gig for the Rams. They open against Colorado on August 29th.

Former LB Kaleb Ringer: Ringer - and his brother - are not listed on Ferris State's football roster this fall.

Former CB commit Anthony Standifer: Standifer was booted from Ole Miss's program after getting into some trouble, and he now appears on the roster of Eastern Illinois (his home state), which plays in the FCS's Ohio Valley Conference.

Former OT commit Denzel Ward: Ward is listed as a 6'8", 353 lb. freshman offensive tackle for Syracuse.

Former DE/DT Ken Wilkins: Wilkins appears on the California University of Pennsylvania football roster as a junior 6'3", 250 lb. defensive lineman. It is a destination for some former big-time football players, including Jeff Knox (a former Pitt player who was booted for attacking a girl who told him she was pregnant) and Desimon Green (a former Texas Tech commit).

2014 Season Countdown: #4 Erik Magnuson

Erik Magnuson
Name: Erik Magnuson
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 294 lbs.
High school: San Diego (CA) La Costa Canyon
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #78
Last year: I ranked Magnuson #76 and said he would be a backup offensive tackle. He started seven games at offensive guard.

I woefully underranked Magnuson last season, and I even got caught up in the whole "Ben Braden started the spring game so the coaches must like him" wave. Alas, Braden played as a backup in just a couple games, and Magnuson eventually earned his way onto the field as one of the five people to start games at left guard. Magnuson was not what I would call "good" but he was solid playing next to Taylor Lewan. (Personally, I was extremely frustrated when Michigan put Magnuson in at left guard for an unbalanced quarterback sneak against UConn, because I would think Lewan should be nearest to the quarterback and plowing forward for yardage. The attempt failed.)

Magnuson returns to his left guard position this fall after missing much of the spring due to shoulder surgery. The depth chart released on Monday says that he will start at left guard while left tackle will be manned by freshman Mason Cole. I am not a fan of starting a freshman on the offensive line, but that's the way it goes with so much uncertainty, a lack of much experience, and some terrible play fresh in everyone's mind. Magnuson's recruiting profile and play last year suggest that he could play left tackle, and he would probably bump out to that spot if anything were to happen to Cole. But in the meantime, this will give the team a solid interior blocker. Nobody on the line will be approaching all-conference status, but I look for him to be Michigan's best or second-best lineman this year, right up there with Graham Glasgow.

Prediction: Starting left guard

Monday, August 25, 2014

CBS Sports: Big Ten preview - Expert predictions

The "experts" at CBS Sports predict awards, breakout performers, etc. for the upcoming season (LINK).

Hit the jump for three women with nice cleavage.