Monday, July 6, 2015

2015 Season Countdown: #55 Sione Houma

Sione Houma and Desmond Morgan (image via Michigan Daily)
Name: Sione Houma
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 243 lbs.
High school: Salt Lake City (UT) Highland
Position: Fullback
Class: Senior
Jersey number: #39
Last year: I ranked Houma #32 and said he would be the starting fullback. He was a backup fullback and made 4 tackles on special teams.

Last year was a swing and a miss on Houma, who I think is a better athlete than Joe Kerridge. Houma has been playing special teams since his true freshman year, and that's where he made the majority of his impact in 2014. So far in his career, he has just 2 catches for 14 yards and has made 14 tackles on special teams.

I'm not going to take the same wild swing this year. Houma missed the spring with an injury, and while he is supposed to return by the time the season starts, he has now been Kerridge's backup for three consecutive seasons. If Houma wins the job, I think it will be a surprise to almost everyone. Michigan also has other options at fullback, like 276 lb. Brady Pallante and redshirt sophomore Wyatt Shallman, who has also played some tailback and H-back. Houma can still play special teams, and I think he can do some good things if given the chance on offense, but he's not a significantly important cog.

Prediction: Backup fullback

Sunday, July 5, 2015

2015 Season Countdown: #56 David Dawson

David Dawson (image via Scout)
Name: David Dawson
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 309 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #55
Last year: I ranked Dawson #53 and said he would be a backup offensive guard. He played in five games.

Dawson redshirted in 2013 when he was 280 lbs., but he bulked up to 295 last season and became a backup. He made his debut in the Appalachian State blowout, and played in four more games afterward. The Wolverines stayed relatively healthy last season, so he was not needed often.

This year not much changes ahead of him, so he probably won't be called upon unless bad things happen to the knees and ankles of the starters or a couple key backups. Dawson has practiced at various times at both guard and both tackle spots. At a good size of 309 lbs., he seems like the first guard likely to draw into the lineup, but redshirt junior Blake Bars is an option, as is redshirt sophomore center/guard Patrick Kugler. Dawson did not fare particularly well in the spring game and was abused a few times by defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Jr., so I don't think Dawson is quite ready for prime time yet. The way things look right now, he may have to wait for redshirt juniors Kyle Kalis, Ben Braden, and Erik Magnuson to graduate before he gets a shot to start.

Prediction: Backup offensive guard

Saturday, July 4, 2015

MLive: U-M athletes return wallaby to breeder after PETA investigation

Rich Rodriguez had Stretchgate. Brady Hoke had Concussiongate. Now Jim Harbaugh has Wallabygate (LINK). Every coach needs a controversy, I guess.

Hit the jump for various women dressed up for Independence Day, including Candice Swanepoel and Emma Glover.

The Opening 2015 participants

Avon (IN) Avon quarterback Brandon Peters will compete in the Elite 11 finals
The Opening is taking place starting on Monday, July 6. Various Michigan commits and offerees are participating. Below are the guys Michigan has offered, along with a couple tidbits.

TEAM ALPHA PRO
Brandon Peters - QB - IN (Michigan)*
Najee Harris - RB - CA (Alabama)#
Vavae Malepeai - RB - HI (Oregon)
Nate Craig-Myers - WR - FL
Theo Howard - WR - CA (Oregon)
Trevon Sidney - WR - CA
Miller Forristall - TE - GA (Alabama)
Terrance Davis - OL - MD
Michael Onwenu - OL - MI (Michigan)
Johncarlo Valentin - OL - PA
Rashan Gary - DL - NJ
Kendell Jones - DL - TX (Alabama)
Camilo Eifler - LB - CA
Lyndell Wilson - LB - AL
Jaquan Yulee - LB - VA (Alabama)
Jack Jones - CB - CA
Nigel Knott - CB - MS
Jared Mayden - CB - TX
Lamar Jackson - S - CA
C.J. Pollard - S - CA

TEAM FLY RUSH
Messiah DeWeaver - QB - OH (Michigan State)*
Jacob Eason - QB - WA (Georgia)*
Donnie Corley - WR - MI
Dylan Crawford - WR - CA
Demetris Robertson - WR - GA
Devin Asiasi - TE - CA
E.J. Price - OL - GA
Rahshaun Smith - DL - GA (Clemson)
Boss Tagaloa - DL - CA
Devin Bush, Jr. - LB - FL
Ben Davis - LB - AL
Damar Hamlin - CB - PA
Byron Murphy - CB - AZ
Jamyest Williams - CB - GA#

TEAM HYPERCOOL
K.J. Costello - QB - CA (Stanford)*
Elijah Holyfield - RB - GA
Elijah Stove - WR - FL (Auburn)
Tyler Vaughns - WR - CA
Chase Claypool - TE - Can.
Kaden Smith - TE - TX (Stanford)
Calvin Ashley - OL - FL (Auburn)#
Michael Eletise - OL - HI
Greg Little - OL - TX (Texas A&M)
Dexter Lawrence - DL - NC
Jonathan Jones - LB - FL
Caleb Kelly - LB - CA
Jeffrey McCulloch - LB - TX
Curtis Robinson - LB - CA (Stanford)
Jaylon Jones - CB - TX
David Long - CB - CA
Deontay Anderson - S - TX

TEAM LUNARBEAST
Shea Patterson - QB - LA (Ole Miss)*
Kareem Walker - RB - NJ (Ohio State)
Josh Imatorbhebhe - WR - GA (USC)
Austin Mack - WR - IN (Ohio State)
Frank Martin - OL - CA (USC)
Austin Myers - OL - TX (TCU)
Connor Murphy - DL - AZ
Ed Oliver - DL - TX (Houston)
Jake Hausmann - TE - OH (Ohio State)
Daelin Hayes - LB - MI (USC)
Mique Juarez - LB - CA (USC)
Eric Cuffee - CB - TX
Trayvon Mullen - CB - FL
Mecole Hardman - S - GA

TEAM MACH SPEED
Jarrett Guarantano - QB - NJ (Tennessee)*
Malik Henry - QB - FL (Florida State)*
Miles Sanders - RB - PA (Penn State)
Devin Duvernay - WR - TX
Donovan Peoples-Jones - WR - MI#
Freddie Swain - WR - FL
Binjimen Victor - WR - FL
Isaac Nauta - TE - GA (Florida State)
Tommy Kraemer - OL - OH (Notre Dame)
Brian Burns - DL - FL
Janarius Robinson - DL - FL (Florida State)
Devin White - LB - LA
Lamar Winston - LB - OR
Lavert Hill - CB - MI (Penn State)
Marquill Osborne - CB - NC (Tennessee)
Levonta Taylor - CB - VA (Florida State)

TEAM SUPERBAD
Dwayne Haskins, Jr - QB - MD (Maryland)*
Naseir Upshur - TE - PA
Landon Dickerson - OL - NC
Erick Fowler - DL - TX (LSU)
Dontavious Jackson - LB - TX
Jordan Fuller - CB - NJ
Brandon Jones - S - TX

*Elite 11 finalist
#2017 prospect

2015 Season Countdown: #57 Tyrone Wheatley, Jr.

Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. with Tyrone Wheatley (image via Maize and Blue News)
Name: Tyrone Wheatley, Jr.
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 286 lbs.
High school: Manlius (NY) Canisius
Position: Tight end
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #8
Last year: Wheatley was a senior in high school. He caught 11 passes for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns; he also made 68 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 pass breakups, and 2 blocked punts. He was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #12 tight end, and #313 overall.
TTB Rating: 82

Wheatley is obviously a legacy player who chose the Wolverines after a long and difficult recruitment. He was a Michigan lean, and then he wasn't, and then he didn't hear from Michigan's staff for a while, and then it looked like he might sign with UCLA, and then he didn't. His dad spent the past couple seasons coaching for the Buffalo Bills, and competition isn't great in New York. Despite a lot of athletic talent in the state (at least for basketball), it's tough to judge high school football players. Even for an obvious big-time talent like Wheatley, his 182 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns as a senior were far from overwhelming. Personally, I like the way he looks on defense better than on offense.

However, Jim Harbaugh is a tight end guru, and Michigan needs size at the tight end position. Senior A.J. Williams has good size and junior Jake Butt is a good all-around player, but the other guys are H-back types or need some time to add weight. Not so for Wheatley, who checked in recently at 6'7" and 286 lbs. There are even some who think he might grow into an offensive tackle. In the meantime, I think he probably needs to whittle away some weight and play tight end, if only until some of the other guys get onto campus and/or round into playing shape. At the very least, I expect Wheatley to play some this year as a blocking tight end in two- or three-tight end sets. Williams has not been good as a blocker, so Wheatley may be used to challenge or simply to complement him.

Prediction: Backup tight end

Friday, July 3, 2015

Welcome to the Weekend!

It's Friday night, so enjoy some beautiful women to begin the weekend, including a bouncy gif.

MLive: Where are Brady Hoke's staff members now?

Brendan F. Quinn tracks down Brady Hoke and his staff (LINK).

Hit the jump for a well endowed young lady named Emma K.