Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Mike Hart, Wolverine

 

Mike Hart (image via Hoosier Sports Report)

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I would say "again," but I wasn't blogging about recruiting back in 2004 when Mike Hart committed to Michigan as a player.

Hart is joining Michigan's coaching staff as running backs coach after spending the past several years coaching at Eastern Michigan (2011-2013), Western Michigan (2014-2015), Syracuse (2016), and Indiana (2017-2020). That followed a college career with the Wolverines, when he finished as Michigan's leading career rusher, and a short career with the Indianapolis Colts. Hart happens to be the last Michigan running back to get drafted, an agonizingly long gap since 2008.

Hit the jump for more.

Highlights: Stars of the National Championship Game

 

DeVonta Smith (image via Maxpreps)

Michigan and Alabama don't always cross paths in recruiting, so I wanted to go back and watch highlights of some of the stars of Monday's national championship game. So here are a few of the guys who really stood out for Alabama and Ohio State.

Devonta Smith - WR - Amite (LA) Amite: Smith was a 4-star, the #9 wide receiver, and #62 overall in the 2017 class.

Hit the jump for a few more highlight reels.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Goodbye, Nick Eubanks

 

Nick Eubanks (image via Michigan Daily)

HIGH SCHOOL
Eubanks attended Fort Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage, a program pretty well known for producing college prospect. He was a 3-star, the #15 tight end, and #344 overall in the class of 2016. Michigan secured his commitment late in the process, and he was one of three tight ends in that class, joining Sean McKeon and Devin Asiasi. I gave Eubanks a TTB Rating of 44 (LINK), largely because I thought Asiasi (a 92 rating) and McKeon (77) would push him out.

Hit the jump for more.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Coaching Situation Update: January 3, 2021

 

Joe Moorhead (image via The Register-Guard)

I'm not big into trying to pretend to be a reporter, but like all fans, I'm curious about Michigan's coaching situation. Here's what I've gathered from various resources on each of the coaching jobs:

1. HEAD COACH: Jim Harbaugh
Harbaugh is rumored to be holding a staff meeting early this coming week to discuss an extension, as well as some staff additions. The rumor is that he will be extended through 2026.
Other options: Matt Campbell, Luke Fickell

2. OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR/WIDE RECEIVERS COACH: Josh Gattis?
I think Gattis is on thin ice due to the lack of development, questionable play calling, and general ineptitude. There are rumors floating about that Joe Moorhead (current OC at Oregon, former OC at Penn State, and former HC at Mississippi State) may sign on to coordinate Michigan's offense. Gattis may be demoted to wide receivers coach or go somewhere else entirely.
Other options: ???

Hit the jump for more.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye, Cam McGrone

 

Cam McGrone (#44, image via 247 Sports)

HIGH SCHOOL
McGrone attended Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central, where he was a 4-star, the #7 outside linebacker, and #118 overall. He was chosen for the Army All-American Bowl that year in 2018, despite having torn his ACL as a junior. I gave him a TTB Rating of 80, and here are a couple paragraphs from my writeup on him (LINK):

McGrone’s blitzing is perhaps the best phase of his game, but it’s the way that he plays the ball carrier in the backfield that is most impressive. Some guys are mauling blitzers who just eat up everything coming their way, but McGrone plays with a low center of gravity that allows him to redirect and make plays all over in the backfield. Lawrence Central brings him from various angles, and he plays fast and reckless. He uses his hands well to shed blockers, and even when he gets caught up in the trash, he fights non-stop to shed. When he arrives at the ball carrier, he’s a violent hitter who runs through people. Unless he has hit a growth spurt, he has a solid frame but probably shouldn’t get too much larger than 235 lbs. or so in college, which is still a decent size.

On the negative side, McGrone has that injury history that can sometimes come back to repeat itself. It’s always concerning to have a guy who already tore an ACL. His play recognition skills need to improve, since he occasionally finds himself a half-step out of position on basic run reads. That may be partially the reason why his coaches choose to blitz him so often, to negate some read-and-react deficiencies.

Hit the jump for more.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Anatomy of a Running Back Substitution, Part 3

 

Missouri football coaches meeting (image via Twitter)

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For previous posts in this series, click here (part 1) or here (part 2).

Having addressed the similarities between Tyrone Wheatley and Jay Harbaugh on distributing carries and then the reasons for rotating running backs, here's the final piece on how a coaching staff might handle the weekly rotation.

Hit the jump for more.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Anatomy of a Running Back Substitution, Part 2

 

Zach Charbonnet (image via Freep)

The other day I posted about Michigan's running back rotations (LINK). Today I will be addressing why running backs might get rotated.

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There are a lot of reasons to rotate running backs from play to play. Ideally, you have a perfect, three-down running back who never gets hurt or makes mental mistakes . . . but those are rare.

Hit the jump for a discussion of eight reasons to sub in new running backs.