Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2014 ESPN Big Ten All-Freshman Team

The Big Ten Blog put out an all-freshman team (LINK). The team includes Michigan left tackle Mason Cole. There are several players that Michigan pursued coming out of high school, plus a couple that I wanted Michigan to recruit.

Player that held Michigan offers:

Mason Cole - OT - Michigan
Billy Price - OG - Ohio State
Malik McDowell - DE - Michigan State
Eli Apple - CB - Ohio State
Montae Nicholson - S - Michigan State
Marcus Allen - S - Penn State

Players I wanted Michigan to recruit:

Justin Jackson - RB - Northwestern
Curtis Samuel - RB - Ohio State

Michigan has some bruisers on the roster, but it would be nice to have some skills guys who are dangerous with the ball in their hands. Unfortunately, Michigan doesn't have many guys who are quick enough to take it the distance at any given time. We're left waiting for Dennis Norfleet to finally bust a big one or hoping that teams are shoddy enough tacklers to allow Derrick Green to plow through a few guys for a big score. Otherwise, all Michigan can do is gain chunks of yardage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MLive: Regardless of coach, QB will be biggest issue in 2015

Nick Baumgardner talks about the somewhat uninspiring quarterback options available to Michigan in 2015, plus some other question marks (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice looking ladies, including a fun gif.

Michael Ferns III, Ex-Wolverine

Michael Ferns (front middle, image via Times Leader)
Rising sophomore linebacker Michael Ferns III has left Michigan's football program, most likely headed for West Virginia. He redshirted as a freshman this past season.

Ferns was Michigan's first commitment in the class of 2014 and committed in August 2012, almost six months prior to the next guy (Wilton Speight). Ferns spearheaded a project to send "Team 135" t-shirts to every new Michigan commit for the remainder of the class. Meanwhile, he was a stalwart at St. Clairsville (OH) St. Clairsville and earned some national notoriety for running out of bounds at the 1-yard line to allow a grieving high school teammate to score a touchdown. He finished the recruiting cycle as a 247 Composite 4-star, the #6 inside linebacker, and #158 overall.

Ferns was listed at 6'3", 239 lbs. and was playing middle linebacker, although he was reportedly really struggling to adjust to the college game. He was buried on the depth chart behind several promising inside linebackers, including a few who will be returning in 2015 (fifth year senior Desmond Morgan, senior Joe Bolden, junior Ben Gedeon, and redshirt sophomore Mike McCray II) and even some classmates.

The depth chart may have less to do with the transfer than some expect. Ferns was recruited to Michigan by Brady Hoke and sold on the "Team 135" thing, and now that whole idea has lost some of its luster. Also, Michael has a younger brother named Brendan, a 2016 linebacker who has not been offered by the Wolverines. The reasons for the lack of an offer are unclear (he's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #2 inside linebacker, and #74 overall), but that was probably causing some friction, anyway. Brendan holds offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and West Virginia, and part of the plan could be to play together in Morgantown; 247 Sports' Crystal Ball prediction for Brendan has him at 64% for Ohio State.

Regardless, Michael Ferns is the first casualty from the 2014 class. The Wolverines have three other linebackers remaining from the 2014 class, and the aforementioned inside linebackers have the position pretty well under control. This move would not appear to affect Michigan's defense in the long run, and it opens up another spot in the 2015 class (LINK). Right now it looks like Michigan can comfortably fit 12 players into the class, but that number could grow in the coming weeks, depending on Michigan's coaching situation. I have heard rumors of a few other players also considering transfers, and I would guess that at least one or two of them come to fruition.

2014 Scholarship Count

Players are listed in order of remaining eligibility.  With 8 seniors scheduled to graduate and 81 scholarships allotted, Michigan's class of 2015 should be at least 12.


- Michael Ferns will transfer.

- Desmond Morgan will take a medical redshirt for 2014.

- Csont'e York was dismissed from the team.

- Ty Isaac transferred to Michigan from USC.

- Jordan Paskorz will not return in 2014.

- Chris Bryant has taken a medical hardship.

- Richard Ash, Josh Furman, and Thomas Rawls will not return in 2014.

REDSHIRT SENIORS = 3 (Final season 2014)
QB Devin Gardner 
LB Jake Ryan 
P Will Hagerup
WR Anthony Capatina
OL Joey Burzynski

SENIORS = 5 (Final season 2014)
DE Brennen Beyer
DE Frank Clark
CB Delonte Hollowell
CB Raymon Taylor
K Matt Wile

REDSHIRT JUNIORS = 7 (Final season 2015)
QB Russell Bellomy
RB Justice Hayes
C Graham Glasgow
C Jack Miller
TE Keith Heitzman

LB Desmond Morgan
CB Blake Countess

QB Alex Swieca
FB Joe Kerridge
WR Jonathan Keizer
DE Alex Mitropolous-Rundus

JUNIORS = 10 (Final season = 2015)
FB Sione Houma
WR Dennis Norfleet
TE Devin Funchess
TE A.J. Williams
DE Mario Ojemudia
DT Ondre Pipkins
LB Joe Bolden
LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
LB James Ross

S Jarrod Wilson

REDSHIRT SOPHOMORES = 14 (Final season 2016)
RB Drake Johnson
OL Blake Bars

OL Ben Braden
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
WR Jehu Chesson

WR Amara Darboh

DE Matt Godin
DT Willie Henry
DE Tom Strobel
DE Chris Wormley
LB Allen Gant

CB Terry Richardson

S Jeremy Clark

QB Brian Cleary
WR Bo Dever
TE Michael Jocz
OL Ben Pliska
DT Ryan Glasgow
LB Nick Benda
LB Bobby Henderson
LB Mark Lawson
LB Dan Liesman
S Shaun Austin
S A.J. Pearson
P Kenny Allen

SOPHOMORES = 14 (Final season 2016)
QB Shane Morris
RB Derrick Green
RB Ty Isaac
RB DeVeon Smith
WR Da'Mario Jones
TE Jake Butt
OL Kyle Bosch
DE Taco Charlton
LB Ben Gedeon
CB Delano Hill
CB Jourdan Lewis
CB Channing Stribling
S Dymonte Thomas

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN = 14 (Final season 2017)
FB Wyatt Shallman
WR Jaron Dukes
TE Khalid Hill
OL David Dawson
OL Chris Fox
OL Patrick Kugler

OL Dan Samuelson
OL Logan Tuley-Tillman

DT Maurice Hurst, Jr.
DT Henry Poggi

LB Mike McCray
CB Reon Dawson
CB Ross Douglas
LS Scott Sypniewski

QB Garrett Moores
WR Blaise Stearns
WR Jack Wangler
OL Greg Froelich
DE Garrett Miller
CB Anthony Dalimonte

FRESHMEN = 15 (Final season 2017)
QB Wilton Speight
WR Freddy Canteen
WR Drake Harris
WR Maurice Ways
TE Ian Bunting
OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty
OL Mason Cole

DE Lawrence Marshall
DT Bryan Mone
DT Brady Pallante
LB Noah Furbush
LB Jared Wangler

LB Chase Winovich
CB Jabrill Peppers
CB Brandon Watson
QB Joey Hewlett
LB Michael Wroblewski
S Francois Montbrun

Coaching Candidate Rumors

Tyrone Wheatley, if for not other reason
than bringing back happy memories.
I have a few posts waiting to be completed, and even a few that are already finished. But a lot of them have to do with recruiting, and I don't think anyone cares much about recruiting right now. All Michigan fans care about is who the next coach will be, and I can't say I blame them. As Michigan fans, we can't move forward. (On the other hand, I have been moving forward with catching up on Parks and Recreation.)

Detroit Sports Rag contributor Jeff Moss tweeted out last night that there has been a "sea change" in the reporting on Michigan's head coaching job. Other Twitter feeds have also changed their tune somewhat, based on someone in Michigan's administration supposedly giving info that Jim Harbaugh could be leaning toward returning to Ann Arbor. Moss also said that he will release the source of this information at 9:00 a.m. today, so that ought to be interesting.

Aside from Harbaugh's return, there have also been rumors that:

  • Former Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley, currently the Buffalo Bills running backs coach, will return as co-offensive coordinator
  • Former Michigan offensive line coach Andy Moeller, currently the Cleveland Browns offensive line coach, will be Wheatley's co-offensive coordinator
  • D.J. Durkin is being considered as the defensive coordinator. Durkin was at Florida under Will Muschamp and is currently their interim head coach; he also worked for Harbaugh at Stanford
I am posting this info not because I necessarily believe it, but because this is all anyone seems to want to discuss. Past coaching searches have taught me not to believe anything (thanks, Kirk Herbstreit), but we all know that Jim Harbaugh is Michigan's #1 choice for the coaching job at this point. Until his situation is resolved with the San Francisco 49ers (whether he resigns, they fire him, they try to trade him, etc.), Michigan's football program and Wolverines fans are in a holding pattern.

In other news, former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden signed a contract extension with ESPN.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Grantland: The Kiss

Bryan Curtis talks about the social impact of Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after being drafted earlier this year (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies.

2014 ESPN True Freshman All-America Team

Mason Cole
ESPN put together a freshman All-America team (LINK) that includes several names that will be familiar to Michigan fans, not only from watching college football, but also following recruiting. All four members of the secondary were recruited by Michigan. The team also includes Michigan left tackle Mason Cole, who started every game this season.

Other notable players:

Artavis Scott - WR - Clemson*
Cam Robinson - OL - Alabama*
Myles Garrett - DE - Texas A&M*
Raekwon McMillan - LB - Ohio State
Lorenzo Carter - LB - Georgia*
Dravon Henry - DB - West Virginia*
Jamal Adams - DB - LSU*
Quin Blanding - DB - Virginia*
Adoree' Jackson - DB - USC*

*Recruited by Michigan