Added Gregory Robinson (OT).
Added Keith Lewis (FS).
Added Giorgio Newberry (DE).
Added Charone Peak (WR).
Added Jon Lewis (DT).
Added Joel Hale (DT).
You don't seem very high (or at least high as many Michigan fanatics) onThere are a few reasons why I'm not particularly high on Arnett, although there's a lot of personal opinion involved.
DeAnthony Arnett. Any particular reasons why?
MGoBlog and The Wolverine have done a good job of breaking down the spring roster, so I won't waste your time or mine in parsing the roster much further.
There are a few noteworthy bits from today's press conference and the roster that I would like to highlight, however.
- Regarding the quarterback position, Rodriguez admitted that Denard Robinson is going to start seeing reps at wide receiver. While he stressed that Robinson is still going to compete at the quarterback position, this seems to be the beginning of the transition from the quarterback position to receiver that many of us have been expecting. I expect Robinson to be a full-time receiver by 2011.
- The popular number of pounds to gain this offseason was 17. Linebacker Isaiah Bell (237), offensive tackle Mark Huyge (305), tight end Brandon Moore (260), and offensive guard Patrick Omameh (293) all gained this amount.
- It seems apparent that the rumor we heard about the offensive and defensive lines is true: Rodriguez wants them to be bigger than they have been for the past two seasons. There's really no other way to explain the fact that there are now five (5!) offensive linemen over 300 lbs. when last year's only 300 pounder was freshman Quinton Washington. With almost six months left until the season, a couple other guys might get there before September, too.
- Tight ends Kevin Koger (251), Martell Webb (257), and Brandon Moore (260) are all getting in the "hefty" range for tight ends. There were a lot of people who thought Rodriguez was moving toward using tight ends heavily. This is significant evidence to the contrary. These guys seem to be blocking tight ends in the making.
- Ryan Van Bergen and Steve Watson are both listed as defensive ends. Van Bergen was a DT last year, and Watson was the third-string Quick end behind Craig Roh and Brandon Herron. Watson is likely to ride the bench once again, but as I expected, Van Bergen seems to be Brandon Graham's replacement at DE.
- Junior Hemingway is 227 lbs. That's too heavy for a receiver who wasn't that fast to begin with. If he continues to play at 220+ pounds, he won't be any kind of deep threat. This bodes unwell for Michigan's downfield passing game.
The 2011 Offer Board has been updated.
Added Kris Harley (NT).
Added Eddie Goldman (NT), Prince Holloway (SR), Corey Marshall (DT), and Ben Kline (ILB).
Added Bobby Hart (OG) and Travis Hughes (ILB).
Added Cyrus Hobbi (OT).
Defensive end was one of the biggest needs for the Wolverines in 2010, and just like in the defensive backfield, Rich Rodriguez went after a bunch of them. With defensive MVP Brandon Graham leaving and precious few options to replace him (Ryan Van Bergen will likely slide over from 3-tech defensive tackle), Michigan successfully recruited five players who are headed for either the 5-tech defensive end position (Graham's slot) or the Quick end (DE/OLB hybrid like Craig Roh).
Technically, four of the five were recruited for the Quick: Jordan Paskorz, Ken Wilkins, Davion Rogers, and Jake Ryan. Only one (Jibreel Black) was expressly recruited to play strongside end. However, I think it's likely that a few players will filter to either inside linebacker or the 5-tech end.
The first to commit was Paskorz, a 6'3", 225 lb. Pennsylvanian. Paskorz committed in May of '09 and not much was heard from him after that. He chose Michigan over some middling offers from Virginia, Bowling Green, and Minnesota, among others. He looks bigger than his listed size, and he lacks the quickness that we've seen from the other Quicks who saw significant action in 2009 (Roh and Brandon Herron). I've maintained since he was recruited that I think he'll end up as a strongside end before all is said and done. The Quick doesn't drop back into coverage a great deal, but Paskorz would be a liability in coverage.
Shortly after Paskorz's commitment, another Keystone Stater tossed his hat into the ring for the Quick position - Ken Wilkins. Wilkins is 6'3" and 244 lbs., and there were quotes floating around from his coach that he has like a 30" waist and a 60" chest. He's like a male Barbie doll, except his chest is made from P90X alloy instead of plastic. I might have exaggerated those measurements, but basically, Wilkins isn't the type of kid who's going to suffer from weight issues. I think Wilkins has the athleticism and speed to play Quick, but he's another candidate to move to 5-tech defensive end, as well. (There was a Rivals article mentioning that Wilkins was told he could play 3-tech DT, but I have to believe that was a typo or a misunderstanding.)
Warren, OH, linebacker Davion Rogers flipped from West Virginia to Michigan in mid-January. He's listed at 6'6" and 210 lbs., and he mentioned at one point that WVU's coaches mentioned that he could play safety for them. That comment convinced me that WVU has some coaching woes coming down the pike. Regardless, Rogers changed his mind almost immediately upon receiving an offer from the Wolverines, so he obviously wasn't gung-ho about being a Mountaineer. Six-foot-six and 210 lbs. might get a wide receiver on the field immediately, but to be a DE/OLB hybrid, Rogers needs to start hitting the supplements.
A day after Rogers committed, Michigan raided Ohio for another linebacker in the form of Jake Ryan, whose 6'3", 220 lb. frame might make him a body double for Paskorz. Ryan picked Michigan over a handful of MAC schools, but he outperformed Ohio State-bound teammate Scott McVey (perhaps in part to an injury that slowed McVey). He played outside linebacker for St. Ignatius in their 3-3-5 stack defense, so he doesn't have much practice being an edge rusher. That being said, Ryan is the most likely of these four Quicks to end up as an inside linebacker.
A week after the commitments of Rogers and Ryan, Jibreel Black was the final end to commit. The last of 11 players from Ohio to pledge, Black is a 6'2", 253 lb. strongside end. He could grow into a defensive tackle, but with the shortage of 5-techs on the roster, I doubt he'll move inside. Despite not being an extremely highly touted player to all the recruiting sites, his offer list (including Illinois, Michigan State, South Carolina, and Wisconsin) was the most impressive.
Predictions: In my opinion, Jordan Paskorz is headed for a redshirt year, during which he'll bulk up and become a 5-tech DE; I do not see him contributing in any more than a backup role throughout his career. Wilkins could be a very good player at either position; I think he'll start off at Quick but eventually play DE. Rogers is almost certainly headed for a redshirt, but his position is perhaps the most defined - he's a Quick through and through; his athleticism could turn him into a feared speed rusher in the Big Ten, but he has to put on some weight and refine his fundamentals. With the shortage of inside linebackers, I think Jake Ryan might end up at inside linebacker immediately, and I would not be surprised to see him play in mop-up duty this year; the coaches need to groom some guys to take over for fifth-year senior inside linebackers Jonas Mouton and Obi Ezeh. Black will likely play in 2010 as well, because the depth at strongside end is essentially Van Bergen, redshirt freshman Anthony Lalota, and walk-on Will Heininger.
Grade: B. Despite going after a bunch of highly touted ends, Michigan ended up with 3-stars galore. While a few are headed for solid careers, in my opinion, only one is certain to be a very good player (Black). Luckily, by sheer quantity, at least one or two of the other guys will likely end up as pretty good players. If you can't get great quality, go for quantity.
Former Michigan wide receiver Ronald Bellamy was hired recently as the new head coach at West Bloomfield High School. Bellamy played for the Wolverines from 1999-2002 and in his career, he had 67 receptions for 888 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Spinal Column Online recently conducted an interview with Bellamy, who spent a handful of years in the NFL before getting into coaching high school ball. He mentions Lloyd Carr as an inspiration and a mentor, which is one of the things about Carr that makes me admire him most. For the most part, he seems like a man who maintained positive relationships with his players after they left Michigan.
Additionally, Bellamy has hired Zia Combs, another former Michigan player, as his defensive backs coach. Combs was temporarily paralyzed during a 2002 game against Penn State, which ended his playing career. Luckily, he seems to be completely healthy now.
Take a look at Ronald Bellamy torching MSU (2:26 in the video below):
New England Patriot receiver Drew Dileo
It's a good thing this photographer had a high-speed shutter.The second commitment at slot receiver comes from D.J. Williamson, from Warren, OH. Williamson is listed at 6'1" and 172 lbs., meaning he's thin and willowy. He has state championship track speed, but unfortunately, that speed hasn't necessarily shown itself on the football field. Since his commitment, he struggled through a senior season in which he was injured and his quarterback play was subpar. He could play out wide or in the slot, but said on National Signing Day that he'll start off inside.
After the season, we said that, ‘you can’t be up for so long, eventually you have to pay taxes,’ ” Graham said on Saturday. “That’s how we look at it until we get it back up. That’s what we’re going to do. I hope them boys get right next year. Because coach (Rich Rodriguez has) only got one more year — if they don’t do (anything). Because of the allegations, and then, if you have a bad year, then you’ve got to get someone new.
I'm not surprised because I know what happened, and I know what kind of rules were broken. I couldn't see how they were going to get out of that. Whatever steps need to be taken (to restore Michigan's winning tradition), I'm all for it. What is happening right now obviously is not working. I don't know how long they're going to let this last until changes are made. This year is going to be the tell-all what's going to happen. We can't have three losing years in a row. Not at Michigan. To lose seven of last eight games (in 2009) is an embarrassment.