Monday, November 19, 2012

Mailbag: Which freshmen have burned their redshirts?

This was a fairly simple question that arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

These freshmen have played in 2012:
Joe Bolden
Amara Darboh
Devin Funchess
Sione Houma
Royce Jenkins-Stone
Dennis Norfleet
Mario Ojemudia
Ondre Pipkins
Terry Richardson
James Ross
A.J. Williams
Jarrod Wilson

These freshmen are redshirting:
Blake Bars
Ben Braden
Jehu Chesson
Jeremy Clark
Allen Gant
Matthew Godin
Willie Henry
Drake Johnson
Kyle Kalis
Erik Magnuson
Kaleb Ringer
Tom Strobel
Chris Wormley


  1. That seems to set us well for the future. It's good to see that we haven't had to burn the RS of any of the OL recruits.
    Do you think there's much chance that Henry sees meaningful minutes next year? I know it's super early to project, so just a curiosity.
    Also, was there ever anything coming out of practices this year about Strobel? I know he seemed like a decent skill/high motor kid coming out of high-school.

    1. I do think there's a chance for Henry. I have heard good things about him, and I personally liked his high school film. Michigan will also need to replace William Campbell, and Nathan Brink (who was supposedly in line for some playing time) will need to be "replaced" too. Whoever took Brink's minutes this year might be challenged by Henry.

      I have also heard good things about Strobel. Insiders expect him to play some next year, although I have my doubts about how much time he'll see. Wormley seemed headed for some playing time at SDE, and Keith Heitzman is already playing there. I think we might have to wait a year or two for things to shake out at SDE/DT to see much of Strobel; maybe Wormley moves to DT, maybe Heitzman moves to DT, maybe Beyer moves to SDE, etc. Regardless, I think Strobel will be a pretty good player sooner or later.

    2. I'd agree that Henry has a good shot to make his mark in the spring and earn significant PT next year. If he is good, he will definitely be in the rotation because he fits the prototype more than some of the other contenders (not too tall, bulky, quick). Between NT and 3T, the only sure things are QWash and Pipkins. Black may be in the competition with Strobel and Heitzman to replace Roh, at least early. Regardless, Black is not an ideal 3T against every offense. Wormley is apparently quite good but he will probably not be full speed until the summer. Boy, just thinking about all of the options the coaches will have at the 1/3/5 spots next year is encouraging.

  2. Inevitable follow-up, which of those burned redshirts were wasted?

    None of them seem terribly bad to me. I can see Darboh and RJS getting put out there just to see how they'd do; they just didn't turn into contributors at their primary positions. Same with Richardson, though he seemed obviously too little to really contribute. I don't remember Houma out there at all, so I guess his would be the worst, but burning a FBs redshirt doesn't really seem like a big deal.

    I'm actually pretty OK with that list, in all.

    1. I think Richardson's is probably the oddest, because he didn't play much at all...and he's a guy who clearly needed to bulk up before being ready to play.

      Darboh and Jenkins-Stone are guys who were physically developed enough to play special teams, and frankly, sometimes you need guys to fill those roles. I also don't think Jenkins-Stone is going to turn into a major player, so that's not a big deal to me.

      Houma has been playing all year on special teams, maybe even every game. He's been pretty prominent, actually. And fullbacks are pretty interchangeable, so I don't think losing a year of eligibility for him is a big deal. When he graduates, some other guy will step in right where he left off.

    2. I agree Richardson is the only one that I'd like to have the coaches take back, but once Countess went out I think they wanted another option in case another injury struck.

      Would be nice to have RJS's red-shirt too.

      I think that the kids drive these decisions more than people think.

    3. I remember reading comments from Richardson before he arrived on campus that he scoffed at the idea of redshirting. Big Will was the same way, if memory serves. I think coaches are strong-armed into giving some players a shot as freshmen during the recruiting process, with the caveat that the player needs to prove he is ready to contribute in practice. Assuming Richardson did that at some point, you can't fault the coaches for that. Keeping a roster full of kids relatively content must be a pain in the butt.

    4. Matt Godin was absolutely hellbent on playing this year, and Magnuson also really wanted to get some PT. Judging by the list above, it looks like the coaches prefer to redshirt linemen when they can.

    5. I think it's a little easier to get a reality-check along the OL and DL, when you're getting your butt handed to you every play. Physical development is so important along the OL and I think that's a little more evident to line players than WR, DB, LB, etc.

      I'm sure most kids WANT to play early, but when they come in and see how stiff the competition is and how far they have to go to get meaningful time, plus the coaches talking to them, most kids will take the red-shirt. But for others it's a pride thing and/or there is no way they want to be around college for 5 years, so they take whatever playing time they can get.

  3. Has anybody heard how Chesson is looking? I watched his highlight tape from high school about 20 times and he was very underrated in my opinion? My hope was him and Treadwell with Funchess and Butt would be amazing. Also Darboh.

    1. I've heard that he's doing well but needs to add muscle, which was pretty obvious coming out of high school. Supposedly he's shown pretty good speed and leaping ability, which was the report on him, so no surprises there.

  4. Any further details about how the freshman OL and DL redshirts are developing in practice?

    1. Not much additional news. Wormley was headed for PT before he tore his ACL. They like what they've seen from Henry and Strobel. Braden and Kalis have been the most impressive freshman OL. Bars has been playing some center.