Monday, May 13, 2013

Mike Jones, ex-Wolverine

Mike Jones (#27)
Rising fifth year senior linebacker Mike Jones has left the football program.  Already with his undergraduate degree, Jones would be eligible to play at another FBS school in 2013 if they offer a graduate program that Michigan does not offer.

Jones committed to Michigan on August 1, 2008, as a part of the 2009 class; he picked Michigan over offers from Auburn, Central Florida, North Carolina, and South Florida.  He came from Orlando (FL) Edgewater as part of Rich Rodriguez's attempted raid on the state of Florida, a few years after Lloyd Carr landed wide receiver Greg Mathews from the same school.

As purely a special teamer in 2009, Jones made 3 tackles in seven games.  He played in just two games as a sophomore before succumbing to injury, totaling just 1 tackle; he received a medical redshirt (which preserved his eligibility for 2013).  As a redshirt sophomore in 2011, Jones made 4 tackles.  He followed that up by playing in all thirteen games as a redshirt junior in 2012, but he failed to accrue any statistics.  Altogether, Jones made 8 total tackles in 29 games.

Jones, who claimed a 4.5 forty coming out of high school and was noted for his speed, never seemed physically capable of keeping up with Big Ten athletes.  He always seemed a step or two slow, and he didn't have the bulk to be a serious option at middle linebacker - a position where speed isn't required for success. Jones added weight consistently, going from 203 lbs. as a freshman to 226 lbs. this past season, but small-ish linebackers need to be faster than he was.  For the past couple off-seasons, I have had a feeling that Jones might not return because I wondered if he would ever find a role; that time finally came.

Since Jones was going to run out of eligibility after the coming year, his departure does not affect the 2014 recruiting class.  He was also not expected to be on Michigan's two-deep in the fall, having dropped behind younger players at MIKE (junior Desmond Morgan, sophomore Joe Bolden) and WILL (sophomores James Ross and Royce Jenkins-Stone).  Jones was also not particularly productive on special teams, so the team likely won't feel much of an impact on the field.

For stories on other former Wolverines, check out the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia.


  1. Nice to see a kid leave with his degree.

  2. What a complete waste of time the three years of Rich Rod. Has there ever been a worse fit for a program than Rich Rod at Michigan? Bill Martin did a lot of good things during his tenure, but this mistake is by far and away his biggest.

    1. If Rich Rod had Greg Mattison as his DC, I believe we'd be singing a different tune.

      Overall I like Rich Rod. I thought he was dealt a pretty shitty hand at Michigan, and I wish him the best in any of his future endeavors. But he didn't win with the cards he had.


    2. I don't think RichRod would have done well (consistent 9/10 win seasons) even under the best of circumstances, but he wasn't exactly handed a gold-plated Cadillac. You can play "What if?" all you want with Mallet, Arrington, et al., but that still wouldn't fix the most mediocre offensive line in the modern era, not to mention, Mallet aside, the worst quarterbacking since the mid-'80s.

      There was no way RichRod (a bad cultural fit) was going to dig out from that. The alternatives (DeBord, English) would have failed, too.

      Let's not forget that Rodriguez was once considered for the Alabama job. Plenty of other schools would have hired him after WVU. It looks dumber in retrospect than it did in '07.

  3. I was a big RR supporter and have wondered how he would have done with a good defensive coordinator.I thought he had no support here which I think adversely affected his recruiting resulting in a vioious cycle. Having said all that, you have to question his competence as a coach since it was he who hired the assistants in the first place, and I get the sense that while Hoke may not be as good at X's and O's, he is a better CEO than RR for the program. Hoke also knows his limitations whiel not sure RR did.

    1. I agree about the CEO thing and I think that, unless you're a true super-genius for strategy, being able to manage is far more important. Hoke appears great while Rodriguez struggled. Part of it was probably that he had so much success before Michigan, it masked some deficiencies he had as a program manager (e.g., cronyism/loyalty to mediocre coaches).

      Rich Rod was probably close to being a super-genius, but that was 10-15 years ago. I'm not sure he has many great ideas left. We'll see - Arizona seems like a better fit for him on all fronts.

      Everyone is happy with Hoke, including me, but I have two major questions about Hoke:

      1) Is the offensive strategy wise?
      It seems that it's dependent on getting superior talent. I'd like to see us use both talent and scheme, as will be needed to beat the Alabamas of the world. Borges' transition is coming to a close and he'll need to show he can move the ball against elite competition over the next few years. The way they managed Denard was admirable, but the next two seasons is where they really have to prove it. So far, Hecklinski, Ferrigno, and especially Funk have not impressed.

      2) Is there a transition plan when Borges and Mattison retire?
      Assuming Mattison is sooner, a succession plan should be in place. Maybe Mallory is the guy.

    2. I keep hearing that Borges knows more about football than anyone, and his offense at SanDiego was pretty productive. I am using that as the basis for the hope that once he has his players in place the schemes will improve.Have also read that Hecklinski is extremely impressive at some of these coach's clinics. Once again, hoping for the best.

  4. Thunder was quick to dismiss Mike Jones - and he was right. I thought he'd end up being a capable backup and had decent quickness but the pieces weren't all there. Good for him for graduating and hopefully he enjoys his next opportunity, wherever it is.