Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2014 Season Countdown: #47 Joe Kerridge

Joe Kerridge and Sione Houma (image via
Name: Joe Kerridge
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 247 lbs.
High school: Traverse City (MI) St. Francis
Position: Fullback
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #36
Last year: I ranked Kerridge #42 and said he would be the starting fullback with 2 receptions for 18 yards. He had 1 carry for 3 yards, 5 catches for 25 yards, and 4 tackles.

Kerridge was Michigan's first string fullback in 2013, and he did a fine job. As the year went along, offensive coordinator Al Borges reached into his bag of tricks, pulled out the ol' Spider 2 Y Banana, and shuffled the ball to Kerridge a few times. You know the Bo Schembechler saying: 4.67 yards and a cloud of dust. Kerridge is a decent blocker, but despite visions of him trucking kids in high school, he is not generally someone who should be touching the ball very often.

I have an uncorroborated hunch that new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will value junior Sione Houma's athleticism over Kerridge's skills, which may relegate Kerridge to backup or special teams duty. Houma - who is slightly smaller but has better hair - looked niftier and quicker on the 2 passes he caught (for 14 yards), and I would guess Nussmeier wants a little more speed on the field for his tendency to spread the field a little more. The fullback position itself may be downgraded, but the lack of a healthy Jake Butt might make an H-back type like Houma more valuable to run flat routes. Either way, I think Kerridge will take a back seat to schemes and other personnel this year, but he's experienced and trustworthy, so he'll see the field a fair amount.

Prediction: Backup fullback; 1 catch for 4.67 yards


  1. Character for character this may be the most well-written post you've authored. Nice job.

    You put a returning starter #47 on the list - and I agree. I don't really expect Houma to beat him out for traditional FB duties, but I think Houma could actually see more snaps. Between rotating at FB, some H-back duty, and maybe even single-back sets, Houma may play a good bit, while Kerridge is probably relegated to a specialist role. Two things cause me pause though: 1) our OL is going to suck, so we may use backfield blockers a lot - it's unclear if any of the RBs are up for it 2) reliable veterans who can block well tend to play more than we fans expect, be it TE, RB, FB, or WR. Kerridge is a lock to play, but it doesn't seem like he'd be badly missed if he wasn't available.

  2. Two comments:

    (1) Houma is one of those players that caught my eye when he first committed. No reason, he just did. I've been following him since he first came to Michigan. It's good to see your prediction we may see more of him.

    (2) I am disturbed by your lack of precision in the prediction. Two decimal points means you didn't really try on that prediction. I expect more from you, Thunder. I expect more. :-)