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.


  1. Dennis Norfleet did bust a big one against Maryland (I believe), but it was called back. Apart from him, if Drake Harris ever gets healthy, he is also supposed to have breakaway speed. I also thought Ty Isaac was a breakaway threat, but you would know that far better than I.

    1. Yeah...I felt bad for Norfleet on that play. But legally, I think his longest return has been about 44 yards.

      Harris and Isaac are breakaway threats, but neither has seen the field yet. Harris concerns me since he hasn't been healthy in two years.

  2. Ty Isaac is not that fast. He's fast enough but not someone in the range of Elliott for OSU as an example. There were a lot of rumors about Isaac at USC and I even remember hearing Bill King and others nationally "hint" that his effort and other factors were perhaps not that good. Have you heard these things? The RB's at USC this year looked quite good.

    1. Isaac isn't a blazer like, say, Carlos Brown. But he is fast enough to break some big runs. I don't think speed has ever been a question mark about him. He did show a nice burst with a 37-yard touchdown run at USC ( and also had runs of 22 and 18 yards there. The thing about Isaac is that while he might not be a 4.4 guy, he's fast enough to get to the second and third level, and he's big/strong/physical enough to break some tackles once he gets there. Green is probably fast enough, but he doesn't break tackles very well. Smith is just flat-out too slow. Drake Johnson was the best available guy at the end of the year, but he's coming off an ACL tear for the second time.

    2. Michigan fans are really hyping up Isaac, but the guy was a 5th string player at USC behind a classmate who still doesn't start and has since been passed by a younger player. USC is good, but not THAT good. USC isn't sad he left, lets put it that way...

      The garbage time stats and highlights are meaningless. I can point to clips of Deveon or Vincent Smith racking up yards in those situations too.

    3. USC is pretty good.

      Also, you can find about two big plays for Vincent Smith on a couple hundred more touches. And De'Veon Smith had more carries, plus his big plays came against a team just joining FCs. Plus there's the whole issue of Isaac being a big-time recruit.

  3. >> all Michigan can do is gain chunks of yardage

    As a start I'd be happy if they could do that *consistently*. Get that down, then work on the breakout plays.

  4. Perhaps Harris (if he could ever get healthy) or Cole could end up being those big play receivers. Chesson is bad. Darboh has promise but he's not a big play guy (yet).

    I hope and pray that Derrick Green is #3 on the depth chart by mid-season. I'm hoping that Ty Isaac is the real deal and that Drake gets his health back because he was really showing promise. He has good burst.

    The OLine is improving. There's no denying that, and getting a competent OLine coach will help even more.

    There's no possible way our QB play can be "worse" than last year. Gardner was as bad as humanly possible.

    Funchess going pro is addition by subtraction in my opinion.

  5. I feel like we have someone on our roster that set the 200m record in his home state. Even though the record was overturned due to a timing error, he still has big-time speed. I just hope we get to see him healthy next year!