Sunday, November 30, 2014

Grantland: The Pirate and His Pupil

Michael Weinreb has a piece on Washington State passing guru Mike Leach and his quarterback, Connor Halliday (LINK).

Hit the jump for some attractive womenfolk.

School in the News: Nebraska

After going 9-3 this season, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini was fired. Over his career at Nebraska - his first career head coaching stop - Pelini had a 67-27 record and never had fewer than nine victories and was 4-3 in bowl games. However, his three division conference titles were not followed by conference championships, and he lost at least four games in every season except the current one.

I do not expect the fallout from his firing to affect Michigan very much, since the two schools have not crossed paths very often in the current or upcoming recruiting cycles. Furthermore, nobody who chose Nebraska over Michigan was strongly considering the Wolverines.

2015 commits with Michigan offers: None
Roster players offered by Michigan: WR Kevin Gladney, S Charles Jackson, DE Greg McMullen, LB David Santos, S D.J. Singleton, OG Paul Thurston, DT Vincent Valentine, DT Kevin Williams

Pelini played college football at Ohio State and has spent a lot of time as a defensive coordinator, including at Nebraska, Oklahoma, and LSU. He has also spent some time as a position coach in the NFL. He could go somewhere else and become a head coach (after all, there are lots of teams who would love to win 9 or 10 games a season), or he could return to being a defensive coordinator at the college level.

Ohio State 42, Michigan 28

Devin Gardner wishes good luck to J.T. Barrett after the Ohio State quarterback suffered a season-ending injury
(image via BR)
That was better than I expected. For the second year in a row, Michigan came into The Game with fans and analysts having low expectations. And for the second year in a row, Michigan made a game of it. I expected the Wolverines to keep it close in the first half, only to have the wheels come off late. The wheels certainly came off, but Michigan led the game for roughly half of the second quarter and they were tied until just over a minute remaining in the third quarter. Offensively, Devin Gardner turned it up a notch, Drake Johnson solidified himself as the best back available, and Doug Nussmeier unleashed some creative play calling that we had not seen for most of the year.

Drake Johnson is #1*. Of the runners available at the end of the season, I don't think there's any doubt that Johnson is the best option going forward. I hope De'Veon Smith got enough chances for fans and coaches to realize that he just doesn't have the speed to get the job done, and he's not the bulldozer that so many people thought he would be. Justice Hayes is a decent complementary or third down back, but Johnson (15 carries, 74 yards, 2 touchdowns) is quicker than the others and displayed some power on Saturday that might hint that he's learning how to run the ball in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, Johnson crumpled up on the ground when he scored his second touchdown, and it looked likely to be a torn ACL; Johnson also tore his ACL in the 2013 season opener, so it would be sad to see him have to go through the same rehab again. He ends the year with 60 carries for 361 yards (6.0 yards/carry) and 4 touchdowns. Out of those totals, 57 carries, 333 of those yards, and all 4 touchdowns came in the final five games against Big Ten opponents. He didn't have the chance to rack up huge amounts of yardage against Appalachian State and Miami, although he did have the advantage of running behind an offensive line that improved throughout the year.

I'm going to miss Devin Gardner. Gardner turned out not to be the best quarterback. He showed signs of improvement in the second half of 2013, and then he regressed this year. You can blame it on Brady Hoke, Doug Nussmeier, Al Borges, the receivers, the offensive line, playing wide receiver in 2012, Gardner himself, etc. There are any number of directions you can point. There are two big things about Gardner that I will miss. Much like Denard Robinson, I will miss Gardner's attitude and leadership. He was not the most vocal guy, but the kid took a beating behind Michigan's offensive line and never pointed fingers or complained about the guys in front of him. He also showed some sportsmanship when Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett broke his ankle, with Gardner coming out on the field to wish him well before he was carted off. The second big thing I'll miss about Gardner is his athleticism. The guy was one of the best athletes to play quarterback at Michigan, perhaps second-best behind his predecessor, Robinson. Gardner could run through tackles, juke defenders, outrun defenders, throw the ball deep, put touch on his passes, and make the game of football a beautiful thing to watch at times. I kept waiting for this guy to break out, but for all the reasons mentioned above, I'll always be left to wonder what could have been.

Clock management failure #1. At the end of the first half, Michigan's drive stalled with over two minutes remaining. The punt team was summoned. Rather than allowing the play/game clock to wind down under two minutes, Michigan snapped the ball with about 20 seconds on the play clock and 2:20 left on the game clock. Ohio State got the ball and calmly waltzed down the field to score with :07 seconds remaining. If you're Brady Hoke, what can you possible be thinking at that point? We know by now that Hoke's plan was not to get a stop, get the ball back, and run a hurry-up drive to score. Hoke isn't that aggressive. If Michigan did get the ball back, they would have run the ball until halftime. The only possible explanation is that Hoke wasn't paying attention or thinking that far forward, which is a pretty damning trait.

Clock management failure #2. Even with three minutes left and down three touchdowns in the final game of the year, Michigan still couldn't run a halfway decent hurry-up. They were huddling at times, they didn't know how to line up, etc. while the clock was ticking down. They had no urgency whatsoever. Gardner did lead a successful drive that culminated in a 3-yard touchdown pass to Freddy Canteen, but it left just 1:15 on the clock to get an onside kick, score, get another onside kick, and score again. I am usually a person who thinks that the game isn't over until the clock says 0:00, but Hoke managed to suck that out of me this year. Just like we know Hoke can't use his timeouts or manage the end of a half properly, we also know that running an offense with any kind of tempo is out of the question. More so than a lack of player development, these issues with game management (the clock, the timeouts, having the right personnel on the field, etc.) are the ones most damning if he wanted to make a case to keep his job going forward.

The lack of personnel development. As I mentioned above, the lack of anyone stepping up throughout the year is almost amazing. You can point to a few individuals who got better from 2013 to 2014 (Jourdan Lewis, Derrick Green, Joe Bolden) or who improved throughout the season (Jake Ryan, Drake Johnson), but the only unit to improve was the offensive line. No other position group seemed to take steps forward, except perhaps the running backs, whose performance is tied to the OL.

Holy cow, there has been a lack of takeaways. Michigan ends the 2014 season with 5 interceptions, their lowest total in at least 20 years. I looked at stats from 1995 onward, and I only stopped because I can't find a reliable source of information any earlier than that. Michigan got picks from Lewis (2), defensive tackle Willie Henry, defensive tackle Matt Godin, and linebacker Jake Ryan. The Wolverines are tied for 120th in interceptions and might end up lower after a couple teams play in bowl games. Michigan is #123 in turnover margin with -1.33 per game. In fact, it's almost amazing that Michigan is #10 in total defense and #28 in scoring defense with the inability to create turnovers and an offense that can't sustain drives. The lack of takeaways is obviously a negative for defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, but it says something that his scheming and Michigan's solid tackling have helped to prevent a total team breakdown.

I'm sad the season is done. This was one of those years where you see a bunch of talent on the field and expect big things, but big things don't happen. Michigan had a record-setting quarterback, a wide receiver who looked like a potential first rounder, a very good tight end, a 5-star running back, a solid kicker, a former All-Big Ten punter, and loads of talent on the defensive side of the ball. All that gets boiled down to a 5-7 season and a career for some of these seniors that ends with a thud.

I'm sad this is how it went down for Brady Hoke. I was not a fan of Michigan's hiring of Brady Hoke in 2011. He hadn't proven enough at a high enough level, and it showed that he was in over his head. However, I did hope that he would have success at Michigan. Not only because I'm a fan of the Wolverines, but because Hoke seems like a good guy, I wanted him to win and win big. There aren't enough decent guys winning national championships out there. Instead, there are people like Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher. Now it appears that Hoke's head coaching career is over at Michigan. Wherever he ends up in the future, I hope he can find success.

I still have high hopes for next year. Regardless of who the coach is, Michigan has a lot coming back in 2015. Devin Gardner is the only senior on offense to start, and Devin Funchess might declare for the NFL Draft. Meanwhile, Michigan has lost its best two players on defense (Jake Ryan and Frank Clark, the latter of which was kicked off the team, anyway), cornerback Raymon Taylor, senior kicker Matt Wile, and senior punter Will Hagerup. There are capable replacements for most of those guys, with the kicking job as the biggest question mark. This was a young team that should improve going into 2015.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Some pictures to cheer you up

That was a rough one today. Here are some pictures of good looking ladies to make you feel a little better.

Michigan Daily: What went wrong - Drew Dileo discusses 2-point conversion vs. OSU

Drew Dileo talks about the two-point conversation attempt in the 2013 game against Ohio State (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking ladies.

Coaching Candidate: Les Miles

Les Miles
Current position: Louisiana State University head coach
Head coaching experience: 103-28 at LSU (2005-present), 28-21 at Oklahoma State (2001-2004), 131-49 overall
Current salary: $4,300,000 per year
History: Miles grew up in Ohio and was an offensive lineman at Michigan under Bo Schembechler in the mid-1970's. After being a graduate assistant at Michigan, he went to Colorado and then came back to Ann Arbor to be the offensive line coach for four seasons. He took a promotion to be Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator, spent a few seasons coaching tight ends for the Cowboys (Dallas, that is), and was rehired at Oklahoma State as their head coach. A high-powered offense propelled him to the head coaching job at LSU, where he has mostly been known for suffocating defenses, particularly on his way to winning the 2007 national championship.
My thoughts: I have reservations about Miles because of some stories about how he has rubbed people the wrong way at Michigan with his actions in the past. The athletic department was fractured when Lloyd Carr retired and was replaced by Rich Rodriguez, and Michigan got past that right around the time when the student body and journalists turned on athletic director David Brandon, essentially forcing him out. There would certainly be some ruffled feathers if Miles were hired, so that would be a guaranteed bump in the road. They say "winning cures everything" so that might smooth things over a little bit. Miles has a history of running the ball a lot, getting athletic wideouts, having mediocre quarterbacks, and producing big-time players at all levels on the defense. Miles would be good on the recruiting trail with his accolades and midwest connections, and his style of play would be well received, too. The drawbacks would appear to be money and whatever shenanigans he pulled to make some long-time Wolverines angry. Miles also has a history of oversigning and then cutting "unworthy" players, which is a rampant issue in the SEC. That would not go over well at Michigan, but that is something that might be institutional and fairly easily fixed.

My wish list:
1. Bob Stoops
2. Les Miles
3. Mike Shanahan

Friday, November 28, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

Start your weekend off by relaxing with some pictures of good looking women, including Erin Heatherton and a Kate Upton gif.

Grantland: The Conservative Case for Football

Bryan Curtis examines what conservatives (Republicans) think about potential political issues regarding football (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking girls in bikinis.

Coaching Candidate: Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan
Current position: None
Head coaching experience: 8-12 at Los Angeles Raiders (1988-1989), 138-86 at Denver Broncos (1995-2008), 24-40 at Washington Redskins (2010-2013), 170-138 overall
History: Shanahan grew up in Illinois and played quarterback at Eastern Illinois before his career was ended by a ruptured kidney suffered on the practice field. He worked at various colleges (include Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Florida) as an assistant coach before becoming the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in the mid-1980's. That was followed by his stints as head coach, interrupted by an offensive coordinator job for the San Francisco 49ers in the early 1990's. He famously won two Super Bowls with quarterback John Elway in Denver, but he was fired in 2008 after three mediocre seasons. His stint with the Redskins was marred by the controversy surrounding Robert Griffin III's knee injury, and he was fired by owner Dan Snyder at the end of the 2013 season.
My thoughts: Shanahan seems like a mediocre coach; he is good when he has good players, and he is bad when he has bad players. The one caveat - and the most impressive thing about him, in my eyes - is that he has taken some unheralded offensive linemen and running backs and made them very effective in the running game. Considering the negative publicity surrounding him following the RGIII fiasco, I doubt he would be a huge hit on the recruiting trail. The best thing going for him would be that he coached Elway to a Super Bowl fifteen years ago, right around the time when current high schoolers were in diapers. Shanahan seems like a guy who might be able to manage 8-4 or 9-3 seasons, but wouldn't be much of a threat to make Michigan a national title contender.

My wish list:
1. Bob Stoops
2. Mike Shanahan

Preview: Michigan at Ohio State

Rush Offense vs. Ohio State Rush Defense
Michigan is #63 in rushing offense (167 yards/game), and they are tied for #43 nationally with 4.74 yards/carry altogether. Quarterback Devin Gardner looked healthier than he has in weeks when he ran for 82 yards against Maryland, and Drake Johnson had 94 yards on just 14 carries. One thing that has contributed to Michigan's improvement since last year is the health and consistency of the offensive line, a unit that missed Graham Glasgow for the season opener and was dealing with some health issues for Kyle Kalis early in the year. Otherwise, the group has stayed intact enough that last year's starter at left guard, Erik Magnuson, has donned the #81 jersey and moved to tight end for the time being. Head coach Brady Hoke claimed that the Northwestern game was the line's best game of the season, and Michigan ran for twice as many yards against Maryland as they did against the Wildcats. Meanwhile, Ohio State is #41 against the run (148 yards/game allowed) while giving up 4.12 yards/carry, which is 59th. The high-scoring Buckeyes have faced just the 38th-fewest carries on the year. The leading tackler is junior strongside linebacker Joshua Perry (6'4", 250 lbs.), who is seventh in the Big Ten with 9 tackles/game (99 total). The next two guys on the list are the safeties, sophomore Vonn Bell (5'11", 200 lbs.) and redshirt sophomore Tyvis Powell (6'3", 205 lbs.). The Buckeyes are tied for 12th nationally with 81 tackles for loss, led by 18 from sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa (6'5", 285 lbs.), 11.5 from redshirt freshman weakside 'backer Darron Lee (6'2", 225 lbs.), and 8.5 from Perry. While Michigan's offensive line has improved, this is a formidable front coached by Penn State transplant Larry Johnson, one of the best defensive line coaches in the nation.
Advantage: Ohio State

Hit the jump for the rest of the preview.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

MLive: 5 Michigan keys (with predictions)

Nick Baumgardner talks about some keys and predictions for Saturday's game (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of model Emily Ratajkowski.

Coaching Candidate: Bob Stoops

It seems highly likely - if not inevitable - that the University of Michigan will be looking for another new football coach soon, perhaps even in the next three or four days. Rumors have been bouncing around since a couple weeks into the season when Michigan lost to Notre Dame, 31-0. Things have not improved much since then. Michigan's most impressive win is either the close victory over a 6-5 Penn state team or the close victory over a 5-6 Northwestern team. The offense has been stagnant and special teams have been frustrating; defense has been the bright spot, but they struggle late in games.

In an effort to get a jump start on some new hope, I'll be profiling a series of coaches whose names have been floating around as candidates. Some of them may be wishful thinking, while some may be our worst nightmare. At the end of each post, I'll rank the candidate in order of my wish list. I'll start off with a guy that would probably make quite a few fans and alumni happy.

Bob Stoops
Age: 54
Current position: Oklahoma Sooners head coach
Head coaching experience: 168-42 at Oklahoma (1999-present)
Current salary: $5,250,000 per year
History: Stoops grew up in Youngstown, OH, and was an All-Big Ten safety at Iowa as a player. He then coached the defensive backs at Kansas State under Bill Snyder and was co-defensive coordinator when KSU had an excellent run, which he used as a springboard to the Florida Gators defensive coordinator job under Steve Spurrier from 1996-1998, helping them win a national championship. He took over an Oklahoma team that had been 17-27 under Howard Schnellenberger and John Blake for the three years previous; Stoops proceeded to go 7-5 in his first year and then won the national championship in 2000. Since then he has only had two seasons of four-plus losses (8-4 in 2005, 8-5 in 2009).
My thoughts: Stoops to Michigan would essentially be a lateral move, but there have been rumors that he and the administration in Norman don't quite see eye-to-eye. This is about the time in his career where he has to decide whether he wants to be in Norman forever or whether he wants to try other challenges. Stoops has an array of brothers scattered around college football (Mike is Oklahoma's defensive coordinator; Mark is Kentucky's head coach; Ron, Jr. is an assistant at Youngstown State), and Mark is making quite a recruiting impact in Ohio. With the family's success and ties in the midwest, Bob would probably do a very good job of recruiting in the Big Ten imprint. Stoops has done a good job of producing NFL talent, and he has adapted his offense as the years have gone along while still playing solid defense. That monstrous salary seems like it would be difficult to overcome, especially with President Schlissel seeming slightly uneasy about the role of athletics at the university.

My wish list:
1. Bob Stoops

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Detroit News: Wolverines say they'll ignore the hate, stay focused

Angelique Chengelis has a piece on the emotions involved in the game against Ohio State (LINK).

Hit the jump for some very good looking ladies.

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson sacked Alex Smith on Sunday evening
Charles Woodson made 8 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 quarterback hurry in the Oakland Raiders' 24-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. He also returned 1 punt for 5 yards.

Honorable mention: Tom Brady was 38/53 for 349 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception in the New England Patriots' 34-9 win over the Detroit Lions. Chicago Bears safety Ryan Mundy made 8 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 pass breakup in a 21-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett didn't have a good week, but I thought it would be worth mentioning that after going 21/45 for 189 yards and 1 pick in a 22-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns, he was diagnosed with a torn pec and will miss the rest of the season. That was his second career start after being acquired from the Patriots, an unfortunate turn of events for the former Wolverine (and Arkansas Razorback).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MLive: Hoke is out of answers

Nick Baumgardner has a pretty harshly worded takedown of Brady Hoke (LINK). I've never been a real fan of Baumgardner, and I'm even less of one with his treatment of Hoke. There's a certain level of objectivity that a reporter should have, and Baumgardner crosses that line when he starts criticizing Hoke to the level he has.

Hit the jump for a few good looking girls, including a nice gif.

Basketball Video: Michigan beats Detroit and Oregon

Here are some highlights of Michigan's wins over Detroit (LINK) and Oregon (LINK). The Wolverines are now 4-0 and will play Villanova at 10:00 p.m. tonight.

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies in the middle of your day.

Recruiting Update: November 25, 2014

Keisean Lucier-South is heading to UCLA
Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Michael Weber decommitted from Michigan (LINK).

Nacogdoches (TX) Nacogdoches cornerback Jaylon Lane decommitted from Oklahoma State. Lane is a 6'1", 177 lb. prospect with offers from Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma, UCLA, and several others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #22 cornerback, and #203 overall. Oklahoma State has lost five games in a row, and head coach Mike Gundy has been rumored as a front-runner for the Florida job (although it's tough to get fans excited about a coach who will probably lose his final six games of the year). Additionally, Lane was arrested for a felony and a couple misdemeanors. I do not expect Michigan to get involved.

Plano (TX) East linebacker Anthony Hines III decommitted from Mississippi State. Hines is a 6'2", 218 lb. prospect with offers from Clemson, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Tecas A&M, and UCLA, among others. He's a 247 Sports 4-star, the #6 outside linebacker, and #113 overall. Hines basically wants to check out other options without being tied down so early, and he also was turned off by head coach Dan Mullen yanking the scholarship of a committed 2015 quarterback last week. Again, Michigan is unlikely to have much of a shot here.

Orange (CA) Lutheran defensive end Keisean Lucier-South committed to UCLA. Lucier-South once called Michigan his dream offer, and there was some confidence among Michigan folk that they could land the 247 Composite 5-star, #2 weakside end, and #23 player overall. Unfortunately, Michigan's poor season combined with a solid one from UCLA was too much to overcome. He will probably play outside linebacker in the Bruins' 3-4 scheme, whereas he would be a defensive end in a 4-3 front.

Here's a list of visitors who saw Michigan lose to Maryland (LINK).

Over on Recruiting Season, I updated the profiles of Farmington Hills Harrison DE Khalid Kareem, Brother Rice WR Grant Perry, and Auburn Hills Avondale RB Joshuwa Holloman, among others.

Ex-Wolverine Updates

Demetrius Hart goes airborne for one of his six scores
Former DT Richard Ash: Ash had 4 tackles and 1 pass knockdown in Western Michigan's 32-20 win over Central Michigan.

Former S Josh Furman: Furman made 2 tackles in Oklahoma State's 49-28 loss to #6 Baylor. After starting off 5-1, the Cowboys have now lost five in a row and will be fighting for bowl eligibility next week against Oklahoma.

Former RB commit Demetrius Hart: Hart carried the ball 20 times for 230 yards and 5 touchdowns in Colorado State's 58-20 win over New Mexico. He also caught 2 passes for 42 yards and 1 touchdown. His receiving touchdown was from 20 yards out, and his rushing scores came from 76, 55, 6, 4, and 2 yards. He's now up to 1,139 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns this year on a 7.0 yard average.

Former RB Thomas Rawls: Rawls had 19 carries for 76 yards and 2 catches for 10 yards in Central Michigan's 32-20 loss to Western Michigan.

Former head coach Rich Rodriguez: Rodriguez and his Arizona Wildcats beat #20 Utah by a score of 42-10. That's the same Utah team that beat Michigan 26-10. I wonder how badly Arizona would beat Michigan right now. Anyway, running back Nick Wilson had 20 carries for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns. The team is 9-2 with a game next week against a pretty good Arizona State team.

Former S Ray Vinopal: In Pitt's 30-7 win over Syracuse, Vinopal had 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 pass breakup. Pitt will be fighting for bowl eligibility next week against Miami.

Monday, November 24, 2014

MLive: Gardner's Michigan legacy about more than football

Here's a Nick Baumgardner feature on Devin Gardner (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking females.

Michigan vs. Maryland Awards

Devin Gardner
Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . a healthy Devin Gardner. Gardner had some very nice throws, and he had several that were just a little off target. Most of all, though, he looked healthier, which means that he can be dangerous on the ground. That adds an element to Michigan's attack that has not existed for the last several weeks. A healthy Gardner gives Michigan a chance. He ran for over 80 yards in this game, including a 24-yarder and then a 15-yard touchdown. When Gardner is on, he looks like Colin Kaepernick. Hopefully he can stay healthy and break out a big game like he did last year against Ohio State.

Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . De'Veon Smith. Smith has no speed element to his game, and he doesn't break enough tackles to warrant being the main guy. Michigan gave Smith 10 carries in this one, which earned them 28 yards. Meanwhile, Drake Johnson (14 carries, 94 yards) and Justice Hayes (6 carries, 36 yards) combined for 20 carries and 130 yards. Michigan's offensive line isn't great, but there are some holes occasionally. I am looking forward to next season, when Derrick Green will hopefully be healthy and Ty Isaac will be in the mix. There's also a chance that Green could return for the Ohio State game after missing the last several weeks with a broken collarbone.

Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Willie Henry. I'm assuming Henry has been playing a limited number of snaps because of the hand injury he suffered several weeks ago, so I don't know if anyone deserves blame here. But without Frank Clark on the roster, I think Henry is arguably the best defensive lineman on the roster. He played a little bit against Maryland, but he didn't show up on the stat sheet and we're seeing a lot of Matt Godin. Godin did okay and even notched his first career sack, but he's not Willie Henry.

Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Matt Godin. I don't know who else to pick, so I'll choose the guy who would be replaced by Henry. You can't argue with that pristine logic.

Play of the game . . . Joe Kerridge's fake punt run. It showed some creativity in play calling that we haven't often seen from this Michigan staff. Granted, it was perhaps the most boring kind of fake punt possible. Baby steps. Kerridge rumbled for 52 yards before being taken down inside the 10 yard line. I'll just throw this out there, but if that were Ben Gedeon, I think Gedeon would have scored. But hey, that will probably go down as Kerridge's biggest play of his career (he had only 1 career carry for 3 yards going into the game, and his longest catch was a 17-yarder against Indiana a few weeks ago), so hopefully he enjoys the memory.

MVP of the game . . . Devin Gardner. There aren't many options here. Nobody really stood out on defense as they gave up two fourth-quarter touchdowns, and the offense stalled out regularly, as usual. Gardner looked more like the player from the second half of the 2013 season, someone who was dangerous on foot (14 carries, 82 yards, and 1 touchdown) and potentially through the air (13/24 for 106 yards and 1 interception), though his receivers dropped numerous balls.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Michigan Daily: From high school band to the Michigan football team

Max Cohen tells the story of Alex Mitropoulos-Rundus, a walk-on football player who came to the football field from band camp (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few very good looking women.

Michael Weber, Ex-Wolverine

Michael Weber
Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Michael Weber decommitted from Michigan on Saturday afternoon. Or at least he made it public, via his Twitter account. Weber is a 247 Composite 4-star, the #13 running back, and #113 overall in the 2015 class. As a senior this season, he ran for over 2,000 yards during Cass Tech's run to the state semifinals.

Weber had committed to the Wolverines back in August over offers from Michigan State, Ohio State, USC, and Wisconsin, among others. Almost immediately he mentioned that he still wanted to visit other schools, and I have been saying all along that I did not trust his commitment. Of course, Michigan fans shouldn't hold it against a kid when he sees the coach who recruited him sitting on the hottest of hot seats. It's practically a foregone conclusion that head coach Brady Hoke will be replaced sometime in the coming weeks, so it's understandable that he would want to explore his options.

Hit the jump for thoughts on the position going forward.

Maryland 23, Michigan 16

Joe Kerridge
Goodbye, Brady Hoke. I thought Hoke's fate was sealed a few weeks ago, but this was Hoke's chance to redeem himself in front of a home crowd that had to brave a late start, some cold weather, some rain, and some ugly football. The sloppy way in which this one played out was indicative of Michigan's last couple seasons. The only real question at this point is whether Michigan fires Brady Hoke this week, or whether they allow him the dignity of finishing out the season before dropping the guillotine. I don't see a reason to let him go right now. Michigan doesn't have a suitable replacement on staff, recruiting wouldn't be affected in a positive way, and there's no home game next week for which to please ticket buyers. Furthermore, through it all, I think Hoke has been a class act and seems like a good guy. I think Michigan should let him coach out the week and fire him next Monday, but I still wouldn't be totally surprised if he got the Will Muschamp treatment.

Big gaffes. Michigan made some stupid plays and decisions down the stretch to seal their fate. Unfortunately, this has become the 2014 team's modus operandi. A punt return touchdown was called back for a pointless block in the back. A field goal turned into a touchdown when cornerback Jourdan Lewis took out the kicker, giving Maryland an automatic first down. (Regardless of what some bitter Michigan fans say, it was clearly a roughing the kicker penalty and worthy of 15 yards, whether you think Maryland kicker Brad Craddock exaggerated or not.) Worst of all was Brady Hoke's clock management at the end of the game. Michigan's drive stalled with roughly four minutes remaining in the game, and Hoke waited most of that time before calling his one timeout. By the time he did, the Terrapins just had to run one running play before allowing the final 34 seconds or so to run off the clock.

Speaking of bitter. Maybe I'm bitter, too, but how was Maryland head coach Randy Edsall allowed to do what he did at the end of the game? With a little over 30 seconds remaining, he rushed out onto the field. When the officials stopped him, he turned around, threw his headset in the air, and started celebrating in the middle of the field. I fail to see why a coach is allowed to celebrate on the field before the game is over, but maybe I'm just old-school.

Joe Kerridge fun time. Redshirt junior fullback Joe Kerridge had himself a pretty good game. It's not often that fullbacks get attention, so here's some for him. Kerridge has turned into a solid blocker. He also has good hands - as evidenced by his one-handed catch for 7 yards. The most memorable play of his career so far, though, is probably the fake punt run from the first quarter. Michigan was set to attempt a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1 when running back De'Veon Smith inexplicably false started (seriously, a running back false starting on a quarterback sneak is among the dumbest things you can do on a football field). On 4th-and-6, Michigan would surely just punt the ball. Instead, they snapped it to upback Kerridge, who plunged through the line and then got to the left sideline on his way to a 52-yard run. He couldn't quite get past the punt returner for the touchdown, but that play got Michigan inside the 10 . . . so they could settle for a field goal.

This is the Devin Gardner I like. I can't say that Gardner played a brilliant game, but this was the best he has looked since the first few games of the season. His ankle finally looked somewhat healthy, which allowed him to use perhaps his best asset - his ability to tuck the ball and run. He ran the ball 14 times for a net of 82 yards (5.9 yards/carry), including a 24-yarder and a 15-yard touchdown. Passing the ball, he was 13/24 for 106 yards and 1 interception. He looked decent throwing the ball at times and was victimized by a few drops, including a Freddy Canteen drop that would have been a touchdown, a Jake Butt seam route that may have been a touchdown, a near-catch by Bo Dever that turned into the interception, and your standard Devin Funchess drops. Remember in 2011 when Michigan's receivers - mainly Junior Hemingway - bailed out Denard Robinson on numerous occasions? This year is the opposite of that.

Devin Funchess isn't really trying. Funchess and Blake Countess are the two biggest disappointments this season, but at least Countess seems like he's trying out there. Funchess, on the other hand, seems lackadaisical most of the time. For being 6'5" and 230 lbs., he doesn't have a great desire to dominate people who are smaller than him. It's the same mentality that got him moved away from tight end. He didn't try very hard to block, so the coaches moved him to wide receiver. Now he doesn't try very hard to catch the ball, and when he does, he goes down way too easily. I don't think I can say this about any other regular during Hoke's tenure, but Funchess looks lazy and too often self-centered. (I know there is the occasional  effort to, say, snatch the ball away from a Penn State safety or chase down a Northwestern safety who dared to intercept the ball - but those plays just hint at what he can do if he does that whole "trying" thing.)

I'll give Funchess a pass on his last "drop." Maryland safety Jeremiah Johnson pretty clearly interfered with Funchess when Michigan was trying to drive the ball for a game-tying touchdown near the end of the game. Johnson's left hand got to Funchess's left hand when the ball was still a few feet away. The big guy may very well have dropped it on his own, but he never really got the chance.

Walk-ons. Fans complain when starters are out there on special teams, so I hope they're not complaining today. Dennis Norfleet finally returned a punt for a touchdown only to see it called back because walk-on safety A.J. Pearson blocked a Maryland player in the back for no good reason. The Maryland player wouldn't have made the play, anyway, but that's kind of the point. Walk-ons are walk-ons for a reason. Sometimes they overreach because they're trying to prove themselves, and sometimes the game just moves too quickly for them. Of course, starters are capable of committing penalties, too, but they don't have those things working against them. Meanwhile, Bo Dever's failure to reel in a catch resulted in a William Likely interception. The ball was thrown behind Dever, but he still got both hands on it.

Speaking of Bo Dever, why Bo Dever? Wide receiver recruiting/development has failed in a big way if this is what Michigan has to throw out there. I have been supportive of wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski the past few years because of the work he has done with Junior Hemingway, Roy Roundtree, and Jeremy Gallon, among others. But this season has been ridiculous. Let's take a look at Michigan's contributors at the position:

  • Devin Funchess (Jr.): Recruited as a tight end, couldn't block, moved to WR, generally lackadaisical, too many drops, physical specimen
  • Amara Darboh (RS So.): Recruited as a wide receiver, mediocre speed, mediocre route runner, great hands
  • Dennis Norfleet (Jr.): Recruited as a kick returner/running back, can't block, can't catch anything other than a screen pass
  • Jehu Chesson (RS So.): Recruited as a wide receiver, best blocker at position, questionable hands, seems to play less and less
  • Freddy Canteen (Fr.): Recruited as a wide receiver, decent speed, has done zilch
  • Bo Dever (RS Fr.): Not recruited, slow, supposedly decent hands
  • Da'Mario Jones, Jaron Dukes, Maurice Ways don't play at all
  • Drake Harris is injured
Two of Michigan's early-season starters (Funchess, Norfleet) weren't recruited as receivers, a large contributor wasn't recruited at all, and three able-bodied guys are mired on the bench. Meanwhile, nobody in the receiving corps is exceeding expectations.

Did Michigan miss Frank Clark? Yes, I think they did. His replacement, Mario Ojemudia, had an okay game (5 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, 1 pass breakup), but Ojemudia is not a match for Clark. Clark was consistently overpowering offensive tackles, and he had reached a point where he was not committing the immature mistakes that plagued him early in his career. Ojemudia lacks the same strength, and there were a couple times where he ran too far upfield and allowed Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown to take off and run. I think Clark would have slowed down the running of Brown (18 carries, 87 yards, 1 touchdown). Obviously, it's nobody's fault but Clark's - I respect Hoke for booting him immediately, and I think Ojemudia did what he's able to do. It just sucks for Michigan and for his (alleged) victim that he's such a moron.

Can Michigan beat Ohio State and go to a bowl game? Yes. Ohio State lost earlier this season to a Virginia Tech team that is currently 5-6 after a double-overtime loss to Wake Forest by a score of 6-3. Ohio State almost  lost to a 3-8 Indiana team yesterday, but they pulled it out with a 21-point fourth quarter. There are some chinks in the Buckeyes' armor, particularly defensively. Indiana running back Tevin Coleman had 228 yards rushing on 27 carries, including touchdowns of 90 and 52 yards. Unfortunately, Michigan hasn't had a running back like Tevin Coleman in a very long time. Even so, Drake Johnson has shown a decent burst (14 carries, 94 yards yesterday), and a healthy Devin Gardner gives you a chance on offense. The Buckeyes will be the overwhelming favorite, especially when they're playing for a chance at the playoff, but anything can happen.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Some pictures to make you feel better

We all need a little pick-me-up after watching the way Michigan lost to Maryland. Hit the jump for a ton of good looking women.

Preview: Michigan vs. Maryland

Taylor Burton is Miss Maryland 2014
Rush Offense vs. Maryland Rush Defense
Despite a preference for running, Michigan is #78 nationally with 154 yards/game on the ground. They average 4.51 yards/carry, good enough for #57. The offensive line is improving, and head coach Brady Hoke claimed that the Northwestern game was their best performance of the season. The leading rusher is De'Veon Smith (487 yards, 5.1 yards/carry, 6 touchdowns), who finally overtook Derrick Green, a player that has been out since the Rutgers game. Smith looked good when he was decisive and hitting the hole hard against Northwestern, and he looked bad when he was trying to dance in the backfield. Drake Johnson (6.2 yards/carry, 2 touchdowns) has seen an uptick in his carries over the past couple weeks, but a fumble against Northwestern sent him into the doghouse. Maryland is #99 in rushing defense and gives up 198 yards/game, but their 4.32 yards/carry mark against them is #69. Junior strong safety/cornerback Sean Davis (6'1", 190 lbs.) is their leading tackler with 94 stops, and senior inside linebacker Cole Farrand (6'3", 245 lbs.) is second with 91. Sophomore outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue (6'2", 250 lbs.) leads the team with 12.5 tackles for loss, and undersized fifth year senior defensive tackle Andre Monroe (6'0", 265 lbs.) is just behind him with 11. The only defensive lineman in the two-deep that is bigger than 275 lbs. is senior Darius Kilgo, the backup nose tackle in the Terrapins' 3-4 look. This should be a manageable front to handle, talent-wise, and Michigan has some experience going against 3-4 defenses from the season opener against Appalachian State.
Advantage: Michigan

Hit the jump for the rest of the preview.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Basketball Video: Michigan 77, Bucknell 53

Michigan is now 2-0.

MLive: Isaac, Speight play in bye week scrimmage

Two guys I'm very interested to see in spring ball are Ty Isaac (who I think is the best running back on the roster) and Wilton Speight (who will be battling for the starting job at quarterback next year) (LINK).

Hit the jump for a picture/gif of Sophie Reade and a couple other random girls.

Visitors: Michigan vs. Maryland

Tampa (FL) Wharton wide receiver Auden Tate
Here's a list of players who will be visiting Michigan for their game against Maryland this weekend, the final home game of the season.

Jack Dunaway - DE - Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice:
 Dunaway is committed to Michigan as a preferred walk-on defensive end. He's the son of former Michigan tight end Craig Dunaway.

John Kelly - S - Oak Park (MI) Oak Park: Kelly is a 5'10", 194 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, and Minnesota, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #62 athlete, and #656 overall. Michigan offered him after cornerback Garrett Taylor decommitted, but the Wolverines are looking at Kelly as a safety. Kelly averaged 10.7 yards/carry as a senior this year, ending up with 1,321 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Alex Malzone - QB - Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice: Michigan's quarterback commit for the 2015 class (LINK), Malzone was 211/325 (65%) for 2,998 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions.

Grant Newsome - OT - Lawrenceville (NJ) Lawrenceville School: Newsome committed to Michigan in June (LINK). He's now rated as a 247 Composite 4-star, the #21 offensive tackle, and #209 overall. This will be his official visit.

Grant Perry - WR - Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice: Perry is a 6'0", 185 lb. prospect with offers from a bunch of MAC schools and is angling for a Michigan offer to follow his quarterback teammate, Malzone. Perry is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #130 wide receiver, and #1047 overall.

Auden Tate - WR - Tampa (FL) Wharton: Tate is a 6'4", 215 lb. prospect who committed to Florida State in August; he also has offers from Florida, Georgia, and Michigan, among others. It always looked like a Michigan vs. Florida State battle with the Seminoles leading. An official visit, this will be Tate's first time in Ann Arbor.

Hit the jump for 2016, 2017, and 2018 prospects.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MLive: Ray Taylor becomes father during Northwestern game

Michigan cornerback Raymon Taylor became a father of a baby girl during the Northwestern game (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking girls.

ESPN 300 for 2016 updated

Erik Swenson is the #188 player in the country
ESPN updated their top 300 prospects for the class of 2016 (LINK). Here's what it looked like back in July (LINK). Movement for Michigan commits:

- Erik Swenson jumped from #256 to #188
- Messiah DeWeaver fell from #115 to #199

Hit the jump for the full list.

Junior Highlights: Erik Swenson

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson
Charles Woodson had a game-high 14 tackles, but his Oakland Raiders lost to the San Diego Chargers by a score of 13-6.

Honorable mention: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was 19/30 for 257 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions in a 42-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Ryan Mundy made 1 tackle and 1 interception in the Chicago Bears' 21-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

MLive: Michigan players confident in Ojemudia, Charlton

Nick Baumgardner talks about the replacements for senior defensive end Frank Clark, who was kicked off the team earlier this week (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice cleavage and a gif of a nice bum.

Recruiting Update: November 18, 2014

Long Beach (CA) Poly cornerback Colin Samuel
Long Beach (CA) Poly cornerback Colin Samuel was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'2", 186 lb. prospect with offers from Boston College, Illinois, Purdue, and UCLA, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star but unranked in the position rankings. He has been hit with a flurry of offers the past few days, which indicates that he sent out some impressive senior film. Indeed, Samuel is big, fast, and aggressive with good hips; unfortunately, he is pretty raw and does not have great instincts. Samuel is a teammate of 2015 corner Iman Marshall, who has tentative plans to visit Michigan but seems likely to end up at USC. Michigan has had some success in the past at Poly, which sent Donovan Warren to Ann Arbor.

Hit the jump for a slew of 2016 offers, a 2017 offer, and some miscellaneous tidbits.

Monday, November 17, 2014

MLive: Vote for the fifth Michigan player of the year candidate

Alex Malzone is already one of the four selected finalists. Go ahead and vote for the fifth (LINK).

Hit the jump for a model named Gabriella Lenzi.

Frank Clark dismissed from football program

Frank Clark
After an arrest for domestic violence over the weekend, senior defensive end Frank Clark was booted out of the football program. Clark was an unheralded recruit out of Cleveland (OH) Glenville who garnered some interest from Michigan when head coach Brady Hoke was hired in January 2011. He was Second Team All-Big Ten in 2013, and he was perhaps Michigan's top NFL prospect for the upcoming draft. He finishes his college career with 120 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 4 fumble recoveries, and 6 pass breakups.

Junior Mario Ojemudia will likely replace Clark in the starting lineup for the remainder of the season.

Basketball Video: Michigan 92, Hillsdale 68

Michigan is now 1-0.

Ex-Wolverine Updates

Josh Furman (#14) attempts to tackle Texas's Tyrone Swoopes
Former DT Richard Ash: Ash made 1 tackle in Western Michigan's 51-7 beatdown of Eastern Michigan.

Former CB commit Dallas Crawford: Crawford made 2 tackles in Miami-FL's 30-26 loss to Florida State.

Former S Josh Furman: Furman had 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 sack in Oklahoma State's 28-7 loss to Texas. Oklahoma State started off 5-1, but they have since lost four in a row to Big 12 opponents. Furman has 54 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 4 pass breakups, and 1 interception on the season.

Former linebackers coach Jay Hopson: Hopson, now the head coach at Alcorn State, moved to 9-2 on the season with a 56-6 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Former RB Thomas Rawls: Rawls had 3 carries for 16 yards in Central Michigan's 34-27 victory over Miami-OH.

Former head coach Rich Rodriguez: Rodriguez's Arizona Wildcats beat Washington by a score of 27-26. The Huskies were ahead 26-24 with three seconds remaining when Arizona kicker Casey Skowron missed a potential game-winning field goal, but Washington head coach Chris Petersen had called a timeout to ice the kicker. Skowron hit the field goal on his second try and Arizona pulled out the win. Arizona is now 8-2 on the year.

Former S Ray Vinopal: Vinopal had 5 tackles in Pitt's 40-35 loss to North Carolina.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grantland: The NFL All-Bargain Team

Bill Barnwell put together another All-Bargain Team (LINK). Hey, it's a bye week and not much is going on with Michigan football. Except for the Frank Clark story, which probably shouldn't be combined with some pictures of good looking women.

So . . . hit the jump for some good looking ladies, including a Katee Owen gif.

School in the News: Florida

Will Muschamp was fired as Florida's head coach, even though he has agreed to coach the Gators' final two games of the year. He currently has a 5-4 record with games against Eastern Kentucky and Florida State remaining, plus a potential bowl game. His overall head coaching record stands at 27-20.

The recruiting impact of coaching changes is often minimal, so Michigan should not expect any of the fallout to affect them. The most interesting thing to watch will be whom Florida targets as the next head coach, because Michigan will also likely be looking for a head coach in the near future. Mississippi State's Dan Mullen and Arizona's Rich Rodriguez seem to be the coaches with the most buzz for the Florida job right now. Mullen could also be an option for Michigan; obviously, Rodriguez would not be.

Anyway, here's a look at Florida's current recruiting class and roster, should this development affect the Wolverines at all:

Offered 2015 commits: C Tyler Jordan
Offered players on roster: LB Alex Anzalone, WR Alvin Bailey, DT Jay-nard Bostwick, DT Khairi Clark, CB Vernon Hargreaves III, OT D.J. Humphries, S Marcus Maye, C Tyler Moore, S Brian Poole, LB Matt Rolin, CB Jalen Tabor, and S Quincy Wilson

Of those players, only Alvin Bailey was ever somewhat serious about coming to Michigan.

On a couple side notes, Cincinnati offensive tackle George Brown is committed to Florida; he was never offered by Michigan, but he did garner a lot of recruiting hype and Michigan's lack of interest was somewhat curious.

Also, former Michigan quarterback commit Kevin Sousa's brother, Ryan, is a freshman wideout for the Gators.

Also also, a couple former Michigan residents are on Florida's squad: Canton offensive linemen Cameron Dillard and Madison Heights Madison wide receiver Valdez Showers.

Frank Clark has been arrested

As appears to have been first reported by MGoBlog (LINK), Michigan defensive end Frank Clark was arrested late Saturday night/Sunday morning in connection with a domestic violence incident. As far as I know, details of the incident have not been made public.

You may remember that head coach Brady Hoke has handled incidents like this with something more than the typical reaction at Florida State, so I will assume that Clark will be suspended for the upcoming game against Maryland, if not longer. Reference points:

  • Clark himself was suspended for the 2012 season opener against Alabama for stealing a laptop
  • Fitzgerald Toussaint was suspended for that same game for an alcohol-related offense
  • Darryl Stonum was suspended for an entire season (for which he would have redshirted) after dealing with multiple alcohol-related offenses
  • Graham Glasgow was suspended for this season's opener against Appalachian State for an alcohol-related incident
  • Will Hagerup was suspended for the entire 2013 season (for which he redshirted) after some funny business
  • Jake Butt was suspended a couple weeks for a "failure to meet team expectations"
  • Josh Furman and Tamani Carter were suspended from participating in spring practice activities during an investigation in 2012
So yeah. I think it's a safe assumption that Clark will not be playing next Saturday, at the least.

Clark is perhaps Michigan's best defensive player and has 42 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 2 pass breakups. He would be coming off his best performance of the season against Northwestern, when he had 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and those 2 pass knockdowns.

The backup for Clark is listed as Mario Ojemudia, a junior who had 2 sacks of his own against Northwestern. He has played a good amount of snaps throughout his career and has 24 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks this season. Ojemudia will probably be a starter next season, so the starting job should be in at least decent hands. The problem might arise when Michigan has to rotate other players, which may include redshirt freshman Henry Poggi (1 tackle) or junior linebacker/defensive end Royce Jenkins-Stone (8 tackles). Sophomore Taco Charlton (18 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks) might also be in the running to start, but he has been Brennen Beyer's backup on the other side and is less experienced and consistent than Ojemudia. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

MLive: Once unknown recruits, LeVert and Albrecht to serve as captains

Brendan F. Quinn has a story on Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht being named captains of the basketball team (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking ladies, including a gif of one running up the stairs.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

Start your weekend with some pictures of beautiful women, plus a gif of a girl standing innocently in a doorway.

Review of 2007 Recruiting: Linebackers

Brandon Herron was the star of the class! (here being chased by former Michigan tackle Dann O'Neill, #68)

Shawn Crable, RS Sr.
Chris Graham, Sr.
John Thompson, Sr.
Brandon Logan, Jr.
Obi Ezeh, So.
Jonas Mouton, So.

Marell Evans
High school:
 Richmond (VA) Varina
Ratings: Rivals 2-star outside linebacker
College: Michigan Hampton Michigan
Other notable offer: Temple
Scoop: Evans had quite the circuitous journey through college football. A high school teammate of Brandon Minor (who would end up as Michigan's starter at running back), Evans was a very under-the-radar recruit. He played sparingly in five games on special teams as a freshman in 2007, and then he made one start under Rich Rodriguez in 2008, finishing his sophomore year with 4 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, and .5 sacks. He left Michigan in 2009 and transferred to Hampton in 2010, but he sat out that season due to injury. He then returned to Michigan in 2011 and was purported to be starter-level material on a team with questionable linebackers, but apparently his academic situation left him unable to compete in games; he remained on the team and played as a scout linebacker. He participated in Michigan's pro day, but he never got a shot in the NFL.

Brandon Herron
High school: Sugar Land (TX) Dulles
Ratings: Rivals 3-star, #25 outside linebacker
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech
Scoop: Herron (a high school teammate of defensive back Troy Woolfolk) redshirted as a freshman in 2007. He made 7 tackles as a special-teamer in 2008. He saw more time on defense in 2009, when he made 20 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 fumble recovery. As a redshirt junior in 2010, he made 7 tackles and 1 pass breakup. He broke out in a big way as a fifth year senior in 2011 when he earned his first start against Western Michigan; Herron responded with 8 tackles, 1 fumble recovery (returned 29 yards for a touchdown), and 1 interception (returned 94 yards for a touchdown). Interestingly, he was barely heard from again, as he played just five more games that year and never started again; a nagging leg injury after week one may have contributed to that. He was not drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft, and his career ended despite a solid showing at Michigan's pro day (4.59 forty, 26 bench press reps, a 37.5" vertical, etc.).

Austin Panter
High school:
 El Dorado (KS) Butler County Community College
Ratings: Rivals 4-star inside linebacker
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Minnesota
Scoop: A rare foray into the junior college transfer ranks for Michigan, Panter played immediately with junior eligibility in 2007. He made 7 tackles and 1 tackle for loss that year. Then in 2008 he made 8 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. An ineffective Big Ten player, he was not drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft and his career never got off the ground.

Hit the jump for the guys that Michigan took a swing at and missed.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

MLive: This is John Beilein

MLive did a big piece on John Beilein, and John Beilein is pretty awesome, so here it is (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice cleavage, a nice bum, and a gif of a friendly girl waving to you.

2009 Offer Board

In order to alleviate some of the clutter at the top of the page, I'm moving the 2009 Offer Board to a blog post. Below you will find the 120 offers Michigan sent out in the 2009 class.

120 total offers

Tate Forcier - San Diego, CA (Michigan)
Denard Robinson - Deerfield Park, FL (Michigan)
Brandon Mitchell - Amite, LA (Arkansas)
Christian Matthews - Arlington, TX (Kansas)
Russell Shepard - Houston, TX (LSU)
Kevin Newsome - Chatham, VA (Penn State)
Tom Savage - Springfield, PA (Rutgers)
Casey Pachall - Brownwood, TX (TCU)
Shavodrick Beaver - Wichita Falls, TX (Tulsa)
Eugene Smith - Miramar, FL (West Virginia)

Teric Jones - Detroit, MI (Michigan)
Vincent Smith - Pahokee, FL (Michigan)
Fitzgerald Toussaint - Youngstown, OH (Michigan)
Mike Gillislee - Deland, FL (Florida)
David Sims - St. Matthews, SC (Georgia Tech)
Edwin Baker - Oak Park, MI (Michigan State)
Larry Caper - Battle Creek, MI (Michigan State)
Rex Burkhead - Plano, TX (Nebraska)
Jaamal Berry - Miami, FL (Ohio State)
Jordan Hall - Jeannette, PA (Ohio State)
Jeremy Smith - Tulsa, OK (Oklahoma State)
Lindsey Lamar - Tampa, FL (South Florida)
David Wilson - Danville, VA (Virginia Tech)
Tavon Austin - Baltimore, MD (West Virginia)

Jeremy Gallon - Apopka, FL (Michigan)
Cameron Gordon - Inkster, MI (Michigan)
Je'Ron Stokes - Philadelphia, PA (Michigan)
Kenny Bell - Rayville, LA (Alabama)
Dewayne Peace - Grand Prairie, TX (Arizona)
Travante Stallworth - Leesburg, LA (Auburn)
Willie Haulstead - Titusville, FL (Florida State)
Rantavious Wooten - Belle Glade, FL (Georgia)
Bryan Underwood - Cleveland Heights, OH (North Carolina State)
Shaquelle Evans - Inglewood, CA (Notre Dame)
Braxton Lane - Tyrone, GA (Oregon)
Todd Thomas - Beaver Falls, PA (Pittsburgh)
Lamar Scruggs - Jacksonville, FL (South Carolina)
Jamal-Rashad Patterson - McDonough, GA (Stanford)
Nu'keese Richardson - Pahokee, FL (Tennessee)

Terrell Mitchell - Powder Springs, GA
Dion Sims - Orchard Lake, MI (Michigan State)

Taylor Lewan - Scottsdale, AZ (Michigan)
Michael Schofield - Orland Park, IL (Michigan)
Austin Long - Memphis, TN (Georgia)
Chris Faulk - Slidell, LA (LSU)
Chris Freeman - Trotwood, OH (Missouri)
Travis Bond - Windsor, NC (North Carolina)
Brennan Williams - West Roxbury, MA (North Carolina)
Zack Martin - Indianapolis, IN (Notre Dame)
Marcus Hall - Cleveland, OH (Ohio State)
Adam Gress - West Mifflin, PA (Penn State)

Quinton Washington - St. Stephen, SC (Michigan)
Andrew Carter - Tallahassee, FL (Illinois)
Stanley Hasiak - Kapolei, HI (UCLA)

Anthony Lalota - Princeton, NJ (Michigan)
Craig Roh - Scottsdale, AZ (Michigan)
William Ming - Athens, AL (Alabama)
Kedric Johnson - Palmetto, FL (Florida)
Cornelius "Tank" Carradine - Cincinnati, OH (Junior college)
Bennie Logan - Coushatta, LA (LSU)
Sam Montgomery - Greenwood, SC (LSU)
Pernell McPhee - Fulton, MS (Mississippi State)
Jason Ankrah - Gaithersburg, MD (Nebraska)
Melvin Fellows - Garfield Heights, OH (Ohio State)
Will Hill - Williamsburg, VA (Virginia)

William Campbell - Detroit, MI (Michigan)
Chris Bonds - Columbia, SC (Alabama)
Darrington Sentimore - Destrehan, LA (Alabama)
Corey Adams - Scottsdale, AZ (Arizona State)
DeQuinta Jones - Bastrop, LA (Arkansas)
Chris Davenport - Mansfield, LA (LSU)
Curtis Porter - Charlotte, NC (Miami)
Adam Bellamy - Aurora, OH (Ohio State)
Tyrone Ezell - Homestead, PA (Pittsburgh)
Antwan Lowery - Miami, FL (Rutgers)
Pearlie Graves - Tulsa, OK (Texas Tech)
DeAntre Rhodes - Richmond, VA (Virginia Tech)

Isaiah Bell - Youngstown, OH (Michigan)
Brandin Hawthorne - Pahokee, FL (Michigan)
Mike Jones - Orlando, FL (Michigan)
Petey Smith - Seffner, FL (Alabama)
Jelani Jenkins - Olney, MD (Florida)
Barkevious Mingo - West Monroe, LA (LSU)
Chris Norman - Detroit, MI (Michigan State)
Willie Ferrell - Tallahassee, FL (Mississippi)
Mike Marry - Largo, FL (Mississippi)
Hawatha Bell - Matthews, NC (North Carolina)
Dorian Bell - Monroeville, PA (Ohio State)
Jordan Barnes - Fort Wayne, IN (Oklahoma State)
DeDe Lattimore - Athens, GA (South Florida)
Jonathan Stewart - Shreveport, LA (Texas A&M)

Justin Turner - Massillon, OH (Michigan)
Adrian Witty - Deerfield Park, FL (Michigan)
Dre Kirkpatrick - Gadsden, AL (Alabama)
David Gordon - Tulsa, OK (Arkansas)
Darius Winston - West Helena, AR (Arkansas)
Josh Robinson - Lauderhill, FL (Central Florida)
Branden Smith - Atlanta, GA (Georgia)
Travis Hawkins - Gaithersburg, MD (Maryland)
Mywan Jackson - Seffner, FL (North Carolina)
Corey Brown - Monroeville, PA (Ohio State)
Demontre Hurst - Lancaster, TX (Oklahoma)
Mike Edwards - Cleveland, OH (Tennessee)
Jayron Hosley - Delray Beach, FL (Virginia Tech)

Vladimir Emilien - Lauderhill, FL (Michigan)
Thomas Gordon - Detroit, MI (Michigan)
Angelo Hadley - Seffner, FL
Rod Woodson - Olive Branch, MS (Alabama)
Dennis Thames - Louisville, MS (Mississippi State)
Donavan Tate - Cartersville, GA (North Carolina)
Stephon Gilmore - Rock Hill, SC (South Carolina)
Devonte Holloman - Rock Hill, SC (South Carolina)
D.J. Swearinger - Greenwood, SC (South Carolina)
Darren Myles - Atlanta, GA (Tennessee)
Marsalis Teague - Paris, TN (Tennessee)
Patrick Hall - Ventura, CA (USC)
T.J. McDonald - Fresno, CA (USC)
Jonathan Scott - Daytona Beach, FL (West Virginia)

Brendan Gibbons - West Palm Beach, FL (Michigan)
Anthony Fera - Houston, TX (Penn State)

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Denard Robinson

Denard Robinson
Denard Robinson had 15 carries for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 2 catches for 10 yards, in the Jacksonville Jaguars' 31-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Honorable mention: New York Giants running back Michael Cox tallied 4 carries for 33 yards, 2 catches for 9 yards, and 6 kickoff returns for 121 yards in their most recent losses to the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks, but he broke his leg on Sunday and will miss the rest of the year. Arizona Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote made 7 tackles in a 31-14 win over the St. Louis Rams, which puts the Cardinals at 8-1 on the year. Chicago Bears safety Ryan Mundy made 11 tackles and 1 fumble recovery in a 55-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers, in which Aaron Rodgers had 6 touchdown passes in the first half. Charles Woodson made 10 tackles, but the Oakland Raiders lost to the Denver Broncos by a score of 41-17.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MGoBlog: Hokepoints - The Banner Man

Seth tells the story of Al Renfrew (LINK), who helped to start the banner tradition that inspired the name of my favorite blog (hint: it's the one you're reading right now).

Hit the jump for some good looking women, including one getting out of the shower.

Recruiting Update: November 12, 2014

How could Darrin Kirkland, Jr. pass on this? 
Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central linebacker Darrin Kirkland, Jr. decommitted from Michigan. He committed to Michigan back in May (LINK), but the tenuous coaching situation obviously unnerved him. Michigan has a small chance to reel him back in if they hire the right guy, but players rarely re-commit. The loss of Kirkland in the class is somewhat mitigated by the combination of facts that a) Desmond Morgan is redshirting to return in 2015 and b) Michigan got a commitment from Dele' Harding. If Notre Dame were to offer Kirkland, I would not be surprised to see him join his friend Asmar Bilal in South Bend.

St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher was offered by Michigan. Malone-Hatcher is a 6'3", 227 lb. prospect with offers from Ohio State and Penn State; he has also visited Alabama, partly because his father is from the state. He claims a 5.08 forty, a 27" vertical, a 315 lb. bench press, and a 535 lb. squat. He plays some linebacker for his high school team, but if his body continues to grow - and considering his current athletic skills - he should be a defensive end at the next level. Obviously, he's at the end of his sophomore season, so lots of development should be expected - he's a good athlete and a solid hitter who really needs to learn technique and how to use his hands. Right now he's a totally raw prospect, but one of the top few players in the state for his class.


Evans (GA) Lakeside safety Rashad Roundtree committed to Georgia. Georgia was consistently the presumed leader, but he was also considering Ohio State, which would have been bad news for Michigan. He's considered the #6 safety and the #95 player overall by 247's Composite ratings.

As always, check out Recruiting Season  for some updated profiles of players from within the state of Michigan.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Big House Report: Northwestern and Looking Forward

There's a guest post at The Big House Report by former Michigan walk-on quarterback Jack Kennedy, where he talks about the current state of the program (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice cleavage.

Video: The Journey - Devin Gardner

Ex-Wolverine Updates

Demetrius Hart
Former TE commit Pharaoh Brown: Brown suffered a gruesome knee injury in the game, but prior to doing so, he caught 3 passes for 40 yards and 1 touchdown. Oregon beat Utah by a score of 51-27. Brown's season is presumably over, so he finishes with 25 catches for 420 yards (16.8 yards/catch) and 6 touchdowns. You can watch below, but watch at your own risk:

Former CB commit Gareon Conley: Conley had 3 tackles in Ohio State's 49-37 win over Michigan State. He now has 12 tackles and 1 pass breakup in his redshirt freshman season.

Former RB commit Demetrius Hart: Hart carried the ball 11 times for 115 yards and 1 touchdown in Colorado State's 49-22 win over Hawaii. He also had 1 catch for 9 yards. Hart now has 909 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, averaging 6.3 yards/carry.

Former head coach Rich Rodriguez: Rodriguez and his Arizona Wildcats beat Colorado by a score of 38-20. Arizona racked up 499 yards on offense, including 153 and and 115 rushing yards by running back Nick Wilson and quarterback Anu Solomon, respectively.

For more updates, check out the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia (LINK).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Big Ten Blog: Defense answers bell again for Michigan

Matt Fortuna recaps Michigan's defensive performance from the weekend (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of the ladies, including a gif of a blonde trying on some unmentionables.

Highlights: Michigan 10, Northwestern 9

Michigan vs. Northwestern Awards

Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Dennis Norfleet. Norfleet injured his shoulder against Indiana, and he did not appear in this game. It was no surprise when Michigan couldn't find a big-play threat even once during the Northwestern game. Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier tried an end around to Devin Funchess - which was an utter failure - and the Wolverines have no speed on the outside. Add that to the gimpy Devin Gardner and a gimpy De'Veon Smith, and things look bleak for big plays. Norfleet hasn't been able to make huge plays, but he does have the ability to make 10-20 yard gains on the occasional run or reception. Hopefully he can get healthy by the next game in two weeks.

Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . Devin Funchess as the go-to receiver. The more reliable target this year has been Amara Darboh. Darboh is pretty slow and runs poor routes at times, but he makes both the easy and the tough catches. Funchess hasn't consistently made either. Michigan needs to spread the ball around, but when they need  a play to be made, I think Darboh has to be the guy.

Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . James Ross III. Ross has been playing better than the third corner. Against some packages, I guess it's necessary to put a fifth defensive back in the game, but you have to put your best eleven guys out there on defense. That actually probably would involve removing the free safety, but we've been over that before. Anytime Delonte Hollowell is out there on defense, I'd rather have Ross in the game.

Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Delonte Hollowell. As I mentioned in the game recap, it seems like opposing coordinators and quarterbacks are aware of his presence. If they watch game tape from earlier in the season, he's the guy they should realize they can pick on. He hasn't played a great deal on defense, but he has allowed at least three touchdowns this season on out routes near the left sideline (against Notre Dame, Utah, and now Northwestern). The kid is a decent special teams contributor, but he's a liability in coverage.

Play of the game . . . Matt Godin's interception on Frank Clark's tip. Late in the second quarter, Michigan ran a zone blitz that dropped defensive end Brennen Beyer into a short zone. On a three-man rush, defensive end Frank Clark bulled Northwestern offensive tackle Jason Konopka backward, getting a hand up to knock down a Trevor Siemian pass attempt. The ball was knocked up in the air, and defensive tackle Godin reeled it in as he was falling backward to the ground. There are several options - the thwarted two-point conversion, Jake Ryan's interception, several of the 6 Michigan sacks, etc. - but I'll give it to Godin (and Clark) because it involved multiple players.

MVP of the game . . . tie between Jake Ryan and Frank Clark. Both had stellar games, particularly in the first half. Ryan finished with 11 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, 1 interception (returned for 2 yards), and 1 other pass breakup. Clark had 8 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 3 batted balls, one of which was intercepted; he also sniffed out a reverse and made a very nice tackle in the backfield. This game was won by the defense, and those two really stood out.