Tuesday, April 20, 2021

2021 Season Countdown: #131 Noah Howes


Noah Howes (image via Twitter)

Name: Noah Howes
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 250 lbs.
High school: Rochester (MI) Rochester Hills
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Howes was a senior in high school.
TTB Rating: N/A

Howes recently committed to Michigan as a walk-on, spurring a scholarship offer from Navy. At 6'4" and 250 lbs., it's easy to see why the Midshipmen offered. They like athletic linemen who might not have the mammoth size that other schools prefer. The nice thing about a place like Michigan is that he would not be expected to contribute early, so he can join the program, add some weight, get in the weight room, and potentially be a contributor down the road.

I really appreciate how Howes plays, the way he finishes blocks and then hustles back to the huddle. That kind of effort, hustle, and enthusiasm can carry over to teammates, and if he works that way in the weight room, Michigan might have found a diamond in the rough.

Prediction: Redshirt

The 2021 Season Countdown is Coming!


It's coming.

If you’re a regular here at Touch the Banner, you probably know what the spring content entails. Every year since 2009, I have counted down from the least important player on that year’s roster to the most important player, including starters, scholarship players, preferred walk-ons, special teams players, student body walk-ons, and everyone in between.

In case you want a look back at last year’s countdown, here it is (LINK).

YEARLY DISCLAIMER: The countdown is by the player’s importance to the team, not his overall talent. A talented player at a deep position won’t necessarily be missed a lot if he gets injured, but an injury to a moderately talented player at a thin position could be devastating. For example, I had cornerback Ambry Thomas ranked at #2 last year because he was the team's only proven cornerback. Naturally, he opted out of the season and the team as a whole was an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, projected first round pick Kwity Paye was #6 because more talent was returning on the defensive line.

I know times are tough, but now is a good time to suggest a Paypal donation if you appreciate the content here at TTB:

Be ready for the countdown to begin today, April 20.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Xavier Worthy, Ex-Wolverine


Xavier Worthy (image via Diehardsport)

We learned a few days ago that Fresno (CA) Central East wide receiver Xavier Worthy would not be making good on his pledge to play for the Wolverines. Despite signing his National Letter of Intent, he requested out of it and will presumably be granted that request. In modern times it's not worth the public relations hit to reject those requests.

Hit the jump for more.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Phillip Paea, Ex-Wolverine


Phillip Paea (image via 247 Sports)

Defensive tackle Phillip Paea has entered the transfer portal. Paea played in just a few games from 2017-2020, bouncing back and forth between offensive and defensive line.

Paea was recruited for defensive tackle, even though I said all along I liked him best on offense (LINK). I initially gave him a TTB Rating of 76 thinking the staff might come around, but as it became clear he was headed for defense, I lowered that to 68 (LINK).

It seems to be rather unusual that a player in modern football sticks around for four years without having a role on offense or defense, but that was the case here with Paea. As a grad transfer, he now has two years to play two.

That 2017 class was thought to be a great in-state haul, but Donovan Peoples-Jones and Ambry Thomas only played three years each, never reaching their ceiling. Deron Irving-Bey, Ja'Raymond Hall, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and Joshua Ross rounded out that in-state class. The only one remaining is Ross, and so far, none has received honors above Third Team All-Big Ten.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2011


Blake Countess (image via Alchetron)

Here's a look back at the recruits who did not pan out for Michigan in 2011, the transition class between Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.


Chris Barnett - Tight end - Hurst (TX) L.D. Bell
Barnett was an outstanding tight end coming out of high school.  He tore his ACL during his senior year and struggled to regain his playing shape.  When he arrived at Michigan in the summer of 2011 for his freshman season, he weighed 278 lbs.  By late August the distance from home, the summer classwork, and the required physical conditioning forced him to leave the program and re-evaluate his options.  He enrolled at a Texas junior college, but left that program.
Current status: Unknown

Russell Bellomy - Quarterback - Arlington (TX) Martin
After the decommitment of Kevin Sousa in December 2010 (see below), Michigan was scrambling for a more traditional quarterback, whereas Sousa had been a dual-threat guy. He was previously committed to Purdue, but that changed when Michigan came calling. He redshirted in 2011. Then he played in five games in 2012, including stepping in for Denard Robinson against Nebraska, which was an ugly performance (3/16, 38 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT), and stuck around through 2014. Altogether, he was 4/23 for 46 yards and 4 interceptions at Michigan. He transferred to UTSA as a senior in 2015, completing 4/10 passes for 39 yards and rushing 7 times for 21 yards.
Current status: Out of football

Greg Brown - Cornerback - Fremont (OH) Ross
Brown was the first commitment of the 2011 class after choosing the Wolverines in September of 2009.  He enrolled early in January 2011, but was one of those kids who was caught in the middle between Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.  Rodriguez recruited him, but he wasn't fired until January, when Brown was already on campus.  The cornerback received mixed reviews in spring practices and played sparingly on special teams at the beginning of the 2011 season, but decided to transfer mid-season.  He played sparingly for Findlay in 2012, then transferred to Iowa Central Community College prior to the 2013 season.
Current status: Out of football

Hit the jump for more.

Way Too Early 2021 Depth Chart: April 2021


Aidan Hutchinson: Will he stay or will he go?

The following depth chart has removed the following players from the 2020 depth chart for various reasons:

  • LB William Mohan (transfer)
  • S Hunter Reynolds (transfer)
  • WR Giles Jackson (transfer)
  • C Zach Carpenter (transfer to Indiana)
  • RB Zach Charbonnet (transfer to UCLA)
  • WR Giles Jackson (transfer)
  • QB Joe Milton (transfer)
  • RB Christian Turner (transfer to Wake Forest)
  • LB Ben VanSumeren (transfer to Michigan State)
  • DE Luiji Vilain (transfer to Wake Forest)

It also assumes that every currently rostered player and every currently committed prospect will be here in 2021, which is obviously not true.

Hit the jump for the depth chart.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Ex-Wolverine Commit Updates: Spring 2021


Rashad Weaver (image via Pitt Athletics)

I would appreciate any support you can offer through Amazon purchases (LINK):


Marcus Allen, WR (Wisconsin): Allen signed with the Badgers in the 2021 class.

Tim Baldwin, Jr., RB (Indiana): Baldwin ran 22 times for 141 yards as a backup for the Hoosiers.

Kalil Branham, WR: Branham is no longer on the Kentucky football team, but he does not appear to be in the transfer portal.

Hit the jump for more.