Monday, August 16, 2010

2010 Countdown: #18 Brendan Gibbons

Name: Brendan Gibbons
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 227 lbs.
High school: Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, FL
Position: Placekicker
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #34
Last year: I ranked Gibbons #66 and said he'd be the team's kicker. He redshirted.

Not many people expected Gibbons to redshirt in 2009. He stepped into a situation with one oft-injured kicker (Bryan Wright) and a bunch of walk-ons. But despite being the #8 ranked kicker in the 2009 recruiting class, he sat for the entire year and watched fifth-year walk-on Jason Olesnavage handle the placekicking duties. Gibbons definitely has leg strength; in his senior year of high school, 93% of his kickoffs were touchbacks and he had 7 field goals of 40+ yards, including a long of 52. However, reports of inaccuracy and inconsistency have been rampant, and Gibbons is fighting several former walk-ons for the kicking job again this year.

I'm not sure what will happen with Gibbons. He has been erratic, and walk-on kickers make an impact at various schools around the country every single year. I would not be surprised to see him lose the job, so this #18 ranking encompasses all the kickers, in a way. I think Michigan's offense will be high-powered enough that field goals won't be a premium mode of scoring points in most games. Games in 2010 aren't going to be won or lost with scores of 17-14 or 14-13. These are going to be high scoring affairs, and even though I'm sure Michigan will lose a few games, it will mostly be due to a questionable defense and not entirely the kicking woes that are sure to surface.

And hey, the lower my expectations are, the more likely I am to be pleasantly surprised.

Prediction for 2010: Gibbons will be the kickoff specialist; a walk-on will be the placekicker

Gibbons was the leading vote-getter with 20% of the tally.


  1. I really don't see Obi starting. I'd have counted him off a long time ago. Even if he does, it seems like replacing him with any of the other MLB candidates wouldn't be a huge drop-off.

    Our kicker will be more important than him.

  2. @ Anonymous 1:10 p.m.

    Well, Leach has changed positions, so the only other option outside of Ezeh at MLB is Kenny Demens. We haven't seen much of Demens, but I think leadership is an important aspect and there are very few seniors on the defense (Ezeh, Mouton, Banks, and Woolfolk are the only likely senior starters, IMO). I'm hoping that Ezeh will take a forward leap this fall.

  3. your countdown has become a part of my regular daiy routine. Bravo, sir.

    I'm curious about your thoughts on James Elliot.


  4. @ BISB

    I would be happy to share my thoughts on Elliott . . . if I had seen any film on him. Unfortunately, I haven't. He has middling offers and hasn't even officially been offered by Michigan (Rodriguez hasn't approved the offer), so I'm a little lukewarm right now, but that could change if I see film. Sorry I can't give you more.

  5. @ Thunder

    Your point is well taken: none of the other MLB candidates have proven themselves. Still, there have been indications from practice "insiders" that Obi has fallen behind Moundros and Demens (depending on what bit of info you sniff). I guess I'm really down on him from (a) last year's performance and (b) the lukewarm comments the coaches have been making about the way he looks this fall ("well, he really tries hard..."). I hope he steps up in a major way this year, too, but I won't bat an eyelash if he's not the starter against UConn.

  6. oh and great idea with the poll. its fun trying to guess with very very little knowledge of michigan football in general. im hoping i can go roughly 1/20