Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 Countdown: #77 Teric Jones

Teric Jones (#14)
Name: Teric Jones
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Cass Tech High School in Detroit, MI
Position: Running back
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #14
Last year: I said Jones would be a backup safety and special teams contributor.  He was buried on the depth chart at running back (3 carries, 7 yards) and played special teams.

Jones is aiming for the first annual James Rogers Award, given to a Michigan player who has no clue what position he'll play from year to year.  He entered college in 2009 as a slot receiver, moved to cornerback shortly into his freshman season, switched to safety in spring 2010, then played running back once the season began.  He suffered a serious knee injury in the Illinois game and missed the rest of the 2010 campaign, as well as spring practice in April.

I presume that Jones will still be playing running back, although his availability is unclear.  Considering the fact that Vincent Smith returned from his own serious knee injury suffered in the 2009 Ohio State game by the following September, I can only assume that Jones will be ready to play again in 2011.  However, Jones hasn't done anything particularly special at any position, and there's no reason to expect that he'll push for playing time if healthy.  Whether it's as a running back, cornerback, or safety, Jones' best bet for getting on the field would be on special teams.

Prediction: Special teams contributor and backup running back; 1 carry for 3 yards


  1. Perhaps this is something that alot of coaches do and I've just never really paid attention to it before. But it seems like this was something of a problem with the RR staff. A few kids seem to have been shifted around alot. I understand one position move (like if Cam Gordon went straight to LB from WR, or Carlos Brown at one time asking Lloyd to move from RB to CB). But it seems like a kid would be better off just playing one position than saying "Ok, he's not so good at WR, but maybe he can play CB. Oops, nope guess not. Let's make him a safety. Haha, nope, ok RB."

    I don't know, maybe it's a good idea to try and find a spot for an athletic kid, but it seems like even if a guy can just be an average backup at one position, that's better than a kid ending up 4th string at every position because he never gets to settle in to one.

  2. Jones is the worst recruit Rodriguez went after. I questioned the commitment at the time and Jones managed to look even worse on the field than my meager expectations for him. The best thing you could say about him was that he was fast. There is more to athleticism than straight-line speed. Jones is also tiny and lacked any real skill.

    While I'm happy to criticize Rodriguez for moving around guys too often (Campbell, Washington, Roh, Gordon, etc.) I'd give him a pass on Jones in this regard. Jones is just not a very good player. The mistake was recruiting him, not desperately trying to find a position where he could contribute. With the way the DB was decimated, and with how useless Jones looks at RB, it was worth a shot.

    I'd be shocked to ever see him take a meaningful snap and I'd hypothesize that his potential role as a special teamer would be better filled by a freshman linebacker.

    As for positions switches in general - it depends. If you're asking a guy to contribute as an underclassmen, then you have to focus on getting them up to speed at one position. If a guy is going to be a backup for 2 or 3 years then you can take a little time teaching them other positions to make them more well-rounded.

  3. @ Anonymous 9:04 a.m.

    I don't remember Lloyd Carr moving guys as much as Rodriguez did. I remember a couple position switches, but not many.

    However, Carr didn't have to deal with the "numbers crunch" that Rodriguez did, either. At one point in 2009, Michigan was down to 69 or 70 scholarship players. Jones played cornerback out of necessity. James Rogers played cornerback for the same reason. But it does seem like Rodriguez was more willing to move guys around (Jones from RB, SR, CB, S, RB; Rogers from CB, WR, CB; Cam Gordon from WR, S, LB).

    I worked with a coach once who would switch players' positions around after one bad game. A cornerback would have a bad game, and then he'd move an OLB to CB. Needless to say, he didn't last long as a coach.

  4. I'm predicting that the trend continues and Teric Jones will be playing nose tackle this year.

  5. I'm still waiting for a Cass Tech player to make a solid contribution at UM. The next CT guy to do so will be the first.

    I can't help but wonder why CT always has a few guys who are highly ranked by the recruiting services when they never seem to do anything in college...well, at least the ones who go to UM.

    Having said (typed) all of that, I imagine that Dior Mathis will be an All-American at Oregon just to p*ss me off.

  6. @ Anonymous 8:49 a.m.

    I don't think you have to worry about Dior Mathis being an All-American.

    But you're right that the Cass Tech guys haven't done much for Michigan in recent years. However, there were a few Cass Tech products who had good careers at Michigan several years ago, such as Harlan Huckleby, Curtis Greer, and Clarence Williams.