Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recruit Tracker

Jarrod Wilson breaks up a pass against Firestone
OL Blake Bars and Montgomery Bell Academy (5-5) won a 35-0 contest over the Pope John Paul II Knights.

LB Joe Bolden and Colerain (9-1) won a 17-7 contest over Coca.

OL Ben Braden and his team the Rockford Rams (9-1) "rose up to turn away West Ottawa in Division 1 playoff opener," winning by a score of 17-10.

DE Pharaoh Brown and the Brush Arcs (3-6) were defeated by Garfield Heights by a score of 41-27. Brown caught 9 passes for 105 yards in the Arcs final game of the season.

S Jeremy Clark of North Hopkins (8-2) went on the road and routed Crittenden County, 49-0.

TE Devin Funchess of Farmington Hills Harrison (10-0) won a 35-0 contest against Birmingham Seaholm in the first round of the 2011 Division 2 State Tournament. Funchess caught 2 passes for 19 yards and a touchdown.

S Allen Gant and the Southview Cougars (9-1) defeated Northview by a score of 35-6.

DL Matt Godin and Detroit Catholic Central (9-1) hosted Northville on Saturday and blew them out, 56-6, in a first round division playoff game. Matt texted that he recorded 10 tackles and 4 QB hurries.

FB Sione Houma's Highland Rams (7-3) defeated Maple Mountain by a score of 42-20 to advance to the second round of the 4A state playoffs. Houma, who has been injured for a large portion of the season, appears to have regained his health. On Friday, he rushed for 205 yards on only 13 carries and scored 4 touchdowns.

LB Royce Jenkins-Stone and Detroit Cass Tech (7-3) got back to playing dominating football on Friday, pounding Livonia Churchill, 35-6. Next, they take on Dearborn Fordson in a Division 1 district final. Jenkins-Stone recorded 4 tackles and a sack to go with a 4-yard touchdown run.

OL Kyle Kalis and the Lakewood-St. Edwards Eagles (7-3) were plagued by turnovers and lost the "Holy War" against St. Ignatius by a score of 20-17. 11,000 people were reported to have attended the game.

OL Erik Magnuson and his team the La Costa Canyon Mavericks (6-2) won a 21-16 contest against Oceanside.

2013 QB Shane Morris and Warren De La Salle (8-2) defeated Roseville by a score of 48-14. Surprisingly, I couldn't find Morris' official stats, but "BrendanDavis22" went to the game and posted on the MGoBoard that Shane went 13-16 with 2 touchdowns and 0 picks but also dinged up his throwing hand a bit.

DL Mario Ojemudia and Farmington Hills Harrison (9-0) defeated Birmingham Seaholm by a score of 35-0. If you feel like shelling out a couple bucks, Mr. Tom VH has an article on Harrison and their pursuit of another state title.

DT Ondre Pipkins and his Park Hill Trojans (5-5) lost a 24-6 contest against Central.

CB Terry Richardson and Detroit Cass Tech (7-3) defeated Livonia Churchill, 35-6.

LB Kaleb Ringer and the Northmont Thunderbolts (4-6) won a 33-20 contest against Springfield.

LB James Ross and Orchard Lake St. Mary's pummeled Detroit Pershing by a score of 56-6 to advance to the second round of the division 3 playoffs.

OL Caleb Stacey and Oak Hills (4-5) were defeated by Serrano, 21-14.

CB Anthony Standifer and his Crete-Monee (10-0) team defeated Bloomington, 63-14, to remain undefeated on the season. Standifer sat out the game with a dislocated shoulder, but teammate Laquon Treadwell, a 2013 wide receiver prospect, caught 3 touchdown passes, finishing with 6 catches for 119 yards. Treadwell even made an impact from the defensive end position, recording 1.5 sacks. "Playing defensive end helps with my hands and has made me a more aggressive player...I'm more physical now when I'm blocking," Treadwell said.

DE Tom Strobel and his Mentor team (9-1) lost their first game of the season by a score of 38-35 against Twinsburg.

2013 S Dymonte Thomas and Marlington (7-2) won a 27-23 contest against Alliance.

TE AJ Williams and Sycamore (8-2) lost a 41-13 contest against Mason.

S Jarrod Wilson and his Akron squad Buchtel (6-4) won a 34-0 contest against Firestone. Wilson had his "best game of the season," blocking a punt, making an interception and catching a TD pass. When asked about Wilson, Coach Ricky Powers said, "he's going to Michigan. Need I say anything else?"

DL Christopher Wormley and the Toledo Whitmer Panthers (8-0) defeated Catholic Central by a score of 38-21. Ace was at the game and tweeted that Wormley was "active and aggressive...too much so at times...had a strong second half." Josh Helmholdt from rivals was at the game, too, and tweeted that Wormley was "aggressive," but he "needs to do a better job of diagnosing plays"

Stats will be updated as they're found. Please let us know if you have any additional information for the compilation. Thanks!

Video: Purdue Postgame Press Conference

Michigan 36, Purdue 14

Fitzgerald Toussaint had a career best game with 170 yards and 2 touchdowns

Fitzgerald Toussaint is hitting his stride.  Finally healthy after two years of long-term injury issues, Toussaint is showing what he can do.  He had 20 carries for 170 yards, including a spectacular 59-yard touchdown run (Michigan's longest run of the year).  He's averaging 6.1 yards per carry on the season.  Perhaps the best part of Toussaint's game is the way he finishes runs.  Despite not being particularly big, he always seems to churn his legs for an extra couple yards after contact.  His yardage total was the best by a Michigan running back since Michael Hart had 215 against Eastern Michigan back in 2007.

Where have you gone, Michael Shaw?  In this, his senior season, Shaw is on pace for his fewest career carries.  His career low is 42 (in both 2008 and 2009), and despite being mostly injury free this season, he has only 22 carries through eight games.  Shaw has been a big play guy this year and is averaging 6.4 yards per carry, but for some reason, the coaches haven't put their faith in him.  Even freshman Thomas Rawls (13 carries) is getting almost  as many carries as Shaw, and Rawls probably should have redshirted with so many guys ahead of him.

Mike Martin finally showed up.  Martin had 7 tackles and 2 sacks on the day, one of them for a safety (which probably should have been negated due to grabbing Purdue quarterback Caleb TerBush's facemask).  He's been a little bit of a disappointment so far this year with his lack of production, but maybe this is a sign of things to come for him.  Eight games into the season, Martin only has 28 tackles and 2.5 sacks, so 25% of his tackles and 80% of his sacks came in this one game.

Not a fan of the Denard/Devin combo this time.  At some point Devin Gardner needs to run the base offense, whether Denard Robinson is in the game or not.  It seems like Robinson is usually used as the decoy rather than the ballcarrier in the two-QB formations, but defenses are ready for it at this point.  They know that when Denard is in the game, something funky is going to happen.  So instead of committing fully to the distracting part of the play, everyone stays home, watches for the double pass, etc.  To catch a defense truly off balance, offensive coordinator Al Borges needs to line Robinson up at running back or wide receiver and actually run a base play out of that formation.  Hand the ball off to him in the I-formation, throw a slant or a hitch to him, etc.  The halfback pass from Vincent Smith might have worked if not for the fact that Robinson was in the game and the defense was being extra careful.

Maybe Matt Wile should still punt.  On 12 punts this season, Will Hagerup is averaging 34.8 yards per punt and has put four of them inside the 20.  On 14 punts this season, Matt Wile is averaging 41.1 yards per punt and has put four of them inside the 20.  Hagerup had a good season last year and looked like a potential All-Big Ten punter, but he's been disappointing so far this year.  Michigan is averaging just over three punts per game, so the difference between the two is around 21 yards of field position per game.

Desmond Morgan looks good.  He seems to be steadily improving after looking lost early in the season.  Morgan earned the start over Brandin Hawthorne (whose tackling efforts in the MSU game were disappointing) and responded with 9 tackles to lead the team.  I thought it would take Morgan a little more time to adjust to playing linebacker in college, but here he is starting as a true freshman.  High school quarterbacks just seem to catch on a little quicker.

Courtney Avery's game of firsts.  Speaking of high school quarterbacks, Avery got his first career interception when he caught a deflected pass, and Avery got his first sack (well, half of a sack, shared with Craig Roh) when he helped chase down a scrambling Robert Marve.  That interception gives Avery a share of the team lead in picks, since nobody else has made more than one.

I've had about enough of J.T. Floyd.  He seems to talk a fair amount of smack for not being very good, and he could very well be Michigan's fourth best corner.  I would take Blake Countess, Courtney Avery, and a healthy Troy Woolfolk over Floyd.  Floyd's poor tackling effort late in the game cost Michigan seven points when he stood and danced with O.J. Ross while Ross waited for some help from a Boilermaker blocker.  After the two danced for what seemed like an hour, Floyd got blocked and Ross slipped into the end zone for a touchdown.

I'll take 7-1 at this point.  Michigan has already matched last year's win total with four games to go.  It's a pretty tough four-game stretch as far as the Big Ten goes, but all four games are winnable.  The two most dangerous remaining foes, Ohio State and Nebraska, have had their own issues.  Regardless, this team is on the right path and seems headed for some good November games.  I like the direction Michigan is headed.

Recruiting Update: October 30, 2011

Lemont (IL) Lemont OT Ethan Pocic (#77) would be a welcome replacement on the offensive line
if he plays like Michigan's other Lemont alumnus


Lemont (IL) Lemont OT Ethan Pocic, a 2013 prospect, was offered by Michigan.  Pocic is 6'7", 285 lbs. and has offers from Nebraska, Notre Dame, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others.  Lemont is the same high school that David Molk attended, and much like Molk, Pocic doesn't seem to like opposing defensive linemen or reporters.  His film shows him destroying various high schoolers, and he's not very open about the recruiting process.  He's not a bad athlete, but he's a little less athletic than some of the other offensive tackle prospects Michigan has recruited recently.  I would slot Pocic in as a right tackle prospect.

Austintown (OH) Fitch OL/DL Billy Price, a class of 2013 player, received an offer from Michigan this past week.  Price is a 6'4", 280 lb. strongside end prospect with offers from Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Tennessee, among others.  He looks like an absolute physical specimen with good musculature and very little bad body weight.  While some of the recruiting sites list him as a defensive end, most schools are recruiting him to play offensive line.  Fitch attends the same high school as 2012 Notre Dame commit Will Mahone, a running back that was on Michigan's radar but whom Michigan never offered.


Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison TE Devin Funchess (2012).  Committed to Michigan.  Funchess has 18 receptions for 412 yards and 4 touchdowns this season.

Sylvania (OH) Southview SS Allen Gant (2012).  Committed to Michigan.  He has 67 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, and 2 forced fumbles.

Birmingham (MI) Seaholm OT Dan Gibbs (2012).  Gibbs is a 6'7", 320 lb. mammoth with offers from Ball State and Eastern Michigan.  He's not athletic enough to be a contender for a scholarship offer from the Wolverines, but he could be a preferred walk-on type if he chooses.  I don't imagine he'll choose to pay for school instead of taking a scholarship, and he doesn't look like someone who would be in danger of cracking the lineup at any point, anyway.  Gibbs is too stiff to be a high-level prospect.

Joliet (IL) Catholic RB Ty Isaac (2013).  Isaac already holds an offer from Michigan, in addition to Illinois, Iowa, Notre Dame, and several other schools.  Through six games this season, Isaac had 92 carries for 983 yards (10.7 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns.  Current rumblings suggest that Michigan and Notre Dame are his two early leaders, and he has made unofficial visits to both schools already.

Muskegon (MI) Muskegon RB Juwan Lewis (2012).  Nothing much has changed with Lewis, a 5'11", 208 lb. runner with offers from Buffalo, Toledo, and Western Michigan.  He keeps hoping that Canton (OH) Glenoak RB Bri'onte Dunn sticks with his Buckeye commitment, because Lewis might be in line for an offer if the Wolverines can't reel in another running back.

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (2012).  Committed to Michigan.

Grand Blanc (MI) Grand Blanc DE Luke MacLean (2013).  MacLean hasn't been offered by anyone other than Buffalo, but more offers are surely on the way.  I'm not sure that Michigan will go after him, but he has visited Michigan a couple times and also been to East Lansing.

Baltimore (MD) Gilman DT Henry Poggi (2013).  Every team up and down the east coast has offered Poggi already, in addition to Michigan.  He's the son of Gilman's head coach and already has two brothers playing FBS football, one at Duke and one at Iowa.  The 6'3", 250 lb. Henry has been offered to play several positions, including tight end and defensive tackle.  Michigan is recruiting him as a defensive tackle.

Toledo (OH) Central Catholic FS Jayme Thompson (2013).  Thompson is a 6'2", 182 lb. free safety prospect with a single offer, that from Bowling Green.  While the offers haven't started flowing yet, they undoubtedly will for a kid his size and with his speed.  I would not be surprised to see Thompson earn a Michigan offer at some point, although the current roster might preclude very many offers to safeties for the 2013 class.

Springboro (OH) Springboro OG Sean Welsh (2013).  Welsh is 6'3", 275 lbs. and has offers from Bowling Green, Ohio, and Toledo.  From the looks of his film, I think offers from Big Ten schools are bound to be coming soon.  He moves very well for a guy his size and looks like he already has pretty good strength for such a young player.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Preview: Michigan vs. Purdue

Purdue girls are okay.

This week is mad busy . . . again.


  • Fitzgerald Toussaint goes for 100 yards rushing
  • Denard Robinson throws two picks and continues to give way to Devin Gardner
  • Weakside linebacker du jour gets one pick, Kovacs gets another
  • Michigan gives up 200 yards rushing
  • Michigan 31, Purdue 20

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review of 2006 Recruiting: The Defensive Backs

Taylor Mays (#2) could have been a Michigan Wolverine


Jamar Adams, S (Jr.)
Willis Barringer, S (5th)
Anton Campbell, S (Sr.)
Brandent Englemon, S (Sr.)
Leon Hall, CB (Sr.)
Brandon Harrison, S (So.)
Darnell Hood, CB (5th)
Ryan Mundy, S (Sr.)
Chris Richards, CB (So.)
Charles Stewart, CB (Jr.)
Morgan Trent, CB (Jr.)


Steve Brown
High school: East High School in Columbus, IN
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #7 safety; Scout 4-star, #10 CB
Other notable offers: Illinois, Nebraska, Notre Dame
College: Michigan
Scoop: Brown contributed immediately at safety and special teams, picking up 14 total tackles as a true freshman in 2006.  In 2007 he started one game (Appalachian State) before being relegated to backup duty.  He made 28 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, and 2 pass breakups on the year.  Brown started all twelve games at free safety in 2008, posting 64 tackles, 1 sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 5 pass breakups.  Despite those decent numbers, he was considered a liability and switched positions in 2009 to become more of an outside linebacker.  He was named team captain and led the team in tackles with 80; he also had 1 sack, 8 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 4 pass breakups.  Brown was drafted in the 7th round (#251) by the Oakland Raiders in the 2010 NFL Draft.  He played in fifteen games and made 25 tackles as a rookie.  Cut before the 2011 season, he moved on to the Indianapolis Colts, where he has made 5 tackles so far this season.

Asher Allen
High school: Tucker High School in Tucker, GA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #9 CB; Scout 4-star, #22 CB
Other notable offers: Auburn, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame
College: Georgia
Scoop: Allen played in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2006, making 24 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.  As an eleven-game starter in 2007, Allen had 64 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 5 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery.  He held onto the starting job in 2008 and ended the year with 53 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 7 pass breakups.  After his junior year, Allen entered the 2009 NFL Draft and was picked in the 3rd round (#86 overall) by the Minnesota Vikings.  As a part-time starter through 27 games of his career, Allen has 95 tackles, 9 pass breakups, 4 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble.

Franchot "Boogie" Allen
High school: New Berlin Academy in New Berlin, NY
Ratings: Rivals 3-star safety; Scout 2-star safety
Other notable offers: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State
College: West Virginia
Scoop: Allen had a less than stellar career in Morgantown.  He managed 2 tackles as a true freshman in 2006 and had 14 tackles and 1 interception in his sophomore season.  As a junior in 2008, Allen had a career-high 49 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack.  But in his senior season of 2009, he fell off to 22 tackles and 3 tackles for loss.  He went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft and his career appears to be finished.

Jai Eugene
High school: Destrehan High School in Destrehan, LA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #12 CB; Scout 5-star, #1 CB
Other notable offers: Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, Tennessee, USC
College: LSU
Scoop: Eugene redshirted as a freshman in 2006.  In 2007 he was a backup cornerback and made 8 tackles and 1 pass breakup.  He started nine games in 2008, making 35 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 pass breakup.  Eugene started just two games in 2009 and finished the season with 26 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 pass breakup.  As a fifth year senior in 2010, he made 24 tackles and 1/2 a tackle for loss.  Eugene finished his college career with 93 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 5 pass breakups, and 1 interception.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft and was not signed as an undrafted free agent.

Jamar Hornsby
High school: Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, FL
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #13 ATH; Scout 5-star, #3 safety
Other notable offers: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ohio State, South Carolina, USC
College: Florida
Scoop: Hornsby redshirted as a true freshman in 2006.  As a redshirt freshman in 2007, he played in 8 games, mostly on special teams, and notched 5 tackles and a blocked punt; the 5 games he missed were due to a suspension for selling his complementary tickets to Florida games.  Prior to the 2008 season, Hornsby got in trouble for using the credit card of his teammate's girlfriend.  That sounds bad enough, but what's worse is that both his teammate and that girlfriend died the previous day in a motorcycle accident.  He played the 2008 season at East Mississippi Junior College and earned All-America status for the National Junior College Athletic Association, then signed with Mississippi as part of the 2009 recruiting class.  However, further legal trouble caused him to be released from his scholarship to Mississippi, and he served 90 days in jail earlier this year.

Reshad Jones
High school: Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, GA
Ratings: Rivals 5-star, #1 safety; Scout 4-star, #13 safety
Other notable offers: Auburn, Florida, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma
College: Auburn, Florida, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma,
Scoop: Jones redshirted as a true freshman in 2006.  When he began earning playing time in 2007, he started only two games but played in all thirteen.  He finished as the team's third leading tackler with 57 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 3 pass breakups.  Jones increased that production to rank second on the team in tackles with 76, as well as notching 2.5 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions, 3 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery.  He once again was the second best tackler in the team as a redshirt junior in 2009, making 73 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 7 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble.  Jones was selected in the 5th round (#163 overall) by the Miami Dolphins in the 2010 NFL Draft.  As a rookie for the Dolphins in 2010, Jones made 21 tackles, 1 interception, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 pass breakup.  He is currently their starting free safety.

Taylor Mays
High school: O'Dea High School in Seattle, WA
Ratings: Rivals 5-star, #2 ATH; Scout 5-star, #2 safety
Other notable offers: Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, Washington
College: USC
Scoop: Mays took over the starting free safety job once the starter got injured in the opener, and Mays started the final twelve games of his 2006 freshman season.  He finished that year with 62 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 3 pass breakups; for that production he was rewarded with Second Team All-American status.  He started all thirteen games as a sophomore in 2007, finishing with 65 tackles, 1 interception, 6 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery; he was named a First Team All-American.  Opposing teams avoided him even more in 2008, when Mays had 52 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 9 pass breakups; he was once again named a First Team All-American.  Mays became even more of a force as a senior in 2009, tallying a whopping 96 tackles to go along with 1 interception, 7 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery; he was rewarded with a Second Team All-American team placement.  Mays was taken in the 2nd round (#49 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.  As a rookie he made 38 total tackles, 2 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble.  Mays was traded to the Cincinnati Bengals in August 2011 and has 1 total tackle so far this season.

Antwine Perez
High school: Wilson High School in Camden, NJ
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #2 safety; Scout 5-star, #5 safety
Other notable offers: Oklahoma
College: USC Maryland
Scoop: Perez attend USC as a freshman and played in seven games, finishing with 3 tackles.  He transferred to Maryland after the season and sat out the 2007 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules.  In 2008 he started two games at safety and finished with 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack.  He was once again a key backup in 2009, when he made 45 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 2 pass breakups.  Perez became a full-time starter in 2010 and ended the season with 74 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 8 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Myron Rolle
High school: The Hun School in Princeton, NJ
Ratings: Rivals 5-star, #1 ATH; Scout 5-star, #1 safety
Other notable offers: Florida, Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma, Penn State, Texas
College: Florida State
Scoop: Rolle started ten games as a true freshman in Tallahassee and earned Freshman All-American and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors; he finished the 2006 season with 77 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 5 pass breakups, and 1 interception.  In 2007 he had 67 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 3 pass breakups.  As a junior he ended the season with 62 tackles, 1/2 a tackle for loss, and 5 pass breakups.  Rolle earned a Rhodes scholarship and spent the 2009 season studying abroad.  He returned to the United States afterward and was selected in the 6th round (#207 overall) by the Tennessee Titans in the 2010 NFL Draft.  He did not play in a game during the 2010 season and was cut by the Titans prior to the beginning of 2011.

Ken Tinney
High school: Milford Academy in New Berlin, NY
Ratings: Rivals 4-star CB; Scout 3-star, #44 CB
Other notable offers: Florida, Maryland, Syracuse
College: Michigan State
Scoop: Tinney ran into problems almost as soon as he arrived on campus at Michigan State in 2006.  By the time the season rolled around, he had been kicked off the team for undisclosed reasons.  As far as I know, he never surfaced elsewhere and his football career ended.

Darrin Walls
High school: Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh, PA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #3 CB; Scout 4-star, #7 CB
Other notable offers: Florida, Penn State, West Virginia
College: Notre Dame
Scoop: Walls played in eight games as a true freshman in 2006, picking up 4 total tackles and returning 5 kickoffs for 84 yards.  He earned the starting cornerback job in 2007 and finished with 32 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 9 pass breakups, and 2 forced fumbles.  Walls missed the 2008 season due to personal reasons but returned to the team in 2009, when he was a part-time starter and ended the season with 27 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, and 6 pass breakups.  He was a starter once again as a redshirt senior in 2010, having a career-best season with 41 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 4 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery.  Walls went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft but signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent, where he has yet to record any statistics.


Biggest miss: Taylor Mays.  Michigan was in Mays's final four (along with Cal, Washington, and USC) and received a visit a couple weeks before he made his decision.  Mays turned into a four-year starter and All-American at free safety during a time when the Wolverines really could have used a solid free safety.  He hasn't had a great pro career so far, but none of Michigan's offerees have made much of an impact on the NFL yet.

Biggest bust: Jamar Hornsby.  Hornsby barely played at all in college before doings lots of stupid, illegal stuff.  He was a 5-star safety to Scout and matched his star rating with 5 career tackles.

Best in class: Vontae Davis, I guess.  Davis went to Illinois and was the 1st round pick (#25 overall) by the Miami Dolphins.  In 2+ seasons for the Dolphins, he has 125 tackles, 5 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 23 passes defensed.  In three years at Illinois, he had 211 tackles, 7 interceptions, and 3 forced fumbles. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Charles Woodson

A commenter on the Packers’ official website thinks that “Charles Woodson is a stud.” I tend to agree. During Sunday’s contest between the Packers and the Vikings, the 35-year-old Woodson intercepted two passes in the third quarter, which resulted in two Green Bay field goals. Those six points ended up being the difference in the game as the Packers downed the Vikings by a score of 33-27 to remain the undefeated leaders of the NFC North. Woodson also had four tackles and 3 pass defenses in the Victory.

The Packers played “99% man coverage” against rookie QB Christian Ponder, but Woodson was still able to use his understanding of the game to undercut passes. “You have your back to the ball a lot, your back to the quarterback a lot, and you just try to put yourself in position and get your head around when you think the ball is coming and make a play on it…I really feel like I should have had four today,” said Woodson. The only two active players who have more picks than Woodson (52) are Darren Sharper (63) and Ed Reed (56).

Perhaps most impressive, Woodson taught children all across America the valuable lesson that no one is perfect when he gave up a 24 yard touchdown pass to WR Jenkins mid-way through the fourth quarter. Wow, he plays football like a badass and cares about Children, too.

Honorable Mention: LaMarr Woodley recorded seven tackles, 2 TFLs and 2 sacks—one of which led to a safety—as his team the Pittsburgh Steelers won a 32-20 contest over Arizona.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Press Conference: Hoke, Van Bergen

Ex-Wolverine Updates

Marquiz Maze had a great game for Alabama against
the Tennessee Volunteers.

Former Michigan wide receiver Toney Clemons had 2 receptions for 31 yards in Colorado's 45-2 loss to Oregon on Saturday night.

Former Michigan commit and current Alabama wide receiver Marquis Maze had 5 receptions for 106 yards in the Tide's 37-6 victory over Tennessee on Saturday.

Former Michigan running back Sam McGuffie had 2 carries for 11 yards in Rice's 38-20 loss to Tulsa on Saturday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gregg Brown, ex-Wolverine

Greg Brown's (#35) lasting legacy at Michigan will be getting beaten
by Je'Ron Stokes for a touchdown in the 2011 spring game

Freshman cornerback Gregg Brown has left the team.  Brown was the first player to commit for the 2011 class, all the way back in September of 2009.  He enrolled early back in January, but there were rumors swirling even during the winter semester that he was thinking of transferring elsewhere.  Brown had played sparingly in 2011 and may have been headed for a redshirt.  Meanwhile, fellow freshmen Blake Countess and Raymon Taylor had passed Brown on the depth chart, despite both of them enrolling several months after Brown.

I was never a big fan of Brown's abilities.  He seemed to be a MAC-level talent who somehow earned a Michigan offer from Rich Rodriguez very early in the recruiting process.  I was so unimpressed by him that I failed to write up a commitment post (full disclosure: I was extremely busy in September 2009 when he committed, so that's probably the bigger reason why a commitment post was lacking).

Brown is the fourth member of the 2011 class to depart, following TE Chris Barnett (destination unknown), LB Kellen Jones (Oklahoma), and OT Tony Posada (destination unknown).

The stories of other transfers from recent years can be found in the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia.

Jeremy Clark will be joining Michigan in 2012

Jeremy Clark (#2) will join the Wolverines sooner than expected.

Madisonville (KY) North Hopkins safety Jeremy Clark will be joining Michigan as part of the 2012 recruiting class.  Originally, he had been scheduled to greyshirt in 2012 and begin playing in 2013, but that is no longer the case.

I have heard rumors that at least three players on the current roster will not be returning in 2012, which is quite possibly the reason that Clark's enroll date has been moved up.

Clark's commitment post can be found here, and while I originally gave him a TTB rating of 49, new highlights and his performance as a senior here in 2011 will definitely cause that rating to move upward when I revise them after the season.

Now that he's been added to the 2012 class, you can see him and the rest of 2012's offers and commitments on the 2012 Offer Board.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Recruit Tracker

Jeremy Clark (#2) and North Hopkins lost a close game to Loan Oak.

OL Blake Bars and Montgomery Bell Academy (4-5) won a conference game against the McCallie Tornados by a score of 24-21.

LB Joe Bolden and Colerain (8-1) went on the road to play Hamilton and won the game in a 28-0 shutout. Hamilton completed two passes in the game, both of which were caught by Colerain defenders.

OL Ben Braden and his team the Rockford Rams (8-1) defeated the Jenison Wildecats by a score of 35-0.

DE Pharaoh Brown and the Brush Arcs (3-5) hosted Parma and came away with a comfortable 49-0 victory. Brown, who projects to the defensive end position at the next level, continued his production at wide receiver on Friday, catching 3 passes for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.

S Jeremy Clark of North Hopkins (7-2) registered only the second loss of the season on Friday, losing to Lone Oak by a score of 13-10.

TE Devin Funchess of Farmington Hills Harrison (9-0) continued their "two-year regular-season win streak with a win over Farmington."

S Allen Gant and the Southview Cougars (8-1) won a 50-29 contest against Springfield. Gant had a 23-yard touchdown reception in the game.

DL Matt Godin and Detroit Catholic Central took on James Ross' Orchard Lakes St. Mary's at Ford Field on Saturday in the Catholic League Championship Game. Godin and his defense stifled the OLSM offense, which helped them to a 21-7 victory. Matt continued his very productive season with 10 tackles and 3 quarterback hurries on the night.

FB Sione Houma's Highland Rams (6-3) had a bye this week. Next week, they play Maple Mountain.

LB Royce Jenkins-Stone and Detroit Cass Tech (6-3) defeated Detroit Renaissance by a score of 6-0. I'm all for great defense, but that sounds like a boring game.

OL Kyle Kalis and the Lakewood-St. Edwards Eagles (7-2) ended their 2 game skid by defeating Archbishop Moeller in a 42-27 win.

OL Erik Magnuson and his team the La Costa Canyon Mavericks (5-2) went "to the air" to beat Rancho Buena Vista, 45 - 8.

2013 QB Shane Morris and Warren De La Salle (7-2) defeated Plymouth by a score of 28-25, handing Plymouth their first loss of the season. Morris went 28-for-47 for 364 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning 17 yard touchdown throw with only 17 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Further, Morris continued to show that he can run a bit as he gained 50 rushing yards on 10 attempts, doing so at "critical times."

DL Mario Ojemudia and Farmington Hills Harrison (9-0) defeated Farmington, 56-13.

DT Ondre Pipkins and his Park Hill Trojans (5-4) won a 48-20 contest over Oak Park.

CB Terry Richardson and Detroit Cass Tech (6-3) only put 6 points on the scoreboard, but that ended up being 6 points more than Detroit Renaissance was able to muster. So if you'd like me to spell it out, Cass Tech won by a score of 6-0.

LB Kaleb Ringer and his Northmont High School squad (3-6) traveled to Huber Heights, OH, to play Wayne and were defeated by a score of 51-30. Ringer did not see the field due to injury.

LB James Ross and Orchard Lake St. Mary's were defeated by Matt Godin and Detroit Catholic Central in the Catholic Championship Game at Ford Field by a score of 21-7. Despite the loss, Ross and his crew can take consolation in their Catholic Divison title, which they earned just last week by defeating Godin and his team at DCC by a score of 14-13.

OL Caleb Stacey and Oak Hills (4-5) won a 16-14 contest over Fairfield.

CB Anthony Standifer and his Crete-Monee (9-0) team continued their perfect season with a 20-13 victory over Rich East.

DE Tom Strobel and his Mentor team (8-0) routed Strongsville, winning by a score of 38-7.

2013 S Dymonte Thomas and Marlington (6-2) defeated the West Branch Warriors by a single point, winning by a score of 29-28. Thomas gained 187 rushing yards on only 18 attempts.

TE AJ Williams and Sycamore (8-1) won a 30-0 contest over Lakota West.

S Jarrod Wilson and his Akron squad Buchtel (5-4) were defeated by St Vincent-St. Mary, 17-14. Wilson had at least 4 tackles in the contest.

DL Christopher Wormley and the Toledo Whitmer Panthers (8-0) defeated Lima Senior by a score of 69-14.

*Hopefully of note, WR recruit Jordan Payton made an impact from the safety position on Friday to help his team Oaks Christian (5-2) defeat Thousand Oaks, 24-17. Payton spent most of his time on the sidelines due to a sprained ankle, but he reentered the game in the fourth quarter and broke up the final two passes of Thousand Oaks' comeback drive. Payton is scheduled to declare his school of choice on Tuesday.

Stats will be updated as they're found. Please let us know if you have any additional information for the compilation. Thanks!

Recruiting Update: October 23, 2011

Arik Armstead sitting down.  Because that's the only way you can fit him in the frame.


Elk Grove (CA) Pleasant Grove DE Arik Armstead decommitted from USC.  His older brother, Armond, has had some shady dealings at USC and the Armstead family seems pretty peeved at the coaches and administration.  Despite being 6'8", which is almost unheard of for a defensive player, Armstead wants to play defense in college.  It seems he would be better suited to play offensive tackle in college, where his length would be a positive.  Regardless, there's very little chance that Armstead comes to Michigan.  Alabama, Cal, Notre Dame, and Texas look like strong contenders.

Wheaton (IL) St. Francis OT Kyle Bosch, a 2013 prospect, received a verbal offer from Michigan this week.  Bosch is a 6'5", 275 lb. lineman with offers from Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Stanford, and West Virginia, among others.  Rivals' midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt named Bosch one of the top seven prospects he's scouted so far this year, in the same company as LB Joe Bolden (Michigan), WR Aaron Burbridge (Michigan State), 2013 CB Cam Burrows, and DE Adolphus Washington.  Bosch visited Michigan back in August and again for the Notre Dame victory in mid-September, so the interest level on his end is pretty high.

Columbus (IN) East QB Gunner Kiel is exploring his options.  Kiel is regarded by many as the #1 quarterback in the class of 2012, and he surprised many by picking the home state Indiana Hoosiers back in July.  That decision seemed largely based on the chance to play with his older brother Dusty, also a quarterback.  Indiana is 1-7 on the year under new head coach Kevin Wilson, with that lone victory coming against FCS team South Carolina State.  More recently, though, the Hoosiers have been losing in blowout fashion to Big Ten teams; they have been outscored 131-61 in their four Big Ten contests.  The 6'4", 220 lb. signal caller was rumored to have strong interest in Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma before committing to Indiana.

San Diego (CA) Westview TE Taylor McNamara decommitted from Arizona this past week.  Alabama, California, Colorado, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Stanford were also high on his list before committing to the Wildcats, who fired head coach Mike Stoops and caused some of their commits to go looking elsewhere.  McNamara showed some early, passing interest in the Wolverines, but nothing strong enough to suggest that Michigan will get a second look now.


Just in case you missed it, I broke down the new ESPN 150 for the class of 2012 that was released last week.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Looking Back...October 22, 1994

This is a very sad day for us all.  Because Michigan has a bye week.  Personally, I have no idea what I will do with my day.  I guess I might clean out the garage.

It's been a long time since Michigan played a football game on October 22nd.  The year was 1994.  The team featured such players as Trezelle Jenkins, Jon Runyan, Rod Payne, Jay Riemersma, Tyrone Wheatley, Tshimanga Biakabutuka, Todd Collins, Glen Steel, Jarrett Irons, and Ty Law, among others.

On this particular day, kicker Remy Hamilton booted four field goals and wide receiver Amani Toomer returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown so Michigan could pull out the 19-14 victory.

Enjoy the best sound of fall: Keith Jackson.

Friday, October 21, 2011

MGoBlog: I Beg to Differ

Yesterday, Brian at MGoBlog made a "Picture Pages" post where he questioned the diagnosing skills by Michigan's linebackers, based on a play from last week's game against Michigan State.  I disagree with at least part of Brian's conclusions.

First, here's the play:

Michigan is in a standard 4-3 Under alignment, where the responsibilities are as follows:

Jake Ryan = outside contain
Ryan Van Bergen = C gap
Kenny Demens = B gap
Mike Martin = A gap
Brandin Hawthorne = A gap / flow to the ball
Will Heininger = B gap
Craig Roh = C gap / outside contain

Brian's conclusion is this:
The DL cannot do much more than this. They got a two-for-one on the double that leaves a free hitter. On the frontside they drive into the backfield such that the tailback has one realistic option. Short of throwing offensive linemen into the RB, they have done all they can.
I completely disagree.  The defensive line can do much more.  First and foremost, Mike Martin can make the tackle.  The star defensive tackle that people seem afraid to criticize is the first person who makes a mistake here.  He's responsible for the playside A gap but refuses to get off the center's block.  If Martin gets off the block quicker and wraps up Edwin Baker, the play gets made for a loss or a minimal gain.

It's true that middle linebacker Kenny Demens doesn't do a great job on the play.  In my opinion, he should be attacking the offensive guard's outside shoulder, thus maintaining B gap responsibility.  Instead, he takes the guard on head up and then gets stalemated.  If he takes on that guard with his inside shoulder, the WILL (Brandin Hawthorne) is screaming downhill and will tackle Baker for about a 1-yard gain.  (With the way Hawthorne reacts, it looks to me that he's just flowing to the ball and that the free safety is responsible for supporting the weakside A gap.)

I also take issue with Brian's assertion that MSU's linebackers are better at reading plays just because they're coming downhill as soon as Denard Robinson turns to hand off to Vincent Smith.  Well, of course  they are.  Denard Robinson doesn't throw the ball very well, and their entire game plan revolved around stopping Denard Robinson and the running game.  Run the ball?  They're going to sell out to stop it.  Play action?  They're stopping the run and taking their chances with Denard dumping the ball over their heads.  That's been the Spartans' game plan for the past two years, and it worked both times.

Meanwhile, Kenny Demens and Brandin Hawthorne have to be concerned about the play action pass because MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins is someone who can actually complete a few throws downfield.  In fact, just before Demens impacts the releasing guard, you can see his head scan to the right.  I'm not certain that Demens is looking at Cousins, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he was checking to see whether Cousins had kept the ball and was rolling out for a pass.

New ESPN 150 Released

Kyle Kalis (#67) has moved up to #135 on ESPN's list since decommitting from Ohio State
(image via

A new ESPN 150 has been released for the 2012 class.  (If you want to see what it looked like back in June, click here.)  The Wolverines have offered 65 of ESPN's top 150 prospects in the country.

Notable changes for Michigan commits since June:

- Terry Richardson moves from #68 to #67
- Royce Jenkins-Stone moves from #117 to #115
- Kyle Kalis moves from #140 to #135

One other note:

- Wide receiver Jordan Payton, who's announcing his college decision this coming Tuesday, was #146 a few months ago but dropped out of the list.  Since he was already near the bottom of the list, that doesn't really signify a huge change of opinion from ESPN.

1. Mario Edwards - DE - Texas (Florida State)
2. Eddie Goldman - DT - Washington, D.C.
3. Dorial Green-Beckham - WR - Missouri
4. Noah Spence - DE - Pennsylvania
6. Keith Marshall - RB - North Carolina
8. D.J. Humphries - OT - North Carolina (Florida)
10. Stefon Diggs - ATH - Maryland
15. Arik Armstead - DE - California
16. Andrus Peat - OT - Arizona
20. Gunner Kiel - QB - Indiana (Indiana)
26. Kyle Murphy - OT - California
27. Kwon Alexander - LB - Alabama
28. John Theus - OT - Florida (Georgia)
32. Geno Smith - CB - Georgia
33. Cyrus Jones - ATH - Maryland
34. Connor Brewer - QB - Arizona (Texas)
37. Jabari Ruffin - LB - California (USC)
39. Devin Fuller - ATH - New Jersey
40. Yuri Wright - CB - New Jersey
41. Nelson Agholor - ATH - Florida
42. Joshua Garnett - OG - Washington
43. Ellis McCarthy - DT - California
44. Dominique Wheeler - WR - Texas (Texas Tech)
50. Ifeadi Odenigbo - DE - Ohio
51. Jonathan Taylor - DT - Georgia (Georgia)
52. Evan Boehm - OG - Missouri (Missouri)
53. Dillon Lee - LB - Georgia (Alabama)
54. Max Tuerk - OT - California (USC)
55. Peter Jinkens - LB - Texas (Texas)
57. Brock Stadnik - OT - North Carolina (South Carolina)
58. Zach Kline - QB - California (California)
59. Patrick Destefano - OG - South Carolina (Clemson)
60. Durron Neal - WR - Missouri (Oklahoma)
61. Jordan Jenkins - DE - Georgia (Georgia)
65. Deon Bush - CB - Florida
66. Darius Hamilton - DE - New Jersey
67. Terry Richardson - CB - Michigan (Michigan)
68. Devonte Fields - DE - Texas (TCU)
69. Ronald Darby - CB - Maryland (Notre Dame)
75. Adolphus Washington - DE - Ohio
82. Avery Johnson - WR - Florida (LSU)
84. Reginald Davis - WR - Texas (Texas Tech)
86. Darius Powe - WR - California
87. Jordan Simmons - OG - California
90. Tee Shepard - CB - California (Notre Dame)
93. Dalton Santos - LB - Texas (Tennessee)
96. Jarron Jones - DT - New York (Notre Dame)
97. Ty Darlington - C - Florida (Nebraska)
99. Tyriq McCord - DE - Florida
100. Se'von Pittman - DE - Ohio (Michigan State)
101. Drae Bowles - WR - Tennessee (Tennessee)
103. Jordan Diamond - OT - Illinois
106. LaTroy Pittman - WR - Florida (Florida)
115. Royce Jenkins-Stone - LB - Michigan (Michigan)
117. Avery Young - OT - Florida
123. Zach Banner - OT - Washington
125. Michael Starts - OT - Texas (Texas Tech)
126. Eli Harold - ATH - Virginia (Virginia)
128. Dominic Ramacher - TE - Texas (Oklahoma State)
130. Tommy Schutt - DT - Illinois (Penn State)
131. Brian Poole - S - Florida (Florida)
135. Kyle Kalis - OG - Ohio (Michigan)
140. Derrick Woods - WR - California
143. Sheldon Day - DT - Indiana (Notre Dame)
147. Kent Taylor - TE - Florida

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week: Backward Cap Girl

If you want your picture to be featured, drop me an e-mail at

Mailbag: Does Hoke deserve blame for lack of OL depth?

Do you think Hoke deserves any blame for not going after OL/DL last year? I realize time was short, but he managed to snag a QB, TE, DE and LB - guys that hadn't been targeted before.
Shouldn't he have seen the potential train-wreck coming at OL and tried to address the situation? I'd imagine there were some marginal 3-star types available that could have at least contributed to depth. DT is probably a different story - since competition is so stiff and freshman can contribute right away. But OL...the needs been there for a long time. Besides Rodriguez's class of 6 guys in '08 Michigan has under-recruited the OL position since 2005 (no more than 3 OL in a class). Rodriguez recognized the need and immediately worked to rectify it. Yeah, he had more time, but we didn't even hear of any new names pop up at OL in the 2011 class.

I think that Rodriguez deserves a little less blame for the OL situation. 1st, he was forced by Carr into recruiting a giant OL class in '08. with all the other needs around he couldn't keep taking 5 guys a year. So, the small OL classes in 09 and 10 were somewhat justifiable. 2011 was looking strong but the transition cost UM Fisher and probably some other OL recruit. I don't think it's all on him that the '09 and '10 OL classes now look to be so damaging.
The question above comes from a commenter in Tuesday's recruiting update post.

No, I don't think Brady Hoke deserves blame for not going after offensive linemen and defensive linemen last year.  First of all, he was hired less than a month before National Signing Day.  With that short of a start, I don't think he can really accept any blame whatsoever.  But secondly, he did  go after linemen.  Hoke offered:

  • Ohio DE/DT Keith Heitzman (Michigan)
  • New Jersey DE Max Issaka (Rutgers)
  • Arizona OT Ryan Nowicki (Penn State)
  • Florida DT Trevarris Saulsberry (Tennessee)
  • Florida DE Jordan Williams (Tennessee)
Furthermore, he continued to recruit former Michigan commit Jake Fisher, who ended up signing with Oregon.  I got the feeling that the new coaches were really pushing for Fisher and wanting to make him believe that he was their priority at the position.  The fact that Fisher chose Oregon was very disappointing to me, because I think Fisher is going to be an excellent lineman and he has already earned solid reviews in Eugene.

Rodriguez offered just 17 linemen in the class of 2010; one committed (center Christian Pace, who has since left the program).  Rodriguez offered just 13 linemen in the class of 2009; three committed (Taylor Lewan, Michael Schofield, and Quinton Washington, who has switched to defensive tackle).  Furthermore, by the time Rodriguez was fired in January 2011, he only had three offensive linemen committed (Fisher, Jack Miller, and Tony Posada).

The offensive line recruiting at this point has nothing to do with Lloyd Carr.  Carr left behind a mediocre group (Justin Boren, David Molk, and Steve Schilling along with a bunch of journeyman types), but Rodriguez had a few years to fix it.  And while Rodriguez did a decent job of bringing in talent, he clearly didn't bring in enough of it.  This roster is full of Rodriguez recruits, Mark Huyge, David Molk, Rocko Khoury, and Elliott Mealer; Lloyd Carr hasn't coached a game since January 1, 2008, yet two starters and two key backups remain from his regime.  Here's a breakdown of who's responsible for the expected 2012 offensive line:

  • Carr: Rocko Khoury, Elliott Mealer
  • Rodriguez: Ricky Barnum, Chris Bryant, Taylor Lewan, Jack Miller, Patrick Omameh, Michael Schofield
  • Hoke: Blake Bars, Ben Braden, Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson, Caleb Stacey (plus a presumed sixth commit)
In other words, the guy responsible for two full recruiting classes and parts of two others will have six guys on the roster . . . and the guys who are responsible for one full recruiting class and parts of two others will have seven or possibly eight guys on the roster.  And keep in mind that, unlike Carr's classes, none of Rodriguez's recruits on the line will have graduated by the beginning of next year.

Lastly, you state that Rodriguez had so many other needs that he couldn't commit more scholarships to linemen.  I think that's a farce.  Every team has 85 scholarships to use.  Every team needs roughly the same number of cornerbacks, receivers, quarterbacks, etc.  Rodriguez had five slot receivers on the roster by the time he started recruiting for 2011 (Martavious Odoms, Jeremy Gallon, Terrence Robinson, Drew Dileo, and D.J. Williamson), yet he still offered five more slot receivers for the 2011 class.  Virtually every coach - except perhaps Rodriguez - would tell you that offensive linemen are more important than slot receivers, but Rodriguez whiffed on too many offensive linemen in the class of 2011.  After taking only one in 2010, he was on his way to taking only three in 2011.  The position group was going to continue to be thin under Rodriguez.  We're talking about a difference of one guy (Fisher) between the current team and the team Rodriguez would have had.

With all that out of the way, take a look at what Hoke is doing now.  He threw out a late offer to Nowicki and didn't get him.  Rather than poaching 3-star linemen from places like Vanderbilt and Purdue, he decided to throw himself into grabbing 4- and 5-star linemen for the class of 2012.  The Wolverines have enough depth for the 2011 season, so we're talking about 2012 (and beyond).  Is a 3-star redshirt freshman loads better than a true freshman Kyle Kalis or Erik Magnuson?  Yes, it's ideal that every lineman redshirts, but that doesn't mean you necessarily take age over talent.

The 2012 offensive line looks to be:

LT: Taylor Lewan
LG: Ricky Barnum
C: Rocko Khoury
RG: Patrick Omameh
RT: Michael Schofield

The backups will be Elliott Mealer, Jack Miller, and Chris Bryant, plus a bunch of freshmen.  It looks like a pretty good starting offensive line, but whether the next guy in is a 3-star redshirt freshman or a 4-star true freshman, there's bound to be a significant drop-off.

I don't blame Hoke for any of the 2011 recruiting class, but I give him credit for Russell Bellomy, Tamani Carter, Keith Heitzman, Antonio Poole, and Matt Wile.  I also don't blame Rodriguez for not getting a viable quarterback in 2008, but I do give him credit for pulling in Ricky Barnum, Justin Feagin, J.T. Floyd, Taylor Hill, Martavious Odoms, Patrick Omameh, Terrence Robinson, Roy Roundtree, and Brandon Smith.  But I will hold Hoke responsible if any of those five players wash out, just like I blame Rodriguez for wasting scholarships on Feagin, Hill, and Smith.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ex-Wolverine Updates

I couldn't find any pictures of the players from this week's games,
so you get Ashley Nicole Arthur instead.

Former Michigan WR Toney Clemons had 2 receptions for 18 yards in Colorado's 52-24 loss to Washington.

Former Michigan RB Sam McGuffie had his most productive day of the year with 10 carries for 70 yards and 1 touchdown.  Unfortunately, it came in Rice's 24-20 loss to Marshall.

Former Michigan RB Austin White, now at Central Michigan, was suspended indefinitely for breaking team rules.  White has not yet played for the Chippewas.

More information can be found in the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia.

Recruiting Update: October 19, 2011

California WR Jordan Payton


This guy was already off the board, but Fairless Hills (PA) Pennsbury OT J.J. Denman flipped his commitment from Penn State to Wisconsin.  The 6'6", 305 lb. lineman would appear to fit in well at Wisconsin.  Frankly, I can't think of a single reason for an offensive lineman not to choose to attend Wisconsin right now.  The Badgers have churned out solid offensive linemen over the last several years, including first round picks Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns) and Gabe Carimi (Chicago Bears); they win all the time and put up all kinds of points; and they get to eat whatever they want.  What's not to like?


Westlake Village (CA) Oaks Christian WR Jordan Payton has set his announcement date for next Tuesday, October 25th.  Payton was formerly committed to USC, and has since been rumored to be a Cal or Michigan lean.  Most recent reports have him leaning toward Michigan.  The 6'2", 199 lb. wideout will be visiting Notre Dame this coming weekend, but the fact that he set his announcement date for immediately following his visit to South Bend suggests that he has already made his decision.  Payton has decent speed, but perhaps more importantly, he knows how to catch the ball and get upfield.  He understands body positioning and body lean and will get every inch that's available to him.  He probably won't be a superstar at the next level, but he could be a very good #2 receiver.


Since the first waves of offers from the new coaching staff were sent out earlier this year, I noticed that Coach Hoke and Co. seemed to be offering elite players in higher quantities.  That observation has been borne out in numerous ways so far, including the Rivals 250, the Scout 300, the 24/7 Top 247, etc.  To add to the mounting list of evidence, I submit more data for the argument that Michigan is targeting higher quality players than they were under Rich Rodriguez:

Last year 25 of the Army All-American Bowl players sported Michigan offers.  While the 2012 game's rosters have yet to be completed, 50 of the planned participants have offers to play football in Ann Arbor.  Only five of those 50 have committed to Michigan at this point (OG Kyle Kalis, OT Erik Magnuson, LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, LB James Ross, and DT Ondre Pipkins), but if AAB rosters are any indication of elite talent, then Michigan's going after it in spades.

Aside from the four aforementioned players, Michigan still has a good shot at landing the following participants:

  • OT Zach Banner
  • WR Jordan Payton
  • CB Yuri Wright
. . . and an outside shot at grabbing these players:
  • ATH Stefon Diggs
  • S Elijah Shumate (check out his highlights below)
This is not necessarily meant to be an indictment of Rich Rodriguez, whose recruits are in the midst of having a pretty good season at Michigan right now.  But there are some gaping holes, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines, where the Wolverines are lacking both numbers and talent.  If the Wolverines snatch an additional two of those players listed above, that will make for an incredibly talented first recruiting class for Brady Hoke.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Leon Hall

Former Michigan Wolverine and first-round draft pick, Leon Hall, starts at cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals. Shockingly, they have the NFL's number 2 ranked defense, giving up only 278 YPG. That's second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers and just in front of the Baltimore Ravens. On Sunday, Hall recorded 5 tackles, two pass deflections and a nice-looking interception in a 27-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Hall's interception came with only 2:36 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, taking away any hopes of a Colts comeback. The interception was the first of the season for the Bengals' defense and the 19th of Hall's relatively young career. Fellow ex-Wolverine CB, Morgan Trent, also saw playing time as a member of the Bengals' dominating defense of doom on Sunday, but he did not register on the stat sheet. Cincinnati holds a 4-2 record heading into their bye week.

Honorable Mention: The Houston Texans lost to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday by a score of 29-14, but Texans defensive lineman Tim Jamison lit up the stat sheet on a single play when he "strip-sacked" Joe Flacco and then recovered the fumble. Watch video of the play here. He had two tackles, two TFLs, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Michigan at Michigan State Awards

Devin Gardner (#7) scrambles, but to no avail.
(image via

Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Devin Gardner.  I'm not saying more as in he should be the starter, but I do like what Al Borges is doing with Gardner.  I don't typically like two-quarterback platoons, but Gardner is a more skilled passer than Denard Robinson.  He made some gaffes on Saturday (getting sacked on fourth down, making an illegal forward pass, etc.), but he also threw some nice balls and made some plays with his legs.  People keep saying that Robinson is a threat to go all the way on every play, but if opponents put eight or nine decently talented guys in the box, Robinson won't have any running room.  And until he proves that he can beat a team with his arm, Michigan needs to work in a passing threat.  Personally, I'm enjoying the plays when Gardner is at quarterback and Robinson lines up in the backfield or at wide receiver.

Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . the second tight end, whether it's Steve Watson or Brandon Moore.  If the offensive line isn't going to get a push and if Michigan can't run it out of the I-formation, then I think the Wolverines need to get their best eleven on the field.  Junior Hemingway, Roy Roundtree, and Jeremy Gallon are all playmakers, and Kevin Koger is valuable in a lot of ways with his speed, athleticism, blocking, and leadership.  Those four players plus some combination of Denard Robinson, Devin Gardner, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Vincent Smith, and Michael Shaw need to be on the field the vast majority of the time.

Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Cam Gordon.  Gordon returned to action this week after a nagging back injury caused him to miss the first six games of the season.  In his stead Jake Ryan has made a name for himself as a playmaker at SAM linebacker, but Ryan does have his flaws; he's prone to both making and allowing big plays.  Ryan has to get quicker at reading offensive plays, maintaining the edge, and using his hands to disengage from blockers.  Gordon might not be an immediate upgrade, but perhaps he can help.  It was clear against MSU that Ryan's other backups aren't legitimate options in big-time games.

Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Brandin Hawthorne and J.T. Floyd (tie).  On one Keshawn Martin touchdown, Hawthorne made a half-assed attempt to tackle him at the pylon and tried to shoulder Martin out of bounds rather than wrap him up.  A good, fundamental tackle would almost certainly have stopped Martin at the 1-yard line, although a touchdown almost certainly would have been delayed rather than prevented altogether.  On the other Martin touchdown, J.T. Floyd made a half-assed attempt to stick with him and jogged behind the play, even though he clearly had Martin in man coverage.  Those weren't cases of being beaten physically - they were examples of players not playing hard and giving 100% effort.

MVP of the game . . . Will Hagerup.  Nobody had a great game offensively or defensively for Michigan, but Hagerup did a solid job of punting on a very windy day.  He only averaged 31.9 yards on seven punts, but four of those pinned the Spartans inside their 20-yard line, and three of them put the green and white bronze at or inside their own 10.  Despite being unable to get any kind of offensive flow or defensive momentum, the Wolverines hung with MSU in the first half largely due to the field position battle.

Play of the game . . . Denard Robinson's touchdown run.  After dropping back to pass, Robinson was almost sacked.  But he yanked himself away, tucked the ball, and scrambled to the left, picking up a nice block by Kevin Koger before squeezing inside the pylon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Michigan State 28, Michigan 14

Here's a picture of Marisa Miller to ease the pain.

I have no problem with the way Michigan used the Denard/Devin duo.  Against teams with winning records this season, Denard Robinson has gone 44-for-96 (45.8%) with 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.  There's really no doubt in my mind that Devin Gardner will be a better passer than Robinson whenever Gardner becomes the starting quarterback.  As Urban Meyer said on the broadcast, it's about getting your best eleven players on the field.  The issue with Gardner right now is that he's lacking game experience and he's not getting starter's reps in practice.  Chris Spielman (more on him later) showed his lack of Michigan knowledge when he griped that Denard Robinson would have seen Stephen Hopkins running open down the middle of the field on the Fullback Pop Pass but that Gardner threw an incomplete pass to Junior Hemingway instead.  Even if Robinson would have seen it - and I'm not convinced he would - his arm is so erratic that there's less than a 50/50 chance he would have hit Hopkins.

Al Borges blergh.  I think Borges has done a good job of playcalling for the most part this year, but that 4th-and-inches play action pass that got Denard sacked in the fourth quarter was an atrocious call.  Tell your offensive line to man up, run a dive play or a QB sneak, and see what happens.  Taking the ball away from the line of scrimmage and expecting your inaccurate quarterback to gain six inches through the air is near lunacy.

Michigan's front seven got manhandled by a patchwork offensive line.  That was perhaps the most demoralizing part of the game.  Michigan State running back Edwin Baker had previously been averaging 4.1 yards per carry.  He finished the game with 26 carries for 167 yards (6.4 yards per attempt).  It reminded me of the 2010 Penn State game, when Michigan took a struggling Evan Royster and turned him into a star again.

Surprise, surprise, that was a refereeing failure in East Lansing.  The referees for this game were atrocious.  Let me count the ways:
  • The lateral to Keshawn Martin was indeed a backwards pass and when it was picked up by Brandin Hawthorne, it should have been Michigan's ball.
  • Edwin Baker stepped out of bounds at the 22-yard line.  Viewers could plainly see his cleat hit the sideline.  Somehow he was allowed to get the ball all the way down to the 7-yard line.
  • William Gholston flat-out punched Taylor Lewan in the face and should have been ejected.
  • On his way to the endzone, Isaiah Lewis clearly taunted Denard Robinson at about the 1- or 2-yard line; under college rules, the touchdown should have been disallowed.
Surprise, surprise, that was a broadcasting failure . . .  From the very beginning, it was apparent that Michigan was going to get no love from the broadcasting crew, especially Chris Spielman.  Spielman had nothing positive to say about Michigan at all.  Why would he?  Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was a graduate assistant at Ohio State when Spielman played there in the mid-1980s, and Dantonio was also the defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes in the early 2000s.  I guffawed when Spielman said about Dantonio, "That man right there stands for hard nosed, clean football" or something to that effect.  Right, Spielman.  

. . . because Mark Dantonio is a despicably coach.  That's why he allowed Glen Winston to rejoin the Spartans on the day Winston was released from jail.  That's why he clearly allowed his team members to repeatedly hit Michigan players out of bounds (once), punch Taylor Lewan (once), jump on Denard Robinson after he was down and then grab his facemask and twist (once), and repeatedly throw Robinson to the ground after he threw the ball (three times).  The dirty play reminded me of the time when Wisconsin quarterback Jim Sorgi was choked by Ohio State linebacker Robert Reynolds.  Who was Reynolds' defensive coordinator that year?  That's right . . . Mark Dantonio.  Eff that guy.

What happened to Michigan's offensive line?  I thought one of Rich Rodriguez's best coaches was offensive line coach Greg Frey, who turned a redshirt freshman Taylor Lewan, lightly recruited Patrick Omameh, lightly recruited Mark Huyge, and a couple upperclassmen into a very solid offensive line.  It's clear that Lewan was hobbled somewhat by an injury or two yesterday, and I doubt the spin move by Marcus Rush would have turned into a sack if Lewan were healthy (when has Lewan ever looked that inept?), but Michigan allowed seven sacks overall and couldn't get the running game going.  Obviously, the offensive line's regression didn't truly hurt the team until yesterday, but the only change from last year is the Ricky Barnum/Michael Schofield combo at left guard . . . and the hiring of Darrell Funk to replace Frey.

Can we please change up the snap count?  I have grown tired of Denard Robinson punching toward the ground, David Molk looking up, and the ball being snapped on rhythm.  The coaches need to find a way to change up the snap count, put on a dummy count, etc.  There's a reason Michigan State has been jumping the snap and timing blitzes perfectly for the past couple years - it's because Michigan's coaches have been painfully vanilla with snap counts.

Prediction recap: I said in Friday's preview that MSU would have the advantage in all categories except Michigan Rush Offense vs. MSU Rush Defense.  I was wrong.  The Spartans had the advantage in all phases except sportsmanship and class.  Michigan couldn't run (2.3 yards per carry), Michigan couldn't pass (12/31 for 161 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception), Michigan couldn't stop the run (5.5 yards per attempt), and Michigan didn't do great against the pass (Kirk Cousins was 13/24 for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns).  I did guess correctly that MSU would score 28 points, although I thought Michigan would score a little more.

Ultimately, this has been better than expected.  I don't think many people expected that Michigan would be 6-0 heading to East Lansing, and I don't think anyone expected the Wolverines to climb all the way to #11 in the polls.  Michigan is 6-1 heading into a bye week, and while I don't plan for Michigan to go undefeated the rest of the way, the remaining schedule shows five winnable games.  In the first year of the Brady Hoke era, I'm pretty satisfied with how things have gone.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Recruit Tracker

I couldn't find a good picture from last night,
so here's Laura Michelle Prestin.

OL Blake Bars and Montgomery Bell Academy (2-5) had a bye this week. Next week, they play the Mccallie Tornados.

LB Joe Bolden and Colerain (7-1) won a 28-7 contest against Lakota East. Bolden recorded 7.5 tackles and a sack, and he scored two touchdowns on the night.

OL Ben Braden and his team the Rockford Rams (7-1) defeated Hudsonville by a score of 44-14.

DE Pharaoh Brown and the Brush Arcs (3-5) shut out Lakewood while putting up 20 points. Brown caught a TD pass in the game.

S Jeremy Clark of North Hopkins (7-1) defeated Calloway County by a score of 69-20.

TE Devin Funchess of Farmington Hills Harrison (8-0) went on the road and "toppled" Lake Orion by a score of 28-7. Funchess had a 13-yard touchdown reception in the contest. Unrelated by interesting, President Obama was in Lake Orion on Friday visiting the GM assembly plant with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to celebrate the new free-trade agreement.

S Allen Gant and the Southview Cougars (7-1) won a 36-14 contest against Anthony Wayne on Friday. Gant contributed in the victory by picking off a pass.

DL Matt Godin and Detroit Catholic Central (7-1) were narrowly defeated by James Ross and Orchard Lakes St. Mary's by a score of 14-13. But Godin and DCC will have a chance at redemption this Saturday at 7 p.m. when they again face Orchard Lakes St. Mary's. This time, the contest will be held at Ford Field in a battle for the Catholic league. You should attend if you live in the area.

FB Sione Houma's Highland Rams (6-3) defeated East by a score of 22-0.

LB Royce Jenkins-Stone and Detroit Cass Tech (5-3) played Detroit Crockett at 2 p.m. Saturday, losing by a score of 14-9.

OL Kyle Kalis and the Lakewood-St. Edwards Eagles (6-2) traveled to the Cincinnati area on Saturday to play St. Xavier. Unfortunately for Kalis and his team, they dropped their second game in a row, losing by a score of 17-10.

OL Erik Magnuson and his team the La Costa Canyon Mavericks (4-2) defeated Carlsbad by a score of 35-0.

2013 QB Shane Morris and Warren De La Salle (6-2) hosted Detroit U-D Jesuit on Saturday and came away with a 28-20 victory. Morris went 11 - 17 passing for 184 yards and a touchdown; he also scored a rushing TD.

DL Mario Ojemudia and Farmington Hills Harrison (8-0) traveled to Lake Orion and won by a score of 28-7. I haven't found stats for Ojemudia, but if you'd like to watch the entire game by clicking on this link, then you might be able to tally his stats yourself.

DT Ondre Pipkins and his Park Hill Trojans (4-4) lost a 45-17 contest to Staley.

CB Terry Richardson and Detroit Cass Tech (5-2) played at 2 p.m. on Saturday, tragically preventing Richardson and RJS from watching the Michigan-Michigan State game. Even more tragic for the duo, they lost to Detroit Crockett, who will square off against Detroit Martin Luther King at 7 p.m. this Friday at Ford Field. You should go to the game if you live in the area.

LB Kaleb Ringer and his Northmont High School squad (3-5) won their homecoming game against Fairmont by a score of 20-18.

LB James Ross and Orchard Lake St. Mary's will "battled for the Catholic League Central title" against Matt Godin and Detroit Catholic Central Saturday at 7 p.m., and came away with the 14-13 victory.

OL Caleb Stacey and Oak Hills (3-5) lost a 28-14 contest to Mason on Friday.

CB Anthony Standifer and his Crete-Monee (8-0) team earned a 30-0 victory over Rich South. Wide Receiver prospect, LaQuan Treadwell, caught 8 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.

DE Tom Strobel and his Mentor team (8-0) defeated Medina by a score of 45-7. Ace was at the game and tweeted that Strobel was "all over the place," recording 10 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, a sack and two QB hurries.

2013 S Dymonte Thomas and Marlington (6-2) came away with a 39-6 victory over Canton South. Thomas had a 9-yard touchdown run in the contest.

TE AJ Williams and Sycamore (7-1) lost their first game this season by a score of 21-3 against Middletown.

S Jarrod Wilson and his Akron squad Buchtel (5-3) won a 19-0 contest over Kenmore. In the fourth quarter, Wilson made a pre-snap read and put his defense in man coverage. He then picked off the ensuing pass and took it 35 yards to the end zone.

DL Christopher Wormley and the Toledo Whitmer Panthers (8-0) defeated Ross by a score of 58-20.

Stats will be updated as they're found. Please let us know if you have any additional information for the compilation. Thanks!