Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pre-Snap Read: #45 Iowa

Pre-Snap Read  previews the Iowa Hawkeyes, who have once again had some struggles in the off-season.  Michigan plays Iowa in the tune-up for Ohio State, so hopefully the Wolverines can avoid overlooking Iowa, a team that has had Michigan's number over the past few seasons.

247 Sports: Composite Rankings Released for 2013

Shane Morris averages out to be the #16 recruit in the country
247 Sports  did a novel thing recently by figuring out a way to post "composite rankings," which combine the four major recruiting sites' rankings into an average for each player.  They claim it's "revolutionary," but it's kind of something I've always wanted to see . . . but who has the time or resources to do something like that?  Well . . . they do, I guess.

Here's a look at the Michigan commits (and offerees).  I'll only list the offerees until the last Michigan commit appears on the list.  After that I'm not scrolling down anymore.

3. Laremy Tunsil - OT - Florida
4. Montravius Adams - DT - Georgia
6. Vernon Hargreaves III - CB - Florida (Florida)
7. Su'a Cravens - S - California (USC)
9. Jaylon Smith - LB - Indiana (Notre Dame)
12. Kendall Fuller - CB - Maryland (Virginia Tech)
14. Eddie Vanderdoes - DT - California (USC)
15. Robert Foster - WR - Pennsylvania
16. Shane Morris - QB - Michigan (Michigan)
19. Joey Bosa - DE - Florida (Ohio State)
22. Adam Breneman - TE - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
26. Priest Willis - CB - Arizona
28. Ty Isaac - RB - Illinois (USC)
29. Eli Woodard - CB - New Jersey (Ohio State)
30. Cameron Burrows - CB - Ohio (Ohio State)
32. Keith Ford - RB - Texas (Oklahoma)
39. Leon McQuay III - S - Florida
41. LaQuon Treadwell - WR - Illinois
46. Jonathan Allen - DE - Virginia (Alabama)
47. Alex Anzalone - LB - Pennsylvania (Notre Dame)
48. Ethan Pocic - OT - Illinois (LSU)
53. Jake Raulerson - OT - Texas (Texas)
55. Dymonte Thomas - S - Ohio (Michigan)
56. Justin Manning - DT - Texas
57. Michael Hutchings - LB - California (USC)
58. Chris Hawkins - CB - California (USC)
60. Derrick Green - RB - Virginia
62. Kyle Bosch - OG - Illinois (Michigan)
63. Kevin Olsen - QB - New Jersey (Miami)
64. Marquez North - WR - North Carolina
66. Demorea Stringfellow - WR - California (Washington)
72. James Quick - WR - Kentucky
74. Patrick Kugler - C - Pennsylvania (Michigan)
82. Chris Fox - OT - Colorado (Michigan)
86. Dorian O'Daniel - LB - Maryland (Clemson)
88. Elijah Daniel - DE - Indiana (Clemson)
89. Tray Matthews - S - Georgia (Georgia)
91. Larenz Bryant - LB - North Carolina (South Carolina)
92. Alquadin Muhammad - DE - New Jersey
93. Greg Webb - DT - New Jersey (North Carolina)
94. Justin Davis - RB - California (USC)
98. Isaac Rochell - DE - Georgia (Notre Dame)
101. Evan Lisle - OT - Ohio (Ohio State)
104. Darrell Daniels - WR - California (Washington)
107. Sebastian LaRue - WR - California (USC)
114. Henry Poggi - DT - Maryland (Michigan)
115. Maurice Smith - CB - Texas (Alabama)
116. Mike McCray - LB - Ohio (Michigan)
118. Hunter Bivin - OT - Kentucky (Notre Dame)
122. David Dawson - OG - Michigan (Michigan)
127. E.J. Levenberry - LB - Virginia (Florida State)
128. Eldridge Massington - WR - Texas (USC)
132. Logan Tuley-Tillman - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
137. Taco Charlton - DE - Ohio (Michigan)
140. Matt Rolin - LB - Virginia (South Carolina)
143. Shaq Wiggins - CB - Georgia (Georgia)
145. Michael Hill - DT - South Carolina (Ohio State)
146. Jourdan Lewis - CB - Michigan (Michigan)
153. Jake Butt - TE - Ohio (Michigan)
154. Steve Elmer - OT - Michigan (Notre Dame)
155. Peter Kalambayi - LB - North Carolina (Stanford)
157. Joe Mathis - DE - California
159. Billy Price - DT - Ohio (Ohio State)
160. John Montelus - OG - Massachusetts (Notre Dame)
161. Cole Luke - CB - Arizona
163. Colin McGovern - OT - Illinois (Notre Dame)
165. Standish Dobard - TE - Louisiana (Miami)
166. Jordan Wilkins - RB - Tennessee (Auburn)
174. Darius Latham - DT - Indiana (Wisconsin)
176. Tashawn Bower - DE - New Jersey (Auburn)
178. Elijah Qualls - DT - California (Washington)
181. Jason Hatcher - DE - Kentucky (USC)
185. Tim Harris - CB - Virginia (Virginia)
187. Alvin Bailey - WR - Florida
189. Kyle Hicks - RB - Texas (Texas)
191. Ben Gedeon - LB - Ohio (Michigan)
196. Chase Abbington - S - Missouri (Missouri)
197. Devon Allen - WR - Arizona
199. Darren Carrington - WR - California (Oregon)
200. Nadir Barnwell - CB - New Jersey
201. Maquedius Bain - DT - Florida
203. DeVeon Smith - RB - Ohio (Michigan)
208. Scott Pagano - DT - Hawaii (Clemson)
215. Gareon Conley - CB - Ohio (Michigan)
218. Wyatt Teller - DE - Virginia
220. Jordan Cunningham - WR - Florida
237. Mike McGlinchey - OT - Pennsylvania (Notre Dame)
240. Christian LaCouture - DE - Texas (Nebraska)
242. Wyatt Shallman - FB - Michigan (Michigan)
245. John Ross - CB - California
252. Ryan White - CB - Kentucky (Louisville)
259. Dajaun Drennon - DE - New Jersey (North Carolina)
261. Marcell Ateman - WR - Texas (Oklahoma State)
265. Jayme Thompson - CB - Ohio (Ohio State)
271. Yannick Ngakoue - LB - Washington, D.C. (Maryland)
274. Josh Augusta - DT - Illinois
279. Ebenezer Ogundeko - DE - New York
290. Rob Wheelwright - WR - Ohio (Wisconsin)
292. Jacob Matuska - DE - Ohio (Notre Dame)
293. Brendan Mahon - OG - New Jersey (Penn State)
301. Maurice Hurst, Jr. - DT - Massachusetts (Michigan)
305. J.J. Gustafson - OT - Texas (Texas A&M)
311. Jaron Dukes - WR - Ohio (Michigan)
312. James Onwualu - WR - Minnesota (Notre Dame)
314. Hardreck Walker - DT - Texas (Texas A&M)
320. Uriah LeMay - WR - North Carolina (Georgia)
346. Devin Butler - CB - Washington, D.C. (Notre Dame)
350. Ross Douglas - CB - Ohio (Michigan)
352. Durham Smythe - TE - Texas (Texas)
379. Richard Benjamin - WR - Florida (UCF)
428. Riley Ferguson - QB - North Carolina (Tennessee)
438. Paul Harris - WR - Maryland (Tennessee)
446. Tre Bell - CB - Florida (Florida)
472. Cameron Walker - CB - California
486. Marcell Lazard - OT - New Jersey (West Virginia)
495. Jay Ellison - DT - Georgia
496. Reginald Carter - LB - Georgia (Georgia)
523. Rod Crayton - DT - Alabama
528. Csont'e York - WR - Michigan (Michigan)
600. Shelby Christy - WR - Louisiana
611. Scott Orndoff - TE - Pennsylvania (Pitt)
612. Shane Cockerille - QB - Maryland (Maryland)
622. Khalid Hill - TE - Michigan (Michigan)
686. Zach Bradshaw - WR - Maryland (Penn State)
774. Kevin Gladney - WR - Ohio (Nebraska)
1112. Tim Gardner - OG - Indiana (Ohio State)
1113. Kyle LaPorte - WR - New Jersey
1207. Gaius Vaenuku - DE - Texas
1509. Channing Stribling - CB - North Carolina (Michigan)

Video: Denard Robinson at Big Ten Media Days

2012 Season Countdown: #30 Jerald Robinson

Jerald Robinson
Name: Jerald Robinson
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 206 lbs.
High school: Canton (OH) South
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #83
Last year: I ranked Robinson #40 and said he would have 8 catches for 110 yards as a backup wide receiver.  He played in eleven games, mostly on special teams, and didn't record any statistics.

Last year one of the themes of my Robinson preview was in reference to Robinson's work ethic and off-the-field habits.  Robinson hasn't rid himself of those struggles.  He might have played more last season, but he still missed out on an opportunity to play a bigger role.  He has had some minor legal troubles, which this coaching staff (and many others) strongly dislike.  In the spring, Robinson appeared to be the #2 flanker behind Roy Roundtree.

If Roundtree plays as much as departed flanker Junior Hemingway, Robinson might find himself languishing on the bench a little more than he would like.  With talented freshman receivers Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh arriving on campus, Robinson needs to stake his claim for playing time in the near future.  Otherwise, he might find himself getting passed.  He lacks great speed and isn't really known for running after the catch, whereas one of Hemingway's strengths was YAC.  Robinson is and probably always will be a step below Hemingway, so his ceiling is pretty low, but he should be a decent possession receiver until the younger guys can develop.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver; 15 receptions, 190 yards, 2 touchdowns

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pre-Snap Read: #49 Air Force

Pre-Snap Read  previews the Air Force Falcons, who are coming off of a 7-6 season.

Video: Taylor Lewan at Big Ten Media Days

2012 Season Countdown: #31 Joey Burzynski

Joey Burzynski (#56) playing center in spring 2011
Name: Joey Burzynski
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 295 lbs.
High school: Carlsbad (CA) Carlsbad
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #56
Last year: I didn't rank Burzynski.  He played in four games as a backup offensive guard.

Burzynski came a little bit out of nowhere last season to be a somewhat valuable backup offensive lineman.  While he played a little bit of center in spring 2011, he only appeared at guard during the season.  I didn't pay much attention to him individually during the season, but by this past spring game, he had "surpassed" the other competitors to start at left guard.

Going into the 2012 season, I have a hard time believing he will hold onto that starting spot.  My gut feeling from the spring is that when the Alabama game arrives, the starting left guard will be Elliott Mealer.  Burzynski did not appear to be particularly impressive, and while he's put on enough weight to be a viable option in the size department, I'm not sure that will be the deciding factor.  To reiterate my theory, I think the coaches might have started Burzynski at left guard in the spring game to test him and to have a complete second unit.  If the coaches had started Mealer at left guard, the second unit tackles would have both been walk-ons (likely Kristian Mateus and Erik Gunderson), neither of whom is likely to play a significant role.  Mealer is bigger (6'4", 310 lbs.), more experienced, and more athletic than Burzynski.  Regardless of who starts, Burzynski should have considerable value as a starter or backup interior lineman.

Prediction: Backup left guard

Recruiting Update: July 30, 2012

Marion (OH) Harding running back L.J. Scott
Avon (OH) Avon cornerback Ross Douglas switched his commitment from Penn State to Michigan.

Marion (OH) Harding running back L.J. Scott was offered by Michigan.  Scott is a 5'10", 210 lb. tailback who also holds an offer from Kent State.  He had 700 yards and 8 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011.  For better or worse, he reminds me of 2013 commit DeVeon Smith.

Milwaukee (WI) Marquette University defensive tackle Conor Sheehy was offered by Michigan on Sunday.  Sheehy is a 6'4", 255-pounder whose only other offer comes from the home state Wisconsin Badgers.  He also camped at Michigan back in late June, so two visits in the span of a little over a month indicates he has serious interest in Michigan.  Sheehy is listed everywhere as a defensive end, but he moves like a defensive tackle, so I'm guessing the coaches would want him as a 3-tech DT.

Sicklerville (NJ) Timber Creek defensive end Dajaun Drennon committed to North Carolina.  He mentioned early interest in Michigan, but the Wolverines wrapped up their recruiting of defensive ends a while ago.  Drennon is the teammate of fellow offeree Greg Webb, who also committed to UNC.

Olney (MD) Good Counsel cornerback Kendall Fuller committed to Virginia Tech.  I've been expecting this for a while since his older brothers have all attended VT, but Michigan finished third behind the Hokies and Clemson.  Fuller is the #1 cornerback in the country according to Rivals, although I did a scouting report on him a few months ago that didn't blow me away.

Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central offensive guard Tim Gardner committed to Ohio State.  Gardner never seemed particularly interested in his Michigan offer.

Tampa (FL) Wharton cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III committed to Florida.  Hargreaves was always unlikely to leave the state of Florida, but some thought he was ticketed for South Florida, where his father coaches defensive backs.  I wrote up a scouting report on him a couple weeks ago.

Louisville (KY) Trinity defensive end Jason Hatcher committed to USC.  Hatcher is the teammate of two fellow Michigan offerees, cornerback Ryan White (Louisville) and wide receiver James Quick (undecided).  None of them visited Michigan, and Quick's interest in the Wolverines tailed off some time ago.

Honolulu (HI) Moanalua defensive tackle Scott Pagano committed to Clemson.  Michigan was one of Pagano's first big offers a few months ago, but since then, he racked up offers from virtually every big-time program in the country.  I have to admit that I was never a big fan of what I saw from Pagano on film, but Clemson has a way of churning out NFL prospects.

Sicklerville (NJ) Timber Creek defensive tackle Greg Webb switched his commitment from Penn State to North Carolina.  Webb was one of Michigan's earliest targets for the nose tackle position and Michigan was in his top few schools before he committed to PSU, but the Wolverines didn't seem to be pursuing him once he started to waver.

I put together a list of visitors for Michigan's BBQ at the Big House.  It was an ever evolving list, so there are several additional updates from when it was posted on Thursday.

On top of those guys, there were a couple more visitors over the past few days:

Burke (VA) Lake Braddock quarterback Caleb Henderson, a 2014 prospect, visited Michigan for a second time on Saturday; he also camped at Michigan back in June.  No 2014 quarterbacks have earned offers from the Wolverines yet, so Michigan is still searching for a few guys to heavily recruit.  Henderson is a 6'4", 223 lb. pocket passer with offers from Maryland, Michigan State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech; the Hokies appear to have the lead so far.

Wellington (FL) Palm Beach Central offensive guard K.C. McDermott, a 2014 prospect, visited Michigan on Friday.  He has already been offered by the Wolverines, along with Auburn, Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and several others. (Highlights.)

Middletown (OH) Middletown tight end Chance Sorrell, a 2014 prospect, visited Michigan on Thursday.  He's 6'6" and 229 lbs.  I could only find highlights of him blocking, so he either plays for a run-oriented team or he's not much of a pass receiver.  The recruiting sites don't know much about him yet, so it's unlikely that he'll be a big-time prospect.

And here's a picture from the BBQ:

I'm not sure who everyone is, but here's a stab: #32 Khalid Hill, #14 Dymonte Thomas, #6 Ross Douglas, #27 Derrick Green, #2 Jourdan Lewis, #5 Da'mario Jones, #8 Jaron Dukes, Kyle Bosch (backwards white hat), #26 Ben Gedeon, Logan Tuley-Tillman (back right in blue hat), Chris Fox (middle right in white hat), #55 David Dawson, #9 Mike McCray, #17 Wyatt Shallman, #4 DeVeon Smith, #56 Scott Sypniewski, #24 Jake Butt, #33 Taco Charlton

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happy 5,000,000th Pageview!

Alicia Marie

Arianny Celeste

Ashley Valence

Kate Upton

Randi Brady

Sarah Hoots

Video: Michigan TECHFIT uniform

Video: Denard Robinson Speech at Big Ten Media Days

2012 Season Countdown: #32 Frank Clark

Frank Clark gets tackled after intercepting Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas
Name: Frank Clark
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 260 lbs.
High school: Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Position: Defensive end
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #57
Last year: I ranked Clark #80 and said he would redshirt.  He played in twelve games, making 10 tackles, 1/2 a tackle for loss, and 1 interception.

Clark surprised me - and a lot of people - last season.  He showed up at 228 lbs., which vaulted him into the running for playing time when I expected him to be 210 and willowy.  As the third string weakside end behind Craig Roh and Jibreel Black, he played pretty sparingly but had a bit of a coming out party in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech, when he made 5 tackles and the interception.  It's a huge jump to go from #80 to #32 in one season . . .

. . . but now this ranking might be too high.  It was revealed in recent days that Clark has been arrested for allegedly stealing a computer, which is a serious offense that could result in jail time.  Assuming this is his first offense, the likelihood that he goes to jail is pretty slim.  But that doesn't mean he will escape punishment from Brady Hoke.  The offseason paved the way for Clark to battle with fellow sophomore Brennen Beyer for the starting weakside end position, because last year's #1 guy (Craig Roh, now the SDE) and #2 guy (Jibreel Black, now a DT) both switched positions.  The battle was reportedly close in the spring with Beyer edging out Clark, but regardless of the legal proceedings, it's unlikely that Clark will start on September 1 against Alabama.  If Clark manages to free himself of the charges and any serious punishment from Brady Hoke, he could make a run at the starting job.  He has some impressive speed and playmaking ability, but he might not get a chance to use it.

Prediction: N/A due to legal issues

BBQ at the Big House Visitors: July 29

Derrick Green
Devon Allen - WR - Phoenix (AZ) Brophy Prep: Allen is visiting on Saturday and won't be around for the BBQ on Sunday, but his visit does indicate somewhat serious interest in Michigan.  However, most analysts seem to believe that LaQuon Treadwell will take the final wide receiver spot in the class and that Allen will head elsewhere, anyway . . . possibly to Ohio State.  I wrote up a scouting report on Allen a couple months ago.

Drew Barker - QB - Burlington (KY) Conner: Barker, a 2014 prospect, is a 6'3", 204 lb. signal caller with offers from Illinois, Purdue, South Carolina, and a few others.  He originally stated that he would visit for the BBQ, but this visit may will not take place now. (Highlights.)

Jake Butt - TE - Pickerington (OH) North: Butt committed to Michigan in February.

Jimmy Byrne - OG - Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius: Byrne is a 6'4", 275 lb. class of 2014 prospect with offers from Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and West Virginia.  I believe there's a good chance that he will offered when he visits. (Highlights.)  UPDATE: Byrne will not be visiting this weekend.

Taco Charlton - DE - Pickerington (OH) Central: Charlton committed to Michigan in February.

Mason Cole - OT - Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake: Cole is a 2014 prospect who holds offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, South Carolina, Stanford, and USC.  He stands 6'5" and 267 lbs.

Gareon Conley - CB - Massillon (OH) Washington: Conley committed to Michigan in March.

David Dawson - OG - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Dawson committed to Michigan in March.

Nathaniel Devers - OG - Massillon (OH) Washington: Devers, a 2014 prospect, has a single offer from Toledo.  He stands 6'3" and 265 lbs.  He claims a 385 lb. bench press and a 495 lb. squat, both of which are great numbers for a high school sophomore.  Brady Hoke showed in the 2013 class that he's willing and able to go after only elite prospects on the offensive line, and I'm not sure Devers fits in that category.  Despite being teammates with 2013 commit Gareon Conley, I would not be surprised if Devers goes without an offer, at least until some other options on the offensive line shake out. (Highlights.)

Tommy Doles - OT - Grand Rapids (MI) Christian: Doles is a 6'5", 240 lb. prospect whose only offer comes from Michigan so far.  His teammate is 2014 wide receiver Drake Harris, who picked Michigan State over Michigan.  Doles is very athletic, but obviously needs some time to fill out his frame.

Deon Drake - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Drake is a 6'1", 215 lb. weakside linebacker prospect.  He has offers from Notre Dame, Pitt, and some others, but not from Michigan.  If that changes this weekend, he would be one to watch for a commitment, just like most Technicians.  Drake is considered to be the second-best 2014 prospect on the team behind wide receiver/cornerback Damon Webb. (Highlights.)

Jaron Dukes - WR - Columbus (OH) Marion-Franklin: Dukes committed to Michigan in February.

Michael Ferns III - LB - St. Clairsville (OH) St. Clairsville: Ferns is a 6'3", 230 lb. athlete from the class of 2014.  He looks like a SAM linebacker to me, but he could also play tight end or middle linebacker.  He has already narrowed down his recruitment to a final three of Michigan, Notre Dame, and Penn State.  Several insiders think Michigan is #1 on that list. (Highlights.)

Clifton Garrett - LB - Joliet (IL) Plainfield South: Garrett is a 6'3", 220 lb. linebacker from the class of 2014.  He already has offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, and I would be surprised if he walks away from Ann Arbor without an offer from the Wolverines unless the coaches have off-the-field concerns.  He has a very impressive highlight film and looks like a future middle linebacker, although he could also be utilized at the SAM position.  UPDATE: Garrett will not be on campus this weekend.

Ben Gedeon - LB - Hudson (OH) Hudson:
 Gedeon committed to Michigan in April.

Derrick Green - RB - Richmond (VA) Heritage: Green is a 6'0", 215 lb. tailback with reported 4.37 speed, but he's more of a two-down running back who struggles to catch the ball.  He has offers from virtually every notable school in the country, including Michigan.  Every other offered running back is off the board, so Green may be Michigan's last chance to grab an "elite" tailback in the 2013 class.

Jay Hayes - OG - Brooklyn (NY) Poly Prep: Hayes is a 6'5", 270 lb. lineman from the 2014 class.  He could play either side of the line, but Michigan is recruiting him for offense.  He also has offers from Notre Dame, Oregon, and Penn State, among others.  UPDATE: Hayes is not attending the BBQ.

Khalid Hill - TE - Detroit (MI) Crockett: Hill committed to Michigan in February.

Jonathan Hilliman - RB - Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep: Hilliman is a 6'0", 201 lb. tailback from the class of 2014 who already holds offers from Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.  New Jersey has not been particularly kind to Michigan over the last several years, so I would be surprised if he ends up as part of Michigan's class, and he might not make it to the BBQ. (Highlights.)  UPDATE: Hilliman will not be visiting this weekend.

Corey Holmes - WR - Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas: Holmes is a 6'1", 172 lb. prospect from the class of 2014.  He has offers from Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin, among others.  Despite being somewhat small-ish, Holmes looks more like a possession receiver than a blazing downfield threat.  He grew up as a Michigan fan, and although I would be a little surprised if he commits to Michigan anytime soon, I would not be surprised if that occurs sometime down the road. (Highlights.)  UPDATE: Holmes will not be visiting this weekend.

Jamarco Jones - OG - Chicago (IL) De La Salle: Jones is a 6'5", 285 lb. guard prospect from the class of 2014.  He already has offers from Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, among others.  My guess is that he will end up at Ohio State, but Michigan has a chance to impress him at the BBQ. (Highlights.)  UPDATE: Jones is not visiting for the BBQ.

Coleman Key - QB - Broken Arrow (OK) Broken Arrow: Key camped at Michigan in June and came away without an offer, but he still has a chance.  He's a 6'5", 210 lb. prospect from the 2014 class.  He won't be one of the most highly recruited quarterbacks in the class, but with Shane Morris arriving in 2013, Michigan might have to take a second-tier quarterback to groom behind Morris.  Key has zero offers so far. (Freshman highlights.)

Jourdan Lewis - CB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Lewis committed to Michigan in February.

Montae Nicholson - S - Monroeville (PA) Gateway: Nicholson is a 6'2", 195 lb. safety with offers from Michigan, Penn State, Pitt, and a few others.  Gateway has sent a lot of kids to FBS schools in recent years, but many have chosen Ohio State or Pitt.  There was some buzz recently that Nicholson might commit to Michigan at the BBQ, but I think that was all it was - buzz. (Highlights.)

D'Andre Payne - CB - Washington (DC) H.D. Woodson: Payne is only 5'9" and 172 lbs., but he's a very smooth, dynamic athlete.  Michigan has already offered him as a field corner, but most big schools in the country have offered him, too.  Still, it's a good sign that he's planning to return to campus, since he was already in Ann Arbor back in June for summer camp. (Highlights.)

Austin Roberts - WR - Carmel (IN) Carmel: Roberts is a 6'2", 195 lb. prospect from the class of 2014. He already has offers from Florida, Iowa, Miami, Purdue, and Stanford.  UPDATE: Roberts is not visiting for the BBQ.

Artavis Scott - WR - Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake: Scott is a 5'11", 180 lb. receiver from the class of 2014.  He already holds offers from Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, and South Carolina, among others.  Scott has not been offered by Michigan yet, but he will probably receive one on the visit.

Wyatt Shallman - RB - Novi (MI) Catholic Central: Shallman committed to Michigan in February.

Conor Sheehy - DE - Milwaukee (WI) Marquette University: Sheehy is a 6'4", 255 lb. defensive end with a single offer from Wisconsin.  He camped at Michigan in June and left without an offer, but since he's been invited back for the BBQ, there's at least a decent chance the coaches extend an offer in person.

Deveon Smith - RB - Warren (OH) Howland: Smith committed to Michigan in March.

Bentley Spain - OT - Charlotte (NC) Providence: Spain is a 6'6", 285 lb. prospect from the class of 2014.  He already has offers from Clemson, Florida, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Penn State, South Carolina, and Stanford, among others.  I have a feeling that South Carolina will be the team to beat.  Spain indicated that he may or may not make it to the BBQ, and usually that means no, so don't be surprised if he doesn't appear.  UPDATE: Spain will not be visiting this weekend.

Channing Stribling - CB - Matthews (NC) Butler: Stribling committed to Michigan in June.

Logan Tuley-Tillman - OT - Peorial (IL) Manual: Tuley-Tillman committed to Michigan in February.

LaQuon Treadwell - WR - Crete (IL) Crete-Monee: The recruitment of Treadwell has been well documented.  He has offers from all over the country but wants to visit Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.  However, Michigan is the front-runner, and there's a decent chance that he will commit to Michigan at the BBQ.  I wrote up a scouting report on him a few months ago.  UPDATE: Treadwell will not be visiting this weekend.

Damon Webb - CB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Webb is a 5'11", 170 lb. wide receiver/cornerback from the class of 2014.  The Wolverines are recruiting him for defense.  Aside from Michigan, he holds offers from LSU, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, among others.  Michigan is considered to be the heavy favorite for his services, although his recruitment may last beyond the BBQ.

Parrker Westphal - CB - Bolingbrook (IL) Bolingbrook: Westphal is a 6'1", 181 lb. defensive back prospect with offers from Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, and West Virginia, among others.  Michigan seems to be #1 on the 2014 prospect's mind, and he's coached by former Michigan cornerback Todd Howard.  The Wolverines are recruiting him mainly to play boundary corner and the slot corner position currently inhabited by Courtney Avery. (Highlights.)

William White - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: White is a 6'1", 215 lb. linebacker who currently holds no offers.  He's the son of former Detroit Lions safety William White.  If an offer comes for White, it will likely be some time down the road. (Highlights.)

Csont'e York - WR - Harper Woods (MI) Chandler Park Academy: York committed to Michigan in May.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

ESPN: Best of 2012 Big Ten media days

Vanessa Tib
If you want to read something funny that Taylor Lewan said, head on over to these quotes collected by Adam Rittenberg.

Ross Douglas, Wolverine

Avon (OH) Avon cornerback Ross Douglas
Avon (OH) Avon cornerback Ross Douglas committed to Michigan on Tuesday.  He also had offers from Cincinnati, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others.

Douglas is a 5'10", 180 lb. corner.  As a junior in 2011, he had 175 carries for 1,019 yards (5.8 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns, 10 receptions for 150 yards, 40 tackles, 13 pass breakups, and 1 interception.  Yes, he's also Avon's starting tailback.  He had originally committed to Penn State at the end of February, but he didn't like the idea of playing for a bunch of creepers and not playing in bowl games now that the NCAA has cracked down on the Nittany Lions.  I can't say that I blame him.

ESPN: 4-star CB, #30 CB
Rivals: 4-star CB, #22 CB, #222 overall
Scout: 3-star CB, #42 CB
247 Sports: 4-star CB, #25 CB

Douglas isn't very tall, but he's solidly built.  He's a willing tackler, although sometimes he doesn't have as much mass behind him as he would like.  While Douglas claims a 4.41 forty, he appears to have just average speed for a cornerback.  He changes direction with some fluidity, but again, he's not great in that area.

When I watch Douglas's film, the word that comes to mind most often is "almost."  As in, "Hey, that was almost a really good play."  I'm not sure how well that translates to the Big Ten.  He's not an elite athlete in any particular way, so his ceiling is a little bit limited.  The coaches likely want him to play slot cornerback, the position currently manned by Courtney Avery, and he might be able to help out on special teams, too.  I don't think Douglas's skills translate well to boundary corner or field corner.

Douglas gives Michigan 23 commitments in a class that is expected to reach 24 or 25.  He joins cornerbacks Gareon Conley, Jourdan Lewis, and Channing Stribling.  Each of those guys seems headed for field or boundary.  Avery will be a senior in 2013, but I think he could also play some field corner.  That means the slot corner position could be a Delonte Hollowell vs. Ross Douglas battle next season, when Hollowell will be a junior.

TTB Rating: 63 (rating system explanation)

Video: Jordan Kovacs at Big Ten Media Days

2012 Season Countdown: #33 Jareth Glanda

Jareth Glanda, one of the heroes of the Sugar Bowl
Name: Jareth Glanda
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 255 lbs.
High school: Rochester Hills (MI) Brother Rice
Position: Long snapper
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #54
Last year: I did not rank Glanda.  He was the starting short snapper (for field goals and extra points) and caught one pass for a first down in the Sugar Bowl.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know a whole lot about the technical aspects of long snapping, but I do know that it's an extremely important aspect of the game.  Good long snappers can be the difference between winning and losing close games.  Last season Glanda was the team's short snapper; a short snapper handles field goals and extra points, which are typically about 7-yard snaps.  A long snapper has to snap the ball approximately 14 yards for punts, and that duty was handled by the now departed Tom Pomarico.

My guess is that Glanda will take over long snapping duties, but last year, I assumed Pomarico would handle both duties, too.  The only other option currently on the roster is redshirt junior Curt Graman, who has yet to see the field in college.  Snappers don't have to be huge, but Graman is only 6'5" and 200 lbs., so he might struggle to hold up as a blocker.  Furthermore, last year's emergency snapper was defensive end Ryan Van Bergen, who is now graduated.  Options are limited, so hopefully Glanda can stay healthy and handle some additional duties.

Prediction: Starting long snapper and short snapper

Friday, July 27, 2012

Grantland: The Art of the Decommit

Texas fans weren't happy when wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones decommitted a couple weeks ago, but they're not alone in suffering attrition from recruiting classes.

Attractive Michigan Girls of the Week

If you have any other pictures of girls wearing Michigan gear, drop me an e-mail.  Go Blue!

2012 Season Countdown: #34 Marvin Robinson

Marvin Robinson
Name: Marvin Robinson
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Winter Haven (FL) Lake Region
Position: Safety
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #3
Last year: I ranked Robinson #31 and said he would be a backup safety and special teams contributor.  He played in five games, making 9 total tackles.

Another in the line of guys who should never have burned their shirts made of red, Robinson made all of 3 tackles in 2010 and then 9 in 2011.  Part of the reason he didn't make more tackles in 2011 was that he got into a wee bit of legal trouble that made the coaches unhappy, which limited him to playing in less than half the games.  Now a stud safety recruit enters his true junior season having played sparingly and with a dozen tackles under his belt.

Robinson played well in the spring game, and he looked okay at times last season.  He looks to be a viable candidate to take over for Jordan Kovacs in 2013 as a guy who doesn't have a ton of ability to cover downfield but should be a solid tackler and blitzer.  In the meantime, he's a good special teams player and a solid backup safety.  If he can stay out of the doghouse, I think Michigan fans will like what they see in a limited capacity this season.

Prediction: Backup strong safety, special teams contributor

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pre-Snap Read: #51 Penn State

Michigan doesn't play Penn State this season, but here's Pre-Snap Read's take on the Nittany Lions, anyway.

Video: Big Ten Press Conference - Brady Hoke

2012 Season Countdown: #35 Brandin Hawthorne

Brandin Hawthorne
Name: Brandin Hawthorne
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 214 lbs.
High school: Pahokee (FL) Pahokee
Position: Linebacker
Class: Senior
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Hawthorne #62 and said he would be a special teams contributor.  He started five games at WILL, making 43 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 1 pass breakup.

Lots of unexpected things happened last year for Hawthorne to leap to the forefront of the WILL linebacker depth chart.  Brandon Herron had a great opening game and then hurt his quad.  Marell Evans was ineligible after transferring from Hampton.  And Hawthorne played better than he had thus far in his career.  Despite being only 6'0" and 214 lbs., he held up fairly well and made some big plays for Michigan during his five starts.  However, things seemed to go downhill with a subpar effort in the Michigan State game, and Hawthorne seemed to find himself in the doghouse from that point onward.  Freshman Desmond Morgan grabbed the reins at WILL and started for the second half of the season.

Hawthorne played a little bit at middle linebacker this spring, too.  He's probably too small to be a viable full-time option at MIKE, but he could be a situational backup or play in the nickel package.  He made a very nice one-handed interception in the spring game, he's a hard hitter for his size, and he has good speed.  Unfortunately for him, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison was still not impressed after the spring game and was harping on how Hawthorne needs to become more physical.  This is the conundrum the coaches face.  Should they play a coachable, traditional inside linebacker with perhaps less playmaking ability, such as Desmond Morgan or Joe Bolden?  Or should they play a faster, less coachable guy like Hawthorne?  From what I've seen out of this staff, they'll more often play the traditional guy with better technique.  Hawthorne will still play on special teams and get some action as a backup, but I doubt he has much hope of reclaiming his WILL job.

Prediction: Backup inside linebacker, special teams contributor

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Smart Football: The Air Raid Offense - History, Evolution, Weirdness

Raychel Frew
Smart Football  discusses the Air Raid offense.  Mike Leach is a crazy guy, but his offense always seems to work.  Unfortunately for him, his disciplinary measures have come into question.  I'm looking forward to seeing some good football come out of Washington State for the first time since, oh, 1997.

Video: Michigan Football Hype Vol. 5 - Fitzgerald Toussaint

2012 Season Countdown: #36 Drew Dileo

Drew Dileo
Name: Drew Dileo
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 172 lbs.
High school: Greenwell Springs (LA) Parkview Baptist
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #9
Last year: I ranked Dileo #21 and said he would return kickoffs and punts, as well as catch 15 passes.  He was the starting holder, completed 1/1 passes for 11 yards, rushed 2 times for 7 yards, caught 9 passes for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, and returned 1 punt for 0 yards.

I probably ranked Dileo a little too high last year, because I figured he would have done more in the return game.  He was the holder on the extra point/field goal unit and did haul in nine receptions, so he was a valuable player, but kind of in a jack-of-all-trades way.  He can do lots of things for a team, but he's not the fastest or most athletic guy around.

This year's ranking at #36 is sort of a reflection of what he did last year, since it seems some of his skills would be somewhat easily replaceable.  One guy might not be able to hold, catch passes, and return an occasional punt, but there are a few guys who could probably do each of those jobs.  Dileo is a good complementary player, and with three seniors having departed, he could see more passes come his way.  It will be interesting to see how much time he gets in the return game now that incumbent punt returner Jeremy Gallon will presumably start at split end.  If the coaches don't want to risk Gallon getting dinged or tired, Dileo might get a chance to return punts once again.  He's a sure-handed good decision maker, so he seems like a safe choice, albeit unlikely to explode for many big returns.

Prediction: Holder, backup wide receiver, occasional returner; 12 receptions for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Smart Football: Advanced Trends in Packaged Reads and Concepts

Lena Gercke
Smart Football  talks about packaged reads, which essentially means that the quarterback can either run or pass the ball on the same play, depending on what he sees at the line of scrimmage.

Video: Denard Robinson through the years

2012 Season Countdown: #37 Jeremy Jackson

Jeremy Jackson
Name: Jeremy Jackson
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 198 lbs.
High school: Ann Arbor (MI) Huron
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #17
Last year: I ranked Jackson #49 and said he would be a backup WR with 10 catches, 120 yards, and 1 touchdown.  He had 3 receptions for 36 yards (hooray for getting his yards per catch right!).

Looking back on what I said about Jackson (and classmates Ricardo Miller and Jerald Robinson) a couple years ago, it's somewhat alarmingly accurate so far.  Robinson hasn't played a down, Miller seems to be lost in the shuffle between tight end and receiver, and Jackson is catching a couple passes here and there.  Brady Hoke used more tight ends and rotated wide receivers less often than Rich Rodriguez, so Jackson's field time  seemed to diminish a little bit from his freshman to sophomore seasons.  He appears to be a big body who can block a little bit and catch some passes over the middle, but not much of a big-play threat.

Opportunities are there for someone to step up now that Junior Hemingway, Martavious Odoms, and Kelvin Grady have graduated.  While I expect that offensive coordinator Al Borges will rely more on the receiving corps and less on tight ends this season, I doubt we'll see a huge jump in production from Jackson.  Jeremy Gallon and Roy Roundtree seem poised to start, and Jerald Robinson seems poised to grab a chunk of playing time, too.  Michigan will likely rely heavily on the run game and throw the ball mainly to keep defenses honest, so Jackson's blocking ability might be his biggest asset in hopes of staying on the field.  We'll probably see Jackson play some slot receiver so he can get open over the middle.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver; 8 catches, 100 yards, 1 touchdown

Monday, July 23, 2012

Coach Hoover: Pursuit Drills

Coach Hoover's Football Site  discusses a couple different ways to approach teaching pursuit angles.

2012 Season Countdown: #38 Terrence Talbott

Back when Terrence Talbott was #22
Name: Terrence Talbott
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 178 lbs.
High school: Huber Heights (OH) Wayne
Position: Cornerback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #37
Last year: I ranked Talbott #71 and said he would be a special teams contributor.  He played in two games on special teams but didn't accrue any statistics.

Talbott is already a junior, even though it feels like he should be a redshirt freshman or sophomore.  One of the victims of the great cornerback migration back in 2010, he played as a redshirt freshman despite being unready.  I would argue that Rodriguez burned Talbott's redshirt unwisely, but I can't blame Rodriguez here like I do for Devin Gardner and William Campbell - Michigan did actually need help at cornerback.  So now Talbott's a junior, and some suggested he was pushing starter J.T. Floyd at the boundary corner position in the spring.  By the April 14 open scrimmage, Floyd was the #1 guy, but it may be a situation to watch.

Floyd had a significant injury in 2010, but otherwise, he has been healthy.  As a fifth year senior and two-year starter, it's unlikely that he gets unseated at this point, despite some struggles late in the season.  But the news about Talbott's emergence suggests that if another injury occurs or if Floyd gets tired, he may have a capable backup ready to contribute at a helpful level.  I don't think Talbott is waiting in the wings to become a star, but he does play the run well, which is very important for a boundary corner in this defense.

Prediction: Backup cornerback

Recruiting Update: July 23, 2012

Florida defensive tackle Maquedius Bain decommitted from the Seminoles
Fort Lauderdale (FL) University School defensive tackle Maquedius Bain decommitted from Florida State.  This comes as no surprise, since Bain has been looking around for months.  Michigan is not expected to be in the running for another defensive tackle as long as the current recruiting class remains intact, so this likely has no impact on Michigan.

Upper Marlboro (MD) Frederick Douglass wide receiver Paul Harris committed to Tennessee.  A reported top two of Tennessee and USC was released shortly before his decision, but he claimed those two schools didn't have an advantage over the other three schools in his top five.  Then he picked the Volunteers, anyway.

Lakeland (FL) Kathleen wide receiver/defensive back Javon Harrison, a 2014 prospect, committed to Virginia Tech.  Michigan was recruiting him as a wide receiver, but it seems the Hokies plan to use him at safety.

Chandler (AZ) Hamilton offensive tackle Casey Tucker, a 2014 prospect, committed to USC.  Tucker is the teammate of class of 2013 cornerback Cole Luke, who holds a Michigan offer but is unlikely to be a part of the class.

Cordova (TN) St. Benedict running back Jordan Wilkins committed to Auburn.  He almost committed to the Tigers when he visited a couple months ago, but held off long enough to get up the hopes of a couple other teams.  He then visited Michigan at the end of June, but he wasn't very impressed by Michigan's lack of $180,000 handshakes.  I wrote up a scouting report on Wilkins a couple months ago.  Unless Michigan offers any more running backs, it looks like all the eggs are in the Derrick Green basket.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Coach Hoover: The Stick-Draw

Dafne Fernandez
Coach Hoover's Football Site  discusses the Stick-Draw, which is very similar to a recent post at Smart Football  on packaged read concepts.

Video: Mario Manningham tribute

2012 Season Countdown: #39 Richard Ash

Richard Ash (#54)
(image via Scout)
Name: Richard Ash
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 301 lbs.
High school: Pahokee (FL) Pahokee
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #54
Last year: I ranked Ash #47 and said he would be a backup defensive tackle.  He played in three games at nose tackle but didn't accrue any statistics.

Ash was sprinkled throughout the season in 2011, showing up against Minnesota, Purdue, and Virginia Tech.  Despite Michigan being pretty thin on the interior of the defensive line, he couldn't find his way onto the field consistently.  There was quite a bit of rotation at the end positions, but it was mostly Mike Martin and Will Heininger in the middle with a little bit of William Campbell.  Coming out of high school, Ash had a reputation for playing best when he was lighter (around 245 lbs.) and his performance tailed off as he added weight.  Now hovering just above 301 lbs., I wonder if he has adjusted to that additional weight yet.

The opportunity and the need are there for Ash this season.  Starting nose tackle Mike Martin graduated, and senior Will Campbell, whose play hasn't matched his potential, presumably will be the new starter at NT.    Incoming freshman Ondre Pipkins has the size to play immediately, but freshmen on the defensive line are usually overmatched initially.  Unless Pipkins can break tradition and be an effective interior player as a rookie, then someone like Ash, Quinton Washington, or Ken Wilkins needs to hold the point of attack.  Ash has the best combination of size, quickness, and experience to be Campbell's primary backup.

Prediction: Backup nose tackle

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Big Red Today: Top 15 Big Ten players to watch

Joslyn Cano
A Nebraska columnist looks at the top 15 players in the Big Ten, including a couple Wolverines near the top of the list.

Junior Highlights: Channing Stribling

2012 Season Countdown: #40 Nathan Brink

Nathan Brink
Name: Nathan Brink
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 263 lbs.
High school: Holland (MI) Christian
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #67
Last year: I did not rank Brink.  He played in 11 games and made 1 tackle for loss.

Brink was a bit of a surprise last year, at least to me.  On a somewhat thin defensive line, the walk-on strongside end was touted during the spring and summer as a potential contributor by defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who said that Brink was good enough to be in the two-deep at any of Mattison's college stops (including Michigan, Notre Dame, and Florida).  I guess Mattison wasn't lying, so maybe I should put more stock in what he says about personnel . . . but Brink played in eleven games and made just one tackle, so . . . yeah, I'm still not sure.

Whenever I saw Brink in the game last season, he seemed to struggle to get off the ball.  He was getting pushed around and couldn't seem to get off blocks.  Of course, he was only a 260-ish pound redshirt sophomore, so maybe some added weight and strength will make the difference.  I have questions about whether he can be a productive player, but Mattison says he can, so here he sits at #40 on the list.  Craig Roh will probably start at the 5-tech position with no clear pecking order behind him, so the opportunity is there for Brink to step in, along with redshirt freshman Keith Heitzman and a few incoming freshmen.

Prediction: Backup defensive end

Friday, July 20, 2012

ESPN: What it takes to win Elite 11 finals

Kelly Karloff
Trent Dilfer discusses all 25 quarterbacks vying to win the Elite 11 finals, including some comments about Michigan commit Shane Morris.

NFL Network: The Top 100 Players of 2012 - #4 Tom Brady

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week

Drop me an e-mail if you have any other pictures of attractive women wearing Michigan gear.

Go Blue!

2012 Season Countdown: #41 Quinton Washington

Quinton Washington
Name: Quinton Washington
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 302 lbs.
High school: St. Stephen (SC) Timberland
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #76
Last year: I ranked Washington #32 and said he would have 15 tackles as a backup DT.  He played in eight games and made 1 tackle.

I guess I overrated Washington's ability to contribute last season, because he wasn't even close to being productive.  He seems like an offensive guard who got stuck on defense, and by now it's probably too late for him to switch back.  He lacks the quickness to get off the ball well, so whenever he's in the game, it seems like he and an offensive lineman just get in a shoving match with nobody going anywhere.

With three stout linemen having graduated (Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen, and Will Heininger), the spots along the defensive line are wide open.  Washington has a chance to play nose tackle or 3-tech, but the coaches have inserted William Campbell at NT and bumped Jibreel Black down from weakside end to the 3-tech position.  Those are your likely starters for the beginning of the season, so guys like Washington, Richard Ash, and freshman Ondre Pipkins are going to be working their way up from below.  It seems like big #76 needs to step up this season for Michigan to have a strong defensive line rotation, but I didn't see him flash a whole lot of potential in the spring game.  He will likely be a backup once again, although hopefully more productive than he was last season.

Prediction: Backup defensive tackle, special teams contributor

Thursday, July 19, 2012

AnnArbor.com: CBS' Bruce Feldman expects good, not great team

Ashley Valence
Bruce Feldman, formerly of ESPN, expects Michigan to be pretty good this year, but he doesn't think they're national championship-worthy.  That sounds . . . about right.

Video: Analysis of Shane Morris at Elite 11 Finals

2012 Season Countdown: #42 Jack Miller

Jack Miller (image via GBMWolverine)
Name: Jack Miller
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 263 lbs.
High school: Toledo (OH) St. John's
Position: Center
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #60
Last year: I ranked Miller #89 and said he would redshirt.  He redshirted.

Last season it was pretty obvious that Miller was going to redshirt.  Part of the reason Rich Rodriguez offered him a scholarship was because he was a small-ish, fairly quick center.  And at 263 lbs. it's practically impossible to play in the Big Ten.  Luckily, starter David Molk was able to avoid the injury bug for most of the year, except for one series at the beginning of the Sugar Bowl when Rocko Khoury stepped in.  Miller wasn't needed, supposedly bulked up throughout the year, and will hopefully arrive in the fall at 280 lbs. or more.

Since backup center Khoury departed with one year of eligibility remaining and Molk graduated, experience at the center position is non-existent.  Nobody on the current roster has snapped the ball in a college game.  But instead of plugging in Miller, the coaches have moved left guard Ricky Barnum over to the center spot.  Barnum played center in high school and has snapped the ball in practices throughout his college career, so he has a fair amount of experience for a guy who's never played the position in college . . . but Barnum has also been prone to injury throughout his career, making it quite possible that a backup center will be needed during the season.  Michigan has several options to back up Barnum, including Miller, walk-on Joey Burzynski (who played some center last season before working in at left guard this spring), and fifth year senior Elliott Mealler (who has snapped the ball sporadically in practices the past few seasons and will also be competing at left guard).  Miller may or may not be the first guy in, but Michigan fans should all be hoping that Barnum stays healthy for the first time in his career.

Prediction: Backup center

Scouting Report: Vernon Hargreaves III

Vernon Hargreaves III
Name: Vernon Hargreaves III
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Position: Cornerback
High school: Tampa (FL) Wharton

Notes: Holds offers from Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Boise State, Cal, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Illinois, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, South Carolina, South Florida, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCF, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest, Washington, and West Virginia . . . Claims a 4.41 forty time . . . As a junior in 2011, had 49 tackles and 2 interceptions, along with 11 offensive touchdowns . . . As a sophomore in 2010, had 44 tackles . . . ESPN 5-star CB, 90 grade, #1 CB, #4 overall . . . Rivals 5-star CB, #2 CB, #9 overall . . . Scout 5-star CB, #1 CB . . . 247 Sports 5-star CB, 100 grade, #1 CB, #6 overall . . . Father coaches defensive backs at South Florida

Strengths: Good leaper . . . Goes up to get ball at highest point . . . Not particularly tall, but has good length to bat down jump balls and passes thrown over his head . . . Good change-of-direction skills . . . Very good speed . . . Reacts quickly to balls in the air . . . Sneaky defender, quick enough to avoid most blockers

Weaknesses: Needs to get stronger in upper body . . . Not a physical defender . . . Dives at legs or grabs onto shirttails rather than wrapping up and using good tackling form . . . Does not look supremely confident in his own speed . . . Sometimes looks for cutback rather than turning on the jets . . . Needs to improve press man coverage, as well as footwork in backpedal

Projection: Cornerback.  Hargreaves has a lot of the raw athleticism that should turn him into a good college cornerback.  He changes directions well, tracks the ball well, has good speed, and has the leaping ability to defend taller receivers.  When it comes to pass coverage, you would be hard pressed to find many guys with more talent in any given year.  What Hargreaves really lacks is the physical/toughness aspects of the game, where he's too much of a finesse player.  At this point in his development, he would be a liability in run support and might get pushed around by bigger receivers in college.  However, if he can get stronger and become a more physical player, he has a chance to be a high NFL draft pick down the road.

Reminds me of: Cliff Harris (Oregon)