Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NFL Top 100 Players of 2013 #4 - Tom Brady

I like Charles Woodson's  profile better, but apparently the NFL doesn't like free promotion and disallows embedding.  Brady and Woodson are the only two former Wolverines on this year's list.  Last year, they checked in at #4 and #36, respectively, and were also joined by Jake Long (#59) and LaMarr Woodley (#63).

Grantland: Red Flags - The Redemption and Rebranding of Michael Dyer

This doesn't have much to do with Michigan currently, but it's the story of how college football players go from a disgrace to regaining a decent image as an athlete. Sooner or later, a current or former Michigan player is going to have to go through some of these same steps.

Hit the jump for a pretty lady in a pink bikini.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Smart Football: Translating Nick Saban - Three plays from the BCS championship

Nick Saban was on ESPN yesterday and talked football with former Bachelor Florida Gator Jesse Palmer and the host du jour.

Hit the jump for Arianny Celeste in a white bikini.

Rivals: Opponents size up Michigan's defense

Anonymous Big Ten opponents give their take on Michigan's defensive players.

Hit the jump for a girl in a bikini.

2013 Season Countdown: #30 Joe Bolden

Joe Bolden
Name: Joe Bolden
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 222 lbs.
High school: Cincinnati (OH) Colerain
Position: Linebacker
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #35
Last year: I ranked Bolden #46 and said he would be a backup middle linebacker. He had 31 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 fumble recovery.

Bolden was indeed the backup to the now departed Kenny Demens last season, and Bolden even appeared to steal some snaps from Demens against teams like option-oriented Air Force. Bolden did a good job, especially for a true freshman linebacker. That's not normally a spot where a freshman can be successful, and he did have a few struggles, but mostly he showed that he has a pretty solid future.

While Bolden looks like a future high-quality starter at MIKE, he seems to be planted behind junior Desmond Morgan for the upcoming season. Morgan was the starter at WILL last season, but is a more natural fit in the middle now that Demens graduated. Bolden's presence does allow for some flexibility; sophomore WILL linebacker James Ross will start there, but Morgan could bump back over to the weakside if there's an injury and Bolden could step in to start at MIKE. I also think Bolden could fit at SAM linebacker if needed. He's in a slightly unfortunate spot of being the classmate of a future star (Ross) and a class behind some established starters (Morgan, Jake Ryan). When he does get a chance to start full-time at some point, I think Michigan fans will be pleased.

Prediction: Backup middle linebacker

Monday, July 29, 2013

Grantland: The Driver - Devin Gardner

Holly Anderson from Grantland has a nice write-up on new starting quarterback Devin Gardner.

Hit the jump for a girl with nice abs and stuff.

2013 Season Countdown: #31 Ondre Pipkins

Ondre Pipkins
Name: Ondre Pipkins
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 308 lbs.
High school: Kansas City (MO) Park Hill
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #56
Last year: I ranked Pipkins #31 and said he would be the backup nose tackle. He had 7 tackles and .5 tackles for loss.

Pipkins entered last season as a highly valued player, partly because nobody was sure what kind of nose tackle Quinton Washington would make. Washington turned out to be pretty solid, albeit unspectacular, so Pipkins didn't need to be splendid. That was a good thing, because he was very large and out of shape when he arrived on campus, and he never seemed to get his conditioning going during the year. This year he's listed at 308 lbs. and looked slimmer in the spring game, so hopefully he will be a little more explosive.

Fifth year senior Washington is back, so Pipkins will likely be a backup once again. I think he will be a very good player once he gets in shape, so that could make a solid one-two punch at the nose for Michigan this season. In addition to those two, Michigan has solid redshirt freshman Willie Henry who could play nose tackle if needed, so there are several options. Pipkins was mostly a space eater last season, but this season he should be a little bit more of a penetrator now that he's shed some pounds.

Prediction: Backup nose tackle

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SB Nation: Ten things to know about Michigan

Bill Connelly from SB Nation writes up a pretty in-depth preview of your Michigan Wolverines.

Visitors: July 28-August 3, 2013

Flower Mound (TX) Flower Mound tight end Kaden Smith
Kamonte Carter - DE - Gaithersburg (MD) Gaithersburg: Carter is a 6'4", 215-pounder with offers Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, and a few others. He also plays quarterback for his high school team.

Jalen Christian - CB - Damascus (MD) Damascus: Christian is a 5'10", 160 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin, among others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #14 cornerback, and the #135 player overall. The last two Damascus players to be offered by Michigan - 2011 cornerback Brandon Phelps and 2013 linebacker/wide receiver Zach Bradshaw - both committed to Virginia.

Adoree Jackson - CB - Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra: Jackson is a 5'10", 182 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, and USC, among others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 5-star, the #2 cornerback, and #9 player overall. He was supposed to visit for the BBQ, but that didn't fit with his schedule. Instead, he's supposed to visit with Kentrail Moran (below) while visiting his hometown stomping grounds in Illinois this week. UPDATE: Moran did not visit.

Kentrail Moran - RB - O'Fallon (IL) O'Fallon: Moran is a 5'10", 188 lb. prospect for 2016 with an offer from Northern Illinois. As a freshman in 2012, he had 138 carries for 700 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 22 catches for 248 yards and 1 score. UPDATE: Moran did not visit.

Kaden Smith - TE - Flower Mound (TX) Flower Mound: Smith is a 6'5", 235 lb. prospect for 2016 with offers from Alabama and Clemson. As a freshman in 2012, he had 14 catches for 192 yards. Smith played at Marcus High School last season - the alma mater of former Michigan fullback Stephen Hopkins - but is transferring to Flower Mound for the 2013 season.

2013 Season Countdown: #32 Mario Ojemudia

Mario Ojemudia (#53)
Name: Mario Ojemudia
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 244 lbs.
High school: Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison
Position: Defensive end
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number:#53
Last year: I ranked Ojemudia #61 and said he would be a backup weakside end. He had 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery.

Ojemudia played immediately against Alabama in last season's opener, making 3 tackles and .5 tackles for loss. Not a bad start to a career. He showed some flashes of being a playmaker with a diving interception off a deflection against Nebraska and when he forced a fumble against South Carolina by spiking inside and surprising the Gamecocks running back. Despite making plays in limited time, he still found himself way behind starter Brennen Beyer, whose next big play will be his first, and a little behind Frank Clark.

This year Ojemudia has added about 20 lbs. and should be more physically ready to take on a bigger role. While neither Beyer or Clark graduated, the former has been bumped to SAM linebacker while Jake Ryan recovers form his torn ACL. That should move Ojemudia up to the backup role behind Clark, although freshman Taco Charlton will also press for playing time. Michigan is clearly stockpiling some talent at the weakside end spot, because they have three long and athletic guys to throw out there even though the starter switched to another position. Michigan should finally get some consistent, quality production and explosiveness from the WDE spot.

Prediction: Backup weakside end

Saturday, July 27, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #33 Dymonte Thomas

Dymonte Thomas
Name: Dymonte Thomas
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 187 lbs.
High school: Alliance (OH) Marlington
Position: Defensive back
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #25
Last year: Thomas was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 89.

Thomas committed to Michigan in September 2011, during his junior season. That year he shared carries in the backfield with a Tennessee-bound running back, but it was Thomas's show as a senior; he was the go-to runner and basically played middle linebacker on defense, where he was allowed to roam from sideline to sideline. Thomas was selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl for his athletic exploits. There were some early concerns during the bowl practices because they were using him as a safety, where he didn't have much experience. But the coaching staff and observers were impressed with how quickly he picked up some nuances of the safety position. In the game itself, he showed good closing speed and hitting ability, but he wasn't tested much in coverage. Thomas left the game and went straight to Michigan to enroll early, where he seems to have latched onto the starting nickel corner gig.

This spring Thomas took most of the snaps at slot corner, and previous starter Courtney Avery bumped outside to back up the starting corners. The freshman should eventually end up playing strong safety, perhaps when fifth year senior Thomas Gordon graduates, but in the meantime, the coaches want to get him on the field. While he should play a significant number of snaps if he holds onto the nickel job, his value drops a little bit because there's a two-year starter in Avery who could easily slide back into the slot. Hopefully, Thomas can be physical, blitz a little off the edge, cover a little bit, and play almost like a coverage linebacker.

Prediction: "Starting" slot corner; 25 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception

Friday, July 26, 2013

ESPN: Top 25 NFL breakout prospects

ESPN put together a list of players expected to break out this season, and one of them is former Wolverine Mike Martin.

Hit the jump for a good looking lady.

Attractive Michigan Girls of the Week

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

2013 Season Countdown: #34 Courtney Avery

Courtney Avery
Name: Courtney Avery
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 174 lbs.
High school: Mansfield (OH) Lexington
Position: Cornerback
Class: Senior
Jersey number: #5
Last year: I ranked Avery #25 and said he would start at slot corner. He did start five games and had 19 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery.

Avery was the returning starter at slot corner last season, but he was forced into a tough spot immediately when starting field corner Blake Countess tore his ACL in the opener. Avery bumped outside and had some struggles. Afterward, the coaches inserted Raymon Taylor into the starting outside job and tried to keep Avery in the nickel package. It was a slightly down year for him after having been a pretty solid role player.

This spring Avery said he didn't take any reps at the nickel spot, and freshman Dymonte Thomas seems destined to take that position. Meanwhile, Avery looks like the primary backup at field corner behind Countess once again, although the additional practice time and reps should make him a more prepared backup there this season. The nickel and field corner positions are very different from each other. Michigan has had a rough time keeping corners healthy and on the field over the past several seasons (Countess, J.T. Floyd, Troy Woolfolk, Boubacar Cissoko, etc.), and the young guys generally aren't studs who should see the field right away. It will be good to have a veteran backup like Avery ready to step in if the need arises.

Prediction: Backup field corner

Thursday, July 25, 2013 Ohio State sweeps Big Ten offensive, defensive POY

Braxton Miller and Ryan Shazier are two studs for Ohio State, but hopefully the preseason media voters are wrong.

You won't be disappointed if you hit the jump.

Video: Memphis QB Jacob Karam plays piano at children's hospital

This has nothing to do with Michigan, but it's pretty cool, anyway. This is Memphis quarterback Jacob Karam visiting sick children at the hospital, playing, and singing along with a young girl.

2013 Season Countdown: #35 Jehu Chesson

Jehu Chesson
Name: Jehu Chesson
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 193 lbs.
High school: St. Louis (MO) Ladue Horton Watkins
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #86
Last year: I ranked Chesson #47 and said he would be a backup wide receiver. He redshirted.

Chesson came to Michigan last year as a very skinny and speedy character, and Michigan has been lacking some speed at receiver for the past few years. I thought that would get him on the field at least a little bit, but classmate Amara Darboh earned those snaps while Chesson stood on the sideline. This spring he showed up on some of those spring highlight videos making diving catches and beating the defense deep, which was somewhat promising for him.

This year he's a little bit bigger, and Roy Roundtree's graduation means someone else has to step up. Based on Darboh's experience, that might be the guy. But I think Chesson's physical talents are a little more tantalizing, since he's perhaps the fastest of the entire unit. Jeremy Gallon will be the primary deep threat, but Chesson could take on some of those deep routes and open up some things underneath for Gallon, who's excellent after the catch. With Devin Gardner taking on the quarterback job this year, I expect that to open up the passing game a little bit and create more opportunities for someone like Chesson.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver; 12 catches, 150 yards, 1 touchdown

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 season preview: Matt Wile could pull triple-duty

Kyle Meinke looks at the special teams units for the upcoming season.

Hit the jump for a girl with some muscle.

2013 Season Countdown: #36 Willie Henry

Willie Henry
Name: Willie Henry
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 306 lbs.
High school: Cleveland (OH) Glenville
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #69
Last year: I ranked Henry #85 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

Henry was pretty light for a defensive tackle when he committed just before National Signing Day 2012, but he was 300+ pounds by the time fall rolled around. He earned some practice buzz in the spring, and the coaches said he might contribute at any of three positions on the defensive line - strongside end, nose tackle, or 3-tech defensive tackle. They must really like his athleticism if they think he can compete at end.

As my sleeper pick from the 2012 class, I have pretty high hopes for Henry. I thought it might take a couple years for him to bulk up, but apparently, that hasn't been a problem. He probably won't start this year, but he should get some playing time behind nose tackle Quinton Washington and/or 3-tech Jibreel Black, along with Ondre Pipkins. With Washington and Black part of this year's senior class, that gives Henry, Pipkins, and perhaps others one year to apprentice before taking on starting roles. My guess is that the two aforementioned tackles rotate in this season and are your starting duo in 2014.

Prediction: Backup defensive tackle

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 season preview: Michigan's defensive line could be more explosive

Kyle Meinke takes a look at Michigan's defensive line, which I think will improve overall from the 2012 season.

Hit the jump for a somewhat blurry pic that still should make you happy.

2013 BBQ at the Big House Visitors

Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra cornerback Adoree' Jackson
The BBQ at the Big House is a recruiting event that was started by former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez. Rather than having a junior day or Friday Night Lights type of event, the coaches host players for a BBQ in July. This year's event will take place on July 27 (for 2015/2016 prospects) and July 28 (for 2014 prospects). Here's a list of the players who have said they'll be at the BBQ:

Joshua Alabi - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Alabi is a 6'4", 260 lb. prospect for 2015. He has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, among others.  247 Sports ranks him as the #26 offensive tackle and #229 player overall.

Jerome Baker - LB - Cleveland (OH) Benedictine: Baker is a 6'1", 205 lb. weakside linebacker prospect with offers from Florida, Illinois, and Ohio State, among others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #7 athlete, and #94 player overall.

Kalen Ballage - RB - Peyton (CO) Falcon: I wrote up a scouting report on Ballage in May. UPDATE: Ballage will not be able to make the BBQ trip but plans to take an official visit to Michigan.

Ian Bunting - TE - Hinsdale (IL) Central: Bunting committed to Michigan back in April.

George Campbell, Jr. - WR - Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake: Campbell is a 6'3", 184 lb. prospect for 2015. He has offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M, among others. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 30 receptions for 766 yards and 5 touchdowns. He's teammates with Michigan commit Mason Cole and Michigan target Artavis Scott (see below). According to 247 Sports, Campbell is a 5-star, the #1 wide receiver, and the #16 overall player.

Freddy Canteen - WR - Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy: Canteen committed to Michigan in June.

Brian Cole - WR - Saginaw (MI) Heritage: Cole is a 6'2", 190 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Tennessee. Michigan is recruiting him for wide receiver and appears to be the front runner. According to 247 Sports, he's a 4-star, the #9 cornerback, and #72 player overall.

Mason Cole - OG - Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake: Cole committed to Michigan in February. He has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Shaun Crawford - CB - Lakewood (OH) St. Edward: Crawford is a 5'9", 165 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, and Tennessee, among others. He claims a 4.51 forty and as a sophomore in 2012, he had 66 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 3 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery.

Messiah DeWeaver - QB - Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison: DeWeaver is a 6'2", 180 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time. He camped at Michigan in June. He was a teammate with incoming freshman linebacker Mike McCray II.

David Edwards - QB - Downers Grove (IL) North: Edwards is a 6'6", 225 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Illinois and Vanderbilt. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 502 passing yards for 3 touchdowns, along with 719 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns.

Michael Ferns III - LB - St. Clairsville (OH) St. Clairsville: Ferns committed to Michigan last August.

Desmond Fitzpatrick - WR - Farmington (MI) Farmington: Fitzpatrick is a 5'11", 165 lb. prospect for 2016 offers from Indiana, Ohio, and Toledo. He played for Farmington Harrison last season, but is transferring to Farmington High for the coming year.

Leonard Fournette - RB - New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine: Fournette is a 6'1", 225 lb. prospect with offers from just about everyone; his two leaders appear to be Alabama and LSU. Michigan was not mentioned in regard to Fournette until Jabrill Peppers committed and started talking to and about him being a part of Michigan's class. According to 247's Composite ranking, Fournette is the #1 player in the entire class. As a junior in 2012, he had 196 carries for 2,136 yards and 31 touchdowns. That's 10.9 yards/carry. Chances are slim that Michigan jumps in front of those two SEC schools, but it can't hurt to get him on campus. There's a chance that he might really like it, and it puts Ann Arbor in the minds of other top prospects.

Noah Furbush - LB - Kenton (OH) Kenton: Furbush committed to Michigan at the beginning of July.

Da'Shawn Hand - DE - Woodbridge (VA) Woodbridge: I wrote up a scouting report on Hand back in February. He recently announced a top three that included Michigan and eliminated long-time favorite Virginia Tech. UPDATE: Hand will not be able to make the visit.

Dele Harding - LB - Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy: Harding is a 6'1", 218 lb. prospect for 2016 with offers from Massachusetts, Tennessee, and USC. He's the teammate of Michigan commits Brandon Watson and Freddy Canteen. Harding camped at Michigan back in June and was told by Michigan's coaches that he would probably be offered down the road, but it's still pretty early for the class of 2016.

Drake Harris - WR - Grand Rapids (MI) Christian: Harris committed to Michigan in April.

Justin Hilliard - LB - Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier: Hilliard is a 6'2", 225 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, among others. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 65 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble. It's still fairly early, but in my opinion, Hilliard is the best Ohio player in his class.

Jonathan Hilliman - RB - Jersey City (NJ) St. Peters Prep: I wrote up a scouting report on Hilliman back in December. He recently announced Ohio State as his favorite. UPDATE: Hilliman is no longer planning to attend the event.

Corey Holmes - WR - Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas: I wrote up a scouting report on Holmes a few months ago. He declared Michigan as his leader early, but the Wolverines seem to have faded, perhaps by their choice. It seems like Michigan has been pursuing some other wide receiver targets harder. UPDATE: Holmes committed to Notre Dame and will not visit Michigan.

Adoree' Jackson - CB - Junipero (CA) Gardena Serra: I wrote up a scouting report on Jackson back in March. He has aspirations in track and field, so while he likes Michigan, it might be tough to keep him away from schools that have better track programs. UPDATE: Jackson likely will not visit at this point.

Van Jefferson - WR - Brentwood (TN) Ravenwood: Jefferson is a 6'2", 164 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Middle Tennessee State, Penn State, and Vanderbilt. He used to attend Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's and is the son of former Detroit Lions wideout and current Tennessee Titans wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson. The elder Jefferson attended Central Florida, in case you were wondering. UPDATE: Jefferson no longer plans to attend the BBQ.

Sterling Jenkins - OT - Pittsburgh (PA) Baldwin: Jenkins is a 6'8", 305 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Pitt, among others. According to 247 Sports, he's a 4-star, the #7 offensive tackle, and the #86 overall player in his class.

Tyree Kinnel - S - Huber Heights (OH) Wayne: Kinnel is a 6'0", 190 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Arkansas and Kentucky. He has visited Michigan numerous times and is getting a bit antsy for an offer, but the fact that he keeps visiting Ann Arbor suggests that he really likes the Wolverines.

Marshon Lattimore - WR - Cleveland (OH) Glenville: Lattimore is a 6'0", 175 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, and USC, among others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 5-star, the #5 cornerback, and the #32 overall player in the country. Almost everyone expects him to pick Ohio State eventually, but he was invited to the BBQ and is considering attending, so there will be a chance to sway him.

Thiyo Lukusa - OG - Traverse City (MI) West: Lukusa is a 6'5", 300 lb. prospect for the class of 2016. He has no offers at this time.

Lawrence Marshall - DE - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Marshall committed to Michigan in May.

Osa Masina - LB - Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton: Masina is a 6'4", 207 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin, along with several others. He has a brother at Utah and the Utes appear to be Osa's favorite. According to 247 Sports, he's a 4-star, the #17 athlete, and the #206 overall player in his class.

Malik McDowell - DE - Detroit (MI) Loyola: McDowell is a 6'7", 290 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and numerous others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 5-star, the #3 strongside end, and the #33 player overall. He is attempting to transfer to Southfield and become teammates with Lawrence Marshall, but that hasn't been finalized yet.

Riley Neal - QB - Yorktown (IN) Yorktown: Neal is a 6'5", 200 lb. prospect for 2015 with no offers at this point. He had 1,700 yards and 15 passing touchdowns as a sophomore in 2012.

Montae Nicholson - S - Monroeville (PA) Gateway: Nicholson is a 6'3", 200 lb. prospect with offers from Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, and Virginia Tech, among others. As a junior in 2012, he had 28 tackles, 2 interceptions (both returned for touchdowns), 2 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries; he also had 25 receptions for 653 yards and 6 touchdowns. He was one of Michigan's first few offers for the 2014 class after camping in Ann Arbor last summer. While Michigan is recruiting him as a safety, he's also considering playing wide receiver in college. UPDATE: Nicholson is no longer attending the BBQ.

Darrion Owens - LB - Orange Park (FL) Oakleaf: Owens is a 6'3", 216 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, and Ohio State, among others. He plays some safety in high school, but Michigan is looking at him as a SAM linebacker. As a junior in 2012, he had 101 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 6 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 3-star, the #42 outside linebacker, and the #561 player overall. UPDATE: Owens committed to Miami and said he won't take other visits.

Tommy Roush - OG - Traverse City (MI) West: Roush is a 6'3", 270 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time. He camped at Michigan in June. Roush played for Petoskey (MI) Petosky last fall before transferring.

Artavis Scott - WR - Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake: Scott is a 5'10", 175 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oregon, among others. As a junior in 2012, he had 64 receptions for 995 yards and 10 touchdowns. According to the 247 Composite rankings, he's a 4-star, the #8 wide receiver, and the #78 player overall. Many people presume Michigan to be his leader. UPDATE: Scott committed to Clemson and probably will not make it to the BBQ.

Tim Settle - DT - Manassas (VA) Stonewall Jackson: Settle is a 6'3", 307 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech, among others. According to 247 Sports, he's a 5-star, the #2 defensive tackle, and the #8 player overall for his class. I have seen some questions on whether Michigan is interested in offering Settle, but if you watch his video, I don't see any reason not to pursue him. UPDATE: Settle, who was supposed to ride with Da'Shawn Hand, will not be able to visit now that Hand isn't visiting.

Wilton Speight - QB - Richmond (VA) Collegiate: Speight committed to Michigan in February.

Erik Swenson - OT - Downers Grove (IL) South: Swenson is a 6'6", 285. lb prospect for 2016 with offers from Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. Michigan is his stated leader.

Tyriq Thompson - LB - Detroit (MI) King: Thompson is a 6'1", 205 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Illinois and Wisconsin. He's the son of former Michigan safety Clarence Thompson.

Brandon Watson - CB - Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy: Watson committed to Michigan in June.

Maurice Ways - WR - Detroit (MI) Country Day: Ways committed to Michigan in April.

Mikey Weber - RB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Weber is a 5'10", 195 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State, among others. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns rushing. He has several former teammates at or heading to Michigan.

Antonio Williams - RB - New London (NC) North Stanly: Williams is a 5'11", 195 lb. prospect for 2016 with offers from Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, North Carolina State, and South Carolina. As a freshman in 2012, he had 1,516 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Chase Winovich - LB - Clairton (PA) Thomas Jefferson: Winovich committed to Michigan in June.

2013 Season Countdown: #37 Matt Godin

Matt Godin (left)
Name: Matt Godin
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 277 lbs.
High school: Novi (MI) Catholic Central
Position: Defensive end
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #99
Last year: I ranked Godin #72 and said he would be a backup defensive end. He redshirted.

Godin put on a few pounds since last year, when he was a long kid who needed to remold his body a little bit. He redshirted during the year and entered the spring competing for the strongside defensive end position, which has been vacated by Craig Roh. The primary backup there last year was Keith Heitzman, who started in the spring game, but Godin got plenty of time.

Michigan needs someone to step up at the vacated position, and Godin looked pretty decent in the spring. He's a strongside end/defensive tackle tweener, so he's not an explosive edge rusher. But if Michigan wants him to hold the point of attack while the weakside end and SAM linebacker come off the edge, then I think Godin can hold his ground. He'll be competing with the likes of redshirt sophomore Heitzman and redshirt freshman Chris Wormley, so there's not a whole lot of experience in the running. I think the edge goes to Heitzman, who has game experience and a good motor, but Michigan should be able to rotate a couple guys without losing much from first to second string.

Prediction: Backup strongside end

Monday, July 22, 2013 Equipment manager Jon Falk will retire after 2013 season

Jon Falk, who wrote If These Walls Could Talk, the story of his time as Michigan's equipment manager, will retire at the end of the 2013 season. Hopefully, the team can end his career on a high note.

Hit the jump for a girl in a bikini.

2013 Season Countdown: #38 Brennen Beyer

Brennen Beyer (#97)
Name: Brennen Beyer
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 254 lbs.
High school: Plymouth (MI) Plymouth
Position: Linebacker
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #97
Last year: I ranked Beyer #24 and said he would be the starting weakside end. He started eight games and had 19 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, and 1 forced fumble.

Beyer moved from SAM linebacker in 2011 to weakside end in 2012, where he started the majority of the season after Frank Clark checked into the doghouse. After a freshman season that saw him make 11 tackles, Beyer upped that production to 19 tackles in 2012. Unfortunately, very few of those plays happened in the backfield and he was not much of a threat to rush the passer. In essence, he was a very mediocre player at a position that should  produce some big plays. Clark and then freshman Mario Ojemudia were the ones who made those big plays, though. After starting SAM Jake Ryan tore his ACL this spring, Beyer was moved back to SAM and appears entrenched there until Ryan returns (projected to be in October). Beyer showed little in the spring game.

My opinion of Beyer's skills has been sullied over the past couple seasons. I expected him to be a little more athletic than he has shown, but even in his lighter days, he hasn't shown the ability to be explosive. He has added almost 30 pounds since he arrived, and that probably doesn't bode well for his athleticism. Meanwhile, he has moved back to linebacker, where such stiffness is an even bigger detriment. All evidence to this point suggests that Beyer will begin the year as the starting SAM: he played there as a freshman over then redshirt junior Cam Gordon, he started over Clark, and he started at outside linebacker in the spring game over Gordon once again. For whatever reason, the coaches want him on the field. However, this is my blog where I sometimes disagree with the coaches, and this would be one of those instances. While Beyer might hold up a tiny bit better against the run, the more athletic Gordon would be a better choice to start at SAM. The coaches might make situational substitutions until Ryan can return, at which point Beyer might find himself bumped back over to weakside end. In this one man's opinion, Beyer should be no higher than #2 at either spot. I don't think this team can afford to have an edge player starting who can only muster half a tackle for loss in two seasons.

Prediction: Part-time starting SAM

Recruiting Update: July 22, 2013

Corey Holmes went off the board to Notre Dame
Gaithersburg (MD) Gaithersburg defensive end Kamonte Carter was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'4", 215 lb. athlete with offers from Maryland, Nebraska, Penn State, West Virginia, and several others. Carter plays quarterback for his high school team, but also plays a little bit of linebacker. Michigan wants him for defense, but he's not a particularly aggressive hitter or tackler; of course, that might also be because he plays quarterback and may want to save his body for the offensive side of the ball.

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Corey Holmes committed to Notre Dame. Holmes declared Michigan his leader early in the process, but the Wolverines had been fading for months. He looks mostly like a slot receiver, and that spot seems to have been taken by Freddy Canteen, anyway.

Here's a list of this week's visitors, including the guys headed to town for the BBQ.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rivals: Ranking the Big Ten quarterbacks

Michael Spath ranks the Big Ten quarterbacks. Be forewarned: Devin Gardner isn't #1.

Hit the jump for a pretty girl.

Visitors: July 22-29, 2013

Rockwall (TX) Rockwall running back Chris Warren
Christian Kirk - WR - Scottsdale (AZ) Saguaro: Kirk is a 5'10", 175 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Florida State, Ohio State, and Texas A&M, among others. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 43 carries for 1,003 yards and 12 touchdowns. 247 Sports ranks him as a 4-star, the #4 wide receiver, and the #67 player overall in his class.

Chris Warren - RB - Rockwall (TX) Rockwall: Warren is a 6'2", 220 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Texas, among others. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 174 carries for 1,059 yards and 13 touchdowns. 247 Sports ranks him as a 4-star, the #5 athlete, and the #57 player overall, and ESPN just ranked him as the #122 player in his class.

Then of course there's a long list of visitors for the BBQ at the Big House.

2013 Season Countdown: #39 Delonte Hollowell

Delonte Hollowell
Name: Delonte Hollowell
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 175 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Position: Cornerback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #24
Last year: I ranked Hollowell #54 and said he would be a backup cornerback and special teamer. He made 4 tackles and 1 fumble recovery on special teams.

Hollowell spent the last two seasons on coverage units, and he has been fairly productive there. He has 10 tackles and 2 fumble recoveries on punt coverage, which is pretty solid. He hasn't earned much time on defense, and it might be tough sledding again this year. In the spring he played quite a bit with the first unit, as the injured Blake Countess was still out with an ACL tear. He had some decent but unspectacular moments in the spring game.

As we enter the season, Hollowell will likely be behind returning starters Countess and junior Raymon Taylor. There's also the curious issue of Courtney Avery, who seems to have been displaced by freshman Dymonte Thomas for the nickel corner position. Avery did not take any reps at nickel in the spring, and he was the backup field corner last season - although he struggled mightily at times. If the coaching staff is in the process of getting Avery comfortable at one of the outside spots, then that might push Hollowell back to third on the depth chart. I think Hollowell will continue to be a solid special teamer and has some value as a backup corner.

Prediction: Backup cornerback, special teamer

Saturday, July 20, 2013

USA Today college football countdown: #51 Arizona

USA Today previews the Arizona Wildcats, a team that interests me because Rich Rodriguez is there. I'm sorry if you want to move on and don't care. Actually, no, I'm not.

Hit the jump if you like girls in Arizona shirts with short shorts.

2013 Season Countdown: #40 Jake Butt

Jake Butt
Name: Jake Butt
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 231 lbs.
High school: Pickerington (OH) North
Position: Tight end
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #88
Last year: Butt was a senior in high school. He had 68 receptions for 907 yards and 12 touchdowns. I gave him a TTB Rating of 82.

Butt committed to Michigan in February 2012, joining the cavalcade of pledges. He had a very steady recruitment period, where he was mostly a 4-star all the way through, stayed injury-free, played well at The Opening last July, and got invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl; however, he was unable to participate in the Army game due to a minor injury. Butt enrolled at Michigan in January and practiced with the team in the spring. He looked slight in the spring game, and he struggled a little bit with blocking, but he didn't look out of place. He just gave off the impression that he was a freshman.

He's almost guaranteed to play this fall, because the pickings are slim at tight end. Offensive coordinator Al Borges likes to use two tight ends at once, and those two will probably be sophomores A.J. Williams and Devin Funchess in most cases, but Butt looks like the guy who will get the third-most reps. Redshirt junior Jordan Paskorz, some walk-ons, and fellow freshman Khalid Hill are the other choices. Butt is perhaps the best combination of size, speed, and catching ability in the group, and he could play either the Y or U position; most of the other players are pretty limited to one or the other. I don't expect him to replicate Funchess's athleticism or impact from last season, but #88 should get some balls thrown his way. The tight end position seems well stocked for the foreseeable future.

Prediction: Backup tight end; 3 receptions, 35 yards

Friday, July 19, 2013

MGoBlog: This Week's Obsession - O-Line Opinion

The most interesting position group this year looks to be the offensive line. Aside from the offensive tackles, nobody really knows how the interior three positions will shake out. The guys at MGoBlog take a shot.

There's a fitness model after the jump.

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week

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

2013 Season Countdown: #41 Royce Jenkins-Stone

Royce Jenkins-Stone
Name: Royce Jenkins-Stone
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Position: Linebacker
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #52
Last year: I ranked Jenkins-Stone #66 and said he would redshirt if possible. I guess it wasn't possible because he played special teams all year.

Royce Jenkins-Stone heads into his sophomore year weighing and heighing the same weight and height he did going into his senior year of high school. I said last year that he would have to be able to make an impact on special teams in order to avoid a redshirt, and that sort of happened but he also sort of didn't make any tackles, either. He was just a guy running down the field on coverage units. After saying that he wanted to be the next Ray Lewis, Greg Mattison telling him he could be, and choosing #52 on the path to that goal, he left the spring as the #2 weakside linebacker behind James Ross.

Based on what I've seen so far - on special teams, in the spring game, from high school - I'm not sure where Jenkins-Stone fits. He's not speedy enough to be a good fit at WILL. He's not instinct or big enough to be a good fit at MIKE. And he's not long enough or hefty enough to be a good fit at SAM. With two classmates (Ross and Joe Bolden) already having earned significant playing time at the inside spots, it will be an uphill battle for him to get on the field. He also may be facing competition from redshirt sophomore Antonio Poole and incoming freshman Ben Gedeon. I think Jenkins-Stone will continue to help on special teams, but I'm not sure if he can contribute on defense just yet.

Prediction: Backup weakside linebacker, special teams contributor

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wolverine Nation: Michigan, Ohio to feature new all star game

Ohio is no longer going to play Pennsylvania in an intrastate all-star game, so now they'll be playing Michigan. A lot of the really elite guys don't participate in these things, anyway, but a few relevant kids will probably be involved in the near future.

There's a good looking girl beyond the jump.

2013 Davey O'Brien Award watch list

Devin Gardner
The 2013 Davey O'Brien Award watch list was released on Wednesday, and there are some notable names for Michigan fans. The award is given each year to the nation's top quarterback, and no Michigan quarterback has ever won the award.

Devin Gardner - Michigan
Taylor Martinez - Nebraska
A.J. McCarron - Alabama
Braxton Miller - Ohio State
Connor Shaw - South Carolina

2013 Season Countdown: #42 Joe Kerridge

Joe Kerridge
Name: Joe Kerridge
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 241 lbs.
High school: Traverse City (MI) St. Francis
Position: Fullback
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #36
Last year: I ranked Kerridge #69 and said he would be the backup fullback with 1 carry for 3 yards. He was a part-time starter at fullback and had 1 reception for 12 yards.

Last season Kerridge saw his first game action at fullback. He missed the 2011 season while working his way back from an ACL tear, then played sparingly while Stephen Hopkins (since departed) tried his hand at the position, and then Kerridge had to wait for Russell Bellomy's pass in the Nebraska game, a pass into the flat that detoured, got a flat tire, grabbed some lunch, stopped at the store on a mission to find cheap butter, and finally arrived in Kerridge's hands two days later. If patience is a virtue, Kerridge should be the next pope.

This time around, Kerridge enters the season as the favorite for the position, but he'll have some fairly stiff competition from sophomore Sione Houma. I like Houma better as a pure athlete, but Kerridge has good size and lead blocks well. With some potentially talented running backs in the fold, the ability to lead block effectively might be more important than it has been the past couple seasons, when the team's best runner was the quarterback. Whoever wins the starting fullback gig will have to devastate a few linebackers, and I think that guy will be Kerridge.

Prediction: Starting fullback; 2 receptions, 18 yards

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Michigan QB Gardner earns praise at Manning Passing Academy

Quarterback Devin Gardner did well at the camp led by the trio of Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning. Let's hope this off-season success carries over into the fall months.

Blonde in a bikini at the beach after the break.

2013 Biletnikoff Award watch list

Jeremy Gallon
The 2013 Biletnikoff Award watch list was released on Tuesday, and here are some players of interest to Michigan fans. The award is given to the nation's most outstanding receiver, and the last and only Wolverine to win the award was Braylon Edwards in 2004:

Jared Abbrederis - Wisconsin
Kenny Bell - Nebraska
Corey Brown - Ohio State
Aaron Burbridge - Michigan State
Davaris Daniels - Notre Dame
Jeremy Gallon - Michigan
T.J. Jones - Notre Dame
Cody Latimer - Indiana
Allen Robinson - Penn State
Devin Smith - Ohio State

2013 Season Countdown: #43 Jeremy Jackson

Jeremy Jackson
Name: Jeremy Jackson
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 206 lbs.
High school: Ann Arbor (MI) Huron
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Senior
Jersey number: #17
Last year: I ranked Jackson #37 and said he would have 8 catches, 100 yards, and 1 touchdown as a backup wide receiver. He had 4 receptions for 31 yards.

It's probably pretty rare that a senior gets downgraded on this list to such a degree, but Jackson put up pretty paltry numbers last season, and it can't be blamed entirely on Denard Robinson. Devin Gardner played a large chunk of the year at quarterback, and even his superior passing skills couldn't get Jackson to make a splash. The bottom line is that Jackson is too slow to be much of a passing threat, and he's not that great of a blocker for his size. One problem with having slow receivers is that even if they get "open," talented defensive backs can make up ground, undercut them, etc. and make plays that other receivers might be able to prevent. He would probably be better off bulking up to 215-220 lbs. and using the added mass to help in the running game, but that doesn't look like it will happen.

Going into his senior year, Jackson will be in a major fight for playing time. Fifth year senior Jeremy Gallon will probably lead the team in receiving, and two relative newcomers have been earning a fair amount of mentions by the coaches: sophomore Amara Darboh and redshirt freshman Jehu Chesson. I have learned not to trust the coaches by what they say through the media, but I think that hype might be legitimate. If I had to guess right now, I'd say Gallon, Darboh, and Chesson will be Michigan's top three wideouts, and Jackson will be battling with senior Drew Dileo, walk-on Joe Reynolds, and some freshmen for the scraps. So far Jackson has 4, 3, and 4 receptions in his first three seasons, and that production probably won't change much this year. However, it's tough for a skill player to play four years and not have his chance to shine for a moment, so I'm guessing we'll see Jackson make an important catch sometime this year.

Prediction: Backup slot receiver; 3 receptions, 40 yards, 1 touchdown

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 Season preview - Michigan loses Jake Ryan but still has James Ross

Kyle Meinke explores how the season will play out at the linebacker position.

Purple bikini fan? Hit the jump.

2013 Butkus Award watch list

The Butkus Award watch list for 2013 was released on Monday, and there are several players of note to Michigan fans:

Chris Borland - Wisconsin
Jonathan Brown - Illinois
Max Bullough - Michigan State
Carlo Calabrese - Notre Dame
Glenn Carson - Penn State
Dan Fox - Notre Dame
Anthony Hitchens - Iowa
Christian Kirksey - Iowa
James Morris - Iowa
Ryan Shazier - Ohio State
Prince Shembo - Notre Dame

There's also a Butkus Award given to high schoolers, and a watch list that includes 2014 commit Michael Ferns III, along with a bunch of other Michigan targets.

2015 ESPN Junior 300 released

Michigan is in pursuit of yet another top-ranked player in St. Paul
(MN) Cretin-Derham Hall defensive end Jashon Cornell

ESPN released its Junior 300 today, which is the top 300 prospects for the 2015 class. Since Michigan has only sent out a little over 30 offers for 2015, I'll list offerees and some other notable prospects:

1. Jashon Cornell - DE - Minnesota (offered)
2. Kevin Toliver II - CB - Florida (offered, committed to LSU)
3. George Campbell - WR - Florida (offered)
6. Martez Ivy - OT - Florida (attends alma mater of Jeremy Gallon)
7. Tim Settle - DT - Virginia (friends with Da'Shawn Hand)
9. Terry Beckner, Jr. - DE - Illinois (offered)
13. Jeffrey Holland - LB - Florida (offered)
14. Hjalte Froholdt - DT - Ohio (offered)
17. Josh Rosen - QB - California (offered)
18. Soso Jamabo - RB - Texas (offered)
20. Damien Harris - RB - Kentucky (offered)
21. Shy Tuttle - DT - North Carolina (offered)
29. Eric Glover-Williams - ATH - Ohio
37. Christian Kirk - WR - Arizona (visiting at end of July)
38. Minkah Fitzpatrick - CB - New Jersey (teammate of Jonathan Hilliman)
43. Iman Marshall - CB - California (offered)
49. Shaun Crawford - CB - Ohio (offered)
51. Joshua Alabi - DT - Michigan (offered)
54. Cordell Broadus - WR - California (son of Snoop Dogg/Lion)
61. Chuma Edoga - OG - Georgia (camped at Michigan)
72. Anthony Wheeler - LB - Texas (offered)
75. Sterling Jenkins - OT - Pennsylvania (offered)
89. Elijah Taylor - DT - Ohio
91. Chris Green - LB - Ohio
108. Jaason Lewis - WR - Virginia (offered)
112. James Morgan - QB - Wisconsin
122. Chris Warren - RB - Texas (visiting at end of July)
131. David Dowell - WR - Ohio (camped at Michigan)
139. Ricky DeBerry - LB - Virginia (visited this spring)
145. Justin Hilliard - LB - Ohio (offered)
147. Brian Cole - WR - Michigan (offered)
157. Jerome Baker, Jr. - LB - Ohio (offered)
163. Darian Roseboro - DE - North Carolina (offered)
168. Osa Masina - LB - Utah (offered)
169. Ryan Bates - OT - Pennsylvania
170. Darrin Kirkland, Jr. - LB - Indiana
180. Garrett Taylor - CB - Virginia (visited this spring)
184. Kyonta Stallworth - OT - Michigan
186. Josh Adams - RB - Pennsylvania
191. Darrin Hall, Jr. - RB - Ohio
193. Anthony McKee - LB - Ohio (camped at Michigan)
202. Aaron Garza - OT - Texas (offered, committed to Texas)
208. George Brown, Jr. - OT - Ohio (attends alma mater of Antonio Poole)
212. Tyriq Thompson - S - Michigan (son of former Wolverine Clarence Thompson)
217. Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. - TE - New York (offered, son of former Wolverine)
230. Jordan Whitehead - CB - Pennsylvania
231. Jacques Patrick - RB - Florida (offered)
234. Simeon Lane - DT - Ohio
244. Larry Scott - RB - Ohio
245. Reagan Williams - LB - Ohio
248. Mykelti Williams - S - Indiana
266. Jimmy Fitzgerald - QB - Illinois
268. Brandon Tiassum - OG - Indiana
273. Jack Beneventi - QB - Illinois
275. Matthew Draper - LB - Ohio
283. Naterace Strong - RB - Illinois
294. Mike Weber - RB - Michigan (offered)

2013 Season Countdown: #44 Shane Morris

Shane Morris
Name: Shane Morris
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 183 lbs.
High school: Warren (MI) De La Salle
Position: Quarterback
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #7
Last year: Morris was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 87.

Morris had quite an up-and-down senior campaign. After committing during his sophomore year, he participated in Nike's The Opening in July 2012, was chosen for the Elite 11 championships, and played in the Under Armour All-America Game. He did well during the 7-on-7 portion of The Opening, did okay at the Elite 11, and didn't fare too well at the all-star game. To be fair, none of the quarterbacks looked good at the UA game. In between those events, he played a little more than half of his senior football season due to being diagnosed with mononucleosis mid-season.

Morris has a very strong arm and decent athleticism. He reminds me a little bit of Chad Henne as a freshman, who threw everything as hard as he could and suffered some incompletions, interceptions, and broken up passes as a result. Morris has that same kind of arm strength, and from what I've seen, he generally only looks to his left. On top of being unable to enroll early (his high school wouldn't allow him to graduate in December), he will have to work past some of his own weaknesses to improve his vision, pre-snap reads, and decision making. Normally a backup quarterback would be higher on this list, but I'm not sure that Morris will be much more ready than someone like walk-on Brian Cleary, and there's also the possibility that Russell Bellomy will return from his torn ACL in time to play at some point this year. I believe Morris will see the field this year, if only in garbage time to prepare him for a starting gig; if current starter Devin Gardner has an outstanding season, he could leave early for the NFL and someone like Morris must be prepared to take over. But if Michigan loses Gardner for any stretch of time, I think the team will be in serious trouble.

Prediction: #2 quarterback unless/until Russell Bellomy returns from injury

Monday, July 15, 2013

Smart Football: A Better Box Score - Simple ways to improve the basic game recap

Chris Brown from Smart Football  comes up with a few suggestions for improving the standard box score we see in newspapers, on ESPN, etc. If changes like these happen, it won't be for a long time, but it's still interesting to ponder.

There's a pretty girl if you hit the jump.

2013 Season Countdown: #45 Graham Glasgow

Graham Glasgow
Name: Graham Glasgow
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 303 lbs.
High school: Aurora (IL) Marmion
Position: Center
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #61
Last year: I ranked Glasgow #80 and said he would be a bench player. He played in five games as a backup guard.

Glasgow came into college as a pretty well regarded walk-on player, but he didn't have any scholarship offers. He did work his way onto the field last season, but he wasn't a factor in critical situations. I can't say that I noticed him out there much, but when he was in the game, I was not impressed. Then again, Michigan's offensive line as a whole was not very good last year.

This year Glasgow has been mentioned repeatedly as a competitor for the center position, despite being 6'6", which is tall for a center. Fellow redshirt sophomore Jack Miller looks like the front-runner for the job, but options are limited behind him. Miller, Glasgow, and Joey Burzynski are the top three options at center, and incoming freshman Pat Kugler could be an emergency fill-in. I expect that Glasgow will play at some point this fall, but hopefully it's because Michigan is beating the pants off someone.

Prediction: Backup center

Sunday, July 14, 2013 Season preview - Michigan has dominating tackles, hopes Kalis can stabilize interior

Here's Kyle Meinke's preview of the offensive line.

Hit the jump to see a denim bikini.

Poll results: Which recruiting site do you prefer overall?

This has been an issue brought up more often recently now that 247 Sports seems to be making a strong push in the recruiting world. I have to admit that I used to be strongly entrenched in Rivals' camp, at least as far as Michigan-related sites go. Lately, I have been looking to 247 Sports more and more. Underneath the votes I have some pros and cons for each sites:

Rivals: 34%
Rivals has shown to be the best when it comes to recruiting rankings. The guys who go on to NFL careers were generally rated higher by Rivals than ESPN or Scout (247 Sports is too new for this to be relevant). The site is also easily navigable, and it's simple to sort through positions, recruiting classes, schools, cities, etc. The Wolverine, which is the Michigan-specific site, lost a lot when Josh Helmholdt got promoted to midwest analyst. His replacement, Tim Sullivan, doesn't have the contacts or the football acumen to fill Helmholdt's shoes, so content on The Fort (the premium message board) has been lacking and/or slow.

247 Sports: 30%
247 Sports popped onto the scene with some technological advancements that sped past its competitors. If you go to a recruit's profile, it has a timeline that reports dates of offers, camp visits, campus visits, official visits, commitments, etc. It also links highlights from various other sites (Youtube, Hudl, etc.) and shows a Twitter feed with mentions about that particular player. The two newest features are the 247 Composite ranking (which averages together a recruit's rankings from the four major sites) and the Crystal Ball, which shows updated predictions on where the prospect will go. The message board can be a little unwieldy, but writer/moderator Steve Lorenz does a good job of keeping up with recruits, even some that are just barely on the fringe of Michigan's radar.

Scout: 15%
Scout seems to have been most affected by the arrival of 247 Sports. The website is very difficult to navigate and looks like it was designed by amateurs. (By the way, I freely admit that I'm an amateur when it comes to site design, so I'm not handing out criticism I'm unwilling to take - but this is a hobby for me, and it shouldn't be for them.) The best thing Scout's Michigan site has going for it is Sam Webb, who seems to be the guy most plugged in to Michigan's coaching staff and the program. Finding rankings by position, state, etc. can be difficult with Scout, so I mostly avoid the site, except when a) a player commits and I need his Scout ranking or b) they update their top 300.

None of the above: 11%
These people probably either don't care about recruiting or they just care about the free stuff that filters over to free sites, message boards, etc. To each his own.

ESPN: 8%
As far as recruiting goes, Wolverine Nation's Tom VanHaaren does a great job of keeping up with recruiting news. He and 247's Lorenz both seem to be on a fairly even plane. The message board gets updated regularly, and the moderators spend plenty of time online. Chantel Jennings adds some feature-like items and Michael Rothstein handles mostly basketball recruiting stuff and then some features on current and former Michigan players, so it's pretty much VanHaaren's show. ESPN is slower to rate players and updates its rankings less often; whether that's good or bad might be up to its audience to decide. Personally, I think rankings are updated too often by some other sites (especially 247), but ESPN could probably start earlier with their initial rankings. Individual recruiting profiles lack highlights or links to highlights, so the site relies solely on ESPN videos of camps and such, which load slowly and are full of commercials. I would expect a better product for all the money ESPN has to throw around.

Full disclosure: I currently have Rivals and 247 Sports subscriptions. I let my ESPN subscription expire. I have never been a member of Scout.

2013 Season Countdown: #46 Taco Charlton

Taco Charlton
Name: Taco Charlton
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 265 lbs.
High school: Pickerington (OH) Central
Position: Defensive end
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #33
Last year: Charlton was a senior in high school. He had 116 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, and 19 sacks.

Charlton committed to Michigan in February 2012. He was never offered by the home state Buckeyes, but we never saw him waver in his commitment to Michigan. Charlton impressed enough people to get invited to the inaugural The Opening last summer, where he impressed observers further. Analysts praised his athleticism and length while noting that he struggled when he couldn't beat blockers with his initial speed rush. Then he went on to have a monster senior season with those 19 sacks. He enrolled early at Michigan in January and played fairly well in the spring game, albeit against backup offensive linemen.

While Charlton passes the eye test, his technique - especially against the run - will be a question. The starter at weakside end will likely be junior Frank Clark, and the other competitor for that starting spot moved to strongside linebacker. That means Charlton will be fighting for playing time with sophomore Mario Ojemudia, an undersized but athletic player. I would not be surprised if a couple of these weakside ends get on the field at the same time in obvious passing situations. Michigan will have to manufacture a pass rush with Jake Ryan injured and subpar pass rusher Brennen Beyer perhaps taking his place at SAM. I think Charlton will be third on the depth chart at weakside end, but defensive coordinator Greg Mattison likes to rotate defensive linemen, so he should see a fair amount of time.

Prediction: Backup weakside end

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Detroit News: Michigan judged to have #1 college football helmet

Well, the title says it all. Michigan has the best football helmet. The article also lists the rest of the top 20 helmets.

Hit the jump for a girl in skimpy shorts.

Visitors: July 8-14, 2013

Leonard Fournette
Leonard Fournette - RB - New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine: Fournette is a 6'1", 225 lb. prospect with offers from just about everyone; his two leaders appear to be Alabama and LSU. Michigan was not mentioned in regard to Fournette until Jabrill Peppers committed and started talking to and about him being a part of Michigan's class. According to 247's Composite ranking, Fournette is the #1 player in the entire class. As a junior in 2012, he had 196 carries for 2,136 yards and 31 touchdowns. That's 10.9 yards/carry. Chances are slim that Michigan jumps in front of those two SEC schools, but it can't hurt to get him on campus. There's a chance that he might really like it, and it puts Ann Arbor in the minds of other top prospects.

Cassius Peat - DE - Tempe (AZ) Corona Del Sol: Peat is a 6'4", 235 lb. prospect with an offer from Arizona State. 247 Sports ranks him as a 3-star and the #23 athlete in the 2015 class. He's listed as a linebacker in some places, but he looks more like a weakside end prospect. His older brother Andrus was a 5-star offensive tackle in 2012 who spurned Michigan in favor of Stanford.

2013 Season Countdown: #47 Chris Wormley

Chris Wormley
Name: Chris Wormley
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 290 lbs.
High school: Toledo (OH) Whitmer
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #43
Last year: I ranked Wormley #65 and said he would redshirt if possible. He tore his ACL in the pre-season and redshirted.

When Wormley hit campus last summer, he had impressive size for a freshman . . . despite the fact that he turned out to be 6'4" after his recruiting profiles listed him as tall as 6'7". The coaches talked about him like a kid who was going to see time as a freshman. Then August came around, he tore his ACL in practice, and it was all moot. He missed the season but recovered enough to participate in spring drills.

Now up to 290 lbs., Wormley seems to have jumped straight past his apprenticeship as a strongside end and looks like a straight-up defensive tackle. In the video clips that came out of the spring, I was concerned about his slowness off the ball. He seemed to be a half-step behind the other guys in drills, whether that was because of an inherent deficiency in quickness or a lag from the injury and his rehab. My biggest concern with him coming out of high school was his drive and consistency, so I won't believe he's a viable candidate for significant playing time until I see some explosiveness out of him. Regardless of what I think, however, the coaches seem to want him on the field in some capacity. Senior Jibreel Black looks like the front-runner for the 3-tech defensive tackle position, and redshirt freshman Willie Henry should provide some competition there, too. I expect Wormley to be less productive than those two while still getting some time in the rotation.

Prediction: Backup defensive tackle

Friday, July 12, 2013

Detroit News: Young Ohio State fan names brain tumor "Michigan"

This is a pretty cool story about a young Buckeye fan who hated his brain tumor so much that he named it Michigan. Or he hated Michigan so much that he named his tumor after it. Either way, good for the kid. Whatever it takes.

Tight dress after the jump.

Attractive Michigan Girls of the Week

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

2013 Season Countdown: #48 Josh Furman

Josh Furman
Name: Josh Furman
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 197 lbs.
High school: Annapolis (MD) Old Mill
Position: Safety
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #14
Last year: I ranked Furman #50 and said he would be a special teamer and backup safety. He had 8 tackles as a special teamer and backup safety.

For the second consecutive season, Furman was valuable on special teams and mostly absent on actual defense. Thomas Gordon and Jordan Kovacs took the vast majority of the snaps at safety last year, and the third safety in the game was always then-freshman Jarrod Wilson. Meanwhile, Furman and the now departed Marvin Robinson - both two years older than Wilson - watched from the sideline. Furman is a pretty ideal special teams player because he has good size and speed, and he's not afraid of contact. Unfortunately, his instincts as a safety are somewhat lacking.

With strong safety Kovacs now graduated, it looks like Gordon will move from free safety to strong; Wilson should earn the starting free safety job. The backup safeties are pretty darn questionable, though. Robinson is headed to Ferris State to play ball, and Furman has those questionable instincts. Redshirt freshman Allen Gant moved to outside linebacker. Outside of that top three, there's literally nothing other than true freshmen. I imagine the coaches see something in Furman that makes them comfortable with that depth chart, but someone else to keep in mind is Dymonte Thomas. The freshman enrolled early and has reportedly won the starting nickel corner job, so if something happens to one of the starting safeties, we might see Thomas move over and keep Furman on the sideline. Much like the last couple seasons, I expect Furman to be a backup and help out on coverage units.

Prediction: Backup safety, special teamer

Thursday, July 11, 2013 Season preview - Michigan's tailbacks

Kyle Meinke looks at how Michigan's running back situation might play out for the upcoming season.

Bikini-clad girl after the jump.

2013 Outland Trophy watch list

Taylor Lewan
The Outland Trophy watch list for 2013 was released on Thursday. The Outland Trophy is awarded to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman, so it's given to centers, guards, and tackles on either side of the ball. Here are some notable players for Michigan fans:

Ryan Groy - OG - Wisconsin
Ra'Shede Hageman - DT - Minnesota
DaQuan Jones - DT - Penn State
Taylor Lewan - OT - Michigan
Spencer Long - OG - Nebraska
Zack Martin - OT - Notre Dame
Jack Mewhort - OT - Ohio State
Louis Nix III - DT - Notre Dame
Andrew Norwell - OT - Ohio State
Jeremiah Sirles - OT - Nebraska
John Urschel - OG - Penn State
Brandon Vitabile - OC - Northwestern

2013 Season Countdown: #49 Joe Reynolds

See? Joe Reynolds did play last year.
Name: Joe Reynolds
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Rochester (MI) Adams
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #85
Last year: I did not rank Reynolds. He had 3 catches for 22 yards.

Reynolds has been on the team for a few years, but he never made a significant impact until last year. Late in the season he earned more and more playing time. He's not particularly big or fast, but he showed some decent quickness on some short passes.

Michigan has just one proven starter returning in the form of fifth year senior Jeremy Gallon; the other guys are role-player veterans (Jeremy Jackson, Drew Dileo) or little used youngsters (Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, the three freshmen). Reynolds won't start, but he's a veteran with more athleticism than Jackson and more size than Dileo. He should figure into the rotation and catch a couple more balls than last season.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver

P.S. He was also named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, one of 53 Michigan Wolverines athletes given that honor.