Monday, September 30, 2013

MLive: Michigan wants to get Green, Smith, or Rawls involved early

Fifth year senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has been carrying the load this year, and it appears that the coaching staff wants to get some more guys involved starting this Saturday against Minnesota.

Hit the jump for a girl crawling on sand.

Recruit Tracker: Michael Ferns III

Michael Ferns III
November 1, 2013: St. Clairsville beat Union (OH) Local by a score of 41-7. Ferns missed the game due to his shoulder injury. The Red Devils are now 9-1.

October 25, 2013: St. Clairsville beat Rayland (OH) Buckeye Local by a score of 51-3. Ferns missed the game due to injury. St. Clairsville is 8-1.

October 18, 2013: St. Clairsville beat Richmond (OH) Edison by a score of 49-12. Ferns missed a third straight game. The Red Devils are now 7-1.

October 11, 2013: St. Clairsville lost to Bellaire (OH) Bellaire by a score of 38-28. Ferns also missed this game, and the team suffered its first loss. They're now 6-1.

October 4, 2013: St. Clairsville beat Cadiz (OH) Harrison Central by a score of 40-7. Ferns sat out the game due to injury, but the team improved to 6-0, anyway.

September 27, 2013: St. Clairsville beat Wintersville (OH) Indian Creek by a score of 21-0. Ferns had 2 offensive touchdowns and 20 tackles, bringing him to 62 for the year. St. Clairsville is now 5-0.

September 20, 2013: St. Clairsville beat Martins Ferry (OH) Martins Ferry by a score of 35-14. Ferns had 12 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 forced fumble. He also had 6 carries for 16 yards on offense. He now has 42 tackles on the season and 26 carries for 204 yards and 1 touchdown. St. Clairsville is now 4-0.

September 13, 2013: St. Clairsville beat Phoenixville (PA) Renaissance Christian by a score of 27-20. Ferns had 15 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass breakup, along with a 32-yard touchdown run. He now has 30 tackles and 1 forced fumble; 20 carries for 188 yards and 1 touchdown; and caught 5 passes for 91 yards. St. Clairsville is 3-0.

September 6, 2013: St. Clairsville beat Cleveland (OH) Young by a score of 49-0. St. Clairsville is 2-0.

August 30, 2013:
 Ferns's St. Clairsville (OH) St. Clairsville team beat Uhrichsville (OH) Claymont by a score of 24-21. St. Clairsville is 1-0.

Poll results: Which three linemen should be starting on the interior?

Taylor Lewan and Kyle Kalis
I posted a poll asking Michigan fans which three linemen should be starting on the interior of the offensive line, and it looks like fans want a change. Voters could pick multiple answers, and here are the responses.

OG Kyle Kalis: 95%
OG Chris Bryant: 82%
OG/C Graham Glasgow: 59%

OG/OT Ben Braden: 22%
C Jack Miller: 17%
OG/C Joey Burzynski: 9%
Other: 4%

At this point, I would be in support of center Jack Miller being sent to the sideline if Graham Glasgow can handle snapping duties. I think sometimes people underestimate the importance of getting good snaps, so that's a big "if." But Miller struggles with stout nose tackles, and he just flat-out misses some obvious blocks at times.

If redshirt sophomore Chris Bryant is healthy after suffering various leg injuries over the past couple seasons, I think he should get a shot. However, Michigan has to realize the strengths of each of these players. My guess is that Bryant excels at blocking plays like power and iso, but he probably struggles with zone blocking, which requires more agility and lateral movement. If Michigan wants to continue running zone stretches to the left behind Taylor Lewan, then perhaps Kyle Kalis should flip to left guard to make that play more viable. Then the Wolverines could run outside zone, iso, and power to the left, while running power and iso to the right.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

MLive: Five Michigan keys - A vertical threat, thoughts on Jake Ryan and Derrick Green

Nick Baumgardner talks about five ideas/thoughts coming out of the bye week as Michigan enters Big Ten play.

Hit the jump for a reclining lady.

School in the News: USC

Leon McQuay III may have made a poor choice.
The news came out this morning that Lane Kiffin, head coach of the USC Trojans, is now . . . well . . . the ex-head coach of the USC Trojans. The Trojans lost to Arizona State on Saturday by a score of 62-41 and dropped to 3-2 on the year. It's open season on their recruits, one of whom (2014 linebacker Derik Calhoun) has already opened up his recruitment. They have just six remaining commits in the current class, and none of them had been offered by Michigan. La Jolla (CA) Country Day offensive tackle Jordan Poland talked at one time about being highly interested in Michigan, but the Wolverines haven't reciprocated that interest up to this point. And on a side note, class of 2015 quarterback David Sills - who committed to Lane Kiffin a few years ago - is the teammate of 2014 Michigan commits Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson, which may be something to watch as the Wolverines search for more quarterback targets in the next class.

Transfers might be unlikely in the future, but here's a list of the current USC non-seniors who held offers from the Wolverines at one point:

WR Nelson Agholor (So.)
S Dion Bailey (RS Jr.)
S Su'a Cravens (Fr.)
RB Justin Davis (Fr.)
LB Lamar Dawson (Jr.)
WR Jordan Farmer (Jr.)
CB Chris Hawkins (Fr.)
C Cyrus Hobbi (RS So.)
LB Michael Hutchings (Fr.)
RB Ty Isaac (Fr.)
WR Marqise Lee (Jr.)
S Leon McQuay III (Fr.)
LB Jabari Ruffin (RS Fr.)
CB Joshua Shaw (RS Jr.)
DT Delvon Simmons (Jr.)
OG Jordan Simmons (RS Fr.)
TE Randall Telfer (RS Jr.)
OT Max Tuerk (So.)
OG Aundrey Walker (Jr.)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

MMQB: Stevie Brown's ACL surgery

Jenny Vrentas goes behind the scenes with former Michigan safety Stevie Brown as he undergoes knee surgery and hopes to rehab for 2014.

Hit the jump for a pink bikini.

Recruit Tracker: Andrew David

September 20, 2013: Washington beat Mentor Lake (OH) Catholic by a score of 35-6. David was 0/1 on field goal attempts, punted 2 times for 86 yards, and kicked off 6 times for 337 yards and 4 touchbacks. Washington is now 4-0.

September 13, 2013: Washington beat Warren (OH) Harding by a score of 35-14. David was 5/5 on extra points, punted 3 times for 120 yards (40 yards/punt), and kicked off 6 times for 351 yards, including 4 touchbacks. Washington is now 3-0.

September 5, 2013: Washington beat Canton (OH) GlenOak by a score of 23-20 in overtime. David punted 2 times for 84 yards, missed 3 field goals (33, 33, 45), and made the game-winner from 20 yards out. He also had 3 kickoffs for 171 yards and 1 touchback. Altogether, he's 1/4 on field goals, has punted 5 times for 171 yards (37 yards/attempt), and kicked off 6 times for 351 yards (58.5 yards/kick). Washington is 2-0 on the season.

August 29, 2013:
 David's Massillon (OH) Washington team beat Perry by a score of 35-7. David was 7/10 passing for 59 yards and 1 touchdown, and he also had 3 carries for 19 yards. He punted 3 times for 87 yards (29 yards/attempt) and sent all 3 of his kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks. Washington is 1-0 on the year.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

CBS Sports: A behind-the-scenes look at how A&M prepared for Alabama

This is exactly what the title suggests, and it's always fun to get an inside perspective, even if it's a game that's irrelevant to Michigan.

Hit the jump for some fit ladies.

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Jason Avant

Jason Avant (#8) with Steve Breaston, Matt Gutierrez, and Braylon Edwards (left to right)
Avant had 5 catches for 87 yards and 1 touchdown while his Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 26-16.

Honorable mention: Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall had 4 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 pass breakups in a 34-30 victory over the Green Bay Packers. New York Jets linebacker David Harris had 7 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 quarterback hurry in a 27-20 victory over Buffalo. Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson had 1 carry for -2 yards and 2 kickoff returns for 54 yards in a 45-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

eDraft: Can Schofield be Michigan's second 1st round pick?

Vance Meeks discusses the possibility of Michael Schofield becoming a first round pick next April.

Hit the jump for a nice looking lady.

Ex-Wolverine Updates

Isaiah Bell (left, with Fitzgerald Toussaint in high school) had the best game of his college career.
DE Isaiah Bell: Bell, who started at defensive end for Lake Erie College, had a big game for the Storm. He had 2 tackles, 1 sack, forced 1 fumble, and returned it 97 yards for a touchdown. Lake Erie beat Wayne State by a score of 35-17.

CB Dallas Crawford: Crawford, now a running back for the Miami Hurricanes, had a big game this week. He had 5 carries for 48 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground, along with 1 catch for a 5-yard touchdown. And that wasn't even against the backups - Crawford scored the first, fourth, and sixth touchdowns of the day. Miami beat Bethune Cookman by a score of 77-0.

S Vladimir Emilien: Emilien had 2 tackles as a backup safety in Toledo's 38-17 victory over Central Michigan.

K Matt Goudis: Goudis was 11/11 on extra points in Miami's 77-0 victory over Bethune Cookman.

S Carvin Johnson: Johnson had 9 tackles and 1 pass breakup, but Hampton lost to Coastal Carolina by a score of 50-17.

LB Mike Jones: Jones had 7 tackles in Western Michigan's 59-3 loss to Iowa.

LB Kaleb Ringer: Ringer had 5 tackles in Ferris State's 34-7 victory over Ashland.

WR Jerald Robinson: Robinson had 5 catches for 38 yards in Walsh University's 29-7 loss to Michigan Tech.

S Marvin Robinson: Robinson had 9 tackles in Ferris State's 34-7 victory over Ashland. Robinson leads the team in tackles with 25.

WR Je'Ron Stokes: Stokes had 3 catches for 48 yards and 1 touchdown in Norfolk State's 20-12 loss to Charleston Southern.

S Ray Vinopal: Vinopal started at free safety and had 9 tackles in Pitt's 58-55 victory over Duke.

CB Adrian Witty: Witty had 3 tackles in Cincinnati's 14-0 shutout over the Miami RedHawks.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Grantland: In-flight entertainment

Charles Pierce writes about the introduction of former Oregon coach Chip Kelly's offense to the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hit the jump for a girl in green shorts.

Highlights: Michigan 24, UConn 21

Michigan at UConn Awards

I like this Willie Henry kid.
Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Chris Bryant. Michigan needs to figure out what kind of team they are. Are they a zone team or are they a power/iso team? Personally, I believe their personnel is better suited for a power/iso scheme, which means redshirt sophomore center Jack Miller's quickness isn't quite as valuable. If redshirt freshman left guard Graham Glasgow has the ability to snap and make line calls, I would like to see him bump over to center and let redshirt sophomore Bryant step in at left guard. I really believe that power blocks with All-American left tackle Taylor Lewan and Bryant could be deadly, and the poor blocking of the tight ends would be somewhat mitigated by that double-team and the ease of reading the block. Power and iso are very simple blocking schemes.

Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . Devin Funchess as a blocking tight end. I think Funchess can play H-back, in the slot, run routes, etc. But his blocking at the point of attack, especially the zone stretch, hangs running back Fitzgerald Toussaint out to dry too often. Michigan needs to find a second blocking tight end, whether it's redshirt junior Jordan Paskorz, freshman Jake Butt, or a walk-on.

Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Willie Henry. The redshirt freshman defensive tackle has played pretty well the past two games, and I'm hoping he's in the process of locking down the backup 3-tech spot. He was my pick for this "award" last week, and I liked what I saw.

Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . nobody. I thought the defensive rotation was pretty solid. No complaints here.

Play of the game . . . Desmond Morgan's one-handed interception. When Michigan was trying to ignite a comeback win, they needed a big play on defense. UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer tried to throw the ball on a line to a receiver on a post, but Morgan got to his drop, leaped up, and reeled in the pass with his right hand. He then tucked the ball in, showed some decent open-field running ability, and brought the ball back 29 yards to the Huskies' 12-yard line.

MVP of the game . . . Fitzgerald Toussaint. Toussaint was maligned last week for his game against Akron, but there shouldn't be the same kinds of comments this time. Nobody had a stellar game, but Toussaint had a 35-yard touchdown on an option pitch and a 12-yard zone stretch touchdown. He finished the night with 24 carries for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 1 reception for 7 yards.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grantland: Tuesday Night Lights - Am I allowed to tackle when I play safety?

This has nothing to do with Michigan football, but it's a middle school coach who writes some pretty hilarious stuff about his football players and their complete naivete when it comes to the sport.

Hit the jump for a girl lying on the beach.

Michigan 24, UConn 21

Fitzgerald Toussaint had 127 total yards and 2 touchdowns
Okay, now it's getting ridiculous. Last week I thought Michigan's performance against Akron was a little bit of a fluke. It was the week after a big win over Notre Dame, Akron was supposed to be a patsy, etc. Now I'm concerned. Michigan should have been champing at the bit to get on the field and destroy a mediocre UConn team, and they were just as lackadaisical. During the half, I thought "This seems like a game where Michigan might reverse the momentum with a defensive or special teams touchdown." Instead, after getting ball on the kickoff, Devin Gardner fumbled on a quarterback sneak when he ran into his own lineman, which was only slightly less embarrassing than Mark Sanchez's butt fumble.

Bench Devin Gardner? No, don't bench Devin Gardner (11/23 passing, 97 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 3 sacks; 19 carries, 64 yards, 1 touchdown). Last night broadcaster Sean McCullough suggested considering a quarterback change, but that's just a total lack of awareness of Michigan's situation. Gardner has to get things sorted out, and that's the bottom line. He needs to take better care of the football and refine his mechanics. Freshman Shane Morris isn't going to be any better, and the only other options are walk-ons, since presumed backup Russell Bellomy is out for the year with a torn ACL. Gardner's driving the bus . . . on the edge of a cliff.

The blocking up front is terrible. I've seen a lot of criticism of running back Fitzgerald Toussaint lately on blogs, Twitter, etc. lately. I'm really not sure what people expect him to do when he's supposed to run a zone stretch and the combination of sophomore tight ends A.J. Williams and Devin Funchess (1 catch, 14 yards) are allowing three or four yards of penetration. Or when center Jack Miller chooses not to block the right guy, allowing nose tackles to knife through. Or when Michigan's offensive line can't get push on an iso. That's not to mention the numerous times Connecticut got pressure on Gardner with a three-man rush where guards Graham Glasgow and Kyle Kalis were blocking air. Oh, and left tackle Taylor Lewan had a terrible holding penalty, and Glasgow had his third false start of the year.

Desmond Morgan has been watching Charles Woodson highlight tapes. That one-handed interception by middle linebacker Desmond Morgan (4 tackles, 1 interception) was extremely impressive for a guy whose athleticism has been questioned at times. He had a good drop, leaped into the air, pulled it down, and made a very nice return. Michigan proceeded to score the game-tying touchdown.

Michigan got out-coached. I haven't said this often, at least not in the Brady Hoke era, but the Huskies' coaching staff did a better job than the Wolverines'. I don't even know where to begin. Did defensive coordinator Greg Mattison really expect defensive end/defensive tackle Chris Wormley (1 tackle, .5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, 1 pass breakup) to cover running back Lyle McCombs on a wheel route? Touchdown. Michigan brings in two extra offensive linemen for a quarterback sneak, and instead of putting All-American left tackle Taylor Lewan on the interior to blow a Husky off the ball, they put redshirt freshman backup Erik Magnuson? Fumble, touchdown for UConn. Freshmen killed Michigan on special teams, too:

  • Linebacker Ben Gedeon ran into the kicker on an early punt.
  • Wide receiver Da'Mario Jones lost track of a punt, allowing it to bounce off his foot and be recovered by the Huskies.
  • Cornerback Jourdan Lewis had an unnecessary roughness call on Drew Dileo's punt return, bringing the ball back from about the 12-yard line to the 40.
The demise of Fitzgerald Toussaint has been greatly exaggerated. Toussaint isn't the type who can create something out of nothing like Barry Sanders or run over people to gain two or three yards if the hole is plugged up. What he can do is take a little bit of space and exploit it. He had 24 carries for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 35-yarder on an option pitch that showed nice vision and quickness.

Hooray for Michigan's pass rush. Granted, it was against UConn, but Michigan still tallied 4 sacks on the night. Two came from weakside end Frank Clark, and four other guys notched a half-sack each: Jibreel Black, Mario Ojemudia, Raymon Taylor, and Wormley. I thought Clark specifically looked a little more energized, and it was nice to see Mattison dial up a corner blitz from Taylor.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Detroit News: Bellomy determined to put injury, last play behind him

Angelique Chengelis looks at Russell Bellomy's rehabilitation of his ACL injury and his confidence.

Hit the jump for a bikini-clad girl.

Poll results: Which position group is most concerning right now?

In the week between Akron and UConn, I posted a poll asking about the most concerning position group on the Michigan squad. The results aren't exactly surprising, but there's an oft-quoted mantra that "Games are won in the trenches" and Michigan fans are worried about those spots.

Offensive line: 45%
We'll see tonight if there are any changes on the line. Some people (including me) have been beating the drum for redshirt sophomore Chris Bryant to get a look.

Defensive line: 39%
If Brennen Beyer is considered a linebacker, Michigan has exactly one sack from its defensive line, that coming from backup weakside end Mario Ojemudia.

Running back: 5%
It's nice to see that not many people are up in arms about Fitzgerald Toussaint, but I do think there might be some concern about his backups.

Quarterback: 3%
There's no question that Devin Gardner should be more consistent, but it would make his job easier if some other guys could step up.

Wide receiver/tight end: 2%
This position isn't really on my radar right now. I think Michigan's receivers are just fine.

Defensive back: 1%
Yeah, not a big issue.

Special teams: 0%
Punt returns have been a little iffy, and Matt Wile has had a couple shanked punts. Otherwise, things have been fine.

Linebacker: 0%
Michigan is pretty solid here.

Scout watch list for 2016 released

Scout released its 2016 watch list, and it includes some notable players for Michigan fans:

Sam Bruce - WR - Florida (offered)
Messiah DeWeaver - QB - Ohio (visited Michigan several times)
Trevon Diggs - WR - Maryland (younger brother of Maryland WR Stefon Diggs)
Bryan Edwards - WR - South Carolina (attends alma mater of Junior Hemingway)
Liam Eichenberg - OG - Ohio (attends alma mater of Jake Ryan)
Matt Falcon - RB - Michigan (attends same school as Lawrence Marshall, Malik McDowell)
Brendan Ferns - LB - Ohio (younger brother of Michael Ferns)
Desmond Fitzpatrick - WR - Michigan (visited Michigan several times)
Rashan Gary - DT - New Jersey (offered)
Dele' Harding - LB - Maryland (teammate of 2014 commits Freddy Canteen, Brandon Watson)
Lavert Hill - CB - Michigan (younger brother of Delano Hill)
Keandre Jones - WR - Maryland (attends alma mater of Blake Countess)
Sulaiman Kamara - DT - Virginia (attends alma mater of Derrick Green)
Thiyo Lukusa - OT - Michigan
Jalen Martin - WR - Michigan (attends alma mater of Csont'e York)
Isaac Nauta - TE - Georgia (offered)
Michael Onwenu - DT - Michigan (attends alma mater of Thomas Gordon, Delano Hill, Jourdan Lewis, etc.)
Martell Pettaway - RB - Michigan
Kaden Smith - TE - Texas (attends alma mater of Stephen Hopkins)
Erik Swenson - OT - Illinois (offered, Michigan lean)

Attractive Michigan Girls of the Week

Preview: Michigan at UConn

Rush Offense vs. UConn Rush Defense
The Wolverines have better rushing statistics than it might seem; they're averaging 4.96 yards/carry, but that's propped up by quarterback Devin Gardner's 30 carries for 237 yards (7.9 yards/carry) and 4 touchdowns. Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (55 carries, 199 yards, 3.6 yards/carry, 3 touchdowns) looks recovered from his broken leg, but the offensive line is struggling to open holes. Primary backup Derrick Green has just 2 carries for 2 yards in the last couple games, so he's not really a factor in tight games. UConn's opponents are averaging 4.57 yards/carry; that list of opponents includes Maryland and FCS team Towson. Redshirt junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood (6'4", 236 lbs.) leads the team in tackles with 30, and the next guy on the list is redshirt freshman safety Obi Melifonwu (6'4", 208 lbs.) with 15. Melifonwu and and fifth year senior strongside end Tim Willman (6'4", 267 lbs.) lead the team with 1.5 tackles for loss each. The Huskies have decent size up front with redshirt senior weakside end Jesse Joseph (6'3", 262 lbs.), redshirt senior defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (6'5', 313 lbs.), and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Julian Campenni (6'0", 298 lbs.). If UConn uses their vanilla 4-3 Over front, Michigan should be able to handle the front four pretty well, but Smallwood can fly all over the field. My guess is that Michigan's offensive linemen come out angry and create some of the holes that were lacking against Akron last week.
Advantage: Michigan

Pass Offense vs. UConn Pass Defense
Gardner has been up and down this year, completing 47/78 passes (60.3%) for 704 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. He has made some poor decisions in the passing game, and he has a tendency to lock onto his favorite receiver, Jeremy Gallon (18 catches, 297 yards, 4 touchdowns). Sophomore tight end Devin Funchess is the next most targeted receiver (7 catches, 131 yards, 1 touchdown), but the other guys have been somewhat pedestrian. One potential breakout player is 6'3", 196 lb. redshirt freshman Jehu Chesson, who caught a 33-yard touchdown pass last week and could develop into a deep threat. Melifonwu and senior cornerback Taylor Mack (5'9", 175 lbs.) have the team's only two picks thus far, but Melifonwu in particular is speed-deficient and could be taken advantage of in the passing game. As for the pass rush, well . . . Connecticut has zero sacks in two games. Smallwood had 3.5 last year, but 22.5 of their 33 sacks graduated after last season. They would be smart to run some twist stunts to confuse the young offensive guards, but as for pure athleticism and skill, it's not really there.
Advantage: Michigan

Rush Defense vs. UConn Rush Offense
Redshirt junior running back Lyle McCombs (5'8", 175 lbs.) averaged 3.54 yards/carry in 2012, and this year he's all the way up to 3.58. He's the only significant ball carrier for the Huskies. Sixth year senior left tackle Jimmy Bennett (6'9", 307 lbs.), redshirt senior Steven Greene (6'5", 308 lbs.), redshirt junior Alex Mateas (6'4", 315 lbs.), redshirt junior Gus Cruz (6'4", 309 lbs.), and redshirt sophomore Xavier Hemingway (6'5", 273 lbs.) make up the line from left to right. Michigan holds opponents to 3.45 yards/carry, and the front seven is considered to be a strength, especially against pro-style running teams. Connecticut can't outmuscle the Wolverines if fifth year senior nose tackle Quinton Washington and/or sophomore nose tackle Ondre Pipkins is on the field. Junior middle linebacker Desmond Morgan and sophomore weakside linebacker James Ross are both very good against the run, so McCombs should find it to be tough sledding. I doubt the Huskies will be able to do much in the running game.
Advantage: Michigan

Pass Defense vs. UConn Pass Offense
Redshirt junior Chandler Whitmer (6'1", 193 lbs.) is the Huskies' quarterback. He completed 57.6% of his passes for 2,664 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions as a starter last year, and this year he's upped that percentage to 60.8% while throwing for 3 scores and 3 picks. Redshirt junior Shakim Phillips (6'2", 209 lbs.) is his favorite target with 15 catches for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns; classmate Geremy Davis (6'3", 215 lbs.) led the team in receiving in 2012 and has 10 catches for 154 yards this season; and junior slot receiver Deshon Foxx (5'10", 172 lbs.) has 4 catches for 54 yards. Meanwhile, Michigan has 5 sacks thus far, 4 of which have come from SAM linebackers Brennen Beyer and Cam Gordon. The Wolverines also have 5 picks, 3 of them dropping into the hands of redshirt sophomore corner Blake Countess. Michigan's defensive backs seem to be playing too far off their receivers this year, causing too few breakups and some easy completions. Unless that philosophy changes, I expect a lot of short completions and then some shots down the field.
Advantage: UConn

Roster Notes
  • Zero Huskies players hail from the Great Lakes State.
  • Offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach T.J. Weist was a grad assistant at Michigan from 1990-93.
  • Quarterbacks coach Shane Day was a quality control assistant at Michigan in 2006.
  • Director of Football Alumni/Community Affairs Andy Blaylock got a graduate degree from Michigan in 1962.
  • On a personal note, I saw presentations by Connecticut head coach Paul Pasqualoni and running backs coach Kermit Buggs (at Penn State) at coaching clinics in recent years.
  • Michigan turns on the jets in the running game, going for 250 yards total.
  • Greg Mattison keeps the corners in soft coverage because he thinks his guys can beat the other guys, anyway.
  • Michigan comes out pissed off and embarrassed by last week's performance, taking out their frustrations on the Huskies and knocking Whitmer out of the game.
  • Michigan 38, UConn 14
Last Time They Played . . . 
  • Denard Robinson's first career start at quarterback netted 197 rushing yards, 186 passing yards, and a 30-10 victory.
  • True freshman Devin Gardner entered the game when Robinson got nicked up, running for -4 yards and attempting 0 passes.
  • Terrence Robinson had 1 catch for 43 yards, the longest play of the day.
  • Obi Ezeh led the team in tackles with 9, adding a fumble recovery

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Brophy Football: 3-4 Reduction Defense

This is current Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis talking about the 3-4 and its potential coverages.

Hit the jump for an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, polka-dot bikini.

Poll results: Thoughts on Devin Gardner wearing the #98 jersey?

A couple weeks ago, I posed a question about Michigan fans' thoughts on Devin Gardner being awarded the #98 jersey in honor of former Heisman winner Tom Harmon. Here were the results:

Perfect fit. Good job, Michigan: 54%

Good choice, but #98 should have stayed retired: 23%

Good choice, but quarterbacks shouldn't wear #98: 19%

Stupid, stupid, stupid: 2%

I'm in the camp that thinks #98 should have remained retired. Maybe sometime down the road, you need to start unretiring jersey numbers because they get too scarce. But there's nothing wrong with a couple retired numbers, especially when one was a) the best player in the country for at least one season and b) a war hero. Keep it in the vault. And besides, it's not like the #98 is in high demand from football players. That number is most often worn by a defensive tackle in the game of football, not exactly the highest profile position.

However, I do think Gardner was the best choice for the current team. If it had to be unretired, it might as well go to someone like Gardner, who's Michigan's most dynamic player these days. If Gardner turns it on down the stretch - and basically eliminates his silly turnovers - he could still get into the Heisman conversation, and the same could happen if he sticks around for 2014.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Coach Hoover: 1995-96 Florida Offense - Steve Spurrier

This post takes a look at Steve Spurrier's passing offense from his highly successful years at Florida in the 1990's.

Hit the jump for Brooklyn Decker's good looks.

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Jay Feely

Jay Feely
The pickings are pretty slim this week, but Jay Feely was 4/4 on field goals and 1/1 on extra points as the Arizona Cardinals beat the Detroit Lions by a score of 25-21.

Honorable mention: Ryan Mundy had 8 tackles and 1 fumble recovery, but his New York Giants lost to the Denver Broncos by a score of 41-23.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

SB Nation: How Mississippi State's pressure forced Oklahoma State's diamond

Steven Godfrey looks at how Mississippi State tried to keep Oklahoma State's innovative offense from being its routine, explosive self.

Hit the jump for a selfie.

Ex-Wolverine Updates

Former Michigan defensive coordinator Scott Shafer got his first win as a head coach at Syracuse
S/LB Isaiah Bell: Bell, who started at defensive end for Lake Erie College, had 5 tackles in a 56-49 loss to Ferris State.

CB Cullen Christian: Christian, a backup free safety, had 1 tackle in Pitt's 49-27 win over New Mexico.

Defensive coordinator Ron English: Now the head coach at Eastern Michigan, English is 1-2 after a 28-10 loss to Rutgers on Saturday.

S Carvin Johnson: Johnson, who started at strong safety for Hampton, had 9 tackles and 1 pass breakup in a 30-27 loss to Tennessee Tech.

LB Kaleb Ringer: Ringer, a backup linebacker for Ferris State, had 4 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in the win over Lake Erie.

Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson: Robinson, hired as the Texas defensive coordinator last week, suffered a 44-23 loss to Ole Miss. Ole Miss had 449 yards of total offense.

WR Jerald Robinson: Robinson had 3 catches for 71 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown reception, in a 25-14 Walsh University victory over Northwood.

S Marvin Robinson: Robinson started at safety for Ferris State and notched 15 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, and 1 pass breakup in the win over Lake Erie.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez: Arizona won a 38-13 game over the University of Texas-San Antonio. The Wildcats are now 3-0.

Defensive coordinator Scott Shafer: Shafer, now the head coach at Syracuse, had his first victory as a head coach with a 54-0 decision over Wagner. The Orangemen are now 1-2 after previous losses to Northwestern and Penn State.

S Ray Vinopal: Vinopal started at safety for Pitt and had 5 tackles in the victory.

CB Adrian Witty: Witty, a starting safety for Cincinnati, had 3 tackles in a 66-9 win over Northwestern State.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blitzology: Lighting Up the Offense with a Read Twist

This is one reason why it's tough to tell from game film what's supposed to happen on each play. On a Torch stunt, the tackles are reading the center's block and deciding which DT should pinch and which one should loop.

Hit the jump for an SI swimsuit model in a bikini.

Michigan vs. Akron Awards

Jehu Chesson
Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Chris Bryant. If Michigan wants to run zone stretch, then perhaps Bryant isn't the guy. But I do think he's more powerful than Graham Glasgow, giving the team a bigger advantage on the power runs. And pass protection could afford to be improved at either guard position; both Glasgow and Kyle Kalis get confused too easily.

Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . Jeremy Jackson. In the past two seasons, I have seen a couple interceptions thrown at least partly because Jackson is so slow and defensive backs can bait quarterbacks into thinking he's open. On Saturday, Jackson was crossing toward the right sideline in the endzone, and Gardner tried to hit him on the run; Jackson was easily undercut by an Akron defensive back. I don't mind seeing Jackson on running downs, but Michigan has numerous more athletic players for the passing game. Even if Michigan has to burn the redshirt of someone like Da'Mario Jones, I think Jackson's playing time should diminish.

Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . Willie Henry. Henry played more against Akron than any other team this year, and he acquitted himself pretty well. He's built low to the ground and very stout, and he's capable of creating penetration on running downs that I just don't see from the other 3-tech rotation players. From what I saw on Saturday, I might even suggest Henry as the starter over Jibreel Black. Black is a better pass rusher but often a liability against the run because he's so undersized.

Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Chris Wormley. Maybe it's the ACL or his age or lack of experience or whatever, but every time I see Wormley on the field, he's just not doing anything productive. He's not powerful enough to bull rush guys, and he's not quick enough to run around them. The 3-tech/5-tech rotation should consist of some combination of Keith Heitzmann, Black, Henry, and Matt Godin, with guys like Wormley and Ryan Glasgow playing only when absolutely necessary.

Play of the game . . . Devin Gardner to Jehu Chesson for a 33-yard touchdown. There weren't many plays that stood out a great deal - no sacks, the interceptions weren't spectacular, Jeremy Gallon didn't make a highlight-reel grab for once, etc. I strongly considered Gardner's 48-yard touchdown pass to Devin Funchess, which was perhaps more impressive but not quite as clutch. Michigan was scuffling throughout the game, and it showed no signs of going away. Chesson grabbed a short pass over the middle, shucked a guy, sprinted toward the sideline, and ran through a [piss poor] tackle attempt by an Akron defensive end before zipping into the endzone. That put Michigan up 21-10 in the third quarter. Obviously, the Wolverines continued to struggle, but the speed of Chesson showed me that he could do some big things before he leaves Ann Arbor.

MVP of the game . . . Fitzgerald Toussaint. Gardner put up 248 passing yards and 103 rushing yards, but he also turned over the ball four times. Toussaint looked like the running back of old on his way to 19 carries for 71 yards and 1 touchdown, along with 1 reception for 27 yards. His numbers would have been better if a couple runs wouldn't have been called back for holding (probably closer to 21 carries for 120 yards). One thing I have also noticed with Toussaint is an improvement in pass protection. He did noticeably whiff on a blitzing linebacker, but he's much more physical than he used to be.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Strong Football: Cover 2 Trap - A Fire Zone Blitz

Strong Football  looks at Cover 2 Trap, which is supposed to trick the offense into thinking you're running Cover 3 when you're really just keeping two guys back (a safety and a corner).

Hit the jump for a white bikini.

Michigan 28, Akron 24

Devin Gardner
A win is a win. A hundred years from now, nobody will remember this day. So there's that. Otherwise, this was ugly. Good teams struggle sometimes. Is Michigan a good team? I think they're pretty good. There's still hope that this season will end magically, but let's be honest - with a questionable interior line and wide receivers, an injury to the best defensive player, and no real stars on defense, perhaps Michigan fans should re-calibrate. That's not say that things like this are okay, but poop happens.

The list of people who need to step up is long. I feel like this post could turn into a long list of complaining, but I'm going to try to make it brief:

  • Devin Gardner. Gardner (16/30, 248 yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 1 fumble lost; 10 carries, 103 yards, 1 touchdown) was forcing throws all day long. Even some of his early completions were hotly contested. He ran the ball well, but he seems overconfident in the abilities of himself and his receivers, as if every one of his throws should be completed just because their helmets have wings.
  • Graham Glasgow, Jack Miller, Kyle Kalis, and Michael Schofield. Glasgow and Miller are getting physically overpowered by guys who aren't 5-star Notre Dame recruits, and Glasgow is making some poor blocking reads in the run game. Glasgow and Kalis look lost out there against twist stunts, and even the redshirt senior Schofield had some whiffs.
  • Joe Bolden. I used to be on the Joe Bolden bandwagon by suggesting he's a starter-quality inside linebacker, but I'm not sure if that's true. I don't think it's an indictment of his entire career, because it's still early in his true sophomore year. However, I think it's clear that James Ross III and Desmond Morgan are significantly ahead of Bolden, who struggles in pass coverage and is inconsistent stopping the run.
  • Raymon Taylor. Taylor gets picked on quite a bit, and I don't see him responding in terms of his coverage. He's a feisty player and a decent tackler, but teams throw on him short and deep.
  • Matt Wile. The punter should be Will Hagerup, of course, but Hagerup likes to get himself suspended. Instead, Wile is out there, and he's been inconsistent. Yesterday included 21- and 22-yard shanks. On four punts, he averaged just 33 yards/attempt.
  • Dennis Norfleet. Norfleet still overestimates his strength. Sometimes he cuts upfield into traffic when he could run laterally for another step or two and outrun the defender. Normally, I wouldn't promote running laterally. However, Norfleet is a space player, and he's put in space on special teams and by Al Borges's play calls; he has room to run, but he thinks he's still in high school where he could run through some tackles. Plus Norfleet still takes too many chances on punt returns.
Good for Akron. Amidst all this, I feel like I've neglected to mention Akron's hard play and their game plan. If I'm a MAC opponent, I'm going to beat pressure and the soft defense by throwing quick slants, hitches, etc. and hope I can keep the chains moving. They also capitalized on some deep throws, which you have to take once in a while. Defensively, I thought Akron did a good job of causing trouble for Michigan's interior line with stunts and disguising some coverages.

By the way, Akron maybe should have won. Thomas Gordon was beaten on the final play of the game. Akron receiver Zach D'Orazio tried to pull a version of the Drew Dileo touchdown against Notre Dame. Fortunately, Michigan put pressure on quarterback Kyle Pohl, who overthrew the ball by a foot or two. D'Orazio was begging for pass interference, but that seemed desperate. Hell, Gordon probably should  have grabbed D'Orazio to potentially save the game, but there was barely any contact. If Pohl had a fraction of a second longer to wait, we all would have been very sad.

On the plus side. I like that Al Borges and Devin Gardner decided to involve Jehu Chesson, who looks like he might have game-changing speed at some point. In the open field, that kid is going to be tough to catch. He burned some people on punt coverage, caught 1 pass and broke some tackles for a 33-yard touchdown, had an end-around for 2 yards, and returned 1 kickoff for 19 yards and showed a nice burst. I also liked what I saw from defensive tackle Willie Henry, who got some penetration and Jarrod Wilson, who seems to be moving in the right direction toward being a solid safety. Those are some up-and-comers. Fitzgerald Toussaint had 19 carries for 71 yards and 1 touchdown, but a couple nice runs were called back for holding; he also has improved his pass protection.

What it means for UConn. The Huskies are 0-2 after losing 33-18 to Towson and then 32-21 to Maryland. Despite the record, Michigan should have learned from the Akron game that they can't take anyone lightly. The game will be at 8:00 p.m. next Saturday. If Michigan comes out with another lackluster performance, then I'll be greatly concerned. If the Wolverines win by 25 points, then maybe this was just a blip on the radar.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Detroit News: Kyle Kalis relishes coaching from Steve Hutchinson

Former Michigan lineman Steve Hutchinson tutored Kyle Kalis, and there can't be a much better tutor than a guy who was the highest paid lineman in the NFL at one point.

Hit the jump for a purple bikini.

Friday, September 13, 2013

SB Nation: Alabama's Johnny Manziel problem

Chris Brown of Smart Football  looks at the chess match that played out between Alabama and Texas A&M last year, giving a preview of how things might go this year in the rematch.

Hit the jump for a bikini.

Poll results: Which 5-star prospect do you want most at Michigan?

This was a poll I took in May, which was prior to Peppers' commitment to Michigan.

Jabrill Peppers - CB - Paramus (NJ) Catholic: 68%
Peppers committed to Michigan in late May, so Michigan fans got their top pick.

Da'Shawn Hand - DE - Woodbridge (VA) Woodbridge: 31%
Hand took his official visit to Michigan for the Notre Dame game last weekend, and things seem to be continuing an upward trend. Most analysts think he'll choose Michigan at the announcement on his birthday, which is November 14.

Andrew Brown - DT - Chesapeake (VA) Oscar Smith: 0%
Brown had Michigan in his top ten at one point, but now he's one of two 5-star prospects committed to the University of Virginia.

Adoree' Jackson - CB - Junipero (CA) Gardena Serra: 0%
Jackson, a native of Illinois, spoke highly of Michigan early on. However, he wants to run track in college, and Michigan has basically fallen off of his radar as he has his sights set on triple-jumping his way to the Olympics.

John "Juju" Smith - S - Long Beach (CA) Cal Poly: 0%
Smith is sort of a wild card at this point, because he could play multiple positions - cornerback, safety, or wide receiver. Michigan would likely still take him, and he does like the Wolverines . . . but the chances are fading.

Preview: Michigan vs. Akron

Rush Offense vs. Akron Rush Defense
Michigan running backs managed just 71 yards on 24 carries against Notre Dame last week, which wasn't very impressive. But Notre Dame has a very good defensive line, so that was somewhat expected. The majority of Michigan's rushing yards came from quarterback Devin Gardner, who had 82 yards altogether. Starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint looks like his quickness and cutting ability have returned, and his vision was a little better from week one to week two. Primary backup Derrick Green had just 1 carry for 1 yard last week, although he led the team with 58 yards on the ground against Central Michigan in the opener. Up front the starters will likely remain the same for Michigan, although guards Graham Glasgow and Kyle Kalis struggled last week. Meanwhile, Akron allowed 187 yards on 40 non-quarterback carries against FCS team James Madison, which averages out to about 4.7 yards/carry. Defensive ends Nordly Capi and C.J. James are both 6'3", 250 lbs. and defensive tackles Nico Caponi and Cody Grice average 280 lbs. The linebackers are similarly undersized (compared to the Big Ten) at an average of 6'0", 221 lbs. If Michigan can't run the ball against the Zips, the Wolverines are in trouble down the road.
Advantage: Michigan

Pass Offense vs. Akron Pass Defense
Quarterback Gardner and wideout Jeremy Gallon put on a clinic against Notre Dame last week, the latter going for 8 catches, 184 yards, and 3 touchdowns. While there are no other outstanding receivers for Michigan, Gardner can spread the ball out to Toussaint, tight end Devin Funchess, slot receivers Drew Dileo and Dennis Norfleet, and wideouts Jeremy Jackson, Joe Reynolds, and Jehu Chesson. Offensive coordinator Al Borges likes to use play action and bootlegs to suck up linebackers, open up the middle of the field, and run slow-developing routes. In week one, Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles completed 18/24 passes for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns; JMU also went for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns, although they threw one pick. In the defensive backfield, the Zips start seniors at Rover and both cornerback positions, while the free safety is 5'9", 187 lb. junior Johnny Robinson; they combined for zero interceptions in 2012, and just one this year from rover Anthony Holmes. If Michigan isn't satisfied with just running on the Zips, Gardner should be able to find plenty of holes in the defense.
Advantage: Michigan

Rush Defense vs. Akron Rush Offense
The offensive line for Akron has decent size with senior left tackle Jarrod Pughsley (6'5", 313 lbs.), Florida State transfer left guard Henry Orelus (6'2", 297 lbs.), center Travis Switzer (6'2", 296 lbs.), right guard Dylan Brumbaugh (6'5", 310 lbs.), and Pitt transfer right tackle Zenel Demhasaj (6'6", 331 lbs.). Starting running back Jawon Chisholm (6'1", 206 lbs.) averaged 5.3 yards/carry last year when he went for 953 yards and 5 touchdowns; this year, however, he has just 22 carries for 97 yards, including a 55-yarder. If you do the math, that's 21 carries for 42 yards, aside from the lone long run. Backup running back D.J. Jones (5'8", 191 lbs.) is the little, quick bugger who comes in and has 7 carries for 62 yards on the year. Michigan has allowed just 162 yards rushing in two games, although that takes into account a few sacks of Central Michigan's quarterbacks in week one. The Fighting Irish had success running up the middle out of the pistol last week, but Akron's offensive line is smaller and less powerful. The Zips like to work from shotgun and the pistol almost exclusively, but I expect the defensive linemen to have big days in stopping the run. For some reason, I think this will be Keith Heitzman's breakout game.
Advantage: Michigan

Pass Defense vs. Akron Pass Offense
Sophomore Kyle Pohl (6'3", 213 lbs.) is Akron's starting quarterback and has actually put up okay numbers. So far on the year, Pohl is 30/43 passing (70%) for 241 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Freshman slot receiver Fransohn Bickley (5'6", 138 lbs., not a typo) leads the team with 6 receptions, totaling 61 yards. He's followed by an array of average receivers with 3-5 catches each. There are a couple tall guys (Andrew Pratt and Jerrod Dillard are 6'5"), but generally, it's an unimposing crew. Meanwhile, the offensive line allowed 4 sacks to JMU last week. The Wolverines have an improving pass rush with 5 sacks so far (led by SAM linebackers Cam Gordon and Brennen Beyer with 2 each), and cornerback Blake Countess made 2 interceptions last week against the Fighting Irish. Michigan has a habit of playing back a little bit to prevent the big play, and they are capable of allowing short completions; Central Michigan tried that tactic to stay on schedule, but their quarterbacks were a notch below Akron's. I expect Akron to try to hit some short passes and then try a couple deep throws, altogether resulting in a couple more picks for Michigan's secondary.
Advantage: Michigan

Roster Notes
  • Former Ohio State Buckeye (and Michigan offeree) Se'von Pittman is now a redshirt freshman on the Zips' roster.
  • Former Ohio State Buckeye signee Jamel Turner is a redshirt sophomore linebacker for the Zips.
  • Players from the state of Michigan include WR Jerrod Dillard (Adrian), RB Bryan Green (Farmington), and DT Keontae Hollis (Pontiac).
  • Former Florida State and NFL cornerback Terrell Buckley is Akron's cornerbacks coach. Buckley had a big game against Michigan in the Elvis Grbac years, taking back a pick 40 yards for a touchdown when #1 FSU beat #3 Michigan.
  • Akron's Assistant Director of Football Operations, Mark Ouimet, previously held a job in Michigan's operations department.
  • Akron's Head Coach of Strength and Conditioning for Football, Dan Webb, worked as an intern and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Michigan from 2008-10 under Mike Barwis.
  • Keith Heitzman has his first significant production with a few tackles and a sack.
  • Michigan grabs 3 interceptions, including one for Jarrod Wilson, one for Countess or Taylor, and another for Channing Stribling
  • Now that the pistol's out of the bag for Michigan, Toussaint and the other running backs have a field day with the zone stretch
  • Shane Morris throws his first touchdown pass
  • Michigan 45, Akron 6

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week

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

Thursday, September 12, 2013

MVictors: The Harmon File

MVictors looks at the history of the #98 jersey and Tom Harmon.

Hit the jump for a nicely figured lady.

Visitors: Michigan vs. Akron

Lavert Hill - CB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Hill is a 5'9", 160 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time. He's the younger brother of Michigan freshman safety Delano Hill. This will be his third game visit of the fall.

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

Conner O'Donnell - WR - Huntersville (NC) Southlake Christian: O'Donnell is a 6'0", 170 lb. prospect for 2016 with offers from Akron, Mississippi State, and UCLA; he was previously committed to the Bulldogs. As a freshman in 2012, he had 38 receptions for 919 yards and 5 touchdowns. He visited a couple times this summer.

Michael Onwenu - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Onwenu is a 6'2", 310 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time.

Joshua Ross - LB - Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's: Ross is a 6'2", 190 lb. prospect for 2017 with no offers at this time. He's the younger brother of Michigan sophomore linebacker James Ross. Like Hill, this will be Ross's third game visit this season.

Teryn Savage - WR - Raleigh (NC) Cary: Savage is a 6'0", 175 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time.

Demetric Vance - WR - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Vance is a 6'1", 160 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time.

Aapri Washington - WR - Huntersville (NC) Southlake Christian: Washington is a 5'8", 150 lb. prospect for 2017 with no offers at this time.

Robert Washington - RB - Huntersville (NC) Southlake Christian: Washington is a 5'10", 192 lb. prospect for 2016 with offers from Arizona State, Mississippi State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, UCLA, and a few others; he was previously committed to Mississippi State. As a freshman in 2012, he had 89 carries for 1,017 yards and 14 touchdowns. Including Michigan's camp in June, Washington has already visited Ann Arbor twice this summer.

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

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Ryan Mundy

Ryan Mundy
New York Giants free safety Ryan Mundy had 6 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 interception that he returned 91 yards for a near touchdown. Unfortunately, the Giants lost by a score of 36-31 to the Dallas Cowboys. Mundy had 86 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 3 interceptions, and 1 pass breakup at Michigan from from 2003-2006 before transferring to West Virginia for his senior year in 2007.

Honorable mention: Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley had 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, and 1 quarterback hurry in a 16-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans; teammate Zoltan Mesko, previously released by the New England Patriots, averaged 44.1 yards on 7 punts in the loss. Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall had 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 2 pass breakups in a 24-21 loss to the Chicago Bears. And in case you were wondering, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson had 2 carries for 1 yard in a 28-2 loss to Kansas City (which featured Junior Hemingway on a 3-yard touchdown reception).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Michigan Daily: The 10 hands that raised up Devin Gardner

No, this article isn't about Rich Rodriguez and his love for Josh Groban. It's about how Devin Gardner's teammates helped him out after the interception he threw in his own endzone.

Hit the jump for a selfie.

Video: Devin Gardner vs. Notre Dame

Ex-Wolverine Updates

Marvin Robinson
CB Greg Brown: Brown is listed as a 5'11", 202 lb. cornerback for Iowa Central, a junior college. I have been unable to find any game statistics.

S Vladimir Emilien: Emilien had 2 tackles for Toledo in a 38-23 loss to Missouri.

S Carvin Johnson: Johnson had 10 tackles for Hampton in a 31-7 loss to William & Mary.

LB Kaleb Ringer:
 Ringer, now a backup at Ferris State, had 3 tackles in a 56-10 loss to North Dakota State.

DC Greg Robinson: Robinson, who had been working as a consultant for the Texas Longhorns, replaced Longhorns defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after the embarrassing weekend loss to BYU in which Texas allowed 550 rushing yards.

WR Jerald Robinson: Robinson, now at D-II Walsh College University, had 7 receptions for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns against Edinboro in a 35-34 loss.

S Marvin Robinson: Robinson, playing linebacker in a 4-4 defense at Ferris State, had 10 tackles and 1 interception in his debut. FSU lost by a score of 56-10 to North Dakota State, however.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez: Arizona beat UNLV by a score of 58-13. Running back Ka'Deem Carey had 16 carries for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Wildcats are now 2-0.

DL coach Bruce Tall: Tall, Michigan's former defensive line coach under Rich Rodriguez, is now the defensive coordinator at Charlotte. The 49ers have given up 7 points in each of their two games and are now 2-0.

CB Adrian Witty: Witty had 3 tackles for Cincinnati, but the Bearcats lost to Illinois by a score of 45-17. Also in the game, former Michigan recruiting target Munchie Legaux suffered a terrible knee injury and will miss the remainder of the year.

Monday, September 9, 2013

CBS Sports: Michigan QB Devin Gardner has come a long way

Bruce Feldman interviews Devin Gardner after the win against Central Michigan.

Hit the jump for a video of an attractive girl singing songs.

Michigan vs. Notre Dame Awards

Jeremy Gallon
Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Jehu Chesson. Still without a catch on the year, Chesson has been carving his niche as a destructive blocker so far. After a couple highlight-worthy blocks against Central Michigan, he had a knockdown block against the Fighting Irish on Jeremy Gallon's 61-yard touchdown reception that sealed the score. He also shows some nice speed and looks like he really belongs on the field, despite still being a little skinny.

Let's see less of this guy on offense . . . the trainer. Amara Darboh's out for the year, and within a short span on Saturday night, three guys walked off the field: Taylor Lewan, Devin Funchess, and A.J. Williams. Michigan doesn't have the depth to weather many injuries. While all three of those guys returned in short order (Lewan didn't miss a play because the whistle was blown for Funchess's injury), it was nerve wracking.

Let's see more of this guy on defense . . . nobody. I thought Michigan did a good job of playing the best guys on Saturday night.

Let's see less of this guy on defense . . . Dymonte Thomas. Okay, we actually haven't seen much of Thomas at safety up to this point, but there's a reason I don't like freshman safeties. Thomas's 15-yard late-hit penalty was really frustrating, and it was just a sign of immaturity. Safety is the last position on defense where a team can afford immaturity, so I'm glad he's a backup nickel corner right now. He'll be good eventually.

Play of the game . . . Devin Gardner's 61-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Gallon. Gardner play-faked to the left before rolling out to find Gallon settling into the deep middle of the field. Gallon caught the ball, made a couple guys miss, spun out of a tackle, and was helped out by Chesson's knockdown block on his way to a touchdown.

MVP of the game . . . Jeremy Gallon. This was a tough choice between Gallon and Gardner, but I'm choosing the guy who didn't make a disgusting, potentially disastrous turnover. Gallon had 8 catches for 184 yards and 3 touchdowns on the night, including a few catches in traffic and some nifty running after the catch.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Grantland: The Quarterback Curve

Chris Brown of Smart Football  talks about how quickly some young quarterbacks are coming along in the NFL right now. Devin Gardner is the best quarterback Michigan will have put out since at least 2007, so might this apply to him in a year or two?

Hit the jump for a curvy girl named Maria Saldana.

Michigan 41, Notre Dame 30

Devin Gardner wears cliched quarterback #98 (image via Times Union)
Hail to the Victors. I thought the team showed a lot of toughness and grit in beating the Irish. For a while in the second half, Michigan really had to fight through some adversity - a horrible interception for a touchdown, a barrage of penalties, and a bunch of injuries (A.J. Williams, Devin Funchess, Taylor Lewan, and Jeremy Gallon all had injury scares). After the way the first half went, I knew Michigan was going to have some struggles in the second half, but it got really ugly there for a bit.

Ugliest interception ever? I don't think I've ever seen a Michigan quarterback throw a more ill advised, damaging interception than the one Gardner threw. Late in the game he retreated into his own endzone, got wrapped up by blitzing safety Austin Collinsworth, twisted around uncomfortably, and tried to heave the ball (to no one in particular?) as he was being flung to the ground. Mammoth defensive end Stephon Tuitt made a diving interception as the duck floated to the ground in the endzone, and suddenly Notre Dame was within four points.

Jeremy Gallon for the #1. The #21 jersey is nice and everything, but Gallon is everything you would want in a #1 receiver - speed, good hands, leaping ability, game-changing plays, blocking, toughness, etc. He won't be a first round pick, but 8 catches for 184 yards and 3 touchdowns against Notre Dame - on top of what he has already achieved - is worthy of that jersey. The problem with the #1, apparently, is that players have to prove their worth at least one season before their final year in Ann Arbor, and it's greatly dependent on the quarterback throwing him the ball. If Gardner had been the quarterback for the entirety of 2012, Gallon might be wearing the hallowed jersey of Anthony Carter, David Terrell, and Braylon Edwards instead of Desmond Howard's.

Here comes Blake Countess. Countess finished the game with 6 tackles and 2 interceptions. The second interception, which bounced off Raymon Taylor's knee and popped up into the air, was a right-place-right-time kind of play that sealed the game for Michigan. The first one involved Countess coming off his flat receiver to jump into the throwing lane of Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees; he followed that up with a 30-yard return that showed good speed, vision, and cutback ability. The last Michigan player to make 2 picks in one game was cornerback James Rogers against Purdue in 2010.

The offensive line struggled as expected. Notre Dame blitzed often, and they put pressure and hits on Gardner repeatedly; Michigan also struggled to run the ball. The running backs combined for just 24 carries and 71 yards, which is almost 3.0 yards/carry. I thought the guards were the weakest links. Both had problems with picking up linebackers in Notre Dame's 3-4 defense. Fighting Irish nose tackle Louis Nix was his dominant self (4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss) and got penetration consistently, and left tackle Taylor Lewan had his hands full with Tuitt, although Tuitt's only entry into the box score was that interception for a touchdown. I would say Notre Dame won the battle up front, but Gardner scrambled and ran the option well enough to get the edge frequently (13 carries, 82 yards, 1 touchdown). Michigan has to improve along the front five, but that's probably the best defensive front they'll face all season.

Gardner and the #98. Before the game, Gardner was announced as the recipient of the #98 Legends jersey, previously worn by Heisman winner Tom Harmon. It bugs me a little bit that Gardner's #12 jersey won't have a chance of joining Michigan's pantheon of Legends jersey numbers, but there's no better representative on the current team than Gardner. He was 21/33 for 294 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception, to go along with those rushing yards above. Aside from two balls thrown into the dirt and that terrible interception, Gardner was on point throughout.

Michigan needs to blitz. Rees mostly did a good job of seeing the blitz, audibling appropriately, and getting rid of the ball. Michigan notched just 1 sack (by Brennen Beyer) and got little pressure on him throughout the night. Through two games, I just don't think Michigan's defensive linemen can get to the quarterback consistently enough without sending at least one additional blitzer. Zone blitzes are probably the way to go, because while Michigan's corners can cover well enough, the safeties and linebackers leave a little to be desired in man coverage. The pass defense, which allowed 314 yards, was not stellar. And while Rees's 29/51 effort wasn't great, running back George Atkinson dropped about three balls, and wide receiver T.J. Jones missed another one or two, perhaps because he appeared to injure both shoulders in the span of about three plays.

The weapon that is Devin Gardner. Good ol' sandbaggin' Al Borges rolled out the pistol formation, which had been rumored to be Michigan's new wrinkle this year with Colin Kaepernick Devin Gardner taking over the quarterback position. Michigan ran the veer option and the zone read better than Denard Robinson could have done, and they tossed in a little inverted veer as well (one of Robinson's best plays). And obviously, Gardner has the capability of making any throw. His chemistry with Gallon is as excellent as was advertised in the off-season. Gardner is the new breed of quarterback.

Eminem's halftime interview. I like some of Eminem's music, but I'm halfway embarrassed that the two biggest modern "pop culture" representatives of the state of Michigan, Detroit, etc. are Eminem and Kid Rock. Marshall Mathers's interview with Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit was one of the more awkward television interviews you'll see, because . . . well . . . that's Eminem. He likes the attention.

What does this mean for the season? Michigan just beat a national championship game participant from last season, so that's cool. I thought Notre Dame sort of lucked into that game, but that's neither here nor there. Michigan has shown they can play with just about anyone on their schedule. They should be favored in every contest except perhaps Ohio State.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Smart Football: Vanderbilt's complete offensive line shift (including the center)

Regardless of the mediocre outcome, this is an interesting idea for teams trying to catch opponents off guard: move the entire offensive line.

Hit the jump for a pretty girl with nice abs.

Poll results: Who will lead Michigan in rushing for 2013?

It's not the most timely thing, but I set up a bunch of polls during the summer and never "released" the results. It's still early enough in the year to be relevant, though, so I'll be kicking out some posts about predictions for the year. Today's question: Who will lead Michigan in rushing?

Fitzgerald Toussaint: 52%
Fifth year senior Toussaint was the obvious choice, since he was a two-year starter coming into 2013. Unfortunately, a broken leg last fall put his status into question. He had 57 yards in the opener against Central Michigan.

Derrick Green: 40%
True freshman Green got more votes than I thought he would, but maybe it was warranted after a 58-yard debut against the Chippewas. After being listed near the bottom of the depth chart for week one (perhaps due to a sprained ankle he suffered at the beginning of August practices), he's the #2 guy going into Notre Dame.

DeVeon Smith: 1%
Smith, another true freshman, had just 12 yards against the Chips. In my opinion, he does not have the speed to be a dynamic back, but injuries have felled Toussaint frequently, so there's a chance; unfortunately, that chance probably would involve bad things happening to the guys ahead of him.

Drake Johnson: 1%
There's no chance for redshirt freshman Johnson, who tore his ACL early in the season opener. He'll finish the year with 2 carries for 9 yards.

Thomas Rawls: 1%
Rawls, a junior, had 4 carries for 12 yards in the opener. He looks quicker than he did last season, but he's still pretty low on the depth chart after a couple uninspiring years.

Devin Gardner: 0%
Sacks will probably prevent fifth year senior Gardner from having a real shot at leading the team in rushing. He has the speed to turn broken plays into big runs (or passes), but his 52 yards against Central Michigan were largely a function of CMU's inability to hem him in. More athletic teams probably won't struggle quite as much, although Gardner will get his share of yardage.

Dennis Norfleet/Other: 0%
Sophomore Norfleet had 38 yards on a reverse last week, but as a slot receiver, he won't get a ton of opportunities.

Justice Hayes: 0%
Redshirt sophomore Hayes has been near the bottom of the depth chart for his entire career, and that seems not to have changed. He was the last running back to get a carry against Central, and his lone rush netted him 7 yards.

Friday, September 6, 2013 Ask 5 - Is the zone read here to stay in the NFL?

Daniel Jeremiah talks to five NFL executives about whether or not the zone read will stick for good in the NFL.

Hit the jump for Danielle Lloyd wearing a towel.

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week

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

Preview: Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Rush Offense vs. Notre Dame Rush Defense

Michigan had a mediocre performance from its running backs last week, when they totaled 38 carries for 155 yards and 4 touchdowns against Central Michigan. The better numbers came from quarterback Devin Gardner (7 carries, 52 yards, 2 touchdowns) and slot receiver Dennis Norfleet, who took a reverse for 38 yards. Michigan ran the zone stretch well last week, but the running between the tackles left something to be desired, partly because of a mediocre interior offensive line. Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish have a highly touted front seven, but they allowed 4.6 yards/carry to Temple in their season opener and made just 2 tackles for loss. Junior defensive end Stephon Tuitt (6'6", 312 lbs.) and senior nose tackle Louis Nix III (6'3", 342 lbs.) are the headliners up front. There's no star linebacker this year now that Manti Te'o graduated, but the whole crew is made up of highly recruited high school stars. Michigan's interior linemen are going to struggle getting movement against Nix in the middle, but the Wolverines should have an advantage with All-American left tackle Taylor Lewan on the left side. Backup running back Drake Johnson (2 carries, 9 yards) is out for the year with a torn ACL, but starter Fitzgerald Toussaint and his backups should be able to hold their own in this game. The x-factor in this matchup is Gardner, who can turn passing plays into big runs.
Advantage: Michigan

Pass Offense vs. Notre Dame Pass Defense
Gardner (10/15, 162 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions last week) had an up-and-down performance last week. He took some unwarranted chances, but still ended up with a solid completion percentage and decent yardage despite a Chippewas team intent on stopping the deep pass. He'll have to make better decisions this week against a team that will blitz and put its defensive backs on an island more often. Top wideout Jeremy Gallon (4 catches, 47 yards, 1 touchdown) is due for some big catches and tight end Devin Funchess (2 catches, 47 yards) is a matchup problem, but the other receivers are either unproven or proven to be mediocre. The biggest concern here is the young interior linemen against Nix, Tuitt, defensive end Sheldon Day (6'2", 290 lbs.), and an array of blitzes from the 3-4 defense. Tuitt had the only sack in the game against Temple, but he had 11 last year and the pass rush should be better. Junior cornerback Bennett Jackson (6'0", 185 lbs.) led the defensive backs in picks last season with 4, and sophomore Keivarae Russell (5'11", 190 lbs.) had 2. The safeties are lightly regarded and not particularly fast or big. Gardner might be able to take advantage of those safeties, but he'll have to be careful about waiting too long for routes to develop because of the pass rush. I would expect Michigan to throw some screens to slow the pass rush, along with some sprint-outs to move the pocket. Michigan should be able to make a play here or there in the passing game, but it will be tough sledding through the air.
Advantage: Notre Dame

Rush Defense vs. Notre Dame Rush Offense
Michigan allowed just 66 yards on 29 attempts by Central Michigan last week, but that was largely without starting running back Zurlon Tipton, who had almost 1,500 yards rushing in 2012; Tipton broke his ankle early in the game. But Tipton actually had the worst day of the running backs, who had 14 carries for 68 yards without him. Meanwhile, Notre Dame's backs had a solid day against Temple's rush defense, totaling 34 carries for 193 yards and 1 touchdown. Starter George Atkinson (6'1", 220 lbs.) is very talented, and backup Amir Carlisle (5'10", 190 lbs.) led the team in rushing last week. Quarterback Tommy Rees (6'2", 215 lbs.) isn't a threat on the ground, but the Fighting Irish are more of a rushing attack than one might expect from a Brian Kelly-led team. The offensive line is large and pretty solid, averaging 6'5" and 315 lbs. for the tackles and guards; center Nick Martin (6'5", 295 lbs.) isn't small, either. Michigan's defensive linemen are not particularly large, even at nose tackle, where the rotation players are all a shade over 300 lbs. Michigan will have to win this battle with quickness and play recognition, the latter of which is a category where linebackers Desmond Morgan and James Ross excel.
Advantage: Notre Dame

Pass Defense vs. Notre Dame Pass Defense
Senior quarterback Rees takes over for Everett Golson, who was declared academically ineligible for the fall semester. Rees went 16/23 for 346 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions last week against Temple. That was a step forward for a guy who had 34 touchdowns to 24 interceptions coming into this year, including 35/52 for 430 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions against Michigan over the years. Little used backup Andrew Hendrix has been mediocre throughout his career. Senior T.J. Jones (5'11", 195 lbs.) has hurt Michigan in the past and caught 6 passes for 138 yards in the opener, and junior wideout DaVaris Daniels (6'1", 203 lbs.) is a speedster who had 3 catches for 69 yards and 2 scores. Tight end Troy Niklas (6'6", 270 lbs.) isn't the receiver that Tyler Eifert was, but he can be a bit of a matchup problem due to his size. Fifth year senior strong safety Thomas Gordon returns, and senior free safety/utility defensive back Courtney Avery will be available this weekend after arthroscopic knee surgery. Those players should help out a little bit, but Michigan needs redshirt sophomore Blake Countess and junior Raymon Taylor to be at the top of their game. Jones is dangerous across the middle and running after the catch, and if he shakes free from the nickel corner (probably Countess), that could be trouble. The Wolverines generated a pass rush last week, but it's going to be tougher sledding against the large and experienced Irish.

Roster Notes
  • Notre Dame's roster is full of players Michigan offered: OT Hunter Bivin, WR Chris Brown, CB Devin Butler, WR DaVaris Daniels, DT Sheldon Day, OT Steve Elmer, LB Dan Fox, WR William Fuller, OT Mark Harrell, DT Jarron Jones, OG Christian Lombard, CB Cole Luke, OT Zack Martin, DE Jacob Matuska, OT Mike McGlinchey, OG Colin McGovern, OG John Montelus, DT Louis Nix III, WR James Onwualu, DE Isaac Rochell, S Elijah Shumate, OLB Jaylon Smith, TE Durham Smythe, DE Tony Springmann, OG Chris Watt, TE Alex Welch, and CB Lo Wood
  • TE Mike Heuerman is the son of Paul Heuerman, a former Michigan basketball player; Mike played in high school with 2014 Michigan DT commit Brady Pallante
  • PK Kyle Brindza and OT Steve Elmer are the lone Irish players from the Great Lakes State
  • Michigan RB Justice Hayes was committed to Notre Dame at one time
Last Time . . . Notre Dame beat Michigan by a score of 13-6 in 2012.

  • Michigan continues to successfully run the zone stretch, especially off left tackle, and Toussaint has a big game
  • Play action gets Michigan's wide receivers open deep once or twice for big plays
  • Rees has enough time to pick apart Michigan's secondary until he makes a big mistake late
  • Michigan 31, Notre Dame 24

Thursday, September 5, 2013

MLive: Taco Charlton and Dymonte Thomas aren't freshmen anymore

Nick Baumgardner talks about the expectations for a couple freshmen who enrolled early: Taco Charlton and Dymonte Thomas.

Hit the jump for a selfie.

Recruiting Update: September 5, 2013

With the 2014 recruiting class getting close to completion and the season beginning, recruiting has slowed down significantly in the past couple weeks.

West Monroe (LA) West Monroe offensive tackle Cameron Robinson committed to Alabama. He was thought to be an LSU lean at one time, but he never showed much interest in the Wolverines.

The Recruit Tracker series has begun, which shows game results and tries to feature player stats from the commits' current seasons, although stats can sometimes be difficult to find.

Here's a visitor list for the upcoming game against Notre Dame.

Here's the visitor list from last weekend's game against Central Michigan.

And here's the Rivals 250 to Watch for 2015.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 Avant has grown into a leader looks at the trajectory of Jason Avant's career as a possession receiver for the Eagles.

Hit the jump for an interesting dress.

Visitors: Michigan vs. Notre Dame

Trevon Avery - CB - Grand Blanc (MI) Grand Blanc: Avery is a 5'9", 160 lb. prospect for 2015 with no offers at this time. He's the younger brother of Michigan defensive back Courtney Avery.

Ray Buford - WR - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Buford is a 6'0", 170 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Eastern Michigan, Ohio, and Toledo. He has visited Michigan a couple times before, and he's teammates with 2014 defensive end commit Lawrence Marshall.

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

Matthew Burrell, Jr. - OT - Woodbridge (VA) C.D. Hylton: Burrell is a 6'6", 290 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, among many others. He's friendly with Da'Shawn Hand and Tim Settle, two other prospects from Virginia. According to 247's Composite ranking, Burrell is a 4-star, the #16 offensive tackle, and #151 player overall for 2015. He attends the alma mater of former high-profile Michigan target E.J. Levenberry, a linebacker who flirted with the Wolverines but ended up signing with Florida State.

Andrew Butt - TE - Pickerington (OH) North: Butt is a 2015 prospect who's the younger brother of Michigan tight end Jake Butt.

Zac Butt - TE - Pickerington (OH) North: Zac is also a 2015 prospect who's the younger brother of Jake Butt.

George Campbell - WR - Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake: Campbell committed to Michigan in July.

Brian Cole - WR - Saginaw (MI) Heritage: Cole is a 6'2", 190 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #8 cornerback, and the #80 player overall.

Mason Cole - OG - Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake: Cole committed to Michigan in February.

Jashon Cornell - DE - St. Paul (MN) Cretin-Derham Hall: Cornell is a 6'4", 245 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and USC, along with many other. He's Michigan's only current offer at weakside end for 2015. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 5-star, the #1 weakside end, and the #17 player overall.

Andrew David - K - Massillon (OH) Washington: David committed to Michigan in June.

Messiah DeWeaver - QB - Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison: DeWeaver is a 6'2", 180 lb. prospect for 2016 with a lone offer from Louisville. He camped at Michigan back in June and attends the alma mater of current Michigan linebacker Mike McCray.

Rob Dowdy - OT - Westerville (OH) South: Dowdy is a 6'6", 280 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, and West Virginia, among others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #42 offensive tackle, and the #385 player overall.

Matthew Draper - LB - Cleveland (OH) Glenville: Draper is a 6'0", 194 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville, and a couple MAC schools. He's the teammate of 2014 Michigan offerees Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith.

David Edwards - QB - Downers Grove (IL) North: Edwards is a 6'6", 225 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Illinois, Indiana, and Vanderbilt. Though he plays quarterback, I think his only shot to play at Michigan would be to accept a position change to tight end. According to 247's Composte, he's a 4-star, the #21 pro-style quarterback, and the #340 player overall in his class.

Desmond Fitzpatrick - WR - Farmington (MI) Farmington: Fitzpatrick is a 6'0", 170 lb. prospect for 2016 with offers from Indiana, Ohio, and Toledo. He transferred this past offseason from Farmington Hills Harrison. He visited Michigan a couple times this past summer.

Noah Furbush - LB - Kenton (OH) Kenton: Furbush committed to Michigan in July.

Lawrence Gordon - DE - Saginaw (MI) Arthur Hill: Gordon is a 6'6", 230 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time.

Malik Guidry - WR - Lexington (KY) Catholic: Guidry is a 5'6", 162 lb. prospect with no offers.

Da'Shawn Hand - DE - Woodbridge (VA) Woodbridge: Hand is a 6'4", 254 lb. prospect with offers from just about everywhere. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 5-star, the #1 strongside end, and the #4 overall player. He visited Michigan back in March and came away impressed. The Wolverines are presumed to be his leader with Alabama and Florida also hot on the trail. He plans to announce his college decision on his birthday, November 14. This is his official visit. Here's a scouting report I did on him in February.

Damien Harris - RB - Berea (KY) Madison Southern: Harris committed to Michigan in late July.

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

LaVert Hill - CB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Hill is a 5'9", 150 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time.

Justin Hilliard - LB - Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier: Hilliard is a 6'2", 225 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and numerous others. He visited Michigan twice this past summer, but his brother is a running back commit to Iowa for 2014. 247's Composite ranking has him as a 4-star, the #5 outside linebacker, and the #73 player nationally.

Jake Johnson - QB - DeWitt (MI) DeWitt: Johnson is a 6'3", 190 lb. prospect for 2015 with no offers at this time.

Cole Jones - LB - Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier: Jones is a 5'10", 192 lb. prospect for 2015 with no offers at this time.

Tyree Kinnel - S - Huber Heights (OH) Wayne: Kinnel committed to Michigan in August.

Marshon Lattimore - CB - Cleveland (OH) Glenville: Lattimore is a 6'0", 175 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio State, and numerous others. According to 247 Sports' Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #5 cornerback, and #35 player overall.

Thiyo Lukusa - OT - Traverse City (MI) West: Lukusa is a 6'5", 300 lb. prospect for 2016 with a lone offer from Michigan State. He camped at Michigan and also attended the BBQ at the Big House for underclassmen at the end of July.

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

Ostell Martin - OT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Martin is a 6'5", 315 lb. prospect for 2016 with offers at this time.

Emani Mason - OG - Detroit (MI) East English Village: Mason is a 6'3", 250 lb. prospect for 2017 with no offers at this time.

Malik McDowell - DE - Southfield (MI) Southfield: McDowell is a 6'7", 290 lb. prospect with offers from just about every program. He transferred from Detroit (MI) Loyola in the offseason and is now teammates with Michigan defensive end commit Marshall, who will also be in attendance. According to 247's Composite ranking, McDowell is a 4-star, the #3 strongside end, and the #41 overall player. Michigan is presumed to be the leader here.

Bryan Mone - DT - Salt Lake City (UT) Highland: Mone committed to Michigan in February. This is his official visit.

David Moorman - OT - Pinckney (MI) Northville: Moorman is a 6'5", 275 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. He camped at Michigan back in June.

Brent Morris - WR - Warren (MI) De La Salle: Morris is a 6'3", 180 lb. prospect for 2015 with no offers at this time. He's the younger brother of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris.

T.D. Moton - DT - Shreveport (LA) Calvary Baptist: Moton is a 6'4", 310 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and USC, among others. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 60 tackles, 1 sack, 5 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #15 defensive tackle, and the #118 player overall. He may visit with his teammate, Shea Patterson (see below). UPDATE: Moton did not visit.

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

Michael Onwenu - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Onwenu is a 6'2", 310 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time.

Brady Pallante - DT - Naples (FL) Barron Collier: Pallante committed to Michigan back in April.

Shea Patterson - QB - Shreveport (LA) Calvary Baptist: Patterson is a 6'1", 180 lb. prospect for 2016 with a lone offer from Arizona, to whom he committed last December.

Cassius Peat - LB - Tempe (AZ) Corona Del Sol: Peat is a 6'4", 235 lb. outside linebacker prospect for 2015 with offers from Arizona State and Michigan State. He also visited Michigan earlier this summer, but came away without an offer. 247's Composite ranking lists him as a 4-star, the #23 athlete, and the #285 player overall. His older brother Andrus is an offensive lineman at Stanford, and his older brother Todd is a defensive lineman at Nebraska. UPDATE: Peat is no longer visiting.

Grant Perry - WR - Bloomfield (MI) Brother Rice: Perry is a 5'11", 170 lb. prospect for 2015 with no offers at this time. He camped at Michigan back in June.

Martell Pettaway - RB - St. Clair Shoes (MI) South Lake: Pettaway is a 5'9", 185 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. He's the teammate of 2015 prospect Kyonta Stallworth, one of the top players in the state.

David Reese - DE - Farmington (MI) Farmington: Reese is a 6'1", 235 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time.

Joshua Ross - LB - Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's: Ross is a 6'2", 190 lb. prospect for 2017 with no offers at this time. He's the younger brother of Michigan linebacker James Ross III.

Tommy Roush - OG - Traverse City (MI) West: Roush is a 6'3", 270 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time. He's teammates with Lukusa.

Tim Settle - DT - Manassas (VA) Stonewall Jackson: Settle is a 6'3", 305 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, USC, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, among many others. Michigan has not yet extended an offer but very well could over the weekend. He had 72 tackles, 3 sacks, and 5 pass breakups as a sophomore in 2012. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 5-star, the #1 defensive tackle, and the #1 player overall.

Aaron Sipple - LB - Berea (KY) Madison Southern: Sipple is a 5'10", 200 lb. prospect for 2015 with no offers at this time. He's the teammate of 2015 Michigan running back commit Damien Harris.

Nathan Skene - DE - Hartland (MI) Hartland: Skene is a 6'3", 195 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time. He's the son of former Michigan All-Big Ten lineman Doug Skene.

Erick Smith - S - Cleveland (OH) Glenville: Smith is a 6'1", 185 lb. prospect with offers from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, and several others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #12 safety, and the #187 player overall.

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

Erik Swenson - OT - Downers Grove (IL) South: Swenson is a 6'7", 285 lb. prospect for 2016 with offers from Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. He has proclaimed Michigan his leader.

Tyriq Thompson - S - Detroit (MI) King: Thompson is a 6'1", 205 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Illinois and Wisconsin. He moved from Missouri in the off-season and is the son of former Michigan defensive back Clarence Thompson.

Jared Wangler - LB - Warren (MI) De La Salle: Wangler committed to Michigan in August.

Mike Weber - RB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Weber is a 5'10", 190 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, among others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #25 running back, and the #271 player overall.

Terius Wheatley - CB - Buffalo (NY) Canisius: Wheatley is a 5'10", 160 lb. prospect for 2016 with no offers at this time. He's the son of former Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley.

Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. - TE - Buffalo (NY) Canisius: Wheatley is a 6'6", 240 lb. prospect for 2015 with offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Penn State, and Wisconsin, among several others. According to 247's Composite ranking, he's a 4-star, the #9 tight end, and the #248 player overall.

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