Friday, May 30, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

It's time to start off your weekend with some pretty ladies, plus a Kate Upton gif.

MLive: Ex-Michigan RB Toussaint signs free agent deal with Ravens

The title says it all.

Hit the jump for some pretty women.

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week: Jessica Ashley

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

2014 Season Countdown: #78 Russell Bellomy

Russell Bellomy
Name: Russell Bellomy
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 210 lbs.
High school: Arlington (TX) Martin
Position: Quarterback
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #8
Last year: I ranked Bellomy #70 and said he would be the third string quarterback. He missed the entire regular season recovering from an ACL tear and was Shane Morris's backup in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl but did not play.

Bellomy has had a tough couple years. Two years ago he played very poorly in limited time as Denard Robinson's backup before being supplanted by Devin Gardner. After that major blow to his confidence, he tore his ACL in the spring of 2013 and spent the whole year rehabbing and on the bench. He was again limited this spring, but more for precauationary reasons. Meanwhile, freshman Shane Morris took to the job quicker than Bellomy had, and Michigan recruited an Under Armour All-American in the 2014 class. The hill is only getting steeper.

For the upcoming 2014 season, Bellomy looks like option #3 at best. With Gardner entrenched as the starter and Morris playing fairly well in the bowl game, Bellomy might get some garbage time if any games turn into blowouts. With somewhat limited arm talent, the guy with the higher ceiling is freshman Wilton Speight, who might find himself lower on the depth chart only because the coaches can utilize a redshirt if he stays off the field. The last time Michigan used three different starting quarterbacks in one season was 30 years ago, when Jim Harbaugh (5), Chris Zurbrugg (5), and Russell Rein (2) each earned starts.

Prediction: Third-string quarterback

Thursday, May 29, 2014

SB Nation: The big 2014 Michigan football preview

Bill Connelly put together his huge, stats-heavy preview for the 2014 Michigan football team. It's well worth the read if you're into, you know, reading about Michigan football.

If not, hit the jump for some pictures of Jess Fitts.

2014 Season Countdown: #79 Logan Tuley-Tillman

Logan Tuley-Tillman (image via MGoBlog)
NOTE: Due to a clerical error on my part (I counted Michael Ferns twice on my list), we're skipping from #81 to #79 on the countdown.

Name: Logan Tuley-Tillman
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 290 lbs.
High school: Peoria (IL) Manual
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #72
Last year: I ranked Tuley-Tillman #90 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

Tuley-Tillman enrolled early in January of 2013 and was listed at 285 lbs. He did not look very good in the spring game, and he was never in the discussion for playing time during the 2013 season. He's a tackle through and through, so that makes sense when he was blocked by seniors Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield.

Now the tackle position has been thinned out considerably, and Tuley-Tillman should be in the conversation. Unfortunately for all parties involved, he does not seem to have worked his way in there. He broke his hand and spent most of the spring wearing a large cast, but he was still working with the second- and third-teamers during the spring game. A left tackle by trade, he was passed up for playing time by true freshman Mason Cole and fellow redshirt freshman David Dawson, who also plays some guard. Aside from the two presumed starters at tackle (Erik Magnuson and Ben Braden), there appear to be at least a few more guys who would be inserted into the lineup before Tuley-Tillman: Cole, Dawson, and perhaps starting center Graham Glasgow or backup guard Blake Bars. Tuley-Tillman will probably find himself mired on the bench for another year, and since nobody is scheduled to graduate after the 2014 season, he might be sitting yet again in 2015.

Prediction: Backup left tackle

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Wolverine: Brandon Graham has high expectations for Frank Clark

Former Michigan defensive end (and first round pick) Brandon Graham has some positive things to say about Frank Clark and some interesting things to say about coaching transitions.

Hit the jump for some good looking girls.

May 2014 Coach Visits

Wayne (NJ) De Paul running back Kareem Walker
I'm going to start a running list of the prospects Michigan has stopped by to see during the month of May. There may be some spillover from late April as I find out about coach visits. Like last month's post, the newest additions will be placed at the top of each year's list of prospects. Offered players are denoted by an asterisk.

Auden Tate - WR - Tampa (FL) Wharton*
Damien Harris - RB - Berea (KY) Madison Southern*
Ray-Ray McCloud III - RB - Tampa (FL) Sickles*
Devante Peete - WR - Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas*
Jordan Scarlett - RB - Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas
Deon Cain - WR - Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy
Henry Roberts - OT - Bellevue (WA) Bellevue*
Amari Henderson - CB - Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek
Hunter Dale - S - New Orleans (LA) John Curtis
Juval Mollette - WR - Randleman (NC) Randleman*
Johnny Frasier - RB - Princeton (NC) Princeton*
Darian Roseboro - DE - Lincolnton (NC) Lincolnton*
Tyriq Thompson - LB - Detroit (MI) King*
Iman Marshall - CB - Long Beach (CA) Poly*
Kendall Sheffield - CB - Missouri City (TX) Fort Bend Marshall*
Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. - TE - Manlius (NY) Canisius*
Chris Clark - TE - Avon (CT) Old Farms*
Michael Weber - RB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech*
Mikell Lands-Davis - RB - Douglasville (GA) Alexander*
Osa Masina - LB - Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton*
Jake Pickard - TE - Millburn (NJ) Millburn
Keisean Lucier-South - DE - Orange (CA) Lutheran*
Brandon Knight - OG - Noblesville (IN) Noblesville
Vic Thomas - DE - Orlando (FL) First Academy
Garrett Williams - TE - Orlando (FL) First Academy
Garrett Thomas - OT - Many (LA) Many*
Dexter Williams - RB - Orlando (FL) West Orange (Miami commit)*
Michael Ojemudia - LB - Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison
T.J. Simmons - RB - Lakeland (FL) Christian
DaMarkus Lodge - Cedar Hill (TX) Cedar Hill*
Kyle Marcincik - WR - Dublin (OH) Coffman
Sotonye Jamabo - RB - Plano (TX) West*

This post is getting long, so hit the jump for 2016 and 2017 prospects.

2014 Season Countdown: #81 Jaron Dukes

Jaron Dukes (image via MGoBlog)
NOTE: If you're in a giving mood, a coworker's family was displaced by a house fire and two members of the family have been hospitalized in critical condition with burns on up to 35% of their bodies, including a young girl. Any Paypal donations and 100% of ad revenue for today will be donated to an emergency fund set up for their aid. Thanks for donating or just visiting the site!

Name: Jaron Dukes
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Columbus (OH) Marion Franklin
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #83
Last year: I ranked Dukes #80 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

Dukes came in a little light last year and doesn't have great speed, so he needed at least a year to bulk up. He has added three pounds. He is in essentially the same spot as he was last year despite the graduation of Jeremy Gallon, Jeremy Jackson, and Drew Dileo. The Wolverines brought in three pretty good receivers in the 2014 class, one of whom (Freddy Canteen) has already made waves with his play in the spring. I would expect a couple of the freshmen to shoot past Dukes on the depth chart on athleticism alone, so I believe he will watch from the sideline this year unless a blowout occurs.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

MLive: Michigan cornerback coach Roy Manning to work with Chicago Bears

New cornerbacks coach Roy Manning (he used to be the outside linebackers coach) is headed to Chicago to work with the Bears and learn a little more about coaching his new position.

Hit the jump for Dani Lanio.

2014 Season Countdown: #82 Jared Wangler

Jared Wangler
Name: Jared Wangler
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 218 lbs.
High school: Warren (MI) De La Salle
Position: Linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A 
Last year: Wangler was a senior in high school.
Final TTB Rating: 59

Wangler committed to Michigan in August of 2013 after originally committing to the Penn State Nittany Lions. He was a relatively under-the-radar prospect until Penn State and LSU came along to offer him, and Michigan finally extended an offer to the Wolverine legacy (his father John is a former starting quarterback) after some other options at linebacker picked other schools. He sat on the offer for a couple days before flipping to the maize and blue. The youngest Wangler earned an invitation to the Under Armour All-American Game, though he missed the game itself due to a shoulder injury.

You can see above that I pegged Wangler as a 59 on my scale, which means I see him as a backup option. I think Michigan has recruited a lot of talent in recent classes, and Wangler is not quite up to par, in my opinion. However, you may note that in his commitment post, I wrote: "For him to fit at SAM, I think he would have to play in a 4-3 Over defense, where he could cover the tight end and play in the C gap." News came out this spring that Michigan plans to run more of an Over defense this fall, so perhaps that fits right in with where they picture Wangler helping. Regardless, I think Michigan is pretty well stocked with experienced linebackers for this fall (Cameron Gordon was the only loss to graduation), so Wangler can probably take at least a year to bulk up and mature as a player.

Prediction: Redshirt

Monday, May 26, 2014

Recruiting Update: May 26, 2014

Potomac (MD) Bullis quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Jr. is Michigan's first 2016 offer at the position (image via Gazette)
Lakewood (OH) St. Edward's cornerback Shaun Crawford decommitted from Michigan.

Raleigh (NC) Millbrook defensive end Kengera Daniel was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'5", 250 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Miami, and Tennessee, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #18 weakside end, and #402 overall. He claims a 4.89 forty and had 89 tackles, 13 sacks, and 1 interception as a junior in 2013. I think Daniel looks more like a strongside end with the potential even to grow into a 3-tech defensive tackle eventually.

Virginia Beach (VA) Ocean Lakes wide receiver Jaason Lewis decommitted from UCLA. The 6'3", 233 lb. prospect is a 247 Composite 4-star, the #15 athlete, and #178 overall. Lewis could play a number of positions, from wide receiver to running back to tight end to linebacker to defensive end. Rivals' Mike Farrell hinted that there might be a couple more commitments during Lewis's recruitment, and the most recent Crystal Ball prediction is to Arizona State. As of this time, Michigan is not under consideration.

Dallas (TX) Bishop Dunne wide receiver Anthony "A.D." Miller was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'4", 175 lb. prospect with offers from Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oregon, Oregon State, and Washington, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #128 wide receiver, and #1062 overall. As a junior in 2013, he had 34 catches for 482 yards and 10 touchdowns. Miller is a tall, lanky receiver without great speed but with good body control and hands. Michigan recruited cornerback Nick Watkins (Notre Dame) out of Bishop Dunne in the 2014 class.

Nixa (MO) Nixa running back Alec Murphy was offered by Michigan . . . perhaps. Rivals is the only site reporting the offer right now, and this is not the first time that an offer to Murphy has been reported by a recruiting site. If the Wolverines have not extended an offer, then they are almost surely dancing around the idea of doing so. Murphy is a 6'1", 228 lb. prospect with offers from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Mississippi State, and Purdue, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #65 running back, and #804 overall. As a junior in 2013, he had 209 carries for 1,793 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. Murphy is a big, powerful back who lacks great long speed.

Pulaski (TN) Giles cornerback Cameron Ordway was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'0", 174 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Tennessee, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #22 cornerback, and #234 overall. As a junior in 2013, he had 75 tackles and 9 interceptions. Ordway is a lanky, hard-hitting corner who could also play free safety at the next level.

This is another long update, so hit the jump for 2016 news and some random tidbits.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

MLive: Jordan Morgan shares congratulatory letter from President Obama

That Jordan Morgan is racking up a fair number of honors. He might not make it much further in his basketball career, but other parts of his life seem to be in order.

Hit the jump for Ukrainian model Tetyana Veryovkina.

2014 Season Countdown: #83 Chris Fox

Chris Fox
Name: Chris Fox
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 310 lbs.
High school: Parker (CO) Ponderosa
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #73
Last year: I ranked Fox #93 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

There isn't much to say about Fox at this point. He tore his ACL toward the end of his senior season and his conditioning went south, so redshirting as a freshman was a no-brainer. Partly because of that, he finds himself behind several of his classmates. Fox does not appear to be on the two-deep and will probably be watching from the sideline yet again this year. It may be a long road for him with so many young players having earned experience last season. Backup right guard Joey Burzynski is the only senior on the offensive line, so the guys who are in line to start have two or three years remaining. While Fox came in to college expecting to play tackle, he was playing guard in the spring.

Prediction: Backup offensive guard

Saturday, May 24, 2014

USA Today: Coach's Corner - Boise State's Bryan Harsin

The new Boise State head coach is Bryan Harsin, who takes over for Chris Petersen (now at Washington). The last couple head coaches at BSU have proven to be successful, so I'm interested to see how Harsin does. Paul Myerberg interviews him here.

Hit the jump for Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr.

2014 Season Countdown: #84 Bo Dever

Bo Dever (image via Jasper Sailfin Photography)
Name: Bo Dever
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Lake Forest (IL) Lake Forest
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #3
Last year: I did not rank Dever. He played in one game.

If you're unfamiliar with Dever's story, here's a good place to start: his hometown newspaper. His father David played offensive guard for Michigan from 1984-1987, and the current Wolverine is nicknamed in honor of David's coach, Bo Schembechler. Bo Dever came to Michigan as a preferred walk-on in the 2012 class. He redshirted as a freshman, played in the Central Michigan game last year, and watched the rest of the season from the sideline.

Dever caught a pass in the spring game and looked pretty smooth in doing so. He is probably not athletic enough to beat out the Devin Funchess, Drake Harris, and Freddy Canteen types, but he could be a possession guy who catches a ball here or there. He is also thickly built and could help as a blocker. The Wolverines are stacking some good talent at wide receiver, so it will be difficult to break through that wall.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver

Friday, May 23, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

Enjoy the beginning of your weekend with some pictures of good looking ladies.

2014 Season Countdown: #85 Terry Richardson

Terry Richardson
Name: Terry Richardson
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 172 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #13
Last year: I ranked Richardson #61 and said he would be a backup corner and special teams player. He did not play at all.

Richardson came into college with a lot of hype, even indicating that he was highly anticipating playing as a true freshman. Those expectations must have dipped quickly when he played a minuscule number of snaps as a true freshman in 2012 and then didn't play at all in 2013. I'll even admit that I thought Richardson was the best cover corner I had seen come out of Cass Tech since Michigan developed the pipeline in the late 2000's, a series of corners that included Teric Jones, Boubacar Cissoko, Dior Mathis, Delonte Hollowell, and others. Then he tried to play the past couple seasons at roughly 160 lbs. That's not exactly a recipe for success.

Now he stands at an imposing 172 lbs., but I have given up on Richardson as a heavy contributor until I see him start to make an impact. I have dropped him over 20 spots in the countdown, even behind a number of incoming freshman and some walk-ons. Michigan has some established cornerbacks, some true sophomores who earned quite a bit of playing time last year, and a heralded incoming freshman. I still believe Richardson has the smooth coverage abilities to be successful, but failing to put on weight suggests that he hasn't bought into the college strength and conditioning (and nutrition) program. Unfortunately for him, it might be too little, too late, as younger guys have passed him on the depth chart. The talent is there, but he has to make up quite a bit of ground.

Prediction: Backup cornerback

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MLive: Burke, Hardaway named to NBA All-Rookie Team

Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr. are off to a great start in their NBA careers.

Hit the jump for some good looking women.

2014 Season Countdown: #86 Michael Jocz

 Michael Jocz
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 231 lbs.
High school: Novi (MI) Novi
Position: Tight end
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #95
Last year: I did not rank Jocz. He played in one game but did not record any statistics.

Jocz is my pick for Random Tight End Who Might Play Because That's What Tight Ends Do. He played a bit in the Central Michigan game last season, but that was it. It turns out there aren't a whole lot of opportunities to play your fifth tight end when you're struggling to beat UConn. The Wolverines are even thinner at the position this year after losing Jake Butt to injury (at least for a little while), Jordan Paskorz to early departure, and Devin Funchess to the wide receiver position. Junior A.J. Williams returns and redshirt junior Keith Heitzman came over to the offensive side of the ball, but redshirt freshman Khalid Hill and true freshman Ian Bunting aren't up to the task of blocking FBS players at this point. Jocz may not be, either, but he could give those other guys a run for their money since he's been in the strength program longer.

Prediction: Backup tight end

Here are some high school highlights to give you an idea of his abilities:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MLive: Michigan checks in at #18 in ESPN's Football Power Index

According to at least one formula, Michigan is the #2 team in the Big Ten and the #18 team in the country.

Hit the jump for Bryana Holly trying on a few bikinis.

2014 Season Countdown: #87 Wilton Speight

Wilton Speight is the tall guy standing in back, which is where he should be for the entirety of 2014.
Name: Wilton Speight
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 230 lbs.
High school: Richmond (VA) Collegiate
Position: Quarterback
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #19
Last year: Speight was a senior in high school. He threw for 2,845 yards and 33 touchdowns, plus 292 rushing yards.
Final TTB Rating: 77

Speight should have been a part of the 2013 class, but he acquired an extra year of high school eligibility after a collarbone injury ruined his junior year. (Speight will turn 20 before bowl season begins.) He mostly flew under the radar until National Signing Day 2013 when the coaching staff extended an offer after watching him throw. It was a bit of a surprise because Michigan had been in contact with some higher profile players. Regardless, Speight started recruiting hard for the small 2014 class. After a solid season, Speight earned the start for Team Nitro in the Under Armour All-America Game. He did not perform particularly well, but quarterbacks rarely do in those games where timing with receivers and good offensive line protection are difficult to achieve. Following the game, he went to Ann Arbor and enrolled early.

This spring Speight got a fair number of reps due to the continuing recovery of rising redshirt junior Russell Bellomy, who tore his ACL last spring. He is a tall, thick player whose body is unlike any other quarterback on the roster, and he's a little less athletic than the others, too. Senior Devin Gardner will be the starter this year, and sophomore Shane Morris will be his backup. Then the question becomes whether Bellomy or Speight will be #3. If Gardner and Morris stay healthy, Bellomy should be the third signal caller in a blowout situation. There's no need to burn Speight's redshirt unless a spate (see what I did there?) of injuries occur.

Prediction: Redshirt

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MLive: Ex-Michigan players stress caution on paying players

If you've been wondering what former Michigan quarterback David Cone has been doing since he finished college, here's your answer: he's been answering questions from Nick Baumgardner.

Hit the jump for three good looking pairs of ladies.

Rivals 250 updated for 2015

New Michigan commit Darrin Kirkland, Jr. is the #167 player in the country
Rivals updated its top 250 prospects on Tuesday. Here's what it looked like back in February. Movement for Michigan commits since then:

- Shaun Crawford drops from #106 to #111
- Tyree Kinnel drops from #188 to #193

101. John Reid - CB - Pennsylvania
103. Michael Weber - RB - Michigan
106. Brian Cole - ATH - Michigan
111. Shaun Crawford - CB - Ohio (Michigan)
116. Miles Boykin - WR - Illinois
139. Juwan Johnson - WR - New Jersey (Penn State)
146. Chris Clark - TE - Connecticut
147. Matthew Burrell, Jr. - OG - Virginia
154. Devonaire Clarington - TE - Florida
164. Hale Hentges - TE - Missouri
167. Darrin Kirkland, Jr. - LB - Indiana (Michigan)
169. Keenan Walker - OT - Arizona (Arizona)
170. Deondre Francois - QB - Florida
191. Hjalte Froholdt - DT - Ohio (Arkansas)
193. Tyree Kinnel - S - Ohio (Michigan)
196. Auden Tate - WR - Florida
199. Grant Newsome - OT - New Jersey
206. Josh Barajas - LB - Indiana (Penn State)
213. Devante Peete - WR - Florida
216. Anthony Wheeler - LB - Texas
222. Ryan Bates - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
223. Joshua McMillon - LB - Tennessee
235. Juval Mollette - WR - North Carolina
239. Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. - TE - New York
241. Jordan Whitehead - CB - Pennsylvania
250. Prentice McKinney - S - Texas (Notre Dame)

2014 Season Countdown: #88 Brady Pallante

Brady Pallante
Name: Brady Pallante
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 255 lbs.
High school: Naples (FL) Barron Collier
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Pallante was a senior in high school.
Final TTB Rating: 70

Pallante is going to be an interesting and perhaps controversial story for Michigan fans. He originally committed to the Wolverines as a greyshirt player, meaning that he would attend Michigan on his own dime until 2015 before getting his scholarship. Of course, he didn't have many other options - the one other team that courted him was Michigan's first opponent in 2014, the Appalachian State Mountaineers. As the class wore on, Pallante was offered a full and immediate scholarship to Michigan.

Pallante is a short, wrestler style of a nose tackle. He's well over 255 lbs. now, but he will still have some weight to add this fall. I do not believe it will take Pallante long to learn the technique Michigan's coaches want him to learn because he's a state championship wrestler who understands hand position, leverage, and the like. However, he will need to bulk up and get as strong as possible so he can contend with Big Ten linemen. Michigan has several nose tackles who are north of 300 lbs. already, so Pallante should be able to redshirt this season while waiting his turn behind players like Ondre Pipkins, Maurice Hurst Jr., and Willie Henry.

Prediction: Redshirt

Monday, May 19, 2014

MLive: Richard Ash will play for Western Michigan

Western Michigan's football program has absorbed another Michigan grad year transfer in the form of defensive tackle Richard Ash. Last year they got linebacker Mike Jones. Several years ago they received undergrad transfer Dann O'Neill, an offensive tackle. Michigan has been good to the Broncos.

Hit the jump for Kelly Karloff and her cleavage.

Rivals 100 updated for 2015

Garrett Taylor is Rivals' #48 player in the country
Rivals updated its top 100 prospects for 2015 on Monday. Here's what it looked like back in February. Michigan has one commit on this list, that being Virginia cornerback Garrett Taylor at #48. Former Michigan commits Damien Harris and George Campbell check in at #4 and #42, respectively.

2. Josh Rosen - QB - California (UCLA)
4. Damien Harris - RB - Kentucky
5. Iman Marshall - CB - California
6. Tyron Johnson - WR - Louisiana
8. Kevin Toliver II - CB - Florida (LSU)
9. Minkah Fitzpatrick - CB - New Jersey (Alabama)
11. Josh Sweat - DE - Virginia
13. Rasheem Green - DT - California
18. Jacques Patrick - RB - Florida
19. Malik Jefferson - LB - Texas
20. Rashad Roundtree - S - Georgia
22. Mitch Hyatt - OT - Georgia (Clemson)

26. Ray-Ray McCloud II - RB - Florida
30. Christian Kirk - WR - Arizona
32. Terry Beckner, Jr. - DT - Illinois
33. Kendall Sheffield - CB - Texas
35. Keisean Lucier-South - DE - California
36. Jerome Baker - ATH - Ohio
39. DaMarkus Lodge - WR - Texas
40. Drew Richmond - OT - Tennessee
41. Isaiah Prince - OT - Maryland
42. George Campbell - WR - Florida
43. Ronald Jones II - RB - Texas (Oklahoma State)
45. Soso Jamabo - RB - Texas
47. Jalen Dalton - DE - North Carolina
48. Garrett Taylor - CB - Virginia (Michigan)
49. Justin Hilliard - LB - Ohio
50. Jarrett Stidham - QB - Texas (Texas Tech)
55. Blake Barnett - QB - California (Notre Dame)
58. Osa Masina - LB - Utah
60. Shy Tuttle - DT - North Carolina
62. Tim Settle - DT - Virginia
63. Preston Williams - WR - Georgia (Tennessee)
64. Jeffrey Holland - LB - Florida
69. Sterling Jenkins - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
76. Jashon Cornell - DE - Minnesota
77. Clelin Ferrell - DE - Virginia
79. Darian Roseboro - DE - North Carolina
84. Marcus Lewis - CB - Washington, DC (Florida)
87. Jake Fruhmorgen - OT - Florida (Clemson)
95. Pat Allen - OT - Maryland

Recruiting Update: May 19, 2014

Evans (GA) Eastlake safety Rashad Roundtree (the one catching the ball) (image via Columbia County News-Times)


Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central linebacker Darrin Kirkland, Jr. committed to Michigan (LINK).

Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice quarterback Alex Malzone committed to Michigan. Later last week, Rivals released an article that placed Malzone as the #6 quarterback they saw on the Rivals Camp Series.

Huh? Why does this say 2013? Well, it's because former Michigan target Ty Isaac, a running back who spent last year at USC, is transferring closer to his hometown in Illinois. I wrote a full piece on him on Friday (LINK).

Jacksonville (FL) Ed White cornerback Javaris Davis was offered by Michigan. You may also see him listed as "Javarius" but his Hudl profile says "Javaris," so I'm inclined to trust that, since it's posted by his own school. He's a 5'9", 175 lb. prospect with offers from Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, Pitt, South Florida, and Wisconsin, along with several others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #46 running back, and #588 overall. Davis could play running back at the next level, but he does not appear to fit what Michigan wants from that position; Davis is more of a small, speed guy, whereas Michigan has preferred bigger backs in recent years. The coaches weren't specific about position and said they wanted him as an "athlete." Because the offer went out around the same time that news broke about Shaun Crawford visiting other schools, I'm inclined to believe they see him as a potential replacement for Crawford at corner in the class.

Lithonia (GA) Hapeville defensive end Arden Key was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'5", 221 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Oregon, South Carolina, and USC, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #10 weakside end, and #125 overall. He has a top five consisting of southern schools and Oregon, and I think it would be very difficult for Michigan to sway him.

Evans (GA) Eastlake safety Rashad Roundtree was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'1", 195 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, and several others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #6 safety, and #63 overall for 2015. Roundtree (no relation to former Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree, as far as I know) claims a 4.65 forty and is a big hitter with good ball skills. Georgia is far and away the leader, so I expect to see him become a Bulldog sooner or later.

Coppell (TX) Coppell offensive lineman Connor Williams was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'5", 275 lb. prospect with offers from Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and UCLA, along with several others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #8 center, and #609 overall. Williams is a very interesting prospect because, based on his junior film, I think he could play any position on the line, including tight end. I don't know that I've been able to say that about any other prospects. He plays tight end in high school and has the quickness to play the position, albeit as a blocking sort. He also has the feet to play tackle, the quickness to play center, and the pad level to be effective at center or guard. Of course, that doesn't mean he will be great at any or all of those positions, but the versatility is impressive. Williams immediately placed Michigan his top five but has not made plans to visit. If his high school sounds familiar, he was the teammate of 2014 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Stanford), whom Michigan also recruited.

This is a long update, so hit the jump for 2016 and 2017 prospects, along with miscellaneous tidbits.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Darrin Kirkland Jr., Wolverine

Darrin Kirkland, Jr. (right) with fellow Indiana linebacker Asmar Bilal
Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central linebacker Darrin Kirkland, Jr. committed to Michigan on Sunday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin, among others.

Kirkland is a 6'2", 228 lb. prospect. As a junior in 2013, he made 108 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries, and 2 forced fumbles.

ESPN: 4-star, 81 grade, #7 ILB, #256 overall, #1 in Indiana
Rivals: 4-star, #6 ILB, #183 overall, #1 in Indiana
Scout: 4-star, #135 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #7 ILB, #3 in Indiana

Kirkland visited Michigan numerous times throughout the recruiting process, including several times before he was offered. He was clearly hoping for an offer from the Wolverines, but the coaches took their time in evaluating him. At one point Kirkland's father mentioned that if an offer didn't come soon, Darrin the younger would have to look elsewhere, which was an indication that Michigan was at least one of his top couple schools, if not #1. In the meantime, offers rolled in from Penn State, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Ole Miss. Then on April 4th, the offer from the Wolverines was extended. Shortly thereafter, Kirkland set a commitment day for May 30th, which was soon canceled after he picked up tenders from Oklahoma and Texas. He then said that he wanted to commit in August before his senior season began. On an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor this weekend, he unexpectedly committed, pulling head coach Brady Hoke out of church to do so.

Kirkland has the thickness of a prototypical middle linebacker. He's a very stout player who won't get pushed out of position and won't get run over. He shows some good tackling ability and could be a menacing force as a thumping middle linebacker. While he doesn't have great speed, he does show some solid short-area quickness and agility, which helps him avoid blockers and make some plays in confined spaces. He plays with good intensity and emotion, which is a plus for a defender.

I am not a fan of some of Kirkland's habits, which may have more to do with his coaching. First of all, his stance is not consistent; he is not balanced and tips his blitzes. Also, I would like to see him taking a read step toward the line of scrimmage at the snap, but he mostly sits and waits until he reads the play. This concerns me because it may indicate some problems with play recognition. Kirkland does a poor job of engaging blockers, taking them on with his shoulder instead of his hands; at times he almost looks surprised when he gets blocked. As for athleticism, he lacks great speed and his feet are somewhat heavy, so he looks like a run-stopping specialist.

Overall, I think Kirkland has some positive qualities but does not look like a superstar in the making. He looks like an old-fashioned middle linebacker who can be effective against run-oriented Big Ten teams like Michigan State and Wisconsin. But he looks like a two-down linebacker who might find his lack of athleticism exposed against passing-oriented or spread teams. Ohio State ran all over Michigan last year with Carlos Hyde, so I see a need for players like Kirkland. The question is: how versatile can he be? I see him as a 3-4 inside linebacker, but he probably fits at MIKE for the Wolverines. The nearest approximation I can come up with from recent years is J.B. Fitzgerald, who made 58 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 1 sack from 2008-2011.

The Wolverines lose two senior inside linebackers after the 2014 season in the forms of Desmond Morgan and Jake Ryan. When Kirkland arrives in 2015, he will be competing with senior Joe Bolden, junior Ben Gedeon, redshirt sophomore Mike McCray, and potentially sophomores Michael Ferns and Noah Furbush, although we have seen that positions are fluid with Michigan moving from the 4-3 Under to the 4-3 Over this off-season. A redshirt seems like a 50/50 proposition.

Kirkland is Michigan's seventh commitment in the class of 2015, a class that is currently scheduled to be roughly 13-strong. He's the first commitment from Warren Central since mid-1990's running back Ray Jackson. Before the commitment of Dan Samuelson in the 2013 class, it had been since 2008 (Kurt Wermers) that Michigan had gone without successfully recruited someone from the Hoosier State. With such a small class, this may spell the end of inside linebacker recruiting. The staff still wants a running back or two, a couple offensive linemen, at least one tight end, and at least one defensive end. However, the class's numbers will inevitably grow by next February.

Highlights can be found on Hudl (LINK).

TTB Rating: 69 (ratings explanation)

USA Today College Football Countdown: #108 Purdue

Paul Myerberg looks at the Purdue Boilermakers, who went 1-11 last season with their lone victory coming against FCS team Indiana State.

Hit the jump for an attractive Purdue fan.

2014 Season Countdown: #89 Reon Dawson

Reon Dawson (image via Scout)
Name: Reon Dawson
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 178 lbs.
High school: Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #20
Last year: I ranked Dawson #88 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

Dawson entered the 2013 season as a scrawny project at cornerback. Michigan had a solid group of cornerbacks, including a couple fellow freshmen who were rated higher as prospects. While starters Raymon Taylor and Blake Countess held their positions, freshmen Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling each saw significant playing time, and veterans Courtney Avery and Delonte Hollowell saw occasional cornerback duties, too. There was no real need for more contributors at the position.

The situation remains essentially the same going into 2014. Avery graduated, but the other five players mentioned above return. Meanwhile, vaunted freshman Jabrill Peppers hits campus this summer. Taylor and Hollowell will both graduate after 2014, and Countess could potentially leave after his redshirt junior year, so Dawson might have a chance at earning time in 2015. He could also move to safety at some point, but at 178 lbs., that possibility is remote for now.

Prediction: Backup cornerback who plays very little, if at all

Saturday, May 17, 2014

MLive: Former Michigan football players say Hoke is right man but needs to win now

Nick Baumgardner talks to some former players about Brady Hoke's job status. At best, Hoke can have two more mediocre seasons (with 8-ish wins) before he runs out of time at Michigan. Hopefully 2014 includes 9, 10, or more wins.

Hit the jump for a few attractive women, particularly the one in #3.

2014 Season Countdown: #90 Brian Cleary

Brian Cleary (#6)
Name: Brian Cleary
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 212 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) U of D Jesuit
Position: Quarterback
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #6
Last year: I ranked Cleary #57 and said he would be the third quarterback. He played in the blowout of Central Michigan but did not record any statistics.

When Russell Bellomy suffered a torn ACL in the spring of 2013, suddenly everyone wondered if unheralded walk-on Brian Cleary might be Michigan's quarterback at some point in the season. With a gangly running starter in Devin Gardner and a true freshman Shane Morris the only other legitimate options, the 110,000-plus fans in Michigan Stadium could have seen the ghosts of Steve Threet and Nick Sheridan taking the field. Luckily, Michigan did a little better than their collective 3-9 and made it to the bowl game on the shoulders of Gardner, though Morris ended up playing in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl due to Gardner's broken foot. The only glimpse we saw of Cleary was of him handing off the ball in a blowout of Central Michigan in the season opener.

Michigan has a little more depth in 2014 with Gardner, Morris, and Bellomy back, plus true freshman Wilton Speight. There's a good chance that Speight will redshirt, and Bellomy, Cleary, and Speight might share snaps with the scout team. I place Cleary below Speight simply because if a spate of injuries were to occur, Speight would probably burn his redshirt. In his third year in the offense, Cleary could probably enter a game and not embarrass himself, but his skills are limited. He'll likely be holding a clipboard on the sideline unless Michigan can destroy an opponent or two.

Prediction: Fourth string quarterback

Friday, May 16, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

Enjoy your weekend with some pictures of good looking women (and a Megan Fox gif).

Eleven Warriors: Knowing the Enemy - Hoke, the Wolverines, and Michigan fans

Michael Citro talked to MGoBlog's Ace Anbender about where Michigan stands right now headed into the summer.

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies.

Thoughts on the Ty Isaac situation

Former USC running back Ty Isaac could end up in a Michigan uniform.
In case you missed it, USC rising sophomore running back Ty Isaac has been granted his release to leave and return closer to home, reportedly due to an ill mother. The most important thing in this story is that he has a sick mother, and while the details are unknown to me at this point, I certainly hope she regains her health. As a member of the 2013 class, Isaac was afraid of moving away from his Illinois home for family reasons, so it's unfortunate that he has to go through this transfer/recruiting process again so soon.

As for the football aspect, Michigan made Isaac a top priority when he was coming out of Joliet (IL) Catholic and only started to press for Derrick Green after Isaac started to drift away from the Wolverines. Michigan ended up getting Green and De'Veon Smith in the 2013 class, both of whom played as freshmen and will be true sophomores this fall. Meanwhile, Isaac had 40 carries for 236 yards (5.9 yards/carry) and 2 touchdowns for the Trojans. He was behind a couple older players as well as fellow freshman Justin Davis, but while Isaac had the fewest carries, all of them performed well while sharing time.

My scouting report on Isaac (LINK) indicated that he has good size, speed, and vision but lacked the power you might expect from a back as big as he is (6'3", 225 lbs.). Green and Smith have failed to separate themselves from the competition of Justice Hayes and Drake Johnson, so in my opinion, the presence of Isaac would help Michigan's backfield. Early reports say that Illinois, Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Northwestern have all made contact and have a decent chance; Notre Dame, another front-runner in his high school recruitment, might also be in the mix, but they could be nixed by USC since they're on the Trojans' schedule.

Michigan has scholarships to give after the 2014 class was signed, and Isaac could very well earn a waiver to play in 2014, much like Tennessee-to-Michigan State receiver DeAnthony Arnett did last year. If Isaac were to decide on wearing a winged helmet, he could conceivably be a starter by this fall. I don't do TTB Ratings for players who don't commit to Michigan, but I would have ranked Isaac higher than both Green and Smith in the 2013 class. He's a more natural runner than Green and has more breakaway ability than Smith.

The Wolverines have historically struggled to pull in transfers (Alabama center Chad Lindsay being a cautionary tale for getting up hopes), partly because of their admissions department. But unlike getting a grad year transfer, Isaac is just a rising sophomore, so getting him into an undergrad program should not be a huge issue. I am skeptical that anything in Michigan's favor happens, but I do believe he would be a highly desirable addition to Michigan's program from a football standpoint.

2014 Season Countdown: #91 Juwann Bushell-Beatty

 Juwann Bushell-Beatty
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 310 lbs.
High school: Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Bushell-Beatty was a senior in high school. He was a 247 Composite 3-star, #27 OT, #329 overall, and #11 in New Jersey.
Final TTB Rating: 68

Bushell-Beatty was relatively unknown to Michigan fans until he was offered in February 2013. Coming from the same high school as nationally elite recruit Jabrill Peppers, he got a great deal of exposure at Paramus Catholic. He had several notable offers throughout the process, including teams like Florida, Florida State, and Miami, but he decided on Michigan in April. Peppers would remain uncommitted until the summer. Bushell-Beatty had a solid senior season that culminated in a New Jersey state championship, and he was invited to the Under Armour All-America Game, along with several of his future college teammates.

In the UA game, Bushell-Beatty started at left tackle but consistently struggled with the speed rush. He has some bad weight on him, so he needs to trim down and add muscle. Considering some raw technique and the body formation that needs to take place, he's almost certain to redshirt. Michigan is fairly thin at tackle, but others such as redshirt freshman Logan Tuley-Tillman and true freshman early enrollee Mason Cole are well ahead of Bushell-Beatty.

Prediction: Redshirt

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Total Pro Sports: New England Patriots' leaked Johnny Manziel scouting report

Somehow Total Pro Sports  got their hands on a Patriots scouting report that says lots of not nice things about Johnny Manziel. If nothing else, it's an interesting look at a pro scouting report.

Hit the jump for Eriana Blanco.

Visitor: May 16-18, 2014

Darrin Kirkland, Jr. (right) visited with fellow Indiana linebacker Asmar Bilal this spring
Darrin Kirkland, Jr. - LB - Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central: Kirkland is a 6'2", 228 lb. linebacker with offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, and Tennessee, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #5 inside linebacker, and #194 overall. He had 110 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior in 2013. Kirkland visited Michigan several times and finally picked up a Michigan offer this spring; he was set to announce later this month, but then offers from Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, etc. caused him to take a step back. He now plans to make a decision in August. Michigan was thought to be one of his top couple schools, but things got foggier when he postponed the decision.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tracking the underclassmen: Close to 40% go undrafted

This article mentions Nick Saban. so be prepared to feel pangs of anger. But it does reveal that close to 40% of the players who left school early did not get drafted, which leaves them in limbo of perhaps not even getting a tryout from NFL teams. Nobody from the current Big Ten is included, although Rutgers WR Brandon Coleman is on the list.

Hit the jump for Candice Swanepoel, especially picture #2.

The 2014 Season Countdown is on the horizon

I am about to begin my annual countdown to the beginning of the season, so let me take a moment to explain what will happen over the next few months. Nearly every day, I will count down the vast majority of the players on the roster from least important to most important. I'm going to leave myself a few days' leeway in case something comes up in the intervening months, but generally, there will be a post each day from mid-May until late August profiling a different player.

"Importance" is defined by me as "How much would the team be hurt by losing this particular player?" For example, Blake Countess is a very good player but Michigan also has other good cornerbacks in Jourdan Lewis, Raymon Taylor, and potentially Jabrill Pappers, not to mention veteran Delonte Hollowell and sophomore Channing Stribling. That means Michigan's season isn't riding on Countess. On the flip side, Devin Funchess is Michigan's only proven receiver, so losing him could mean bad things for a very green receiving corps overall.

If you want to glance back at how this played out last year, check out the 2013 Season Countdown.

Leave your thoughts, guesses, predictions, etc. in the comments!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Grantland: It's Not Them, It's You

Chris Brown of Smart Football  breaks down the top three quarterback prospects in the 2014 draft. He posted this just before the draft, but I didn't get a chance to link it until now. It's still an interesting read if you're an NFL fan, especially if your team drafted one of those guys.

Hit the jump for Ashley Sky, who is somewhat attractive.

Monday, May 12, 2014

MLive: Early mock drafts have Funchess as 1st round pick

Yes, it's way too early for this sort of thing, but a couple websites project tight end/wide receiver Devin Funchess as a first rounder if he leaves following his upcoming junior year.

Hit the jump for Russian model Svetlana Bilyalova. She's one of my top few favorites.

Alex Malzone, Wolverine

Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice quarterback Alex Malzone committed to Michigan on Monday.
Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice quarterback Alex Malzone committed to Michigan on Monday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Pitt, Wake Forest, and a number of MAC schools.

Malzone's 247 Sports profile indicates that he has grown to 6'3" and 200 lbs. after being listed previously at 6'2", 185 lbs. He claims a 5.13 forty. As a junior in 2013, he completed 190/281 passes (67.6%) for 2,785 yards and 25 touchdowns, along with 3 rushing touchdowns. His team went undefeated in 2013 on their way to a second consecutive state championship.

ESPN: 3-star pocket passer
Rivals: 3-star, #16 pro-style QB
Scout: 4-star, #15 QB, #236 overall
247 Sports: 3-star, #21 pro-style QB, #7 in-state

Malzone has been heavily interested in Michigan for a long time and has visited numerous times. I practically memorized his stats, physical attributes, and offer list from typing up visitor lists over the last year. Michigan's coaching staff kept holding off on offering him while they pursued more highly valued targets. Shunned by the likes of Jarrett Stidham and Josh Rosen, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier decided to do some spring evaluations and watch various players throw. After returning to Ann Arbor, Nussmeier met with the other coaches and they settled on Malzone, who was likely to commit whenever the coaches extended an offer. He was supposed to visit Ann Arbor early last week but had a scheduling conflict, so today's visit to campus, offer, and commitment likely would have occurred a week ago if not for that conflict.

I wrote a scouting report on Malzone back in January when trying to rank the quarterbacks on Michigan's radar (LINK). Excerpts on Malzone:
Malzone runs a somewhat multiple offense and has experience dropping back, from shotgun, or from the pistol formation. He has a slight build and is a little short at a listed 6'2". He runs his offense very well, is a good ball handler, and seems to be in command. He's a good athlete who can get on the edge a little bit and make some things happen with his feet, but he's not a blazer. Malzone gets the ball out on time and shows good accuracy and touch. His throws on skinny posts appear to be right on the money, but I question whether he has the arm strength to squeeze those in there against faster and longer defenders. He has a little bit of a hitch in his throwing motion where he brings the ball down to throw it, not totally unlike a right-handed version of Tim Tebow. Michigan's coaching staff has been somewhat erratic with the quarterbacks they've recruited (the 6'3" sorta dual-threat Russell Bellomy, the 6'3" Shane Morris with a rocket arm, the 6'6" Wilton Speight), but I look at Malzone and see him being too short and lacking the arm strength that Michigan likely wants.
As you can see, he was #6 on my list in January. After new names surfaced in the wake of Doug Nussmeier's hiring, he fell to #11 by March (LINK).

I have seen a lot of comparisons to A.J. McCarron, likely due to his relationship with Nussmeier. McCarron put up some good numbers at Alabama and became a 5th round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, so most people in Ann Arbor would probably be happy with that kind of production.

Physically, Malzone does not have an impressive array of skills. He is a decent runner in high school but won't be a running threat in college. He will be able to move in the pocket and do some bootlegs, but designed runs are likely out the window. Arm strength is also an issue. I mentioned the hitch in his delivery, which might get cleaned up a little bit once he starts concentrating on football full-time. (Malzone is also a standout baseball player but will give it up in college.) Furthermore, he has to work on using his lower body to power through his throws.

Overall, Malzone looks like a game manager. His best asset seems to be his understanding of timing, coverages, and game situations, and he looks like a cerebral player. That can go a long way but it requires a running game, an offensive line, and a good defense if you want to be a championship-level team.

Malzone will arrive in 2015 when the presumed starter will be junior Shane Morris backed up by redshirt senior Russell Bellomy (if he sticks around that long) and sophomore Wilton Speight. A redshirt for Malzone will probably be in order so he can compete for the starting job in the post-Morris era, likely as a redshirt sophomore in 2017.

This is Michigan's sixth commitment in the 2015 class and the first from within the state. The Wolverines are probably done at quarterback in this recruiting cycle unless something unforeseen occurs. Currently, the class is scheduled to be roughly 13 members (LINK), but that number will certainly grow by February.

Michigan has not targeted many Brother Rice players in recent years, but several notable Wolverines have come from there, including long snapper Jareth Glanda, former punter Ross Ryan, and early 1990's linebacker Steve Morrison. Morris has coached at Western Michigan and Syracuse in recent years, although he left Syracuse prior to the 2013 season. The Brother Rice Warriors also have a couple other FBS prospects in the form of wide receiver Grant Perry and defensive tackle Marc Miller.

TTB Rating: 73 (ratings explanation)

Recruiting Update: May 12, 2014

Newport (WA) Newport offensive guard
Calvin Throckmorton
Newport (WA) Newport offensive guard Calvin Throckmorton was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'5", 268 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona, Miami, Oregon, Washington, and Washington State, among others. He's a 3-star, the #58 offensive tackle, and #521 overall. I can only find his sophomore highlights, but he while he's listed as a tackle by some recruiting websites, I believe his feet are a little too heavy and he will probably end up playing guard at the next level. Throckmorton mentioned that he would like to visit Michigan this summer and hopes to decide before his senior season.

Pittsburgh (PA) Baldwin offensive tackle Sterling Jenkins committed to Penn State. At one time Jenkins was considered a Michigan lean, but the hiring of James Franklin as head coach gave the Nittany Lions a lot of momentum. On the same day Jenkins announced, Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep quarterback Brandon Wimbush announced for Penn State, too. Wimbush had been under consideration for a Michigan offer, although the Wolverines have dragged their feet on offering new quarterbacks for the 2015 class. They have not been shy about offering committed prospects (such as Blake Barnett and David Sills), but at some point, you probably have to jump into a recruitment that isn't already "finalized."

Many Michigan fans are fretting about recruiting at this point, in part because Penn State is off to such a hot start. It's important to remember that Michigan was in Penn State's boat last year. The Wolverines had the top recruiting class or one of the top few recruiting classes on several sites last year, but other schools flew past as Michigan slowed down. Part of that may have been due to the Wolverines' mediocre season, but it was also a product of Michigan having just 16 scholarships to give in the 2014 class. The just completed 2014 NFL Draft gives the coaches some ammunition because they can point to the #11 and #95 overall picks both coming from Michigan, not to mention record-setting wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, who went #244 overall in large part due to his size.

Here's a working list of players Michigan's coaches have been visiting this month.

Last week on Recruiting Season, I profiled Dakota's Daniel Crawford, St. Johns' Austin Ervin, Harrison's Michael Ojemudia, West Bloomfield's Eddie Wilson, and East English Village's Anton Curtis.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

MLive: Gallon excited to team with Tom Brady in New England

This could be a really great Michigan-to-Michigan connection if Jeremy Gallon can stick with the Patriots and fill a role for them as a slot receiver catching passes from Tom Brady.

Hit the jump for Libby Powell wearing a bikini and other items.

Noteworthy 2014 NFL Draft picks

Demetrius Hart (left) and Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix as high school teammates. Clinton-Dix was the #21 overall pick
while Demetrius Hart has struggled with injuries and off-the-field issues (image via Orlando Sun-Sentinel)
I have done my best to list as many relevant players for Michigan fans as possible using's Draft Tracker. Some of these players were offered by Michigan, so you may remember watching their high school highlights or hoping they would sign with Michigan three to five years ago. Some of them also attended Big Ten schools, so you may remember watching them frequently during the last three to five years.

All of them have accomplished a great feat, and special congratulations go to the guys highlighted in blue. Go Blue!

1st round:
1. Jadeveon Clowney - DE - South Carolina (Houston Texans)*
2. Greg Robinson - OT - Auburn (St. Louis Rams)*
4. Sammy Watkins - WR - Clemson (Buffalo Bills)*
9. Anthony Barr - OLB - UCLA (Minnesota Vikings)*
11. Taylor Lewan - OT - Michigan (Tennessee Titans)*
15. Ryan Shazier - LB - Ohio State (Pittsburgh Steelers)*
16. Zack Martin - OT - Notre Dame (Dallas Cowboys)*
21. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - S - Alabama (Green Bay Packers)*
24. Darqueze Dennard - CB - Michigan State (Cincinnati Bengals)
29. Dominique Easley - DE - Florida (New England Patriots)*
31. Bradley Roby - CB - Ohio State (Denver Broncos)

2nd round:
37. Ra'Shede Hageman - DT - Minnesota (Atlanta Falcons)
39. Marqise Lee - WR - USC (Jacksonville Jaguars)*
41. Lamarcus Joyner - CB - Florida State (St. Louis Rams)*
44. Cyrus Kouandjio - OT - Alabama (Buffalo Bills)*
48. Timmy Jernigan - DT - Florida State (Baltimore Ravens)*
56. Cody Latimer - WR - Indiana (Denver Broncos)
57. Carlos Hyde - RB - Ohio State (San Francisco 49ers)
58. Stanley Jean-Baptiste - CB - Nebraska (New Orleans Saints)
59. Jack Mewhort - OT - Ohio State (Indianapolis Colts)
61. Allen Robinson - WR - Penn State (Jacksonville Jaguars)
63. Jarvis Landry - WR - LSU (Miami Dolphins)

3rd round:
65. C.J. Fiedorowicz - TE - Iowa (Houston Texans)
68. Dezmen Southward - S - Wisconsin (Atlanta Falcons)
71. Christian Kirksey - LB - Iowa (Cleveland Browns)
75. Tre Mason - RB - Auburn (St. Louis Rams)*
77. Chris Borland - LB - Wisconsin (San Francisco 49ers)
78. Spencer Long - OG - Nebraska (Washington Redskins)
83. Louis Nix III - DT - Notre Dame (Houston Texans)*
89. Chris Watt - OG - Notre Dame (San Diego Chargers)*
92. Trai Turner - OG - LSU (Carolina Panthers)*
95. Michael Schofield - OT - Michigan (Denver Broncos)*

4th round:
101. Jaylen Watkins - CB - Florida (Philadelphia Eagles)*
102. Bashaud Breeland - CB - Clemson (Washington Redskins)*
112. DaQuan Jones - DT - Penn State (Tennessee Titans)
115. Shaq Evans - WR - UCLA (New York Jets)*
117. Ka'Deem Carey - RB - Arizona (Chicago Bears)#
119. Anthony Hitchens - OLB - Iowa (Dallas Cowboys)
126. Khairi Fortt - ILB - California (New Orleans Saints)*
130. James White - RB - Wisconsin (New England Patriots)*
131. Brock Vereen - S - Minnesota (Chicago Bears)

5th round:
144. Telvin Smith - ILB - Florida State (Jacksonville Jaguars)*
147. Ricardo Allen - CB - Purdue (Atlanta Falcons)*
149. Kevin Pamphile - OT - Purdue (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
150. Aaron Lynch - DE - South Florida (San Francisco 49ers)*
161. Corey Linsley - C - Ohio State (Green Bay Packers)
175. John Urschel - OG - Penn State (Baltimore Ravens)
176. Jared Abbrederis - WR - Wisconsin (Green Bay Packers)

6th round:
186. Lache Seastrunk - RB - Baylor (Washington Redskins)*
209. Quincy Enunwa - WR - Nebraska (New York Jets)
212. Marquis Flowers - OLB - Arizona (Cincinnati Bengals)*#

7th round:
217. Ted Bolser - TE - Indiana (Washington Redskins)
224. Beau Allen - DT - Wisconsin (Philadelphia Eagles)
237. Seantrel Henderson - OT - Miami (Buffalo Bills)*
241. Christian Bryant - FS - Ohio State (St. Louis Rams)
242. Corey Nelson - OLB - Oklahoma (Denver Broncos)*
244. Jeremy Gallon - WR - Michigan (New England Patriots)*

*Offered by Michigan out of high school
#Played for Rich Rodriguez at Arizona

2014 NFL Draft results and undrafted free agent news

1st round: Offensive tackle Taylor Lewan to Tennessee Titans (#11 overall)

3rd round: Offensive tackle Michael Schofield to Denver Broncos (#95 overall)

7th round: Wide receiver Jeremy Gallon to New England Patriots (#244 overall)

Undrafted free agents:
Jibreel Black - DT - Pittsburgh Steelers
Cameron Gordon - LB - New England Patriots
Thomas Gordon - S - New York Giants
Marvin Robinson - S - Dallas Cowboys*
Fitzgerald Toussaint - RB - Baltimore Ravens

*Robinson spent the 2013 season at Ferris State after transferring away from Michigan

Site news: Movin' on up?

If you're a regular visitor, you may have noticed a lack of in-depth posts in the past few days. Despite football season being months away, I found myself somewhat abruptly inundated with things to consume my time. Some of them are personal (time-consuming but nothing serious), while others are good news related to the blog.

I am glad to report that I was recently contacted to write an article for a national football season preview magazine. I will give more specifics when the time arises, but in the meantime, I am proud to have been asked. That has taken up some time that I normally can devote to the blog, but that will presumably be a short-term time constraint.

A new website is also under construction, but that too has been put on the back burner while I take care of these other projects.

I thoroughly appreciate the contributors, readers, and commenters on TTB, and thanks for your patience through the occasional lull.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

MLive: Gallon drafted in seventh round

Jeremy Gallon was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL draft on Saturday by the New England Patriots.

Hit the jump for Jessica Green, who has some splendid eyes.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

Enjoy your weekend with some attractive ladies.

MLive: NFL draft capsule - Schofield hopes to hear his name on day two

Michael Schofield, like almost anyone who hasn't been picked yet, is hoping to hear his name called tonight. The draft broadcast starts at 7:00 p.m.

Hit the jump for a three-minute Kate Upton video.

Attractive Michigan Girl of the Week: Elle Johnson

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

Thursday, May 8, 2014

MLive: Kiper, Mayock unsure of Lewan's fit with Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans picked Taylor Lewan #11 in the NFL Draft, but Mel Kiper, Jr. seemed surprised that the Titans in particular would want someone like Lewan.

Hit the jump for Elly Tran.

2014 NFL Draft live updates

13. St. Louis Rams
Aaron Donald - DT - Pittsburgh
Rivals 3-star, #32 DT in 2010
ESPN 4-star, #22 DT
Pittsburgh (PA) Penn Hills High School

12. New York Giants
Odell Beckham, Jr. - WR - LSU
Rivals 4-star, #6 WR, #43 overall in 2011
ESPN 3-star, #62 ATH
New Orleans (LA) Isidore High School

11. Tennessee Titans
Taylor Lewan - OT - Michigan
Rivals 4-star, #16 OT, #194 overall in 2009
ESPN 4-star, #12 OT, #148 overall
Scottsdale (AZ) Chaparral High School

10. Detroit Lions
Eric Ebron - TE - North Carolina
Rivals 3-star, #21 TE in 2011
ESPN 4-star, #8 TE
Greensboro (NC) Smith High School

9. Minnesota Vikings (trade from Cleveland Browns)
Anthony Barr - OLB - UCLA
Rivals 4-star, #5 ATH, #50 overall in 2010
ESPN 4-star, #11 ATH, #102 overall
Los Angeles (CA) Loyola High School

8. Cleveland Browns (trade from Minnesota Vikings)
Justin Gilbert - CB - Oklahoma State
Rivals 4-star, #26 ATH in 2010
ESPN 3-star, #39 ATH
Huntsville (TX) Huntsville High School

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans - WR - Texas A&M
Rivals 3-star ATH in 2011
ESPN 3-star, #52 WR
Galveston (TX) Ball High School

6. Atlanta Falcons
Jake Matthews - OT - Texas A&M
Rivals 4-star, #7 OT, #48 overall in 2010
Scout 5-star, # 1 OG
ESPN 4-star, 81 grade, #7 OT, #90 overall
Missouri City (TX) Fort Bend Elkins High School

5. Oakland Raiders
Khalil Mack - OLB - Buffalo
Rivals 2-star ILB
Scout 2-star SLB
ESPN unranked LB
Fort Pierce (FL) Westwood High School

4. Buffalo Bills (trade with Cleveland Browns)
Sammy Watkins - WR - Clemson
Rivals 5-star, #3 WR, #15 overall
Scout 5-star, #5 WR
ESPN 4-star, 82 grade, #4 WR, #39 overall
Fort Myers (FL) South Fort Myers High School highlights.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Blake Bortles - QB - Central Florida
Rivals 3-star, #44 pro-style QB
Scout 2-star QB
ESPN 3-star, 76 grade, #68 QB
Oviedo (FL) Oviedo High School

2. St. Louis Rams
*Greg Robinson - OT - Auburn:
Rivals 4-star, #2 OG, #90 overall
Scout 4-star, #7 OG
ESPN 4-star, 80 grade, #10 OG
Thibodaux (LA) Thibodaux High School

1. Houston Texans
*Jadeveon Clowney - DE - South Carolina:

Rivals 5-star, #1 SDE, #1 overall in 2011
Scout 5-star, #1 DE
ESPN 5-star, #1 DE, #1 overall
Rock Hill (SC) South Pointe High School highlights.

*Offered by Michigan

2014 Mock NFL Draft

Taylor Lewan
I won't claim to be an NFL expert, but as a big college and pro football fan, I like to take my shot at an NFL mock draft and see how I stack up against Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, and the like. So here's my 2014 mock NFL Draft. If any trades are announced before the beginning of the draft, I reserve the right to make some changes. Otherwise, I'm guessing roughly 29 of these picks will be 100% accurate.

1. Houston Texans:
Jadeveon Clowney - DE - South Carolina
It seems like all the top prospects come with some baggage, and Clowney is no exception with his occasional loafing and numerous traffic violations. However, he has the freak athleticism to warrant being the top pick.

2. St. Louis Rams:
Greg Robinson - OT - Auburn
Jake Long has been injury prone and former tackle Rodger Saffold has moved inside, so Robinson could slide in to start immediately.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: 
Sammy Watkins - WR - Clemson
The Jaguars need a dynamic receiver, and Watkins could be that guy.

4. Cleveland Browns
Johnny Manziel - QB - Texas A&M
I'm not a fan of Manziel and this pick wouldn't make sense to me, but it's the Browns, so I expect them to make a poor choice at quarterback.

5. Oakland Raiders
Khalil Mack - OLB - Buffalo
Mack is top five talent who might come off the board earlier than this, but nobody really seems to project him to go much lower. Pass rushers are premium players and don't seem to drop on draft day.

6. Atlanta Falcons
Jake Matthews - OT - Texas A&M
I want to believe that Taylor Lewan is the better pro prospect, but that might be the homer in me. I will resist the temptation to believe he'll be the second tackle taken.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans - WR - Texas A&M
This is the third Aggie to go in the first seven picks (if these selections hold up). I never thought I would see that. Evans would make it very difficult to cover Tampa Bay's outside receivers.

8. Minnesota Vikings
Blake Bortles - QB - Central Florida
I'm tempted to go with Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley here, but the Vikings reached on a quarterback a few years ago when they took Christian Ponder. With Manziel already off the board, they might feel the pressure to get a QB now instead of waiting until the second round.

9. Buffalo Bills
Taylor Lewan - OT - Michigan
I had a tough time not picking North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron here, but young quarterback E.J. Manuel needs an offensive line more than a tight end.

10. Detroit Lions
Darqueze Dennard - CB - Michigan State
As much as I hate to root for a former Spartan, Dennard seems to fit what defensive coordinator Teryl Austin will want to do.

Hit the jump for picks 11-32. 50 draft facts you need to know

The NFL draft begins tonight. Here are 50 facts that Chris Burke says you need to know.

Hit the jump for Vera Eremeychuk, who has a pleasant look about her.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Eleven Warriors: Can Doug Nussmeier fix Michigan's offense?

Ross Fulton at Eleven Warriors takes a look at Michigan's offense and tries do determine whether Michigan's offense is fixable for the upcoming season.

Hit the jump for Hannah Polites, a blonde with a killer body.

Scouting Report: Osa Masina

Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton linebacker Osa Masina (image via Deseret News)
Name: Osa Masina
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225 lbs.
High school: Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton
Class: 2015

Notes: Holds offers from BYU, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Washington, Washington State, and Wisconsin . . . ESPN 4-star, #13 athlete, #127 overall, #1 in Utah . . . Rivals 4-star, #5 athlete, #53 overall . . . 247 Sports 4-star, #10 OLB, #159 overall, #2 in Utah . . . As a junior in 2013, had 222 carries for 1,643 yards and 25 touchdowns, along with 87 tackles and 4.5 sacks . . . As a sophomore in 2012, had 108 carries for 706 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 37 tackles

Strengths: Plays with a whatever-it-takes mentality . . . Good speed . . . Takes good angles toward ball carriers . . . Shows quality sportsmanship . . . High motor player . . . Wades through trash well . . . Good enough athlete to be effective in pass coverage . . . As a running back, churns legs through contact

Weaknesses: As a running back, really lacks smooth athleticism and balances . . . Just looks uncomfortable with the ball in his hands . . . Effective as a high school runner because of his athleticism, but clearly a defensive player at the next level . . . On defense, tends to drag guys down instead of driving through them

Projection: Outside linebacker. While the 6'4" that's listed at some websites looks to be an overestimate of at least an inch, perhaps two, Masina does look like an outside linebacker at the next level. He has the speed and length to be a blitzer off the edge, and he has the quickness and athleticism to fold inside as an interior blitzer. He does a good job of tracking ball carriers but seems to be more of a downhill player than a read-and-react type of guy. The most impressive thing about Masina is his motor. Offensively and defensively, the guy just seems to be determined to get the endzone, take down the ball carrier, and make a play, regardless of what's in his way. That bodes well for his future.

Reminds me of: Jake Ryan. I thought about this comparison for a while, and I couldn't think of a great one for overall body type, athleticism, and playing style. I finally settled on Jake Ryan because of the motor and desire to make a play.

Likelihood of committing to Michigan: Masina recently named a top eight that included Arizona State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, and Wisconsin. He has an older brother at Utah, and 90% of his Crystal Ball predictions are for the Utes. However, Michigan is right in the thick of his recruitment and could probably be included in a top three.