Friday, June 6, 2014

Phil Steele's 2014 All-Big Ten team released

Devin Funchess
Phil Steele released his 2014 All-Big Ten team, and there are several Michigan players on the list.

WR Devin Funchess
LB Jake Ryan
CB Blake Countess

DE Frank Clark
LB Desmond Morgan

P Will Hagerup

QB Devin Gardner
LB James Ross III

Many of these are interesting picks for various reasons. First of all, Devin Funchess is going into his first year as a full-time wideout, and he will also be without a proven commodity taking attention away from him in the form of Jeremy Gallon. Ryan is switching positions from strongside outside linebacker to middle linebacker in a new base defense. Countess has been rumored to be relegated to a backup role behind sophomore Jourdan Lewis, though Countess will start at slot corner. Morgan is another guy who changes positions, albeit slightly (middle linebacker to weakside linebacker). Gardner might be the most physically talented quarterback in the conference, but he's behind Braxton Miller (understandable due to winning and good talent), Connor Cook (who came out of nowhere last year), and Christian Hackenberg (who will be without his stud receiver, Allen Robinson). I think there's a decent chance that Gardner is a First Team or Second Team all-conference quarterback by year's end. Meanwhile, Ross is in a battle for his position with up-and-comer Royce Jenkins-Stone.

Michigan certainly has a lot of question marks going into 2014, but that's what happens when you go 8-5 and 7-6 in consecutive years.


  1. "Ross is in a battle for his position with up-and-comer Royce Jenkins-Stone."

    If true, that is *really* good news for the team (assuming Ross hasn't regressed horribly).

  2. Gardner will be battling Miller for the top spot. Both the best and most talented.

  3. You forgot Frank Clark 2nd team

  4. It's funny, we entered the 2013 season with two of the best OT's, experience QB, quality TE and RB yet the offense played way under expectations. That said, our OL isn't likely to perform much worse - the baseline is so very low - and more likely to perform better based on:
    1) experience
    2) simplification of schemes
    3) depth
    Will it be enough to block sufficiently to allow DG time to set up and the RB's to see seams & holes? I vote yes. I agree with you Thunder that DG is along with Braxton the two best QB's in conference, and this will be good enough for us to get production out of the receiving corp that most don't anticipate.