Saturday, January 31, 2015

Welcome to the Weekend!

I'm a day late on this one, so forgive me for waiting until Saturday to let you enjoy some pictures of beautiful women, including a gif of Katherine Webb climbing out of a pool.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mailbag: Two quarterbacks a year?

Kevin Hogan
Numerous people have been asking about Jim Harbaugh's "standard" practice of taking two quarterbacks in each class. At Stanford he took 2, 1, 2, and 3 quarterbacks during his four years there, so it averaged out to two per year. Without getting into actual quarterback performance (which has been pretty good), here's how the position has fared over the years. I used Rivals ratings since 247 Sports Composite ranking doesn't work for ye olden days.

Alex Loukas (3-star):
 Redshirted in 2006. Backup quarterback in 2007, 2008, 2009. Moved to safety in 2010.

L.D. Crow (3-star): Crow sat on the bench in 2007 and 2008. Transferred to UCF, so he sat out 2009. Third-stringer in 2010.

Kellen Kiilsgaard (4-star): Kiilsgard immediately became a safety in 2007 when he realized he had a better shot to play on defense. Spent one year on the team before quitting in favor of a baseball career.

Andrew Luck (4-star): Redshirted in 2008, then became starter for 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons. Became #1 overall draft pick in 2012.

Taysom Hill (3-star):
 Signed with Stanford out of high school. Went on his Mormon mission and ended up at BYU when he returned. Backup in 2012, starter for Cougars in 2013 and 2014.

Josh Nunes (3-star): Other than part-time starting gig in 2012 trying to replace Andrew Luck, spent rest of time on the bench. Medically retired before 2013 season due to weightlifting injury.

Darren Daniel (3-star): Sat on the bench in 2010. Moved to wide receiver in the spring of 2011, then transferred to Itawamba Community College, then to Alabama State.

Dallas Lloyd (3-star): Signed in 2010. Went on his Mormon mission and then returned to Stanford in 2012. Spent 2012 and 2013 as a backup quarterback. Moved to strong safety in 2014.

Brett Nottingham (4-star): Signed in 2010. Backup quarterback in 2011 and 2012. Lost quarterback job to Kevin Hogan, so Nottingham transferred to Columbia. Sat out most of 2013 with broken wrist. Started for Columbia in 2014 but got benched and then quit the team.

Evan Crower (3-star): Sat on bench in 2011 and 2012. Backup quarterback in 2013 and 2014. Potential for a return as a fifth year senior in 2015.

Kevin Hogan (4-star): Redshirted in 2011. Backup quarterback in 2012. Starter in 2013 and 2014. Will reportedly return as a fifth year senior in 2015.

2006: T.C. Ostrander/Trent Edwards
2007: T.C. Ostrander/Tavita Pritchard
2008: Tavita Pritchard
2009: Andrew Luck
2010: Andrew Luck
2011: Andrew Luck
2012: Josh Nunes/Kevin Hogan
2013: Kevin Hogan
2014: Kevin Hogan
2015: Kevin Hogan (probably)

As you can see, taking multiple quarterbacks per year did not affect Stanford negatively when it comes to scholarships. Of the eight quarterbacks Harbaugh signed during his tenure, only two (2!) spent four years at the quarterback position for the Cardinal. The rest of them transferred, changed positions, or quit football. Stanford also recruited a couple Mormon players who either never played for Stanford (Taysom Hill) or became a backup QB and then moved to defense (Dallas Lloyd). That situation may not arise for the Wolverines because the Big Ten imprint - Michigan's primary recruiting grounds - does not have a huge Mormon population. Unless recruiting Mormons makes a drastic difference between the two schools, the numbers should not be an issue. Furthermore, that practice for Stanford led to a great three-year starter (Luck) and a solid almost-four-year starter (Hogan)

As for position changes, we'll just have to see. Shane Morris has never played defense, although he probably has the speed to be some kind of safety. Wilton Speight has the size to move to tight end. Alex Malzone is too small and too slow to do anything else. Zach Gentry has the size and athleticism to become a tight end.

If Michigan continues to recruit two quarterbacks in each class, things will sort themselves out. Guys will quit, change positions, or transfer. In the meantime, Stanford has had solid to great quarterback play over the years, and I would expect that trend to continue for Harbaugh at Michigan. The cream rises to the top.

*I included the years before and after Harbaugh's Stanford tenure just for a fuller picture of the roster dynamics.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bleacher Report: The Best Football Prospect Nobody has Ever Heard of

Here's a story about a high school senior quarterback in New Mexico who can't get any scholarship offers despite some outstanding numbers (LINK). You'll also see a mention of Michigan quarterback commit Zach Gentry.

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies, especially the first one. You're welcome.

Official Visitors: January 30 - February 1, 2015

Manlius (NY) Canisius tight end/defensive end
Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. (image via MaxPreps)
Jarius Adams - CB - Palm Beach Gardens (FL) Dwyer: Adams is a 5'11", 180 lb. prospect who has been committed to Rutgers since July. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #127 cornerback, and #1405 overall. Along with Michigan, Florida Atlantic and Wisconsin have also come in with offers in recent weeks. He took an official to FAU but won't visit Madison, so his decision probably comes down to sticking with Rutgers or flipping to the Wolverines.

Titus Booker - RB - Grayslake (IL) North: Booker is a 5'11", 172 lb. prospect who has been committed to Wisconsin since mid-November, and he was previously committed to Indiana. The Badgers want him as a cornerback, whereas Michigan is looking at him to run the ball. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #60 running back, and #767 overall. As a senior this past season, he rushed 184 times for 1,931 yards (10.1 yards/carry) and 26 touchdowns based on his 4.4 speed. He appears to be canceling an official visit to Iowa in order to visit Michigan. UPDATE: Booker no longer plans to visit Michigan and says he's solid to Wisconsin.

Deontay Burnett - WR - Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra: Burnett is a 6'0", 166 lb. prospect who has been committed to Washington State since last July; he also has offers from Arizona State, Miami, and Utah, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #85 wide receiver, and #686 overall. Burnett just got his offer from Michigan this week, so this is a quickly planned official visit. Junipero Serra produces a lot of high-quality talent, so getting a commitment from Burnett might help to get a foothold in the program.

Karan Higdon - RB - Sarasota (FL) Riverview: Higdon is a 5'10", 190 lb. prospect who has been committed to Iowa since October; he also has offers from Arizona, Arkansas, South Florida, and Tennessee, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #40 running back, and #478 overall. Higdon is reportedly a high-character kid who originally said he is "all Iowa" after receiving the offer on Saturday morning, but he quickly planned a flight to Michigan for Saturday afternoon.

Van Jefferson - WR - Brentwood (TN) Ravenwood: Jefferson is a 6'2", 183 lb. prospect who has been committed to Ole Miss for just a few days now; he has also taken visits to Georgia and Oklahoma. He's a U.S. Army All-American, a 247 Composite 4-star, the #11 wide receiver, and #108 overall. As a senior this past season, he caught 47 passes for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns. For those worried about the rumored shady recruiting practices at Ole Miss (and elsewhere in the SEC), I'll throw this out there: Jefferson's father is former NFL wide receiver and current wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, so the draw of a $500 handshake may not be as enticing to the son of an NFL player and coach. Even so, Michigan is late to the party, but growing up in Michigan (Van used to attend Orchard Lake St. Mary's while his dad coached for the Lions) may be a draw.

Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. - TE - Manlius (NY) Canisius: Wheatley is a 6'6", 260 lb. prospect who has listed a top four that includes Alabama, Oregon, UCLA, and USC. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #12 strongside defensive end, and #310 overall. He recently played in the Semper Fi All-American Bowl. Wheatley could also play tight end or offensive tackle at the next level, although most coaches have been saying his highest upside is on defense. He is, of course, the son of former Michigan great Tyrone Wheatley, who went on to a solid NFL career with the Giants and Raiders. There's also a younger brother, Terius, who is a 2016 prospect with no offers at this point. Tyrone, Jr. maintained for a while that Michigan had not talked to him in a while, the new staff was slot to contact him, and he was not sure if he would visit. Flying under the radar, however, he is taking a mid-week official visit to Ann Arbor, beginning on Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MLive: Pete Carroll discusses Jim Harbaugh

It's Super Bowl-bound coach Pete Carroll talking about his old rival from the USC days, Jim Harbaugh (LINK).

Hit the jump for some very nice looking ladies, including a gif you might enjoy.

Messiah DeWeaver, Ex-Wolverine

Messiah DeWeaver
Huber Heights (OH) Wayne quarterback Messiah DeWeaver decommitted from Michigan on Tuesday night. He had been committed to the Wolverines since June of 2014. DeWeaver is a 6'3", 202 lb. kid in the class of 2016. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #14 pro-style quarterback, and #310 overall.

Before he was originally offered a scholarship, I was hoping the coaching staff would hold off. The Wolverines were evaluating or had offered several other quarterbacks who I believed had higher potential, and I thought DeWeaver would jump at the chance to play for Michigan. The poor 2014 season for Michigan may have derailed their chances with some of the guys I viewed as better prospects, so for Michigan's long-term prospects, that may have been a blessing in disguise. Once a player decommits from a program, it can be tough to tuck the tail between the legs and come back.

Now Michigan has a fresh start with a well-established new coach in Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh has had success developing quarterbacks in the past, including former #1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck (Stanford) and former 5th round draft pick Josh Johnson (San Diego), not to mention NFL quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. When Harbaugh was at Stanford, he brought in an average of two quarterbacks per class, and he looks to continue to do so at Michigan. The Wolverines already have Alex Malzone enrolled early, and last weekend saw a commitment from Zach Gentry, who will sign with Michigan next week. Meanwhile, even with DeWeaver committed, Harbaugh had been meeting with California QB K.J. Costello and Washington QB Jacob Eason, who are the #4 and #1 pro-style quarterbacks for the 2016 class. The previous staff had offered seven quarterbacks (LINK), and that number may increase in the near future.

With DeWeaver committed, I had secretly been hoping to avoid doing scouting reports on 10-20 quarterback prospects for 2016. But now it looks like that's exactly what I'll be doing in the next couple weeks.

2016 Recruiting Update: January 28, 2015

Manvel (TX) Manvel safety
Deontay Anderson
(image via
Harbor City (CA) Narbonne offensive tackle Alex Akingbulu was offered by Michigan. Akingbulu is a 6'6", 275 lb. prospect who just finished playing his first year of organized football, and Michigan is his first (and only) offer. Offensive coordinator Tim Drevno is the point man on him, so his west coast connections must have paid off with the little known recruit. Akingbulu does not have much technique at this point, but he is an impressive athlete who moves his feet really well. With a good deal of coaching, he could be pretty special. You might remember his high school from when Michigan was recruiting safety Sean Parker (Washington) in the 2010 class.

Manvel (TX) Manvel safety Deontay Anderson was offered by Michigan. Anderson is a 6'1", 192 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, and USC, among others. Basically, he can go to school wherever he wants. Michigan recently had a flirtation with his 2015 teammate, cornerback Will Lockett, who ultimately decided to stick to his UCLA pledge. Anderson is an early 247 Composite 5-star, the #2 returner (this is a category now?), and #25 overall in the class. As a junior in 2014, he made 59 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions (1 returned for touchdown), 8 pass breakups, and 1 punt return for a touchdown.

Concord (CA) De La Salle tight end Devin Asiasi was offered by Michigan. Asiasi is a 6'5", 255 lb. prospect with offers from Nebraska, Oregon, and USC, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #10 weakside end, and #148 overall. He's a big kid but someone who can be split out at times, and he even takes an occasional direct snap. Former Michigan (and Idaho and New England Patriots) quarterback Matt Gutierrez was from there, and I recently watched When the Game Stands Tall, a decent football movie about the school, which set the national record for consecutive victories.

Hit the jump for a couple more offers, commitments elsewhere, and some random tidbits.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

M Victors: Decal details with Jon Falk

MVictors interviewed former equipment manager Jon Falk about helmet decals (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice looking ladies.

2015 Recruiting Update: January 27, 2015

Left to right: Reuben Jones, Greg Mattison, and Jake Pickard
Albuqerque (NM) Eldorado quarterback Zach Gentry committed to Michigan (LINK).

Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson defensive end Reuben Jones committed to Michigan (LINK).

West Chester (OH) Lakota West offensive tackle Nolan Ulizio committed to Michigan (LINK).

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Rashard Causey decommitted from Florida Atlantic. Michigan offered almost exactly a year ago, but then he surprisingly committed to FAU in April over some decent offers. The 6'0", 185 lb. prospect took officials to Wisconsin and Louisville in the meantime, and he decommitted following the Louisville visit. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #50 cornerback, and #517 overall. He's also a teammate of cornerback Damon Arnette, who visited Michigan two weekends ago but remains committed to South Carolina at this time. Causey transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas - a powerhouse program in Florida - prior to his senior season. Georgia and Tennessee have entered the fray and may be difficult to beat, but Michigan could also throw its hat into the ring once again, as Causey says he is "open to everyone."

Houston (TX) Cypress Falls cornerback Nate Dalton was offered by Michigan. The 6'2", 185 lb. prospect scheduled an official visit to Michigan for this past weekend, but he then promptly announced that he would not be taking the visit and committed to Arkansas instead. Dalton is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #90 cornerback, and #1011 overall, but the book appears to be closed on him. File him under "Off the Board."

Manvel (TX) Manvel cornerback William Lockett was offered by Michigan. Lockett is a 6'0", 182 lb. prospect who has been committed to UCLA since last August. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #79 cornerback, and #849 overall. Lockett took an official visit to Michigan this past weekend, but he has since said that he'll stick with his commitment to UCLA. So maybe he should be in the "Off the Board" category.

Hit the jump for a couple more new offers, some commits elsewhere, and some other tidbits.

Monday, January 26, 2015

MLive: Harbaugh's QB battle will be heated and uncomfortable, just what Michigan needs

Here's an article on the impending quarterback battle heading into spring ball (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few girls showing off some nice cleavage, including a bouncy gif.

2017 Recruiting Update: January 26, 2015

Antioch (CA) Antioch RB Najee Harris (image via San Jose Mercury News)
Antioch (CA) Antioch running back Najee Harris was offered by Michigan. Harris is a 6'1", 210 lb. prospect with offers from Cal, UCLA, and Utah, among others. He's a 247 Sports 4-star, the #5 running back, and #42 overall in his class. Harris represents Jim Harbaugh's first offer in the 2017 class, and we have seen that kind of early attention pay off in past classes, such as with Bryan Mone in the 2014 class. The running back is a sturdy north-south runner who lacks great speed but is only coming out of his sophomore year. As a sophomore this past season, he carried the ball 271 times for 2,263 yards (8.4 yards/carry) and 23 touchdowns.


Miamisburg (OH) Miamisburg offensive tackle Josh Myers committed to Ohio State over the weekend. Myers is one of two linemen in his class to have earned offers from Michigan (both from the Hoke regime), along with Florida's Calvin Ashley. Early on Myers is 247 Sports' #1 offensive tackle and #3 overall player, so this is a big commitment for the Buckeyes.

Ann Arbor (MI) Pioneer running back Antjuan Simmons visited Michigan this past weekend. Simmons is a 6'1", 205 lb. prospect with no offers at this time, but he boasts a 4.55 forty and could play several positions at the next level. It's early yet, but he looks like one of the top few prospects in the state for 2017.

Over on Recruiting Season, I added/updated profiles for Warren De La Salle RB Allen Stritzinger, Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas, and Detroit Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Albuquerque Journal: Eldorado's Gentry switches commitment to Michigan

Here's the story from Zach Gentry's hometown newspaper on his decision to flip from Texas to Michigan (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice looking ladies.

Nolan Ulizio, Wolverine

West Chester (OH) Lakota West offensive tackle Nolan Ulizio with Michigan head
coach Jim Harbaugh
West Chester (OH) Lakota West offensive tackle Nolan Ulizio committed to Michigan on Sunday. He had previously been committed to UConn, and he also held offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, and Pitt.

Ulizio is a 6'6", 285 lb. prospect. He claims a 25" vertical, a 315 lb. bench press, and a 410 lb. squat.

ESPN: Unranked OT
Rivals: 2-star OT
Scout: 3-star OT, #42 OT
247 Sports: 2-star OT, 79 grade, #187 OT

Ulizio was not on Michigan's radar until Jim Harbaugh was hired, and defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin was sent into Lakota West because he had been the area recruiter at both Stanford and Florida. Ulizio had committed to UConn in mid-December, later earned a Kentucky offer, and was just waiting for signing day until the Wolverines swooped in with an offer. He took an official visit this past weekend, told other players on the trip that he was going to commit, and pulled the trigger on Sunday.

On the plus side for Ulizio, he has a solid frame that doesn't look sloppy at all carrying 280 lbs. or so. He should be able to carry the necessary weight in a college strength and conditioning program to fit right in at a place like Michigan. He also does a good job on combination blocks, takes good angles to the second level, and seems to understand the play design. He generally works his hips around in the right direction and does a good job of staying in contact with his blocks. Ulizio looks like a high-effort player who will put up a battle.

As far as negatives go, he is not a great athlete. He moves okay in a straight line, but he tends to play high and with a narrow base. He is a bit of a waist-bender, and that will get him off balance at times. He also tries to overpower opponents with his upper body strength, which will not work against Big Ten opponents. Ulizio has experience playing left and right tackle, but his feet are too slow to be a blind-side tackle at the next level, and he might be too stiff for the tackle position, period. If right tackle doesn't work out, he may be able to play guard, although the lack of hip flexibility may be an issue on the interior.

Overall, I like Ulizio's mentality and football IQ, but he is a guy who will have to work his way onto the field by getting strong in the weight room and knowing his assignments. He reminds me a lot of former Michigan tackle Mark Huyge, who was never a standout but became a starter and was largely invisible on the field. Huyge wasn't a gaping wound on the offensive line, but he wasn't a dominant force, either. Ulizio should redshirt as a freshman and have at least one more year on the sideline before competing for time on the field.

The Wolverines now have nine commits in the 2015 class, including three linemen - tackle/guard Ulizio, left tackle prospect Grant Newsome, and guard/center Jon Runyan, Jr. The class should reach at least a size of twelve, with the potential for a few more spots as well.

This commitment also gives the Wolverines a bit of a foothold into an Ohio power. Lakota West currently has five players committed to FBS schools (Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Virginia, and Western Michigan) in the class of 2015, and they produce multiple FBS recruits every year. Just north of Cincinnati, West Chester is close to the Kentucky border and Lakota West sends a lot of players to play for the Wildcats. This is Michigan's first ever commit from the school, which opened back in 1997.

TTB Rating: 65 (ratings explanation)

Zach Gentry, Wolverine

Albuquerque (NM) Eldorado quarterback Zach Gentry (image via
Albuquerque (NM) Eldorado quarterback Zach Gentry committed to Michigan on Saturday. He originally committed to Texas in May of 2014 and was solid to the Longhorns until recently. He chose Texas - and then Michigan - over offers from Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Tennessee, among others.

Gentry is a 6'6", 230 lb. prospect whom I scouted (LINK) last January when Michigan was sorting through quarterbacks for the 2015 class.

ESPN: 4-star, 83 grade, #9 pocket quarterback, #118 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #4 pro-style quarterback, #105 overall
Scout: 4-star, #19 quarterback, #278 overall
247 Sports: 3-star, 88 grade, #16 pro-style quarterback

Because he's a quarterback, some statistics:
2012: 150/281 for 2,022 yards, 17 touchdowns, 6 interceptions; 305 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns
2013: 160/286 for 1,587 yards, 9 touchdowns, 3 interceptions; 617 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns

The story with Gentry is a little bit unclear at this point. Gentry was on Michigan's radar early in the 2015 recruiting cycle and garnered a visit from then Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who watched Gentry throw and then took a pass on offering him. In the meantime, Michigan pulled in quarterback Alex Malzone, and Gentry committed to the Longhorns. He seemed solid to Texas and dismissed overtures from several schools, including Alabama. Then Harbaugh came calling, and it made Gentry rethink his decision. Depending on whom you believe, the Longhorns' continued pursuit of 247 Composite 5-star Kyler Murray (committed to Texas A&M) and 4-star Kai Locksley (committed to Florida State) was off-putting to Gentry. Or there are rumors that Texas is looking to become more of a spread option team. Or it might be that Harbaugh has a reputation for coaching up quarterbacks, whereas Texas head coach Charlie Strong has a shorter resume (albeit one including Teddy Bridgewater). Regardless of the reason(s), Gentry accepted an invitation to Ann Arbor this week, and it paid off with a flip.

In case you're wondering, Texas still has 3-star Brandon Merrick's commitment, plus the potential for one of the aforementioned players.

In reviewing Gentry's senior film, it's clear that he has a lot of upside. He has a good arm - not great - and throws a catchable ball. Accuracy is tough to gauge from highlights, but he has a decent completion percentage and doesn't throw many interceptions. It's important to remember that good high school quarterbacks often suffer from poor receivers who can't get open, drop a lot of balls, etc. (and some receivers are cursed by poor quarterback play, too, so it goes both ways). Gentry has a three-quarters delivery that might be more of a cause for concern if not for his 6'6" frame, sometimes listed as big as 6'7". In regard to throwing the ball, he looks very natural on the move and can push the ball down the field while getting out of the pocket, particularly going to his right. Moving is one of his big strengths. Gentry has very good speed, a little bit of shimmy, and some good instincts when it comes to running the ball. While he won't be a threat to take it the distance very time, he's every bit as mobile as a guy like Ohio State's Cardale Jones, who moved the chains against some good defenses with some timely scrambles.

On the negative side, Gentry has some mechanical issues aside from the arm slot. He also tends to throw off his back foot or falling to the side without stepping toward his target, which causes the ball to hang a little bit. His footwork when taking shotgun snaps needs work, and he's exclusively a shotgun/pistol guy, so getting him to drop back from under center might be a large undertaking. My biggest concern with him is that the ball rarely comes out "on time" within the framework of the play. He never plants his back foot and throws. I am not a fan of the way his team's routes are designed and plays are run, and these are not the complicated route combinations he will be seeing in college. New Mexico is not known for its football, and it shows - not only in his own team, which lacks refinement, but also in the play of his opponents.

Overall, Gentry is a high-quality commitment for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh, but he's also a boom-or-bust type. He'll be a long way from home, learning an offense with pro-level reads and combinations, and competing with several other guys for playing time. At the same time, he will either be the most gifted (or second-most behind Shane Morris) athlete at the position. The whole playbook is open for a guy like this, who can throw it deep, throw it short, stand in the pocket, roll out, scramble, or do some designed runs. Fellow 2015 classmate Alex Malzone is more refined and ready right now, while Gentry has the better long-term potential. For better or worse, watching Gentry's film reminded me of Utah quarterback Travis Wilson.

This gives Michigan eight commits in the 2015 class, and Gentry follows defensive end Reuben Jones as the only two guys (so far) to commit to Jim Harbaugh. Word has spread that Harbaugh could very well go after two quarterbacks in each class, and this starts off that trend with a bang. Five of the eight commits are offensive players. According to the Bentley Historical Library, this is just the second Michigan commit out of New Mexico in over a hundred years, with just defensive tackle Alan Branch coming out of Rio Rancho (NM) Cibola in that time.

TTB Rating: 84 (ratings explanation)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

MLive: Harbaugh's contract details

Nick Baumgardner outlines Jim Harbaugh's contract details (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few really good looking ladies.

Reuben Jones, Wolverine

Left to right: Reuben Jones, Greg Mattison, Jake Pickard
Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson defensive end Reuben Jones committed to Michigan today. Jones was committed to Nebraska from mid-November until just a few days ago, but he did not report a good relationship with the Cornhunskers' new staff.

Jones is a 6'3", 223 lb. player with a 4.89 forty. As a senior in 2014, he made 71 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks.

ESPN: 3-star, 78 grade, #58 defensive end
Rivals: 3-star, #27 strongside end
Scout: 3-star, #145 defensive end
247 Sports: 3-star, 83 grade, #64 strongside end

Jones started earning offers last spring, and those offers escalated to the level of programs like Louisville, Michigan State, Missouri, and Nebraska as his senior year wore on. He went ahead and committed to Nebraska in November, but that only lasted two months and he did not fit well with new head coach Mike Riley and his staff. When new Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin was hired out of Florida, he quickly convinced Jim Harbaugh to extend Jones an offer. That pre-existing relationship blossomed into scheduling an official visit, the de-commitment, and then picking the Wolverines during his official visit this weekend. It may have helped that one of Lake Gibson's assistant coaches is former Michigan offensive guard Ricky Barnum.

Jones is a high-effort player. If you watch his highlights below, the second clip shows him chasing down a wide receiver approximately 50 yards downfield after the guy catches a screen pass. He plays with some reckless abandon and at high speed, which can be a good thing. He plays with a good pad level and fires hard off the ball. He lacks prototypical height for a lineman, but he has a solid frame that should see him carry 260+ pounds eventually.

Speaking of reckless abandon, Jones can be a little undisciplined at times. He can overpursue and get too much depth on his pass rush. He does not use his hands well to shed blocks and tends to try to outmuscle offensive linemen, which will not work so well in college. The physical skills don't jump out, so he will have to clean up some of the weaknesses and maximize what he can. He also shows some excitability on the field, which can be a positive thing but can also be dangerous.

Overall, Jones is a solid pickup late in the recruiting cycle. I think his lack of physical skills will prevent him from becoming a top-notch player, but he could certainly works his way into being a viable backup or late-career starter. His frame reminds me of former Wolverine Ken Wilkins, although his play on the field is more reminiscent of Mario Ojemudia.

Jones is the seventh overall commit in the 2015 class but the first of the Jim Harbaugh era. He is also only the second defensive player in the class. With a decent number of players on the line, Jones should not be needed immediately, but there is the possibility of him serving as a backup immediately. Michigan lost both starting defensive ends (Brennen Beyer and Frank Clark) to graduation, which leaves junior Taco Charlton and senior Ojemudia penciled in as next year's starters. The 2014 class included just one defensive end (Lawrence Marshall), so it's not out of the question for Michigan to continue pursuing the position.

TTB Rating: 67 (ratings explanation)

Video: Klay Thompson's 37-point quarter

Pardon my departure from Michigan sports, but this is too good to ignore:

Golden State Warrior Klay Thompson scored 37 points in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings on his way to a game total of 52. It would have been amazing to be in the arena and feel the energy of the crowd during a run like he had, when he was 13/13 from the field and 9/9 from three-point land. Wow.

Official Visitors: January 23-25, 2015

Gainesville (GA) Gainesville
cornerback Chris Williamson
Markel Bush - CB - Delray Beach (FL) American Heritage: Bush is a 5'10", 170 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. He tweeted out that he would be taking an official visit to Michigan, so despite the lack of offers, apparently Michigan is pretty serious about recruiting him. On the plus side, Michigan has not used many of their official visits with such an in-flux season and off-season, plus a small recruiting class in general. So they're in a position to host a few more visitors at this point and take some more risks than a lot of schools.

Nate Dalton - CB - Houston (TX) Cypress Falls: Dalton is a 6'2", 185 lb. prospect who picked up an offer from Michigan earlier this week. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #89 cornerback, and #1014 overall. He has taken visits to Oklahoma, Kentucky, and and Arkansas, and he'll be in Ann Arbor this weekend. He had 4 picks this past season and is a physical kid who could also play safety. UPDATE: Dalton is no longer planning to visit.

Zach Gentry - QB - Albuquerque (NM) Eldorado: Gentry is a 6'7", 230 lb. prospect who has been committed to Texas since last May. Texas is also pursuing 5-star quarterback Kyler Murray, and that - combined with Jim Harbaugh's reputation - is causing Gentry to explore his options. When I did scouting reports on 2015 quarterbacks a year ago, Gentry was #4 on my list (LINK). He's now a 247 Composite 4-star, the #8 pro-style quarterback, and #176 overall.

Reuben Jones - DE - Lakeland (FL) Lake Gibson: Gibson is a 6'3", 223 lb. prospect who committed to Nebraska in November. He has also visited Michigan State and Louisville. Jones is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #45 strongside end, and #780 overall. Jones does not sound likely to stick with his commitment to the Cornhuskers. He is coached by former Michigan offensive guard Ricky Barnum, but considering the regime change, there aren't many connections remaining between Barnum and the current staff.

Will Lockett - CB - Manvel (TX) Manvel: Lockett is a 6'0", 182 lb. prospect who committed to UCLA in August. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #77 cornerback, and #849 overall. As a senior this past season, he made 48 tackles, 1 sack, 4 interceptions (1 for a touchdown), 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 9 pass breakups. He claims a 34" vertical and a 4.5 forty. Harbaugh secured a visit after visiting his school on Tuesday.

Hit the jump for a few more visitors.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Welcome to the Weekend!

It's the weekend, so enjoy some beautiful women!

SB Nation: Under Jim Harbaugh, the Michigan way will actually work

Ian Boyd looks at how Michigan's offense will work under Jim Harbaugh (LINK).

Beyond the jump are three very good looking women.

Scouting Report: Chris Williamson

Gainesville (GA) Gainesville cornerback Chris Williamson
(image via
Name: Chris Williamson
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190 lbs.
High school: Gainesville (GA) Gainesville
Position: Wide receiver/cornerback
Class: 2015

Notes: Holds offers from Auburn, BYU, Cal, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgia, Iowa State, Kentucky, Miami-OH, Michigan, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Purdue, UCF, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest . . . ESPN 3-star, 79 grade, #57 ATH . . . Rivals 4-star, #36 ATH . . . 247 Sports 3-star, 89 grade, #39 ATH . . . Claims a 4.4 forty . . . 36" vertical . . . 315 lb. bench press . . . 465 lb. squat . . . 10.83 time in 100 meters . . . "Big Play Ray" Buchanan called Williamson a "poor man's Champ Bailey" (LINK)

Strengths: Adjusts well to ball in air . . . Good body control . . . Capable of making acrobatic plays . . . Able to high-point the ball . . . Very good leaping ability . . . Transitions well out of backpedal to break on ball . . . Fluid hips lead to good recovery speed . . . Excellent in zone coverage . . . As a receiver, consistently works to get open . . . Tough to jam off line of scrimmage due to lateral movement . . . Finds holes in defensive coverages . . . Good balance . . . Very good acceleration . . . Able to cut at full speed

Weaknesses: Needs to get stronger . . . Willing tackler but lacks proper technique and strength . . . Does not run feet through contact . . . Film does not show abilities in press man coverage . . . Appears to be holding back at times, but that may be due to playing both ways

Projection: Cornerback. I say this largely because of his size and body type, but he could easily play receiver in college. Williamson shows enough awareness and potential to slot in wherever a team needs him most. He has short legs, which lend themselves to good short-area quickness and change of direction, but he also has very good long speed. Williamson could also be one of those guys who becomes a multi-purpose returner, because he has the vision and quickness to return punts with the straight-line speed to do kickoff returns.

Reminds me of: Chris Davis from Auburn. I can't think of a great equivalent with respect to Michigan, so I'll go with the corner from Auburn who made his name with the 109-yard field goal return for a touchdown against Alabama in 2013 (LINK). I think they have similar physical skills, although I see Williamson having better ball skills.

Likelihood of committing to Michigan: Analysts have stated that it will be tough to pull Williamson away from the home-state Bulldogs, and Auburn also jumped into the picture with an offer a few weeks ago. He has visited Cal and North Carolina, he'll be in Michigan this weekend, and then he's going to Florida the last weekend in January. It seems to be kind of a crap shoot right now, but Michigan is right in the thick of it due to former Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin leading the charge.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Eleven Warriors: Breaking down Ohio State vs. Oregon national championship game film

Eleven Warriors takes a look at how Ohio State eviscerated Oregon in the national championship game (LINK). It might not be fun to think about for Michigan fans, but it's interesting if you're a pure football fan.

Hit the jump for a few nice looking ladies.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

247 Sports: How last year's 5-stars fared

247 Sports takes a look at how last year's 5-star recruits did as freshmen (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies. It might be a little NSFW because of a lady's bum and then a gif of a girl shaking her bum, so jump carefully.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rivals 250 for 2015 finalized

Saginaw (MI) Heritage wide receiver Brian Cole (image via
Rivals released their top 250 prospects at noon on Tuesday (LINK). The top 100 was revealed yesterday (LINK). Here's what the top 250 looked like back in December (LINK). Movement for Michigan commits:

- Brian Cole fell from #91 to #101
- Grant Newsome jumped from #220 to #191
- Tyree Kinnel fell from #211 to #225

Here are the rest of the guys Michigan has offered:

101. Brian Cole - ATH - Michigan (Michigan)
108. Garrett Taylor - CB - Virginia (Penn State)
120. Dexter Williams - RB - Florida
123. Jashon Cornell - DE - Minnesota (Ohio State)
135. Clelin Ferrell - DE - Virginia (Clemson)
152. Juwan Johnson - WR - New Jersey (Penn State)
155. Matt Burrell, Jr. - OG - Virginia (Ohio State)
156. Miles Boykin - WR - Illinois (Notre Dame)
158. Preston Williams - WR - Georgia (Tennessee)
162. John Reid - CB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
167. Jaason Lewis - RB - Virginia (Arizona State)
168. Darrin Kirkland, Jr. - LB - Indiana (Tennessee)
170. Dre'Mont Jones - DE - Ohio (Ohio State)
174. Tim Settle - DT - Virginia (Virginia Tech)
180. Josh Barajas - LB - Indiana (Notre Dame)
191. Grant Newsome - OT - New Jersey (Michigan)
193. Pat Allen - OT - Maryland
194. Auden Tate - WR - Florida (Florida State)
198. Ryan Bates - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
202. Keaton Sutherland - OT - Texas (Texas A&M)
206. Zach Robertson - OG - California (Arizona State)
215. Johnny Frasier - RB - North Carolina (Florida State)
221. Hjalte Froholdt - DT - Florida (Arkansas)
223. Connor Williams - C - Texas (Texas)
225. Tyree Kinnel - S - Ohio (Michigan)
243. Darrell Taylor - DE - Virginia (Tennessee)
246. Asmar Bilal - LB - Indiana (Notre Dame)
247. Arden Key - DE - Georgia
249. Joshua McMillon - LB - Tennessee (Alabama)

2016 Recruiting Update: January 20, 2015

Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison defensive end Khalid Kareem with former Michigan defensive line coach Mark Smith
Houston (TX) Alief Elsik linebacker Dontavious Jackson was offered by Michigan. Jackson is a 6'2", 237 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona State, Louisville, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #4 inside linebacker, and #142 overall. As a junior this past fall, he made 165 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 pass breakups. He claims a 4.69 forty, a 30" vertical, a 275 lb. bench press, and a 535 lb. squat. Jackson is a big hitter and an intense player, but he lacks technique and mostly plays on instinct and natural skills. Elsik has over 4,100 students and is the alma mater of Beyonce Knowles. You're welcome.

Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison defensive end Khalid Kareem was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'4", 240 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan State, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, and several others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #24 strongside end, and #411 overall. He claims a 4.8 forty, a 30" vertical, a 300 lb. bench, and a 335 lb. squat. Kareem's recruitment has blown up over the last couple months, so I was wondering when Michigan would throw their hat in the ring. Kareem is a little bit stiff and lacks some explosion, so I think he's somewhat limited in his position flexibility. He's the seventh in-state player to receive an offer from Michigan in the 2016 recruiting class. While Michigan State appears to be the early leader, Kareem has visited Ann Arbor more often. Michigan senior defensive end Mario Ojemudia is also from Harrison, and so is early NFL entrant Devin Funchess.

Fresno (CA) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'3", 215 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA, and USC, among others. He's a 247 Composite 5-star, the #3 outside linebacker, and #12 overall. Kelly is a long, lean linebacker who has a lot of athletic talent, but he plays a little soft. I'm somewhat surprised that he's the #12 player in the nation, although he does have that potential.

Hit the jump for a few more new offers and a couple tidbits.

Monday, January 19, 2015

MLive: Drevno, Harbaugh will develop Michigan offense together

Right now it looks like Jim Harbaugh hasn't totally determined what type of offensive system he'll run at Michigan (LINK).

Hit the jump for some very good looking ladies.

Top 247 for 2015 finalized

Saginaw (MI) Heritage wide receiver Brian Cole
247 Sports released their final list of the top 247 prospects of 2015 (LINK). Here's what it looked like in March of 2014 (LINK).

Movement for Michigan commits:
- Brian Cole dropped from #34 to #65
- Grant Newsome fell from #181 to #220

5. Iman Marshall - CB - California
6. Josh Sweat - DE - Virginia (Florida State)
8. Terry Beckner, Jr. - DE - Illinois
9. Kevin Toliver II - CB - Florida (LSU)
11. CeCe Jefferson - DE - Florida
12. Malik Jefferson - LB - Texas (Texas)
13. Jarrett Stidham - QB - Texas (Baylor)
15. Rasheem Green - DT - California
16. Josh Rosen - QB - California (UCLA)
20. Justin Hilliard - LB - Ohio (Ohio State)
23. Blake Barnett - QB - California (Alabama)
25. Osa Masina - LB - Utah
27. Mitch Hyatt - OT - Georgia (Clemson)
29. Preston Williams - WR - Georgia (Tennessee)
31. Kendall Sheffield - CB - Texas (Alabama)

33. Keisean Lucier-South - DE - California (UCLA)
35. George Campbell - WR - Florida (Florida State)
37. Arden Key - DE - South Carolina
38. Jalen Dalton - DE - North Carolina (North Carolina)
39. Tyron Johnson - WR - Louisiana (LSU)
41. Christian Kirk - WR - Arizona (Texas A&M)
42. Ronald Jones II - RB - Texas (USC)
44. Johnny Frasier - RB - North Carolina (Florida State)
45. Damien Harris - RB - Kentucky (Alabama)
49. Minkah Fitzpatrick - CB - New Jersey (Alabama)
54. Jacques Patrick - RB - Florida (Florida State)
57. DaMarkus Lodge - WR - Texas
61. Jerome Baker - ATH - Ohio (Ohio State)
64. Shy Tuttle - DT - North Carolina (Tennessee)
65. Brian Cole - ATH - Michigan (Michigan)
67. Keaton Sutherland - OT - Texas (Texas A&M)
68. Dre'Mont Jones - DE - Ohio (Ohio State)
71. Roquan Smith - LB - Georgia
76. Abdul Bello - OT - Florida (Florida State)
81. Soso Jamabo - RB - Texas
87. Garrett Taylor - CB - Virginia (Penn State)
90. Hjalte Froholdt - DT - Florida (Arkansas)
91. Clelin Ferrell - DE - Virginia (Clemson)
93. Matt Burrell - OG - Virginia (Ohio State)
97. Drew Richmond - OT - Tennessee (Ole Miss)
98. Jashon Cornell - DE - Minnesota (Ohio State)
106. Henry Roberts - OT - Washington (Washington)
107. Ray-Ray McCloud III - ATH - Florida (Clemson)
108. Josh Barajas - LB - Indiana (Notre Dame)
112. Jeffery Holland - LB - Florida
115. Juwan Johnson - WR - New Jersey (Penn State)
116. Darian Roseboro - DE - North Carolina (North Carolina State)
123. Kirk Merritt - RB - Louisiana
131. Mike Weber - RB - Michigan (Ohio State)
133. Deondre Francois - QB - Florida (Florida State)
136. Anthony Wheeler - LB - Texas (Texas)
139. Dexter Williams - RB - Florida
142. Isaiah Prince - OT - Maryland
143. Ryan Bates - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
156. John Reid - CB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
157. Hale Hentges - TE - Missouri (Alabama)
162. Tim Settle - DT - Virginia (Virginia Tech)
163. Jordan Whitehead - CB - Pennsylvania (Pitt)
175. Keenan Walker - OT - Arizona (Arizona)
178. Jake Fruhmorgen - OT - Florida (Clemson)
179. Shaun Crawford - CB - Ohio (Notre Dame)
182. Darrin Kirkland, Jr. - LB - Indiana (Tennessee)
184. Marcus Lewis - CB - Washington, DC
187. Asmar Bilal - LB - Indiana (Notre Dame)
205. Adonis Thomas - LB - Georgia (Alabama)
209. Chris Clark - TE - Connecticut
210. Joe Burrow - QB - Ohio (Ohio State)
213. Darrin Paulo - OT - California
219. Auden Tate - WR - Florida (Florida State)
220. Grant Newsome - OT - New Jersey (Michigan)
226. Darrell Taylor - DE - Virginia (Tennessee)
229. Mook Reynolds - CB - Virginia (Virginia Tech)
239. Rashad Roundtree - S - Georgia (Georgia)
241. Devonaire Clarington - TE - Florida (Texas)

Rivals 100 for 2015 finalized

Connecticut tight end Chris Clark with former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke
Rivals released their final top 100 players for the class of 2015 (LINK). Here's what it looked like back in December (LINK). No current Michigan commits appear on the list, although there are a few potential commits and some former Michigan pledges.

2. Josh Rosen - QB - California (UCLA)
3. Iman Marshall - CB - California
8. Damien Harris - RB - Kentucky (Alabama)
11. Tyron Johnson - WR - Louisiana (LSU)
12. Drew Richmond - OT - Tennessee (Ole Miss)
14. Keisean Lucier-South - DE - California (UCLA)
16. Christian Kirk - WR - Arizona (Texas A&M)
18. Jacques Patrick - RB - Florida (Florida State)
20. CeCe Jefferson - DE - Florida
22. Soso Jamabo - RB - Texas
23. Ray-Ray McCloud III - RB - Florida (Clemson)
24. Minkah Fitzpatrick - CB - New Jersey (Alabama)
26. George Campbell - WR - Florida (Florida State)
27. Kevin Toliver II - CB - Florida (LSU)
28. Malik Jefferson - LB - Texas
33. Rasheem Green - DT - California
34. Josh Sweat - DE - Virginia (Florida State)

36. Terry Beckner, Jr. - DE - Illinois
37. Osa Masina - LB - Utah
39. Deondre Francois - QB - Florida (Florida State)
41. Blake Barnett - QB - California (Alabama)
45. Mitch Hyatt - OT - Georgia (Clemson)
50. Jerome Baker - LB - Ohio (Ohio State)
53. Kendall Sheffield - CB - Texas (Alabama)
55. Justin Hilliard - LB - Ohio (Ohio State)
56. Rashad Roundtree - S - Georgia (Georgia)
59. Mike Weber - RB - Michigan (Ohio State)
61. DaMarkus Lodge - WR - Texas
62. Jalen Dalton - DE - North Carolina (North Carolina)
63. Ronald Jones II - RB - Texas (USC)
64. Ryan Davis - WR - Florida
66. Shy Tuttle - DT - North Carolina (Tennessee)
67. Isaiah Prince - OT - Maryland
73. Jake Fruhmorgen - OT - Florida (Clemson)
75. Jordan Whitehead - CB - Pennsylvania (Pitt)
76. Anthony Wheeler - LB - Texas (Texas)
77. Roquan Smith - LB - Georgia
79. Chris Clark - TE - Connecticut
80. Marcus Lewis - CB - Washington, DC
82. Shaun Crawford - CB - Ohio (Notre Dame)
97. Jarrett Stidham - QB - Texas (Baylor)
100. Darian Roseboro - DT - North Carolina (North Carolina State)

2015 Recruiting Update: January 19, 2015

Official visitors (L to R): Andrew David, Roquan Smith, Shelton Johnson, Chris Clark, Damon Arnette, and Tyree Kinnel
Normally I'm happy to throw all notable recruiting developments into the mix in one post, but this week begs for two posts. So today you will see what's up with the 2015 class, which has a lot going on. Tomorrow (or maybe Wednesday) will have a wrap-up of all the rest of what's going on in recruiting.

Palm Beach Gardens (FL) Dwyer cornerback Jarius Adams was offered by Michigan. Adams, who committed to Rutgers last July, took an official visit to Florida Atlantic this past weekend, will head to Rutgers next weekend, and will conclude his officials with one to Ann Arbor on January 30. He's a 5'11", 180 lb. prospect who's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #128 cornerback, and #1418 overall. He won't blow you away with his speed or athleticism, but he appears to have good ball skills and is a very aggressive tackler. Adams could also be a safety at the next level, and that's where I see him fitting best.

Athens (OH) Athens quarterback Joe Burrow's Rivals profile started listing a Michigan offer a few days ago, and Scout's Sam Webb started implying that Michigan is pursuing a highly rated (Scout lists Burrow as a 4-star) quarterback who is committed to another Big Ten team. Burrow is a 6'4", 200 lb. prospect who committed to Ohio State in May 2014, and he is rumored not to have a strong affinity for new Ohio State offensive coordinator Tim Beck, who chose not to recruit him while at Nebraska. Overall, Burrow is a 247 Composite 3-star, the #12 dual-threat quarterback, and #379 overall. He was Ohio's Mr. Football this past season and Gatorade Player of the Year in the Buckeye State, and his stats are astounding. As a senior in 2014, he completed 72% of his passes for 4,445 yards, 63 touchdowns, and only 2 interceptions on 346 attempts; he also ran for 642 yards and 5 touchdowns. Burrow does not have a great arm and he's not the most athletic guy around, but he has a good combination from skills and can be a run-pass threat. While Michigan already has Alex Malzone as an early enrollee, Ohio State has three guys with starting experience returning for at least one year (unless one transfers, which does seem likely) and then the overall #74 player committed in the form of Torrance Gibson, a dual-threat quarterback who some have projected to change positions in college but who impressed analysts with his play at quarterback this year. Burrow might find himself buried in Columbus, while the quarterback competition in Ann Arbor is wide open. He has stated that he is solid to the Buckeyes.

Hit the jump for a bunch more offers and tidbits from the 2015 class.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

MLive: Caris LeVert to miss remainder of 2014-2015

It always sucks when your best player gets a season-ending injury (LINK).

Hit the jump for some scantily clad ladies.

Saturday, January 17, 2015 Washington States hires Roy Manning

Well, Roy Manning was out of a job at Michigan when Jim Harbaugh filled out his staff recently, but he landed on his feet in Washington State (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking blondes, including the wonderful Elaine Alden.

Official Visitors are on Campus

Michigan prospects on their official visits to Ann Arbor (from left to right): Ohio K Andrew David,
Georgia LB Roquan Smith, Florida DE Shelton Johnson, Massachusetts TE Chris Clark, Florida CB Damon Arnette,
and Ohio S Tyree Kinnel.
It looks like it's a fun official visit weekend in Ann Arbor.

Video: 2015 Under Armour All-America Game

East-West Shrine Game rosters

Jake Ryan
The East-West Shrine Game will be played today at Tropicana Field. It will be broadcast at 4:00 p.m. EST on the NFL Network. The annual game is an all-star game and a showcase for seniors trying to make it at the next level. Here are some notable players to watch going forward, including Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner . . . who is listed as a wide receiver:

Devin Gardner - WR - Michigan*
Deon Long - WR - Maryland
Keith Mumphery - WR - Michigan State
Devin Smith - WR - Ohio State*
Anthony Chickillo - DE - Miami*
Darius Kilgo - DT - Maryland
Cole Farrand - LB - Maryland
Jake Ryan - LB - Michigan*

Brandon Vitabile - OL - Northwestern
A.J. Derby - TE - Arkansas*
Kenny Bell - WR - Nebraska
Henry Anderson - DE - Stanford*
Ryan Russell - DE - Purdue
Taiwan Jones - LB - Michigan State
Corey Cooper - S - Nebraska

*Offered by Michigan out of high school

Friday, January 16, 2015

Welcome to the Weekend!

Hey. It's the weekend. Here are some good looking girls. Look at them if you want. IT'S THE WEEKEND.

Youngstown Vindicator: Phone call leads Zordich to Ann Arbor

Here's the story of how Mike Zordich became Michigan's cornerbacks coach (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice cleavage.

Official Visitors: January 16-21, 2015

Long Beach (CA) Poly cornerback Iman Marshall
Damon Arnette - CB - Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas: Arnette is a 6'2", 185 lb. prospect who's committed to South Carolina. He's a soft commit with a visit scheduled to Ohio State later this month, too. The 247 Composite rankings show him as a 3-star, the #60 cornerback, and #649 overall. D.J. Durkin called him up when he was hired, and Arnette immediately responded that he wanted to visit. Arnette is a good sized corner who would be good against the run.

Chris Clark - TE - Avon (CT) Old Farms: Clark is a 6'6", 247 lb. prospect who has been committed to both North Carolina and Michigan in the past. Now he says it's down to Michigan and UCLA with the Bruins having the lead. Even so, he was enthused about Michigan hiring Jim Harbaugh, and some people think the Wolverines will win out. Clark is also close to quarterback Alex Malzone, who enrolled early this semester and will be on campus. Clark is a 247 Composite 4-star, the #2 tight end, and #79 overall in the 2015 class.

Andrew David - K - Massillon (OH) Washington: David is a 5'9", 165 lb. prospect who committed to Michigan in June of 2013. He's a 247 Composite 2-star, the #7 kicker, and #2031 overall. Michigan's starting punter and placekicker both graduated after the 2014 season, so he will have a chance to compete for a starting gig right off the bat.

Shelton Johnson - DE - Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic: Johnson is a 6'5", 220 lb. prospect with offers from Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #16 strongside end, and #351 overall. He visited Virginia Tech in December and has visits remaining to the other schools, with Florida State holding the final shot; right now the Crystal Ball is 100% for the Seminoles (based on 10 votes).

Tyree Kinnel - S - Huber Heights (OH) Wayne: Kinnel committed to Michigan in August of 2013 (LINK). He is currently a 247 Composite 4-star, the #10 safety, and #181 overall. Once Michigan's coaching situation got rocky, Alabama and Notre Dame both came forward with offers, but Kinnel has remained committed throughout.

Iman Marshall - CB - Long Beach (CA) Poly: Marshall is a 6'1", 190 lb. prospect with a top group that includes Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, and USC. He is using January officials for the out-of-state schools, and the visit to Ann Arbor will be right on the heels of one to FSU this weekend. So while the rest of these players will be in town over the weekend, Marshall will be there from Monday through Wednesday. Marshall is considered a USC lean (the Trojans are at 98% on the 247 Sports Crystal Ball), but he has expressed interest in playing college ball with his summer workout partner, Michigan sophomore wide receiver Freddy Canteen. Marshall is a 247 Composite 5-star, the #1 cornerback, and #4 overall in the class.

Roquan Smith - LB - Montezuma (GA) Macon:
 Smith is a 6'1", 205 lb. prospect who's considered to be a heavy lean toward the Georgia Bulldogs, but he's another guy who's visiting because of D.J. Durkin. Smith is a 247 Composite 4-star, the #5 outside linebacker, and #49 overall. He had 173 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 2 interceptions as a senior in 2014. He has visited Georgia and USC, and he has visits scheduled for Ole Miss and UCLA.

Final ESPN 300 for 2015 released

Saginaw (MI) Heritage wide receiver Brian Cole is Michigan's top ranked commit.
Here's a look at the final ESPN 300 for the 2015 class (LINK), which I have been tracking over the last couple years. Here's what it looked like back in July (LINK). Movement for Michigan commits is here:

- Brian Cole fell from #139 to #148
- Tyree Kinnel fell from #192 to #196
- Grant Newsome fell from #242 to #253

2. Terry Beckner, Jr. - DT - Illinois
4. Iman Marshall - CB - California
7. George Campbell - WR - Florida (Florida State)
9. CeCe Jefferson - DE - Florida
10. Kevin Toliver II - CB - Florida (LSU)
11. Josh Sweat - DE - Virginia (Florida State)
12. Kendall Sheffield - CB - Texas (Alabama)
14. Blake Barnett - QB - California (Alabama)
17. Justin Hilliard - LB - Ohio (Ohio State)
18. Mitch Hyatt - OT - Georgia (Clemson)
19. Tim Settle - DT - Virginia (Virginia Tech)

22. Keisean Lucier-South - DE - California (UCLA)
24. Arden Key - DE - South Carolina
27. Minkah Fitzpatrick - CB - New Jersey (Alabama)
28. Soso Jamabo - RB - Texas
29. Roquan Smith - LB - Georgia
30. Tyron Johnson - WR - Florida (LSU)
31. Malik Jefferson - LB - Texas (Texas)
33. Jashon Cornell - DE - Minnesota (Ohio State)
34. Ronald Jones II - RB - Texas (USC)
35. Christian Kirk - WR - Arizona (Texas A&M)
36. Damien Harris - RB - Kentucky (Alabama)
37. Jarrett Stidham - QB - Texas (Baylor)
38. Preston Williams - WR - Georgia (Tennessee)
39. Shy Tuttle - DT - North Carolina (Tennessee)
41. Rasheem Green - DT - California
42. Deondre Francois - QB - Florida (Florida State)
46. Jeffery Holland - LB - Florida
49. Jacques Patrick - RB - Florida (Florida State)
50. Josh Rosen - QB - California (UCLA)
54. Adonis Thomas - LB - Georgia (Alabama)
55. Abdul Bello - OT - Florida (Florida State)
57. DaMarkus Lodge - WR - Texas
58. Drew Richmond - OT - Tennessee (Ole Miss)
64. Jalen Dalton - DE - North Carolina (North Carolina)
66. Anthony Wheeler - LB - Texas (Texas)
67. Jerome Baker - LB - Ohio (Ohio State)
75. Rashad Roundtree - S - Georgia (Georgia)
77. Osa Masina - LB - Utah
78. Dexter Williams - RB - Florida
80. Johnny Frasier - RB - North Carolina (Florida State)
89. Jake Fruhmorgen - OT - Florida (Clemson)
91. Keenan Walker - OT - Arizona (Arizona)
94. Matt Burrell, Jr. - OG - Virginia (Ohio State)
98. Hjalte Froholdt - DT - Florida (Arkansas)
109. Hale Hentges - TE - Missouri (Alabama)
111. Chris Clark - TE - Massachusetts
112. Devonaire Clarington - TE - Florida (Texas)
125. Sterling Jenkins - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
129. Ryan Bates - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
136. Clelin Ferrell - DE - Virginia (Clemson)
138. Christian Pellage - OT - Florida (South Carolina)
139. Garrett Taylor - CB - Virginia (Penn State)
140. Mike Weber - RB - Michigan (Ohio State)
142. Jordan Whitehead - CB - Pennsylvania (Pitt)
145. Ty'Son Williams - RB - South Carolina (North Carolina)
146. Kirk Merritt - ATH - Louisiana
148. Brian Cole - ATH - Michigan (Michigan)
157. Ray-Ray McCloud III - RB - Florida (Clemson)
158. Tyler Jordan - C - Florida (Florida)
159. Marcus Lewis - CB - Washington, DC
161. Dre'Mont Jones - DE - Ohio (Ohio State)
168. Kendrick Norton - DT - Florida
169. Shaun Crawford - CB - Ohio (Notre Dame)
171. Joshua McMillon - LB - Tennessee (Alabama)
173. John Reid - CB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
184. Darian Roseboro - DE - North Carolina (North Carolina State)
195. Juwan Johnson - WR - New Jersey (Penn State)
196. Tyree Kinnel - S - Ohio (Michigan)
210. Pat Allen - OT - Maryland
213. Devante Peete - WR - Florida
223. Isaiah Prince - OT - Maryland
242. Ryan Davis - WR - Florida
247. Rashard Causey, Jr. - CB - Florida (Florida International)
253. Grant Newsome - OT - New Jersey (Michigan)
255. Cameron Townsend - LB - Texas (Texas)
273. Cameron Ordway - CB - Tennessee (Ole Miss)
276. Darrin Kirkland, Jr. - LB - Indiana (Tennessee)
278. Zach Robertson - OG - California (Arizona State)
298. Joe Burrow - QB - Ohio (Ohio State)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MLive: Ohio State's at the top of the mountain, so it's a good thing Harbaugh can climb

Here's a column on Ohio State and Jim Harbaugh (LINK).

Scouting Report: John Kelly

 John Kelly
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 194 lbs.
High school: Oak Park (MI) Oak Park
Position: Running back
Class: 2015

Notes: Holds offers from Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, Miami-OH, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Tennessee, Western Michigan . . . Claims a 4.38 forty . . . 37" vertical . . . ESPN 3-star, 78 grade, #55 running back . . . Rivals 3-star, #28 athlete . . . 247 Sports 3-star, 88 grade, #38 athlete

Strengths: Solidly built . . . Strong lower body and leg churn . . . Runs with good body lean through line of scrimmage . . . Runs like a sprinter, getting more upright in open field . . . Good acceleration in and out of cuts . . . Excellent vision and patience as a runner . . . Very good top-end speed . . . Runs through contact . . . Looks for cutbacks instead of going out of bounds . . . Aggressive blocker both in run and pass game . . . Also an aggressive tackler on defense

Weaknesses: Does not have a great deal of highlights on defense . . . Questionable ball skills . . . Seems to make more plays on offense than defense . . . Gives and takes a pounding, so durability may become an issue

Projection: Running back. I've had my eye on Kelly for a couple years now, and while he's being recruited by some schools to play defense, I just don't see the playmaking on that side of the ball. He has been dynamic on offense, and the skills I've seen displayed translate to running back more than any other position, in my opinion. Other than great size, he has a good dose of everything you want in a running back: speed, vision, strength, toughness, a willingness to block, etc.

Reminds me of: T.J. Yeldon from Alabama. Yeldon is obviously significantly larger, but the way Kelly runs - low through the line, good vision, cutting back to avoid going out of bounds, upright in the open field, etc. - reminds me of the Crimson Tide running back.

Likelihood of committing to Michigan: Tennessee supposedly leads, but Michigan is a strong possibility, too. Right now Michigan State leads the 247 Sports Crystal Ball with 39% of the votes, followed by 32% for the Wolverines. Right now Kelly has visits set for Tennessee, Minnesota, and Michigan. Things are pretty up in the air.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

MLive: Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy is a tackling machine and renaissance man

This is a pretty good piece on Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking ladies.

Jay Harbaugh, Wolverine

Jay Harbaugh (right) with his dad, Jim
Jay Harbaugh, the eldest son of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, has been hired as Michigan's tight ends coach. He replaces Dan Ferrigno, who was at Michigan from 2011-2014 and also served as the Wolverines' special teams coach.

Jay was a high school defensive lineman, but knee injuries shortened his career. He attended Oregon State and joined their undergraduate assistant coaching program under Mike Riley. He has been an offensive quality control assistant for the Baltimore Ravens for the past three seasons, obviously working for his uncle John, the Ravens' head coach. It's unclear at this point how much Jay had to do with the tight ends themselves, but the Ravens have had some decent players at the position in the form of Dallas Clark, Owen Daniels, Dennis Pitta, and Ed Dickson.

There's a pretty good article on Jay (LINK) that indicates the apple has not fallen far from the tree as far as work ethic goes. Father Jim is known for his competitiveness and work ethic, and the article mentions that Jay is much the same.

Michigan could have made a more impressive hire than getting a 25-year-old kid with no actual coaching job on his resume. At the same time, I'm not inclined to believe that a competitive guy like Jim Harbaugh is going to give his son a job that isn't deserved. It's not like the kid was sitting on his butt or working in a grocery store. He had a pretty solid job with an NFL team, albeit with another member of the family. But there are worse places to learn (such as Oakland) than Oregon State and with the Ravens, who won the Super Bowl a couple years ago. On top of his NFL experience, Michigan has hired a special teams coach, John Baxter, who has extensive experience as a tight ends coach. If there are struggles or questions, Baxter - and Jim Harbaugh himself - could give him some advice. With the very impressive group of coaches Jim has put together in Ann Arbor, I'll be interested to see how this "gamble" works out for the Wolverines. He has some good pieces to work with in Jake Butt, Khalid Hill, and Ian Bunting, along with some potential incoming players like Chris Clark and Tyrone Wheatley, Jr.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

MLive: Greg Mattison keeps bond with Harbaugh family

Greg Mattison's relationship with the Harbaughs paid off in the form of being Michigan's defensive line coach (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking girls.

Quick Thoughts on the National Championship Game

This is my only positive thought about Oregon at this point.
In case you didn't watch, Ohio State beat Oregon in the national championship game, 42-20. Oregon jumped out to a 7-0 lead, and then things were bad after that.

  • For having a mobile quarterback themselves, Oregon did a terrible job of hemming in Cardale Jones. Their outside linebackers and defensive ends kept flying 10 yards upfield, which allowed Jones to step up in the pocket and/or escape contain. Maybe it was their goal to speed rush and try to rattle Jones, but the Ducks never adjusted.
  • Ezekiel Elliott is a man. He had 220 or more yards in the final three games of the year, including 36 carries for 246 yards and 4 touchdowns against Oregon. He's not the most elusive guy around, but he has a good combination of speed and power.
  • On the plus side, Urban Meyer went 9-4 following his first national championship at Florida. Unfortunately, he then went 13-1 following his second. Ohio State does not appear poised for a drop-off, because many of their best players (Ezekiel Elliott, Jalin Marshall, Darron Lee, Joey Bosa, J.T. Barrett) are too young to declare for the NFL Draft. However, there could be some turnover with the quarterback position (Braxton Miller to another school, Cardale Jones thinking about the draft) and some early entrants. But the Buckeyes recruit well and will most likely reload.
  • The Big Ten has had a bad rap for getting pushed around in recent years, but the Buckeyes demolished Oregon up front. Aside from the pressure put on Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and the inability to create seams up front, the defining moment was when Jones scrambled up the middle and ran right through the tackle - I mean the nose tackle - of the Ducks, Alex Balducci.
  • The Ducks flat-out laid an egg. They racked up penalties, made immature choices, had a poor game plan, dropped passes, etc. This was my concern when I pointed out that Meyer was 8-2 in bowl games and 2-0 in national championships, while Helfrich was in just his second year. Meyer's team was mentally and physically prepared to win the game, while Oregon was not.

Recruiting Update: January 13, 2015

Montezuma (GA) Macon linebacker Roquan Smith
Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Damon Arnette, a South Carolina commit, was offered by Michigan and plans an official visit to Ann Arbor for this upcoming weekend. He's a 6'2", 185 lb. prospect who's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #60 cornerback, and #649 overall. He was being recruited by defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin at Florida. Other schools to offer include Florida State, Louisville, Ohio State, Ole Miss, and Wisconsin, among others. Michigan has attempted to dip into St. Thomas Aquinas several times in recent years, but players like Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State), Joey Bosa (Ohio State), and Corey Holmes (Notre Dame) have spurned the Wolverines' efforts. Arnette is a big, physical corner.

Lithonia (GA) Hapeville Academy defensive end Arden Key decommitted from South Carolina. Key is a 6'5", 230 lb. prospect who's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #5 weakside end, and #103 overall. Most analysts believe Auburn will be the recipient of his commitment sometime in the next few weeks.

Rowlett (TX) Rowlett defensive end Charles Omenihu, a Texas commit, was offered by Michigan. Like Arnette, he had been pursued by Durkin at Florida. Omenihu is a 6'5", 232 lb. 3-star, #21 weakside end, and #469 player overall. Unfortunately, he has decided not to stir things up and stated that he would not take an official visit to Michigan despite some early excitement about the offer.

Montezuma (GA) Macon linebacker Roquan Smith was offered by Michigan. Smith is a 6'2", 205 lb. prospect and another Durkin connection. Smith is also a 247 Composite 4-star, the #5 outside linebacker, and #49 overall. He also has offers from Alabama and USC, but he's considered to be a Georgia lean with Ole Miss and UCLA visits scheduled for the final two weeks of January. He will be visiting Michigan this coming weekend, but the Wolverines are playing from behind. As a senior in 2014, he made 173 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 2 interceptions, plus he scored 12 touchdowns. Smith could probably play running back for a lot of teams in college football, but he's a speedy guy who could play outside in a 3-4 or as a weakside guy in a 4-3. At this point he's the best prospect considering Michigan, in my opinion, so a celebration would be in order if the Wolverines were able to pull him away from Georgia and his other suitors.

Monrovia (CA) Monrovia cornerback Octavius Spencer, a UCLA commit, picked up an offer from Michigan. Spencer is a 6'2", 175 lb. prospect who's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #64 cornerback, and #684 overall. He could be poachable if UCLA head coach Jim Mora, Jr. takes an NFL job somewhere, but otherwise, he probably sticks with the Bruins.

Hit the jump for players who went off the board and some miscellaneous bits and pieces.

Monday, January 12, 2015

MLive: Jim Harbaugh, the 'grinder,' perfect for college game

Nick Baumgardner has another piece on Jim Harbaugh and his personality fit for Michigan (LINK).

Hit the jump for a video from Kate Upton's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue shoot.

Michigan-centric preview of National Championship Game: Ohio State vs. Oregon

Marcus Mariota
Whenever I watch a college or pro football game, I always have Michigan in the back of my mind. I was rooting for the Cardinals over the Panthers in last week's playoffs because the Cardinals have Larry Foote, Kenny Demens, etc. Obviously, I was disappointed. This past Saturday night, I was rooting for the New England Patriots because of Tom Brady; Fitzgerald Toussaint just doesn't have the same place in my heart.

So here's a look at Ohio State vs. Oregon (8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN) from a Michigan fan's point of view:

CB Damon Webb

CB Eli Apple, OT Darryl Baldwin, TE Marcus Baugh, DT Michael Bennett, LB Kyle Berger, LB Devan Bogard, LB Dante Booker, DE Joey Bosa, CB Cam Burrows, CB Gareon Conley*, OT Taylor Decker, OT Kyle Dodson, RB Bri'onte Dunn, LB Curtis Grant, OG Joel Hale, TE Jeff Heuerman, DT Michael Hill, S Malik Hooker, DE Sam Hubbard, QB Cardale Jones, OT Jamarco Jones, OG Demetrius Knox, CB Marshon Lattimore, OT Evan Lisle, QB Braxton Miller, DE Steve Miller, OG Billy Price, CB Armani Reeves, DE Chris Rock#, DT Tommy Schutt, WR Devin Smith, S Erick Smith, DE Noah Spence, S Ron Tanner, OT Kyle Trout, TE Nick Vannett, DT Adolphus Washington, CB Damon Webb, LB Camren Williams

Hit the jump for some further info on tonight's game.