Saturday, February 28, 2015

MLive: Tim Drevno sees "something special" in Michigan's offensive line

Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Tim Drevno talks about his position group (LINK).

Hit the jump for some very good looking ladies.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Video: Jabrill Peppers interview

Visitors: February 27-March 1, 2015

Southfield (MI) Southfield running back Matt Falcon
2016 Matt Falcon - RB - Southfield (MI) Southfield: You can find pretty much all the pertinent information on Falcon in the scouting report I posted yesterday (LINK).

Desmond Fitzpatrick - WR - Farmington (MI) Farmington: Fitzpatrick is a 6'2", 194 lb. prospect who committed to Louisville back in October. He picked up an offer from Michigan a couple weeks ago and also added one from Pitt this week. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #55 wide receiver, and #340 overall. Fitzpatrick visited Michigan on Wednesday, and I think there's a very good chance he does not end up signing with Louisville. Fitzpatrick visited this past Wednesday.

Will Small - LB - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Small is a 6'0", 205 lb. prospect with no offers right now. Small visited Michigan a couple weeks ago and briefly reported an offer from the Wolverines, but he quickly reversed course when people figured out that he was either lying or confused. I do not believe Small is a Michigan-caliber recruit or even an FBS prospect.

Corey Malone-Hatcher - DE - St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph: Malone-Hatcher is a 6'3", 235 lb. prospect with offers from Iowa, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State. He's a 247 Sports 4-star, the #4 weakside end, and #111 overall. Michigan is thought to be the leader.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FiveThirtyEight Sports: How Madden Ratings are Made

Neil Paine takes an in-depth look at the process - and the guy - that creates Madden ratings (LINK).

Hit the jump for a blonde, a brunette, and a girl lying on a bed.

Scouting Report: Matt Falcon

Southfield (MI) Southfield running back Matt Falcon
Name: Matt Falcon
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Southfield (MI) Southfield
Position: Running back
Class: 2016

Notes: Holds offers from Akron, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, North Carolina State, Nortern Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio State, Tennessee, Toledo, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and West Virginia . . . Had 2015 teammates that went to Buffalo (DE Charles Harris), Minnesota (CB Ray Buford, S Dior Johnson), and Western Michigan (S Davonte Ginwright) . . . Had 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns in six games as a junior in 2014 . . . ESPN 3-star RB . . . Rivals 4-star, #13 RB . . . Scout 4-star, #11 RB, #147 overall . . . 247 Sports 4-star, #16 RB

Strengths: College-ready frame . . . Gets low to run behind pads . . . Shows good long speed for a big back . . . Shows long stride length . . . Very quick feet in the hole . . . Can make people miss without losing forward momentum . . . Good acceleration . . . Impressive athleticism for a guy listed between 205-215 lbs.

Weaknesses: Tore his ACL in 2013 . . . Seems to be very protective of his legs . . . Goes down a little too easily when defenders tackle him below the waist . . . Looks a little tentative when making sharp cuts . . . Not a natural pass catcher . . . Can be impatient waiting for blocks to develop

Projection: Running back. I have concerns about Falcon because of his injury problems, which have caused him to miss much of both his sophomore and junior seasons. I also think that has affected his running, as it looks like he is not as strong in the lower body as he should be. If he can remain injury-free for a long period of time, perhaps he can strengthen his lower body more and regain some of the mobility that seems to be missing because of that clunky brace on his left leg. Regardless, I think he has a lot of potential and could be a very good running back if he can remain healthy. His size and speed combination could make him a factor in any conference in the country, in my opinion.

Reminds me of: Brandon Minor. Minor had more of a duck-footed gait, but he would also get low to run behind his pads and had surprising quickness in the hole. Minor was fast enough to hit the hole and could make people pay if they lost leverage, but he was not a threat to go 80 yards on any given play.

Likelihood of committing to Michigan: The 247 Sports Crystal Ball reads 53% in favor of Michigan and 26% for Tennessee right now. Ohio State is running third, but they have two running back commitments in the 2016 class and are unlikely to add to that number. Offers from UCLA and West Virginia just came in the last 24 hours, and there will surely be more. In fact, I would not be surprised at all if the national powerhouses (Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Oregon, USC) throw their hats in the ring. If everything remains the same, I like Michigan's chances. All bets are off if national championship contenders - who actually have room - come calling.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Grantland: America's Second-Greatest Reality Show - The NFL Combine

Matt Taibbi talks about the NFL Combine that started late last week, and it includes Michigan's absolute best representative, Frank Clark (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of the brunette Xenia Deli.

Video: First spring practice

Hit the jump for Jim Harbaugh's press conference after practice.

Illinois Recruiting Snapshot: February 2015

Ke'Shawn Vaughn
In something that I hope to make a semi-regular feature, I'm going to take occasional looks at recruiting around the Big Ten. Not only will this help keep an eye on what's going on around the Big Ten, but it might introduce some of tomorrow's Big Ten stars. Going in alphabetical order, we'll start with the Illinois Fighting Illini. The next time the Wolverines play Illinois will be for Michigan's homecoming in October 2016.

2015 Team Ranking: #45

Cream of the 2015 Crop: Illinois offensive tackle Gabe Megginson (#193) and Tennessee running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn (#314) were the Illini's only 247 Composite 4-stars in the class. Illinois running back Dre Brown (#452) is also a solid player. Out of 24 signees, seven are junior college transfers. Head coach Tim Beckman seems to be taking the Bill Snyder approach of trying to make a quick turnaround with JUCO guys.

2016 Team Ranking:
 #60, one spot ahead of Eastern Michigan

Cream of the 2016 Crop: The only commit so far for the Illini is Illinois safety Juwuane Parchman (#931).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Detroit News: Michigan set to start spring practice shake-out

Angelique Chengelis talks about the beginning of spring practice (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of model Yara Khmidan.

Devin Funchess, #1 (and #87 and #19)

Devin Funchess (image via MLive)
Funchess was a Rivals 3-star and the #14 tight end in the 2012 class. Here's my commitment post for him from April 2011 (LINK). I gave him a TTB Rating of 75. In addition to pulling in Funchess, Michigan reeled in high school teammate Mario Ojemudia, while wide receiver target Aaron Burbridge ended up going to Michigan State.

When Funchess arrived at Michigan in 2012, he earned immediate playing time despite being an undersized tight end. In his second career game, he caught 4 passes for 106 yards and 1 touchdown against Air Force. He would finish the year with 15 catches for 234 yards and 5 touchdowns, and he was named to some Freshman All-America teams and even made Honorable Mention All-Big Ten. He became a part-time starter in 2013, serving as Michigan's pass receiving tight end until the season's second half, when he played wide receiver almost exclusively. He caught 7 passes for a career-high 151 yards against Minnesota, and he was named the Big Ten's Tight End of the Year after finishing with 49 catches for 748 yards and 6 touchdowns. After playing second fiddle to Jeremy Gallon that year, he was given the #1 jersey. (He had worn #19 as a freshman and then was awarded the #87 Legends jersey as a sophomore.) The 2014 season started off with a bang when Funchess shredded Appalachian State for 7 catches, 95 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he suffered an ankle injury the next week against Notre Dame, and never looked the same after that. Despite being quarterback Devin Gardner's favorite target, Funchess ended his junior season with 62 catches for 733 yards and 4 touchdowns; his 11.8 yards/catch were the lowest of his career. The coaches in the conference voted him Second Team All-Big Ten, which was very generous of them.

126 catches for 1,715 yards (13.6 yards/catch) and 15 touchdowns
8 carries for 23 yards (2.9 yards/carry)
2 tackles

2012: Freshman All-America, Big Ten All-Freshman Team
2013: First Team All-Big Ten, Kwalick-Clark Big Ten Tight End of the Year, #87 Legends jersey
2014: Second Team All-Big Ten, #1 jersey

Funchess was a very promising tight end, and he was a huge matchup nightmare in the passing game. Michigan had some questionable quarterback play throughout his career, and Denard Robinson - who was only Funchess's quarterback for the first half of 2012 - seemed to have the best chemistry with him. Funchess looked the most impressive when he had Gallon taking pressure off of him in 2013, because Gardner and Gallon had unbelievable chemistry and defenses needed to account for Gallon on every play. When you have a 6'5", 230 lb. receiver who can run, jump, catch, and gain yards after the catch going up against an individual corner or safety, that's problematic for the defense. Unfortunately, the reason Michigan had to employ such a huge wide receiver was because Funchess basically refused to be an effective in-line blocker. What became clear throughout his career was that Funchess was okay bullying smaller players, but he shied away from trying to physically overmatch defensive ends and linebackers. Michigan suffered from poor tight end blocking for the past three years under Brady Hoke, but Funchess was quite possibly the worst of the bunch. After the ankle injury he suffered against Notre Dame, Funchess missed a game and then came back gimpy for a while. At some point the limping turned into a lack of effort, and Funchess appeared to be saving himself for an early departure to the NFL. Once the season was over, he announced that he would indeed forego his senior season for a chance to play professional football.

. . . being one of the most frustrating players within memory. I would love to remember Funchess for his acrobatic catches, leaping high in the air to avoid Hoosiers and Buckeyes, outmuscling a Penn State safety for a poorly thrown deep ball, etc. However, I can't erase from my memory the idea of him refusing to improve as a blocker and seeming to mail it in after a high ankle sprain. Nor can I forget him saying "wins are just a statistic." He is perhaps Michigan's most impressive "tight end" athlete in history, but some of that potential seems to have been wasted. I don't regret that I compared him to Carson Butler when he committed to Michigan.

Funchess recently went to the NFL Combine, where he ran a 4.7 forty, did 17 reps on the 225 lb. bench press, showed off a 38.5" vertical, and broad jumped 10'2". I have seen him projected anywhere from the middle of the first round to the early part of the second round. I'm not sure that he can play a traditional tight end role in the NFL because he lacks strength and effort in that department, but he can certainly be a pass receiving threat, even though his 4.7 time was a little disappointing. I think some questions about his effort and mentality will drop him to the early second round.

Monday, February 23, 2015

MLive: Ex-Michigan QB Russell Bellomy transfers to UTSA

Russell Bellomy, a fifth year senior quarterback transferring out of Michigan, is headed to play for former Miami head coach Larry Coker at the University of Texas at San Antonio, an FBS program in Conference USA (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies.

Michigan releases spring 2015 roster

Brady Pallante is a fullback now. Brady Pallante is not #23.
Michigan released its spring roster on Monday as the Wolverines begin spring practice on Tuesday (LINK). Here are some notable updates to the roster.

Ian Bunting: Bunting is up to 6'7" and 243 lbs. Michigan needs help at tight end this fall, so 243 lbs. is a good sign of him developing physically. He should be up over 250 lbs. by the fall.

Brian Cole: Cole, a true freshman early enrollee, is wearing #81. He's listed at 6'2", 200 lbs.

Ross Douglas: Douglas was recruited as a cornerback, moved to slot receiver, moved to running back, and now is back at corner. Still wearing #29, he is now listed as Ross Taylor-Douglas.

Derrick Green: Green is listed at 5'11" and 234 lbs.

Ty Isaac: Isaac is listed at 6'3" and 240 lbs.

Alex Malzone: Malzone, a true freshman early enrollee, is wearing #12. He's listed at 6'2", 218 lbs.

Brady Pallante: Pallante came to Michigan as a nose tackle prospect and is now listed as a redshirt freshman, 6'0", 276 lb. fullback wearing #45.

Terry Richardson: Richardson is listed as a redshirt junior cornerback and is finally nearing close-to-acceptable weight at 174 lbs. at 5'9".

Matt Thompson: Thompson is a new addition as a walk-on quarterback from Cincinnati (OH) Indian Hills. He's listed at 6'5", 214 lbs. as a redshirt freshman. Here are Thompson's Hudl highlights from his senior year (LINK). His delivery is a little bit wonky, but he doesn't look too bad for a walk-on. He's not a bad guy to have available for running a scout team and such. It also looks like he's hit a growth spurt since high school.

Ryan Tice: Tice is a 6'1", 177 lb. walk-on who enrolled early out of Saline (MI) Saline. I mainly note this because Michigan graduated both their punter and kicker, so Tice might be competing for one of those jobs, along with walk-on Kenny Allen (punter) and 2015 signee Andrew David (kicker).

Recruiting Update: February 23, 2015

Viera (FL) Viera wide receiver Tre Nixon (image via
Houston (TX) Aldine MacArthur defensive end Isaiah Chambers was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'4", 245 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, Florida State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas A&M, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #10 strongside end, and #133 overall. Chambers is a big, thick player who uses his hands really well. As a junior in 2014, he made 32 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles. His current Crystal Ball currently reads 80% in favor of the Aggies. I am generally not a fan of any recruit who emblazons the title "YOU ARE NOW A WITNESS!" or anything similar on his highlights, kind of like 2015 tight end Jalen Wilkerson (Florida State) titled his highlights "The Chosen One."

Calhoun (GA) Calhoun offensive tackle Jack DeFoor was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'5", 260 lb. prospect with offers from Clemson, Louisville, and Ole Miss, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #72 offensive tackle, #902 overall. DeFoor is a decent athlete who has a slightly odd habit of taking a small hop just before he gets to second-level defenders. The way he moves and blocks, he looks more like a center to me. One of his teammates is 2016 tight end Landon Rice, an Auburn commit who was offered by Michigan a couple weeks ago.

Sachse (TX) Sachse wide receiver Devin Duvernay was offered by Michigan. He's a 5'11", 185 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, LSU, and Oregon, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #3 wide receiver, and #36 overall. As a junior in 2014, he caught 62 passes for 990 yards and 9 touchdowns, plus he carried the ball 33 times for 290 yards and 3 scores. He also claims a 4.46 forty. Duvernay is one of those solidly built slot guys who can be a combo running back/receiver, and he can also return kicks.

Hit the jump for a bunch more offers and some miscellaneous bits.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

MLive: Jake Ryan says he's NFL-ready at middle linebacker

Jake Ryan talks about where he fits best with the NFL Draft coming up (LINK).

Video: Tom Brady at the NFL Combine

Lots of people look at Tom Brady as a college player or in pictures or video from the NFL Combine (see below), and they laugh at the scrawny guy who looks like an un-athletic tenth grader running through agility drills. The thing that people often forget is that when he played quarterback for Michigan and when he was going through QB-specific drills, he actually looked pretty darn good. It was only when asked to run around cones and run 40 yards in a straight line when he looked particularly awkward. It just goes to show that you don't have to be a great all-around athlete to be a professional athlete. I don't want to watch C.C. Sabathia run the 40-yard dash or see B.J. Raji throw a curveball, but they're both good at what they do.

Visitors: February 20-22, 2015

Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's linebacker Joshua Ross
The other night, several 2016 prospects - and one 2017 player - were in town for Michigan's basketball game against Michigan State. On Sunday for the Ohio State game, there will be more prospects on campus, including a couple of the top in-state prospects for 2017.

Bryce Brand - DT - Walled Lake (MI) Western: Brand, a 2017 prospect, is a 6'2", 267 lb. prospect with offers from Air Force and Louisville. His older brother, Ryan, was a quarterback at U of D Jesuit and signed with Air Force in the 2015 class.

Rodney Hall - QB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Hall, another 2017 prospect, is a 6'3", 192 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. When senior quarterback Jayru Campbell - a one-time Michigan State commit - was suspended for the 2014 season, Hall stepped in as a sophomore. The lefty led Cass Tech to the state championship game.

Corey Malone-Hatcher - DE - St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph: Malone-Hatcher is a 6'3", 235 lb. prospect with offers from Iowa, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State. He's a 247 Sports 4-star, the #4 weakside end, and #111 overall. Michigan's staff under Brady Hoke offered him, so Jim Harbaugh and company may reaffirm the offer while he's on campus.

John O'Korn - QB - University of Houston: O'Korn has been reported by some as being a done deal to transfer to Michigan, although nothing official has been announced. He started as a freshman at Houston (2,889 yards, 26 touchdowns, 8 interceptions) in 2013 and then took a step back last season. Now he's looking to transfer somewhere, and Michigan seems a likely destination. If the transfer does become official, he will have to sit out the 2015 season and will have two remaining seasons of eligibility (2016-2017).

Joshua Ross - LB - Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary's: Ross is a 6'1", 210 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, and Oklahoma. He's a 247 Sports 4-star, the #2 inside linebacker, and #56 overall. He's the younger brother of Michigan senior linebacker James Ross III, who will be long gone by the time Joshua enters college.

Taeshon Trotter - OT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Trotter is a 6'6", 275 lb. prospect with no offers at this time.

Tim Walton - LB - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Walton is a 6'1", 225 lb. prospect with offers from Cincinnati and a handful of MAC schools. He's currently unranked in the 247 Composite, and I ranked him the #25 player in the state (LINK) last week.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

MLive: Frank Clark talks about domestic violence incident

Former Michigan defensive end Frank Clark talks about the domestic violence arrest that got him kicked out of Michigan's football program (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few very good looking women.

Video: Miraculous - The Austin Hatch Story

Friday, February 20, 2015

Welcome to the Weekend!

It's Friday night, so start your weekend off with some pictures of beautiful women, including an Alison Brie gif. Jabrill Peppers headlines 10 redshirt freshmen ready to break out

Colin Becht presents a list of ten redshirt freshmen who might be breakout stars this coming fall (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking ladies.

247 Sports: Top 247 for 2016 updated

Erik Swenson
247 Sports updated their top 247 players for 2016 (LINK). Here's what it looked like previously (LINK). As you can see, Michigan's lone commit on the list, Erik Swenson, dropped from #240 to #242.

Here are the rest of Michigan's offerees:

1. Greg Little - OT - Texas (Texas A&M)
2. Rashan Gary - DT - New Jersey
3. Jacob Eason - QB - Washington (Georgia)
10. Tommy Kraemer - OT - Ohio (Notre Dame)
12. Ben Cleveland - OT - Georgia (Georgia)
14. Malik Henry - QB - California (Florida State)

15. Isaac Nauta - TE - Georgia (Florida State)
16. Liam Eichenberg - OT - Ohio
17. Jauan Williams - OT - Washington, D.C.
18. Dexter Lawrence - DT - North Carolina
20. Willie Allen - OT - Louisiana
24. Kareem Walker - RB - New Jersey (Ohio State)
26. Ben Bredeson - OT - Wisconsin
28. Deontay Anderson - S - Texas
29. Caleb Kelly - LB - California
37. Brandon Jones - S - Texas
39. Nate Craig-Myers - WR - Florida (Auburn)
41. Demetris Robertson - ATH - Georgia (Alabama)
43. Devin Duvernay - WR - Texas
47. Dwayne Haskins - QB - Maryland
50. Michael Menet - OT - Pennsylvania
51. Josh King - DE - Illinois
53. Levonta Taylor - CB - Virginia
56. Scott Bracey - WR - Virginia (Duke)
57. Nigel Knott - CB - Mississippi
62. Shea Patterson - QB - Louisiana (Ole Miss)
64. Steven Smothers - WR - Maryland
65. Josh Brown - DE - Virginia (Florida State)
66. Eli Stove - WR - Florida
67. Trayvon Mullen - CB - Florida
68. Steffon McKnight - WR - California
69. Janarius Robinson - DE - Florida (Florida State)
71. Binjimen Victor - WR - Florida
73. Daelin Hayes - LB - Michigan (USC)
77. Dylan Crawford - WR - California
78. Sam Bruce - WR - Florida (Miami)
80. Ed Oliver - DT - Texas
83. Donnie Corley - WR - Michigan
87. Isaiah Chambers - DE - Texas
92. Jordan Fuller - ATH - New Jersey
94. Cameron Chambers - WR - New Jersey (Michigan State)
95. Richard Merritt - OG - Washington, D.C.
98. Justin Layne - WR - Ohio
100. Dontavious Jackson - LB - Texas
101. Jarrett Guarantano - QB - New Jersey
102. Clark Yarbrough - OT - Virginia
104. Jared Mayden - CB - Texas
108. Kaden Smith - TE - Texas
110. Joseph Jackson - DE - Florida (Miami)
112. Auston Robertson - DE - Indiana
113. Shaquille Quarterman - LB - Florida (Miami)
114. John Broussard - CB - Alabama
117. K.J. Costello - QB - California
121. David Long - CB - California
122. Austin Mack - WR - Indiana
127. Quayshon Alexander - DE - New Jersey
129. Erick Fowler - LB - Texas
133. Miles Sanders - RB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
134. Collin Johnson - WR - Texas (Texas)
135. Ahmir Mitchell - ATH - New Jersey
139. Cary Angeline - TE - Pennsylvania
140. Terrance Davis - OG - Maryland
142. Khalid Kareem - DE - Michigan
146. Kendell Jones - DT - Texas
151. Rahshaun Smith - DE - Florida
152. E.J. Price - OT - Georgia
154. Tavares Chase - WR - Florida (Clemson)
155. Lavert Hill - CB - Michigan (Penn State)
168. Antonio Williams - RB - North Carolina (Wisconsin)
179. Brad Hawkins - WR - New Jersey
180. Damar Hamlin - CB - Pennsylvania
181. Jordan Woods - DE - Florida
189. Michael Jordan - OT - Michigan
190. Jaquan Yulee - LB - Virginia
193. Jake Hausmann - TE - Ohio (Ohio State)
194. Michael Onwenu - DT - Michigan
197. Kyree Campbell - DE - Virginia
201. Jonathan Jones - LB - Florida
203. Naseir Upshur - TE - Pennsylvania
209. Frank Martin II - OT - California
210. Craig Watts - S - Florida
237. Devery Henderson - OT - Maryland
240. Josh Imatorbhebhe - WR - Georgia
241. Luke Farrell - TE - Ohio
242. Erik Swenson - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
247. Darrian Franklin - LB - California

Thursday, February 19, 2015

MLive: Funchess says Beilein asked him to try out for basketball team

Supposedly, John Beilein once asked Devin Funchess to join Michigan's basketball team (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking ladies.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

MLive: 49ers' Trent Baalke - Harbaugh "always wanted" Michigan job

This article isn't too awfully in-depth, but it does have a couple quotes from Jim Harbaugh's former boss (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking girls.

247 Sports: Top 116 for 2017 updated

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones is within the range of being an eventual 5-star to 247 Sports
247 Sports updated their top prospect list for 2017 back in November (LINK), although I missed it at the time. Here's what it looked like back in August of 2014 (LINK). At that time I included players who might have Michigan interest or vice versa. This time I'll include only the players Michigan has actually offered.

3. Josh Myers - OT - Ohio (Ohio State)

6. Calvin Ashley - OT - Florida
7. Devon Hunter - S - Virginia
12. Donovan Peoples-Jones - WR - Michigan
14. Shaun Wade - CB - Florida (Ohio State)
21. Jeff Thomas - ATH - Illinois
31. Darnay Holmes - ATH - California
42. Najee Harris - RB - California
56. Josh Ross - LB - Michigan
70. Isaiah Pryor - S - Georgia
84. Jamyest Williams - ATH - Georgia
111. Corey Malone-Hatcher - DE - Michigan
114. Anthony Hines - LB - Texas

Recruiting Update: February 18, 2015

Exton (PA) Downington East tight end Cary Angeline
Exton (PA) Downington East tight end Cary Angeline was offered by Michigan. Angeline is a 6'7", 230 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and Pitt, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #10 tight end, and #222 overall. Angeline obviously has impressive size, but he also possesses good speed and soft hands. He splits out wide sometimes for his high school team and looks pretty comfortable in space against smaller players. Angeline is expected to play college ball for the Nittany Lions. His older brother, Ryley, went to Delaware as a running back, and the last time Michigan recruited Downington East was Drew Harris (Virginia Tech) in 2012.

Euless (TX) Trinity defensive tackle Chris Daniels was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'4", 269 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, and TCU, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #13 defensive tackle, and #110 overall. I am not particularly high on Daniels because he often stands straight up and does not use his hands well. He's a decent athlete, but I think he's rated too high. He attended Muskegon (MI) Mona Shores as a freshman in high school and attended Michigan's summer camp that year, so he was excited about Michigan's offer and familiar with the program.

Southfield (MI) Southfield running back Matt Falcon was offered by Michigan. As I suggested in yesterday's visitor list, I thought Falcon might get offered because I think he's the third-best player in the state of Michigan. He's a 6'1", 215 lb. running back who has offers from Ohio State and Tennessee, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #15 running back, and #219 overall in the class. Falcon runs downhill and runs hard, and he has some speed in the open field, which I think would fit Michigan's offense well. He has, however, had an ACL tear in the past, so that might be something to watch going forward. Southfield has become quite a hotspot of football talent over the past few years, as they have sent players to Michigan (Lawrence Marshall), Michigan State (Malik McDowell), Minnesota (Ray Buford, Dior Johnson), and a host of MAC schools in the past few years, including a defensive end named - and I'm not kidding - Lion King to Eastern Michigan.

Farmington (MI) Farmington wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'1", 185 lb. prospect who committed to Louisville last fall, and he also has offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, and Purdue, plus several MAC programs. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #57 wide receiver, and #334 overall. Fitzpatrick is a good route runner and does a nice job of snatching the ball out of the air, but he is not the most explosive or dynamic athlete with the ball in his hands. I have him ranked as the #10 player in the state (LINK).

Allen (TX) Allen cornerback Jaylon Jones was offered by Michigan. He's a 5'11", 175 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Miami, Ohio State, and Ole Miss, among others. He claims a 4.4 forty and is a 247 Composite 4-star, the #23 cornerback, and #232 overall. As a junior in 2014, he made 117 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 5 pass breakups, to go along with 1 kickoff return touchdown. Jones plays safety for his high school team and is a solid tackler who will come up quickly to make plays in the run game. He is also teammates with offensive tackle Greg Little (Texas A&M) and defensive end Levi Onwuzurike, both of whom have been offered by Michigan.

Hit the jump for several more 2016 prospects, some 2017 prospects, a couple commitments elsewhere, and a few random tidbits and links.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

MLive: Harbaugh helping Bryce Petty, Jameis Winston prep for NFL Combine

Jim Harbaugh is helping to host Baylor's Bryce Petty and Florida State's Jameis Winston as they prepare for the NFL Combine (LINK). I think this is definitely a good thing, as it gains Michigan some publicity and lets recruits know that if they come to Michigan, they will be working with a guy who's so respected in the industry that the best talents in the country (Jameis Winston, at least) are spending time with him to get ready for the most important step in their lives.

Come on down, K.J. Costello.

Hit the jump for some good looking women.

Rivals 250 for 2016 updated

Dele' Harding is the #228 player in the country (image via
Rivals released their updated top 250 player list for 2016 (LINK). I updated the top 100 prospects yesterday (LINK). Here's what it looked like back in December (LINK). Michigan commit Dele' Harding dropped from #215 to #228.

Here are the rest of Michigan's offerees on the list:

102. Jauan Williams - OT - Washington, D.C.
106. Theo Howard - WR - California
109. Damar Hamlin - CB - Pennsylvania
110. Devin Asiasi - TE - California
113. Elijah Holyfield - RB - Georgia
119. Cameron Chambers - WR - New Jersey (Michigan State)
120. Darrian Franklin - LB - California
124. Terrance Davis - OG - Maryland
134. Joseph Jackson - DE - Florida (Miami)
135. J.P. Urquidez - OT - Maryland
136. Devin Bush, Jr. - LB - Florida
137. Josh Imatorbhebhe - WR - Georgia
138. Binjimen Victor - WR - Florida
149. Steffon McKnight - WR - California
151. John Broussard - CB - Alabama
156. Marquel Dismuke - S - California
161. Shaquille Quarterman - LB - Florida (Miami)
162. Brad Hawkins, Jr. - WR - New Jersey
163. Justin Layne - WR - Ohio
163. Jeffery McCulloch - LB - Texas
168. Curtis Robinson - ATH - California
174. Luke Farrell - TE - Ohio
182. Michael Onwenu - DT - Michigan
190. Camilo Eifler - LB - California
192. Austin Mack - WR - Indiana
199. Antonio Williams - RB - North Carolina (Wisconsin)
200. Kaden Smith - TE - Texas
201. Clark Yarbrough - OT - Virginia
202. Auston Robertson - DE - Indiana
208. Kentrail Moran - RB - Illinois
211. Brandon Peters - QB - Indiana
215. Cameron Lewis - ATH - Louisiana
225. Justin Madubuike - DE - Texas
226. Jaylon Jones - CB - Texas
228. Dele' Harding - LB - Maryland (Michigan)
229. Dontavious Jackson - LB - Texas
230. Jordan Fuller - ATH - New Jersey
232. Messiah DeWeaver - QB - Ohio
238. Alex Akingbulu - OT - California
239. Jordan Woods - DE - Florida
247. Michael Jordan - OT - Michigan
248. Khalid Kareem - DE - Michigan

Visitors: February 17, 2015

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech wide receiver
Donovan Peoples-Jones
A cadre of high-level in-state visitors will be on campus Tuesday.

Donnie Corley - WR - Detroit (MI) King: Corley is a 6'2", 180 lb. prospect. He transferred from Wyandotte (MI) Roosevelt to King prior to his junior year, and it paid off with 47 receptions for 1,087 yards, 18 receiving touchdowns, and 9 picks on defense. All that came on a bigger stage and against better competition than he would have faced at Roosevelt. Corley has parlayed his performance into offers from LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, among others. The Wolverines were left out of his top four recently, so this may be a chance to give the program a fighting chance. Corley is a 247 Composite 4-star, the #24 wide receiver, and #111 overall.

Matt Falcon - RB - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Falcon is a 6'1", 215 lb. prospect with offers from Cincinnati, Ohio State, Tennessee, and several others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #15 running back, and #219 overall. Michigan has recruited some of his former teammates, such as redshirt freshman defensive end Lawrence Marshall (Michigan) and defensive tackle Malik McDowell (Michigan State). He also had several teammates sign with FBS teams this past Signing Day, although most of them were of the low 4-star or 3-star variety. I believe Falcon could be offered on his visit, because I see him as the #3 player in the state (LINK).

Desmond Fitzpatrick - WR - Farmington (MI) Farmington: Fitzpatrick is a 6'1", 185 lb. prospect who has been committed to Louisville since last October; he also has offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, and Indiana, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #57 wide receiver, and #334 overall. Fitzpatrick attended Farmington Hills Harrison early in high school, which is generally thought to be a Michigan State-leaning school, even though Michigan got Devin Funchess and Mario Ojemudia a few years ago. Farmington High School is not a football powerhouse, but they do have a couple FBS prospects this year in Fitzpatrick and David Reese (see below).

Michael Jordan - OT - Canton (MI) Plymouth: Jordan is a 6'6", 285 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #18 offensive tackle, and #195 overall. Jordan's 247 Sports Crystal Ball reads 100% for Michigan right now.

Khalid Kareem - DE - Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison: Kareem is a 6'4", 252 lb. prospect who was committed to Michigan State for about 48 hours at the beginning of February. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #19 strongside end, and #291 overall. Kareem holds offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, among others.

Michael Onwenu - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Onwenu is a 6'2", 340 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Miami, Michigan, and Ohio State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #6 offensive guard, and #192 overall. He seems to be favoring Ohio State early, where he could join former teammates Josh Alabi, Damon Webb, and Michael Weber.

Donovan Peoples-Jones - WR - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Peoples-Jones, the lone 2017 prospect on this list, is 6'2" and 183 lbs. and claims a 4.4 forty. He is an early 247 Sports 4-star, the #2 wide receiver, and #12 overall with offers from LSU, Miami, Michigan State, and Ohio State, among others. He is also the son of former Michigan defensive back Shonte Peoples.

David Reese - LB - Farmington (MI) Farmington: Reese is a 6'1", 235 lb. prospect with offers from a bunch of MAC schools and Indiana. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #22 inside linebacker, and #649 overall. He is a big fan of Michigan and is likely hoping and waiting for bigger offers before committing somewhere.

Demetric Vance, Jr. - S - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Vance is a 6'1", 193 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan State and North Carolina State. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #26 safety, and #421 overall. He claims a 4.5 forty.

Monday, February 16, 2015

MLive: Devin Funchess shows off leaping ability, goes to Patriots in mock draft

Devin Funchess is getting ready for the NFL Draft by jumping really high (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies.

Rivals 100 for 2016 updated

Erik Swenson is the #82 prospect in the country (image via
Rivals updated their top 100 prospects for 2016 (LINK). Here's what it looked like in December (LINK). Michigan commit Erik Swenson dropped from #76 to #82 over the past couple months. Here are the rest of Michigan's offerees:

1. Jacob Eason - QB - Washington (Georgia)
3. Shea Patterson - QB - Louisiana
4. Rashan Gary - DT - New Jersey
5. Nate Craig-Myers - WR - Florida (Auburn)
6. Demetris Robertson - ATH - Alabama (Alabama)
8. Greg Little - OT - Texas (Texas A&M)
9. Levonta Taylor - CB - Virginia
11. Rahshaun Smith - DE - Florida
12. Caleb Kelly - LB - California
13. Dexter Lawrence - DT - North Carolina
15. Malik Henry - QB - California
18. Kareem Walker - RB - New Jersey (Ohio State)
19. Daelin Hayes - LB - Michigan (USC)

25. K.J. Costello - QB - California
28. Brandon Jones - S - Texas
29. Elijah Stove - WR - Florida
31. Tommy Kraemer - OT - Ohio (Notre Dame)
32. Scott Bracey - WR - Virginia (Duke)
36. Sam Bruce - WR - Florida (Miami)
39. Janarius Robinson - DE - Florida (Florida State)
40. Isaac Nauta - TE - Georgia (Florida State)
41. Ben Bredeson - OT - Wisconsin
42. Ben Cleveland - OT - Georgia (Georgia)
43. Deontay Anderson - S - Texas
44. Jake Hausmann - TE - Ohio (Ohio State)
50. Ahmir Mitchell - WR - New Jersey
51. Erick Fowler - LB - Texas
53. Miles Sanders - RB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
55. Ed Oliver - DT - Texas
56. E.J. Price - OT - Georgia
58. Willie Allen - OT - Louisiana
59. Josh King - DE - Illinois
61. Naseir Upshur - TE - Pennsylvania
62. Collin Johnson - WR - Texas (Texas)
66. Donnie Corley - WR - Michigan
68. Dwayne Haskins, Jr. - QB - Maryland
69. Dylan Crawford - WR - California
74. Trayvon Mullen - CB - Texas
79. T.J. Chase - WR - Florida (Clemson)
81. Michael Menet - OT - Pennsylvania
82. Erik Swenson - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
84. Kendell Jones - DT - Texas
91. Jarrett Guarantano - QB - New Jersey

In-State Preview of 2016 Recruiting

Detroit (MI) King wide receiver Donnie Corley
In past years I've listed the upcoming class's prospects in alphabetical order, but this year I'm going to try something different. Based on their junior film, I'm going to rank the prospects in order of their talent level. Things can always changed based on spring/summer camps, fall performance, body maturation, etc., but this is how I see these guys here in the winter of 2015. Note that I ranked these players before compiling their recruiting rankings from other services, although I am aware of rankings peripherally since I cover recruiting quite a bit. There is also a dearth of linemen on the list, partly because linemen take a little longer to mature and pop up on the radar.

1. Donnie Corley - WR - Detroit (MI) King: King is 6'2", 180 lbs. and a 247 Composite 4-star, the #24 wide receiver, and #111 overall. As a junior in 2014, he had 47 receptions for 1,087 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also made 9 picks on defense. So far he has offers from LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, among others. I do think he could play corner at the next level, but I think he's such a strong north-south runner and a natural pass catcher that he would be best served playing offense.

2. Lavert Hill - CB - Detroit (MI) King: Hill is a 5'11", 170 lb. prospect who committed to Penn State recently; he also holds offers from Miami, Michigan, and Ohio State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #21 cornerback, and #218 overall. He claims a 4.4 forty. He's also the younger brother of Michigan sophomore safety Delano Hill. Lavert himself played at Detroit (MI) Cass Tech through his junior season, but he will be playing for King this coming fall. Lavert is an aggressive corner - perhaps too aggressive, since he gets called or should get called for lots of pass interference - who shows good speed, nice hips, and smooth ball skills.

3. Matt Falcon - RB - Southfield (MI) Southfield: Falcon is a 6'1", 215 lb. prospect with offers from Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Tennessee, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #15 running back, and #219 overall. He also claims a 4.41 forty. Maybe I'm imagining things, but as a junior, it still appeared that he a bit of a hitch in his giddyap after an ACL tear suffered as a sophomore. Falcon runs with good body lean, some violence, and good speed despite the knee injury.

Hit the jump for 35 more prospects from within the state.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

MLive: John Baxter says he wants athletic kickers/punters

Nick Baumgardner talks about new special teams coach John Baxter (LINK).

Hit the jump for Georgia Salpa.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Grantland: The Great Defender

Chris Brown from Smart Football  talks about the things that make Bill Belichick a great coach (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few well endowed ladies.

Welcome to the Weekend!

It's Saturday morning, so enjoy some pictures of beautiful ladies and a GoPro video of pole vaulter Allison Stokke..

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tim Kawakami interviews Jim Harbaugh

Here's a link to west coast writer Tim Kawakami interviewing Jim Harbaugh (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few scantily clad ladies.

Scouting Report: 2016 Quarterbacks

Shreveport (LA) Calvary Baptist quarterback Shea Patterson (#1)
Every year I put together a list of potential quarterbacks from Michigan and rank their desirability. This year's list includes only players Michigan has offered, since more offers have gone out than in the past. Brady Hoke was very stingy with quarterback offers and generally didn't offer guys until National Signing Day of the preceding class, but he went a little crazy with 2016 guys and offered some of them early. Jim Harbaugh has reaffirmed some of those offers and added one name to the list (Brandon Peters), plus he has gotten in the ear of Georgia commit Jacob Eason, whom I also included. Remember that this is a look at which players fit Michigan's personnel, coaching staff, and system best, not necessarily who will be the best college football player overall.

If additions to the list are needed later, I'll do a separate post at that time. Otherwise, these are the guys Michigan has offered and pursued at one point or another for the 2016 cycle. Enjoy!

1. Jacob Eason - QB - Lake Stevens (WA) Lake Stevens: Eason is a 6'5", 205 lb. quarterback who committed to Georgia last summer; he also holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Washington, and Washington State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 5-star, the #1 pro-style quarterback, and #4 overall. As a junior in 2014, he completed 197/287 passes for 2,829 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Eason is a tall kid who can easily see over the line, and he does a good job of standing in the pocket and finding his man. He keeps his feet active and is always in a position to throw, which is helped out by the fact that he has the arm strength to make all the throws. I believe he has an NFL arm as a high schooler, and he can put the ball on a line even when he's running and can only use his arm. In that way he reminds me a little bit of some throws I saw Jameis Winston make this past year, but overall, I see Sam Bradford when I look at Eason. Eason can put some nice touch on the deep ball, and he can find small windows in the secondary. He also gets rid of the ball quickly and seems in command of the offense, understanding where to go with the football and when. He gets through his reads in a hurry and can scan the whole field, which is impressive for a high schooler. There's not much to criticize, but he is not a dynamic runner, lacking great speed or elusiveness but with enough athleticism right now to keep the chains moving. Also, when he has to hold onto the ball, he starts to drop his throwing arm and he can be a little careless by keeping only one hand on the ball at times, which might lead to turnovers. He also appears to operate exclusively out of a shotgun spread, which means that playing from under center might be a tricky adjustment.

Hit the jump for seven more quarterback breakdowns.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

MLive: Wild experience brings Karan Higdon to Michigan

Here's part of the story that sent Florida running back Karan Higdon on the Michigan trip that would eventually turn into his college destination (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies.

2016 Recruiting Needs

Rancho Santa Margarita (CA) Catholic quarterback K.J. Costello is one of Michigan's top targets
As of this moment in February of 2015, Michigan has 14 spots scheduled to open up in the 2016 class (LINK). Michigan also took 14 players in the class of 2015, but the numbers for 2016 should grow by the time a year goes past, and the class will probably be close to 20. Based on the current number, though, here's how things should start off.

Seniors in 2015:
Needs: 1
Comments: With no seniors on the roster in 2015 but a slew of scholarship guys in their freshman to junior years, Michigan does not need to take two quarterbacks like they did this past Signing Day. Jim Harbaugh has taken two quarterbacks consistently in past classes, which is a stark contrast to Brady Hoke taking zero or one in each class. While Harbaugh could continue his own trend of taking multiple quarterbacks, the true need is only one.
Top targets: K.J. Costello, Messiah DeWeaver, Jacob Eason, Brandon Peters

Seniors in 2015:
Needs: 1
Comments: Michigan has three juniors and a sophomore on the roster, plus true freshman Karan Higdon. This is not a strong need, but Michigan needs to keep stocking the roster for a couple years in the future, when all of those juniors leave at once (or earlier if they want playing time elsewhere).
Top targets: Kingston Davis, Elijah Holyfield, Kareem Walker

Seniors in 2015:
 Sione Houma, Joe Kerridge
Needs: 0
Comments: Harbaugh likes to use fullbacks quite a bit in his offense, and the two guys with significant playing time will both be gone after the upcoming season unless Houma somehow takes a redshirt year. The only fullback-type player left on the roster afterward will be Wyatt Shallman, a redshirt sophomore this year. The coaches could settle for having a walk-on back him up if they find someone who can get the job done.
Top targets: None identified yet

Seniors in 2015:
 Dennis Norfleet
Needs: 1
Comments: Michigan will have nine receivers left on the roster after Norfleet leaves, which is a good number. The coaches may choose to recruit more players at the position depending on what they see out of the current guys on the roster. None of them seem like possibly early entrants to the NFL, so that should help maintain some continuity and allow the younger guys time to develop.
Top targets: Dylan Crawford, Demetric Felton, Theo Howard

Seniors in 2015:
 A.J. Williams
Needs: 1
Comments: Michigan wanted to take both Chris Clark and Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. in 2015, but only Wheatley committed, and his long-term ceiling might be highest at defensive end. Taking one tight end likely assures that Wheatley stays on offense, whereas taking two could allow the coaching staff some more position flexibility. Starter Jake Butt will be a junior with the ability to depart early if Michigan is able to showcase his talents, so the coaches must have a contingency plan in place. Also, Harbaugh's use of multiple tight ends requires several to be ready to play at any given time.
Top targets: Devin Asiasi, Luke Farrell

Seniors in 2015:
 Graham Glasgow, Jack Miller
Needs: 2
Comments: Glasgow and Miller are both projected starters in 2015, and while they likely won't be replaced by freshmen in 2016, Michigan does need to replenish their numbers very soon. Most linemen redshirt, so the 2016 class is essentially addressing the 2017 team. Michigan has four redshirt juniors, at least three of whom should be starting in 2016 and will need to be replaced. Michigan took just one lineman in 2014 and three in 2015, most of whom are projects and not blue-chippers. The Wolverines need to address the center and left tackle positions.
Top targets: Alex Akingbulu, Michael Jordan, E.J. Price, Erik Swenson (commit)

Seniors in 2015:
 Mario Ojemudia
Needs: 1-2
Comments: The Wolverines appear to be going to more of a 3-4 look with a rush linebacker playing one of the defensive end spots, so this position can be folded into linebacker somewhat. The team brought in two freshman defensive ends in the past class and loses just Ojemudia, so the remaining group should be able to hold down the one true defensive end position.
Top targets: Quayshon Alexander, Terrell Hall, Khalid Kareem, Connor Murphy, Rahshaun Smith

Seniors in 2015:
 Ondre Pipkins
Needs: 1-2
Comments: Michigan has a good number of defensive tackles spread across the years, although they did not take one in 2015. Pipkins has not played up to his recruiting ranking, so the younger guys have taken over and played fairly well. This is another position where 2016 defensive tackles address the 2017 team because so many young guys redshirt, although the Wolverines are in on a couple guys who could contribute early, such as Rashan Gary.
Top targets: Rashan Gary, Ed Oliver

Seniors in 2015:
 Joe Bolden, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Desmond Morgan, James Ross III
Needs: 2
Comments: Michigan is very top-heavy at the linebacker position, where four guys are seniors and another two are juniors. Luckily, all three remaining linebacker recruits in 2014 (Michael Ferns III already transferred) were able to redshirt, but the position group needs to be replenished a little bit, and with Michigan looking to put four linebackers on the field instead of three, the group itself needs to expand.
Top targets: Camilo Eifler, Dele' Harding (commit), Dontavious Jackson, Caleb Kelly, Jeffrey McCulloch,

Seniors in 2015:
 Blake Countess
Needs: 2
Comments: Michigan wanted two corners in the 2015 class, and they only got one. With Countess graduating the Wolverines will likely take at least two, if not more. There's also a chance that junior corner Jourdan Lewis gets the urge to leave early. The coaching staff has already been sending out lots of offers, so they consider this a position of priority.
Top targets: Jordan Fuller, David Long Jr., Trayvon Mullen

Seniors in 2015:
 Jarrod Wilson
Needs: 1
Comments: The coaching staff does not appear to be confident in their options at safety, because a large number of offers went out early in the cycle. Wilson is the only proven player at the position, and so far the group lacks a guy who can play center field. They will be helped out at least temporarily by Jabrill Peppers, who moves from corner to safety for 2015, but he's a guy who could be an early NFL draft entrant or who could play corner.
Top targets: Deontay Anderson, Marquel Dismuke, C.J. Pollard

Seniors in 2015:
Needs: 0
Comments: The coaches have kicker Andrew David and long snapper Scott Sypniewski on scholarship, both of whom are young guys with at least three years remaining. The punting duties should be handled by Kenny Allen, a redshirt junior, but punting can often be handled by walk-ons who earn scholarships. If there's no suitable replacement waiting in the wings by 2016, expect the coaches to address it in 2017.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 Why colleges try so hard to recruit QBs away from home

Ari Wasserman has a piece on quarterback recruiting (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking girls and a fun gif.

2015 Recruiting Grades: Defense, Special Teams

Tyree Kinnel
I posted the recruiting grades for the offensive side of the ball (LINK), so here are the grades for the defense. Rankings used are from the 247 Composite.

Lost from 2014: Brennen Beyer (graduation), Frank Clark (suspension/graduation)
Commits: Shelton Johnson, Reuben Jones
Grade: B+
Comments: Michigan didn't land the highest value targets, and the two guys they brought in were last-minute fixes who don't provide a huge speed rush that Michigan has been lacking in recent years. But Michigan does need numbers at the position, where the graduations of Beyer and Clark left the team with few viable replacements and a couple guys who perhaps should be playing defensive tackle instead of on the edge. Johnson (3-star, #20 SDE) has some high upside and Jones (3-star, #44 DE) has potential, too, so at least one of these guys should pay dividends sooner or later.

Lost from 2014:
Commits: None
Grade: C
Comments: Neither coaching staff deemed defensive tackle as a priority. Hoke only offered a handful of guys and actually backed off several targets last summer, and Harbaugh hardly made an attempt aside from offering defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, who never visited. Michigan is in a situation where they have a lot of guys in their middle years of football, but they will need to renew their efforts in 2016 to avoid a huge age gap.

Lost from 2014:
 Michael Ferns III (transfer), Jake Ryan (graduation)
Commits: None
Grade: D
Comments: Jake Ryan was a Butkus Award finalist and a stud at middle linebacker for Michigan last season, but the Wolverines should not miss him too awfully much with four senior linebackers scheduled to be on the roster in 2015 (Joe Bolden, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Desmond Morgan, James Ross). However, the only non-senior to have played much so far is junior Ben Gedeon, which means Michigan will be searching for answers in 2016. It would have been a good idea to land at least one guy to redshirt and adjust to the college game, because that guy could have been deployed in 2016. Assuming the five aforementioned guys suck up most of the playing time in 2015, the Wolverines will be very green in 2016.

Lost from 2014:
 Delonte Hollowell (graduation), Raymon Taylor (graduation)
Commits: Keith Washington
Grade: C-
Comments: Much like the running back position, Michigan had two highly touted guys committed at different junctures - Shaun Crawford (Notre Dame) and Garrett Taylor (Penn State) - and both of them slipped out of their grasp. Cornerback is a spot where guys can contribute early, but with Jabrill Peppers moving to safety, the Wolverines are very thin at the position. Washington (3-star, #77 ATH) was a high school quarterback who did not play a ton of defense, so he's a project. If anyone higher in the pecking order gets hurt, the Wolverines could be in serious trouble, although Peppers has the ability to move back to corner if necessary.

Lost from 2014:
Commits: Tyree Kinnel
Grade: A-
Comments: I don't see Kinnel (4-star, #11 S)as a huge playmaker in college, but he's a good field general with some respectable athletic skills. The only safety scheduled to depart after 2015 is starter Jarrod Wilson, and most of the other safeties on the roster are good athletes without a great understanding for the game. So if new safeties coach Greg Jackson can coach those guys up, Michigan should be in very good shape here.

Lost from 2014:
 Will Hagerup (graduation), Matt Wile (graduation)
Commits: Andrew David
Grade: A
Comments: Punter is a position that can often be filled by walk-ons, which is likely what will happen in 2015 with Kenny Allen expected to take over the punting job. With no walk-on kickers daring to take the job, Michigan offered one guy and one guy only to be their placekicker, and they got him. David (3-star, #9 K) will be in a situation where he has a special teams coach in John Baxter, which should speed his development at least a little bit. Michigan got exactly whom they wanted.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 Does Mike Weber feel misled by Ohio State?

Weber already essentially re-affirmed his commitment to Ohio State, and this is not meant to prolong the discussion about whether he'll end up at Michigan (I have always doubted that aspect). However, it does give some insight into the relationship between Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher, Urban Meyer, etc. (LINK).

Hit the jump for Emily Ratajkowski. I shouldn't have to say much more than that.

Scout 300 for 2016 updated

Detroit (MI) King wide receiver Donnie Corley is the highest rated player in Michigan
Scout updated their top 300 players for the class of 2016 (LINK). Offensive tackle commit Erik Swenson comes in at #100 overall. Here are the rest of Michigan's offerees:

1. Rashan Gary - DT - New Jersey
5. Greg Little - OT - Texas (Texas A&M)
7. Shea Patterson - QB - Louisiana
9. Caleb Kelly - LB - California
13. Kareem Walker - RB - New Jersey (Ohio State)
14. Kendell Jones - DT - Texas
17. Nate Craig - WR - Florida (Auburn)
18. Levonta Taylor - CB - Virginia

19. Ben Bredeson - OT - Wisconsin
20. Ed Oliver - DT - Texas
22. Jacob Eason - QB - Washington (Georgia)
28. Richard Merritt - OG - Washington, DC
29. Dexter Lawrence - DT - North Carolina
32. Malik Henry - QB - California (Florida State)
33. Tommy Kraemer - OT - Ohio (Notre Dame)
36. K.J. Costello - QB - California
38. Willie Allen - OT - Louisiana
39. Brandon Jones - S - Texas
41. Michael Menet - OT - Pennsylvania
46. Ben Cleveland - OT - Georgia (Georgia)
48. Kaden Smith - TE - Texas
49. Ahmir Mitchell - WR - New Jersey
51. Dylan Crawford - WR - California
54. Jaquan Yulee - LB - Virginia
55. Liam Eichenberg - OT - Ohio
61. Collin Johnson - WR - Texas (Texas)
64. Sam Bruce - WR - Florida (Miami)
66. Jeffrey McCulloch - LB - Texas
69. Devin Asiasi - TE - California
70. Deontay Anderson - S - Texas
72. Clark Yarbrough - OT - Virginia
74. Austin Mack - WR - Indiana
77. Janarius Robinson - DE - Florida (Florida State)
79. Antonio Williams - RB - North Carolina (Wisconsin)
82. Mike Williams - DT - Texas
84. Jake Hausmann - TE - Ohio (Ohio State)
86. Binjimen Victor - WR - Florida
88. Auston Robertson - DE - Indiana
89. Theo Howard - WR - California
95. Rahshaun Smith - DE - Florida
98. Miles Sanders - RB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
100. Erik Swenson - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
103. Josh King - DE - Illinois
105. Trayvon Mullen - CB - Florida
106. Donnie Corley - WR - Michigan
107. Isaac Nauta - TE - Georgia (Florida State)
108. Demetris Robertson - WR - Alabama (Alabama)
112. Scott Bracey - WR - Virginia (Duke)
114. E.J. Price - OT - Georgia
118. Michael Jordan - OT - Michigan
121. Shaquille Quarterman - LB - Florida (Miami)
123. Jordan Fuller - CB - New Jersey
127. Jarrett Guarantano - QB - New Jersey
132. John Broussard - CB - Alabama
135. Camilo Eifler - LB - California
136. Steven Smothers - WR - Maryland
145. Brad Hawkins - WR - New Jersey
146. Jauan Williams - OT - Washington, DC
147. Daelin Hayes - LB - Michigan (USC)
154. Luke Farrell - TE - Ohio
160. Erick Fowler - LB - California
161. Justin Layne - WR - Ohio
166. Michael Onwenu - DT - Michigan
169. Lavert Hill - CB - Michigan (Penn State)
171. Curtis Robinson - LB - California
174. Dontavious Jackson - LB - Texas
181. Kentrail Moran - RB - Illinois
189. Marquel Dismuke - S - California
196. Darrian Franklin - LB - California
203. Tavares Chase - WR - Florida (Clemson)
205. Naseir Upshur - TE - Pennsylvania
209. Levi Onwuzurike - DE - Texas
210. Jordan Woods - DE - Florida
213. Calvin Bundage - LB - Oklahoma
215. Wayne Davis - CB - Virginia
227. Dwayne Haskins, Jr. - QB - Maryland
229. David Long, Jr. - WR - California
237. Robert Washington - RB - North Carolina
247. Khalid Kareem - DE - Michigan
250. Thiyo Lukusa - OT - Michigan
255. Devery Hamilton - OT - Maryland
257. Elijah Holyfield - RB - Georgia
258. Damar Hamlin - CB - Pennsylvania
263. C.J. Pollard - S - California
265. Josh Brown - DE - North Carolina (Florida State)
282. Connor Murphy - DE - Arizona
287. Terrance Davis - OG - Maryland
292. James Valdez - CB - South Carolina (North Carolina State)
293. Craig Watts - S - Florida
297. Eric Cuffee - CB - Texas

Recruiting Update: February 10, 2015

Avon (IN) Avon quarterback Brandon Peters (image via
Lee's Summit (MO) Lee's Summit quarterback Drew Lock was offered by Michigan late in the 2015 recruiting cycle. A Missouri commit who signed with the Tigers, it appears Jim Harbaugh really tried to pull him away from Missouri, but Lock turned him down. He was the 247 Composite #7 pro-style quarterback and #96 overall in the class.

Wayne (NJ) DePaul defensive end Quayshon Alexander was offered by Michigan. Alexander is a 6'3", 222 lb. prospect with offers from Miami, Pitt, and Rutgers, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #18 weakside end, and #350 overall. Alexander is a pretty versatile athlete who could end up being a rush linebacker, a weakside end, or a tight end at the next level. Right now he's a lithe athlete who shows good speed and some smooth route running. Alexander is the teammate of the #1 running back in the class, Kareem Walker, whom Michigan has offered but is committed to Ohio State.

Phenix City (AL) Central cornerback John Broussard was offered by Michigan. Broussard is a 6'0", 164 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State, and Penn State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #5 cornerback, and #55 overall. Broussard is a speedy guy who shows an ability to break on the ball, but players in the deep south are notoriously difficult to pull out of the south when those big-time schools down there come calling.

Houston (TX) Alief Elsik safety Chris Brown was offered by Michigan, his first and only one so far. Brown is a 6'0", 183 lb. prospect who's unranked by the recruiting services. As a junior in 2014, he made 43 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 5 pass breakups. Brown is a hard-hitting, ball-hawking safety who is a teammate of linebacker Dontavious Jackson, another Michigan offeree in the class.

Hit the jump for a ton more 2016 prospects, a new 2017 offer, and some miscellaneous bits.

Monday, February 9, 2015 Prize recruits should refuse to sign NLI

Andy Staples argues against recruits signing National Letters of Intent (LINK).

Hit the jump for Valeria Orsin in a wet red dress.

247 Sports: Top 247 for 2016 updated

Erik Swenson
247 Sports updated their top 247 prospects for 2016 (LINK) at the end of January, but I was too busy with wrapping up the 2015 class to pay much attention. Here's what the list looked like last April, which is the last time I updated (LINK). Erik Swenson has dropped from #233 to #240 on the list. Here are the rest of the players who hold offers from Michigan:

1. Greg Little - OT - Texas (Texas A&M)
2. Rashan Gary - DT - New Jersey
3. Jacob Eason - QB - Washington (Georgia)
5. Malik Henry - QB - California (Florida State)
9. Liam Eichenberg - OT - Ohio
12. Ben Cleveland - OT - Georgia (Georgia)

15. Isaac Nauta - TE - Georgia
16. Jauan Williams - OT - Washington, DC
17. Dexter Lawrence - DT - North Carolina
19. Willie Allen - OT - Louisiana
21. Kareem Walker - RB - New Jersey (Ohio State)
23. Ben Bredeson - OT - Wisconsin
25. Deontay Anderson - S - Texas
26. Caleb Kelly - LB - California
31. John Broussard - CB - Alabama
36. Brandon Jones - S - Texas
38. Nate Craig-Myers - WR - Florida (Auburn)
40. Tommy Kraemer - OT - Ohio (Notre Dame)
41. Demetris Robertson - ATH - Alabama (Alabama)
46. Dwayne Haskins - QB - Maryland
50. Michael Menet - OT - Pennsylvania
52. Josh King - DE - Illinois
53. Levonta Taylor - CB - Virginia
54. Shaquille Quarterman - LB - Florida (Miami)
56. Scott Bracey - WR - Virginia (Duke)
60. Dylan Crawford - WR - California
65. Shea Patterson - QB - Louisiana
67. Sam Bruce - WR - Florida (Miami)
70. Steven Smothers - WR - Maryland
71. Josh Brown - DE - North Carolina (Florida State)
74. Trayvon Mullen - CB - Florida
75. Janarius Robinson - DE - Florida (Florida State)
76. Binjimen Victor - WR - Florida
78. Daelin Hayes - LB - Michigan (USC)
81. Ed Oliver - DT - Texas
92. Jordan Fuller - ATH - New Jersey
94. Cameron Chambers - WR - New Jersey
95. Richard Merritt - OG - Washington, DC
98. Justin Layne - WR - Ohio
100. Dontavious Jackson - LB - Texas
102. Jarrett Guarantano - QB - New Jersey
103. Clark Yarbrough - OT - Virginia
110. Kaden Smith - TE - Texas
112. Auston Robertson - DE - Indiana
115. K.J. Costello - QB - California
116. Donnie Corley - WR - Michigan
121. Auston Mack - WR - Indiana
126. Quayshon Alexander - DE - New Jersey
132. Miles Sanders - RB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
133. Collin Johnson - WR - Texas (Texas)
134. Ahmir Mitchell - ATH - New Jersey
145. Kendell Jones - DT - Texas
149. Rahshaun Smith - DE - Florida
150. E.J. Price - OT - Georgia
152. Tavares Chase - WR - Florida (Clemson)
153. Lavert Hill - CB - Michigan (Penn State)
166. Antonio Williams - RB - North Carolina (Wisconsin)
179. Brad Hawkins - WR - New Jersey
180. Damar Hamlin - CB - Pennsylvania
181. Jordan Woods - DE - Florida
189. Jaquan Yulee - LB - Virginia
192. Michael Onwenu - DT - Michigan
196. Kyree Campbell - DE - Virginia
201. Naseir Upshur - TE - Pennsylvania
220. Jake Hausmann - TE - Ohio (Ohio State)
233. Michael Williams - DT - Texas
237. Devery Hamilton - OT - Maryland
240. Luke Farrell - TE - Ohio
241. Erik Swenson - OT - Illinois (Michigan)
244. J.P. Urquidez - OT - Maryland
246. Darrian Franklin - LB - California

Sunday, February 8, 2015

MLive: NFL invites 321 players to Combine, including 9 from Michigan/Michigan State

It's about that time of year again to talk about the NFL Draft and the Combine (LINK). Three Wolverines got invited, but not quarterback (or wide receiver?) Devin Gardner, who will have to make a mark at Michigan's pro day.

Hit the jump for a good looking blonde named Yuly Zalyaeva.

2015 Recruiting Grades: Offense

Zach Gentry (image via Maxpreps)
With the 2015 class about wrapped up, I'll offer some final takeaways from the recruiting cycle. With something like this, it's difficult to separate Brady Hoke's recruiting efforts through early December from Jim Harbaugh's efforts over the last five weeks of the cycle. So the grades and feedback I provide are geared toward the program's job of recruiting, not necessarily a specific coach.

Starters are listed in italics.

Lost from 2014:
 Russell Bellomy (transfer), Devin Gardner (graduation)
Commits: Zach Gentry, Alex Malzone
Grade: A-
Comments: Michigan needed to add talent and numbers to the quarterback position to engender competition, and they did that. Gentry (#8 pro-style quarterback, #175 overall) is the raw talent at 6'7", 230 lbs. with a reported 4.6 forty and a strong arm. Malzone (#13 pro-style quarterback, #295 overall) is the local field general with good skills all around but nothing that really stands out. Other than getting a truly elite prospect, Michigan did about as well as they could. Toss in the possible arrival of Houston transfer John O'Korn, and all these guys won't finish their careers at Michigan, but at least one should emerge looking good.

Lost from 2014:
 Justice Hayes (transfer)
Commit: Karan Higdon
Grade: C
Comments: The unfortunate thing here is that Michigan had two top-150 running back talents committed at different times, and the Wolverines let both of them slip through their fingers. The first one, Damien Harris, ended up signing with Alabama. The second one, Mike Weber, was darn close to flipping from Ohio State to Michigan at the last minute, but he ultimately stuck with the Buckeyes around 10:30 a.m. because Higdon had committed to Michigan at 8:00 a.m. Michigan stole Higdon (#40 running back, #479 overall) himself at the last minute from Iowa, so there's something to be said for getting someone on the board, at least. Still, this could have looked better.

Lost from 2014:
 Devin Funchess (early NFL draft entrant)
Commits: Brian Cole, Grant Perry
Grade: B+
Comments: Michigan might have hit a home run with Cole (#5 athlete, #75 overall), who was a jack-of-all-trades player in high school and will have to learn the receiver position in college. Perry (#109 wide receiver, #864 overall) is a solid role player plucked from Northwestern at the last minute. Otherwise, both Hoke and Harbaugh swung and missed at the big-timers in the class.

Lost from 2014:
 Keith Heitzman (transfer)
Commit: Tyrone Wheatley, Jr.
Grade: B
Comments: Michigan let Chris Clark slip through their fingers, although Clark was wishy-washy and seemed to be all over the place with his recruitment. The Wolverines may have dodged a bullet, because Wheatley - as the son of a coach on staff - might be less likely to flake out if things don't go smoothly from day one. Wheatley (#12 tight end, #313 overall) has a fair amount of talent himself, although some think he's better suited for defense. It would have been nice to get two tight ends with Heitzman transferring, A.J. Williams being a senior in 2015, and starter Jake Butt a junior who could possibly go pro if he stays healthy.

Lost from 2014:
 Kyle Bosch (transfer)
Commits: Grant Newsome, Jon Runyan Jr., Nolan Ulizio
Grade: B
Comments: The offensive line recently went from being "way too young" to being "maybe too old" now that four projected starters will be fifth-year guys (2) or fourth-year guys (2), joined by sophomore left tackle Mason Cole and redshirt junior utility man Erik Magnuson. With a couple backups looking stuck there for a reason, Michigan needed to bring in some fresh talent. Newsome (#22 offensive tackle, #235 overall) is a possible star, whereas Runyan (#122 offensive tackle) and Ulizio (#137 offensive tackle) look like they could be passable players in a few years. This probably isn't the class that will turn around Michigan's fortunes immediately, but they're functional. Michigan essentially ignored a national prospect with high interest (USC-bound Chuma Edoga) and a local, guru-approved guy with high interest (Wisconsin-bound David Moorman), so hopefully they picked the right ones to pursue. If Newsome pans out like I think he should, he'll make this class look pretty good.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Grantland: Inside the Evolution (and Oregonification) of Ohio State's Offense

Chris Brown from Smart Football  talks about how Urban Meyer's offense has changed (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of Angie Varona.

On Michael Weber

As most diehard Michigan fans know by now, Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Michael Weber signed his National Letter of Intent to Ohio State on Wednesday after an intense battle between the Buckeyes and Wolverines. Of course, his position coach and lead recruiter, Stan Drayton, publicly accepted the running backs coach job for the Chicago Bears the very next day. This has prompted a bit of an uproar in recruiting circles and from Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher, a former Wolverine himself who went on the radio to vent about Urban Meyer's disrespect toward Weber and Cass Tech.

The key point is that Weber was on the verge of choosing the Wolverines, and his relationship with Drayton was one of the things that sold him on Ohio State. The final nail in Michigan's coffin was that they had accepted a commitment from Florida running back Karan Higdon, which was announced at 8:00 a.m., approximately 2.5 hours before Weber himself announced. Weber thought he was going to be the only running back in Michigan's class. But if he had been made aware of Drayton's impending departure, he almost certainly would have chosen Michigan.

The practice of coaches leaving immediately after National Signing Day without informing recruits is sneaky and slimy and dirty. It's dishonest to recruit17- and 18-year-old kids - or even grownups - into a situation where the recruiter knows the dynamic will change 24 hours after the binding agreement is signed. Texas's defensive line coach did it, UCLA's defensive coordinator did it, and there have probably been more instances this season of which I'm unaware. Coaches spend as much time with these kids as anyone over the next four years and often make promises of helping them reach the next level. It's one thing to take a promotion after a year or two or three, because the flow of life is inevitable. It's quite another to voluntarily leave the next day.

Weber's choices now include accepting his fate and sticking with Ohio State, where head coach Urban Meyer - who almost assuredly knew of Drayton's future - obviously isn't a straight shooter. Weber could also transfer schools, which would force him to sit out the 2015 season, accept a redshirt, and have four seasons to play four seasons at his chosen destination. The third most prominent option would be to fight the National Letter of Intent's validity, legally proving that Ohio State knowingly misled him into his current situation. California defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes successfully pulled the third option a couple years ago, which got him away from Notre Dame and to UCLA, where he played as a true freshman in 2013.

For what it's worth, I have heard through the grapevine that Weber wants out of his Ohio State deal, which is understandable considering the distrust he probably has for Meyer. Michigan and Wisconsin are both potential landing spots, as both recruited him hard, and with new staffs in place, everyone is almost 100% secure for the next year, at least. A Detroit-area lawyer has offered his services pro bono to Weber, who has a good case but might not want the headache of going through the legal process. It would be a difficult choice for a high school kid whether to prolong the recruiting shenanigans (Weber got tired of recruiting and does not bask in the attention) or start on the path to four years with an ethically questionable coach.

From Michigan's end, Weber said on National Signing Day that he thought he was the only running back being recruited by the Wolverines. Perhaps there is some distrust there, or perhaps he simply thought Jim Harbaugh would wait for Weber's decision before accepting another running back. Either way, it is a bit naive to think that Michigan - which did not take a running back in 2014 - would risk going a second straight year without a running back signee. If Weber had been given or accepted good advice, he should have reserved his spot with Michigan before Higdon even had a chance to flip. Programs can't gamble like that if they want to find success consistently.

Michigan did something similar to Ohio State back in 2006 when offensive coordinator Terry Malone left for the New Orleans Saints a day after National Signing Day. Of the signees that year, Malone appears to have been the lead recruiter only for Obi Ezeh. While the situation is somewhat similar, Ezeh was a fullback/linebacker who ended up playing defense, and Michigan promoted special teams coach Mike Debord from within to take over offensive coordinator duties. Those facts are somewhat beside the point, but the negative repercussions seem pretty minimal.

As for Weber's future, Ohio State has junior Ezekiel Elliott, sophomore Curtis Samuel, and redshirt junior Warren Ball ahead of him; they also have the nation's #1 running back, Kareem Walker, committed in the 2016 class. They hired Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck to replace Tom Herman, but Beck helped launch the careers of Ameer Abdullah and Rex Burkhead, so that's a positive if Weber ever earns the starting gig. Wisconsin's new head coach, Paul Chryst, is known for a power running game and has sophomore Corey Clement taking over the starting role; they also have a highly touted running back for 2016 in the form of Antonio Williams. Michigan has a top-heavy backfield scheduled for 2015, with three juniors and a redshirt sophomore vying for the starting gig but no 2016 commits in the fold. Regardless of where Weber ends up or when, there's going to be competition.

My guess is that Weber stays at Ohio State, where he would join rising sophomore cornerback Damon Webb and fellow 2015 signee Joshua Alabi, both of whom also went to Cass Tech. The allure of playing for the defending national champions and being "the next Ezekiel Elliott" is significant. The leading rumor right now for Drayton's replacement appears to be Notre Dame's Tony Alford.

If nothing else, this gives Weber an early introduction into the cold, cruel world of "business decisions."