Tuesday, June 30, 2015

MGoBlog: Seasoning the Line - 2015

Seth from MGoBlog looks at how the offensive line is developing and should develop (LINK).

Hit the jump for eight girls in bikinis.

Scout 100 for 2017 released

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech wide receiver Donovan
Peoples-Jones is the #25 player nationally
Normally, when a recruiting site releases a top prospect list for the next recruiting cycle, I just list the players who have connections to Michigan or are from the Big Ten imprint. But since Jim Harbaugh have offered over 100 prospects already for the 2017 class, I think it's fair to just list the players Michigan has offered. So here is the initial Scout 100 (LINK), which will be expanded into a top 300 eventually. Below is the list of Michigan's offerees:

2. Calvin Ashley - OT - FL (Auburn)
3. Najee Harris - RB - CA (Alabama)
5. Devon Hunter - S - VA
6. Shawn Robinson - QB - TX (TCU)
7. Trevon Grimes - WR - FL
8. Foster Sarell - OT - WA
9. Austin Jackson - OT - AZ
10. Joshua Kaindoh - DE - MD
11. Joseph Lewis - WR - CA
12. Darnay Holmes - CB - CA
13. Tate Martell - QB - NV
14. Wyatt Davis - OG - CA
15. Josh Myers - OT - OH (Ohio State)

16. Stanford Samuels III - CB - FL
17. A.J. Epenesa - DE - IL
18. Tedarrell Slaton - OT - FL
20. Marvin Wilson - DT - TX
23. D'Andre Swift - RB - PA
24. Jeffrey Okudah - S - TX
25. Donovan Peoples-Jones - WR - MI
28. Hunter Johnson - QB - IN
29. Anthony McFarland, Jr. - RB - MD
32. Anthony Hines - LB - TX
33. Jeff Thomas - WR - IL
38. Micah Clark - OT - NJ
39. Chevin Calloway - CB - TX
40. Cordarrian Richardson - RB - MO
41. Dylan McCaffrey - QB - CO
42. Daniel Wright - S - FL
43. Toneil Carter - RB - TX
47. Hezekiah Jones - WR - TX (Baylor)
48. Trey Sermon - RB - GA
49. Nate McBride - LB - GA
51. Shaun Wade - CB - FL (Ohio State)
52. Greg Johnson - ATH - CA
53. Isaiah Wilson - OT - NY
55. Jarez Parks - DE - FL
62. Brock Wright - TE - TX (Notre Dame)
64. Jake Moretti - OT - CO
65. Walker Little - OT - TX
67. Jordan Anthony - LB - MD
71. Cam Akers - RB - MS
74. Isaiah Pryor - S - GA
80. Marcus Williamson - CB - OH (Ohio State)
85. James Walker - WR - GA
88. Kayden Lyles - OG - AZ
92. Henry Bainivalu - OT - WA
94. Kedrick James - TE - TX
95. Richard LeCounte - CB - GA

2015 Season Countdown: #61 Jaron Dukes

Jaron Dukes
Name: Jaron Dukes
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 204 lbs.
High school: Columbus (OH) Marion Franklin
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #83
Last year: I ranked Dukes #81 and said he would be a backup wide receiver. He did not see game action.

Last season Michigan did not get great production from its wide receivers, but Dukes still did not manage to find his way onto the field. He is not particularly big or fast or athletic. But he has put on approximately seven pounds since he arrived on campus, and he is now approaching an appropriate weight for someone of his height. Additionally, he was targeted several times in the spring game, and he even notched the contest's only touchdown on a fade pattern from Shane Morris (over the head of 5'7" utility man Dennis Norfleet, who was unfairly deployed at cornerback after barely practicing there). Aside from abusing Norfleet in the spring game, I have yet to be convinced that Dukes can be an effective target - but his utilization in the spring game is more than Brady Hoke ever did with him. Dukes might be one of those guys who benefits from a coaching change. I doubt he'll start, but he could sub in when guys get winded or when the game gets out of hand.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver

Monday, June 29, 2015

MLive: Police report - U of M's Jim Minick unbalanced, uncooperative

The police report from Jim Minick's drunk driving arrest has been made public (LINK). What do you think? Should he still be around Michigan or not?

Hit the jump for some pictures of Dannie Riel.

2015 Season Countdown: #62 Ian Bunting

Ian Bunting
I just want to apologize for the somewhat inconsistent posting for the past few days. Normally I like to put up at least two posts per day (6:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.), but my schedule has been thrown off a bit and I sometimes don't have a chance to write until later in the morning. Also, this week's recruiting updates will be posted on Wednesday and/or Thursday. Thanks for reading!

Name: Ian Bunting
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 243 lbs.
High school: Hinsdale (IL) Central
Position: Tight end
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #94
Last year: I ranked Bunting #57 and said he would be a backup tight end. He redshirted.

Bunting was very thin last year (and even this spring) which partially prevented him from seeing the field. I thought he might see the field with Jake Butt coming off of a torn ACL and no other proven tight ends, but the coaches stuck with A.J. Williams, Keith Heitzman, and Khalid Hill until Butt returned. It was not a very productive group, but it also was not a very productive team overall. In the meantime, Hill emerged a little bit before suffering his own ACL injury. Bunting was able to redshirt, and he has added 13 lbs. to his frame since last year.

Bunting is still a little bit thin, and this spring it did not seem that he would be heavily relied upon. Despite his considerable size and athleticism, he was not terribly productive in high school and played wide receiver up through his junior year. Still, Williams is not a receiving threat, Heitzman is gone, and Hill is still recovering. Butt is a good option, and the coaches have also moved linebacker Chase Winovich and defensive end Henry Poggi to tight end. I think Bunting has a decent shot at being a receiving threat, but with the glut of tight ends and his lack of experience, he is not extremely valuable to this team. I am looking forward to seeing what Jim Harbaugh can do with a player like Bunting in the long run, though.

Prediction: Backup tight end

Sunday, June 28, 2015

MLive: Michigan's 2016 recruiting class bonding together, gaining momentum

Nick Baumgardner talks about the cohesion among Michigan's 2016 recruits (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of fitness model Paige Hathaway.

2015 Season Countdown: #63 Wyatt Shallman

Wyatt Shallman
Name: Wyatt Shallman
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 244 lbs.
High school: Novi (MI) Catholic Central
Position: Running back
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #33
Last year: I ranked Shallman #66 and said he would be a backup H-back. He had 1 carry for 5 yards while playing in nine games.

Shallman has bounced around a little bit so far in his career, playing some running back, fullback, and H-back. He came out of high school as somewhat of an athlete, and that's still the category he inhabits. Even the coaches seem a little bit confused, as both Hoke's staff and Harbaugh's staff have bounced him around. The majority of his playing time in 2014 came on special teams.

In this year's spring game, Shallman was used quite a bit as a tailback. Despite pretty good overall numbers at the position, injuries and such left Michigan short-handed, so Shallman and cornerback Ross Taylor-Douglas each got several snaps. Harbaugh has experience using jumbo-sized running backs in college, such as Toby Gerhart at Stanford. The Wolverines seem to have a stable of big running backs: De'veon Smith, Derrick Green, Ty Isaac, and Shallman are all between 228 and 244 lbs. Since Shallman is the least athletic of the bunch, I do not expect him to get a lot of carries. But if he can prove to be difficult to bring down, then he could be the staff's go-to guy in short yardage situations and near the goal line.

Prediction: Backup running back

Saturday, June 27, 2015

MLive: Q&A with LaMarr Woodley

Here's a question-and-answer session with LaMarr Woodley (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of fitness model Brittany Renner.

2015 Season Countdown: #64 Ross Taylor-Douglas

Ross Taylor-Douglas (#29)
Name: Ross Taylor-Douglas
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 186 lbs.
High school: Avon (OH) Avon
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #29
Last year: I ranked Douglas #69 and said he would be a backup running back. He played in ten games but did not record any statistics.

Taylor-Douglas - who changed his name from just Ross Douglas this past year - has bounced around during his first couple years on campus. Recruited as a cornerback, he moved to running back in the spring of 2014 to provide a little competition at a position he had played very well in high school. But with the running back rotation pretty set by the season, he moved to slot receiver. He played in ten games but was not utilized at all.

This spring he returned to cornerback officially, but that hasn't stopped the coaches from using him elsewhere. When injuries slowed down a couple running backs, the staff threw him out there at tailback in the spring game for a couple carries. If nothing else, he's a good option for the scout team to have in the offensive backfield. The path to playing on defense is blocked by a few guys, but the numbers at the cornerback position are limited. There's nothing to suggest that anyone beyond Jourdan Lewis, Wayne Lyons, and Channing Stribling is ready to play. Taylor-Douglas should get a shot to play on special teams and probably a little on defense this season, but he will not be relied on heavily unless injuries become a serious issue.

Prediction: Backup cornerback, special teamer

Friday, June 26, 2015

Welcome to the Weekend!

It's the beginning of the weekend, so enjoy some good looking ladies, including a gif of a girl jumping.

ESPN: Pipkins says Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh pressured him to retire

Here's the Ondre Pipkins story (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of Paula Labaredas.

Ondre Pipkins, Ex-Wolverine

Ondre Pipkins
Rising senior defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins is going to attempt to transfer. A couple times I have hinted that this was going to happen, and unfortunately, it's not happening in a positive light for Jim Harbaugh and the program. Pipkins feels he was forced out because the staff needed a scholarship, even though that doesn't make sense because Pipkins would have been a senior and vacating his scholarship for a class of 2016 player, anyway.

Regardless, Pipkins is now out of the picture. I had recently placed him at #66 on the 2015 Season Countdown (LINK), and I did not expect him to make a big impact this season even if he had stayed. He tore his ACL in the middle of his sophomore year, but in 24 career games, he made just 23 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. He was a promising high school prospect who did not seem destined to match his recruiting profile once he saw the field in college.

Pipkins has received permission to talk to Florida State, Georgia State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Tennessee, and Washington State. Former Wolverine Josh Furman was drafted out of Oklahoma State this spring after playing the 2014 season there as a graduate transfer. Former Michigan linebackers/cornerbacks coach Roy Manning is now coaching at Washington State.

Video: Denard Robinson, Devin Gardner at Aerial Assault camp

Ron Johnson Jr., Wolverine

Camden (NJ) Camden defensive end Ron Johnson, Jr.
Camden (NJ) Camden defensive end Ron Johnson, Jr. committed to Michigan on Thursday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Miami, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, and South Carolina, among others.

Johnson is 6'4", 240 lbs. He claims a 4.6 forty. As a junior in 2014, he made 84 tackles, 60 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks.

ESPN: 4-star, 83 grade, #16 DE, #103 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #6 WDE, #109 overall
Scout: 3-star, #48 DE
247 Sports: 4-star, 92 grade, #17 WDE, #231 overall

Johnson was offered by Michigan's new staff, and the Wolverines immediately jumped to at or near the top of the list. He visited Ann Arbor in late March, and that visit solidified their position along with South Carolina. There were rumors recently that Michigan was concerned about his size and that he would not be a "take" for the Wolverines. Obviously, those rumors were not true, especially after Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison OLB/DE Khalid Kareem committed to Alabama on Wednesday. Johnson and several other players (LINK) arrived on Wednesday evening, and Johnson was committed by Thursday afternoon.

I wrote a scouting report on Johnson back in May, which tells you most of what I think about him (LINK).

I have said several times - including in the comments section of Johnson's scouting report - that I was not too disappointed in Khalid Kareem's commitment to Alabama because Michigan had better options. I think Johnson is a step up. I believe he could play Buck linebacker, weakside end, or even perhaps strongside end in a few years. He is a good physical specimen who can sometimes get a little lackadaisical with his technique, but the potential is there to be a very good player.

Michigan now has 20 commitments for the 2016 class, and Johnson joins Rashad Weaver at defensive end, the latter of whom is more of a strongside guy. The Wolverines have added 14 commits in just the month of June. They now rank #7 in the 247 Composite team rankings.

Johnson's teammate, Brad Hawkins, is a 2016 wide receiver who was supposed to visit with this New Jersey crew, but he had to postpone to mid-July. Hawkins posted on Twitter that he might like to announce on his birthday, which is July 26. His two leaders are also Michigan and South Carolina. Additionally, the Wolverines offered their 2017 teammate, center/guard Cesar Ruiz.

TTB Rating: 83 (ratings explanation)

2015 Season Countdown: #65 Shelton Johnson

Shelton Johnson
Name: Shelton Johnson
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 225 lbs.
High school: Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic
Position: Defensive end
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Johnson was a senior in high school. He was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #20 strongside end, #365 overall, and #54 in Florida.
TTB Rating: 80

Johnson was a late pull out of Florida, a steal orchestrated by defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, who was the Florida defensive coordinator for the past couple seasons. Johnson was offered in the middle of January, immediately scheduled a visit, and then spurned the favorite (Florida State) to move up north. Michigan fans can't be anything less than intrigued after watching Johnson's high school film where he shows a good combination of size, speed, and aggression.

Michigan has some "defensive ends," but what the teams lacks is edge rushers. The Wolverines lost their top two sack artists from last season, and the top returners are senior Mario Ojemudia and junior Taco Charlton, who had 3.5 sacks each. The only other returning defensive linemen to get to the quarterback were tackles. Redshirt freshman Lawrence Marshall and senior Royce Jenkins-Stone are going to get their shots to come off the edge, but Johnson has a chance to step into the rotation as a freshman and help out with the pass rush. He will be a little light (he recently said he's up to 235 lbs.) but I think he can still be a situational player.

Prediction: Backup defensive end, situational pass rusher

Thursday, June 25, 2015

MLive: Former Michigan star Tim Hardaway, Jr. traded to Hawks

In a bit of basketball news, Tim Hardaway, Jr. was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for first round pick Jerian Grant (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of Helen Owen.

2015 Season Countdown: #66 Ondre Pipkins

Ondre Pipkins
Name: Ondre Pipkins
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 317 lbs.
High school: Kansas City (MO) Park Hill
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Senior
Jersey number: #56
Last year: I ranked Pipkins #28 and said he would be the starting nose tackle with 20 tackles and 1 sack. He was a backup nose tackle and made 9 tackles.

This is maybe the biggest drop in the short history of my season countdowns, but here Pipkins falls 38 spots since last year. He tore his ACL in October of 2013, and while he was not expected to recover from his ACL tear quite as quickly as smaller guys (Jake Ryan, Jake Butt, Russell Bellomy, etc.), I thought he should be somewhat effective toward the end of the year. Instead, he played in just six games and made 9 tackles. Meanwhile, players like Ryan Glasgow, Bryan Mone, and Maurice Hurst, Jr. got more playing time.

Pipkins's time at Michigan will soon come to an end, and chances are slim that he lives up to the 5-star status he had coming out of Missouri as a high schooler. He still has the size to be a nose tackle, but the burst appears to be lacking and he probably can't be much more than an eater of space. On top of that, all three of the aforementioned players return. Glasgow was effective, Mone showed more flashes than Pipkins ever really has, and Hurst earned some spring practice buzz to go along with his solid redshirt freshman season. The nose tackle position seems to be in good hands, but those good hands do not seem to belong to Pipkins.

Prediction: Backup nose tackle

UPDATE: Now that the news has broken about Pipkins's transfer, I can "officially" say that I have expected his departure for the past couple months. Regardless, until it was announced by him or by the university, I was going to place him in the countdown where I saw him fitting in. Since he sits here at #66, you can see that I do not view this as a big loss.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

MLive: Denard Robinson was all Antwaine Richardson knew about Michigan until Harbaugh

Here's a profile piece on Richardson from Nick Baumgardner (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking ladies, including a gif of a girl on a boat.

Devery Hamilton, Wolverine

Baltimore (MD) Gilman offensive tackle Devery Hamilton (image via Scout.com)
Baltimore (MD) Gilman offensive tackle Devery Hamilton committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Clemson, LSU, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, and Wisconsin, among others.

Hamilton is roughly 6'6", 290 lbs.

ESPN: 3-star, 79 grade, #33 OT
Rivals: 4-star, #26 OT
Scout: 4-star, #13 OT, #144 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 92 grade, #24 OT, #215 overall

Hamilton was offered late in the Brady Hoke era, just a couple weeks before Hoke was fired. Hoke had already developed a relationship with Gilman, which had produced defensive end/tight end Henry Poggi in the 2013 class (Gilman's head coach is Biff Poggi, Henry's father). He visited Ann Arbor in late April and obviously enjoyed the visit. He is not a prospect who talks much to the media, so it was difficult to keep track of exactly how he was feeling. When it came time to decide, the three finalists were Maryland, Michigan, and Stanford.

Hamilton has a good frame for playing offensive tackle or guard at the next level. He is already near 300 lbs. and should be able to carry enough weight to play at the next level without sacrificing too much of his athleticism. He moves well in a straight line for a guy his size, and he also shows some good lateral agility in his pass set as well as when moving up to the second level. He has the ability to bend at the knees and drive block, and he keeps a wide base when doing so. He also uses his hands well to control defenders, or to disengage from blockers on defense.

On the negative side, Hamilton frequently pops up too high when run blocking. This is absolutely the #1 concern I have about him going on to the next level. He needs to learn to roll his hips, and he needs to continue to get stronger in both the upper and lower body. I have some concerns about the lack of pass blocking shown in his highlights, because that indicates to me that he might be a little rough in that area and there wasn't much to highlight. I would also like to see him get a little better at his hand placement, because he tends to let his hands slip to the outside and will get called for holding if that continues.

Like a lot of high school linemen, Hamilton is raw and inconsistent. He can stay low, but he doesn't do it enough. He can drive people off the ball, but he should do it more. He has the feet to pass block on the edge, but for some reason that doesn't show up much in his highlights. I mentioned the other day that Ben Bredeson could potentially play all five positions on the offensive line, and I think that Hamilton could play just about anywhere but center. He's a high-level prospect who has the potential to be an all-conference guy. He also plays some on defense, but he would probably be limited to a 3-tech tackle and I think his upside is considerably higher on offense.

The Wolverines now have nineteen commits in the 2016 class, and Hamilton is the fourth lineman, joining Bredeson, offensive guard Michael Onwenu, and offensive tackle Erik Swenson. Terrance Davis could the next and last lineman to be added to the class, although the coaching staff will probably continue to try to add an offensive tackle just in case.

As for recruiting from Gilman, Michigan also had an offer out to offensive guard Stephen Spanellis, but there does not seem to be much mutual interest at this point. Gilman also features 2017 quarterback Kasim Hill, who camped at Michigan last week and already holds a handful of FBS offers. This commitment bodes well for the way that the program is perceived from within the inner circle, since Hamilton's head coach has an inside look at what's going on with the players.

TTB Rating: 76 (ratings explanation)

2015 Season Countdown: #67 Bo Dever

Bo Dever
Name: Bo Dever
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 199 lbs.
High school: Lake Forest (IL) Lake Forest
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #3
Last year: I ranked Dever #84 and said he would be a backup wide receiver. He started one game and caught 1 pass for 26 yards.

Dever saw some action in 2014, probably more than what most expected when he came into college. Brady Hoke was fond of large slot receivers, and Dever managed to start one game against Maryland. He also caught 1 pass for 26 yards against Indiana. Otherwise, he was not used much or targeted often. Still, that's a pretty solid redshirt sophomore year for a walk-on.

Michigan has few established receivers going into the 2015 season. Amara Darboh is a possession guy, and Jehu Chesson seems to be a role player. Otherwise, the receiving corps is full of question marks. For the second year in a row, Dever got a fair amount of run in the spring game and looks like a guy who can catch an occasional ball. He is not going to beat anybody over the top or break any long runs after a catch, but Michigan is going to have to dink and dunk its way down the field unless a deep threat appears out of nowhere. It seems like Michigan is full of possession guys and not much else.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

MLive: Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr impressed by Jim Harbaugh

Lloyd Carr comments on the job Jim Harbaugh is doing at Michigan (LINK).

Hit the jump for a new nice looking women.

Detroit Free Press: Get to know Michigan football freshman class

I totally understand if you don't like the Free Press, but they did some interviews with a handful of incoming freshman (LINK). And I always like to see what the newcomers have to say.

If you don't want to give them clicks, check out some pictures of Jen Selter below.

Benjamin St-Juste, Wolverine

Benjamin St-Juste
Montreal (Quebec) CEGEP du Vieux cornerback Benjamin St-Juste committed to Michigan last week at the Wolverines' Exposure U camp, although the news just came out publicly. He does not have any other offers listed.

St-Juste is a 6'3", 170 lb. corner.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: Unranked
Scout: Unranked
247 Sports: Unranked

I had heard last week that St-Juste had a positive showing at the Exposure U camp. When I went to look up some more information, there wasn't much out there. Supposedly, he was offered and accepted during the camp.

There is very little film on St-Juste, and what film there is lacks much clarity. He is tall for a corner, and he does a good job of using his hands and long arms to disrupt receivers' routes, raking the ball out of receivers' hands, and batting down passes other corners might not reach. He changes directions fairly well for a big corner.

St-Juste lacks great speed, and he could get burned in the open field. He will probably be limited to boundary corner at the next level, or he might move to safety. He shows some aggression when blocking and defeating blockers, but he is not a great tackler and needs to get stronger in both the upper and lower body. He also does not show great instincts for the ball and settles for breaking up passes rather than intercepting them. I find these things concerning since he does not play against great competition and his opponents are not coached extremely well, although that lack of great coaching probably applies to St-Juste as well.

Overall, this is a questionable pickup for a Michigan team that needs speed and field corners in the defensive backfield. It's unclear whether St-Juste will be a 2016, 2017, or later recruit. He attends a CEGEP in Montreal, which means that he is basically in what Americans would call a prep school. Most CEGEP students are at least 17 years old already, and when he will finish his education there is a little murky. Until we get some clarity, I will assume he's a 2016 prospect.

The Wolverines have a need for speedy corners, and the combination of St-Juste and Antwaine Richardson doesn't offer a great deal of explosiveness in the defensive backfield. Aside from Keith Washington, Michigan is basically putting together a bunch of corners who are big and physical. That concerns me for the long-term, because it limits what the defense can throw at record-setting offenses.

It doesn't happen often, but this is not the first time that Michigan has dipped its toes into Canadian waters. Over the years, Michigan has recruited running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka, tight end Deitan Dubuc, defensive end Alain Kashama, defensive tackle Renaldo Sagesse, and others from America's top hat.

TTB Rating: 51 (ratings explanation)

2015 Season Countdown: #68 Blake Bars

Blake Bars
Name: Blake Bars
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 281 lbs.
High school: Nashville (TN) Montgomery Bell
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #62
Last year: I ranked Bars #76 and said he would be a third string guard. He did not see game action.

Well, Bars is moving up in the world - he went from #77 in 2013 to #76 in 2014, and now he's all the way up to #68 in the countdown. I said last year that Bars would be a third-stringer, and that held true. He did not play at all despite the early blowout against Appalachian State when it seemed like everyone got in the game.

It's Bars's fourth year on campus, and he's still listed at 281 lbs. That's not a good number for an offensive lineman in the Big Ten. So far he has only played in one game, that coming during the 2013 season. While he has taken snaps in practice at almost every position across the offensive line, including center, there are other backups ahead of him at each position: center (Patrick Kugler), guard (David Dawson), and tackle (Logan Tuley-Tillman). Unless injuries devastate the offensive line, Bars probably won't be anything more than a mop-up guy.

Prediction: Backup offensive guard

MGoVideo: Aerial Assault QB Camp Report

Here's a video from Michigan's Aerial Assault QB Camp (LINK). For a list of some of the primary prospects at the camp, you can look here (LINK).

And here's a mid-day helping of good looking ladies (warning: there's a girl with tattoos).

Visitors: June 26-28, 2015

Egg Harbor City (NJ) Cedar Creek wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell
If you would like to donate to the site redesign drive, please use Paypal (on the left sidebar) or do some shopping on Amazon (LINK). My hope is to have the new site rolled out in the next week or two. Thanks for your support!

With the exception of Gary, the players below will be in town Wednesday through Friday.

Rashan Gary - DT - Paramus (NJ) Catholic: I wrote a scouting report on Gary back in May (LINK). His Crystal Ball has 44% of votes in favor of Alabama and 38% for Michigan.

Brad Hawkins - WR - Camden (NJ) Camden: Hawkins is a 6'1", 202 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Rutgers, and South Carolina, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #38 wide receiver, #203 overall, and #7 in the Garden State. As a junior in 2014, he caught 51 passes for 748 yards and 11 touchdowns while also rushing for 255 yards and 2 scores; on defense, he made 40 tackles and 3 picks, all 3 of which he returned for touchdowns. Michigan and South Carolina seem to be the two front-runners. UPDATE: Hawkins rescheduled his visit for July 18th.

Hit the jump for the rest of the visitors.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bleacher Report: Jim Harbaugh brings whole new style to camps, recruiting

I know some people don't like Bleacher Report, but it's still a solid article talking mostly about the Aerial Assault camp (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of good looking women, including a Kate Upton gif.

2015 Season Countdown: #69 Andrew David

Andrew David
Name: Andrew David
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 170 lbs.
High school: Massillon (OH) Washington
Position: Kicker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number:
Last year: David was a senior in high school. He made 12/17 field goals (long of 58), averaged 37.5 yards/punt, and averaged 60.0 yards/kickoff.  He was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #9 kicker, and #1872 overall.
TTB Rating: N/A

David committed almost exactly two years ago today in June of 2013. Even through the coaching change, he stayed solid with Michigan and had a couple pretty good years. A solid all-around athlete, he also played baseball and tried out for the starting quarterback job (which was won by 2017 Ohio State commit Danny Clark). As a senior in 2014, he hit field goals of 58, 51, 50, and 49 yards, missing just once from 50+ yards.

Kicking situations are always iffy, especially when new guys arrive on the scene. David has practiced extensively without using a tee for kicks, but he has never been in front of over 100,000 peoples or on national television. Then again, his primary competition for the placekicking job (walk-on Kyle Seychel) has only stood on the sideline in front of that many people. David is an accomplished high school kicker, but maybe it will take some time for him to adjust to the pressure of the college game. I'm ranking him at #70 because Michigan has other guys who can do the job even if he starts and falters. My guess is that he does not begin the year as the placekicker or kickoff guy, and he almost certainly won't be punting in college.

Prediction: Backup kicker

ESPN 300 for 2016 updated

Hartland (WI) Arrowhead offensive tackle Ben Bredeson is Michigan's top-ranked recruit to ESPN
ESPN updated their top 300 players for 2016 (LINK). Here's what it looked like back in April (LINK). Movement for Michigan commits:

- Ben Bredeson dropped from #53 to #56
- Brandon Peters dropped from #142 to #152
- Michael Onwenu jumped from off the list to #255
- Matt Falcon dropped from #243 to #258
- Erik Swenson dropped from #300 to being off the list

Hit the jump for the rest of Michigan's offerees:

Recruiting Update: June 22, 2015

Lawrenceville (GA) Archer offensive tackle E.J. Price decommitted from Georgia
Hartland (WI) Arrowhead offensive tackle Ben Bredeson committed to Michigan (LINK).

Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan safety/linebacker Devin Gil committed to Michigan (LINK).

Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan safety Josh Metellus committed to Michigan (LINK).

Sioux Falls (SD) Washington offensive tackle Matt Farniok was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'6", 290 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Wisconsin, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #22 offensive tackle, and #210 overall. Farniok is a pretty athletic, high-effort kid who destroys the South Dakota competition, which is not known for being all that talented. Regardless, it's easy to see why high-level teams are intrigued.

Lawrenceville (GA) Archer offensive tackle E.J. Price decommitted from Georgia. He's a 6'6", 311 lb. prospect who holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and USC, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #9 offensive tackle, and #54 overall. Price grew up on the west side of Michigan, and the Wolverines were expecting to at least get a visit from him before he surprised a lot of people by committing to Georgia. He does plan to visit family in Michigan this summer, and a stop in Ann Arbor could very well happen at that time. Price's teammates include 2017 defensive backs Isaiah Pryor and Jamyest Williams, both of whom have Michigan offers.

Hit the jump for a couple new 2017 offers, some guys who committed elsewhere, and some random bits.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

If you're a dad reading this blog - and I know there are lots of you out there - let me wish you a Happy Father's Day! To end your action-packed day, here are some pictures of a bunch of good looking women.

Draft Breakdown: 2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Michigan Wolverines

Draft Breakdown takes a look at this year's team and who could potentially get drafted next spring (LINK).

Hit the jump for some very good looking ladies, plus a gif of a girl shooting a basketball.

2015 Season Countdown: #70 Grant Perry

Grant Perry (left, with Jack Dunaway)
Name: Grant Perry
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 185 lbs.
High school: Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #9
Last year: Perry was a senior in high school. He caught 107 passes for 1,727 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #109 wide receiver, and #866 overall.
TTB Rating: 71

Perry was the guy who kept hanging around Michigan and hanging around Michigan until he finally got an offer. Brady Hoke kept telling Perry to keep coming back and that the staff liked him, but they just never pulled the trigger on an offer. Jim Harbaugh's staff came in and didn't immediately bite, but very late in the process, they gave him an official offer and he accepted shortly before National Signing Day. Fellow Michigan signee Alex Malzone's favorite receiver in high school, Perry was extremely prolific for the powerhouse offense at Brother Rice. Those numbers would be outstanding for college or NFL receivers, and high schoolers usually can't replicate that kind of production.

Perry is really the first player on the countdown where I think, "Well, he could  start if certain things go his way." He is not the biggest or most explosive player around, but while Michigan has "big," they basically lack "explosive." The Wolverines have a bunch of possession guys with a couple others who have some athleticism but haven't shown anything on the field yet. I do not think Perry has a chance of being the #1 guy, but he could potentially work in the slot, find his way open, and become a possession guy. The toughest part of the transition for him will be blocking, because he is not large and receivers have to block in a run-heavy offense like Michigan's will be. If he can't chop down a nickel corner or outside linebacker once in a while, he won't see the field much.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver

Saturday, June 20, 2015

MLive: Shane Morris opens up on Michigan QB competition

Shane Morris ain't goin' down without a fight (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking women.

Visitors: June 19-21, 2015

Montgomery (AL) Greenville defensive end Marlon Davidson (image via Scout)
Jhonathon Williams - DE - Notre Dame: Williams, who graduated from Berrien Springs (MI) Berrien Springs, was recruited by Michigan out of high school in the 2014 class. He was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #46 strongside end, and #984 overall. Aside from a few MAC schools, Missouri, San Diego State, and Washington also pursued him. He was listed at 6'4", 260 lbs. on Notre Dame's roster but did not play at all, redshirt in 2014. Williams did not grow up in Michigan so he does not have a strong affinity for the in-state schools. He has been granted his release from the Fighting Irish, and he is also looking at Duke, Missouri, and Toledo.

Tony Butler - CB - Lakewood (OH) St. Edward: Butler is a 6'2", 195 lb. prospect who committed to Pitt in March; he also has offers from Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Rutgers, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #55 cornerback, and #609 overall. Butler is a former player of newly minted director of football operations Rick Finotti at St. Edward, and the Wolverines are thought to be making a push. However, Butler also covets an Ohio State offer, and while it may not be coming anytime soon, that would probably be his preferred destination. UPDATE: Butler had some car trouble and was unable to visit. He said on Twitter that he would reschedule.

Marlon Davidson - DE - Montgomery (AL) Greenville: Davidson is a 6'4", 260 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, and USC, among others. He's a 247 Composite 5-star, the #3 strongside end, and #23 overall. Davidson recently camped at Michigan's satellite stop in Prattville, AL, but his Crystal Ball is 100% in favor of the home state Auburn Tigers. UPDATE: Davidson corrected the recruiting sites by saying he'll visit on July 19, not in June.

Jonathan Jones - LB - Orlando (FL) Oak Ridge: Jones is a 6'1", 220 lb. prospect with offers from Duke, Georgia, LSU, Miami, and Michigan, among others. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #28 outside linebacker, and #403 overall. Jones recently had a good visit to Duke, but he is expected by many to commit to Michigan, perhaps even as early as this visit, which is taking place on June 17th. He has already set his official visit date for September 25th.

Hit the jump for another couple 2016 prospects and several 2017 players who will be on campus.

2015 Season Countdown: #71 Tyree Kinnel

Tyree Kinnel
Name: Tyree Kinnel
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Huber Heights (OH) Wayne
Position: Safety
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #17
Last year: Kinnel was a senior in high school. He was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #11 safety, and #195 overall.
TTB Rating: 74

Kinnel was an early commit to the 2015 class, pledging in August of 2013 going into his junior year. Despite efforts by other schools to flip him, he stayed true to his word and signed with the Wolverines this past February. His dad said that he was given a University of Michigan football on the day he was born, and he came to a bunch of spring games in Ann Arbor when he was growing up. Kinnel was a part-time running back in high school, but his main position was safety.

Michigan is not in dire need of safeties to be on the field this fall. Between senior Jarrod Wilson, junior Delano Hill, and sophomore Jabrill Peppers, the coaching staff seems to think they have three starting-caliber players on the back end. Meanwhile, redshirt junior Jeremy Clark and junior Dymonte Thomas both have a significant amount of playing time. I rank Kinnel here based largely on the fact that he could potentially play cornerback, and the depth chart at cornerback gets questionable after the top three. Ideally, Kinnel would redshirt and give a little more space between himself and the guys ahead of him, but injuries or underperformance could put him on the field at some point.

Prediction: Redshirt if possible

2015 Michigan Summer Camp Participants

Brownsburg (IN) Brownsburg quarterback Hunter Johnson
Thanks to Jeff for the recent donation! If you would like to donate to the site redesign drive, please use Paypal (on the left sidebar) or do some shopping on Amazon (LINK). Thanks for your support!
The Exposure U camp (for most positions) is from June 14-17th, and the Aerial Assault camp (for quarterbacks) is on June 20th (LINK). Aerial Assault participants are denoted with an asterisk.

*Jacob Baldwin - QB - Wateford (MI) Mott: Baldwin is a 6'2", 195 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. He will be throwing to Desmond Fitzpatrick this fall after Fitzpatrick transferred from Farmington.

*Wade Buckman - QB - Holland (MI) Holland: Buckman is a 6'6", 205 lb. prospect with no offers at this time.

Jacob Cerny - OG - Traverse City (MI) West:

*Reagan Cotton - QB - Traverse City (MI) Central:

Bailey Edwards - WR - Chelsea (MI) Chelsea: Edwards is a 6'1", 177 lb. prospect with offers from Minnesota and a handful of MAC programs. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #183 wide receiver, and #1234 overall. He's the younger brother of former Wolverine wide receiver Braylon Edwards, as well as Minnesota running back Berkley Edwards.

Trenton Fincher - OT - East Kentwood (MI) East Kentwood: Fincher is a 6'6", 280 lb. prospect with no offers at this time.

Ezra Gray - WR - Lynn Haven (FL) Mosley: Gray is a 5'9", 175 lb. prospect with no FBS offers at this time. He claims a 4.31 forty.

Dele' Harding - LB - Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy: Harding committed to Michigan in October 2014 (LINK). He's current a 247 Composite 3-star, the #21 inside linebacker, and #568 overall.

*Joshua Jackson - QB - Saline (MI) Saline: Jackson, the son of former Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson and the brother of former wide receiver Jeremy, committed to Virginia Tech in early June (LINK).

Trishton Jackson - QB/WR - West Bloomfield (MI) West Bloomfield: Jackson, coached by former Wolverine Ronald Bellamy, has earned a bunch of MAC offers and Big Ten teams are starting to ramp up their interest (Iowa and Michigan State have offered).

Daniel Joseph - DE - Lake Forest (IL) Lake Forest: Joseph is a 6'3", 240 lb. prospect with offers from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #15 strongside end, and #262 overall. Michigan State's 247 writer Sean Scherer has him headed to the Wolverines, while a Vandy writer pegs him for the Spartans; however, Michigan State has picked up several defensive line commits in the past week or two, so they're running low on spots.

Jalen Martin - WR - Harper Woods (MI) Chandler Park:

Sean McKeon - TE - Dudley (MA) Shepherd Hill:
 McKeon committed to Michigan on Monday (LINK).

Jai Nunn-Liddell - WR - Mableton (GA) Pebblebrook: Nunn-Liddell is a 6'3", 185 lb. prospect with no offers at this time.

*Brandon Peters - QB - Avon (IN) Avon: Peters committed to Michigan in April (LINK).

Jalen Phelps - S - Powder Springs (GA) Hillgrove: Phelps is a 5'10", 175 lb. prospect with an offer from Kent State.

David Reese - LB - Farmington (MI) Farmington: Reese committed to Michigan in April (LINK).

Nathan Skene - TE - Hartland (MI) Hartland: Skene is the son of former Michigan lineman Doug Skene.

Devin Taylor - CB - Lansing (MI) Sexton: Taylor is a 6'1", 175 lb. prospect with no offers at this time. He claims a 4.5 forty.

Eyioma Uwazurike - DE - Southfield (MI) Lathrup: Uwazurike is a 6'6", 254 lb. prospect with offers from seven MAC programs. He's a 247 Composite 3-star, the #59 strongside end, and #1139 overall. As a junior in 2014, he made 74 tackles, 14 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles.

Andrew Vastardis - OG - Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge:

*Kurt Walding - QB - West Des Moines (IA) Dowling Catholic: Walding is a 6'1", 206 lb. prospect with no offers right now. He attends the alma mater of redshirt junior wide receiver Amara Darboh.

Devin Waldon - LB - Detroit (MI) East English Village:

Kendrew Wynn - S - Norcross (GA) Norcross: Wynn is a 6'1", 185 lb. prospect with no offers right now.

Hit the jump for a bunch of 2017, 2018, and 2019 prospects.

Welcome to the Weekend!

It's the weekend now, so enjoy some pictures of good looking women, including a gif about how to wear backpacks.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Devin Gil, Wolverine

Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan safety/linebacker Devin Gil (image via Scout)
Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan linebacker/safety Devin Gil committed to Michigan on Friday. Previously a Miami commit, he also holds offers from Central Florida, Colorado, Louisville, Marshall, and South Florida, among others.

Gil is 6'1", 205 lbs. As a junior in 2014, he made 64 tackles and 3 interceptions.

ESPN: 3-star, 78 grade, #33 S
Rivals: 3-star S
Scout: 3-star, #93 S
247 Sports: 3-star, 83 grade, #79 S, #1147 overall

Gil committed to Miami in January, but he immediately said that he still wanted to check out other schools who might have interest in him. Michigan started pursuing him in March, and he seemed excited by the offer. As the weeks went along, he showed more and more interest in the Wolverines. He and two of his teammates (2016 safety Josh Metellus, who committed to Michigan earlier this week, and linebacker Devin Bush, Jr.) visited Ann Arbor last weekend, and that sealed the deal. He went public with his announcement Friday morning.

Gil is solidly built in the upper and lower body. He plays some safety and some linebacker for his high school team. As a linebacker, he does a good job of taking on and shocking blockers with his hands, which frees him up to make plays in the run game or coming up on short passes. He is a very physical player and will stick his nose in there against guys who are bigger than him. He also likes to lay out players coming across the middle, and there are some hits which might get him in trouble at the higher levels of football. He reads plays quickly and takes good angles to the football, which is something I have noticed about the Flanagan kids, so they appear to be well coached defensively. (According to Maxpreps, Flanagan went 12-1 in 2014 and allowed point totals of 0, 0, 2, 3, 6, 6, 8, 10, 10, 16, 21, 21, and 28 for an average of 10.1 points allowed/game. They also beat fellow commit Rashad Weaver's Cooper City squad by a score of 42-2.)

On the negative side, I have questions about where Gil will play in college. I believe he is too stiff in the hips and too slow to trust with deep coverage, so he may be limited to playing strong safety in the box. At roughly 6'0" and already supposedly over 200 lbs., he may end up as a linebacker, too. The interceptions shown on his highlights are not particularly athletic ones, and his touchdown return on one shows a guy who lacks burst.

I am reminded of 2009 recruit Isaiah Bell, who ended up at linebacker/defensive end before transferring to Lake Erie College, a D-II program in Ohio. I don't necessarily think Gil will end up being 252 lbs. like Bell, but I do think Bell was a smoother athlete coming out of high school (check out Bell's highlights HERE). I just can't buy into Gil as a quick-twitch athlete on the back end. He looks like a limited safety, a small-ish outside linebacker, and/or a special teams guy. The coaches might have to chisel out a role or certain packages for him so he doesn't get exposed.

Michigan now has 17 commitments in the 2016 class. If Gil is a safety, he's Michigan's second at the position, joining Metellus. If he's a linebacker, he's either the third or the fourth, depending on whether David Reese is a fullback or not; the other two are Dele' Harding and Dytarious Johnson. The other offered 2016 teammate, Bush Jr., tweeted out today that he would not be making his commitment at January's Under Armour All-American Game, which seems to imply that a decision is close at hand. The odds are strongly in favor of him choosing the Wolverines as well.

TTB Rating: 58. This is exactly the rating I gave Delonte Hollowell, and that seems to have been roughly accurate (ratings explanation).

2015 Season Countdown: #72 Jared Wangler

Jared Wangler (image via MVictors.com)
Name: Jared Wangler
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 230 lbs.
High school: Warren (MI) De La Salle
Position: Linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #19
Last year: I ranked Wangler #82 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

Wangler came in last year as a pretty undersized linebacker at just 218 lbs. With Michigan returning a lot of experienced linebackers, I did not think he would be needed, and he wasn't. He redshirted and bulked up to 230 lbs. by the spring.

This year I still do not expect to see Wangler play a significant role. Michigan has four senior linebackers, an experienced junior (Ben Gedeon), and a couple guys who have seen the field in some capacity (Mike McCray II, Allen Gant). On the positive side for Wangler, one classmate transferred (Michael Ferns), another one has been injured for most of the last year (Noah Furbush), and another has moved to offense (Chase Winovich); additionally, Michigan didn't recruit any linebackers in the 2015 class. So Wangler's long-term prospects are looking up compared to where they were last year, but this year's depth chart looks bleak for him.

Prediction: Backup linebacker, special teamer

Thursday, June 18, 2015

MLive: College football early signing period tabled for one year

The NCAA is going to revisit the early signing period issue next year (LINK).

Hit the jump for SI swimsuit model Rose Bertram, including a gif.

2015 Season Countdown: #73 Brady Pallante

Brady Pallante (image via Maize and Blue News)
Name: Brady Pallante
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 276 lbs.
High school: Naples (FL) Barron Collier
Position: Fullback
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number:  #45
Last year: I ranked Pallante #88 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

Pallante was an undersized nose tackle last year and did not see the field at all. When Jim Harbaugh was hired and spring practice began, many were surprised to find that Pallante had a new jersey and a new position. One major reason for the position change is likely that both fullbacks (Joe Kerridge, Sione Houma) are seniors that will need to be replaced in 2016. Harbaugh also probably has a plan to work a jumbo fullback into the backfield, and that role could be filled by Pallante or perhaps some like defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Jr. Pallante won't be a starter this season and probably won't be an extremely valuable member of the offense, but he could see an occasional snap in certain packages.

Prediction: Backup fullback

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

James Light Football: Cover 1 Rat-Green Dog Coverage

James Light Football breaks down a D.J. Durkin defensive call he used at Florida last year (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of the lovely Devin Brugman.

Josh Metellus, Wolverine

Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan safety Josh Metellus
Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan safety Josh Metellus committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Florida International, Miami-OH, Middle Tennessee State, and South Alabama, among others. He had been committed to Georgia Southern until a visit to Michigan last weekend.

Metellus is 6'0", 187 lbs.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 2-star S
Scout: 2-star S
247 Sports: Unranked

Metellus committed to Georgia Southern in March. Meanwhile, he had two teammates who picked up Michigan offers: linebacker Devin Bush, Jr. and fellow safety Devin Gil, who was committed to Miami. Michigan was going hard after Bush especially, and they set up a satellite camp with Flanagan's head coach Devin Bush hosting just outside of Miami. Metellus showed up to the camp and earned an offer. He and the other two Flanagan players visited Michigan this past weekend, and both committed prospects chose to decommit while on the trip. Now Metellus is committed (Gil's decision is still pending).

Metellus looks to be a shade under 6'0" and while his highlight film says he's 195 lbs., that is also questionable. Regardless, he has average size for a safety. The first thing that jumps out about Metellus is that he brings everything he has when he comes up to tackle. He's a solid tackler and can patrol the middle. He wraps up well and runs his feet through contact. I also think he does a good job in run fits and can wade through the trash, changing direction well in small spaces to dodge blockers and find the ball carrier. Metellus tracks the ball well in the air, and it looks like he does a good job of keeping things in front of him.

What Metellus isn't is a guy who leaps off the screen for any particular reason. He is a solid but unspectacular football player. He lacks great size and will need to get in the weight room so he doesn't get overpowered. He lacks great speed and is not a dynamic runner if he gets the ball in his hands.

I see a player whose ceiling looks like that of Thomas Gordon, who started at Michigan for a few years but was never outstanding. He did happen to be a turnover machine a few years ago with a couple picks and some fumble recoveries, but that did not last. Gordon bulked up in college and was a solid player.

Michigan now has 16 commits in the 2016 class. Metellus is the first true safety, although both Kiante Enis and Antwaine Richardson could end up there eventually. The Wolverines are not in dire need of safeties, since the only senior is Jarrod Wilson. He is also the third player from Florida, joining Richardson and defensive end Rashad Weaver. There is at least a decent chance that Bush and Gil join him in committing to the Wolverines.

TTB Rating: 71 (ratings explanation)

Ben Bredeson, Wolverine

Hartland (WI) Arrowhead offensive tackle Ben Bredeson
Hartland (WI) Arrowhead offensive tackle Ben Bredeson committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Wisconsin, among others.

Bredeson is 6'5", 293 lbs.

ESPN: 4-star, 85 grade, #4 OT, #53 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #4 OT, #49 overall
Scout: 4-star, #1 OG, #25 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 96 grade, #10 OT, #46 overall

Bredeson was offered by Brady Hoke's staff and liked the Wolverines to begin. Things really started to hit their stride between the two parties, though, when Hoke's side was replaced by Jim Harbaugh's staff. The three front-runners were Michigan, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin, but Wisconsin started to fall off the trail a little bit and Michigan insiders were more confident than Notre Dame guys. It doesn't hurt that Bredeson's older brother, Jack, will be playing baseball for Michigan this coming season.

Bredeson has good but not great size for the offensive tackle position, and his body may be a better fit for offensive guard. I think the first thing that stands out about him on film is his nasty disposition. He plays to the whistle, and he continues to block guys even when he pancakes them or they're clearly taken out of the play. He's clearly frustrating to play against, because numerous guys who get pancaked look disgruntled as they get up after the play (more on that later). Bredeson has a good first step as he run blocks, and he can work double-teams up to the second level. He also shows some solid lateral agility that allows him to latch onto linebackers.

One of the reasons that Bredeson is probably frustrating to play against is because it looks like he holds. A lot. And on reason he holds a lot is because he does not get his hands inside as often as he probably should, so he ends up grabbing on the wings of the shoulder pads. His hand placement needs to improve so he can get away with holding at the next level. It's also clear that Bredeson is not being taught some fundamentals that will certainly be practiced at Michigan, so a lot of his technique will need to be revamped - his stance, his steps, his kick set (which is basically nonexistent), the hand placement, etc. I don't think his technique is sloppy or that he doesn't pay attention to details; I simply think he's learning "high school technique." Lastly, I believe he needs to get stronger in the upper body and improve his initial punch, because even at his superior size, he gets stunned sometimes by defenders who attack him straight up.

Overall, I think Bredeson is a player who could slide in at all five positions. He can stay low enough to maintain leverage at the interior positions, and he has the foot quickness to block guys on the edge. I do not see him being an elite left tackle prospect like, say, Taylor Lewan because Bredeson just lacks the length and athleticism that Lewan had. He needs to get in the weight and learn some new technique, and then I think he can be a mauler for a powerful offense. He's a potential All-Big Ten player.

Michigan now has fifteen commits in the 2016 class, and three of them are offensive linemen. Erik Swenson is probably a left tackle, Michael Onwenu is an interior guy, and Bredeson is a swing player. The Wolverines will only lose one lineman after this coming season (Graham Glasgow), but next year's senior class will be four players and the following year will be five more. Those large offensive line recruiting classes in 2012 and 2013 will be filtering out soon, so it's important to replenish.

Michigan does not dip into Wisconsin extremely often, but they have found some quality players there over the years, including John Navarre and Adam Stenavich. The last player the Wolverines got out of Wisconsin was punter Will Hagerup in the 2010 class, and Michigan has not successfully recruited a player out of Arrowhead since defensive tackle John Herrmann in 1985.

TTB Rating: 88 (ratings explanation)

2015 Season Countdown: #74 Keith Washington

Keith Washington
Name: Keith Washington
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 175 lbs.
High school: Prattville (AL) Prattville
Position: Cornerback
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #6
Last year: Washington was a senior in high school. As a quarterback, he was 92/162 passing for 1,718 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions; he also rushed 152 times for 1,201 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #78 athlete, and #955 overall.
TTB Rating: 68

Washington grew up in Louisiana and Texas before moving to Prattville as a junior. Once he arrived, he took over the quarterback job and had quite a successful two-year career there. He was good enough to earn a fair number of scholarship offers, and he committed to Cal. Michigan swooped in with an offer late in the process after Jim Harbaugh was hired, and Washington committed to the Wolverines without ever visiting Ann Arbor.

Washinton has not played much cornerback in his career since he was the starting quarterback, and he did not have the advantage of enrolling early. Since he is very unpolished and skinny, it's reasonable to expect that he will redshirt. Michigan is fairly thin at corner, though, so a couple injuries could put him on the field. The coaches like his speed, change of direction, and mentality, and I think he might get a chance before Reon Dawson (who is only 3 lbs. heavier than Washington despite being a redshirt sophomore). But if the Wolverines need to count on Washington, they might be in trouble.

Prediction: Redshirt if possible

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

MLive: Mississippi State's Dan Mullen criticizes satellite camps

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen is mad about the satellite camps, too (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking women, including a dancing gif.

2015 Season Countdown: #75 Alex Malzone

Alex Malzone
Name: Alex Malzone
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 218 lbs.
High school: Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice
Position: Quarterback
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #12
Last year: Malzone was a senior in high school. He was 211/325 for 2,998 yards and 38 touchdowns. He was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #13 pro-style quarterback, and #295 overall.

Malzone committed to Michigan in the spring of 2014, and it was a source of some consternation for Michigan fans. Also an accomplished baseball player, he was not extremely well regarded as a quarterback recruit and had a hitch in his throwing motion that worried some analysts. Many Michigan fans thought Brady Hoke and his staff should have waited longer on some of the big fish instead of offering Malzone, who was a shoo-in to commit. Brother Rice fell short of a state championship, but he had a stellar season throwing to eventual Michigan-bound receiver Grant Perry.

Malzone skipped his senior year of baseball to enroll at Michigan in January. He received some mixed reviews during spring practice, but Jim Harbaugh supposedly warmed up to him because of how quickly he picked up the offense and the dedication he showed. When Michigan held an intrasquad scrimmage for the spring game, Malzone headed up one of the squads. The defense is always ahead of the offensie in the spring, so it was tough to glean much. However, things moved a little too quickly for Malzone, and he currently lacks the arm strength to push the ball down the field or fit it into tight spaces. Not only did he look to be behind junior Shane Morris, but freshman Zach Gentry is on his way into town, and fifth year Iowa transfer Jake Rudock will likely be the starter. It seems that Malzone will be no higher than third on the depth chart, and with both Rudock and Morris available, it would make sense to redshirt the freshman.

Prediction: Redshirt if possible

Recruiting Update: June 16, 2015

New Orleans (LA) Brother Martin linebacker Bruce Jordan-Swilling
Dudley (MA) Shepherd Hill tight end Sean McKeon committed to Michigan (LINK).

Norco (CA) Norco quarterback Victor Viramontes committed to Michigan (LINK).

Tampa (FL) Tampa Bay Tech wide receiver Daquon Green was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'1", 183 lb. prospect who has offers from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, and Miami, among others. He's a 247 Sports 4-star, the #33 wide receiver, and #210 overall. He earned his offer after the satellite camp in Florida, and he also attended the Sound Mind Sound Body camp this past weekend. He's a speed player who can go get the ball and run after the catch.

Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton running back Sione Heimuli-Lund was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'0", 220 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona State, BYU, Oklahoma State, Stanford, and Utah, among others. He's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #15 running back, and #160 overall. Lund is a somewhat squat running back who might turn into a fullback or a linebacker in college. He is a teammate of 2016 wide receiver and Michigan target Simi Fehoko, as well as 2015 linebacker Osa Masina (USC). The Wolverines have two Salt Lake City natives currently on the team, though they went to Highland: fullback Sione Houma and defensive tackle Bryan Mone.

Baltimore (MD) Our Lady of Mt. Carmel defensive end Joshua Kaindoh was offered by Michigan. He's a 6'6", 235 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, and Penn State, among others. He's a 247 Sports 4-star, the #2 weakside end, and #53 overall. Kaindoh is a long and lanky end or even outside linebacker, but the early favorite appears to be Ohio State.

Hit the jump for several more 2017 offers, a new 2018 offer, and some random bits and pieces.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Victor Viramontes, Wolverine

Norco (CA) Norco quarterback
Victor Viramontes (image via 247Sports.com)
Norco (CA) Norco quarterback Victor Viramontes committed to Michigan on Monday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Colorado, Nebraska, Washington State, and Wisconsin, plus a few others.

Viramontes is listed at 6'2", 220 lbs. He claims a 4.58 forty. As a junior in 2014, he was 123/228 passing (53.9%) for 1,784 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions; more impressively, he ran the ball 214 times for 1,757 yards (8.2 yards/carry) and 18 touchdowns.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 3-star, #19 dual-threat QB
Scout: 3-star, #31 ATH
247 Sports: Unranked

Viramontes participated in Michigan's satellite camp in Fresno, California, last week. Despite being in a hotbed of talent, the participation in Fresno was not at the same level as previous stops, so it looked like the Summer Swarm tour was ending on a bit of a flat note. But reports came out of the camp that head coach Jim Harbaugh was keeping an eye on Viramontes, pulled his father aside, and had a lengthy discussion. An offer came following the camp, and it only took a few days for "Vicious" Vic Viramontes to publicly accept, despite never having visited Ann Arbor.

EDIT: Here's an excerpt from my post on Monday morning:
Even better is that his nickname is "Vicious Vic," so if he ever decides to pursue MMA, he's got a pretty nice, alliterative name for it: Vicious Vic Viramontes. (You can hear Michael Buffer saying that name, can't you?) Anyway, Viramontes is a veritable virtuoso on the field who has various valuable skills, like vision and a vibrant arm, to victimize a defense on his way to taking a viselike, victorious grip on a quarterback job. (That's my way of saying that Vicious Vic can probably go somewhere and be The Man at quarterback in this class, rather than possibly playing second violin fiddle to Brandon Peters.)
I see a little bit of Jim Harbaugh himself in Viramontes. The Norco quarterback plays with a carelessness for his body that shows competitiveness and passion for the game. He will bulldoze tacklers or jump over guys rather than run out of bounds. That's probably part of why he was offered. As for his more traditional quarterback skills, Viramontes has a strong arm and can throw the outs, the deep ins, the long ball, etc., and he makes some of those throws off of his back foot. He also has an ability to feel pressure in the pocket and keep the play alive while still keeping his eyes downfield. When he tucks the ball to run, he brings all 220 lbs. with him, and at a faster speed than you might guess. He's not afraid to run over would-be tacklers, and Derrick Green could learn a thing or two from Viramontes about balance and running through low tackle attempts. He also shows nifty feet to keep defenders off balance, he can cut without losing much speed, and he can outrun most of the guys on a high school field.

All those positives aside, Viramontes has a lot of mechanical things to work on before he can succeed at the next level. I imagine Harbaugh will work with him on his footwork and dropback, whether it's from under center or out of shotgun. He tends to favor one side directly on the snap, and he does not look off defenders, although his ability to keep the play alive can get guys out of position at times. He finishes his throws high, but he tends to drop the ball down, which elongates his delivery like a mirror image of Tim Tebow. He also carries the ball loosely with one hand when he scrambles, which can lead to turnovers. The big rumor with him is that he wings everything with 100% velocity, so he will need to dial it back at times; there are examples of a little touch in his highlights, though, so the ability is there but maybe not with consistency. A lot of coaches would probably advise him to run out of bounds and take a little less of a beating, too.

When it comes to quarterbacks, I am of the opinion that too many is better than too few. I said this many times during the 2012 and 2013 recruiting cycles, but it was a mistake to skip the 2012 cycle and crown Shane Morris as the heir apparent for 2013. At one time under Brady Hoke, Michigan had about 12 scholarship linebackers and three quarterbacks, so they had a full four-deep at linebacker - a position that's often interchangeable with at least one of the other linebacker positions - and went just three-deep at the most important spot on the field. Numbers breed competition, and sometimes you need your second or third quarterback. Quarterbacks are also smart guys who are often some of the better athletes on a team, so they can transition to tight end, slot receiver, safety, etc.

As for Viramontes himself, he joins Brandon Peters at quarterback in the 2016 class. The nice thing about this addition is that it allows for so much flexibility. Even if Peters proves to be the superior quarterback, Michigan could employ Viramontes as a Tebow- or Blake Bell-type short yardage player who can be a dual-threat. With the way he plays, he could be a short-yardage back like Wyatt Shallman, an H-back like Aaron Shea, a linebacker, maybe a safety, maybe a special teams coverage guy. I said previously that I thought Viramontes would end up committing elsewhere because he could be "The Quarterback" in another school's class. Instead, it looks like he will be Michigan's Swiss Army knife to deploy as needed. I do think he can be a full-time quarterback with some development because the physical tools are there, so that part of his game comes down to whether he can handle the information and tutelage from Harbaugh.

Norco is a school that produces quite a bit of talent, sending players to places such as Arizona State, Boise State, Duke, UNLV, USC, and others over the years. Harbaugh has some experience with a Norco product in the form of former Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. While out in California, Michigan also offered Viramontes's teammate, 2016 linebacker/safety Troy Dye.

TTB Rating: 75 (ratings explanation)

MLive: Michigan has the most experienced depth chart in America

By Phil Steele's metric, Michigan has the most experienced two-deep in the country (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking ladies.

Sean McKeon, Wolverine

Dudley (MA) Shepherd Hill tight end Sean McKeon (image via Rivals)
Dudley (MA) Shepherd Hill tight end Sean McKeon committed to Michigan on Monday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech, among others.

McKeon is 6'5", 230 lbs. He claims a 4.69 forty, a 4.58 shuttle, a 36" vertical, a 275 lb. bench press, and a 455 lb. squat.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 2-star TE
Scout: 3-star, #51 TE
247 Sports: 3-star TE

McKeon was offered relatively recently. He immediately set up a visit date to see Michigan, and that visit took place this past weekend. He slept on it for a night, and here we are. The speed of his process makes a lot of sense, not only because Michigan is his best offer, but because tight ends should be lining up to play for Jim Harbaugh.

I have an inherent trust for Harbaugh's evaluations and usage of tight ends, so I will try not to let that color my evaluation of McKeon himself. But I do think there is a lot to like. First of all, he has good size without bad weight, and he should just be able to pack on some muscle before contributing. Once the play starts, the first thing that jumps out about him is that he shows good acceleration off the ball, and I think he will be able to get separation from linebackers with that initial speed burst. He also shows the ability to adjust to the ball in the air, whether it's sliding to make a catch or going up to get it, where he can catch the ball with his hands outside the frame of his body. He is not an absolutely dynamic runner with the ball in his hands, but the first clip of his highlights shows a pretty amazing run-after-catch effort, and the offense also uses him on reverses, which is pretty rare for a tight end. McKeon is also a willing blocker who shows some pretty solid technique, and he has the feet and the hips to be effective in the run game.

On the negative side, Massachusetts is not known for its football talent, and the guys McKeon runs away from in the film are probably not going to be big-time recruits themselves. He is not a quick-twitch guy who will make people miss very often, and he is mostly a straight-line player, which is pretty standard for tight ends.

Overall, though he is a 2-star guy or unranked to a couple services, I think McKeon is a quality recruit. He reminds me of junior tight end Jake Butt in a lot of ways. Michigan should be able to get him in the flat or hit him on crossing routes, and a guy with decent speed who's 250 lbs. or so will be tough to bring down for defensive backs.

McKeon's commitment gives Michigan thirteen pledges in the 2016 class. He is the first true tight end in the class, though defensive end Rashad Weaver could be a blocking-type tight end. When McKeon arrives on campus, Butt will be a senior, and no other players have established themselves as true tight ends instead of H-backs (Khalid Hill, Ian Bunting, Henry Poggi, and Chase Winovich all seem like H-back types). The only other guy pegged for tight end is incoming freshman Tyrone Wheatley, Jr., who is 6'7", 286 lbs. and could feasibly end up at another position. If McKeon can add a reasonable amount of weight, he could find himself battling for a starting gig as a sophomore.

The last Michigan recruit from Massachusetts was 2013 defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Jr., and no Michigan player has ever come from Shepherd Hill.

TTB Rating: 83 (ratings explanation)