A product of Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha, Oluwatimi was a 6'4", 275 lb. prospect in high school who signed with Air Force in 2017. At the time he was a 2-star, the #160 offensive guard, and #3300 overall. After spending a year in Colorado, he transferred to Virginia and sat out the 2018 season due to transfer rules. He missed his first possible game in 2019 due to a hand injury, and then he would go on to start the next 32 games for the Cavaliers. In the 2021 season, he was named a Rimington finalist as one of the top three centers in the country.
Please use the Amazon links to make your purchases (LINK):
MICHIGAN Michigan is #22 in pass defense (194.7 yards allowed/game) and #11 in passer rating defense. They have allowed just 6.0 yards per attempt, which ties them for #6 nationally. Only four teams have topped even 200 yards passing against them.
The primary reason for Michigan's good pass defense is the edge rushers. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson set a school record with 14 sacks, and outside linebacker David Ojabo wasn't far behind with 11. They often line up wide and come tearing off the edge with reckless abandon, but they're athletic and disruptive enough to make quarterbacks do things they don't want to do, such as step up in the pocket and make quick decisions.
On the back end, cornerback Vincent Gray has had a bounce-back season after an abysmal 2020, and counterpart Christian Turner has turned into Michigan's best cover guy with 2 interceptions and 7 pass breakups. Safety/nickel corner Daxton Hill (2 INT, 8 PBUs) has been taken advantage of by some slot fades against quick slot guys, but overall, he has also been very good.
Andrew Paul - RB - Dallas (TX) Parish Episcopal: Paul is a 5'11", 220 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Colorado, Michigan State, and TCU, among others. He's a 3-star, the #89 running back, and #1210 overall. As a senior in 2021, he exploded for 2,612 rushing yards on 271 attempts for 41 touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 14 passes for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns. This production included over 1,000 yards rushing in three playoff games.
Please use the Amazon links here at TTB to make your purchases (LINK):
MICHIGAN Michigan is #20 overall for giving up 121.5 yards per game this season. They're tied with Ohio State (and CMU and PSU) at #23 for giving up 3.52 yards per carry, and they're tied at #15 for giving up 11 rushing touchdowns this season. They are a good rushing defense bordering on elite; the only team that had sustained success was Michigan State with Kenneth Walker III almost exclusively doing the damage.
Michigan's leading tackler is middle linebacker Josh Ross with 95. Safety Daxton Hill (65) and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson are the closest, and they're not close. Michigan does a good job of containing the edge and funneling things back inside by playing Hutchinson and outside linebacker David Ojabo wide, letting Ross, Hill, and safety Brad Hawkins (54 tackles) clean things up inside.
The Wolverines have not produced a ton of tackles for loss this season with 69, which is tied for #74 in the nation. That's despite getting a ton of sacks from Hutchinson (14) and Ojabo (11); in other words, sacks from those two have accounted for 36% of the team's tackles for loss. I mentioned above that they're tied at #74; what I didn't mention is that they're tied with Arizona State, Ball State, and Illinois, which is not exactly a murderer's row of defenses.
MICHIGAN The Wolverines are smack dab in the middle of the pack at #67 in passing offense (226 yards/game) and they're #40 in passing efficiency. Meanwhile, they're #86 in passing attempts with just 359 on the season. Starting quarterback Cade McNamara has completed 199/308 (64.6%) of his throws for 2,470 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. McNamara does not have a particularly strong arm, but he has done a good job of deciphering defenses and keeping the ball out of harm's way.
The offensive line has allowed just 0.77 sacks per game. Just like in the run game, they don't have a ton of great players up front, but they play well together. Some stunts and games inside confused the group early in the year, but they seem to have righted the ship as the season went along.
On the receiving end, ten different players have caught touchdowns . . . and no one has caught more than 3. It's hard to predict from week to week who might step up and make a big play, but the two primary targets have been wide receiver Cornelius Johnson (37 catches, 620 yards, 3 TD) and tight end Erick All (34 catches, 374 yards, 2 TD). However, the two biggest yardage games have come from true freshman running back Donovan Edwards (10 catches, 170 yards, 1 TD vs. Maryland) and freshman wide receiver Andrel Anthony (3 catches, 155 yards, 2 TD vs. Michigan State).
Please use the Amazon links here to make your purchases to support the blog (LINK):
MICHIGAN Michigan has been one of the top rushing teams in the country for the entire season. They currently rank #9 (223.9 yards/game) and are tied for 11th in yards per carry (5.31). They're also #3 in rushing touchdowns with 39 total, topped only by Army, who have 210 more attempts, and Air Force, who have 233 more. Michigan has also allowed the fewest tackles for loss in the country with 2.08 per game; the two closest teams are Air Force and Wisconsin, who are allowed 3.42 per game. It has truly been a remarkable season for the rushing attack.
Redshirt junior running back Hassan Haskins is #7 in the country in rushing attempts (261), #13 with 1,288 rushing yards, and tied for #3 in rushing touchdowns (20). At 6'1" and 225 lbs. with the ability to twist, contort, get skinny, and hurdle defensive backs, he's difficult for one man to bring down. Sophomore Blake Corum is second on the team and still an impressive #54 in rushing yards this season with 939 and tied for #45 in rushing touchdowns with 11. His 6.66 yards per carry are #22 in the country. It's also important to note backup quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who has 23 carries for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns this year. He has factored more and more into the running game as the season has gone along; over the last three games, he has 8 carries for 54 yards and 1 touchdown. While he won't put up gaudy numbers, he's a nice changeup for starting quarterback Cade McNamara, who's not much of a run threat.
Michigan's offensive line won the Joe Moore Award after being voted the top offensive line in the country. There are no real individual standouts, but they play very well as a unit. Andrew Stueber has been the top player on the line at right tackle, and center Andrew Vastardis has done a very good job this year as a sixth year walk-on.
As two nationally prominent schools, Michigan and Georgia unsurprisingly have quite a few battles on the recruiting front. Perhaps there aren't many true head-to-head battles, but plenty of players get offered by both schools. Michigan tries to dip into Georgia way more than Georgia tries to dip into the state of Michigan, so Michigan loses plenty of those battles, too.
Here is a list of Georgia players that Michigan pursued out of high school:
OLB Robert Beal, Jr.
WR Dominick Blaylock
TE Brock Bowers
RB Lovasea Carroll
S Lewis Cine
QB J.T. Daniels
DT Jordan Davis
TE Arik Gilbert
TE Ryland Goede
DT Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins
WR Kearis Jackson
WR Jaylen Johnson
CB Kamari Lassiter
OL Warren McClendon
RB Kenny McIntosh
RB Kendall Milton
OL Micah Morris
WR George Pickens
CB William Poole
OL Tate Ratledge
CB Kelee Ringo
WR Justin Robinson
WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint
OL Jamaree Salyer
OL Justin Shaffer
CB Christopher Smith
LB Nolan Smith
S Ameer Speed
OL Xavier Truss
QB Brock Vandagriff
LB Quay Walker
TE Darnell Washington
The Bulldogs have zero players on their roster from the state of Michigan, but freshman safety Matthew Helow is the younger brother of Michigan linebackers coach George Helow.
On the flip side, Michigan has several players from the state of Georgia, including . . .
Michael Barrett - LB - Valdosta (GA) Lowndes
Chris Hinton, Jr. - DT - Johns Creek (GA) Greater Atlanta Christian
Trente Jones - OT - Loganville (GA) Grayson
Alexander Lidback - LB - Alpharetta (GA) Alpharetta
Jalen Perry - CB - Dacula (GA) Dacula
D.J. Turner II - CB - Suwanee (GA) and transferred to IMG Academy
Belleville (MI) Belleville linebacker Aaron Alexander will no longer be a part of Michigan's 2022 recruiting class. He did not sign on National Signing Day on Wednesday, and then on Thursday, he made it public that he was re-opening his recruitment.
Alexander was offered by and committed to Michigan in June 2021. Eastern Illinois and Marshall are the other teams listed as having offered him. He's currently a 247 Composite 3-star, the #101 linebacker, and #1013 overall. I gave him a TTB Rating of 57 at the time of his commitment (LINK).
Baltimore (MD) St. Frances defensive end Derrick Moore committed to Michigan on National Signing Day. A former Oklahoma commit, he also had offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, and a bunch of others.
Moore is listed at 6'4" and 250 lbs. He's an Under Armour All-American and was named the Maryland Player of the Year by Maxpreps in 2021.
Portland (OR) Westview wide receiver Darrius Clemons committed to Michigan on Wednesday afternoon. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Penn State, among others.
Clemons is listed at 6'3" and 205 lbs. and supposedly runs a 4.37 forty.
Austin (TX) Westlake defensive end Ethan Burke flipped from Michigan to Texas on National Signing Day. Burke was offered by Michigan in November and committed on December 1 (LINK), leaving behind a chance to play lacrosse at Maryland.
Fast forward a couple weeks, and the home state Texas Longhorns offered him. Rumors started to come out just before National Signing Day that he would stay home instead of moving to Ann Arbor.
It's hard to blame a kid for that type of change of heart. When the big-time hometown school finally comes knocking, we expect that to have some sway for kids in Michigan, like it has done with guys like Vincent Gray, who decommitted from Missouri to pick Michigan.
The reason this hurts Michigan, in my opinion, is that I think Burke can be pretty good in college. I gave him a TTB Rating of 83; though he needs some physical and technical development, he's a really good athlete for a 6'7", 225 lb. kid. Furthermore, Michigan needs some edge rushers in this class. Despite the fact that Aidan Hutchinson was a Heisman finalist and David Ojabo has 11 sacks, Michigan has suffered decommitments from Burke and Mario Eugenio (Cincinnati), while outside linebacker commit Kevonte Henry is not signing in December and is flirting with Washington.
Ponchatoula (LA) Ponchatoula wide receiver Amorion Walker flipped from Notre Dame to Michigan on National Signing Day. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Florida State, LSU, and the aforementioned Fighting Irish, among others.
Walker is listed at 6'4" and 175 lbs., and he runs the 100 meters in a reported 10.8 seconds. He claims a 4.5 forty, a 38" vertical, and 4.2 short shuttle.
With the early signing day approaching tomorrow, December 15, it certainly seems like things have gone wacky. Gone are the days when teams lost and hired new coaches around the New Year, giving those staffs five or six weeks to come together and sign players in early February. Welcome to the days of coaches being fired or jumping ship so the school can have someone in place to try to salvage recruiting classes for mid-December. I won't say it's an unforeseen problem - plenty of us talked about it - but it has put fans, players, coaches, and schools in positions we've never seen.
I thought about putting together a post for each of the national awards that Michigan players have won, but that would be a bunch of different posts and a lot to keep udpated. Instead, I've decided to compile a bunch of national awards into one post while listing the Michigan winners and their season.
NOTE: If there are any awards you think I should add, please let me know.
I always love football season, but one thing I look forward to when it's over is getting back to a little more reading. So here are a couple books I've finished recently (and one I'm reading now). Let me know in the comments what you've been reading.
The Poet by Michael Connelly. I just finished The Poet after skipping it a little bit earlier. I was trying to read the Harry Bosch books in order, but just before I read The Narrows, I saw that it was a follow-up to The Poet. Since Bosch wasn't a character in it, I didn't think it was necessary. Anyway, The Poet is about a reporter named Jack McEvoy whose brother was murdered by a serial killer. McEvoy goes on a nationwide search for the story, which ends up with him teaming up with the FBI in an attempt to find the killer. There's no mention of Bosch anywhere, but he does end up in Hollywood at one point and a couple characters from the Bosch universe are mentioned. Now I'm looking forward to seeing how The Narrows ties in to the separate character arcs.
Dune by Frank Herbert. Some of you are going to be upset with me, but I was not a big fan of Dune. It took a long time to get into it. One of my issues with a lot of fantasy books is that authors often try to dump you into the middle of a universe about which you have no idea what the terms mean. What is Arrakis? Where is it situated in the universe? When is it supposed to have taken place? How did these people get there? How do they all speak the same language? What do all these individual words mean that Herbert seems to have created? I wanted to finish reading the book before the movie came out, but unfortunately, I just didn't have time and missed being able to go see the movie in the theater.
I'm currently reading 'Cane Mutinyby Bruce Feldman, which tells about the rise of Miami football. Feldman is a Miami alum who obviously has some ties to the school, and he talks mainly about the time from coach Howard Schnellenberger onward. I really like Feldman as a writer, but it's kind of funny to me how awkward some of his writing is in this, which was his first book. He's definitely improved as a writer since this book was written in 2004. (The title is a play on the movie The Caine Mutiny which came out in 1954.)
Merrillville (IN) Merrillville defensive tackle Kenneth Grant committed to Michigan on September 28, 2021. Being in the midst of football season myself, I simply didn't have time to post about him then and let it slide for a couple months. I apologize for the delay.
Grant picked Michigan over offers from Ohio State and Wisconsin, where he took official visits, and a several other schools.
Olu Oluwatimi - C - Virginia: Virginia center Olu Oluwatimi is visiting Michigan this weekend as a grad transfer. He's a 6'3", 310 lb. player who is a three-year starter for the Cavaliers. After redshirting at Air Force in 2017 and sitting out 2018 to transfer, Oluwatimi turned into one of the top three centers in the country, according to Rimington Award voters and Pro Football Focus. Michigan loses sixth year senior Andrew Vastardis at the position, so there's an opening with only unproven players (Greg Crippen, Raheem Anderson, Reece Atteberry) in the pipeline at the position.
DeaMonte Trayanum - RB - Arizona State: Trayanum is a 5'11", 235 lb. back who played his high school ball at Akron (OH) Hoban, where he was offered by Michigan and was a teammate of former Michigan offensive lineman Nolan Rumler (who is in the transfer portal). Trayanum had 78 carries for 401 yards (5.1 yards/carry) and 6 touchdowns this season. He's a power back without much top-end speed.
Darrius Clemons - WR - Portland (OR) Westview: Clemons is a 6'3", 205 lb. prospect who took an official visit to Michigan in June. He has been all over the place and seemed to be headed to Michigan, Penn State, Auburn, and Oregon at various times. He's a 4-star, the #30 wide receiver, and #171 overall. This is going to be an unofficial visit, so that seems to be noteworthy if the visit actually happens.
Derrick Moore - DE - Baltimore (MD) St. Frances: Moore is a 6'4", 250-pounder with offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and Oklahoma, among others. He was committed to Oklahoma until Lincoln Riley took the head coaching job at USC. He's a 4-star, the #16 defensive lineman, and #106 overall. I was under the impression that Michigan would not be able to recruit Moore because his former head coach at St. Frances, Biff Poggi, now has an off-the-field position at Michigan; I guess I must be mistaken, but I will try to get more information on that situation.
Alex Orji - QB - Sachse (TX) Sachse: Orji is a 6'2", 226 lb. prospect who is committed to Virginia Tech; he also has offers from Baylor, Houston, and Michigan, among others. He's a 3-star, the #28 quarterback, and #417 overall. Orji accounted for 3,200 yards (2,000 passing and 1,200 rushing) and 52 touchdowns (28 passing, 24 rushing) as a senior. Orji is more strong and tough to bring down than quick, but he has a nice, strong arm and throws a pretty good deep ball. Virginia Tech just fired Justin Fuente and hired Brent Pry
Deone Walker - DT - Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Walker is a 6'6", 350-pounder with offers from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Michigan, among others. He's a 4-star, the #30 defensive lineman, and #243 overall. A guy who seemed like an early Michigan lean, Walker lately seems to have more buzz surrounding Kentucky. Almost 92% of his crystal ball picks are in favor of the Wolverines, but I don't think those pickers are very confident. This is a mid-week official visit, as he will be officially visiting Kentucky this coming weekend.
Littleton (CO) Columbine product Andrew Gentry has committed to Michigan as a part of the 2022 class. Gentry signed with Virginia as a part of the 2020 class, but that was more ceremonial than anything, since he was expected to go on his church mission for two years. Gentry did just that, and since he did not enroll, he was essentially back on the open market. Now Gentry will join the Wolverines next spring.
Gordo (AL) Gordo quarterback Tanner Bailey decommitted from Oregon. He's a 4-star, the #16 quarterback, and #234 overall.
Montgomery (AL) Catholic linebacker T.J. Dudley decommitted from Oregon. He's a 4-star, the #21 linebacker, and #198 overall. His decommitment came after Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal left to take the Miami job. There's a decent chance that Dudley follows Cristobal and becomes a Hurricane.
Winter Park (FL) Winter Park running back Terrance Gibbs decommitted from Florida. He's a 4-star, the #28 running back, and #314 overall.
LB Jordan Anthony (Troy): Troy went 5-7 this season. He finishes the season with 35 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss.
RB Zach Charbonnet (UCLA): Charbonnet has 203 carries for 1,137 yards (5.6 yards/carry) and 13 touchdowns this season. He also caught 24 passes for 197 yards.
WR Kekoa Crawford (Cal): Cal went 5-7 this season. Crawford finishes the season with 36 catches for 491 yards (13.6 yards/catch) and 0 touchdowns. He also returned 2 punts for 18 yards and completed 1/1 passes for 34 yards.
BIG TEN CHAMPS!!! A lot of people doubted this Michigan team - including yours truly - but they're right where almost everyone wishes they could be. They beat the brakes off Ohio State and then the Big Ten West opponent, and now they're headed to the playoffs. I thought they would be 8-4, so I certainly didn't think they would be 12-1 and in this spot, but I also never lost faith in Jim Harbaugh's ability to coach. That 2-4 season in 2020 made a lot of people forget that this guy turned around two other college programs, returned the 49ers to the Super Bowl, and made a 5-7 team into a 10-3 team immediately upon arriving in Michigan. He now averages 9.8 wins per season at Michigan if you give him a full year.
RUSH OFFENSE vs. IOWA RUSH DEFENSE Michigan is #9 nationally in rushing with 225 yards/game and tied for #16 in yards per carry (5.25). Hassan Haskins leads the team with 244 carries for 1,232 yards (5.1 yards/carry) and 18 touchdowns. His rushing load has picked up significantly since Blake Corum suffered a high ankle sprain, resulting in Haskins averaging 26.5 carries per game over the final four weeks of the regular season. Haskins has 8 touchdowns over the stretch. Luckily, Corum returned last week to the tune of 6 carries for 87 yards, so a little bit of lightning is back to join Haskins's thunder. Michigan is #1 in the country in tackles for loss allowed with just 2.0 per game. Iowa averages 4.58 tackles for loss per game, which is tied for 111th in the nation. They're led by senior defensive end Zach VanValkenburg (6'4", 267 lbs.) with 11.5 TFLs. Nose tackle Logan Shannon (6'0", 289) and defensive tackle Logan Lee (6'5", 277) man the middle with technique and quickness more than brute strength. The defense is led by junior middle linebacker Jack Campbell (6'5", 243), who has 124 tackles. He's paired with 6'1", 229 lb. weakside linebacker Seth Benson, who has 89 tackles. Senior safety Jack Koerner (6'0", 204) is third on the team with 75 takedowns. It's a relatively stationary defense, but they're good and well coached. They're #14 in rush defense (106 yards allowed/game) and #8 in yards allowed per carry, at just 2.97. They won't stop you in the backfield, but they will gang tackle you shortly beyond the line of scrimmage. Advantage: Michigan
LB Jordan Anthony (Troy): Troy went 5-7 this season. Anthony made 4 tackles in a 37-10 loss to Georgia State. He finishes the season with 35 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss.
RB Zach Charbonnet (UCLA): Charbonnet had 22 carries for 106 yards and 1 touchdown in a 42-14 win over Cal. He also caught 6 passes for 41 yards.
WR Kekoa Crawford (Cal): Cal went 5-7 this season. Crawford made 5 catches for 42 yards in a 42-14 loss to Cal. This was Crawford's final college game, as he was in his sixth year. He finishes the season with 36 catches for 491 yards (13.6 yards/catch) and 0 touchdowns. He also returned 2 punts for 18 yards and completed 1/1 passes for 34 yards.
Richmond (VA) Benedictine defensive tackle Joel Starlings, a class of 2023 prospect, committed to Michigan on Sunday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Florida State, Georgia, Oregon, Penn State, and Texas A&M, among others.
Starlings is listed at 6'5" and 310 lbs. He supposedly runs a 4.83 forty, benches 325 lbs., and squats 475 lbs.
Players are listed in order of remaining eligibility. With 91 scholarship players allotted, Michigan is currently over its scholarship limit by 6. Meanwhile, 19 seniors are scheduled to graduate, so the 2023 class should have at least 19 players.
TOTAL SCHOLARSHIPS ALLOTTED FOR 2022 = 91
Removed OG Nolan Rumler, who is transferring.
Removed S Sammy Faustin, who left the team prior to the 2021 season
The following depth chart has removed the following players from the 2021 depth chart for various reasons:
OL Chuck Filiaga (graduation)
S Brad Hawkins (graduation)
TE Joel Honigford (graduation)
DE Aidan Hutchinson (graduation)
DT Donovan Jeter (graduation)
K Jake Moody (graduation)
P Brad Robbins (graduation)
LB Josh Ross (graduation)
DT Jess Speight (graduation)
OL Andrew Stueber (graduation)
OL Andrew Vastardis (graduation)
It also assumes that every currently rostered player and every currently committed prospect will be here in 2022, which is obviously not true. I listed wide receiver Ronnie Bell on the below roster since he plans to return in 2022 after suffering an ACL tear this season.
Please use the Amazon links here to make your holiday purchases (LINK):
Holy Mary, Mother of God. I don't think I have been that anxious about a Michigan victory since the Wolverines beat Washington State following the 1997 season. I predicted an Ohio State win (shame on me), but I thought Michigan had a chance. What I did not expect is, well, an ass-whooping. When I say an ass-whooping, I don't mean on the scoreboard or really physically (although there was some of that). I just mean it was like Michigan did whatever they wanted to do the whole game. Run the ball? Yes. Trick plays? Yes. Get after the QB? Yes. Stop the run? Yes. Prevent big plays? Yes. This wasn't a fluke victory whatsoever. Michigan looked like the better team from start to finish.
Please do your Black Friday shopping via the Amazon links here (LINK):
RUSH OFFENSE vs. OHIO STATE RUSH DEFENSE Michigan is the #15 rushing team (218 yards/game) and averages 5.08 yards per carry, which is #30 in the country. That's good, not great, but it's impressive considering Michigan's starting quarterback isn't much of a threat to run at all. Hassan Haskins topped 1,000 yards last week and now has 216 carries for 1,063 yards and 13 touchdowns. Fellow star running back Blake Corum (778 yards, 10 TD on the ground) has missed the majority of the last three games with a lower leg injury, but he dressed for last week's game at Maryland and I would expect him back in action against the Buckeyes. Offensive line wise, Michigan is securely #1 in the country in tackles for loss allowed with just 2.18 per game; Georgia is next best with 3.18 per contest. Ohio State is #20 in tackles for loss (7.27 per game) and #11 in rushing defense (102 yards allowed/game). They allow just 3.1 yards per carry (#12) but have faced just 363 rushing attempts, which is the 15th fewest; I guess that's what happens when you score a bunch of points and teams have to pass to try to catch up. Safety Ronnie Hickman (6'1", 205 lbs.) leads the team with 83 tackles, followed by linebacker Cody Simon (6'2", 233) with 47, safety Bryson Shaw (6'0", 195) with 44, and linebacker Teradja Mitchell (6'2", 239) with 44. Linebacker Tommy Eichenberg (6'2", 235) is the biggest TFL guy with 5.5 in the run game this year. Michigan can't get in a track meet with OSU, so they will have to try to run the ball and sustain drives to keep the defense fresh. Advantage: Michigan
Here is an early list of players who are planning to head to Ann Arbor for The Game.
Zeke Berry - S - Concord (CA) De La Salle: Berry is a 6'0", 185-pounder with offers from Michigan, Oregon, and UCLA; he decommitted from Arizona. He's a 4-star, the #19 safety, and #227 overall. This is an official visit.
Ethan Burke - DE - Austin (TX) Westlake: Burke is a 6'7", 225 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, Kansas State, Michigan, and Texas Tech, among others. He's a 247 Sports 3-star and the #40 edge player. This is an official visit.
Domani Jackson - CB - Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei: Jackson is a 6'1", 185 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama and Michigan, along with a bunch of others. He also just decommitted from USC last week. He's a 5-star, the #2 cornerback, and #6 overall. He has developed a good relationship with Michigan commit Will Johnson (see below), who has been a big positive in Jackson's recruitment. Jackson took an official visit back in September, so this is an unofficial.
That was quietly ugly for Maryland. With my high school season having ended last week, I made the trip to Maryland because I had never been there for a game. Watching the game in person, Michigan was certainly in control for the whole game but in the first half, it seemed like the Terrapins were holding their own. Michigan should have been able to run all over them, but they couldn't. Michigan should have been able to beat up and bruise Taulia Tagovailoa, but they couldn't. It was a comfortable 24-3 lead at halftime, but it never seemed like Michigan was beating the pants off them. And then . . . well . . . the third quarter happened, when Michigan exploded for 28 points. Even though Maryland scored 15 in that stanza, the rout was on. I looked up at the scoreboard and thought, "Is Michigan about to score 60 on a Big Ten opponent not named Rutgers?" In truth, no, they weren't. But they got as close as possible.
RUSH OFFENSE vs. MARYLAND RUSH DEFENSE Michigan is the #14 rushing offense in the country (225 yards/game). The bell cow right now is 6'1", 225 lb. Hassan Haskins, who has 58 carries over the past two weeks since Blake Corum hurt his lower leg. Haskins has responded with 168 and 156 yards, many of them coming after contact while pushing piles, twisting, and diving for extra yardage. Michigan will pound-pound-pound the ball inside and then get big chunks on the edges. Maryland is #77 in rushing defense (157 yards allowed/game) and #70 in yards allowed per carry (4.11). They did a respectable job against Michigan State's Kenneth Walker last week (30 carries, 143 yards, 2 touchdowns), but that allowed quarterback Payton Thorne to average 9.6 yards per passing attempt and throw 4 touchdowns. The top two tacklers for the Terrapins are safeties Jordan Mosley (6'1", 205) and Nick Cross (6'1", 215) with 67 and 57, respectively. It's not usually a great thing when safeties are leading the team in tackling. Nose tackle Ami Finau (6'2", 320) is a decent run stuffer with 5 tackles for loss. Michigan might not be able to gash Maryland over and over again, but they should be able to move the ball consistently. Advantage: Michigan
Austin (TX) Westlake defensive end Ethan Burke was offered by Michigan. Burke is a 6'7", 225 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, Texas Tech, and Utah, among others. He's a 247 Sports 3-star and the #39 edge player.
Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei cornerback Domani Jackson decommitted from USC. Jackson is a 6'1", 185-pounder who's a 5-star, the #2 cornerback in the country, and #6 overall. Jackson is a good friend of 2022 cornerback commit Will Johnson, but a recent visit to Alabama seems to have put the Crimson Tide in front for now. Jackson will probably be back in Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game, so the Wolverines may have a chance to take back the lead.
Let's see more of this guy on offense . . . Blake Corum. Corum missed most of the Indiana game and the entire Penn State game, leaving the Wolverines to rely heavily on Hassan Haskins. Corum has 130 carries for 778 yards (5.98 yards/carry) and 10 touchdowns. A report came out on Saturday that Corum would miss the next two games, but it's unclear if that meant he would be out through the Maryland game or the Ohio State game. I'm not expecting Corum to come back this week, but it would be great if he could be back by OSU.
That was a win. It wasn't always pretty - especially on offense - but a win in Happy Valley is always nice. It's not an easy place to play, and the Nittany Lions are usually pretty good, so you take an ugly win if you can get it. I decided to watch the game sans social media and just enjoy the back-and-forth, because I knew there would be a ton of griping. And nobody's allowed to gripe but me. So I grumbled at times to myself, but for the most part, I thought Michigan played pretty well.
RUSH OFFENSE vs. PSU RUSH DEFENSE Michigan's rushing offense has dropped off somewhat dramatically from earlier in the year, which is saying something, since they're still #6 with 234 yards/game on the ground and #15 in rushing average. Hassan Haskins leads the team in carries (165), yardage (829 yards), and touchdowns (11). He may be relied on more heavily than normal. After a career-high 27 carries last week with Blake Corum missing all but one offensive play, Haskins is the only somewhat experienced back on the roster. I do not expect Corum (who was in a walking boot by the end of the game) to play and freshman Donovan Edwards missed last week due to injury, leaving Haskins and then . . . walk-on Leon Franklin and freshman fifth-stringer Tavierre Dunlap. Penn State is #50 in rush defense (137 yards allowed/game) and #31 in yards per carry allowed (3.56). With starting defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher out for the season, the Nittany Lions' rushing defense has fallen off; they gave up 357 yards on the ground to Illinois three weeks ago. Things have improved a little over the past couple weeks, but that may be due to playing Maryland, which is pretty inept on the ground. The leading tacklers are senior linebacker Ellis Brooks (6'1", 241 lbs.) and junior inside linebacker Brandon Smith (6'3", 241) with 68 and 61 stops, respectively. I think Michigan can pound the ball a little bit, but they need to be careful to keep Haskins fresh. Advantage: Michigan
Please use the Amazon links here to make your purchases (LINK):
Eat your vitamins. My biggest takeaway from this game is that Michigan needs to get healthy. Going into the game, Michigan was missing RB Donovan Edwards and TE Erick All. And here are the players who got injured during the game: QB Cade McNamara (lower body), RB Blake Corum (lower leg), CB Gemon Green (shoulder), WR Andrel Anthony (unknown). Luckily, the Wolverines had a big enough advantage in this game that it ended up not affecting the outcome, but the toughest stretch of the schedule is coming up, with Penn State next week and Ohio State in three weeks.
Bryce Archie - QB - Powder Springs (GA) McEachern: Archie is a 6'3", 205 lb. prospect who is currently committed to Coastal Carolina. He was recently offered by Michigan and is taking an official visit this weekend. Archie is a 3-star, the #51 quarterback, and #793 overall.
Tyler Morris - WR - La Grange Park (IL) Nazareth Academy: Morris is committed to Michigan.
Kaleb Webb - WR - Powder Springs (GA) McEachern: Webb is a 6'3", 185 lb. prospect who is committed to East Carolina. He also has offers from Kentucky, Ole Miss, and South Carolina. He's a teammate of Archie (see above) and this is an official visit. He's a 3-star, the #92 wide receiver, and #665 overall.
Let's see more of this guy . . . Andrel Anthony. Anthony pulled a Ricky White and came out of nowhere to have a huge game. He caught 6 passes for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns. Both touchdowns were spectacular, with one 93-yard catch-and-run and a Moss-ing.