Friday, August 28, 2015

Michigan Friday: Makes News on Thursday

Jimmy spoke yesterday, Michigan got a commit and the 2015 captains were named.   That is a good day for Michigan Football News!


We covered the commitment of WR Ahmir Mitchell here.  With 23 guys now in the boat, I expect Michigan to take 2-4 more players.    The list should come from the following guys:  WR Donnie Corley, CB Lavert Hill, DT Rashan Gary, OLB Caleb Kelly, OG Terrance Davis,  OT Jean Delance,  DT Chris Daniels,  WDE/OLB Carlo Kemp,  ILB Devin Bush Jr., and  ILB Dontavious Jackson.  Michigan did want another TE, but they now might replace that need with another WR. 

Jimmy spoke yesterday and didn't give us any insight who the starters are and said he would release a depth chart for the Utah game on Monday.  He did confirm the Bryan Mone has a broken bone and that he might be done for year or for an extended period of time.   It was a freak injury, as he was blocking on a field goal block return.   It sounds like he got his legs tangled up with Peppers.

Also mentioned:

  • Drake Harris has been a camp stand out
  • Drake Johnson is back practicing and getting banged around a bit
  • Told a story about Michael Jordan calling him
  • When traveling with your team, you better pack your defense
  • Said having the Jumpman logo on the uniform will be Awesome!
  • Later in the day, Jimmy confirmed White on White away jerseys all year

Your Michigan Wolverine Captains for team 136 are: senior linebacker Joe Bolden and fifth-year senior fullback Joe Kerridge.   Joe came to Michigan as a walk-on from Traverse City. 

Enjoy your last weekend without football!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Breaking News: 4 Star WR Ahmir Mitchell Commits To Michigan

Michigan lands another WR for the 2016 class in 4 star WR Ahmir Mitchell from NJ.   There have been rumors that Ahmir has been a silent commit for sometime now.   He picked the Wolverines just a few minutes ago over Ohio State.

To Rivals Ahmir is the #102 player in the country and 19th ranked WR.  He had offers from the likes of OSU, Alabama, FSU, MSU, VA Tech, Penn State, ND and many more.   He is a 6'3 and 203 pounds going into his senior year season. 

This is the 23rd commitment to the 2016 class and probably the last WR.   Michigan has been recruiting instate WR Donnie Corley pretty hard and it will be interesting to see if they want to take another WR in this class.   I doubt this commitment was a surprise to the coaches, so I expect they would still take Corley as well.

Welcome Ahmir!


Michigan Thursday: Iowa Bloggers Weigh In on Rudock

I saw that Iowa's top blog Black Heart Gold Pants did a roundtable and had in interesting question about Michigan's probable starter. (HT Mgoblog) Here are the interesting answers:

Will Iowa fans miss Jake Rudock?

Adam: Not unless Beathard gets injured. Iowa fans saw two full years of Rudock. He’s a known quantity, and it was mostly a substandard quantity. If Rudock outperforms Beathard this year, it’ll likely be more of a referendum on Iowa’s and Michigan’s coaching staffs than on their quarterbacks.
 
Mike: Do Iowa fans miss James Vandenberg?
 
Ross: I honestly don’t think so. The only scenarios where I could see a significant portion of Iowa fans pining for Jake’s return are a Beathard injury or an extended run of terrible performances from Beathard. If he just can’t stop turning the ball over and making mental mistakes, I could see Iowa fans longing for the reliability of Rudock. But I think overall people are very excited to see what Beathard can do with the reins full-time.
 
Matthew: First of all, I’m grateful for Rudock’s time at Iowa. He was the ultimate team player and from what I observed, he gave it his all during his time as a Hawkeye. That being said, no, I don’t think Iowa fans are going to miss him. I think Rudock could have been a suitable quarterback in another system, under another coach, but I think Beathard is the better fit for Iowa’s system now. He gets the ball to his receivers quicker and he has the big play capability that can hopefully make Iowa’s offense look semi-explosive at times. Rudock just didn’t have that. I do wish Jake the best of luck at Michigan, though. If he does win the starting job, I’m sure I will be watching Michigan games a lot closer than I ever have before.
 
Horace E. Cow: In the sense that Beathard will not solve all of the problems Iowa had on offense last year, yes, there will be some "grass is always greener" pining for Rudock.
 
hawk6894: Yes. They won’t miss the dump-off passes to the RB on 3rd-and-10 or the numerous receivers running uncovered down the seam, but they will miss some of the consistency and efficiency. Plus, who is going to be the scapegoat now for Iowa’s middling offense? Greg Davis? I don’t think so.
 
HFMR: Only if he owes them money.
 
Patrick: Absolutely, because if there’s two things Iowa fans love, it’s a backup quarterback and the guy they let get away. The narrative changes have already begun, and will only get worse if Rudock is successful at Michigan or Beathard struggles. The vitriol directed at Rudock last season, most of it undeserved, will be completely forgotten the second that Beathard checks down to a two-yard out route or throws a horrible interception to the sideline.
 
PSD: Nope. They’ll tune into to every Michigan game and it’ll be like he never left.
 
FightForIowa: If they do, they won’t admit it. But I think yes. Having a reliable backup would be comforting, and honestly that guy was pretty good in the clutch. The Nebraska game left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, but he consistently led Iowa on 4th quarter drive to take the lead or tie the game.
 
 
Are you old enough to remember Michigan fans wanting the Golden Boy Drew Henson to play over Tom Brady?  That was the good old days!  It sounds like Rudock is who we think he is, a reliable accurate passer.  Who is maybe at times a bit too conservative.  Which Michigan fans will take in a heart beat after Henne left the program.  Let's hope Iowa fans end up missing Rudock like NC State fans missed Russell Wilson.  
 
  •  LB Caleb Kelly tweets he has set up an official visits to Michigan, ND, Oklahoma and Texas.
 
BTW: We are now a week away from kick off.  Which is hard to believe!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wolverine Wednesday: What We Think We Know

Michigan is in the Maize Submarine/Blue September whatever you want to call it.  So all of this is speculation but since we are 8 days away from playing a game (I know - 8 days away!), I think it's time see what we have a week from Thursday.

Here is what I think we know for starters on both sides of the ball:

Offense

QB: Jake Rudock, by the time they kick off in a week, this will be a no brainer.

RB: Doesn't Matter - all 3 guys (Green, Isaac and Smith) will play.  I assume Drake Johnson is not ready. 

FB:  Write it in stone: Joe Kerridge 

OL:  Cole-Braden-Glasgow-Kalis-Magnuson.    From the students that attended the scrimmage on Saturday night, these were the starting offensive lineman.  This also confirms what we have heard from the Big Ten Network guys.

WR: Darboh if healthy, with Chesson and Harris.  Perry might be getting a shot as the starting slot receiver.

TE: Jake Butt is the clear #1 and I think Ian Bunting and Kalid Hill will actually sub in.

Defense

CB/S:  Lyons and Lewis.  Lyons was seen playing safety in the scrimmage, but my best guess is he starts at a corner position across from Lewis.  We will see Peppers in nickel and at the safety position across from Wilson. 

DL: Doesn't Matter they will continue to sub guys like crazy on the DLine.  Glasgow, Godin, Hurst, Wormley, Henry, Taco and Ojemudia will all play a lot.   With the loss of Mone does that mean Poggi will eventually come back to the Dline?  He is listed on the roster as a TE right now but is behind 3 guys. 

LB: Ross, Morgan and Bolden is pretty much written in stone. 


Offensive Thoughts:  I think Michigan will be better on offense this year as the line takes a huge leap forward and Michigan now has a QB that throws an accurate ball and should limit turnovers from that position.   TE will be a game changer with Butt and Bunting.  The questions marks are at RB and WR.  There is talent at both positions, but who will set up?  If the line is better the RB position better be better.


Defensive Thoughts:  If Michigan can get a pass rush, this unit could be dominating.   It's that simple, as Michigan has talent all over the field on this side of the ball.  The linebackers are talented and have a ton of experience.   The defensive backfield has a great combination of talent, youth and experience.  

Special Teams:  Blake O'Neill the senior transfer will handle the punting duties.   I expect the place kicking duties will come down to Kenny Allen or freshman Andrew David.   Andrew didn't play in the scrimmage, so that might lead you to believe Kenny is the starting place kicker.   Reports have a been a bit all over the board on placekicking, which may make Jimmy gamble on 4th down a little more often. 

I expect some early low scoring games as the Wolverines find their identity on offense.  Win ugly early and then find your stride in the Big Ten season!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Michigan Tuesday: Isn't Confirming Anything

Coach Durkin and Coach Drevno had press conferences yesterday and pretty much answered questions by not confirming anything.   No injuries, player movement, or starters confirmed.  Everyone is having a good camp and there is a lot of energy.   Submarine mode is still in effect.

  • 2017 OL recruit from Oak Park Jaraymond Hall attended the Saturday night scrimmage

  • Scouts Sam Webb is reporting that Freddy Canteen has been playing both WR and CB in camp this year.   It will be interesting to see where he ends up.  Reports are that he didn't participate in the Saturday's scrimmage, so he may have an injury. 

  • Brandon Peters got invited and will play in the Army All American game.

  • Utah is preparing for Michigan by watching a bunch of Florida games on defense.  Senior running back Devontae Booker admitted that it was a little strange Monday, when "we're watching a Florida film, and we're playing Michigan."


  • Durkin and Mattison coached together at ND and now again in Ann Arbor.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Michigan Monday: Students Get a Glimpse of The Submarine

On Saturday, Michigan students got a chance to witness a practice/scrimmage at the Big House.  Here are some of thoughts that I gathered from students that attended:

  • Rudock is the clear #1 and looked sharp.
  • Jake Butt is a difference maker
  • Injuries included Jourdan Lewis, center Pat Kugler, WR's Amara Darboh (finger) and Freddy Canteen.
  • Still no separation at RB
  • Offensive line looks a lot better and gets a ton of attention from Dreveno
  • Drake Harris (RS Freshman) and Grant Perry (Freshman) both played a lot with the 1's.
  • Jimmy was everywhere coaching the offense
My thoughts:
I love that Drake Harris and Grant Perry are getting a shot and playing well.   I think Jake Butt could be an All American TE this year.    A little concerned about RB, but maybe they all are pretty good.

Michigan's defense sounds strong and might need to win a few early season games for the Wolverines as the offense starts to gel.  It does sound though that the offense is starting to make some strides and could be lead by a much improved offensive line. 

  • 2016 Michigan commit RB Matt Falcon suffered a knee injury in his game last weekend and is probably out for the season.

  • 2016 4 star WR Ahmir Mitchell will decided between Michigan and OSU on Thursday at 5:00.  24/7 Crystal Ball is 92% Michigan.   I like our chances here.

  • If Michigan needs anymore motivation for this year, OSU is ranked #1 on the AP poll.

  • TE Naseir Upshur will announce his decision on 9/1 between FSU and Michigan.  The rumor is he has already silently committed to FSU.  So don't worry about this one. 

  • RB from Cincy C.J. Hilliard is transferring from Iowa. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Michigan Friday: Plays Catch UP

Sorry about missing the post yesterday, real life got in the way.  Playing catch-up today.

BTN Enters The Sub:

Jimmy doesn't like too many people in the submarine.  He and the team has work to do and he doesn't need distractions from TV cameras or media types.  

The BTN came calling yesterday  Wednesday and got a few insights on stuff we already knew like:

  • It's a two horse race at QB between Morris and Rudock.   Big surprise here.
  • Peppers is athletic.
  • Jimmy didn't do an interview with the BTN and spent most of his time with the QB's.
  • OL looks better
  • Defensive might be really good
  • Nobody stood out as the #1 starter at RB
  • WR's about the same, true freshman Grant Perry stood out as maybe an early contributor.
  • Place kicker might be an issue
Pretty much stuff we already knew, the Grant Perry information was new and exciting as he was a late edition to the class and was heading to Northwestern.

  • Instate WR Donnie Corley who was pretty much considered a loss by many recruiting insiders seems to be heading up with the Wolverines.   He has visited Michigan twice recently and really likes the idea of wearing Jordans next season. 

  • Penn State commit CB Lavert Hill has been rumored to be flipping to Michigan for about 5 months now.  Still hasn't but he would like to play college with his HS teammate and friend Donnie Corley.  Package deal? 

  • Michigan continues to recruit instate four-star Farmington Hills Harrison DE Khalid Kareem, even though he is committed to Alabama.  Insert hurricane simulator jokes here.

  • Four-star TE Naseir Upshur almost committed to the Wolverines about a month ago while on a visit.  Now there is a rumor he might be a silent commit to FSU. 

  • Michigan commit, Hartland (Wisc.) Arrowhead offensive lineman Ben Bredeson opened his high school football season last night with a dominating performance and win.

  • Ohio CB Tony Butler who has visited Michigan a couple times has dropped Michigan from his list, which also probably means Michigan hasn't been recruiting him very hard lately.  Hopefully that is a good sign of Hill landing in A2.