Team 135

Team 135

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Michigan Thursday: Being Dee Hart

We all make decisions that effect our future, sometimes we make good decisions and sometimes we make bad ones.   Dee Hart has probably made a few of those decisions he wish he hadn't.

Let's start out with his commitment to Michigan and RR in the summer of 2010.   He started flirting with other schools like Auburn and Alabama that Fall when RR's seat got hotter and hotter.   Alabama even practiced at his high school in Orlando preparing for the Citrus Bowl. 

When RR was fired from Michigan, Dee jumped ship to Alabama with his HS teammate HaHa Clinton-Dix.  Bama was always a good fit for HaHa and but wasn't a good one for Dee.   Bama had a ton of 5 star RB's on the roster and it was going to be tough for Dee to find playing time.   Case in point, HaHa was first round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers this year.

Soon after Dee hit campus the injury bug hit him.  He tore his ACL in 2011 and then again in 2012.  Since then, Dee has mostly been a special teams player when healthy.  In his entire Alabama career he has rushed for 166 yards on 43 carries for one touchdown.  He was so desperate for playing time, he even tried CB for awhile last season.

This past February he was arrested for possession of marijuana and giving false information to the police.   He also didn't attend the bowl game the month before.   It was clear his Alabama days were numbered.   He wasn't making a difference on the field and was making poor decisions off.  

Would things have been different if he stayed with his Michigan commitment?  Hard to say as Michigan has struggled to find a consistent tailback since Mike Hart graduated.   Ironic, isn't it?  Michigan would have been a better fit for Dee, but as an 18 year old it was tough for him to see the forest through the trees.  

So now what?

Dee has decided to transfer to Colorado State University and play for former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain who helped recruit him to Alabama.  Dee will be able to play right away as he graduated from Alabama this summer.  

Dee now has his degree and finally might find some playing time.   I hope things work out for him. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wolverine Wednesday: Wonders About Team Dynamics

Let's be clear, Michigan has not been a very good football team the past two years.   We don't need to go down that road again.    We have debated the reasons over and over.  

One thing that I found interesting was a few quotes from a Detroit News/Angelique S. Chengelis article from this morning.  

Frank Clark:

“You can feel it in the atmosphere, in that locker room,” Clark said. “There’s not a group of guys over here when you’re having a team dinner, not a group (over there).”

Strength coach Aaron Wellman has been integral in helping the players bond, Clark said, making a point to encourage offensive and defensive players and black and white players, hang out together at team dinners or as they arrive or leave strength training sessions.

“Coach Wellman says, ‘Let’s make Oreos, baby,’” Clark said, laughing. “You’re sitting there and you walk out, it’s not about a black or white thing at the end of the day.”

It seems to me Michigan has a bit of a culture problem in the locker room.   Teammates are separating themselves by race and by position.   Some of that of course is natural,  if you are a DB your going to hang out with mostly DB's, freshman with freshman, etc.   The thing that concerns me is players are separating themselves by race as well.   First off, I don't like the term Oreo's and wish the coaches used something else, but we all understand locker room talk.    This is also a very important job of the coaches to make sure players are respectful of each other and that each one of those guys bond not as 100 different players but as one team.    Hopefully, the seniors and other team leaders understand that.  There is no better person to lead that culture change then Coach Wellman the S&C coach.  He is the only coach that can have regular/everyday contact (during the summer) with players as they come in for workouts.

The seniors seem to working on it as well,  Devin Gardner has hosted a BBQ at his house and Jake Ryan organized a paint ball day this summer.   Let's hope the Wolverines culture has taken a big step forward this summer.

We talk about offensive line struggles, QB in-experience, play calling, and so on, but if the players in Schembechler Hall are not together, then you have zero chance at success.    Hopefully this is fixed now and Michigan can work together on winning football games. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Michigan Tueday: DG at Media Day

Devin Gardner has something to prove this year.  #1 that he is a QB and #2 he can lead the Wolverines to a successful season.   He had trouble with both points last year. 

It sounds like he has reached out to a couple guys that know a little bit about playing the position in Tom Brady and Payton Manning for advice.  "For me, one of the biggest things I learned from Tom Brady, he said every day he’s going to come into work like his job is on the line and prove to everybody he’s the best quarterback for the team,” Gardner said Monday during the first day of Big Ten Media Days. “I feel like that’s something I’ve worked hard at doing, and I feel like I’m doing a good job of that. If the coaches feel Shane Morris is the best quarterback for the team, that will be their decision. My job is to make sure I’m the best quarterback for the team, and he should do the same.”
Some of you might be wondering how DG knows Payton Manning.  He worked at his passing camp last summer, the one where Johnny Football over slept and missed a meeting.

I know some of you are still 50/50 on Devin but I believe he is Michigan's best option to win this year.  He clearly needs to improve his play and seems to be motivated to do it.   He finally has a OC that knows how to coach QB's and has plenty of depth at RB.  The offensive line is still an issue.

  • If you missed it from yesterday's update:  DB Marcus Lewis  who visited A2 for the BBQ, de-committed from Florida yesterday.  His top 3 are now Michigan, Miami, and Oregon.  He plans to take officials to each school before making a decision.   Which means we shouldn't expect a decision in the near future.   Michigan has one DB spot left in this class. 

  • 2016 WR Cam Chambers who visited this past weekend as well, announced his top 5 schools and will announce his decision on Friday.  Top 5 are:  Michigan, OSU, Alabama, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.

  • Urban Meyer is clearly looking to but a leak in Michigan's pipeline at Cass Tech.   Last year he pulled Damon Webb and this year he just got a commitment from 3 star DL Joshua Alabi last weekend.  Michigan had offered but it seems both parties weren't that interested.    The Michigan coaches have made it clear they were done recruiting interior defensive lineman in this class.  They need one more DE of course.   Glenville now needs to send a couple of prospects to Ann Arbor.

  • In somewhat of a funny move, former Michigan commit George Campbell announced a top 10 without Michigan in it. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Michigan Monday: BBQ in Review

Michigan just had their biggest recruiting event of the summer and it seems that it was a success.   Let's re-cap some activity from the weekend:

  • The weekend started out great with the un-expected commitment of the state's #1 player in Brian Cole.   This was a big win over MSU and OSU on the recruiting trail.

  • The state's #2 prospect Mike Weber took a red eye from California to make it out to the BBQ.

  • Michigan legacy player (#6 player in the state) LB Tyriq Thompson attended the BBQ and "knows where he wants to play".   Just so you know, some insiders are saying that Tyriq is going to announce that he is going to attend MSU and attended the BBQ because of his father.   It seems an announcement could come any day now. 

  • Florida commitment DB Marcus Lewis enjoyed the BBQ and Michigan has moved way up on his list.   Update:  Marcus de-committed from Florida this afternoon.  His top 3 are now Michigan, Miami, and Oregon.

  • 2016 DE Josh King was at the BBQ and was the most excited to meet Jabrill Peppers.  Funny how Peppers is already a celebrity and hasn't even played a college game yet!  Michigan is now in Josh's top 5.

  • Michigan offered 2016 Cass Tech DT Michael Onwenu.

  • 2016 WR Cameron Chambers visited this weekend and stayed an extra day to attend the BBQ.  He is going to announce his top 5 soon and make his decision known on Friday.

  • One of the top players in the 2015 class Keisean Lucier-South tweeted he wished he was at the BBQ!

On the not so good news, remember when 2016 LB Daelin Hayes was ready to commit to Michigan and then a ton of offers started rolling in and he decided to wait and let the recruiting process play out?  He is related to current Michigan RB Justice Hayes.  Well, he committed to USC on a trip with Mike Weber to the West Coast this weekend.

Michigan used the twitter hastag #bbqmaizerace for all the activity during the BBQ.  It was a great way to leverage social media. 

  • Michigan Baseball received a 2015 commitment from pitcher Jack Bredeson.   His brother is a 6'4 255 pound 2016 OL recruit named Ben Bredeson.   Michigan has offered Ben and this can only help the Wolverines chances.

With only a handful of spots left in the 2015 class with Cole's commitment.   It should be interesting to see how these last few spots play out.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

First Commitment Drops From The BBQ

The BBQ isn't until tomorrow but 4 star WR/CB Brian Cole has picked the Wolverines over MSU. This is a big instate win for Brady Hoke and staff. Brian is expected to play WR at Michigan.

Go Blue and lets hope this is one of many commitments this weekend!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Michigan Friday: Time To Fire Up The BBQ - The Recruits Are Coming To Town!

This is a big weekend for Michigan recruiting as the BBQ is always pointed to as a great event for recruits to get to know coaches, commits and targets a little bit better in a relaxed atmosphere.  Coaches families will get a chance to interact with recruits families. It is a great chance to bond on football and non-football stuff.   Michigan is always selling it's family atmosphere and this event is a great way to prove that fact.   It was started by RR and Hoke and staff has continued this summer event.   

If you don't know, Michigan has to charge a couple of bucks per person so that it doesn't break any NCAA rules.  It's an invitation only event and usually Michigan gets at least one commitment out of the day or soon there after.    Sunday is the BBQ but there will be plenty of recruiting visits happening all weekend. 

Some recent news:

  • Legacy instate LB Tyriq Thompson is expected to make a decision very soon.  He is also expected at the BBQ.  Could he be on commit watch?  Could he also be the reason that Tennessee LB Josh McMillon isn't making the trip?  Sounds promising.

  • RB Mike Weber is still out visiting USC and seems to be having a very good time.  He is trying to make it back for the BBQ but that is still unclear.   He just added USC to his top 5.  Many expect him to stay in Big Ten country, but the likes of Ronald Johnson, Nick Perry and even Ty Isaac prove that USC has a strong pull in Big Ten Country.

  • Michigan offered 3 2016 RB's yesterday in: IL RB Kentrail Moran, NC RB Robert Washington and NC RB Antonio Williams.   Moran is very high on the Wolverines and probably has Michigan leading right now. 

  • The Wolverines also offered 2015 athlete Kirk Merritt who won the SPAQ Challenge at the Opening.  He is from Louisiana which is Fred Jackson territory, so he probably has the young man sold on being the next Desmond Howard only faster.  :)

I guess Derrick Green didn't like people saying he showed up to camp last year overweight.   It seems he has fixed that problem.  Last year (picture on the left) 248 pounds and 27% body fat.  Now, 220 pounds and 9% body fat.   Way to put in the work big man!

Since we all are hoping Peppers is the next Michigan star here is what he has been doing the last month on campus.   I would say he is ready for fall camp!

  • No news on Ty Isaac's eligibility for this year.  I expect the news to drop sometime in August.  I'm about 60-40 on this decision.  60% I would like him to redshirt and 40% all hands on deck for this year.   I feel comfortable with Green, Hayes, Smith and Johnson at RB right now but we need all the game breakers we can get on the field this season..  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Michigan Thursday: A Couple Visit Updates

  • The Real Deal (RB) Elijah Holyfield will be at Michigan on Saturday and Sunday (BBQ).   He will also be at Ohio State on Friday.

  • 2016 OL Clark Yarbrough will also make it to Ann Arbor this weekend.

  • Keisean Lucier-South will reduce his list on 8/8.  Michigan is expected to make the cut.

  • DE Darian Roseboro, DE Jalen Bates and DB Marcus Lewis all have committed to attending the BBQ.  I would say Darian could be on commit watch.   Bates seems to be leaning to Texas Tech right now and Lewis is committed to Florida but lives in DC.
If your wondering if the key Michigan Basketball players are putting in time at the gym this summer?  This should answer that question: