Thursday, January 7, 2016

Michigan Thursday: The Numbers Game and Peters Gives Us A Clue

I was about to do a post on this but BHB reader Mike T emailed me a question: 

How in the world are we taking such a big recruiting class in 16?

He also asks about transfers and gray shirts fitting in.

Yes, Michigan might be looking at Gray Shirts in the 2016 class, there also maybe more attrition to the class.   There are academic rumors about Sir Patrick Scott, Kiante Enis hasn't heard a ton from the coaches and could be looking for another school and yesterday Ohio State offered Michigan commit and athlete Chris Evans.   Johnson and Weaver could be candidates for Gray Shirts or entry a year from now. 

The 2016 class is expected to have 27 members in it total.  Michigan will have a minimum of 7 players enrolled in January that they can use scholarships from the 2015 (if available) or 2016 class.    With 16 open spots that leaves current roster attrition at 10-11 spots.  

Who are the candidates? (this is purely my speculation)


  • The only person that could leave early at this point is Big Willie Henry.  He is waiting on NFL feedback on possible draft predictions. 
5th year thank you for your time handshakes:
  • CB Terry Richardson
  • LB Alan Grant
  • OL Blake Bars
50/50 on a 5th year
  • OL Ben Braden
  • RB Drake Johnson
  • DL Tom Strobel
  • DL Matt Godin
Drake Johnson finished the year very strong but has had two ACL injuries but I expect he would be welcomed back.   With serious depth issues on the DL line I'm not sure how you would let Godin and Strobel go. 

Peace, I'm Out - I need more touches!
  • RB Derrick Green hasn't been with the team since mid-November.  This seems like only a matter of time.  (If your wondering Ty Isaac said he is staying)
  • A QB - Morris said he is staying,  Gentry seems to be playing more TE then QB and might want to play QB somewhere else.  I haven't heard any buzz on Malzone.
  • A CB or Two:  Freddy Canteen went from being a decent part of the offense to not seeing the field this year.  Another CB Reon Dawson doesn't seem to be getting any snaps.
  • Taylor -Douglas has been a CB and RB.  It doesn't look like he is going to break any lineups anytime soon.
  • If any of the true seniors graduate early, they could also be looking to transfer and play right away.   An example could be someone like Da'Mario Jones.
Coach, I can't go - I need a medical
  • Mike McCray?
  • Drake Harris?
If Michigan did take a graduate transfer, lets say at center.   It would not count against the 2016 class limit but would count against the 85 scholarship limit.   I wouldn't be surprised if someone that started on the offensive line this year might want to look at another opportunity:  Magnuson and Kalis are also 5th year guys but are expected back. 

We will probably be surprised by one or two players looking to transfer now or after spring ball as well.  Another place you could look for a scholarship or two, is from specialists like long snappers or kickers.  I know Michigan is still recruiting a kicker in the 2016 class but I don't see anyway they would have space for him.

Maybe one of the BHB inmates can answer this question:  When does Michigan have to be at the 85 scholarship limit?  If its the start of Fall Camp,  Michigan could take until then to get down to 85. 

  • The buzz around the program is that Michigan got some good news from recruits.   Did Brandon Peters give us a clue with this quote (bold is mine):  “There is one silent here, but I can’t say his name,” said Peters.  “I might know two silents actually.  I know two silents.”On the west team.”.    That clue would seem to suggest Crawford and Long who are friends and live in California. 

  • 5 star TE Isaac Nauta has made his decision and will announce it on Saturday.   Most still expect Georgia.  Though the safer pick would be Michigan with the new staff in Athens.


ScottyDoggs said...

It's ironic how hard working walk-ons can make the team, and even earn "Big Ten" honors... while some 4 or 5 stars see the field some or fizzle out all together. Our Bo... said that 1/3 of the recruits meet expectations; whereas 1/3 were better than expectations... with 1/3 disappointments... so if you got 120 scholarships which Bo mostly had... you could field 80 good players... Nowadays... if your failure rate is 1/3, you only get 56 or so good players... a significant difference... making recruiting all the more important in modern times.
Harbaugh showed his football genius in his summer camps... offered players on the spot (ranking was not a priority)...his guesswork is leading towards a top 5 recruiting class.

Tim said...

Good run down Bob. Thanks.

I tried to figure out when Michigan needs to be at 85 but couldn't find. My best guess is by first day of school or first contest, whichever is first.

Side note: apparently if a kid plays football and another sport and receives a scholarship from the other sport they still count against football. I assume so cut down on a school handing out a swimming scholarship to a kid knowing they play football to get around the 85 scholarship limit. Maybe everyone else knew that, I did not.

Big35Hurt said...

Thanks for the insight. VERY much appreciated.

Voice of Reason said...

I saw Sam Webb’s interview of Isaac Nauta yesterday on the Michigan Insider and I couldn’t help but dissect Nauta’s responses.

He sees Georgia as a convenient place for his local family and friends where he’s at now. No doubt that that is one of the factors pulling on him to go to a local school. In some cases, boosters put pressure on family and friends to get good players to stay. I would imagine that is something to consider when your family has to continue to live there when you’ve gone off to school. He acknowledged the potential that the staff has for future success but deep down inside he can’t help but to wonder if the new OC will use TE’s as a staple in his offense.

Alabama’s description was even shorter and more benign. What sticks out in my mind is something that is not even mentioned in the interview. He didn’t pre-enroll at Alabama, only at UM and UG. Unless this was done and I am not aware of it, it is difficult to take this consideration seriously. Also he gives no passion regarding his description of either Georgia or Alabama.

Michigan’s description was more detailed, descriptively animated and passionate. (Albeit that Sam Webb seemed to ask a two part question, I don’t believe that it actually made a difference in the response.) In Nauta's response you could see the context was different. Nauta actually seemed to be seeing himself at Michigan and in relationship with the coach. He inferred that he could see himself flourishing in Harbaugh’s system and that would positively impact his future because of their track record. He also indicated that his family in Michigan was also encouraging him to come up there so that they could support him. These are his reasons for wanting to choose Michigan in his heart.

When asked what did his ultimate decision come down to, and he responded, “…where you feel most settled at and most comfortable with, that's ultimately was the separator for me." It would seem to “ME” that he is speaking of a place where he can take refuge, feels safe, and be a valued contributor while being prepared for the next level. Therefore, I would venture to “guess,” if the decision is truly left up to him that he chose MICHIGAN. We will see…IMHO!!!

Scott K said...

Looks like Partridge will get his spot on the sidelines. Reports are coach Baxter is heading back to USC... his wife said one year in the cold midwest was enough.