Friday, August 20, 2021

Michigan Friday: I Heart Mike Hart

I have some favorite hires in the off season, Mike McDonald's ceiling, top notch recruiter that Clinkscale is, and the instate relationships and recruiting skills that Ron Bellamy has.  But my favorite off season hire is bring back Mike Hart.   The 3 star RB from upstate NY that became Michigan's all time leading rusher. 

If you read this blog you know Michigan's deepest position group this season is at RB:

Power: Hassan Haskins 

Speed: Blake Corum 

5 star freshman with both:  Donovan Edwards

You don't need a crystal ball to know that with the above talent and a good offensive line, that this team will be running the ball as much as they can. 

Then you add Mike Hart into the mix and you might have something here! 

He spoke to the media yesterday and here are some of his thoughts:

“I think you guys are pretty aware of what we have, with Hassan, Blake — from last year, what they’ve done. The experience that Hassan has, Blake’s obviously still young from that standpoint. Two new guys in Donovan and Tavi round that out. They’ve been great. Young guys keep getting better, and that’s what you want to see. They’re growing a lot. They’re mid-year guys so they had a beat on the offense, understand the offense. They’re just cleaning up all the little things with those two guys. Hassan and Blake just continue to do what they do.

Does Blake remind him of himself?

“He works a lot harder! I think that the best — size-wise, yes. Blake’s a lot faster than me, a lot quicker than me. If I was that fast, I’d probably still be playing in the NFL. He’s a great kid, but I think his mentality and the way he does things, the way he approaches the game is really similar to the way I did. He doesn’t like making mistakes, he’s not happy when he makes mistakes. He wants to be perfect. And that’s something that reminds me of myself from that standpoint.”

On Donovan Edwards?

“He’s just an explosive player. I think a lot of you guys have seen his high school tape. The kind of runs he made in high school — he has the ability to make those in college. When he switches gears, you can tell. He doesn’t look out of place. I think a lot of freshmen when they come in, getting used to the speed, getting used to the speed on defense and making people miss, I think it takes a little transition. And it’s still a transition for him, he isn’t where he needs to be, but you can see that he has the skill set to be really, really special one day, if he gets better — he’s not there yet. But if he continues to grow, continues to take coaching, which he does, he has a chance to be a really good player.”

On RB rotation this season?

“Play them how I see fit at the end of the day. You have to let a guy get a little comfortable in the game. I think there’s always two first or second down backs, there’s a third down back, there’s a short-yardage back — it can be the same guy, right? If a guy is better at something — if Blake is better on third down than Hassan, then it would be smart to play Blake, right? If it’s third down, if it’s third and long. If Hassan’s a better short-yardage runner on third-and-1, then put Hassan in the game. I think that whoever earns those jobs, whoever is better at them, then that’s who’s gonna be in the game in those situations, from that standpoint.

“At my previous job, there was a guy who didn’t play on third down at all in his first two years and then last year, he played every third down because he got better at it. It really just depends on where they are in their career. Do they know pass pro? Can they pick up blitzes? Can they do those things in certain situations? Are they better at third-and-1? There might be a guy who never plays but who goes in at third-and-1 that’s gonna be our running back. And everyone knows we’re running. That’s one of those things, whoever earns those jobs, that’s who’s gonna be in those situations — when it’s clear as day. Obviously, you can’t just say, ‘Oh, he’s in the game,’ and it’s gonna be a pass, right? If it’s third-and-12, (put in) the third-and-12 back?”

1 comment:

szanreno said...

Never been a big fan of running back by committee. You got to put a guy in there and let him get comfortable. Let him see how the game's flowing. How the defense reacts. You'll know quickly enough if he is comfortable in there or not and it's time for a change. I don't like changing up because it's third down or short yardage. In some cases that can hurt you because you're almost telegraphing what you're going to do. Jmo..