The Daily has a book. It is a collection of their coverage from the 2016 season, and it's cheap at just $7.50. Marvel at things Peppers does, grapes that have been removed from existence, and the appallingly excellent skin of the youths who insouciantly bring it to you!
If you're in town you can stop by the Maynard building and avoid shipping costs. There's also something in the draft copy about bringing them a pizza from NYPD so you can see all the things they stole from road games but that's CLEARLY a joke so please don't do that and also don't tell me what it is afterwards. (Operative theory: Michigan State's dignity.)
Not a starter, technically. PFF lists the best returning players in the Big Ten. Michigan has a member of the DL land at #3 despite graduating all four starters, and you already know who it is:
Michigan’s defensive line was so loaded in 2016, Hurst was technically not considered a starter. This year, however, he is the clear leader of the unit, as three likely top 100 picks will be moving on to the NFL. In terms of production amongst his returning peers, Hurst has no equal. His 34 total pressures in 173 pass-rush reps last season ranks him first in pass-rush productivity among 2017 defensive tackles, and his 18 run stops on 155 run downs ranks him eighth in run-stop percentage within the same group.
Expect a lot of "where did this guy come from!?" next year as Hurst's increased snap total results in some silly numbers.
Everyone quote tweet tonight. About a dozen people on my timeline quoted this Bruce Feldman tweet to let their followers know it was a good idea:
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 6, 2017
They are not wrong. Hoke plucked Willie Henry, Ryan Glasgow, and Frank Clark out of obscurity; even the touted recruits he grabbed frequently outperformed their rankings. Chris Wormley(composite #129), Taco Charlton (#132), and Mo Hurst (#258) are all potential first-round NFL draft picks. There were some busts in there, but Hoke recruited seven of the eight guys on Michigan's best-ever defensive line.
I'd take him back in Ann Arbor as a DL coach if that wouldn't be super weird. In this instance, Butch Jones's weird tendency to get the Lloyd Carr band back together is not clinically insane.
Early enrollment is a thing. College football already has an early signing day of sorts:
The 2017 recruiting class seemed to have less late drama than years past, and that could have something to do with the growing number of early enrollees. Among the top 50 prospects in this class, 26 were midyear enrollees, which included 11 of the 15 five-stars. And of the top 150 prospects, 54 enrolled early.
Michigan had a whopping 11 guys enroll early, a program record. The large numbers of Michigan seniors ready to graduate and start prepping for the NFL draft full time created a bunch of openings that freshmen gladly filled.
Haves vs Have Nots: Fight! It's going to be a short fight. Michigan has some analyst spots to fill, as they usually do, and they're going after this gentleman:
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday that Hawaii DC Kevin Lempa met with Michigan over the weekend about a "non-coaching" position in Ann Arbor.
Lempa already resigned as the Warriors' DC to take a 'worse' job once before, when he departed the islands to be a DBs coach at Boston College in 2002. He's in his mid-60s so this won't be a play to move up at Michigan if it does indeed happen; it would be about dollars and the opportunity to participate in Championship Football(tm).
FWIW, Don Brown is the connect here. Lempa was on his staffs at Maryland and UConn.
OL exit... MSU OL Thiyo Lukusa has left MSU's program, reportedly to retire. Lukusa played last year as MSU tried to find any combination that would work and was widely expected to compete for and probably win a tackle spot. Not good for the Spartans as they try to pick themselves up after a 3-9 season.
And it might get worse, with rumors flying that a number of other MSU players are off the team. Nothing definitive yet but there is a lot of smoke out there.
...OL entrance? Cal starting left tackle Aaron Cochran plans a grad transfer, and he was definitely a part of a thing that did things:
Cochran was an integral part of an offensive line that paved the way for a nationally ranked offense and numerous school records the past two seasons.
Everyone's nationally ranked, sir.
Anyway, Cochran is enormous at 6'8", 350, and has 16 starts under his belt at a Power 5 team. Cal was third in adjusted sack rate last year so he can't be horrendous. He only pops up once on PFF, but it's an encouraging note: he graded out well in Cal's loss to Washington, the #5 sack rate team last year. He is vaguely draftable per NFL Draft Scout.
Isaiah Hole reports that Michigan is "actively seeking" guys who could help them out but hasn't decided to pursue any particular player yet, including Cochran. If Michigan has the spot it would seem like a no-brainer to add a Pac-12 starter, even an iffy one, at a position of yawning need. Do they have it, though? Right now they're two over their scholarship limit. (Publicly, anyway. It's likely that Michigan knows of a couple departures already.)
Keeping the hype contained. Charles Matthews is profiled by Brendan Quinn, and John Beilein would like to keep expectations reasonable.
Beilein is careful not to preordain Matthews. One of the grand traditions in college basketball is for the redshirt player -- the one no one gets to see -- to be billed as a team's best player. Beilein avoids the pitfall.
...by turning into Fred Jackson:
"He's probably a combination of Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III. That's a good combination to have."
Frustration, defined. John Gasaway's Tuesday Truths column from before the MSU game:
|Big Ten||W-L||Pace||PPP||Opp. PPP||EM|
Michigan's offense is as good as anyone in the country in conference play. They have the same points per possession as Villanova, WVU, Kansas, and anyone in the ACC not named North Carolina (1.16). Only the Pac-12 has teams doing better on offense. Even a meh defense gets Michigan into the tournament with ease.
Or you could boot them for Houston, just sayin'. The Big Twelve has voted to dock Baylor a quarter of its annual payout until such time as "proper institutional controls" are in place and vetted by a third party. That's about six million dollars a year and is probably sufficient to get what the Big 12 wants out of them. But you could, I dunno, boot Baylor from your conference for cause and add a school in a much bigger media market? That's both ethical and a financial win.
FWIW, this is a measure of revenge for Art Briles in a mutually-assured-destruction sense. He tried to bilk some money out of Baylor with a lawsuit, causing the Baylor regents to assemble a pile of texts (and submit them to court!) that definitively expose Briles and former AD Ian McCaw as the worst kind of one-dimensional B-movie villain:
When a female student-athlete reported that a football player had brandished a gun at her, the court paperwork said, Briles texted an assistant coach: "what a fool -- she reporting to authorities."
In another case, a masseuse asked the team to discipline a player who reportedly exposed himself and asked for favors during a massage, the document said Briles' first response was, "What kind of discipline... She a stripper?" ...
In one text exchange, after a player was arrested for assault and threatening to kill someone, the paperwork said Briles texted athletic director McCaw that he had just talked to the player, who said Waco police had agreed to "keep it quiet." Briles promised to ask Shillinglaw to check in with a local attorney.
"That would be great if they kept it quiet!" McCaw allegedly replied. He is now the athletic director at Liberty University in Virginia.
Briles had to drop his lawsuit but the revelation of what actually went on was probably a spur for the Big 12's financial penality. In his accidental way Briles actually did some good here. So he's got that going for him.
Etc.: Various croot profiles include Joel Honigford, Cesar Ruiz, PWO and Air Force decommit Sean Fitzgerald, and fellow PWO Jared Davis. Lorenz picks some underrated Michigan recruits. Hugh Freeze is mad that other schools mentioned the obvious thing they should mention about Ole Miss. Vincent Smith profiled by MGoBlue. More mock drafts.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Michigan 5, #11 Ohio State 4
UM 1 0SU 0 EV 08:21 Assists: Shuart & Winborg
Winborg wins the faceoff and knocks the puck to Shuart on his right. Shuart sort of accidentally shovels it forward to Winborg, but Winborg again scoops it up and back to Shuart.
With the puck now solidly on his stick, Shuart’s determined to do something purposeful with the puck. He shoots, and the shot is blocked by the OSU defender in front of him. The puck bounces off the defender and ends up to his left.
This next bit happens so quickly that I’m not sure whether Shuart passes to Allen or whether Allen picks up the loose puck himself. Either way, Allen has the puck. He splits two defenders and finds himself with a wide-open net, as Frey is still sliding across after squaring to Shuart’s shot.
[After THE JUMP: 2015-16 redux (for 40 minutes at a time)]
Derrick Walton joined Jalen Rose and Gary Grant in the 1000-400-400 club tonight and had fun doing it. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
"I think he's playing the best basketball of his career," said Tom Izzo. "And I think this game was the most important thing in his life."
Derrick Walton wasn't going to let his team lose this one. His teammates, in a pleasant surprise, matched the near-manic effort Walton has played with for the last month.
"Before the game the guys just really banded together and told me they really wanted to get this one for me," said Walton. "They played like it, and I'm really appreciative of it all. Everybody played their heart out."
An increasingly impossible to predict Michigan squad blew the game open midway through the first half, ripping off a 32-10 run with highlights aplenty, including a DJ Wilson posterization of Kenny Goins and Duncan Robinson capping the half with a walk-off triple from Caris Corner. Moe Wagner dominated his matchup with Nick Ward, hitting all five of his first-half attempts and goading Ward into a Grayson Allen-style technical foul. Michigan forced 12 first-half turnovers, three of them shot-clock violations. Walton continued his spectacular run of play with 12 points, three boards, and seven assists by halftime. The second half was academic.
"Can't say enough about Derrick Walton right now, of just the tranformation in the last month," said John Beilein.
Wilson, Simpson, and MAAR all came through with big plays. [Campredon]
Walton's young charge also looked transformed. Xavier Simpson entered tonight with two made field goals in Big Ten play. Tonight, working within what Beilein said was a simplified package of plays, he played with newfound confidence, scoring seven points on 3-for-4 shooting and dishing out two assists in the best 12 minutes of his young career. Like his teammates, Simpson played with something extra for his senior captain from Detroit.
"This is [Walton's] last time playing Michigan State, so for him to get that win means a lot," said Simpson.
Michigan's dominance extended to almost every facet of the game. They went 22-for-32 from inside the arc, buoyed by Wagner's skilled play around the hoop and strong finishes from the guards. They shot 10-for-21 on three-pointers, led by a perfect 3-for-3 mark from Walton. They played with great defensive intensity, forcing 21 turnovers and holding MSU under 48% from the field. They kept the Spartans off the boards. And, yes, they played with more emotion; Wilson's technical stood out as a positive, while Ward's was very much the opposite.
A happy squad. [Campredon]
"Today was, like, perfect," Beilein said of the team's mental edge. "They were right there. They were angry. They were junkyard dogs—that was the whole idea, the picture of a doberman that I wanted them to go out and play like, I think it was a doberman but he had big teeth."
Beilein, like the rest of us, admitted he's never sure when the team is going to play with that bite. Tonight, in a rivalry game they had to win to keep any realistic shot at a tourney bid, they had it going full force. Whether it will carry over to Sunday's game at Indiana is anyone's guess. It's a start, at least, and if the whole team can continue to rise up to the standard Walton is setting, they may just make the late run they need.
"We don't think we've played as well as our talent shows," said Walton. "We've got seven games left and we can still do something special."
#40 Michigan (14-9, 4-6 B1G) vs
#49 Michigan State (14-9, 6-4)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|WHEN||9 pm ET, Tuesday|
Michigan -4 (KenPom)
Michigan -4.5 (Vegas)
PBP: Dan Shulman
Analyst: Dan Dakich
Right: Searching for help, probably. [Marc-Gregor Campredon/MGoBlog]
As covered in detail yesterday, Michigan is in must-win mode now. They have three home games left among their eight remaining regular-season games. Tonight's is the only one in which they're favored. They need to win five of their last eight, in all likelihood, to feel comfortable about their at-large chances. They haven't won a true road game all year.
Michigan's most likely path to the tournament is sweeping the rest of the home slate (MSU, Wisconsin, Purdue) and taking games at Rutgers and Nebraska. Those who are understandably pessimistic about M's ability to hold up against the Badgers and Boilermakers can pin their hopes on beating a fading Minnesota squad in The Barn and hoping Northwestern pulls a Northwestern down the stretch. While the task is by no means impossible, almost no matter how you slice it, M needs to come out on top tonight.
THE LAST TIME
In the matchup at the Breslin Center nine days ago, Derrick Walton willed his way to 24 points and Michigan won the rebounding battle (hard to believe after Saturday, I know), but that was about all that went right in a 70-62 loss that didn't feel as close as the final score. Zak Irvin didn't score, Moe Wagner couldn't stay out of foul trouble, and the team shot only 40% on twos and 27% on threes.
For the Spartans, big man Nick Ward played only 16 minutes—it turns out he was battling the flu—and made all six of his shots from the field. Miles Bridges had a rather inefficient 15 points but came up big down the stretch, while Cassius Winston repeatedly worked his way into the paint for 16 points, ten of which came at the line.
THE LINEUP CARD
Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.
|G||11||Tum Tum Nairn||Jr.||5'10, 175||59||13||109||Kinda|
|Decent distributor, but wonky shot has only improved slightly. Tiny usage for PG.|
|G||14||Eron Harris||Sr.||6'3, 190||59||24||105||Not At All|
|Excellent three-point shooter both on spot-ups and off the bounce.|
|G||1||Josh Langford||Fr.||6'5, 210||50||15||110||Not At All|
|Good spot-up shooter who sticks to perimeter; 3 FT attempts in B1G play.|
|F||22||Miles Bridges||Fr.||6'7, 230||55||26||102||Not At All|
|ORtg doesn't do his all-around game justice. As he goes, so goes MSU.|
|C||44||Nick Ward||Fr.||6'8, 250||48||33||106||Very|
|Massive-usage post scorer. Great rebounder and shot-blocker. Just over the flu.|
|G||5||Cassius Winston||Fr.||6'0, 185||51||25||106||Kinda|
|Boasts #1 assist rate in the country, but inconsistent shot and too many TOs.|
|F||25||Kenny Goins||So.||6'6, 230||47||12||99||Very|
|Former walk-on forced to spot Ward at C. Decent finisher but very TO-prone.|
|G||3||Alvin Ellis||Sr.||6'4, 210||40||20||104||No|
|Decent outside shooter, disruptive defender getting more time lately.|
|G||20||Matt McQuaid||So.||6'4, 200||49||15||99||No|
|Just A Shooter™ making 35% of threes, 29% of twos. 3/3 3P in first matchup.|
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE + SLOT.
PACK YOUR BAGS
Crazy productive interior DL. Had just about the same grade at PFF as Michigan's NFL-bound stars despite getting about 60% of their snaps, with more QB hurries than anyone on the team. That's overall, not on a per-snap basis. Likely first rounder in the next NFL draft. Could have gone this year. Get in his belly.
Bounce to guard a possibility if Michigan decides that starter #5 is Kugler or Ruiz; even so Cole is a lock to start. Needs more power if he's going to be a star. PFF liked him (+10.8) a year ago; they did not love him. Addition of Greg Frey and (possible) increased focused on outside zone might help him, as he is highly agile. Excellent in pass pro.
Omar comin', except his name is Rashan and he is not little. Like Hurst, stuck behind future pros in 2016. Still flashed freaky ability; year two should be a breakout year so enormous it shatters windows across the Midwest. #1 overall prospects are in fact guarantees, and Gary showed plenty to indicate he would not be an exception.
Sole returning member of the front seven had some edge issues last year. Tackling in space was an Area For Improvement, as they say. Positives outweighed negatives, though, as McCray was an outstanding blitzer and reliably in the place he was supposed to be. Probably moves to MLB.
Projecting him on the outside now since Michigan's tackle recruiting ended with a bit of a splat. Bredeson was reputed to be neck and neck with Grant Newsome for the LT job in fall camp; while that turned out to be fiction, Bredeson started most of the season at G after Newsome's injury. Cole-like gentleman will get a lot better in year two.
Bumped him to a lock. Because, I mean, obviously. 63%, 8.1 YPA, 17-5 TD-INT sophomore year. Impressive pocket presence, plus—but not perfect—accuracy, and increasing command of the offense will be tough to compete with. If he improves like Harbaugh quarterbacks always do you're looking at an All Big Ten player. (And an ugly shirt.)
UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS
Got more playing time than any other secondary backup, and played well. Defense did not miss a beat when he was in for extended periods. Used as a dimeback, mostly, for a four-safety look. Recruiting rep suggests he fits what Brown wants in his safeties—man coverage capable hitters. Old-ass-looking-man game strong. M needs to fill that role w/ Hill to the NFL.
Ebullient pass rusher produced five sacks despite playing time often measured in single-digit snaps. 27 pressure events on just 277 snaps is outstanding production, and PFF even liked him as a run defender (+6.5). Best case scenario for him after spending 2015 as an H-back. Jake Ryan-at-DE comps look spot on so far.
Bounce for Onwenu since we're hearing that he was outstanding in practice last year and is widely regarded as a lock to move into the starting lineup by people close to the program. A 350 pound grape-destroying guard does sound rather like something Jim Harbaugh would favor. +3 in 91 snaps to PFF last year. That's like +30 for a full season. Caveat: Rutgers.
Hearing that Bush's active hands and advanced ability to read plays has him well in front of his competition. Size is the only issue at the moment, and while he's always going to be 5'11" he can still pack on some muscle. Having dad around doesn't hurt his development, either. Brings a much-needed infusion of dreads to the starting lineup. Has no idea how to draw a Wolverine.
Ol' Skillet Hands did not have the breakout season many anticipated thanks in part to injury; flashed massive receiving upside after Butt's exit against FSU. Also blew a pass protection rather spectacularly, but Bunting's around to not be covered when he's covered, if you get my drift. Blocking is a sidelight. Should get most of Butt's targets this year.
Bounce for both corners from the 2016 class w/ Jeremy Clark's exit. Hill edges Long thanks to late-season playing time and a couple of nice, Lewis-like PBUs. Ambry Thomas will push; bet here is that St-Juste needs at least a year of seasoning. Hill passed the rest of the roster by midseason last year.
Bet here is that lack of playing time for long was more about an opportunity to redshirt him after he missed a couple early games rather than a talent thing. Long was regarded as the highest-floor guy in the class by Lorenz and others last year and would have borne that out without a series of nagging injuries.
Slight ding for Mone since Michigan added a couple of threats to play early in Aubrey Solomon and underrated James Hudson. Still in the near-lock category because young DL are usually bad. Flashed his talent late in the year, most prominently vs OSU. Now is the time to deliver. Deliver meats.
If I had a Panda / I'd hammer in the morning / I'd hammer in the evening / but only in the endzone. Impact Fullback Khalid Hill specialized in two-for-one edge blocks, one yard touchdown runs, wide open flare routes, spectacular catches, and self-nicknaming that was so amazing people just ran with it.
FAIRLY SAFE BET
Quick-twitch athlete emerged into clear #2 behind Smith by season's end. Capable of nasty short-area jukes; doesn't break many tackles; home-run hitter. Receiving upside unexplored last year but will emerge as his career wears on. Will split snaps with Isaac, Higdon, and others in crowded backfield. Should be allowed to wear a helmet that has his hair on it.
Looming legal issues bust him down several spots, not to mention the addition of Oliver Martin. Accusations are of the suspension, not expulsion nature, and the fact that Perry's going to court about it means this might be more like that thing with Marlin Jackson back in the day. Worst case is probably a diversion. Still a route artisan who sold various double moves and a redzone weapon.
Emerged as clear #3 option on the outside thanks in large part to terrific blocking. Had one bad drop and one badass catch to go with some more routine events. Arrival of mondo WR recruiting class doesn't occasion major hit for him since freshman WRs are usually bad, and that blocking tho. Meanwhile only DPJ was clearly a higher-rated recruit.
Kaiju coin flip currently easy choice since there are deeply unfortunate rumors that Asiasi is seeking a transfer to the West Coast. Both guys flashed A+ blocking ability and receiving that should not be a thing given their size. Both have huge upside, and should start paying that off this year. Someone get a big ol' butterfly net for Asiasi.
IN A BATTLE
Never should have had him as high as he was since he is a kicker. A kicker who was 2/3 on field goals as a senior. He could be an Aguayo or go 0/20 before returning to his home planet. This is the way of the kicker. Ryan Tice also an option; reportedly decent in practice.Committed to Penn State w/ ridiculous video, which we 1000% approve of.
Peppers's backup last year, and well-liked by the coaches. But how does Furbush replace a safety? Because that's what Peppers is, a safety. Most Don Brown SAM top out at 215, and Furbush is much bigger than that. Wouldn't be surprised to see him move inside, or reprise his backup role behind a Hudson type.
Drop for Hudson as reports indicate he's had some struggles in coverage. Still here because the alternatives are all freshmen, and also he is an MGoFave-Rave. Spring will confirm or dis-confirm his ability at safety; if not there's always VIPER(!!!) or RB. Blocked two punts a year ago.
Metellus bounces Watson as it's clear Michigan will deploy a spacebacker type. Metellus prime candidate to be that guy after spotting Jabrill Peppers in the bowl game and adding insult to injury with six mean-ass tackles against Rutgers. Won't be Peppers unless someone unearths a terrible ritual from Earth's ancient past and what are you waiting for go do it.
Foresight of using Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt instead of a picture of the punter in question should now be undeniable, as I can leave Jordan Glasgow in a bear shirt up instead of scouring the internet for a picture of Brad Robbins, new scholarship punter and hang-time specialist.
W/ Bredeson outside there is an available G spot. We're going with redshirt senior Patrick Kugler over Cesar Ruiz because we just saw a highly touted freshman OL at this very guard spot and it was a bit grim. Kugler was the clear #6 on the line a year ago, occasionally spotting Kyle Kalis when he was dinged. PFF had him +0.3 in 118 snaps. This was in fact better than the starters. Caveat: Rutgers.
Harris is under significantly more threat than Crawford because he's less likely to take a big step forward since he's been on campus a couple more years and he hasn't erased a bunch of DBs. Keeping him a hair in front of DPJ, et al., because he is apparently good buds with Speight and looked like he might approach his HS self on various downfield opportunities last year.
Hearing conflicting things about Grant Newsome's availability; we'll take the pessimistic road here and project a redshirt for him. Michigan will thus be choosing between JBB (-2.6 in just 179 snaps last year) and a freshman. We're thinking freshman. Stueber has the size at almost 6'7" and Lorenz swears up and down he's underrated, so here's a 27th ticket.
TECHNICALLY NOT STARTERS BUT CLOSE ENOUGH
RB Drake Johnson—Michigan will apply for sixth year, but do they have the room?
RB Ty Isaac—spring hype petered out into decent play.
RB Karan Higdon—Impressed with his quick cuts and low pad level. Will continue to see snaps.
FB Henry Poggi—less dynamic Michigan fullback, and one who had some issues getting his hat on someone last year.
WR Eddie McDoom—MCDOOOOOOOOM
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones—Braylon 2.0? Except with better hands? Maybe.
TE Devin Asiasi—baby please don't go.
T Grant Newsome—maybe he can get there this year. Maybe not.
CB Ambry Thomas—let's have a tiny war.
CB Brandon Watson—nickelback sort got a reasonable amount of PT last year.
PUSHING FROM BEHIND
QB Brandon Peters—first Harbaugh-selected QB on the roster comes with massive expectations.
QB John O'Korn—iffy Indiana outing was a win, at least.
RB Kareem Walker—academic redshirt out of the way and time to start displaying that talent.
RB Kingston Davis—some transfer chatter.
FB Ben Mason—will get shot at LB but FB depth chart is wide open next year
WR Nate Johnson—mean-ass slot receiver, if that's a thing. Golden Tate is ceiling.
WR Moe Ways—passed by Crawford and Harris. Getting late early.
WR Tarik Black—mondo outside WR impressed at Army game.
WR Oliver Martin—slot-ish guy with downfield upside and not-just-a-shooter athleticism.
WR Nico Collins—Funchess 2.0?
TE Sean McKeon—probably did get a redshirt after all.
T Juwann Bushell-Beatty—sixth OL after the Newsome injury so there's probably some chance, but played poorly.
C Cesar Ruiz—advanced C prospect will push for starting job
SDE Carlo Kemp—well liked by coaching staff and should be Gary's backup.
NT Michael Dwumfour—hearing positive things about his ability; Glasgow-esque.
NT Aubrey Solomon—monster five star nose prospect will be in two deep from the drop.
3T James Hudson—Henry 2.0.
WDE Ron Johnson—hyped edge rusher could be Winovich's backup.
WDE Luiji Vilain—big mover after Army game will push for PT immediately.
ILB Elysee Mbem-Bosse—most likely ILB backup given roster.
SAM Josh Uche—Don Brown dude could be chaos generator.
S Jaylen Kelly-Powell—Cass's pick to cover Ambry Thomas. Promises to be slot-coverage safety.
S J'Marick Woods—3.5 out of Alabama was a favorite of the coaching staff
S Brad Hawkins—we're just going to make this position switch now.
WAITING THEIR TURN
QB Alex Malzone—not really in the race, it seems.
QB Dylan McCaffrey—oblig redshirt year coming up.
RB O'Maury Samuels—just too many bodies in front of him
RB Kurt Taylor—Vincent Smith-alike will likely spend year getting pass pro down
TE Nick Eubanks—Funchess 2.0
TE Zach Gentry—actually played WR for much of last year. Development will be fascinating.
C Jon Runyan Jr.—right bloodlines at least.
G Stephen Spanellis—road grader needs seasoning.
G JaRaymond Hall—only incoming OL listed at under 300.
G Phil Paea—two-way DL/OL will probably land on O.
T Nolan Ulizio—some playing time he seemed iffy in. Reportedly had mono and was too light.
T Chuck Filiaga—had some Army game struggles; redshirt likely.
T Joel Honigford—redshirt, weight, etc.
3T Lawrence Marshall—now 285 and a three tech, which is one too many moves.
3T Deron Irving-Bey—raw prospect but did enroll early.
SDE Donovan Jeter—ND decommit w/ salty comments afterwards will be fan favorite
WDE Reuben Jones—worker popular with teammates.
WDE Kwity Paye—seasoning necessary, but Don Brown dude.
MLB Drew Singleton—coming off ACL surgery and probably needs a year
SAM Jordan Anthony—heated VIPER competition in front of him
WLB Josh Ross—younger brother of James brings more size, fewer instincts.
CB Keith Washington—did not find PT last year, will try again.
CB Benjamin St Juste—probably needs some seasoning after playing in Canada.
Bracket Watch: The Other Bracket Looms
it us. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
The outlook is grim. After everyone but Derrick Walton sleepwalked their way to a loss against a mediocre Ohio State team, Michigan is 14-9 (4-6 B1G) and out of the projected NCAA tournament field. The Wolverines have to climb out of an increasingly big hole and they may have already missed their chance; KenPom says they've played the easiest conference schedule of any Big Ten team so far, and that's about to change in a major way:
Michigan only has three home games left; of those, a more confident and rested Michigan State squad is by far the most beatable. The Wolverines have yet to win a road game this season; they'll need to take at least two, and quite possibly as many as all five left on the docket, to have a realistic shot at an at-large bid. They're 79th in RPI. I had to edit the second sentence of this post multiple times before it was family-friendly.
If they lose tomorrow night, NIT bracket-watching begins in earnest.
[After THE JUMP: Some good news! Really! Also some bad news.]