ALL CHOKED UP
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As I said last week... somewhere, I'm lookin' to start wrapping up the various storylines and daytime-television-drama stuff that Michigan's favorite partisan illustrated family has been up to. Today's strip is the first step in aligning things back to relevant happenings of that glorious thing called Michigan Football. Fall camp starts next week, and the season is about a month away. THE SEASON!!
I've already taken The Blockhams to places I've never imagined-- the laundry room, a psychiatrist's office, heaven-- but I've yet to be able to draw this thing during a game week. And I'm really looking forward to it.
On Thursday we'll talk BBQ.
Also, for those of you that aren't on Twitter, I have some good advice for you if you ever decide to join up: Draw Shane Morris doing anything, and watch the world embrace you. Srsly... this thing wasn't necessarily viral but it came darn close. Below is my FridayRough drawing five days early as I did my part for the war effort:
I'll most likely have it in color for Friday.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog,
and at least every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to
check out Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
On the rumors that OT DJ Fluker has been suspended:
They’re just that. Rumors. For those who missed it, the rumor was that OT DJ Fluker has been suspended 4 games for illicit contact with an agent and that Alabama is trying to negotiate it down to 2 games.
Turns out, this was just an epic trolling job by a guy named Kingpin on one of the Alabama sites. He posted that Fluker had been suspended and by the time people had started calling BS, the rumor had already spread to 10 other sites and momentarily taken the Alabama world by storm. No legitimate site has reported anything on the situation, but if you want to hold out hope, wait for later this afternoon when the announcement is supposed to come out. Personally, I think sitting around waiting for a Green or Treadwell commitment would be a better use of your time.
As the conclusion of summer workouts beckons, the depth chart at running back stands as this:
1. Eddie Lacy
2. TJ Yeldon
3. Jalston Fowler
Eddie Lacy measured in at 6’0’’, 232 lbs and should be playing in the upper 220s to low 230s. The depth chart is pretty clear cut at the position at this point in time. Still expect Fowler to get a good number of carries though.
Other news from summer workouts:
5-star Fr ATH Eddie Williams could be starting as the outside WR, the same position that Julio Jones played. He measured in 6’4’’, 218 lbs.
Looking at the LBs:
Mosley is getting looks at Sam LB to try and get the combo of Johnson, Mosley, Depriest, and Hubbard on the field at once. Dickson will likely be the 5th LB, Patrick and Ragland right behind. All of them will play.
And the DBs:
Clinton-Dix may start in every down situations over Sunseri because of coverage skill difference against passing teams. (Arkansas)
Milliner and Fulton outside, Belue Dime as of now.
But wait! What about our old friend Dee Hart?
Likely Kick Returners are Chris Jones and Dee Hart, possibly Milliner.
Dee Hart will see a role comparable to Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey at West Virginia thanks to ideas from Nussmeier in the new offense.
He mentioned the both of them in a sense that Hart would start his routes out of the slot and back field.
Dee Hart is also 100% recovered from his injury.
On the Eddie Lacy injury:
According to the source above, Eddie Lacy is fine and at 100%. However, other people are saying that conditioning is currently an issue. Expect him to be ready to play on Sept. 1st.
On the Reuben Foster decomittment:
This link is a very interesting read on how it all played out. I recommend you take a look at it.
Nick Saban on stopping Denard:
"You got to be very disciplined any time you play a quarterback that can move between the tackles," Saban said. "Everybody has to be disciplined as far as their responsibility. The guy's already a fantastic athlete, so if you're not doing the right thing, you have no chance to succeed. Even if you do it exactly right, it still may be a challenge. Everybody's got to play with great effort, great intensity, great toughness and everybody's got to play team defense when you play against guys like this."
"This isn't the only guy that can beat you, but you've certainly got to make sure he doesn't beat you."
Also look for Alabama to air out it out a bit more than in the past:
"You always try to feature the players you have on offense," Saban said. "I certainly think AJ is a guy who has proven that he's trustworthy to do the kind of things when you open up the offense, not to make the kind of mistakes with turning the ball over that can really hurt your team. I think you can make a lot more explosive plays that way.
"I think it's going to be important for our team this year, with the offensive line we have returning and the experience AJ has at the quarterback position, to be that type of team."
Everyone’s favorite topic, ND’s QB carousel:
If I had to guess, here’s what ND’s depth chart at QB looks like to begin this fall:
1. Everett Golson
2. Tommy Rees/Andrew Hendrix
3. Gunner Kiel
On Everett Golson:
He’s apparently been stellar in summer 7 on 7s, but he hasn’t had to read defenses or pick up blitzes, which is what he struggles with. He’s an athletic and mobile QB, so he is what Tommy Rees is not.
On Andrew Hendrix:
“His reads in the passing game can improve a lot. Too many times he's thrown to the other team.
His arm is one-dimensional right now... meaning - very strong. On short passes he makes balls difficult to catch. On longer patterns, he throws with a flat trajectory. His release point is also fairly low, but I don't see that as being as big of an issue. “
On Tommy Rees:
“Rees, has had issues with his decision making, but didn't show much, if any, improvement over the course of his playing time. He does not have Hendrix's strength, but has nice touch”
No word, as of yet, on what his punishment will be.
News from summer workouts:
At the WR position look for Freshmen Chris Brown and Davonte Neal to compete for significant playing time, if not start. Both are very fast receivers with the ability to stretch the field.
Sheldon Day will likely replace Aaron Lynch.
On turf in the stadium:
I have no idea if they’re getting turf in the stadium or not and ND fans seem just as clueless.
Here’s what is known: Brian Kelly wants turf. ND AD Jack Swarbrick said that it’s eventually coming. Last season, their field was grass.
Now apparently ND is replacing the sideline area with turf and redoing the drainage system, but they’re not replacing the grass on the field with turf. I’ve read that there were plans to replace the whole field with turf, but they were scrapped because of alumni backlash and I’ve also read that they’ll come out and announce the field has been replaced with turf in the next month.
I have no clue.
On new OC Chuck Martin and his philosophy:
“He wants to run the ball 60% of the time. He wants to use the run and screens and draws to set up the pass. And when he passes he likes accuracy and long completions. He likes big plays---he said "last year we had two plays over 40 yards" to him that is unacceptable.”
“He likes his teams to score a lot and his QB has to be mobile, able to run and pass on the run.. (Probably leaves REES out). His QB has to have big-play ability. Coach would rather have a 3-play TD than a 15 play TD. “
“Coach MARTIN likes to use 2 TEs---WE have the #1 guy TYLER EIFERT and he is backed by KOYACK, WELCH and NIKLAS---all big strong smart guys. Two at a time, Lads.”
On how playcalling will work:
Martin will call the plays and send KELLY 2 or 3 to pick from
On to ND recruiting:
-ND LB commit Alex Anzalone visited Florida for their FNL camp this weekend and as you can imagine, ND fans are none too pleased with this. He reaffirmed his commitment to ND but he might be someone to watch for the annual ND-decommit-on-or-near-NSD
-ND has 17 commits for 2013 and 21-23 scholarships to give this year, leaving 4-6 spots available.
If you want a detailed analysis of who the top targets on their board are, click on this link: Detailed Analysis of ND's last available spots
Or click on this one and scroll down a couple comments for another detailed analysis: Another Detailed Analysis of ND's last available spots
If you want the not so detailed version, here’s what they want:
We need a couple of DL,Ideally, ones who can rush the passer. A CB or two and a speed WR are also needs. IMO, anything else is gravy, but that could change as the season unfolds.
Ohio has somewhere around 4 spots left and they plan on filling it with some combination of LB Tyquan Lewis, LB Mike Mitchell, WR Shelton Gibson, WR Devon Allen, S Vonn Bell and/or OL Donovan Munger.
And with that, I'll end this write up. Now that fall camp is starting, I'll hopefully be able to do this every week and include some meatier revelations.
Hope you all enjoyed this.
Ok, boys and girls, here's my first wallpaper of the season. I'm going to try to make multiple styles for each upcoming game. I'm also going to work on making mobile versions of each one this year. I hope you all like this first one. Let me know what you think! Go Blue! Beat 'Bama!
Michigan adds a commitment this week, so the recruiting rankings are front-paged. Also, Penn State begins their post-sanction slip down the board and there's a new team at the bottom of the list. Changes since the last rankings:
7-23-12: Ross Douglas decommits from Penn State.
7-24-12: Michigan picks up Ross Douglas. Michigan State picks up Devyn Salmon.
7-25-12: Keelon Brookins decommits from Minnesota. Wisconsin picks up Keelon Brookins.
7-26-12: Indiana picks up Demetrius Hill.
7-28-12: Notre Dame picks up Jamel James. Ohio State picks up Tim Gardner. Purdue picks up Keyante Green.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
On to the full data after the jump.
But before the players do any of those things, they stand in line at the equipment managers’ window to get the gear they deem most important. It’s not the $257 helmets or $330 shoulder pads or even the $150 jerseys.
Nope. It’s the $4 socks. But not just any socks. Twin City socks—the thickest you can find.
Center David Molk, at the front of the line, handed me a pair. They are so dense, you could wear them as slippers around the home—or fill them with water.
“Best part of being a Michigan football player,” Molk said, holding up a pair, “is these socks.” Every one of his teammates—and I mean every one—agreed with that assessment.
At dinner Molk approached linebacker Jonas Mouton, who was enjoying a huge helping of pretty much everything.
Molk asked Mouton if he knew where his Twin City socks had gone.
“I don’t know, man,” Mouton replied, taking a bite out of his drumstick and chewing very slowly. “Go see Big Jon.” Falk, that is, the equipment manager.
“It’s dinner,” Molk said. “He’s not here.”
“Go see him tomorrow,” Mouton said, picking up a roll.
“I want them now.”
“Guess you’ll just have to wait, then.”
After Molk turned and walked to the back of the buffet, ticked off, Mouton leaned forward and said, “I’m wearin’ ’em.”
Well, they are some great socks as a number of MGoBloggers -- not to mention David Molk -- have attested. But the M socks also have a great history.
2011 was a historically weird year in the history of Michigan football uniforms. Our host and MGoProprietor Brian observed that it called into question the very notion of "uniform":
...a steady procession of dumb ideas, some of which are not quite as awful as the others.
Someone might have thought to offer the purely technical argument that, like, at least all of our own guys were "uniform" even though they away uniforms changed virtually every time out. But even that's a lie; on that beautiful indian summer night in Evanston, our guys were wearing two or three different uniform jerseys when some of them figured out that the Wildcats were slowing us down by grabbing handfuls of white adidas Tech-Fit.
But back to socks; Denard showed off his Twin City Block M's against Northwestern:
There's history with those socks. Meet Mr. Harmon; sometime punter:
And there's John Gabler, running hard against Duffy Daugherty's Spartan defense in 1967:
This bunch of Michigan guys up against a bunch of Ohio guys in 1968:
And this group of Michigan Men in the NCAA championship game in 1965:
You get the idea. Of all of the dubious uniform concepts exhibited by Michigan in the last year, the socks were a universally good one. I'd like to see Moe's offer the M socks by TCK, but it is going to be tricky; it is frankly wierd that we got away with wearing non-adidas gear in any of our games and I suspect that we won't get away with it too much in the future. Not in Dallas, it appears.
HOW BIG IS THE BIG TEN?
Inspired somewhat by the thread listing the official sizes of our own roster, I decided to embark on a little research and download every Big Ten roster and get some statistics on the size of the average Big Ten player by team.
Hopefully, the board finds this information entertaining, if nothing else. The intent here was to provide a little insight into how each teams stacks up with regards to size, and it may even speak to the general parameters of the Big Ten player. As I put together position-specific analysis, that might be more apparent.
I went to each team site and copied the roster into Excel, keeping names, positions, height and weight for the analysis. This first delve into the subject will address only height and weight for the entire roster, but I actually will produce some additional entries which will address offense and defensive by position and / or position group.
One interesting sidebar to this was a small analysis that I conducted earlier this afternoon based on a post that I made in a thread. I took the average sizes of the incoming freshmen and compared it to the average size of everyone in the same position on the Michigan roster. Those results are in Table 1 below.
Table 1 - Michigan Freshmen vs. Michigan Roster By Position
|POSITION||AVERAGE HEIGHT (INCHES)||AVERAGE WEIGHT|
SOME INTERESTING STUFF:
One of the most interesting things for me to come out of this – because I never really had thought about it before – was the relative lack of variation across teams for both height and weight. For example, in the Legends Division, Iowa and Minnesota average 74.2 inches, and Nebraska is the shortest at 73.8 inches. For weight in the Legends Division, Michigan State is the heaviest team on average at 240.6 pounds, and Northwestern is the lightest at 223.1 pounds. In the Leaders Division, Wisconsin is the tallest team and Indiana is the shortest, and Penn State is the heaviest whereas Indiana is the lightest, but in both cases, not by huge margins.
Now, within rosters, it's somewhat different - maximum and minimum heights are over 12 inches apart in most cases, and everywhere, weight within rosters varies dramatically, but this is typically because of what coaches want and where. When I do some position-specific stuff, I will see if I can dive into variation across teams at the same position to gain insight into what teams look for specifically.
Table 2 - Legends Division Height Summary Statistics
Table 3 - Legends Division Weight Summary Statistics
Table 4 - Leaders Division Height Summary Statistics
Table 5 - Leaders Division Weight Summary Statistics
I have all the data break things down by position, but I wanted to share this high-level overview of Big Ten "size" with the blog.