...talks about how UConn hasn't been in contact and how they're out. (HT: UMHoops)
The value of this is probably nothing other than as a "conversation piece" as I doubt Eric Fisher was showing up on these lists a year ago, but nonetheless, it gives us something to talk about in regards to who draft experts view as the top CFB guys this upcoming season. It does take into account underclassmen declaring early so at least it's better than a list of only seniors. Some highlights:
- Clowney at #1 - because...yeah.
- Taylor Lewan at #4 - scout says he has all the physical traits, needs to improve technique. Can't disagree with that assessment.
- Bradley Roby (OSU) at #8 - sounds about right where the Lions may be picking and a likely a position of need unless Slay gets the job done.
- Ryan Shazier at #21 - 3 B1G prospects in the top 21. Considering the conference only had one 1st rounder this year, I suppose this means good things for the reputation of the B1G.
- AJ Mccarron at #33 - Ken Dorsey, anyone? I see a winner and a solid intangible guy, but an NFL QB? No.
- Ka'deem Carey at #44 - I live out here in AZ now and this guy was electric in RR's zone read. How his skills will translate to the NFL are a bit of a question, ala Steve Slaton.
I had a basketball wallpaper and couldn't find any football wallpapers with the full schedule for the upcoming season, so I made one. I normally don't post these online, so this is a first. If people like them I'll share them more often.
When I first decided to make this, I wanted something clean and I definitely wanted the picture of Braxton Miller lying on the ground after the hit by Clark. After I was done with the Block M, it needed a background so I added Lewan and the term "Those who stay, will be champions." I was going to put the schedule on the left but all of my icons are on that side, so I moved the schedule to the bottom. I refuse to look at the Ohio State logo so, I just simply typed in "The Game".
Hope you all like it.
This started out as a focus on a great play that James Ross made en route to 8 tackles and several TFL in less than a full games snaps. Safe to say this kid might be pretty good. Anyways, it somewhat evolved into realizing that however talented and large our interior offensive line may be, they're still developing and gelling this spring. Usual caveats apply, I am not a football coach, just an educated fan and former high school player - let me know if you disagree with any assesments.
Link, thanks to mgovideo, one of the biggest free perks for Michigan fans. Play starts at 1:11
Michigan comes out in what Al Borges would probably draw on the first page of his autobiography: offset I with a tight end (the size of a small tackle) and a full back with his hand on the ground. All that's missing is Funchess lined up next to Lewan with Jake Butt in motion and this would turn into what Al Borges probably dreams about at night. The tight camera angle doesn't show the wide receiver personnel or formation, but I'd bet it's some combo of Gallon/Darboh/Jackson/Chesson based on my memory. Lewan appears to be trying to make a check of some kind, but that's just my hope based on the breakdown that happens on the interior. It was not uncommon for him to make line calls last year apparently, so it wouldn't surprise me if he's still encouraged to do so, if not moreso.
The defense, meanwhile is lined up in basically its base 4-3 under, with Beyer and Ross only slightly outside of their normal positions. Ojemudia is offsides, too. Get onsides there, terminator eyes. Your D-lineman are Ojemudia, Willie Henry (who played a lot), Pipkins and Godin (I think).
As the ball is snapped, it's apparent why James Ross was a half a yard closer to the line of scrimmage than Desmond Morgan - he was real excited about his A-gap blitz. Coach Mattison probably was too. We already see that Kalis is pulling: he's opened up his hips well and his first step is directly for the spot Devin Gardner is vacating. Everyone save Kalis and Williams will down block. Kerridge is headed for Godin. Notice that Miller has his sights set on double teaming Henry despite James Ross and his reckless abandon for the A gap. I think this is the first breakdown, and Miller ends up being a non-factor when he probably could have picked up Ross and turned this into a gain. I think he could be good, this is just a growing pain of a young center in the spring.
As Devin reverse pivots and prepares to hand off to Drake Johnson, most of the offensive lineman have done their road grating jobs. Lewan has joined Braden on Pipkins, and Peewee doesn't have a shot against the All-American and his young giant friend. AJ williams has left Ojemudia for Willie Henry and Schofield is prepared to help see him off. Miller, in hopes of sealing off the back side, has now taken himself completely out of the play as I mentioned. Desmond Morgan has read run as well, but I think he heads for the wrong gap. James Ross is already going to be in Kalis' hip-pocket shortly - that's his guard read anyways. Guard pulls, you run right through where he left straight to the ball carrier. Meanwhile, Morgan should be scraping playside as fast as possible until he sees daylight and or Drake Johnson with the ball.
Kalis has his sights for Brennan Beyer. Schofield has Henry sealed and Williams has left him to chip Ojemudia and keep ole laser eyes away from flying down the line. Ross continues his plan to arrive early for his scheduled meeting with Johnson.
Kerridge has stalemated Godin, Kalis is headed upfield ready to for either Beyer, a hypothetical Desmond Morgan or a safety. But, James Ross is not only deadly, but apparently silent. Kalis needs his head on a swivel here - I have a feeling he got a little excited for 5 yards of momentum and a one-one matchup in the open field. Then again, he thinks the backside should have been handled. Anyways, at this point it's pretty clear to Drake Johnson that things are not going to end positively. Could Braden have left Pipkins earlier and found Ross? Possibly, but I'm pretty sure his job is to donkey the guy who is head up on him until there can be no more donkeying and then find someone else.
Drake Johnson, I have a Mr. James Ross here to see you. Again we see Morgan could've taken a better angle, and if Ross were picked up, there is a lane and a freight train named Kyle Kalis headed downfield.
Two yard loss.
P.S. Devin please calm down when celebrating and wrap yourself in bubble wrap.
Adam Rittenberg of ESPN's B1G Blog provides us with this Taylor Lewan profile piece. It's actually a pretty interesting read and I recommend the entire article to you. That said, it contains the following passage in which Lewan talks about how in his last year in Ann Arbor, he wants to expand his horizons beyond that of the typical football player.
Hoke calls it "an education," and Lewan will continue his on the field and in the classroom and outside of it at Michigan. Winning a Big Ten title and completing his degree factored into his decision, but Lewan also wants more out of his college experience.
He hopes another year at Michigan allows him to do what few college football players can -- engage in campus life.
"As a football player, the biggest thing you do is hang out with the football people," he said. "Maybe some hockey guys, maybe some baseball guys here and there. I don't really know what Michigan has out there. If you play college football, your college experience is officially different from everybody else's and that’s how it’s going to be. I think it would be cool to see the different societies going on at Michigan, meet different people, all the things they do to contribute to the University of Michigan.
"I contribute in such a little way compared to some other people. I'm a source of entertainment. The things other people do are much bigger than what I do."
- What things should Lewan partake in that don't involve South Campus?
- Where should he spend his time so that he truly rounds out his Michigan education?
Also, the article features this pretty awesome photo.
I made a couple wallpapers tonight. Ive been meaning to for a while now and finally threw a few together. Looking forward to football season.
Hope the resolution works.
EDIT: This is my first post and I have no idea how to do nifty full res popouts. The links go to the high res versions.
If you guys want a different resolution I can sometime tomorrow.
I didn't see any posts about this excellent event.
First, if you haven't heard about these, they are for kids in grades K-8 to interact with U-M athletes. There are a number of sports represented, with a few events yet to come. Link is here.
I really didn't know what to expect. My 2nd grade son and 6th grade daughter attended after getting a heads up from a friend back in November. The football event was yesterday, Feb. 2nd.
They had 6 stations for the kids to do different drills, 5 minutes at each station. At each station there were 4-6 football players or student managers running the drills. Then they got a water break, reset the stations to different activities, and did another rotation. Finally, they got all the players to sit behind tables with Sharpies and the kids could have one item autographed by each of the players.
Kids got to block, tackle, run, catch, throw, punt, place kick, and more. It was very well organized.
Not that you would expect anything less from Michigan players, but I was truly impressed with how positive, magnanamous, and patient the players were. It was obvious that they wanted to be there and they took time to pose for pictures and talk one-on-one with the kids.
Players of note:
- Taylor Lewan was there (in socks the whole time) floating from station to station and talking with anyone who wanted to. He was looking very trim and said he lost some weight when he had his tonsils out after the bowl game.
- Devin Gardner emceed the event with a microphone at the center of the field. He hammed it up with other players, "interviewed" the kids about what they were doing, and even lead a chorus of Happy Birthday.
- Jeremy Gallon was all smiles and took time for pictures and conversations with anyone who wanted them.
- Dennis Norfleet was a bundle of energy and motion the *entire* time. He was constantly recognizing kids for their efforts and just displayed an awesome, over-the-top personality.
- A bunch of offensive linemen were running one drill that called for the kids to jump over a couple of barriers stacked on top of each other; if a kid didn't make the leap, they'd look at each other and say, "LINEMAN!" and high-five the kid.
Here is a link to some pictures. (I ended up taking over 300, so this is just a small sample! I didn't want to post pictures where individual kids could be identified, so these are of players or large groups.)
Basketball is upcoming, but already full. I think men's and women's soccer and swimming are all coming up. I don't know exactly what those events will be like, but if they are anything like football, I can't recommend them enough.