With obvious reasons, I think most on this board would probably crown Brady the MVP of last night's historic SB win. But James White did make a case for himself as well. Which made me look up his stats and recruiting profile this morning. I found the results to be very hopeful when comparing them to our own Kurt Taylor
If nothing else, maybe we have a future RB tandem similar to Montee Ball & James White.....That certainly wouldn't be a bad thing! Personally, I'm pulling for Kurt anyway because it just seems that he really showed that he was destined to be a wolverine!
Since Harbaugh has come in and started recruiting, I've seen 4 names really mentioned as being targets directly by Jim: Malzone (who committed to the previous regime), Gentry, Peters, and Mccaffrey. All 4 joined the program.
My question is this: is Jim finding who he thinks is the top QB recruit to fit his system, making his ranking different from the recruiting services, or are we missing on some other targets that maybe services have rated higher?
Just curious if guys like Peters and McCaffrey are Harbaugh's top targets for QB in their respective class or did we pursue others first that didn't show mutual interest, thus causing our pursuit of the guys we currently have?
Since 32 year old big uglies don’t usually get a lot of attention, here is a shout-out to unsung hero and UM alum, Alan Branch. His determination and endurance on the Pats weighed even more than his 350 pounds. They were key in getting to and winning the SB.
In the SB game itself, Alan Branch beat 3 Falcons defenders to the ball and recovered a fumble.* That play gave the Pats the hope that turned the game around. He also shared another crucial sack of Matt Ryan.
In getting the Patrots to another SB, Branch was even more crucial. This year he was called “a beast”, the “unsung hero,” the “centerpiece” of the Pats hopes”…”the unquestioned rock in the middle of the Pats defense” —the defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL this year. “
Why was Branch so valuable? The tallest and heaviest player on the Patriots’ defensive roster,” Alan had “surprising mobility and length for a man his size. (That made him) so effective at foiling offensive linemen:” pushing the pocket and disrupting passing lanes with his long arms . Bill Belichick said (you can’t find many) guys that weigh 350 pounds and are athletic and long like he is; I mean they don’t grow on trees…..”
Indeed, he could also be found displaying his athletic prowess in other ways--like riding his skateboard or showing off his dance moves. (See links below.*)
But it was not just his athletic characteristics but character itself that pushed him over the top. Who would have guessed that Alan would now be celebrating his 2nd SB victory in 3 years? When Branch joined the Pats, they hadn’t won a SB in nearly a decade. And for Alan, the end of his career seemed near. Even when the Pats picked him up, nobody expected him to fill the gigantic shoes of his predecessor: the 5x Pro-bowl DT Vince WIlfork. Most people expected a big drop-off. But the opposite happened. Alan not only played far beyond anyone’s expectations. His endurance was off the charts. This year, he played a career-high 626 snaps on defense (60 percent) and 153 on special teams. He played more defensive snaps than any other lineman on the Pats Before SB LI, Alan Branch was on the injury list, but played anyway.
So, yes, Tom Brady now deserves all the attention he is getting for his miraculous accomplishments. But I'm sure that Tom would especially appreciate a shout-out for his teammate and fellow UM alum: Alan Branch.
*Miscellaneous Alan Branch stuff. Sorry, I cannot embed.
Branch’s fumble recovery in SB LI.
Riding his skateboard from the plane to the airport terminal.
Showing off his dance moves (Maybe he’s not ready for an appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” but he’s got some pretty good moves for a 350 lb guy)
Articles on how Branch turned into a beast for the Pats.
Remember him at UM? Here he is after his famous flattening of PSU QB Anthony Morellli.
I was reading Uni-Watch this morning and they wrote about these wallets that have pieces of game used uniforms inside. Sure enough, they have a Michigan collection. You can get a piece of football or basketball uniform. The site also has cuff links with game worn materials. Pretty cool stuff, but as you'd expect, very expesnive.
per Bruce Feldman