Obviously too early for multiple reasons...
- It's November 29th, 2014
- We don't know who our coach will be next season
- We haven't been through winter conditioning or spring ball too get an idea of who is playing where...
- We have no idea what the system will be and where the personnel will best fit
This is largely based on natural progression and hope. Also, is Peppers going to be a RS Freshman or Sophomore?
Note: I kept 5th year seniors even though a new coach may not renew scholarships if he can get more of "his" recruits in this class. People is get upset when you remove the 5th year guys.
1. Shane Morris (Jr.) / Wilton Speight (RS Fr.)
3. Russell Bellomy (RS Sr.)
4. Brian Cleary (RS Jr.)
rs: Alex Malzone (Fr.)
1. De'Veon Smith (Jr.) / Drake Johnson (RS Jr.) / Derrick Green (Jr.) / Ty Isaac (RS So.)
5. Justice Hayes (RS Sr.)
1. Joey Kerridge (RS Sr.) / Sione Houma (Sr.)
1. Wyatt Shallman (RS So.)
2. Khalid Hill (RS So.)
1. Devin Funchess (Sr.)
2. Drake Harris (RS Fr.) / Brian Cole (Fr.)
4. Jaron Dukes (RS So.)
1. Amara Darboh (RS Jr.)
2. Jehu Chesson (RS Jr.)
3. Da'Mario Jones (Jr.)
4. Maurice Ways (RS Fr.)
5. Jack Wangler (RS So.)
1. Dennis Norfleet (Sr.) / Freddy Canteen (So.)
3. Bo Dever (RS Jr.)
4. Ross Douglas (RS So.)
1. Jake Butt (Jr.)
2. Ian Bunting (RS Fr.) / Chris Clark (Fr.)
4. A.J. Williams (Sr.)
5. Keith Heitzman (RS Sr.)
1. Mason Cole (So.)
2. Erik Magnuson (RS Jr.)
3. Logan Tuley-Tillman (RS So.)
rs: Grant Newsome (Fr.)
1. Erik Magnuson (RS Jr.)
2. Kyle Bosch (Jr.) / David Dawson (RS So.)
4. Dan Samuelson (RS So.)
1. Jack Miller (RS Sr.)
2. Graham Glasgow (RS Sr.)
3. Patrick Kugler (RS So.)
rs: Jon Runyan (Fr.)
1. Kyle Kalis (RS Jr.)
2. Graham Glasgow (RS Sr.)
3. David Dawson (RS So.)
4. Blake Bars (RS Jr.)
1. Ben Braden (RS Jr.)
2. Graham Glasgow (RS Sr.)
3. Chris Fox (RS So.) / Juwan Bushell-Beatty (RS Fr.)
1. Mario Ojemudia (Sr.)
2. Lawrence Marshall (RS Fr.)
1. Ondre Pipkins (Sr.) / Bryan Mone (So.)
3. Maurice Hurst Jr. (RS So.)
4. Brady Pallante (RS Fr.)
1. Willie Henry (RS Jr.)
2. Chris Wormley (RS Jr.) / Matt Godin (RS Jr.) / Ryan Glasgow (RS Jr.)
1. Taco Charlton (Jr.)
2. Henry Poggi (RS So.)
3. Tom Strobel (RS Jr.)
1. Joe Bolden (Sr.)
2. Noah Furbush (RS Fr.)
3. Jared Wangler (RS Fr.)
1. Desmond Morgan (RS Sr.) / Ben Gedeon (Jr.)
3. Michael Ferns (RS Fr.)
4. Chase Winovich (RS Fr.)
1. James Ross (Sr.)
2. Royce Jenkins-Stone (Sr.)
3. Michael McCray (RS So.)
4. Allen Gant (RS Jr.)
1. Jourdan Lewis (Jr.)
2. Blake Countess (RS Sr.)
3. Terry Richardson (RS Jr.)
1. Jabrill Peppers (RS Fr.)
2. Channing Stribling (Jr.)
3. Reon Dawson (RS So.)
rs: Tyree Kinnel (Fr.)
1. Blake Countess (RS Sr.)
2. Jabrill Peppers (RS Fr.)
1. Jarrod Wilson (Sr.)
2. Jeremy Clark (RS Jr.)
1. Delano Hill (Jr.) / Dymonte Thomas (Jr.)
3. Brandon Watson (RS Fr.)
1. Andrew David (Fr.)
1. Kenny Allen (RS Jr.)
1. Kenny Allen (RS Jr.)
TL;DR - most offensive players played below expectations.
Well it was a rough year and you are what your record shows you are.
Thought I'd take a look at individual pieces and see who exceeded expectations coming into the season and where we fell flat. This is with the Josh Furman caveat - maybe the coaching has a lot to do with things, and with a different staff these guys would be performing better. There were a few very bright spots but a lot of below expectations as well. Second caveat - I am sure they are all great people (mostly); this is about football.
- Devin - way below expectation. 5th year senior expected to lead the team, outplayed by guys with similar talent in their 1st years starting at OSU, Arizona, etc.
- Shane - below expectation. Regression in short time on field. Coach's unwilling to ever go back to him despite struggles/injury of Devin speaks volumes.
- Green - flat vs expectation. A more trim Green was expected to improve from disappointing freshman campaign and he did. Is he a lights out star? No. But showed some acceleration at second level. Vision lagged early but seemed to improve as year went by. Still too easily brought down.
- Smith - below expectation. He is what he is. Hard runner who gets YAC but that first hit usually comes early. With a better OL he probably can be a punishing guy who smashes the first linebacker who hits him but when its a defensive tackle not much happens.
- Johnson - above expectation. This is mostly on OSU game as the Indiana game was against a HS defense. Huge drop off in run production minute Johnson exited vs OSU. Plays with determination like Smith but has good vision, runs north and south, and obvious speed. Major question as to why coach's had him so low on depth chart.
- Hayes - flat. Like Smith he is what he is. A change of pace back who is limited. Nice speed but that's about it. Had opportunity for playing time late in year and didn't grab it like Johnson did.
- Kerridge - above expectation. Another guy almost ignored all year until last few games, and played well. There should be room for a 5-6 plays a game for a guy like this.
- Butt - flat only due to lack of use. I think Butt might be the best position player on the offense. But he is horribly underutilized. If he would see the ball 6x a game this grade would be "way above expectation" IMO. Can remember 1 flat out drop all year and other than that sticky fingers, not a lot of obvious blocking blowups, and a weapon. That we ignored.
- Williams - below expectation. Expectations were low and he fell short of them. As a 3rd year player he blocks poorly, and a complete non threat to catch the ball.
- Hill - incomplete. Hill seemed to be finding his way in the offense the week before he got injured. That is so Michigan 2014.
- Funchess - way below expectation. Obviously the 2 Devins are connected, one cannot play well with the other. But after halftime of the App State game and before the OSU game Funchess had 1 TD all year. That's criminal for a man of his talent. Injury was an issue but post Utah game he seemed like a man thinking about the NFL and protecthing his body. Didn't lay out for balls, dropped quite a few catchable balls, did not outrun Rutgers/Maryland level DBs. Was expected to lead a young offense and simply was nowhere near what he should have been.
- Darboh - flat. Was a mystery but with reports of #2 WR next to Gallon coming out of 2012 camp before injury, there was a good level of expectation. He matched that. Some games on, some games disappeared but much of that was on Devin never finding 2nd options in his reads. Improved as the year went on.
- Chesson - below expectation. Was expected to either be the #2 or #3 WR. Not targeted much, and little improvement on his 15 catches the prior year. Even blocking - his calling card for 2013 - didnt seem to be as obvious of a strength.
- Norfleet - flat. Another "he is is what he is". Some parts of the blogosphere believe this to be the greatest unused asset on the team but he is not as fast as those people think, and his size is a detriment even in the slot. A bit player, and should be viewed as such.
- Canteen - below expectation. Expectations were unfair due to strong spring. That said he was a complete non factor until OSU game with a great catch. Dropped a simple pass vs Maryland and looked overwhelmed. Hopefully this is first year blues with a QB who never found him and next year his hands catch up to his fast feet.
- Miller - above expectation. Many did not want to see this man see the field in 2014 based on poor early 2013. He wasn't great but serviceable. And that is way above expectation of total bust.
- Kalis - below expectation. I am being tough on the young man in relation to Jack Conklin at MSU. Conklin is a walk on from same class playing a tougher role at left tackle and did not give up a sack 2 years in a row. Not expecting that from Kalis but an up and down 2nd year starting (mostly). Was he bad? No. Was he good? No. For a 5 star and the most "college ready" guy from his class he has been below expectation.
- Braden - flat. Hopes were not high for Braden coming into the year and he basically met them. An ok first year; below the standard of what UM needs at the position but again many thought coming into the year he'd have troubles.
- Glasgow - flat. Was considered the best returning lineman ... yes it was a low bar. And he seemed to mostly play like it. Not great but for a former walk on, he is sufficient.
- Cole - above expectation. Expectations were for some LOL moments from a true freshman left tackle and they were actually far and few apart. Yes there were some turnstile moments - it happens when you play a position you should be watching your freshman year (and for most guys your RS FR year), rather than playing. Now this was the most college ready freshman on the OL the last 3 years - future very bright.
- Magnuson - below expectation. Was expected to be left tackle. Then Cole took the position. Then expected to be left guard. Played, then injured. Then never got back into the rotation. Maybe that speaks to Glasgow. Turned into an emergency TE by end of year but for a player expected to be a starter on OL it was a strange campaign.
Overall - no surprise this year sucked on offense. The 2 upperclassmen star skill players pooped most of the year post App State. The other star skill player - Butt - was injured early, then ignored most of the rest of the year. The highly rated RBs were ok not great; the best RB by end of year was a guy ignored for first 8 games. Secondary WR help was basically 1 player (Darboh) all year - who most games Funchess was healthy was ignored due to QBs ability to find him. The line was better than 2013 but that is an extremely low bar. A true freshman may have been the 2nd best linemen which says alot about those coached by Funk for multiple years. Not many players exceeded expectations.
Never too early 2015 thoughts - just about everyone comes back but the 2 Devins (Devin #2 mentally checked into the NFL about 2 months ago is graded 1st/2nd round - he gone) leave. OL will be seasoned with potential stud at LT, RB battle will be fierce - guy like Smith could be 4th string, Butt will be Butt. Need star WR and secondary WRs to emerge, Or could just be WR by committeee next year unlike past 2 years with primary WR getting tons of attention. Most important - need QB to emerge from space and time to steer this unit.
OSU is confirming surgery tomorrow and Barrett lost for remaining 2 games. Obviously a huge loss. Not a doctor so with modern medicine not sure if its worse or better than a ACL or if this affects 2015 but probably puts those Braxton Miller to Oregon rumors to rest. Obviously injury can happen on any play to a QB but Urbz's system exposes QBs to hits more than any other.
Let's hope for better news for Drake who played fantastic today and while OSU D is not great it sure isn't Indiana's. We saw the major drop off in the run game once Drake went out and at this point sets up a great 3 headed battle for #1 TB with Green v Drake (and I assume Isaac). Would be a shame if its something that would have him miss part of next year.
This season was disappointing, on so many levels. Injuries to some promising young guys, guys getting kicked off the team, losing... lots of losing.
But, there were a lot of bright spots. Yes, the point of playing football is to win football games, and Brady Hoke did not do that well enough and will lose his job for it. However, I will applaud coach Hoke for the types of guys he has recruited and the types of values this program (for the most part, i.e. Gibbons) has had under him.
I'm going to user Devin Gardner as an example: 59.5% completion percentage. 42 touchdowns. 31 interceptions. 15-14 as a starter.
These are not great statistics for a quarterback here. They are not the standard, nor will they ever be. But these statistics are vastly more important:
Graduate of the University of Michigan in 3.5 years. Soon to be a TWO TIME graduate of the University of Michigan. Countless hours of helping around the community. A finalist for an award recognizing on and off the field excellence.
There are a lot of people who criticize Devin's performance on the field, and rightfully so. But there is much, much more to life than Michigan Football. This is something 95% of Michigan fans understand and doesn't really need to be repeated, but there are always a few bad apples.
I'll always root for Devin Gardner in whatever he does because I truly believe he embodies everything that is right about Michigan. And what he embodies is the whole reason I care so deeply about that program and school.
Thank you Devin, Jake, and the rest of the seniors who did so much for this team and this program.
Didn't see one.
ND getting their ass kicked 21-0
Minnesota is up 17-3
FLA up on FSU, duh it's not the 4th quarter yet
Ole Miss up on Miss St. 7-3
Assuming Hoke is not let go in the next 24 hours will the players and ex-players FINALLY acknowledge what us Muggles have known for quite some time - that Hoke is not the answer as HC? Given that all season we have been told by players and ex-players just how insanely awesome Hoke is and that he just needs a bit more time to turn things around I'm wondering if any of them will break ranks and call for the dismissal of their good friend Brady Hoke.
My fear remains that those with influence inside the Athletic Department will continue to lobby for Hoke to be retained to preserve their buddy's career in spite of his horrendous and declining record. And like it or not they have access to Hackett that we do not enjoy so right or wrong their voice campaigning loudly to save their buddy will be heard while ours is not.