national champs baby
No, not this one
Much has been made of the fact that we once again have a 3-Deep of fullbacks – including 2 on scholarship. They’ve been discussed often as ‘fullbackian fullbacks who fullback in fullbackian ways’ or something similar, but I think that Borges has more plans for these guys than just being a “classic” Michigan fullback. To break it down simply, there are 2 schools of fullbacks: The 6’ 240lb linebacker-meeters like this guy
- great fullback name or greatest fullback name?
and the West-Coast Fullback.
Now the 1st type of fullback has one job and one job only – lead blocker. Out of the I he hits the hole before the running back and takes out the first defender he sees.
This type of fullback often drove many including the fearless leader Brian and myself to anger when we would line up in an I, the fullback would shuffle-shuffle-shuffle one direction and totally tell the defense where the run was going.
(14 seconds in. It worked, but it was Purdue)
I don’t believe that’s what we’ll be getting with Borges. I believe that Borges will be asking a lot more of his fullbacks, he actually already has. In the same vein, Hopkins is a converted RB who has handled the ball a lot and Houma is a triple-option FB who rushed for a ton of yards in high school. Also I think the best corollary to what we’ll see from our fullbacks in the future (Hopkins and Houma) is how Jacob Hester has been used, both at LSU and on the Chargers.
We’ve seen that Borges treats the fullback as a receiver (5:58 of the clip below. Thanks to SC Wolverine for finding it)
We saw often that Borges isn’t afraid to line up in a heavy I, split out the tailback, and hand it to the fullback on a dive. Sometimes with great, sometimes with terrible – THEN GREAT – results.
(See 4:59. Hell, just watch it all again in all its glory)
Doing this like 5 times in goal line situations of course lead to easy rollout Denard TDs on a fake dive as well.
Jacob Hester is listed (now, as a 5year pro) at 5'11” 235#. The new weights from B1G media days list Hopkins at 235# and Houma at 221#. Looking at some clips of Hester Highlights from the Chargers we see a couple of designed fullback pass plays:
Let’s hope we get a lot of those TDs from Hopkins and Houma going forward.
Hmm, looks like one question was MGoOmitted.
Denard did a short interview with an AP sports writer. I'd suggest clicking on the link at the bottom to read through the article as a whole. It has quotes from both Borges and Denard. For those who don't want to leave MGoBlog, here are a few of the quotes from the article:
Denard on his position in the NFL:
“I’m planning on being a quarterback,” Robinson said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “We’ll see what happens.”
Al Borges on Denard's future:
“It’s a big spring and it’ll be a big season for Denard in that regard,” offensive coordinator Al Borges said. “If he can take the next step as a passer, there will be a team that will tailor an offense to his skill level, just like the Denver Broncos did with Tim Tebow. But Denard’s got to improve in the passing game and he knows that.”
Denard on what he wants to improve:
“I’ve got to be a better leader,” he said. “I have to do things on and off the field that help us accomplish our goal of winning the Big Ten championship.”
Denard on attending Michigan basketball games:
“That showed me that it was a great decision that me and coach Hoke made,” Robinson said. “I’m enjoying college life. I’m having fun with it.”
Borges on Denard's second season in the offense
“We should see it with the timing of his throws and him having a better grasp of route structures, audibles and protection checks,” Borges said. “He’ll also improve with decision-making, knowing when to throw it away and when not to run. And if he can get better with his footwork issues in the pocket, it should reduce interception and increase his completion percentage.”
Well, I ended up taking all the quotes from the article, but still read through the full article for some coherency and some fluff.
An interesting tidbit in an article on coachingserach.com about the recent Borges radio interview:
Unofficially, Saban and Kirby Smart have asked new defensive grad assistant Jules Montinar to breakdown every game Al Borges has called plays in since 1986.
While the Bama Coaches Noon-time Basketball Association continues its season, Montinar is reviewing old film from Portland State, Boise State, Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Indiana, Auburn, San Diego State, and last season's Michigan team.
Now, Saban might just be messing with the new guy or getting him prepared for the many film breakdowns that will come during the season. But, that seems like an awful lot of game film. I was kind of hoping Saban might be resting on his laurels heading into the game. Oh well, there is only so much planning you can do for Denard.