landing spot. will be interesting to see how he does.
Over at Wolverine Nation, Rothstein wrote up a fluff piece on the improvement of our linebacker corps.
CliffNotes version: he points to the new scheme and improved depth and experience as the main reasons for the overall on-field improvement. Which, like, duh.
Some interesting quotes:
"It's different," linebacker J.B. Fitzgerald said. "Everything is a little bit changed up when you change coaching staffs and all that. However, I think our comfort level this year is really good."
"We don't have to just count on our first string," cornerback Troy Woolfolk said. "If they go down or they get tired, our young set of linebackers will go in and do the job. It's not the man, it's the position."
Nothing really new or earth-shattering, but our linebackers haven't been terrible, and overall I'd say they've definitely been better than last year's group. Hopefully Cam can stay healthy the rest of the year. I am really excited for Jake Ryan's potential, the kid has looked pretty good in the first couple of games, especially if you consider the fact that he's just a redshirt freshman.
Video companion to Picture Pages - Jake Ryan Fights the Power, Again.
Wha'hoppon: Jake Ryan takes the correct position when a power run comes at him on the edge. By engaging his blocker and keeping his outside shoulder free, he maintains outside contain and squeezes the run back inside. It still goes for eight yards after Brandin Hawthorne comes too far inside and gets blocked by the center, but it wasn't as bad as the plays shown in the previous two Picture Pages.
Full YouTube link is at http://youtu.be/c3hr4JK01OQ?hd=1
I don't recall either playing much at all on defense versus Western.
Which leads me to at least consider that both were held out of the Western Michigan game to catch ND unprepared. (More so Big Will.)
Am I wearing a tin foil hat or does the board think that " Big WIll's not happening" was a clever feint?
It seems odd to me that all of a sudden they practiced well enough to warrant the sudden PT they got in the ND game. And for those that will join me wearing the tin foil hat, do you think the ambush was worth the loss of experience that either would have gained from more PT in the Western game?
In the most recent GBMW tidbit post* neither Mike Jones, Brandon Hawthorne nor Isaiah Bell were listed as running with the 1s or 2s. I found that somewhat disconcerting because they did list 3 regular walk ons as well as a walk on fullback learning linebacker on the second team. Apparently this group couldnt muster much of a fight against the second team offense. Are any of the guys mentioned above hurt? What positions are Hawthorne and Jones playing?
Also an interesting tidbit: they have Fitzgerald at Roh's position for now.
*I know. I read for the depth chart and how reps are split almost exclusively.
The '09 class had at least three linebackers (Isaiah Bell, Mike Jones, and Brandin Hawthorne) with some promise. Aside from Hawthorne (apparently spending time at deep safety), has there been any word on the progress of the others this spring?
I was reading the other day about how Jonas Mouton did a nice thing for a little girl and then as I was walking by Schembechler Hall today I saw another thing that made me really proud of the Michigan Football team.
I noticed three kids walking out of the building and realized it was Jeremy Gallon, Brandin Hawthorne, and Mike Jones (3 of the florida boys). An asian woman walked up to them and said something along the lines of are you guys football players? My son loves you guys and is a big fan. Will you come talk to him and his friends? At first they laughed but then they walked over to a van and said hello and talked for a little while. The kids were beaming and its cool to notice that a 1 minute conversation probably made these kids really happy.