“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
Apparently UConn football fans placed a lot of hope in new OC T.J. Weist this year. Not going very well thus far, but interesting interview here from The Hartford Courant:
"I'm just like any player who doesn't make a play," Weist said. "I have to evaluate, did I make the right calls at the right time, what do I have to adjust to? I've got a whole new set of play-calls, a whole new set of situations coming for Michigan so I have to say, how am I calling plays? Am I calling them fast enough? Are they clear enough, are they adjusting to the defense the correct way. I think we're coming together as an offensive staff, as a full staff, me getting to know all the guys, how we handle game situations and my players."
Michigan was blessed with some impressive WR talent during that period: Desmond Howard, Derrick Alexander, Walter Smith, Mercury Hayes, etc.
"It was an honor being there, to be a part of that tradition whether it was playing Ohio State, playing Notre Dame, being a part of those great rivalries, they taught me a lot as a coach, so sure it's special," Weist said. "I'm coaching against friends and one of the better teams in the country and one of the best programs, if not the best program in the country. None of that matters. We still have to go out and win."
David Harris, Greg Mattison, Brady Hoke, Al Borges and David Brandon all joined "The Rundown" sports radio show on WBBL The Ball this morning for their Michigan Wednesday of their tailgate tour.
Dr. and Bently are pretty terrible to listen to, but Mattison had some good nuggets when talking about the defense, specifically the players we could see a lot of. Nothing earth shattering, but worth the listen.
Thankfully the Michigan Men make it worth listening to.
With the recent commitment of Peppers, I thought it'd be interesting to see how many of the last 2 (edit: now 3) classes of recruits were considered top 5 nationally at their positions by at least one of the services. This is kind of an arbitrary cutoff, and actually leaves off a decent amount who are top 10 at their position nationally, but here's what we've got. Services listed in order of highest ranking for each player:
2012 (thanks to user Allin4Blue)
Ondre Pipkins #3 DT - Rivals
Sione Houma #4 FB - ESPN
Kyle Kalis #4 OG - 247
Joe Bolden #3 OLB - 247, #4 OLB - Scout
Royce Jenkins-Stone - #2 MLB - Scout
Chris Wormley #4 SDE - 247
Terry Richardson #5 CB - ESPN
Devin Funchess - #5 TE - ESPN
Kyle Bosch #3 OT - Scout, #4 OG - 247
Taco Charlton #3 WDE - 247
Derrick Green #1 RB - Rivals, Scout, #5 RB - ESPN
Shane Morris #3 QB - Scout, #4 QB - Rivals, 247
David Dawson #3 OG - 247, #2 OG - ESPN
Patrick Kugler #1 OG - Scout, #2 C - 247, #3 OG - ESPN,
Jake Butt # 4 TE - ESPN, #5 TE - Scout, Rivals
Dymonte Thomas #4 S - Scout
Jabrill Peppers #1 CB - Everyone save Scout at #4
Drake Harris #4 WR - 247, #3 WR - Scout
Bryan Mone #5 DT - 247
Ian Bunting #5 TE - ESPN
3 TE - 1 H, 2 Y
Yes, I have an addiction. Yes, it's March. Some choose to build tiny wooden ships in bottles, I intricately break down defensive lineman technique from spring practice videos frame by frame.
Here's the set-up, Pipkins vs. early enrollee Kyle Bosch and a running back who I don't even bother identifying because Pipkins plays this so well that it doesn't matter what the running back does. Besides, his job is to just pick a side and hit it hard.
Here, Pipkins has a pretty good stance, wide base, on the balls of his feet, athletic posture and good knee bend. Low for a big man - that small human he shed this offseason seems to have helped with that some.
Right after the snap, Pipkins has fired of his left foot and is already bringing his hands, preparing to make contact with Bosch. At first glance he appears to come out a little high, but as we'll see, his hands, strength and quick feet help him overcome that. The ideal first step (my understanding) is to be quick, low to the ground, forceful and almost a jab - generate force but reset to be able to drive off again.
As he makes contact with Bosch, Pipkins has already driven off his right foot as well, generating more power and force into Bosch. His hands have shot inside very quickly and, as we'll see, will allow him to control Bosch.
Here, Pipkins has reset both feet and will again drive through them to push Bosch back. They're pretty much at the line of scrimmage - Bosch has not fired off the ball nor has he moved his feet, except laterally. I think he should be drive blocking here, but I could be mistaken. Maybe his job is just to seal off Pipkins. Regardless, the young buck won't win this battle. Bosch has his hands in pretty poor position, as Pipkins has him basically by the collar and Bosch would need to hold to really have his left hand be any use to him at this point.
This time as Pipkins generates more power into Bosch with his legs, he clearly has leverage. Just compare the angles of their bodies to the ground - Pipkins is firing out and up, Bosch is sitting back down onto his heels. His feet are again driving for power, and as we'll see in a second, he's about to explode upward with his feet and hips, while also extending his arms and pressing Bosch away from him.
He's pushing off the ground hard enough that both feet are (minorly) airborn. His hands are extended, they're even with his eyes. Ideally they will end up above his eyes when he extends, but this a strong punch he delivers. Keep in mind this has all happened in a few split seconds as we are just now seeing the ballcarrier enter the frame.
Here, Pipkins has his left arm free with his right fully controlling Bosch, further pushing him back on his heels. The running back has already decided to go left, so that's where Pipkins will meet him with great haste.
Contact is made with the ballcarrier at about the line of scrimmage, as Bosch is finally leaving his heels. He's also managed to grab a little cloth with his lefth and, proving that Pipkins hands were far better on this occasion. I'll give him credit for trying to finish the block and driving through Pipkins, but it's already over.
Tackle made - 1 yard gain.
Here's the video of the whole thing, starts at about 2:28.
If you start a second before you can see how much taller Devin is than Gallon which is both awesome and depressing at the same time. Let me know if you see any mistakes or glaring oversights or crap I just made up.
Here's an interesting Rivals article (link). Highlights!
- Obviously: OSU and Michigan have the best recruiters. You probably know all about Michigan's body of work, but OSU was admittedly impressive in Texas and Georgia. They secured the #1 Texan and took a 4 star running back wanted by Texas/Oregon. They also beat out 'Bama and Georgia for a 5 star Georgian linebacker.
- Also expected: Fred Jackson's recruiting prowess in Detroit is like Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, but cleaner (This is almost not an exaggeration.)
- Greg Mattison's work all over the country gets mentioned. He's credited for securing Poggi from the Crimson Temptress, but you probably knew that already.
- I think Indiana's continued recruiting successes are the most noteworthy. They pulled a couple 4 star prospects from the Hoosier State--but also a 4 star out of Georgia. Indy raiding the SEC is pretty wild.
- Jerry Montgomery didn't make the list. These things probably vary by year, and I don't think it's a strong indication of anything in particular, but it's a relevant omission for Michigan fans.
- Frosting should come in two varieties: Chuck E. Cheese-style and the kind made with cream cheese. Also, all pie crusts should be made of graham crackers.
Now that the 2013 class is wrapped up and 2014 commits are starting to trickle in, I thought it'd be good to get a collective picture of where Michigan's class might end up. So, let's hear your thoughts recruiting experts, twitter stalkers, and Bama fan imposters.
Using the great 2014 offer board from Magnus at Touch the Banner, here's the names that I, as a casual follower of recruiting, have heard mentioned with Michigan frequently. Feel free to tell me anyone that I'm overlooking that has given Michigan love (or who I've erroneously included with no actual Michigan love) and I'll edit this list.
QB - Wilton Speight - Commit
Jalen Hurd, Jonathan Hilliman, Elijah Hood, Joe Mixon, Edits: Kalen Ballage, Shai McKenzie
WR - Artavis Scott, Drake Harris, Corey Holmes, Christian McCaffrey
TE - Daniel Helm (I can't remember, Edit: Tyler Luatua, "MUST ADD" Garrett Dickerson, Nic Weishar
OT - Alex Bars, Damian Prince Edit: Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Braden Smith
OG - Mason Cole - Commit, Jamarco Jones, Edit: Sam Mustipher
C - Tommy Doles
DE - Malik McDowell, Lawrence Marshall,
Joe Henderson, Da'Shawn Hand (I can dream) (Edit: you guys convinced me, Mich has a good shot at him. Mostly Aquaman convinced me.) , Jae'Sean Tate, Edit: Andrew Williams
DT - Bryan Mone - Commit
LB - Michael Ferns - Commit, Kyle Berger, Nyles Morgan
CB - Parrker Westphal, Troy Vincent, Jabrill Peppers. Edit: Adoree' Jackson
S - Montae Nicholson, Jamal Adams, Erick Smith, Edit, edit (moved from WR): Juju Smith
Again, that's a very imprecise list, so feel free to correct me. Have at it, folks.
If we can come to some sort of consensus (or if someone has reasoning behind an assertion) as to which are the most likely to commit at any given position (guessing at staff decisions on numbers), I'll update with a final projected class.