This started out as a focus on a great play that James Ross made en route to 8 tackles and several TFL in less than a full games snaps. Safe to say this kid might be pretty good. Anyways, it somewhat evolved into realizing that however talented and large our interior offensive line may be, they're still developing and gelling this spring. Usual caveats apply, I am not a football coach, just an educated fan and former high school player - let me know if you disagree with any assesments.
Link, thanks to mgovideo, one of the biggest free perks for Michigan fans. Play starts at 1:11
Michigan comes out in what Al Borges would probably draw on the first page of his autobiography: offset I with a tight end (the size of a small tackle) and a full back with his hand on the ground. All that's missing is Funchess lined up next to Lewan with Jake Butt in motion and this would turn into what Al Borges probably dreams about at night. The tight camera angle doesn't show the wide receiver personnel or formation, but I'd bet it's some combo of Gallon/Darboh/Jackson/Chesson based on my memory. Lewan appears to be trying to make a check of some kind, but that's just my hope based on the breakdown that happens on the interior. It was not uncommon for him to make line calls last year apparently, so it wouldn't surprise me if he's still encouraged to do so, if not moreso.
The defense, meanwhile is lined up in basically its base 4-3 under, with Beyer and Ross only slightly outside of their normal positions. Ojemudia is offsides, too. Get onsides there, terminator eyes. Your D-lineman are Ojemudia, Willie Henry (who played a lot), Pipkins and Godin (I think).
As the ball is snapped, it's apparent why James Ross was a half a yard closer to the line of scrimmage than Desmond Morgan - he was real excited about his A-gap blitz. Coach Mattison probably was too. We already see that Kalis is pulling: he's opened up his hips well and his first step is directly for the spot Devin Gardner is vacating. Everyone save Kalis and Williams will down block. Kerridge is headed for Godin. Notice that Miller has his sights set on double teaming Henry despite James Ross and his reckless abandon for the A gap. I think this is the first breakdown, and Miller ends up being a non-factor when he probably could have picked up Ross and turned this into a gain. I think he could be good, this is just a growing pain of a young center in the spring.
As Devin reverse pivots and prepares to hand off to Drake Johnson, most of the offensive lineman have done their road grating jobs. Lewan has joined Braden on Pipkins, and Peewee doesn't have a shot against the All-American and his young giant friend. AJ williams has left Ojemudia for Willie Henry and Schofield is prepared to help see him off. Miller, in hopes of sealing off the back side, has now taken himself completely out of the play as I mentioned. Desmond Morgan has read run as well, but I think he heads for the wrong gap. James Ross is already going to be in Kalis' hip-pocket shortly - that's his guard read anyways. Guard pulls, you run right through where he left straight to the ball carrier. Meanwhile, Morgan should be scraping playside as fast as possible until he sees daylight and or Drake Johnson with the ball.
Kalis has his sights for Brennan Beyer. Schofield has Henry sealed and Williams has left him to chip Ojemudia and keep ole laser eyes away from flying down the line. Ross continues his plan to arrive early for his scheduled meeting with Johnson.
Kerridge has stalemated Godin, Kalis is headed upfield ready to for either Beyer, a hypothetical Desmond Morgan or a safety. But, James Ross is not only deadly, but apparently silent. Kalis needs his head on a swivel here - I have a feeling he got a little excited for 5 yards of momentum and a one-one matchup in the open field. Then again, he thinks the backside should have been handled. Anyways, at this point it's pretty clear to Drake Johnson that things are not going to end positively. Could Braden have left Pipkins earlier and found Ross? Possibly, but I'm pretty sure his job is to donkey the guy who is head up on him until there can be no more donkeying and then find someone else.
Drake Johnson, I have a Mr. James Ross here to see you. Again we see Morgan could've taken a better angle, and if Ross were picked up, there is a lane and a freight train named Kyle Kalis headed downfield.
Two yard loss.
P.S. Devin please calm down when celebrating and wrap yourself in bubble wrap.
I recently watched the senior year highlight films of some of the incoming recruits. There were a number that exceeded my expectations relative to what I'd seen in their junior year highlight films and following the board comments for a year.
I was very impressed with the ability of both Funchess (reminds me of Shannon Sharpe) and Chesson's ability to make people miss after the catch, and Chesson looked fast on the field to go along with his track exploits.
I know I shouldn't be surprised by Kyle Kalis' ability, but I can't imagine an OL looking more college ready than Kyle Kalis. I expect he'll be the first non-center lineman off the bench in the fall.
I was also positively impressed by Mario Ojemudia. I expected him to look awesome but lacking in size. He looked awesome, but didn't look small to me. Given Beyer and Clark, he likely still redshirts, but I expect him to be a star down the road.
I was very impressed by Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone. They look like awesome athletes who will grow into dominant players down the line.
Edit: I thought it was more common knowledge how long Meyer was after Kalis, but I guess not. See this thread here for proof that it wasn't "one call". http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/kalis-tells-meyer-back "Recruting him hard" doesn't mean called once and said, "Interested?"
Just a random little note. I'm reading Stewart Mandel's take on Signing Day 2012 at SI.com, when I come across this little note about Meyer at OSU (Emphasis Mine).
Eight of the 25 players Ohio State signed Wednesday were committed to other schools before Meyer's arrival, including four-star defensive tackle Tommy Schutt (Penn State) and defensive end Se'Von Pittman (Michigan State). On Wednesday, Meyer added tackle Kyle Dodson, a former Wisconsin pledge. "It's pretty simple," Meyer said Wednesday. "You ask a guy if he's interested, and if he says no, you move on."
Tremendous: Speaking of phone calls, did you decide to answer it when Urb hit you up a few weeks ago?
Kyle: Well, it happened like this: I heard the phone ring one night and I saw it was a 614 number and knew who it was right away because it was right after a speech he gave. Before I had a chance to stop my mom, she had picked it up, so I had to talk to him.
C'mon, man. Oversigning with limitations AND baldface lying?
That interview by Tremendous at http://thisismichiganfootball.blogspot.com/2012/01/tremendous-makes-friends-with-kyle.html
You can read Mandel's whole article here. http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Kalis+%22told+my+mom+not+to+answer%22
Here's the conclusion of the conversation I had this morning with Kyle Kalis. I like the intensity he brings to the rivalry: Kyle Kalis
MaizeNBlueJ did a video for each of the Michigan recruits/targets: