"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
"There's a certain level of confidence and composure he brings to the court," said sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins, who played the bulk of his minutes as a freshman while LeVert sat on the end of the bench in a sweat suit. "When you know you have a player like that on your team of that caliber, it's just like, we're in his hands and he can do a lot of things for this team. It's a comfort. It's nice."
"I just really wanted to see him in a game and I loved what I saw," Beilein said. "He was active. He's got a motor. He's got some things he's got to work on. He doesn't have the strength to (play) the way he'd like to in the Big Ten yet, but that's what we're going to work on in-between (games) without inhibiting his ability to play the next game."
Odd. They rank high on the entertainment scale for OL highlights, assuming you like huge guys caving in not so huge guys.
This is going to sound really familiar. Kyle Bosch is basically David Dawson give or take an inch and a ton of recruiting drama. He's a rather large guard who could kick out to right tackle if necessary, he is an advanced technician for his age, he has the hatred of all other living beings in pads necessary to get a scholarship offer from Michigan, he is a consensus four star just outside of most top 100s with one enthusiastic site depositing him around 50th.
The biggest difference for the purposes of this post is camps. Dawson went to all of them. Bosch mostly ignored them. He did get an Opening invite and showed up, but he came down with something nasty and had to leave just a day in. The only other mention of a camp I can find was an observation-only visit to SMSB. So there's significantly less scouting out there.
What exists is Dawson-esque. The themes that emerge with both guys: a love of contact, an ability to get downfield, and a defender on the ground. A Notre Dame evaluator took a look at Bosch back when it was assumed he would end up in the blue and gold:
For me, his two best traits are the nastiness with which he plays the game and the swagger he has on the field. Many offensive linemen play with attitude and confidence, traits that Bosch also possesses. What Bosch seems to have on film is a swagger that is often displayed by skill players or linebackers.
Bosch is also "physical and aggressive," has "good agility and good foot quickness" and gets off the line quickly; main downside was a bit of hip stiffness that might make it unwise to put him on the edge against a quality rusher—apparently that means you can't change direction as effectively in a pass set.
"I think the biggest thing is that he has such a high motor. He's a very intense football player, and I think a lot of times, bigger kids like that take a while to develop that. But he has an intensity level that I've never seen in a big guy. He loves contact."
"His ability to finish blocks is pretty special, I think," Horeni said. "A lot of linemen his size just want to lean on people, but he rolls his hips, which is something you see at the next level. He explodes on contact and drives through the person.
"There's countless times this year when the guy he's going against gets a little bit off the ground and then (Bosch) buries him into the ground. It's something special."
…shows the ability to be able to get to that next level really quick. His explosive nature really stands out on film. His strength, size and punch off the line gives him a chance to have an instant impact. Like the others, he is a finisher. He naturally finishes his block, has great drive and gets to the next level. … has less to work on than the other guys.
Bosch is a physical and aggressive line prospect. … good first-step quickness to get into the defender. He uses angles well and is at his best when he can block down or work in tandem. He flashes the ability to come with a lot of force and deliver a big pop when he gets an angle and has the upper body strength to knock defenders to the ground. He does display some tightness in his lower body and is not as strong at this stage as a drive blocker… will be physical and fight, but doesn't create the type of push that his size or aggressiveness would suggest he could. At this stage, he is more of a wall off blocker. He does an solid job of working up to second level, adjusting on the move and getting a hat on active defenders.
A left tackle for his St. Francis team, Bosch is usually the biggest and strongest player on the field, and he plays like he wants everyone to know it. He is big and athletic and takes pride in finishing his blocks and stacking up pancakes. He has good flexibility and leg drive as he excels in run blocking. He'll gain strength and leverage as he continues to fill out his frame and refine his technique.
So there's that. I wonder if "technique" is just a thing they throw up there for anyone without an obvious drawback. Every high school player ever needs to work on his technique. With Bosch ranked in Scout's top 50 that's a possibility.
"They told me they project me playing as a guard or a tackle," he said. "They said they love my footwork and they love my athleticism, and they could see me playing both positions. But I'm learning to snap and I'm getting better. I could be a triple-threat and be ready to contribute as early as possible. I've been busting my butt in the weight room and watching film, and I'm getting to become a Swiss army knife at the next level."
The lack of ideal height likely rules out left tackle, but if he's one of the five best he could play on the right.
In spring they played him at guard, so assume that is preferred. Most of the evaluations say he is better there, sometimes explicitly, sometimes by mentioning an exceptional ability to get to the second level, which is more important on the interior. An example from pain-loving anonymous Rivals evaluator:
He comes off the ball quickly and runs well in open space. He plays with a high level of aggression and does well to position himself for knockout blows on linebackers. He shows good lateral mobility when he attacks the second level.
Perhaps his best strength is his ability to not slow down on impact, and yet he stays under control with good pressure on the defender. He does not slow his feet or hesitate with his hands when he engages his opponent. Most importantly, he is on the attack on every play and looks to finish his block by planting his opponent into the turf.
This is a guy you want to pull, pull, pull, pull. That indicates guard. Also potentially indicating guard is a twitter conversation from May between Shane Morris and David Dawson I stumbled across. I will translate from the twitterese:
DAWSON: For every retweet I do 10 push ups and 10 curls, GO!
DAWSON: Shane Morris, I'd advise you to be extra nice to YOUR LINEMAN
MORRIS: dat bull 4 lyfe
DAWSON: and I'm your right tackle you better be EXTRA nice
I don't really know why Morris is referencing DatBull unless he, like myself, is operating under the assumption that there is no bad time for a DatBull reference.
Anyway, I place about 10% weight on a position declaration made before arrival on campus and assume that whoever is on Morris's blindside should he ascend to the starting job will be a natural left tackle. Still, if one of the 6'5" guard types is going to pop outside it seems it'll be Dawson. I expect both eventually find homes on the interior.
On his high school mascot being a Spartan: I think I'll be able to get over it pretty quickly and embrace the Wolverine. Our motto is actually "Go Blue!" because we're the Blue Spartans, so we're kind of an oxymoron.
Why Maurice Williams? A 6'5", 302-pound swing player between guard and right tackle, Williams took some time to round into a starter, but once he did he was a second-round NFL draft pick and stuck around the NFL for about a decade before a series of injuries did his career in.
Williams was recruited before the era when people tried to rank these folks, and I can't find anything on the internet that might indicate hype level. Oh well. Bosch is actually heavier than the NFL-vet version of Williams right now and may end up pushing 320.
Guru Reliability: High. Consensus, healthy player, low amount of projection, but basically no camps.
Variance: Low-plus. Again, no low for OL. But Bosch, like Dawson, doesn't have as far to go as many. He's already at a good 307 and may or may not have good technique. The hip-rolling thing is a hurdle cleared that can hamper people's careers.
Ceiling: High. Has the size and disposition to be an NFL player.
General Excitement Level: High. This is a recording.
Projection: Is OL, redshirt.
Afterwards it's the same thing you heard after the Dawson/Kugler/LTT posts: a war beckons on the interior. Next year two spots open, and whether one of them is on the interior or not, Michigan is going to play its best four guys and a center. Bosch and Dawson are your frontrunners on the interior.
Again, predicting a winner there is a foolhardy exercise, but projecting the guy who emerges from the melee with a machete in his teeth to be pretty friggin' good at football is obvious. One or two or three of these guys is going to get injured or lost in the shuffle and not work out; Michigan will be able to weather those hits without problem.
My thing on Miller is that he should have replaced Mealer at center last year due since our interior line was in trouble for most of the season. The fact that he couldn't take the job indicates to me that may not have "it" and probably ends up holding the center position warm for Kugler's asention. As for Bosch, I think the early enrolling should help with his technique issues. Next year, Braden goes to RT so we should have this in 2014
I know Brian said its foolhardy to project next years line but It something to ponder in this slow period
Funk's unwillingness to shake up the offensive line for chemistry reasons. Additionally you're underestimating the difficulty of the learning curve at the center position. When your potential lineup is laid out by class the unlikelihood of its occurence becomes apparent: RS SO, RS FR, RS FR, RS SO, RS SO. I cannot imagine our coaching staff being comfortable with that much youth along the line. A lineup of Magnuson/Kalis/Miller/Bryant/Braden or Braden/Kalis/Miller/Glasgow-Burzynski/Bars seems more likely imo.
Miller was a redshirt freshman and I believe he was 284 lbs. last year. I know Mealer wasn't great, but he was a large fifth year senior who was very good at snapping the ball. Expecting him to get displaced by a light, young player is a little much.
I think his point still stands and the concern is valid. Saying Mealer "wasn't great" at C is the understatement of the century. Not since Pat Massey have I seen a UM lineman that bad have such a vice grip on a starting job. But I actually believe Mealer was worse than Massey. Barnum was bad too but at least he had a couple decent games. If they had a decent back-up, the guy would have been rotated in more than Miller was. Don't think Miller gaining 10 pounds will make him progress from "no way we let him near the field" to legit starter.
There are two separate issues that the OP addressed:
1) Miller should have replaced Mealer. There are numerous reasons why that shouldn't have occurred or didn't occur. Youth on Miller's part, a lack of size (Miller was 20 lbs. lighter than Mealer), coaches who appear to appreciate experience, Mealer's excellent shotgun snaps for a QB who struggles from under center, etc.
2) Miller might hold the position warm for Kugler. I don't think many would argue that Miller is a better long-term prospect than Kugler. It might be a matter of time before Miller loses the position to Kugler, but when this year's offensive tackles graduate, those interior guys are going to have to spread out. Realistically, two potential starting guards this year (Braden, Kalis) could be the two starting tackles in 2014, with guys like Bosch, Dawson, or perhaps Kugler, etc. playing OG. If Miller does okay at center, then Michigan's best five linemen in 2014 might include Miller at OC and Kugler at OG.
The excuses hold some water. Just agreeing with the original poster that Miller's lack of contribution last year is a legit red flag nonetheless. Yes, a RS frosh is young and 284 is not ideal weight for a C, but there are NFL C's playing at 290. And if you look back at UM's (or the B1G's) historically good or even only decent OL, they are usually ready to at least contribute by their second year. Even undersized guys or guys who have made major position switches. UM toyed with two clearly poor centers last spring and fall (Barnum and Mealer) and this year's presumed starter didn't get a single whif.
My biggest issues were actually word choices. I ended up going with "twifealdende breahtm-briddes" for "retweet" which actually means "doubling of the bird-noises". " earm-aseon" is something like "arm-strainings". "Endesætan" actually fits pretty well with "lineman"; it is literally "end-dweller" but was used to mean "watchman" as well. I actually called a friend about "dat bull for life" who reccomended "dagas" (lit. "days") for "life"; I probably could have added "for min" or evel "eall min dagas", but I thought the lack of proper grammar was apporpriate.
"Pat Fitzgerald is coming on shortly. He seems like a guy who knows his way around an oatbag." @bearringer
"wræcca" is the word for out cast. PS: "old" was never spelled with an "e" at the end; just like "ye" isn't realy old English. The letter y was a substitute for the letterþ (makes the "th" sound) which didn't exist in the printing presses made on the continent.
"Pat Fitzgerald is coming on shortly. He seems like a guy who knows his way around an oatbag." @bearringer
...with Larry Foote and I believe both were fairly highly touted, to the point where Pershing entered the '97 season ranked #17 in the nation in the USA Today poll on the strength of those two players. At the time that was an extremely lofty ranking for a Detroit PSL team. This was well pre-Cass Tech dominance and the PSL played mostly bad, disorganized football. I believe Catholic Central beat them something like 35-7 in the season opener at the Silverdome.
I might be mistaking Williams for some else, but based purely on the memory of a 14-15 year old, I think he was pretty highly rated on the Detroit News Blue Chip list, like top 2, in 1999 or 2000. However, it also seems like he was a DL, and then turned into one of those guys that you forget about for 2-3 years and then as a RS sophomore or junior they burst on the scene.
I know I'm nitpicking, but when you look at all the potential interior line guys in the last two classes- Kalis, Braden, Bosch, Fox, Dawson, Kugler- I'm not sure why we pursued Samuelson, who is an out and out guard, so late in the process. Meanwhile we're pinning our blindside tackle hopes for next year on LTT and Magnuson, who both have a ton of work to do. They could shoehorn one of the interior guys listed above to blindside tackle if neither Magnuson or LTT are ready, but, I mean, that's the most important position on the line. Would have been nice to get another bullet for that position instead of another guard. Apologies for being cold.
Fox is listed as a guard by 247 and Magnus said in his evaluation that he looks like a right tackle or guard and that his body is like Kyle Kalis'. Braden is playing guard. He may move out to right tackle or even left in the future, but evaluators have questioned if he has the footspeed and flexibility to play out on the blindside.
Reading recruit interviews, it seems Hoke and Co. are telling these guys they'll use them "at guard or tackle" pretty often. I think the moral of the story is that these kids' footwork is hard to predict until the coaches actually get a chance to, you know, develop the footwork. As a hypothetical, a huge kid with good "explosion" could play "stiff" because his feet don't move laterally after the first step, but if you beat that habit out of him his redshirt year you might have an All-B1G LT. I don't think they're telling Bosch that they believe all OL positions are interchangeable; I think they really mean that it's impossible to know who goes where until the results of the redshirt year. There's no question that your LT needs to be quick with good balance, but determining who's going to be best at that when these boys are still in HS is a bet I don't want to put any money on.
The battle of Michigan recruits along the O-line won't just determine the starting five, but will also sort out the positions after the technique issues have been worked out. Once a guy reaches 6'4" and 300+ pounds, where you put the guy on the line really comes down to relative strengths and weaknesses. I mean, some recruit not named Taylor Lewan might be 6'7" with a wingspan that could wrap a bulldozer but the LT position still goes to the guy that can stay with the WDE. Lewan is a LT because he can protect the QB; he's a projected first round draft pick because he's also shaped like an ideal one.
Braden is playing guard right now because he's the next best OL, not because he projects at guard more than tackle. This is simar to Schofield a couple years ago. Braden has the frame to play OT and reportedly has the athleticism to do so on the blindside. One of Braden, Magnuson and LTT will hold that down fine.
Based on the spring game footage, I was pleasantly surprised how mobile Braden was. Looked very light on his feet for his size, even though he botched some plays. I think the coaches are playing him at LG just to earn him experience. He may struggle there a bit but I think he has good potential at OT.
Braden is probably more tackle than OG, but I think Fox is more OG than OT. I think your guys that are better at OT than OG are Braden (RT), LTT (OT), and Magnuson (LT). Fox, Bosch, and Samuelson both have the potential to contribute outside (mostly at RT, but could probably fit on the left side eventually), but are probably better inside.
I doubt the coaches want to play him, but Dawson has a good shot to earn the back-up RT spot and perhaps make the travel squad. He is reportedly very sound in pass blocking, based on the camp reports. At this point, if Schofield is hurt, you will probably have a walk-on subbing in. Kalis and Braden could potentially back up there too, but those guys will have their hands full learning OG play this year.
I wouldn't say it's out of the realm of possibility for him to play some RT, but I think there are better options on the team. He just doesn't really have the build of a OT in my mind, and I think he's more adept at pass blocking and maintaining his spot in a limited area (holding the interior pocket) than sliding, or getting a good kick step and drop on the edge. So basically, I think all aspects of his game project better to OG, but he could do some run blocking on the edge.
I'd be a bit cautious with Alabama "offers" because they'll send worthless paper to every four-star in the country just to scam the kids long enough to get first pick before other schools snap them up. It doesn't tell us anything we don't already know from the scouting reports.
Stanford's not a bad offer to have in hand, though, if only because the academic consideration you mentioned.
"SOB" - in all the best sense as a mean, nasty, OL player. He is exactly the personality and skill type you want to have. Hear overall he is a great kid with a great personality but is a prickly son of a b_ _ _ _ on the field. Perfect. I really can't see him and Dawson compared so closely. Dawson to me is not as violent nor athletic as Bosch. We'll see, I could be wrong, but my sense is Bosch will be a fantastic OL for us and start for several seasons at M.