From what I've read Henry is the backup at 3-tech behind Black and Pipkins is the backup at 1-tech behind Q-Wash.
27 Tickets To Team 134: Post-Spring Edition
What is this? Folks who cover the USMNT drop lists like this projecting the 23 guys who end up on the next World Cup team. I have appropriated it. Regarding the number of tickets: 22 starters on offense and defense + 2 kickers + nickelback + FLEX TE + fullback.
THIS IS THE Spring update. Major moves: Jake Ryan goes off the board despite his potential mid-season return, Dymonte Thomas, Cam Gordon, Frank Clark, and Graham Glasgow debut, James Ross shoots up, Brendan Gibbons dips in case there's a Samson effect going on, tailback is declared the ultimate mess.
PACK YOUR BAGS
Jake Long wannabe took second-to-last step to full clone by forgoing sure first-round status in this year's draft to return for senior year. Upside: shut off Clowney in bowl game, gives Michigan second returning starter, was All-American last year. Downside: has reportedly sold his twosie.
Obvious now he will remain outside, and has no real threat with Ben Braden mostly competing at guard. Should be high quality after shutting off South Carolina's very good non-Clowney ends in the bowl game.
Gallon's production hit ludicrous speed with Gardner's stunning entry into the starting lineup. Project those five games over thirteen and you get Braylon numbers: 81 catches, 1330 yards. Cut his hair. : /
4. QB Devin Gardner, Jr.* [Last time: 7]
Actually played well in spring for once, threw eyes-closed out to Gallon, has no backup, hanging out with pro quarterback coaches in limited windows between sessions with Gallon, gonna be pretty good you guys.
Will be asked to replace Kovacs as the all-knowing, all-tackling security blanket in the secondary. Seems rather qualified given the lack of big plays the last couple years, but it's acid test time.
The one truly locked-down spot on the line is nose tackle, where Washington emerged into a quality big ten player out of nowhere and now embarks on a let's-get-drafted campaign that should end with some level of All Big Ten recognition.
Sure to move to boundary corner with Floyd's departure and Countess's return, Taylor should be more comfortable in the more limited space provided. Has more size than anyone else who's not a true freshman.
Disaster! Gibbons cut his hair. Will it have a Samson-like effect on his kicking? Let's hope not. Probably still likes Keystone Light and brunettes; if kicking ability is not in fact dependent on hair length M will be good here.
Called himself a "pretty boy" this spring and vowed to bring more dawg to his game; should have an explosion in production if he can block a little and Michigan gets an interior ground game going.
UNLESS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS
Momentary panic about Joey Burzynski not immediately giving way to Kalis subsided as Kalis smoothly accelerated past his walk-on competitor and into the starting lineup for the spring game. You know Hoke wants to deploy mean tanks everywhere. Kalis is one of those, and how.
Desmond Morgan's move to MLB actually provides the veteran with more competition than Ross, now backed by Royce Jenkins-Stone. A "most improved" award over the spring does nothing to slow a hype train this site is doing its damndest to support.
Sticky-fingered Louisiana gnome proved his mettle in 2012. If a pass is physically reachable by him, will be brought in. Feet will motor afterwards. Lacks top gear.
Converted OL Michigan's best bet at inline blocking TE sort; needs to work on his technique in a serious way. Could near 300 pounds after an offseason in the weight room. Fears no fish.
Seemed to make a smooth transition to the middle, a more comfortable spot for him. Last year it was Demens carrying TEs down the seam, and this year it'll be Ross. Morgan will thump people to the ground.
Picture still slightly old. Hagerup's confirmed suspension moves Wile into the full time punter job, though freshman Kenny Allen will challenge. When not tasked with pooch punting, Wile comfortably clears 42 yards a kick. M will be fine.
FAIRLY SAFE BET
Miller fended off challenges from Burzynski and Graham Glasgow, and now it seems like the most heated competition on the line is at left guard. Kugler still lurks, though, and there were a couple of busted blocking assignments reminiscent of last year. Moving him down a category, barely.
Still not back on the field fully, but expected to reclaim his form and his starting job. Emergence of Dymonte Thomas and Delonte Hollowell does put his job under a little bit more threat, but let's be serious here: if Countess is fully recovered he's starting.
18. NICKEL Dymonte Thomas, Fr. [Last time: NR]
Started the spring game; what's more largely pushed competitors at nickel out to the outside, heavily implying that was no drill. Big, agile, mean athlete snatched out of Ohio; Bucks are still waiting for him to decommit. Will bring more of a blitz/physical edge to the nickel.
Moving Darboh up a slot after he met expectations in spring and took the lead in the other outside WR race. Kicked spring game off with impressive over-the-shoulder fade reception. Hard to see much competition behind him save Jehu Chesson, who's probably still a year away.
20. WDE Frank Clark, Jr. [Last time: NR]
Added a ton of weight and spent spring getting hyped up as the next Brandon Graham (except fast!). Rumors of heated practice battles with Taylor Lewan reached my ears before Lewan told the papers about them; please, please, please be true yo.
21. OLB Cam Gordon, Sr* [Last time: NR]
Jake Ryan's ACL tear thrusts Gordon into the spotlight. He was getting coach hype even before the injury, played decently last year, and looked pretty good in spring. He won't be Ryan; he should at least be okay. Ghost Of Bo is to blame for the picture.
Still presumed leader in the race to replace Kovacs, has some heat from Jeremy Clark and veterans Marvin Robinson and Josh Furman. He got more playing time than any of those guys last year, though, and was well ahead of even the corners when Floyd went out for the bowl.
IN A BATTLE
Spring provided no clarity here. Heitzman is your nominal starter but Matt Godin and Tom Strobel are about as large, have better recruiting profiles, and are just a year younger. This might end up a season-long platoon where the starter doesn't even get a majority of snaps.
Started and did well in the spring game but even though Chris Wormley played he was still far off his true form just seven months after knee surgery. Willie Henry might also press here if Michigan decides they're good at NT.
25. G Graham Glasgow, So* [Last time: NR]
Michigan flipped Glasgow from OSU, and despite his walk-on status that's looking like a slick move. Glasgow played all three interior line slots in the spring game, starting over Ben Braden at left guard, and acquitted himself well. Unlike Burzynski, he's got the size at 6'6" to be a long-term factor.
Fullback will probably see lots of rotation as Michigan tries to balance blocking (advantage Kerridge) with receiving (freshman Khalid Hill) and maybe even some running (presumably Sione Houma and Wyatt Shallman). Kerridge keeps dreaming about buying $3000 of golf balls, so he's in the lead.
Sticking with the hyped freshman over Toussaint but moving this position to the very end of the list because the uncertainty here is rampant. None of the competitors did enough to separate themselves from Toussaint despite Toussaint's injury; this will probably be a platoon.
PUSHING FROM BEHIND
QB Shane Morris—hopefully he redshirts, probably can't with Bellomy injury.
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint—worst. year. ever. Coaches said he was presumed starter in spring. We'll see about that.
RB DeVeon Smith—I'd be inclined to redshirt him what with a lot of options at the position and a Green/Toussaint combo looking fine.
RB Dennis Norfleet—moved back, looked okay in spring, probably still stuck on return duty.
RB Justice Hayes—nominal top option in spring.
OL Erik Magnuson—third option at tackle.
OL Ben Braden—serious contender at guard.
C Blake Bars—if Miller is just too too small.
C Patrick Kugler—the chosen center, but labrum injury hampers.
WR Jehu Chesson—should be ready to go after redshirt in search of bulk. Still needs more of it, but he'll play.
DE Tom Strobel—oversized end coming off redshirt, should be quality run defender.
DE Matt Godin—blue-collar guy may see time.
NT Ondre Pipkins—dropped a lot of weight, but will be pressed by…
NT Willie Henry—got ton of player hype, actually added weight, which means he's headed in the right direction.
DE/DT Chris Wormley—has the size, has the hype, has the ACL recovery process.
WDE Mario Ojemudia—put on a lot of weight, should be better-prepared in year two.
WDE Taco Charlton—looks like Tarzan. Plays like freshman, probably, but at 6'6" 265 is much more likely to make an impact in year one than Ojemudia was last year, or Clark before him.
MLB Joe Bolden—needs weight, but coming off meaningful freshman PT.
SAM Brennen Beyer—rotated with Clark last year.
SAM Jake Ryan—supposedly returning by mid-October. Please, please, please let me get what I want this time.
CB Terry Richardson—weight weight weight weight weight
CB Jourdan Lewis—will a Cass corner ever meet the hype?
CB Delonte Holowell—and will it actually be Holowell, who played pretty well in spring?
S Marvin Robinson—not sure if he'll ever be reliable enough to play.
S Josh Furman—ditto
He has the look of a confident starter. He will be a nice complement to QWash.
Was looking forward to see this post! For the other early enrollee freshmen - LTT, Butt and Douglas do you see them redshirting? Or will Butt see the field?
Words to live by.
You obviously haven't had any plumbing work done lately.
Or been in line at Blimpy Burger.
Look at the list. Butt isn't even pushing from behind.
LTT definitely, Douglas probably (he's probably not going to be better than Avery, and those guys are near duplicate skillsets), and Butt maybe. I'd like to see him redshirt since he's a carbon copy of Funchess, but unless Paskorz is going to start playing they're probably going to need a third TE.
If we are in garbage time I want Alex Mitropoulos-Rundus to see the field.
for no other reason then to hear announcers say, "Helms deep for a TD."
Butt burns his RS for sure. Both Williams and Funchess have some different limitations, so they will definitely need a 3rd guy to mix in there. Only way you could get by with two TE's would be if both players could do it all.
Butt should be a more physical blocker than Funchess. Don't see Funchess putting on much more weight with his frame. Despite playing WR in HS, Bunting appears to be a willing blocker from his HS tape. Also, Bunting is going to be monstrous compared to Funchess - guessing 260+ lbs.
having to do with college football. Mixing the two is like drinking good single-malt Scotch with a Diet Mountain Dew chaser, and soccer ain't the Scotch.
College football's closest relative in sports is big-time soccer! Brian even wrote about this once, I think. You have the same small sample sizes, gigantic rivarlies, and comically scrutinized coaches.
Plus, they are the main two sports where you get to sing in the stands.
It was the inspiration for an interesting way to pass time in the offseason. There should be enough degrees of separation there for you.
Yep, there is for sure. Things happen in college football.
In the above? I would think he has to be at least your 3rd option at corner or backup nickel right? Or do you just feel that Thomas has that position on lock-down barring injury?
I bumped him and just forgot to add him to the "pushing" section.
If Braden is not the starter at OG, does he become the third option at OT over Magnuson? Or does he stay as the third option at OG? Or does he just become "the next OL on the field anywhere by center" like Schofield was a couple years ago?
Either way, i'd put him above Magnuson on your pushing from behind list, since it sounds like he's much closer to seeing the field than Magnuson is.
I'm not sure what happens if Michigan has to find another tackle. They usually go with "best OL comes in" no matter what, so that seems to be Braden. Whether he or Kalis moves outside is unknown. FWIW, the pushing from behind list isn't ordered.
no Chris Bryant?
Have you heard a thing about him? Because I haven't at all, and he plays a position where we have very little experience. He's literally the oldest guy we have at guard, yet he's never mentioned. That's not a great sign.
Yes, he's coming off an injury, but not an injury that should keep him out this long. Broken femurs take a few months to heal, but he should have been pretty good by the end of the season, let alone spring practice.
This was also a guy who had weight issues before the injury, and it's unlikely those have resolved themselves since he had been off his feet for so long.
I'm not saying he's hopeless by any means, and it's totally possible that he spends the summer getting in shape and shows up to fall camp ready to earn a starting spot. We just don't have any reason to predict that right now.
a guy who is destined to transfer to a MAC school or something. I wonder how any of the kids from his HS end up doing, like Standifer & Diamond. The way the coach makes them approach recruiting and the shadyness of it all, maybe not a HS our staff will pursue much in the future.
You are mistaken and may want to re-think your position. True, Diamond and Bryant attended Chicago Simeon, but Standifer attended (sp) Crete Monlee, along with Treadwell.
Based on the spring game, he lacks agility big-time. Not sure if he is still injured or what, but he really needed to make his mark either last spring, last fall, or this spring. When you have a window of opportunity, you have to take advantage. Braden, Bosch, Kalis, and Glasgow will all be ahead of him in camp. And then you throw in additional talented freshmen. Doesn't look promising.
I'd put Braden ahead of Glasgow, and if not he'll be the first guard off the bench. Maybe if there was a long term injury he would switch back to tackle and be the alternate, but I would think you'd want to let him focus at guard.
I agree that Braden is eventually the guy. He moves fluidly for a guy his size. Just a question of how quickly he can sharpen his fundamentals and get comfortable. Looked shaky at times in the spring game.
I had high hopes for these guys out of high school. Hopefully both have solid years.
"SAM Brennen Beyer—rotated with Beyer last year."
Didn't Beyer start in the spring game over Gordon?
Also, I like how Beyer "rotated with Beyer last year." Kid's a beast.
This team is building some incredible depth.
If I had to guess at RB, Green will be given every opportunity to take the starting role. At the very least he will get alot of carries, probably split with Toussaint. D. Smith will probably redshirt. That will break up Green and Smith, then the coaches can get away with not signing a RB in the 2014 class.
It will be interesting if the coaches end up taking in a transfer or something else so Morris doesn't have to be the back up QB right away.
If Fitz is healthy, he will get a full, fair shot to start. He has done so in the past and been productive, he's a senior and he knows the system. If Green is better, he will play, but I don't see the team bending the competition in Green's favor. That said, I would expect we see more than one back get significant carries this year.
Hope reality matches paper.
I have high hopes for the DL too. I know you can't put too much stock into spring games but they didn't allow the OL to get much of a push on them. I guess this means they are going to be pretty decent or else the OL has some work to do.
I'm really excited about Green, but I don't see how Fitz doesn't start...He had a bad year and the injury, but he's already proven that he can perform at an All Big Ten-ish level given an adequate run blocking O-Line, and right now, he's the only UM back that can say that.
I have a hard time believing he's going to be healthy enough in the fall to get any real PT. Hope I'm wrong.
I know his injury looked bad, but broken bones heal much more quickly than other injuries, like a tendon tear. He's been running for a while now. I bet he'll be just fine.
I don't think QWash is as firmly established as you think. Expect a big push from Pipkins. Coaches have to create the aura of senior leadership/supremacy in the early going for the sake of team chemistry. This has happened in each of Hoke's two years. Upperclassmen get all the buzz during spring/fall. Underclassmen risers steal the show when it matters.
QWash is consistent and is a force against the run. What he doesn't have is the athleticism of Pipkins which is why we will see Pipkins in on passing downs more often.
From everything the coaches have said, the difference between backup and starter among the front 7 may be only where they are listed on the depth chart. Hoke and Mattison have said they want to rotate heavily to the point where the players on the 2 deep get close to equal carries. That's the reason a player like Pipkins is the backup NT rather than the starting 3 tech.
THEY'VE GONE PLAID!!
He looked decent at the spring game, but I don't really think that he showed enough to earn a lot of hype. I wouldn't panic if he was the started, but he gives me the vibe of ~80 yards per game average.
I can understand that POV. I brought it up because I thought it was interesting that Hayes and Smith were mention and Rawls was not.
and did nothing with it. He could be a "short-yardage" back on a team without any decent inside runners. But Fitz and Green will be good inside runners and they are much more well-rounded. Most of these upperclass RB's are about to get passed. Also think Smith has a decent shot to play, despite the apparent depth.
A players patience coming in as a Freshman. Do they come in with the mindset that they are going to play right a way as a freshman? Or do they realize it might not be until sophomore or junior years befor they get some PT and if this is the case how does the coaching staff keep them from getting discouraged or down and possibly wanting to transfer. I realize at RB and OL and even QB in the coming years we are going to have some serious depth. I just wondered if some of these 4 star recruits realize that they may be nothing more than a back up and if they can deal with that and not have a negative effect in the locker room.
But damn it's nice to be in that position again.
is a team that is loaded with good to great players on both sides of the ball. Even OL, they may be young on the interior, but they're probably studs and we as a fanbase worry too much, plus we have depth.....everywhere except QB.
I think if Lewan is 1 then Gardner is 1A, he is gonna shine this year. This will be a special season IMO and the chances of being a top 5-ish type team is very possible.
Shouldn't Brian place himself on this list as "pushing from behind" for the PK job if, as he suggests, length of hair is a contributing factor to success? Or is Craig Ross correct and is Fearless Leader's glorious mane just the world's best toupee?