"He makes it really easy on you as a coach because he has tremendous football instincts," Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said. "Things come really naturally to him. He doesn't have to see things too many times. He has a good sense for how things should look and feel, and he's a tough, physical guy."
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be in his final year of eligibility, hold at least a 3.2 grade-point average and "have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship."
"That was one of those plays that was real contact courage," Harbaugh said of Chesson’s block. "He just went and made a real, hearty block. I was happy to see that. Darboh is doing the same thing, and Ways is doing the same thing at a higher level than most receivers you’re ever going to find."
Michigan has only offered a handful of elite running backs in the 2012 class. It's not a huge need for the coaching staff, but if they find the right back they could end up taking one. Marlington High's Alden Hill (6'2", 220 lbs) doesn't currently hold an offer but was asked to make an appearance at Michigan's camp this summer. Here's a look at Hill's film and where he's at in the recruiting process.
TOM: What's the most recent that you've heard from Michigan?
ALDEN: They were in school about three weeks ago. Coach Mattison came in to see me and Zach [Higgins]. He was telling us that we need to camp. Zach committed to MSU, so now they just want me to come. They're really interested and they said I'm one of their top five running backs.
TOM: Outside of Coach Mattison have you gotten a chance to talk with any of the other Michigan coaches?
ALDEN: I went down there for their junior day. I went back and got a chance to sit down with Coach Jackson. He said I'm glad you came back so that we could meet each other, and he told me that I was in their top five now because he likes my personality and everything. They'll evaluate me at camp, and he said I definitely have a shot.
TOM: When's the next time you'll be back up there? For camp?
ALDEN: I've been there twice, so yeah camp will be the next time I go. I have to call Coach Mattison to pick out a date.
TOM: Did you know much about Michigan before you went up there?
ALDEN: I went up there and I didn't know too much until I visited. There's a lot of tradition, and like the SEC they take their football seriously up there. Michigan is known for really living football. They play a lot of big games and a lot of great competition. I know Brady Hoke is going to turn things around, I like him personally. I think they have a lot of good coaches on staff and I like all of them. I really have nothing negative to say about them. It seemed like everyone was on the same page. Every one of them has the same goals in mind, to win a Big Ten Championship.
TOM: Overall how many offers do you have right now?
ALDEN: Seven. I have Toledo, Ball State, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, U Conn, Vanderbilt, and Boston College.
TOM: You had mentioned Zach Higgins as one of your teammates, but you have another teammate getting recruited also right?
ALDEN: Yeah, Zach Higgins committed to Michigan State. It's me, Zach, and  Dymonte Thomas. All of us are getting recruited now. If one school talks to one of us they talk to all of us. We've talked about going to the sam place. They both have been offered by MSU, and the coaches want to see me at their camp. I can't say it's going to happen though. Every kid's going to fit in a school a different way, you have to make sure it's the right fit.
TOM: Since you're a year ahead of Dymonte do you think you'll try to recruit him to whichever school you choose?
ALDEN: I'll definitely try to recruit Dymonte. I wouldn't be too serious about it, because I wouldn't want him to feel pressured.
TOM: I know you're a big back, is that basically your game, or is there more to you than size?
ALDEN: This week I weighed in at 225 pounds, and I'm 6-foot-2. When college coaches ask me, or they watch my film they say I'm a big back, but I have speed. I'm in track right now, and I run a 4.55 in the 40. I also have an 11 flat in the 100. Dymonte and I raced before and 3 out of the 4 times I beat him. He doesn't like admitting that though. I'm not a shifty back, I take one cut and go.
TOM: To go back to your overall recruitment, what are you looking for in the ideal school?
ALDEN: To me a lot of kids will say location, but for me it's wherever you'll fit in the best. What do they offer academically, how they want you to fit in the offense or on the team. I want to be a running back, a lot of schools offer you as a running back then move you to linebacker. I want to bust the line and pound the ball.
TOM: What does your timeline look like? You've mentioned checking out camps so I'd assume you'll take your time?
ALDEN: I've been telling everyone I want to wait. The thing with me is it's been up and down with offers. I feel like if you're going to college for four years you want to go somewhere you'll fit in well. It's like buying a house or marrying a girl, you make sure everything is right. It's the same thing as the coaches before they offer someone, they make sure everything is right. A lot of other kids pick and they don't realize other schools were interested. If I find a school that really likes me and I feel comfortable, then I would have no problem committing.
An 11 flat hundred meter is solid for a kid who weighs 225lbs, especially since that's still his junior year of track. Any kid who runs in the 10s for the 100 has just about blazing speed, so if he can get down there by the time he's a senior that would be a very fast kid at 6'2" 225. Those are about the numbers Kevin Grady had, pre-knee injury. There's plenty of bad things to say about Grady, but he was great athlete for his size.
If those stats are legit, he'll get a lot more offers.
It's a little different with this kid since he doesn't have an offer yet, so he couldn't commit right now even if he wanted to. We're actually asking him to wait, so it's more of a "let us see what happens with our other guys and we'll get back to you" type of thing. Since he doesn't have other top schools chasing after him, we have that luxury.
If Dunn or the other backs we're going after don't happen, I bet Hill gets an offer.
Yeah, it sounds like we're willing to give a scholarship to a fullback so this guy might be a good option. Very good speed for a fullback, he would be an Aaron Shea type weapon. If he's 6'2" 225 now, he could be 240-245 in a few years. That would be great.
Also sporting a 3.56 GPA, not too shabby. He doesn't go down easily after first contact, has good speed, and any player with Eminem for his highlight music is alright with me(even though it doesn't compare with Dwayne Stanford's). Sign him up!
Watching him reminds me of a quote I heard back when Emmitt Smith was playing. A teammate or coach said " everybody says he's not that fast, but you never see him getting caught from behind!" That reminds me of this video. He hits the hole hard and with speed. He just seemed to be passing guys and pulling away and he didn't look like he was forcing to hard. It said that he had under 300 carries and over 2000 yards not bad average. Call me impressed.
...is the sense of competition Hoke is creating for players who want a scholarship to Michigan.
Texas has been doing it that way for years and it's nice to see Michigan filling up its class and creating that natural pressure.
And I really trust their talent evaluation. Hoke has a nice track record of identifying kids who have their best football ahead of them. That's something Hayden Fry used to say is the very hardest thing to do in coaching: Don't make the mistake of taking the guys who have played their best ball in high school -- identify the kids with the frame, growth potential, intelligence and overall motivation to get better every year.
That's something Hoke was able to do at Ball State and San Diego State. Now that he has a chance to use his eye at a place such as Michigan, where he has a shot at more talented players, it bodes very well for the program. It is notable that he is seeking out players who have the smarts and the will to succeed.
Smart players see what is happening with Michigan's recruiting and they want to get in on something good. Hoke comes off as folksy and all, but he's a shrewd man who knows he's got something great to offer in Ann Arbor. He's not overwhelmed by the job at Michigan, he is in full control.
One of his runs for a TD starts from a dead stop at his 35 and seven seconds later he is in the end zone after outrunning the d backs. Speaking of outrunning the d backs, he seems to do it over and over in these clips. This is D 3 competition but still seems big AND fast.
not only does he sound really mature in this interview....but after watching his highlight tape..uh wow. he looks like a fast/powerful back and it bafles me on how he has MAC-caliber offers. he looks like he could be a great player
No offense, but I think some of you need to raise your standards. We'll have 8 backs on the roster in 2011, and this guy doesn't look any better than at least 7 of those 8. He's not a natural runner and probably has no business being a feature runner. He would get eaten alive by a competent defense with how slow his feet are.
He's a decent fullback prospect, IMO, but nothing more.