DJ Wilson is happening. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]
I was in a van traveling through Iowa and Illinois while the Michigan hoops squad defeated IUPUI 77-65. I just finished going over the game, which played out much like last Friday's defeat of Howard. The Wolverines got off to a slow start, trailing 32-30 with 4:18 left in the first half, before closing out the half with a 13-0 run—the margin never got below nine points in the second half.
It's time for some bullets, starting with the story of the season thus far.
DJ Wilson is overtaking Duncan Robinson. We're only two games into the season, but it sure looks like Wilson is going to take Robinson's spot in the starting lineup, or at the very least end up playing more minutes in a super-sub role. The latter is what happened against IUPUI. Robinson started and scored seven points in only 12 minutes, but he's still not a great defender. Wilson played 30 minutes and packed the stat-sheet: seven points, 14(!) rebounds (four offensive), an assist, and five(!!!) blocks. He even hit one of his two three-point attempts and looked comfortable doing so.
[Hit THE JUMP for more DJ Wilson praise and the rest of my notes from IUPUI.]
We’ve got two games left before we’re into the totally murky waters of a possible B1G Championship Game and playoff. Anything after this weekend is bound to be a high get-in price, and I’ve been steadfastly reporting here that the relative scarcity of chances to see this Michigan team before it’s off to the NFL will drive up the price for Senior Day.
But things happen. Thing one: the loss to Iowa will depress that “I gotta see this team before it’s gone” effect somewhat. I believed there was an untapped market hanging around of Michigan fans waiting for the right moment to turn to the spouse, point to the kid who hasn’t taken off her Jumpman hoodie since she got it, and say “We can’t miss this.” Fans overreact to losses, though, and this was an edgy proposition to begin with.
The second thing is the thing that can happen to any game in November:
Grandpa’s gotten away with some shit in his time, but if you return him soaked and frozen because Indiana’s defense turned out to be way more legitimate than those two words have meant in his lifetime, you’re going to be paying more than the price of admission.
Anyway after hitting a peak of $80 prices are back down to $57, particularly in the Lower Endzone. That’s longtime season ticket holders who didn’t fork up when Brandon raised the price of PSDs past their pricepoint. Ralph Garcia of TiqIQ said they’re now relatively on par with the 2013 seat prices for Indiana at this time. That game was the ridiculous “we’re not covering Jeremy Gallon no sir” game where it literally hailed before the band got in the stadium.
GETTING INTO THE SHOE
Ohio State singles are as low as $268 for way top of the upper deck of the endzone, and trading at $400 for places where you can see the game. Lower bowl is $1000.
Those seats were all put on sale by Ohio State fans, who still see this as the biggest game since 2006. Michigan has some stakes still, so a win over Indiana will see some of those tickets moving finally. If Michigan struggles with the Hoosiers, or god forbid loses again, expect those prices to drop by $100 or more. It’s still The Game.
On the other hand, the prices were about the same last year at 11 days out. Ohio State then lost to Michigan State and the prices dropped 40%. I wound up getting a cousin’s ticket for $100. Had the Buckeyes not turtled against MSU I expect they would have remained where they’ve historically been, which is in the $250-$300 range.
Anyway if your plan is to get in the building I’d target $250 and start looking now. Michigan fans who wanted to make sure they get in already jumped on something. The next full-market drop won’t come until late next week, if it does at all. I’m not seeing enough tickets trading to be certain they’ll be available.
If you’re trying to get good seats, definitely wait till Friday, when those holding them give up on getting $1000 for them and they meet the market somewhere around $450. Finding tickets the day of will be hit and miss—you’ll have to hope there are some still close to kickoff, because the scalpers know how to find the Michigan fans who show up hoping to get lucky.
QUICK SHOE GUIDE
This will come in handy if you’re trying to scalp or buy off someone on Craigslist or something:
- Any Section 1 is the middle of the North endzone and section 38 is the South endzone. Section 20 is 50 yard line.
- “A” means lower deck and “AA” means the first few rows. “B” is the middle deck, and “C” is upper deck
- Even sections are on the East side, odd sections are on the West side.
- Seat numbers go up. The upper and lower decks get up to Row 41-ish. The veranda gets to 18. If you get a letter it’s a specialty (wheelchair, etc.) unless you’re in the AA section, which is numbered A-F.
BEST DEAL ON THE SPONSOR’S SITE RIGHT NOW
The corner sections are quite nice if you sit high enough up, though too high is still too high. These are priced to move at $10 under the seats two rows up. I’d prefer these seats to Row 12.
Jake Butt, Maurice Hurst, and Matt Godin
Talk about how your team still has its destiny in its hands in terms of winning out to get where you want even though you lost.
JB: “Yeah, obviously it’s a tough loss. It’s a game we could have won, so that’s gonna sting a little bit. But we reminded ourselves and each other that what we set out for at the beginning of the season is still right in front of us. We’re going to learn from this loss and become tougher and better because of it. We control our own destiny, so as long as we keep handling business we’re not worried about what anyone else is doing. We’ve just got to handle our own business and the rest will take care of itself.”
Matt, what were some of the problems up front against the run, especially on first down, on Saturday night?
“First of all, give credit to them. They had a great seam going in the run game, but we just weren’t fitting some of the things right in the run game, obviously. We’re gonna have to take a look at it in film today, but we’ll get it fixed.”
Jake, what were some of the things that guys were saying to each other yesterday, a day removed from that? Was there encouragement needed? Was anybody having to say anything, or did you all just realize how you had to move forward?
“Thankfully, we’ve got a veteran team, a lot of older guys that have seen a lot of different things in their career here, and a lot of mature younger guys, too, that can follow some of the older guys’ lead, [and] a great coaching staff that has seen a lot of things, too. It’s a tough game. We were going to face adversity this season. We wish we would have come out on top in that game, but we understand—there’s no panic button. We’re not gonna let one loss turn into two. We’re just going to continue the same mentality of get back to work today and move forward.”
[More after THE JUMP]
On Speight. Yesterday we reported he'd be out for the regular season; someone asked Harbaugh if he was out for the season and he said no. Those aren't the same thing, obviously. You should still expect O'Korn for the next two weeks. Beyond that we'll see. There are conflicting reports about the exact nature of the injury. I've gotten some additional reports that it's a shoulder issue, not the collarbone. The upshot is the same.
Whenever we report something that comes into question our policy is to reveal as much as possible so you can judge for yourself, but there's not much I can say here. Best I can figure is that a person close to the situation got some preliminary or garbled information, which is why ESPN and the Free Press were both able to issue confirmations, with the Free Press citing the same injury. I can't say we'd do anything differently given the provenance of the information. These days we sit on anything not impeccably sourced because the downside of an incorrect report is greater than the upside, so of course.
Other dings. 247 reports that both Channing Stribling and Delano Hill should be good to go this weekend. Stribling had some issues getting off the field after his interception and Hill was replaced by Tyree Kinnel just after halftime when Hill went down with what looked like a cramp to me, but must have been at least a bit more serious. Steve Lorenz say Hill might be held out as a precaution.
PFF on Iowa. For one, Wadley is good against many teams, not just Michigan.
Iowa HB Akrum Wadley averaged 4.3 yards AFTER contact per carry -- best of any Big Ten back with 100+ carries. pic.twitter.com/ypKpiob0rW
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 15, 2016
(I assume "averaged" is supposed to be "averages"; former implies they're just talking about the Michigan game but the 100+ carries indicates they're talking about the entire season.) Wadley's utilization remains a mystery. Michigan missed 11 tackles on him; prior to MSU, when the missed tackle explosion began, they had just 19 on the season.
Meanwhile the offensive grades are grim. De'Veon Smith made PFF's top five with a 55.5 grade, which is the kind of thing you see when Michigan's D plays a really bad offense. The other four, all of whom got solidly positive marks in the mid-to-high 70s, are Bredeson, Cole, Magnuson, and Butt—blockers. Michigan's skill guys disappointed.
Defense was more of the same with missed tackles hurting the LB grades. Mo Hurst again graded out excellently; per PFF he's the top interior pass rusher in the country. I'm a bit surprised he hasn't moved into the starting lineup as Godin comes back to performances that are more in line with his junior year.
FWIW, Hurst says he is leaning towards a return next year.
"It'll be just about how (me and my family) feel about it, we'll talk through it, I'll talk with coach (Jim) Harbaugh about it," Hurst said. "I think (I'm leaning toward) wanting to stay for a fifth year and pursue a Master's degree. That's something that (could be a factor).
"The degree and just the chance to come back. I love playing here. It's been everything I've imagined, especially these last two years. The atmosphere on campus. The coaches are great and they've done a great job and I know I've gotten a lot better."
That is obviously a huge deal for Michigan, which would be replacing him in the starting lineup with... Michael Dwumfour? There's a reason Michigan looks set to take 8 DL in this recruiting class.
The outlier. S&P+'s been updated and it shows just how out of nowhere Michigan's offensive performance was on Saturday. S&P+ tracks "percentile performances" on both sides of the ball. Michigan's worst outing this year against Wisconsin was at 70%; they had just one other performance under 80, that a 78% against MSU.
Against Iowa: 11%. That game alone saw Michigan's offense drop from 8th to 25th in Bill's rankings. Again I would like to shake my fist and ask why does anything happen if it's not going to be predictive.
Occam's Razor. Folks who cover OSU are in a never-ending search for red meat for the ravenous masses. See anything Bill Kurelic's ever written. Cleveland.com gets in on the act with an in-depth look at how Pioneer LB Antjuan Simmons ended up committing to OSU. Which of these approaches seems more like Harbaugh?
There are only two things that can explain Michigan's approach: Either Harbaugh never prioritized Simmons on his recruiting board or the Wolverines completely blew it with how they recruited the 6-foot-1, 215-pound prospect.
Maybe Simmons will be great at OSU but there's no story here other than sometimes people disagree on a recruit.
A nasty lawsuit in a surprising locale. A former basketball player at a Power 5 school has filed an antitrust lawsuit alleging various attempts to boot him off his scholarship. That school is... Northwestern?
The suit describes a variety of measures the program and athletic department used to free up Vassar’s scholarship, which was eventually transferred from athletic grant-in-aid to an academic scholarship. The University, the complaint alleges, went so far as to offer Vassar a cash payment in March of 2016 so he would “go away.”
The suit also alleges that Northwestern placed the three-star recruit in an “internship” so he could retain his athletic scholarship. The program, called the “Wildcat Internship Program” involved him working in a janitorial capacity. It also claims that Northwestern tried to falsify Vassar’s timesheets during the internship “in an effort to create grounds for revoking [Vassar’s] guaranteed athletic scholarship.”
The suit also attacks the NCAA and its transfer rules and is part of a larger lawsuit put forth by Hagens Berman against the NCAA in 2012.
I did not expect Northwestern basketball to be accused of cutthroat behavior this day.
The larger lawsuit is an attempt to bash down various NCAA transfer restrictions in a class action and goes hard in the paint on Bo Ryan:
123. To call Ryan a hypocrite would be an insult to hypocrisy.
(Because he blocked Jared Uthoff's transfer to Iowa after moving up to Wisconsin despite a contract with UWM.)
Etc.: settings –> options –> mute "tuddy". This article on responding to motion is very technical but may be of interest to actual coaches and football nerds. Inside the FEI rankings. Tom Brady and Brandon Graham make PFF's midseason All-Pro team.
[Rainier Ehrhardt – Times-Union]
This was the week.
Every year, there’s one week that looks mediocre at best on paper, but winds up sending shockwaves through the college football landscape. With four undefeated Power Five teams, the playoff picture was crystal clear – and three of those teams lost, two at home. First, Clemson wound up losing a shootout on a long last-second field goal against a Pitt team with a great offense and an equally not great defense; USC went on the road to Washington and suffocated the previously undefeated Huskies; Michigan traveled to Iowa and lost on a game-winning Hawkeye field goal in a game with horrible offense on both sides.
Though each three of those teams still might control their own destiny in the playoff race (Washington is the one that may need some help, but they’d probably be fine at 12-1), there’s renewed optimism in other places – Oklahoma, Penn State, Wisconsin, Colorado, etc. The playoff picture is a mess with two weeks left in the regular season and surely there will be more surprises in store for us.
[More on the week that was after the JUMP]
When I was thinking about the plays Jake Butt made on Saturday, the one that immediately came to mind was a third-down conversion on a drag route that he caught with one hand and locked in with two fingers. That shallow route ended up being Michigan’s second-longest pass play of the evening, and as you’ll read below, a lot more went into that than just catching and running. As always, the video is at the bottom of the post and can be slowed down to 0.5x 0.25 speed if you open in Youtube and change the settings in the bottom right corner; I highly advise you watch the play slowed down.
What was the first thing you noticed when you lined up?
“I knew there was a wider guy outside of Ian [Bunting]. I was running a shallow route, Ian had a corner route, so first thing I’m thinking about is my release, whether or not I’m going to be able to get inside that backer or whether I’m going to have to take a longer route.
“Saw that, read I can get inside of him, but I saw I think they had two backers in the box; one of them kind of carried Ian vertically and I saw another linebacker that was eyeing the quarterback, and I knew he’d have to pick up my shallow, so I knew I was either going to have to sit it down or continue running. I saw he was flat-footed and staring at Wilton so I thought I could pass him up.
“I knew we had a post-wheel combination on the other side that was gonna carry those guys out of the way, so if I could just get past him I’d have a little bit of extra space. Did that, Wilton put the ball where only I could get it, and honestly, for a second there he put his hand in front and I couldn’t see the ball. I just kind of trusted where it would be. Caught it and then just tried to get as much as I could after the ball.
“I saw another guy running and I saw Desmond King down the sideline. I wanted to stiff arm him, and in the process of stiff-arming him I got my legs taken out a little bit. Big third-down play for us and big conversion.”
After you catch the ball and you’re turning the corner, as you said, you’ve got a guy trailing you and King in front of you. When you’re looking at King and trying to get upfield, what are you looking at? Are you looking at his hips or his shoulders or his pursuit angle?
“I could see his eyes, the way he stood up initially. Usually when guys stand up that’s so they can get ready to go low and take out your knees. But I had my hand on the one guy stiff-arming him, otherwise I would have tried to lower my shoulder and truck-stick him a little bit. I knew he was taking out my knees, but I just stiff-armed him and got as many yards as I could.”
Is that guy who’s trailing to the right a consideration or are you mainly looking at the guy upfield and trying to make a move on him?
“You kind of have to consider him just because they’re converging on you a little bit. I knew—I thought if King wasn’t there or came a little bit later, I would have shedded that other guy, but in the process of shedding him I had to lower and they kind of did a good little gang tackle there.”
To step back for a second, as you release and you’re getting into the drag, that’s when you know the middle linebacker is going to cover you? Postsnap?
“Yeah. The way their defense plays, someone’s going to have to carry a crossing route there. With him eyeing Wilton, he would feel me running across and I knew I could just reduce my route a little bit so he wouldn’t have an angle to intercept it and then Wilton just kind of put it on the money and I turned it up from there.”
Since this is an interview about one play, what’s the single most memorable play for you in your career here?
“Oh, shoot…let’s hope it hasn’t happened yet.”
Jaylen Kelly-Powell gets coached up by Mike Zordich at SMSB 2016. [Bill Rapai]
Four-star Cass Tech safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell committed to Michigan this morning live on Sam Webb's WTKA radio show, fulfilling a long-awaited expectation that he'd join the 2017 class—an expectation that may have gone back to birth, as Kelly-Powell was named after Jalen Rose.
Kelly-Powell is the 19th commit in the class and the second at safety, joining three-star AL S J'Marick Woods. His commitment could help Michigan reel in his cousin, four-star Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas, and his five-star Cass Tech teammate, Donovan Peoples-Jones; Michigan is already considered the favorite for both prospects.
4*, #23 S,
|3*, #31 S||
4*, 81, #18 S,
4*, 93, #17 S,
4*, #21 S,
Kelly-Powell is regarded as a four-star prospect by every outlet save Rivals, which has him two spots outside of four-star status in their safety position rankings. Rivals is balanced out by 247, which is the most bullish on JKP, and his composite ranking ends up right in the area of his Scout and ESPN rankings.
There's a strong consensus on Kelly-Powell's measurables: he's listed at 6'0" and either 175 or 180 pounds by all four sites. While JKP has mostly played safety at Cass Tech, he's also moonlighted at corner, and he's got enough cover skills that he could be either a safety or nickel at the collegiate level. In Don Brown's system, he should wind up at safety, where he'll be utilized much like a fellow Technician: Delano Hill, another safety who the coaches are comfortable putting head-up on a receiver at the line of scrimmage.
As you'd imagine for a highly regarded Cass Tech prospect, there's quite a bit of scouting on JKP, including plenty from this here site.
The earliest scouting report I've got open is from MGoAlum Tim Sullivan, who watched JKP participate in Ohio State's Friday Night Lights camp in July of 2015:
Kelly-Powell looks very impressive physically, boasting a build that looks chiseled with no fat. He doesn't have great size overall though, coming in under 6-0 and 190 pounds, looking more like a cornerback with up close observation than a safety. However, he showed that his skill set is well-suited to safety, with an understanding of large-concept defensive ideas. He doesn't quite have the hips to play corner (other than in a pinch), and will continue building up to be the bigtime safety that he has the potential to become.
That fall, I watched Cass Tech take on Southfield, and in a game featuring a number of high-level prospects, JKP stood out:
Kelly-Powell has good size and athleticism and he plays with the type of controlled aggression you want from a strong safety. That aggression got the better of him on an early missed tackle when he overran an outside run play; otherwise, he tended to end up around the football, and the play tended to end when he got there. He had one especially impressive trackdown from the opposite hash of a ballcarrier going down the far sideline, laying a lick that knocked the ball free when he got there—unfortunately the ball flew out of bounds. When he tackles he does a good job wrapping up and he reads plays well.
Kelly-Powell was generally solid in coverage, even holding up well in man coverage against slot receivers. He got victimized on a corner route when he got caught peeking into the backfield instead of playing the receiver. Otherwise he displayed quick feet and good hips for a safety.
In the summer, Kelly-Powell went all-out to get to The Opening. When he didn't get an invite despite making Scout's top ten defensive performers at the Columbus regional, he took part in the Chicago regional the following week and punched his ticket to the finals:
Detroit Cass Tech four-star safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell came to Chicago with a mission: to be invited to The Opening Finals after not being invited in Columbus. Mission accomplished as he was once again a physical presence in coverage and challenged himself against the best receivers at the camp. While he did not win every single rep, he won a lot of them and proved himself worthy of the challenge.
JKP made it clear he deserved his spot with his performance at the finals. His one-on-one coverage stood out to 247's Tom Loy:
The Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech four-star safety was one of the top performers when it came to one-on-one drills. In a three-play stretch, Kelly-Powell had two pass breakups and an interception. He had a strong week in Beaverton.
Kelly-Powell, the No. 27 safety in the nation and top safety in the Midwest, demonstrated an ability to drive on the ball and he tracked the ball well.
In addition, Kelly-Powell has the length to match up with bigger receivers down the field, and he plays physical in the secondary. He reads plays well in front of him.
Although I didn't see JKP take as many reps of as I'd hoped, his play at Sound Mind Sound Body was a cut above the other safeties in attendance:
In the early drill session, Mike Zordich pulled JKP and a couple other safeties aside for a separate drill that had them start off the line, go into a backpedal, and then close on the ball. That was the spot in which JKP stood out the most to me; despite being the biggest of the three prospects, he had the quickest feet and most impressive closing speed.
Kelly-Powell isn't as smooth an athlete as [Ambry] Thomas, and on the first rep I saw of him in one-on-ones he allowed a catch after getting a solid jam at the top of the route because he stopped moving his feet. He's fast and physical but doesn't look totally comfortable in man coverage; from what I've seen of him, he's better suited to full-pad settings—as a safety, he's not usually alone on an island like he is in camp one-on-ones. With some refinement in technique, however, he could become a solid cover safety, and he's already excellent playing the run.
TMI's Brice Marich got an illuminating quote from Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher after CT's victory over Oak Park at this fall's Prep Kickoff Classic:
The Technicians headman turned to his senior safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell for that defensive adjustment, moving him over to cornerback.
Said Wilcher, "that's something we've got to do... we've got to try to figure out how to get the best guys in the best positions so we can get control of the game,” said Wilcher.
It’s a switch he’s not afraid to make because of Kelly-Powell’s unique versatility.
"He moves around. He is the only one that knows the defense well enough to move around. He is like a person that goes from spot to spot to spot. He's just got to do that.”
Oak Park QB Dwan Mathis had two early touchdown strikes before JKP shifted to corner; he didn't have another after the switch.
Adam scouted the marquee Cass-King matchup in this season's PSL title game, which CT won 27-25 as JKP took on multiple roles in the defense:
His awareness extended beyond recognizing plays as they developed (which he did really well) as he seemed to be the one responsible for making checks and getting his teammates lined up on every play.
Cass likes to line Kelly-Powell all over the place. They’ll have him walk down into the box and play near the level of the linebackers in run support, play man over the top as a safety, and play press man in the slot or on the outside. He can cover almost anyone; in Cass’s first meeting with King this year, Kelly-Powell won most of the times he was covering [Ambry] Thomas (more on that in a Future Blue Derivatives post sometime down the road). That wasn’t the case in this game. Kelly-Powell flips his hips quickly and can stick with Thomas for a bit, but once Thomas gets downfield he’s usually able to gain a step or two of separation. That’s what happened at 00:49, and a closer matchup can be seen at 1:23. It didn’t make the highlight reel for the sake of avoiding repetition, but that same jam-turn-trail happened over and over again that night.
At 1:27 Kelly-Powell moves laterally for a split second before he realizes that Thomas didn’t get the ball, at which time he reverses course, loops around King’s blockers, breaks down, and misses in the open field. At 1:36 he’s still directing traffic when the ball is snapped, but he reads the handoff, bounces a gap over, and sticks the ballcarrier. When I’ve watched him play, I’ve seen much more of the latter. Kelly-Powell is agile enough to weave through traffic and fast enough to get from sideline to sideline in a hurry, and he also takes good angles to the ball. He’s generally an excellent run defender, and I don’t recall seeing any open-field struggles in the earlier Cass-King game. It’s a concern as a safety, but the (extremely) small sample size caveat definitely applies here.
Speaking of agility, Kelly-Powell’s was on full display on offense. He sticks a foot in the dirt and explodes past defenders at 1:43 and 1:52. He had his best game as a running back against King, but his collegiate future is likely at safety, where he has all the tools needed to succeed as one in a Don Brown defense.
Thomas is nearly as good a wideout as he is a cornerback; that JKP could stay competitive with him in man coverage is an excellent sign for a safety, even if he lost some of those battles. His command of the defense, meanwhile, is a consistent theme across several scouting reports. ESPN's underclassman eval called him a "savvy defender," and while their senior-year eval says he's a little undersized, they mention that he plays bigger than his listing, and they have high praise for his run support:
Not consistently smooth with footwork but transitions quickly in and out of pedal. Shows good burst coming forward jumping routes. Sharp in his redirection skills mirroring receivers tightly out of breaks. Quick to recovery and make up ground when ball is in the air.
Aggressive box player who will set the edge. Plays with some pop and edge to him. Lacks size behind him but will stick his nose in the mix and work leverage maintain force. Runs the alley with proper angles when aligned at safety. Understands fits and retaining leverage on ball. Tackles high with some pop but slides off some tackles as well.
Kelly-Powell has some playmaker qualities to his game. He plays fast, competes hard and has great recovery quickness. Lacks some size and and at this time may project best as a Nickel corner with safety still being the position with the highest ceiling with continued physical development
Finally, Scout joins the chorus of those praising JKP's football IQ in their free evaluation:
EvaluationNot considered 'big' for safety, but not small either as he's at right about the average for height and is well put together as far as his build. Can play man to man and has been out on an island at cornerback before. Changes directions well and has good coverage technique. Aggressive both at the line of scrimmage jamming and when in run support. Solid wrap-up tackler more than he is a striker. Very smart and disciplined and gets himself in the right places. Would like to see him make more plays on the football as far as turnovers, but he is a good, smart, productive football player.Strengths
- Change of Direction
- Coverage Awareness
- Jamming AbilityAreas to Improve
- Ball Skills
Kelly-Powell doesn't have prototype size and he's not quite fluid enough to be a full-time corner, but he makes up for that with his intelligence, instincts, and physicality. I expect him to become a very good safety, even if his size prevents him from being considered a big-time NFL prospect. He possesses the well-rounded skill-set and football IQ required to succeed as a safety playing multiple roles in Don Brown's complicated defense.
Kelly-Powell has an impressive offer sheet that includes the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Cal, Colorado, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, UCLA, and Wisconsin, among many others.
I don't need to tell you about Cass Tech, Michigan's most important in-state pipeline program.
I couldn't find complete stats for JKP; MaxPreps only has bits and pieces from his sophomore year.
FAKE 40 TIME
Kelly-Powell has a SPARQ-verified 4.66 40-yard dash, which gets zero FAKEs out of five.
Regular season highlights from this season:
Clips from The Opening:
Junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Kelly-Powell should get an opportunity for immediate playing time with Delano Hill and Dymonte Thomas both graduating after this season. Tyree Kinnel looks to have one safety spot locked down; Josh Metellus has the inside track at the other, but there will be snaps to go around between him, Khaleke Hudson, and the incoming freshmen. JKP is likely to find his way into the rotation, either as a slot corner or backup safety, and he should be an integral part of the secondary by his junior year.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Kelly-Powell fills a big need at safety, and Michigan may be done recruiting that spot—while they have other offers out to safety prospects, none stand out as likely to join the class, and Michigan can also take an extra corner and move somebody back. (Darnay Holmes, for instance, is a corner who's also a promising free safety prospect.)
Michigan now has 19 commits in a 2017 class that should reach the low 30s. Biggest needs going forward include wide receiver, a few more offensive linemen, defensive tackle, and linebacker.
News bullets and other items:
Harbaugh saved timeouts because he planned to use them after second and third down and get the ball back with about 35 second to play; Iowa converted the third down.
There were 10 guys on to block the field goal because they started with 12 guys and there was a miscommunication in the huddle about who was supposed to come off the field.
Any more on Wilton Speight?
“We’re gonna know more--It’s gonna depend just on how he feels.”
And can you talk about Jeremy Clark? Has he had the surgery, and have you guys started the petition at all with him for the sixth year?
“Yeah, he’s doing good. Surgery was successful and it’s a process. Where he is in the process is gathering the information, making a case. Soon.”
With Wilton, when do you think you’ll have to know to make a decision on him and is it a game-time decision at this point?
“Could be. As I said, when we’ll know is based on what the doctors say and how Wilton’s feeling, what he’s able to do during the week in terms of practice, etc.”
And it’s his shoulder?
“As I said, we’ll make that determination with the doctors and with Wilton.”
Do you at least know if there’s anything structural or is it just a soreness thing? Have you been able to determine that yet on Wilton?
“Um…as always, per our principle we don’t like to speak specifics.”
If need be, John O’Korn, have you seen enough of him in practice to be confident in him?
“Yes, yeah. Yes. John, Shane [Morris]. I especially would anticipate today, the next couple days at least, that they’ll get the majority of the reps. It’ll be good practice for them, but they’ve both had extensive practice time through the course of the year and yes, we are confident they will do a good job.”
[After THE JUMP: running-into-the-kicker calls, the program’s momentum when Harbaugh arrived, and praise for Indiana’s defense is definitely a thing now]
Corey Sanders [Jason Towlen – AP]
NOTE: Rutgers defeated D-II Molloy College in their season-opener on Friday, 86-57. On Sunday, they faced their first D-I opponent and won easily against Drexel, 87-66. Six Knights scored in double figures.
Last year, Rutgers was more or less a running gag for Big Ten basketball – the Scarlet Knights went 7-25 on the season, started conference play with an 0-17 record (before beating a Minnesota team that was also terrible and decimated by suspension in the season finale), and finished 279th nationally in Kenpom’s algorithm, easily the worst of any Big Ten team in his website’s database, which starts in 2002. Eddie Jordan, an alum who’d spent time coaching in the NBA, was fired after the season.
[Preview after the JUMP]
ED(Seth) NOTE: Since it appears we are going to have a John O’Korn era after all, we decided to make Ian Boyd’s article from last summer available to everyone. The following was published in Hail to the Victors 2016. You can download the original PDF to whatever device from this link.
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The Cowboy’s Next Rodeo
by Ian Boyd
Coaches and teams in college football live and die by what happens at the quarterback position. You can trace the rise and fall of various programs and coaches across the country by how they handled the position and whether they got good, great, or poor play.
Despite being famous for making the under-center power running game cool again, Jim Harbaugh really reached his current level of notoriety by grooming Andrew Luck into a Heisman/no. 1 pick and getting the most from guys like Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick at San Francisco. As soon as he came to Ann Arbor, Harbaugh secured the services of grad transfer Jake Rudock from Iowa and regular transfer John O’Korn from Houston, stole high school senior Zach Gentry from Texas, and went to work on 2017 and 2018 QB recruits. Coach Jim knows he can’t allow his rebuild to be done in by a lack of options at the most important position.
Rudock was a one-and-done for the Wolverines while O’Korn has a chance to be an additional bridge to the future as Harbaugh develops younger players like efficient sniper Alex Malzone, MGoBlog fave-rave Brandon Peters, and top 2018 pro-style prospect Dylan McCaffrey. As it happens—provided he can wrest the job from 2015 backup Wilton Speight—O’Korn could be filling the gap in a year when Michigan is positioned to win the Big 10 and reach the playoffs.
[After THE JUMP: some Harbaugh plays that O’Korn should excel at]