My pick is Mike Cox.
The one player you hope has a break out year.
A graduation requirement for 7th year seniors at MSU?
Obi Ezeh. I hope he pulls a Stevie Brown and it all just clicks for him this year.
I say both Ezeh and Mouton. Hopefully direct coaching under GERG will have the same effect as it did for SB.
I think bell and hawthorn will have a good year
I think Hawthorne could be perfect for one of those Spur positions. Fast enough to cover the flat, but likes to come up and hit too.
I would love to see Ezeh turn into another Stevie Brown. And I'll definitely be watching for Van Bergen to crush some people, too.
Ezeh doesn't need to break out, he's out! Top 5 junior LB prospect after last season, and we all know Kiper is always right
Like when he said Mike Williams was the #1 overall player in the draft.
He also said that Carson Butler was a good blocker.
with his fist, on your face, on St. Patrick's Day.
why only one player, I hope everyone has a break out year
somewhere on the field.
But a 3rd for Ezeh. Hopefully he matures with the consistency and blows up. Also, Roh and RVB. I don't see them as 'leaders' like I hope Ezeh and woolfolk have become, but I hope they pull that role next year.
Cam Gordon just blowing up would be great. Him plus DG being big players for the next 3-4 years would take the Ink-town pipeline to "lock down" status. Inkster (which is basically Coach Carter going into Detroit and getting kids to enroll there) plus Cass Tech would put us in a great spot to get the best kids out of Detroit every year. Minus of course the few stars who come through Renisuck.
I would love it if Gordon and Gardner have great Michigan careers, but Inkster hasn't produced a ton of high-quality talent. They have a few kids who are worthy of MAC-level offers, and despite a lot of hype, Dwight Trammer might not be an elite recruit.
I would put Cass Tech and Renaissance well above Inkster in the talent-producing hierarchy.
At this point Cass Tech and Renaissance (Southeastern too) are above Inkster in terms of talent. I just think that Carter will build Inkster up and begin sending more kids to high level DI schools.
The whole defense.
We need a deep threat. So whether thats Junior staying healthy and gaining consistency or Stonum finally learning body control and being able to adjust that would help out tremendously. Defense got to be an LB. I'm pulling for Obi (for the 3rd straight year) since he seems like a great kid and a hard worker.
But Tate. Frankly, we cut down on INTs and Turnovers LAST year, how many more games do we win? Big ones even. He makes a big leap from a good freshman, to his sophomore year, and our offense could be pretty damn good. (O-Line should be better, Receivers are solid, and we'll find someone to run the ball, even if they're not a future great). And it'd cover up a lot of problems of defense by keeping them off the field and, duh, scoring a lot of points. Because I don't think one guy is going to save the defense.
Yeah, I've gotta say Forcier as well...if our QB can have a breakout season, then almost by default our offense is exploding.
Having Tate have a better year, means the player that directs the offense has a better year, which == more points, hopefully more game clock used up as well, which supports the defense too. QB improvement will be key. howeva if I went on to the defensive side, it seems that our LB's and thier ability to make the correct read would go a long way to stopping the TE from getting 549yds per game against us.
This team won't win any games if the defense can't defend against the pass. How about Turner, Floyd, Emilien, Gordon, doesn't matter really who.
I already get the feeling that the LB play will be much improved over last year. Hopefully Tate also makes a good jump this year, and cuts down on turnovers. Truly, I'm hoping for improvement from everyone.
Just really need one of the youngsters to step up in a really big way
...because our defense needs a solid run stopper in the middle.
But I'm also rooting for Mike Cox. He came here and nobody gave him a chance. Then he destroyed all comers whenever he got on the field last year, although it was only against EMU and DSU.
The kid is a Brandon Minor clone. WOTS is that he still misses some assignments, but this kid can play. Cox and Toussaint are both going to be good running backs for the next few years, IMO.
Every report from spring practice has our running backs being Cox and Shaw. Shaw has been extremely impressive this spring, from all the reports coming out of the practices. I'm not quite sure why everyone keeps writing him off like they used to do with Cox. Everyone keeps talking about Toussaint like he's going to be our go-to-guy, but from what he's been showing this spring that's not very likely. And when Vincent Smith gets back in the fall, there's a good chance that Toussaint will be put back into the fourth position. I'm not saying that Toussaint won't be a good running back, I've heard impressive things about him too, but it's most likely not happening this year. And don't take this as a bad sign either. This is great news, IMO, as it means that things are happening as they should. Shaw and Cox are both progressing the way they should as upperclassmen (although Cox is just a sophomore, technically). I expect great things out of Shaw this year. He's got all the athletic tools to be great and now we're finally hearing he's putting the whole package together.
When I said "over the next few years," I literally meant "few" as in "more than two." I have nothing against Shaw. I think he's going to be good. But Cox has three years left, and Toussaint has four. Shaw only has two years.
Anyway, I know everyone's all hyped up about Vincent Smith, but I just don't think he has the physical gifts to be a force in the Big Ten. I think he'll get passed up by a couple other backs. He seems to be a quick learner and a willing pass blocker, but part of the reason he played so much in 2009 was because he was the only back who was able to stay healthy (until the OSU game, anyway) other than Cox. Minor, Brown, Shaw, and Toussaint all had significant injuries last year. Smith has a little speed and a few moves, but I don't think he really has any physical superiority over our other backs.
I agree with what you've said above. I think what excites people (or me?) about V. Smith is that not only is he shifty and quick, but he's also deceivingly physical. That being said though, I think he'll be more effective in open space or catching the ball.
I do totally agree with you that the other backs on our team have more of the physical gifts that we need at running back in the Big Ten. But football is not all about physicality. The reason I love football so much is that on top of the physicality involved, it's like a game of chess. What I like about Smith is his ability to read defenses and find holes and running lanes. He doesn't have the size or top-end speed that would make his game complete, but his shiftiness and overall agility combined with his vision and ability to know where to run with the ball make him very dangerous. I don't think you're going to see him break away for the home run very often but he's going to be a reliable back during his career. He's going to be the type of player that can consistently pick up 4-10 yards. I just wouldn't put him in there to pass block very often.
It almost sounds like you're describing Mike Hart.
Wouldn't that be great if it turned out to be the case... The only difference being 45 lbs.
Vincent Smith can definitely be physical in the same way that Tay Odoms can be physical. He packs a huge punch into a small frame. I agree he won't Minor Rage very often or drag a pile two extra yards, but he still has the ability to put a linebacker on his back.
No offense to anyone involved, but saying Vincent Smith can be as physical as Martavious Odoms doesn't instill me with confidence. Both are willing blockers, and yes, I remember Odoms' blocking. But Odoms has broken very few tackles, and Smith only weighs about 170-175 lbs. Saying he can "put a linebacker on his back" is probably a little generous; I will be somewhat surprised if he does so at any point in his career. It's just not really his style.
I don't necessarily disagree, but in this offense at a place like Michigan, I feel like we should have an All Big Ten/All American/Heisman candidate at running back every year, and I can't picture Smith being All Big Ten. I think he's a solid backup, but maybe not much more.
I do agree that he's pretty good in space. If we can use him occasionally in the slot or motioning out of the backfield, I'm all for getting him the ball in situations like that. I'd just rather not see him get 20 carries a game or something like that.
ezeh would have the biggest impact. either safety position "breaking out" to mediocre would be fine too.
Having him meet or exceed his recruiting hype by this year means he would be DOMINATING. A killer pass-rush line or a run-stuff line really helps out our young secondary, and doesn't put the linebackers in position to make as many mistakes as in the recent past.
I know he's not a player........He's a Playa !!
The one guy I'm rooting for to have a big year, because honestly I just like him, is Mike Cox. I feel like this kid could be a stud, and it seems like he's overlooked alot around here. I see people hoping Hopkins can step in and take over for Minor. I honestly hope Cox gets a ton of reps and we can possibly redshirt the big guy. Get a couple years seperation for some of these backs we have. Even if it was only against the baby seals of the world, I love the way Cox runs, and I hope we see alot more of him this year.
A guy I "hope" breaks out is Mouton. This guy is actually a pretty solid/good player. The problem is his play list goes:
Good play, average play, average play, good play, OH MY GOD WHAT THE **** TERRIBLE play
Great play, good play, great play, OH MY GOD WHAT THE **** TERRIBLE play.
I he could just cut out a few of the OH MY GOD WHAT THE **** TERRIBLE plays, he could actually be a very good LB, and that would help our overall defense tremendously.
Greg Banks. I had a class with him in my last semester and he was really humble - just a nice guy - I really hope he plays well.
Ricardo Miller: hopefully his game matches his passion for the maize & blue.
D. Dorsey because we need that swag back.
Honorable Mention: Dorsey
I hope that they all have break out years and put Michigan football back where it belongs, on top of the Big 10. Go Blue.
whoever is tasked with holding onto the football the most.
Be it Tate, Denard, a RB or WR. The turnovers will be the difference between 5-6 wins or 7-8 wins I believe.
I would say Jordan Kovacs, but he's already a freshman All-American, and everything else we get from him the next three years is gravy, IMHE.
But I'll say Mike Williams.
Or Obi Ezeh.
Or Will Campbell.
Or Vlad Emilien.
I tend to root intensely for the players that Internet "experts" like to call hopeless, or busts, or not good enough. After all, no matter what we may think, they are just college kids playing for the school we all love to root for.
Gun to my head I'm picking Obi, but I could also go with Roh to help ease the pain of BG departing, or anyone in the secondary.
We need to return to the Michigan tradition of physically dominant, NFL-potential offensive linemen.
Uh, Jake Long in 2007 isn't too far off.
And, I would submit that Steve Schilling, David Molk, and Patrick Omameh are going to get a chance, on their current trajectory, to play in the NFL. So really, if you take into account the youth, defections and injuries that occurred in 2008 (Zirbel, Boren, Mitchell, for three), that tradition has gone nowhere.
More than anything, I want to see Roy continue the hot streak that started at the end of last season. Our offense desperately needs a go-to receiver, regardless of who plays QB. If he fades back into the pack and yet again, we're without a go-to guy in the passing game, we may be struggling to get to .500.
Outside of Roundtree, I think Stonum needs to really pick it up a notch and become a legitimate deepthreat. I think a successful season for stonum would be 25-30 catches for around 500 yards and 5+ TD catches. If Roundtree's the real deal, I'm looking for 50+ catches, 700+ yards to lead the team.
The slot position accounted for 64 catches, about 800 yards, and 5 TDs last year. I would expect that output to improve in 2010. Between Odoms, Gallon, T-Rob, Grady and Tree (unless he's out wide), that should be obtainable.
The mods at Rivals say Roundtree is playing almost exclusively at wide receiver, not slot. That might be due to the Hemingway injury, of course, so take it for what it's worth.
Roundtree talked a little last year about maybe moving to WR in the off-season, so don't be surprised if it's permanent.
I think Roundtree had his last year.
I hope Vincent Smith or another running back breaks out. It would be nice to have a go-to back and a 1,0000 yard rusher again.
So good that he redefines the use of commas in western counting systems.
the rare ten thousand yard a season rusher
Mike Cox plugs the hole.
shoots (into) the gap
Though really, he was supposed to pull back and change directions just before shooting into the gap
...can keep it up and not come up short.
Defense improves run stoppage and big play breakdowns.
Offense improves on not turning the ball over.
I think the few posts about Focier could also be because a lot of us are expecting big things from Denard at QB this year (in addition to Forcier).
B/c there are more important holes on the team than QB. QB is one of the least areas of worry going into this year. Mind you, I'm not saying that QB is a strong position. Everyone there is young and Tate has a lot of improving to do, especially with his reads, but positions in the secondary and our LB core will determine how this team does this year. Scoring points wasn't a problem last year. Keeping the other team from scoring was. If our defense plays well this year, then we will do well.
I hope the whole team plays far better, Roundtree starts the year at Receiver and continues his big games. Also just stop the T/O's my god. Anyway i really want Stephen Hopkins to be our go to short yardage back hopefully, seems like he could be good for almost 3-5 yards every time he touches the football with his huge frame.
I think of him as a bigger A-Train. I was watching the 97 UM vs OSU game yesterday and A-Train was plowing over OSU guys as a freshman. I hope hopkins can show some of the same.
Turner or Floyd. CB might be the position with the least experience so if one of them can step up it will help out the defense tremendously.
Not if Woolfolk stays at CB. And it sounds like Turner is playing well, and even if he doesn't cut it, I'm confident one of Dorsey, Christian, or Avery will come in and impress.
Because I'd prefer his 6 months turns into 3-5 years.
Out of curiosity... why would you pick a running back? I think that's a position that most people feel fairly confident about. I understand that it would be nice to find a replacement for Minor, but I would rather fix the question marks in the secondary.
Koger needs to have a breakout year. He's had glimpses of being amazing (catch against WMU), but has yet to put it all together.
I think he'll have a great/breakout year, and end the year as one of the Big Ten's best defensive players. The new defense should help his numbers rise. I like that.
On offense, I'm going with Tate Forcier, because as already stated, if he does, it means everything is clicking well...
I will most def go with Denard. I predict a triple double from Denard this year. At least 10 TD's in three categories. Running, throwing and receiving. Book it.
EDIT. prob get at least one on returns as well and maybe even a pick six.
That would be awesome and also Heisman worthy.
It's time for Ezeh to play like he did in 2007, or let one of the younger guys take his place permanently.
In addition, we need one of the JT's to play solid opposite Woolfolk, assuming he stays at corner.
Ezeh for sure. Having a bad pass defense is one thing. Having both a bad pass and a bad run defense is another thing completely.
Rich Rod himself
Ezeh first came to my mind, too, then the whole D as well.
But if I really had to pick just one player, I'd say Molk, because a breakout year would mean he's healthy.