Previously: Attackers, Midfielders.


The top end here is slightly wobbly with Brooks's injuries and Miazga's club situation but there are a lot of bullets in the chamber here and thing should be more or less fine.

John Brooks (29), Wolfsburg. Injury-prone but still a first choice starter at a large-ish Bundesliga club and worthy of a big transfer fee. Brooks missed a large majority of last season with a knee injury; even when on the field he is in the mode of a promising defender in almost any sport where he looks spectacular for a while and then turns into a puddle of recriminations. To wit: a rusty Brooks's first appearance post-injury ended just 29 minutes in after one of those games where you're already on a yellow and the ref makes the "no more!" hand signal at you.

Brooks is big and fast and usually good and will hopefully spend the next few years healthy so he can refine the rough spots out of his game.

Matt Miazga (26), Chelsea. Technically still on Chelsea's books but Chelsea does the "I'm playing Football Manager" thing where you buy half the young talent in the world and loan it out annually. Despite his status as a mainstay for a middling club in the Dutch top flight he's unlikely to break through in London just yet, if ever. He's not amongst the 25 players heading to Australia for a friendly. Chelsea's weird coaching limbo doesn't help.

Hopefully he gets a loan to that gets him into one of the top four leagues in Europe. He seems to have earned it, and his time in the Dutch league has made him sort of Dutch:

If the US is going to be a possession team ever they need that ability on their back line.

This year's goal is to get a loan with an option to buy to a team in a good league and GTFO of Chelsea. He's already done enough with Vitesse to be a default starter with the USMNT.

[After THE JUMP: palpbable-ish outside backs]

TUEBOR is Latin for "Pothole!" because you can't sue us if we warn you

The best players in Michigan play for Michigan, but who were the best players from Michigan to play for Michigan?


This week: We're looking to build the best possible team out of guys who grew up and played their high school ball in Michigan. Since we've covered a lot of these guys' Michigan careers already, I figured this could instead be a celebration of the programs they came from, and Michigan high school football in general. Special thanks to, a highly valuable resource.

Rules: Only players recruited since 1990-on. Reasons are 1) Until the late '80s Michigan was a very regional recruiter. Quick chart of Michigan rosters (via Bentley) by state of origin, walk-ons included:


Moeller was the first coach since helmets were a thing to field a team that wasn't made up mostly of Michiganders and Ohioans. Reason 2) My database goes back to 1990. Reason 3: I was 10 that year, and kid memories aren't of much use. This gives us a pool of 171 players to choose from whose careers most of us are somewhat familiar with.


Quarterback: Devin Gardner, Inkster

via AA News

Right off the bat this is a tough one, and a decision I'm personally going to get flak for because the other good candidate reads this blog. Drew, at your best you were the better player, and I promise to buy you a beer next time you're in Ann Arbor. However I'm sticking by the guy who should never have to buy a beer in the State of Michigan again. Also: 33 starts to your eight.

In high school Gardner played for UofD as a sophomore but was forced to sit out for off-field issues for five games. He transferred to Inkster, following coach Greg Carter from recently closed Saint Martin de Porres, and exploded, leading them to two straight state finals. While Devin was at Michigan Inkster was also closed, its students dispersed to four other school districts.

Backup: Drew Henson, Brighton
The rest of the field: Shane Morris, Steven Threet, Nick Sheridan, Alex Malzone, Craig Randall

[After THE JUMP: The greatest player in Michigan high school history]

four horsemen by mark wilkinson

The horses will ride once more



Brian: We only have seven weeks until the season so it's got to be wall to wall.

Ace: Let the torches light the way. Try to avoid the pitchforks.

Seth: So, uh, maybe we just do an All Big Ten thing this year? I know the people won't like it.


BiSB: Like, we jointly draft together? The hell good would that do?

Seth: Brian would finally win?

BiSB: /waves tiny "Venric Mark" flag

Brian: Kemoko Turay is out of the league so what's the point of even Draftageddoning

Ace: It’s 2018, most things are terrible, let’s do this like normal people, I guess.


The one. [Patrick Barron]

Seth: Duh.

Ace: So, uh, yeah, it’s Trace McSorley.

Brian: Is it though?

Seth: He is. Penn State.

BiSB: Yes.

Brian: Okay but what happens with Moorhead gone and Barkley gone and surely at some point he's not going to hit 95% of balls downfield?

Ace: We said that when Godwin left.

Brian: It could happen this time!

Ace: Some of us more than others sorry I took him in ’geddon last year. He’s a slightly poor man’s version of Baker Mayfield and that’ll do in this conference.

Brian: Fine.

Seth: There's always a momentum that carries over. McSorley can still run the same RPO offense this year that negates his bad pass protection and keeps things open.

Ace: I mean, who’s next? Are we unbroken enough to fully jump on the Shea train?

[After THE JUMP: Lewerke for Heisman, Higdon vs Weber]

Another reason you should like Weston McKennie is that he has Devin Bush face. 

Warde Manuel seals up John Beilein.

Which non-aquatic mammal will fill the spot that was being held for DJ Carton? That and much more in this mailbag.

Josh Sargent is my beautiful perfect son and I will fight you if you say otherwise.