MGoPodcast 9.18: Completely Serious About All of It

MGoPodcast 9.18: Completely Serious About All of It Comment Count

Seth February 20th, 2018 at 9:45 AM

1 hour and 23 minutes

2018-02-20 mgopodcast 9.18

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, which now is the time to book those rooms for football next year because those fill up.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan there would be VERY long hiatuses between podcasts.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure Lending, Peak Wealth Management, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad,Human Element, Lantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. The Hoops Podcast

starts at 1:00

Bracketology: Even the biggest skeptics are coming around on Michigan as a 6-7 seed: NCAA and their buckets make it annoying because a win at Michigan State is the same as a “Quadrant One” trip to Penn State. Encouraging to see head of the selection committee say strength of nonconference is garbage. Big Ten goes to 20 games next year so we’ll see fewer Houston Baptists.

Poole eating into Matthews’s minutes, which is a nice thing to see given CM’s turnovers. MAAR is up to 20% usage. Michigan can beat anybody when they’re getting a huge shot differential from their turnover avoidance. Posting up on Dunc doesn’t work anymore. Peak Wisconsin names—Happ took 23 twos in that game!

Big Ten future: Indiana should be back up, Maryland will solidify itself, Brad Underwood a good hire at Illinois. Annually convince ourselves that Iowa will be good, but they’re 250th on defense. Penn State preview: Watkins gets angry—go get him Mo! Unlikable players in the Big Ten?

2. The Ball of Crap so We Aren’t Talking Recruiting Segment

starts at 34:01

Curling! Signing Day: Michigan recruiting imploded and we don’t know why. Otis Reese is understandable because Georgia is paying ridiculous money. Losing Herron from the 2019 class hurts.

Jim McElwain: he’s a position coach who can’t recruit, don’t think he’s a competent dude or a good dude—denigrating players like Mark Mangino. Made up a death threat. Credit card fraud. Track record as a WRs coach but as a 10th assistant he’s a wasted opportunity more than anything. Nobody down South likes him so you’re not even getting some help in Florida recruiting. Like Sherrone Moore and Ed Warriner hires. Not great that Pep is still around if it’s only because he didn’t get an NFL offer.

3. Gimmicky Top Five: Top Five Things NCAA Would Cite Beilein For

starts at 52:51

The FBI is going to come down on a lot of programs and the people in Ann Arbor aren’t scared, but we’re going to try to figure out what they’d find if they put Michigan’s basketball program under the microscope. This is what Michigan State failed to do—we’re getting out in front!

4. Ace’s Hockey Podcast wsg David Nasternak

starts at 1:06:26

Sweep weekend over #1 Notre Dame gives them a shot at the playoffs, provided they take care of business down the stretch vs. Arizona State—tournament upsets can really hurt teams in the 13-15 at-large area. ND was a good matchup for us because Michigan's an offensive team that can control the puck.



  • “We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)”—Twin Peaks
  • “The Star Spangled Banner”—Francis Scott Key, as “performed” by Fergie
  • “Drunk and On a Star”—Kevin Morby
  • “Across 110th Street”


They do have a couple of immensely punchable faces.


WTKA Roundtable 2/8/2018: Disappointing Finishes

WTKA Roundtable 2/8/2018: Disappointing Finishes Comment Count

Seth February 9th, 2018 at 11:31 AM

WTKA cover 2018-02-09

Super Bowl things discussed:

  • Brady can’t play defense (or receiver).
  • Matt Patricia to Lions: Ziggy is probably 40.

Signing Day things discussed:

  • Brian: Needs to be better, don’t think it’s going to be better enough. Best recruit they got since the season started (so after Muhammad)? Something fell apart after the professional recruiting guys came in. Pep’s an NFL guy that doesn’t help. Drevno whiffs on every big-time OT he goes after. What does the recruiting operation inside look like? This and the OL seem like the same problem.
  • Ed: Not worried, play football.
  • Craig: Should get a four-star out of every two three-stars. Coaching staff leaning on evaluation. Doesn’t agree with a lot of four- and three-star evaluations. Shouldn’t have passed on Alaric Jackson, now gonna be an All-B1G guy for Iowa.
  • Sam: The bad season was a problem.
  • They couldn’t even get guys on campus in January—this looked like Rich Rod at the end of his career. That OL was completely terrible, probably used effectively against M’s recruiters.
  • Mistake to pick fights with Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State when they don’t have the season to back it.
  • Giving Partridge the recruiting coordinator job is not a mistake: overhaul of recruiting efforts expected.
  • Lost their all-star recruiting staff from 2016-’17: Bam Richards, Gwen Bush, Tony Tuioti, et al. New people need to get up to speed on cultivating relationships.
  • At one point does Drevno get put under the microscope? Sam: Brace yourself for no changes there. OT development will be on display this year—last year they didn’t have the guys to throw at it (Ulizio, JBB, Runyan << all the guys coming off redshirts and maybe getting Newsome back)
  • Off to a very good start in 2019.

Basketball things discussed:

  • Loss to Northwestern was a bad beat. Survived Minnesota, defense let them down in the second half, Michigan can’t get into their offense until late in the shot clock.
  • Can’t fix the free throws.
  • Matthews suffers because Michigan can’t get jumpshot spacing from the PG. Other guys can’t get their own shots.
  • Craig: This team can’t shoot. Is a believer in hypnosis.
  • Ira: Second-chance points against Minnesota disappeared vs Northwestern, and so did turnovers—need transition baskets to beat up on a good defensive team.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here. Tiny hamsters eating burritos are still here.


This looked like Rich Rod at the end of his career, this recruiting.


Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part 1: Offense

Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part 1: Offense Comment Count

Seth February 8th, 2018 at 12:04 PM


It’s tough to see what they’ll become [UM Bentley Library]

So yesterday came and went the way it went. The SEC cheats, Michigan’s a tougher sell right now for reasons, yada yada—those who choose to rend garments or yell at the folks wearing tatters have plenty of threads to do so in. Let’s talk about the guys Michigan got.

As it so happens I keep a database of Michigan recruits that goes back to the 1993 class, and that gives us a chance to put all the new guys in context. Shall we?


Shea Patterson is a transfer but let’s start with him for we can have nice things reasons. Also because he was one of the highest-rated quarterbacks out of high school to ever come here:


Shea in 2016 was the #1 Dual Threat or #1 QB to everybody, and between third and 15th overall. Quarterbacks ranked in the Top 5 overall tend to have some real talent—nobody doubts Mallett’s arm. A year of starting in the SEC should put Shea in good shape to challenge for the top job this season, provided the NCAA waives the transfer year. Yay for five-star quarterbacks!

Joe Milton comes in as a project, though one with significant upside. That kind of player usually creates a large amount of disagreement among the recruiting sites and it would appear that’s the case with Joe:


ESPN rated him the highest, which is a bit of a red flag since they tend to fire and forget. Scout had him one of their highest three-stars (before they merged with 247) and Rivals had him a solid 4-star. 247 was down relative to the others. The result is somewhere between Dylan McCaffrey (4.31 average star rating) and Alex Malzone, and closer to the latter. His late fall on 247 dropped him to 16th in the composite score. Some guys you’ve probably heard of who’ve fallen around that range in past years include Maryland’s Kasim Hill (2017), Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson, Wisconsin’s Bart Houston, ND’s Everett Golson, and Messiah deWeaver, Brian Lewerke, and Andrew Maxwell of MSU.

I also tried to find a Harbaugh comp and came up with 2009 Stanford recruit Josh Nunes. Like Milton, Nunes put up big high school stats with a low completion percentage. He wasn’t much of a runner. From my Hall of Harbaugh Quarterbacks piece from a few years ago:

Josh Nunes, the 9th pro-style QB and 139th overall player according to the 247 composite. Nunes was a prolific passer in high school (6,306 yards and 52 TDs in 34 starts) who on Harbaugh’s recommendation added running (3.1 YPA with sacks included) to his reads as a senior. Nunes was heir apparent to Andrew Luck but lost his job to Kevin Hogan while out with a foot injury in 2012, and lost his career to a freak pectoral injury in 2013.

Also the greatest QB of all time was rated around this spot in 1995, but that was 1995.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the offense]


This Week’s Obsession: The 2018 Recruiting Roundtable

This Week’s Obsession: The 2018 Recruiting Roundtable Comment Count

Seth February 7th, 2018 at 9:00 AM


[Eric Upchurch]

THIS ARTICLE HAS A SPONSOR: It’s Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management. That means things like retirement savings and life insurance. Yeah, you know, get that taken care of.

Anytime you’ve got a financial question, let Nick know. And when you’re ready to figure out how you’re going to plan your retirement and pay for your kids’ college when you just got done paying for your own, don’t wait to do something about that.

Legal disclosure in tiny font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.


Art by Aaron Bills


David: "If Reese commits today..." ??

Alex: Best recruit? Shea Patterson.

Seth: I guess he counts.

Ace: I really like IN LB Cam McGrone, who bounced back from a junior-year injury to put up a really impressive senior year. He’s a guided missile in the Devin Bush mold, and he’s got a little size on Bush. I could see him excelling at multiple linebacker spots.

David: I was super disappointed that he didn't play when we went down to see him play. I feel like I will mention McGrone later on in this list, as well.

Seth: He shot up the recruiting rankings between a little and "that's a five star" after the sites caught that tape.

Ace: Given track records with Midwest recruits, I’m glad it’s 247/Scout that loves him. It’s also worth noting that ESPN very much fired and forgot with McGrone. They don’t have a senior eval for him.

Seth: That brings me to another answer: the guy with a monster delta was Aidan Hutchinson, who went from RVB/Wormley range to breathing on the five-stars range.

David: Hutchinson is also intriguing. When @adam saw him, he played like 7 positions?

Ace: Nailed it:

By my count, Hutchinson lined up in seven different spots against East Lansing: NT (on a three-man line!), 3T, 5T, WR, TE, H-back, and long snapper. Yeah, he’s even their long snapper, and he’s good at that, too. Like his father, though, Hutchinson shines on defense.

Adam: Yeah, he was really impressive. he played just about everything and looked really athletic. they lined up at just about every receiver position. He was also their long snapper? That was one of my favorite scouting trips last season.

David: Because everyone else didn't play on our other trips?

Seth: ESPN still moved McGrone up their rankings. He went from an 80 (low 4-star) to an 82, 16th to 9th in OLB rankings, and went from out of the ESPN 300 to 206th overall.

Adam: Didn't see McGrone in person but from his film it certainly appears he's tailor-made for a Don Brown defense. A bunch of Very Professional Journalists went to see him before the Purdue game and were practically salivating in the press box the next day while relaying what they saw.

David: Missile-Blitzing linebackers under Don Brown's tutelage are definitely worth salivating over

Ace: I mean:

Downhill linebacker that closes ground and eats up grass really quickly. At the collision point, McGrone is a striker who knocks ball carriers backwards. He shows a great feel for angles as a tackler and is very effective and disrupting running lanes and sifting through trash. His ability to accelerate gives him a lot of upside as a blitzer from the second level. Can improve in man-to-man coverage but the athleticism is there and has a very good feel for zone drops as an inside linebacker. He can be an every down linebacker on the college level. - Barton Simmons


Brian: I'll put in a shout for Mustapha Muhammad, who's one of those guys who Rivals is relatively down on while everyone else is very in favor of. Since Wormley I am in favor of these gents. He, essentially alone in this class, is a big out of region get with a bunch of excellent offers. He's going to be the kind of seam-stretching tight end that Michigan's offense depends on heavily. And he's got a cool name.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundtable]


Hello: Michael Barrett

Hello: Michael Barrett Comment Count

Ace January 23rd, 2018 at 7:58 PM

Despite gaudy passing stats, this is a running back. [Valdosta Daily]

At somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-foot-even, 215-pounds, Valdosta (GA) Lowndes athlete Michael Barrett faced a choice: remain at quarterback in an option system, likely at in-state Georgia Tech, or give that up in favor of being more of an Ohio State-style H-back (think thicc Curtis Samuel):

Looking at the two pictures above, you'd probably want to see Barrett in more of a running back role for his future NFL prospects. Barrett apparently agreed, choosing the Wolverines over the Yellow Jackets this evening with a post on Twitter. He's the 21st commit in the 2018 class, the second to pledge in three days, and the third who should spend a large portion of his time at running back, joining Hassan Haskins and Christian Turner.

In semi-related news, Michael Barrett the football player rather difficult to google these days.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.6, NR ATH,
#72 GA
3*, 78, #50 ATH,
#63 GA
3*, 86, #70 ATH,
#84 GA, #811 Ovr
3*, #64 ATH,
#72 GA, #733 Ovr

I'm honestly not sure how to reconcile Barrett's very middling rankings with his decent offer sheet, solid tape, and remarkable high school production. I know Georgia is loaded with talent, but he looks like he deserves a higher placement than, at best, 63rd in the state.

All three sites list Barrett at 6'0" (except 247, which docks him a half-inch) and somewhere between 200 and 215 pounds. That is very much a running back build.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, some very impressive stats, and more.]


Hello: Vincent Gray

Hello: Vincent Gray Comment Count

Ace January 22nd, 2018 at 3:15 PM

On Sunday, Michigan added a commitment from three-star Rochester (MI) Adams defensive back Vincent Gray, a one-time Mizzou pledge who looked like he was headed to West Virginia before the home-state Wolverines came calling.

Gray's recruitment took off in December, when he added his Michigan offer and picked up interest from some big-time programs:

Gray seemed set to sign with West Virginia during the Early Signing Period, but that quickly changed when Michigan offered a scholarship just days before. Now he is waiting into January, where an official visit with the Wolverines is likely. He has stayed quiet on other plans, but word is other programs like Penn State, Stanford, and more have inquired.

He committed on that official visit, right around when offers from Oregon and UCLA came in. Gray is the 20th commit in the 2018 class and the fifth defensive back, joining a very lanky group of Myles Sims, Gemon and German Green, and Sammy Faustin.


Note: added state rankings. I probably should've done this a long time ago and the elimination of Scout added some room. It's listed after positional rank. Also added Rivals rating (FAQ here).

Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, 5.7, #56 CB,
#14 MI
3*, 76, #82 CB,
#25 MI
3*, 86, #68 CB,
#19 MI, #695 Ovr
3*, #60 CB,
#17 MI, #686 Ovr

Rivals is most bullish on Gray, giving him their highest three-star rating and placing him 17 position ranking spots away from four-star status. On the other end, ESPN presumably fired off a rating when they added his profile yesterday; raise your hand if you think Michigan just offered the 25th-best prospect in the state.

Gray certainly fits the mold of a Don Brown defensive back. He's listed at 6'2", 179-180 pounds at ESPN and 247; Rivals has a probably outdated figure of 6'1", 165. Like everyone else, Gray will get thrown into the pile of defensive back and the coaches will figure out where he best fits between cornerback and safety/nickel; my guess is he'll be the latter.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]


Hallo: Julius Welschof

Hallo: Julius Welschof Comment Count

Ace December 20th, 2017 at 2:27 PM

[Isaiah Hole/247]


When college football’s early signing period commences for the first time Wednesday morning, it will already be well past Julius Welschof’s scheduled lunch hour at the Krones manufacturing plant in Rosenheim, Germany. The 20-year-old has worked at the factory for more than a year, building machines that fill plastic bottles with water, but he hopes his boss will let him have some time off in the afternoon to celebrate perhaps the most important occasion of his life.

Bavarian defensive end Julius "Juice" Welschof is Michigan's latest 2018 commit, and now an early signee, only a few years after learning football from YouTube videos. Despite the rather sudden flip from his Georgia Tech commitment, Welschof has been on Michigan's radar for a while; he camped with the Wolverines over the summer as part of a two-week US tour, and he was even in Rome during the team's spring break trip, per 247's Steve Lorenz.

Welschof is Michigan's 19th commit in the 2018 class and the third in the last four days. He joins early signees Aiden Hutchinson and Taylor Upshaw (who's additionally a planned early enrollee) in the class at defensive end.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3* SDE 3*, 78, #64 DE 4*, 90, #12 SDE,
#323 Ovr
3*, #25 SDE,
#624 Ovr

The only chances to evaluate Welschof have been at team camps or off his German league highlights, so it's not surprising there's a wide spread in his rankings. Rivals handed out a cursory 5.5 rating and hasn't given him a position ranking. On the other end, 247 liked his potential enough to make him a bona-fide four-star.

Welschof is listed at 6'6", 250 on Rivals; ESPN docks him an inch, 247 two pounds. He's probably ticketed for strongside defensive end.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]


Early Signing Day Tracker

Early Signing Day Tracker Comment Count

Seth December 20th, 2017 at 11:34 AM

Today is Early Signing Day. Here’s a quick list of who’s expected to send in their LOIs to Michigan today, who has already, and who’s committed but not expected to sign today. We’ll keep it updated throughout the day.

Every commit but Otis Reese (who’s going to be a battle to the end) and Kevin Doyle (who’s solid but plans to sign with his HS teammates in February, via Baumgardner) are expected to sign today. Michigan’s official twitter is rolling the announcements out over time so don’t get squirmy if someone hasn’t sent one in yet.

LOI is in:

Can’t sign today but would have:

  • Ronnie Bell, WR, Missouri. Via Sam, because Bell signed an LOI for a basketball scholarship already this year he can’t sign another until 2018 so he went the financial aid agreement route.

Not expected to sign today but committed to Michigan:

  • Otis Reese, OLB, Georgia
  • Kevin Doyle, QB, District of Columbia


Hello: Ronnie Bell

Hello: Ronnie Bell Comment Count

Ace December 19th, 2017 at 2:44 PM

[Darryl Woods/810 Varsity]

Ronnie Bell's football recruitment lasted all of a week. Michigan first contacted the Kansas City (MO) Park Hill wide receiver last Thursday. At the time, Bell intended to play college basketball at Missouri State, and held no offers for football despite a productive senior year. Michigan changed that, Bell changed his Twitter bio to read "University of Michigan Commit," and suddenly he's ticketed for the gridiron:

"They were shocked that I didn’t have any football offers," Bell said of the U-M staff. "I’m sure they were shocked that I was committed somewhere to play basketball and not football. I’m not really sure how my name got on their desk or how they found me. God works in amazing ways and he found a way to put my name on their desk.

"I never though this would happen. There were nights I would pray and I would just hope that a football school would give me an opportunity but for Michigan to be the school that did it I could’ve never imagined that. You can’t make something like that up."

Kansas State sniffed around before Bell make his commitment, but it doesn't look like anyone else will get a chance to change his mind; Bell plans to sign his LOI tomorrow, the first day of the new early signing period.

He is the 18th commit in the 2018 class and currently the only wide receiver.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
2* WR NR WR 3*, 85, #160 WR,
#1078 Ovr
3*, #226 WR,
#1517 Ovr

Bell got a cursory two-star grade from Rivals after they created his profile yesterday; ESPN hasn't ranked him yet after doing the same. 247 is the only site to attempt to give Bell a real evaluation, but as Allen Trieu explained on The Victors Board, his ceiling is capped by the current lack of information beyond his senior film:

Bell is a tough eval because we have never seen him in person. We looked at his film, but hard to gauge competition and what he's built like on just a highlight tape. We have him a conversative mid-ish three-star to start. I think that's fair for a guy without a huge offer list, without testing numbers we can see, without having been evaluated at camps on in-game.

Michigan has done an in-person evaluation of Bell.

Bell is listed at 6'1", 170 by Rivals and 247; ESPN docks him an inch.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and more.]


Hello: Ben VanSumeren

Hello: Ben VanSumeren Comment Count

Ace December 18th, 2017 at 12:42 PM

Michigan's latest commitment is about as Harbaugh as it gets. Ben VanSumeren, from the town of Essexville, Michigan, is not your normal high school prospect to get the "athlete" distinction; he's a fullback/linebacker-type athlete instead of the usual quarterback/receiver or receiver/cornerback.

That said, don't sleep on his athleticism. As you can see above, VanSumeren posted an excellent SPARQ score at this spring's Opening Cleveland regional, which eventually led to offers one doesn't usually field in Essexville. Initially ticketed for Western Michigan before committing to Iowa as a linebacker, VanSumeren fielded a phone call from Jay Harbaugh last week, and after an official visit he flipped his commitment to his childhood favorites:

"It was tough," VanSumeren admitted. "I have lots of respect for Coach Ferentz and their whole football staff there. Michigan is the only school that, if they came calling, could have drawn me away from what I had at Iowa."

A multi-talented athlete who was committed to the Hawkeyes as a linebacker, VanSumeren says the plan at Michigan is to "use me at fullback position and use me as an H sometimes. They said I can be in the passing game and run game, catch balls, and get in space hopefully."

VanSumeren is the 11th-ranked player in the state according to the 247 Composite. He's the 17th commit in Michigan's 2018 class, which ranks 12th nationally.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3*, #37 ATH 3*, 78, #52 ATH 3*, 86, #54 ATH,
#656 Ovr
3*, #49 ATH,
#601 Ovr

Each of the three major services has VanSumeren as a three-star with a fair amount of ground to cover before reaching four-star status, not exactly a surprise for a FB/LB playing small-school competition. If 247 changed his position designation to fullback, he'd be the #1 player at the position in the composite rankings.

VanSumeren measured in at 6'3", 215 pounds in April at the Cleveland Opening regional. It's quite possible he's added some bulk since then: 247 lists him at 228 pounds, Rivals at 235. 247 lists VanSumeren as an early enrollee; given he'll have a chance to contribute right away, that's a good plan, and he should be properly fullback-sized by the fall—he could be pretty close already.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]