Spring Practice Presser 3-29-17: Greg Frey

Spring Practice Presser 3-29-17: Greg Frey

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 30th, 2017 at 10:38 AM

Athletics, Dave Ablauf

[via mgoblue.com]

“We starting with questions or…am I breaking into a speech here?”

MGoQuestion: You’re a few practices in now. Are you liking Mason Cole better at tackle or center?

“You really haven’t, uh…just playing hard, seeing who goes where as we go as an offense. As we get through the summer we’ll figure out—the first play of the Florida game, we’ll know who the starters are.”

So is the offensive line kind of a long-term project, long-term development then?

“What do you mean?”

When you say you want to take the summer to evaluate this.

“What’s beautiful about Coach Harbaugh is ever position is being challenged and every position is open and we’ll find out when we get to gametime who the guys are.”

How important is versatility on this offensive line?

“I think it’s important anytime you have players. When you’ve got guys that can do multiple things it helps. It helps alleviate stress. It helps when you can bring players along. You want guys to do a lot of things. As a player you want the versatility going forward when you’re trying to chase that NFL career.”

Have you met and talked to Grant Newsome yet? Obviously he’s got a road that he’s been on to try and get back.

“Yeah, I have met with Grant Newsome, and he’s a wonderful, great person. As far as him as a player, I don’t handle those questions.”

[Hit THE JUMP for an interesting bit about the schemes Frey has coached]

Spring Practice Presser 3-24-17: Tim Drevno

Spring Practice Presser 3-24-17: Tim Drevno

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 27th, 2017 at 12:00 PM

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[Fuller]

Newsy bits:

  • Adding Greg Frey to the coaching staff has allowed Drevno to more fully take on the role of offensive coordinator
  • Pep Hamilton and Drevno have a nigh telepathic connection thanks to their days coaching together at Stanford
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones appears to be everything he was advertised as being; Drevno said that with DPJ, “…there’s no letdown, man.”
  • Grant Newsome is not practicing yet
  • When asked about Grant Perry, Drevno said it’s an internal matter and didn’t elaborate further
  • Everyone is being rotated through different spots to find the best five (and the best fit) on the offensive line
  • Drevno praised Cesar Ruiz’s rapid processing of information and his ability to quickly get off the ball and to the second level

You’ve got a lot of new guys. What’s your impression through the first day of spring?

“Really good. They worked really hard. They’ve done a nice job in the classroom the last couple days. Like we’ve said, just in terms of the winter condition there’s some very athletic guys that we’ve recruited, especially at the wide receiver position and other places on the offense, so it’s been really good.”

The football classroom?

“Yeah, the football classroom in terms of just the last couple days we’ve met and it’s been good. And they carried it over into today, which is really nice to see just them doing it at a high level. They learn fast and can fix problems.”

Is Mason [Cole] going to be practicing at multiple spots to make sure you get the right fit as far as tackle and center goes?

“Yeah, we’re rotating guys through there and we’ll see who the best five guys are.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

Spring Practice Presser 3-24-17: Don Brown

Spring Practice Presser 3-24-17: Don Brown

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 25th, 2017 at 1:00 PM

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[Barron]

Newsy Bits:

  • Brown thinks Gary and Hurst are the best Anchor-3T combo in the nation
  • Mike Wroblewski was talked up as a guy who knows the scheme so well that he makes calls for not only his but other position groups; Brown has to tell him to let other guys make their calls, a first in his career
  • Current combatants at Peppers’s vacated VIPER spot: Khaleke Hudson, Jordan Glasgow, Josh Metellus
  • Hill and Long have first dibs on the corner spots, but the plan is to let everyone compete and see what happens
  • On the defense’s youth: “I’d rather be talented and young than not, than the alternative; have a bunch of veterans and you’re going, oh my god, what am I gonna do?”
  • Devin Bush is flipping between Mike and Will. Brown feels like he’s got three guys for two positions between McCray, Wroblewski, and Bush

“How are you guys?”

Good, how are you?

“Glad to be coaching ball, that’s all I know. Good first day. Guys worked hard, really did. The youth on our team…you know, you can look at it and say ‘Oh, we got a long way to go,’ which we do, but it’s just such an energizing feeling when you go out there and you’re actually walking off the field going ‘Damn, we functioned pretty well today.’ So, you know, excited about it.

“It’s a good group, but kind of an interesting blend. So there’s enough guys that have been around that will demand execution and demand effort and energy that I feel like we’ll be in great shape.”

Some of the guys at Pro Day today, Taco and Chris [Wormley], were saying that they think this defensive line group is maybe more athletic than the group that’s departed. Is that fair?

“I think with Rashan and Mo Hurst…I have to tilt my head back and think for a minute. [He really is tilting his head back.] I don’t know, I’m not sure there’s a better tandem Anchor-tackle in the country. I’m very confident with Bryan [Mone]—here’s the key: we played eight guys last year. Four are gone, but we’ve got a first team with Bryan Mone—and Chase Winovich is such a better player.

“I think back—I did a bad thing yesterday. I went back and watched practice #3 of spring last year. Hooooly moly. What was that? We’re just so different, and those first four guys are really, they’re setting the tone. We’ve got some youth there that I’m very excited about. I thought Donovan Jeter, his raw ability today, thought he showed some really good signs, which is good.

“The Sam-Mike-Will thing: getting Mike McCray back. (W)robo, Mike Wroblewski, there’s another guy where I’m watching him in practice last year [and] just can’t even believe it’s the same guy. You talk about a self-made football player, but a guy who knows it all. Here’s—I’ve never had to do this before. He’s telling the secondary, making their on-rights and lefts call, he’s making the tight call, he’s making the detach call for the outside linebacker and it’s finally like, ‘Hey Robo, you need to shut up and let those guys make those calls themselves.’ ‘Oh yeah, Coach, yeah, yeah, yeah.’ That’s how well he knows the scheme. So him and Devin Bush and Mike McCray. Furbush was good.

“We got Uche goin’ at Sam and Khaleke Hudson was our VIPER today. Arrows up; really excited about him. Glasgow was a VIPER today and that young secondary, Lavert Hill, David Long, Josh Metellus, Tyree—Tyree Kinnel has just quietly done a nice job.

“So, we’ll see. There’s a lot of youth there. St. Juste, he’ll be an interesting guy as we move forward. Ambry Thomas, again, another interesting guy. J’Marick Woods and Jaylen Kelly-Powell, all those guys are good players. The nice thing is I don’t think there’s a lot of guys that are misplaced. They’re in the right place in terms of their level of competition.”

[After THE JUMP: on the concept of the VIPER and an excellent, in-depth response to criticisms of Peppers’ game]

Signing of the Stars 2017: Jim Harbaugh

Signing of the Stars 2017: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on February 2nd, 2017 at 12:04 PM

[Bill Rapai]

This year’s event seemed to be focused more on the internal stars, if you will—brining out the coaches, introducing the alumni, all that. What was the decision behind that and what do you think of this event compared to last year’s?

“Yeah, that was really it. It was just a thought that I had, we had, to make it more about Michigan, from the band, the cheerleaders, the drum line, coaches, players, parents. Just make it about the family, make it about the family that we are at the University of Michigan.”

Why did you want to make that change compared to last year?

“I just thought it’d be better. Not comparing the two; I think they’re both great. Just kind of the direction—it just felt right. That was the ‘why.’”

Does that reinforce the family atmosphere here at Michigan?

“It means so much to me. Never has that resonated more; brought home our seventh child yesterday. Came right out, gave it to Eddie McDoom on a fly sweep. They were giving it to us. Had to take it. There’s no better word in the English language to me than ‘family,’ this family of ours, the University of Michigan.”

/Ambry Thomas sneaks up behind Harbaugh

“Compete, Coach! Compete!”

JH: “Compete! Compete! Compete! Was that good? Good job, Ambry.”

You touched on it up there, but the combination of this receiving class you’re brining in and Pep Hamilton moving forward with that group.

“It’s a very dynamic group. Wonderful guys, you know. Really talented people, and just thankful. Today is a day I thank the guys. I thank ‘em for coming to the University of Michigan, for choosing Michigan. I thank the parents for trusting us with their children. So, it’s a day to be thankful. It’s a day to celebrate, and very happy. I mean, this is Michigan. I want just to come be great. I want them to take advantage of everything Michigan has to offer. So, a lot of emotions, but mostly joy.”

Can you talk about the trip to Italy and your reaction to the NCAA ruling that this is the last year of spring break camps?

“Yeah, we’re not going during spring break, so…[/smiles]. We’re going at the end of the term, so it’s compliant with all rules or new rules that have been made. And let’s talk about what mainly it is: it’s an unbelievable opportunity for all of us—youngsters and adults alike—to have an educational opportunity, to connect with the people from another country, to study in terms of study abroad. Most all our players are going to have that opportunity to study abroad, do internships, do service.

“We’re going to Italy, we’re gonna be there for a week, we’re going to practice, but from there all our players are going to be able to branch out all over the world. Thinking that the classroom—the world is our classroom. And they’re going to be going to Iceland, Belgium, Japan, Israel, South America, Puerto Rico, all over the world to do their classes in May. It’s so phenomenal that I can’t wait to get there.”

[After THE JUMP: Tom Brady, HC; loading the Jim Harbaugh Coaching Express; future trips abroad]

Pre-Orange Bowl Player Availability 12-20-16

Pre-Orange Bowl Player Availability 12-20-16

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 21st, 2016 at 2:45 PM

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[Eric Upchurch]

Mason Cole

Obviously we saw a big leap in the running game last year against Florida. Is there something where having more time as an offensive line really helps you fix mistakes or figure out some stuff?

“Yeah, I think late in the season you forget those fundamentals you focus on so much in camp. You’re focused more on gameplan and stuff, so this is a good time to get back to fundamentals, get back to working on double teams, working on pass protection. Just get back to fundamentals and really clean those up. I think that’s what made last year go so well and hopefully this year, too.”

For you going forward, do you want to stay at center or are you entertaining other moves?

“Yeah, I’d like to stay at center but whatever has to happen has to happen.”

Have you guys not had those conversations yet?

“No, no, not yet. Just right now it’s all Florida State stuff, so just focused on that.”

Have you made any progress on your NFL decision? Talked to anyone or had any extra evaluation?

“No, not yet. Just trying to gather all the information out there. Just gather as much information to make a good decision with Coach Harbaugh and the coaching staff and everyone. Just the more information you have, the better.”

If someone said a round attached to your name, where would you want to be to make the decision that you’re going to go?

“I don’t know if there is an exact round. Like I said, just talking with Coach Harbaugh and Coach Drevno and hearing their opinions and just trying to gather as much information as possible so I can make an informed decision.”

Are you on pace to graduate this spring?

“No, no, no. I graduate next December.”

[After THE JUMP: Kenny Allen, Mike McCray, and Matt Godin]

Pre-Orange Bowl Presser: Players, Part 2

Pre-Orange Bowl Presser: Players, Part 2

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 7th, 2016 at 10:02 AM

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[Upchurch/Fuller]

Chris Wormley, Ryan Glasgow, Wilton Speight

Wilton, what are your thoughts on Florida State and playing them?

“Yeah, pretty cool. I saw that the last team, the last Michigan team, to go to the Orange Bowl was Tom Brady’s team that went to overtime with Alabama, so that was a cool little piece of history that I saw. Really athletic team in Florida State. Lot of studs on that team and real well coached by Coach Fisher, so I’m excited to hit the film with Coach Fisch and figure out the gameplan for what we’re going to do.”

What was the rollercoaster of emotions today? Did you wake up feeling you still had a chance to get into the playoff and when you found out, how did you guys cope with that, deal with that, move forward from that?

WS: “I think we all woke up hoping something might still happen. We knew Clemson or Washington had to lose for us to really have a solid chance, but it’s not done by computer; it’s done by people with brains and emotions and thoughts, so we thought there was still a chance. But we put ourselves in this position to leave it up to other people. Four points away from sitting here up in front of you guys undefeated. It’s tough, but at the same time we’ve got a lot to prove. We can really make a statement in Miami.”

RG: “Yeah, I agree with Wilton. I think that this game in Miami is going to be a statement game. We want to leave this program on top and [with] a step in the right direction. Chris and I are leaving, but Wilton has two more years here to lead this team. So yeah, we want to make it a statement game. We want to show that we’re in the top four teams in college football.”

CW: “I agree.”

Wilton, how’s the shoulder, collarbone, whatever’s going on? How healthy were you last Saturday?

“I was healthy enough to play, to be able to try and make as many plays as I could for the team. This week off has helped. We didn’t practice this past week; coaches were out recruiting. We’ll start back up on Tuesday. Not sure the extent of how hard we’ll go this first week, but the week off definitely helped. I’m getting healthier every day.”

[After THE JUMP: “I think we’re gonna be hungry, we’re gonna be angry, and we’re gonna want to take it out on a team, and Florida State’s the next team up.”]

Pre-Orange Bowl Presser: Players, Part 1

Pre-Orange Bowl Presser: Players, Part 1

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 6th, 2016 at 9:43 AM

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[Bryan Fuller]

Jake Butt and Mason Cole

Jake, talk about how it’s your last game coming up and what do you know about Florida State and that matchup?

“Yeah, first on Florida State, we’ve gotten the chance—they play a lot of night games down there in the south to stay out of the heat a little bit, so after some of our noon games I got watch them play Clemson and Ole Miss. Just kind of flipped it on, so, I mean, we haven’t studied them yet. That’ll happen here in the upcoming weeks. We do know they’re a very good team and they’re gonna be hungry for that win. With it being the last game, gotta lay it all out there.”

Mason, what are your thoughts on playing the Seminoles? Being a Florida guy, you’ve been familiar with them a long time.

“Yeah, just really excited to play another Florida team. We beat Florida, we beat UCF, and hopefully we beat Florida State. Just exciting to go down to Florida and play a really good team. Excited to play in front of family and friends. It’s gonna be two great programs going against each other.”

Did you guys get together and watch the selection show today? What was the general [feeling]? Were you disappointed? Were you excited? Can you take us through the emotions from this afternoon?

JB: “This was our first weekend off in a while, so I know most guys were home. We didn’t have a watch party or anything. I’d say it’s mixed emotions because you set out goals at the beginning of the year and obviously one of those was to be in the playoff, but we weren’t and really we can’t blame it on anyone but ourselves. We left our fate in the hands of other teams and we understand that. That being said, we’re excited about this game. It’s a big game, great opportunity for us to compete against a really good team. We’re really excited to play in this game.”

MC: “Yeah, same thing. We had an opportunity at the end of the year to be in that playoff, but they put us in a great bowl with a great opportunity to go play a really good team. We’re just excited for that now.”

[After THE JUMP: how Butt will look back on this year a decade from now and which way Cole’s leaning re: turning pro]

Orange Bowl Teleconference: Jim Harbaugh

Orange Bowl Teleconference: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 5th, 2016 at 10:42 AM

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[Bryan Fuller]

Opening Statement:

“Hi, my name is Jim Harbaugh. Thanks, Mr. Wahl [Ed. A-Orange Bowl communications director]. Uh, sorry I wasn’t able to get on the call earlier. I was on a plane. Thanks for coming back at this time. If you have any questions, I’d be glad to answer.”

Being at the ‘86 game against FSU in Ann Arbor—I believe that was your senior year—you won by two. I just remember it being probably one of the worst officiated games I ever saw. What do you remember about that ballgame?

“What was the final score? I don’t remember the final score.”

20-18, you won.

“Oh, it was two points? Okay. I just remember how great Deion Sanders was. That was what stood out in my mind. And Coach Bowden, he was really cool. I remember running and scrambling, I scrambled left and went back to the right toward their bench and ended up having—probably ran almost eighty or ninety yards one way to the one side then all the way back to the other side, and I got thrown out of bounds. I just remember him being cool and giving me a smile, a pat on the back, and he said something. But my coach that year, Bo, and Coach Bowden were coaches in the Hula Bowl, so I got to know him a little bit better at that point, too. Those are the two things that stick out most in my mind from that game.”

You would have been in the NFL, but did you watch that ‘91 game?

“Yeah, I remember not seeing the entire game. I do remember watching it. FSU won that one. Back-and-forth, intense game.”

It was 51-31, I think.

“Yeah.”

We just talked to a few of the players and they were bringing up the Christmas Camp you guys did last year and doing that again this year. Given the fact that you guys were aiming for the playoff spot and came up a little bit short, is there any concern making sure those guys are still motivated and still willing to put in the work here for a few more weeks?

“Um…well, I know I am. I know I’m motivated and ready to put in the work, and looking forward to it.”

[After THE JUMP: Florida State, one last statement on officiating, and great memories of coconuts]

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Players, Part 2

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Players, Part 2

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 29th, 2016 at 10:00 AM

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[Eric Upchurch]

Mike McCray and Chris Wormley

Chris, what was your view of the spot?

“Looked like he was short, but I guess the refs saw something different. We have to play through those types of calls, that type of adversity.”

Through the first three quarters you guys kind of bottled them up. What did they do differently in the fourth quarter?

CW: “We were just playing lights-out the first three and a half quarters. They got some plays and they have good players. They go to Ohio State, they’ve got good players. If we made a few plays at the end the outcome probably would have been different, but I thought we played pretty well for most of the game.”

Chris, do you guys still believe that you’re a playoff team?

“I think so. They’re saying Wisconsin can do that if they win next week and we beat that team. So, there’s probably some things that have to go our way, some people that have to be on our side on the committee or however that works, but we’ve played good football all year. We’re keeping our fingers crossed and we’re excited for whatever happens.”

With the regular season ending, how do you guys view these last 12 games and the final result today?

CW: “I think you look back and we had a great run. This is the most fun I’ve ever had playing football, with Mike, the rest of the defense, the offense. I think you look back and you can see what you did poorly, did well, and build off of the things that you did well and take that into the bowl game and prepare for that as best you can.”

MM: “Like Chris said, had a great season throughout the regular season. Didn’t get the outcome that we wanted--to go to the Big Ten championship--but like he said before, you’ve got to get ready for the bowl game and see what we did right throughout the season, see what we did wrong, and improve on it.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Players

Ohio State Postgame Presser: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 28th, 2016 at 10:16 AM

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[Fuller/Upchurch]

Khalid Hill, Wilton Speight, Kenny Allen

Wilton, what was the preparation process like for you going into this game?

“Same amount of preparation as any game in terms of football. Just had more recovery stuff to get back for this game.”

At this point, you had them, seemed to be on the ropes, just a couple mistakes--

WS: “Yeah, that’s pretty disappointing. Game of this magnitude, the fight that we’ve put in as a team together since last January after the bowl game, it all came down to this game. The Game. The way it played out, incredible game, but came up short.”

Khalid, describe what you were a part of here today. You had two touchdowns. Just describe what this game was like for you.

“I struggled. Got stopped on the goal line, then Coach called on me again to go do it again. Just shows the trust he has in his players. It’s not about my success, though. We wanted to get it done as a team and fell short. Got to keep our heads up and keep moving.”

A lot of self-inflicted wounds today. What do you guys take out of that and what do you make of it?

WS: “Yeah, I made a couple mistakes in the game. Unfortunate to get my hand hit when I was throwing out of the end zone, which resulted in a pick-six. Then trying to force another ball into too tight of a window. But yeah.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more]