Unverified Voracity Consults You Real Good

Unverified Voracity Consults You Real Good Comment Count

Brian August 18th, 2015 at 11:22 AM

The saddest legend. Is Toys R Us headquartered in North Carolina?

Why stop there, NC State? You've honored a gentleman you chased off your campus for playing baseball who finished his Wolfpack career with 7.2 yards per attempt. Once you've broken down the walls between that gentleman and a legends patch there are no barriers left.

Who's wearing 23 for you? He's now the Michael Jordan memorial (probably) tailback. He played somewhat near your school, after all. Jordan Spieth—certainly a carbon-based lifeform—does not have a number, so you can put a patch for him on all your jerseys. Dr. Manhattan may be fictional, but that doesn't have to stop you, NC State. Six words: NC State legend Dr. Manhattan cosplay.

Boom. You just got wow experienced. That will be one million dollars for consulting. Make the check out to Boom Wow Experienced Dot Org Net Inc.

On Samuelson's exit. Dan Samuelson was extremely candid with Nick Baumgardner in the aftermath:

"It had been a tough two years, not seeing the field and really not ever hitting the two-deep spot," Samuelson said Saturday. "I just realized, this is my third season, my chances of playing still aren't very good. I decided it was time to make a change and head somewhere where my chances were a little better.

"I just felt like it wasn't the best fit for me anymore."

Samuelson says he was third string throughout the spring and summer, and was told to focus on gaining more weight this offseason by Michigan's coaching staff -- something he says he accomplished after wrapping spring ball at 6-foot-5, 289 pounds.

But once camp began, Samuelson says he began to realize he wasn't making any progress when it came to Michigan's depth chart.

These days it's tough to play at less than 300, and Samuelson struggling to get up to 290 in his third year means the writing's on the wall. Samuelson made no bones about it.

Injury scares. While it seems Bryan Mone is going to be laid up for a long time with the broken ankle everyone says he's got, rumors that two more players were down for the count seem overblown.

The way this generally goes is several sites report the same thing without names, but with each one using a different set of parameters to indicate who it is (offensive freshman expected to contribute, etc.) people can deduce who the players in question were. Then the sites are like "right, those two guys" in follow-ups. It's a quality system. I enjoy it.

Anyway, in this case the two injured gents were TJ Wheatley and Wyatt Shallman. Steve Lorenz reported that Wheatley had a knee thing that was just a strain, not torn ligaments; Sam Webb reported that Shallman has a strained calf. Both are missing practice time and may miss a game or two but should be back early in the season.

This is a bad article. There are many bad articles. I don't often point them out these days, but this one is special. It is a column in Psychology Today titled "Obesely Speaking" about something something Harbaugh intermittent reinforcement SCIENCE:

We are also drawn to Harbaugh because we are a social species, and instinctually we know that we are only as strong as our weakest, as healthy as our sickest, as wealthy as our poorest – though we’ve lost sight of that. Hence, his many humanitarian deeds add yet another level of appeal.  I asked several Internet social media groups, such as Michigan Football HQ, The University of Michigan M Club, Michigan Proud and True, Big Ten Talk etc. why they liked Jim Harbaugh. U of M alumnus, Bruce Laing, encapsulates the majority opinion: He will instill toughness and accountability in the athletes, posted Laing in the University of Michigan M Club.  Our children's futures are vital, so we embrace the importance of education, accountability and toughness because they galvanize that future; yet  another reason Americans are drawn to Harbaugh.

Woof. The saddest part of this article is that it has 80(!) references to scientific papers at the end of it. Hopefully the guy just writes his columns such that all those papers are always at the end and he just C&Ps it. As good an explanation as any.

Well done. EDSBS commentariat member Tim Hodgson undertook an experiment:

Undertake your experiment today!

No union for (just) you. The National Labor Relations Board turned down Northwestern's attempt to unionize yesterday with a ruling reminiscent of Kirk Ferentz facing fourth and two in the opponent's territory:

"In the decision, the Board held that asserting jurisdiction would not promote labor stability due to the nature and structure of NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)," the NLRB wrote in its decision. "By statute the Board does not have jurisdiction over state-run colleges and universities, which constitute 108 of the roughly 125 FBS teams.

"In addition, every school in the Big Ten, except Northwestern, is a state-run institution. As the NCAA and conference maintain substantial control over individual teams, the Board held that asserting jurisdiction over a single team would not promote stability in labor relations across the league.

"This decision is narrowly focused to apply only to the players in this case and does not preclude reconsideration of this issue in the future."

They punted. That's disappointing and a bit nonsensical. Matt Hinton points out that this is a federal agency explicitly concerned with a "level playing field" that does not exist and never will. By shooting down this case, the NRLB forces any unionization effort to be held over at least all private schools and probably something even wider than that.

There is short term relief here for the NCAA; in the longer term this is going down in court.

Etc.: Wheatley profiled. 1981 SI piece on Bo is gold. The first-ever sports team at Michigan. Do not read, Gary Danielsn. Also do not read, Gary Danielson. Here is a week old piece on Kevin Tolbert I meant to link earlier.

Comments

Exit Dan Samuelson

Exit Dan Samuelson Comment Count

Brian August 15th, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Samuelson[1]

According to Dan Samuelson on the facebooks, he is going to transfer.

With great sadness, I have decided that my time at the University of Michigan is done. The past couple years have been wonderful, and something that I will never forget. I am beyond blessed for them. As time has come and gone, I've thought about what is best for myself in regards to football and obtaining the goal of playing time. In reality, that wasn't going to happen at Michigan.

Samuelson was a recruit on the 3/4 star borderline who decommitted from Nebraska in favor of Michigan late in the 2013 recruiting cycle. He redshirted as a freshman and didn't play last year, so he would have been a redshirt sophomore this fall. His departure brings the number of certainly available scholarships to 17 (4 open slots plus 13 seniors). There are a lot of redshirt juniors who may not get a fifth year on the roster, so Michigan is already close to being able to accommodate the full class of 25 they seem to be aiming for.

Comments

2013 Recruiting: Dan Samuelson

2013 Recruiting: Dan Samuelson Comment Count

Brian July 5th, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Previously: CB Reon Dawson, CB Channing Stribling, S Delano Hill, S Dymonte Thomas, CB Ross Douglas, CB Jourdan Lewis, LB Ben Gedeon, LB Mike McCray, DE Taco Charlton,DT Maurice Hurst Jr., DT Henry Poggi, OL Patrick Kugler, OL David Dawson, OL Logan Tuley-Tillman, OL Kyle Bosch, OL Chris Fox.

   
Plymouth, IN – 6'5", 290
     

394530_4936052001044_825119895_n[1] 

Scout

4*, NR overall
#25 OT

Rivals

3*, NR overall
#33 OG, #11 IN

ESPN

3*, NR overall
#88 OT, #14 IN

24/7

3*, NR overall
#17 OG, #6 IN

Other Suitors

Nebraska, Pitt, Minnesota, Illinois

YMRMFSPA Rueben Riley
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post.
Notes

Decommitted from Pitt for Nebraska, then decommitted from Nebraska. Also, 'murica.

Film

Nothing embeddable. Does have a hudl page.

Wait… what is… three stars? Is that how you say? What? Yes, it's true: some recruiting services think a 2013 Michigan offensive line commit is a middling prospect. We cannot use the well-established script this time out. Panic!

panic

Even so, Samuelson was decently well regarded for… uh… three stars. He got a fourth from Scout and was the first guy with three at 247. In our hybrid eyeballin' star system he'd get 3.5. This would qualify as a lot of Big Ten teams' highest-rated lineman. Here he's sixth. Viva Brady Hoke.

Samuelson watchwords include "blue-collar," "tough," etc. Trieu:

“Absolutely he could bring with him toughness and a blue-collar work ethic. He really has the mental makeup of an offensive lineman. He’s a hard worker and a tough kid. He is a grind it out and get the job done kind of player.

“Samuelson is not going to go to any combines and put up ridiculous numbers. He’s not going to have that stellar 40-time or shuttle time, but he’s the kind of player that you win with especially in the Big Ten."

It does say something that the primary teams on him before Hoke swooped in were Pitt, now in possession of the Wisconsin offensive braintrust, and Nebraska. Scout liked those grinding aspects enough to bump him to four stars, again emphasizing he is a "tough, hard-nosed lineman" and his "blue collar" nature.

ESPN's evaluation is pretty positive relative to their "meh" rankings:

Is quick out of his stance when releasing up on linebackers or pulling to trap; flashes the ability to reach on offset down linemen and get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. Can get tossed at times needing to improve his agility and balance when playing in space. This guy is a tough customer who finishes with the effort we like to see when evaluating offensive linemen. His long arms should be and asset in pass protection.

They have a lot of technique questions and think he's a little bit stiff, FWIW. That evaluation conflicts with some others, which—get this—actually say a high school lineman has good pad level. Josh Helmholdt:

"He's an above average athlete for the position. He really moves his feet well. He plays with great leverage. I think that something that really stands out in his film is that he's always up underneath the pads of the defensive lineman. He just does a lot of things well. I wouldn't say there's any one thing that makes you say 'wow', he's just a well-rounded offensive line prospect."

I think a high school lineman underneath dudes pads is a wow experience but like okay. Clint Brewster also praised his "well above average technique" and mean ol' block finishing—another pattern. A negative: Samuelson's team barely passed, so protection is an unknown. Another from Allen Trieu:

"He plays at a small school that is a little bit in the middle of nowhere. It took some schools some time to find out about him. I think that one of the major areas of concern that was holding schools back from offering was level of competition."

As the scouts say, this is the kind of guy Wisconsin and Nebraska have plucked out of the Midwest for years. His weird recruitment—a quick commit to Pitt followed by a decommit to Nebraska and a decommit to Michigan, no camps at all—is of the variety that holds down reported offers and scouting interest.

At Michigan, Samuelson will play… somewhere. ESPN's profile contains a first:

Samuelson plays effectively at the guard position showing the upper body playing strength needed to control defenders when single blocking. However his size and athleticism appears better suited for the offensive tackle position.

His coach agrees.

"We run the football a lot, but Dan is really long and his arms are long. If you look at him you'd say he was a tackle, but he plays guard for us. So he could play anywhere. I think the sky's the limit for Dan. I think that he could be a real special player on the next level."

Scout projects him at guard, FWIW. The point is Samuelson also comes off the 6'5" swing guy assembly line and could play anywhere on the line according to Funk. Given the recruiting rankings and the odd fact that his high school used him on the inside—almost never the case for high-level D-I prospects—he's probably going to end up at guard, technically. Michigan seems to go with a next-guy-in setup that has sixth and seventh linemen that will pull into the lineup no matter who goes out. Samuelson will train at guard and tackle.

It does seem like Samuelson will stick around even if the depth chart looks brutal for much of his career. Staying close to his family was a major reason he decommitted from the Huskers and he knew what he was signing up for when he made that decision. His coach:

"The thing that separates Dan from a lot of the other kids is he wants to be good. Sometimes you get a big kid that's a superior athlete at the high school level, they're 17 or 18 years old, and they don't have a real strong work ethic. Dan wants to be good, he wants to prove himself. I think that's something that's going to carry him over when he gets into that program and into that strength training program, I think he's going to do really well."

Even if he doesn't start for a while, having a kid like that in your back pocket is a huge asset.

Etc.: The pattern from his coach:

He has been a multiple sport athlete in high school, and he is a great kid.  He has never been in trouble, he is a really good student and he has got all of the intangibles.  He looks the part… I can tell you that.”

Why Rueben Riley? Riley was a G/T swing guy who probably should have been a guard but was forced into action as a not-very-good right tackle, where his pass protection was exposed. His athleticism was pretty meh, his recruiting rankings in the generic three-star range.

Samuelson has an inch or two on Riley and could have higher upside on the outside with his long arms. I'm just looking for a run-oriented swing guy with middling recruiting rankings. OL YMRMFSPAs are hard.

Guru Reliability: Low. Relatively large swing in opinions, zero camps, not a highly scouted area.

Variance: High. Poor competition in Indiana, never really pass blocked.

Ceiling: Moderate. Punt!

General Excitement Level: Sorry sorry sorry: low. OL are weird and all that but I'm finding it hard to see a situation where Samuelson sees the field early given the strenuous competition. See below. Not that Samuelson cares what I think:

"I'm not scared at all (of the competition)," the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Samuelson said by phone this week. "I knew who's there, and that they're great, but it never scared me. I never looked at it that way.

"I looked at it like two years down the road, this school could be like Alabama, where no one can stop us because of our line."

Projection: Is OL, redshirt.

Then he's in the melee. Seems to be a heavy underdog to start as a redshirt freshman, and if that doesn't happen he's got a wait in front of him. The 2014 line projects to be a junior (Miller), three sophomores (Braden, Magnuson, Kalis), and a freshman (no idea but Bosch or Dawson if you put a gun to my head). If those projections are wrong the net effect will be to make the line younger, not older, unless Chris Bryant comes out of nowhere.

So… Samuelson is probably hanging around as the seventh or eighth lineman for a long time, with injury and washout his best shot at starting until he's a fifth year player. But OL are weird, you know the drill.

Comments

Hokepoints: Predicting the Numbers 134

Hokepoints: Predicting the Numbers 134 Comment Count

Seth June 4th, 2013 at 11:04 AM

IMG_2347

hi bennie! /Upchurch

It's an annual rite of fan dorkiness each year to try to be the first to guess which numbers the incoming freshmen will be given by obsessively google stalking them. Sometimes I have some inside knowledge from a recruit who was promised his digit, or tweeted his preferences or something. Here's how I did last year:

Name Pos. # in HS 2012 Guess Actual
A.J. Williams TE 88 88 84
Allen Gant S 7 and 14 14 12
Amara Darboh WR 15 15 82
Ben Braden OL 51 51 71
Blake Bars OL 67 72 62
Chris Wormley DE 47 84 or 68 43
Dennis Norfleet RB/KR 21 21 if available, or 31 26
Devin Funchess TE 5 and 15 85 19
Drake Johnson RB 2 and 18 32 or 6 or 23 29
Erik Magnuson OL 77 78 78
James Ross LB 6 36 15
Jehu Chesson WR 5 82 86
Jeremy Clark S 2 29 34
Kyle Kalis OL 67 67 67
Mario Ojemudia DE 53 53 53
Matthew Godin DT 62 62 99
Ondre Pipkins NT 71 56 56
Royce Jenkins-Stone LB 10 10 52
Sione Houma FB 35 41 or 32 39
Terry Richardson CB 3 and 6 and 9 9 13
Tom Strobel DE 36 63 or 93 or 86 50
Willie Henry DT 74 74 or 68 69

Four out of 22 ain't…well yes it is. It was bad. This article is useless. Let's continue it anyway; I swear to do better.

Getting to know you. Each coach has his own tendencies with this so we'll get better at it in time. With Hoke, he seems to like having consecutive numbers in the same position group, perhaps for mentoring purposes because they sit next to each other in the locker room. It's far from a rule, but it's a trend. Carr rarely let a player share a specialist's digit, but Hoke doesn't seem to have a problem with it, for example Wormley and Hagerup share a number, and walk-on tight end Alex Mitropoulus-Rundus (I'm gonna just start calling him "Alex M-R") has the same digit as backup punter Kenny Allen. Rich Rodriguez was far more apt to share numbers, and the single digits were nearly always doubled up; Hoke has said in the past that he doesn't like doing that, and the practice has been limited—as of spring just 5, 12 and 34 had scholarship recruits in both numbers, adding 54 and 56 to those double-occupied by players on the two-deep.

The roster lies. The official MGoBlue.com roster still doesn't have DeAnthony Hardison, that nifty RB you saw in the Spring Game. He's #18. Also a practice insider told me Anthony Capatina is playing slot receiver, not "DB" as he's listed on the depth chart. Also weirdly missing from that roster is #79 right tackle Dan Gibbs (a Seaholm Mape!!!), a 2012 preferred walk-on whose twitter profile pic is him riding an oliphant:

DWVAFy5

@DJBunyan

Legends/Special #s: 1 because Braylon's scholarship killed the fun, unless Gallon gets it. It won't come as much of a surprise to you that 2 will probably be entering the Legends program this season. There will also be some push for 16, and I doubt it'll be assigned to an offensive player immediately. 11 for the Wisterts, 21 for Desmond, and 87 for Ron Kramer are currently open; it is likely they'll be assigned to veterans whose digits might then be made available if it happens before the season. Bennie's 47 and Jerry's 48 remain occupied by current players and there's no way a second guy will get them. And I've been told they're still working on the Harmon family with 98. Anyway they won't go to freshmen.

Already worn on both sides: 5 (Courtney Avery and Justice Hayes), 6 (Raymon Taylor and Brian Cleary), 12 (Gardner and Allen Gant), 13 (Terry Richardson and Alex Swieca), 15 (James Ross and Shaun Austin), 34 (Jeremy Clark and Brendan Gibbons), 43 (Chris Wormley and Will Hagerup), 54 (Richard Ash and Jareth Glanda), 56 (Ondre Pipkins and Joey Burzynski), 69 (Willie Henry and Erik Gunderson), and 95 (Anthony Capatina and Michael Jocz).

Available on offense only: 4, 7, 14, 18, 22, 24, 25, 30, 33, 35, 40, 50, 52, 53, 55, 57, 59, 66, 76, 92, 96, 97, 99

Available on defense only: 3, 8, 9, 10, 17, 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, 38, 39, 42, 45, 46, 49, 51, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 70, 71, 72, 75, 77, 78, 82, 84, 85, 86, 88, 94

1146879Walk-ons with soft claims: Every year there's a Jon Keizer on the roster who thinks his number is safe, then some top running back recruit in the country (right: from Scout) runs him over with star power (dadada, didda-da diddadidda…). Scout teamers without scholarships often have their numbers taken, for example Charlie Zeller was 19 on the 2012 spring roster and Paul Gyarmati was sitting on 99, but Devin Funchess and Matt Godin nabbed those digits last fall. This year they are 15 (Shaun Austin—note that Ross has it on D), 18 (DeAnthony Hardison—note that Countess has it on D), 27 (Jon Keizer), 36 (AJ Pearson—note that Kerridge has it on O), 42 (Dylan Esterline), 46 (Clark Grace), 49 (Brad Anlauf), 51 (Bobby Henderson), 59 (Mark Lawson), 63 (Ben Pliska), 66 (Dan Liesman), 70 (Kris Mateus), 79 (Dan Gibbs), (91 (Alex M-R, though Kenny Allen wears it too), and 95 (Anthony Capatina and Mike Jocz). The other walk-ons I didn't mention (Dever, Cleary, Glanda, Burzynski, Reynolds, Allen, Gunderson, Jocz and the Glasgows) are either on the two-deep already or in the mix.

Currently unused: 20, 23, 31, 32, 37, 41, 44, 64, 68, 73, 74, 80, 81, 83, 89, 90, 93, π

You just said Pi. We're Michigan fergodsakes. All the constants—φ, ζ(3), α and δ, Euler's e, γ, λ, K, r, and Ω—ought to be fair game, and if someone takes √-1 and uses the nickname "Impossible" he will be my favorite for ever and ever.

EVERYBODY LET'S ALL BE #7!!!

Name Pos. HS # Tea Leaves Best Guess
David Dawson OG 71 Wore 55 in Under Armour game, 33 in Army AA game. 55* - His Twitter acct is David Dawson 5⃣5⃣
Reon Dawson BCB 1 Wore 13, 24 and 1 in high school. 31 - seems to fit.
Jaron Dukes WR 8 Twitter handle is @Jaron_Dukes8 83* 80 - Is 8-like.
Chris Fox OL 73 Wore #13 (?) at Army AA game and #33 at Rivals 5-star challenge 73* - Guy likes #3
Greg Froelich OG 77 Wore that and 75 in high school (preferred walk-on) 76 - Not exactly Steve Hutchinson.
Ben Gedeon MLB 15 James Ross is already James Ross. 45 - David Harris's # but precludes punt coverage.
Derrick Green RB 27 Wore 27 in Army AA game. 27* - call it a hunch. Sorry Keizer.
Delano Hill Nk/FS 11 Looks like he's 40. 32 (Kovacs's other #) or 23
Khalid Hill FB/TE 32 Very Kevin Dudley of him. 32 or 23
Maurice Hurst NT 50 Wore #11 in Semper Fi Bowl. 68 - Mike Martin's #
Da'Mario Jones WR 11 Wore #7 in that photo of recruits in white M jerseys. #15 at MSU camp. Same school as Tony Boles, who wore 42 at Michigan but had 18 touchdowns so... 14* 18 - I admit this is thin.
Patrick Kugler OC 57 Wore 57 at UA game. Dad and bro wore 57. 57 - O'KUGLER RULES!
Jourdan Lewis CB 1 Also wore #17 at Cass Tech, #27 at Army AA game. 17 or 3 or 37.
Mike McCray SAM 9 Wore #9 at UA game. Father wore 99 at OSU 9* - He and Dileo both likely to be on special teams, but not the same groups.
J.J. McGrath K 13 preferred walk-on 35 - Or some kicker number.
Shane Morris QB 12 Gardner switched, so... 7 - he already tweeted it.
Henry Poggi 3T 7 Wore 17 at UA game. Was given #7 locker in May. Plays jazz flute. 70 - Ross Douglass already took 7.
Dan Samuelson OG 74 Photo out there of him wearing a Nebraska 74 jersey. Twitter handle is @dansamuelson74. 74 - it's available.
Wyatt Shallman FB 49 49 is available on defense. 33* for his DCC teammate who passed away. 49 - Sorry Brad Anlauf.
Deveon Smith RB 4 Is a 4-star? 4 - It's open.
Blaise Stearns WR 1 Townie: Can't find what he wore at Huron before transferred. Preferred walk-on 89 - Doesn't exactly get 1st pick.
Channing Stribling FS 8 #22 commit to the class. 8* - It's open
Scott Sypniewski LS 56 Wore #45 at his long-snapper camp. 41 - Who cares.
Jack Wangler WR 21 Dad wore #5 at Mich (preferred walk-on) 16* 25 - Like Kennedy.
Csont'e York WR 1 Was #667 at NFTC 81 - With an eye toward dropping the 8.

Go ahead and make your guesses. We'll have our answers in a few weeks.

* UPDATE: After I posted this Magnus alerted me to his post of numbers that have already been revealed. I had some good guesses. I crossed out my comments if the guess was wrong.

Comments

2013 Recruiting Wrap: The Offense

2013 Recruiting Wrap: The Offense Comment Count

Ace February 6th, 2013 at 4:16 PM


Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog

It is Signing Day 2013, and if you weren't aware, Michigan has a pretty, pretty good class. With this post—and its accompanying defense post (coming tomorrow)—I'll attempt to give you a solid overview of the class, its strengths and weaknesses, and hand out a few superlatives. Let's start with a look at the offensive class as a whole and their final rankings from the recruiting services—click on each player's name to see their commitment post:

Name Position State Rivals Scout 24/7 ESPN
Shane Morris QB MI 4 5 4 4
Derrick Green RB VA 5 5 4 4
DeVeon Smith RB OH 3 4 4 4
Wyatt Shallman ATH/RB MI 4 4 4 3
Jaron Dukes WR OH 3 3 3 4
Da'Mario Jones WR MI 3 3 3 3
Csont'e York WR MI 3 3 3 3
Patrick Kugler OL PA 4 5 4 4
Kyle Bosch* OL IL 4 4 4 4
David Dawson OL MI 4 4 4 4
Chris Fox OL CO 4 4 4 4
Logan Tuley-Tillman* OL IL 4 4 4 4
Dan Samuelson OL IN 3 4 3 3
Jake Butt* TE OH 4 4 3 4
Khalid Hill TE MI 3 3 3 3

*Early enrollee

And now, some specifics:

BEST POSITION GROUP: Offensive Line.


Kyle Bosch

This offensive line class is arguably the best in the country, finding strength both in numbers (six) and quality (five of the six are consensus four-stars or above and made All-American teams). As Michigan continues to fill in the holes left by some disastrous offensive line recruiting under Rich Rodriguez, this couldn't have come at a better time.

Among the group, guard Kyle Bosch is the most likely to crack the two-deep early; he's on campus early and has college-ready size—Michigan lists him at 6'5", 311 lbs.—to go with a polished set of skills. He won't start right away (let's hope) but could factor in as a backup. Center Patrick Kugler—the son of longtime NFL OL coach and current UTEP head coach Sean Kugler—might be the best of the bunch, though. He'll hit campus as the most physically gifted Wolverine at the position, and while he shouldn't be forced to play right away, he should be a multi-year starter down the road.

Honorable Mention: Running Back, Quarterback.

BIGGEST WEAKNESS: No elite receiver

Yes, this class lacks a blue-chip wideout. Csont'e York and Jaron Dukes are both big targets who can go up and get the ball, while Da'Mario Jones could be a playmaker in the slot, but none are can't-miss prospects. This issue is mitigated somewhat by Michigan's strong recruiting at tight end—get a couple playmakers there and the pressure comes off the receivers in the passing game—but you'd still like to see a top-flight guy on the outside.

Honorable Mention: The only other issue with the offensive side of the class is the lack of a second quarterback for depth purposes, something the coaches decided wasn't necessary. Otherwise, every need was filled.

MOST LIKELY TO START FROM DAY ONE: Derrick Green

Not only is Green the top-ranked recruit in the class, but he comes in at a position of great uncertainty and, as of late, middling production. He's got the body of an NFL running back as a high school senior and is a perfect fit for Al Borges's ideal offense. It's unknown whether Fitz Toussaint will be ready to start the season after his ugly leg injury and his production was lacking in 2012 anyway; Thomas Rawls failed to impress in his stead. Green's toughest competition for the bulk of the carries may even come from fellow 2013 commit DeVeon Smith, arguably the best back in the state of Ohio. Either way, expect a freshman (or two) to make a big impact in the backfield next season.

Honorable Mention: DeVeon Smith, Jake Butt

SUREST THING: Patrick Kugler

Covered in part above, Kugler is as close as you'll get to a can't-miss offensive line recruit. At 6'5", 280 lbs. before setting foot on campus, he's got better size than any Michigan center of recent vintage. His father spent nine years coaching offensive line in the NFL, and Patrick's film makes it apparent that he's absorbed a lot of his father's teaching—from a technical standpoint, he's very advanced for his age. He participated in the Under Armour AA Game and held up very well against some of the best defensive linemen in the country.

Kugler's only competition at center right now is Jack Miller, who's been groomed to take over the position for a couple years but was too undersized to see the field as a redshirt freshman in 2012. Miller should step in and start in 2013—it's unrealistic to expect Kugler to have enough command of the offense to make the O-line calls after a few weeks on campus—but it's going to be hard to keep Kugler off the field in 2014 and beyond.

Honorable Mention: Derrick Green, Kyle Bosch

BOOM OR BUST: Logan Tuley-Tillman

Offensive lineman Logan Tuley-Tillman has the prototypical left tackle frame at 6'7", 307 pounds. He's also a relative newcomer to the game of football and spent his high school days overpowering opponents with sheer size and strength—as a result, he's got a long way to go from a technical standpoint. At last summer's Sound Mind Sound Body camp, Tuley-Tillman and David Dawson both got extensive work in with Michigan OL coach Darrell Funk—Funk used Dawson as an example for how to execute certain technical aspects of line play, then spent a good deal of time trying to get Tuley-Tillman to that level.

If Tuley-Tillman can put it all together, he's the future at left tackle and could even develop into an NFL prospect. With so much ground to cover, however, he could also get buried on the depth chart by more polished players. It should help that Tuley-Tillman is already on campus—with a redshirt year all but guaranteed, he'll have plenty of time to work on the fundamentals before worrying about seeing the field.

Honorable Mention: Shane Morris, Chris Fox

MGOSCOUTED STAMP OF APPROVAL: Jake Butt

Among the players I checked out last fall—on offense: Morris, Shallman, York, Dawson, Butt, and Hill—tight end Jake Butt really stood out with his performance on the field. Playing against cross-town rival Pickerington Central—featuring fellow Wolverine Taco Charlton—he hauled in nine catches for 93 yards and a TD while also making an impact at defensive end. Some of my impressions from that game:

Butt did a great job of snatching the ball away from his body and caught everything thrown his way. While he could be a little sharper out of his breaks, he runs crisp routes and positions his body well to give his quarterback a big target while warding off the defender. He was able to find space up the seam on multiple occasions but was also comfortable working on the perimeter, at one point catching back-to-back out routes when Central cheated to the inside in coverage. He's not going to juke past too many defenders after the catch, but he usually finds a way to fall forward for extra yardage.

At 6'6", 235 lbs., Butt has an ideal frame for the position, and his blocking really impressed me as well. He's another early enrollee, and I'd be surprised if he took a redshirt—he may not start from day one, but he's a better blocker than Devin Funchess and could give Michigan a scary one-two combo at tight end/H-back.

Honorable Mention: David Dawson, Shane Morris

THE SHANE MORRIS CATEGORY: Shane Morris

An overview of Michigan's 2013 class is incomplete without mentioning the team's quarterback of the future. Morris dropped from five-star status on Rivals and 247 after a senior season marred by mono and an uneven performance at the Under Armour AA Game, but he still has the highest ceiling of any of Michigan's commits.

The first thing that stands out about Morris is his arm strength—the ball explodes out of his hand with seemingly little effort. When he's on, it's a sight to behold. The problem—and ultimately why he dropped in the rankings—is that he's yet to show consistency; he still needs work reading defenses and relies too heavily on his arm strength to fit the ball into windows that sometimes aren't there.

Those expecting Morris to come in and take the starting job need to temper their expectations severely—the job is Devin Gardner's, and barring injury it'll stay that way. Morris could very well come in and earn the backup job over Russell Bellomy, however, and with a couple years of development he could be special.

Honorable Mention: Shane Morris

SLEEPER: Da'Mario Jones

Michigan snatched WR Da'Mario Jones, a Westland John Glenn product, away from Central Michigan, so he certainly flew under the radar for the bulk of the recruiting cycle. That may have been the product of playing in a league that doesn't get much exposure, however—Allen Trieu reported($) that UCLA, Alabama, Florida State, Michigan State, and Georgia all came to see him last week, though no offers came when he made it clear he was ticketed for Ann Arbor.

While the other two receivers in the class, Csont'e York and Jaron Dukes, are big guys who were on the receiving end of a lot of jump balls in high school, Jones is a guy who's shown his ability to work underneath and break big plays after the catch. With Drew Dileo and Jeremy Gallon back in 2013, he may not see the field right away, but down the road there's a clear role he can fill in the slot—a position that, granted, may be marginalized by the increased emphasis on tight ends—and nobody else on the roster who fits that mold after next season.

Honorable Mention: Wyatt Shallman, Khalid Hill

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Thursday Recruitin' Adds New Threat

Thursday Recruitin' Adds New Threat Comment Count

Ace January 17th, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest developments with the remaining 2013 prospects, the final Top247, Drake Harris opening up his recruitment, new 2014 offers, and more.

Done At O-Line, Unless You Count High School Freshman Derrick Green

After IN OL Dan Samuelson committed last weekend, it was unclear whether Michigan would continue recruiting offensive lineman or if they were set at six in the 2013 class. Now we have our answer:

That leaves Michigan seemingly down to two options for the last two spots in the class. The first is VA RB Derrick Green, one of many prospects (mostly 2014 recruits at this point) to receive an in-school visit from Michigan this week—in his case, Brady Hoke and Fred Jackson ($). Scout's Michael Clark penned a lengthy (and free) profile on Green, focusing on his rise from 268-pound freshman to nation's top running back [emphasis mine]:

Hermitage head coach Patrick Kane admitted he initially had his doubts about Green, who recently named Michigan as his leader, but is also still considering Auburn, Florida State, Miami,and Tennessee.

“The first time we saw him, he was eighth-grader and we were doing 7-on-7 (drills) and he came out and watched,” said Kane. “He was a little chunky at the time. He said what a lot of kids say -- I want to be a running back. We said OK, that’s fine. But in your mind, you’re thinking he’d probably be a good looking offensive guard.

You know the story by now: Green cut down to 220 pounds and by his sophomore year was starting for Hermitage. Work ethic should not be an issue here.

Michigan's other main target is TX TE Durham Smythe, who also received a visit this week. 247's Jason Sapp caught up with Smythe to run down his five finalists—Michigan, Oregon, and Stanford lead the pack, with Nebraska and Notre Dame under consideration—and here's what he had to say about the Wolverines ($):

Michigan – “The biology/medial program at Michigan is among the best in the nation, and since that is what I want to study, that was something that draws me in about them. Also, the fact that they are making the switch to a two tight end, pro-style offense is attractive as well.”

Smythe says a decision will come on signing day or "a few days prior," and he's got visits lined up to Oregon and Michigan, with Nebraska and Notre Dame in the running for his final official.

[Hit THE JUMP for a rundown of the final 2013 Top247, the latest on Drake Harris, and much more.]

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Monday Recruitin' Mounts Up

Monday Recruitin' Mounts Up Comment Count

Ace January 14th, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers the latest on Michigan's remaining 2013 targets, a surprise move in the 2014 class, and more.

Weekend Visit Recap: One Decision Down, Three To Go


TX TE Durham Smythe is back on the market and looking at Michigan

As signing day rapidly approaches, Michigan's path to closing out the 2013 class becomes more clear. Over the weekend, the Wolverines picked up IN OL Dan Samuelson, who told Scout's Allen Trieu that his decision came down to distance ($):

"It came down mostly to distance," he explained. "I shouldn't say mostly, it was completely distance. It is only about a three hour drive, Nebraska being an 11 1/2 hour drive."

With Samuelson in the fold, Michigan now has six offensive lineman committed; does that leave room for CA OL Cameron Hunt, who was also on campus over the weekend? According to Hunt, per an interview with Scout's Greg Biggins, the answer is 'yes' ($):

“The coaches told me they still had room for me,” Hunt said. “I know six offensive linemen is a lot but I’m not afraid to compete. After taking all my trips, if I feel Michigan is the best spot for me, I’ll still go there and be ready to win a job. There is going to be competition anywhere you go so that doesn’t bother me.”

Hunt went straight from his Michigan official to one at Ohio State, and also has trips lined up to Oregon and Cal (where he's still a very soft commit) before he makes his decision.

OH CB Reon Dawson, an Illinois commit, also took a Michigan official over the weekend; he told ESPN's Jared Shanker that a decision is coming soon ($):

A final decision will come Wednesday after talking with his family and his girlfriend’s mother, with whom he has a very close relationship.

“I’ve been thinking about it ... and first off, education will be big. You can get hurt on any given play and you need something to fall back on,” Dawson said. “I’ll talk to my family, and by Wednesday it’ll be done. I need a couple of days to think about this decision.”

Dawson will choose between Michigan and Illinois; given that he'll be just a few days removed from checking out Ann Arbor when he makes his choice, there's definitely reason for optimism.

That won't be the only decision coming down this week, as in-state kicker JJ McGrath tells The Big House Report that he'll choose between Michigan, LSU, and Southern Miss on Friday. McGrath doesn't hold a scholarship offer—he'd come on as a preferred walk-on—but says that he'd have the opportunity to earn one when Brendan Gibbons graduates. The Wolverines are in a strong position to land McGrath, who also was on campus last weekend.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Derrick Green and Durham Smythe, a surprise commitment to Ohio State's 2014 class, and more.]

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Hello: Dan Samuelson

Hello: Dan Samuelson Comment Count

Ace January 12th, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Well, this is a new one: as broken by Patrick Kugler (and later confirmed by Steve Wiltfong), IN OL Dan Samuelson has committed to Michigan while on his official visit to Ann Arbor. Samuelson was previously a Nebraska commit, but the Wolverines became a serious contender after he took an unofficial last month. He becomes the sixth offensive lineman in the 2013 class and the 25th commit overall.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*, #25 OT 3*, #31 OG 3*, 75, #87 OT 3*, 89, #13 OG

Samuelson is a three-star prospect to every service save Scout, which places him just outside their top 300 recruits (the #24 OT, Logan Tuley-Tillman, is #300 overall). All four agree that he's 6'5", with his listed weight ranging from 275 to 295 pounds—the latter figure seems more up-to-date.

Samuelson should be ticketed for guard at Michigan, but ESPN's evaluation likes his prospects better at tackle ($):

Samuelson plays effectively at the guard position showing the upper body playing strength needed to control defenders when single blocking. However his size and athleticism appears better suited for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. ... Playing out of a three point stance we see the first step quickness needed to gain and immediate advantage, however we do detect some lower body stiffness when playing in space and adjusting to change of direction movement. This lineman comes off the ball aggressively with good pad level and a solid blocking base; flashes the explosion and pop necessary to knock defenders off the ball on first contact however there is the need to follow through with consistent leg drive. Is quick out of his stance when releasing up on linebackers or pulling to trap; flashes the ability to reach on offset down linemen and get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. Can get tossed at times needing to improve his agility and balance when playing in space.

I should say, ESPN says that they like him at tackle, then go on to talk about issues blocking in space and on the edge. Does not compute. Mentions of good pad level and second-level blocking make him sound like an ideal guard. That's certainly the impression of Scout's Bryan Munson, who scouted Sameulson after his commitment to Nebraska ($):

When you watch Samuelson’s film you see the skill and you see the ability. He’s quick for a guy his size, 6-foot-5 and around 280-pounds, and he loves to hit people. What you see when you watch Samuelson is a guy that gets onto his block and drives his guy either into the ground or 20 yards down field.

There are also some pretty good indications of strength too. While I haven’t seen any reported strength numbers specifically you can see the way that he just handles the guy that he has to block. The way that I would sum up Samuelson is simple: Big, smart, strong, dominating run-blocker with a need to develop pass-blocking skills.

Rivals's Josh Helmholdt echoes the sentiment that Samuelson plays with good pad level ($):

"I liked Dan's film," Helmholdt said when asked for his evaluation of Samuelson. "He's a guy who played offensive guard as a junior, and I don't see anything that tells me he couldn't play right tackle. So there's some versatility there. He has the potential to play probably multiple positions on the offensive line.

"He's an above average athlete for the position. He really moves his feet well. He plays with great leverage. I think that something that really stands out in his film is that he's always up underneath the pads of the defensive lineman. He just does a lot of things well. I wouldn't say there's any one thing that makes you say 'wow', he's just a well-rounded offensive line prospect."

When Scout gave Samuelson his fourth star, Allen Trieu said he's got the potential to be a multi-year starter down the road:

It seems like every year the Midwest produces tough, hard nosed linemen who get overlooked. I think Samuelson is one of those blue collar kind of guys who is going to come in, work hard, be a starter and an all-conference kind of guy, and in the past, would have been underrated. On film, he showed good footwork and once we saw more of him pass blocking, we felt confident he could be a multi-year starter in college.

Samuelson seems like a guy who could slot in at either guard spot or even right tackle; while he might not be a dominant presence, he's got a solid base and should fit into the offense as a road-grater type.

OFFERS

Samuelson had a Nebraska offer, of course, and prior to that commitment he was a one-time pledge to Pittsburgh. His other offers came from Bowling Green, Illinois, Miami (OH), Minnesota, Wake Forest, Western Michigan, and Wyoming.

STATS

No stats, offensive lineman.

FAKE 40 TIME

Rivals lists a 40 time of 5.3 seconds, which gets one FAKE out of five.

VIDEO

The only video I can find of Sameulson on YouTube is cutups from a single game:

You can check out film from several other individual games on his Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

As said above, Sameulson should end up at guard when he gets to Michigan given his size and skill set. With his combination of size, fundamentals, and run-blocking skills, he should compete for a starting spot down the road, though he'll almost assuredly redshirt in 2013. He'll have a lot of competition from more highly-touted members of his own class in David Dawson and Kyle Bosch, as well as Kyle Kalis and Blake Bars in the year ahead of him, but Samuelson should provide solid depth until he gets a chance to compete for a starting job as an upperclassman.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan should be able to take two or three more players in the class—the worry at this point is the 85 total scholarship cap, not the 25 single-class cap, since six members of the 2013 class enrolled early. It's even possible that the Wolverines take another offensive lineman in Cameron Hunt (on his official visit right now) or Dan Skipper.

The top remaining target, of course, is Derrick Green, who announced today that he'll make his decision on January 26th—Michigan is in very good position to land his commitment. OH CB Reon Dawson, another player taking his official visit this weekend, is also a candidate to take one of the last couple spots.

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Thursday Recruitin' Takes A Tumble

Thursday Recruitin' Takes A Tumble Comment Count

Ace January 10th, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers this weekend's official visitors, an impending 2013 decision, updated rankings from Scout and ESPN, and more.

Weekend Officials: Hunt, Dawson

Only two non-commits—CA OL Cameron Hunt and OH CB Reon Dawson—will take official visits to Ann Arbor this weekend, but Michigan is firmly in the mix for both. Hunt has developed a strong connection with commit Patrick Kugler, who moved his own official to this weekend and will surely be giving Hunt the full-court press for a commitment—though, for now, Hunt has subsequent officials planned for Cal and Oregon with Ohio State also a possible destination.

Dawson, an Illinois commit, would join Trotwood-Madison teammate Mike McCray as a Wolverine if he decides to switch his pledge. Neither Hunt nor Dawson has stated that Michigan holds an edge, but it's conceivable that one or both could be in the fold after this weekend.

IN OL Dan Samuelson visited Michigan last month, and Steve Wiltfong reports that the Nebraska commit will choose between the Wolverines and Huskers on Monday. At first glance, it's a race between Hunt and Samuelson for the final O-line spot, but Sam Webb said this week on his radio show that it's possible Michigan takes both for a total of seven linemen in the class.

One guy Michigan's won't get: Laquon Treadwell, who will choose next Thursday between Ole Miss (the prohibitive favorite), Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.

Derrick Green, meanwhile, will not be taking a visit to Auburn this weekend, per Mike Farrell—that rumor made the rounds after originating on some Auburn message boards. Michigan is still in command in his recruitment.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Denzel Ward and Da'Shawn Hand, a look at the updated Scout and ESPN rankings, and more.]

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Monday Recruitin' Rewrites The Dictionary

Monday Recruitin' Rewrites The Dictionary Comment Count

Ace December 17th, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Today's recruiting roundup covers last weekend's visitors, Laquon Treadwell's top three, and more.

More To Come?


Dan Samuelson

Michigan's big recruiting weekend delivered as expected, with Cass Tech teammates David Dawson and Delano Hill becoming the 23rd and 24th members of the class of 2013. Dawson is very much a known commodity, Hill less so—Josh Helmholdt caught up to the latter to get some clarity on his future position ($):

"Their plans for me are I am going to start off playing corner," Hill said. "If I don't like playing corner, I can always go back to playing safety. I think I can play all positions in the secondary, so it doesn't matter to me."

Hill played safety in high school but has also displayed impressive cover skills on the camp circuit; at 6'1", he'd give Michigan a bigger corner to line up on the outside.

The Wolverines hosted a surprise visitor last weekend in IN OL Dan Samuelson, a Nebraska commit who recently received a Michigan offer, per Allen Trieu ($). While Samuelson played it coy about his interest in Michigan, a Scout article from last week indicates that he took a big step by making this visit ($) [emphasis mine]:

“I truly didn’t go and look for another offer though. [Michigan] came to me. There is very little interest from me to Michigan. I really don’t think that I will take a visit there. Nebraska said that they would view that as a decommitment. I don’t want to do that. I believe that is where that will stay.”

I doubt the situation changed from Nebraska's end in the span of a few days; it seems likely that Samuelson has given up his spot in their class to see Ann Arbor. And now, 247's Todd Worly reported today that Samuelson's situation could be resolved imminently ($):

Looks like the Wolverines have made an impression and Samuelson plans on having everything figured out by Monday evening.

"I'm going to start calling everyone around 5 (p.m. EST), after I talk to Nebraska and figure things out with them," Samuelson said.

With the recent rumblings that Michigan could take a sixth offensive lineman, plus the above chronology, well... stay tuned.

Michigan also made an impression on another visitor committed to a Big Ten school, linebacker recruit and Wisconsin pledge Marcus Ball. Ball told Todd Worly that Michigan is "a great place," though he's waiting to see who the Badgers hire to replace Bret Bielema before making any decisions about his status with the Badgers ($). For what it's worth, Dymonte Thomas—one of many Michigan commits taking his official visit last weekend—tells Sam Webb that he thinks Ball will make the switch ($):

“I just met [Ball] this weekend, but I think he is going to commit to Michigan too,” said Thomas.  “I’m not 100% sure, but I think he really liked us.  We’ll see what happens.”

Man, Bielema is going to flip out about that gentleman's agree-- oh, right.

[Hit THE JUMP for the latest on Laquon Treadwell and more.]

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