Preview 2017: Wide Receiver

Preview 2017: Wide Receiver

Submitted by Brian on August 29th, 2017 at 11:38 AM

Previously: Podcast 9.0A. Podcast 9.0B. Podcast 9.0C. The Story. Quarterback. Running Back.

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gert orf me[Bryan Fuller]

Depth Chart


WR Yr. WR Yr. SLOT Yr. SPREAD H Yr.
Kekoa Crawford So. Tarik Black Fr. Grant Perry Jr. Chris Evans So.
Oliver Martin Fr. Donovan Peoples-Jones Fr. Eddie McDoom So. Eddie McDoom So.
Nico Collins Fr. Moe Ways Jr.* Nate Schoenle Fr.* Ty Isaac Sr.*

They're gone, all gone. Michigan loses every receiver on the roster with more than 13 catches a year ago (Grant Perry). A couple of disastrous Hoke recruiting classes mean the chasm from the departed to the new generation is almost as large as theoretically possible. And Freshman Wide Receivers Suck™. Should Wilton Speight be shivering under his blanket at night?

Maybe. But maybe not:

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by the year 2047 this jpg will be replaced by preprogrammed electronic disco[Seth]

Wait wait wait that's not what I meant to copy and paste at all.

Ahem. BUT MAYBE NOT:

Last year at this time you talked a lot about Chris Evans being an emerging player. Are there any players in that vein that have impressed so far?

HARBAUGH: “Did I? This time last year I said Chris Evans? [/pulls a Kip from Napoleon Dynamite] I was right.

“Alright, I’ll give you a couple. The receivers are doing really well. DPJ and Oliver Martin and Tarik Black are making a lot of plays. They really are. They’re making some superb athletic types of plays. I’ve never seen freshmen doing it the way they’re doing it."

247 is reporting that Michigan's freshman quartet has been excellent and that a source says the WR spot is "in better shape than it has maybe ever been in." Maybe not all freshman wide receivers suck. Also there's a sophomore.

OUTSIDE RECEIVER: YOUNG, THE GIANTS

RATING: 3.5.

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please don't forget the guy wearing #1 [Patrick Barron]

With the departure of Chesson and Darboh and Drake Harris's flip to defense Michigan returns all of nine career catches on the outside. Those are about evenly split between KEKOA CRAWFORD [recruiting profile] and Moe Ways, but only one of those gents is currently projected to start: Crawford.

As is usual for freshman wide receivers, Crawford's first year was mostly spent blocking guys. He had one bad drop early and one circus catch late…

…and thus ends data about his actual receivering. He did make a catch on a dig against Hawaii and a couple others, but they were routine opportunities that can only give you pause if they were dropped; they weren't.

The blocking was an immediate plus. He came in with a reputation in that department and upheld it:

He stood guys up, sought out defensive backs deep downfield, and on one memorable snap blocked a guy until he left a 20-yard furrow in the Spartan Stadium field:

He looks like a worthy heir to Darboh and Chesson in that department, at least.

With insiders orbiting the freshmen like sharks circling a school of fish, there's been next to no insider talk about Crawford this fall. I did pick up this bit in spring:

Kekoa Crawford lacks DPJ's explosiveness—as do most humans—and looks about like he did when he got on the field this year: very good blocker, big target, good routes. Strong belief he can be a quality #2 receiver this year, and an okay #1 if necessary.

Webb called him a "reliable chain mover" and "really physical," and there are occasionally asides after various freshman raptures that oh yeah, Crawford is going to start. It says something that the Black rapture alternates with the DPJ rapture and Crawford's just hangin' out during both, starting:

Earlier in the week we talked about the big play antics of freshman Tarik Black. Late in the week it’s Donovan Peoples-Jones. … he stood out the most in first-WR-group that consisted of DPJ, Kekoa Crawford, and Eddie McDoom.

If Crawford is feeling rather overlooked, fair enough. He was an Army AA himself, a high four-star guy ranked in a tight band just outside of everyone's top 100. He's not chopped liver. From his recruiting profile:

  • electric in and out of breaks. …quickness to separate …brings a lot to the table after the catch as an elusive player with good moves.
  • very competitive speed and slippery elusiveness… knows how to use his feet, hips and burst to gain separation. … athletic and precise and has a good feel for the game.
  • …does everything well. …solid frame and is much stronger than he looks. …nice burst, is a polished route runner and has good top end speed. …

He's already gotten some run and is holding his own athletically in college. Crawford won a couple of winter combine events and finished a close second to Donovan Peoples-Jones in a few more; the most notable results were a 4.49 40 and 35 inch vertical. That is in line with his top-ten SPARQ score from the Opening during his senior year. Crawford consistently tests in the NFL B+/A- range, and that'll be more than enough in college.

There's about to be several butt-tons of freshman hype in this post, but don't be surprised if Crawford emerges from this season as Michigan's leading receiver. Long term you're hoping he settles into the Avant sidekick role to one world-obliterating type; this year he should be the outside guy who is most reliably in the correct spot. If this sounds unimpressive, please review this site's abiding love for Avant.

[AFTER THE JUMP: seeking one freshman dude, maybe two]

Grant Perry Pleads, Likely Gets Charges Diverted

Grant Perry Pleads, Likely Gets Charges Diverted

Submitted by Brian on June 28th, 2017 at 11:20 AM

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[Patrick Barron]

Grant Perry didn't make it to his court date, pleading to assault and resisting arrest:

"We tried to cut in line and we got into an argument," Perry told Judge Joyce Draganchuk during Wednesday morning's hearing. "I proceeded to push her out of my way."

Perry, a junior wide receiver from Royal Oak, also said he "tried to wriggle away" from East Lansing police when they arrived on the scene.

The resisting arrest charge is technically a felony—which the LSJ rather misleadingly leads with—but the outcome of the case is going to be standard for a first time offense of this nature:

As part of the plea agreement, Assistant Ingham County Prosecutor Christina Johnson said she is not opposed to a sentencing under the Holmes Youthful Training Act.

If that happens, Perry's conviction could be set aside until as late as his 24th birthday. His record would then be wiped clean if he fulfills requirements imposed by Draganchuk.

He will get some probation that includes a no-alcohol clause and community service. Sexual assault charges and an alcohol charge were dropped.

Jim Harbaugh technically reinstated Perry before this happened; given the timing of the plea it seems clear this was in the works and merely needed some Ts crossed and Is dotted before being announced. Perry has already served a three game suspension because of this incident and given the outcome that's clearly enough. A similar resisting arrest/drunken dumb stuff event for Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is going to garner him The Dantonio: zero games.

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]

Grant Perry Suspended Indefinitely

Grant Perry Suspended Indefinitely

Submitted by Seth on December 22nd, 2016 at 3:28 PM

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Sophomore WR Grant Perry today was informed of the charges that would be filed against him, which include two counts of sexual assault and running from police. He has been suspended apparently until the law is finished with him.

The charges against him include assaulting, battering, resisting or obstructing an officer(a felony), plus two counts of fourth degree sexual assault and a minor-in-possession charge (all misdemeanors). The Lansing State Journal had some details on the incident:

He is accused of touching a female who was waiting in line outside a downtown East Lansing bar at 12:20 a.m. Oct. 15.

"When (police) arrived on scene, we tried to grab onto him, and we had to chase him," said Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth, a spokesman for the East Lansing Police Department. "In the midst of that fracas, one of our officers suffered a minor hand injury."

Perry, along with Jack and Jared Wangler, was suspended for the Illinois game the week after the incident, and Perry didn’t travel to MSU. He was active for the Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio State games this year, notably catching 4 passes for 49 yards in The Game. How much of the incident Michigan knew at the time of disciplinary action is an open question.

Perry, playing a Dileo-style slot, was Michigan’s third most productive receiver this year, and was expected to play a larger role in 2017 with the graduation of Chesson and Darboh. Perry is almost certain to miss the Orange Bowl, and his future with the team will likely be decided by the justice system.

No Damn Reason At All

No Damn Reason At All

Submitted by Brian on November 28th, 2016 at 1:06 PM

11/26/2016 – Michigan 27, Ohio State 30 (2OT) – 10-2, 7-2 Big Ten

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[Eric Upchurch]

After all that, the thing that sticks with me is something much more prosaic than the various outrages everyone's going on about. It's third and four in the fourth quarter. Ohio State literally triple-covers Jake Butt; Wilton Speight finds Amara Darboh open on a quick slant. The ball is behind Darboh, tough but catchable. Darboh does not catch it. Michigan punts with five minutes and change left on the clock.

Why did that happen?

I don't know. Nobody does, but very few people tasked with writing about a thing will tell you that. Everyone else will reach for any explanation of remote plausibility, from an injured shoulder to CHOKING like a CLOWN FRAUD. Whatever, doesn't matter. Just as long as there's a reason a thing occurred, we can go on with our lives.

I think that happened for no damn reason at all. Yes, if you replaced Speight with Tom Brady that pass was more likely to be accurate. If you replaced him with Tyler O'Connor, less likely. It is still a simple five-yard throw that is amongst the easiest in the quarterback's repertoire. It is within the capabilities of the QB. Speight probably hits 90% of them, especially on a day where he is locked in. The most likely explanation for why he did not hit that one is none at all. The most likely reason Darboh did not catch a tough but catchable pass is none at all.

There are entire fields of study dedicated to the fallibility of the human brain, which refuses to operate cleanly. (I just put a D into the word "entire" as I was typing that sentence out.) These exist mostly because planes crash into each other and space shuttles explode and not because football happens sometimes, which just goes to show that people have strange priorities.

--------------------------------------------------

Speaking of the fallibility of the human brain:

It is hard to take that sort of thing. Michigan had just gotten a flag on a similar, but less severe, defensive holding incident on the prior Ohio State drive. That ended a Michigan drive that had reached midfield; if called correctly Michigan has first and ten at the Ohio State 40.

Later in the game the same pattern would repeat. Delano Hill was flagged for pass interference on third and 14 when he unnecessarily grabbed the waist of Curtis Samuel before the ball arrived; the exact same thing happened to Grant Perry on a third down conversion attempt and was ignored. Again, that sets Michigan up with a first down, this one on the ten in the second overtime. Again it was preceded by a call so similar against Michigan it beggars belief that a flag did not come out.

That's tough to get over. The spot was close enough and chaotic enough that it falls within the realm of the unknowable. An MGoUser who knows what parallax is and went over available evidence with a fine-toothed comb thinks Barrett made it by literally an inch or two. While I thought the spot was wrong I knew they would not overturn it, because they never overturn spots without some sort of egregious his-knee-was-down-ten-yards-ago kind of thing. In isolation that call is, in the cold light of day two days later, too close to have a definitive resolution. If it was wrong it very well could have been an honest mistake.

It is difficult to interpret either of the above incidents as honest, or a mistake. It's difficult to see a standard-issue Harbaugh blowup get flagged in the Game when we've seen the same thing tolerated all year. It's difficult to believe that Michigan's defensive line hasn't benefited from a holding call since the Illinois game.

This is the point at which newspapery types come in with the You Had Your Opportunities To Win The Game, an asinine criticism since that's literally true of both teams in every close game ever played. You can believe that Michigan had opportunities to win they did not take and simultaneously believe that the officiating gave you less than a 50/50 shot in a 50/50 game.

And then you're putting guys out on the field from the state of Ohio who were previously banned from working The Game because of how it might look? What the fuck are you even doing, Big Ten?

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[Patrick Barron]

What's that? Counting your money? Right. Well done.

--------------------------------------------

Michigan lost this game. They did so for many reasons.

Their mistakes were punished as ruthlessly as possible. A floating ball goes directly to a defender. A fumbled snap is recovered by the defense. Curtis Samuel escapes a huge loss three times and sets up the fourth down that falls within the margin of error.

They did not take advantage of plays that were there to be made. Speight threw behind Darboh twice; Darboh did not bail him out. Karan Higdon missed a cut on what would have been a huge gain. Smith did not run over a safety prior to the fumble.

They did not get a fair whistle. See above.

All that and it came down to a literal inch. A rivalry classic, and an invitation for a bunch of hooting jackals to hoot some more. As for us on the other side, nothing to do but soldier on in the gray light of morning.

AWARDS

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there is another [Bryan Fuller]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

-2535ac8789d1b499[1]you're the man now, dog

#1 Taco Charlton was the most rampant of Michigan's very rampant defensive line, acquiring two and a half sacks and forcing Barrett to move around several other times.

#2 (tie) Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray shut off the Ohio State edge except on a couple plays where Michigan was successfully out-leveraged pre-snap. It was weird to see neutrals on twitter wondering why anyone would run east-west against The Michigan Defense, but they were, because it didn't work. They picked up 19 tackles between them, two sacks, another TFL, and McCray batted down two passes. McCray also forced a sack when he leapt in the passing lane of a third.

#3 Kenny Allen bombed all but one of his punts; he mastered the Ron Coluzzi hard right turn; he had just one touchback, that on a punt that still had a 40+ yard net; Curtis Samuel had just one quickly snuffed return opportunity; he hit a couple field goals; none of his kickoffs were returnable.

Honorable mention: Channing Stribling broke up the only deep shot on the day; OSU decided they were not going to bother with either him or Jourdan Lewis. The rest of the defensive line was terrific all day; the tackles were very good in pass protection against some tough customers. Peppers had a big KOR, an interception, and was also a major part of the edge being closed down.

KFaTAotW Standings.

10: Wilton Speight (#1 UCF, #1 Illinois, #3 MSU, #1 Maryland), Taco Charlton(three-way T1, PSU, same vs Rutgers, #3 Maryland, #2 Iowa, #2 Indiana, #1 OSU).
9: Jabrill Peppers(T2, Hawaii; #3 UCF, #1 Colorado, #2 Rutgers, #2 MSU)
5: Ryan Glasgow(#2 UCF, #1 UW), Chris Wormley (three-way T1, PSU, same vs Rutgers, #1 Iowa).
4: Jourdan Lewis (#3 UW, #2 Maryland, #3 Indiana), Mike McCray(#1 Hawaii, T2 OSU), Ben Gedeon(#3 Colorado, #3 PSU, three-way T1 Rutgers, T2 OSU).
3.5: De'Veon Smith (four-way T2, PSU, #1 Indiana).
3: Amara Darboh(#1 MSU).
2.5: Karan Higdon(four-way T2, PSU, #2 Illinois).
2: Jake Butt(#2 Colorado), Kyle Kalis (#2 UW)
1: Delano Hill (T2, Hawaii), Chris Evans (T3, Hawaii, four-way T2, PSU),  Maurice Hurst (three-way T1, PSU),  Devin Asiasi(#3 Rutgers), Ben Braden (#3 Illinois), Channing Stribling (#3 Iowa), Kenny Allen (#3 OSU).
0.5: Mason Cole(T3, Hawaii), Ty Isaac (four-way T2, PSU).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

It's a goat in a duck costume!

Honorable mention: is that not sufficient

WGIBTUs Past.

Hawaii: Laughter-inducing Peppers punt return.
UCF: Speight opens his Rex Grossman account.
Colorado: Peppers cashes it in.
PSU: Wormley's sack establishes a theme.
UW: Darboh puts Michigan ahead for good.
Rutgers: Peppers presses "on".
Illinois: TRAIN 2.0.
MSU: lol, two points.
Maryland: very complicated bomb.
Iowa: The touchdown.
Indiana: Smith woodchips Michigan a lead.
OSU: Goat. Duck costume. Yeah.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

This week's worst thing ever.

The Spot.

Honorable mention: The ensuing play. Speight fumbles the snap; Speight gets hit on the throw and offers up a pick six; Speight throws an INT that is on him; various refereeing malfeasances.

PREVIOUS EPIC DOUBLE BIRDs

Hawaii: Not Mone again.
UCF: Uh, Dymonte, you may want to either tackle or at least lightly brush that guy.
Colorado: Speight blindsided.
PSU: Clark's noncontact ACL injury.
UW: Newsome joins the ranks of the injured.
Rutgers: you can't call back the Mona Lisa of punt returns, man.
Illinois: They scored a what now? On Michigan? A touchdown?
Michigan State: a terrifying first drive momentarily makes you think you're in the mirror universe.
Maryland: Edge defense is a confirmed issue.
Iowa: Kalis hands Iowa a safety.
Indiana: A legitimate drive.
OSU: The Spot.

[After THE JUMP: ~3000 additional words, 43% of which are swears.]

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Colorado

Upon Further Review 2016: Offense vs Colorado

Submitted by Brian on September 22nd, 2016 at 2:36 PM

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SPONSOR NOTES: Sauce Castillo may just be off the hook since Iowa lost to NDSU and does not look like a psycho killer this year. But if Michigan does lose to Iowa, hoo boy you're going to be a pariah! A persona non-grata! That'll show you to skip the ads.

In addition to being a gentleman replete with Michigan tickets, he is also a good man to know if you need a mortgage. It's striking that we actually get non-astroturfed comments about positive experiences with Matt not infrequently.

If you're buying a home or refinancing, he's the right guy to call.

FORMATION NOTES: Michigan was very heavy in this game, with only a quarter of their snaps featuring 3 or more wideouts. 27 of them had 0 or 1. CU was very consistent with their formations, running a pure 3-4 on all non-passing downs:

base CU D

They ran a standard nickel on passing downs.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: OL the expected starting five with the exception of one drive for Bredeson in the first half. Smith got about half the snaps at RB with Evans and Isaac getting the rest; FB once again split just about down the middle between Hill and Poggi.

Butt and Darboh were just about omnipresent; Chesson only got slightly more than half the snaps since Darboh was preferred in one-WR formations. Bunting got about half the snaps; Perry and Asiasi both got about a dozen. Various other guys got 1-5 snaps.

[After THE JUMP: I'm fretting.] 

Monday Presser 9-5-16: Players

Monday Presser 9-5-16: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 6th, 2016 at 6:00 PM

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[Fuller/Upchurch]

Grant Newsome and Grant Perry

Grant Newsome, there was a time where it seemed like you were battling for that left tackle spot. Seemed like you made the most of it. Assess your play on Saturday.

“I thought it was definitely a good start. Obviously there’s a lot to improve. I think I’ll see that when I go over the film with Coach Drevno. So definitely a lot of areas to improve on, but it was good to get out there and get my first start under my belt.”

What did you feel you did best?

“I thought as on offense we just moved the ball really well. I think coming out on that second drive and moving the ball 98 yards really set the tone for the game. I think we converted pretty well on third down and made plays when we needed to.”

Can you take us through your touchdown and how much more comfortable it seemed like Wilton got as that first quarter went on.

GP: “Yeah. So when I lined up I actually thought he wasn’t going to throw to me because we got a look that we usually don’t throw to. They were in bracket coverage. I ran my route, got open, he threw a perfect ball. It was a good play.

“Just as a growth aspect, I feel like I’ve really matured. I’m feeling good in the third-spot role and just ready to get after it some more.”

How do you think Wilton progresses throughout that first half?

GP: “I think—well, obviously that first play was kind of bizarre. We all were kind of shaking our heads, but he brushed that off and he really showed that he can lead this team and he’s a winner.”

Grant Newsome, yourself and the offensive line asserted control early. The running backs especially played well with Chris [Evans] and guys like Kingston [Davis] and Karan [Higdon] getting carries. Can you assess the talent level that you guys have in the backfield and your impressions from especially a guy like Chris and what he did Saturday.

“It’s nice for us because we’ve known all camp what Chris can bring, so it was kind of funny—not funny, but great to get out on the field and let the world see what he can bring. We’ve seen that for three weeks during camp.

“It’s great as an offensive lineman. You can open up a hole and know you have multiple backs, not just one, in the backfield who, if you give them a little bit of space, will make the most of it. You saw that on a couple runs where we just gave them a little bit of space and they were able to shoot through the hole and get to the end zone.”

[Much more after THE JUMP]

One-Play One-on-One: Grant Perry

One-Play One-on-One: Grant Perry

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 6th, 2016 at 10:13 AM

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[Upchurch]

This is the first in what will hopefully be an ongoing series of one-on-one interviews in which I ask players to go in-depth about a certain play from last week’s game. This week I talked to Grant Perry about his touchdown catch that came on a nicely run corner route in the middle of the first quarter. Don’t remember it? Just watch the gif at the bottom of the post.

When you got to the line, what did you see?

“I actually saw a coverage that we didn’t get all week in practice. It was a bracket coverage where they had one guy outside of me and one inside of me, so pre-snap I was not expecting to get the ball. But ran a good route, Wilton saw it and lofted it right over the guy’s head. It was perfect.”

It looked like you faked the post to the inside before running the corner.

“Yeah.”

Is that something that is built into the route or are you guys allowed to improvise as you see different types of coverage?

“Yeah, we kind of just improvise on different kinds of coverage. Especially when there’s two dudes over you, you’ve got to kind of just give something one way, trick them out the other way, and then go back another way. So it’s really just about getting open. No real name to that. It’s just the art of route running.”

In the postgame press conference Coach Harbaugh said that was about as good as you can throw a corner route. As far as Wilton goes, would you say that’s one of his best-thrown routes that you saw through camp and whatnot?

“Yeah. I mean, I wasn’t surprised by it. We throw that during practice, after practice. Getting extra work, we’ll throw that route because that’s a route you run from the slot a lot. I wasn’t surprised by it. I’m sure he was very happy with the throw. Capping a 98-yard drive after an interception probably feels pretty good. Yeah, no surprise on that one there.”

You mentioned that you didn’t think you were going to get the ball. At what point did you know it was coming?

“Kind of when I broke him off outside and stepped inside. Went back to the corner and I looked back and he was trailing me, and I just saw the ball. So when the ball hit my hands I knew it came to me.”

So you turn to look as you get into the corner route?

“Yeah, step and look. Yep.”

What route would you say you’re most comfortable with and what’s your favorite route to run?

“I like running any route, to be honest. The corner route is a good route to run because you get to run deep and run away from people. Especially if it’s in the end zone. So that’s always fun. Really any route in this system is a good route to run.”

As we talked about earlier, you’re allowed to improvise here and there. Your route running is very precise; we can see that on film. What are some drills or other things you do to work on that?

“Coach Fisch, Coach Drew [Terrell], Coach Ryan [Nehlen], they put us through all these great drills. There’s a lot of cone drills we do working on cutting. There’s a tennis ball drill we do where we pick up the ball and work on getting low. And then stuff at the line of scrimmage trying to get the DB off you. Stuff like that really simulates and helps get the feel for it in the game.”

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*Inarticulate Yelling*

*Inarticulate Yelling*

Submitted by Brian on September 5th, 2016 at 12:56 PM

9/3/2016 – Michigan 63, Hawaii 3 – 1-0

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this elevator goes all the way up buddy [Bryan Fuller]

I wonder if Michael Jordan has an internal insincerity meter for crowd reactions he gets. It's 50/50. Jordan is the kind of transcendent athlete who could legitimately go through life thinking that 100,000 nearly random people would burst into rapture at his mere presence. But to get to that level you have to be completely unstinting in your self-evaluations. To be Michael Jordan you cannot have anything but an infinitely precise vision of yourself in your head.

Anyone who went to North Carolina and was once pictured four feet tall next to Joe Dumars on a Sports Illustrated cover cannot have many misconceptions about the general feeling of southeast Michigan towards his person. So I wonder if Michael Jordan got thrown up on the big screen at Michigan Stadium and heard what the reaction was and thought to himself "I don't know what these people are one thousand percent rabid about, but it ain't me."

Because that happened. Michigan put Michael Jordan on the big board and people went nuts and if Michael Jeffery Jordan was any part of that you'd have to get down to the third derivative, where damn near everything is in the +c. Happy to have you and all that, but if you're not down with being an emblem for a bunch of other stuff we cannot help you. Emblem you are.

Same thing with all the Jumpman stuff a few weeks ago. Part of that may be genuine excitement that a different company is making tubes with holes for your arms, but most of it is because it's a place to put your enthusiasm. It is a tangible thing you can do

I mean, the students showed up on time.

Let us consider the situation. It is noon. Michigan is playing Hawaii, a 42-point underdog. The sun is unfettered in the sky, at maximum hangover-beatdown wattage. It is Welcome Week. And despite being the same age as Will Smith's kids, the students are in their section at kickoff.

Anywhere you look you'll find evidence that Michigan fans are amped for this season, including this here blog that predicted 12-0 like an idiot and sold out of its season preview magazine. I don't think anything can top assembling nearly 30,000 students in 2016. As a reminder, this is what MSU's stadium looked like at halftime of a Big Ten game last year:

Harbaugh's got a shot at canonization now, after The Miracle Of The Full Student Section At Noon During Welcome Week 2016.

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The team did their best to keep the party going. Even Wilton Speight's interception gave the defense another three plays on which to establish that Hawaii was going nowhere, and tack on stats when Michigan got the ball back. Like when you're running punts back to the one in NCAA football so you can make your absurd numbers even more absurd.

Michigan did not punt, scored seven touchdowns on offense, and would have won this game by two scores if none of those counted. It took Hawaii 25 minutes to get a first down and about that long to scrape above zero yards of offense. Jabrill Peppers jumped over a guy for fun. The only time anyone booed was when Hawaii broke the shutout with an audacious 55-yard field goal.

There wasn't anything they could do against Hawaii that would change opinions positively; they held serve.

This allowed the crowd to continue losing their mind for flyovers and Charles Woodson and Lamarr Woodley and Jim Hackett, who got the biggest cheer of anyone they introduced because he did one thing very well. Never in the history of interim athletic directors has one been greeted so rapturously.

And even that was kind of cheering at something because it's there, not for something. The yelling in Michigan Stadium was about things yet to happen. It's on the way. 

HIGHLIGHTS & SUCH

Boxscore.

Parking God:

Postgame pressers from Harbaugh and players at Maize and Blue News.

AWARDS

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[Fuller]

-2535ac8789d1b499[1]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

you're the man now, dog

#1 Mike McCray led the way with 3.5 TFLs, two of them sacks, and a total of nine tackles. His impact is even a little understated by those numbers, as he also picked up a holding call on a play that still ended with the QB buried under a pile.

#2(tie) Delano Hill and Jabrill Peppers. Hill had a pick six, a nice PBU on a deep ball, and a TFL on which he displayed his trademark open-field tackling. Peppers had two TFLs, a sack, and an absurd punt return ending in a hurdle of a dude damn near standing up. I also think he was shorted a TFL on the first play of the game, as that went (very slightly) backward.

#3(tie) Chris Evans and Mason Cole. Evans cracked 100 yards on just 8 carries. Cole helped spring a big chunk of those with a lovely reach block and looked like a very good center indeed.

Honorable mention: Eddie McDooom; Ben Gedeon; Ryan Glasgow; all persons living and dead.

KFaTAotW Standings.

3: Mike McCray(#1, Hawaii)
1: Delano Hill (T2, Hawaii), Jabrill Peppers (T2, Hawaii).
0.5: Chris Evans (T3, Hawaii), Mason Cole(T3, Hawaii).

Who's Got It Better Than Us Of The Week

This week's best thing ever.

No I don't care that this was called back.

Honorable mention: Evans bursts down the sideline; Evans bursts up the middle; various blitzes on which the only response was HALP; pick six; other pick six; Carl Grapentine pronouncing "McDoom"; Grant Perry's sinuous corner route; Michigan introducing Jim Hackett to thunderous approval as someone else plots a corporate Facebook page response.

WGIBTUs Past.

Hawaii: Laughter-inducing Peppers punt return.

imageMARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

This week's worst thing ever.

Another Bryan Mone injury of some severity is the worst both for him and Michigan's DT depth.

Honorable mention: Wilton Speight momentarily panics everyone with a pick on his first snap; that one drive when Stribling was getting the business a bit; jerko Hawaii kicker ruins the shutout with a 55-yard FG.

PREVIOUS EPIC DOUBLE BIRDs

Hawaii: Not Mone again.

[After THE JUMP: and introducing Chris Evans]

Fall Camp Presser 8-26-16: Jake Butt and Grant Perry

Fall Camp Presser 8-26-16: Jake Butt and Grant Perry

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

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[Fuller]

Jake Butt

What have the countdown weeks, countdown days been like over the past few years, and how does this one compare?

“They’re all kind of similar and different in their own ways. They’re unique in their own ways. The first week of camp you’re just going against your defense. You’re not really preparing against your opponent’s defense yet. But now, leading into that last week and a half [or] two weeks, you start locking in and studying film on your opponent and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

How, in your mind, is the offense shaping up? What are the things you think you’ll really do well?

“It’s coming together real nice right now. We’ve got a lot of guys who’ve been making plays all camp. The line’s been coming on strong; that’s an experienced group. We’ve had some young guys stepping up. Grant Perry’s been having an amazing camp. Chris Evans has been making plays left and right. It’s unbelievable to see these guys. So, it’s coming together real nice.”

Speaking of the young guys, as far as your room’s concerned, how have Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Zach Gentry been doing?

“They’ve both been doing pretty good. They’ve both been having a really good camp. They’re both specializing in different things. Obviously Zach’s more of a receiving tight end, Wheatley’s more of a blocking tight end, and they’ve taken on that role. From the beginning of camp to where they are now, they’ve made some big strides.”

The fact that you’ve had an entire year and spring ball, do you feel way more comfortable now than you did a year ago?

“I don’t know that I feel necesarily more comfortable but I think for some of the younger guys or guys that didn’t get a lot of the reps last year, they’re starting to feel a little bit more comfortable because they’re getting a better understanding of the offense and the way the coaches work where if you play a little bit more that comes a little bit sooner.”

You said one of the reasons you came back for your senior year was that you still had a lot of improvements to make. What have been those improvements you’ve made in the last six months?

“Yeah, cleaning up some things with my route running. I want to win every single route and that’s my goal, and that’s my job is to take some guys with me. I want to win and I think I’ve been doing a good job. It helps when you have Delano Hill and Jabrill Peppers manned up on you right on the line every single play this whole entire camp. I don’t really see it getting any harder than that this season. But blocking has been the biggest area of improvement for me. Just technically, pad level, I’ve added some strength this offseason, made some changes with my body, so that’s been the biggest area of improvement.”

When your assignment’s to go out there and block Jabrill, how is it different from blocking a normal Sam linebacker?

“He’s just as strong as probably any Sam linebacker. I mean, he’s really, really strong and explosive but he adds just such quickness and speed element to it that you’ve got to take into account.”

Handicap the quarterback race for us.

“Uh, yeah, everybody’s doing really good but there’s a dark horse in the battle. Erik Magnuson’s really been coming on strong toward the end of camp. He’s hitting the deep balls really well. Coaches have been really impressed with him.”

[After THE JUMP: which receivers are rotating at which spot, which NFL players Butt watches film of, and which receivers will redshirt]