Michigan All-XXL Team

Michigan All-XXL Team Comment Count

Seth March 8th, 2019 at 12:38 PM

We did the little people. Now it's time to find the best and the biggest.

Previously: Pro Offense/Pro Defense, 1879-Before Bo, 5-Stars, 3-Stars, Extracurriculars, Position-Switchers, Highlights, Numbers Offense/Numbers Defense, In-State, Names, Small Guys

Rules: Just like the all-small roster, a player gets equal points for being large and for being excellent. Here however I will count weight on equal footing with height, since most of these guys weren't trying to shed it. This one is going to favor more modern players; Germany Schulz was considered a huge center for his time at 6'2/212 and until the 1980s even the linemen who were over 300 pretended not to be. So there's an all-relative team hanging out in here too.

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Quarterback: John Navarre, 6'6"/228 (2003)

What's an arc?

My top quartile rule plus the Age of the Howitzer puts us in the weird position of disqualifying 6'5" Tom Brady, Todd Collins, and Jim Harbaugh, sticking us with a pool of Speight, Mallett, Cone, Kapsner, Sessa, Ziegler, and LURRRRRRCH! The stuff about the campus not being very much behind Tom Brady is so much stuff because the same people were on campus for much or all of Navarre and there's no question who was pined for and who maligned.

Much of that is because underclassman Navarre had to play the bulk of the time we'd carved out for Henson. Navarre broke in as a redshirt freshman when Henson got hurt in early 2000, terrorized a pair of MAC teams, then was awful against UCLA. With Henson off to baseball in 2001, Navarre leaned heavily on Marquise Walker and the offense was, well, Lurch-y. By 2002 he had his feet under him and in 2003, with Braylon and Avant, Michigan got an excellent and high-volume passing season out of the big guy, setting all the passing records and more importantly leading Michigan to a win over defending national champion Ohio State and a trip to the Rose Bowl.

Relatively: Bob Timberlake (6'4/211) was a modern-sized quarterback right at the beginning of the pocket QB era. Forest Evashevski (6'1/198) was huge for the early 1940s.

Honorable Mention: Wilton Speight (6'6"/240)

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Running Back: Anthony Thomas (6'2/221)

Note: I have requested that WH change the music. If you mute the above and play the other it lines up well, especially at the bridge when that tom comes in while he's setting up a bunch of Hawkeyes and when Marquise Walker jumps on him.

The roster data have all kinds of lies to add to Bo and his successors' preference for big backs. Picking from a pile of guys who were listed at 6'2/220 and were actually more like 6'0 is virtually naming Michigan's best non-squib back. Some guys we knew were fullback-sized (Askew, Bunch) became fullbacks in the latter part of their careers. So let's not overthink this and go with the full-time running back whose NFL measurement agreed with his roster height, and who was literally referred to in his day in terms of a multi-ton vehicle, IE A-Train.

The size was definitely an issue…for opponents. A-Train had that patented three-yard fall that made his carries +EV even when the line didn't block well, and the added length made him one of Michigan's best pass-blocking running backs in memory.

Relatively: Jim Detwiler (6'3/209) is a mostly forgotten star from the mid-'60s who towered over the other RBs. Crazylegs Hirsch (6'2/190) was such a tall running back he went on to be the first great NFL wide receiver.

HM: Ty Isaac (6'3/228), Wyatt Shallman (6'3/239), Roosevelt Smith (6'3/232), B.J. Askew (6'3/210), Chris Perry (6'0"/228), Tyrone Wheatley (6'0/226), Jarrod Bunch (6'2/240)

[After THE JUMP: Poor Anthony Morelli]

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