Wednesday presser 9-13-18: Ed Warinner

Wednesday presser 9-13-18: Ed Warinner Comment Count

Ethan Sears September 13th, 2018 at 1:13 AM

Things discussed:

  • Some Jalen Mayfield and James Hudson excitement
  • Insight into Cesar Ruiz's progress
  • Warinner on how he looks for and measures improvement on the O-line
  • A non-comment on the Urban Meyer situation

[After THE JUMP: Boy, sure seems like they want to do something about those tackles]


Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs WMU

Upon Further Review 2018: Offense vs WMU Comment Count

Brian September 12th, 2018 at 4:24 PM

[Eric Upchurch]


SPONSOR NOTE: HomeSure Lending will provide you a mortgage. It's a simple process, really: some tax returns, maybe some other stuff, and then Matt works with various lenders to get the best deal. It is a quick process, as well, and one where you know the guy providing your mortgage has your best interests at heart because he gets business through word of mouth and MGoBlog advertising. Also he has opinions you can talk about related to Michigan in down times.

FORMATION NOTES: About 50/50 between shotgun and other stuff, with an emphasis on TEs and WRs—just 12 fullback snaps for Mason. Nothing stood out as unusual. WMU responded with a four-man front on every play and some rolled up safeties... sometimes absurdly so.

This was less of a problem for the run game than you'd think but RBs did have to dodge these guys at the line from time to time. The flipside was the Nico Collins touchdown, which was super easy because a safety lined up at eight yards.

SUBSTITUTION NOTES: Same OL as the opener. Second team was Mayfield/Filiaga/Spanellis/Honigford/Hudson. QBs went Patterson, McCaffrey, Peters. Higdon and Evans got closer to equal reps with Wilson indeed the #3. WR rotation was pretty much the same as the opener, with DPJ and Collins clear-ish starters on the outside and Martin the only guy rotating in much. TEs were the same.

Muhammad, Schoonmaker, Turner, Milton, and Hayes not getting in strongly implies redshirts are coming for them.

[After THE JUMP: I am down with the G]


Monday Presser 9-10-18: Jim Harbaugh

Monday Presser 9-10-18: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Ethan Sears September 10th, 2018 at 10:45 PM


[Eric Upchurch]


Things discussed

  • The offensive line, including some optimism around Jalen Mayfield and James Hudson
  • Noah Furbush wants to be a pilot in the military
  • Tru Wilson taking the No. 3 running back spot
  • Injury updates on Tarik Black, Lawrence Marshall and Aubrey Solomon
  • More Shea Patterson talk

[After THE JUMP: All that and more!]


Preview 2018: Offensive Tackle

Preview 2018: Offensive Tackle Comment Count

Brian August 29th, 2018 at 10:44 AM

Previously: Podcast 10.0A. Podcast 10.0B. Podcast 10.0C. The Story. Quarterback. Running Back. Wide Receiver. Tight End And Friends.

Depth Chart

LT Yr. LG Yr. C Yr. RG Yr. RT Yr.
Jon Runyan Jr Jr.* Ben Bredeson Jr. Cesar Ruiz So. Mike Onwenu Jr. James Hudson Fr.*
Jalen Mayfield Fr. Chuck Filiaga Fr.* Stephen Spanellis So.* Stephen Spanellis So.* Juwann Bushell-Beatty Sr.*
Andrew Stueber Fr* Andrew Vastardis So.* Phil Paea Fr.* Joel Honigford Fr.* Nolan Ulizio Jr.*

PICKING UP THE PIECES from the very worst Michigan offensive line in living memory—you're off the hook, 2008—is going to be a difficult and unfortunately extended process. The mercifully fired Tim Drevno shot airballs at tackle in his first two recruiting classes, coming up with only flier Nolan Ulizio in Michigan's transition class; this is doubly painful since the only tackle who can block a Rutger recruited by Brady Hoke was Grant Newsome. Newsome will be your senator someday. He will not be on the field this fall, or ever again.

So even if the coaching transition from Drevno to Ed Warinner goes as blindingly well as DJ Durkin to Don Brown, this is going to be a survive-and-advance-down-the-field-a-bit situation. Warinner inherits some potential Dudes on the interior and has an excellent backup plan if something should go awry there. Tackle? Don't talk to me about tackle.

There is some good news. Michigan's late season surge on the ground was preceded by a couple of weeks where they were almost there...

The run game is close to putting it together. Unless they don't in which case I said none of this. But seriously folks: PSU was an average-ish P5 run defense and Michigan's blocking was pretty good, with gains held down by the nonexistent passing game and one guy blowing way too many plays.

... all in all it was probably the best run-blocking OL in Ann Arbor since 2011 or possibly even before. PFF graded out Ben Bredeson and Mike Onwenu at 72/100 or better despite what could not have been acceptable pass pro grades; those guys are legit good on the ground. Add in midseason revelation and locked-in starter Cesar Ruiz promising an organization upgrade at C plus an established elite college OL coach and the words "night" and "day" should be in your lexicon.

Just don't talk to me about tackle.



Fine! Fine. It's fine. We'll talk about it. Last year's preview featured this totally awesome GIF...

giphy (1)[3]

...and asserted that GIANT COMPUTER-ANIMATED QUESTION MARK [recruiting profile] would bookend Mason Cole. This year the question is who's bookending the Giant Computer-Animated Question Mark.

From the perspective of a program outsider just trying to read tea leaves, the worst case scenario was this: Michigan moves Juwann Bushell-Beatty to left tackle because they have no one else, and they insert Jon Runyan Jr at right tackle because they have no one else. No underclassmen even poke their head in the direction of the job. Michigan gets whatever marginal improvement JBB manages in his fifth year and plays a 6'3", maybe 6'4" guy on the other side.

This was exactly the situation as reported out of spring.

So it's with some relief that I can report this situation has changed slightly. They've slid Runyan over to left tackle, you see, and slid Bushell-Beatty back to the right. The deck chairs are repositioned.

[After THE JUMP: look nobody's paying you to read this, it's ok]


Fall Football Bits Hates Donuts

Fall Football Bits Hates Donuts Comment Count

Seth August 16th, 2018 at 12:09 PM

(via official M twitter)


CHICAGO, Wednesday, August 22, 6PM CDT: UM Chicago Alumni Association Football Kickoff. I'm going to be there doing a Power Point spiel on how Michigan might be responsible for all the stupid names of football positions. Todd Howard will be there for how stupid good the cornerbacks were last year. Also Steve and Derek Kornacki. Location is Rock-it at 22 W Hubbard. By the way they accidentally wrote Steve Lorenz instead of Kornacki on the page, but Lorenz has got some national convention for Dart Jabronis of the Jersey Shore that he chose to attend instead. (Facebook link).

ANN ARBOR, Thursday, August 30, 7PM EDT: Football Eve!  Our annual "we're too nervous let's have a beer" event, hosted by HomeSure Lending. We're getting together at the same place as last year, on Hoover just past Elbel Field and the train tracks. There shall be food and beer and football to imbibe. The Detroit Pistons will be there too, giving away a signed GRIII ball and promoting…

DETROIT, Date TBD: MGoNight at the Pistons MGoBlog is working to plan an event with the Detroit Pistons this season. We do not have a date because the NBA schedule just came out, and we need to coordinate it around Michigan Football/Basketball schedules, and the Big Ten hasn't put out the hoops calendar yet. pistonsThe hope is to have an outing with discounted tickets to a game with alumni from the basketball program, in addition to Glenn Robinson III now that he is a Piston. The outing will also contribute to Ace’s CEF/ME Fundraiser, with the Pistons donating $5 from each ticket.

Please comment below if you're interested in doing it. I think we need 10-20 people minimum to make it happen.


Guys look:

The footballs are nigh! Time to capture the tiny morsely crumbs and call it a feast. Format is there are things we as fans are looking to hear, there are things the program wants us to hear, and there's the deep inner meaning that we can wriggle out of the things they want us to hear versus the things that they didn't say.

This is not insider info. Subscribe to a service if you want that sort of thing. I'm just trying to make sense out of the news that gets out of practice.




[Isaiah Hole/WolverinesWire]

What we want to hear: Shea Patterson is springing ahead as a Clear #1 but Brandon Peters has grit in his saddle and spurs in his hindquarters and Joe Milton is also a horse metaphor. Horse metaphors everywhere!

What we're hearing: More and more it seems like Shea Patterson is seizing the top job (Sam update, $), with not a lot of Peters in the mentions except that he's the clear #2. Patterson was seen wearing a black box camera, which could be a training mechanism or some cool multimedia thing they're capturing because our athletic department is crawling with tech nerds.

Not that they can keep it a secret when everybody's asking the players and coaches (WW):

“He can do everything you want him to do,” Gary said. “He expands plays, so you have to watch the rush lanes and can throw the deep ball. Playing against him is going up against a quarterback who can do anything – run the ball, throw the ball.

Zordich is probably the most media savvy member of the staff (e.g.). See if you can follow what he's doing:

"This guy's awesome…this other guy's this thing, this freshman got potential and then you've got the last guy. Oops I've said too much."


What it means: Michigan wants you to think there's a QB battle going on, but it seems pretty clear Shea Patterson has distinguished himself, in case the fact he's all over the marketing wasn't a clue already. Also: you don't prepare just one quarterback, and no Michigan fan needs to be reminded that the 2nd and 3rd string QBs need to be ready to go, especially considering the OT situation. I gather Peters is as safe in the second spot right now as Patterson is in the 1st. Given normal freshman-to-sophomore progression that tells me Michigan's quarterback situation is still not excellent but it's got a floor now of at least the better-ish (Speight v Florida, Peters v Wisconsin) parts of last year. Also without a good OL that won't matter much.

Guess the depth chart: (Mind you that's NOT inside info just me guessing.)

  • Patterson, (gap), Peters, (gap), Milton, McCaffrey.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the team]


2018 Recruiting: Jalen Mayfield

2018 Recruiting: Jalen Mayfield Comment Count

Brian July 20th, 2018 at 2:39 PM

Previously: Last year's profiles. S Sammy Faustin, S German Green, CB Gemon Green, CB Vincent Gray, CB Myles "Spider" Sims, LB Cameron McGrone, DE Taylor Upshaw, DE Julius Welschof, DE Aidan Hutchinson.

Grand Rapids, MI — 6'5", 273


24/7 4*, #126 overall
#9 OT, #2 MI
Rivals 4*, 5.8 rating
#17 OT, #4 MI
ESPN 3*, NR overall
#72 OT, #17 MI
Composite 4*, #268 overall
#16 OT, #4 MI
Other Suitors ND, MSU, Neb, Iowa, Minn
YMRMFSPA Taylor Lewan
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Ace. Future Blue Originals and Derivatives from Dave and Adam.
Notes Twitter. Army game. Minnesota decommit.




The theme of this year's recruiting profiles is "what happened to recruiting?!" and few players in the class are a better exemplar of this than Jalen Mayfield. Mayfield was a wee offensive lineman indeed when he committed to Minnesota super early, whereupon he got the kind of ratings a 250 pound kid committed to the Gophers does. Then he got bigger, hit some camps, and started drawing more serious attention. The way the three remaining major recruiting sites reacted is emblematic of the new State of The Recruiting Industry.

ESPN did nothing, because they fired all their people. He remains in MAC territory in their ranking system and has no scouting at all.

Rivals got defensive and spent much of the recruiting cycle with Mayfield rated even lower than ESPN did. Even after Mayfield committed to Michigan, an event that should precipitate some rethinking, Rivals doubled down on their initial assessment with handwaving from the regional analyst. This was somewhat huffily documented in this space last June:

Rivals's rankings of instate OL Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield are two of the biggest outliers of the cycle so far. Both are composite four stars despite Rivals ranking them 16th and 19th in the state, behind a 5'8" King DB headed to Iowa State amongst others. ... Rivals currently ranks both instate Michigan OL commitments behind OL headed to Wake Forest, Duke, BC, and Kansas. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But because Rivals still exists, unlike ESPN, they were able to correct course after seeing him at the Army game and give him the solid-ish four star rating you see above. Yes, they had a guy headed to the Army game rated as barely a P5 prospect. Yes, it took them the whole cycle to correct this, and the regional analyst was apparently overruled:

Q: Michigan only signed two offensive linemen and they're both from Michigan. What do you think about the duo?

A: ...I’ll be interested to see how they pan out. I don’t think that we had them as highly valued as Michigan did or as other places did. We’ll have an interesting look back in four to five years and see who was closer to being accurate with that.

No, no reasoning was offered by the regional analyst. Yes, this is a familiar storyline.

24/7 took the spate of bigger offers Mayfield got as a cue to observe more closely and more or less immediately flung him into their top 100.

[Mayfield's] ranking skyrocketed to 106th overall in the country after 247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons and Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong watched him live at the Nike event in Chicago. After a rerun through his junior film, 247Sports doubled down on Mayfield, moving him up to 86th overall in the country and first in the state of Michigan in the 2018 cycle.

After, Mayfield had one of those characteristic slow slides that any highly rated prospect whose evaluation doesn't change suffers as more guys burst onto the scene. Despite the slight drop, 24/7stood pat on their assessment of Mayfield as a top ten OT prospect in the class.

[After THE JUMP: mean, fast, and burgeoning]


Future Blue Originals: Grand Rapids Catholic Central vs. Detroit Country Day

Future Blue Originals: Grand Rapids Catholic Central vs. Detroit Country Day Comment Count

Adam Schnepp September 13th, 2017 at 11:09 AM


new Braden shot every week y’all [Nasternak]

David and I headed to Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s gleaming new facility to see Jalen Mayfield’s Catholic Central squad play a rematch of last season’s D4 title game. Mayfield stood out among his peers physically; see the above photo for evidence. He’s every bit of the 6’5” the recruiting services have him listed at. His build is similar to Traverse City West’s Ryan Hayes; unlike Hayes, he’s exclusively a right tackle. That’s not to say that Mayfield isn’t athletic. The every-snap film is below so you can check it out for yourself.

Jalen Mayfield Every-Snap Film

Mayfield is #74 and lined up exclusively at right tackle.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting and more film]


Thursday Recruitin' Needs Rec Specs

Thursday Recruitin' Needs Rec Specs Comment Count

Brian July 20th, 2017 at 2:46 PM

War. War against Notre Dame never changes.



A couple of impending linebacker commitments are part of this cycle's frankly bizarre quantity of straight-up Michigan-ND battles. Notre Dame, which went 4-8 last year, has a coach on the hot seat but is managing to split these about down the middle. That appears to be the case here, as well.

The good news is for IN LB Cameron McGrone, an Opening standout out of Indianapolis. Steve Wiltfong reports that McGrone's only remaining summer trip will be to Michigan's BBQ in little over a week, which is a change from a week ago when Notre Dame was potentially on the docket. Wiltfong hints that a commitment might be on the horizon:

McGrone doesn't have a commitment timetable. He does want to take officials before deciding but we'll see if the BBQ changes that line of thinking.

Tom Loy has flipped his CB to Michigan. That's usually the last thing that happens before an ND-M battle goes the right way.

McGrone flew all the way up to 40th at 24/7 after a dominant performance as a spacebacker at the Opening, and while the other site weren't quite as gonzo the reviews were universally positive. Allen Trieu discussed him in one of those horrible two-people-talking Scout videos, saying that he would be moving up from low four-star territory:

"Faster and more explosive … one of if not the most impressive guy. Very explosive, downhill kind of kid … blitzer, come-forward kind of guy. He's shown at these events that he can move backwards, he can drop into coverage, he can change directions. I think he's a complete linebacker. … He can play a couple of different linebacker spots; he's about 6'2", 220 pounds."

McGrone moved up… a bit. He's the first OLB outside of their top 300 now. ESPN and Rivals haven't reacted yet. ESPN only has an underclass eval for him so McGrone has a shot to move up from generic four star territory when they scout him again; Rivals has stopped attending the Opening for Reasons.

The possibly bad news is for NJ LB/S Shayne Simon, who told the ND 24/7 site that he would be announcing "this week or next week." Simon has been trending to ND recently and one of our heuristics is "who you talk to matters"; an ND site getting the news of an impending announcement is a bad sign.

FWIW, Loy is hedging a little:

The 247Sports Crystal Ball favors Notre Dame over Michigan by a margin of 89-percent to 11-percent, but this is a much closer race than the numbers reflect.

Simon took a sneaky visit to Michigan a few weeks ago, and there is a story here where ND optimism is largely because of his rabidly pro-ND coach and not reflective of reality. When you take a visit to one of your top schools and conceal it from your coach that says somethin' about somethin'.

Simon's mom and aunt are Michigan alums, and Michigan did not go 4-8 last year, so they've got those things going for them. As of about a week ago Lorenz was being told to "keep his crystal ball on Michigan regardless of where his initial commitment is," probably in case ND goes 4-8 again.

Still feels like ND, but this is a shotgun wedding maybe? With elopement possible?

Defensive tackle acquisition program


DT with rec specs: hell yes

Michigan has been rising on NC DT Rick Sandidge's list for a few weeks now after a June unofficial; he talked to Rivals about his recent visit schedule, which includes stops at M, OSU, Georgia, and Florida:

"The Michigan and Georgia visits both stood out to me."

South Carolina, his mom's alma mater and crystal ball favorite, is up next, and then he's shutting it down until he takes his officials. Oddly, the 24/7 South Carolina site asserts that Sandidge has a loose top five of the Gamecocks, M, FSU, UF, and UNC. Scout adds UGA and LSU into a top seven.

This does not qualify as clarity

Rivals's rankings of instate OL Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield are two of the biggest outliers of the cycle so far. Both are composite four stars despite Rivals ranking them 16th and 19th in the state, behind a 5'8" King DB headed to Iowa State amongst others. That's… aggressive. Brandon Brown hits up regional analyst Josh Helmholdt to talk about both guys. The results are unenlightening. Helmholdt says Hayes is a tight end who projects to tackle and that he's somewhat raw because of it. This is the only other scouting-ish item in the piece:

"With guys like both Mayfield and Hayes, they have what it takes at that spot. Playing offensive tackle takes a certain kind of player. You can’t be heavy footed at that position and you have to be able to play with length and foot quickness and both of those guys have it."

Rivals currently ranks both instate Michigan OL commitments behind OL headed to Wake Forest, Duke, BC, and Kansas. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Crootin quote of the week

Bryan-Addison-1280.jpg (1280×720)

STRENGTHS: hair, enormousness
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: commitment to Michigan

From CA ATH Bryan Addison:

"Michigan has a real chance with me but at the same time maybe not."

Distance is the potential issue. He does plan a visit after picking up an offer, but an entirely West Coast (and Nebraska for some reason) top seven before that offer makes it seem like distance does matter quite a bit.

Addison knows David Long and is planning a BBQ visit; Michigan will know a lot more about their shot in the aftermath. Hopefully that shot is a good one because Addison is a 6'5" WR/S who showed out at the Opening. Scout's Eugene Hankerson on Addison:

Addison worked out strictly at safety at this event, looking extremely comfortable roaming the secondary and causing havoc for opposing quarterbacks … upside is through the roof. … Addison make play after play on the final day of competition, showing range and great closing speed to prevent pass completions.

He's moved into the top 50 at Scout.

Checking in with MSU

The tires are still aflame:

Randy Charlton and James Head, senior three-star defensive ends from Miami (Fla.) Southridge, planned to visit Michigan State today. Per Charlton's father Demetrius Charlton, his son Randy Charlton and Head aren't visiting the Spartans.

"He only visited Indiana," Demetrius Charlton said.


5* 2019 NC RB Quavaris Crouch will be at the BBQ on the 29th. It's early but Crouch and IMG RB Noah Cain are the top two bcks in the 2019 class, and both are looking at Michigan.

GA WR Kearis Jackson has set August 19th as his commitment day. Michigan's in his top eight but the Crystal Ball is 100% UGA. Jackson has said he wants to visit Michigan, which he hasn't yet. Odds are he never makes it up.

Michigan offers 2019 TX WR Jordan Whittington.

2019 CO ATH Luke McCaffrey is coming out to visit, but says it's just to hang out with Dylan.

Kentucky is good and normal at recruiting.


Future Blue Derivatives: Jalen Mayfield

Future Blue Derivatives: Jalen Mayfield Comment Count

Adam Schnepp July 7th, 2017 at 12:00 PM


[Isaiah Hole/247 Sports]

Minnesota is the land of ten thousand lakes; PJ Fleck is the man of ten thousand oars. It’s a seemingly synergistic combination, and it’s easy to see why a 17-year-old from the west side of Michigan might want to join one of the first few Big Ten squads led by the man who just took Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl. Then Jim Harbaugh got involved.

Tim Drevno and Greg Frey did, too. Mayfield visited for Michigan’s pro day and was told that there was a scholarship waiting for him if he was interested. Two days later Mayfield decommitted from Minnesota and less than two months after that verbally committed to Michigan. There are plenty of lakes in Michigan, too, you see.

Mayfield’s commitment-decommitment-commitment only draws a two out of five on the Crootin’ scale, which is barely enough to raise an eyebrow for a player hovering near the top 300 in 247’s composite rankings. What’s likely to draw eyebrows, though, is where Mayfield ends up in the rankings. As Ace pointed out in his Hello post, the sites that are really high on Mayfield are—surprise!—the ones that have seen him play.

With that in mind, I jumped on the opportunity to cut together every-snap videos from two of Mayfield’s junior-year games. You’re looking for the right tackle, #74, in the videos below. He’s easier to spot in the video above the jump; he’s the one who doesn’t appear to be wearing socks.

[more run blocking and pulling]

[Hit THE JUMP to check out that sweet sweet pass-pro footwork plus a scouting report]


Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus Comment Count

Ace June 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Give This Kid A Raise

Michigan hosted one of their top targets on the defensive line last week in four-star TN DT Rick Sandidge, and the word from M recruiting gurus is universal: they knocked this one out of the park. While the likes of Jim Harbaugh or Greg Mattison are normally the focus when prospects and their families discuss these visits, Sandidge's mom couldn't stop raving about a support staff member when recapping the visit with Sam Webb:

In most cases the meeting with the headman serves as the crescendo for any school’s campus visit. While that is true typically at Michigan also, it wasn’t the case this time. The visit-show was stolen by a student recruiting assistant named Sam Popper, who served as one of the Sandidge’s tour guides.

"Sam is the best ever,” Sandidge’s mom Keshia said. “He should be the superstar of that school, I promise you. He made our visit absolutely wonderful. I wish there was a Sam at every program that we've been to thus far."

“He was down to our level trying to understand how our dynamics are built as a family.  He just kind of became one of us that day and let it all hang out. Usually folks don't do that.”

I haven't ever seen something like this before:

Getting mom in your corner is always a plus. Rick himself was also impressed with the trip, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

"I know that Michigan’s defense is amazing," he said. "I know that they run a four-man front which is something that I like. Those are definitely a couple of things that stand out. I also know that they don’t play all of their defensive linemen the whole game and that’s there’s a solid rotation to keep everyone fresh."

247's Steve Lorenz added that Michigan will be a "real factor" going forward in Sandidge's recruitment. Sandidge, Tyler Friday, and Michael Thompson are the top three targets at DT after Alim McNeill omitted Michigan from his top six. (No, I don't want to talk about it.)

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]