Michigan All-Extracurriculars Team

Michigan All-Extracurriculars Team

Submitted by Seth on June 4th, 2018 at 11:22 AM
Hi it's a Norfleet. [Bryan Fuller]

[Site notice: It happened.]

You know those “make your all-time” lists that circulate in the offseason. That inspired me to make some themed versions, sort of like how Ace made his all-Beilein teams last year. Previously: The 5-stars. This week: Extracurricular Entertainment!

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Rule: This team is for those who made their contributions off the field. I don’t mean being a quiet model citizen; I mean doing things that we found entertaining, insane, or otherwise meme-worthy.

Cutoff Point: Had to exist in the Michigan consciousness during the Time of Blog (2005-present)

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Quarterback: David Cone

Please still exist please still exist please still exist DAMMIT.

full

Why you gotta use MySpace, Notorious C.O.N.E.? Since stone age social media no longer hosts, former WR Toney Clemons filmed roommate/former QB David Cone in their apartment laying some sick rhymes (free mgoshirt to whoever can track down a copy of the album for us).

mrdave

Mr. Dave

Fortunately MVictors still has the audio, if the vid is gone for all time. But that video was so good.

Honorable Mention: Denard. How do you separate Brian’s kid’s name, Shoelace, the smile, Whaaaaat?!?, the cover of the last NCAA edition for a decade, and a crumpled up mailbox from the actual dilithium? You can’t, and the purpose of this list is to honor the Coners because these lists otherwise exist just for an excuse to put Denard at QB when you wouldn’t otherwise.

[after THE JUMP: bang bang]

Mailbag: Of The Half-Decade, Demonic Button, Clock Malfeasance, Staff Composition

Mailbag: Of The Half-Decade, Demonic Button, Clock Malfeasance, Staff Composition

Submitted by Brian on November 17th, 2015 at 12:29 PM

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[Bryan Fuller]

Of The Decade update

Hi Brian,

Back in 2010, you gave us your "of the decade" team.  If five years later, you had to make another one (with this year crucially being the last year to include players from the 2006 team), who would you put on it?   And how many players from this year's squad would be included?

Thanks,

Ben.

The Of The Decade team from 2010 versus a hypothetical 2006-2015 team:

2001-2010 POSITION 2006-2015
John Navarre '03 QB Denard Robinson '10
Chris Perry '03 RB Mike Hart '06
Kevin Dudley '04 FB Joe Kerridge '14
Braylon Edwards, whenever WR Devin Funchess '13
Mario Manningham '07 WR Manningham
Steve Breaston '06 WR Breaston
Bennie Joppru '02 TE Jake Butt '15
Jake Long '07 OT Long
Steve Hutchinson '00 OG Steve Schilling '10
David Baas '04 C David Molk '11
Jon Goodwin '01 OG Michael Schofield '12
Jeff Backus '00 OT Taylor Lewan '11
Brandon Graham '09 DE Graham
Lamarr Woodley '06 DE Woodley
Alan Branch '06 DT Branch
Gabe Watson '05 DT Mike Martin '11
David Harris '06 LB Harris
Larry Foote '01 LB Jake Ryan '12
Victor Hobson '02 LB Desmond Morgan '15
Marlin Jackson '02 CB Jourdan Lewis '15
Leon Hall '06 CB Hall
Jamar Adams '07 S Jabrill Peppers '15
Julius Curry '00 S Jordan Kovacs '12
Garrett Rivas '06 K Rivas
Zoltan Mesko '09 P Mesko

I've got four guys on there from this year's team, three of whom I assume are pretty obvious. Without a true nickel spot on the Of The Decade team Peppers is a bit of an awkward fit, but I mean cumong man. If I expanded the team to have a nickel, which I will definitely do in the future, he'd be it and Jarrod Wilson would slide into his spot. So 5-ish.

Desmond Morgan, you ask? The pickings are not great at linebacker over the past decade. The only eligible guy from the backups on the '10 team is Shawn Crable, and while Crable was a freelance sower of havoc he's competing with Jake Ryan, not Morgan. Morgan is one of the most sneaky-good players in the recent history of the program (and I'm through most of the first half against Indiana and he is doing really well in tough situations).

This year's team would have even more spots if that defensive line wasn't rough to get on. That's four guys with long NFL careers and dominant senior years.

Hey Brian,

Beyond the interpretation problems, have you given any thought to the enforcement process for targeting calls?

Not exactly an analogous comparison, but a thought - treat targeting calls more as a yellow card than a red card. More to the point, don't throw guys out in the moment on these judgment calls - refer questionable hits to the referees' office, let them have a look at it during the week, and decide if a future suspension is warranted, The NFL reviews plays for fines all the time so I don't see how this is much different. You'd think time and centralization make the enforcement more thoughtful and consistent, and thereby allow coaches to better correct their players.

Inherent in this solution is separating targeting from a personal foul, so you can still throw a flag for 15 yards on outlawed hits without necessarily an ejection. You still get some bad PF calls/no calls, but we've always lived with those - egregious ejections not so much. If you wanted there could be an accumulation component, which is also like yellow cards, so if you have a guy dishing out repeated borderline hits it's an automatic suspension at some point. Seems to strike a much better balance and still emphasize safety.

Anyway, sorry this is long. Curious if you've had thoughts of your own on this.

-Mike in DC

If they do centralize the review process instead of delegating it to a varying selection of potential incompetents I think a lot of the inconsistencies go away. I don't think many of the targeting calls I've seen this year have been the kind of thing that you can't determine the legality of within a few minutes, and the immediate ejection does have the benefit of helping the team that suffered the hit.

I do like the yellow card idea, if implemented correctly. If something like the Bolden hit gets inexplicably upheld at least it can be adjudged a yellow card (or flagrant 1, take your pick) and he can stay in the game. In that case I would prefer that yellows don't clear for ten games or so.

But the real problem remains the utter inconsistency with which the rule is applied. A world in which the hit by Bolden is an ejection and the hit on Sypniewski against Rutgers is nothing is one in which we're just polishing turds. This targeting call was overturned:

STOP SLIDING

Until that gets fixed the penalty is a worthless piece of security theater.

[After THE JUMP: pushing a hypothetical demonic button, finding Marques Slocum, clock malfeasance, staff composition]

This Week's Obsession: The Fleetwoods

This Week's Obsession: The Fleetwoods

Submitted by Ace on October 15th, 2014 at 2:12 PM

It's a bye week and Atomic Dog happened, so this week's question is naturally inspired by Dennis Norfleet:

I think we can all admit our collective love for Dennis Norfleet extends well beyond what he's accomplished thus far as a Michigan football player. (What he could hypothetically accomplish is a topic for another week.) Looking back onto Michigan teams of the past—hoops and hockey included—which player or players stick out in your mind as somebody you enjoyed cheering on largely for reasons outside of their ability to perform between the lines?

Additionally, please include the song you'd choose for Special K to play when a hypothetical kick returnin' you prepares to receive a kickoff.

Seth: Oh man. Well, Dakich, but I have a feeling Ace had Andrew in mind when he asked, so I leave that to the basketball beat. There must also be an entire category for one-off videos: Coner's rap, Louie Caporusso: Love Expert, 2011 hockey's savage mock rock skit, etc.

There's a bittersweet one worth discussing: Big Will. As a player, in a time when Michigan needed a hero out of their 5-star DT, we instead got Thor. Soup did little to justify his hype until Brady swapped him back to defense and set the army of DL coaches on him. That fact unfortunately overshadowed a blue chip off-the-field career.

Even before he arrived, Will gave us two commitment celebrations: one a year before the rest of his class, the second a literal hat dance...

...after trolling recruitniks by declaring Michigan out and LSU his leader two days prior.

Will was a regular at various with-the-kids charity functions the players did, and these inevitably led to endearing photos of flat-topped Soup among the Lilliputians. I never found video of it, but in the same vein, I remember after we beat Michigan State in 2012 that the scoreboard zoomed in on the students as various smurf-sized players jumped up to sit among them, and then Will started to follow and you could clearly make out some girl in the drop zone mouthing "Oh shit!"

Finally, there was the misdemeanor so hilarious we begged EDSBS to bring back the Fulmer Cup: denting the hood of a car while trying to Dukes of Hazzard. This destroyed my previous all-time favorite crime by a Wolverine: Jerald Robinson's heroic destruction of a parking gate. Campbell may not have been as productive as Martin, nor as eloquent as RVB, but in times that called for levity as much as interior line depth, Big Will was at the very least hilarious.

Seth again: Crap, I forgot music. Kool & the Gang, Jungle Boogie: "Get down, get [your pad level] down!"

Also: this.

[Hit THE JUMP for Denard, Air Georgia, the owner of the world's most interesting pet, the unicyclist and the philosopher, and more.]

Recruiting Summary: Defensive Line

Recruiting Summary: Defensive Line

Submitted by Brian on February 2nd, 2005 at 4:38 PM

MARQUES SLOCUM - DT - West Catholic(PA)
Height: 6'5" Weight: 310
Lemming: #78 overall, #6 G
Rivals: ****, #37 overall, #1 G
Scout.com: ****, #87 overall
Projected Role: Gabe Watson 2.0

Slocum managed 75 tackles this season--an extremely high number for an interior lineman--despite playing part of the season with a hairline ankle fracture. Then he went down to the Army-All American game slimmed down and pissed off that he had to play guard. When an East DL went down with injury, though, Slocum stepped in on the defensive line and "beat the hell out of" one Alex Boone, five star OSU commit. During the game, he was man the West's offensive line focused on, doubling him almost every play.

Part of the reason that Slocum impressed so many at the Army game is that Slocum showed up at a relatively svelte 310 pounds, down from the 330 he played at in high school. He's clearly preparing himself to play early and should be better prepared than Gabe Watson was coming into college. He'll probably see the field quickly as part of the DT rotation, and in time should end up as good as Watson.

TERRANCE TAYLOR - DT - Muskegon(MI)

Height: 6'1" Weight: 285
Lemming: #85 overall, #6 DT
Rivals: ****, #98 overall, #8 DT, #3 MI
Scout.com: ****, #12 DT
Projected Role: Extremely large ball of hate

Terrance Taylor is a little bit like Grady, a player who was dominant from the start and earmarked for Michigan for a long time--except for a brief period where he declared LSU his leader and scared the pants off Michigan recruitniks everywhere. Taylor was all-state honorable mention.

As a freshman.

As a senior, Taylor made 47 tackles, 16 for loss, and lead his Muskegon team to their first Division 2 state championship since 1989, wasting OLSM 31-7 in the final. Taylor and Muskegon held OLSM to 56 yards of offense. Did I mention he won his weight class in powerlifting... three times? And that he set state records doing it?

So Taylor is a) a freak athlete who b) has tons and tons of high school experience. Taylor seems like he's underrated, even though he is a top-100 player according to Rivals. He has a (relatively) short, compact, powerful body with long arms, the perfect recipe for a penetrating, disruptive interior lineman. If he can add 15 or 20 productive pounds and get even a little stronger, he will be a monster.

JAMES MCKINNEY - DE - Louisville Central(KY)

Height: 6'2" Weight: 277
Lemming: #78 overall, #8 DE

Rivals: ****, #99 overall, #9 DT, #2 KY
Scout.com: ****, #97 overall, #11 DT
Projected Role: Bad cop

McKinney is your runaway winner in this year's "weirdest recruiting process" category. McKinney originally committed to Michigan a year ago as a junior, but backed out of that commitment and began his long, strange journey, which culminated when McKinney took an official visit to Louisville and was asked to leave. He also rated his Michigan official visit a "6", mentioning that there wasn't much to do in Ann Arbor during finals week and that he was bored. Then he committed to the Wolverines anyway, but not before flirting with Clemson, Nebraska, Florida, Kentucky, Angelina Jolie, and my sister.

So we went from enthralled enough to commit early to traipsing about everywhere else to bored with Ann Arbor to getting sent home from an official to Michigan commitment once more. So we've established that McKinney might be a little eccentric. Fortunately, he's also extremely good at football. McKinney was primarily a defensive end and tight end in high school but moonlit at fullback and middle linebacker when the situation called for it. He is a natural for the defensive end position, a 270 to 280 pound athlete who can get the edge or burst inside with his strength, making 70 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior.

But my favorite thing about James McKinney is that he always looks angry. Every picture I've ever seen of him, and I've probably seen all of the ones that made it to the internet in my somewhat-disturbing scouring thereof, feature James McKinney, Mean Looking Hombre (see above). I figure there's a significant chance McKinney spends at least a year in the doghouse, but he's a natural for the defensive end spot who's been performing at a high level for a long time. He'll bring some attitude to the defense. Hopefully he doesn't bring too much to get himself on the field.

EUGENE GERMANY - DE - Pomona(CA)

Height: 6'4" Weight: 275
Lemming: #88 overall (2004)
Rivals: ****, #86 overall, #3 DE, #9 CA (2004)
Scout.com: ***, #20 DE (2004)

Projected Role: DE/DT tweener

Germany is the first-runner up in the aforementioned "weirdest recruiting process" category. Germany was long considered a heavy lean to Michigan last year, but when USC got involved with him in the days leading up to signing day, Pete Carroll's siren song was too powerful to resist. Germany disregarded the advice of his coaches --who counselled him to consider the amount of respect the Trojans paid him earlier in the year--and became Carroll's twenty-fifth or -sixth #1 guy.

At least, that is, until Petey needed to free up some scholarships. Germany came down with some NCAA clearinghouse issues that prevented his enrollment as a part of the 2004 class and pushed his scholarship offer back to 2005. But as winter rolled around, Carroll made Germany's scholarship contigent on him taking and performing well in three classes in the winter semester... an unheard of move and one pretty transparently calculated to inform Eugene that he wasn't really wanted. Germany took the hint, reopened his recruitment, and eventually committed to Michigan after considering various Pac-10 schools and Kansas State.

So what does Michigan have in Germany? A pissed off 275-pound defensive lineman who was a top-100 recruit in 2004. Germany actually played middle linebacker in high school, racking up over 300 tackles in his final two years to go with 14 sacks. He's a big, big guy who will start out at defensive end but may move inside.

Germany participated in a number of practices with USC before coming down with his case of noscholarshipforyou-itis and there is some confusion as to whether Germany will be able to enroll and play at Michigan without counting as a transfer. If the NCAA declares him to be a transfer expect Michigan to appeal.

MGOBLOG Editorial Stance

A+. Are you kidding me? Four top-100 recruits? This class is silly good, the strongest defensive-line class Michigan has ever had in the Lemming era of recruiting. No offense to the Bowmans, Stevens, and Heuers of the world, but these guys are on another level of potential. Gone are the days of 260-pound bulked up LBs at DT and 230 pound converted safeties playing DE. Michigan has had occasional NFL prospects on the line--James Hall, Will Carr, Shantee Orr, Josh Williams--but never the kind of players that could go in the first or second round. Now they have an entire defensive line of them.

I'm most excited about the defensive tackles. Taylor seems like the kind of player who may be underrated because he doesn't have the leviathan size that is en vogue for interior linemen to have these days, but he has a compact and powerful frame that will make him a huge problem for opposing linemen to handle. Slocum is 6'5" or 6'6" and massively powerful and nimble... plus he had never seriously started a weight program until last year. He was extremely effective at the Army All-American game practices against the top offensive linemen in the country and has only begun to scratch the surface of what he can do. I expect both of these guys to be impact players.

Both Germany and McKinney are reportedly around 270 or 280 right now, so there is some concern one or both could outgrow the defensive end position and have to slide inside. McKinney is explosive for a player his size and would be best on the outside. There was actually some talk he would play OLB if Michigan retains the 3-4. Germany has already added 15 pounds from where he was as a high school senior and will probably get even bigger at UM. He could actually end up inside at some point, but defensive tackle is a position where four or even five players will see significant time--as DTs have gotten larger their stamina has declined proportionally. Replacing a tired Watson with a fresh equivalent is a luxury few teams have. Michigan has the opportunity to have a deep, talented line, perhaps the deepest in a long, long time.

It, of course, remains to be seen whether Michigan can actually take advantage of these athletes, but this is a recruiting summary, not (yet another) coaching diatribe. The raw material is here. Molding it into a dominating force... well, let's keep those fingers crossed.