Pre-Orange Bowl Presser: Players, Part 2

Pre-Orange Bowl Presser: Players, Part 2

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 7th, 2016 at 10:02 AM

31142627701_715c910b9a_z31256866235_fc572e69e1_z30896825640_0177a89929_z

[Upchurch/Fuller]

Chris Wormley, Ryan Glasgow, Wilton Speight

Wilton, what are your thoughts on Florida State and playing them?

“Yeah, pretty cool. I saw that the last team, the last Michigan team, to go to the Orange Bowl was Tom Brady’s team that went to overtime with Alabama, so that was a cool little piece of history that I saw. Really athletic team in Florida State. Lot of studs on that team and real well coached by Coach Fisher, so I’m excited to hit the film with Coach Fisch and figure out the gameplan for what we’re going to do.”

What was the rollercoaster of emotions today? Did you wake up feeling you still had a chance to get into the playoff and when you found out, how did you guys cope with that, deal with that, move forward from that?

WS: “I think we all woke up hoping something might still happen. We knew Clemson or Washington had to lose for us to really have a solid chance, but it’s not done by computer; it’s done by people with brains and emotions and thoughts, so we thought there was still a chance. But we put ourselves in this position to leave it up to other people. Four points away from sitting here up in front of you guys undefeated. It’s tough, but at the same time we’ve got a lot to prove. We can really make a statement in Miami.”

RG: “Yeah, I agree with Wilton. I think that this game in Miami is going to be a statement game. We want to leave this program on top and [with] a step in the right direction. Chris and I are leaving, but Wilton has two more years here to lead this team. So yeah, we want to make it a statement game. We want to show that we’re in the top four teams in college football.”

CW: “I agree.”

Wilton, how’s the shoulder, collarbone, whatever’s going on? How healthy were you last Saturday?

“I was healthy enough to play, to be able to try and make as many plays as I could for the team. This week off has helped. We didn’t practice this past week; coaches were out recruiting. We’ll start back up on Tuesday. Not sure the extent of how hard we’ll go this first week, but the week off definitely helped. I’m getting healthier every day.”

[After THE JUMP: “I think we’re gonna be hungry, we’re gonna be angry, and we’re gonna want to take it out on a team, and Florida State’s the next team up.”]

Wisconsin Postgame Presser: Players

Wisconsin Postgame Presser: Players

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 3rd, 2016 at 10:13 AM

29993658451_00613f6d78_z30077065885_23c67d97c3_z

[Upchurch/MGoBlog]

Ryan Glasgow and Amara Darboh

Can you talk about how the defensive performance today gave you the opportunity as an offense, particularly, to provide the end result?

AD: “Yeah, from the offensive standpoint, the defense kept getting three and outs and then kept helping us stay in the game. They didn’t let them score all half, so that gave us the opportunity to make a play at the end.”

Talk about the placement on the long touchdown pass.

AD: “Oh yeah, it was perfect. It was one-on-one coverage out there. The safety was in the middle, then I got inside my guy and Wilton put a perfect ball and I just had to run underneath it.”

This was your guys’ first true test of the season; this was the first time you guys played an opponent many people considered a contender in the Big Ten and also nationally. What does this win mean for you personally moving forward? How does your team improve from here?

AD: “I think it says a lot about our team. Wisconsin’s a very tough football team—very good defense, very good offense—and I think us beating this team says a lot about our character. It says a lot about the players on our team, but we need to focus on the games ahead, because this win doesn’t define our season.”

Ryan, it seemed like they were playing to get the ball back to the defense to win it. Was that kind of the message, it was your guys’ time to win the game?

“Regardless of what the offense does, we don’t want any other offense we’re playing to get a yard, get a first down, get a touchdown. So, regardless of what the offense does, we expect to win every game. We had a seven-point lead, which we think that’s enough for us to win a game on defense. Regardless of how many points they score, we feel like should win the game on defense.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more]

Fall Camp Presser 8-19-16: Ryan Glasgow and Mike McCray

Fall Camp Presser 8-19-16: Ryan Glasgow and Mike McCray

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on August 22nd, 2016 at 10:00 AM

17010697016_99e9327e55_z

Young Toothless in repose [Fuller/MGoBlog]

What’s it like for you to be back in the mix?

“It’s great. I really missed playing football. Mostly I just missed the camaraderie, I feel like. When you’re hurt, you’re not playing, you have to sit out. You don’t get to play with your friends—these guys are your best friends, your teammates, guys you work all year with to achieve your goals, and not being a part of that really hurts.”

How much did it bother you down the stretch last season to watch and not be a part of it?

“It…the thing that bothered me was I felt like I was hanging my teammates out to dry. I know we played a lot of up-tempo teams and you need depth against those teams. You can’t expect four or five guys to go out there and play every snap against a team that’s snapping the ball every 15 seconds. So, I felt like I could have done more. I felt like I was kind of hanging them out to dry, for lack of a better term, out there, so that kind of hurt pretty bad.”

You were saying at the linemen camp that you felt you were healthy and ready to go. Are you able to assess it better now that you’re actually going against people?

“Yeah. I mean, there’s no substitute for a 300-pound man trying to block you. So, it took a couple days to get back in the swing of things but I feel great. I feel 100%. Feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. Everything’s going great.”

How about the depth as it stands now? They’re talking about rolling lines.

“I’ll let Coach Mattison and Coach Harbaugh talk about the depth chart. It’s not really my place to talk about it.”

Harbaugh was saying that Michael Onwenu is possibly his favorite player on the team—or favorite of the freshmen, that he’s going both ways. So are you going against him and working with him?

“Yeah, he’s a mountain of a man. He’s a big guy. He was playing defense and giving us looks as an offensive guard in individual, you’re just like, ‘This kid is huge.’ And he picks up on everything really quickly. If you can play offensive and defensive line both as a true freshman or you’re rolling through depending on the day, whichever side of the ball they want you to play, that’s pretty impressive.”

If you had to guess, how much would you say he actually weighs?

“Um…I think the most recent weigh-in was about 375, so I think that’s the heaviest on the team by about 50 pounds. That’s a pretty wide margin on a college football team.”

But he still can move well at that size?

“Yeah! He moves extremely well for a guy who [inaudible].”

You felt earlier you could have done more last November. Medically, you weren’t allowed to play, right?

“No, I wasn’t. It’s just the feeling like I was I was out there with my guys. Maybe that’s just me. I don’t know. It was just a weird feeling sitting at home. I’ve been traveling basically every game since my redshirt year, and so watching on the couch instead of being there, it was just a little strange.”

Does that make you reassess things, not coming back by the end of the season?

“Yeah, it’s just like this game does end and having it taken away so abruptly—like, if I was a true senior or something that could have been my last game, [the game] against Rutgers. It kind of makes you take every day and cherish it and not take it for granted.”

What was the rehabilitation period like for you and the recover period like for you?

“I spent six weeks in an immobilizer. Just a little wedge thing right here to keep it still to let it heal. But our strength training staff and our athletic training staff was great, especially Jason Williams, a Michigan grad. He took probably about an hour out of his day every day to work with me for God knows how long. Probably like two weeks straight. So, that was great and I really appreciate the strength staff and the athletic training staff for that.”

What’s your reaction to the new boss on defense?

“He’s the man. He’s awesome. It’s a little different being coached by him. He’s not as big of a screamer as our past defensive coordinator but he gets the point across. He’s a great guy. His defense is awesome and we’re excited to play in it this year.”

[After THE JUMP: the origin story of Young Toothless and a little technique talk with McCray]

Unverified Voracity Likes It

Unverified Voracity Likes It

Submitted by Brian on August 3rd, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Mikey likes it. Sound the greatest horn in the deepest valley and bring all the counts, earls, and dukes to the castle. I have no complaints about a uniform thing. Yea, it is true. I was worried about the matte helmets, but in sunlight they look great:

There's matte like Michigan wore in the no-numbers bowl and there's that. Still some sheen, but not shiny. Dark dark blue. Maize. It looks like the most Michigan version of Michigan. It looks precise and focused and traditional.

It's mildly fussed the Uni Watch guy because he doesn't have things to say...

Nike's characteristic hype notwithstanding, there's nothing to get particularly excited about here, because so little has changed, but there's nothing to complain about either. Carry on.

...and it's caused an ESPN headline that's precisely wrong:

The only thing about these jerseys is nuance, and they aced every one. The logos are tastefully small and distributed symmetrically. The colors are right, the road whites are still so crisp, and the one weird thing has deep Michigan roots*. It feels like Michigan told Nike to do stuff and Nike killing it. This is in marked contrast to how these things go much of the time: wear this ridiculous looking thing that various other schools are also wearing.

*[The diversity angle is a major stretch. Having Gerald Ford's 4 is still cool.]

Senioritis prohibited. Michigan's Jordan-littered offer letters were all over the internet yesterday. An example:

Nick Baumgardner highlights a slightly unusual bit that I'm pretty sure is new this year:

The final bullet point reads: "We expect you to continue to strive for excellence as a student and as an athlete: this scholarship should serve as motivation towards continued growth, not an excuse to become complacent."

Pre-Swenson incident offer letters warned kids to keep their grades up and away from the local constabulary, as had offers dating back to the Rodriguez era. Specifically noting that offers are contingent on continued progress is a Harbaugh thing, and means we can expect more decommit kerfuffles going forward.

Both sides are boggling now. Anonymous coach takes on ACC teams have something to say about Don Brown:

“BC’s defense last year was the biggest pain for us to prepare for because they did so many things, especially on third down. The fronts they lined up in, the pressures they came with were unique, and they had some big, physical players. They were legit.”

“[New BC DC Jim] Reid played a base defense when he was at Virginia, and on third down you get maybe one or two different pressures, so it’s like one end of the spectrum to the other. It’ll be interesting to see what they do.”

Michigan is in the opposite situation. DJ Durkin was a Reid type of guy content to run fairly simple defenses. Michigan did have a big stunt package; blitzes were not particularly common and usually just a five man pressure.

Is this Ryan Glasgow's nickname? This is an amazing nickname for an older brother to bestow on his younger sibling:

Always wanted a guy named Biff around. Biff Poggi, father of Henry, has at various times been headed to Ann Arbor or another high school head coaching gig after his odd and unceremonious dismissal from Gilman. He is officially a Wolverine:

"When you've been doing something for 30 years, I just went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and I learned that habits are a hard thing to break," Poggi said. "I love coaching high school kids, but this was such an opportunity."

Poggi's youngest son Henry is a Wolverines fullback with two years of eligibility remaining and his daughter Mellie is also at Michigan.

"I felt like if I was ever going to do it, this is like the sun, the moon and the stars have lined up and I really am very comfortable with Jim and the coaching staff," Poggi said.

Poggi's job will be to advise Harbaugh on strategy and organizational structure. His position does not count as a coaching position and he won't be coaching the players, coaching the team or recruiting, according to the Michigan job description.

It's another analyst role. It sounds like it's a short term thing until Poggi gets the itch to return to high school, where he appears to have a job waiting for him at St. Francis. I wouldn't be surprised if Poggi spent a couple years with his son and then went back.

One interesting side note is that Poggi has some recruiting hoops to jump through because of his generosity and persnickety NCAA rules:

Another issue for Poggi was that he played a large part in funding the St. Frances program from the beginning and that he also paid tuition for a number of young men at Gilman and at other schools. As a coach in the NCAA, he could no longer pay for those things.

"I had to hire a lot of lawyers and go through the complete compliance check to where I have to follow and obey exactly the rules," he said. "For example, I just can't go watch a high school football game which I've done for 30 years. I can't call a kid on the phone. I know all these kids, the Gilman kids and other kids, too. I just can't go, 'Hey, how you doing?' I can't text them. I have to be careful how I reply to a text from them. My life is completely different than how I lived it over the last 30 years."

Good news is that Poggi can slide into their DMs without consequence and retweet them until the sun grows cold and dim, because NCAA communication regulations are all over the place.

PFF previews Michigan. They've kind of done this several times over the offseason already and every time they publish a thing we grab it here and prize it apart for any insight into their database, so there's not a ton that will be new to readers of this space. Their main concern is at QB:

QB is the biggest question on the entire roster, as 2015 starter Jake Rudock is also now with the Lions. John O’Korn (who transferred from Houston after being benched in 2014 by the new regime looking for a more athletic option) and Wilton Speight (64 snaps last season) will compete for the starting position throughout this month and while the winner will be afforded some margin of error with what appears to be a relatively easy schedule early, if the Wolverines expect to win big road games at Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State, they will need quality play from the new signal caller.

There's no disputing that. Harbaugh's track record helps in this regard; it's nice to have one of the biggest questions you can have seem like no big deal because of the head coach.

Elsewhere some confirmation that the linebackers were eh a year ago...

While the LB corps was turned over completely due to graduation, none of last year’s crew graded overwhelmingly positively and this year’s version of course has the benefit of playing behind likely the best defensive line in the country.

...and the usual praise for Peppers, Lewis, Wormley, Hurst, Glasgow, and company. The chaser: "while many schools may have just one true superstar, Michigan has at least six on the defensive side alone."

Meanwhile in the league. Rashan Gary and Taco Charlton are gonna eat:

Can someone in the tackle class pass block?

With Ohio State’s Taylor Decker moving on to the NFL and Michigan’s Mason Cole kicking inside to center this year, no returning offensive tackle in the [Big Ten] had a positive pass blocking grade in 2015. In fact, Nebraska’s Nick Gates is the only tackle to grade positively on run blocks last year. Offensive line is the unit we typically see the most variance and improvement in from year to year, but with the entire conference literally having nothing but subpar or first-year starters, this could be another rough year against the uber-talented EDGE players littered throughout the Big Ten.

Cole had a positive pass pro grade; Magnuson did not; the rest of the league is going to curl up and die when presented with Michigan's DL (and Jabrill Peppers).

Etc.: Butt, Peppers, and Lewis make SI's preseason All-America team.