Unverified Voracity Pleads Not Guilty To NBA Potato Mailing

Unverified Voracity Pleads Not Guilty To NBA Potato Mailing

Submitted by Brian on March 21st, 2017 at 12:41 PM

This is not me. I wish it was.

It turns out to be a wildly successful marketing stunt for a company that will send you image or message-emblazoned potatoes. This company is inexplicably not based in Ohio. The best thing to come out of this is the Wall Street Journal giving the headshot treatment to Dirk's tuber:

HC-GV055_Potato_G_20170319181518

Twitter did not find this nearly as amazing as I did, but rest assured this is incredibly entertaining.

Oregon: good matchup? The WaPo's Neil Greenberg seems to think so. He's using extremely small sample sizes, but given Chris Boucher's absence that's less unfortunate than it usually is. Transition is a major Oregon focus and Michigan's stepped up their stinginess:

In transition, Michigan has allowed opponents to score 39.1 percent of the time in the tournament, an improvement over their regular-season performance (46.3 percent) and a potential stumbling block for Oregon, who has scored almost two-thirds of the time in transition (63.6 percent) against their first two opponents. No other remaining tournament team has had better results on the break. Take that element away from Oregon, and it’s a big blow.

This item won't surprise you but will shock your January self:

The Ducks also won’t get as many open looks as they have through the first two rounds. Oregon has taken 24 of 32 (75 percent) catch-and-shoot opportunities unguarded, per Synergy Sports, scoring 1.08 points per shot. Michigan, however, has allowed just six of 22 (27 percent) catch-and-shoot attempts without a defender close by.

Oregon is was already a bit three-heavy with Boucher in the lineup and figure to be more so without him even if that hasn't shown up in the three games since his departure, and Michigan is very good at preventing threes from being launched.

They're 5'9" with big hair and one of them doesn't have a work visa. Welp, they've been found. Both DJ Wilson and Mo Wagner are major risers on Chad Ford's NBA draft board:

Moritz Wagner, F/C, So., Michigan

No one did more to help his draft stock over the weekend than Wagner. His career-best performance against Louisville -- 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting -- showed why he was been quickly moving up our Top 100 over the past month. Wagner is a fluid athlete at 6-foot-11 who can score off the bounce and on the block. He also has 3-point range.

When he's engaged and not in foul trouble, he can take over a game. The fact that he did it against a bunch of NBA-caliber athletes on Louisville impressed scouts. He sat at No. 40 on our Top 100 before the tournament and moves up to No. 21 in our latest rankings. That's a huge leap for any player, but if you watched his draft stock all month, it isn't just based on one game. It's just scouts getting more and more comfortable with the idea that he has all the skills he needs to be a good NBA player someday.

D.J. Wilson, F, Jr., Michigan

Wilson showed off all the strengths of his game against both Oklahoma State and Louisville. He's a terrific and versatile athlete who can stretch the floor, finish at the rim and block shots. He can even handle the ball and bring it up the floor.

However, his lack of toughness continues to bother some scouts who want to see him initiate and handle contact better. He grabbed only two boards against Louisville and at times seemed bothered by the physicality. Still, athletic 6-foot-10 guys who can shoot 3s and protect the rim don't come along every day and Wilson has made a strong case to be a first-round pick after hovering in the 30s in our Top 100 all season.

FWIW, I was talking to Sam Webb a month or two ago and at the time his impression was that the NBA was interested in both guys but that they were both likely a year away. Let's hope that's still the case, because I'm guessing Teske and Davis are going to need another year of grooming before they're ready. Also I really want to see weaponized versions of Wilson and Wagner.

If one or both does end up going this will be another situation where Beilein's astounding player development—despite almost no access to one-and-done types Michigan was 12th in NBA players produced entering the season—outpaces his recruiting. Nobody was expecting Trey Burke or Nik Stauskas to be two-and-out, and I don't think anyone thought Wilson or Wagner would have any chance of going to the league this year after the pair averaged two points a game in 2015-16.

Remember when Bernard Robinson sticking at the end of a roster for a year or two was notable to Michigan basketball fans? Slightly different situation these days.

Part of that development. Congrats to friend-of-blog Andrew Kahn for landing a WSJ byline. It's a look into some player development tools Michigan (and others) are using. Wagner has a bad day against Ohio State and Beilein set to work on his shot:

...Beilein set out to fix Wagner’s problems using one of basketball’s hottest new diagnostic tools: a machine that measures the arc of a shot as it reaches the hoop. ... [tool vendor] Noah’s data says the ideal shot comes in at about 45 degrees.

Wagner’s practice session showed that he was shooting the ball far too high, coming in at around 53 degrees. Beilein knew they had no chance of going in and pressed Wagner to adjust by flattening his shot.

“By the time we were done, he was draining threes all over the place at 45 (degrees), 46, 47,” Beilein said. Wagner, a 41 percent three-point shooter for the season, shook his slump and nailed 8 of 17 (47%) from deep the next four games.

Beilein is still adapting and taking advantage of new tools being created even though he's "no spring chicken," which not every coaching in his 60s does. You can safely assume that Michigan is on the cutting edge with this stuff. The results are proof enough.

Two points. The Big Ten did pretty well in the first weekend of the tournament, sending three teams to the Sweet 16 and Shutting Up All The Haters, except not really. Mark Titus:

As soon as the buzzer sounded on no. 7 seed Michigan’s 73–69 victory over no. 2 seed Louisville on Sunday afternoon, the talk of the internet became whether the Big Ten, which was complete trash from November through early March, had been underrated all season. ... [The Big Ten got three S16 teams and the ACC was bad.] ... Clearly this had to mean something, right?

Of course not. You know what Michigan beating Louisville and Wisconsin beating Villanova proved? That Michigan outplayed Louisville and that Wisconsin outplayed Villanova. How come everyone who gets so wrapped up in conference-pride bullshit always seems to move the goalposts with these arguments?

Neither side of any conference superiority argument generally marshals anything resembling a coherent argument. It is talk-radio fodder.

While a few tournament games don't establish that the Big Ten was at the level it was a few years ago, neither was it "trash." They entered the NCAA tourney fifth out of six power conferences on Kenpom, all of two points behind the second-place ACC. That's roughly the difference between #20 Michigan and #24 Butler, or #37 Northwestern and #44 Illinois State—ie, barely any difference at all. The first two rounds should at least be sufficient to demonstrate that the Big Ten is in the same range as any other power conference (with the possible exception of the Big 12).

This weekend did matter in the computer rankings, sliding the Big Ten up to fourth, and it should influence our perception of the league this year. The real answer, though, is that the Big Ten was just slightly down. Titus seems to be projecting his feelings about Ohio State, which was so trash that many Michigan fans gave up on their season after losing to the Buckeyes*, to the wider league.

*[guilty]

Nice. 2017 PF Isaiah Livers won Mr. Basketball. He's a 6'8" stretch four with game and hair fairly reminiscent of DJ Wilson.

Wilson has a couple of inches of both height and hair on Livers, but hopefully he's able to step into the rotation next year.

Star-crossed Ricky Doyle. Remember how he was ill or injured seemingly perpetually? This has not abated, at all.

Ricky Doyle, a Bishop Verot Catholic High School alum, was forced to sit out this season after transferring from the University of Michigan due to NCAA rules, as well as a tumor.

“I just kept having these stomach pains for a long time and I just kind of pushed them off,” he said. “One day, I just had to go to the hospital and it turns out that my appendix has been burst for two months…they found a tumor about the size of a softball and they had to cut 6 inches of my colon out.”

The tumor was non cancerous, Doyle said, and his body formed it naturally around the burst appendix to prevent poison from seeping out and killing him.

Doctors believe the medicine Doyle is on for his sleep apnea dulled the pain to the point where he didn’t realize how severe the tumor was.

Poor kid.

Writing on the wall. There's a ton of football stuff that we'll get to in a week or two as part of a spring preview, but one roster note: Sam Webb replies to people asking about a lack of Shelton Johnson coverage that "he is not a part of [Scout's] defensive line preview." I would not expect him on the roster this spring.

Etc.: A lot of people say the tournament saps the importance of the college season. I don't buy that, because I like Big Ten championship banners. For an example of a season that truly doesn't matter, I give you the NBA.

Every Michigan 3 against Oklahoma State. Holdin' The Rope on the Louisville game. Five key plays from said game. We are #3 in Will Leitch's rootability rankings, because of "cattywampus." Leitch on the Brad Underwood hire. TTB talks to Kevin Koger. Jim Harbaugh promotes colon awareness.

How Michigan acquired Wagner. Salaries for newly hired staffers. Nigel Hayes vs the NCAA.

Fall Camp Presser 8-15-16: Jim Harbaugh

Fall Camp Presser 8-15-16: Jim Harbaugh

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on August 16th, 2016 at 12:00 PM

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[Upchurch]

You mentioned at media day that year two makes things so much easier—or more familiar, I should say. How’s it feeling?

“No, not easier. But feeling good right now. Coming off of a very good practice today, so feel good about the way our guys are working. Feel really good about the way we practiced today. There was quite a bit of good scrimmaging. Feel like our team is building a callus now that bodes very well for us. I mean, it was not. It was a little more [purulent] than about a week ago, but now it’s starting to harden. Feel good about that.”

Your quarterbacks now compared to a year ago: do you feel like they’re about where they were or in the system for a year, does that help them?

“Definitely has helped them. Right now we’re—I hate to compare—but we’re better. We’re better at that position than we were eight, nine days into camp last year.”

Have you narrowed it down? Is it down to two guys? Have a rank order?

“Yeah, not just two. I mean, Shane Morris is doing good, having a good camp. Wilton Speight’s having an outstanding camp. John O’Korn’s having a very good camp. The quarterback play’s been really good in camp, right from the first day. Been very pleased with that. They’ve…they’re completing balls, they’re running the team, they know what they’re doing. They’re competing at a good, high level. It’s been good. Yeah.

“I’m trying to think through different camps. I’ve said it to myself: this group of quarterbacks is playing really well. Better than most camps that I’ve seen from the start. Sometimes they struggle with their accuracy and struggle with different things, communicating, fumbled snaps on the ground. We haven’t been seeing that. We’ve been seeing solid play that’s improving, too. It started good and it’s getting better every day. Hope we’ll be better tomorrow than we were today, but we had a good day today.”

Are there any other positions where you’re seeing as fierce a competitive battle as you are at quarterback?

“Uh, there’s…there’s some good play. Some good—young guys are playing very well. Devin Asiasi had a heck of a day today. Michael Onwenu is somebody I’m—you know, he’s one of my favorites. Doing a heck of a good job. Ben Bredeson is doing an outstanding job. Rashan Gary is a really good football player. The young linebackers are playing really well. The young receivers are doing a heck of a good job. Chris Evans is maybe one of the most outstanding of them all. Khaleke Hudson’s doing an outstanding job. Dylan Crawford’s doing a good job. So, yeah, it’s been good. Quinn Nordin’s doing an outstanding job. Those guys, some really good players in that class have heated some of the competitive waters at multiple positions. It’s a good thing.”

How many freshmen do you expect to play this year?

“Right now it’s competitive and I don’t see any of our older guys just giving their jobs away. Don’t see that happening. Not through the nine practices. Not saying that for one minute, so it’s still to be determined. There’s some competitive, heated-up waters. More than you see on really probably any team I’ve ever been on where a group of new guys…they’re showing that they’re on track to be either starters or backup players. It’s still to be determined.

“They’ve got to do it over the course of the next couple weeks, but it’ll be exciting to watch. Some of them will, some of them won’t. The best players are going to play, regardless of class year that they’re in. As I’ve said, we’ve got a lot of veteran players who like their starting jobs. It’ll be a battle.”

Last year you waited until the first snap at Utah to reveal the starting lineup. Do you imagine that’ll be the same this season, too, with the quarterbacks and rest of the roster?

“I haven’t decided yet.”

[After THE JUMP: I guess you could say this press conference was…[/puts on sunglasses] suspended.]

Fall Roster Overanalysis 2016!

Fall Roster Overanalysis 2016!

Submitted by Seth on August 8th, 2016 at 5:45 PM

You can jump now Steve:

Michigan has finally posted their rosters with new weights and freshman numbers and such. I haven't included spring weights this year since they didn't update those on the roster; listed weights as recruits or early enrollees are in the 2015 column, with the recruits in parentheses. The exits of Canteen and Pallante have been covered.

Remember the rules:

  • All weight gain is burly muscle that won't slow them down AT ALL
  • All weight loss is a guy in the best shape of his life who's going to do crazy fast things as his new svelte self.

NEW RULE FROM NOW UNTIL THE END OF HARBAUGH:

  • Believe any of it at your own risk. Harbaugh wouldn't hesitate to list Nate Johnson 6'11"/375 pounds if he thought the confusion might gain a yard this year.

TO THE SPREADSHEETS:

Quarterbacks
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Shane Morris 201 204 209 208 213 +3 +4 +5
Wilton Speight 234 235 239 243   +5 +4
Alex Malzone 218 222 224     +2
John O'Korn 209 215     +6
Brandon Peters       205 216     +11
Running Backs
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Drake Johnson 213 211 207 210 201 -2 -1 -9
De'Veon Smith 224 220 228 228 228 -4 +8 -
Ty Isaac 225 240 228 230   +3 +2
Karan Higdon 190 189 189     -
Kareem Walker       210 207     -3
Chris Evans       (181) 200     (+19)
Kingston Davis       225 245     +20
Fullbacks
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Bobby Henderson 227 236 240 245 242 +9 +9 -3
Khalid Hill 258 252 252 263 263 -6 +11 -
Henry Poggi 260 270 273 266 257 +10 -4 -9
Receivers
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Amara Darboh 212 211 216 215 215 -1 +4 -
Jehu Chesson 196 197 207 200 203 +1 +3 +3
Drake Harris 176 174 181 188   +5 +7
Maurice Ways 195 205 210 217   +15 +7
Grant Perry 185 184 196     +12
Kekoa Crawford       (175) 195     (+20)
Ahmir Mitchell       205 205    
Nate Johnson       (174) 185     (+11)
Eddie McDoom       (170) 180     (+10)
Tight Ends
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Jake Butt 237 249 248 250 250 +12 +1 -
Ian Bunting 227 243 252 252   +25 -
Tyrone Wheatley 260 291 276     -15
Zach Gentry 230 244 244     -
Nick Eubanks       (208) 236     (+28)
Devin Asiasi       (253) 287     (+34)
Sean McKeon       230 240     +10
Offensive Line
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Kyle Kalis 302 298 292 305 305 -4 +7 -
Erik Magnuson 285 294 296 305 305 +9 +11 -
Ben Braden 318 322 331 322 335 +4 - +13
Patrick Kugler 287 299 297 302 303 +12 +3 +1
David Dawson 297 296 309 316 325 -1 +20 +9
Mason Cole 292 287 305 305   +13 -
J. Bushell-Beatty 319 319 325 311   +6 -14
Grant Newsome 280 300 318     +18
Jon Runyan Jr. 275 304 304     -
Nolan Ulizio 293 291 291     -
Michael Onwenu       (367) 350     (-17)
Stephen Spanellis       (330) 335     (+5)
Ben Bredeson       (280) 310     (+30)
Defensive Line
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Ryan Glasgow 300 296 297 300 299 -4 +4 -1
Chris Wormley 289 295 300 303 302 +6 +8 -1
Matthew Godin 280 286 287 288 294 +6 +2 +6
Taco Charlton 270 275 273 285 272 +5 +10 -13
Maurice Hurst 270 282 281 282 282 +12 - -
Chase Winovich 220 227 235 245   +15 +10
Lawrence Marshall 241 238 250 268   +9 +18
Bryan Mone 312 325 320 310   +8 -10
Shelton Johnson 225 212 212     -
Reuben Jones 225 222 222     -
M. Dwumfour       (282) 300     (+18)
Rashan Gary       (290) 287     (-3)
Ron Johnson       (221) 245     (+24)
Linebackers
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Mike McCray 237 241 242 240 248 +4 -1 +8
Ben Gedeon 236 240 241 248 247 +4 +8 -1
Wyatt Shallman 237 239 244 245 242 +2 +6 -3
Jabrill Peppers 202 205 208 205   +6 -3
Noah Furbush 210 217 242 238   +32 -4
Jared Wangler 219 230 231 229   +12 -2
E. Mbem-Bosse       (228) 215     -13
Carlo Kemp       250 255     +5
Devin Gil       (204) 230     (+26)
Devin Bush Jr.       220 232     +12
Josh Uche       (217) 217     ( – )
Safeties
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Delano Hill 205 205 204 212 215   - +7 +3
Dymonte Thomas 190 193 191 195 199 +3 +2 +4
Tyree Kinnel 200 201 206     +5
Khaleke Hudson       (204) 205     (+1)
Josh Metellus       (187) 204     (+17)
Cornerbacks
Player 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Fall 2016 13 to 14 14 to 15 15 to 16
Jourdan Lewis 170 175 176 175 186 +5 - +11
Channing Stribling 171 178 178 181 175 +7 +3 -6
Jeremy Clark 205 205 205 210 206   - +5 -4
Brandon Watson 188 189 191 203   +3 +12
Keith Washington 175 170 170     -
David Long       (170) 187     (+17)
Lavert Hill       (173) 168     (-5)

[Things of GREAT IMPORTANT after the JUMP OF GREAT IMPORTANCE thing.]

Spring Practice Presser 3/11/16: Greg Mattison

Spring Practice Presser 3/11/16: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 14th, 2016 at 2:23 PM

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[Barron/MGoBlog]

Playing three different positions in three years isn’t usually the recipe for success, but what about defensive end works for Chase Winovich that you think he’ll fit better there?

“Well, Chase has had a very good spring. We saw that in the bowl practice, and that’s why bowl games are so important. I’ve always felt—I recruited him, and I always felt he had a real high motor, he’s a very, very tough young man, and he can really run. When we got a chance to get him back on defense we just put him in in practices and I would have played him in the game. I would have put him in the bowl game at the end except our offense did such a great job of controlling the ball I didn’t have time to get him in at the end. Then this spring, he’s added some weight. He’s got a lot of learning to do with the technique but he’s willing to, and I think you’re going to be—you know, he’s got a very high ceiling and I’m excited about it.”

How about Bryan Mone? Is he at full health?

“Yeah. Bryan’s, you know, he’s rusty; you don’t take a whole year off [without rust]. But every practice you see it getting more like the guy when he was a freshman but older, and he’s working really hard. I’m very pleased. Obviously he’s very hungry. You know, you take a year away from a young man, it’s hard. And he seems to be really excited about what’s happening, and he’s getting a lot of great reps.”

On the other side of the ball, can you talk about what you see in practice from Chesson and Darboh and Butt in terms of they’re so experienced and so talented that whoever the quarterback is how much they’re going to help that guy?

“Yeah, again, you’re talking about three guys that are veterans now. They’re very talented. I don’t follow our offense. You know, you’ve got so much to do with your own side, but they just have such a great attitude and they seem to be the ones that make the plays. And they’re leaders. They’re leaders by how they play, leaders off the field, leaders in the cafeteria. They’re big-time guys and it’s fun to be on a team with them. I’m really excited about what they’re going to do this next year.”

You’ve talked a lot over the years about how you remember coaching Chris [Wormley] and Hurst when they were really young. Now they’re old. This is the most veteran line you’ve had. Are your expectations, I assume, that much higher?

“Yeah, very high. You know, they know me that if a guy shows that he has talent that I’m going to expect him to get all the way to the top of that talent, and so sometimes things that might be acceptable some places are still not acceptable. I’m always after them for perfection. I want them to be as good as I know they can be, and that’s hard to do in a four-hour practice but they’re being pushed to do that.

“You see those guys, you know, Glasgow, he can’t go right now but he’s doing some things that he wouldn’t get injured with. But all those guys, Taco, it’s four years for them now and you’ve seen them. It’s funny because when you see a Shelton Johnson or a Carlo Kemp or Winovich, you see a young guy and you remember that’s just what they looked like, so you want to get them there faster so they can be up with them. But it’s good. The bar is very, very high for this defensive line.”

[After THE JUMP: If tickets for the Rashan Gary Hype Train weren’t already sold out…]

One-on-One: Jake Butt

One-on-One: Jake Butt

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on November 25th, 2015 at 10:25 AM

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[Fuller/MGoBlog]

I know you’ve been talking about Ohio State a lot today, so I wanted to do something different and go in-depth on one play. So, let’s talk about your touchdown catch in the first quarter against Penn State. First of all, you guys line up and it’s a double tight end set. What do you then see from the defense?

“So, I saw a safety. They’d been rolling a safety down in the box. I saw some linebackers clouded over me. I knew I was going to have to get open on the corner route, but to be honest it was so loud early on in that stadium I was just staring at the ball because I couldn’t hear Jake. I was staring at the ball but thinking in my mind mind what I would have to do. That’s kind of what I was doing early on in that game, and once the ball was snapped I just kind of fired out and diagnosed what I had. I think I had a safety squaring me up maybe 10 yards off. I tried to push up on his grass, sell the post, threw my eyes inside and he really bit on it and popped open on the corner route.”

As far as the routes were designed there, as you said you were running the corner route. It looked like Amara was running to the inside to pull a safety away from you. Is that what happened?

“Yeah. I think- I don’t know what exactly- yeah, it was a post on the outside and corner combination. I don’t know if he was trying to pull a safety out or what but he ended up pulling the corner out of there, which left a big hole in there that Jake kind of just dropped it into.”

How much of that kind of defense did you see from them throughout the game, where they had, as you said, a safety shaded over you who you knew you’d have to work your way around?

“A lot of the times I did notice there’d be a safety or I’d be kind of boxed in by linebackers in a lot of my routes, so it’s kind of tough getting open like that but if they’re putting two or three guys on you that means someone else is left one-on-one or left open, so I don’t mind it when they’re double teaming me. But yeah, it’s a good respect thing when they’re throwing a safety down on you or they’re throwing a couple guys on you. I think that shows they respect your ability to run routes and catch the ball.”

What was the most common coverage you saw from them?

“We saw they ran like a Cover 6 on one side of the field and Cover 4. That was a big coverage for them. A lot of middle field open. That’s what I noticed.”

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest]

Fall Roster Overanalysis 2015!

Fall Roster Overanalysis 2015!

Submitted by Seth on August 28th, 2015 at 12:06 PM

They handed out the new phonebooks at yesterday's presser, and the internet managed to captured a shot of them before Steve Martin made off with the lot:

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You'll have to click for big. But I've already updated the master spreadsheet with all of it. Remember the rules: all weight gain is burley muscle that won't slow them down AT ALL, and all weight loss is a guy in the best shape of his life who's going to do crazy fast things as his new svelte self.

TO THE SPREADSHEETS!

Quarterbacks
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
Jake Rudock         203      
Shane Morris   201 204 209 208   +3 +4
Wilton Speight     234 235 239     +5
Zach Gentry       230 244      
Alex Malzone       218 222      
John O'Korn         209      
Running Backs
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
Drake Johnson 203 213 211 207 210 +10 -2 -1
De'Veon Smith   224 220 228 228   -4 +8
Derrick Green   240 220 234 225   -20 +5
Ty Isaac     225 240 228     +3
R.Taylor-Douglas     189 186 193     +4
Karan Higdon       190 189      
Joe Kerridge 244 238 244 249 248 -6 +6 +4
Sione Houma 221 231 242 243 242 +10 +11 -
Wyatt Shallman   237 239 244 245   +2 +6
Bobby Henderson   227 236 240 245   +9 +9
Receivers
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
Amara Darboh 218 212 211 216 215 -6 -1 +4
Jehu Chesson 183 196 197 207 200 +13 +1 +3
Jaron Dukes   190 197 204 204   +7 +7
Da'Mario Jones   192 196 199 195   +4 -1
Drake Harris     176 174 181     +5
Freddy Canteen     176 185 182     +6
Maurice Ways     195 205 210     +15
Brian Cole       200 207      
Grant Perry       185 184      
Tight Ends
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
A.J. Williams 282 265 260 285 275 -17 -5 +15
Jake Butt   237 249 248 250   +12 +1
Khalid Hill   258 252 252 263   -6 +11
Henry Poggi   260 270 273 266   +10 -4
Ian Bunting     227 243 252     +25
Chase Winovich     220 227 235     +15
Tyrone Wheatley Jr.       260 291      
Offensive Line
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
Graham Glasgow 305 303 311 303 301 -2 +8 -10
Kyle Kalis 292 302 298 292 305 +10 -4 +7
Erik Magnuson 290 285 294 296 305 -5 +9 +11
Ben Braden 319 318 322 331 322 -1 +4 -
Blake Bars 282 291 294 281 290 +9 +3 -4
Patrick Kugler   287 299 297 302   +12 +3
David Dawson   297 296 309 316   -1 +20
L. Tuley-Tillman   300 290 309 302   -10 +12
Mason Cole     292 287 305     +13
J. Bushell-Beatty     319 319 325     +6
Grant Newsome       280 300      
Jon Runyan Jr.       275 304      
Nolan Ulizio       293 291      
Defensive Line
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
Ryan Glasgow 285 300 296 297 300 +15 -4 +4
Willie Henry 302 306 293 311 307 +4 -13 +14
Mario Ojemudia 223 250 251 252 252 +27 +1 +1
Chris Wormley 268 289 295 300 303 +21 +6 +8
Matthew Godin 270 280 286 287 288 +10 +6 +2
Tom Strobel 250 265 268 270 282 +15 +3 +14
Taco Charlton   270 275 273 285   +5 +10
Maurice Hurst Jr.   270 282 281 282   +12 -
Lawrence Marshall     241 238 250     +9
Bryan Mone     312 325 320     +8
Brady Pallante     263 276 280     +17
Shelton Johnson       225 212      
Reuben Jones       225 222      
Linebackers
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
R. Jenkins-Stone 206 225 234 240 245 +19 +9 +11
Allen Gant 196 212 223 225 227 +16 +11 +4
Desmond Morgan 230 228 232 236 244 -2 +4 +12
James Ross III 225 220 227 232 241 -5 +7 +14
Joe Bolden 224 225 231 232 237 +1 +6 +6
Mike McCray   237 241 242 240   +4 -1
Ben Gedeon   236 240 241 248   +4 +8
Dan Liesman   215 229 233 228   +14 -1
Noah Furbush     210 217 242     +32
Jared Wangler     219 230 231     +12
Safeties
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
Jarrod Wilson 195 200 205 210 210 +5 +5 +5
Jeremy Clark 191 205 205 205 210 +14 - +5
Delano Hill   205 205 204 212   - +7
Dymonte Thomas   190 193 191 195   +3 +2
Jabrill Peppers     202 205 208     +6
Tyree Kinnel       200 201      
Cornerbacks
Player 2012 2013 Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 12 to 13 13 to 14 14 to 15
Terry Richardson 154 167 170 174 175 +13 +3 +5
Wayne Lyons         197      
Jourdan Lewis   170 175 176 175   +5 -
C. Stribling   171 178 178 181   +7 +3
Reon Dawson   170 178 175 181   +8 +3
Brandon Watson     188 189 191     +3
Keith Washington       175 170      

[jump for items of interest and interest]

2015 Recruiting: Shelton Johnson

2015 Recruiting: Shelton Johnson

Submitted by Brian on July 10th, 2015 at 11:06 AM

Previously: Last year's profiles, S Tyree Kinnel, CB Keith Washington.

       
Delray Beach, FL – 6'5" 220
       

sfl-palm-beach-county-top-50-senior-football-p-038[1]

Scout 4*, #291 overall
#27 DE
Rivals 3*, NR overall
#37 WDE, #100 FL
ESPN 3*, NR overall
#36 DE, #75 FL
24/7 4*, #289 overall
#16 SDE, #38 FL
Other Suitors FSU, Miami, VT, MissSt, SoCar
YMRMFSPA Shawn Crable
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Ace.
Notes Older teammate of 2016 CB commit Antwaine Richardson. Practices his World Cup arm folding on the reg.

Film

Half-season senior highlights:

Shelton Johnson was without question the most impressive acquisition in the three-week scramble before this year's Signing Day. Zach Gentry is more highly touted and more important for the roster, but Texas was loudly proclaiming a move towards spread 'n' shred QBs at the same time they courted a five-star A&M commit. Gentry compared that to getting coached by Jim Harbaugh, quarterback whisperer and made a logical decision to go somewhere else pretty far from home.

Johnson, on the other hand, is a Florida native who had been publicly favoring Florida State for six months before Michigan got involved late through DJ Durkin. One visit later and Johnson was ready to head north.

He was not the first to do so—Michigan grabbed fellow FL DE Reuben Jones earlier—but he was the best indicator of Michigan's renewed focus on the south, and Florida in particular. Rich Rodriguez mined Florida for little tough bastards; Harbaugh appears to be going for big tough bastards.

Johnson is certainly on his way to that at 6'5". Sites were split on a fourth star for him, but that did not prevent Florida State from pursuing him heavily after he was a summer camp offer. 247's Josh Newberg came back with some film from that camp:

Johnson is lanky, athletic, quick… and skinny. Every scouting report makes mention of the obvious: 220 pound guys don't do well as defensive linemen. They also report Johnson has the proverbial frame to layer on piles of muscle if he is left alone in an electrical closet with some free weights and several cows. This is not a gentleman who will top out at 250 unless that's a weight at which he is an excellent player.

While the need to add weight necessarily brings questions about whether Johnson can maintain his current quick-twitch ability, there's not much debate that he's got it right now. Scouting highlights:

  • 247's Clint Brewster: "…shows true explosive burst getting off on the snap and consistently crossing the face of offensive lineman to beat them into the backfield. Underrated strength and physicality, Johnson shows the core strength to battle bigger lineman upfront and get off blocks, even against the double team. …really light on his feet with good redirection skills. Really like his toughness and motor."
  • Scout's Jamie Newberg: "…ton of talent. He looks terrific on film. Johnson can put his hand in the dirt or stand up. He can also slide inside. He has versatility and athleticism. Johnson gets off the ball well and can use his hands to shed blocks. He shows speed and lateral quickness."
  • Scout's Corey Bender: "…oozes with potential and moves very well in space. He has a nice frame that can hold an additional 25 pounds with ease … does a good job of using his hands to disengage off blocks, and can provide a steady pass rush standing up or with his hand in the dirt."
  • ESPN: "displays good raw, wiry strength … Inconsistent, but flashes good initial quickness … Good burst and length … plays with a physical and at times violent nature. … good physical tools to develop. We don't see an early contributor … displays some good upside."
  • Via Tim Sullivan, Johnson's high school coach TJ Jackson: ""…one of the elite pass-rushers I've seen in a long time …. That's kids that I've coached with or against.
    definitely going to have to put on a little weight … fantastic student in the classroom and fantastic athlete."

Sullivan also had a lengthy article with an interview of the Sun-Sentinel's Ryan S Clark($) with an interesting perspective of his place in the Florida recruiting sphere:

…they could kind of see the raw talent, it was just a matter of how it would fit into a system. This year, we saw that. He played as a down lineman, and here in South Florida there's so much talk about everyone trying to find that hybrid who can play D-end and linebacker. I don't know if he can play linebacker, but he got the job done very, very well."

Johnson first showed he'd be a big prospect when he caught FSU's attention, and then followed that up with an excellent senior year. There are still a number of questions he has to answer—the recruiting rankings seem accurate when they split on placing him as a 4 star or a 3 star.

At Michigan, Johnson is likely ticketed for the "buck" spot. Whether you define that as a linebacker or a defensive end is a matter of perspective. It is very similar to the way Greg Mattison used his weakside ends: maybe two thirds of the time they would be a defensive and, and a third of the time Michigan would slant its line, use the SAM as a DE, and drop the WDE into coverage or a run fit. From what I've seen of the Florida defense, that's about what their buck LBs do.

DJ Durkin's most recent buck was 6'3", 260-pound Dante Fowler, the third pick in the most recent NFL draft. That is about the weight Johnson will aim for as he attempts to unseat redshirt freshman Lawrence Marshall and (maybe) junior Taco Charlton.

Etc.: There is apparently a famous park ranger Shelton Johnson? One does not expect to type a football player's name into Google Image Search and get back a guy who looks like a cross between a Union soldier and Steve Irwin. Wants to be an engineer—my man.

Why Shawn Crable? Crable was an ostentatiously skinny 6'6" DE/LB hybrid who spent his first couple years at Michigan at LB before transitioning to full-time DE as a senior. He is a pretty tight comparison. One caveat: Crable was a consensus top 100 prospect. Johnson is on the 3/4 star borderline.

Frank Clark is another good comparison point. Clark came in a 220-pound high school safety and hit 280 by his junior year. He kept his athleticism and ended up a second-round pick.

Guru Reliability: Moderate-plus. Healthy and little position projection, but large spread, very few camps, and the fact he's far from a finished product make him a bit of a wildcard.

Variance: Moderate-plus. Needs a lot of weight and some debate about how good of a prospect he is.

Ceiling: High. If he develops could be a first round NFL prospect. The FSU offer and serious pursuit down to signing day is an excellent sign. That is a program coming off a national championship that had a five-star DE in the boat and they went after Johnson hard. 

General Excitement Level: High-minus. Long way to go; excellent prospect to develop.

Projection: Another probable redshirt. Michigan is kind of thin at defensive end but probably not thin enough give Johnson significant playing time this year. With Ojemudia graduating a number of snaps open up in year two, when Johnson should be hefty enough to play the weakside end/"buck" linebacker role.

This Week's Obsession: Class of 2015 Roundtable

This Week's Obsession: Class of 2015 Roundtable

Submitted by Seth on February 11th, 2015 at 2:14 PM

 

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Upchurch

I changed up the format this week since the question was a seven-parter. A reminder of who everyone is:

  • Brian: Blogger of mighty repute.
  • Ace: Lead reporter, recruiting/basketball guy.
  • Seth: Associate editor/site business guy
  • BiSB: A funny person.
  • Adam Schnepp: Press correspondent (Heiko's old job) and hockey guy.
  • Alex Cook: Basketball correspondent
  • Dave Nasternak: J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Lead Backend Logistics Strategist and Associate Vice President of Name Day Nittany Lion Taunting and Corporate Titlery (i.e. a responsible adult)
    The Question Seven Questions:

Brian: Best recruit? Most important? Most likely to outperform ranking? Best name (nationally)? Guy who got away who will haunt you? Guy you are most irrationally enthusiastic about? Overall class hot take? Harbaugh?

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

BEST RECRUIT?

BiSB: Brian Cole. He's a fantastic athlete, but more importantly Cole is a guy with speed in a position where, despite the assertions of some, SPEED IS A GOOD THING THAT CANNOT BE TAUGHT AND IS A GOOD THING. One caveat: Roquan Smith takes this category if he picks Michigan.

cole
Five votes for the superlative in-stater. [Allen Trieu/Scout]

 

Seth: Brian Cole. In a terribly weak in-state class, this player this year was the perfect opportunity for Dantonio to flip the in-state script—no weird families or MSU connections or coaches who lock players in their cars during their Michigan visits or questionable transcripts.

AND he's a great player at two positions of need. Other than Borgesian leapers at receiver there's Canteen and Drake Harris's un-Dude hamstrings. Safety is an even greater need; if by some holy luck Peppers stays through 2018, Michigan would have two safeties in 2018. I'd gladly take Cole and four more just like him.

Adam Schnepp: Zach Gentry. I am an unabashed fan of gun-slinging giants who causes Physics and Anatomy to get into a fight over who left THAT loophole open. I think about fitting him into a Harbaugh-ffense and find myself chortling under my breath. If you're a commit who makes me chortle when thinking about your fit with Michigan's system then you too could be a contender for next year's Best Recruit.

Dave Nasternak: Probably Brian Cole. I can see arguments for Gentry, but I think that Cole is the best overall player, right now. And I think (hope?) he is the only member from this class who will not see a 2015 redshirt...if for no other reason than they just will not be able to keep him off of the field. There are a handful of places that he should be able to contribute early -WR, Returner, ST coverage, etc.

Ace: Another vote for Cole. He's such a good athlete that it's hard to imagine he won't end up contributing somewhere, and he's especially impactful with the ball in his hands.

Alex Cook: Brian Cole. The whole "the best players from Michigan go to Michigan" thing is, um, patently false, but there's a good chance that Cole will be the best homegrown recruit in this cycle. Oh, and he was a presumed State lean before committing to Michigan - and he stuck through the coaching change? Great. I'm sold.

Brian: I'm going with Zach Gentry. You do not get guys flying past safeties 50 yards downfield at 6'8" anywhere, and Gentry improved considerably over the course of his career. John Navarre running Buffalo 100 Meter Dash? I'll take it. Gentry has higher bust potential, yeah, but that upside. Yooooooo.

[Hit the jump for most important, sleeper, best names, the one that got away, and bloggers going squeeee]

Hello: Shelton Johnson

Hello: Shelton Johnson

Submitted by Ace on February 4th, 2015 at 3:38 PM

Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic DE Shelton Johnson announced a commitment to Michigan over fellow finalists Florida State and Miami in a ceremony at his school this afternoon. Johnson becomes the 13th commit in the 2015 class and fills a major need at defensive end. He joins Karan Higdon and Keith Washington among NSD commits for the Wolverines.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #27 DE,
#291 Ovr
3*, #37 WDE 3*, 79, #36 DE 4*, 91, #16 SDE 3*, #20 SDE,
#364 Ovr

There's a split in Johnson's rankings—Scout and 247 both have him in the top-300 area, while Rivals and ESPN place him in the nondescript three-star category. All four sites list him at 6'5" and 220-225 pounds.

SCOUTING

Scout's Jamie Newberg named Johnson the #4 defensive lineman in Florida—in a stacked class—heading into his senior season:

Johnson is not as highly touted as the others above here but this kid has a ton of talent. He looks terrific on film. Johnson can put his hand in the dirt or stand up. He can also slide inside. He has versatility and athleticism. Johnson gets off the ball well and can use his hands to shed blocks. He shows speed and lateral quickness. 

ESPN likes his frame, though they point out he needs to weight and strength, and say that he's a good physical prospect in need of some refining ($):

Flashes ability to fire out and uncoil, but needs to continue add size to help him maintain and hold ground. Flashes active, violent hands, but needs to continue to develop hand usage. Displays enough range to be factor in backside pursuit.

Good burst and length can be assets in his development. Long and little straight line, but flashes ability to do decent job of dipping inside shoulder and turning the corner. Needs to learn to better utilize hands and reach. Flashes some ability to transfer speed-to-power and knock blockers back at times.

They add that he plays "with a physical and at times violent nature."

There's surprisingly little else out there on him. Johnson earned his FSU offer after an impressive camp performance last summer (video below) and got a late bump into the four-star range on 247 after his senior season.

OFFERS

Johnson held offers from Florida State, FAU, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami (YTM), Minnesota, Mississippi State, NC State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. He had interest, but no offer, from Florida, LSU, and Georgia.

HIGH SCHOOL

Atlantic has produced a couple of very successful four-star prospects in 2009 CB Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech, now on the New York Giants) and 2006 OL Orlando Franklin (Miami, now on the Denver Broncos). There's also a Big Ten connection: Minnesota RB Donnell Kirkwood was a 2010 three-star.

STATS

Johnson's stats weren't readily available and are impossible to Google thanks to the existence of an NFL player of the same name.

FAKE 40 TIME

None listed.

VIDEO

Partial senior highlights:

This performance at FSU's camp last summer earned him an offer from the Noles:

Junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

There's not a ton to go on here, but Johnson is clearly in need of some seasoning before he's ready to see the field. Even with Michigan's thin depth chart, he should take a redshirt year unless he looks ready to contribute at the hybrid WDE/OLB position as a situational pass-rusher. For Michigan's purposes, it'd be ideal if he's able to bulk up and play SDE, which is quite plausible with his frame; that might take a year or two, however.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Johnson fills a significant need at DE. Michigan is now waiting on announcements from TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr. (any moment now) and CB Iman Marshall (4 pm). Wheatley is down to Michigan and UCLA, with the edge to the good guys, while Marshall is highly unlikely to end up in the class.

Monday Recruitin' Is Father Figure And Fashion Icon

Monday Recruitin' Is Father Figure And Fashion Icon

Submitted by Ace on January 19th, 2015 at 2:20 PM

Official Visits Wrapup

While Michigan's big official visit weekend hasn't yet produced a commitment, it certainly moved the needle for some of the program's top targets. Four-star CT TE Chris Clark—who appears to have rocked khakis on his visit, based on the above picture—was already familiar with Michigan's campus. He came to Ann Arbor to meet Jim Harbaugh, and told MLive that couldn't have gone much better:

"It's crazy, he's really intense, and you really like that," Clark told MLive on Sunday. "He grew on me a lot. I didn't know what to think at first, I wasn't sure what he'd be like. But once I left, he really, really grew on me.

"He's the best coach I think I've sat down with. I just think he's awesome."

An important note: Clark had an in-home with UCLA's Jim Mora last week. Clark now says his two finalists are "neck and neck" heading into this weekend's official visit to UCLA; Harbaugh will have an in-home with Clark after that visit, hopefully allowing him the last word in the process. Momentum looks to be swinging Michigan's way, though we'll see if that changes after Clark sees UCLA's campus for the first time. Clark is slated to make his decision on Signing Day in a televised ceremony on ESPNU.

Michigan also made significant progress with top-50 GA LB Roquan Smith; per TomVH, the Wolverines are poised to make the cut when Smith narrows his list to three ($):

Heading into the trip, Smith had Florida, Georgia, Michigan and UCLA as his likely top four. He has yet to take his official visit to UCLA, but says he should have news before that trip. 

"[Michigan is] in my top and I'll be coming out with a final three next week," he said. 

I'd assume Florida is the odd team out here—the main reason Smith looked at Michigan in the first place is because they hired DJ Durkin, who'd recruited him while at UF.

Three-star FL CB Damon Arnette, a South Carolina commit, got some important perspective from his player host, Jabrill Peppers, per Scout's Amy Campbell ($):

“Me and Jabrill had this conversation, just based off of speaking to him, he’s ready, you know what I mean? I can tell he’s going to be a great player, and I think that’s maybe something I want to be a part of. Him being back there behind me,that would be great. I can tell, since he got hurt, that put a drive in him,” Arnette said.

“Speaking with Jabrill, he was saying when he got hurt, he was going crazy because he didn’t know what else he could do, but then he realized he’s getting a great education. God forbid something happens to me, if I end up going to Michigan, I still have my education to fall back on.”

Arnette sounds like a strong candidate to commit; he had effusive praise for the coaches and even said he loved the weather—not exactly the norm for a Florida kid visiting Michigan in January.

The only uncommitted official visitor who doesn't sound like a distinct possibility to end up in the class is three-star FL DE Shelton Johnson, who said the visit was "pretty good" to Scout's Corey Bender ($). Nothing he said in there gave the impression Michigan should challenge Florida State, the presumed leader, for his commitment.

Meanwhile, five-star CA CB Iman Marshall is on campus. There will be much more on him later in the week.

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