Terry Richardson to Grad Transfer

Terry Richardson to Grad Transfer

Submitted by Brian on January 12th, 2016 at 11:02 AM

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[Eric Upchurch]

I don't know why Ohio-based Scout guy Bill Greene is breaking all these but he is. Here you go:

Richardson never saw playing time after being a highly touted recruit out of Cass Tech, probably because he couldn't put on enough weight to tackle guys. Michigan has 24 commits and 18-ish spots until the next grad transfer announcement Greene will break in about 15 minutes.

Spring Practice Presser 3-26-15: Mike Zordich

Spring Practice Presser 3-26-15: Mike Zordich

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on March 27th, 2015 at 5:00 PM

photo (8)

“Well, everybody alright? I’m good. Who wants to start?”

You have a couple of players who are new to the position in Brandon Watson and Ross Douglas, though Ross Douglas has played it before. How are they adjusting to that change?

“They’re doing well. It’s a whole different deal for everybody. It’s a different defense, so everybody’s making a lot of adjustments but those two guys are coming along just like the rest of them.”

We’ve heard it said that you’ve played a lot more press coverage than they’re used to. How have they adjusted and how much work is that?

“It’s a lot of work. It’s a new total concept for the defense, for these guys who haven’t played- for Jourdan [Lewis] two or three years, for Blake [Countess] four years- so it is a new concept. It’s a whole new technique they’re learning so it’s taking time but they’re working their butts off. They’re working extremely hard at it and in time we’re going to get it done.”

Press was something they tried last year and did a little bit of it and struggled with it. Are you guys totally committed to it?

“Well, that’s coach Durkin’s defense, yes. So yes, we are totally, 100 % committed. We’ve just got to find the guys who catch on the fastest and handle the technique the best.”

Most cornerbacks are really excited about the chance to do that. Has that been the case here?

“Absolutely for us, and in recruiting they’re very excited to hear we’re aggressive on the outside and they want to see and hear what they’d have to do, so I think it will help us in that respect as far as getting some other corners in here.”

Can you talk about Lewis and Countess in particular and their ability to do that?

“Yeah, Blake’s an extremely hard worker. He’s very focused. Jourdan’s a natural at it. He’s probably our most natural corner for what we’re asking him to do. He does it pretty good but he’s still got some things to get better at because of the fact that it’s something they haven’t done all the time as far as last season goes. But those two are definitely, as far as technique-sound and even athletically and mentally, more experienced in that way.”

[After THE JUMP: Skills needed to play press, a transfer from Stanford confirmed-ish, and depth chart discussion]

Media Day Interviews: The Technicians

Media Day Interviews: The Technicians

Submitted by Ace on August 12th, 2014 at 9:15 AM


"Now everything's just slowed down for me, and it's just me, I can just play ball." — Jourdan Lewis [Photo: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog]

Michigan's 2014 roster includes six proud graduates of Detroit's Cass Tech High School, including four in the secondary alone and a fifth—Royce Jenkins-Stone, Class of 2012—also on the defensive side of the ball. Remarkably, all six are making a serious push for playing time this fall. At Media Day, I caught up with every former Technician on the team save for Delano Hill, who's recovering from a broken jaw, to discuss their current roles on the team, what it's like to be surrounded by their former high school teammates, and much more.

Highlights:

  • The defensive backs, to a man, are excited about the new aggressive playing style, as well as the level of competition at corner.
  • Terry Richardson feels physically prepared to be out there after adding "a quick 12 to 15 pounds" this offseason.
  • Delonte Hollowell was wearing a small cast on his left hand due to an injury suffered from "practicing hard, you know?" He thinks it's just a sprain.
  • Royce Jenkins-Stone says Greg Mattison "critiques the little things" more with his new charges at linebacker, and the group is better for it.
  • David Dawson, man of mystery, does not want you to know what position he's playing.
  • There's competition everywhere.
  • Every single one lit up when talking about playing with a big group of other guys from Cass Tech—they clearly share a strong bond with their former and present teammates.

Jourdan Lewis

You made a big move in the spring. Heading into the fall, Coach Hoke talked about how you're one of the top three corners. How do you feel you've progressed since last year and what are your expectations for this season in terms of your performance?

Just be aggressive. Just play good. Just keep playing how I'm doing. Just keep the intensity up though the season, pretty much.

There's been a big emphasis on aggressiveness from the cornerbacks. How do you feel that fits in with your style of play, and what's been the biggest change since last year?

It's definitely a big emphasis on being physical, that's how all of us really like to play. Just doing that, just with how we like to play, it's really suiting us. We're actually better as a whole unit.

Because of how aggressive you guys are playing, has the level of competition been raised between the cornerbacks and the receivers right now?

It's just everybody. All of us just love to compete, and it's not even like—the competition, we don't see it [that way], we just see it as "we're gonna just lock this receiver up every chance we get."

There's a bunch of Cass Tech guys on the team, and a lot of them are competing for time. What's it like to be surrounded by your high school teammates at Michigan?

It's amazing. It's amazing just knowing that you've got somebody who has your back through anything. It's really amazing. It brings everybody together, even the ones that didn't go to Cass Tech, it actually helps us all be together and help us be tight as a unit.

[Note: This is where I wrapped up my Q&A; I caught the audio of a couple questions for Lewis from The Wolverine's Chris Balas.]

How much more confident are you from year one to year two?

Confident? I was about the same, but being consistent and comfortable is a key, really. Right now that's all I'm really worried about, just being consistent and being comfortable in my technique in everything we do.

How much more comfortable are you knowing what you know now compared to what you knew a year ago?

It was way faster last year. Now everything's just slowed down for me, and it's just me, I can just play ball.

[Hit THE JUMP for interviews with Terry Richardson, DELONTE HOLLOWELL, Royce Jenkins-Stone, and David Dawson.]

Tuesday Presser Transcript 9-17-13: Greg Mattison

Tuesday Presser Transcript 9-17-13: Greg Mattison

Submitted by Heiko on September 17th, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Opening remarks:

"Well, here we are again. I might as well answer it before you ask. What about the pass rush? You're going to ask that question and the answer I'm going to give you is one, they kept backs in a little bit more in passing situations than we expected. And the other thing I’m going to tell you is I have to coach it better. Our guys are working hard at it, and I’ll put that on me. We just have to get better at it. And we know that. We started working on it on Sunday already but we will be able to rush, and we’re going to do that.”

MGoQuestion: We haven't seen a lot of the nose tackles the last couple weeks. What's the reasoning behind that?

"Well we were in sub a lot. Some guys are better at playing the run and some guys are maybe better at playing able to play the run as well as rush the passer. We feel like those two guys are 300-and-some pound guys that might not give us quite the movement we’re looking for in pass rush.”

Preview 2013: Cornerback

Preview 2013: Cornerback

Submitted by Brian on August 29th, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Previously: Podcast 5.0, The Story, Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Friends, Offensive Line, Defensive Tackle, Defensive End, Linebacker, Special Teams.

Cornerback

Rating: 4.

Boundary Corner Yr. Field Corner Yr. Nickelback Yr.
Blake Countess So.* Raymon Taylor Jr. Blake Countess So.*
Channing Stribling Fr. Delonte Hollowell Jr. Dymonte Thomas Fr.
Terry Richardson So. Jourdan Lewis Fr. Courtney Avery Sr.

100111_SPT_UMich_vs_Minn_MRM

The headliner here is the headliner last year, frozen in carbonite: BLAKE COUNTESS. Countess was Mattison's prophesied War Daddy at field corner, and then he got blocked on a punt return in the first game. That blew up his ACL and ended his year.

A year later, Countess is back to full health—he could have gone in spring if it wasn't, you know, spring—and ready to fulfill the promise he had a year ago. But that doesn't mean I've got anything on Countess that I didn't a year ago, save the occasional coach quote.

What I had last year: Countess started on the traditional Michigan Star Corner track, getting into the second game as a reserve corner and emerging as a starter halfway through the season. In six starts, Countess had six PBUs; he was named to various freshman All-American teams. As a freshman he manned up on Marvin McNutt pretty well:

The downside was the Ohio State game in which he was no match for Devier Posey on one of OSU's three long touchdowns. That'll happen when you're a freshman.

Despite that, even then he was Michigan's best corner. Anonymous Big Ten receiver:

On the cornerbacks: "Two years ago, they had a kid [Blake Countess] that was different. He played with a swagger and just seemed to attack every ball thrown his way. Last year, he wasn't out there, and it made my job a lot easier because I could use both sides of the field. Their corners were good, but they didn't go after the ball. They just wanted to stay between our receivers and the big play."

Countess seems to have had no problem reclaiming his starting spot and should resume the star corner track he was on before injury intervened.

[After THE JUMP: Taylor! Depth! Special Nickelback section!]

Unverified Voracity Goes One On One

Unverified Voracity Goes One On One

Submitted by Brian on August 13th, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Yes. Fun. Annual best CTK is just four minutes of the Michigan drill:

Countdown to Kickoff 2013: Day 21 - The... by mgovideo

Notables:

  • Lewan buries Keith Heitzman on the first rep; Heitzman comes back and does much better against Schofield on the next one. Not entirely unexpected.
  • Rawls absolutely runs over Ross Douglas on a rep, causing both guys to pop up and jut chests at each other threateningly.
  • Washington looks good on both his reps, though he gave some ground on #1.
  • Ross sheds very well on his single rep, as does Jarrod Wilson. Wormley does not and immediately gets a coach in his face repeating "escape, escape, escape" to him.
  • A rather large-looking Mike McCray has interesting reps separated by 30 seconds or so. On the first one, Kyle Bosch drives him way out of the frame. On the second, he dumps Blake Bars to the ground and makes a tackle.
  • Taco stands up Jake Butt, RB darts by, Mattison exclaims "HE WENT OUTSIDE THE CONE" in an effort to claim that one for the D.
  • Strobel does a good job against walk-on Erik Gunderson.
  • Jeremy Jackson locks up Richardson and waltzes him downfeld. Not a huge surprise, but an indicator as to why it's going to be hard for Richardson to get on the field this year.
  • Pipkins wins a rep against Glasgow with authority.

Omar comin'? Frank Clark gets the CTK treatment:

Countdown to Kickoff 2013: Day 22 - Frank Clark by mgovideo

Clark says he'd be competitive with Devin Gardner in a 40 yard dash… but not Denard. He says he 268, not 277, but a CTK a few days later they say he's 274. I dunno, pick one.

Also available: Aaron Wellman may get results, but does he sound like a gravel truck? Maybe a little. Jeremy Jackson's Day 18 is mostly a look into weirdass Navy Seal exercises like "kick a pole and wiggle forward on your butt" and "rub sand on your head." Jake Ryan is running and whatnot.

Hail Brady. Oh man Michigan's head coach has the same opinion on uniformz as sane people do:

"(The uniform issue is) bigger than it should be," Hoke said Monday during a radio interview with FoxSports' Jay Mohr. "But we’re traditional, and we have such a great tradition and legacies, we’re going to be staying pretty much standard.” …

“We had one uniform we wore once that we won’t wear again,” he said. "It’s something that you’re always trying to have that excitement with your kids, and that’s part of it."

Is that the ghost number outfit, the No Rain bumblebee one, or… actually the Sugar Bowl uniforms were hardly different from the usual and fine.

The times, they have changed. Ohio State picks up a 2015 PG commit from AJ Harris, a 5'8" kid who I'd never heard of. A quick check of the UMHoops page for him reveals nothing but a lot of scouting from various AAU tournaments, so that's why: no one had mentioned him in connection with a Michigan offer. This is interesting for a couple reasons:

  1. It likely removes OSU from the Jalen Brunson chase, but Harris is a AAU teammate of Luke Kennard.
  2. Harris's commitment was "shocking" because as of two weeks ago he said Michigan was at the top and he wanted to be Trey Burke.

Harris told Eleven Warriors that "it's true, I did want to hear from Michigan," but Michigan is focused on a half-dozen high profile targets. So… Ohio point guard picks Ohio State because Michigan showed no interest. Remember when the basketball program was 1-6 in the Big Ten? No? I don't either.

Meanwhile in silly things said on the internet:

What could make it sweeter? Beating out Michigan for a prospect that two weeks ago wanted to emulate Trey Burke.

To beat the man, the man has to be in the ring, or at least cognizant of the fact there is a ring.

Booker and Johnson do things. Elsewhere in basketball recruiting news—we are downshifting from occasional roundups as football season starts—Devin Booker releases a top five of Michigan, Kentucky, Michigan State, Missouri, and Florida. The latter two are not reputed to be strong contenders, especially Florida. Booker told Scout that he's set up officials with the other four schools and pull the trigger "whenever I feel whatever schools is right for me" and that he's not even sure he'll visit Florida.

You are rooting for Indiana decommit (and Kentucky legacy) James Blackmon to pick the Wildcats, as they seem to be the biggest threat at the moment. Indiana blog Inside The Hall thinks Blackmon is all but locked up for the Wildcats, so we've got that going for us. The primary way things could go pear-shaped if Blackmon takes Kentucky off the table is if Michigan gets a commit from Trevon Bluiett and Booker looks at Stauskas/Irvin/LeVert/Bluiett as a higher hill to climb than Michigan State's roster.

Also, Ypsi PF Jaylen Johnson, who recently took a visit to Michigan, is profiled by the Louisville paper:

“I love his activity,” Meyer said. “He’s athletic, he’s long, and he’s so active. He’s such an aggressive rebounder, one of those who is always fighting for position early. I love his feel for the game as a rebounder.”

Meyer thinks Johnson will end up at Louisville, so expect him to cut Louisville from his list immediately. YES I AM STILL BITTER.

Finally, touted 2015 PF Carlton Bragg plans a visit:

We talked about it a little,” Graves said. “I think Carlton would be a three, stretch four because he has the jumper to be 6-9 just like a forward that runs the floor, like a hybrid. We haven’t talked x’s and o’s but they can see him in their system, especially with the three’s that they shoot.”

Bragg is open at the moment; Ohio State will be a major player.

They were almost ready to throw in the towel last year. On the OL, that is. Apparently the debate as to whether to redshirt Kyle Kalis was being had within the walls of Schembechler Hall as well as without:

"It sucked," the redshirt freshman offensive lineman said Sunday. "It sucked. So many times, I was close to going in, but they didn't want to burn my redshirt.

"Everyone wants to play, and it sucks (when you don't get to). And I was mad about it."

So many times I was like "why aren't they playing Kalis." At least we know now there was much debate about it.

Prepare for WJC departures. The United States of Hockey handicaps the National Junior Evaluation Camp field, which includes four Michigan forwards. Chris Peters projects that Compher ("One of the better centers for most of the camp… really strong when playing a bottom-six role and playing an aggressive, grinding two-way style") and Copp ("A prime candidate to play the fourth-line shutdown role the U.S. will so badly need to succeed") will make the roster, while Motte and Nieves are question marks. Nieves's evaluation is pretty much the thing:

Nieves is one of those guys where if he finds that missing piece to his game, he could be really good. With size, speed and some truly remarkable puck skills, he’s got a lot of the tools going for him. He just couldn’t seem to finish the play out with the right decision or buy himself time when he needed it. That led to poor shots or turnovers and that’s going to be tough to do at the WJC level. The speed and skills are there, but I think he needs some more work.

Right now he's Milan Gajic, a guy who looks like he's got every skill you could want but doesn't put it together to blow up. He's got some more time to break out of that rut.

Meanwhile, Motte is sounding like something not very much like the midget puck wizard I'd assumed he would be:

Motte showed good quickness and some skill in a solid camp performance. He had some good two-way play and worked really well when playing with Compher and Fasching in the middle parts of the camp.

He might grab a lower-rung spot, especially if the brass thinks his long familiarity with Compher would make a good pairing.

Are they related to Wiz Khalifa? I don't know what this means.

For Gallon, there’s an added bonus there: He and Gardner are extremely tight. “Closer than Phineas and Ferb,” as Gallon puts it.

I am old.

Etc.: Big Ten building spree reaches 1.5 billion dollars. No M-OSU night games on the docket according to Jim Delany. Chengelis wants to futz with the tunnel. Michael Bradley profiled. Penn State fans no likey Hoke after the Wangler decommitment. Moeller and Lou Holtz break down The Catch.

Ondre Pipkins is ready to eat… metaphorically. The center battle should be decided this week.

Hokepoints: Would Bill Walsh Draft These DBs?

Hokepoints: Would Bill Walsh Draft These DBs?

Submitted by Seth on May 7th, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Upchurch -8646510666_fd8ba5d69f_o walsh_050736

left: Bryan Fuller

Earlier this offseason I stumbled onto an old article where Bill Walsh wrote what qualities he looks for when drafting various positions. Meant to be a one-off on the offense, I took requests for a defensive version and broke it up into D-Line, linebackers, and now, finally, the defensive backs. The idea is since the coaching staff is building a "pro-style" team with principles more akin to the Walsh ideal that dominates the pros than the collegiate evaluations made on scouting sites and the like, we shall re-scout the 2013 roster for Walsh-approved attributes.

Since coverages have changed the most since Walsh's day—a reaction to the spread—this is probably the least valuable of the series. To bring it back on point, I've gone off the page a little bit to note some of the attributes that NFL defensive coaches are looking for nowadays, and what those changes mean.

Strong Safety

plankamaluSHAZORVACSUpchurch -8645425559_026bcc0008_o

Plankamalu / Shazorvacs/ M-Rob if all quarterbacks were Brian Cleary

Walsh Says: 6'3/215. Now hold your horses before going all "SHAZOR?!?" on me—I'm making a point: The type of player you have at safety depends on the type of system you want to run and the type of player you have everywhere else. If you're going to be playing more odd coverages (cover 1, cover 3) then you want your strong safety to be more of a run support guy, in many ways a fourth linebacker. If your base coverage is even (cover 2, cover 4) the strong and weak safeties will be more similar:

"There are other systems of defense where both safeties play a two-deep coverage and only occasionally come out of the middle to support the run. They basically play the ball in the air, the middle of the field and the sidelines. When you do that, then the stress is on the cornerback to be the support man.

So you must keep in mind these various philosophies when considering what types of cornerbacks and safeties you want to put together in forming a defensive secondary."

The attributes of your defensive backs should be complementary. Here's what Walsh is getting at: your backfield has to be able to defend the pass first and the run second. And here's the key: the more you can trust one player to handle coverage without help, DavidFulcher2.jpg.w180h258the more you can stock up on extra run defense with the other guys. If your backfield already has plenty of coverage, you can have a strong man:

"The strong safety is historically the support man. He must have some of the traits you look for in a linebacker. In fact there have been some hybrid players in that position. Cincinnati had David Fulcher [right], who was as big as some linebackers but could function also as a safety. The Bengals moved him weak and strong, inside and outside and he became that extra man that the offensive run game had to account for but often could not block.

"But the typical strong safety is someone who can hit and stop people and respond spontaneously and go to the ball. Naturally, the more coverage talent the man has the more you can line him up on anybody."

Today, defensive coordinators sit on porches, remember when you could play a guy like Fulcher, and say "those were the days." The epitome of this type of safety is former Buckeye Doug Plank, who defined his position to such a degree that the defensive system itself was named for his number (46).46defense

It's also called the "Bear" defense because it was the Bears

This defense was at the height of its popularity when Walsh joined the 49ers in 1979, and it was this defense his model passing concepts shredded. The defense played to Plank's strengths as an overly aggressive, hard-hitting run stopper with some coverage skills. The SAM linebacker in today's anti-spread sets (e.g. the 3-3-5's "Spur") is a closer analogue to the Plank-style player than the modern strong safety, with the key difference being that, as a safety, you couldn't put a blocker on a 46 without removing one from a lineman or linebacker, meaning the SS could flow cleanly to the point of attack and wrack up ridiculous tackle numbers.

College teams loved this, since passing quarterbacks were hard to come by and the big boys were running three yards and a cloud of dust (and later the option). A lot of cool names for linebacker-safeties were passed down from this period, such as the "Wolf" on Bo's teams, or the "Star" (names which today are coming out of retirement for the nickel-SAM hybrid position in base 4-2-5 anti-spread defenses).

Walsh's Favorite Wolverine: Why does a mid-'70s response to off-tackle NFL running games matter to a collegiate defense in 2013? Well because we have a really good free safety, and play tight end-heavy outfits this year in UConn (T.J. Weist, a rare member of the Gary Moeller coaching tree, is taking over there), Penn State, Michigan State, and Iowa, with the outside possibility of a Wisconsin if we make it to the conference championship. Also because the coaches have been subtly putting safety-like objects (Woolfolk, Gordon, and now Dymonte Thomas) at nickel, and recruiting a few linebacker-sized safeties.

Upchurch - 8173108160_66b1320817_oI don't know what he'd think of Kovacs. We loved him, but Jordan had two weaknesses: 1) his lack of overall athleticism made exploitable if left in wide coverage (see: his abusing by Ace Sanders on the last play of the Outback Bowl, and the utter disaster that was GERG's attempt to play Kovacs as the free safety in 2009), and 2) his lack of size made him blockable if a lead blocker could get to him (see: bad things happening whenever Mouton abandoned contain).

He would have loved Ernest Shazor, a knife blade listed at 6'4/226 with a scatback's acceleration who loved nothing better than demonstrating the force equation. Brian calls Shazor "the most overrated Michigan player of the decade" because he has to live with the bolded subconscious of UFR, and nothing pisses off a figment of a blogger's imagination like a safety who gives up a big play in coverage.

Here's the point: the ideal safety would be a dude with the size and stopping power to pop a lead blocker and make the tackle or lay out a guy like Shazor, read and react like Kovacs, and cover like Charles Woodson. That human doesn't exist. A combo of epic athleticism with plus headiness and serviceable tackling and size equals Ed Reed or Sean Taylor. Epic headiness with plus size and serviceable everything else nets you Doug Plank, with plus athleticism: Ronnie Lott, Troy Polamalu or Rodney Harrison. The trick is to have epic everything between your safeties; for strongside then it's not Ernest Shazor or Jordan Kovacs; it's SHAZORVACS!

SHAZORVACS

What to look for in a Scouting Report: At either safety position, instincts rate highly and speed after that (less so for the strongside). You're looking to first make sure you have enough coverage in the entire backfield, and once you do you can use this position to stock up on linebacker traits: tackling, size, taking on blockers, personal contribution to local seismic activity, that sort of stuff.

What you can learn on film: Everyone loves those bone-jarring hits and coaches are more than happy to put them in a recruiting video, but not all hits are created equal. Sometimes they're generated by another defender cutting off the lead blocker, other times it's your guy reading the play so early he can go all-out on the hit. More important is what happens to the ballcarrier: he needs to go down. Safeties are going to be left in space, and making that tackle is more important than making the offensive player wish he'd never met this oblong brown thing.

What could signal bust potential: Remember you want a safety, not a horse, i.e. overrating the secondary, linebacker-y attributes and expecting the rest to come along. Adequate coverage and good instincts need to be there or else this guy is just a platoon player. "May be a linebacker on the next level" is a red flag, unless he actually becomes a linebacker. Brandon Smith's recruiting profile is instructive.

It's usually good policy to discount ESPN's opinion when it's in wild disagreement with the other services, but here I tend to give their rip job ($, "he's not a fast-twitch athlete and lacks explosive quickness and speed"; "Takes too long to reach top speed"; "He can be late, takes false steps and doesn't see things happen quickly enough") some credence. Reasons:

  • Rivals started off very high on him, ranking him around #50, but steadily dropped him as the year progressed despite his status as a high-profile uncommitted player.
  • Despite all the guru accolades Michigan's main competitors were Rutgers and South Carolina; other offers came from Maryland, NC State, Wisconsin and West Virginia. He wanted offers from Florida and Ohio State which never came.
  • You always risk looking like a tool when you rely on your super awesome scouting skills and six plays on youtube to discern a kid's fate, but... yeah, I didn't think he was all that.

The guy left in a huff after they tried to wring the last bit of value out of him as a Doug Plank-like extra linebacker vs. Wisconsin, and Wisconsin ground us to dust, but then Smith was a high school quarterback whose development as a defender had to come almost entirely from the Rodriguez-era coaching staff. Anyway you've seen this again and again: rave reviews for the guy's "frame" and a profundity of attributes that would make him seem a really nice horse, combined with not nearly enough "makes plays." First have all of the safety stuff: can read and react, cover, and tackle in space. Then care about the size.

How our guys compare: Jarrod Wilson (6'2/196) remains my favorite to start at this spot because he is adequate (not yet plus) in coverage and the other guys aren't. Like the Jamar Adams he reminds me of, Wilson doesn't stand out in any category but doesn't have any major holes in his game other than being young.

The other leading candidate is Marvin Robinson who scares the hell out of me. He was a big-time recruit early in the process thanks to apparently having an early growth spurt, and his profile was filled with horsey metaphors. The same player still hangs on that frame (he arrived at 203 and never deviated more than 3 lbs from that) and hopes for him hang on the comparative competence in coaching plus the fact that being behind Jordan Kovacs is a perfectly reasonable excuse for not seeing the field earlier.

The redshirt freshmen at this position are stiff and linebacker-ish with instincts, more Plank than Polamalu. Jeremy Clark is all of 6'4/201 and did an okay job against the run in the Spring Game I covered in this space a few weeks ago, but lacks speed. Allen Gant also had instincts praised as a recruit, but also lacks the kind of athleticism and would at best develop into a slightly bigger and less heady Kovacs. If going forward Michigan can develop a superstar at the other safety spot or with a corner, they might be able to Plank it with one of these guys—when Woodson gave us that opportunity in '97, Daydrion Taylor and Tommy Hendricks went ham.

Thomas Gordon is super-instinctive and would be a perfect fit here except he's needed at the more important free position he's been playing.

[The rest, after the leap.]

Preview 2012: Secondary

Preview 2012: Secondary

Submitted by Brian on August 30th, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Previously: Podcast 4.0, the story, quarterback, running back, wide receivers, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers.

Remember this?

death6.2

I don't either. See Brady Hoke's century-long tenure. What do you mean I posted it Monday? Get out of town.

This been all banners and Never Forget and all that business for a long time. Michigan's secondary woes didn't start with Rich Rodriguez, who merely carved out a crevasse of hopeless abyssal despair previously unknown to man from a moderately deep trench of hopeless abyssal despair. The secondary has not been good for a long, long time.

But it was last year. I'm about to put up the "coverage" metric the blog tracks. Points are awarded for DBs close enough to receivers to make a play on the ball (even if the ball is caught) and subtracted when guys are open enough to get YAC or easily convert first downs on third and medium situations. If you're batting .500 here you're doing pretty well. Drum roll:

# Opponent + - T Notes
1 WMU 6 11 -5 A lot of this was Herron, frankly.
2 ND 17 18 -1 Good deep in press man.
3 EMU 9 1 8 Ignore
4 SDSU 25 19 6 Flabbergasting.
5 MINN 10 5 5 Tony Gibson –6.02 x 10^23
6 NW 13 15 -2 Not bad. Some issues getting RPSed.
7 MSU 9 12 -3 That's not too bad against a senior QB.
8 Purdue 11 6 5 Excellent number given the ratio.
9 Iowa 11 14 -3 Good recovery after weak start.
10 Illinois 30 12 18 HAHAHAHA.
11 Nebraska 17 6 13 NUTS
12 OSU 11 30 -19 Not so much.

The OSU number stands out as the only truly bad day of the year not easily explained away by a linebacker who hit the bench after the game in question. That was not entirely on the secondary. Greg Mattison NFLed himself, changing up Michigan's scheme and putting his charges in positions that were untenable or close to it. Even so Michigan's pass efficiency defense rocketed from 103rd to 36th in a single year.

How did this happen? EXCLUSIVE EXCLUSIVE EXCLUSIVE MUST CREDIT MGOBLOG.

bill-Ted[1]billtedsexcellentadventure-phonebooth001[1]trilogy[1]

True.

Cornerback

Rating: 4.

jt-floyd-iowa-2

Boundary Corner Yr. Field Corner Yr. Nickelback Yr.
JT Floyd Sr.* Blake Countess So. Courtney Avery Jr.
Raymon Taylor So. Terry Richardson Fr. Delonte Hollowell So.

I know. I know. This ish be cray. I have no idea what that means. I saw Ace tweet it at some point and thought about crayfish probably.

JT FLOYD
COVERIN'
jumps out
step for step
all over this dude
EDGE Qs
beats Jenkins block
BEATEN
back shoulder'd
the oh shiiiiiii

Michigan returns their top three corners from a year ago, all of whom were pretty good. The depth has been whittled down by the departures of Terry Talbott and Tamani Carter, but they've got a couple sophomores and a touted freshman and should be okay unless they get a flood of injuries. Give them a year and it'll be time to forget Never Forget.

JT Floyd is the headliner in so many ways. After the Penn State game pictured above I said he'd run "three of the worst coverages I've ever seen," and time has done nothing to change that opinion. He got yanked after that game; his last two games UFRed in 2010 were a –8.5 against Iowa ("oh my God the slants") and the –9 against PSU ("awful, awful, awful"). Everyone was openly petrified that he would play; this space predicted Courtney Avery would start and Countess would usurp Floyd's spot posthaste. Instead Countess usurped Avery's spot and Floyd developed into a pretty good Big Ten corner.

I know!

The highlight was his game-sealing interception against AJ Jenkins…

…and Floyd was no one-trick pony. I kept an owlish watch on him as he played to the point where I checked his coverage on plays that didn't go anywhere near him. The results were pure Ripley's. He may have sucked containing runs/screen to his side but

…I still think he's the best corner Michigan has right now. I base this off plays when opponents run twinned routes and I can see a Woolfolk or Countess cover the same slant on the same call; almost invariably Floyd is hugging the receiver tighter. This is not the best example because the QB set him up for this one but whether it's in man or zone Floyd seems to get more plays on the ball than anyone else in the secondary:

Meanwhile, count the long receptions Floyd's given up this year… I've got one, an undefendable Michael Floyd fade on which he had a rake at the ball. When they go after Michigan deep it was Woolfolk and Countess getting most of the exposure. That's good enough for me when trying to figure out who's good in an area of the field you only see when someone hasn't been good (or one of Michigan's quarterbacks has decided they're tired of being on the field).

I know. OMG. Floyd stands alone as the most soaring, magnificent demonstration of the differences between the last staff and this one.

This is not to say he turned into Charles Woodson. He was consistently subpar on bubble screens and other run-support tasks, which was especially frustrating since he is the boundary corner. He, like everyone else, got smoked by Posey in the OSU game, and he still seems to lack a certain something when it comes to deep speed. When I broke down Michigan's "NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE BALL" coverage, a few different coaches got in touch with me to tell me this was something commonly called "trail" coverage. Trail is something you do when you get beat and can't look for the ball; it's supposed to be a plan B when you're really good. For Floyd, it was plan A.

Which, fine. More than fine. Hallelujah. The guy can play. He's got flaws, only some of which will get worked out, and his top end is a stray All Big Ten vote or two and a seventh-round pick, and who cares about any of that when JT Floyd can play football.

TONY GIBSON MINUS ALL OF THE POINTS

Minus all of the points.

For real.

[After THE JUMP: Kovacs! A lack of long touchdowns! Depth!]

Michigan Museday If the Dudes Get Dinged: DBs

Michigan Museday If the Dudes Get Dinged: DBs

Submitted by Seth on August 1st, 2012 at 9:07 AM

never_forget500

Starting to look more and more like Sgt. Pepper's. Less depressing now. Legend*

♪ Oho a good secondary is a-comin' down the street 
Oh please let it be for real
Oho the best safety tandem since like '80-something!
I wish I wish I knew that it could be.

I've got an FS and two tiny backs from Cass Tech
I've got safety-like safeties from Ohio
I've even got a two-deep filled with juniors!
And Curtice Clay out near Toledo sent a bona fide star!

Oho a good defensive backfield is a-comin' down the street
Don't look now but "shut-down" might apply to our J.T.!
Oho a good secondary is a-comin' down the street
And M-Robinson might finally be ready!

I'm particularly excited for Blake Countess
He's everything a
sophomore phenom ought to be.
When minus every Gibson from this unit,
Well they could be (yes they could be) yes you're right they surely could be…
Something special (not a Woodson, but perhaps Leon-like special)
Yes we could have… something special… at D.B.!!!

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

Also: Do do do do do do do do the worst is over.

This is Part IV of the thing predicting the reaction and drop-off if any 2012 starter goes down. Actually I wasn't sure I wanted to complete this series. I did the offense and Toussaint got a DUI; I did the DEs and Frank Clark got charged for stealing a laptop; I did the linebackers and it leaked that Antonio Poole's injury is at least Fall Camp-missing worthy. And well, before I could nix the series and wipe it from the interwebs Terrence Talbott preemptively took the bullet for the DBs, so I guess we can have that now. But if you folks want special teams I'm going to need written confirmation that Hagerup/Gibbons/Wile have come nowhere near the M on the Diag.

These days it's best to think of defensive back as five positions. To demonstrate, here's a preview chart from a Museday in the works (click enhances largetation):

UFRDatabaseDefense

To coaches this is "duh" but the more receivers the offense puts out there, the more DBs the defense counters with. While I mean to eventually include how teams played Michigan as well, and I won't make the mistake of treating anything GERG did as canon unless it involves hair product, the preliminary chart meshes with what coaches tell me about matching personnel. The Shafer line suggests heavy nickel use is more the norm while the outlier of 2009 stands as a reminder of what happens to those who mock the need for corner depth. This is important to us because the teams we play use 3-receiver sets more often than they used to, and this chart (made from UFRs so it's not perfect) says Mattison's defense used almost exactly as many five-DB sets as the 2010 defense, a base 3-3-5! Typical shotgun personnel is RB, 1TE, and 3WR; that is the formation we will face the most vs. every team but Air Force (Triple-Option) and Iowa (the I is for ISO).

saturn-puntingzoltanQuickly again. Photos are all by Upchurch unless otherwise noted. Ratings are given in Saturn-punting Zoltans. Think of them like stars except more heavenly. Five is an all-conference-type player (Denard to Kovacs); four is a guy you'd call "solid" (RVB to Demens); three is an average B1G player (Morgan to Hawthorne); two is a guy with a big hole in his game (freshman Kovacs); one is trouble with a capital T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for Poole.

Strong Safety:

6408801139_95eb0798ac_o IMG_6321IMG_0156

Starter: Jordan Kovacs 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o

Backups: Marvin Robinson 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o.5, Floyd Simmons 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o, Allen Gant ???, various FS

In case of emergency: Was it only a few years ago we were really down about having an emergency redshirt freshman with questionable athleticism thrust into the starting lineup? I re-watched what portions of the Indiana 2009 game are left on the youtubes yesterday to confirm he wasn't a guy you'd think would be getting five Saturn-punting Zoltans; those Zoltans now come confirmed by opponents. To imagine where we might be without him means figuring out what we have now in Marvin Robinson. He was one of those recruits who blew up early in his high school career thanks to an early growth spurt then fell down the rankings as other kids his age caught up. Frankly after similar tweeners like Burgess/Mouton/S. Brown/I. Bell became various types of linebacker I'm excited to see one of these dudes actually stick at safety.

M-Rob probably won't hit his half-SHIRTLESS recruiting expectations, but half-way through his Michigan career the possibility is at least still intact. It's weird to still be relying on his recruiting profile this far into a high-interest career; the off-campus incident may at least alleviate questions of whether the talent was overvalued. Technical problems evident in previous springs were still present but much reduced over a strong spring, and after several years of tutelage under the best, what we probably have is something between the anti-Kovacs and Ernest Shazor. He's a perfect IMG_4848"bandit" safety in a 3-3-5, and that's kind of what we've been doing with Kovacs. Lacking Kovacsian instincts he'll be a downgrade, but he'll make up parts of that with superior athleticism.

In case of dire emergency: Allen Gant may be as ready to go later this year as anyone else of his class, including Kalis. He's a big guy for a freshman, comes with as many work ethic and weight room credentials as Mike Martin did, and has the bloodlines. You'd usually redshirt a guy like this since safety is a tough position to learn, but there are two other safeties in his class and Dymonte Thomas is on the way. Then again he may not bring any more right now than 5th year senior Floyd Simmons, a former walk-on who has been on special teams a lot. He has never made it higher than the two-deep even when a hater god put most of that depth chart on the Never Forget banner. That might be because he was a Spinner (backing up Stevie Brown) at the time. You should also know he has three forced fumbles on kickoffs, suggesting he shares some of T.Gordon's weird fumble-causing voodoo. He's the same size as Kovacs (we have multiple pics of them standing together) and foremost a run defender—his route to regular playing time would be in a platoon situation with M-Rob or one of the free safety types.

Since the likely backups at free safety are pretty much free safeties (Furman's calling card is speed; Jarrod Wilson is the proverbial "rangy" player), a disaster at strong safety is as likely to make one of them a starter as Gant. In such a scenario Thomas Gordon takes on more of the run stopping duties and Furman/Wilson drawn in as an entirely nominal "strong" safety.

Free Safety

IMG_5049josh_furman_bmpIMG_7022
Safety: home of the scrumptious abdomen HT M&B

Starter: Thomas Gordon 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o

Backups: Josh Furman 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o, Jarrod Wilson 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o.5, Jeremy Clark ???, various SS or nickels

In case of emergency: This is where things get more interesting. After letting us spend years praying for the next Ed Reed to appear as a 5-star Campbellian Hero with angel wings (and trying to believe the other Gordon was that) Thomas Gordon spent 2011 doing his best impersonation of Brandent Englemon. It was like coming back from trying to sleep around New York and finding the girl next door, if the girl next door was once called "Prison Abs" and had a weird (spectacular) ability to cause game-changing turnovers by waving his hands at people.

If we lose him, we hope this has all been some giant lead-up to the Superhero reveal scene. Potential heroes begin with Josh Furman. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a … dammit I just looked up at the damn picture again. Due to a spurious arrest over the summer (he was innocent, the result of a misunderstanding, but suspended while it got sorted out) Furman missed precious practice time. At last sight he still needed to leap a few levels in a single bound to be ready for Big Ten play. The beneficiary of Furman's misfortune was early enrollee Jarrod Wilson, who is safety-shaped and safety-like and is actually a safety, which I realize is kind of a novelty around here since Jamar Adams graduated. He made some freshman mistakes along with mostly solid play and is probably the first to see playing time among his classmates, especially early.

In case of dire emergency: The position that inspired the BLANK-Hating God meme was free safety. This was in 2005 when Michigan was forced to burn the redshirt of Brandon Harrison (and in turn burn down a good part of the 2009 secondary).

Today there's at least Furman/Wilson, one or both of whom should be plausible by mid-season. The other freshman is Jeremy Clark, a big guy whose grayshirt was upgraded to full-ride as his star rose, but who probably needs some time to develop. Clark's future is at strong safety, but he's a tweener. While the talent atop the depth chart is mostly specialized, Mattison does want the safeties to eventually be interchangeable (the better to screw up quarterback reads my dear) and an injury plague at one safety spot might trigger that.

Boundary Corner:

IMG_1183TamaniRaymonTaylorMorganEMUTackle-Heiko
Center: from the Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, courtesy of the Freep

Starter: J.T. Floyd 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o

Backups: Courtney Avery 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o, Tamani Carter 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o, Raymon Taylor 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o other CBs

In case of emergency: The depth recovery program managed to get a bunch of little corners, however since Michigan makes a distinction between "Field" and "Boundary" we may as well try to see where the early returns fit. The former can supposedly sacrifice some size for coverage ability/athleticism. The latter has less area to cover, is more involved in run support since he's generally on the weak side of the formation (offenses typically align to the field since it gives them more room to string out the run defense), and ends up matched with other teams' big receivers on an island. At this last year Floyd was spectacular. A list of guys he covered who are now in the NFL:

Receiver 2011 Team NFL Team Rnd-Overall Catches Yards TDs
Michael Floyd ND Cardinals 1-13 13 159 0
A.J. Jenkins Illini 49ers 1-30 4 103 0
DeVier Posey OSU Texans 5-68 3 58 1
B.J. Cunningham MSU Dolphins 6-183 4 39 0
Marvin McNutt Iowa Eagles 6-194 9 101 0
Jeremy Ebert NW Patriots 7-235 11 86 0
Jordan White WMU Jets 7-244 12 119 0
*******Total******* -   - 56 665 1
*****Average****** -   - 8.0 95.0 0.1

*VT's Danny Coale and MSU's Keyshawn Martin were also drafted this year, but Floyd was primarily covering Jarrett Boykin and BJ Cunningham, respectively, in those games. Boykin had 4 catches for 30 yards and 0 TD; he went undrafted and unsigned.

The lack of touchdowns from seven leaping touchdown machines earns Floyd that 4th star. DeVier Posey did demonstrate the hole in Floyd's game—he can't keep up with the elite athletes—and better passes from Braxton Miller easily could have added two TDs and 120 yards to DeVier's single day of 2011 eligibility. That guy, at least, is gone, as are the rest of the Big Ten's 2011 embarrassment of WR riches. Of those who remain on our schedule, Keenan Davis (Iowa) might be a Posey-like (read: bad) matchup, however I would trust him against Northwestern's (now-eligible) Kyle Prater.

Which brings me to the point: there isn't another Floyd on the roster. Even in the hilariously height-overestimating world of college football rosters, J.T. is the only CB who the FAKErs thought could even plausibly be listed at 6'0.

Talbott was the guy making noise to be the #1 backup to Floyd during spring ball, but since he's gone that means a ding to J.T. puts us back in the midget bucket. I think what happens is Courtney Avery reprises his role as starting corner, which this being his junior year I think we can now get past the original excitement of his one good game and the bitterness of that tackle he missed against Iowa, and remember he ended the Ohio State counter. Avery has been ahead of Talbott his whole career thus far, despite being a quarterback until fall practice of his freshman year, so while Floyd to Avery is a downgrade, I don't think the effect of losing the second Talbott will be felt unless we get to…

In case of dire emergency: This is still a work in progress. Of last year's freshmen Tamani Carter is the biggest—that's why he was listed with the safeties in the first place. He's been hanging out on safety depth charts due to hips that do not fluid swivel or whatever they call a cornerback nowadays who's not twitchy enough, and his forte is supposedly the jump-ball. This is why I've mentally moved Carter to boundary since Talbott's departure. Magnus says he likes Carter in a role where he sits out in the flat, and he missed spring practices, so you're hoping he can just be a nickel back and not have to play significant snaps on the island. Then there's Ramon Taylor. He dreamed of going to Michigan, and that came true when Hoke was putting together a last-minute class and wondered, as we all had, what Indiana was doing with a 4-star...yoink. He's another mite who is listed now at 183 (up from 167 last year), a plausible weight for a Big Ten cornerback. He's also listed at 5'10 which he's not. But he likes to hit and also doesn't have Robot Hips. As a recruit he drew a comparison to a shorter James Rogers; make of that what you will but I say it suggests he fits into Rogers's position. Taylor played early last year (that photo's from EMU), mostly at nickel, and I think he too is destined to be that more than either outer corner spot.

Blake Countess isn't huge, and you want your better guy at the field, but this distinction can be overstated. In the event of an Avery-Floyd injury combo, Michigan will probably lean on Countess to cover the other team's best receiver and whichever mini Cass Tech kid is most ready will be in a better position to start than either of the young nickelbacks. Next year the cavalry arrives.

Field Corner:

7078554489_a67c251bb5_o24 Delonte Hollowell-Heiko6088427964_e2ae586dde_o
Heiko took the one of Hollowell (24)

Starter: Blake Countess 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o

Backups: Delonte Hollowell 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o.5, Terry Richardson 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o, other CBs

In case of emergency: This spot is young. They're also not-big. What they lack in being young and non-big however, they make up for by being "good" and "extant." That begins with Countess, whom I gave 4 stars because that was the level he was playing at (about equal with Floyd) by the end of last year. The upside is tantalizing for us now, though it remains upside. Making Woolfolk obsolete last year was one hell of a statement, and it's because of that entrance that I'm more filled with trepidation over losing Blake than I reasonably should be.

The reason not to be in total fear is the little we've seen and heard about the other remaining corners from his class (Greg Brown has joined the banner on top of this post) is that they're good, in the way little mite corners are supposedly good everywhere else but here because seriously we have been burned on this so many times.

Every year I involuntarily pick a guy on the team nobody's talking about to get overly excited about for no reason, and this year that somebody is Delonte Hollowell. That's him in the Nebraska photo above and the reason he was playing on special teams against Nebraska when we had all sorts of other corners eating eligibility is he played his way out of a redshirt. I don't yet know what's Hoke's baseline for doing such a thing, however either the coaches are so sure they will be able to find plenty of great CBs to fill the 2015 depth chart (which their 2013 class seems to suggest they were right), or more likely, Hollowell met some standard of what he needs to do to play.

That standard can be few other things than "is 2nd on the depth chart" and there my reasoning stands. Courtney Avery would be here if something happens early I guess. I think you'll be seeing Hollowell spelling Countess either way.

In case of dire emergency: Terry Richardson is the mite-iest Cass Tech dust mite yet. He has the power to shrink to the size of a neutrino and hide out among the other atoms that make up a receiver's garments, reappearing in time to make a crucial interception. However being only a handful of planks has its drawbacks, like accidentally passing through the Earth's gravitational field, and Whitley/Howard syndrome. The true freshman comes with high recruiting bona fides, so if you see him jumping up the depth chart we may have another Countess here.

Nickel:

IMG_1133IMG_6495

Starter: Courtney Avery 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o.5

Backups: Ramon Taylor 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o, Tamani Carter 4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o4128455980_9d72f36b6b_o.5, other CBs and safeties

In case of emergency: For most teams the nickel corner will replace the SLB (Jake Ryan), though in Michigan's case we seem to pull the Will (Desmond Morgan) just as often. Later in the year that became more usual as Michigan went with an aggressive nickel package featuring a nickelback and Ryan/Beyer/Clark with a hand down (a 5-1-5  look with 4-2-5 personnel that we called Michigan's "Okie."). The nickel will cover the slot, usually has help over the top, and must be there to tackle in space when spread outfits isolate him against the slot or RB. Michigan played a lot of nickel in 2003 (Leon Hall) and 2006 (Brandon Harrison), and it led to some 38-0 scores against various Indiana teams. You'll remember we came out in mostly 4-2-5 personnel against Northwestern last year, but it didn't work; in the second half Jake Ryan was inserted and allowed to terrorize (at this point he dished it out equally to friend and foe). Early in the season T.Gordon and Avery split duties at nickel, and Carvin Johnson was the free safety. This year Avery is again the designated nickel guy, however expect others from the safety and CB corps to rotate in there.

The nominal "other" is Raymon Taylor (see above), who played a good bit last year at this spot. He is small but so was Harrison. You also might as well pencil in RS Freshman Tamani Carter here since his long-term future is at nickel.

In case of dire emergency: Nickel draws from the CB depth charts (and can from the safety ones as well) so if Avery and a backup are hurt there's an endless parade of other guys. You'll see moonlights of most of the backups here regardless, as it's a way to get a young cornerback playing time and tackling experience without exposing to deep responsibility. If The Dude in Section 2 Eating Fat Free Pretzels is tapped, well, so long as the pretzels are fat free and he stayed in a Holiday Inn Express and whatnot. The 2009 depth chart across the secondary really was unprecedented; if it happens again then it is 2009 and we can all go punch each other in the dong.

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

* Never Forget Legend (years in parentheses are the last season the guy would have helped had he not left/gone down/whatever).

TOP ROW: T-Wolf (2010), Mike Williams (2011), Boubacar Cissoko (2011), Adrian Witty (2011), Vladimir Emilien (2013), Jared Van Slyke (2011).

SECOND ROW: J.T. Turner (2013), Terrence Talbott (2013), Carvin Johnson (2013), Cullen Christian (2013), Demar Dorsey (2013), Ray Vinopal (2013).

BOTTOM ROW: Greg Brown (2014 or '15), Crying Biff the Wolverine, Donovan Warren (2010), Never Forget Guy.

Fall Roster Overanalysis 2012

Fall Roster Overanalysis 2012

Submitted by Brian on July 26th, 2012 at 3:21 PM

An annual tradition. Remember: all weight changes are positive events.

This is slightly incomplete as the info sheet handed out at media day is either incomplete or the assembled numbers are—Heiko and Ace didn't get in on that sweet xerox action before they ran out. So a few players are stuck with question marks after their names for current weights. I've bolded changes or additions I find interesting.

QUARTERBACK
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Denard Robinson 185 193 195 196 8 2 1
Devin Gardner -- 210 205 206 -- -5 1
Russell Bellomy -- -- 189 201 -- -- 12
RUNNING BACK
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Fitzgerald Toussaint 185 200 195 203 15 -5 8
Vincent Smith 168 180 172 175 12 -8 3
Stephen Hopkins -- 230 228 235 -- -2 7
Thomas Rawls -- -- 219 217 -- -- -2
Justice Hayes -- -- 176 183 -- -- 7
Dennis Norfleet -- -- -- 170 -- -- --
Drake Johnson -- -- -- 203 -- -- --
Sione Houma -- -- -- 221 -- -- --
WIDE RECEIVER
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Ricardo Miller -- 217 234 ? -- 17 ?
Jeremy Gallon 165 180 185 186 15 5 1
Roy Roundtree 170 176 177 180 6 1 3
Jerald Robinson -- 199 206 ? -- 7 ?
Drew Dileo -- 172 172 180 -- 0 8
Amarah Darboh -- -- -- 218 -- -- --
Jehu Chesson -- -- -- 183 -- -- --
TIGHT END
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Brandon Moore 243 250 255 261 7 5 6
Jordan Paskortz -- -- 246 ? -- -- ?
AJ Williams -- -- -- 282 -- -- --
Devin Funchess -- -- -- 225 -- -- --
OFFENSIVE LINE
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Michael Schofield 268 293 299 302 25 6 3
Ricky Barnum 275 286 292 301 11 6 9
Taylor Lewan 268 294 302 308 26 8 6
Elliott Mealer 299 313 310 309 14 -3 -1
Patrick Omameh 276 299 299 306 23 0 7
Chris Bryant -- -- 341 320 -- -- -21
Jack Miller -- -- 263 287 -- -- 24
Blake Bars -- -- -- 282 -- -- --
Ben Braden -- -- -- 299 -- -- --
Kyle Kalis -- -- -- 292 -- -- --
Erik Magnuson -- -- -- 290 -- -- --
DEFENSIVE LINE
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Quinton Washington 325 315 302 299 -10 -13 -3
William Campbell 318 333 322 308 15 -11 -14
Kenny Wilkins -- 270 280 290 N/A 10 10
Craig Roh 238 251 269 278 13 18 9
Jibreel Black -- 265 260 276 N/A -5 16
Richard Ash -- 320 301 301 N/A -19 0
Frank Clark -- -- 228 260 -- -- 32
Keith Heitzman -- -- 251 ? -- -- ?
Brennen Beyer -- -- 225 252 -- -- 27
Nate Brink -- -- 263 272 -- -- 9
Matt Godin -- -- -- 270 -- -- --
Willie Henry -- -- -- 302 -- -- --
Ondre Pipkins -- -- -- 337 -- -- --
Tom Strobel -- -- -- 250 -- -- --
Chris Wormley -- -- -- 268 -- -- --
Mario Ojemudia -- -- -- 223 -- -- --
LINEBACKER
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Kenny Demens 236 250 248 242 14 -2 -6
Cameron Gordon 208 207 222 235 -1 15 13
Mike Jones 203 208 224 ? 5 16 ?
Jake Ryan -- 225 230 242 N/A 5 12
Brandin Hawthorne 198 203 214 220 5 11 6
Antonio Poole -- -- 212 ? -- -- ?
Desmond Morgan -- -- 220 230 -- -- 10
Royce Jenkins-Stone -- -- -- 206 -- -- --
James Ross -- -- -- 225 -- -- --
Kaleb Ringer -- -- -- 225 -- -- --
Joe Bolden -- -- -- 230 -- -- --
CORNERBACK
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
J.T. Floyd 183 183 185 184 0 2 -1
Courtney Avery -- 174 173 173 -- -1 0
Raymon Taylor -- -- 169 183 -- -- 14
Delonte Hollowell -- -- 164 177 -- -- 13
Blake Countess -- -- 176 182 -- -- 6
Terry Richardson -- -- -- 154 -- -- --
SAFETY
Player 2009 2010 2011 2012 09 to 10 10 to 11 11 to 12
Jordan Kovacs 194 195 197 202 1 2 5
Josh Furman -- 208 208 204 -- 0 -4
Marvin Robinson -- 203 200 201 -- -3 1
Thomas Gordon 205 205 208 209 0 3 1
Tamani Carter -- -- 175 185 -- -- 10
Jarrod Wilson -- -- -- 190 -- -- --
Jeremy Clark -- -- -- 191 -- -- --
Allen Gant -- -- -- 196 -- -- --

NOTES!

Amarah Darboh is large. Jerald Robinson probably put on a few pounds but Darboh comes in as Michigan's heaviest wide receiver not converted from tight end by a good ten pounds. Hopefully he can step right into the lineup. Also, Jehu Chesson's coming in at a potentially college-ready weight.

Terry Richardson is small. A redshirt or broken tackles beckon.

WDE BEEEEFCAKE. Not a huge surprise since both entered as linebacker-sized dudes and are now being asked to take on tight ends and whatnot, but Beyer and Clark have added 59 pounds between them.

INTERIOR DL VEGANCAKE. Michigan's starting five-tech and three-tech are 278 and 276 pounds, respectively. That seems like it bodes poorly. Mattison is going to have to get very aggressive slanting those guys, because there's no way either holds up to double teams. Nate Brink is also struggling to crack 280, though he's got his injury as an excuse.

In better vegancake news, Will Campbell's halfshirt humiliation diet has him down to an extremely reasonable 308. Please be good.

Wasn't RJS supposed to be big? You could have gotten big odds that RJS would not have been the lightest incoming linebacker by 20 pounds. He's still listed at 6'2" and therefore seems like the guy best suited to be a SAM linebacker long-term (other than Bolden, but Bolden seems busy)… but it'll take a while to get there. Either I'm overestimating how big these SAMs have to be or we should be worried about the depth post Cam Gordon. Since both SAMs put on around 12 pounds to near 240, I'm choosing the latter until the 2013 edition of this post shows RJS +32 pounds or whatever.

Bryant and Miller will meet in the middle. Both head towards 300 in 20-pound increments. When they meet next year they'll hopefully be field-ready.

Willie Henry is a… at 6'2", 302 he's probably a nose tackle. No one else in the class on the DL is under 6'4" or over 270 save Pipkins, who is obviously also a nose tackle.

Chris Wormley's height. Okay, so he's listed at 6'4". Strobel is listed at 6'6". That picture I've posted a couple times does make that seem accurate. With the Godin height/weight (basically identical to Wormley) and the above bullet on Henry, we can confirm the proposed incoming DL spectrum from the Wormley recruiting post. From most NT to least NT:

  • Pipkins (NT only)
  • Henry (NT/3tech)
  • Godin (3tech)
  • Wormley (SDE/3tech)
  • Strobel (SDE)
  • Ojemudia (WDE)

Second-year corners. Are a lot less tiny.