Jack Miller wrote a column for Bleacher Report where he went into further detail regarding his departure from the program. He has nothing but positive things to say about Michigan, Coach Harbaugh, and the program, but does cite burnout and a desire to find his next passion. Nothing earth shattering, but I figured that, given all the speculation around these parts, it would be nice to share something in his own words.
Obviously there has been a great deal written about the offensive line and it is probably the biggest question mark on this team. While I feel like I've read a great deal about the offensive line in general, there doesn't seem to have been as much critique of individual players. For instance:
Glasgow: We saw him both at guard and as center, is he better at one position than the other? Clearly he had his problems with botched snaps in the middle of the season, but my sense is that by the end of the season, he had settled in at center. Did others who know more about the offensive line see improvement or did he still have less obvious flaws in his QB exchanges?
Kalis: were his challenges more with technique, knowing what he was supposed to do, speed getting off the ball? Something else?
Magnuson: seemed to have at least two challenges. First: strength (was he 285 or 295 last year, he is listed both ways in various rosters and depth charts. Second: he was learning a new position (and then had to deal with switching from the right to left side. Given the coaches willingness to switch him around so much, it seems they have a great deal of confidence in his ability to pick things up. Do people who know more about the offensive line think his challenges were more in picking up a new position, strength, something else?
Bosch: my sense is that he was playing because the coaches felt he had good technique and strength, but he just hadn't picked up enough of the offense yet.
Miller: were his challeges in the strength department, or is there something else holding him back?
I think that with either Glasgow or Kugler at center, we will be the strongest we've been since Molk left. I hope Kugler is able to step up, because then I think with Glasgow moving to guard, we'd be alright in two positions. The Magnuson injury is worrisome, because I think the biggest thing he needed was more time in the weight room. I still think he'll be the starting left tackle, he just won't be as improved as we'd hoped.
I think Bosch is going to step up and take the other guard spot and that the biggest question mark going into fall will be right tackle. For those who know more about the offensive line, how much of a question mark is it that Braden wasn't able to move inside? Obviously many others have done it, so it seems like a big red flag to me. For that reason, I think we'll see Dawson at right tackle.
I am more optimistic than many and I think that while last year's line had it's challenges with youth, Borges playcalling and constantly mucking with the line greatly exacerbated those problems. I think that we'll see more improvement than many are expecting.
Thanks for everyone who looked past my formatting fiasco and provided some of the player speciic insights I was hoping for.
WIth the presumed move towards more of an Inside-Zone Blocking Scheme who would be the best fit at the Center position?
Glasgow played well for the most part but snapping was consistently an issue. This may be correctable with more practice but I still wonder his fit in this blocking scheme. He is a bigger guy and could easily play guard. He's actually similair in size to Barrett Jones in that he's a bigger center so that's in his favor but if there were equal or better options at Center it might be best to have Glasgow at the LG position.
Jack Miller seems like a good fit for this blocking scheme but was overwhelmed last year. This blocking scheme fits his talents much better than Power. Also hIs ability to make line calls and snap the ball are probably the best of the Center candidates. He still needs to progress in technique and conditioining to really make himself a vialble candidate.
Kugler is a little of a wildcard as he was a highly rated recruit with an OL Coach father who may have even been forced into action last year if not for his torn labrum. Hopefully he has been healthy for the whole offseason program and hits the ground running in spring practice. It remains to be seen if the blocking scheme fits him well.
This started out as a focus on a great play that James Ross made en route to 8 tackles and several TFL in less than a full games snaps. Safe to say this kid might be pretty good. Anyways, it somewhat evolved into realizing that however talented and large our interior offensive line may be, they're still developing and gelling this spring. Usual caveats apply, I am not a football coach, just an educated fan and former high school player - let me know if you disagree with any assesments.
Link, thanks to mgovideo, one of the biggest free perks for Michigan fans. Play starts at 1:11
Michigan comes out in what Al Borges would probably draw on the first page of his autobiography: offset I with a tight end (the size of a small tackle) and a full back with his hand on the ground. All that's missing is Funchess lined up next to Lewan with Jake Butt in motion and this would turn into what Al Borges probably dreams about at night. The tight camera angle doesn't show the wide receiver personnel or formation, but I'd bet it's some combo of Gallon/Darboh/Jackson/Chesson based on my memory. Lewan appears to be trying to make a check of some kind, but that's just my hope based on the breakdown that happens on the interior. It was not uncommon for him to make line calls last year apparently, so it wouldn't surprise me if he's still encouraged to do so, if not moreso.
The defense, meanwhile is lined up in basically its base 4-3 under, with Beyer and Ross only slightly outside of their normal positions. Ojemudia is offsides, too. Get onsides there, terminator eyes. Your D-lineman are Ojemudia, Willie Henry (who played a lot), Pipkins and Godin (I think).
As the ball is snapped, it's apparent why James Ross was a half a yard closer to the line of scrimmage than Desmond Morgan - he was real excited about his A-gap blitz. Coach Mattison probably was too. We already see that Kalis is pulling: he's opened up his hips well and his first step is directly for the spot Devin Gardner is vacating. Everyone save Kalis and Williams will down block. Kerridge is headed for Godin. Notice that Miller has his sights set on double teaming Henry despite James Ross and his reckless abandon for the A gap. I think this is the first breakdown, and Miller ends up being a non-factor when he probably could have picked up Ross and turned this into a gain. I think he could be good, this is just a growing pain of a young center in the spring.
As Devin reverse pivots and prepares to hand off to Drake Johnson, most of the offensive lineman have done their road grating jobs. Lewan has joined Braden on Pipkins, and Peewee doesn't have a shot against the All-American and his young giant friend. AJ williams has left Ojemudia for Willie Henry and Schofield is prepared to help see him off. Miller, in hopes of sealing off the back side, has now taken himself completely out of the play as I mentioned. Desmond Morgan has read run as well, but I think he heads for the wrong gap. James Ross is already going to be in Kalis' hip-pocket shortly - that's his guard read anyways. Guard pulls, you run right through where he left straight to the ball carrier. Meanwhile, Morgan should be scraping playside as fast as possible until he sees daylight and or Drake Johnson with the ball.
Kalis has his sights for Brennan Beyer. Schofield has Henry sealed and Williams has left him to chip Ojemudia and keep ole laser eyes away from flying down the line. Ross continues his plan to arrive early for his scheduled meeting with Johnson.
Kerridge has stalemated Godin, Kalis is headed upfield ready to for either Beyer, a hypothetical Desmond Morgan or a safety. But, James Ross is not only deadly, but apparently silent. Kalis needs his head on a swivel here - I have a feeling he got a little excited for 5 yards of momentum and a one-one matchup in the open field. Then again, he thinks the backside should have been handled. Anyways, at this point it's pretty clear to Drake Johnson that things are not going to end positively. Could Braden have left Pipkins earlier and found Ross? Possibly, but I'm pretty sure his job is to donkey the guy who is head up on him until there can be no more donkeying and then find someone else.
Drake Johnson, I have a Mr. James Ross here to see you. Again we see Morgan could've taken a better angle, and if Ross were picked up, there is a lane and a freight train named Kyle Kalis headed downfield.
Two yard loss.
P.S. Devin please calm down when celebrating and wrap yourself in bubble wrap.
According to ESPN, Matt Miller, younger brother of current Wolverine Jack Miller, has committed to Wisconsin. He had interest from UM but never gained an offer. Best of luck to Matt except for when we play him.
Link ($) - behind paywall but they give his name and enough info in the snippet.
For those of you who don't read TTB regularly, Magnus found these on the rivals board the other day. It's a slow Monday so I thought I'd post these. (As it was eloquently put last summer) For those of you with visions of this class dominating the B1G en route to a Conference Championship dancing in your head, may your daydreams reflect (allegedly) accurate uniform numerals.
3 Russell Bellomy
5 Justice Hayes
18 Blake Countess
20 Tamani Carter
21 Raymon Taylor
24 Delonte Holowell
35 Greg Brown
38 Thomas Rawls
40 Antonio Poole
44 Desmond Morgan
45 Matt Wile
52 Kellen Jones
57 Frank Clark
58 Chris Bryant
79 Tony Posada
82 Chris Barnett
92 Keith Heitzman
95 Chris Rock
97 Brennen Beyer
It has almost been a year since Ohio offensive lineman Jack Miller decided to commit to play for Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines. A lot has changed since Miller's announcement, and despite the fact that the program has gone through an overhaul Miller's excitement has never dwindled. "I sat here and read all the articles about me projecting to go there, and then me signing there, and now it's time to be a part of Michigan football," he said. "It's not just football, it's being part of that tradition. We all report on June 25th, that's when we move in."
Miller had fallen in love with everything that Michigan brought to the table, so when the coaching change happened his commitment was never in question. He embraced the new coaching staff and was pleasantly surprised with Brady Hoke and his new position coach Darrell Funk. "I've been really impressed with the coaches. You obviously don't wish bad on anyone, and this isn't anything against Coach Rodriguez, but I think this coaching change is good for me and good for Michigan football," said Miller. "Everyone is buying in and is happy to play for them. I'm speaking real prematurely here and I've only gotten to know the coaches off the field, but I'm excited to get up there and learn." The major recruiting sites had Miller as a defensive line prospect but Michigan recruited him to play on the offensive line.
While most fans were nervous and didn't know what to expect with the new coaching staff, Miller said he knew everything would be ok. "I don't follow recruiting too close, but I've looked at it. I wasn't surprised that the coaches have done so well," he said. "The fans don't know Coach Hoke on a personal level, and I read that Greg Mattison is one of the best recruiters in the country." The fans might not know Hoke on a personal level, but there is mutual optimism now that the 2012 class has been rolling in. "It's a new transition for Michigan and who wouldn't want to come to Michigan," asked Miller. "Coach Hoke is bringing back the old Michigan, they're players' coaches, and they've been successful."
He speaks highly of head coach Brady Hoke, but Coach Darrell Funk has been the main contact at Michigan for Miller, and he's been preparing for his new role with his new family. "I think the way it looks right now I'll be playing center. It's an interior offensive line position and a lot of time it's need based so I wouldn't rule out guard either. In a perfect world with nothing wrong I think it would probably be center," he said about his new position. Jack played both offensive and defensive line in high school, so he has familiarity with the position. Jumping from high school to college as a lineman can be very difficult however, so Miller has been trying to gain every advantage he can. "I've been training first and foremost. Working out, and I've been trying to use some resources I have in the NFL," he said. "I've been watching film on different centers in the NFL, and I've been trying to figure out what transition will be like on the field. I have to accept the fact that my life is about to do a complete 180."
One aspect of his transition that many people can relate to is college life off the field, and discovering a whole new world. "I'm excited for what college represents, branching out as your own person and not relying on any one else," Miller said. "Becoming and developing who you are. It's exciting, not nerve wracking, but it does make you anxious." Luckily for him he has gotten a head step on befriending his new teammates. "I'm trying to room with Chris Rock [2011 DE signee]. We became friends once we both committed," he said. "I know Kevin Koger being from Toledo, and he and I have been in touch. I talk to Taylor Lewan and Patrick Omameh when I go up there, so I'm getting to know the guys and it's been good." Miller, like any offensive lineman, will likely redshirt his freshman year. With Dave Molk's senior status and only two others in front of him, Miller will have an excellent chance at contributing early if he can manage this transition properly.
Jack Miller is listed as both a C and DE depending on what site you look at. I thought RR had been recruiting him for the offensive side of the ball, but lately many have been saying that we only have 1 OL commit in Posada. Does anyone know the direction that Hoke and co. are looking with Miller? I remember some saying they saw him play this year and he had quite a mean streak on the defensive side of the ball, so I wouldn't be disappointed either way. We still have Khoury and Pace waiting behind Molk, but I always think the more OL the better. It would be nice to have a decent OL class this year with Posada, Miller, and hopefully Bryant and Fisher closing it out. What are your thoughts, or what have people been hearing?
This will be the home of the list of visitors for the Big Chill this weekend. As always, it will grow and shrink as I confirm some names. Here's who I have so far.
IL OL Chris Bryant - Likely won't make a decision on this trip, although it's not out of the question. He has a few concerns with the coaching situation, and isn't sure when he wants to make his final decision.
MI DE Anthony Zettel - He will wait to make his decision likely until after Michigan makes theirs about the coaching situation.
MI LB Desmond Morgan - This may be his final visit before he decides. He has interest in Northwestern too, so they could get another visit. I wouldn't be surprised to see him make his decision shortly after this visit.
Commit OH OL Jack Miller
Commit MI OL Jake Fisher
Commit OH DL Chris Rock
2012 MI DT Danny O'Brien
2012 MI DL Matt Godin
Names have been moving on and off this list, so I'll keep updating as I hear more. If you have heard any names you would like me to confirm go ahead and throw them out there. I will try to confirm or deny them as fast as I can. This should be a pretty cool event for the recruits to attend, and I know they're all excited for it.