Let's look at Coach Funk's pre-Michigan time with Coach Hoke

Let's look at Coach Funk's pre-Michigan time with Coach Hoke

Submitted by Erik_in_Dayton on November 4th, 2013 at 7:02 PM

 

I decided to make as much sense as I could from what is available online regarding OL coach Darrell Funk’s time with Coach Hoke.  I didn’t get into Funk’s time with Colorado State, because he wasn’t with Hoke then and because I don’t have the time.  We’re all pretty familiar with the story of what’s happened since the two coaches arrived in Ann Arbor, so I also omitted that.  What is below, then, is the story of Funk and Hoke at Ball State and San Diego State – as least as best as I can piece it together.  As you’ll see, I often rely on general offensive statistics, because there are of course few (if any) statistics available for just an offensive line.

A final initial note:  Anyone with more chart and graph-making ability than me is more than welcome to turn the stats below into charts/graphs. 

Final initial note part II:  I can't get the spacing below fixed. Apologies.    

Introductory Thought:

Before I start, I want to point out something that we shouldn’t lose sight of when analyzing the information below.  Namely, players (and coaches, for matter) are not the same from year-to-year.  College football players – being human beings and college kids – go through ups and downs that no coach can control.  Those ups and downs are the result of health problems (or a lack of them), family trouble (or a lack of it), dating drama (or a lack of it), academic trouble (or a lack of it), partying too much (or not at all), committing to offseason training (or slacking off), etc.  A foot is always twelve inches, but Johnny Offensive Tackle may not have been the same guy in 2011 that he was in 2012.  Accordingly, we never have a perfect point of reference when comparing Johnny’s performance under his 2011 coach to his performance under his 2012 coach.

 

2008: Funk arrives at Ball State

Funk was only Brady Hoke’s OL coach for one year at Ball State.  In fact, he didn’t coach the entire O-line that year.  Funk coached the OGs and centers in 2008, but John Powers coached the tackles (and tight ends).  This was something of a demotion for Powers, who coached the BSU O-line by himself in 2006 and 2007.*

The story of the 2008 Ball State offense begins in 2005, when BSU’s offense pretty much sucked.  It averaged 299 yards per game and 21.1 points per game, the latter good for 94thnationally.  Things picked up in 2006, with the offense generating 351.3 yards per game and 27.2 points per game, the latter being 39thin the country.  The offense improved yet again in 2007, gaining 433.8 yards per game (including 148.9 per game at 4.1 ypc on the ground, an improvement of 57 ypg) and scoring 31.5 points per game (40thnationally). 

In 2008, BSU went 12-2.  The offense improved slightly in total yards, 442.5 yards per game, and impressively in rushing yards, gaining 184.5 per game (5.0 ypc).  It also improved slightly in scoring, putting up points at rate of 34.9 per game.

In 2009, with Funk and Hoke in San Diego, the BSU offense took a major step back, gaining 293.8 yards per game and scoring 19.2 points per game (108thin the country).  This presumably was caused in large part by the loss of QB Nate Davis, who declared early for the NFL draft and was taken in the 5thround by San Francisco.  It was also presumably a result of the loss of several offensive linemen, who are discussed below.  It’s worth noting that BSU did not lose its leading rusher (MiQuale Lewis) in 2009, and its rushing attack fell off to 159.4 yards per game, which was a relatively small decline compared to that of the passing attack (which withered to 134.4 yards per game).

*Interestingly, Powers was retained by new Ball State HC Stan Parrish in 2009, but he did not coach the O-line.

 

Who were Funk’s OLs at Ball State?

Funk’s starting line was OT Robert Brewster, OG Kreg Hunter, C Dan Gerberry, OG Michael Switzer, and OT Andre Ramsey.  It was an experienced group, albeit one that left high school with little publicity.  Information for each is listed below.    

Andre Ramsey:

Not rated coming out of high school in 2005.

A true senior in 2008 (i.e., no red shirt).

Essentially a four-year starter.

First-team all-MAC in 2008.

Made several NFL rosters but has been a journeyman.

 

Michael Switzer:

A two-star player per Scout in 2007.

A true sophomore in 2008.

A new starter in 2008.

No all-conference honors in 2008.

Appears to have made it to an NFL training camp but no more.

 

Dan Gerberry:

Not rated coming out of high school in 2004.

A redshirt senior in 2008.

A four-year starter. 

First-team all-MAC in 2008.

Was on the Lions' roster for a couple of years. 

 

Kreg Hunter:

A two-star player per Scout in 2007.

A redshirt freshman in 2008.

A new starter in 2008.

No conference honors in 2008.

Doesn’t appear to have had a pro career.

 

Robert Brewster:

A two-star player per Scout in 2005.

A true senior in 2008.

A four-year starter.

First-team all-MAC and Outland Watchlist in 2008.

(He may have been first-team all-MAC in 2007 too.)

Drafted in third round of NFL draft but only played one game before being cut.

 

Various things to consider when making sense of Funk’s time at BSU:

*There were only 92 MAC players on NFL squads at the start of 2012 (I couldn’t find the number for this year), and only 16 of them were OLs.  These numbers – 92 and 16 – include players who played for teams that were in the MAC during the players’ careers but are not in the conference any longer (Temple, for example).  This means that – by including those former MAC teams – there was only one OL per MAC school in the NFL at the start of 2012. 

*Gerberry (not-rated redshirt senior), Ramsey (not-rated redshirt senior), and Brewster (two-star true senior) made up three-quarters of the all-MAC OL in 2008 as decided by the conference.  Scout omitted Gerberry from its all-conference team (I can't find the non-BSU members of the team awarded by the conference itself), which was made up of Brewster, Ramsey, and three seniors, one of whom was a two-star and two of whom were unrated coming out of high school. 

 

2010: Hoke and Funk go to San Diego State

Funk was Hoke’s only OL coach during his two years at SDSU.  They inherited an offense that moved that ball at only a 312.4 ypg clip and scored at a rate of only 19.2 ppg (104thin the nation) in 2008, though they also inherited future stand-out QB Ryan Lindley.  The team particularly struggled to run the ball, gaining only 73.2 rushing per game vs. 239.2 passing. 

In 2009, the SDSU offense improved to 341.1 ypg, with most of that improvement coming through the air (263.6 ypg passing vs. 78.3 ypg rushing).  The offense scored 23.3 points per game, good for 85thin the country.  Additionally, the OL gave up only the 16th-fewest sacks in the nation.

In 2010, SDSU’s offense took off.  Future third round pick Ronnie Hillman (RB) joined a unit that gained 456.7 ypg.  The offense gained more yards both passing (295.4 ypg) and rushing (161.3 ypg) than it did in 2009.  It also scored 35 ppg, good for 19thin the country. Also, the OL shined even more in pass protection than it did the prior year, yielding only the sixth-fewest sacks allowed in the country.

In 2011, with Hoke and Funk at Michigan, SDSU gained 427.4 ypg (242.9 passing/184.5 rushing).  They scored 29.5 ppg, which was 47thin the country.  It’s worth noting that they lost relatively few players – a starting OL and both starting WRs – between 2010 and 2011.  That said, those WRs took 2572 yards in receiving with them when they left campus. 

 

Who were Funk’s OLs at SDSU?

In 2009, SDSU started OT Tommie Draheim, OG Emilio Rivera, C Trask Iosefa, OG Ikaika Aken-Moleta, and OT Peter Nelson.  In 2010, that unit became Draheim, OG Mike Matamua, Iosefa, Rivera, and OT Kurtis Gunther.  Information for each is listed below.

Tommie Draheim:

A two-star prospect in 2007 per Scout.

A redshirt sophomore in 2009/a redshirt junior in 2010.

A first-year starter in 2009/second-year in 2010.

All-Mountain West first team in 2011.

Has been in and out of the NFL and is now with the Chiefs.

 

Emilio Rivera:

A two-star prospect in 2007 per Scout.

A redshirt sophomore in 2009/a redshirt junior in 2010.

A first-year starter in 2009/second-year in 2010.

No conference honors that I found. 

Apparently no NFL career.

 

Trask Iosefa:

A two-star prospect in 2005 per Scout.

A redshirt junior in 2009/redshirt senior in 2010.

A four-year starter.

All-Mountain West second team in 2010.

Apparently no NFL career.

 

Ikaika Aken-Moleta:

A three-star prospect in 2005 per Scout.

A redshirt senior in 2009.

Apparently a second-year starter in 2009.

No conference honors that I found. 

Apparently no NFL career.

 

Peter Nelson:

A walk-on in the class of 2005.

A redshirt senior in 2009.

Apparently a first-year starter in 2009.

No conference honors that I found. 

Apparently no NFL career.

 

Mike Matamua:

An unranked (no-star) prospect in 2007 per Scout.

A redshirt sophomore in 2009/redshirt junior in 2010.

A first-year starter in 2009/second-year in 2010.

No conference honors that I found. 

Apparently no NFL career.

 

Kurtis Gunther:

A two-star prospect in 2007 per Scout.

A true junior in 2009/senior in 2010.

A first-year starter in 2010.

No conference honors that I found. 

Apparently no NFL career.

 

Various things to consider when making sense of Funk’s time at SDSU:

*The MWC apparently had 150 players on NFL rosters at the start of the 2012 season (again I couldn’t find the numbers for this year).  I could not find how many of those are OLs.

*The 2010 all-MWC first team O-line was made up of a 24-year old four-star redshirt junior, three two-star redshirt seniors, and a redshirt senior who entered college as an unranked DT per Scout. 

*The 2010 all-MWC second team was made up of a 24-year old two-star junior, a three-star true junior, a 24-year old redshirt junior who entered college as an unranked DE per Scout, a true senior who apparently entered college unranked, and Trask Iosefa.

 

Conclusion:

I don’t see any obvious and firm conclusions that one can draw from what’s above other than that it’s good to have experienced O-lineman – 24-year olds if you can get them!  As I mentioned above, it’s very hard to separate the success of an offense from the success of an offensive line.  Was Funk a better coach because he had Ryan Lindley, Nate Davis, MiQuale Lewis, and Ronnie Hillman? 

Funk hasn’t been a miracle worker, but Funk, Coach Hoke, Coach Wellman, and former BSU OL coach John Powers put together some apparently high-functioning lines at BSU and SDSU.  The group they put together at BSU had greater personal success than did the group at SDSU, but at both schools the coaches in question (with and later without Powers) oversaw dramatic offensive improvement at various points.  

Hello: Michigan Robot

Hello: Michigan Robot

Submitted by UMAmaizinBlue on December 17th, 2010 at 2:38 PM

There was a post earlier about a "curious M-Den item" in which many people speculated about whether this Michigan Robot could actually play football. Well, after some research, I found out more about our mechanized friend, and it appears that in all the buzz about Blake Countess(WOOOO!), people failed to realize that Michigan Robot also committed to play football for the University of Michigan. Therefore, to make up for this slight, I've compiled everything you need to know about this darkhorse athlete. Enjoy!

INFORMATIVE PORTION

 

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
5*, #1 CB, #5 Overall 6.0, #1 CB, #4 Overall 5*, 95, #2 CB

Michigan Robot is a solid player who could contribute immediately in this defense. His size shouldn't be an issue, as Scout and Rivals have him listed at 11' 1" (ESPN, oddly, has him listed at just 10' 10"). He will also be playing in this year's U.S. Army All-Robotics Bowl. Here's is a breakdown of his game:

Michigan Robot is made of metal, he's indestructible, and he weighs the same as a truck. He literally destroys everything in his path. His speed could also be helpful in returns. He cannot kick, because he just obliterates the ball when he tries, which is a 5 yard penalty.

ESPN was the only site not to give Michigan Robot the nod as the #1 CB. Here's their reasoning:

Michigan Robot has great speed, size, and just about everything you'd want in a football player. He's a tremendous athlete, but there's a problem: he's not human. Thus, his talents are artificial and not natural. Seeing as how DeAnthony Thomas is a naturally-gifted athlete, he is our #1 rated CB.

Nevermind the fact that Michigan Robot has lasers for eyes, but moving on. Michigan Robot's tackling also seems to be superb, as to be expected when you were built for destruction. Scout breaks down his tackling:

His hips are always on a swivel: no seriously, his hips are welded to a swivel. As a result, Michigan Robot can allow his body to follow a tackle through to completion even if he doesn't get the initial stop on first contact, which never happens, so disregard that. How is this guy even legally eligible to play against humans?

Scout loves this kid, and made no attempt to hide it. Instead of quoting them, I'm simply provided the Scout page for you to observe yourself:

Michigan Robot is obviously a great athlete who loves to compete, and his performances at combines and scout camps have shown that time and time again. MI Robot's ability to cover receivers won't ever be questioned, because he's about the same height as a single-story ranch home.

OFFERS

Who didn't offer this kid? I mean, come on, he's a giant robot! Among the schools that Michigan beat out to land MI Robot were Florida, Alabama, Auburn, OSU, and MIT (YTMIT). The MIT offer seems odd since they haven't had a football team since...ever, but when you look at their offer, it becomes clear that they merely wanted to research how MI Robot functioned as a mechanized automaton. 

MI Robot's final three came down to Michigan, Florida, and OSU, but ultimately picked Michigan because, as he put it:

During manufacturing my cranial shell was affixed with maize and blue wings, thus it seemed logical that I was meant to play for Michigan.

STATS

Scout's profile on Michigan Robot gave the following numbers:

Michigan robot didn't play football his senior year due to concern over "bodily harm to other, more human, players." However his junior year he recorded 35 interceptions, 235 tackles, 17 returns for touchdowns, and he successfully tied the goal posts into origami cranes after winning the state championship.

So, yea, he's pretty good. The only slight was in a game against Cass Tech when he got burned by a receiver for a touchdown because opposing fans yelled out a paradox in unison, thus confusing MI Robot (paradoxical statements have since been banned from all games in which MI Robot is playing in order to avoid self-destruction).

FAKE 40 TIME

ESPN and Rivals have MI Robot's speed at 4.43 even, but Scout tends to give his speed a little more credit, citing a 4.37 40 time. Since these times were timed by MI Robot's inner computer and then verified using statistical probability analysis on 1,000 hypothetical attempts, I'd say these times are pretty accurate.

Still, there's always error involved in statistical analysis, so I'll give these times a one-half FAKE out of five.

VIDEO

This is just a short clip, but it should tell you everything you need to know:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

When the only negative that scouts seem to give this kid is his "lack of humanity," you know you've got a good thing (as long as he's, well, not actually human). Still, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff at Michigan will keep this kid at CB or use him, well, everywhere [Ed-M: My votes for hybrid FS/Terminator]. He's got the gifts to play nearly any position except QB (he tends to put too much mustard behind his throws, and he isn't made of Dilithium) and we could easily see him playing both ways a la Charles Woodson.

Don't look for MI Robot to redshirt since he is an obvious lock to start at an abhorrently depleted position (e.g. - the entire defense). There doesn't seem to be much Barwisizing to do because MI Robot isn't made from flesh and muscle, but never underestimate the power of milk.

Even as an underclassman, MI Robot has the potential to do special things, and I look forward to him being on All-American lists by season's end. Also, he could give Denard a run for the Heisman next year (but not really).

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

He's a freaking 11-foot robot who plays football, and he can play every position! Who cares? (Although it would still be nice to land a stud like Walls Jernigan.) This could do wonders for our recruiting because, well, who the hell wouldn't want to play football with a football robot?