Fall Camp Presser 8-12-14: Brady Hoke

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on August 13th, 2014 at 4:05 PM


News bullets and other items:

  • The team scrimmages in Michigan Stadium on Wednesday
  • Mason Cole really, truly might play. Really.
  • Funchess was held out of practice but Hoke didn't even call it a boo-boo so he's likely fine
  • Csont’e York is still part of the program
  • Devin Gardner is expected to start against Appalachian State
  • The coaches will probably know their  starting offensive line after Saturday's scrimmage
  • Jake Butt being back by the Notre Dame game is “a little nuts”
  • Ross Douglas is a wide receiver

Opening remarks:

“Thanks for coming out. We continued, I think, as a team to practice hard. We continued as a team to take the incremental jumps that we want to keep making every day were out here I think from all positions. Again, the competition is such that it just creates a great competitive environment in everything we're doing. Happy with the effort we've had throughout camp, happy with the improvements and the progress. We need to keep getting better, I think that's a big part of it. The jump that we make this week as a team, because this is really a grind, is important. Tomorrow we'll put it together up at the stadium, we'll scrimmage up there. We'll see how many plays. Would like to get 120 in, 130 plays. We'll talk a little more in-depth what we want to get from each unit, from the first defense to the first offense, seconds, thirds, all the way down so that we can see – we're getting everybody some reps and also a good idea of guys playing up in that stadium.”

We've heard a lot about Mason Cole. What has he done to impress you guys and is it a good or a bad thing or are you concerned that you might have a true freshman starter on the offensive line?

”I think I'll take the back end of it first. If he's good enough, he's old enough. To this point so far he's been good enough. When you look at the people that he's gone against with Frank and those rush ends and the people that he's blocking, five techniques, he's held his own very well. I think I mentioned earlier sometime but he came in a little differently. I give a lot of credit to his coach and his high school team and their preparation. He has a great passion about playing the game.”

Any update on the injuries?

“Yeah, everybody was back. The only one, obviously Jake is still not full speed but the guys who got banged up – Funchess is the only guy that we held out a little bit but other than that I can't think of another guy. I'm just trying to think so I can give you accurate information.”

What happened to Funchess?
”He just got bumped up a little bit. He'll be okay. He probably could have gone today but we're trying to be smart. We've got a scrimmage tomorrow.”

Any update on Csont’e York and is he still a part of the program?
”No question. We are going to go through the process. You know, he's a guy who has been a part of this team and we'll go through this process. His status hasn't changed.”

So he's still part of the program?
”Yeah. Status hasn't changed.”

[Hit THE JUMP for more on Jake Butt, Devin Gardner, the inside linebackers, and a complete lack of clarity regarding the offensive line]

[I can’t hear the exact question but it was regarding Amara Darboh and his progress]

“Well, I think he's much improved. What he can do and how he's played, we're very excited about his development and his growth so I would say we would all say he's a better player today than he was last year at this time.”

Obviously there have been a lot of ACL injuries – last week in practice we saw Jake Butt catching balls. Just knowing what you know about Jake Ryan a year ago at the same time, how much further along is Jake Butt and to say he might be back by Notre Dame, is that crazy?

“Yeah, I think that be a little nuts. You know, I think you're trying to judge two guys at two different positions a little bit. They both are accelerating, slowing down, making cuts, stuff like that. Both are very diligent and give a lot of credit to our doctors we have, [our] specialists and our trainers. I don't know what the odds would be, I just think we have to do a good job to make sure the young man, for his sake, is truly healthy.”

Chris Fox has had some injuries this year. Where is he in the process and is he getting back to the point where he seems fully conditioned and he is...

“Oh yeah, he's playing. He's doing everything. You know, he had a little bad streak there with some injuries but he's been in there, he's practiced every day, he's gotten better. He's taking some reps with the ones and the twos a little bit at the guard position. Very excited about his progress.”

You guys are a week and a half in. Has Devin [Gardner] done enough to get your full stamp as the guy at quarterback?

“Yeah. You know, Devin – I would expect him to start on the 30th.”

Could you just talk about his progress in general and how he's handled it?

“I think his communication skills throughout how the offense is run, I think his identification of the different reads that he has, you know, in the run game and the pass game – I think he's grown a ton. I think from a mechanical standpoint and a standpoint of preparing every day and coming out there the way he's come out, I'm really excited about.”

And how has Shane [Morris] handled that?

“Shane's done a great job. If Devin screws up believe me, Nuss is quick to – especially on something he should know, if it's a repeated mistake Shane gets in there pretty quick. Both of them have gone with the ones. Devin has gone most of the time with the ones. Shane's gotten some reps throughout camp with the ones.”

Drake Johnson you mentioned the other day as one or one-a, I don't remember which he was. What has he done- obviously he had his injury and he's still trying to come back from that- but what has he done to impress you guys? It seems like he would've been the backup a year ago too.

“Yeah, I think he would have. And I think he would've played a lot of football for us a year ago. You know, Drake's a guy who really works diligently about everything. How he studies the game, how he approaches the game, he's a great teammate. You're talking about a guy on special teams, because he's on a couple of those- you know you're going to get execution from him. As a running back he's picked up things well within the offense, catches the ball well in the backfield. Very good acceleration. He's got the chance to take it all the way because of his speed. There's multiple things. He's really just done a tremendous job in my opinion, our opinion.”

You mentioned that three cornerbacks had separated themselves. Is there a possibility you're going to rotate those three guys through two spots or do you want to have two set starters and stick with those guys primarily?

“I think we have two set starters in there and, again, that goes back to competition. There's times where you may, you know, bring another guy in depending on play counts and all those things. You know, Stribling's come along so he's not too far behind the other three.”

The running back situation – how fluid is it? Could Derrick be the one or one-a guy? Is it interchangeable?

“You know, I think we'd love to get to one guy for sure but right now we're just not there yet. I think tomorrow we'll learn a little more. I think it's a good problem that we have right now because we haven't had it. All four, five if you want to count Ty [Isaac] in there, have done some really good things and they've all had a bonehead mistake in there too. We can find a guy and I imagine things will shake out a little bit, then we'll have a one and other guys we're excited about.”

You would want a guy getting 20-some carries?

“Well, yeah, if that's where we end up. Yeah, I'd love for it to happen that way.”

My other question is for tomorrow what would your starting offensive line look like? Including Glasgow.

“Well, Graham will take place tomorrow, there's no doubt. But Fox could be at right guard, Kalis could be at right guard, Joe Burzynski is back from an ACL a year ago. Joe's kind of one of those guys that no one knows a whole lot about but he's done well so there's multiple things we could do. Graham, we'll play him at right tackle and right guard. Ben Braden's done a nice job at right tackle. I think he's really grown and become a better player. David Dawson, I think his reps and what he's done has been exciting. Magnuson, Bosch, Logan Tuley-Tillman, he's done a nice job. Starting? Is that all you want? See, we're going to talk about that tonight.”

So you think that after Saturday's scrimmage you'll have it?

“I think so.”

Going back to the possibility of Mason Cole playing. You have 11 offensive lineman over a two class stretch and then just one behind that. To what extent are you balancing the attitude of you have to win now versus what's possibly better over the long-term plan?

“I don't – long-term is always something you think about. We're big on goals. Weekly, daily, long-term, short-term, all of that. I don't know if I understand your question well enough.”

Do you have sort of a balance there where you're saying maybe you don't want to play someone who's a freshman based on where it'll be three or four years from now?

“Not really. You've got to play the best players, number one. If you [don't] do that you're cheating this great program and we're not going to do that, so from that standpoint the best guys have to play. If he's one of those five who's one of the best guys then he's going to play.”

Did Ross Douglas move spots again?

“Yeah, he's a wide receiver. He's at the slot.”

Talk about the process of that. He's moved twice now in a year, talk about the process of that.

“Well, I mean, you're trying to give a guy the best opportunity and when you look at the slot position there's a couple guys there but you need a couple others because those guys will also be on kick games and all those things. He's handled it very well.”

[Last question is called]

Inside linebackers- obviously Jake [Ryan] is your guy in the middle but any idea who might be next to him?

“I think we've got a pretty good problem right now. I don't see it as a problem but with Jake and Desmond [Morgan] and Joe Bolden and Mike McCray and, you know, and James Ross can slide back in. In an Over defense there's a lot of multiple positions that kind of cover each other to some degree. The Will ends up playing a lot what the Sam does at times, formations can dictate so from that standpoint we like our depth and or guys who are there. Jake's a guy who makes a lot of plays so we're excited about that but Desmond Morgan's an awful good player. Joe Bolden's had a great spring and fall camp so it's kind of fun.”

When do you vote on captains?

“Thank you very much.”

[Smirks and walks away.]

“I said 'thank you.'”



August 13th, 2014 at 4:30 PM ^

The way it sounds to me is that they have a disciplinary process (either on the team, the Athletic Department, or the school, I don't know) and he won't be removed officially until the process concludes.  I suspect he remains suspended throuh the conclusion of that process.


If this is true, I don't have a problem with York still being technically on the team.  You have disciplinary processes for a reason and you should follow that process even when the evidence is overwhelming.  As long as York never puts on a Michigan Jersey again, I'm OK if he's not officially kicked off the team for another month or two.


August 13th, 2014 at 5:17 PM ^

They would have told him back in April or May that his scholarship has been renewed for 2014/15.  I don't think you can easily go back on that as long as he is enrolled at Michigan this year, at least not without a formal quasi-judicial internal process.

They don't have to let him play, they don't have to let him practice, but I would guess that there are hoops to jump through before he is "officially" off the team this year.


August 13th, 2014 at 5:53 PM ^

The way it sounds to me is that they have a disciplinary process (either on the team, the Athletic Department, or the school, I don't know) and he won't be removed officially until the process concludes.

This is the reason. I almost got kicked out of school my FS year for cheating (I gave my code to someone to help them, they "accidentally" turned it in). Even though it was an open and shut case, with both myself and the guy that cheated off of me fully admitting guilt, it still took the better part of a semester to go through the entire process before the actual disciplinary actions were handed out (slap on the wrist and never do it again warning luckily). It sucked because I was sweating bullets the entire time, but they had to dot their i's and cross their t's. I imagine expulsion and revoking of scholarship would only be a more involved process.


August 13th, 2014 at 9:39 PM ^

Transferred to MSU actually, haha. He was honestly a pretty smart guy and decent person too, good friend of mine through high school. It was a dumb mistake in a moment of panic that he obviously didn't think through. IIRC, we actually went to the MSU game that weekend in EL and got back Sunday evening realizing we both grossly underestimated how much work he had left to do. I finished my project around 4am, left him a copy for reference in case he got stuck and went to bed. He worked on it until right before the deadline and freaked out and just submitted mine. Then that next morning we got a big lecture about academic integrity and how they had programs to root out cheating. Needless to say he knew right then how fucked he was.


August 13th, 2014 at 4:31 PM ^

... these things take a little time.  They probably want to talk to his family, have to get the University lawyers involved, write the press release, release it on a friday afternoon, etc...


They should be deliberate about it and make sure the situation is treated thoughtfully, even if the outcome is likely predetermined.  

Lucky Socks

August 13th, 2014 at 4:32 PM ^

The video is damning for sure.  But he's not actively practicing.  I don't see anything wrong with keeping him indefinitely suspended and letting the justice system take its course.  He'll probably be dismissed sooner than later.

You don't get a special prize for making huge decisions based on security footage.  Just wait, they'll do the right thing.


August 13th, 2014 at 6:00 PM ^

coach has used to discipline players, that denying a player the same rights that any other student would under the legal system, and how that plays out, will determine his school status and ultimately his scholarship opportunity on the team. 

I mean the kid is indefinitely suspended, which means he is on the team in name only, not in any other sense that constitutes what you or I would regard as being a teammate in good standing. 

It ought to be obvious by now that this coach will let us know the status of this player when he decides the status of this player. It matters only in our small world of debate whether this kid ought to be part of this program. 

The situation will work itself out in a way that I think we all expect. 

Everyone Murders

August 13th, 2014 at 4:38 PM ^

As damning as the video looks, I'm a believer in due process.  Do I think that evidence will exonerate York?  I'd bet heavily against it since the video looks really bad.

But he is entitled to some due process, and I've got no problem with Hoke suspending him from team activities but leaving him on the team as this all gets sorted.  So long as he's not on the field representing the team, I'm OK with a measured approach.

Everyone Murders

August 13th, 2014 at 5:59 PM ^

I think that he is essentially on paid leave.  That is, he is getting to attend class, scholarship, and all of that.  (Not that these things are necessarily "pay" - but I get the essense of your inquiry.)  The real question is does he still get unlimited snacks?

But he is missing a huge benefit of being in the program - he is not involved in team activities, and not getting the benefit of coaching or playing time.  If he is exonerated (and I'm taking bets against that, but only imaginary currency) he will undoubtedly have fallen behind his teammates in his development.  And if he somehow rejoins the team, he will have paid a price for getting into this situation.


August 13th, 2014 at 6:34 PM ^

Was Hagerup still on scholarship during the year he sat out?  I don't think he was - he worked in a steel factory during the summer - but I'm not sure.

If Hagerup wasn't on scholarship, then I think York still is, because York apparently hasn't been sent home or told not to show up for fall classes.  And it would seem odd to me if he could attend classes but did not have his scholarship. 


August 13th, 2014 at 6:04 PM ^

Due process is of course involved with York's legal proceedings, but the rules and regulations for a student at a university can often be very different.  An example of this is the evidentiary standard used to dismiss Gibbons from the school for the alleged sexual assault claim.  In a court of law, for crtiminal cases, conviction would depend on "beyond a reasonable doubt" as the standard; in Michigan's proceedings, the standard was "preponderance of the evidence" per the sexual assault guidelines which changed a few years ago

I believe the case with York is such that Hoke will find it easier to simply wait and take action based upon the outcome of the court case, assuming something happens quickly.  My question is what happens when fall classes resume? Does York continue to go to class and have scholarship funds spent on his behalf?

Everyone Murders

August 13th, 2014 at 6:25 PM ^

Certainly the rules (burden of proof, punishment, etc.) applicable to maintaining a scholarship or status as a student are different than under criminal law.  But since this incident took place off campus, and likely when York was not in classes, I think that hampers the university's ability to investigate the incident.  I think the school can afford to wait to let the legal process run its course here.

I think Hoke has struck a wise middle ground here in keeping York away from football related activities for not meeting team standards (by a long shot).  I expect Hoke will await the outcome of the legal process, have further discussions with York and the teammate accompanying him, discuss it with the coaches, and make a final decision.  Emotionally, I would like to see York booted immediately, but upon reflection I think that Hoke's approach is prudent.  As I noted above, as long as York's not on the field representing the school and the team, I'm queasy but OK with Hoke's approach.

As to your second question, I think that when Hoke says "he's still with the program" that implies that he's still a scholarship student.  It may gall some that York is still able to take advantage of the scholarship (assuming I'm correct on all of this), but I'm not a fan of what we used to call Romanian Due Process.


August 13th, 2014 at 5:49 PM ^

RB depth. We have Smith, Johnson, green, Hayes and Isaac all ahead of him on the roster and only 2 slot receivers. Why not move him so he's the 3rd slot instead of the 6th back so he has a chance to get on the football field.


August 13th, 2014 at 4:16 PM ^

yeah, it's be surprised as well if Butt is back that early, and honestly I would rather they not rush a return.

York still being on the team is surprising, but I guess the school's process for handling such issues is ongoing. I would be amazed off he ever suited up again.


August 13th, 2014 at 4:19 PM ^

If ever there was a situation that warranted booting somebody before the legal/criminal process took its sweet damn time, it's this. It wasn't a Photoshop punch.


August 13th, 2014 at 4:37 PM ^

Don, I certainly agree, the video looks very bad. But as a former federal prosecutor I can appeciate his approach. I've gone into cases thinking, "this one is a piece of cake," but you keep an open mind about things. That open-mindedness was the most important thing I could do for the justice system to work. As things play out in some of those open, shut cases, you find out it wasn't as clear as it seemed. I've dropped charges, reduced charges, or argued for much lower sentences/forfeitures in several of those cases. 

I imagine that's the same approach Hoke is taking with the team. It may be a bad PR move, but it's best for the York, team, the family atmosphere, and for recruiting. 


August 13th, 2014 at 4:41 PM ^

There probably was a decent chance that Hoke had never even seen that video before the press conference occurred. He suspended York indefinitely right away presumably after hearing York got arrested and the initial details from York. Unless the police let football coaches see the video before the media can request it, then he wouldnt have seen it in advance, Given the timing yesterday of the video release, Michigan's practice, and this press conference, he likely wouldnt have seen it yesterday if he hadnt been given advance access to it.


August 13th, 2014 at 4:28 PM ^

Mgoquestion: could the University expel York if the team does not take any action? If so, that would take care of the problem. Given the Gibbons stuff, I would think the University would want to take action quickly.

Lucky Socks

August 13th, 2014 at 4:36 PM ^

Because a Football player allegedly dodged consequences of a rape last year, the University should make hasty decisions in all future legal encounters involving athletes?  

If anything, the Gibbons debacle should teach us that we need to take every case seriously and gather as much information as possible before making decisions one way or another.


August 13th, 2014 at 6:25 PM ^

part the Gibbons debacle teaches us that the University practices paralysis through analysis.

 There's a lot of twisted and tortued logic that would have to be used for a reasonable person to believe York was being threatened, but apparently not Jones, and thus was compelled to sucker punch a guy with his hands in his pockets.


August 13th, 2014 at 5:22 PM ^

Is this expellable?  I recall a time when there was absolutely no non-academic conduct that could get you expelled from the University.  Obviously that has changed (given the Gibbons stuff), but how far did they extend their ability to expel students?


August 13th, 2014 at 7:22 PM ^

So this is the paragraph I was looking for:

"Behavior which occurs in the city of Ann Arbor, on University controlled property, or at University sponsored events/programs may violate the Statement. Behavior which occurs outside the city of Ann Arbor or outside University controlled property may violate the Statement only if the behavior poses an obvious and serious threat or harm to any member(s) of the University community."

So it doesn't matter whether or not the victim is a University student, even though it happened off campus.  It's interesting to note that if it had happened in (for example) Ypsilanti, and the victim had no association with the University, then the code of non-academic conduct would not apply to the incident, and he could not be punished by the University! 

Not to say that he couldn't be suspended from the football team; that's a different question and entirely up to the coaching staff.