Dytarious Johnson is mean
The question we no longer have to answer about basketball
Does it concern you yet that Harbaugh and staff are going after so many 3-star or less recruits (and even unranked ones) rather than shooting for more 4- and 5-star types? Might JH be underestimating his own standing and instead still be in "I'm at Stanford" mentality (i.e., "I need to find the hidden gems because the 5-stars are going to USC, Alabama, and such")?
Thanks for the blog, and give Ace a raise.
Hail to the bloggers,
This is so overblown. Michigan has ten commits. Five of them are composite four-stars (Swenson, Onwenu, Peters, Falcon, and Evans). Of the five who aren't, one committed to Brady Hoke (Harding), one is (probably) a fullback (Reese), and one picked up Nebraska, LSU, and Florida offers after his commitment (Davis). The two other guys are Kiante Enis and Dytarious Johnson. Enis ran for three thousand(!) yards last year and Johnson looks like a BAMF on his Hudl film.
That is not a high flier rate thus far. The two guys who truly qualify are both gentlemen an expert talent evaluator has seen in person.
Meanwhile, here is a list of high four star recruits who Michigan is thought to lead for: NJ WR Ahmir Mitchell, NJ WR Brad Hawkins, PA TE Nasseir Upshur, MD OL Terrance Davis, WI OL Ben Bredeson, MI DE Khalid Kareem, and NJ DE Ron Johnson. They are at or near the top for five star NJ DT Rashan Gary and CA LB Caleb Kelly.
They won't get all those guys; they'll get a healthy chunk, and they'll get involved with more guys down the road. It's not going to be an Alabama class but it should be comfortably top ten.
And that's only half the reason recruiting concern is overblown. The other half:
That class was Andrew Luck and three stars. It followed a class that was all three stars, and ranked ninth in the then Pac-10. Stanford was slightly better than that when those classes bore fruit. Recruiting is important; coaching is more important.
[After the JUMP: Countess impact, concerns that Michigan's skill position players are no better than Iowa's, outrageous afro.]
Countess departure impact
First, I want to say that Belle & Sebastian should absolutely do the voice overs for the next hype video. Amazing.
Second, I want to ask if we're overreacting to the Countess departure. Competition is good, yes, but was he going to see much playing time given what we saw of the nickel package in the spring game? I recall peppers staying down in the nickel and the main substitution was a linebacker for an additional safety.
Also, isn't it odd that he's supposedly leaving for a better defensive fit but is joining a defense run by Durkin's former boss, and edsbs nemesis, Will Muschamp? I would assume those defenses would be very similar.
It's true that Peppers is slated to be a full-time nickel and that Michigan's solution for adding a defensive back is to bring in another safety. Countess's departure is still a blow.
Here are some reasons:
- We don't actually know if Lyons is better than him. He bounced in and out of the starting lineup at Stanford, like Countess did at Michigan.
- Players do get better, especially ones who are now being coached by NFL DBs instead of a former linebacker with no experience as a secondary coach.
- Even if Lyons is better than him, injuries happen.
- Countess could have provided some flexibility if for whatever reason a zone is a better idea in a certain matchup.
I don't think it's time to rend our clothes about it; it does warrant more than the shrug that's greeted the rest of the offseason departures.
As far as his destination, it depends on what Muschamp is going to run. I'm not sure how wedded he is to the in-your-face man coverage Countess didn't do well with last year, especially in a secondary that has lost a lot of players. Even if Muschamp's ideal defense is crazy aggressive, this year's Auburn D might be better suited to playing bend-but-don't-break, which Countess is very good at.
But aren't we basically Iowa?
Multiple times during your Jake Rudock UFR's you've expressed your opinion on the Iowa receiving corps, and their substandard level of play. While I think we all agree that even at his worst, Rudock's performances were better than those we saw under center at Michigan last season. One major perceived weakness for this years offense is indeed the WR's. My question is two-fold.
1.) Do you think Michigan's crop of receivers is at least on par with what Iowa trotted out there last season?
2.) Even if they are even, what kind of impact can Rudock make on the output of that position group? You have also noted that Rudock is great at timing routes and accuracy, however with no receiver really capable of creating separation how will that translate?
Thanks in advance,
1.) I think Michigan will provide at least comparable weapons for Rudock. Darboh seems pretty similar to Tevaun Smith, Iowa's best. Smith is a rangy downfield threat who may have a bit more athleticism than Darboh.
They are pretty similar.
Even if the guys behind Darboh aren't great shakes it's hard to believe they're worse than Martin-Manley and Powell, who drop a zillion balls and run bad routes. Jake Butt should be at least on par with Jake Duzey and could be considerably more.
Michigan's pass protection should also be much better. It is continually surprising how frequently Iowa's OL gets clubbed when they attempt pass protection—in four and a half games (Illinois is up next) I've seen Brandon Scherff get beat more than Mason Cole did in an entire season. And don't get me started on Iowa's guards. They are a good to very good run-blocking line. Pass pro is a mess.
2.) A lot of the underneath routes I'm seeing Rudock throw get yards after the catch not because of the sick route skills of any particular receiver but because of the play design: picks, drag routes coming open after a deeper receiver ran off a zone, etc. That's something Michigan can exploit as well.
And I do think Michigan has a couple of slippery underneath guys, at least in theory: Freddy Canteen and Brian Cole could add some zest to the short stuff.
This question and a lot of the comments on the Rudock passing UFRs are laced with concern that problems with the Iowa offense are going to feel very similar to problems with the Michigan offense this fall. I don't disagree. Michigan's looking for fifth-year WRs for a reason, and the running game is going to be more than a one-year fix.
I do think Rudock is underrated because he hasn't gotten a whole lot of help. If Michigan's line can take a reasonable step forward in pass protection, that alone will make Rudock look like a much better quarterback.
Yes sir your subject is correct
Dept. of outrageous Afros
long story how I acquired this, just last week, but thought you or whoever is/was into retro Afros (not that there is another kind) might like it.
photo is from Lutheran West, Dave Baxter, prep star of the week in the Detroit Free Press'
Baxter, the least aerodynamic Michigan athlete in history, was a part of the 1974 basketball recruiting class. He arrived one year before Phil Hubbard, for historical context. He was a third round pick in the 1978 NBA draft. The family of squirrels that lived on his head represented him, and now has one of the most successful sports agencies ever headquartered in a tree.