Items. Isaiah Hole has launched a new Michigan site called Wolverines Wire, and has started off with some insider takes on the team. Another walk-on WR is making a name for himself:
While we’re told that second-year WRs Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black have continued their impressive ascent from a year ago, a name we keep hearing come up is a fellow second-year receiver from Solon(OH): walk-on Jake McCurry.
One source told WolverinesWire that McCurry’s ascent has been notable across the entire team.
That take was endorsed by various Michigan players on Twitter, which is unusual. McCurry probably isn't going to have much opportunity what with Black and DPJ and Grant Perry looking set as the top options at each of the three starting slots, plus a reasonable amount of highly-rated depth. But he could get some run.
You'll never compete with Alabama until you start looking like Alabama. Michigan's new strength staff has them headed in that direction. Karan Higdon 2017 vs. 2018 pic.twitter.com/TDKHbPi6Qg
— LG (@LGhail) June 6, 2018
Hole also provides some details on Ultra Jacked Karan Higdon, who's reportedly up to 203 pounds from 190 last year—David Long is up to 195—and lists five guys who insiders are touting post-spring. Bookmark! Or whatever you do these days. Eat the Snapface content.
I am Jack's utter lack of surprise. Mo Hurst is doing well in the Raiders' minicamp:
Hurst has been more than a pleasant surprise for Oakland in that he is running with the first-team defense in its 4-3 base at left defensive tackle (last year's starter, Eddie Vanderdoes, is rehabbing from a torn ACL) and has starred in the offseason. Beating All-Pro Kelechi Osemele when he flipped sides not only opened the eyes of the coaches, but also got the attention of Osemele, who gave the rookie the, ahem, business. -- Paul Gutierrez
Gonna be a lot more embarrassed NFL guards in the near future. His DC:
The 6-2, 290-pounder is a perfect fit for Guenther’s 4-3 defense that relies heavily on defensive lineman to create pressure without blitzing. His skill set is comparable to six-time Pro Bowler Geno Atkins, who saw some of his most productive seasons under Guenther when he was the Bengals defensive coordinator from 2014-2017.
“He has great off,” added Guenther. “The three-technique is the penetrator of our defense. He does a great job with that. He’s going to have to learn big man’s game a little bit where you don’t get the double teams as much in college. You’re going to get a lot more of that in the NFL. Then obviously in the pass rush. He’s slippery in the pass rush. He has good side to side movement. He’s a powerful guy.”
Hopefully Hurst becomes infamous as the second-worst scouted NFL draft pick in Michigan history.
[After THE JUMP: the trolliest NBA career, hockey rule changes, and hockey scouting.]
The troll NBA career is launched. Ace has mentioned this on twitter some: Michigan fans are now Jaren Jackson's biggest supporters now that Tom Izzo wasted his one and done year with a Michigan sweep and second-round exit. An agile center, elite shotblocker, and plausible stretch option with a bit more development, Jackson is perfect for the modern NBA. What's holding him back?
Jackson simply doesn’t have the eye-popping numbers dominant college centers should have. He averaged only 11 points and six rebounds per game as a freshman at Michigan State, but those modest stats belie the fact that his skill set is an ideal fit for the today’s league.
Jackson is long (7’5 wingspan) and mobile. He blocked shots at a top-five rate nationally and hit 40 percent of his three-pointers. He’s a quick center who can protect the rim and stretch the floor. Those are skills that translate, even if his college stats didn’t exactly show it.
20 MPG. The end.
So long shootouts. The NCAA hockey committee has banned any deviation from the old-school five minute, five-on-five overtime. (Except in tournaments like the GLI.) I was never a big fan of shootouts but having one for an extra point in league play seemed pretty harmless. Some other changes:
- Ejections are now reviewed. This probably won't slow things down much since ejections now require an interminable ref conference; instead refs will immediately go to the monitor.
- High stick goals and goals that come after refs miss the puck touching the netting behind the goals will not be reviewed unless specifically challenged. This is an improvement but doesn't go nearly far enough: offsides reviews should also require a challenge. And everything else. (Also high stick goals should be legal.)
- You can now dress 19 skaters! Why? I don't know.
There are also some exceedingly minor things.
Some hockey scouting opened up. The Neutral Zone is making some of their scouting public in the run-up to this year's NHL draft; in the course of freeing some Bode Wilde info they've also loosed reports on four less-touted Michigan commits. If you are the kind of person who already knows all about Bode Wilde (bigger, wilder Quinn Hughes or more accurately scouted Jack Johnson)—which we are, right?—it's actually the lesser prospect scouting that's more interesting. On incoming freshman Jack Randl:
Randl is a strong, powerful skater who plays a heavy but skilled game. He likes to put the puck outside, lowers his shoulder and drive the net. Once he gains position on the defender he has super smooth hands, can deke goalies and score in tight. That ability to transition from a puck protection scenario to a skill move is a very rare talent for players this age and he does it as well as any 2000 we have seen in the country. He won a lot of battles throughout the week along the wall, in front of the net and in the corners. He goes into the corner and comes out with the puck consistently and doesn’t stop there as he is able to make a pass to the slot or drive the net. He’ll need to improve his speed and agility to reach his full potential, but he’s certainly among the elite 2000 forwards.
And mystery D Jack Summers:
…has come a long way in a short period of time and really established himself as the go-to defenseman on Victory Honda. He’s a smooth skating, puck moving defenseman who sees the ice, makes clean, crisp passes, and understands his positioning really well. He doesn’t overhandle the puck but will take the extra second or two to allow the play to open up for him and he can make long stretch passes from behind his own net. He also showed the dual ability to quarterback the umbrella power play and kill penalties by getting his stick in passing lanes and blocking shots.
Summers then slots in with almost every Pearson-recruited defenseman as a puck mover first and physical presence somewhere between second and 53rd. I was listening to a postgame interview with Pearson after a game featuring an ejection last year and he said that everything they teach about defense now is leverage and angles, angles and leverage. Going and whomping on someone is no longer worth the risk. Pearson's recruiting is ample evidence that the whole program is being built around fast guys, skill, and puck possession.
These reports are from about two years ago and are not the latest and greatest but with a number of these guys it was a struggle to find anything as detailed as the above. Wilde, Nolan Moyle and the delayed Calen Kiefiuk and Jacob Semik also feature.
Etc.: A long history of complaining about too many bowl games. Don't click here unless you want your mind blown. Everyone thinks John Engler should be fired. Into the sun? Not yet, but maybe soon. Nobody have an opinion on this.