Unverified Voracity Is A Pretty Bear Indeed Comment Count

Brian December 8th, 2016 at 2:51 PM

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WOOP [Eric Upchurch]

Exit Shane Morris. Per Tom Van Haaren, Shane Morris will pursue a graduate transfer. CMU is the most likely destination.

Morris never lived up to the titanic hype that his arm strength generated when he was a high school junior. First, a bout of mono his senior year put him behind the development curve; second, Al Borges finished the job. An inexplicable start against Minnesota in 2014 resulted in a probable mild concussion, setting off a firestorm of controversy Dave Brandon's incompetence stoked until it resulted in both his and Brady Hoke's firing.

Morris will, but shouldn't be, remembered mostly for that. He was a Michigan kid through and through, to the point where he played slot receiver in the spring and was happily a lead blocker on sweeps. It didn't work out at M; here's hoping he goes Thomas Rawls at CMU.

We were already banking on Morris's departure in our recruiting calculations, so that won't affect the size of the class.

PFF's All Big Ten team. Michigan folks:

  • Offense: Amara Darboh ("highest-graded run blocker among Big Ten receivers ... 2.65 yards per route run average ranks second in the conference"), Khalid Hill, Erik Magnuson (2nd), Mason Cole (2nd).
  • Defense: Taco Charlton ("absolutely dominant force in Big Ten play"), Ryan Glasgow("posted four sacks and 14 total pressures to go with nine total defensive stops" in final four games), Maurice Hurst(2nd), Mike McCray("24 total pressures on just 77 reps"), Jourdan Lewis, Channing Stribling (2nd), Jabrill Peppers (as a slot corner), Delano Hill(2nd).

Peppers was obviously the punt returner; Jordan Glasgow was their All Big Ten special-teamer. Entertainingly, OSU punter Cameron Johnston was the ABT punter and was graded out at –13.8 before the Michigan game. PFF hates specialists, like any red-blooded American.

You'll notice a few omissions: Mackey winner Jake Butt, Chris Wormley, and Ben Gedeon. Wormley scored around +31(!), basically level with Charlton and Hurst and a hair behind Glasgow. He got left out because of Jake Replogle's existence and some guy named Steven Richardson from Minnesota. Butt got a bunch of pass blocking minuses(?!) and didn't have the same kind of receiving impact he did a year ago. (If we're being honest, he should have won the Mackey last year; getting it this year is a bit of a lifetime achievement award.) Gedeon was +12, so he was on the verge. There were a ton of good linebackers in the league. 

So you're saying there's a chance. Jabrill Peppers made an appearance on the Dan Patrick show ("THAT'S RIDICULOUS," exclaim Ohio State fans, "MALIK HOOKER SHOULD HAVE MADE AN APPEARANCE ON THE DAN PATRICK SHOW"), and on that show he denied that he'd made an NFL decision:

During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, Patrick asked Peppers -- who is eligible for the NFL Draft this year -- why he would stay at Michigan?

His answer?

"To get a degree, to try to finish some unfinished things here, to keep getting better at my craft," Peppers said. "I don't know, man. I've got a tough decision to make."

I... no. I am not taking this seriously, but I appreciate Peppers making it sound like a hard choice. FWIW, Peppers also said he'd vote for Deshaun Watson for Heisman.

This is probably fine. Buried at the end of an Ole Miss press release about Hugh Freeze dumping his offensive coordinator:

No word about the "assistant athletic director for football operations," John Miller, who directed Tunsil to talk to Farrar about getting some more money.

I throw many shades at uniformz so only fair to acknowledge the flipside. These are gorgeous.

I miss playing Alaska-Fairbanks, for the 8-0 wins Friday and inexplicable 2-1 losses Saturday, and for the two free games Michigan got whenever they went up there. Also I cannot figure out how to buy this jersey.

Knives out for Butch Jones. 247's Travis Haney has a feature article featuring an absolute ton of people slamming Butch Jones as not up for it:

“You talk about the time and place to say something like that - and that is not what our fans wanted to hear,” one Tennessee administrative source told 247Sports, referring to the “champions of life” comment. “That will never go away. That soundbite will never go away.” ...

“It’s like he doesn’t think he should be there,” [another] source said. “It’s like he doesn’t think he belongs. And that permeates through the program. Everyone feels that.” ...

“The culture is a disaster,” said someone who works in the football building.

There are many more quotes from different people; even the supportive folk on the record are mostly talking about how Jones's accomplishments, such as they are, have not been fully appreciated. Add in Jalen Hurd's highly unusual midseason transfer and it looks grim for the future of the Jones regime. Regardless of the veracity of the claims in the article the number of people saying those things, even anonymously, for publication gives off a strong Rich Rodriguez vibe. He has problems of his own making, and now that he's down in a hole the rest of the program is digging for him.

This is of tangential interest to Michigan fans because of two things: Marcus Ray's bizarre insistence that Jones should have been the man instead of Harbaugh and Jones topping that hot take by hiring Michigan Olympic sports administrator Mike DeBord as his offensive coordinator. The parallels between Tennessee's breakdown of culture and discipline and those of the late Carr era are obvious.

More Butch Jones. Tennessee just got a commit from Trey Smith. Depending on who you listen to Smith is the top OL and possibly the top player in the country. Tennessee's sales pitch?


As Get The Picture points out, their real sales pitch was "we will give your sister money to be executive assistant to the head coach." At least Michigan hires actual football coaches.

Also knives out for someone you may know. Also in bad-idea coordinator hires:

I confess that I thought hiring Brady Hoke might not have been the worst idea in the world—look at his track record with under-recruited Michigan DL. It turned out to be... unhelpful. At least. It's possible that he took over a unit so far away from competence that he was doomed either way; it is extremely unlikely anyone will take that chance. Tell you what, though, whoever hires him as a DL coach is not wrong.

The Counterfactual. The #1 alternate universe of the past ten years in college football: what if RichRod takes the Alabama job? Nick Saban goes... somewhere. Michigan hires... somebody. He probably still fails extensively. John Talty looks back at one of the most fascinating coaching searches in CFB history.

Etc.: Excellent scouting report on Will Lockwood, one of the bright spots on the hockey team. A major reason Willie Taggart got the Oregon job: Jim Harbaugh. Lane Kiffin still the frontrunner for the Houston job. Me, I'd just hire their DC. Assistant salaries skyrocket, they have the money to pay players, etc.



December 8th, 2016 at 4:06 PM ^

Morris's numbers in 2013:

29-47 (61.7%), 261 yards (5.6 YPA), 0 TD, 2 INT, 99.8 rating

That's not a stellar stat line, but for a true freshman, it's not all that bad.  

Morris's numbers in 2014:

14-40 (35.0%), 128 yards (3.2 YPA), 0 TD, 3 INT, 46.9 rating. 

Now that is bad.  Nussmeier's year here was brutal. 


December 8th, 2016 at 3:27 PM ^

According to a UCLA site, Banks' younger brother has been quoted as saying he and his brother are, "Big UCLA fans." and so they are hopeful.  

Personally, I am not sure, Bruingold is a site that tends to be very......optimistic about their chances to land recruits, so I'd take it with a grain of salt.

That said, UCLA sure as hell can sell the possibility of immediate playing time.

matty blue

December 8th, 2016 at 3:22 PM ^

i'm going to vote matt gutierrez - big senior year, shot at the nfl.

man, i feel bad for some of these guys.  devin gardner should have been vince young.  #diealborges


December 8th, 2016 at 3:26 PM ^

I've said this before, but I think Al Borges gets too much blame for Gardner not realizing his potential (and for our offensive woes in general). DG had some epic performances under Borges (ND, Indiana, Ohio State on a broken foot, etc) that he never came close to replicating under Nussmeier despite having an additional year under his belt. Our offense was mediocre under Borges, but it fell off a cliff after he left.  


December 8th, 2016 at 3:41 PM ^

I find the "What if Pat White hadn't injured his thumb in the 2007 WVU-Pitt game" to be a much more interesting alternate universe. If Pat White plays in that game, WVU wins and gets a berth in the BCS National Championship Game, ensuring that Rich Rod stays at WVU for at least another year and opening the door for Les Miles (or someone else) to take the Michigan job. 


December 8th, 2016 at 6:12 PM ^

"what-if-Texas-didn't-beat-Nebraska-in-the-2009-Big12-title-game" game with my buddy that went to ND.  At the time, I really, really wanted Nebraska to win so Cincinatti (!!!) would go to the title game and Brian Kelly would likely have stuck around another year. I knew we'd replace the inevitably departing RichRod after the 2010 season and wanted Kelly to be available. But Nebraska lost by 1 on a last second FG which meant Brian Kelly was essentially freed up to leave and go to ND.

Kelly was incredible at GVSU, CMU, and then UC.  I thought he'd tear it up at ND.  Thank GOODNESS I didn't get my wish.  Not only has he not panned out that well, he's a total jerk.  Even getting him instead of Hoke wouldn't have been worth it, given where we are now.


December 8th, 2016 at 8:51 PM ^

If Urban Meyer hadn't gone 7-5 in 2010 with a young Gator team. Maybe would have hung around there long enough to give someone else not name Urban Meyer a shot at the OSU job after the tatgate scandal. Maybe they would have went full dumbass and hired Fickell full time?


December 9th, 2016 at 12:13 PM ^

I bet he would have ended up there almost regardless of timing or situation.  He wanted to come home. He did everything he could have/wanted at UF.  It's not like a great season in 2010 would have presented a once in a generation opportunity like RichRod had at WVU in '07 or Kelly had at UC in '09. He had been there, done that.


December 8th, 2016 at 5:19 PM ^

White dislocated his thumb in the second quarter, and didn't get back in until late in the fourth quarter. He was unable to get the offense to convert two crucial fourth downs in Pitt territory, and WVU wasn't helped by their kicker missing two FGs.

Whether Miles would have gotten the job here is open to debate, given the alleged resistance to him within the Michigan football community. Hoke had just finished a fifth unremarkable season at Ball St—his 12-0 season didn't happen until 2008—and I don't think the fanbase would have been enthusiastic at all about replacing Carr with him.

Which leaves Debord or Schiano? Ugh.


December 9th, 2016 at 2:53 AM ^

Michigan went for RichRod because Les Miles was off the table. I am 100% convinced that Bill Martin was unavailable for that phone call because he knew he didn't want to take it. 

Honestly, I don't see any reasonable candidates for the coaching position in either 2007 or 2010 that would have left our program in any remotely better shape than what we wound up with.

Except one. The same guy, both times.

Jim Harbaugh.



December 8th, 2016 at 3:26 PM ^

Before Jones took the Tennessee job he was offered and nearly accepted the opening at Colorado. After being spurned by Jones CU 'settled' on Mike MacIntyre. For three years it looked like the Buffs drew the short straw. Now no one at CU would swap MacIntyre for Jones.

If the Buff's search committee would have been reading MGoBlog, they would have known to offer MacIntyre first over the Butch Jones clown show.


December 8th, 2016 at 3:26 PM ^

I was thinking about putting it up on the board but didn't want to be crushed by negs. I don't think he'd have lost big at Alabama the way he did here, but it is an interesting counterfactual to examine the changes wrought by Saban (the decimation of the SEC's long time coaches, driving off Urban Meyer) and whether that might have happened. Figure Saban probably ends up at maybe A&M or Nebraska, if you track the timeline of hires.



December 8th, 2016 at 3:34 PM ^

The parallels between Tennessee's breakdown of culture and discipline and those of the late Carr era are obvious.

I think there is a bit of revisionism here. Certainly, Carr's program was getting stale, in part because of his shaky assistant coaching hires later on (leaving him no clear successor). But still, he won 11 games in his next-to-last year, and as bad as 2007 started, that team pulled it together to reel off eight straight wins and might well have won the Big Ten if Henne/Hart had stayed healthy. In December 2007, I think most of us were thinking of Michigan as a program that needed some modernizing, but not a tire fire like Tennessee.


December 8th, 2016 at 6:01 PM ^

It's not about facts. Many Michigan fans just love to trash Coach Carr and heap all blame on him and any thing good that happened in his tenure (and there was a lot of good) was despite Coach Carr. Then strangely many of these same people continued to carry water for Rich Rodriguez years after his firing and overlook his joke program's faults.


December 8th, 2016 at 3:41 PM ^

I'm truly at a loss in guessing who our coach would have been if Rodriguez were not available in 2007. But given how badly Martin screwed up the search, basically being in the same position Dave Brandon found himself in 3 years later, I have to believe he would have simply fallen back on Debord, with no other options.