Dives. Washtenaw County dive bars surveyed. Self-recommending header picture is above. Also:
It turned out that the day that worked best for us to embark on the trip was a random Tuesday at the end of May. “Are dive bars open on Tuesdays?” I texted my friend. “They are if they want to be considered BEST OF WASHTENAW COUNTY,” he responded.
The penguin is in Saline, FWIW.
I guess this is all but official? We've been waiting for an official confirmation, or at least more than one person reporting, on this for a while now:
Jim Harbaugh referenced 2 players leaving Michigan yesterday...I’m told that internet speculation is true: Kareem Walker & Kekoa Crawford are transferring.
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) June 5, 2018
As a result we haven't talked about a piece of news since we were waiting to post their respective Exits. /shakes fist at transfer gray areas
Assuming this turns out to be true—and given the way Harbaugh has talked about the RB and WR groups since spring it's almost certainly true—that's two highly ranked guys out the door. Crawford's departure is probably the result of a plunge down the depth chart that saw him omitted from any spring discussion; that plunge down the depth chart is not a surprise given his flatly terrible play in 2017.
Walker flashed promise as a Brandon Minor-esque rage back in limited carries last year and would be an unfortunate loss. He'd publicly struggled with the transition to Michigan but seemed to get things on track last year; it would be really disappointing if he couldn't manage it, and Michigan could help him enough to do so.
Neither departure is likely to have much impact on the field this year; Michigan returns its top two backs and every WR outside of Crawford. Walker's presumed absence could bite next year.
FWIW, I wouldn't start getting worried about O'Maury Samuels yet. Harbaugh's mention of Tru Wilson as the #3 guy on the depth chart was immediately followed by a Samuels mention and a reference to his hamstring holding him back this spring. Meeanwhile, the WRs:
"I feel like our wide receivers have come along," Harbaugh told reporters during the 'Best of the Midwest' event. "Coach Mac has done a great job coaching them. Tarik, Donovan have probably done the best job of anybody in spring practice. Nate Schoenle, Oliver Martin, Nico Collins also did extremely well. Nico was slowed a little bit by a shoulder. Was going for a ball when we were working with pads and hurt his shoulder. He fought through that. I think he's got some real good upside. Those four guys there probably had the best spring."
Those four guys are actually five guys and Crawford is not amongst them. The lines are not hard to read between.
[After THE JUMP: FULLBACK TALK]
OL' MURDERFACE TALKS EXACTLY LIKE A MAN WHO HAS BLOWN UP MANY THINGS WITH DYNAMITE. Angelique Chengelis talks to Ben Mason's teammates, and by god these are some good fullback quotes.
“Ben Mason is a weird guy,” Gary said, smiling, on Saturday after the camp.
“You’ve got to love him because he has absolutely zero volume control,” Bredeson said, laughing. “Can’t control his voice at all. We’ll be in class trying to whisper, and he’ll just be blurting out loud what he’s trying to say.
“He has this unique personality that you can’t really put a finger on other than that blockhead football player. I love Ben. Love him to death. It’s almost too easy to make fun of him, because it’s so out there.”
Yes, I do think these quotes raise expectation for Mason's season. These are the quotes that must be if Michigan is going to have a really good fullback.
Various cornerback metrics. PFF writes up returning draft-eligible corners and you'll probably be unsurprised to find Lavert Hill and David Long showing up on dang near every list. Hill is the fourth most-avoided CB, seeing a target just once in every 10.3 coverage snaps, and just gets pipped by his teammate in completions allowed per coverage snap:
Long is tops nationally in yards allowed per coverage snap at 0.36 and passer rating allowed at 11.9. That is Quite Good. Throwing the ball at the ground over and over is worth almost 40 passer rating points. By the metrics, Long is a nose ahead of Hill; by playing time it's Hill a nose ahead of Long. Also, here comes Ambry Thomas. Going to be a fun defense this year.
Also in PFF things:
On 29.4% of his pass-rush attempts last season, Michigan's Khaleke Hudson recorded a pressure. That's impressive whether you call him a linebacker OR a safety. pic.twitter.com/LeCW9hoj7Z
— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 10, 2018
Illinois hockey. Hooray? Illinois AD Josh Whitman is talking a big game about D-I hockey:
Josh Whitman acknowledges that adding a hockey program is “an ambitious project” — maybe the biggest he’ll ever has in his career — and that he must raise “many, many more millions” of dollars to fund a 5,000-6,000-seat hockey arena.
But the Illinois athletics director said during a media roundtable on Wednesday that he hopes to green-light a program by the end of the calendar year.
Whitman said he is “increasingly confident” that Illinois has a feasible funding project and that he has received several “seven-figure” commitments for a downtown Champaign arena project that could cost $50-60 million. Whitman said a funding model includes private donations, corporate dollars, retail dollars, concession dollars and developer dollars.
Someone on twitter turned this into "BREAKING: Illinois to start hockey," which is absolutely not what it says. What it says is "Illinois is maybe a third of the way to funding hockey." That's still a lot closer than I thought they'd be at this point, especially since it appears this is not a Pegula what-do-you-get-for-the-university-that-has-everything gift but several smaller donors.
Final rankings rolling in. The NHL Draft is in a little under two weeks; we should know about the potential for the Quinn-Jack Hughes combination to happen soon after. Final-final-final rankings are rolling in from various quadrants; Scott Wheeler has Quinn 4th…
He can cleanly create exits and entries with his feet and outlet passes, he’s patient but plays fast, and he does an excellent job using his footwork to open up lanes on net or down low from the blueline, which will allow him to play on an aggressive power play in the NHL. But he’s also not any of the things you worry about with smaller defensemen. In spite of his size, he’s one of the better man-on-man defenders in the class, plays a tight gap and does a wonderful job disrupting the rush without having to play an overtly physical game. I suspect after another year of college he’ll be NHL ready, too.
…and Bode Wilde 25th. Wilde is referred to as "a two-way force one in every three games, invisible in another and a disaster in the next one," so expect some bumps along the way. He's not quite as highly touted as Jack Johnson, but Johnson turned out to be a wee bit overrated—he's had a long NHL career but never really emerged into a top-end D—so… yeah. Jack Johnson.
Elsewhere at the Athletic, Corey Pronman names Hughes the best skater in the draft and 10th-best passer. Wilde pops up as the #9 shot and #9 skater. NHL.com has a Wilde profile in which he says he emulates on Zach Werenski—yes please—but is probably closer to Hughes:
"I think Bode and Zach's game are a little bit different with the puck," Senior Manager of NHL Central Scouting David Gregory said. "I think Zach would hang on to it a little bit longer than Bode would and has that (ability to) slow the game down and let this develop to make a play, where I see Bode transitioning with speed and making a play more on the fly. I'm glad he's saying that (he looks up to Werenski) because there's a lot more cerebral [work] to the game than people might think in Zach than Bode so it's good to know that's who he's trying to emulate." …
"He is a transition guy; he'll find the open man and he'll come up and join the play as opposed to being the guy that's going to carry it up and rush the puck and hang onto it until something happens," Gregory said. "That's more Quinn Hughes' game; he loves to have the puck on his stick and recognition of when to dish it, that's when he'll have to do his thing, where I see Bode more one, two, three steps out of the zone. He's got so much speed people give him respect, then he'll snap a pass to someone open on the far blue line that's a hard, accurate kind of pass."
I like 'em both.
Etc.: Hogmaps. I did not know Almond Boneless Chicken was solely a Michigan thing, but now I do. Spencer on Bourdain. Michigan is the top public university in the world, according to this thing. Jourdan Lewis is optimistic. Beilein in more detail. Yes I finally cracked and subscribed to the Athletic. They have Brian Phillips now, what can I do?