Word Of Mouth: Fall Camp Tidbits

Submitted by Mr. Yost on August 25th, 2013 at 8:40 AM

For awhile now, after camp, I call up a buddy who's been around the program (full time support position) for quite a few years (since late-Carr era). The past couple of years, I've made a thread to share some of that summary on here for those who care. It's straight word of mouth, so a disclaimer there. And unfortunately much of this year's info has become common knowledge. In fact, we joked because we (MGoCommunity) know more about the team this year (without seeing one practice) than we ever have. It's just the information age that we live in. So hats off to MGoBlog, because much of the stuff you read here that comes off as opinion is very close to accurate. That said, nothing too ground breaking. Also, there just hasn’t been much debate this year.


Thoughts? Thoughts.


QB – Gardner is as good as the hype. He’s gotten “twice as good” over the summer and has really taken charge of the offense. Still presses a bit under pressure and makes the “oh no” throws that he needs to eliminate (I believe we saw one in a scrimmage video). Plays like Kapernick or a thin Cam Newton.  Was told that if he has a big year, he’s talented enough to go to the NFL. But if he has a big year and stays, he could very well win the Heisman next year. I specifically asked about Morris. He looks good, and NO DECISION has been made on his status. Redshirt could be an option if all he'd get is mop up duty. He's not that far ahead of Cleary that Cleary can't take those snaps in a blowout. Probably won't make that call until the situation presents itself...and that's going off of what Hoke's done in the past. (Why say he is or isn't going to play when you don't know if you even will have the opp? What if we don't get up big until late in the 4th when it's best to just hand the ball off and run the clock out?)


RB – Fitz has his job and it’s HIS job. More dedicated and determined. A lot of people don’t know, but he played with a lot of pressure last year...wanted to play well and go pro to provide for his family. Tried to hit a homerun on every single play. More determined now and extremely motivated by the Green hype. Not even close most days. Green plays overweight and could very well redshirt this year. However, he’s the most improved RB over the fall camp period. Still worried that he’s Grady part II, but it’s WAAAY too early to say that Smith also motivated by the Green hype. The other returners are all better than last year, but so is the OLine.


WR – Gallon is the favorite target, but Gardner is starting to spread the ball around a lot more. Chesson and Reynolds look to replace Darboh who was the clear #2 WR. Darboh was also a great blocker. That said, expect Jackson to be used in running situations. Dileo is the “Novak” of the team. Freshman WRs have potential, but still learning the offense and how to run routes and/or block. None can be trusted right now, but at least 1 may play special teams because he could help in the 2nd half of the season (on offense).


TE – No real news...Butt is better than people realize, we could have the best TE group in the conference.


OL – Better than we’ve had since the Carr-era. Already better than last year and not even close. Here’s the C debate, same as last year. Miller is the better snapper, Glasgow is the better blocker. Expect Miller to win as Mealer (who was the better snapper) won last year. Glasgow and Bryant are in a dead heat for the LG spot. Coaches seem to want Bryant to win so Braden can be first tackle off the bench and Glasgow can be first interior OL (regardless of position) off the bench. Bryant doesn’t play C. If Glasgow is ever in at C, look for us to go under Center more than Pistol or from the Gun.


DL – Most DL depth charts that have been reported are true...Clark was working inside for the Dime package. We do have a situation package where Ojemudia, Clark and Charlton all play on the DL. I guess it’s our version of the NASCAR package the NY Giants have. Still trying to “earn the right to rush 4.” Better, but not there yet. Then again, it’s harder when Lewan and Schofield are on the other side.


LB – Ross may be the best player on the defense. He’s also improved over the summer. Morgan is the MLB despite rumors of Bolden. Gordon will be the SLB. RJS-Bolden-Beyer are in the 2nd group and expect Bolden and Beyer to play close to starter’s snaps. GMat is rotating this year more than he has at any point in the last 2 years.


DB – Still sorting out CB. Countess is the only lock. (personal thought – can we get a question to GMat to provide clarity on the depth chart at CB?). Avery is playing both (CB and S), it’s not even a big deal...it stems from the SCar game where we didn’t have guys ready that knew multiple positions. So when Floyd was out and guys went down...we had Wilson running around trying to learn on the fly. We gave up too many big plays in the secondary and coaches felt like it was because we we’re playing 10.5 on 11 because there wasn’t enough flexibility. Remember, the guys that we did have were ALL young. So they were focusing on learning THEIR position before expanding their roles. THAT is why Avery is the one bouncing around, because he’s got the most experience and knows the CB and Nickel spots. There is less separation here than anywhere else on the team. Need more consistency from the “up-and-comers.”


K/P – We’re going to be A-okay.

One of the best things I got was that all of the young guys are truly good character people. By Lewan's example, Tom Brady's story, etc. they're learning what a special place Michigan is and they aren't in a hurry like most freshman are. They're fighting to truly get better, knowing that it may be a couple of years before they're called on. I was told in "3-4 years this team could be SCARY" because you're going to have guys that truly know the system and they're going to be starving to show what they can do...and for once, they're going to be TALENTED! I personally think this next 5 year period, starting this year, could be one of the best 5 years periods any of us have ever seen at Michigan. Hope I'm right!



August 25th, 2013 at 3:12 PM ^

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August 25th, 2013 at 8:55 AM ^

especially with interior OL but starting 2 RS SO and a RS FR are scary especially considering the fact that it will be their first year starting. They get a big test right off the bat against ND with Louis Nix III who is a potential top 10 NFL draft pick and is a load to block against.  If they pass with flying color, it's looking up for the starting OL.


August 27th, 2013 at 10:14 PM ^

since it's all about name recognition.  However, the Saints have two legit OGs at the time but their OT and C are below average at best.


Look at the Browns, they got an all pro LT and C yet their OL is awful.  It's not if they have a pro bowler or all pro lineman on the team.  It's all about the unit.


August 25th, 2013 at 8:58 AM ^

Green is in fact overweight and maybe over-rated too...ugh.  I don't have much confidence in Rawls or Johnson.  I hope Smith (and Hayes to a lesser degree) will be ready to go next year then since we have a few years before Damien Harris shows up.


August 25th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

To be fair, he did mention Grady, which is pretty much saying bust. Not that I agree with him. The kid dropped from 270 to 220 to go from D line to RB. Weight will probably always be something he'll have to fight, but he's shown he's got the motivation and now the college program resources to do it right. If Fitz had looked gimpy in camp, I might be worried, but with a clear #1 guy and also Smith looking good, Green has some time to work on his body composition and also work on blocking and catching. 


August 25th, 2013 at 9:26 AM ^

Rivals listed their unofficial depth chart today and their analysys on RB. Green did not make the chart and it was 4 deep. Dissapointed yes. Career over? No way in hell. This staff will mold him into a very good RB. He's a true freshman. Give him a chance.

Leaders And Best

August 25th, 2013 at 9:45 AM ^

The kid just finished his first fall camp and hasn't even played a snap yet. A little early for judgments.

But remember that a high recruiting rating is not guarantee a prospect will pan out. In fact, most will not pan out. That is why it is important to bring in top prospects every year. The past is littered with highly recruited RBs that didn't make it.  Max Martin, Kevin Grady, Carlos Brown. I still remember how everyone waited for Max Martin to play and pass the low rated Mike Hart his freshman year. Remember Dee Hart and Sam McGuffie? Where are those guys now? Hopefully, Derrick Green will be the next A-Train or Chris Perry. Even Chris Perry needed a couple years to figure it out. But if he's not, it's not the end of the world if we keep recruiting like we are right now.

Come On Down

August 25th, 2013 at 9:44 AM ^

Personally I'm encouraged by the comment about Green being the most improved RB throughout camp. He may not have been ready at the beginning but he's clearly showing signs of why he was so highly regarded. Maybe he's not ready by the CMU game but I bet he works himself into shape before too long.


August 25th, 2013 at 9:55 AM ^

It actually may work to the team's benefit to have Green come on later in the year (Big Ten season). Having an elite back with fresh legs that we know is capable of big things could be a huge weapon.  Hopefully at some point in the year he is able to compliment Fitz as the #2 back.


August 25th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

That's a great write-up and I appreciate the time and effort you put into it.

My optimism about the upcoming season is on the uptick ... but cautiously.  My sense is we'll be in every game, but we may not put a W next to each due to small miscues or just the way the ball bounces.


August 25th, 2013 at 9:01 AM ^

Interesting news about the O-line. If they really are as good as he says, Fitz and Gardner could really blow up this year.

I always knew Ross was going to a good. I remember watching his 6th grade (not sure) tape and thinking he was an animal. I hoped he would he grow into this huge, but fast linebacker with those killer instincts and sign with Michigan. He did just that, apart from the being huge part.


August 25th, 2013 at 9:02 AM ^

You'd think the consensus #1 HS RB would have shown a little more motivation, determination and self-discipline not to eat himself into a possible redshirt.

I know the weight isn't news, per se, but we kept hearing Fred Jackson say what a workout warrior he was and that he played at 240 last year, when in reality... he's fat?

Leaders And Best

August 25th, 2013 at 9:58 AM ^

In some years with a weak RB class, #1 RB may not even be in the top 5 of the following year. I think all that matters is what range they are ranked in. As long as we keep bringing in talented players, I trust the coaches will find one that will be able to play.

I had actually been more concerned about our WR and QB recruiting and depth. Until the 2014 class, we had not brought in any elite WR talent under Hoke (missing in 2011-2013 classes). And missing a QB recruit in 2012 along with Bellomy's torn ACL, makes the need for elite QBs in 2014 and 2015 vital.


August 25th, 2013 at 9:19 AM ^

To be honest, I'm not surprised. When you drop that much weight from your freshman to senior years of high school, it's probably pretty difficult to keep it off. He didn't have the same level of structure this summer, so he put on a few pounds.


A year with Wellman and the nutritionist people should bring him to exactly the weight the coaches want. I think everyone would have preferred he could have come in and played like a stud immediately, but in retrospect that's a little unrealistic of an expectation.

Creedence Tapes

August 25th, 2013 at 9:54 AM ^

Green used to be a 5-8 268 lb offensive lineman, but lost a bunch of weight and became one of the top RB's in the country, so I do worry that he might gain it back by resuming bad habbits. That said, he came into camp at 240, but who knows what he is at right now. Hoke or somebody else has mentioned that its not oncommon for players to lose some bad weight in fall camp. Besides, Eddy Lacy and Le'Veon Bell both played at 230, so Green can too if he drops a few lbs.


August 25th, 2013 at 9:08 AM ^

Green will be fine when you get on campus you throw the ratings out the window. People want certain people to play because of their star rating as opposed to letting the coaches assess an open competition and select the best player. I think smith has looked great and seems to play with a chip on his shoulder.


August 25th, 2013 at 9:09 AM ^

The next five years will be determined by how well the Wolverines do against Ohio and Sparty.  AFAIC, in the next five years, it is important to get at least three wins over Ohio (counting a projected two games this year) and four against Sparty.  

I think Michigan has a lot more talent than Sparty, but the fact that they always try to intentionally injure whoever is at QB for Michigan is an annual problem.  

I am concerned with Ohio, because Ohio and ND certainly blew the theory that "the spread won't work up north," or "the spread won't work in the Big Ten," out of the water in 2012.  Every game with Ohio has just become a "pro-set vs spread" referendum.  

I am a bit fearful of how that will turn out.


August 25th, 2013 at 10:16 AM ^

I refuse to believe that the spread will work in cold weather. All of the midget dreadlocked receivers won't be able to catch the ball because it will be too cold and hard.

On a more serious note, I didn't enjoy reading this: "That said, expect Jackson to be used in running situations." That's an unpleasant reminder of the days when many of Michigan's plays were telegraphed.


August 25th, 2013 at 10:27 AM ^

I think the spread is an exciting offense, but I much prefer MANBALL.  I'd rather be the Michigan of old or the Alabama of today than OSU or ND.  Both OSU and ND had good records, but both were highly overrated.  Plus, it  is my understanding that it was the defense of both OSU and ND that carried them last year, not their offenses.  


August 25th, 2013 at 9:14 AM ^

Good info, but, jeez, throw your friend a bone and remove any potential identifying information. You know they fired the guy that leaked Rich Rodriguez's firing a day early, right?