DeVeon Smith Slightly Ahead of Green Coming Out of Spring

Submitted by Space Coyote on July 29th, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Hoke said today that De"Veon Smith had a bit of an edge over Derrick Green coming out of spring. Reminds that Drake Johnson back

— angelique (@chengelis) July 29, 2014


Also, here is says it is mostly because of pass pro.


Per GoBlueinMN below (so give him a +1 for this info below; put in OP to allow discussion) and Nick Baumgardner on twitter, who also explains that others beside Norfleet will get a look at returns because the team must get better, and says Kenny Allen will now do kickoffs:

Hoke says Glasgow is going to play center. Sounded like his shuffling to other spots is going to slow down.

— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) July 29, 2014


Space Coyote

July 29th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

I still think Hayes has a role in this offense, he is a one cut guy with great hands out of the backfield and can flex out in situations as well.

My feeling for this is that:

1. Smith is purely a better pass protector right now. Is a bit better at moving his feet to mirror defenders and leverage underneath them.

2. Smith likely also has a better feel for the pass protections Nussmeier is asking him to do. Nussmeier has a lot of 6/7 man protections which see the RB leak into the flat to create a high/low or into the middle of the field to create a check down options. Smith is currently the better receiver of the two.

3. I'm thinking Drake Johnson was a better pass protector last year, and that is why he is mentioned here and why he was the 2nd team RB last year. He's also more of a one-cut back that is a bit bigger and can run between the tackles a bit. Also, nice motivation for a kid that is only a So as well.

Space Coyote

July 29th, 2014 at 12:00 PM ^

Scat backs, patient backs, straight ahead backs, etc. For instance, I don't actually believe Smith is an optimal one-cut type back. He, IMO, is more of a man blocking, patient type RB, that picks his way behind a lead blocker and churns his legs that way. Barry Sanders obviously wasn't one cut, etc, etc.

Ron Utah

July 29th, 2014 at 12:00 PM ^

Nussmeier wants a RB who can find the crease in the zone blocking, usually in one of two holes, or use the cut-back lane, then take off.  That's what a one-cut back is.  One-cut backs tend to be more powerful with good acceleration but perhaps not the shiftiness of a scat-back.

Other RBs are open field runners who look to follow a man blocking play and then beat a defender with power, speed, or agility.  Outside runners or shifty types like Denard Robinson would not be described as "one-cut" backs, since they make their living by running into space or creating it with multiple cuts.  One-cut backs make a quick decision and then stick with it, and don't look like they are improvising.

For one-cut back examples, see any Mike Shanahan offense.  For a non-one-cut example, see Barry Sanders.

Mr. Yost

July 29th, 2014 at 3:48 PM ^

He was about 225 in the spring.

IMO, it's really not news except Smith will get the first first-team rep in the fall. Meh. There will be so much camp that everyone is still in it.

Johnson, IMO, was on pace to become the starter by mid-season (not sure if he would've held on to it, but I think he would've gotten a legitmate shot to win that job last year). In his few carries he got, he had everyone on this board talking about Mike Hart, then he blew out his knee. 

Who knows how he recovers from his injury. Hayes is also going to play a huge role.

It'll be a 4 horse race for sure. I'm excited to see who steps to the front, it's there for the taking.


July 29th, 2014 at 11:49 AM ^

In the no-contact offseason, the players still practice in Glick.  Hoke's office looks out over the field there (as I imagine most other CFB teams do)... he certainly can watch things like player-organized 7-on-7's, correct?  Based on that, would he not know certain players are progressing, even since the last spring practice?

Space Coyote

July 29th, 2014 at 12:02 PM ^

So yeah, they can look on from above, but they won't be running a bunch of drills and things like others have said. They do talk to captains, S&C coaches, as well as "random run-ins", etc (I'm not perfectly clear on the changes this offseason, I know they can watch some film and stuff now, but this is at least how it used to work), and hear about people's work effort and progress over the summer.


July 29th, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

Not always. I've seen guys win or lose jobs between spring ball and camp. Conditioning and voluntary workouts count for a lot, as they can show great motivation or a lack of it. The coaches aren't out there watching, but the strength coaches report to them daily, and a guy who had a great spring and rests on his laurels is usually in deep shit when camp rolls around.


July 29th, 2014 at 11:43 AM ^

He also said that Glasgow is strictly a center.



July 29th, 2014 at 11:50 AM ^

That is interesting news.  If true that means 1) RT job is Braden's, period, and 2) he may be signaling some confidence to the back-up tackles.  Bars/LTT/Fox/JBB are the back-up options at RT, assuming Cole stays over at LT (which I believe he will). 

Very interesting, given Glasgow looked very good at RT in the spring game.  Surprised he's not the automatic back-up there.  Of course everything could change in fall camp.

Space Coyote

July 29th, 2014 at 12:10 PM ^

Much of the issues last year were communication related. Michigan must be solid in that regard, and Glasgow is by far the most experienced there. It would be one thing if Miller could step in and play at a decently high level, but I don't think that's the case. Glasgow looked alright at RT in spring, but he is not a natural edge player and is a much better fit inside. I think the gap between him and his backups at RT was smaller (and Michigan will likely rotate some of their OGs, Dawson, LTT, etc to RT if they aren't happy with Braden) than his experience edge is on Kugler and his strength advantage over Miller.

The move to RT is spring was not just because Glasgow appeared to be a legit option there, it was also to:

1. Give compitition to the OTs with an experienced player (without Mags, there was essentially no experience at OT)

2. Give experience to the backup OCs

3. See if there was a better complete OL unit by giving guys reps at the other interior positions and slotting Glasgow into the weakest link spot (likely still Center with the experience at OG returning).


July 29th, 2014 at 12:46 PM ^

Like last year, a lot of this revolves around finding the right "mix" of players in the interior. It appears that the best mix involves Glasgow at center. This either means that the guard position looks solid enough that they don't need Graham there (he performed best there last year, which is why they went into the season trying to make Miller work at center), or that center is really desperate.

I'm not too worried about what this means for Kugler just yet; center requires a lot of experience and he's young. It more likely means that Miller will never be a first-choice center here.

But let's see who starts against App State. Glasgow won't play every game, remember.


July 29th, 2014 at 12:23 PM ^

It's hard to really say what any of it means for the offensive considering that inside zone blocking is part of the package that comes with inside zone running, or I believe the two come as a set. To that end, it probably doesn't say anything about Kugler and might say that, in the experimentation that they've undoubtedly done to date, they like Glasgow's size and footwork better at center (Kugler might still be #2 for all we know). It will be interesting to see what the "depth chart" for the offensive line (which may or may not be the depth chart for the offensive line) looks like going into the week of Appalachian State, that's for sure. 


July 29th, 2014 at 3:17 PM ^

It says a RS FR is lagging behind a RS JR.  Which is pretty damn normal - damn the friggin stars.  Glasgow played an entire year, by all accounts was the best of the 3 interior disasters, is a few years older, and in every universe but the one created by Rivals and Scout should be ahead of a 19 year old who has never seen the field, whatever his genetics.

Not attacking you personally but just sick of these "entitlement" position rosters because of STARZ.  It is like asking why is the 4 star RS SO safety not starting ahead of senior Kovacs? I mean Kovacs was a walk on and this guy has STARZ all over him. WHY?!


July 29th, 2014 at 3:58 PM ^

To be fair, Kugler is a natural center, a coach's son, and all we heard about during his recruitment was how ready for the field he was.

But, yes, certainly no room to panic when he is beaten out by a guy two years older, who has seen the field, and played well.


July 30th, 2014 at 9:38 AM ^

He was ready from a knowledge standpoint and from a footwork standpoint.


He played his senior year of HS at under 280.  He wasn't big enough or strong enough.  And then he lost valuable time in the weight room last year b/c of the injury.




July 29th, 2014 at 4:14 PM ^

Maybe I misread it but it doesn't even appear to say that Kugler is behind Glasgow at this point.  Just that Glasgow is going to stick there for good.  We've got our three-man rotation set there and now it's just a matter of figuring out who is 1, 2, and 3.




July 29th, 2014 at 12:49 PM ^

Depends. If your center is significantly better than your backup guard, and there is less of a drop off to the backup center, you may make the switch. A lot of it has to do with what units work best together (or, last year, none of the units working well together). I don't know this but I believe it may actually be possible for Glasgow to make line calls from guard if necessary.

Still, it sounds like they want to get away from this.

Mr. Yost

July 29th, 2014 at 3:50 PM ^

It's defintiely not likely...

But if the backup C is clearly your next best's what you roll with. There are just so many factors and we don't know anyones progression. It's not like NCAA Football series on EA Sports where you see +4, +3, +6 next to everyone.

You can kind of assume at other positions, but with OL you have no idea.

If I had to bet, I'd say there's no way you ever move your center. But last year we couldn't get 5 good OL on the field playing well together. If I told you that we'd only have 6 this year and one would be Glasgow who can play 4 really wouldn't be THAT surprising. It's be disappointing, but shit, I would've taken that last year.

If that was the case, I'd much prefer that Glasgow be the 6th OL and be plug and play, but if he's clearly your best OL, you can't do that.

Again, it's not likely, but if we say Mags, Bosch, Glasgow, Kalis, Braden, Cole and Kugler are your only 7 guys ready to play. Say Mags is dinged and Cole is in, and that just leaves Kugler. If Braden goes down, you're likely bringing Kugler in at C and kicking Glasgow out if Kugler is truly THAT much better than any other backup RT option.

Again, you can bang hypotehticals around til you're blue in the face, truth one knows until after fall camp. Even then, only the coaches and people extremely close to the program know. Unlike almost every other position on the team.

This is why I didn't even list names in my position battles post below.


July 29th, 2014 at 4:11 PM ^

as it means the staff trusts Braden at RT and it allows for some continuity from last year with Glasgow at C (App St game notwithstanding).  All reports touted Braden's freak like abilities so lets start to see that on the field.  An OL of Magnusson, Bosch, Glasgow, Kalis and Braden gives us the best combination of experience (albeit minnimal) Size and skill. 


July 29th, 2014 at 11:56 AM ^

aka Jabrill Peppers. Thankfully Hoke and co have realized that lots of 26 yard returns that look like they could go big are still just 26 yard returns.