Hoke awards Scholarships to 7 Walk-On players

Submitted by BlueBarron on August 28th, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Per Kovacs's Twitter post:

"Jordan Kovacs @JKovacs32

This morning, coach Hoke awarded 7 walk-ons with scholarships at team meeting. Special day for them and for Michigan! #WalkOnNation"

(Don't know how to embed Twitter posts).

Seems fitting that Kovacs would be the one to post this. Any guesses on who the 7 might be?



August 28th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

Walk-on Scholarships are always one year, because you never know what class a kid will be in when he gets one awarded. Doesn't even matter, though. The scholarship crunch next year is taken care of by senior departure and non-renewed 5th years, for the most part. The 85 overall limit never really came into play for it.


August 28th, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

Is it just me or does "Captain Kovacs" just sound like he should be part of the Justice League or The Avengers.  UM now has their super hero duo with...

        Captain Kovacs and the Dilithium Kid?? 

(I know there has got to be a million other superhero nicknames for Denard, but Dilithium Kid is what popped into my head)


August 28th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

There is not a numbers crunch this year.  There are only 75 players on the roster who came to Michigan on a Letter of Intent.  So there are as many as 10 players (including Kovacs, of course) who came to Michigan as walkons who are on scholarship this season.


Perkis-Size Me

August 28th, 2012 at 1:35 PM ^

If any of these walk-ons are O-linemen, can we put them ahead of the freshmen, especially Kalis and Magnuson? At the end of the day, I know we need to put the best guys out there, but I'd rather not have any of those guys, especially offensive linemen, get thrown into the fire their freshman year. Do whatever it takes to keep them on the sideline and in the weight room until they're ready, especially when one of those guys (Kalis) is the crown jewel of your most recent recruiting class.


August 28th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

can put them ahead of the freshman without this scholarship. This changes nothing regarding the skills of the players. IMO, if Kalis is the best or even 2nd best option, burn the redshirt. There is a wave of OL players coming behind him so it doesn't make a ton of sense to save him if he is in fact a better option.


August 28th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

Sure we can start them ahead of the freshmen. In fact, if you yourself are enrolled at Michigan, theoretically, you could start ahead of the freshmen.

But Hoke and Borges and especially Mattison have been very consistent:  


Aiee, I hate all caps. But the coaching staff have stayed on message with this all along. If you look at the LB corps last year, and the secondary, you saw different starters, based on the level of play. While it was injury related Woolfolk was somewhat "demoted" in the secondary.

There are at least two caveats/exceptions I can think of (to "the best player" principle):

  1. If two players are more or less equal, the walkon might start instead of the freshman. There are tradeoffs. Quite possibly the walkon knows the technique and the scheme better than the freshman whose head is spinning, even though the freshman might be faster and more athletic.
  2. If two players are more or less equal, the senior might start instead of the freshman. I think that Hoke wants to reward players who work hard and stick it out, even if they are not quite as athletic. And every teacher understands this principle. The kid who puts 100% in is rewarded more than the more talented kid who puts 50% in. This possibly came into play with BWC in the past.



August 28th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

You never, ever lose a trick inentionally. You have these kids for (at most) four playing years whether you RS them or not. If they're your best options this year, you use them THIS year. Might they be even better later? Sure, they might. They might also not. Or the rest of the team might collapse around them. Wouldn't you be upset we didn't use Kalis his freshman year when putting him in might have gotten us 11-2 instead of 9-4 if it turns out his magnificent senior year is spent surrounded by a bunch of ineptitude he can't fix by himself?

Play your best card.


August 28th, 2012 at 2:31 PM ^

It depends. If a freshman is appreciably better than a walkon, put him in. But if he is only slightly better, is it worth the loss of a year? Would you put a true freshman in against Baby Seal / MAC Snack U to give your starters rest? Conversely, would you put a redshirt in against Alabama if you were being blown out and weren't going to win? Would you put a freshman in to replace a starter with a cramp, a starter who had to come out that day, but would be able to play the rest of the reason? Would you put a freshman in near the end of a season when you knew you couldn't win the Big 10 and were somewhat playing the string out? In all these scenarios, I think I would put in a walkon/backup ahead of a true freshman.

If I were a coach at Ohio last year, I wouldn't have used a redshirt against Michigan. In fact, I think that two years ago, Ryan might have been better than some of our LB Corps, but I'm glad they didn't play him as a true freshman.

In general, I think you're correct. But a strategy of instant gratification doesn't always pay off. Sometimes, even if they're highly talented, freshmen really need a year to acclimate, gain weight, improve strength, get the technique and schemes down, etc.


August 28th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

As I said, even if he is only slightly better, that might be the different between the Champs Sports and the Capitol One bowls. You save him, and you've still only got 4 years out of him, with no guarantee in any of those years that you'll approach the same level of success you had this year.

You can't see the future. Play for the present.


August 28th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

off topic but I must correct the opinion that you never ever lose a trick intentionally in Euchre.

Here is a typical scenario where you would want to lose a trick on purpose in order to set yourself up for the win.

  • You have called trump (hearts)
  • The hand is tied at one trick a piece
  • You are holding the right bauer, queen of hearts, nine of clubs
  • You have seen all of the trump cards except the ace and the ten of hearts
  • It is apparent your partner has no power
  • The player to your right leads a nine of spades


Here are your options:

  • Cut with the queen leaving yourself open to the possibility that the player to your left cuts behind you with the ace.  If your queen flies great but if it gets cut with the ace you would then have to cut the next trick with the right bauer and hope the ten of hearts is buried.  (Cuz your nine of clubs ain't goin' no where)
  • Cut with the right and then lead the nine of clubs, hoping the ace of hearts will come out which would make your queen boss.  There is also the possibility one of the other trump cards are buried.  If your nine of clubs gets cut with the ten of hearts and the other players have the ace then you are screwed.
  • Best option:  lose the trick intentionally.  throw the nine of clubs on the nine of spades.  Force the player to your left to win the trick, even if he is able to win it using only a ten of spades.  Once the lead for the final two tricks starts from your left you are then guaranteed to win the final two tricks.


August 28th, 2012 at 4:05 PM ^

I thought Kalis was rated so highly in part because he is so college ready, unlike most freshmen OL's.  Doesn't mean he won't get better as an upperclassman, but there's no sense in sitting a kid who's ready just to have him four years from now when he's even more ready.

If he's not ready, then yes, sit.  But otherwise, I hope he steps up and has a great year.

Red is Blue

August 28th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

Don't disagree, but there is really no way of telling whether being thrown out there (even if not fully ready) would have given him valuable experience or would have ruined his confidence.  I don't know him, but judging by how he handles himself in public, I tend to believe that it would have given him experience without hurting his confidence and therefore he might have been just that much better this year.  Of course if he comes back, the incremental value gained by playing as a true freshman is likely <<< value he would add as a 5th year senior.