Is John O'Korn The Great Hope?

Submitted by stephenrjking on November 6th, 2015 at 11:53 AM

Next year's defense is going to be great, right? Our OL is mostly back, and there's even cautious optimism that Cole might be able to fill right in at center with Newsome moving to LT, and one of our RBs (or a future 5-star RB, hypothetically) will surely be able to have a strong season next year.

Our receivers are good but not great, but the play on the field has clearly shown that Harbaugh and Drevno know how to draw up plays that will get them open. They just need someone to get them the ball.

...It sounds to me like we're a QB away from being a serious playoff contender next season. Like, really serious, preseason top 5 type. But it doesn't look like it will be Shane, with mounting whisper evidence that he may transfer. Wilton Speight made a couple of plays but there's no evidence that he's anything other than a career backup here. And it's not clear yet what Zach Gentry will be--Angelique Chengelis (who I like) took a vague non-denial by Tim Drevno and turned it into a story suggesting that Gentry may switch positions.

That leaves us with transfer John O'Korn. I saw one or two people in isolated threads say that they heard he looks good in practice, but we hear that about hundreds of guys. He does have a year of experience starting at Houston, with promising but mixed results. But, really, we know nothing about what he will be on the field in a Michigan uniform.

There's a lot riding on this. Anyone know what to expect?



November 6th, 2015 at 1:04 PM ^

At Iowa he had a run game and 3/4 years in the system with guys in thier 3rd and 4th year in the system.

At Michigan he has no run game along with guys who are what, 9 months into the new system.


CJ Beathard from Iowa has looked like the truth.  Rudock knew he wasn't going to start in his 5th year there.


November 6th, 2015 at 1:42 PM ^

Not calling Rudock great or anything, but I'm pretty sure Iowa would be undefeated if he was still starting there too...they have trailed at the half once this year (2nd game @ Iowa State by 7) and haven't had to rely on the passing game to create any offense or try to out score anyone. Their Offensive line and running back play has exceeded all expectations and their D has been lights out when called upon. Their only real scares were Pitt (won on a 57 yd fg as time expired) and Wisc, who fumbled at the Iowa 2 when driving for the game winning TD late in the 4th. To say Rudock's play would have been any worse than Beatherd's in those games is a stretch to say the least. Beatherd's Pitt line was 27-40 for 258 yds and 1 INT, Wisc line was 9-21 (!!!) for 77 yds (!!!!!), 1 TD and 1 INT. Iowa has won because of their run game and defensive play. Not due to great QB play, no matter what Iowa fans or national media may say.


November 6th, 2015 at 2:05 PM ^

but Beathard is a better QB than Rudock, plain and simple. Physically and mentally. They were so certain of this they basically told him after the bowl game last year. I mean Rudock was touted as this turnover averse game manager, when in reality he may have just been protected by Kirk's offense and a running game. His issues here(routinely missing on deep balls) was something I laughed at all my Hawkeye friends for the last few years. Now it's our reality. 


Beathard has been hurt this year with a sprained ankle and when he's healthy he can actually run pretty well too. He's not a world beater but unquestionable better than Rudock. I can say that because I've seen every Iowa and every Michigan game the last few years. 




November 6th, 2015 at 2:32 PM ^

It was once Jerald Robinson and then it was Will Campbell and then it was Dennis Norfleet and then it was Ondre Pipkins and then it was Shane Morris and then it was Dymonte Thomas and then it was Amarah Darboh and then it was Derrick Green and then it was Freddy Canteen and then it was Ty Isaac and then it was Drake Harris and then it was Whodideye Miss and now it is Josh OKorn and soon it will be Kareem Walker and then it will be Somebody Else, so for now I am just going to be really happy that we have Jourdan Lewis and Jabril Peppers and Willie Henry and damn it even Drake Johnson and Jehu Chesson and Jake Butt because I have a 4-year old boy and Jake Butt is just the most perfect football player that ever was to a 4-year old boy.  What were we talking about again?


November 6th, 2015 at 2:47 PM ^

There will be some serious questions to address beyond the massive one at QB.

1. OC.  Hey look, you can pencil in Newsome or Kugler or some 5-star recruit if you want to, but we've seen time and time again that you don't go from a high quality 5th year senior to something else without some hiccups.

2. BUCK.  It says something that moving ILBs to BUCK has been the answer here. I stood next to Jones and Johnson and those guys are well above their listed weights.  They're small for DEs, yes, but not THAT small. Why is Marshall buried?  Are we really going to rely on a true freshman recruit?  Are we really going to try to use a prototypical SDE at 270 pounds here (Charlton)?  So many questions.

3. ILB.  Hey look it's great that Gedeon looks good and is earning snaps but that leaves us a grand total of one proven LB.  This has grad-transfer stop-gap written all over it.

4.  SAFETY.  Dymonte Thomas' play is very encouraging but raise your hand if you feel totally comfortable with Hill and Thomas as your starting safeties.

5.  FB.  Poggi will get a lot better but the Michigan O is a lot more effective if the FB is a run/pass threat.

6. OL depth. Barring a big leap from Dawson, Kugler, or one of the non-Newsome freshman we are still an injury away from trouble.

Where we DON'T have to worry:  RB, WR, TE, most of the OL, DL!!!, CB, P/K (thank you Kenny Allen!)


Avon Barksdale

November 6th, 2015 at 12:01 PM ^

Is Cole to Center even a thing or is that made up? I might have overlooked it, but I've always thought Kugler would be a future NFL'er. We will be fine at QB.

Morris, Speight, O'Korn, Malzone, Gentry, or Peters will do an admirable job going 15-22 for 190 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT per game next year.


November 6th, 2015 at 12:47 PM ^

Dear Leader hisownself suggested a line next year of Newsome, Kalis, Cole, Braden, Mags.

I do like your quarterback stats just so long as they're against OSU/Sparty/Wisconsin.  Gotta figure one of these guys will work out.


November 6th, 2015 at 1:18 PM ^

uhhh even in the heydey we had a bunch of rs jr playing OL. 

And no we are not at that point.  The much heralded 2013 class mostly transferred or was kicked off team so in about 14 months our OL will be:

Cole (sr), Newsome? (jr), Dawson? (rs jr) , Kugler? (rs jr), and IDK.  And this assumes Dawson and Kugler will not be beaten out by younger guys like JBB just was by Newsome. Could see runyan jr or Ulizio or one of the 2016 recruits on that line for all we know. 



November 6th, 2015 at 5:01 PM ^

My question is, which guy do you want:

  90 173 951 52.0 5.50 67 6 8        
  259 446 3117 58.1 6.99 83 28 10

They are both O'Korn, and neither looks like a game manager.  The freshman O'Korn with the 7 YPA and the almost acceptable completion percentage looks more Farvish than game managerish. The sophomore O'Korn is a disaster.

The biggest reason to have confidence in O'Korn (more than Rudock) is he's not showing up 6 weeks before his first start. He's got a full year with this staff, and I'm sure he'll be at his best next fall. I think he can be as good as Rudock or better.

I am hoping, I must admit, for Brandon Peters to just come in and own this thing. Second hope: Gentry owns it, and pushes Peters to a red-shirt. Third hope is that O'Korn is better than either, but that it's close enough that one of those two (Gentry/Peters) has a shot at beating him out in 2017.  My belief is that both of those guys have a higher ceiling than O'Korn, and that's not an insult to him at all.




November 6th, 2015 at 5:59 PM ^

It's crazy to believe but guys 2 years removed from their freshman year generally improve.  Sometimes a lot. 

I am one saying hold the hype train on O'Korn but his freshman year was very promising even if at a lower level of competition.  The SO year makes one give pause but if you put that sort of data out as a freshman it's good.  And you don't expect a JR to simply replicate what he could do as a FR.


November 7th, 2015 at 8:52 AM ^

Completing under 60% of you passes is never good. You just hope you can hit some big plays to balance it out. Having said that, the film i have seen on O'Korn looks like he is still a work in progress. My belief is that Harbaugh is desperately trying to buy Shane another year, because he feels Shane has a good chance be your starter next  year.


November 6th, 2015 at 12:31 PM ^

i see a battle between o'korn, gentry and peters next year.  speight and malzone being longshots.

i expect o'korn to be at least marginally better than rudock and win the job.  if o'korn becomes a top-end big ten QB, we are in business for a great run next year.  if not, i could easily see peters or gentry winning the year.

either way, JH has several options next year, all of which should be better than this year.


November 6th, 2015 at 12:55 PM ^

1- He looked like he caught a little rhythm last week after early jitters.  Maybe he's good regardless of who recruited him.

2- He has evidently been #2 for several weeks now and presumably is getting the #2 reps in practice.  He'll be the most seasoned guy in our system going into Spring camp.

3- It seems clear that Shane is not as good as everyone had hoped and that he will not see additional significant snaps for Michigan.  Still, he is a physical commodity who was the clear #1 coming out of last Spring.  He would likely start for several B1G teams.  Speight beat him.


November 6th, 2015 at 1:35 PM ^

he'll be playing.  Freshman QB are pretty dicey, but Josh Rosen seems to be doing well this year.  The Stidham kid who is starting for Baylor giving Russell's injury looks awfully good for a freshman, too.  Will be interesting to see how well he plays during Baylor's stretch run in the Big 12.

Is Peters going to step in and be the man?  Probably not, but never say never.


November 6th, 2015 at 1:55 PM ^

Peters is better as a HS senior than Rudock is as a fifth year college senior.  I know the game "speeds up" when moving from level to level, but Peters already moves as fast as Rudock, thinks as fast as Rudock, and can complete the long pass.  

I agree with the previous poster: it's O'Korn vs Peters next year.  And don't be surprised if Peters wins the job.


November 6th, 2015 at 2:38 PM ^

Peters will most definitely not see the field unless several injuries occur. Harbaugh's system is infinitely more compelx than anything Peters has seen and everyone here already has a year underneath their belts.

In 17' I can see him pushing for the backup role and maybe even the starting spot if O'Korn fails to live up to expectations. But he will sit next year. I have no doubt that that is what is going to happen.