March 30th, 2010 at 7:54 AM ^

But a 3rd for Ezeh. Hopefully he matures with the consistency and blows up. Also, Roh and RVB. I don't see them as 'leaders' like I hope Ezeh and woolfolk have become, but I hope they pull that role next year.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:44 AM ^

Cam Gordon just blowing up would be great. Him plus DG being big players for the next 3-4 years would take the Ink-town pipeline to "lock down" status. Inkster (which is basically Coach Carter going into Detroit and getting kids to enroll there) plus Cass Tech would put us in a great spot to get the best kids out of Detroit every year. Minus of course the few stars who come through Renisuck.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:50 AM ^

I would love it if Gordon and Gardner have great Michigan careers, but Inkster hasn't produced a ton of high-quality talent. They have a few kids who are worthy of MAC-level offers, and despite a lot of hype, Dwight Trammer might not be an elite recruit.

I would put Cass Tech and Renaissance well above Inkster in the talent-producing hierarchy.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:23 AM ^

We need a deep threat. So whether thats Junior staying healthy and gaining consistency or Stonum finally learning body control and being able to adjust that would help out tremendously. Defense got to be an LB. I'm pulling for Obi (for the 3rd straight year) since he seems like a great kid and a hard worker.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:23 AM ^

But Tate. Frankly, we cut down on INTs and Turnovers LAST year, how many more games do we win? Big ones even. He makes a big leap from a good freshman, to his sophomore year, and our offense could be pretty damn good. (O-Line should be better, Receivers are solid, and we'll find someone to run the ball, even if they're not a future great). And it'd cover up a lot of problems of defense by keeping them off the field and, duh, scoring a lot of points. Because I don't think one guy is going to save the defense.


March 30th, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

Having Tate have a better year, means the player that directs the offense has a better year, which == more points, hopefully more game clock used up as well, which supports the defense too. QB improvement will be key. howeva if I went on to the defensive side, it seems that our LB's and thier ability to make the correct read would go a long way to stopping the TE from getting 549yds per game against us.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:30 AM ^

This team won't win any games if the defense can't defend against the pass. How about Turner, Floyd, Emilien, Gordon, doesn't matter really who.

I already get the feeling that the LB play will be much improved over last year. Hopefully Tate also makes a good jump this year, and cuts down on turnovers. Truly, I'm hoping for improvement from everyone.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:33 AM ^

...because our defense needs a solid run stopper in the middle.

But I'm also rooting for Mike Cox. He came here and nobody gave him a chance. Then he destroyed all comers whenever he got on the field last year, although it was only against EMU and DSU.

The kid is a Brandon Minor clone. WOTS is that he still misses some assignments, but this kid can play. Cox and Toussaint are both going to be good running backs for the next few years, IMO.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:58 AM ^

Every report from spring practice has our running backs being Cox and Shaw. Shaw has been extremely impressive this spring, from all the reports coming out of the practices. I'm not quite sure why everyone keeps writing him off like they used to do with Cox. Everyone keeps talking about Toussaint like he's going to be our go-to-guy, but from what he's been showing this spring that's not very likely. And when Vincent Smith gets back in the fall, there's a good chance that Toussaint will be put back into the fourth position. I'm not saying that Toussaint won't be a good running back, I've heard impressive things about him too, but it's most likely not happening this year. And don't take this as a bad sign either. This is great news, IMO, as it means that things are happening as they should. Shaw and Cox are both progressing the way they should as upperclassmen (although Cox is just a sophomore, technically). I expect great things out of Shaw this year. He's got all the athletic tools to be great and now we're finally hearing he's putting the whole package together.


March 30th, 2010 at 9:14 AM ^

When I said "over the next few years," I literally meant "few" as in "more than two." I have nothing against Shaw. I think he's going to be good. But Cox has three years left, and Toussaint has four. Shaw only has two years.

Anyway, I know everyone's all hyped up about Vincent Smith, but I just don't think he has the physical gifts to be a force in the Big Ten. I think he'll get passed up by a couple other backs. He seems to be a quick learner and a willing pass blocker, but part of the reason he played so much in 2009 was because he was the only back who was able to stay healthy (until the OSU game, anyway) other than Cox. Minor, Brown, Shaw, and Toussaint all had significant injuries last year. Smith has a little speed and a few moves, but I don't think he really has any physical superiority over our other backs.


March 30th, 2010 at 10:45 AM ^

I do totally agree with you that the other backs on our team have more of the physical gifts that we need at running back in the Big Ten. But football is not all about physicality. The reason I love football so much is that on top of the physicality involved, it's like a game of chess. What I like about Smith is his ability to read defenses and find holes and running lanes. He doesn't have the size or top-end speed that would make his game complete, but his shiftiness and overall agility combined with his vision and ability to know where to run with the ball make him very dangerous. I don't think you're going to see him break away for the home run very often but he's going to be a reliable back during his career. He's going to be the type of player that can consistently pick up 4-10 yards. I just wouldn't put him in there to pass block very often.


March 30th, 2010 at 11:50 AM ^

No offense to anyone involved, but saying Vincent Smith can be as physical as Martavious Odoms doesn't instill me with confidence. Both are willing blockers, and yes, I remember Odoms' blocking. But Odoms has broken very few tackles, and Smith only weighs about 170-175 lbs. Saying he can "put a linebacker on his back" is probably a little generous; I will be somewhat surprised if he does so at any point in his career. It's just not really his style.


March 30th, 2010 at 11:40 AM ^

I don't necessarily disagree, but in this offense at a place like Michigan, I feel like we should have an All Big Ten/All American/Heisman candidate at running back every year, and I can't picture Smith being All Big Ten. I think he's a solid backup, but maybe not much more.

I do agree that he's pretty good in space. If we can use him occasionally in the slot or motioning out of the backfield, I'm all for getting him the ball in situations like that. I'd just rather not see him get 20 carries a game or something like that.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:41 AM ^

Having him meet or exceed his recruiting hype by this year means he would be DOMINATING. A killer pass-rush line or a run-stuff line really helps out our young secondary, and doesn't put the linebackers in position to make as many mistakes as in the recent past.


March 30th, 2010 at 8:55 AM ^

The one guy I'm rooting for to have a big year, because honestly I just like him, is Mike Cox. I feel like this kid could be a stud, and it seems like he's overlooked alot around here. I see people hoping Hopkins can step in and take over for Minor. I honestly hope Cox gets a ton of reps and we can possibly redshirt the big guy. Get a couple years seperation for some of these backs we have. Even if it was only against the baby seals of the world, I love the way Cox runs, and I hope we see alot more of him this year.

A guy I "hope" breaks out is Mouton. This guy is actually a pretty solid/good player. The problem is his play list goes:

Good play, average play, average play, good play, OH MY GOD WHAT THE **** TERRIBLE play

Great play, good play, great play, OH MY GOD WHAT THE **** TERRIBLE play.

I he could just cut out a few of the OH MY GOD WHAT THE **** TERRIBLE plays, he could actually be a very good LB, and that would help our overall defense tremendously.


March 30th, 2010 at 9:29 AM ^

Greg Banks. I had a class with him in my last semester and he was really humble - just a nice guy - I really hope he plays well.

Ricardo Miller: hopefully his game matches his passion for the maize & blue.

D. Dorsey because we need that swag back.


March 30th, 2010 at 9:41 AM ^

whoever is tasked with holding onto the football the most.

Be it Tate, Denard, a RB or WR. The turnovers will be the difference between 5-6 wins or 7-8 wins I believe.


March 30th, 2010 at 9:49 AM ^

I would say Jordan Kovacs, but he's already a freshman All-American, and everything else we get from him the next three years is gravy, IMHE.

But I'll say Mike Williams.

Or Obi Ezeh.

Or Will Campbell.

Or Vlad Emilien.

I tend to root intensely for the players that Internet "experts" like to call hopeless, or busts, or not good enough. After all, no matter what we may think, they are just college kids playing for the school we all love to root for.