What players have exceeded/fallen short of your expectations?

Submitted by Magnus on July 5th, 2010 at 7:49 PM

This board is boring today.  Maybe we can have a discussion about this.

What player(s) has exceeded your expectations in your time as a Michigan fan?  Conversely, which player(s) has fallen short of your expectations?  I'm not looking for anyone to bash any players, but I'm just curious to know - who were you really wrong about?

EXCEEDED: I was not a big fan of Ryan Van Bergen when he came out of high school.  I thought he was a Pat Massey clone.  I figured he would bulk up to play defensive tackle but he would get pushed around.  But he had a good season last year and now I expect him to have a good season replacing Brandon Graham at DE in 2010.

FELL SHORT: I really thought Marcus Witherspoon was going to be a great linebacker at U of M.  He was fast and aggressive and I was extremely excited about him when he signed in 2008.  He had a problem with admissions, which has nothing to do with his football ability.  But then he ended up at Rutgers, couldn't get any playing time, and is no longer with their program.  I don't know if he's transferred to an FCS school or what exactly he's doing now, but I guess I was wrong about him.  Hopefully he gets his head on straight, whether he continues his football career or not.



July 5th, 2010 at 8:50 PM ^

 Even though referring to Sheridan in that way displays an exceeding amount of callousness and ignorance, what part of 

I'm not looking for anyone to bash any players

dont you understand?


July 5th, 2010 at 9:14 PM ^

People around here generally respect Sheridan as a person, as a Michigan man,  and understand that it was the lack fit between him and the system that caused our DEATH. Folks have generally chosen to abandon that nickname for him after it became clear all he did for this program (e.g., unselfishly mentoring Tate and Denard last year). 

+1 for the apology - a lot of new guys would have went on the defensive. Nicely done. 

Maize and Blue…

July 6th, 2010 at 7:30 AM ^

was a walk on.  How could he possibly even be considered for this category.  For Nick's sake lets just remember him for the Minnesota game in 2008 and the fact that he did all he could for us during his playing career.  Hopefully, his time spent on the field in AA makes him a better coach.


July 5th, 2010 at 8:58 PM ^

I agree w/ the talent being there thats why i feel he has fallen short of expectations. I still feel Stonum has time to turn it around for his career but so far i expected him to be more of a top flight big ten receiver than he has. Plus Tate's scrambling and lack of QB play in yr. one hasn't hurt Tay Odoms productivity.

Litt1e Rhino

July 5th, 2010 at 8:44 PM ^

Many have exceeded but one that I had little expectations for was mike Hart. He ment everything to the offense and I am so glad I got to see him play.

Fell short is the whole 2006 team. I can not think of a team so stockpiled with talent and fell just short against Ohio State then pretty much didn't show up against USC.
They were the best team in the country and have nothing to show for it.


July 6th, 2010 at 9:49 AM ^

They were the best team in the country and have nothing to show for it.

The reason they have nothing to show for it is because they weren't the best team in the country.  As you pointed out in your post, they weren't as good as OSU or USC.  Those things are obviously contradictory.


July 5th, 2010 at 8:40 PM ^

Exceeded: Roh - I could have never guessed he would have turned out so good so early. the next couple of years should be great for him.

Fell short: Rountree. Literally. Against Illinois. At the 1-yard line. I keed, I keed. I love me some Roundtree. In all seriousness, a tie between Minor Rage and Carlos Brown. And for the same reasons - not because of athleticism or ability. Because being injury-prone sucks. 


July 5th, 2010 at 9:01 PM ^

exceeded: Charles Woodson.  After his freshman year I knew he was going to be good.  But never in my wildest dreams did I (then) think he would win a Heisman trophy.

Fallen short: I second me's nomination of Cato June.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:01 PM ^

I'm going to do current players only:

Fell Short: Mike Williams.  A four star safety to both Rivals and Scout - he got absolutely burned last year and does not appear to be in the two-deep at any position this year. 

Exceeded: Roy Roundtree.  If you had told me he'd be our top receiver last year, I would have called you both a fool and a liar.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:02 PM ^

Exceeded: David Cone. I never thought he would do much, but his rapping skills and dope acting have shown me to never doubt him. Not to mention that spring game...

Fell Short: the Freep.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:08 PM ^

exceed: Glad to see Mike Cox doing well, hope it translates on the field in sept.

Fell short:  without listing the givens who left the team,  J.B. Fitzgerald has not lived up to his HS hype


July 5th, 2010 at 9:10 PM ^

Exceeded: Jordan Kovacs. Nuff said.

Fell Short: Obviously still way early and the kid hasn't even played but Justin Turner has fallen short of the unrealistic expectations i had for him. Still time though.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:11 PM ^

Exceeded: J. Kovacs, kid was a walk-on and started ahead of a couple scholarship starters.  He was not great by any means but played his ass off and gave more effort than anyone not named Brandon.   He can start for the next 3 years and I will be his biggest supporter.

Fell Short:   D. Warren just for the opposite reasons I picked Kovacs.  Had all the talent, but just seemed lazy at times and possibly one of the players that didn't "buy in" to Rodriquez.   He was expected to be a shut-down corner and towards the end of the last year teams started to pick on him and stay away from Woolfolk.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

I can't believe we're 32 comments in and no one has said this...EDIT: wlvrine beat me to it

Exceeded: Charles Woodson. This was still before the time of Rivals, Scout, and 24/7/365 coverage of 17 year olds so even if someone was a sought after recruit, no one really knew about it.

Fallen: Boo Boo. While I never thought he shouldve been a 5 star recruit in the first place, he still was a major disappointment.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:23 PM ^

Exceeded: Tom Brady, I was in Drew Henson's camp from the beginning and never really gave Brady a chance.  Alabama game says it all. 


Fell Short: Kevin Grady, I was extremely excited for him coming after what he did in high school only to fall short his whole career.


Great Topic!!!


July 5th, 2010 at 9:30 PM ^

Well there is David Bowens, Jon Ritchie, Fargas who all went on to play pro ball but didn't finish @ UM.

There is June, Burgess, Butterfield, Grady Brooks, Shazor, Watson, Massey, Rasheed Simmons, and I'll say Schilling as well although he isn't done. These guys were all 4-5 star guys who never really lived up to 5 star status. Sazor and Watson for sure had their moments but I was always expecting more. Hell Branch could go there as well and Mouton although he went through different coaches and positions.

Exceeded - Hart is the ultimate. It's hard because I've followed recruiting for such a long time, getting The Wolverine paper delivered even before I had internet access. Michigan always recruited so well and there was so much hype for most of the players in the class. D Jones was one here. I believe he had some injury which cost him his Sr yr and camps and such and was I think one of the last players to sign that year. He was an incredible LB for Michigan. Andre Weathers was a good story and really did well opposite of Woodson. Roundtree for sure is one who has exceeded so far. There could be alot to add to this list after this year.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:33 PM ^

Exceeded: Mike Hart.

Fell short: Matt Gutierrez. Obviously he got hurt and Henne never gave him a chance to get the job back, but I had high hopes coming into 2004. Surprised no one has mentioned him yet.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:34 PM ^

Exceeded - Braylon Edwards. I don't remember how much hype he had, only that he hadn't played football for very long before destroying every corner and safety in his path. I do remember scout giving him the usual unknown 3-star rating


Fail - I'd roll with Gabe Watson or Kevin Grady

Zone Left

July 5th, 2010 at 9:37 PM ^

  Drew Henson disappointed in a way, but only because he left.  I can't blame him for following his pro baseball dream.  I remember reading his dream was to play 3rd for the Yankees.  I wish he would have really given football his best shot.

Tom Brady and Mike Hart are the obvious candidates for exceeded expectations.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:42 PM ^

Fell short: Greg Mathews. His senior year, I really expected him to approach 1000 yards recieving, yet for whatever reason, the QBs had difficulty getting him the ball. That's partly because they were freshman, yet he seemed to make less and less plays as the year went on.


Exceeded: Brandon Graham. There are five star recruits, and there are five star recruits that live up to their hype.

But never have I seen a guy with the raw talent of a future 1st rounder combined with the grittiness and pure fire of , say, Michael Hart. He simply produced game in and game out. Michigan's next future Hall of Famer in my opinion.



July 5th, 2010 at 9:46 PM ^

Fell short: Stevie Brown. Going into his sophomore year (also my sophomore year) I thought he was going to be tremendous. Up until that point he was a great playmaker on special teams, and based on recruiting hype and measurables I figured that he was going to be a stud. Although he finally put it together his senior season after a much-needed position switch, he never panned out as a safety despite the number of games that he started.


Exceeded: Kevin Koger. If I remember correctly, he came in as a DE (or at least as a DE/TE), and I figured he was destined for a redshirt with all of the older guys in front of him on the depth chart. Instead, he ended up as a full-time TE, a freshman starter, and one of the best players on our offense.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:56 PM ^

Stevie Brown exceeded expectations because after his first 3 years nobody expected him to do anything but came out and one was one the better players Michigan had last year.  You also can't discount the loyalty and pride he showed last year after getting bashed the previous year, making the position shift, and not laying down like some of his other teammates. 


July 5th, 2010 at 10:25 PM ^

Indeed -- as far as his senior year goes, I agree. But I was comparing his performance to my expectations coming into his sophomore year, when I expected him to be a solid three-year starter at safety and eventual All-Big 10.


I'm sure that nobody could have predicted the exact nature of his roller coaster of a career, but I'm glad that it finished with some great play as a senior and an eventual selection in the draft.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:47 PM ^

Exceeded: Hart and Edwards.

Fell Short: Cissoko and Kevin Grady. I hope Turner turns things around, because he could end up here as well.


July 5th, 2010 at 9:57 PM ^

Exceeded: Graham, Woodley, Hart, and Manningham (plenty more, but I'm going from since I started watching UM football, which was in like 2002, 2003-ish)

Fell Short: Threet, Grady, A-Air, Witherspoon, Cissoko, Grady (both of them really, although, Kelvin to a much lesser extent), DWarren (Prolly could've done with another year... lol)


July 5th, 2010 at 10:17 PM ^

I'm surprised at the number of people who have said that Craig Roh has exceeded their expectations.  I really thought all (well, most) Michigan fans thought he was going to be good in the first place.


July 5th, 2010 at 10:32 PM ^

I would say that winning a starting job as a true freshman is usually above most fans' expectations for almost all players, outside of those who are extremely highly-touted 5-star types or who come in at positions of extreme need. At least that's how I look at it.