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.


Dark Blue

July 5th, 2010 at 10:41 PM ^

Exceeded: Jamie Morris, Mike Hart, Jordan Kovacs, and Brian Griese.


Fell short: D Warren, Mike Williams, Drew Henson, and probably Brandon Minor.


July 5th, 2010 at 10:49 PM ^

I like the stories of when you think someone fell short and then you find out something. Allen Jefferson was a hot recruit a long time ago and never did much and then Bo found out that he had some kind of growth on his leg so that he  could hardly walk but didn't tell anyone. I just feel kind of sorry for someone like that    


July 5th, 2010 at 11:03 PM ^

Fell Short - Nick Sheridan.  Not kidding - when I heard he was going to start, I figured that maybe this could be one of those inspirational stories about the scrappy kid with a dream who refuses to give up and somehow ends up starting at the school of his dreams, and have a succcessful season ending with him being carried off the field by his teammates and possbly even getting the hot girl.  Damn you, eighties movies, for setting my expectations unreasonably high.


July 5th, 2010 at 11:00 PM ^

Exceeded: Hart, David Harris, Jake Long, Morgan Trent (I thought he did well and my expectations were not insane), Mesko

Short: Shazor, Scott McIntosh, Baraka, Gabe Watson, Kevin Grady, Jeremy van Alstyne (remember we heard so many rumblings about him tearing it up in the offseason), Jeremy Jackson, Jim Presley (sucks he left), Max Martin, Massey, Eugene Germany, Carlos Brown...

Sextus Empiricus

July 6th, 2010 at 2:22 AM ^

as a sophomore!!!...admittedly preseason honors don't mean much.  He is a legacy so there was some expectation but to see him crash and stuff the run (except Darius Willis of course...) it was above and beyond.

Given the weaknesses I have to say I'm surprised Van Slyke didn't play some more...

EDIT:Make that 4th Team B10...Behind Sukay, Sash and and Jay Vallai...I used to remember stuff...


July 5th, 2010 at 11:28 PM ^

Fell Short:  Steve Schilling, Donovan Warren, Tim Jamison, Eugene Germany, Carlos Brown, LaTerryal Savoy, Brandon Moore, Terrence Robinsonm, JB Fitzgerald

I realize some of this guys careers are incomplete and some were actually pretty good and started multiple years, but nonetheless these are guys I pegged as stars who didn't quite get there.


Exceeded: David Moosman, Perry Dorrestein, Troy Woolfolk ( I still think hes underrated), Reuben Riley, Tate Forcier (i knew he'd be good right away, but on the whole and removed from constant nitpicking his every flaw, he was amazing for a true freshman qb - His qb rating of 128 was only 4 below Henne's freshman mark who was universally praised and had the bilentnikoff winner)


July 5th, 2010 at 11:40 PM ^

You listed a lot of guys who you say have fallen short, and although about half of them haven't gotten to the point in their careers where you'd expect them to do anything yet, I will strongly disagree with Schilling.  Yes, he was a 5-star, you if you're in the camp that every 5-star should be All-American by their junior year, then I suppose he's fallen short.  But Schilling will be a 4-year starter on the OL, sometimes asked to play OT when his natural position is OG, and at many times been the best player on the OL.  He's not Jake Long, but he's been the only lineman since Jake who we knew had secured his spot every week and didn't struggle with injuries. 

Molk has certainly shined when he's in, but Schilling will have been the anchor for our OL for 3 full years, and if he has the senior he should will be an NFL draft pick.  Even for a 5-star, that's not falling short of expectations.


July 5th, 2010 at 11:58 PM ^

I wasn't arguing that he wasn't good.  He has been a solid starter for us and I am appreciative of that fact and the work he has put in.  The question, however, was based on expectation.  I don't think all 5 stars will pan out and in fact, try to reserve my optimism before seeing guys play.  I just knew he was touted for his mobility and I thought he was a smart kid with a great recruiting profile and had star potential.  He obviously hasnt reached that.


And I think we are nearing the point with Moore and especially JBFitz were if they were to contribute in any meaningful way, that would be seen as a bonus at this point.  Not exactly what we were hoping for.  TRob, especially is too young to write off and I wasn't doing that, just more or less stating that I haven't seen too much to think he'll crack the stacked slot rotation very often.


July 6th, 2010 at 12:03 AM ^

Exceeded: Mike Cox. There is NO DOUBT Mike Cox has exceeded expectations.

Fell Short: Devin Gardner. That guy was supposed to be the top QB? And what he hasn't done CRAP since.


July 6th, 2010 at 12:08 AM ^

one has mentioned:

In the class with Mike Hart, Mike Hart was supposed to be the career back-up to.....


Max Martin. 


His offer list:



Michigan COMMITTED (09/16/2003) Offered 11/22/2003  
Alabama None Offered None  
Auburn None Offered None  
Georgia None Offered None  
LSU None Offered None  
Notre Dame None Offered None  

#15 RB out of Alabama http://rivals.yahoo.com/michigan/football/recruiting/player-Max-Martin-17295;_ylt=AlVUACQNv4LzPVJnNZ1jbB5mspB4

He was supposed to be "the man" out of high school and got completely showed up by Mike Hart. 


July 6th, 2010 at 12:25 AM ^

Exceeded- Roundtree and Kovacs

Fell Short- 2009 Pass Blocking

Even in watching the early games last year, it was amazing to see how often Tate had to make something out of nothing.  I wonder how much of their pass protection woes have to do with talent and how much of it is coaching (not meant as an insult to the staff).


July 6th, 2010 at 1:41 AM ^

Exceeded: Anthony Carter. The beginning of the Florida pipeline.  Seriously, who really expected him to score in so many incredible ways, and average 17+ yards every touch coming into a run-focused attack?

Fell Short: Recently, probably Booboo.  He had some pretty good hype out of high school, and just completely fell apart.


July 6th, 2010 at 3:34 AM ^

Will exceed - Patrick Omameh. Down the road, this kid is going to be a force to be reckoned with IMO.

Under used - - Steve Breason (Stonum is in danger of the same thing) Simply put, I think he should have had much bigger WR stats.

Exceeded - DHarris, Mike Hart, Roy Roundtree, Odoms,

Fallen short - Carson Butler, Shawn Crable, Prescott Burgess, Gabe Watson


July 6th, 2010 at 4:24 AM ^

Here are a couple from while I was an undergrad ('93-'96):

Exceeded expectations:  Aaron Shea--arguably the best fullback Michigan has had in the post-Bo era

Disappointment: David Bowens--incredible talent (as later shown by his success in the NFL), but couldn't meet the off-field expectations; imagine the '97 defense with him on it!


July 6th, 2010 at 1:22 PM ^

exceeded expectations - Stevie Brown, after several years as the goat of the secondary was one of the better players last season.

disappointed - David Underwood, never could break through, injuries too.  Mister Simpson. Adrian Arrington. Carl Tabb, Ronald Bellamy.

Kevin Koger will go on one of these lists after this year, hopefully not the latter.  I expect him to be on the disappoint list, so having a decent season will ensure he exceeds my expectations.


July 6th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

pleasant surprise:  Roy Roundtree


Disappointment:  Mike Williams- think he was a 4 star recruit and he has simply "peed down his leg" when given the opportunity.


July 6th, 2010 at 11:29 AM ^

I 100% agree with this, which makes me wonder why you created this thread. We're a team that's started tons of freshmen and sophomores for the past few years. Who can we possibly term a "disappointment". So now we get people saying Justin Turner is disappointing because...he redshirted his freshman year?

Space Coyote

July 6th, 2010 at 10:20 AM ^

Fell Short: RBs: Max Martin, Jerome Jackson (I saw him play in high school and thought he would be ungodly, I was a kid though, so seeing what he did automatically translated to him doing the same in college, so my expectations may have been a little high), Darnell Hood, Pierre Rembert

Exceeded: Jake Long (understand he was a 4-star, but he turned out to be a monster), Mike Hart (probably why many of those RBs fell short), and Braylon

I think Carson Butler can go on both lists too.  No one expected much out of him, and under the Carr era he was a great pass catching TE, but also the worst blocker ever to exist in our universe (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration).  His head was never on his shoulders either, so for the athletic talent he seemed to have, he exceeded his 3-star DE expectations, but fell short of expectations once you saw him at TE.

Also surprised no one has said Sam McGuffie.  I didn't personally have huge expectations for him (I liked Shaw's future more), but a lot of people were thinking Heisman was in his future.  I know things just didn't work out injury-wise, but I'm still surprised no one has mentioned him as their own fell short, just because expectations were so high for him by so many people

Crime Reporter

July 6th, 2010 at 10:34 AM ^

Exceeded: Mike Hart.

Fell way short: Kevin Grady. I had high hopes for him. He looked really good at the beginning of the 2006 season and then got injured. Everything went downhill after that first injury.


July 6th, 2010 at 10:42 AM ^

Exceeded: I'm not really sure. Prior to 2007, I had no idea who anyone was before they started playing at Michigan, so I really didn't have expectations as to their production.

Post 2007, this is easy: Jordan Kovacs, Kevin Leach, Will Heininger, Nick Sheridan, and the walk-ons who have put their butts on the line and played to the best of their abilities, despite often attracting the scorn and ridicule of MGoBoard posters with 1/100th of their athletic ability.

Fallen short: Campbell, Emilien, Turner, Gallon, and the rest of the true freshmen who didn't start and dominate last year?

Seriously. All the guys at Michigan (and around college football in general) are all supreme athletes and work their tails off. Injuries and circumstance have a lot to do with success and failure in sport. If they try their best, I'm pretty sure none of us are in any position to criticize what happens to them.


July 6th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

Exceeded- Martavious Odoms. He's my favorite player on the team, so I'm biased. I just love his all-around game.

Fell short- Jonas Mouton. I expected a lot from him. I thought he'd be all-Big 10 by the end of last year or, at the very least, an average starter.


July 6th, 2010 at 12:04 PM ^

Jim Herman....2005,  why did he have Branch at de and massey at dt?  wth was he thinking? 

Ron Lee..... db coach 2006, biggest disaster hire ever....well next to special teams coach hired in 2003....but still


July 6th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

I think this is unfair for players that are still on the team. There is still a chance for them to exceed expectations, or fall short for that matter. That being said, a couple that haven't been mentioned.

Exceeded-the 1997 team. I had no idea they could be that dominant, especially on defense. And I was sure Griese would be a  disaster. Boy was I pleasantly surprised.

Fell short-Brandon Smith. Thought he was going to be a great safety for us but could barely get on the field as a linebacker, then transferred so he won't ever meet expectations, at least in maize and blue.


July 6th, 2010 at 5:53 PM ^

Exceeded:  Tacopants.  Unfortunately.  Actually, I'll go with Kelvin Grady.  I didn't really expect to see him play much at all, and he had a pretty solid season, I thought, in a full position.

Falling short:  Mike Williams.  Like it's been said, he had high star rankings, but nothing has happened yet.


July 7th, 2010 at 10:12 AM ^

Fell short: Chad Henne. Not in most ways. Not at all. But really, considering how good that kid was, would you have ever thought in a million years he wouldn't lead us to at least ONE victory over the Buckeyes as a four year starter?


July 7th, 2010 at 11:27 AM ^

Yeah man, screw Henne for not winning on the road as a freshman in 2004 and giving up 38 points.

Yeah man, screw Henne in 2005 for playing prevent defense and calling run run draw punt in the 4th while blowing a 11 point lead.

Yeah man, screw Henne in 2006 for putting up 38 points and still losing, or for the turf, or for Crable having brain lapses.

Yeah man, screw Henne in 2007 for the doctor that fucked up his cortisone shot, left him playing with a dead shoulder and not having any semblance of pass protection.