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Date Title Body
06/19/2017 - 9:05pm About right, maybe 5-7

Rashan Gary + Mo Hurst counts for a ton on its own.  The coaching staff is an A+.  Lots of talent all over the field.  As long as we stay healthy, the O-line gels, and the secondary gels, we're a legit playoff contender.  Who, besides Ohio State, has the same level of talent and coaching in the B1G?

04/21/2017 - 1:57pm Penn St. and bombing it

One thing I like about Penn St.'s deep passing game is how it complimented their running game.  If opposing defenses used their safeties too much to help defend against Saquon Barkley, it made them vulnerable to the deep pass.  If they stayed honest, Barkley could wreak that much more havoc.

Unfortunately, our deep passing game misfired most of last year and opposing defenses sometimes seemed to cheat their safeties up.  I don't care who our QB ends up being, but I hope he can complete the deep passes that ought to be there with our WRs.  OL needs to do its part too, but Speight missed so many deep passes last year that it undermined opposing teams' respect for that threat and hurt our running game.

04/18/2017 - 6:19pm Winovich and backup WDE

 How'd you guys think he held up against the run?  Who's slated to back him up? 

04/24/2016 - 12:44pm good analysis

thanks, it will be interesting to see how everything gels by Penn State.  We need to double down on a starting offensive line by late August, though.  None of the musical chairs shananigans we had under Borges/Funk.  It seems like Harbaugh/Drevno see a really high ceiling for our run game if Newsome 'clicks,' but it doesn't seem like impending doom if it doesn't work out.  Cole can bump outside and we have other options for the interior.  Alternatively, we can try to use TE and blocking RBs to compensate for Newsome, so long as he figures out run-blocking.  Really sweating the bizarre events that led to a lack of tackle recruits last class, though.  


04/24/2016 - 12:32pm Chesson

I would take him over any other WR in college football

04/08/2016 - 4:20pm thanks

this was insightful

04/08/2016 - 2:57pm this makes me think there was not a vote

"D1 Council clarifies academic integrity rules"

I think that interpreting existing rules/legislation is the purview of the national office and does not require member approval.  In other words, it does not require a vote.  If there was not a vote, this was a way for the NCAA (or, more accurately, a faction within the NCAA) to effectively create a new rule without achieving a critical mass of support.  That is why there may be no puzzle about how it passed through a wide swath of the NCAA - it probably didn't.  This still seems ham-fisted and likely to cause problems down the road, like later today.  


03/16/2016 - 12:29am these statistics are suspicious

6 out of 26 high school football players have CTE?  That's approximately 20% of the sample.  What did these folks do besides football?  How does that compare with the general population?

High school football is dangerous relative to the rest of our contemporary society, but males, perhaps especially upper class males, have been hitting each other on the head repeatedly (and hard) for the majority of recorded history.  Training with blunted edged weapons from early childhood had to take a toll in Ancient and Medieval societies.  In our time, every male member of the Yanomamo must have CTE.

I'm not saying the statistics about high school football are wrong, but they would be surprising and it seems like a lot of these studies don't pass basic standards of scientific rigor (appropriate sample size, random sample, control group, etc.).  Statistics about pro football are a lot less surprising, but I need to see better studies before I start lumping high school football together with professional football re: the danger of CTE.

02/18/2016 - 5:53am it's good to know that Penn State is a basketball school now

it's good to know that Penn State is a basketball school now

02/17/2016 - 9:21pm money

for many people money is not about economics.  It's about getting paid more than everyone else in a comparable job (i.e. acknowledged as the best at what you do).  All that money just means players get to do what they love, and it might be working with the next generation of athletes.  I'm not saying Woodson's going to coach, but I think he's probably going to do something he's passionate about and it wouldn't surprise me if it was coaching.  

02/17/2016 - 3:41pm good luck to Jackson

We should be fine.  This is normal and somewhat expected.  Recruits shouldn't be upset by this; I don't understand some of the concern over that.  

Interested to see who the replacement is on staff.

02/08/2016 - 4:53pm dbl post

dbl post  

02/08/2016 - 4:52pm out of curiosity, why the disagreement?

Brown likes his SAMs to be a bit above 6', around 220 lbs, and fast.

Moses is 6'1", 220, and 4.45 40.  Even if that 40 time is a bit off, he is really fast.  Basically, it seems like Moses will be a bit bigger and a bit faster than Brown's SAMs have been in the past.  

02/08/2016 - 1:59pm ideal SAM prospect?

Somebody mentioned the possibility elsewhere. I would think that Brown's scheme might be a selling point.

02/06/2016 - 8:34pm camp commitments: time will tell

I think we have to be careful about getting too wrapped up in recruiting service rankings.  One of the principal puroposes of the camps is to evaluate the talent that recruiting sites miss.  Some players, such as Drake Johnson, get overlooked for a host of reasons.  Sometimes the kids don't go to the services' camps.  Other kids are really good fits for our scheme or are likely to have an upside over time.

The only camp commitment we clearly parted ways with was Kiante Enis.  Dytarious Johnson appears to be academics.  Swenson was not a camp commit.

FWIW, Metellus got a glowing review by ESPN (I think that's what Brian said on the podcast) and none of the other sites bothered to evaluate him even semi-thoroughly.  

Gil is up to 220/230 material, fast for a LB, and a good tackler.  He will compete for the SAM position immediately.

They were also teammates of Devin Bush Jr., whom the coaches clearly had higher on the board than recruiting service rankings would indicate.  

I have no complaints about the camp commits.  

I do, on the other hand, think we bungled offensive tackle recruiting.  We should have maintained contact with more tackles than we could offer scholarships, just like we did at wide receiver (e.g. Pie Young).

In any event, thanks for the write-up.  It was a fun, informative read, as always.

02/06/2016 - 3:01pm FL recruits

the folks we recruited from Florida were individually targeted (Bush, McDoom, Uche, Eubanks) because the coaches REALLY liked them or showed skills at camps (Gil and Metellus).  Who would you replace Gil and Metellus with?  They both show talent and fill positions of extreme need (LB and S respectively)?

Also, there are good indications that all of these players are under-rated on the recruiting services, so we shouldn't care whether they are in the top 200 or not.

02/06/2016 - 2:49pm prioritizing resources

Most of our recruiting will be about specific players, not regions.  Resource limitations are such that we just can't lock down all of these areas for ourself.  It's just not going to happen.  Keep in mind that devoting resources to a second-place finish with a recruit is a total loss.  Focusing on a few relationships is ordinarily better than spreading one's self thin.  

Look at how much time, effort, and resources we put into our relationship with the northeast, especially New Jersey/New York.  2 of the top 3 players (the other is Fournette, in my opinion) in the country chose to join UM during a downturn in our program.  That is a ridiculous success in my book.  

No way you can achieve that in California, Texas, Florida, Alabama, and the DC area too.  We might be able to do it in one or two more regions, but probably not.  In my opinion, we have our eye on developing in-roads in Florida and that's a smart move.  

Lock down the Northeast and lock down Michigan.  Keep the door open everywhere else and tailor recruiting to individuals, rather than regions.


02/05/2016 - 10:15pm we have several

We have several tbs faster than Hudson. He has adequate speed, but it's not great

02/05/2016 - 12:27am good point

Wrangler too.  Don't even know how to make sense of the LB depth chart anymore.  We have safeties, defensive ends, and linebackers all in the mix.  starting to get really excited about a position (LB) that I thought was going to be boring at best.  The 'expect redshiirts' thing was obviously a bit off too.

02/05/2016 - 12:08am if Furbush is down to 217 to vie for SAM

and McCray doesn't overcome injuries, that almost locks Gedeon and Devin Bush Jr. into the starting ILB slots

ILB depth is now scary thin, with a true freshman starter and a true freshman as the first backup, unless Brown wants all or most of his LBs to play light.  LB is looking kind of crazy.

02/04/2016 - 11:58pm Joshua Uche, Devin Gil, Noah Furbush, maybe others

ideal SAM is about 6'2", 220 and fast.  Brown often converts safety recruits to the position

an earlier poster mentioned Furbush is down to 217.

Devin Gil is up to 220 and moving to LB

Here is my post from an earlier diary:

#4) outside linebackers/WDE

This is where it really gets wierd.  Carlo Kemp is an OLB/DE hybrid type that will probably red-shirt.  Josh Uche is a low ranked OLB prospect who is faster than all of our WR commits.  Devin Gil was originally a safety prospect and he is also faster than most of our WR commits.  Ron Johnson might fit this role.

Importance to scheme: 1/9  Very unimportant in the near-term.  Will eventually be very important under Brown.  Expect red-shirts with a schematic transition to more 3-4 and less Hybrid Space Player after Peppers departs.

Importance to depth chart: 8.  Important for Brown to bring in the type of athletes he will eventually utilize.  Expect this to become more important in future years.  


02/04/2016 - 11:53pm 6'4" 217

is about right for SAM in our system

02/04/2016 - 10:30pm I don't think he's supposed to big; he's supposed to be fast

Boston College 2015 SAM 2-deep:

Matt Milano 6'1"  218 lbs.; 4.64 40 coming out of HS…

Kevin Bletzer  6'2"  217 lbs.

Michigan's most likely SAM candidate:

Joshua Uche 6'3" 220 lbs; 4.59 40 coming out of HS

02/04/2016 - 7:59pm I think most of 2015 become important contributors

some All-Conference, just probably no All-Americans.  obviously, cole is out.  Perry already contributes.  I'd be really surprised if Newsome, Washington, Kinnel, Gentry and Wheatley Jr. don't become starters.  The others have viable paths to the field. 

02/04/2016 - 7:35pm 2014 was a great class too

It had Peppers, Mone, Cole and a bunch of top prospects who the jury is still out on.  The talent gap with Ohio State is mostly closed, with some concerns at a few positions.  I think we have a better defensive line, defensive backfield, wide receivers, and special teams.  They have better linebackers and running backs.  I'm not going to compare quarterbacks since the schemes are so different.  Same with tight ends.  Offensive line is the x-factor.  The offensive line that develops the most by The Game is probably going to win The Game.

02/04/2016 - 7:26pm Pass Pro

Rudock made it look better than it was.  Rudock was extremely good under pressure last year.  Cole is an excellent lineman, but he struggles in pass pro against elite DEs (e.g. against Ohio State)  This has the potential to be an achilles heel in our most important games.

02/04/2016 - 10:01am the advantages

good points. perhaps I'm being a homer, but here are my reasons:

-I consider Ohio State as the mean for national championship contender, but well above the mean for the rest of the conference.  I put the mean for the conference at about Penn State or Northwestern

-Fuller just is not as athetic as Long or Hill.  Fake 40 times and all that, but Long and Hill both have verified 4.40 and 4.41, respectively.  Fuller has a verified 4.59.  Davis has a 4.58.  That's a pretty big gap for DBs and I don't think an athlete can be an elite, shutdown corner with borderline 4.6 speed.

-I think Gary's potential is on a whole different level, so the gap between him and the other 5-stars is considerable.  He is in Fournette/Peppers/Clowney territory.

-completely agree about LB. 

-For our line to get gashed last year, we had to lose Glasgow AND Mone.  If we only lost one, we wouldn't have had the same issues.

I think Ohio State and Michigan now have comparable talent and have separated themselves from the rest of a strong B1G.  Next year, Michigan will have the advantage on defense and Ohio State will have the advantage on offense.  We should beat Michigan State next year and Ohio State should be a hell of a game.  

02/04/2016 - 9:39am 4-3,3-4, and even 3-3-5

Good point.  My understanding is that Brown's been known to use all these as base schemes depending on the personnel available on any given team.  Last year, he used a 4-3 as a base but I expect him to use more 3-4, as a matter of degree, at some point.  

02/03/2016 - 5:40pm Mone/Glasgow and Brown

Having them in the D-line rotation should clean up some of the problems that cropped up at the end of this year.  I also think coach Brown is going to help the LBs take a big step forward.  Gedeon and McCray are plenty athletic, and some of the backups are too.

02/03/2016 - 5:32pm can we play 5-2-4

(instead of 4-3-4) to compliment our 4-2-5 as a base D


sort of

02/03/2016 - 5:27pm and improved OL

OL will never be a concern for me going forward so long as Drevno is coaching

01/29/2016 - 9:09pm isn't this how WWI started?

isn't this how WWI started?

01/27/2016 - 9:38pm Kovacs

Kovacs will always be my favorite walk-on, and he wasn't even a PWO.

01/21/2016 - 11:09pm Harbaugh doesn't care

We still don't know the details about what happened, but it's looking more and more likely that Harbaugh and Drevno made a call on his talent and attitude and do not care what others think.  If that's what happened it's just another reason to be glad that he's running our program.

Ole Miss is not on a higher level than UM and we don't need to be shady to win.

Edit:  It also appears that they made the call in a timely manner, earlier in the year.  That's important too.  If Swenson really refused to camp, that speaks volumes.

01/21/2016 - 8:38pm welcome aboard David

favorite member of the class so far except for maybe Peters.  dude can fly

01/19/2016 - 7:28pm OL, DL, QB

Those three positions need the most seniority generally, and I expect a lot of players with more than 2 years left to compete for and win playing time next year. LB worries me a bit

01/19/2016 - 2:56pm 2011 was a wierd transition class

This is useful, but I'll be interested how recruiting sites faired with respect to other classes too

01/19/2016 - 2:25pm agree with Space Coyote's concern, but

I am withholding judgment in the hope we find out more.

In the meantime, would really appreciate someone knowledgeable about line play breaking down his lack of progress. It is true that he has old offers from top programs (OSU, etc), but his current suitors (Iowa, Northwestern, etc.) are solid, but a step down. Northwestern's involvement makes it appear as though it's not grades. Note, this isn't intended to be a justification for the recruiting aspect. I'm purely curious about what happened from a football perspective.

01/15/2016 - 6:15pm feature back

He was the feature back under Nuss until his injury. Looks like Nuss liked him

01/15/2016 - 5:43pm ST coach

I just hope it's not the case that we could have kept Baxter if this had happened earlier.  Oh well, no sense crying over what can't be changed

01/15/2016 - 12:04pm Long is the one I am second most excited about

Bush is second most important

01/14/2016 - 10:11pm student-athletes

there is a lot of variance in student-athletes academic background.  I'm all for granting extra time and resources to ensure they get a really good education, even if that means taking the time to help build an academic base that most freshman already have and extending timelines to five years.

01/14/2016 - 9:36pm potential, not performance

I am not saying Henry will go in the 1st or 2nd round, but he might because of his potential.  Of the players on that list, only Bosa is clearly ahead of Henry in terms of potential even though several of those players had better college careers.  Henry is supposed to be ridiculously strong and it's possible to teach someone with those tools to be great.  A lot will depend on his performance at the combine.

01/14/2016 - 9:31am that aspect of what Saban does is not wrong

Cutting a player's scholarship while he's at the University or after he gets to campus, even if he wants to stay, is wrong.  I'd go so far as to say that making such a decision abruptly and unexpectedly late in the recruiting process (November or later) is wrong too.

01/14/2016 - 9:24am I agree with this

But the devil's in the details we aren't privy to.  If the coaches are up front with players and encourage them to pursue contingency plans early in the recruiting process, then that's fine.  But, if coaches don't do that and just cease contact with a recruit then I'm not ok with that, especially if it's just before signing day.  The key is that coaches should be up front with kids early in the process and they should stay cognizant of deadlines that recruits need to make decisions.  

My sense is that this didn't happen with some of our lower rated recruits we took early in the process, but now that is what is occurring.  Current recruiting decisions seem much more closely related to other recruits' decisions.  Player X is given deadline A or he loses his spot to Player Y, or Player X is told that he has to wait until Player Y decides in order to secure a commitable offer.  

01/14/2016 - 9:15am no

The players recruited by Hoke went through a lot for this program and I hope they all stay on scholarship and earn their Michigan degrees.  Disparaging the players because they were recruited by Hoke is in poor taste and ill-informed.

Although he was arguably not good at recruiting some postions, Hoke was good at recruiting overall.  Most of his recruits had offers from other quality programs as well (e.g. Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Florida State, Auburn).

Here is a sample of quality players you disparage and commend letting go: Mo Ways, Drake Harris, Patrick Kugler, David Dawson, Lawrence Marshall, Ty Isaac, Juwann Bushell-Beaty. At a minimum, the jury is still out on most of those players.  Maybe some won't pan out, but most are at least quality back-ups who should be higher than most incoming true freshman on the depth chart.  Those with attitude issues will be identified and dealt with by the staff, but they seem to be the ones with the most natural talent. 



01/14/2016 - 9:13am exactly

this is right

01/12/2016 - 1:06am prospective instead of retrospective

Whether one agrees with the ranking or not, it's novel to see an assessment based mostly on projections rather than where teams ended up last year

01/10/2016 - 1:54am interesting questions

I think that it can actually benefit the recruit, so long as the coaching staff encourages them to look at other schools as contingency plans.  Getting an offer from Michigan raises the recruit's profile and may lead to additional offers from other prestigous programs.

I wonder if Maryland is going to take any of the lower rated guys if we don't.  Normally, its faux pas for an outgoing coach to 'steal' recruits, but this could be win/win.  Durkin is familiar with these kids in any event.


01/07/2016 - 6:49pm not sure that this is all about the spread

Its about good execution in the passing game.  After all, Stanford burned them too.  Sparty counts on college offenses being unable to consistently execute good passing plays.  They practically beg opposing offenses to do certain things.  During the regular season, this often works because college teams can't afford to completely focus on doing those things when there is a new opponent every week.  But during bowl season, teams have a lot of prep time and exceptional focus.