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07/01/2017 - 10:06pm PSU is solid, but they got

PSU is solid, but they got away with playing a chuck-and-duck with McSorley and their stud WR. They will not be able to get away with that again this year and will need a more efficient offense to have the same success.

06/07/2017 - 10:17am Obvious from the film why the

Obvious from the film why the coaches like him. Tall, but very coordinated. Maybe not a sprinter, but takes short strides and gets up to speed quickly for a bigger guy. Also cuts without having to slow down much. Looks like a versatile skill set.

04/04/2017 - 4:24pm Brown is a nice walk-on

Brown is a nice walk-on pick-up.  He is easily good enough for a MAC or service academy spot.  Guessing he just favored lacrosse until someone at UM got in his ear. I have seen him play many times live - he has been a very instinctive and productive player against top Cleveland competition.  Has a legit shot of developing into a game-contributor, if he is able to put on some good weight.

07/24/2016 - 10:43am Gallon was another one (would

Gallon was another one (would have broken a bunch of records with a better passer), but your point stands.

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07/24/2016 - 9:50am That is because RR could not

That is because RR could not compete in recruiting battles with the big boys. He pulled out some diamonds, but you have no chance at UM if you can only rarely contest the likes of OSU or ND on the recruiting trail.

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07/24/2016 - 9:41am More than the size of the

More than the size of the staff, Quality was the issue. Hoke and Mattison have good eyes, but not sure who else from that staff. Harbaugh himself is a top talent evaluator, but he has other studs like Fisch, Drevno, Durkin, Brown, etc. supporting his efforts.

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07/24/2016 - 9:36am Not really true. Kugler and

Not really true. Kugler and Dawson will not do much under Drevno because they are just not that talented. Kali's' problems are due to his lack of agility and reflexes. Even under Drevno, he still is a matador. Drevno is prioritizing mean OL, and a lot of Hokes guys like Bosch did not have that. There is a reason that Cole and Glasgow were the only Hoke guys who really shined out of the gate... because they were the only truly good ones. From what I saw in the spring game, Runyan and Ulizio already look more promising than most of Hokes recruits ever did.

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07/24/2016 - 9:20am With Shane's lack of progress

With Shane's lack of progress and production his last two years of HS, Harbaugh would have processed him. Bending over backwards for one QB recruit is bad practice and anti competitive. But especially for a QB who leaked as a HS sophomore and whom the coaches should have recognized as overrated.

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07/24/2016 - 9:15am Maybe Borges talked Hoke into

Maybe Borges talked Hoke into letting him mentor QB's. But Hoke should not have accepted. Track record especially with recruiting QB's was not there, as has been documented on this site.

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07/06/2016 - 12:40pm Looks like a versatile OL,

Looks like a versatile OL, maybe the next Mason Cole after some polishing.  Definitely a legit LT prospect.  Not as physically imposing as some, but has very good feet and balance.  Also has a noticeable mean streak, which Drevno heavily prioritizes.  Keep the OL comin'!

06/30/2016 - 12:55pm Kid looks like a player - had

Kid looks like a player - had not watched his film until now, and his film is excellent.  Lack of elite speed and size is not a worry - hands, route-running, and quickness can get you quite far as a college WR, as we have seen in AA and elsewhere.

If this kid had signed in the years from late-Carr through Hoke, he'd be a no-brainer for early playing time and tons of snaps based on his skills.  With JH now stocking the WR and TE corps, he'll have more competition.  Good sign for his potential considering JH and Jedd stuck with him when other propects were beating down the door late in the cycle.  Will now have to keep an eye on him.

06/27/2016 - 4:51pm The great part about

The great part about Harbaugh's strategic use of TE's is that it is rare in modern football.  Even pro-style teams like Alabama don't really know how to make use of a talented TE, let alone the shotgun spread teams.  Combine that with the facts that a) TE is an under-recruited position in CFB in general due to offensive philosophy changes, and b) JH can capitalize on being one of the few who can use them... He is just well positioned to have a multi-talented, deep TE/FB corps in perpetuity.

06/27/2016 - 12:49pm For a guy who did not get a

For a guy who did not get a lot of balls thrown his way, he is definitely a smooth, natural receiver.  Not a speed demon, but his cuts are smooth and hands are soft, as mentioned above.  The kid looks like an elite blocker, but he'll be a nice threat in the passing game.  Awesome recruiting job by the staff on this one.

06/15/2016 - 12:48pm Nice prospect.  Kind of a

Nice prospect.  Kind of a boom or bust kid.  Agree with TTB in that he looks more motivated as a DL than OL.  The lack of finishing is definitely a risk that should not be overlooked, as is playing 50 lbs overweight.  Aggressive attitude was a main reason for dopping Swenson in favor of Spanellis.  And they took Ulizio in large part because of his mean finishing.   '17 is definitely Onwenu's chance.  If he is not ready by then, it will be tough because UM will have an excellent OL haul in February.  Drevno has a history of playing talent over seniority, moreso than a lot of OL coaches.  Would love to see this kid develop into a star.  The potential is certainly there.

11/19/2015 - 9:51am ...and Wheatley. Good to

...and Wheatley. Good to hear he has been practicing for a while. Bunting and Wheatley could be a nice one-two punch down the road.

09/15/2015 - 11:30pm Think he winds up at FB.

Think he winds up at FB.

08/20/2015 - 11:33pm I like Malzone's game, but he

I like Malzone's game, but he does not quite fit the mold of what JH is targeting in the recruiting process.  I believe he would be better-suited for a spread passing offense at this level, where he can work out of the shot-gun and make quick passes.

06/29/2015 - 11:17pm Think Kinnel gets snaps as a

Think Kinnel gets snaps as a freshman.  Wilson is the only legit FS on the roster and he is a senior.  They need depth to develop there in a hurry.  If it is true the Peppers primarily plays slot DB, you have a bunch of so-so (at best) box safeties in Hill, Thomas, and Clark.  Those guys are not good enough to keep a good young prospect off the field.

10/01/2014 - 2:57pm Since the team has thrown in

Since the team has thrown in the towel, is on a trajectory for a weak bowl game at best, and Hoke is not likely to return, the only thing of interest to most UM fans will be speculation about the next coach.  The topics of replacing the coach and AD are taking up 90% of UM fan-site content right now.  To expect a blog that seeks to attract fan traffic to avoid the topic until the axe falls (which may not be until December) is not reasonable.

08/20/2014 - 12:40pm The fact of the matter is

The fact of the matter is that if you want to be a big boy in the recruiting game, you have to be willing to play kids early.  If you want to be a heavy redshirting program like Northwestern, you are not going to attract top prospects.  Recruits pay very close attention to this.  In fact, they will ask recruiters point blank whether they will play as freshmen during the wooing process.  Coaches really can't have it both ways in this day and age.

08/20/2014 - 12:33pm In the case of Taco, there

In the case of Taco, there was no way on earth he was agreeing to RS, especially after coming in early.  The kid wanted to play right away.  If Hoke would have tried to RS him last year, he would not be playing for UM this year.

 

When it comes to recruiting, you cannot heavily redshirt guys and still expect to get top prospects.  Early playing time is the #1 issue for most prospects.  And they pay very close attention to which schools give younger players a shot.  This may be a reason that Dantonio is not cashing in on his recent success on the field in the area of high profile recruits.

08/20/2014 - 12:26pm That's a key point.  Looking

That's a key point.  Looking at their redshirts after the team was good the last couple years is just a snapshot.  But a lot of their key upperclassmen from 2013 played as true freshmen.

08/16/2014 - 11:57pm There has to be more to the

There has to be more to the story than just lack of reps, though.  Cole came in and moved to the top of the depth chart in the spring before his freshman year.  UM recruited a bunch of OG/OT swing players and it looks like pretty much all of them (Kalis, Bosch, Samuelson, Fox, etc.) have zero potential at OT.  Where are the young studs?  Where are the 2nd year players who are ready to start kicking tail, like many OL from UM's past?

08/12/2014 - 10:27am Dinardo in '13 was just

Dinardo in '13 was just excited to see UM growing big OL again.  And they had a bunch of "off the bus" players who look like beasts (i.e., Kalis and Braden).  Attending one practice, all they really pick up on is how big guys are and how well they are moving in drills.

08/11/2014 - 1:15pm He is probably 3rd-ish

He is probably 3rd-ish string.  Definitely behind Ezekiel Elliot.  Probably behind Curtis Samuel.  And roughly even with Rod Smith.  Not sure that OSU has the clear feature back like Wells or Hyde, so Dunn may get a shot this year.  The guy is in the wrong offense.

08/11/2014 - 1:10pm Smith looks like a back who

Smith looks like a back who is more capable of turning 2-yard-blocking into a 4-yard-gain.  With this OL, they will need a guy who can earn the tough yards.  Based on limited experience last year, Green does not fit that profile.

08/11/2014 - 1:05pm At this point, we should not

At this point, we should not consider it a surprise if Kalis does in fact get beat out at RG.  UM has played a lot of young OL over the years.  But his performance in 2013 could be the worst we have ever seen.  He comes from a top HS program with good coaching, works out in the off season with an NFL vet/trainer, he is one of the stronger OL on the team, and had a redshirt training year at UM.  So he was set up to at least be serviceable last year, but did not even come close.  Just looked very stiff moving laterally in run or pass blocking situations.

 

One guy (possibly) busting does not tell a story because it happens all of the time with linemen.  But I am starting to wonder about UM's OL recruiting over the last few years.  Was hoping we would be hearing more hype about the young players.  But other than Cole, we have not heard squat.  That's not a great sign.  Of the returnees, only Glasgow looked good (primarily at LG) and Mags looked like someone who will hold down a starting spot as he physically matures.  But there's not much else to be optimistic about.  UM needs a couple young guys beyond Cole to jump out of the woodwork and assert themselves.

08/06/2014 - 12:54pm Agree that Funch will be

Agree that Funch will be gone.  He is that jumbo receiver that is all the rage in the NFL now.  Whether or not he cleans up his drops/effort will just determine if he is a 1st/2nd rounder or a 3rd rounder.

08/06/2014 - 12:51pm Actually expecting Chesson's

Actually expecting Chesson's role to diminish a little in '14.  He benefitted in '13 from UM having only one good WR in Gallon, until Funchess moved over.  But they have what looks like three good WR's from the get-go this year.  Mo Ways is apparently looking impressive lately and could play this year too.  And they have a couple guys coming off of redshirts.  The days of only having to beat out Jeremy Jackson or walk-on's to see the field at WR appear to be over.

07/26/2014 - 1:56am Watched Big 10 Icons on BTN

Watched Big 10 Icons on BTN the other night when they were covering Charles Woodson.  At the end of the program, they hit his good citizenship hard (support for Mott, the football program, etc.).  Brandon and Madej kept hammering the point that he was "giving back" to the university.  Between the two of them, they must have used the phrase six times.

It struck me that Brandon and Madej should be "giving back" to Woodson.  His Heisman trophy and his part in the undefeated season is basically all that UM football fans can point to over the last 25 years of ho-hum football.  It's great that Woodson is loyal to the unversity and presumably generous with his resources.  But the gall of guys in the AD to imply that UM's shining star Woodson was on the receiving end of things during his time at UM is over the top.  Could you imagine the state of modern UM football without Woodson and '97?  We think things are bad now, but it woud be in a much darker place.

What has really pushed me over the top on this issue of compensating players is the arrogance and complete lack of shame or self-awareness on the part of the NCAA and AD administrators.  If those guys showed any humility or appreciation for the players at all, they'd probably have a lot more support from the average fan.

07/26/2014 - 1:24am I tend to think he'll burn

I tend to think he'll burn the RS.  Mags is going to be a first year starter, coming back from off-season surgery, moving over from guard.  There are some question marks there.  Maybe he'll become an instant anchor and play injury free all year.  But there's no way the coaches can bank on that from a risk perspective.  They need to get eight or so OL ready to play and one of them needs to be a back-up LT.

Redshirting is great and all, but UM's tackle recruiting has not completely worked out the last couple years.  LTT is looking like a slow-developing project at best and some guys they recruited as swing players like Samuelson and Fox are looking more like pure guards.

If Cole is in fact the #2 guy at LT, I think it is too risky not to develop him as the back-up and plan to get him game snaps this season.

 

07/26/2014 - 1:03am I kept a close eye on Braden

I kept a close eye on Braden in the spring game and came to the complete opposite conclusion.  Thought he looked quite stiff both in run and pass blocking.  Did not fire out of his stance at all on running plays and seemed tentative.  Thought it was a night-and-day improvement when Glasgow subbed in for him - he was noticeably more aggressive and comfortable.

The last two springs have not been a lot to go on, but I'm wondering if Braden has it between the ears.  The coaches are obviously pulling for him because he is not only huge, but also light on his feet for a big guy.  But this was the second spring game in a row where he looked like he did not belong in the starting lineup.  Braden may start out the season at RT, especially if Glasgow is still needed at C.  But I'll be surprised if he is good enough to hold onto it.

07/09/2014 - 3:02pm With MSU, I think it

With MSU, I think it typically comes down to the DB's.  If the CB's continue to blanket/rape WR's and the safeties continue to switch effortlessly between coverage and run support, MSU will keep rolling.  MSU had good front seven players last year, but they were not all studs.  So I don't think Narduzzi needs a Jerel Worthy to have a great D.

07/09/2014 - 2:51pm OSU definitely should have

OSU definitely should have had a better defense last year.  Their offense never put them in bad situations, and they have a lot of talent on paper.  They currently lack the stud in the middle of the DL to clog up the running lanes.  Their back-seven was also undisciplined and arguably poorly coached in '13.  OSU has a couple new defensive coaches this year who will be influential, so it's hard to predict what we'll see in '14.  Their DE's can be all-world (and Bosa was terrific as a FR), but if the DT's are only so-so, teams will be able to run on them.

07/09/2014 - 12:46pm Good analysis.  The other

Good analysis.  The other thing UM has going for it that will help the running game is depth and talent at CB.  In general, if you can cheat safeties, you get TFL's.  Of course, that has been a big key in MSU's success - reliable DB play allows Narduzzi to get aggressive up front.

07/09/2014 - 12:42pm Agreed M1jjb.  I was about to

Agreed M1jjb.  I was about to make a similar post until I saw yours.  PSU's front seven will take a step back this year.  Just don't have enough bodies at DT and LB.  They lost their stud DL coach to OSU.  And they still have a couple holes in the secondary, which means they will have difficulty cheating safeties up against any team that can pass.  PSU has a garbage schedule so that will make their defense look better than they really are.  Their defense is fortunate to miss some of the B1G's power-rushing teams like Iowa, Wisky, and Minny next year.

 

Based on the rankings in this post, I'd switch Iowa and PSU.  Even though they lost their LB's, Iowa will be difficult to run on with their DL.  I was impressed with that group late last season, and they all return.  Iowa will have LB's running clean.

05/22/2014 - 12:06am I guess the coaches telling

I guess the coaches telling Furbush he is a MLB is less far fetched than telling Shallman he is a TB.  It will work itself out.  Maybe they start him at LB but start working him in as a nickel DE this season.  Both DE spots could be wide open in 2015, unless Taco has a breakout year.  So they have to develop some kids there soon.

05/21/2014 - 5:00pm The kid is definitely a DE. 

The kid is definitely a DE.  Any LB talk is a waste of breath/ink.  Furbush is going to report to camp a legit 6'4" 250 lbs.  There are occasionally effective LB's who get there by the end of college, but they sure as heck don't start there.  Coverage is also becoming a bigger deal for LB's in CFB, so that makes it even less likely.

 

DE may be the weakest position group on UM's defense this fall, so there is a good chance he plays right away.  Mattison is craving outside pass rushers big time and he does not really have the pieces yet.  Great opportunity for Furbush.  He is a good looking player.  I expect both Furbush and Pallante to eventually out-play their HS rankings.

04/17/2014 - 9:45am That's what I meant by the

That's what I meant by the word "bootleg".  Play action to one side, QB keeps and rolls out to the other.  If they move him outside without the play action, I would just call that a roll out.

04/17/2014 - 9:40am the point was that Dawson ran

the point was that Dawson ran by an unblocked LB and chased a player who was already engaged by the FB.  I don't doubt that the C screwed up too, though.

04/16/2014 - 12:13pm That was Dawson.

That was Dawson.  He bounced around between OG and T in his first spring under Nuss, so we can expect him to be pretty raw at this point.  Would not give the same leeway to guys like Kalis and Miller.

04/16/2014 - 12:06pm A lot of Devin's bad

A lot of Devin's bad decisions seem to come when he is drifting sideways or backwards, and most roll-outs would probably fall in the same category.  All play action bootlegs where the QB turns his back to the LOS should be banned from the playbook.  So I agree that he is best off with the straight dropback, and that he should be coached to scramble forward only (area between the two OG's).

04/16/2014 - 11:59am If he has a QB he trusts, he

If he has a QB he trusts, he will definitely open it up.  Devin will have to earn that early in the season.  Hoke sure as heck is not going to micromanage him like Saban did.

04/16/2014 - 11:54am I'm expecting to see

I'm expecting to see something along the lines of Jim Bollman's offense with Terelle Pryor.  Very simple, lots of blockers, let the QB keep drives alive with scrambles, and take the occasional shot downfield.

We've heard comments about Nussmeier making life difficult for the QB's during practices.  But come gametime, I think he'll do what he can to protect Devin from passing too much.  We'll see a bunch of 2-4 yard runs by RB's, which will be boring but nonetheless a huge improvement over last year.

02/26/2014 - 12:03pm Those are the two reasons. 

Those are the two reasons.  The blitzing capability is a big one.  It is basically a waste of time to send Bolden or Morgan on a blitz.  GMatt needs decent blitzing ILB's to give his zone-blitz scheme teeth.

02/20/2014 - 12:08pm I think it is more likely

I think it is more likely that one of the SAM / WDE propects plays than an ILB.  SAM / WDE was a major recruiting target this year and of course they have both starters going into their final seasons, with shaky back-ups.  If a guy like Furbush comes in ready to contribute, he will play.

02/05/2014 - 10:24am You could argue that Jon

You could argue that Jon Reschke was an MSU win in 2013.  UM did not get in on him until late and the probability of turning him was low.  But Hoke apparently did offer a commitable offer and did truly want him.

11/16/2013 - 6:27am Some attrition was

Some attrition was inevitable.  UM's RB group is stocked with guys who were back-burner targets.  For example, Hayes, Rawls, and Johnson were all Plan C, place-holder guys.  Now with the '13 class and beyond, the staff is back in the game with legit RB's again.

 

We are going to see the same deal at WR next year, where it's likely that some of the '13 recruits are going to find themselves buried by '12 and '14 WR's.

11/06/2013 - 1:44pm One thing coaches defitely

One thing coaches defitely share across the line is tipping of plays.  If Mattison is coaching DL or LB's to read the stance of OL's, he'll make it obvoius to the offensive coaches that one of their guys is tipping during scrimmages by vocally pointing it out to his guys.  They may also make comments to each other on the side about this guy being good or that guy getting whipped.  But I agree there is no way Mattison or his guys are reviewing defensive tendencies of other teams or giving tips to Borges on which plays would work best or how something should be blocked, for example.

11/05/2013 - 9:33pm It's unfortunate that Butt

It's unfortunate that Butt was pressed into action this year. I am not a big redshirt advocate, but it makes sense to redshirt most TE's because developing both blocking and receiving chops is a tall order.  But that's a resut of Funchess not taking to blocking and Williams not taking to receiving or blocking.  There's a good chance that Bunting plays next year too, unless Shallman and/or Hill become viable TE's.  Agree that these guys are going to be a dangerous group with time.  Both Butt and Bunting both are nifty receivers with huge frames.