2014 Recruiting: What’s Next? (Defense)

Michigan inked a very impressive 2013 recruiting class and the 2014 class in starting to take shape as well. So far the Maize and Blue have verbal commitments from Wilton Speight (3* QB – Virginia), Drake Harris (5* WR – Michigan), Juwan Bushell-Beatty (4* OT – New Jersey), Mason Cole (4* OG – Florida), Michael Ferns (4* LB – Ohio) and Brian Mone (4* DT – Utah). The Wolverines also picked-up Brady Pallante (NR DT – Florida) who received a greyshirt offer, which means he’ll count against either the 2014 class or the 2015 class depending on how the numbers shake out.

Defensive End (1-2)

Again, depth is being built especially at tDaShawn-Hand-Touch-the-Banner1he SDE position. WDE is coming along as well, but a blue chop pass rusher would go a long way into solidifying this unit.

Da’Shawn Hand – 6’5” 260lbs. Woodbridge, VA. The #1 guy on my board had a great visit back in March and has Michigan in his top 5 schools along with Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. Hand is a absolute beast finishing his 2012 season with with 110 tackles, 16 sacks, 40(!!!!!) tackles for loss, two pass deflections, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. He’s big enough and athletic enough to play either end position, or possibly even slide inside in pass rushing situations. He’s said a few times that the Michigan staff as a whole is his favorite, but the thought right now is that Hokies may have the slight edge. There is still a ways to go, but things look pretty good with Da’Shawn as of today.

Joseph Henderson – 6’4” 220lbs. Cleveland, OH. Michigan offered him a long time ago and things seemed to be a little hot at the time. He has visited UM at least 3 times, but I haven’t heard his name in quite a long time. In my opinion he’s waiting for an Ohio offer, so we’ll kind of see how it plays out over the next few months. He’d likely end up at the WDE spot, but might have enough athleticism to play the SAM position as well.

Lawrence Marshall – 6’4” 215lbs. Southfield, MI. The former Ohio commit will soon cut his list down to a few schools and although MSU might have a slim advantage, Michigan is right there as well. I’m not as high on him as some others, but he’s be a nice addition at the WDE spot. Marshall on weighs around 215 so a red-shirt would be likely.

Continue reading “2014 Recruiting: What’s Next? (Defense)”

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

2014 Recruiting – What’s Next? (Offense)

Michigan inked a very impressive 2013 recruiting class and the 2014 class in starting to take shape as well. So far the Maize and Blue have verbal commitments from Wilton Speight (3* QB – Virginia), Drake Harris (5* WR – Michigan), Maurice Ways (3* WR – Michigan), Ian Bunting (4* TE – Illinois), Mason Cole (4* OG – Florida), Michael Ferns (4* LB – Ohio) and Brian Mone (4* DT – Utah). The Wolverines also picked-up Brady Pallante (NR DT – Florida), who received a greyshirt offer, which means he’ll count against either the 2014 class or the 2015 class depending on how the numbers shake out. NOTE: Juwan Bushell-Beatty (3* OL – New Jersey) committed on 4/29.

Quarterback (1)

Wilton Speight – 6’6” 220lbs. Richmond, VA.Wilton Speight - Richmond Times-Dispatch

Running Backs (1)

Talented depth is being built, but it is also young and unproven depth at this point. I could see the staff taking one RB in this class, but it wouldn’t be all bad if they missed out mainly because the 2015 has a few big time prospects that love Michigan.

Dravon Henry – 5’11” 180 lbs. Aliquippa, PA. Dravon is a longish shot at this point and has a top 4 schools of Ohio State, Pitt, PSU and West Virginia. He did however say that this list could change and is somewhat fluid. IF he visits UM there’s a shot there, but I just don’t see it at this point.

Jonathan Hilliman – 6’1” 210lbs. Jersey City, NJ. Hilliman just released his list of top 10 schools, with a top 3(in order) of Ohio State, Michigan and Alabama. He had planned on visiting in the spring, but nothing has been set in stone yet. If he does indeed visit, Michigan should be there until the end.

Joe Mixon – 6’0” 195lbs. Oakley, CA. Mixon is one of the most heavily recruited kids in the country regardless of position with somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 offers. He recently cut that list to a more convenient 16 which includes Michigan. He will likely take all of his officials and wait until the all-star games in January to decide. Michigan’s chances in snagging Mixon will again come down to whether or not he makes it to Ann Arbor.

Continue reading “2014 Recruiting – What’s Next? (Offense)”

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Final 2013 B1G Recruiting Rankings

Note: As usual we include Notre Dame in B1G Rankings as they recruit same area and are a common opponent.

1. Ohio

Biggest Get – Jalin Marshall (ATH-WR). MarshaJalin Marshallll is a special, explosive athlete who will thrive in Urban Meyer’s offense.

Biggest Miss – James Quick (WR). Quick is one of the most explosive receivers in the country and ended up choosing the hometown Louisville Cardinals over the Bucks.

Sleeper – Jayme Thompson (S). It’s hard to call a borderline 4 star kid a sleeper, but in a class full of highly rated DB’s Thompson is exactly that. While a bit raw, his athleticism makes his ceiling very high.

2. Michigan

Biggest Get – Shane Morris (QB). Any time you can get a five star talent at quarterback you are doing very well. Morris has the biggest arm in the country and was an exceptional recruiter for Michigan.

Biggest Miss – Laquon Treadwell (WR). During the summer it seemed as if Treadwell was a near certainty to commit to Michigan, but in the end he chose to go elsewhere. Treadwell would’ve filled a pretty big need.

Sleeper – Channing Stribling (CB). A virtual unknown, Stribling came to Michigan’s camp this summer and completely shut down the competition over a five day period and earned an offer.

3. Notre Dame

Continue reading “Final 2013 B1G Recruiting Rankings”

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Big Ten Week 7 Pickoff

The staff weighs in:

 RecordWisconsin @ IndianaPurdue @ IowaPenn State @ NebraskaMinnesota @ IllinoisNorthwestern @ Michigan
Ryan Callihan25-6WisconsinIowa2PSUMinnesotamichigan logo
Matt Brinkman23-8WisconsinIowa2LogoMinnesotamichigan logo
Joseph Boyd23-8WisconsinIowa2LogoIllinoismichigan logo
Jon Jennings22-9WisconsinIowa2LogoMinnesotamichigan logo
Clint Derringer22-9WisconsinIowa2PSUMinnesotamichigan logo
Sean O’Connell22-9WisconsinIowa2PSUMinnesotamichigan logo
Lance Callihan21-10WisconsinIowa2PSUMinnesotamichigan logo
Todd Male21-10IndianaIowa2PSUMinnesotamichigan logo

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Grading The Performance: Little Brother

Quarterback

The QB play wasn’t always pretty on Saturday, but Denard Robinson made enough plays in the end with both his arm and his legs to put Michigan in position to Denard Robinson - UMGoBlue.comwin the game. Robinson completed just 48% of his passes on the day but converted some critical 3rd down passes to extend drives. Denard took care of the ball for the most part, but there were several occasions when the ball was thrown up for grabs. When the offense continues to struggle in games Robinson has tended to press and try to force plays that aren’t there. Denard didn’t press the issue as much this game but there were still a few “oh no” moments on Saturday. Denard threw behind a wide open Jeremy Gallon in the end zone and misfired on a pass to Roy Roundtree in the end zone early in the game. When plays needed to be made on the final drive however, Denard made them. No play was bigger than the 19 yd. pass to Drew Dileo that setup the game winning FG.

Reads continue to be an issue for Denard in the run game. While in some cases it would not have ultimately made a difference in the success of the play, Denard missed several key reads on the zone read. The fact that Denard hasn’t completely mastered the zone read after 3 years as the starter continues to bewilder. Denard did have the best rushing performance that he’s ever had against the Spartans on Saturday. It took 20 carries for Denard to eke out 96yds on the ground, 44 of which came on a single run.

Denard accounted for all but 67 of Michigan’s 326 yards on Saturday.

Grade: B-

Running Back

After what occurred in last week’s game, there was an expectation that Michigan would continue to use a running back by committee approach. The expectation never materialized as Michigan used Fitzgerald Toussaint on nearly every snap. Fitz probably should have received more touches as he gained 52 yds on just 10 carries (5.2 ypc). Saturday was probably the first game in which Fitz actually looked like the back Michigan fans saw last year. Fitz was decisive, didn’t go down easily, and finished off his runs with physicality. In a game where yards were hard to come by, Vincent Smith had a big 12 run to kick off Michigan’s game winning drive.

Continue reading “Grading The Performance: Little Brother”

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post