Sunday, August 23, 2009

Michigan Football Tidbits: About half way

Michigan Football Tidbits: About half way

About half way through, how are freshmen doing?

Those who are ready for college football:

1) Tate Forcier: Even if we wasn't - tough.

2) Denard Robinson: That type of athleticism can play at any age.

3) Vlad Emilien: Probably needs more physical maturity, but his "football smarts" and position of need puts him in the two deep.

4) Vincent Smith: Another kid who seems mature beyond his age.

5) Will Campbell: It may be hard to see, but he has made great progress.

6) Craig Roh along with Vlad Emilien maybe one of those kid who just has "it". And his specialization at a skill that is so needed puts him in the two deep.

7) J.T. Turner: Although haven't exactly blown things up he will progress to a point where he is in two deep by end of camp.

8) Brendan Gibbons: Neck and neck and you never want to have to play a freshman kicker.

Those who really have no business playing (and in most years would not), but probably sees action:

1) Jeremy Gallon: Missing the summer has hurt him. And depth at slot receiver (since Roy Roundtree and now Kelvin Grady is making noise) makes the need for him to play lessen.

2) Brandin Hawthorne: Good football player, but really is a big drop off from Stevie Brown. He could really need a year to develop.

3) Mike Jones: See Hawthorne, but even more need to develop.

4) Je'Ron Stokes: Lack of depth and top production puts him in the top five or six.

Those who really need to red-shirt under any circumstance:

1) Isaiah Bell: Injuries has not been able to go full blast.

2) Anthony LaLota: Very raw, but has shown some progress since spring practices.

3) Teric Jones: Although impressive and probably will be on special teams he is not ready for prime time at cornerback.

4) Cameron Gordon: He is similar to Junior Hemingway and Daryl Stonum so no need to play.

5) Thomas Gordon: Injuries has hindered his participation, another special team player and lack of depth could force him to play. Physically ready, but just has not played much this camp.

6) Michael Schofield: he is an offensive linemen and all offensive linemen should red-shirt, but he is a tough kid and determined to play.

7) Taylor Lewan: A little more athletic that M. Schofield, so left tackle vs. right tackle, but needs another year with Barwis.

8) Quinton Washington: Started slow, but picking it up. He has played a little with second group (mainly because of some injuries), but a definite red-shirt, but future right guard.

9) Fitzgerald Toussaint: No chance.

Adrian Witty would of been playing, we thought he was that good and Coach Gibson told us that at the spring coaches clinic that he thought the kid would play.

A good class with a couple of top players. Long term we like the offensive line group. We like Vlad Emilien and J. T. Turner who could be mainstays for four years.

Couple of observations:
1) Here is a difference between last year and this year. A year ago we could stand on the sidelines and call every play (well almost every play). And it seemed like the kids thought it was a success if they just ran the play. If it was successful or not was secondary.

This year they run all kinds of stuff and although they run the ever popular swing pass to the slot receiver it is not that often and when they do run it, it works.

2) There are times that the holes for the running backs to run through are five yards wide - just huge. We think we could run through them (well maybe a few years ago). Whereas the power running game is designed to wear people out and control the clock this offense is one where the defense could stop the offense on numerous plays, then all of a sudden the running back's run off a fifty yard plus play. At times, it looks more like a track meet.

3) One of the favorite kids and one who we really think in some ways got a raw deal at Michigan is Mark Ortmann. If practice is any indication, we think he has a huge year. And remember, when coaching change happened and Justin Boren was going nuts over Coach Frey, M. Ortmann was one of the kids who was outspoken in terms of "We don't play for a certain coach -- We play for Michigan".

Great kid, who is a perfect example of what a great strength and conditioning program will do. If Barwis was around when M. Ortmann came to Michigan, he would of been a four year starter. Jake Long thought he should of been anyway.

Thanks for stopping by Go Blue Michigan Wolverine
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Written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine

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