Michigan Football Tidbits: Have fun reading, the time is near!
1) One thing we have concluded over the many years of watching football practices is that there is very little, or nothing, observers can substantially learn by watching non-contact practices. Everyone looks quick, everyone looks athletic (or they would not be at UM), but this type of practice cannot yield the definitive evidence concerning who can play football for real on Saturdays.
2) Having stated the above, Michigan practices in Coach Rod's tenure are sure fun to watch. These are very active practices and almost every player is involved 100% of the time. Players move from drill to drill precisely and fundamentals are regularly imbedded within the drill structure.
3) Still, at times, there are players who just by easy eyeball observation stand out in their athletic ability. These guys immediately look like talented football players. In this class of 2009, two freshmen stand out the most, Vlad and D Robinson.
Now keep in mind we have not seen Turner or Gallon that much, but if the idea is to get the best kids onto the field, eventually Michigan must find a way to play D. Robinson.
4) In addition, although most have not seen young Mr. Witty, he is another obvious high-level athlete in this class. The kid is quick, very quick, and he seems to have that Florida mentality that parlays into a very intense competitor. Even in the most basic drills of this past summer, Witty was one kid who really went at it. We can see why Coach Gibson is so very positive concerning young Mr. Witty.
4) Hawthorne, to us, looks like the biggest 195-200 lb. kid ever. Really, he is just a quiet guy who happens to be a very impressive football player. The issue/problem is where does he play? Will he be quick enough to play the Spinner? It will be interesting to see how Hawthorne progresses and where he eventually lands on defense.
5) Another young freshman that may end up being a sleeper is I. Bell. He looks to be very coachable and although this may seem to be a small thing, Bell has very long arms and he looks to be a defender who may grow more in the next two years.
6) There have been only two practices, but the opinion is presented that at this time there really is no close competition at quarterback. Tate is way ahead of everyone: his presence, his football sense, his competitiveness, his wanting to improve on a daily basis, has placed him above the new, but not yet complete, fray. We say let him play and he will help the team win plenty of games at Michigan in the next four years.
7) Top wide receivers around the nation may want to heavily consider Michigan next year. One reason is that Matthews is gone and after him a big question mark remains. The answer is not to throw a bunch of bodies at the position, but rather get a top quality/dominating player. Coming back from the future into the present, it is either Roundtree or Hemingway who is having the best start. Hemingway in particular, has been very good and very determined early on.
8) By the way, have we mentioned that Barnum looks about two blocks wide, but appears to be all muscle?
More will be presented later on, but remember the substance of these early practices cannot be fully determined until about 7-10 days after hitting starts.
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Written by MaizeMan and ErocWolverine