Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mailbag question: I have several questions about the team and your recent rankings.

Posted at 8:00am -- 3/24/2010

Mailbag question: I have several questions about the team and your recent rankings.

Hello GBMW,

First off, I love the site and appreciate the work it takes to maintain the site. Thank you. Second, I saw your recruiting rankings and the one guy that I really believe you missed the boat on is Hopkins. He was one of the better guys I saw on film. He will definitely make an impact on this program in a couple of years, maybe sooner. He has very good vision and is a tough back with a little wiggle and may be the inside the tackles runner Michigan needs.

By the way, I watched last year’s film and thought Gallon was the most impressive guy (vision) and, this will surprise you, I liked Mike Jones (limited film). I also really liked, from previous years, Roy Roundtree (great hands and route runner) and, for the record, I liked Demens too. I am not claiming I am the premier expert on evaluation but I will have a friendly bet that Hopkins will exceed your expectations by leaps and bounds. I also like Pace very much.

Now on to the question(s): D Rob isn't going to cut it at QB, unless it is some sort of wildcat formation or he improves his throwing. Do these guys get specific throwing instruction? Talk to me about how this program improves the passing motion and touch of the QB's. Gardner needs work too.

John W.


Thanks for the questions and comments.

As said in the past, we are not afraid to voice what we believe to be informed opinion/ analysis/evaluation, and yes we can be right and we can be wrong. Predicting football success does not come with a written 100% guarantee, not even close. The guys have not even hit the campus and things evolve and change over a span of years. There are tons of variables to incorporate into a prediction, some hinge on well-worn words such as upside or early bloomer. This even shows with college teams that collectively spend millions of dollars on recruiting, and also the pros, with the NFL draft teams spending so much money to evaluate players by interviewing, working out players and also being able to break down hours and hours of game film from the college level. As all of us are aware, teams have first round busts and seventh round steals.

As far as the recruiting rankings from GBMW, we certainly understand people have their own thoughts and that is fine, but all such talk starts somewhere before or after signing day). Until we actually see the players at Michigan, in a tough practice situation, it certainly makes predicting and evaluating more difficult, unless we are able to watch all commitments in person (a pipe dream).

We even have had parents of recruits communicate a belief that our ratings/predictions are wrong, certainly a noble position. We explain that GBMW, like everyone one else in this field, gives and shares opinions/evaluations/predictions that have an obvious degree of fallibility. We relate to readers what we see. It is not a necessity or requirement to write predisposed fluff pieces to guarantee happiness for some by essentially writing staged opinion, based on factors other than observation and analysis.

As far as Jeremy Gallon goes, we agree with you that he has very good speed and is very athletic. Jeremy still needs to work on catching the ball out of the backfield according to first-hand accounts so far this spring. He has, by account, made some great catches and is creating some big plays. He simply needs to be more consistent in our opinion.

Roundtree is a very good receiver, who seems to just get open and catch the ball. The biggest problem he has is speed. He doesn't have that breakaway speed as we saw last year getting caught from behind in the Illinois game.

As far as the staff, Coach Rod Smith is a very underrated coach who does a great job teaching fundamentals to the quarterbacks. Remember, Denard Robinson did not make it to campus until summer, and did not gain the benefit from spring practices like Tate Forcier.

This spring will give all of us a better idea regarding Denard’s potential at quarterback. He certainly has a better grasp of the system and coaches’ expectations. Would we like to see Denard in a different roll, or be used more in different situations? You bet and he just might be used in other capacities this spring once the team is in the swing of things and some experimentation time becomes available. GBMW would like to see Denard used in a wildcat series, as a running back, as a slot receiver and also with his speed as a slot end. The one problem is Denard cannot just be the automatic go-to guy, the offense needs to use him as a decoy, or else teams will do exactly as last year and just key on him and set the defense for a very predictable play. We also believe Denard needs the entire spring to see how he does as a quarterback; he has skills and could become very dangerous.

As far as Hopkins, you could be right about him. GBMW is not down on him in any way. We have observed Cox struggle in this offense and we see a lot of Cox in Hopkins. Sometimes it takes a little longer to adjust and fit in with what the coaches want. We would be happier then h*ll to be wrong on recruits not living up to predicted shortcomings. It would be a wonderful life if every single recruit came in and excelled in every aspect of college life. That is the ideal state, but not the real state.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue -- Wear Maize!

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