Brief Draft Recap

School-record 7 draftees, though it certainly didn’t feel like a great draft, mostly because a couple should-be first rounders (Branch, Harris) slid into the second, and Hall was taken as the second CB off the board.

Wolverines taken in the NFL Draft:
Leon Hall 18 Cincinnati Bengals
Alan Branch 33 Arizona Cardinals
Lamarr Woodley 46 Pittsburgh Steelers
David Harris 47 New York Jets
Steve Breaston 147 Arizona Cardinals
Prescott Burgess 207 Baltimore Ravens
Tyler Ecker 216 Washington Redskins

The Surprise is obviously Tyler Ecker, who most people didn’t see getting drafted at all. Breaston and Burgess will spend their early years on special teams, while the top 4 will likely be early contributors in some regular capacity.

Undrafted Free Agents:
Rondell Biggs Carolina Panthers
Mark Bihl San Diego Chargers
Jerome Jackson Cleveland Browns
Rueben Riley Carolina Panthers
Garrett Rivas Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matt Gutierrez New England Patriots

Obviously Gutierrez didn’t spend his final year of eligibility with Michigan, but once a Wolverine, always a Wolverine.

UPDATE: J-Jack to the Browns
TUESDAY UPDATE: Rivas to Tampa Bay

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Here is a Youtube Video I made

Sorry for the crappy quality. I am too lazy to make it better.


Posted under Video

Spring Practice Photo Album

This is just a greastest hits post, because there are 200-some photos, many of them redundant. Unfortunately, Paul is retarded and didn’t take many action shots during the scrimmage.

Best pictures: Mario Manningham stares into your soul, and Johnny Sears in closeup (so you can still see is russet-colored dreadfro, made famous by my first ever link from mgoblog. Note – I am still this creepy).

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Mallett to stay at Michigan

Though Tom Beaver said not to worry about it a ways back, there has been enough rumbling about the situation to add fuel to the potential-Mallett-transfer fire.

However, sources, including this snide Texarkana blog, say that Mallett has made his decision to stay (this despite all but encouraging it a week ago). Bob Lichtenfels has also said that Toney Clemons was informed by Ryan himself that a transfer will not happen.

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More Mealer

From the Toledo Blade:

“Michigan was my number one school for a long time, and after I talked it over with my family and then slept on it, the decision to go there felt great,” Mealer said. “All signs pointed north for me. And as far as my room and all the Ohio State stuff – I’ll just have to figure that out.”

Bo used to live on the Ohio guys who grew up OSU fans, and always played with an extra chip on their shoulder all year, especially in the third weekend of November.

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OH OL Elliot Mealer Commits

OH Offensive Lineman Elliot Mealer has committed to Michigan. He is a lifelong Ohio State fan, but did not have an offer.

Mealer is an honorable mention on Jim Stefani’s top offensive linemen, putting him outside the top 75, but in the next approximately 4000. HOWEVER, Jim said his OL rankings are old, and Mealer is among his top 75 prospects now, as he has had a big boost after his film has gone around.

Some film 4 u.

Mealer has implied that TE Kevin Koger, one of his good friends, may have his mind on committing to Michigan as well. Koger currently holds an offer from Michigan.

Posted under Recruiting

Spring Game Comparisons

Michigan has 5500 fans show up at its (free) spring game.
Ohio State has 50,000+ pay $5 for theirs
Alabama has to turn people away at the gates.

So why the differences?

It’s obvious at least in the case of Alabama. In a football-crazy state, one of the two big schools gets a new coach with national-championship and NFL credentials. Ohio State, on the other hand, was on the cusp of the national championship, and have similar success in the recent past.

Michigan: the last three year, lose the last two games, one being to their biggest rival and the other being in a bowl game, and with 3 of them (OSU2004, NEB, USC) being upset losses. On top of simply not being as football-crazy as people in Alabama or Ohio State (be honest, Michigan is a basketball state), that can’t fully explain a discrepancy of 10-to-20 times as many people.

Weather is another explanation. The weather for Michigan’s “game” was really shitty. It was not bad for either OSU or Bama. However, would there have been THAT many more peopel with better weather? Doubt it.

The main issue is the publicity and the selling of the program. Most schools other than Michigan have a real spring game, on TV, with a lot of publicity. Michigan does not. Obviously, with injuries this year, it wasn’t really feasible, but that hasn’t been true in the past, still without a spring game. Michigan should move forward, and get its publicity machine going, and move into the 21st century, to generate a buzz about the program.

This helps in every facet of the game, from recruiting, to simply winning over fans in your own state, and so on.

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We deserve an OSU rematch

Fuck you, Brian Cook.

Posted under Analysis

More Spring Practice

I promise Paul will eventually post the photo gallery (last I spoke to him (last night) he was trying to decide how to post thumbnails in the most aesthetically pleasing manner possible). Depth charts have been updated with the new information from spring practice (click the “important posts” tab on the right).

Some analysis, most of it from the scrimmage:

QB: Henne looked pretty good, though he obviously wasn’t giving 100% effort the whole time. His throws to the left (a point of struggling in the past) looked much more accurate. Tacopants was nowhere to be found. Mallett looked very good (see Paul’s video extravaganza below), and certainly appears to be ready to step in as the quarterback of the future. He didn’t have any trouble handling snaps from under center, and there were no shotgun snaps taken. Cone looked like career backup material (which shouldn’t be surprising, because he was recruited as such, and came in knowing the situation). Walk-on Nick Sheridan looked good, but will obviously never play a down.
OL: The run game struggled most of the day, but this was also without a few starters playing, and with a mix-and-match assortment of lineups. The starting line will almost assuredly be Long-Kraus-Boren-Mitchell-?, with ? representing the best of Dorrestein, Schilling, and Zirbel. Boren and Moosman both looked good snapping.
TE: Sucky. Martell Webb and Steve Watson had better be able to come in and play, and Mike Massey should have crafted himself (shoulder especially) out of a material other than glass. Criswell could block for the run and pass pretty well, but couldn’t catch a pass to save his life. McLaurin could do neither.
RB: Minor only played 2 downs in the scrimmage, thrown to twice. No news there, though he certainly looked like an imposing physical specimen. The FBs carried the load in the scrimmage, and looked like FBs doing so. The surprise of the spring was RS Freshman Mark Moundros, a preferred walk-on who has the smart money for being the starter come fall. Vince Helmuth has a little more developing to do, but he looked like a future badass.
WR: Walkon central, as Greg Mathews and LaTerryal Savoy were the only scholarship WRs there. Manningham was in attendance wearing street clothes, and Arrington was not present. Judging by the fact that there are only 2 scholarship WRs right now, hopefully both can come back and contribute. There will definitely be playing time opportunities for multiple freshmen here, as well. Mathews looked good, though he’s definitely not a burner (overthrown a couple time by both Mallett and Henne – on passes Manningham would have easily run under). Unlike last year, Savoy looked like crap, so I hope he just confuses “final spring practice” with “opposite day.” Walk-on David Middleton looked decent, though there’s a reason he’s a walk-on.

DL: A ton of guys played here. Brandon Graham looked good, even if his step isn’t as fast as I was expecting from a former LB. Will Johnson looked really fast off the line for his size, which is good. Adam Patterson was solid if unimpressive. Jason Kates looked to be in terrible condition. There is more depth on the DL than I was expecting, which can only be a good thing.
LB: If the season started today, I’d have to think your starting LB lineup would be (weak to strong) Mouton-Ezeh-Crable. Johnny Thompson and Chris Graham both didn’t practice, but Mouton and Ezeh looked good. Mouton especially, as he was the best LB on the field, in terms of speed and big hits. Crable did not scrimmage. Austin Panter was OK, but he got run over in the run game a couple of times. He needs to work on his lower body strength a lot in the off-season if he wants to be a big contributor in the fall.
DB: Stevie Brown is really good at the football. Johnny Sears looked bad, which can’t be a good thing. It’s not even that he didn’t have the skills and mental abilities, it just seemed like he wasn’t even playing attention during the scrimmage. Hopefully it was just a bad practice for him. Brandon Harrison was as expected, Charles Stewart looked like a good backup SS, as did (surprisingly) career special-teamer Anton Campbell. Morgan Trent was beaten more times than I am comfortable with at this time.

ST: Punting will still be handled by Zoltan. He boomed a couple but was inconsistent (I probably could have said that without even attending the practice). The Place kicker battle will be between K.C. Lopata and Bryan Wright. Wright has the bigger leg, but was more inconsistent. Lopata was more accurate, but dinged an extra point of the back of an O-Lineman’s helmet. This one will be settled in the fall, and don’t be surprised if they split duties a bit during the season.

Posted under Personnel, Spring Coverage

New Indoor Football Facility Planned

According to the Ann Arbor News, a new indoor football facility is planned for the area where the current outdoor practice fields are.

In the ongoing facilities race, this is a step in the right direction for year-round practice, and recruits always love shiny news things. The project is expected to cost $26.1 Million. Link to Regents Action Request.

Downsides: Soccer field moving down by the varsity tennis center, too far to walk. Obviously attendance at soccer games is too high as it is.

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