The Future Huddle- Upcoming Visitors and a New Offer

Who’s going to be on campus this weekend? Who will Michigan turn to now after missing out on Jake Fruhmorgen? Do we finally have a Quarterback yet?! Find out in this Fridays version of The Future Huddle.

2015 4 Star Linebacker Joshua McMillon will visit Ann Arbor this weekend. McMillon was offered a scholarship in January and will now make his first visit. Prying Joshua from SEC country seems like a big hill to climb, but having him visit can only be considered as a good thing. Joshua will be heading up to Michigan on Friday afternoon and will stay the night and the following day/night. Sunday he will head south to Columbus for a visit.  Getting McMillon to “go blue” seems like a hard task to begin with but, with a quality visit/tour, anything can happen.

Michigan lands a Quarterback- but not by scholarship. Joey Hewlett will be a walking on next year for the Wolverines.  The Northville High product is by no means a “pocket passer”; as he gains most of his yards by scrambling. Hewlett doesn’t possess the strongest and most accurate arm I’ve ever seen but still can make quality throws while on the run and get the ball to the receiver.  Hewlett should be just a depth player in the long run, but you can’t be too disappointed when a QB decides to walk on at a time when Michigan needs one the most. However, this doesn’t mean Michigan won’t take a QB for the 2015 cycle.  Brian Lewerke and Alex Malzone should be getting offers extended their way after Michigan staff watch them through in person this upcoming spring.

Senior Stats: 117 for 187 Passing 1940 Yards, 20 TDS- Passing
                          157 Carries for 1120 yards and 14 TDS- Rushing

Joeys Hudl highlights can be seen here.

Michigan misses out on a big time offensive tackle. As expected, Jake Fruhmorgen committed to Clemson yesterday afternoon at his high school in Tampa, Florida.  Fruhmorgen is a 4 star prospect who had multiple scholarship offers from across the country. Michigan had a late start with his recruitment and eventually, Clemson was too much to overtake.  Clemson now boasts two of the top 10 offensive tackles for the 2015 recruiting cycle which as a Michigan fan makes me extremely jealous, considering what our o-line looked like last year. With a scholarship now available to offer, who will get offered? Another offensive lineman would have made sense….. Not so fast

Late Thursday night, Michigan offered 2015 Safety Kahlil Haughton a scholarship. Haughton is rated as the #41 safety and #636 overall player in the 24/7 composite rankings. The Waco native boasts a pretty impressive scholarship offer list from over 15 different schools.  Baylor should be his outright leader at this point.  Being 6’2 and 175 pounds Haughton will probably only has to add on a few pounds to get acclimated to the college game. Steve Lorenz from Wolverines24/7 caught up with Kahlil last night and had this to say (subscription required) about the program:

"Their fan base is amazing and is something that stands out. Playing in front of more than 110,000 people every home game is something that would be a lot of fun, so I definitely plan on looking into a visit to see what Michigan has to offer me."
            Look for the coaching staff to get him on campus as soon as possible.  

Kahlil’s Hudl highlights can be seen below.

4 star Wide Receiver Juval Mollette recently released his top 5 in the middle of March.

Mollette is very quick on the outside and can play against just about any defensive back. He has adequate speed and route running abilities, but where he really shines is in one-on-one coverage. Mollette has excellent hands and can come down with any jump ball that’s thrown his way. The 6’4 185 pounder is rated as the 39th overall wide receiver and 290th overall nationally according to 24/7’s composite rankings.  Michigan offered him shortly after the George Campbell fiasco in January. I can only salivate at the thought of what this guy could do in the red zone opposite of someone who plays like Devin Funchess.

Juval recently spoke with CarolinaBlue's Ross Martin and had this to say about his list.
"Carolina and Clemson. Those are my two favorites. Carolina has been recruiting me real hard from day one. I get to visit them a lot more than anyone else because they are not that far from my house."

Source: 24/7

Other notes:
2015 QB David Sills continued his journey across the country this week. Today (Friday), he visits Alabama.

2015 DE target Keisean Lucier-South tweeted out this creepy photo Monday night.
I have no idea what to make of this...

You can follow Travis Cooper on twitter @Maizenbluecoop

Throwback Thursday: Michigan vs Wisconsin (9/27/08)

Steven Threet, because we had no idea what we were doing. Via mgoblog
A few weeks ago, we Thursday threwback to the Minnesota game in 2003 to rehash Michigan's largest comeback ever. While on paper that was the largest deficit Michigan has ever come back from to win a game, but there's probably no other game in recent memory in which the momentum had swung so wildly in Michigan's favor than the Wisconsin game from 2008.

The Wolverines were a hot mess that year. I hesitate to use the word disaster since there was some pretty good talent on that team, but Rich Rod and Michigan were just oil and water. And his first season at Michigan was, shall we say...not good.

That said, this game against Wisconsin, the 500th game at Michigan Stadium was the high water mark for a season we've all tried ever so hard to forget. But for one afternoon in the Big House the football Gods smiled down on the Maize & Blue.

Okay, maybe they smirked. But still.

From my wrap-up post...
I wasn't in the stadium, but you didn't have to be to hear the barrage of "Boooo's" coming from the fans as the players left for the locker rooms at halftime. My only hope is that all of those booing left the game and went home, so they couldn't be there to witness the awesome comeback. Michigan fans like that not only make me sick, but I believe they are everything that is wrong with sports.
Kudos to any fan who made it to this game and stayed for the 2nd half comeback. All signs through the first 2/3 of game pointed to an epic fail, but you stood tough in the face of embarrassing defeat. Or, you had a time machine and knew this team would lose to Toledo in 2 weeks and wanted to soak it in. I digress.

Momentum is an amazing thing in sports. It can temporally make good teams bad and vice versa. Never has that been more apparent than in this game from one of the worst seasons in Michigan Football history.

Throwback Thursday: Michigan vs Houston (9/26/92)
Throwback Thursday: You Are Looking Live Edition
Throwback Thursday: Michigan vs Ohio State (11-22-86)
Throwback Thursday: Michigan vs Minnesota (10/10/03)
Throwback Thursday: Michigan vs Michigan State (10/25/97)

Spring Thoughts

"Well, at least it was sunny."

The 2014 spring game practice has come and gone. It wasn't that great. It wasn't really a game. It wasn't really fun to watch…whether you were there or watching on TV. The very first play of the scrimmage portion of the day was a Devin Gardner interception.

It never really recovered from there.

For as much as Michigan fans have enjoyed watching the basketball squad win championships and do fun post-season things, Michigan Football has been the little kid in the classroom with his hand raised. But the problem is no one really seems to care.

The issues that plagued this team last season don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
“We’re doing a lot of good things, but we’re not near good enough as a team to win games in the fourth quarter, which we didn’t do (last season), and play on the road,” said Hoke, entering his fourth season. “We’re a long way from being any good."
I hope he's kidding. He's not kidding? He's not kidding.

And there's this
A month and a half ago, Brady Hoke was hoping he'd close spring practice with a rough idea of who his five best offensive linemen were.

But after Saturday's spring game at Michigan Stadium, a rough day overall for the Wolverines' up front, Hoke couldn't give an answer.

"I don't know if we can say that, honestly," Hoke said. "I know I can't.

"So, I guess the answer is no."

Are the Wolverines even close, really, to identifying the best five?

"No," Hoke said. "Not yet." 

MGoblog on the above Hoke quote…
That was apparent on the field, where runs generally got to the line of scrimmage (hooray!) and no further (mutter). Pass protection was close to nonexistent. It was what everyone expected, which was bad. They've got five months to figure it out, whereupon they probably won't figure it out. Digging out of a hole as big as Michigan dug last year is a two-year operation. 
Expectations for 2014 among most fans seem to vary drastically, but they're trending lower than usual. And with good reason. Brady Hoke, in 3 years, has yet to win on the road against a good opponent. Last year, Michigan allowed bad teams to close the gap and overtake in the 4th quarter. They just couldn't finish.

But the consensus among everyone is that for Michigan to regain some of the momentum of Hoke's early success at Michigan, they must be able to run the football effectively. And it all starts with a cohesive offensive line that's up to the job.

As far as what we saw on the field on Saturday…yes, it wasn't great. But I'll concede that spring games generally favor defenses. And in this case, with Michigan installing a brand new offense, it's even more so. Offense is all about timing, defense is all about reaction. And with Michigan's defense weighted heavier with upperclassmen, it's no wonder where the strength of this team lies.

Michigan spring games are never great for the die-hard fan who's looking for a ton of improvement from basically the same guys who didn't do all that great just 3 months ago. Plus, Michigan is never going to trot out a new offensive scheme and show off what all the buttons do.

No, spring games are just what they are. Just another chance for Michigan fans to get their fix…for whatever it's worth.

Now, if we'd like to finally get serious about scheduling a real scrimmage against other schools…then you'll get fans, coaches, players and everyone else excited. 

The Future Huddle - Spring Game Reactions/New Offers

The spring game has come and gone without any commitments but, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any recruiting news to come out of Michigan. Plenty of recruits saw the game first hand and even a few left with offers.  The general mood within recruits that visited Ann Arbor on Saturday was good, and most were happy with what they saw on field. Having more people at Michigan Stadium could have made the atmosphere better, but when it’s not really a true game and more of a practice it’s hard to imagine 100,000+ people coming out.

 Asmar Bilal was offered Friday morning. The class of 2015 linebacker racked up 106 tackles, 11.5 for loss, and 4.5 sacks in his junior year of high school, to go along with a 4.16 GPA. I suspect Bilal’s recruitment to either end up in Michigan or Notre Dames favor. Highlights are below.

2016 OL Ben Bredeson was offered shortly after the game on Saturday. Bredeson has a short offer list (Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Iowa State), but will likely see more offers come his way in the near future. Bredeson will be on Wisconsin’s campus this upcoming weekend, and will travel back to Ann Arbor for the following weekend.  I’ve spent a lot of time since Saturday watching his film, and I absolutely love what he brings to the field. At 6’4 and 255 pounds, Bredeson is the smallest of the offensive tackles Michigan has offered so far for 2016.  A position change to guard may better suit him for the college game. Ben's hudl highlights can be seen here 

2015 TE Hale Hentges was offered in January, and made an appearance this weekend at the spring game. Hentges is a very intriguing prospect who boasts an impressive offer list from schools all over the country.  The 6’5 235 pounder racked up 940 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2013 for Helias High School.  The past week Hentges visited Michigan, MSU, Ohio State, and Alabama.  

247’s Clint Brewster spoke with 3 star 2015 QB target Brian Lewerke and this is what he had to say; 
"The Big House was very impressive. It was great to see it in person. I liked how the coaches were easy to talk to and get along with."
"The coaches said I'm one their top guys, they just want to wait a little longer before sending out an offer."
"Michigan would be in my top three of four schools if they offered. Michigan State, Michigan, Arizona State, and Florida are my top schools in no order."
             If Michigan is serious about adding a Quarterback for the 2015 cycle, they should consider giving a scholarship offer before it’s too late.

In other Quarterback news, David Sills visited Maryland Friday after being on West Virginia’s campus Thursday. Saturday, he visited in Penn State for an unofficial. This week he will be putting in more miles with visits to California, Alabama, and Mississippi State planned. Safe to say he’s checking all his options and going to make the right choice of where he wants to play football in the future.  A bright spot for Michigan? David retweeted this Saturday afternoon.
Have to think he still wants to get on campus again.

Other Notes:

Ronald Jones committed to Oklahoma State this weekend. The All American 4 star RB had a Michigan offer.  If Michigan is unable to land either Damien Harris or Michael Weber, their 2015 running back situation could get ugly fast.

Jake Fruhmorgen will announce his college decision this Thursday at 3:15. Fruhmorgen was on campus at the end of March. Look for his decision to come down to Clemson/Florida/Michigan.  With Michigan getting into his recruitment a little too late, I think there’s too much ground to make up and he ends up at Clemson.

2015 Prospect Darrin Kirkland Jr., who was offered on Friday morning, took in the Spring Game.
I’m under the impression that Kirkland Jr. is Michigan’s to lose. He announces on the 30th of May.

Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and his father DID make it to Ann Arbor as well on Saturday. Michigan should be his outright leader at this point.  

Possible flip? Current Michigan State offensive tackle, Kyonta Stallworth was back on campus this weekend.
Could Stallworth be this year’s Drake Harris? Stallworth who is rated by 24/7 as the 28th offensive tackle, committed to Michigan State on August 7th of last year.  Have to feel as if Michigan’s coaching staff will hop on the opportunity to offer the minute they can.

You can follow Travis Cooper on twitter @Maizenbluecoop

Spring Game Photos

As per usual for pressbox media, we only had minimal field access. I got some decent post-game shots though. We'll have more details on the game practice itself later. Here's the gallery.

The Future Huddle - Spring Game Edition

SPECIAL NOTE: This is the maiden post for our new recruiting reporter/analyst Travis Cooper! We're really excited to have Travis aboard and for him to share his insights on these virtual pages. Give him a follow on Twitter at @Maizenbluecoop. -Brad
THE FUTURE HUDDLE- Spring Game Edition
Michigan will host its spring practice game this Saturday, and a hand full of prospects will make unofficial visits to Ann Arbor. The spring game is always an exciting time for recruits, as they get to check out and get a “feel” for the campus and stadium. This year however, Michigan has installed a new offense and recruits will be looking to see how the new system can fit their skill sets in person. Could this spring game be the shot in the arm Michigan needs to catch up on the recruiting trail?

2015 Prospects

  • WR Miles Boykin
  • TE Hale Hentges
  • OL David Moorman
  • QB Brian Lewerke
  • Marvin Franklin JR.
2016 Prospects
  • LB Brendan Ferns
  • LB Daelin Hayes
  • DB Lavert Hill
  • OT Ben Bredeson
  • QB Messiah deWeaver
2017 Prospects
  • LB Josh Ross
  • OT Josh Myers
  • QB Kyle Wood
  • WR Ricky Smalling
The Entire Core6 program will also be in attendance this weekend.

Ferns, Hayes, Hill and Ross are all relatives of current Wolverines players. I don’t see how this can be taken as anything but positive. Having people you already know, let alone are related to, can make the transition from high school to college much easier. Also, 2015 TE target Tyron Wheatley Jr., might make the trip to Ann Arbor this weekend. Wheatley and his father have planned to make multiple visits this weekend, and it’s all a matter of being able to fit Michigan into his busy schedule. If not, Wheatley Jr. will definitely be on campus at some point in the summer.

Other Notes:

2015 5 star OLB Justin Hilliard named his top 10 recently this week.

No surprise that Michigan made the cut. It's been long thought Hilliard’s recruitment has been a two horse race with Michigan and Ohio State. Speaking of Ohio State... 

2015 RB Mike Weber will take an unofficial visit to Columbus this weekend. Michigan has recently gained momentum in Weber’s recruiting. Before the hiring of Coach Nussmeier, I would have put Weber's chances at coming to Michigan in the slim to none bracket. Since then, the coaching staff have made Weber a priority and made it clear that Michigan wants him. The change to the pro-style offense in recent years definitely helps Michigan’s chances. Cass Tech has long been a pipeline school for Michigan, and losing recruits back-to-back years to Ohio State won’t be good for Hoke and Company.

2015 QB target David Sills, who committed to USC in 2010, visited West Virginia on Thursday. Sills has seen his recruitment pick up steam since 5 star QB Ricky Town flipped to USC. Sills was on campus last month and does have a scholarship offer in hand. Michigan would like to take a QB in the 2015 class and has only handed out 4 scholarships so far, with all 4 being committed to schools already. Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson both played with Sills last year at Eastern Christian Academy.

2016 Junior ATH Darrin Kirkland Jr. was offered a scholarship Friday morning. Throughout high school, Kirkland has seen snaps at WR/RB/OLB and MLB. Michigan will recruit Kirkland as a LB, as he fits the exact mold of what they are looking for at the linebacker position. Great on the pass-rush, Kirkland sheds blocks, and has excellent field vision. Watching his highlight tape, it’s hard to believe that more top tier schools haven’t jumped at the chance to offer him a scholarship.

Kirkland plans to announce his decision on May 30th, so look for the staff to get him on campus before for an unofficial.

Former Alabama offensive lineman Chad Lindsay will also be attendance this weekend. Lindsay graduated last year after starting 4 games for the Crimson Tide, and still has one year of eligibility left. With Michigan having a young/inexperienced o-line, having Lindsay transfer would benefit the program immensely. I think the chance to play for Coach Nussmeier again, and have a chance to be a starter puts Michigan over the top for his services.

You can follow Travis Cooper on twitter @Maizenbluecoop

Spring Game Stuff

So you're headed to the spring game? Cool. See you at the Big House around 12:15 for the "Victors Classic" alumni flag football game with the spring game to follow around 1:45-2:00ish. See the official mgopress release for the all the deets.

Well, first off, it's not really a "game". But I assume we all know the drill by now. What you're going to see for roughly two hours tomorrow is a practice full of group drills followed by a scrimmage that may or may not very exciting. To call it a game is rather misleading. Honestly, I don't remember if it's ever been an actual "game".

Also, for the Maize & Blue faithful wishing to get a peak inside the newly renovated Schembechler Hall, the Towsley Museum inside will be open for public viewing from 9AM-noon.
A featured element in the renovation of Schembechler Hall is the life-size statue of Bo Schembechler outside the entrance to the building. The statue is an iconic sideline image of Bo in his classic sideline attire and includes his timeless quote, “Those Who Stay Will Be Champions.”
Bring your cameras. This is sure to be a popular photo opp.

Can't make it to the game? BTN has you covered with live coverage of the scrimmage starting at 2PM eastern. Interestingly, Matt Sheppard will be doing the play-by-play with Marcus Ray providing commentary. While the radio broadcast will be handled by Jim Brandstatter and Doug Karsch. Not sure if this is a sign of things to come, because as we all know Frank Beckmann has hung up his Wolverine mic at the end of last season.

Throwback Thursday: Michigan vs Houston (9/26/92)

Ah, student section endzone marshmallows. A tradition like no other.
This week's edition of #ThrowbackThursday goes all the way back...22 years ago to the 1992 season.

How has it been 22 flippin' years?! Sigh.

The Wolverines were fresh off a 10-2 season in 1991 with losses to #1 Florida State earlier in the year and then #1 Washington in the Rose Bowl. But a win against Notre Dame and an 8-0 Big Ten record meant that it was a very successful year in Ann Arbor. 1992 was primed to be just as successful.

After a 17-17 tie in South Bend to open the year and a demolishing of Oklahoma State in week two, Michigan was ready to roll. And roll they did, over the lowly Houston Cougars 61-7. So why did I pick this seemingly innocuous game for this week's #ThrowbackThursday feature? Well, it's simply personal.

I was just a wee lad back in 1992. While I'm pretty sure I had been to Michigan games before my cognitive ability had kicked in, this was the first game that I could actually remember attending.

I was born a raised in Toledo, OH. I grew up in a house/family divided by generations of allegiance to Michigan and Ohio State. I can distinctly remember attending games in Columbus as a youngster, not fully aware of what was going on, but none the less, I was there. But this 1992 trip to Ann Arbor was special. I was 12 years old, highly impressionable. And this game left a big impression.

I can trace my Michigan allegiance back to this single game. More specifically, when Tyrone Wheatley returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. My eyes had finally been opened. I saw the light...and never looked back.

This game was a thorough beatdown...thus spoiling me for the rest of my Michigan fandom.

Michigan Spring Analysis and OL Breakdown

Just because we'd all love to forget about last season doesn't mean we can't be at least a little excited for 2014 and Team 135. Right?...guys???

Ok, I get it. Its not the easiest thing in the world to get pumped for football when you're flirting with all-time low fan interest on three fronts.
  • Its March and its 30 degrees.
  • Basketball is in the sweet sixteen for the 2nd straight year after cruising to a regular season B1G title which provides more than enough distraction to forget about football entirely.
  • Last season was horribly difficult to digest, and the bowl game was just the cherry on top that no Michigan fan wanted making this off-season that much more intolerable.
However, spring practice has been going strong for a few weeks. And as Gerry DiNardo points out below, Michigan does have a few things going in its favor. Including the fact that 76 of the 85 scholarship players on the 2014 roster are on campus right now practicing. That's just north of 89%.

Hey, its March, I'll take anything!

Anyway, here's a couple from BTN breaking down DiNardo's spring impressions (he was at a practice). And a state-controlled spring highlight video which features the offensive line.



Don't forget, the 2014 spring game scrimmage will be Saturday, April 5th at 2:00PM at the Big House. Admission is free and just as previous years there will be an alumni flag football game played prior to the scrimmage.

Now Hiring: Recruiting Reporter

Our recruiting reporter, Daniel Winslow, who has been gracing these virtual pages with his great insight for the last couple years has decided to move on to another, slightly more profitable endeavor. As we bid him adieu and wish him the best of luck, we now have to fill an immediate opening for a new recruiting reporter.

Recruiting is the life-blood of a college football program, thus, it should be given it's proper attention. This is where you come in.

What I'm looking for
Simple. Provide consistently good, original recruiting content for this site.

You will...
• Write at least one recruiting post a week depending on what's going on.
• Write up "Incoming" posts as new recruits commit.
• Have a presence on Twitter (where all recruiting info is free and plentiful).

What I expect is someone who can provide insight into a recruit and a recruiting class as a whole. Talk about individual recruits, discuss team needs, discuss possible targets, provide analysis of recruiting classes...that kind of stuff. And most of all, have a good take. Don't just give out bios, have an opinion on a guy. Opinions matter.

The most important thing is that you do not, do not, DO NOT steal from other recruiting sites. If you're going to cover recruiting for us, it must be all your own stuff.

What I can offer you
Exposure. You notice all those fancy-pants recruiting insiders at 24/7, Scout or Rivals? They weren't just anointed. They all started somewhere.

The biggest incentive for you is that you'll have a chance to get your name out there and build a solid reputation as a recruiting insider (assuming that's what you're looking to do). Everything you publish will be under your name. This site generates it's fair share of traffic, so if your stuff is good, it will get read.

This job is what you make it.

• Writing samples are helpful. I gotta know if you can write.
• An unbridled enthusiasm for Michigan football and recruiting.

I can't promise anything else other than if you're good at what you do, people will notice. Shoot me an email at brad[at]maizenbluenation[dot]com only if you're seriously interested.

Incoming: Garrett Taylor

Time to dust off the old recruiting post chops! Our recruiting reporter, Daniel Winslow, has decided to pursue a slightly more profitable venture in his real life and will no longer have the time to devote to writing about 16-18 year-olds making decisions. We'll talk more about that soon, but for now let's welcome Michigan's first incoming recruit since November!

The 2015 recruiting board has been updated, and lives here.
Meet Jarrett Taylor
Rivals: ✭✭✭✭, #6 CB
Scout: ✭✭✭✭, #36 CB
24/7: ✭✭✭✭, #6 CB
ESPN: ✭✭✭✭, #7 CB
Jarrett Taylor, the 6-1, 188 pound high school junior out of Richmond, VA becomes the 5th member of the 2015 class and the 3rd defensive back to be wooed by DB coach Roy Manning and the Wolverines. Six feet one inches is a tall drink of water for a cornerback. And 188 pounds is slightly on the heavier side as well. But don't be fooled folks, don't be fooled.

24/7's Steve Lorenz:
At 6'1"/188, Taylor is of the Jabrill Peppers/Channing Stribling mold in that he is a taller player who has the length and strength to play receivers hard at the line, forcing them off their routes and making them work harder to get open in smaller spaces. He's a sound, aggressive tackler who doesn't shy away from contact and picks his spots in terms of making the right play at the right time. In short, he is one of the best players in his class at his position and gives Michigan another elite option at cornerback going forward.
Taylor is a physical corner with good size and instincts. He does a nice job of reading the quarterback's eyes and has good ball skills. Taylor also does a good job of shedding blocks and is very good in run support. Overall, Taylor has a lot of natural ability. He could play either cornerback or safety at the next level. - Michael Clark 
Other offers
Basically, every major school in the country has offered Taylor, including Ohio State, Michigan State,  Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU, Nebraska, Stanford, South Carolina, Tennessee, Penn State, VT and Wisconsin. This is a huge pick up for the Wolverines.

Hype video

Possible OL Transfer on the Way?

As being reported by Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports, the long-speculated rumor of an Alabama OL transfer seem to be growing some legs.
The backup guard saw action in 8 games last year including 4 starts for the injured Ryan Kelly. Since Lindsay has graduated, he would be able to come in and play immediately, and not have to sit out the mandatory 1 year that undergraduate transfers must do.
Image: 24/7 Sports
No word as to why he has decided to transfer, but one would assume he would like to go somewhere where he can start immediately.

For Michigan, it would be a short-term windfall for the offensive line which returns numerous players with varying levels of inexperience on the interior, and must replace both tackles. As an added plus, Lindsay is already very familiar with first-year offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and his schemes/terminology. Having a center with that level of familiarity could be very helpful for this young offensive line.

Michigan is not typically a destination for transfer prospects, typically players transfer away from the program for better playing-time elsewhere. But this unique circumstance seems to be favoring the Wolverines.

Graham Glasgow, who started much of the year at center last season for Michigan has been suspended for a portion of spring practice as well as the season opener against Appalachian State for a "violation of team expectations".

Is Brady Hoke on the Hot Seat?

11-2. 8-5. 7-6.
It wasn't supposed to be like this.

After the 2010 season, even the most hardcore Maize & Blue faithful were ready to show Rich Rod, and his dismal record of 15-22 the door after his 3rd year in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh was the fan favorite to replace Rodriguez, but Jim obviously had other plans.

Enter: Brady Hoke.

After a comprehensive "national coaching search" by athletic director Dave Brandon, Brady Hoke was named the 19th head coach at the University of Michigan on January 11th, 2011. Fan reaction was mixed, but generally optimistic. Hoke had good coaching experience, including as an assistant at Michigan. His overall head coaching record was a slight red flag, but most were willing to look past that because of the struggling programs he had inherited at Ball State and San Diego State.

Overall, most Michigan fans were just happy to have the Rich Rod era behind them and something to look forward to…something to be excited about again. And Hoke didn't disappoint.

The 2011 season began much like the previous two years under Rodriguez. Wins against all non-conference foes including Notre Dame. A win against the first two Big Ten teams on the schedule. But then Michigan stumbled against in-state rival Michigan State. Another league win and then another tough road loss at Iowa.

This script was starting to sound familiar.

But that's when Hoke separated himself from the previous years of struggle. A confident win on the road at Illinois and then a return home for two highly anticipated matchups against Nebraska and Ohio State that both resulted in major wins for the first year coach. Sitting at 11-2 after a win against Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, Michigan fans were feeling good after a successful but albeit still not a championship season for Michigan. But they were trending in the right direction and that was enough for year 1 under Brady Hoke.
Denard Robinson and David Molk following a 40-34 win over Ohio State.
The Rich Rod era was a distant memory and Michigan had tasted real success for the first time since 2006. For Brady, who was also making great gains in recruiting top talent to Ann Arbor, you couldn't have asked for a much better start to the Hoke era at Michigan.

There was a consensus that Michigan was now "back" after the impressive first year under the new head coach. But those notions were about to be dispelled in a big way.

If you want to know where you stand as a program nationally...schedule Alabama as your opener. That will give you a harsh look in the mirror. In front of 90,000+ fans inside Cowboys Stadium and a national primetime audience on TV, Michigan took a 41-14 whipping by Nick Saban and his defending national championship squad. Before Michigan could even blink, the score was 21-0…in the first quarter. They never recovered.

Three weeks later, Michigan was sent packing by the Irish after an embarrassing turnover filled 13-6 loss in which Denard Robinson was responsible for 5 of the 6 Michigan turnovers that cost the Wolverines the game. The Irish would eventually finish the season undefeated only to also lose to Alabama 42-14 in the national title game.

In late October at Nebraska that same year, Michigan sat at 5-2 after a narrow win against Michigan State the week prior. Denard Robinson went down in the first half with a nerve injury in his arm. Untested backup QB Russell Bellomy stepped in, but with no success as Michigan stumbled yet again in a marquee primetime matchup.

Another loss at Ohio State one month later and disturbing trend was beginning to emerge. Michigan couldn't win big games on the road.

And as we sit here today almost a year and a half later, Brady Hoke and Michigan have yet to win a major regular season game away from the Big House.
The site of Michigan's 4 overtime loss to Penn State, their 1st of 6 losses last year.
East Lansing, South Bend, Columbus, Lincoln, Iowa City, State College. All of these venues have been like kryptonite for the Wolverines. And in an era when there is little to no room for error for big time college football coaches, this is the primary point of contention for Brady Hoke's critics.

His combined record of 4-5 against Michigan's primary rivals (Ohio State 1-2, Michigan State 1-2, and Notre Dame 2-1) has only added fuel to the fire that is turning up the heat on Hoke as he enters year four. Michigan can't just get by with mediocrity when the conference as a whole has been so mediocre.

The head football coaching position at Michigan is unlike most college football coaching jobs. The lights shine a little brighter at Michigan than they do at most places. And as a result expectations are always going to be elevated regardless of outside forces or circumstances. There isn't just pressure to win, there's pressure to deliver championships. And if you're not bringing home trophies you better at least be in the hunt.

Brady Hoke he's yet to sniff a Big Ten championship – his self-proclaimed ultimate goal every season.
So the question everyone is asking this offseason is whether or not Brady Hoke finds himself on the hot seat. But I think the fact that its even a question sort of tells you all you need to know. Now of course we don't know whats being discussed behind closed doors. But you have to assume that since offensive coordinator Al Borges was fired and no expense was spared in hiring his replacement, Hoke is feeling the pressure to win and win now.

Is that fair? Probably not. But since when is any coaching profession fair?

Is 3 years enough time to put a coach on the hot seat? Ask Rich Rod. I think it all depends. But in this modern culture of college football – when guys like Urban Meyer show up in Columbus and win 24 straight games…and your in-state rival breaks that winning streak en route to a Big Ten title...the heat gets turned up. There's no way to avoid it.

Year 4 for Brady Hoke at Michigan is going to be the defining year. I can't sit here in March and tell you how many wins could save Hoke's job because I don't think it works like that. But if things are going well or not so well, you'll know it. Because you'll feel it.

It'll be impossible not to.

Throwback Thursday: You Are Looking Live Edition

CNN/SI / Getty Images
Love him or hate him...or just tolerate him, the 74-year old Brent Musburger has been one of the quintessential voices of sports broadcasting for the better part of the last 40 years. Starting out at CBS in the mid-70's, he was the Jim Nantz of that studio shows, calling NFL games, the Masters, the World Series, horse races and March Madness. 

In 1990, he was fired from CBS, moved on to ABC Sports/ESPN where he would make his mark as a college football play-by-play announcer. From 2006-2013 he called the primetime Saturday Night Football broadcast for ABC as well as the BCS title games from 2010-14.

He also called his fair share of memorable Michigan moments, including...
Notre Dame 2011:

Virginia 1995:
Notre Dame 1991:
But the Musburger era is coming to an least it is for everyone except fans of the SEC. Beginning next season, Brent has been demoted to will lead up ESPN's new SEC Network along with Jesse Palmer as their lead team, and will no longer call the Saturday ABC primetime games or the national title games. I'm totally fine with this, but I have to ask – Can't you take Kirk with you?

Before we let Brent sail off into SEC-land, we can never forget these wonderful Brent moments.
I'm Kirk Herbsteit:
Brent on Katherine Webb:
Brent and Eminem:


Michigan Announces New Student Ticket Seating Plan

Basically, Michigan wants less of this (Ohio State pregame)...
Highlights of the UM press release:
The University of Michigan Athletic Department and the Central Student Government announced Tuesday (March 11) a new and improved student ticketing policy for Wolverine football games. The new policy will feature an attendance-driven reserved seating plan that will assign students reserved season seat locations based on attendance points accumulated during the previous season. Seating will no longer be first-come, first-served general admission.

For the 2014 season, all student football season ticket holders will have reserved seats. The reserved seat locations will be based on a combination of 2013 attendance and class level. Following is the order of the seat location for the 2014 season:

• SuperFans - Returning students who attended at least five games on time during the 2013 football season (estimated close to 6,000 students; returning seniors/graduate school students among these 6,000 students will be seated in lowest rows)
• Returning Seniors/Graduate School Students
• Returning Juniors
• Returning Sophomores
• Returning Freshmen
• New incoming students (freshmen, transfers and graduate)

Students can form reserved seating groups (maximum of 100 members). In 2014, groups will be seated based on average class level in the group, with the exception of SuperFan groups consisting of all returning students who attended at least five (5) games on time in 2013. These groups will be seated with priority group #1 in the lowest rows.

Student season tickets prices will stay the same in 2014 at $295 (includes a $15 service charge). More details regarding 2014 student season tickets are being communicated later this week to returning students. The online renewal process will begin on Monday, March 17.

Starting with the 2015 season, all reserved seat locations will be decided strictly by attendance points. Attendance points are accumulated for each game attended (3 points). Arriving 30 minutes prior to kickoff earn an additional three (3) points, for a total of six (6) points. There will be no class standing-based perks or points starting with the 2015 football season. A group’s standing (and seat location) will be calculated by an average group score from the previous year’s point total.

Students can earn up to 36 points for the 2014 season, the equivalent of showing up to six (6) games at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Lochmann stated that the athletic department would only count six games instead of all seven, providing students with the benefit of the doubt for situations like holidays, student break, weather, etc., that can affect their attendance.
This is all fine and dandy, but the major flaw with this is that it's based on a point system that rewards showing up early...which is typically not a problem for primetime games. But noon...or even afternoon kickoffs are a different animal.

Also, let's not designate someone who showed up for 5 of the 7 home games last year as #SuperFans. How about just #AttentiveFans? I think SuperFans, I think face paint or yellow and blue tubes.
That's more like it.

This new plan seems like a compromise to try and make everyone happy.
“Working with Hunter and the Athletic Department over the past several months has shown us that students and athletics can work together to come to a solution that accomplishes both sides’ goals,” said Bobby Dishell, Vice President of Central Student Government. “I think we all have gained a deeper understanding of the other and their goals.”
Goals? How about Michigan having a world-class football program and stadium...scheduling games against other schools...charging an admission fee well below market buying a ticket and showing up in time for the game to start?

How's that for a goal? 

How about not needing the athletic department to hold your hand as you walk to the stadium?

My solution?


Simple economics. Increase demand by lowering supply. I digress.

Look I get it, you can't make college kids just want to wake up to go a football game against a middle-of-the-pack B1G school at noon unless they really want to. Free will takes over when its 11AM, you're crazy hung over and it's raining. But that's not the athletic department's fault. Michigan tried general admission, and that flopped. Students eventually (for the most part) filled in their section, but usually not until well after the game began.

From the student perspective, its a catch-22. Michigan has been mediocre the last couple years, and the schedule against the black and blue Big Ten hasn't done them any favors either. The dull 2014 home schedule starts with another visit from Appalachian State...which I can promise you no one is excited about attending.

Michigan could help itself by scheduling sexier matchups and more exciting opponents to play at the Big House (not in Dallas). Scheduling more night games. And hoping like crazy that the Big Ten gets better at football. That would go a long way in rejuvenating student (and overall) fan interest.