Why Jaylen Brown May Be Higher On Michigan Than We Think

Jaylen Brown, the 6’6 2015 superstar and heralded top recruit appears to be nearing an outcome with his recruitment.  Brown, by way of Michigan, yet living in Georgia has drawn hefty interest from Michigan as of late. He made his first visit to Ann Arbor just over a week ago and came away more impressed than many may have imagined.

Brown brought a plethora of his family with him on his visit and walked away with heavy remarks for Michigan and John Beilein.

Let’s establish one thing first: Jaylen Brown will be a stud regardless of which school he chooses. Brown coming off a dominant senior season and a McDonald’s All American nomination, has been ranked as high as the 2nd best recruit in the nation. The kid is a stud and someone who can change the entire makeup of a team.

I mentioned on Twitter I feel Michigan has a better chance than many imagine and here’s why.

1) The Fit.

Jaylen Brown would be a dynamite fit in the Beilein offense.  He would immediately start and contribute for a team that could have late March aspirations next year. Brown could play either the 3 or the 4 and bring a presence that takes Michigan to the next level.  His ability to get to the basket while also nailing the mid range jump shot is second to none. His playmaking ability is something this team lacks. Even if Caris stays, Brown could step in and become the primary offensive scorer that Michigan hasn’t had since Trey Burke. A lineup with these two players would be too 5 in the preseason easily.

2) His parents

From the quotes and the family pull that we know off, it appears as if his parents want him here.  They would feel comfortable sending him to Ann Arbor and also the degree is something his parents may see as a great fall back after basketball.  After a minor traffic misdemeanor, Brown faced some bashing from local pundits but in his interviews you see just how well carried and well spoken this young man is. 

The hints are also there for those of you that have been in tune.

In an interview with Evan Daniels of Scout he talks about Michigan very favorably going as far as saying Michigan will be in the front runner of things. He used the word genius to describe John Beilein and noted just how good Michigan is as a school. It even raised attention from fans of rival schools leading them to believe he may be leaning towards Michigan. Even Kentucky fans.  Just do a Twitter search for his name and you’ll see the remarks from the contending fans.

Brian Snow also added on ($) that he believes Michigan is in the top two for Brown and that was also mentioned by Sam Webb. Yes the Sam Webb who is the godfather of all things Michigan recruiting. Although the two failed to give the other name of the team also in his top two, the fact that two major writers said this means business for Michigan and Brown.

 When mentioning NBA draft entries, two schools come to mind that are contending for his services, Kentucky and Michigan. This is who I presume to be his true top two schools.

In his story with Daniels he also went on to say how he has to wait and see and that if his favorite team has no players leave for the NBA that he could make his decision earlier. If you ask me that falls directly in line with Michigan. He and Caris both play the same roles as players and even if Caris stays Michigan could slide Brown to the 3 or 4 spot next to Zak Irvin. 

The end all be all is this. Michigan is in a very good spot for Brown, far better than we all thought. His story and quotes fall in line with everything Michigan seems to be offering at this point and everything Michigan could provide for him.

At the end of the day, he may very well choose Kentucky and the Calipari system that gets guys to the league in mirror moments. But my gut feeling is that he may be leaning towards Michigan a bit more than we expected and that he could very well end up in Ann Arbor come this August.  

Attached below is his recent quote on the maize and blue. Stay tuned Michigan fans, our odds for the hoops squad could be looking up very, very soon.

 

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The Definitive Guide To Michigan Spring Practice.

Yesterday I attended practice inside Al Glick field house. It was all business from start to finish. Harbaugh himself did not coach any single position, but instead moved from station to station throughout the day. The only time he worked with the quarterbacks exclusively was while they warmed up their arms. The players stretched individually before practice, then walked through plays on both side of the ball. The Wolverines conditioned periodically throughout practice, and took a few five-minute breaks at the “Fuel Station” on the sideline where there was Gatorade and snacks. Harbaugh was constantly coaching and teaching, from the back up full back to starting quarterback. Only one time did he raise his voice and yell out of frustration. The coaching staff as a whole is a slightly different story; all of them with the exception of Greg Mattison are very intense and adamant. Time Drevno is a hell of an offensive line coach, very demanding and seems to be a great teacher. Following this will be a list of players that were absent or did not participate in practice, and following that will be the depth chart that I saw with yesterdays players.

Players that did not participate:
-Mario Ojemudia: MIA
– Da’Mario Jones: MIA
– Sione Houma: MIA
– Noah Furbush: MIA
– Chris Fox: MIA
– Drake Harris: Limited participation.
– Dave Dawson: Fully dressed, no participation however.
– Terry Richardson: Fully dressed, no participation however.
– Ondre Pipkens: Limited Participation.
– Ty Isaac: Limited Participation, undisclosed reason.
– Jabrill Peppers: Had his wisdom teeth removed earlier in the week.
– Taco Charlton: Wore shirt & T-Shirt at practice. Undiclosed reason.
– Dan Samullsen: Came up lame during conditions. Upper leg.
– Drake Johnson: Recovering from a torn ACL
– Graham Glasgow: Suspended
– Khalid Hill: Recovering from a torn ACL
– Matt Godin: Suspected lower body injury.

-Things that stood out to me:
– Shane Morris was the first player out of the locker room and on the field.
– Ty Isaac is a MONSTER. Dude looks like a tight end.
– Three players saw reps at center today (Cole, Kugler, Bars) and all three had poor snaps all afternoon. Jim Harbaugh was taking a large interest in that position all day.
– Juwann Bushell Beatty & Lawrence Marshall & Ian Bunting have made the biggest freshman to sophomore leap physically. JBB and Bunting are growing into what appears to be NFL frames, and Marshall looks like a fully grown man, and is absolutely jacked.
– Chase Winovich has moved to tight end, and his athleticism suits him well at the position.
– Henry Poggi & Tom Stroebel split time all afternoon at Defensive Line and Tight End/H-Back.
– Brian Cole is the real deal, already physically ready for the D1 game.
– The defense came out In a traditional 3-4, and only moved to a four man front for a Nickel package that was similar to a 4-2-5
– Dennis Norfleet is one of the unquestioned upper classmen leaders of this team. He has the respect of all of his team mates and is an exceptional leader by example on the field.

Quarterbacks:
1. Shane Morris, Jr-
. Shane Morris ran with the 1’s all afternoon. In warm ups and seven on seven drills, Morris was dropping dimes, and I cannot recall a single ball of his hitting the ground. It was readily apparent that he has the best command of the offense of all QB’s, At this point it appears it is Morris’s job to lose.
2. Alex Malzone, Fr
Alex got all of the 2’s reps, and a small portion of the 1’s as well. He looks very comfortable with the offense, and is playing better than expected at this point.
3. Wilton Speight, RFr
Speight struggled with accuracuy all afternoon, and got very few reps with the starters. Appears to be outside looking in at this point and was underwhelming all day long.
4. Garrett Moores, RFr
Moores is the only other QB to receive team reps today, albeit with the back ups.

Running Backs:
1. De’Veon Smith, Jr-
De’veon ran only with the 1’s during the team portion of practice. Expect him to tote the rock this season in some form.
2. Derrick Green, Jr
Green appears to be in great shape, and is speed has improved. If only he would keep his feet going. One of the few backs to get team reps with starters.
3. Antonio Whitfield, Jr
Suprisingly, Whitfield got a number of carries behind the 1st Oline, and not all of them were out of shotgun. I’d be surprised if he saw the ball much during the regular season, but today showed the coaches trust him.
4. Wyatt Shallman, Jr-
Shallman is definitely now playing tail back. He ran with the 1’s in seven on seven, both catching the ball and in pass pro. However he received few if any 1st team carries in team.

Fullback:
1. Joe Kerridge, RSr
Kerridge will undoubtedly be Michigan’s starting full back in 2015.
2. Brady Pallante, So
Pallante moved to tight end from Defensive Tackle, and the move has paid off. Brady moves well and saw a few 1st team goal line reps.

Slot Receiver:
1. Dennis Norfleet, Sr
Norfleet had a good a practice as anyone. He looks very comfortable under Harbaugh, and his route running and plays after the catch were great today. He stood out as a leader of the receiving core in a big way today.
2. Brian Cole, Fr
Cole is physically ready for the game, however is a freshman swimming right now. I’ll be shocked if he isn’t a part of the offense come week one, and becomes a monster on special teams.
3. Bo Dever, Sr
Dever played sparingly last season, and with Norfleet stepping up, it appears that will be the case this year also.

X Receiver:
1. Amara Darboh, Sr
Darboh did nothing specactular all day, but he had a good command of the offense and saw a lot of 1st team reps.
2. JaRon Dukes, Jr
Dukes had himself a great practice. He stood out among receivers all day, and saw some 1st team reps. He’ll be apart of the offense this season.
3. Maurice Ways, So
Ways passes the eye test with ease. He caught a few jump balls and stood out during seven on seven. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him catch a few this season.

Z Receiver:
1. Jehu Chesson, Sr
Chesson ran with the 1’s all day. Like Darboh, he wasn’t spectacular, but he seemed the most comfortable in the offense.
2. Freddy Canteen, So
Canteen split 1st & 2nd team reps all day, and looked comfortable under Harbaugh. Expect him to find this end zone this year.
3. Jack Wangler, RSo
Wangler played well in seven on seven, but underwhelmed during the team session.

Tight End:
1. Jake Butt, Jr
Butt did everything for the offense in what will be a complicated TE role. Performed well.
2. AJ Williams, Sr
AJ has always been an inline tight end, and that will not change under Harbaugh. He’s basically an extra offensive lineman.
3. Ian Bunting, RFr
Bunting has filled his frame and is a full grown man on the field. He performed well physically but did not seem to have a good handle on the offense.
Of Note: Henry Poggi, Chase Winovich and Tom Stroelbel all repped at tight end and H-Back. I wouldn’t exactly rank them on this list but it is of note. Stroebel strictly played on the LOS, and always blocked. Poggi and Winovich were used more as H-Backs. Thye both blocked and received.

Left Tackle:
1. Logan Tulley-Tillman, RSo
LTT got more than half of the reps at left tackle and performed well. I could definitely see him starting there week one.
2. Mason Cole, So
Cole is currently repping at Center for the 1st team. However, if Tillman is not up to the challenge at Left Tackle, Cole will step in and succeed.

Left Guard:
1. Eric Magnuson, Sr
Magnuson has the left guard spot all but locked up.
2. Blake Bars, Sr

Center:
1. Mason Cole, Fr
2. Patrick Kugler, RSo
Kugler got half of the first team reps, and played well other than his poor snaps.
3. Blake Bars, Sr
Bars was the go-to when both Kugler and Cole struggled with his snaps.

Right Guard:
1. Kyle Kalis, RJr
Kalis is finally living up to his billing out of High School.
2. Greg Froelich, Jr
Froelich got a decent amount of the 2nd team right guard reps
Right Tackle:

1. Ben Braden, RJr
Braden is a true mauler, once he gets his hands on you; youre toast. Braden will start here week one.
2. Juwann Bushell-Beatty, RFr
JBB impressed me today, both with his size and play.

Offensive Recap: If they played tomorrow, Morris would start at QB. The running backs will be by committee all season unless someone separates themselves from the pack. Early on I think we’ll see the more experienced guys at receiver (Darboh, Chesson) but as the season progresses we’ll see more Canteen, Ways & Cole. Dennis Norfleet will be properly utilized under Drevno, and you can expect to see the ball in his hands. Butt is an all conference tight end at worst, and will be one of our leading receivers. Ian Bunting looks great after putting on some weight, and as the season moves along we’ll see more and more of him. As far as the Oline goes, it all hinges on if LTT can play left tackle. If he can, the line will look like this :LTT, Magnuson, Cole, Kalis, Braden. If LTT cannot get the job done, Cole will move back outside and Pat Kugler will start at center. The offense ran a LOT of pistol, using multiple full backs and tight ends in the back field. Not much one-back under center, but there was a lot of one-back out of shotgun. Of the players already on the roster that did not participate, I expect Khalid Hill, Ty Isaac, Sione Houma, Dave Dawson, Drake Johnson, Drake Harris and Graham Glasgow could all play a role this upcoming season. Of the incoming freshman that could make an impact, There is Grant Perry, Zack Gentry, Karan Higdon, Grant Newsome, Tyrone Wheatley Jr and Jon Runyan Jr.

Defensive Groups (3-4 Look)
LDE:
1. Willie Henry, RJr
2. Henry Poggi, Jr
– Both players did well in pass rushing drills and more than held their own during team. Henry appeared in shape and Poggi is playing well enough that he wont fully transition to offense.

NT:
1. Ryan Glasgow, RJr
2. Bryan Mone, So
– Glasgow had a better command of the new off man front, while Mone is physically better. Expect to see a lot of Mone in the 3-4 look.

RDE:
1. Chris Wormley, RSr
2. Maurice Hurst, RSo
– Wormley played very well from the 5 technique and displayed quickness I didn’t know he had. Hurst used his leverage and explosiveness to make plays in the backfield during team.

ROLB:
1. James Ross, Sr
2. Allen Gant, Sr
– Neither Ross nor Gant rushed the passer much from this spot, but both were decent in pass coverage and run support.

MLB:
1. Joe Bolden, Jr
2. Desmond Morgan, RSr
3. Ben Gedeon, Jr
4. Mike McCray, RSo
– Bolden is becoming a leader of this defense physically. Him and Morgan did a decent job of getting off blocks in the new 3-4 look. Gedeon and McCray both have the size to play inside and fight off bigger Linemen than them.

LOLB:
1. Royce Jenkins-Stone, Sr
2. Lawrence Marshall, RFr
– RJS and Marshall both rushed the passer a lot from the spot, and both did well. However I think they both stand to lose playing time with Charlton and Ojemudia healthy.

CB:
1. Jourdan Lewis, Jr
2. Blake Countess, RSr
3. Channing Stribling, Jr
4. Reon Dawson, RSo
5. Ross Taylor-Douglass, RSo
– When the defense had three corners on the field, Stibling went outside and Countess played in the slot. Dawson was underwhelming all day and it was apparent that RTD is still transitioning back to the corner position.

SS:
1. Delano Hill, Jr
2. Dymonte Thomas, Jr
– Hill played well all day, even playing in the box as a line backer in some looks. Thomas did not get many team reps but he made the most of them when he did, registering a few pass break ups.

FS:
1. Jarrod Wilson, RSr
2. Jeremy Clark, RJr
– With Peppers out, Wilson was the quarterback of the secondary. He got most of the team reps, while Clark did nothing of note.

Defensive Recap: All we saw as a base defense on Saturday was the 3-4. While I don’t think that will be our base defense all season, it will definitely be in the mix a lot. Durkin’s defense blitzed all day, from the line backer position as well as the corner position. For most of the day the DB’s were in press-man coverage. Channing Stribling, Jourdan Lewis, Dymonte Thomas and Delano Hill all impressed and had interceptions against the 2’s and 3’s. At one point, Delano Hill (Filling in for Peppers) was up in the box, playing some sort of Monster backer. It was clear that the defense’s biggest priority was just getting lined up properly and knowing their assignment, which they did well for most of the day. I would have to say that the DLine is pretty set with those six rotational players, and the same goes for the linebackers. I don’t think there will be any surprises at those spots this season. The only mystery in the secondary; but its not a matter of who will play, but where those guys will play. Incoming freshman who could contribute are Tyree Kinnel, Shelton Johnson, Keith Washington and Reuben Jones.
Based off of what I saw yesterday, I’d say the four guys with the best shot at being Captains are: Dennis Norfleet, Joe Bolden, Jake Butt, Jarrod Wilson.

For any questions regarding my observations or projections going forward in the season, please tweet me @BleedBlueCoachT

In The Film Room: 2015 Receiver Grant Perry

Name: Grant Perry
Class: 2015
Position: Receiver
Height: 6’0
Weight: 185

Grant Perry comes to Michigan by the way of perennial power Birmingham Brother Rice, where he was teammates with Michigan QB Alex Malzone. Perry is a 24/7 composite three star, ranked as the 112th receiver in the nation. Holding offers from seven of twelve MAC schools, as well as Indiana, Northwestern and U of M. In early December 2014, Perry committed to Northwestern, but flipped to U of M late in the process after the hiring of Jim Harbaugh. Perry won two state titles at BBR, and has quite the chemistry with Alex Malzone. I feel that Perry is one of the most under rated prospects in the mid west, and is a great get for the Wolverines. He will be enrolled starting this summer.

Projected Position: Receiver/Return Man
Body: A
While standing at only 6’0 and weighing under 200 pounds, an “A” may seem high, but I am grading Perry as a slot receiver. Under Brady Hoke, Michigan recruited big, strong pro style receivers, often over 6’2 and 200 pounds, and I expect coach Harbaugh to keep up with this trend. With the tall & lanky play makers on the outside, its almost set in stone to see players of Perry’s size on the inside. Perry is big enough to make a living over the middle of the field, but also small enough to weave his way in and out of defenders.

Speed/Acceleration: B+
Perry has decent speed, but he is not a world beater. If you press him off the line and he gets s step on you, you’ll have to work your tail off to regain that ground you lost but it’s not impossible. Perry’s acceleration is more of his forte than top end speed. Great footwork off the line will get him open whether he is pressed or has a cushion to work with. He knows where he is going, and he gets there sooner rather than later. Its not like he gets caught from behind all the time but something that keeps him from pulling away from defenders is his short stride at 6’0. When returning kicks, Perry will use angles and his vision of running lanes to get to the end zone, not pure speed.

Athleticism/Quickness: B+
Different category with the same result. Perry has more than above average athleticism but you wont find him winning any SPARQ combines. Perry does have great footwork, whether its beating a DB off the line or getting his feet down to make a sideline or end zone grab, Perry demonstrates great control over his feet. He has the stop and go ability to break off his route, catch the ball and get up to go again before a defender will reach him. Perry cannot match the pure athleticism that you’ll see from some 5 Star top 10 recruit, but he more than has the tools to get the job done in the slot as well as returning kicks. I would not classify Perry as a slasher, someone who will juke you out of your shoes nor is he a one cut and get vertical guy. Perry has “Wiggle in his hips” and is slippery. Subtle change of direction while not losing speed or losing ground is how Perry makes you miss.

Route Running/Hands: A
Perry’s route running is some of the best I have seen at this level. His football IQ is off the charts. His speed is not world class, nor is his athleticism, and while Perry is aware of that, it doesn’t stop him from beating every corner he faced in high school. Perry is extremely savvy and aware. If you press him off the line, he’ll use the DB’s leverage against him, getting the DB to open his hips and then putting his foot in the dirt and getting separation. When Perry has a cushion, he’ll simply take what is given to him, which is often a quick slant, quick out, hitch or stop route. Based off of pre snap alignment, Perry knows what coverage he’s going against and will use it to his advantage. Perry has good hands as well, as you wont see him catch the ball with his body very often. For only being 6’0, he is also adequate at high pointing the ball and keeping it away from defenders. The thing that Perry does best is double moves, Out-N-Up or the Slant-N-Go’s are just DEADLY for Perry & Co.

Overall: B+
Grant Perry had the luxury of playing with some of the best talent in the state of Michigan at one of the top football programs in all of the Midwest during his high school career. He played alongside other Division one athletes his entire career, including Michigan Quarterback Alex Malxone. Perry was extremely productive during his varsity career, winning two state titles. Perry is a winner, and knows what it takes to come out on top. When watching his tape, Perry reminds me of Jeremy Gallon. Sneaky speed, great running vision, awesome route running skills and good return ability. Perry will not be on campus until this summer which will set him back, and the depth at slot receiver also put him behind the eight ball. The only way I see Perry avoiding a red shirt this year is if he can beat out Bo Dever, Freddy Canteen or Dennis Norfleet. His best bet at this time is making a living on special teams, although I think that is still a long shot. Perry is a great in state get for Harbaugh and his staff and Im excited to see what he an do in the future.