In The Books: Week One

“In the books” will be my weekly piece on all of the CFB action that I caught over the past week (Not just Michigan). Normally I would like to publish this earlier in the week but we can all thank Ohio for that not happening this week. I am going to start things off with national tid-bits then finishing up with the Wolverines.

– I had the privilege of attending a game in South Bend for the first time this past weekend, and while its no Ann Arbor I was pleasantly surprised. I wore burnt orange all day (As a kid the Longhorns were my second favorite team and my buddy I went with is from Austin) and only one single person ran their mouth to me. Incredibly respectful environment, beautiful campus.

– I dont think there needs to be anything said about the Texas offense, as it was absolutely abysmal and in the news all week. Notre Dame looks like a legit playoff contender, as they dominated up front on both sides of the ball. Malike Zaire showed the nation while Everett Golson transferred, and their skill players on offense are exceptional. Jaylon Smith might be the best defender in the country, and DE Sheldon Day is very underrated. For the Longhorns, Malik Jefferson might not only be a freshman all american, but a legit all american. Kid is a stud.

– Ohio State will not be tested until November when they play MSU and U of M back to back, and even then, I think they showed monday night that the only team that can beat them is themselves.

– SMU quarterback Matt Davis is a very under the radar stud. He kept the Mustangs to within a score of Baylor at halftime.

Now for the Wolverines!!

Offnese: I absolutely loved the formations and game plan that Drevno, Fisch and Harbaugh came up with for the Utes. The power run formations used throughout the night were exactly what I saw at spring practice a few months back. I was very surprised to see Ross Taylor-Douglass take the field before Derrick Green, as it seems he will be the third down back. Receiver wise, how awesome was it to finally see Drake Harris on the field!? I dont believe he was targeted but he was the fourth receiver on the field. No Moe Ways or Da’mario Jones to my knowledge. Grant Perry started the game and came off the field sparingly. Chesson and Darboh have stepped up in a big way and were open all night. Brian Cole played on most special teams and logged a few snaps on offense, even getting the ball on a screen on third down in the red zone in the first half. It goes without saying that Jake Butt is a stud, and his week one performance is a great start to what I predict will be an All American season. The Oline was hot and cold, doing some things very well and some things not so well. Run Blocking needs to be more consistent, but we need to remember that Utah is one of the top three defenses we will see this season. I was disappointed to see Rudock get the start, but I was even more disappointed to see him throw three picks after everyone touted his as a starter due to his effectiveness of keeping the ball out of the defenses hands. Those three interceptions completely changed the game and it cannot happen again.

Defense: The front four played exceptionally well all night, taking care of Deovante Booker inside the tackles and flushing QB Travis Wilson out of the pocket routinely. With that being said, I thought the linebackers struggled all night. Most of Wilson’s runs could/should have been stopped by the backers. A position unit that was thought to be the strength of the Defense in the pre season, needs to step up for week two. Jabrill Peppers played lights out most of the night, dominating in the run game from the slot corner spot. And while he never had the chance to run one back, he is also returning kicks which is a surprise to no one. Overall the Defense played well, being on the field more than they should have been with the offense turning it over three times.

Overall, the differences between the Hoke and Harbaugh regimes could not be more apparent. This team fought until the very end and were physical from the start. The little things hurt the Wolverines all night, and all week we have heard the team address their own issues. Good things are on the horizon folks, and I think we’ll see some major improvements from week one to two. Go Blue.

@bleedbluecoacht

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Week 1 Takeaways

Michigan headed into Utah with high hopes and great aspirations but fell 24-17 in a game that was very winnable by any measure.

With a coup of unknowns, Michigan fought and looked good at times but ultimately it wasn’t enough in the defeat.

We could go good news or bad news, but let’s start with the negatives.

Rudock

We all knew coming into this season that Rudock was merely a game manager. 

All of last season he had 5 interceptions. In week 1, he threw three. 

One of them was indeed on a miscommunication between he and Grant Perry. The other two, however, were truly putrid. The key note; all three were with plays where Perry was the target.

The second came on a terrible throw where he stared down Perry. Easy pick.

The third was on a comeback route that Rudock stared down Perry in, while Ty Isaac was wide open on the other side of the field. This ultimately was the game winning touchdown on a pick six.

These mistakes simply cannot happen. Rudock also missed three deep throws (two of which were intended for Chesson; the other, Darboh) where he showed no touch with a wide open receiver. The positive? The two minute drive at the end of the game was gorgeous.

Jim has ten days to fix this and surely Rudock will be pissed when he sees this.

LB Play

This will be short and sweet. Bolden was a tackling machine but for most of the game the coverage was poor.  

The LBs looked worn out and must improve heading into next week. Film will show the holes that were open and ultimately the schemes must be better.

Ben Braden

Horrible.

Whiffed multiple times on blocks.

It appears to be a consensus that his job could be up for grabs with Dawson seeing time. This cannot happen as a junior.

Positives

Chris Wormley

Chris had three TFL in the first half yet disappeared in the second half.

He showed the promise we all expected four years ago when he was recruited.

Deveon Smith

He showed great burst at times and offered a hard nose play making ability.

The one problem was on a key play in the fourth quarter where he completely missed an open hole on an easy cut. Much of the same

Jake Butt/Amara Darboh

These two were the stars tonight. Butt made a great grab in double coverage for a TD and showed he is a leading contender for the Mackey award. The TE spot plays a huge role in a Harbaugh offense.

Darboh was the best receiver on the field going for 102 yards and a TD. Now that he’s finally healthy, he seems to be the #1 WR. Was a little disappointed that Drake Harris saw no targets.

All in all, this season will be a learning curve and I still think Michigan can be an 8 win team.

Next Saturday, Michigan hosts Oregon State in the home opener.

CoachT’s Predictions: @ Utah

The time for talk and speculation is ALMOST over folks. Kickoff is just over twenty-four hours, and wheels are down in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, I have my own game to coach tomorrow night and will be watching the game on tape delay. Here are just a few of my predictions for tomorrow night.

1. The offense will not throw more than twenty times.
– Harbaugh will look to establish the run early and often, and we’ll probably see him force the issue if necessary. The only way the Wolverines throw more than twnety time is if they are down in the fourth quarter.

2. No back will carry the ball more than ten times.
– De’veon Smith is listed as the starter and will see the first few carries of the night, but after that I expect to see Derrick Green, Ty Isaac and potentially Karan Higdon in certain packages and personal groupings throughout the night.

3. The offensive line will only give up one sack.
– I believe this retooled offensive line under Tim Drevno will shore up ALL of the faults we saw under Brady Hoke and Darrell Funk.

Defense

1. Jabrill Peppers had eight total tackles, two TFL and one pass defended.
– I anticipate the defense will be in either a 4-2-5 or 3-3-5 alignment most of the night to defend Utah’s spread offense, which will put Jabrill all over the field. On the line of scrimmage, twelve yards off ball and in the nickel corner slot.

2. The defense gives up only one play of 40+ yards
– This defense is incredibly athletic and fast and will rally to the ball on everything underneath or outside. However, this is a new scheme for these players and it would be silly to think there wont be at least one coverage breakdown.

3. Three sacks between the D-Line and line backers.
– The new scheme will be an advantage here, as Durkin will be able to dial up some blitzes in zone and man coverage that the Utes have never seen before.

Final Prediction: Michigan-28 Utah-24

I firmly believe the defense will hold the Utes to under four scores (the fourth obviously being a field goal) and if that happens, all the Offense has to do is match or overtake by a few points to be in the game at the start of the fourth quarter. Kyle Wittingham himself has said he doesn’t know what to expect from the Wolverines, and if they can capitalize early in the first half, the only way the Utes will catch up is if their staff can make effective half time adjustments.

@bleedbluecoacht

Coach T’s Take: Starting XI- Utah

 

We are almost there!! In less than two weeks this will no longer be speculation but straight facts. We all know that no one outside of Jimmy and Timmy have an idea of what the starting offense will look like at Utah next month, but here is my best guess at what the starting eleven will look like. I am going to base these predictions off of what I saw at spring practice in March and my own evaluations of the talent on the roster more so than the murmurs and rumors coming out of the submarine. As an added bonus, I am going to give the two deep depth chart a shot as well. Here goes nothing!

 

QB

  1. Shane Morris- I’ve been saying that Sugar Shane will be the Wolverines starting quarterback since last december. After seeing his performance at spring practice and in the spring game, I became more confident in my prediction. Morris simply has more talent and ability than Rudock, and there has been a largely publicized precedent for this situation under Harbaugh already. RE: Colin Kaepernick starting over Alex Smith. Smith got the job done and won games, but Kaep made plays and took the 49ers to the super bowl. Morris is an exceptional athlete and is a surprising runner. Couple that with his NFL level arm strength, and you have a starting QB.

2. Jake Rudock- Jake will be one of the most experience back ups in the country and will provide invaluable mentoring to Morris throughout the season.

FB

  1. Joe Kerridge- Should be a captain as one of the most veteran players on the team.

2. Sione Houma

 

HB

  1. Wyatt Shallman- Not quite a fullback, not quite a tailback and not quite a tight end. Shallman can do a little bit of everything and is a good enough athlete that it will be hard to keep him off the field. If not here then I see a switch to defense in line for Wyatt

2. Khalid Hill

 

RB

  1. Derrick Green- DG is a monster. While he has some flaws to his game, he has busted his butt coming back from injury and looked pretty good before he got hurt last season. I have faith that he’ll seperate himself from the pack.

2. Every and anyone else- Michigan will have at LEAST two backs with 500+ yards this season, with the potential to be 750+ with two or three other guys earning meaningful carries. De’veon Smith is a stud but is a limited athlete. Ty Isaac is a freak athlete but hasn’t done much since getting to Ann Arbor. Drake Johnson is all heart and one of my favorite players on the team. Karan Higdon is a dark horse and would have to pass all of the aforementioned backs ahead of him on the depth chart to avoid a red shirt.

 

TE

  1. Jake Butt- Enough said here. I believe Butt has All American potential this season and could be the Wolverines leading receiver.

2. Ian Bunting- Bunting’s body has responded wonderfully to U of M’s strength and conditioning program and he now has the body of an NFL tight end. I expect good things from him this season.

 

LT

  1. Mason Cole- This kid is an animal that will end up on a few post season accolade lists this year.

2. Logan Tuley-Tillman

LG

  1. Blake Bars- I thought Bars was the sixth lineman while observing spring practice. I have heard nothing but praise from Drevno thus far and I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes away a starting spot from “Incumbent” Erik Magnuson, who was a jack of all trades and a master of none for the Hoke staff.

2. Dave Dawson

C

  1. Graham Glasgow- As long as he can keep his nose clean, Glasgow will be the anchor of this line from start to finish.

2. Patrick Kugler

RG

  1. Kyle Kalis- Another mainstay on the oline and no surprise here.

2. Erik Magnuson

 

RT

  1. Ben Braden- A Freak athlete, I really don’t see Drevno uprooting Braden from his spot on what will now be the blind side with Morris under center.

2. Juwann Bushell-Beatty

 

X

  1. Drake Harris- IF healthy, Drake will be a breath of fresh air for the Wolverines. Finally a play maker that can do it all. Again, IF healthy.

2. Amara Darboh

 

Z

  1. Brian Cole II- Cole is a stud athlete that I have been watching film on since his sophomore year of high school, growing up less than thirty minutes north of me on I-75. Cole was swimming with the offense in the spring but there is no question that he is physically ready. Cole and Harris could be a special tandem for a long time.

2. Jehu Chesson II

 

Slot

  1. Freddy Canteen- Rumors of Freddy playing corner at practice are hard for me to fathom. I have to stick to what I saw in the spring and pencil Canteen into the slot spot with Norfleet gone.

2. Grant Perry

Get at me on twitter for any clarification or anymore questions. Thanks for the read and as always, GO BLUE!!!

 

@BleedBlueCoachT

 

 

 

CODY’S TAKE: STARTING XI- UTAH

13 more days…13 more long excruciating days…

After what has been a thrill ride of an offseason for Michigan fans everywhere, The Wolverines will finally kick off their 2015-2016 season on September 3rd, on the road against the Utah Utes. With Harbaugh and company still operating mostly in stealth mode to the media, the debates of depth progression and final starting roles have the internet going mad, and the rumors are spreading like wildfire.

In a new series here at BleedBlue called “Starting XI” each of the staff will analyze what we know, what new information has leaked out, and compile it into our starting predictions for the upcoming games of the season. Kyle released an awesome article earlier this week with his take against Utah, and now you’ll have mine! So without further delay, here are my predicted offensive starters against Utah. Cheers!

QB: Shane Morris

I’m taking Shane as the starter for the season opener. Why him over Rudock you ask? Well, I did an entire article on it earlier this week, but to make it short and sweet… Morris’ potential in my eyes, will outweigh Rudock’s almost 2 to 1. Shane has spent every practice with the bulk of the snaps prior to and after Rudock’s arrival and I think Harbaugh used the presence of Rudock to light a fire under the ass of Shane Morris. To me, it seems the coaching staff really sees something special with this kid. Shane has practiced as the starter all offseason, his grading in practices has been solid, he performed decent in the spring game and has shown the courage to be the captain of the ship thus far. With the presence of Harbaugh and Fisch in his ear, I have confidence that Shane could be a tremendous asset to this team. Michigan is not a roll over type of program and while we know Rudock can perform at a decent level, we also know Morris could perform at a great level. While I’ll take Morris to take the field as the starter for game one, I think it’s very plausible that we could and probably would still see some action from Rudock based on the performance of Morris through the first few possessions. Rudock didn’t come all the way from Iowa to sit on the bench.

RB: Ty Isaac

I have to go with my gut here. I like Green, I like Smith, but I just feel like Isaac will be the one touting the ball the majority this season, providing that he can stay healthy. Smith and Green have experience, but Isaac is the biggest option, a 6’3, 240 lb back that is built like a linebacker but can run the ball smoothly, with vision and with feet that stay moving. There is a lot of talent on the depth of this position so I see Smith, and Green getting the ball as well in complimentary roles throughout the season’s progression.

WR: Amara Darboh (X), Jehu Chesson (Z ), Brian Cole II (Slot)

Darboh has earned his spot, and should be no surprise as a standout receiver for the passing game. He makes the plays, and he’s got the seniority. From there, statistically Chesson seems to be the number two option and makes the most sense in my mind, with his main competition being Maurice Ways. Lastly, i’m taking Brian Cole edging out Freddy Canteen on the slot option. That is a tough call for me, but I like what I see out of Cole and I think he could be a monster as he progresses. There’s a reason he was so sought after, and I think Cole could show us why that is this season.

TE: Jake Butt

Easy peasy here, Jake Butt WILL start game 1. Down the field, sideline, wherever you need him, Butt is a standout option and will be a staple to this offense. I expect a lot of good things out of him this year, and you should too.

OL: Mason Cole (LT), Ben Braden (LG), Graham Glasgow (C), Kyle Kalis (RG), Erik Magnuson (RT)

The offensive line is one thing everyone on the inside has claimed has made a very solid improvement this off-season. With a Drevno/Harbaugh staff that has spent a ton of time over the shoulder of these guys day in and day out. I expect Glasgow to be the standout OL man. Cole will be the youngest of the bunch, but as Kyle said in his take, he could also be the best and help us solidify an O-Line to buy more time for the QB and RB’s that we haven’t been able to see out of our Wolverines in some time now.

As always, if you enjoyed this article or would like to discuss things with me, leave a comment below and follow me on twitter at @BleedBlue_CG

13 more days. #GoBlue

Kyle’s Take: Starting XI- Utah

With the season two weeks away, Cody, Coach T and myself will offer our projections as to who starts to begin the season on both sides of the ball in a series titled Starting XI, look for their takes later this week!

As camp draws on, and the submarine floats submersed, BTN went inside the waters and brought us coverage and player interviews which can be seen on BTN Live.

I mentioned earlier on Twitter that you would have to be crazy if you thought Jim would even show a glimpse of what lies ahead to the BTN crew as media availability to the camp had been zip tight.

All things aside, there has been much debate about who has impressed and who has distasted the flavor of both coaches and fans.  Without further ado, here is what we believe your starters will look like Game 1, in Utah .

QB: Jake Rudock

The Iowa transfer has been viewed as someone who can come in and deliver something we haven’t seen from the QB position in quite some time and that is game management.  He has long thrived with the ability to make the smart decisions and his check down abilities will allow for Drevno’s offense to really keep the ball moving.  Although Rudock gets the start, I would not be surprised to see Shane get a few snaps also, as game play is the true key to evaluating your players.

RB: Deveon Smith

Deveon Smith is my choice as the starter at RB for two reasons. 1) He saw a majority of the run in the spring game scrimmage and also looked the best of all the backs. 2) He has been the most consistent.  Reports have had Smith day in and day out working his tail off and he has avoided injuries as where Ty Isaac, the presumed number two, has been dinged up at times.  Even though Smith should start, I would expect there to be a committee of sorts where all three backs see playing time game 1 and I would anticipate from that, carries will be dispersed much carefully moving forward.

WR: Darboh, Perry, Harris

The WR position may be the most interesting area of need for this team moving forward because reports and prior games have shown there is no true gamebreaker.  I assume Darboh will be your top option simply for the fact he can really go up and get the ball and simply make plays.  Grant Perry was highly talked about by the BTN crew and local media reports have him playing a key role on offense this year.  Perry was an elite playmaker and contributor at Brother Rice last year, and he is the type of receiver who can really move the chains while also showing flashes of big play ability.  Drake Harris is the true wildcard.  He was arguably one of the best wide receiver prospects to come out of Michigan this decade and in high school was one of the most dynamic big play, elite playmakers in the Midwest.  After a nagging hamstring injury, Harris appears to have found himself once again while staying healthy, to the point where some have said he may be the best player Michigan has at the WR spot.  Harris, brings something to the team that nobody else has and that is the total package.  If Drake Harris can stay healthy and prove his worthiness, I feel he could be the star of this offense.

TE: Jake Butt

This one is the easiest spot to pick.  Jake Butt will be featured heavily in this offense and has been a primary target his last two years in Ann Arbor.  With a strong season he could find himself in the conversation of the best TE in America.

OL: Mason Cole, Ben Braden, Graham Glasgow, Kyle Kalis, Erik Magnuson

The OL position is the position at which Michigan has the most depth, thanks to several strong classes in recent years.  The starters are all returning and although Cole is the youngest he may be the best.  Mason Cole appears to be the next great Michigan OL following the footsteps of Lewan and Long.  The other four guys are incredibly solid options with Magnuson being the new piece on the line.  I expect Kyle Kalis to really develop on the OL thanks to Drevno and with improved line play, the players in the backfield, both Rudock and Smith at RB should be able to thrive and have time that hasn’t been there in recent years.

All things aside, Michigan is a team that seems destined for at least 7 wins with 9 more than likely being the ceiling.  The offense returns starters and key areas, and if the QB play can be at least average to slightly above average, I certainly feel they can reach their ceiling as an offense.  As we all know, you will need all positions to be clicking on the offensive side of the ball.

Look for our defensive starter predictions next week! As always Go Blue!

Rudock vs. Morris: Decision Time in Ann Arbor

So here we are with fifteen days to the opening kickoff of the 2015 Michigan Football season. The hopes are high, the spotlight is shining, and Jim Harbaugh’s khakis are in full effect.

Following media day on August 6th and entering fall camp on August 7th the athletes and coaching staff have been strictly business. Coach Harbaugh has issued a media blackout in what he calls a “submarine” style system, communicating with nobody outside of his athletes and coaching staff. Following Wednesday’s open student practice he declined any comments or interviews from a slew of B1G media on site ready to turn on the cameras and get some answers. This, ladies and gentleman, is decision week in Ann Arbor.

As expected, Harbaugh has not taken his foot off the gas pedal since his arrival. From recruiting satellite tours and camps all over the country, to signing a slew of new coaches and staff, to new uniform deals with Nike/Jordan, there is a hell of a LOT going on. This is the time to put everything else aside and focus on the one thing that matters the most for Harbaugh and company, The team, the team, the team. Among all of the questions the media is pressing with for answers, there is one that stands out as the clear cut winner everyone wants to know the answer to.

“Who will throw the football?”

Shortly after the Spring Game this year, I asked this same question to someone that you all may know. Mr. Brian Cole II.

Cole, a graduate of Heritage High School, is one of this season’s biggest names to watch on the field for the Wolverines. Cole and I crossed paths while he was shopping inside the mall that I at the time worked in in his hometown of Saginaw, MI. We talked about Harbaugh, his life at campus, how he felt about the upcoming season and so on…but before he left the store, I asked him the one question I needed an answer to “If the season starts tomorrow, who’s throwing the football?” His answer? A smile, and with very little hesitation “Shane Morris baby!”

Feeling satisfied with the answer, we shook hands, I wished him good luck this season, and he left the store, but then another man came to town in Ann Arbor.

Enter: Jake Rudock, the two year starting QB transfer from Iowa that was added to an already crowded roster of QB’s at Michigan. Rudock started the past two years for Iowa putting up 4819 yards, 34 TD’s and 18 INT’s. Not bad, but not great.

Shane Morris on the other hand has had an even tougher start at Michigan behind now former head coach Brady Hoke. Playing in only eight games thus far, Morris holds career stats of 389 yards through the air, 0 TD’s, and 5 INT’s. Yikes.

But let’s put all that aside for a minute shall we? Morris comes to Ann Arbor as a five star recruit with a cannon of an arm. The plays he made in HS while leading Warren De La Salle were amazing (YouTube his HS highlight film) and from what we have seen from him this year he has changed in character, and has only gotten better on the field with his mechanics. At the spring game, he was the first one out of the locker room and onto the field and has practiced with the 1’s consistently since then. He seems more calm, composed and in charge then ever before. In more recent interviews you can tell that he has no intention on getting a secondary spot in his position, but neither does Rudock.

The main arguement between these two comes down to Potential vs. Consistency. On one hand you have Rudock, a QB that we’ve seen perform at a decent level, but not much more. He can throw the ball, he can make plays, but he is not really known for heaving it down field or floating it over the shoulder in sticky situations. He’s stable, but we haven’t seen anything out of Rudock to give him any “it” factor while he was in Iowa. Then on the other hand you have Morris, a kid with familiarization of the program, a rocket launcher attached to his shoulder and SO FAR has held the majority of the snaps at practices. The downside of Morris is the turnovers and whether or not he can shake off the jitters, focus, and lead an offense to Harbaugh’s standard. Also, does Morris live up to the hype? Can he be what everyone hopes?

With that being said if Harbaugh plays the safe card, Rudock will be your starter come September 3rd. If Harbaugh plays the risk vs. reward card, then Morris will throw the ball vs. the Utes.

My guess? Call me crazy but Harbaugh is a betting man, and a confident man. My prediction is that Shane Morris will be our starting QB this season until given a reason not to be. #GoBlue

-Cody

If you enjoyed this article or would like to share your thoughts with me, follow me on Twitter at @BleedBlue_CG

In the film room: 2016 Commit Erik Swenson

Name: Erik Swenson
Class: 2016
Position: Offensive Tackle
Height: 6’7
Weight: 285
Offer Sheet: (5) Michigan, Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Ohio State
Ranking: 4 Star
Commit Date: 11/25/13

This is the first BBR evaluation for the class of 2016. I will be using a new and improved grading scale. Out of 100 points possible, I will be grading offensive lineman on their Pass protection and run blocking (broken down into their technique and footwork). I will also be grading their build, Athleticism and their “It” factor. Which for Offensive lineman will be nastiness, and finishing their blocks.
90+ = Elite. Day one starter without question
80+ = Highly polished player, likely to have early Play time
70+ = Needs a few touch ups to their game before college ready
60+ = Redshirt likely
Player Comparison: Joe Staley (San Francisco 49ers)

Erik Swenson was the first 2016 prospect to commit to the Wolverines as a sophomore in 2013. Even back then, almost two years ago, Swenson looked the part of an elite offensive line prospect. Wearing #77 and playing left tackle, I had visions of Jake Long and Taylor Lewan from the first time I watched his film. Swenson hails from Downers Grove, Illinois and is the second ranked prospect in the state. A large and physically imposing player, Swenson dominates every defender in his path.

Pass Protection-
Technique: 15/20 Footwork: 15/20 Overall: 30/40
After watching just one play of pass pro, you can tell just low long and hard he was worked on his craft. Swenson’s first step is quick and short, and his feet are never off the ground too long. His hands are constantly in motion, whether he is engaged or not. Once he is back in his kick step and a defender reaches him, Swenson is quick to deliver a blow, although it is not a great one. Often times a defender will try to beat him up field with speed, and Swenson will simply engage the defender and continue to run him up field and away from the play. His kick step is much smoother and more fluid than his post step, which will be a something for him to work on at the next level. His center of gravity is not great during pass pro, although Im sure it is tough for a 6’7 kid to stay low. His pad level never hinders him however, as he is just more physical than anyone that lines up against him.

Run Blocking-
Technique: 13/20 Footwork: 18/20 Overall: 31/40
Swenson can be somewhat enigmatic here. On one play, Swenson will drive his man thirty yards down field and end up on top of him like Michael Oher in the Blind side. On the next play, Swenson will simply stand up and use his big frame to shield the defender against a play to his side. Swenson’s biggest strength (aside from his size) is his ability to get to the second level. Watching film, I actually picked up on their blocking scheme for what I believe are their Iso plays. Swenson will get an inside release on the man lined up across from him, and go get a line backer, leaving his man for the full back to pick up (Iso plays are generally blocked the opposite way). Swenson’s pad level,base and hand placement are all top notch. Swenson preys on smaller linebackers, racking up pancake after pancake block. When engaged, Swenson will either punish the man he is blocking, or show a bit of laziness and use his size and size only to win the battle.

Athleticism: 7/10
Swenson is exceptionally athletic for his height and weight. While he is not spectacularly fast or mobile, he is certainly above average. He showcases his mobility on screen plays, where he releases and blocks a DB in open space. Swenson also routinely blocks smaller and quicker linebackers in open space.

“It”: 4/5
Swenson feeds off of mauling everyone he faces. Where he loses a point here is the occasional play off. According to his film, he averages seventeen pancakes a game, and that I believe. Once he gets his hands on you, Its over.

Build: 5/5
Swenson is all of 6’7 and 285, and not even out of high school yet. You cannot ask for much more out of a tackle.

Overall: 77/100
Swenson does a lot of things very well and only a small handful of things poorly. The strengths of his game are his ability to get to the second level, and to finish blocks, which he is often in great position for due to his great footwork. Swenson’s weaknesses are the occasional play he takes off, his center of gravity during pass pro and his post step. Swenson has an entire year to polish these areas of his game, and I have no doubt that he’ll do so. With all of the offensive line talent that the Wolverines currently have on their roster in addition to the talent being brought in, there are no playing time guarantees’. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Swenson redshirted and primed to take the field as a RS freshman or sophomore. While not elite, Swenson is most definitely an above average high school lineman, and with a little polishing of his game, we can expect big things from Swenson.

@BleedBlueCoachT

Best Guess at Michigan’s 2016 class

Kingston Davis joined the fold this morning after a strong visit to UM this past weekend. Coupled with Brandon Peters and David Reese joining suit, Michigan is now up to 5 commits for the 2016 class.

The domino effect is underway and the #Fab25 is taking shape. Here is my best guess at how this class will finish out.

QB Brandon Peters

RB Kingston Davis

RB Matt Falcon

FB David Reese

WR Ahmir Mitchell

WR Dez Fitzpatrick

WR Donnie Corley

OL Ben Bredeson

OL Michael Onwenu

OL Terrance Davis

OL Michael Jordan

OL Erik Swenson

TE Nassier Upshur

DT Rashan Gary

DT Boss Tagaloa

DE Connor Murphy

LB Jonathan Jones

LB Dele Harding

LB Dontavious Jackson

CB Lavert Hill

CB Jordan Fuller

CB/S Chris Brown

S Andrew Pryts

S Demetric Vance

K Quinn Nordin

Take in mind, this is based off the Fab 25 tag the coaches have been using. Your thoughts?

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.