Saturday, December 17, 2005

All I want for Christmas... 3-Star recruits

Did you notice that all of the Butkus award finalists this year were 3-star recruits?
A.J. Hawk:
Demeco Ryans:
Paul Puzluzzzz...:

As well, there are a bunch of other noteable 3-star recruits:

Nagurski award winner Elvis Dumervil:

(interesting that all 4 players above were listed at 4.6 speed in the 40)

NW standout Tim McGarigle:
Minn o-line stud Mark Setterstrom:
Michigan's only good LB in 2005 David Harris:

What does it really mean? Probably nothing more than the fact that stars/rankings don't really tell the whole story.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

2006 Roster comments, defense

I've updated the image below in the 'Thoughts on 2006 Roster' for the defense. Biggest questions in 2006 are:

1) Who will be the nickel DB?
2) Who will be the 2nd DT next to Branch (Calling it a 4-3 defense)
3) Will linebackers not named Harris step up in 2006?

-On #1, what about putting Harrison and Adams out as the nickel/dime DB's? Didn't adams go on as the 4th DB in some instances in 2005? The other options are somewhat limited as Stewart/Hood seem to be locks for the 'coulda shoulda woulda' award and have only garnered verbal abuse from Carr. Who knows, maybe they step things up big time in practice before next September. Sears seems to be starting some buzz concerning his chances for seeing the field in 2006. My early prediction is that Sears sees some time in 2006. Either way barring injury to Englemon/Adams I don't see Brown in the CB mix for 2006.
-On #2, Johnson did start at DT in 2005 but Taylor had some good showings especially against Minny. The questions here are a) will slocum be on the team? and b) where does McKinney fit? Either way we should have a good rotation with Branch/Johnson/Taylor/Slocum and possibly McKinney.
-On #3, I'd have to agree with brian@mgoblog's comments that given the #'s Burgess definitely has potential. However, that seemed to be the case last year given his Rose Bowl performance vs. Texas. Honestly, I have to believe it comes down to mental attitude. If Burgess is focused and adopts enough of the AJ Hawk 'not going to be caught dogging it on any play' attitude I have hope for him in 2006. Graham however is a different story. I among others had high hopes for him after his NIU performance but he seemed to go the other way. Will he improve in 2006 or will he be passed by Thompson or even B. Graham for that matter?

Early Predictions:
-Jamison and Crable will find their way into the lineup more and more in 2006
-Sears will see meaningful time in 2006 possibly even as the nickel/dime DB
-The strongside DE spot will have problems early in 2006 (please PLEASE prove me wrong)

Friday, December 09, 2005

2005 Season, UFR totals

Brian from mgoblog ( has a weekly UFR (Upon Further Review) section that he updates after every UofM game with further analysis of both the UofM offense and defense. For the defense, he even assigns +'s and-'s to each player. Being highly addicted to UFR (and mgoblog in general), I've put together a summary below:

Top 5 defensive players based on this data:

1) Branch
2) Woodley
[Would probably be #1 if not for the arm injury]
3) Harris
4) Watson

Worst 5:

1) Massey
[Did you have any doubt?]
2) Adams
3) Graham
4) Van Alstyne
5) Hood

Friday, December 02, 2005

2006 Roster comments, offense

Click on the image below in the 'Thoughts on 2006 Roster' and it will pull up a larger image that you can actually read. Anyone listed in orange I consider a lock for their position in 2006 barring injury. Anyone listed in light orange is a probable lock.

O-line: The o-line was one of the biggest dissapointments for the 2005 season. Things look good for 2006 but then again they looked fantastic going into the 2005 season.

RT: Long has a lock here based on Carr's comments hinting at not moving him. Basically having a good strong side Tackle.

LT: Kolo has a probable lock given experience/etc.

Backup for Long/Kolo is up in the air. Gallimore? Zirbel? Hopefully Zirbel turns out to be a good tackle. Gallimore might project into a guard down the road however leaving Zirbel, McAvoy, Ortmann?

C: Either Kraus or Bihl. I'd prefer Kraus based on who is a better center but this is still a question mark. With Bihl having started at center Carr might put Bihl there and Kraus at RG for more experience on the line.

RG: Mitchell/Kraus are probables based on who Carr sticks at center. I'd prefer Mitchell given the buzz around him, his playing time in 2005, and the fact that Kraus is a much better center than Bihl.

LG: Riley is as much of a lock as you can get based on Carr's recent comments and him most likely being there for the bowl game.

Overall things don't look that bad for the o-line. It'd be nice to get comments on this especially what folks think about both the center and RG positions.

TE: Ecker is a lock. Massey has had playing time and could be good down the road.

WR: Breaston an easy lock
Not sure who is going to make the next cut as Arrington was the presumtive 3rd string this year before injury and Manningham's experience and talent. Either way we are stacked at WR.

QB: Not much to say...

FB: Paul/Thompson probably depending on summer practice/etc

TB: Hart solid lock.

The real questions are on the o-line especially center and RG. Also, could be interesting to see who manages to pull ahead on the o-line depth chart in 2006. There was a rivals post about moosman possibly moving up to 2nd string based on how well he's coming along but he would presumably have to hurdle other folks like possibly ciulla/mitchell/etc. What about sharrow? Where does he fit in if anywhere? debenedictis? Is Zirbel going to step up and be a solid backup at RT/LT?


Thoughts on 2006 Roster

Comments shortly.


Ok, just getting started. Hopefully will have something within the next few days.