Inside Michigan’s Spring Practice!
I talked to a couple of people at Michigan today and there are some very interesting story lines developing.
1. Shane Morris is not performing well so far in spring drills. Both Malzone and Wilton Speight are off to better starts under Harbaugh. Malzone at one point was getting more reps than Speight but I’m told that it has evened out a little since the early part of practice. According to my guys in A2, Malzone and Speight are both outplaying Shane at this point. This could be Harbaugh creating and encouraging competition but it could also mean Shane Morris just isn’t going to be good enough to start at Michigan. Time will tell, but at this point you have to wonder if Morris will ever live up to the 5 star hype coming out of high school. If this is true, it is refreshing and necessary as Michigan has far to long operated on the “upperclassman first” mentality, too often guys were playing simply because they were older, that was the downfall of Brady Hoke from what I am told. Under Harbaugh you earn everything.
2. The word from current players is that practice is more up tempo than anything they experienced under Brady Hoke. There are even reports that Ty Issac said Michigan practices were much easier than USC. If that is true it’s a serious indictment of the Hoke regime. Harbaugh is doing something pretty interesting, he’s running two sets of scrimmages, which allows more players to get more reps per practice. The staff is emphasizing reps in practice and correcting correcting errors in the film room. One person compared the practice to those run by Nick Saban at Alabama.
3. Harbaugh is not happy with the conditioning, these practices have been long and hard. Jim wants to make sure these guy have the conditioning to win games in the 4th quarter.
4. Players making good early impressions? Lawrence Marshall, Drake Harris, Mo Ways, Freddy Canteen
PODCAST: Big House Nation Podcast 2-28-15
Today’s show featured Detroit Free Press Michigan Beat Writer Mark Snyder as we discuss Spring Ball, Michigan hoops and other Michigan topics. Is the Head Coaching position at Michigan a “top tier” job? I’m also joined once again for a quick chat with Art Regner. Enjoy the show.
National Magazine Ranks Michigan’s Football Roster Second Best In The B1G
This article from Athlons is likely the biggest indictment of the Brady Hoke era! According to the magazine the Wolverines by far and away have the second best roster, based on recruiting, in the B1G. Ohio State is the runaway best roster in the conference.
If you look at this roster analysis, it bodes VERY well for a quick turnaround in Ann Arbor under Harbaugh. They aren’t at the level of the Buckeye but they certainly should be able to compete with Michigan State and Penn State.
Coaching in college is obviously paramount, more so than in any other sport. Michigan should have the guy in place to maximize this roster advantage in 2015.
Michigan Basketball To Wear “Alternate” Uniform For Post-Season
If Michigan makes the NIT they will wear this uniform according to Darren Rovell
If Michigan makes it to the NIT, this is what they will wear pic.twitter.com/GCHR8fExy1
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 26, 2015
PODCAST: New Big House Nation Podcast With Aaron Ward!
I had a great conversation with former Wolverine and Red Wing Aaron Ward on today’s podcast. We touched on a bunch of subjects, Michigan Hockey, the Red Wings, Michigan State, Mock Rock, retiring Sergei Federov’s # 91 and Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. He also discusses the Jamie Benn hit on Zetterberg.
You’ll really enjoy this show, Aaron is a great guest. Thanks for listening.
PICTURE: Derrick Green Isn’t Fat
Social media erupted Monday night when it was revealed that Michigan running back Derrick Green’s weight was up to 234 pounds, he was 225 last year. I’m not sure why people are so concerned about his weight, yes he was 252 when he arrived in Ann Arbor as a freshman, but he was certainly in shape last year and his instagram pretty much put to rest that he is “fat.”
— N Sulla (@NS0518) February 24, 2015
What Harbaugh Must Do In Spring Ball
Most Michigan fans think Jim Harbaugh’s number one job is to find a Quarterback before the start of the 2015 season in Utah, but a QB is project 1B, 1A is to find five guys who can protect the next signal caller at Michigan.
The offensive line at Michigan has been an issue for many years under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke. They have had some good individual players like Taylor Lewan and Michael Schoefiled but they’ve yet to get five lineman working together to run the ball or protect the Quarterback. The OL could be disguised a bit when Denard Robinson was the QB because he was capable of covering up for a lot of bad protection, but the OL was really exposed with Devin Gardner at QB as he didn’t have the same explosive speed as Robinson.
The Offensive line improved late in the 2014 season but it was still suspect and will need to make a big leap in 2015 for Michigan to have a successful season.
Michigan has talent on the roster, it is talent that will need to finally be coached up. As I’ve many times, Brady Hoke could recruit, he just couldn’t coach the athletes he brought to Ann Arbor.
Michigan is solid at Center with Jack Miller, he’s experienced and has steadily improved over the last 2 seasons. Mason Cole has the left tackle spot locked down after an impressive 2014 season which saw him start all 12 games as a true freshman. Cole is the first freshman to ever start on the offensive line at Michigan. It is logical to believe he will be even better as a sophomore.
Right tackle is a bit of an unknown at this point. Ben Braden, a redshirt junior-to-be, will likely start at right tackle, but Juwann Bushell-Beatty, a redshirt freshman-to-be and Logan Tuley-Tillman could make a push for reps at the position
Kyle Kalis, seems to have the right guard position but he thus far hasn’t lived up to his 5 star billing and may be pushed for the position by (RS-FR) Patrick Kugler, (RS-SO) Blake Bars or (RS-FR) Chris Fox.
Graham Glassgow (RS-JR) is a lock at left guard with Erik Magnuson (RS-SO) pressing for time as a back-up.
If these highly recruited offensive lineman continue to improve whomever is QB 1 will have a much easier time moving the offense in 2015.
OL Depth Chart
Florida State Fans Are Not Happy With Winston’s Comments on Michigan/Harbaugh
When I heard Jameis Winston talk about Michigan last week, I cringed when he he said he loved Florida State but heavily praised Harbaugh and Michigan. “It was a blessing to meet a guy like that. It was an honor to meet him. All of his accomplishments, and the type of coach that he is, I wish I could have played for him.” When he said it, I knew it wasn’t going to sit well with Seminole fans and it hasn’t.
I personally didn’t think he was slighting his own coach at first, but maybe he was taking a dig at Jimbo Fisher, whom he obviously has some tension with during his last season in Tallahassee. Remember, he was pulled during the Rose Bowl and was seen arguing with his FSU Head Coach following one of his interceptions.
What do you think, was Winston intentionally taking a shot at Jimbo Fisher or was he just hanging out in Ann Arbor with a QB guru? Bryce Petty didn’t go out of his way to say he “wished he could have played for Harbaugh.”
— Coach Farris (@CoachFarris) February 20, 2015