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Unverified Voracity Loses Spam Twitter

Unverified Voracity Loses Spam Twitter Brian January 3rd, 2020 at 12:28 PM
back? [Patrick Barron]

RIP Blazefire. Michigan and MGoBlog has lost Blazefire84 at the far-too-young age of 35. Here is his obituary; here is the board thread. Blazefire was a good guy, and a good internet person. The latter is so very hard. He'll be missed.

Good news tomorrow? The Army All American Bowl is tomorrow at 1 PM, and Michigan will have a hat on the table for CA CB Darion Green-Warren. Green-Warren has already signed and is announcing a choice that's already locked in, so in this case the tea leaves are pretty easy to read and point towards Michigan, which has 94% of the crystal balls. Might be worth tuning in.

Green-Warren is a top 200 prospect at a position where Michigan could use some reinforcements. USC is the other main player in his recruitment, and we've detailed USC's stunningly bad recruiting multiple times.

Draft entry o'clock. Now is the time when people get serious about making draft decisions. So far for Michigan, Josh Uche and Sean McKeon have foregone potential fifth years and accepted Senior Bowl invites while Kwity Paye and Nick Eubanks have announced returns. Other potential departures:

  • WR Nico Collins: Isaiah Hole reports he's hearing Collins is leaning towards a return. Most other chatter has held similarly.
  • WR Donovan Peoples-Jones: There's a lot of wobble in DPJ projections in what's going to be a loaded WR draft. The Athletic's Dane Brugler made it sound like he was a mid-round pick despite ranking him in the top 10 WRs; he's the first pick of the second round in Matt Miller's mock draft. There hasn't been much word on which way he's leaning.
  • C Cesar Ruiz: Ruiz's draft evals are even more all over the board than DPJ's, with a lot of blue checkmarks on twitter having him in the fourth or fifth route while Tony Pauline has him as a late first rounder. When asked about the NFL in a press conference before the bowl game Ruiz gave the standard "thinking about Future Opponent" answer with no elaboration.
  • CB Ambry Thomas: Thomas hasn't put it on Twitter but in a bowl press scrum he said "You can just assume I’m coming back." He did leave a little bit of post-bowl wiggle room; I don't think he had a paradigm-shifting Citrus Bowl. I'd assume that he sticks with his original decision. As of the 28th he hadn't submitted his name for a draft grade.

If I had to guess I'd say Michigan loses Ruiz and gets everyone else back. Losing Tarik Black to a transfer is a bummer but if Michigan gets their top two WRs back that's much better than I was expecting.

FWIW, our speculation that the guys who played in the 78-0 Rutgers game back in the day still could get redshirts, a group that included McKeon, does appear to have a proof of concept in Carlo Kemp. Sam Webb reports that Michigan is "confident" he will be granted a redshirt year after appearing in two games as a true freshman.

[After THE JUMP: do you like dated stuff? Because I have lots of it.]

Dangit, Spam. Stephen Spanellis has announced a grad transfer. That's one less option for Michigan on the interior as they try to replace two or three starters. I have to assume that Spanellis had fallen down the depth chart if he's exiting before he gets his shot in spring practice. I will miss his twitter.

Better transfer news. Joe Milton is on board for at least next year.

Advanced box score. Bill Connelly's advanced box score from the Citrus Bowl has some good bits—3.25 line yards per carry against Bama!—and some less good bits—2.6 YPA on passing downs!—that adds up to a 97% Bama win expectation. That's probably harsh because it includes the last turnover. But… yeah. In the end, not particularly close.

Position switches. Orion Sang watched some bowl practices and noted that Ben VanSumeren has moved to tight end and George Johnson to cornerback. Both moves make a ton of sense.

VanSumeren was a bizarrely-shaped wide receiver in high school and has good potential as an Aaron Shea-like H-back. Michigan started playing Ben Mason at a wing TE spot like that midway through the year; hopefully over the offseason they're able to carve out a 15-20 snap role for an H-TE since they've got a couple of guys on the roster well suited for that spot.

George Johnson came in as a high school quarterback projected to slot receiver, a spot that classmates Giles Jackson and Mike Sainristil look to be filling for the next two or three years. Michigan also adds AJ Henning in this class. Meanwhile, corner is one of the bigger questions on next year's team. Your author projected Johnson to the secondary in his recruiting profile last summer, FWIW.

On the Clemson/OSU fumble overturn. Here's an interesting post from a high school referee on the controversial overturn:

Looking back at the mechanics manual, the HLJ drops the bean bag to cover himself. If he blows the whistle and it was in-fact a fumble for a TD, he's probably never going to work a CFP game again for having an inadvertent whistle on a scoring play.

Now that we are in the review, we need to have firm control, and an act common to the game.

Full Speed Front View - From here we can see that the steps taken are from the force of contact by the DB from the moment of catching, the steps alone do not count as our move common. This leaves an attempt to ward or tuck.

Slow Motion Back Cam - From 0:03 to 0:05 we can see the WR left hand come off of the ball while attempting to tuck it to his waist, at which point the ball is dislodged by the DB.

Given this, I don't think this is a catch, but it's still a very close call.

Circling back to subsection h, "When in question, the catch, recovery or interception is not completed." Given that the HLJ let the play go as he wasn't sure it was a catch or not, and that it seems unclear after looking at this all day whether he completes his act common, this is ruled incomplete.

I did not watch the game live but as soon as you see the full speed front view it seems obvious that it's incomplete. This is an instance where watching the slow motion distorts your impression of what really happened. In full speed it is a bang-bang play where the WR never really controls the ball. In slow motion it looks completely different. Since one of the priorities for NCAA refs is "no cheap fumbles" this seems like an obviously correct call.

I'm sure Ohio State fans are taking this in stride.

A couple more Terrance Williams bits. Matt D had a hello post for Williams shortly after his commitment; since then there have been a couple more scouting bits. Rivals's Corey Evans:

Tim McCormick:

Brendan Quinn at the Athletic:

Williams can score on bigger defenders by attacking their chests, absorbing contact and playing through them. Against smaller defenders, he can take a step back and rely on his jumper. He’s solid from 3-point distance, but especially strong in the 15- to 18-foot range. If you crowd him, he can rip and blow by. If you sag, he’ll catch and shoot. Williams can not only do these things, but is especially adept to understanding how he’s being played.

…at his best banging and setting screens. He’s an active, bouncy, instinctive rebounder. Tip-ins. Tip-outs. He gets his hands on the ball. On the perimeter, he plants his feet like tent pegs and does not subside. Good, strong, clean picks. He doesn’t dip his shoulder or swing out a hip. He’s been called for fewer than five illegal screens in three years, despite being Gonzaga’s primary screener.

Also holy crap this is a line:

When he was a freshman at Gonzaga, assistant coach Roger Garfield approached and asked him, “Hey, why’d you pick No. 5?”

Williams looked at Garfield, deadpan, and responded, “Coach, on the fifth day, God created animals,” and walked away.

Do not tell me if this is from a movie, I do not want to know.

Williams comparisons are interesting because they're all over the map. Since his commitment I've seen the following: Juwan Morgan, Vince Edwards, and Jae'Sean Tate. I'd suggest the senior version of Kenny Goins, a 6'6"-6'7", 230-pound four who has three point range and offers you better rebounding than his size might indicate. Goins was a walk-on who took a long time to get up to speed; Williams should have a longer period as a productive college player and will hopefully be a higher-usage guy.

Isaiah Todd: here or there? Todd's coach on his decision about where to play next year:

"In this day and time -- and I hope I don't get misquoted -- but in this day and time people are always exploring options unfortunately, with the SAT/ACT," Williams told MLive, referring to standardized tests. "But Isaiah passed the SAT/ACT. He's definitely looking forward to going to college. I think he likes what's going on at Michigan. I think him and Juwan have a very unique relationship.

"You know, Isaiah could be one of those kids that hang around. He's definitely concerned about getting a degree. I just think early on and how things have been going, all these top players that's one thing that's in consideration always -- playing overseas."

I almost wish he hadn't said that Todd could hang around for multiple years, because that makes the quote seem so optimistic it's hard to take seriously.

All right all right all right. Viva Dantonio.

I'm looking forward to one of Michigan's rivals finally going through a coaching senescence period. Ohio State managed to dodge two in a row, because you could shoot Ohio Stadium with a bazooka and it would carve out a statue of Woody Hayes.

Also in I don't want to know. So.

The year of the Legg goal. Andrei Svechnikov has scored a Mike Legg goal twice this year in the NHL, and now a second Michigan commit has executed it. First it was Mark Estapa, now Kent Johnson:

Johnson still leads BCHL scorers with 69 points in 36 games, 22 ahead of his nearest competition.

In other cavalry-is-coming notes, Brendan Brisson continues to fly up draft boards and is now cracking a lot of first rounds. He had 12 points in 6 games at the World Junior A Championships to tie a tourney record; he's the #4 draft eligible USHL player in PPG, a hair behind a couple of his teammates. The Chicago Steel are absurdly loaded this year—they're 22-4-1 with a +57 goal differential, so it's hard to tell exactly who's driving the bus. Brisson's WJAC performance is encouraging in that regard.

FWIW, Josh Groll also signed a letter of intent and is likely to come in next year. He's 9th in USHL scoring amongst U19s and made the WJAC. Between Johnson, Brisson, Thomas Bordeleau, and Groll Michigan is likely to have four freshman F with more talent than anyone on this year's team save Beecher and Lockwood.

Probably as a result of this squeeze, F Patrick Guzzo decommitted and flipped to Ohio State. A dollar says Michigan asked him to defer and he wasn't interested. D Nick Bochen also flipped to Quinnipiac.

In more immediate hockey roster news. Michigan's also added defenseman Jay Keranan as a mid-year enrollee. Keranen went from the NAHL to the BCHL, where he put up a total of 13 points in 98 games. He's 21 and originally from Brighton. Assumptions: 1) walk-on, 2) unless Michigan gets super lucky he's going to be a healthy scratch for his career.

Etc.: The ten least consequential athletes of the decade include Glenn Winston. The case for eliminating the NCAA tournament committee. The Athletic on Cincinnati and Rutgers running "club teams" in the latest rules loophole that's about to get shut down. Mark Hasty on Hayden Fry. More Fry in the Athletic. Saddi Washington is a bridge over an abyss. Baseball debuts at #7, which seems optimistic unless Michigan can replace their rotation.

Brandon Wade walks on; his story at the Daily.

Profile picture for user dragonchild


January 3rd, 2020 at 12:40 PM ^

When he was a freshman at Gonzaga, assistant coach Roger Garfield approached and asked him, “Hey, why’d you pick No. 5?”
Williams looked at Garfield, deadpan, and responded, “Coach, on the fifth day, God created animals,” and walked away.

Profile picture for user Toasted Yosties

In reply to "Coach, on the fifth day,… by dragonchild

Toasted Yosties

January 3rd, 2020 at 12:45 PM ^

People can still comment, I guess. But this thread is perfect as it is. 

Profile picture for user boliver46

In reply to "Coach, on the fifth day,… by dragonchild


January 3rd, 2020 at 2:12 PM ^

Profile picture for user Erik_in_Dayton


January 3rd, 2020 at 12:46 PM ^

That Terrance Williams quote about wearing No. 5 has made my day. Bless you, young man.

Profile picture for user True Blue 9

True Blue 9

January 3rd, 2020 at 12:49 PM ^

Merely a question here, is there any concern that Darion Green-Warren and others change their minds with Partridge moving on? I haven't heard a peep about any current signee's having any second thoughts. I suppose that's a good thing. 

Profile picture for user NeverPunt

In reply to Merely a question here, is… by True Blue 9


January 3rd, 2020 at 1:11 PM ^

He signed his LOI already wherever he is going so he’d be in the portal if he was. Doesn’t mean he chose us for sure but he’s a signed, not committed, recruit

Profile picture for user IndyBlue

In reply to He signed his LOI already… by NeverPunt


January 3rd, 2020 at 1:13 PM ^

Does that mean he's already sent it to whichever school he chose and the coaches agreed to keep it a secret until he announces?  If not, I thought the LOI is only binding once it is sent to the school.

Profile picture for user NeverPunt

In reply to Does that mean he's already… by IndyBlue


January 3rd, 2020 at 2:47 PM ^

That was my understanding

Profile picture for user mgob-rad

In reply to Merely a question here, is… by True Blue 9


January 3rd, 2020 at 1:25 PM ^

Darion Green-Warren and our other commits have already signed their letters of intent (all signs show that Green-Warren chose us, but that is to be determined), so they would need to transfer and forego a year of eligibility if they were blindsided by Partridge leaving. We've heard nothing of the like so far, so it appears recruits were in the know. 

Profile picture for user GoBlueinMN

In reply to Merely a question here, is… by True Blue 9


January 3rd, 2020 at 2:05 PM ^

I would add that 247 lists his recruiters as Moore and Zordich, so it would seem as though he has strong relationships with those coaches as well.

Profile picture for user MGoBlue96


January 3rd, 2020 at 1:10 PM ^

Would have been unthinkable a couple weeks ago for me to think UM would potentially get all of Ruiz, DJP, Collins and Thomas back. If that happens I truly believe the only questions marks between them and much better year than this year is better QB play and the development of Smith and Hinton at DT. Reasonably confident they can reload on the o-line and find someone to be a decent number 2 corner behind Thomas.

In reply to Would have been unthinkable… by MGoBlue96


January 3rd, 2020 at 1:44 PM ^

I'm more worried about CB than you, but agree that OL should remain very good. They finally have experienced depth there and Spanellis leaving has to be a good sign about the younger guys.

QB, DT and CB.  Unfortunately, those are really important positions.

Profile picture for user MGoBlue96

In reply to I'm more worried about CB… by TrueBlue2003


January 3rd, 2020 at 1:55 PM ^

Hinton holding up ok against Bama was a encouraging sign. Assuming Hinton and Smith come along to be at least be positive contributors, and Kemp gets his fifth year you have Hinton, Smith, Kemp and Dwumfour as a potentially solid group of 4. Hopefully someone like Jeter can improve significantly to get a little more depth.

In reply to I'm more worried about CB… by TrueBlue2003

Bo Harbaugh

January 3rd, 2020 at 3:03 PM ^

I'd be a lot less worried about the CB position if Don Brown would stop running zero blitz packages on 3rd and 20 when the offense is in a 4 wide receiver set.

The fact that it was such a revelation this year that we were running more zone and brackets coverages shows how married he was to "solving problems with aggression", which is great and all when you have 2 shutdown corners and a dominant d-line (2016), but not when you have obvious gaps in your defense.

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