Harbaugh talks Grant Perry, Brad Hawkins and alternate uni’s after Friday’s satellite camp

June 3, 2017 by  
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Harbaugh shares news about Grant Perry, Brad Hawkins and alternate uni’s after Friday’s satellite camp.

Status of Grant Perry

Grant Perry is scheduled for a court date of July 17 and Jim Harbaugh confirmed on Friday his status with Michigan. “He’s back working out with the team,” Jim Harbaugh said following the satellite camp at John Carroll University.

Perry faces four charges from an incident back on October 15, 2016 outside and East Lansing bar. On December 22, he was charged with two misdemeanors for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct from inappropriately touching a woman, a resisting/avoiding arrest felony since an officer was injured when Perry tried to avoid the arrest and also a minor in possession of alcohol.

Michigan suspended Perry after becoming aware of the incident from mid-October, then returned for the Ohio State game. He was suspended again before the Orange Bowl and missed spring practice functions once the four charges were given in December. Some of the Michigan writers confirmed this news last night.

Alternate Uniforms

The uniforms are a bit of a lighter topic that Jim Harbaugh also eluded to on Friday.

"We talked about it when we first signed up with Nike that would be something we would be interested in if they were interested in. It’s been designed.”

While Harbaugh knows what the uniforms look like since he helped in the design, its still unclear which game they will wear them, but will be at least one.

Could be an all maize look?

Brad Hawkins

Jim Harbaugh also shared a nice tid-bit that Brad Hawkins will move to safety.

This is very interesting as the incoming freshman played wide receiver. Jim Harbaugh explained this situation further last night. “What's transpired is (defensive coordinator) Don Brown got to him, Don Brown said he talked to Brad and Brad wanted to play safety. I accused Don Brown of some recruiting going on there. We haven't investigated the whole thing yet. But I think it's a little bit of both."

With satellite camps just getting started, who knows what else Jim Harbaugh will share keeping us with news to talk about in June.

Poll Time

Michigan Football will go back to alternate uniforms, per Harbaugh

June 3, 2017 by  
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After going away from the different look jerseys for a few seasons, Michigan will be showing a different uniform look at least once in 2017

Since Jim Harbaugh has taken over as Michigan football’s head coach, the Wolverines have went back to just the traditional look with their uniforms, barring the brand change to Jordan.

This season, that will change at least once.

Harbaugh told the press on Friday afternoon just that during interviews for the upcoming satellite camps at John Carroll University in Ohio.

"We talked about it (with Nike) and when we first signed up with Nike we said that's something we'd be interested in, they were interested in it. It's been designed," Harbaugh said to the media. "(They'll be used) at least once this year. I don't know, I think some people like the element of surprise. I don't know if I'm at liberty to say which game.

"But I know which game it's going to be. I don't want to steal someone else's thunder."

When Brady Hoke was still roaming the sidelines at Michigan, the alternate uniforms were a rather common occurance.

However, Michigan hasn’t suited up in any different uniform (other than slight changes to Michigan's white jerseys) since the Penn State game at the Big House in 2014.

In the contract with Adidas from 2011-14, the Wolverines had multiple alternate choices for their jerseys, including throwback looks.

A lot of the time, those uniforms were critized in a negative way by the fan base.

Harbaugh said that he helped design these new uniforms with Nike — without giving away much detail.

“It's going to happen," he said to the media Friday afternoon. "But, hey, we're partners there with Nike and they've put a lot of work into this so I won't announce it right now.

"You're not going to get anything more out of me on that."

For now, all Michigan fans can do is hope that they enjoy this new look uniform more than the most recent ones.

According to Harbaugh, he is “confident” they will.

Is the offensive line still a concern, or genuinely good?

June 2, 2017 by  
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Nick: Hey, guys. I wanted to talk about the offensive line today, and some of the implications it might have on next year’s offense.

But first off, are you coming around to the prospect of this being a good group? There’s Mason Cole at LT, Ben Bredeson at LG, Patrick Kugler presumably at C - and he looked alright in the spring game, and loads better than he did last year - plus Michael Onwenu at RG and possibly Jon Runyan at RT. Not bad, no?

Eric: They certainly have some potential. What they don’t have is a lot of game experience together. They looked good in Spring scrimmages, but that was without a lot of the blitzes, stunts and changing schemes that they will see in game situations. So I still think the o-line is an area of concern, until we see them in real action. Fortunately, the schedule (after Florida) will give them the chance to gel.

Jared: I think this group has more potential than the line we had been trotting out for the past 3 years or so, but I don’t think they would qualify as “good” just yet. Having senior Mason Cole leading the way in one of the two most important positions on the line is huge, and you can count on him like death and taxes no matter where you put him. Bredeson is probably the next best player at LG , and looks like a future pro.

I am high on Mike Onwenu at RG, mostly because he is larger than an adult cape buffalo and moves like riverdancer. Kugler should hold up well until Ruiz can come in and lock that position down for the next 3 years. The RT spot is still unsettled, but I like Jon Runyan Jr to win that spot and perform decently, at the very least. It is hard not to think about ‘what if’ scenarios for this line. Such as; what if Newsome was available, and what if we would have landed Isaiah Wilson? Regardless, this position group is trending in the right direction.

Gary: I think the offensive line will be a concern until we see it beat up on a top 10 team. That’s harsh, but Michigan fans are very insecure about it for good reason. The last time they saw their offensive line really thrash teams was probably the mid-to-late 2000’s. There have been a lot of positive things said about it in spring practices, but we have heard that before.

Mason Cole has been the bright spot since he came to Michigan, but the rest of the line has not caught up to him. I think what we have seen out of Kugler and Runyan is what we’re going to get. I really want to see Bredeson improve, Cesar Ruiz start, and Onwenu in game shape. Those young guys being competitive will be the determining factor to me, because of their ceiling.

University of Michigan v University of Central Florida Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Andrew: The spring game was an intoxicating experience of the potential of this group, but the sobering reality is that it was just the spring game. Several instances of holes created were against mid-card depth chart reserves and that must be taken with a grain of salt. Personally, I would like to see Ruiz secure the center position because I believe he is the best center on the roster by November, although he may not be in August. The investment of game experience will pay dividends the last few weeks of the season.

The bulked up guards (as long as they can still move and pull as fast as smaller guards) of Bredeson and Michael Onwenu should be able to create running room inside that was absent last season. Running the ball in the fourth quarter is realistic this season as is the lessening risk of anxiety attacks for us fans. Pass pro is a concern, but I believe the competition at RT and the versatility of Cole at LT will allow Speight/ Peters time in the pocket.

So to answer your question, I am becoming surprisingly bullish, but I must see how the guards hold up in pass protection against elite teams.

Nick: Yeah - last year, Michigan was great at pass protection but struggled to move the line of scrimmage really well, and that was because they had guys on the interior who were more ‘athletic’ than they were ‘strong’ for their respective positions: Ben Braden and then a freshman Ben Bredeson at LG, Mason Cole at C, and Kyle Kalis at RG. Two of those guys have spent time at LT the past two seasons, which is a bad way to stock your interior line and hope for a lot of push against defensive tackles.

But this year, we might have the opposite problem. We’ve got a surplus of size - with Michael Onwenu at RG, Mason Cole back out at LT, Ben Bredeson bulking up this off-season, Jon Runyan (a left guard last year) fighting to start at RT, plus some huge freshmen, Cesar Ruiz and Chuck Filiaga, who are competing for time against a couple of the ‘smaller’ potential starters I just mentioned.

But there’s a chance that pass protection might be a problem. What do you think about that possibility, and how much could this affect the quarterback situation?

Eric: That’s a great question. Last year’s OL was really good at pass protection, and very questionable against the run. Against weaker teams they could pad some stats, but against the good teams they were not reliable. Remember, we were basically a first down or two away from salting away wins in Iowa City and Columbus. And that must have killed Harbaugh.

So a small dip on the pass protection (and counting on Speight being able to scramble a bit) for an upgrade on the run side would be be a great trade-off. But like the first question, I don’t think we know enough yet to get a great feel for if it will play out that way.

 Photo credit: Bryan Fuller, MGoBlog

Jared: You really lobbed that one over the plate to us, but you are exactly right Nick. Once again, having Newsome available totally changes the outlook, but we do seem to have an entire line made up of interior guys.

Maybe Filiaga comes in and is the best option at RT, but he is one of the few true tackles we have on the team. Speight does seem to be at his best when things are chaotic in the pocket, and Harbaugh loves to run the ball, so maybe this is a good thing? With somewhat of a patched together line this year it could be interesting in pass pro, especially early on. Harbaugh needs to land at least one starting caliber tackle in this years recruiting class though, because we are thin on the edges for sure.

Andrew: It’s interesting how things can flip-flop that fast, but I agree that pass protection is more of a concern in 2017. The pocket will be chaotic at times so that will force Speight to improvise. I agree Speight is at his best when doing so, but I am concerned that his great improvisational skills were due in large part to the familiarity and the amount of reps he had with Butt, Chesson, and Darboh. With so many new faces surrounding him, will he be able to replicate this success?

As the season progresses, I believe pass pro will drastically improve (assuming it starts as we are projecting) due to the chemistry across the line. Once each player learns and understands the tendencies, strengths, and weakness of each other, this cohesive unit could peak at the right time.

Nick: What’s the year Michigan really, finally produces the best offensive line in the Big Ten? And what are you hoping for in the ‘18 recruiting class as far as the offensive line is concerned?

Eric: It’s been a LONG time since they’ve been the best. Hard to put a guess there since there are going to be some other great lines in the B1G. On the recruiting side, per the last round table, not sure why we’d use 2 slots in this class on QBs when we are going to have bigger depth issues down the road at OL and somewhat at DB. Let’s get a couple of studs to grow with Ruiz, Bredeson and (hopefully) Filiaga.

Jared: Realistically, the first year that is going to be achievable is 2019. By then you will have a line made up of juniors and seniors with guys like Ruiz, Onwenu, and Bredeson as your studs. Other guys like Joel Honigford, Andrew Stueber, and Emil Ekiyor will have chances to lock down some of the other open spots. Chuck Filiaga living up to his billing will be huge, and I fully expect him to be a player.

I still think we are missing the prized LT recruit that can put this position group over the top, and I think that is the number one priority for the 2018 recruiting class (or maybe tight end). If we land a pair of contributors at tackle in this recruiting class, this will be a top 3 offensive line in the Big Ten, possibly as soon as 2018.

Andrew: Being an optimist is my cross to bear, so I will say Michigan can be an elite offensive line in 2018. The offseason addition of Greg Frey will prove to be invaluable as this group develops an identity of being smashmouth, yet versatile. As far as recruiting, I’m with Jared. One coveted LT could prove to be the catalyst that brings my optimistic vision to fruition.

Nick: And, kind of an ambiguous last question for you guys - do you expect Michigan to pass the ball more in 2017, run the ball more or stay about the same?

Having Pep Hamilton here could help boost the passing game a bit, and we have a more experienced and talented room of quarterbacks than a year ago. But, we also have an offensive line that’s a lot bigger, stronger, with a huge question mark at right tackle, and the line got a coaching upgrade of their own (with Greg Frey coming to town). What do you anticipate out of the offense?

Eric: Will answer and ambiguous questions in a roundabout way. It will be a really good sign for our line and our overall prospects if we are running more. If the running game is clicking (and we have the RB horses for it to be), Harbaugh is going to keep going to it.

Jared: I think this ends up being our best year of running the football since Denard Robinson, except this time it will be actual running backs doing all the damage on the ground. This is year 3 with both Harbaugh and Drevno coaching up the O line, a position group they were renowned for having success with at Stanford. You bring in a Greg Frey, and now you have one of the best coaching staffs in the country for developing talent on the line. I think this might be a more fundamentally sound group than we have seen in a long time, and couple that with our most impressive stable of running backs in years, and this looks like a team that is ready to run the ball down your throat.

Andrew: Michigan will be run heavy in 2017! Not to the level of an LSU who has been plagued with ineptitude at quarterback, but Michigan will seek to establish dominance on the ground. Speight is having several issues so this will ease his burden early in the season and allow him to convert easy play-action passes. Similar to how a basketball player uses a free throw to break a shooting slump, Speight can use these throws to build confidence moving forward through the season. Expect a high discrepancy early in the season between running and passing plays and the quarterback play to dictate the play calling as the season progresses.

Details on Michigan’s satellite camp tour, with now 15 total

June 2, 2017 by  
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Summer Swarm III includes 15 camps in 12 states

For Michigan fans, the first thing that probably comes to mind when you think of June is satellite camps.

Jim Harbaugh’s third June with Michigan will look far less crazy and not so much of a “sunmer swarm” tour with fewer satellite camps due to recent NCAA changes. While we know what some of the experts feel about camps from our latest roundtable, we thought it would be worth noting where and when the 15 camps Michigan’s coaching staff is attending will take place over the next 10 days.

June 2

Mercer University - Macon (GA) 9am-4pm

John Carroll University - Cleveland (OH) 7-10pm

June 3

Bowie State - Bowie (MD) 3-6pm

Sam Houston State - Huntsville (TX) 12-3pm

June 4

Old Dominion University - Norfolk (VA) 2-5pm

Valdosta State - Valdosta (GA) 3-5pm

Incarnate World/Mary Hardin-Baylor- San Antonio (TX) 1-7pm

June 5

Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton (FL) 4:30-8pm

June 9

Tennessee State University - Nashville (TN) 1:30pm

LaGrange College - LaGrange (GA) 9am-12pm

Two additional camps were added this week in San Diego and Charlotte.

June 10

University of San Diego - San Diego (CA) 3-6:15pm

Sacred Heart - Fairfield (CT) 8am-1pm

June 11

USC - Los Angeles (CA) 8am-1pm

UCLA - Los Angeles (CA) 3-7pm

Charlotte, Charlotte (NC) 2-5pm

*Times are subject to change

Everything you need to know about Michigan vs. Purdue this year

June 2, 2017 by  
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Hint: It’s not that it’s Bruce Springsteen’s birthday

Talk about glory days.

For years the Michigan vs. Purdue matchup was something to see. Purdue squeaked out an upset victory in West Lafayette in 2000, and then Michigan escaped with a two-point win in 2002. It has featured Wolverines blowouts — like the 28-point thrashing in 2003 or the 31-point whooping in 2012. There were must-see quarterback matchups: Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees. Drew Hensen vs. Brees. John Navarre vs. Kyle Orton.

But I guess those glory days will pass you by.

The 2017 version of this game is already being handed to the Wolverines by sportswriters and fans across the country, but here at Maize n Brew it would be irresponsible of us to write off the Boilermakers without giving them a chance to make their case (in fact, we'll be making it for them).

"How good was Purdue last season?"

Quick recap of last season: Purdue beat a few bad teams, then lost a lot. Their last seven games, to be exact. To be fair, one of those losses was by single digits (though that’s a small moral victory if there ever was one).

They were brutal, to put it plainly. How bad were they? They were in the same conversation as Rutgers and Michigan State. Like I said, brutal. But as our foes from East Lansing showed us in 2016, you can’t always judge a team based off its previous season performance.

"Quite honestly, why should I care about Purdue?"

Big Ten opener? First true road game? (And Michigan had some issues on the road last year...)

OK, OK, I realize the Boilermakers aren't supposed to put up much of a fight. But if Michigan isn't careful, it may wind up with a flashing "upset alert" icon beside its in-game score update before the afternoon is through.

It wouldn't be the first time Purdue pulled out a big game against a superior opponent (though not super recently). In 2009, a 5-7 Purdue team took down an 11-2 Buckeye squad for its only conference loss of the season. Then look at North Dakota State over Iowa in 2016, or Eastern Washington over Washington State in 2016, or Georgia Southern over Florida in 2013.

All I'm saying is be careful.

Purdue Boilermakers vs. Michigan Wolverines Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

"What’s the one thing I need to know before the Purdue game?"

You may not recognize this 2017 Boilermakers team if you knew a little about their 2016 squad (and it’s not because Michigan hasn’t actually faced them in five years).

In the middle of last season’s horrendous campaign, Purdue fired head coach Darrell Hazell and in the offseason replaced him with Western Kentucky’s Jeff Brohm. That’s right, in 2017 I’m predicting Purdue will be at least as good as Western Kentucky! Talk about bold predictions.

But Brohm brings a ton to West Lafayette, including virtually his entire Hilltoppers staff — a bunch that coached a fairly average program to a 23-5 record over the last two seasons. Coming from the Bobby Petrino coaching tree, Brohm flat-out knows how to build a high-powered scoring machine.

Oh, and Purdue's offense just happens to have some key pieces returning in 2017 to help him get started.

"Who will give the Michigan defense the most trouble?"

Let’s start with the obvious candidate and say quarterback David Blough. Purdue is the self-proclaimed "cradle of quarterbacks," according to their official athletics site, and while Blough probably won't go down in Boildermakers lore, he can still make plays.

Brohm loves to attack defenses through the air and Blough has nearly two years of starting experience under his belt. Sure, the receiving corps took a hit, losing its top four wideouts from 2016, but they have their two best tight ends coming back and brought in seven freshmen receivers. Given the fact that their defense is, let’s say, below average, Purdue will likely need to air it out in second halves this season.

If they find themselves competitive, however, remember the name Markell Jones, their top tailback. He does three things really, really well.

He has speed (just ask Michigan State):

He has vision (and athleticism):

And he has strength (or should we call this determination?):

Jones against the Michigan defensive line could be an interesting matchup. The Wolverines should still be very good with Rashan Gary, Bryan Mone, Maurice Hurst and Chase Winovich, but it won’t have the depth of eight or nine studs like it had last season. At least not early in the year.

Jones can grind, and if Purdue can keep itself in this game, he could certainly take a toll on the Michigan defense.

"Can you give me a quick overview of the defense Michigan will face?"

Of course I can! (Glad you asked.) Purdue's defense, like the rest of its team, is a fairly underwhelming unit (that's me being polite). There are some bright spots at the linebacker position and in the secondary, but without any true standout linemen, this will be a defense the Michigan running backs should shred.

The backbone of the unit will be linebackers Ja'Whaun Bentley, Danny Ezechukwu and Markus Bailey — though, again, they aren't exactly superstars. I like the idea of Chris Evans and Karan Higdon being able to scoot past the defensive line and make these linebackers chase them down. That's a favorable matchup for the Maize and Blue.

That's not to mention what will happen to Michigan's passing game if they can pound it on the ground. This could be an old fashioned "stat day" for some younger guys like Tarik Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Prediction time: How badly will the Wolverines pound the Boilermakers?

Last season this matchup would have had the owner of Ruth’s Chris sweating bullets, but I can see the 2017 version being a little closer.

Closer, of course, is a relative term.

Unfortunately for Purdue, they get Michigan in the conference opener. They'll need a little more time under the new coaching staff to develop their younger talent and live up to some potential.

Michigan players will likely be distracted by the 50,000 fans in the bleachers, seemingly wondering, where are the rest of them? Purdue will score once early, maybe twice. Then the Wolverines will gain their footing and pound the Boilermakers.

Either that, or Michigan will score at will from the get-go and win 49-3. Both work just fine.

Michigan in the running to land Miami grad transfer after visit

June 2, 2017 by  
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Offensive tackle Sunny Odogwu could be a missing piece on U-M’s line

Four of the five starting spots on Michigan’s offensive line this season appear to be locked up.

Senior Mason Cole, sophomore Ben Bredenson, redshirt senior Patrick Kugler and sophomore Michael Onwenu — from left to right — will most likely start on U-M’s front with freshman Caesar Ruiz being the first man off the bench.

The one question mark that remains is who will anchor the spot at right tackle?

Rumors are that redshirt sophomore Jon Runyan Jr. and redshirt junior Juwann Bushell- Beatty are currently fighting for that spot, but no man has stood out from the pack.

The Wolverines appear to be looking to add to the competition as they hosted Miami graduate transfer Sunny Odogwu Wednesday, a 6-foot-8, 325-pound offensive tackle.

Odogwu, who grew up in Nigeria, started four games for the Hurricanes last season at tackle before suffering a lower leg injury, which ended his year.

The massive lineman appeared in nine games as a redshirt freshman and started two games as a redshirt sophomore.

According to Scout.com, Odogwu spent the day on campus before heading to UCLA for his next visit.

Odogwu would be a big — pun intended — addition to a young offensive line in need of experience.

Along with Runyan Jr. and Bushell-Beatty, the Wolverines will bring in freshmen tackles Chuck Filiaga, Andrew Stueber and Joel Honigford this fall to potentially compete for playing time.

Michigan lost the battle for 2018 quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson to the Bruins along with 2016 tight end Chris Clark and former Michigan tight end Devin Asiasi (transfer).

One can guess that Harbaugh would love to beat Jim Mora Jr. for Odogwu’s talents.

Check out highlights from Odogwu’s time at Miami:

Matt Cullen Of Rock Ventures Answers: What’s Next For The QLINE, Riverfront & More!

June 1, 2017 by  
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We sat down with Mr. Cullen, Principal of Rock Ventures at the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference for a quick, candid Q&A: The Detroit Riverfront Expansion   PD: Of all the projects you've worked on, what's your favorite? MC: The Riverfront. It's a project that I've been involved with for a long time. It's a project that brings a whole community together, a project that creates a lot of

Charles Woodson is a finalist on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot

June 1, 2017 by  
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In Woodson’s first chance at being eligible for the CFB Hall of Fame ballot, he ends up already being a finalist

When you look back at all of the great players that have come through the University of Michigan’s football program, Charles Woodson’s name is one of the first to come to mind.

The former Wolverine is now eligible for the College Football Hall of Fame — and he is on the ballot. It was announced to the public on Thursday.

To be able to have this chance to be on a ballot, the player needs to be retired from professional football, have received a first-team All-American honors from a "selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA,” and be 10 full seasons removed from being a college athlete.

Woodson, the former Heisman Trophy winner, retired from the NFL in 2015 as an Oakland Raider. His final season with Michigan was in 1997, which was the unbeaten team that won the national championship.

Woodson played for 17 years in the NFL before retiring. He was drafted by the Raiders, traded to Green Bay in 2006, and then went back to the Raiders in 2015 to finish his playing career.

Woodson isn't alone however, as he is joined by Rick Leach who was a former All-American quarterback and Jumbo Elliot who was an All-American offensive lineman.

The announcement of the 2018 Hall of Fame class will be made Jan. 8, 2018 in Atlanta. The class will be inducted in December of 2018.

Talkin’ Big 10: Current Top 5 Wide Receivers

June 1, 2017 by  
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Who is the best wide receiver in the Big 10? Seriously, who is it? In a year that anyone could emerge to take this crown, I am officially dubbing 2017 the Year of Potential. Only one player in 2016 cracked the 1,000 yard mark and Austin Carr went undrafted. Simmie Cobbs returns, and he had 1,000 yards in 2015, but who knows if he will return to form. In a wide open year, any player can emerge and 2017 has several leading candidates.

Here are my current top 5 Big 10 wide receivers for 2017:

5. Janarion Grant, Senior, Rutgers

NCAA Football: Howard at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Stats* Grant only played 4 games due to injury.

Receptions: 20, Receiving Yards: 210, Yards Per Catch: 10.5, Rushing Yards: 138, Total Touchdowns: 5

Primarily known for his return abilities, this Swiss army knife of offense will be featured everywhere this season with Jerry Kill. Kill will use Grant to stretch the defense so he can get back to his bread and butter of running the football between the tackles. Grant has never had over 500 yards from scrimmage in a single season, but expect him to be their X-factor this season.

2017 Prediction: Grant finishes the season with 500+ receiving yards and 500+ rushing yards as he leads the Rutgers resurgence. Also, expect Grant to take a few kicks and punts back for touchdowns. I’m placing the over/ under at 3.5.

4. Simmie Cobbs, Junior, Indiana

NCAA Football: Indiana at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Stats* Missed the entire 2016 season due to injury

Receptions: 60, Receiving Yards: 1,035, Yards Per Catch: 17.3, Rushing Yards: 0, Total Touchdowns: 4

2016 was supposed the be THE year for Cobbs as he was named to the preseason Biletnikoff Award watch list, but an ankle injury ended his season before it began. The 6’4 receiver returns with the second leading passer in the Big 10 (Richard Lagow - 3,362 yards in 2016) and the leading returning receiver, Nick Westbrook (more on him later).

2017 Prediction: Cobbs will have an immediate impact, but expect it to be in more of a complementary role. I expect his yards to decrease from his sophomore year, but his touchdowns to increase as he becomes a premiere red zone threat.

3. Malik Turner, Senior, Illinois

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Stats

Receptions: 48, Receiving Yards: 712, Yards Per Catch: 14.8, Rushing Yards: 5, Total Touchdowns: 6

Despite inconsistent quarterback production, Malik Turner continued to improve his numbers and finished ranked tenth in receiving yards in the Big 10. His receptions, receiving yards, yards per catch, and touchdowns, have increased every year during his tenure at Illinois. If Jeff George Jr. can play mediocre, Turner will crack the 1,000 yard mark as a senior.

2017 Prediction: The Illini will struggle defensively in 2017 and will subsequently find themselves in shootouts. Expect Turner to see 1,000 yards and the Illini to see a slightly improved win total from three in 2016.

2. Jazz Peavy, Senior, Wisconsin

81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Western Michigan v Wisconsin Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

2016 Stats

Receptions: 43, Receiving Yards: 638, Yards Per Catch: 14.8, Rushing Yards: 318, Total Touchdowns: 6

You may remember 2016 Jazz Peavy from plays such as the jet sweep and the jet sweep. However, Peavy quietly accounted for five receiving touchdowns and 1,052 all-purpose yards. The reliable senior will carry the receiving load along with standout tight end Troy Fumagalli. Peavy will be responsible for stretching the defenses to open up the running game and create seams for Fumagalli.

2017 Prediction: Wisconsin’s offense returns 8 starters including sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook so expect Peavy to directly benefit from this team’s experience and Paul Chryst’s play calling. Peavy will be utilized similarly to Janarion Grant offensively, so expect 800 receiving yards, 350 rushing yards, and 150 punt return yards for the senior.

1. Nick Westbrook, Junior, Indiana

NCAA Football: Indiana at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Stats

Receptions: 54, Receiving Yards: 995, Yards Per Catch: 18.4, Rushing Yards: 3, Total Touchdowns: 7

Could it really be anyone else? After Cobbs was injured, Westbrook emerged as the second leading receiver in the Big 10 and a game breaking type player. The 6’3 junior will benefit by having Cobbs take some of the attention off of him and with returning gunslinging quarterback Richard Lagow, expect another big season from Westbrook.

2017 Prediction: Cobbs will take some of the touches away, but Westbrook will still be the number one receiver on this team as he eclipses 1,200 receiving yards. This duo will be one of the best in the country in 2017.

Honorable Mention: D.J. Moore (Maryland), Someone from Penn State (DeAndre Thompkins, DaeSean Hamilton, or Saeed Blacknall), Someone from Michigan (Tarik Black, Kekoa Crawford, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Eddie McDoom)

Lastly, I want to hear from you!

Special Roundtable: ESPN’s Tom Luginbill and Others Talk to M&B About Satellite Camps

June 1, 2017 by  
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ESPN’s Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill and others covering college football weigh in on satellite camps in a special roundtable.

The Season of Satellite Camps

Satellite camps haven’t dominated the college football news cycle this spring, but that didn’t keep people from talking about Michigan since they were abroad for a week-long trip in Rome. With June upon us, we figured it was worth taking a deeper look at one of college football’s newest practice - a practice that’s been more limited, but not abolished by the NCAA.

Maize N Brew caught up with the following special guest panel for this roundtable:

Tom Luginbill, ESPN National Recruiting Director

Rachel Lenzi, Reporter with Land of 10 covering Michigan Football

Chris Childers, Host of Full Ride on Sirius XM College Sports Nation Channel 84

We asked our three guests to give us an informed and objective perspective on something that Michigan die-hards have supported vigorously. Here are their thoughts.

1. What are your overall thoughts on satellite camps? What about how Michigan's staff is involved in several around the country next month?

Tom: “I think they are beneficial for all involved on a limited basis. They need to occur in a small window so I like the new rule (of 10 days of camps instead of 30). You don't want to burnout coaches and kids the entire off-season. As it relates to Michigan or any other staff, getting eyes on kids in person as much as possible is critical to the evaluation process with the hopes of minimizing errors is very, very important.”

Rachel: “Satellite camps are a good thing – any exposure at and from these types of camps is good, whether it’s for the players or for the coaches or for the programs.

“Satellite camps have always been in existence, but we saw the tipping point in the last two years with Penn State, which started the trend in 2014 when James Franklin used it as a recruiting tool of sorts, and then continued with Michigan, which took its participation in satellite camps to a whole new level, to the point that it brought about NCAA legislation to restrict coaching attendance and participation in satellite camps. Basically, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if it wasn’t for Michigan taking satellite camps to the Nth degree.

“Michigan’s upcoming satellite camp schedule is a strong geographic mix, and a mix of small schools (University of the Incarnate Word, for example, and Mercer University) and Division I schools.”

Chris: “I think they’re good, I really think they’re beneficial for the student-athlete, but also for the schools as well. The more exposure you can get as a student-athlete the better.

“Not everyone is going to be that guaranteed five-star or high four-star that gets an offer from everyone. There are a lot of good high three-star kids that need the right eye balls on them to give them the right opportunity and think satellite camps have done that. I think the growth of them over the last few years under Jim Harbaugh has done a lot of good for a lot of student-athletes. At the end of the day, I know there’s controversy to it, and I get protecting your own territory like a lot of schools are doing in the SEC, but I think they’re very beneficial for the student-athletes.”

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Chris: “Jim Harbaugh has proven that camps can be a highly effective thing. If you look at the way he changed the culture at Michigan fast, I think camps and getting that brand out there around the country has helped rebuild their brand. It was broken there before under Rich Rod and Brady Hoke.

“What Jim Harbaugh has done to get Michigan back in the daily conversation has fixed things a lot faster than anyone thought possible. There’s no brand that’s stronger when it’s going well, we all understand the winged helmets-maize and blue and when everything is clicking at the same time. I think Jim Harbaugh is doing that and he’s doing it very quickly, and I think satellite camps are a big reason for that.”

2. What do you see the future of camps being and will there be more/less?

Tom: “I think it will stay the way it is now until the process or environment forces tweaks to be made. Early summer is the best time frame. Then give the kids a break.”

Rachel: “If the NCAA is smart, there won’t be any more changes to the number of satellite camps. There was enough of an uproar last year in cancelling the camps outright, and an uproar remained, though not as resounding, when the camps returned to the table, but in a very different format — football programs can only have staff at 10 days of camps in June and July.”

Chris: “I wish they would just have assigned camps and everyone can sign up if they want to do them for those 10 days around the country. We wouldn’t have to protect territories and every school is set with an equal chance to be visible and that benefits the kids in the end with no angle available by the schools. The players can get purely evaluated by a lot of people to find good recruits.”

3. Do you see camps benefiting the lower recruited players and schools/coaches who host them with having several colleges involved?

Tom: “YES! In my opinion, the true value of satellite camps is for those kids who are not high profile and programs at the G5 or FCS/DII level. Those are the kids and programs who benefit most. I think it gives those kids opportunities they hadn't had before which is the most important thing in this process -- opportunity to display your abilities in front of coaches who actually make the decisions.”

Rachel: “Opportunities for exposure and recruiting have greatly diminished (this year), but not for the coaches and staffs — instead, it’s affecting the high school athletes. Look at what has happened to Sound Mind, Sound Body, which was a showcase camp in the last few years attended not only by coaches of Power Five programs but also Group of Five programs and even smaller programs. The biggest knock against placing restrictions on satellite camps (including no longer hosting them at off-campus sites — SMSB was based at Wayne State University in Detroit) was that it cut off access for potential college football players.”

Chris: “Yes, I think if it’s done the right way with no third parties with guys trying to make a quick buck, and that’s been eliminated, everyone comes out on the right end.”

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4. See any disadvantages with the latest changes/restrictions approved by the NCAA?

Tom: “I think they are healthy tweaks. Coaches and kids don't need to be overloaded more than they already are in the off-season.”

Rachel: “The biggest disadvantage is that there are fewer opportunities for coaches and staffs to mine for prospective recruits, but let’s be honest — not many programs have the resources, the energy or the finances to replicate what Michigan did last year in sending coaches to camps across the country and in Australia. (Compare the football operating budgets for a Big Ten school to a MAC school.)

“But recruiting isn’t a discipline that takes place solely in June or at a satellite camp. Recruiting is a year-round endeavor that requires creativity, and even with the NCAA’s changes and restrictions, some resourceful coach — maybe Jim Harbaugh, maybe someone else — will find another loophole that will continue the evolution of recruiting.”

Chris: “Yes, for the most part, but when you only have 10 days, I’m not sure if they would spend part of that in places like Australia or outside of the country like he’s done. You never know down the road because the whole dynamic for special teams talent there is a real thing. I think we all understand the importance of having quality guys in special teams. Having all those Aussie dudes who can really kick the football and many are getting scholarship who may not make it in their sport, and it could give you first crack at the best ones. For Jim Harbaugh, it leaves no stone unturned and I think its a no-brainer.”


This topic may have gotten little to no attention until the past few years, but I think it’s clear that satellite camps will be an ongoing debate as the sport figures out the right ways to regulate and support student-athletes.

Our huge thanks to Tom, Rachel, and Chris for giving us their time and the benefit of an informed outsider’s perspective. Follow them all on Twitter here, here, and here.

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