Michigan commit J’Marick Woods will recruit Jaylen Kelly-Powell and Ambry Thomas at U-M’s BBQ at the Big House

July 29, 2016 by  
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Some of the nation's top prospects will visit Michigan for the BBQ at the Big House.

2017 Michigan safety commit J’Marick Woods will be in Ann Arbor on August 6th for Michigan’s BBQ at the Big House, which will feature some of the nations best prospects.

Woods told Maize n Brew that he is targeting Jaylen Kelly-Powell, Ambry Thomas and all players from the state of Alabama.

“I’m going to recruit JKP, Ambry and all my Bama boys,” the three-star said regarding the BBQ. “I’m going to just have a good time with them.”

Kelly-Powell, a 2017 four-star safety, has Michigan at the top of his list, according to the 247 Crystal Ball. As a matter of fact, the prediction shows Michigan with a 94 percent chance to get a commitment from Kelly-Powell. From Cass Technical High School in Michigan, the 6-foot-0, 175-pound athlete is the 259th overall player in the nation, according to 247Sports. He is ranked No. 20 in the safety category and is the fourth-best player in the state of Michigan.

Thomas has an 83 percent chance to commit to play for the Wolverines, according to the 247 Crystal Ball. The 6-foot-0, 175-pound four-star cornerback from Detroit Martin Luther King in Michigan is ranked as the second-best player in the state of Michigan and the 13th-best cornerback. Thomas, a 2017 graduate, is the 101st overall player in his class, according to 247Sports.

Both Kelly-Powell and Thomas seem like they will end up with Michigan, so it is only a matter of time before things are made official.

2017 OT Isaiah Wilson to commit at Under Armour All-American Game or National Signing Day

July 29, 2016 by  
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The four-star offensive tackle is “very interested in Michigan.”

Class of 2017 four-star offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson told Maize n Brew that he will commit at the Under Armour All-American Game or at National Signing Day.

“I’m very interested in Michigan,” the four-star said.

From Poly Prep High School in Brooklyn, New York, Wilson is the 29th overall prospect in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports. He is the seventh-best offensive tackle and the No. 1 ranked player from the state of New York.

“[JaRaymond] Hall has been trying to recruit me,” Wilson said. “Corey Malone Hatcher has also been trying to do a little recruiting.”

The 6-foot-7, 350-pound offensive lineman has offers to play for Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, USC, Auburn, Boston College, Clemson, Connecticut, Florida State, Maryland, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Temple, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and Florida. Wilson has been recruited to play for Michigan by Tyrone Wheatley.

“[Michigan has a] great coaching staff, big time football and great academics,” Wilson mentioned. “How can you not be intrigued?”

Wilson will commit at the the Under Armour All-American Game on January 1st or National Signing Day on February 1st.

We *Might* Have Our First Look at Michigan’s Jumpman Jerseys

July 29, 2016 by  
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Wolverines will be first college football team to wear the logo.

The Michigan Wolverines will soon become the first college football team to sport Nike’s Jumpman logo on their uniforms, and thanks to the internet we may have our first look at how those uniforms will look.

Not only did RedditCFB get the above image, they also took the time to explain what the Jumpman logo is. Sort of.

The official release for the jerseys is Aug. 2, so we won’t have to wait long to see if this is truly the finished product. If so, Nike and Michigan look to be playing it pretty conservative for year one.

Friday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Leading For Another Tackle

July 29, 2016 by  
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Michigan Leads For Toryque Bateman

We all know the story at this point: four commitments along the offensive line, all of them tackles, with multiple other top prospects still undecided but strong candidates to land at Michigan.

Putting aside conventional wisdom for a second, the likelihood of Michigan ending up with seven offensive linemen in this class is looking more possible by the month - even though the staff is apparently aiming for six ($). How that ends up happening, or whether the staff would accept a seventh commitment, is not clear.

Now, it’s possible that someone decommits or some other attrition happens. It’s possible Michigan ends up at seven commits, and then pushes someone over to guard. But this is all complete speculation; the only thing that seems obvious is that Harbaugh is rolling his dice aggressively.

Anyway, this is all to mention Toryque Bateman, a 6’8”, 305-pound athlete out of Gadsden, Alabama who named Michigan his leader this week. Bateman has been seriously considering Michigan and Tennessee for a while, and he had those schools #1 and #2 at the top of his top-five list, released on Thursday.

And, yes, Bateman will be visiting for the BBQ, plus he’ll be taking an official visit to Ann Arbor during the season (Tennessee will get one, as well). Crystal Balls have been coming in saying that he’ll commit to Michigan sooner or later.

"They gave me one of the best visits I've taken," Bateman said to AL.com about his most recent trip to Michigan. "It was awesome and I had fun the entire time."

A Couple People Who Probably Won’t Commit To U-M

Let’s start this less interesting subject by talking about three-star defensive lineman James Hudson (Toledo, OH), who is down to a final two of Michigan and Michigan State. His decision will come soon, and reading the tea leaves, it seems that MSU is in the driver’s seat ($).

"I don't have any final list, and I'm going to visit Michigan State on Thursday and Michigan on August 6," Hudson stated. "Michigan State is a great school, but I want to see some things I haven't seen before. I want to sit and talk with Coach (Mark) Dantonio again. I just want to see if they are the best fit for me."

"With Michigan, it's about me talking with Coach (Greg) Mattison again," he added. "He wants me to speak with the other commits and also talk to Rashan Gary. I like Michigan a lot, and I would say they are even with Michigan State right now."

Again, it’s not entirely clear what Harbaugh’s strategy is; the class is already well set on the defensive line, and the staff is pursuing Jay Tufele, Popo Aumavae, and Corey Bolds. Hudson’s Crystal Ball currently reads 77% to Michigan State.

Another name Michigan fans know well - Darnay Holmes, who talked to Rivals ($) this week about a July 21st visit to South Bend and a July 22nd visit to Columbus.

“It’s like a family thing over there,” said Holmes about Columbus. “The message from them was to make my decision on the coach, on the assistant coaches and how are the guys in the locker room. They said if I come over there or not they want to see me a few years from now being one of the first draft picks. They have a belief in me that I could be this great talent.”

Michigan did not get a visit, and was not mentioned in the article. The Wolverines seem to be falling behind here.

Other News & Notes: Yeah, Slow Week

Isaiah Wilson has added his name to the BBQ list of attendees. So Wilson, Bateman, and four-star tackle Aaron Banks will all be in attendance that day.

MGoFish has another Best Guess Recruiting Class out. Garrett went with 31 commits. Some other good MGoFish links: some guesses and analysis of possible flips in U-M’s favor; battling Clemson; and more recruiting ranking analysis.

Also, MLive had a good piece on Aubrey Solomon, the reasons for him committing and whether he plans on looking at other schools. A great column.

Klatt: “Jim Harbaugh was a Much Better NFL Coach than Nick Saban”

July 28, 2016 by  
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“All respect to Saban but those are the facts.”

FS1’s new show Speak for Yourself aims for the flaming hot taeks ala First Take and PTI, and this one from from college football analyst Joel Klatt is a scorcher.

We’ll just leave it right here:

"Jim Harbaugh was a much better NFL coach than Nick Saban was," Klatt says of the Michigan Wolverines coach. "All respect to Saban but those are the facts."

His counterpart, Jason Whitlock, tries to cite Saban’s national titles at Alabama, but Klatt will have none of it.

"His (Harbaugh’s) level of success is almost unmatched," Klatt says. "Nick was never that guy in the NFL."

Buuuuuuuuurn.

Harbaugh goes to Wrigley Field: Throws first pitch at Cubs game, brings the heat

July 28, 2016 by  
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Jim Harbaugh throws out the first pitch at the White Sox vs Cubs game

If you feel Jim Harbaugh is everywhere, you'd be wrong. But he's NEARLY everywhere, fair enough. On Wednesday night Harbaugh took in the Crosstown Classic between the Cubs and White Sox at Wrigley Field. Harbaugh was there to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Before the game he was continuing the trend of surrounding himself with winners; speaking with two time World Series champion, Cubs President Theo Epstein. Epstein won two championships with the Red Sox as their General Manager, breaking an 86 year drought. As this was going on, the organ player at the ballpark was playing a rendition of Michigan's fight song.

When it came time for Harbaugh to throw out the first pitch, he was prepared, as he was warming up for ten minutes with Cubs outfielder Matt Sczur. As Harbaugh took to the mound, he received a huge ovation, and he tipped his cap. Then he went right into his wind up, and delivered. The result should come as no surprise... Harbaugh brought the heat!

What We Know About Where You Can Buy Michigan’s Nike Gear

July 28, 2016 by  
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We have some answers to where you can get your U-M Nike gear starting Monday.

Fans and readers alike have had no shortage of questions when it comes to Michigan’s Nike gear, which will be officially released on Aug. 1. People have been clamoring for it since before a deal with the sports apparel giant became official and many have been holding out for it.

Maize n Brew did some digging, and here is where we stand in regards to how you can get your hands on the gear when the switch becomes official:

  • The M-Den is your best shot at the new apparel on Aug. 1. They will hold a launch party/midnight release event at the State Street location in Ann Arbor. It will also be available for purchase online through their website at 11:59 p.m. on July 31. The football jersey will be unveiled Aug. 2 and will be available for purchase on Aug. 6.
  • The M-Den’s other locations at Briarwood Mall and Main Street (both in Ann Arbor), Laurel Park Mall (Livonia) and Twelve Oaks Mall (Novi) will be available on Aug. 1 at 10 a.m.
  • I spoke to someone at Fanatic U and they are expecting some of the new gear to arrive and be available on Aug. 1.
  • I placed a phone call to a few of the national chain stores and the Michigan gear is scheduled to arrive on Monday, but they do not know for sure when it will be on the floor or online.
  • An employee at the Nike Store in Downtown Detroit told me over the phone that the gear will be available as soon as possible, but that it is still a secret and it will be made known to the public when they know.
  • A representative at Eastbay said that they are not sure when any new gear will be available through them.

That is all we know for now. When more news becomes available, I will be sure to update it here.

Nike, U-M will Unveil Football Jersey Aug. 2 in Detroit, Woodson to Attend

July 28, 2016 by  
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Jim Harbaugh, Warde Manuel and Lamarr Woodley will also be in attendance.

Maize n Brew has learned that The University of Michigan and Nike will officially unveil the Wolverines’ new football jersey on Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit.

U-M football will become the first program to be outfitted by the Jordan brand and will feature the "Jumpman" logo on all of its apparel.

Guests set to be in attendance are head coach Jim Harbaugh, athletic director Warde Manuel, former U-M linebacker Lamarr Woodley, Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson and Jordan Brand president Larry Miller.

The event will also include a tour that shows off Michigan’s new gear and a look at the university’s history and what comes next.

The switch to Nike becomes official on Aug. 1 with a launch party set for The M-Den store on campus at the university. Football jerseys will go on sale on Aug. 6.

Thursday Morning Brews: Varying Degrees of Success

July 28, 2016 by  
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Ohio State’s passing attack is in an interesting spot; meanwhile, Media Days has offered up plenty of headlines.

Ohio State’s Young Guns

In this year’s Ohio State preview, Bill Connelly talked about the Buckeyes’ efficiency vs. explosiveness at the wide receiver position, an interesting topic that I thought would be worth a few more words.

First, it’s important to keep in mind that Meyer loves to run the ball. It’s his bread and butter, and he’s going to rely heavily on Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel for most of the team’s non-quarterback runs. With Bri’onte Dunn’s dismissal, Samuel is vital here; he’s the starting H-Back, so he could theoretically be used more as a receiver, but I think he’ll end up being used somewhat traditionally as a tailback who can catch the ball out of the backfield.

In fact, both Weber and Samuel should see a lot of balls thrown their way to help prop up the passing game’s efficiency. Bill is bullish on the team’s passing efficiency, and that’s a mark in their favor there.

Another good efficiency target is Marcus Baugh, a tight end who hasn’t gotten a lot of media attention but should be very good. Ohio State tight ends rarely get a lot of tread, though; they’ve had great tight ends consistently, but Nick Vannett caught just 19 passes in each of the last two years (total yardage: 382), and Jeff Heuerman - a third-round pick by the Denver Broncos in 2015 - caught 17 passes in his final year in Columbus. So I don’t think Baugh will be a particularly noticeable contributor.

A final notch in the efficiency belt is Noah Brown, the much-lauded receiver who broke his leg during fall practice and missed all of 2015. Brown plays an efficiency game; he’s too big to be easily guarded, with super-quick feet and some raw speed as well. I suspect he’ll be the team’s best receiver this year, and he can give the team plenty of 8- and 10-yard gains to keep the chains moving. Quietly, Brown is one of the most important players on the team this year.

So, in short, I see Ohio State’s passing attack being run through Noah Brown, with the running backs and Marcus Baugh chipping in as much as they can. Corey Smith deserves a mention here as well; he’s a senior and a former blue-chip recruit who has 320 career yards at Ohio State. Will all of this be enough?

Perhaps, maybe it will. But after that list of players we discussed, Ohio State brings a lot of explosiveness and just as much youth to the table - enough youth to make you question how much efficiency they’ll really have to work with.

‘Consistency’ becomes a synonym for efficiency here. The team has young guys like Torrance Gibson and Austin Mack who can win their share of go routes, but the big question mark is whether they can be sure-handed enough, or multi-dimensional enough, to manufacture starter-level production and to do so reliably.

It’s hard to say how amazing this position will be in 2017 and beyond, as Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, and Torrance Gibson are all potential All-Americans. Looking at just 2016, though, can these talented young guys play like veterans in their first year on the field? Can they do the little things to consistently win their routes, things that take more than just raw athleticism? The team’s passing attack will likely depend on it.

Hitting the Links Is Waking Up

A.J. Dillon Emerging As Top Prospect

Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch this highlight of Dillon dismissing students from class. Dillon is now one of the top 100 players in the country according to 247Sports.

Who Might Replace Jim Delany?

It goes without saying this will be a really important change for the conference to get right. A lot of people might not like Delany, but he’s been at the forefront for a long time, and had a huge hand in shaping the conference into what it is today.

Michigan’s Five Biggest Recruiting Targets

I can see the Baron Browning hype train hasn’t quite left the station.

Officiating, After The Fact

This is an important topic, as Michigan fans will remember: bad calls by the refs had a noticeable impact on the season. It’s an issue that probably hasn’t been fixed, so strap in for more ‘fun times’ in 2016.

Full Media Days Recap | Awards

Good dancing - and good suit - by Jourdan Lewis. Also, here was an interesting quote from J.T. Barrett about Cardale starting for the first part of last year: "Cardale at the time was playing better than me. He deserved to start... I was thinking too much. It slowed me down."

Presser Bullets: Ohio State Media Days | Weber’s Rocky Path

Credit to Urban Meyer: he maps out his future rosters very well, and knows when and where to have guys ready. The Free Press takes a great look at how the team prepared Mike Weber for early success.

Here’s another interesting link: Cleveland.com has a column about Torrance Gibson, the athlete who wanted to be a quarterback for Ohio State and was recruited for the position but was in some ways destined for a position change.

Disrespekt ‘Part Of Our Identity’ | MSU Starts Scholarship Fund

It may be blasphemous to pick MSU ahead of OSU this year, but I trust MSU’s defense, and I think OSU’s overall roster depth will become a talking point sometime around September 18th.

List of the Game’s Hottest Coordinators ($)

Tim Drevno was one of twelve coordinators to make the cut.

Coordinating for Jim Harbaugh has been a springboard to Power 5 head-coaching opportunities, with D.J. Durkin the latest to make the jump. Drevno is a longtime offensive line coach with success both in college and the NFL. He also had a solid first season as a coordinator last season. He could be hindered by working for a quarterback developer like Harbaugh and alongside one like Jedd Fisch, but if Michigan matches expectations this fall, schools could start calling.

The Battle For Chicago | Northwestern’s Motivation

I don’t think this rivalry will matter to casual fans this year, not with Illinois struggling and a probable step back from 10 wins for Northwestern. But it will be interesting to see if these two can start to shore up the blue-chip talent in the state, or if teams like Michigan, Notre Dame and OSU can keep reaching in and taking the players they want.

Big Ten’s Top Heisman Candidates

It’s mostly J.T. Barrett & The Somebodies. It doesn’t help the Big Ten that the best offensive talent is at running back.

Michigan Basketball Releases Official 2016-17 Non-conference Schedule

July 27, 2016 by  
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The program announced the non-conference slate of games on Wednesday.

Michigan basketball’s 2016-17 non-conference slate of games has been officially revealed and is set in stone, according to a release from the program on Wednesday afternoon.

The schedule will feature matchups with South Carolina, Texas and UCLA, as well as participating in the 2K Classic in New York City.

Michigan will open the season with an exhibition game on Nov. 4 against Armstrong State, which is notable because it means the return of U-M legend Cazzie Russell, who is an assistant coach with the program.

"Cazzie called and asked that we use our exhibition game to play his team, Armstrong State," Beilein said in the statement. "I said yes because it is always great when Cazzie returns to Ann Arbor. This time, however, he is with the other team. I am just glad he will not be in uniform playing against us."

Michigan opens regular season play by hosting two 2K Classic regional matchups at Crisler Center with Howard and IUPUI on Nov. 11 and 13, respectively. From there, they travel to the Big Apple to take on Marquette (Nov. 17) and either Pittsburgh or SMU (Nov. 18) pending the results of the first round games.

The Wolverines will also host Virginia Tech in the ACC/B1G Challenge on Nov. 30 and play at South Carolina (Nov. 23), vs. Texas (Dec. 6) and at UCLA (Dec. 10).

"We were successful in scheduling some very competitive home-and-home games for 2016," he said. "These games not only guarantee a strong RPI but provide our U-M fans some exciting non-conference games in Ann Arbor. These types of opponents have always proved to be excellent preparation for our tough Big Ten schedule."

Other non-conference opponents include Mount St. Mary’s (Nov. 26), Kennesaw State (Dec. 3), Central Arkansas Dec. 13, Maryland Eastern Shore (Dec. 17) and Furman (Dec. 22).

Michigan’s full 2016-17 schedule can be viewed here.

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