The Day Jim Harbaugh Met The Pope

April 26, 2017 by  
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Jim Harbaugh gave the Pope a custom Michigan helmet and pair of Jordan’s. Never thought I’d write that sentence.

The Day Jim Harbaugh Met The Pope

The Rome trip has been another move by Jim Harbaugh that many have followed closely and have their own opinions about. Some see it simply as a recruiting tactic and another way he’s pushing the envelope in college football, while others see it for what it is, a trip of a lifetime. Now that’s just my opinion, of course; but I feel those making a big deal about it are simply jealous.

The last several days have included team activities and sight seeing to soak up what that area of the world is all about. For some, this was the first time out of the United States to a place many will never have the opportunity to visit. Many will look back and talk about this trip for a very long time.

One of the most memorable moments with certainly be the day they were up close with the Pope in Vatican City. Some of the media that is following the team had a different view high up top, but took in the amazing scenery that is Vatican City.

Coach Jim Harbaugh saw the Pope up close and had the opportunity to hand him a Michigan winged helmet and pair of Jordan’s.

Jim Harbaugh spoke with the media shortly adter to sum up what it meant to him. He started off by saying, “Top three priorities in my life; faith, family and football.” He was asked about about what it means to see his son get baptized and his daughter receive her first communion there. “If I accomplished nothing more in my life, if I were to go right now, I’ll be going out a blessed man. This is as good as it gets, this has been the experience of a lifetime.”

Here is another from the moment he handed the Pope his gifts.

Jim’s wife, Sarah, also commented about this amazing moment.

The players also shared their view of the Pope.

What an amazing day and opportunity for the team, especially for Jim Harbaugh.

The team starts their first of three practices tomorrow then leave on Sunday.

Maize n Brew Recruiting Podcast Talks Quarterbacks

April 26, 2017 by  
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Stingray Steve joins the show to provide some excellent content.

The Maize n Brew Recruiting Podcast is back and boy, it is an electric show. Tanner and Eli break down the 2018 quarterback board after Dorian Thompson-Robinson committed to UCLA on Sunday, but don’t you worry. Joe Milton, now likely looking to be the quarterback of this class, has absolutely insane film and the guys break that down a little bit. Steven ‘Stingray’ Steve, of Pardon My Take and The Pete Finebaum Show fame, joins the show to talk Big Ten vs. SEC, his thoughts on Urban Meyer and The Game, and gives a hilarious play by play of the end of Michigan’s thrilling Spring Game.

Listen below:

Michigan to take part in basketball doubleheader at Little Caesars Arena

April 26, 2017 by  
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Michigan will face Detroit Mercy and Michigan State will face Oakland in a doubleheader early in the 2017-18 season.

Early in the 2017-18 basketball season, Michigan will take part in a doubleheader at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Michigan will face off against Detroit Mercy and Michigan State will face Oakland.

Michigan coach John Beilein, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, Oakland coach Greg Kampe, and Detroit Mercy coach Bacari Alexander will hope to bring their teams to victory at Little Caesars Arena.

The Wolverines has won 14 straight against the Titans, with a 24-4 all-time record in the series. The last time Michigan played Detroit Mercy was in November 2014, with Michigan earning a 71-62 win at Crisler Center. The duo last played on a neutral court in 1980. Michigan won, 85-72.

Michigan State has matched up with Oakland 15 times since the 1998 season. The Spartans are 15-0. The last matchup on a neutral court for Michigan State and Oakland was at The Palace of Auburn Hills in 2015. The game featured an overtime thriller that was won by No. 1 ranked Michigan State, 99-93.

Little Caesars Arena is also scheduled to host the 2020 Frozen Four, games in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, and the 2022 Division 1 wrestling championships. The arena is the home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons.

NFL Draft Profile: WR Jehu Chesson

April 26, 2017 by  
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After a step back back in 2016, what will scouts make of the dynamic receiver?

If it hadn’t been for a knee injury in the Citrus Bowl at the end of his 2015 season, we might be talking about whether Jehu Chesson is a first or second-round pick. But a backslide in his final season has NFL teams wondering if the wideout offers enough return on investment.

Chesson wasn’t just a good player in 2015, he was Michigan’s best player. He earned team MVP honors on 50 catches for 764 yards, along with a total of 10 TDs in the air and on the ground. Some of his 2015 performances were outright monstrous (e.g. 207 yards and 4 TDs against Indiana).

But the knee injury, a change in quarterbacks, and the emergence of Amara Darboh pushed Chesson out of the spotlight in 2016. While still productive – 500 yards and 3 touchdowns – it was clear he’d lost some of that explosiveness that defines an elite receiver.

The NFL combine, however, established Chesson as a risk worth taking. At 6-3 and 205 lbs., he has the size of a pro. And while his ability to gain separation in the secondary is in question, his 4.47 40-time proves he can run with the NFL pack.

Most impressive is Chesson’s catch radius. Though not the strongest receiver, he can get in the air (35.5-inch vertical) to twist and battle his way to a catch. The guy simply has a gift for bringing down balls thrown into a crowd. And for NFL scouts, there’s no replacement for a sure-handed receiver willing to sacrifice his body for the ball.

Chesson also blocks with a doggedness that coaches eat up. As it’s unlikely he’ll be the No. 1 target when he’s on the field, his ability to downfield block can only help his stock on draft day.

That toughness, unfortunately, doesn’t translate to contact coming off the line. Stronger college defensive backs were successful in jamming Chesson, an issue the NFL will only magnify. In fact, outside of his knee injury and its impact on his quickness, Chesson’s lack of strength (10 reps on the 220-lb. bench) is probably the biggest concern among NFL teams.

He’s also taken some hits from NFL scouts for questionable after-the-catch and route running. When coming off a knee injury, those are areas a receiver needs to shore up.

So, where does Chesson fall? Barring a surprise, he’ll be the third Wolverine pass catcher taken in the draft behind Jake Butt and Darboh. But that’s hardly insulting in such a Michigan-rich draft.

Chesson has solid size and speed and elite pass-catching ability, and he lacks off-field drama that cause NFL front offices to cringe. That’s an attractive combination for a team seeking depth in its receiver corps. Expect to hear Chesson’s name on draft day as early as the fourth round, and, more importantly, on Sundays in the fall.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Can Chesson convince NFL scouts his knee injury in the 2016 Citrus Bowl won’t prevent him from contributing at the next level?

Michigan offers 2018 4-star SG/SF Ignas Brazdeikis

April 25, 2017 by  
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The athlete from Mono (ON) Orangeville Prep has offers to 15 Division 1 schools, including the Wolverines.

Class of 2018 four-star shooting guard and small forward Ignas Brazdeikis has picked up an offer to play for Michigan.

“Coach [John] Beilein called me today and told me the news,” Brazdeikis told

Brazdeikis has offers to play for Baylor, Canisius, Cincinnati, Denver, Memphis, Michigan, Niagara, Oregon, SMU, Southern Utah, St. Bonaventure, Tennessee, UNLV, USC, and Vanderbilt.

The 6-foot-7, 210-pound athlete is thinking about reclassifying to the 2017 class, but that decision will not be made until the summer.

“I am just working on getting better but the big thing for me this year will be the EYBL; just showing everyone that I am a good player,” he said.

From Eric Bossi of Rivals: “Ignas is a stretch, combo forward type who is a pure scorer. He's a strong kid who has very good range on his jump shot and he's very tough as well. He's not the most athletic kid in the world but has post game, passes well and is very competitive. Because we don't rank players outside of the states in the Rivals150 he's listed as an unranked four-star prospect, but he's comparable to a top 50 type player.”

From Corey Evans of Rivals: “In an era where everyone loves multi-dimensional ballplayers, Brazdeikis fits that mold perfectly. The 6-foot-7 junior, who is capable of scoring from all three levels on the floor, should see his stock soar this summer. However, it does seem that Vanderbilt and Pitt sit in the best spot for him and a possible late reclassification into 2017 would bolster their chances heading into next year’s college basketball season.”

Check out Brazdeikis’ highlights from the Hampton EYBL:

Grant Newsome Was Minutes Away From Having His Right Leg Amputated

April 25, 2017 by  
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Grant explains how close he was from getting his leg amputated. Luckily, he is on the road to recovery.

Grant Newsome suffered a horrible leg injury last season against Wisconsin, which required six surgeries since then and is expected to miss the entire 2017 season. What many didn’t know is how close he was to losing his leg, and it was shockingly close. He was grateful the doctors recognized the severity of the situation to get him into surgery that night.

Angelique Chengelis with the Detroit News posted a video with Grant talking about his injury and recovery while following the team on their Italy trip.

He has not been able to particiapte in all the events during the Italy trip, but posted his view from today while the team got in some paintball.

This scary injury and situation could have been much worse, but glad he’s on the road to recovery.

The Michigan Man Podcast 371: Good times in Rome

April 25, 2017 by  
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The Wolverine’s John Borton joins to chat about the trip to Rome and hockey’s hiring of Mel Pearson.

This episode welcomes John Borton of The Wolverine to discuss Michigan football in Rome and the hockey program’s hiring of Mel Pearson to replace Red Berenson.

Hit the player below to listen in!

Michigan Could Have Multiple Night Football Games, Including MSU

April 25, 2017 by  
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Do you like night games? How about two in one year?

It was reported yesterday that Michigan could soon be looking at multiple night games a year, thanks to the Big Ten’s new TV deal that puts the control for these decisions at the hands of the conference and the TV networks, not the Michigan athletic department.

This means that starting next year, we might be getting a sudden increase in “Under The Lights” affairs.

Recap: The History of Night Games At U-M

Michigan held its first night game at the Big House on Sept. 10, 2011: “Under The Lights.” This was in the works under Athletic Director, Dave Brandon, who wanted to create an atmosphere unlike any other in college football. The idea of a night game before then was just a thought until after stadium renovations and lots of planning made it a reality.

For the game itself, a game winning throw from Denard Robinson to Roy Roundtree to beat Notre Dame 35-31 created an instant classic in front of 114,804 in attendance.

Notre Dame v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The first “Under The Lights” game against Notre Dame created alot of buzz, so Michigan followed it up with another on September 7, 2013. That second edition “Under The Lights” game created the largest crowd in history at The Big House with 115,109 in the 41-30 win over Notre Dame. Then in 2014, Michigan played Penn State in an 18-13 victory that pitted Christian Hackenberg against Devin Gardner.

Who Turned Out The Lights?

Since 2014, Michigan has not had a night home game, but that is about to change thanks to TV deals controlling game times and its outside of the hands of administration.

Athletic Director, Warde Manuel, told the Detroit Free Press on Monday, “It is a possibility. When the schedules come out, we can have up to two night games.”

And as for the possibility of a night home against MSU: “It’s still a concern,” Manuel said. “The only difference is, the Big Ten and television can assign us to a primetime game and it’s not our option. In November, we have the option if we choose to do so. I don’t anticipate that choice being made.”

This would mean OSU-Michigan would still be off-limits.

Penn State’s annual White Out game set for October 21st vs. Michigan

April 18, 2017 by  
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Michigan is 2-2 in White Out games at Beaver Stadium.

On Tuesday, Penn State announced that its White Out game for the 2017 season will be on October 21st against Michigan.

Michigan is 2-2 in White Out games at Beaver Stadium, winning in 2006 and 2015 and losing in 2010 and 2013. In the overall series against the Nittany Lions, the Wolverines are 13-7 and 6-4 on the road.

Including the 2017 season battle, Michigan has played in the most White Outs against Penn State than any other team. The Wolverines will have played in five games, while Ohio State has played in four, and five other teams have played in one.

Penn State will be coming off its bye week before playing Michigan on October 21st, then the Nittany Lions will travel to play Ohio State and Michigan State in the next two weeks.

Michigan visits 2018 4-star SG Jamal Bieniemy

April 18, 2017 by  
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Michigan coach John Beilein has compared Jamal Bieniemy to former Wolverines star Caris LeVert.

Michigan basketball stopped into Katy (TX) Tompkins High School on Tuesday to see 2018 four-star shooting guard Jamal Bieniemy, according to Corey Evans of Rivals.

Along with the Wolverines, Purdue also made a stop at Thompkins High School.

“Growing up, I always liked Michigan,” he said to Orion Sang of UMHoops. “I don’t know — I live in Texas — but I always had a liking for Michigan. And then for them to recruit me, it’s just been like a dream come true.”

Michigan coach John Beilein last visited Bieniemy on March 28th.

“They’ll probably hit me up once a week, see how I’m doing and tell me about the system and how I’d fit in the system,” Bieniemy, who Beilein compares to Caris LeVert, said.

The 6-foot-3, 170-pound athlete is ranked No. 119 in the 2018 class, according to the 247Sports Composite. He is the 28th-best shooting guard and the No. 8 ranked player in the state of Texas. Bieniemy has offers to play for Creighton, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.

Check out Bieniemy’s highlights from his sophomore season:

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