Michigan has come a long way from the days of its football building being nicknamed “Fort Schembechler.” Proof of that comes in the form of an injury report released yesterday for the Notre Dame game. It doesn’t even seem typical for college teams to release much information on any injuries, let alone draft an actual report on them. It’s required in the NFL, but it’s rather unusual for a college team to release one, especially when that team is Michigan. Just a couple years ago any injury information the public knew about either happened during a game or was leaked out. Michigan was so secretive that Lloyd Carr even decided not to announce a starting quarterback for a few games when Chad Henne wasn’t completely healthy. We all knew he was probably going to start, but that is how careful Michigan was about letting information like that get out.
This is certainly a different time we are living in, as Michigan is not only being upfront about its injuries, but they are also sharing the statuses of players for tomorrow’s game. I like that they are so willing to keep fans informed, though obviously there is a fine line between being open and revealing too much. I think Michigan is still on the side of just wanting to keep fans informed, but that’s not the point of this post, so let’s get to what is actually in the injury report.
First things first, Brandon Minor is probable. He hasn’t been as limited in practice as he was last week, and all indications are that he will play. As we learned earlier in the week, Carlos Brown will still get the start, but barring some unforeseen setback, Minor will be good to go tomorrow.
Someone who doesn’t seem to be in as good of shape for tomorrow is Junior Hemingway. Fresh off a career game against Western Michigan, Hemingway may not get a chance to follow up that great performance until next week. He is listed as questionable on the injury report, but Rich Rodriguez said it’s “doubtful” he will play against Notre Dame during his radio show. Before last week I wouldn’t have blinked if I was told Hemingway might miss a game, but after what he did against WMU it’s obvious that he has become a big play threat. He is one of Michigan’s best downfield receivers and losing him would be a blow to depth at that position. I guess we will just have to wait and see if he suddenly heals in the next day or so.
The rest of the injury report is nothing worth losing any sleep over. It includes three players who have already been ruled out of tomorrow’s game — Nader Furrha, Tim McAvoy, and Fitzgerald Toussaint. Two of those injuries we already knew about, and the other one involves a walk-on quarterback. Like I said, nothing worth losing any sleep over.
Also announced on Thursday was that the captains for the Notre Dame game will be Kevin Grady, David Moosman, Tim North, and Stevie Brown.
- The reason Jason Forcier isn’t enrolling in grad school and won’t be playing football for Michigan is because he had to be in a grad program that Stanford didn’t offer. That and the fact that he started all the paperwork so late in the process is why things didn’t work out. Even so, Forcier plans on staying in Ann Arbor to serve as a mentor for his brother Tate. Jason has already set up a meeting between Tate and Drew Henson, hoping that the former Michigan quarterback can give advice to the new Michigan quarterback.
- Fitzgerald Toussaint has a fractured shoulder and will be out for an extended period of time, perhaps the rest of fall camp. If that happens, he will probably be guaranteed to redshirt. That is what will likely happen anyways, but if he misses over two weeks of practice, a lot would have to happen for him to see the field.
- Donovan Warren is day-to-day after spraining his knee on Monday.
- Ricky Barnum, Thomas Gordon, Mark Moundros, and walk-on Zac Johnson are also day-to-day.
- Denard Robinson scored four touchdowns during Monday’s practice. Two were in the air and two were on the ground.
- It seems like the defense is giving up quite a few big plays. Just over the last two days, there has been a 25-yard pass from Tate Forcier to LaTerryal Savoy, a 45-yard run by Kevin Grady, runs of 68 and 72 yards by Denard Robinson, and a 58-yard pass from Forcier to James Rogers.
- Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson will be on the field during games.
- Drew Henson was at practice on Monday and Tuesday.
- This fall’s walk-on tryout for students will be on September 16.
- Wolverine Liberation Army took Jim Carty to task for a post he made about the Justin Feagin situation on his blog.
- Several videos featuring Devin Gardner, Ricardo Miller, Jeremy Jackson, and Larry Foote have been uploaded to YouTube. Local high school players visited the Lions’ practice yesterday, which is what the videos are from.
- Two-a-days got started on Saturday.
- Brandon Minor should not be wearing a green limited contact jersey today if all goes according to plan.
- Fitzgerald Toussaint hurt his shoulder during practice on Friday. If he misses any significant amount of time, chances are he will be redshirted. Even if he doesn’t miss any time there is a chance of that happening due to Michigan’s depth at running back, but an injury could make that decision much easier for the coaches.
- Ricky Barnum missed practice due to an ankle injury and Isaiah Bell was out because he is sick.
- NASCAR’s Brad Keselowski, a Michigan-native and big fan of the Wolverines, dropped by practice for the second consecutive year. He actually won the Nationwide race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, edging out Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch. Busch visited a practice nearly two years ago, as he is also a big Michigan fan.
- The Big Ten Network spent Friday in Ann Arbor, and here are some links to videos they posted online from their visit: Interviews with Rich Rodriguez, Greg Robinson, Mark Ortmann, Brandon Graham, and Brandon Minor.
- Rodriguez would be in favor of having a scrimmage against another team to serve as college football’s version of an NFL preseason game.
- Tim over at mgoblog has notes from Rodriguez’s Friday press conference.
- UMGoBlog’s Lance has his observations from Friday’s practice.
- It is looking more and more like the Big Ten is going to agree to a deal with the Gator Bowl, which would give the conference four tie-ins with New Year’s Day bowls. Already the Champs Sports Bowl appears to be out of the picture, as they are about to make a deal with the Big East. That means that the Big Ten will likely give its fourth and fifth slots to the Gator and Insight Bowls, which will reportedly alternate in the selection process. I’m not a big fan of the Insight Bowl due to it being carried on the NFL Network, but if it made its way back to the ESPN family of networks, I would welcome a raise in the lineup for the game. As for the Gator Bowl, having another New Year’s Day game would be great for the conference, though it will be tough to watch three games at once. (The Texas Bowl was mentioned again as potentially being the Big Ten’s sixth tie-in.)
- Although it is not mandatory, the NCAA and AFCA are “encouraging” teams to shake hands before and after games during the first week of the season. This is apparently being talked about as something that could become more and more common in the future, which I find to be quite ridiculous. Coaches shake hands before and after games already, which is actually a rule, believe it or not. Teams also usually meet after games, with some players from both teams shaking hands and catching up with each other since many are friends. That seems more than sufficient to me.
It seems a little pointless to make nice and shake hands with people you want to beat the hell out of prior to a game. Afterward I have no problem with it, but a big part of football is having intensity and focus on beating the other team. I highly doubt shaking hands before a game would greatly affect either of those things, but it will just seem way too forced and insincere. After a tough matchup, shaking hands and saying “good game” after all is said and done does make some sense. Before, however, it just seems completely fake and in general another step toward the pussification of sports.
- Contrary to what Rich Rodriguez said at Big Ten Media Day about all freshmen being qualified, J.T. Turner and Adrian Witty are not good to go just yet. Rodriguez went on WTKA this morning and shared the news (which apparently came up recently), saying that Turner has to “get some information in.” Witty, on the other hand, is waiting for a test score, so it looks like whether or not he qualifies is riding on that. Hopefully both get things taken care of, as it would hurt to have two cornerbacks not qualify, especially one of Turner’s caliber.
- The exact date of Michigan’s return game at UConn is September 21, 2013.
- UConn’s willingness to not hold the return game of the home-and-home series until 2013 is reportedly one of the things that Michigan wanted for a deal to happen. Pittsburgh was also in negotiations with Michigan, reports David Jones of The Patriot-News, but they weren’t as “flexible” as UConn with the return game. That’s too bad, as Pittsburgh would have been a much better opponent. Not only does Pittsburgh play in an NFL stadium, but a trip to Pittsburgh would have been much easier for Michigan fans to make. (HT: MGoBlog)
- Oregon and Michigan State are the favorites to land Cass Tech’s Dior Mathis.
- One of Fitzgerald Toussaint’s touchdown runs in the Big 33 game was shown during an E:60 piece on the annual event.
- Matt Gutierrez wasn’t a free agent for too long, as the Chiefs claimed him.
- Lou Holtz isn’t going to run for office of any sort. I knew it was too good to be true.
- Here is HD version of second half highlights from the 2008 Capital One Bowl:
- Earlier this week we learned that Michigan’s first opponent of the 2010 season would be a relatively big name, as a home-and-home series was on the verge of being scheduled. We didn’t get a ton of hints initially as to who the team is, but Mark Snyder reports that Rich Rodriguez said the opponent won’t be from the Pac-10 and the return game may not happen “for a couple years.” Another hint comes from Angelique Chengelis, who is reporting that the opponent likely will have to adjust their schedule to play Michigan. She also reports that Virginia, Duke, and Pitt are not the team in question. Those three teams have open dates and have been tossed around in the media recently, but it looks like this mystery team could come a bit out of left field.
- Jason Forcier is in Michigan’s grad school, and a decision about whether or not he will be eligible to play this fall should be made in the next week or so. The fact that he transferred for academic reasons leads me to believe he will be ruled eligible for this coming season. Football was not the reason he left Stanford for Michigan, as he came back to Ann Arbor to go to grad school. The NCAA rule stresses that the reason behind the transfer needs to be academic-related first, and in Forcier’s case, that is exactly what it was.
- Fitzgerald Toussaint had a hernia, but Rich Rodriguez said yesterday that it has been repaired.
- Maize n Brew has a recap of what Mark Ortmann had to say when he met with the media in Chicago. (Stevie Brown, too)
- One of the things Ortmann talked about was how the things Kurt Wermers said about the coaching staff were “false accusations.”
The roster on MGoBlue is no longer from the spring, allowing us to get a look at new height and weight listings, number changes, and the addition of incoming freshmen. That also means that we now know all of the freshmen’s numbers, which are listed below.
2 – J.T. Turner
2 – Vincent Smith
5 – Tate Forcier
5 – Vladimir Emilien
6 – Je’Ron Stokes (UPDATE: Stokes’ number has been switched from #4 to #6.) (I imagine this will be changed, as it would prevent Stokes and Brandon Minor from being on the field at the same time. Also, Brandon Smith is listed as being #4 as well, and I doubt 3 people would have the same number.)
7 – Brandin Hawthorne
13 – Adrian Witty
14 – Teric Jones
15 – Thomas Gordon
16 – Denard Robinson
26 – Isaiah Bell
27 – Mike Jones
28 – Fitzgerald Toussaint
29 – Jeremy Gallon
34 – Brendan Gibbons
73 – William Campbell
75 – Michael Schofield
76 – Quinton Washington
77 – Taylor Lewan
84 – Cameron Gordon
88 – Craig Roh
90 – Anthony LaLota
Other noteworthy numbers:
4 – Brandon Smith (as alluded to above, he switched from #28)
19 – Kelvin Grady
- Ever since they became commits, there has been some concern over whether or not a couple players would qualify. The two that seemed to cause the most concern were Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jeremy Gallon, but now it looks like the concern turned out to be all for nothing. It was reported by Sam Webb on the radio last month that Toussaint qualified, and now word has come down from Gallon himself that he also has made the cut.
- Zoltan Mesko has been named to the preseason Playboy All-America Team.
- The hockey team sent a note to season-ticket holders to encourage them to renew their seats.
- Ohio cornerback Courtney Avery has changed his commitment from Stanford to Michigan. Avery picked up an offer after attending a camp at Michigan and decided to commit a couple days later. Avery had originally decided on Stanford back in April, but that was obviously before picking up an offer from Michigan. Some of his other offers include Vanderbilt, Louisville, and Indiana. He is a 3-star on Scout and hasn’t been evaluated yet by Rivals.
- Michigan has hired a new strength and conditioning coach for basketball and Olympic sports: Jon Sanderson. Sanderson previously was an assistant S&C coach at Clemson. Before that, he was the head S&C for Olympic sports at Marshall. He played basketball in college and started for two years at Ohio State and one at Ohio. He was a starter for OSU in 1999 when they went to the Final Four.
- The director of Michigan’s club lacrosse program was interviewed by the Free Press.
- Fitzgerald Toussaint played well in the Big 33 game.
- Parking at the golf course this fall for football games will be a bit different than usual due to new rules.
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