Monday Quick Hits: Red Berenson to Return for One More Year?

By · Monday, April 5, 2010 · 12:11 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Red Berenson is reportedly going to return next season, but the general consensus is that 2010-11 will be Berenson’s final year as Michigan’s head coach.
  • Carl Hagelin won the hockey team’s MVP award.
  • There was some serious panic last Friday over the fact that Demar Dorsey’s name could be found on a list of players who signed a LOI for Fort Scott Community College.  As it turns out, though, this is merely a backup plan for Dorsey in case he doesn’t qualify.
  • Greg Robinson spoke to the media last week and mgoblog has a rundown of what was discussed.
  • It appears Michigan Stadium has a new logo (see the bottom right corner of this letter) that incorporates the new brick structures into it.  We got a little preview of this when the Big Chill logo was released, but this one features more of the entire stadium rather than just one of the brick structures.
  • Construction of the new basketball practice facility will begin after graduation next month.
  • Some West Virginia players who were once coached by John Beilein had nothing but good things to say about him in the lead-up to the Final Four.  Also, some of those players saw him at dinner last week and spoke with him for the first time since he left WVU.
  • Michigan’s women’s tennis team beat Northwestern on Saturday to end the Wildcats’ 81-match winning streak in the Big Ten.

Football Quick Hits: Michigan Fills Coaching Vacancy with Adam Braithwaite

By · Saturday, February 13, 2010 · 4:37 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Just like a few weeks ago, I’ve been busy with school and have had a bunch of news pile up.  As a result, I’ve separated quick hits into different posts for football, basketball, and hockey.

  • Rich Rodriguez filled the vacancy on his coaching staff by promoting quality control assistant Adam Braithwaite to safeties/outside linebackers coach.  Braithwaite’s experience as a position coach/coordinator is mainly limited to lower divisions, but he was a graduate assistant for Rodriguez at West Virginia and a quality control assistant the last two seasons at Michigan.  To me this was a pretty “meh” move, but I guess Rodriguez wanted some continuity considering Braithwaite has been around the team for a couple years.
  • This move means that Greg Robinson is now in charge of coaching the inside linebackers and Tony Gibson is responsible for the cornerbacks and free safeties.  Gibson is also now the team’s special teams coordinator.  Regarding that move, the release said this: “Rodriguez will continue to have all of the coaches remain involved with a certain phase of special teams, but Gibson will manage that phase of the game on a daily basis and on game day.”
  • Before Rich Rodriguez’s press conference on signing day, I wondered to myself if any questions would be about Demar Dorsey, who has an interesting past, to say the least.  Well, there were multiple questions about Dorsey and his brushes with the law, but Rodriguez came to his future player’s defense each time before the media was finally told to move on.  The media did move on at the press conference, but the Free Press followed up with a lengthy article detailing what exactly Dorsey has done.  The article sheds some light on the type of trouble he has been in and includes some quotes from Dorsey on what happened and why he decided to come to Michigan.  One of the big reasons he picked Michigan is to escape the type of people that have brought him down in the past, though he already is trying to do that and (knock on wood) hasn’t been in any trouble since 2008.  I certainly understand some of the concern over taking a player like Dorsey, but I’m glad he is coming to Michigan and hope he is a changed person.
  • Somebody who isn’t a changed person is Drew Sharp.  I say that because, unsurprisingly, he was a huge douchebag about the whole Dorsey situation and made some extremely unprofessional comments.  Like Rob Parker, I will never understand why Sharp has a job and manages to get on ESPN as often as he does.  It’s so blatantly obvious that Sharp’s schtick is simply to write and say negative/controversial things to drum up attention.  He isn’t anything close to an actual journalist (this picture from MVictors certainly seems to show that) and is nothing more than an assclown, as the folks at the MZone used to call him.
  • Rich Rodriguez said there was one school in the Big Ten doing a lot of negative recruiting.  He didn’t name the school, but he did say that it wasn’t Ohio State.  Rumors suggest that the school in question is either Minnesota, Purdue, or Michigan State.  Based on how big of a problem Danny Hope seems to have with Rodriguez, my bet is that Purdue is the school behind the negative recruiting.
  • Antonio Kinard appears to be the only member of the 2010 recruiting class in danger of not qualifying.
  • AnnArbor.com put together a comprehensive Q&A with Michigan’s 2010 recruiting class.
  • Also from AnnArbor.com is an interview with Devin Gardner from signing day.
  • MGoBlog has video and transcripts of interviews from signing day with early enrollees and coaches.
  • Ricardo Miller hopes he can be the next Braylon Edwards.
  • Austin White put in a lot of extra work last fall in order to be able to enroll early.
  • Baquer Sayed, a receiver from Dearborn Fordson, will join the Michigan football team next season as a preferred walk-on.  Sayed had offers from a couple MAC schools, but he opted to play for Michigan as a walk-on instead.
  • The Big House Blog has more news on recruits who will join the team as walk-ons as well as an interview with kicker Jeremy Ross, who is from Pioneer High School.
  • Mark Moundros will line up at fullback and linebacker this spring.
  • Had Calvin Magee got the South Florida job, he would have wanted to take some Michigan assistants with him, including Greg Frey, Tony Dews, and the newly-promoted Adam Braithwaite.
  • The Board of Regents met on signing day for an informal meeting to discuss the NCAA’s investigation of practicegate.  No real news has come out of the meeting, but hopefully it is a sign that the investigation is close to wrapping up.
  • There is a photo gallery on MGoBlue giving us a look inside the suites in Michigan Stadium.
  • “72 percent of the suites and 77 percent of club seats” that will open in the Big House next season have been sold.
  • Mike Hart would like to be Michigan’s head coach someday.
  • The Michigan Daily’s Andy Reid wrote a great article about Antonio Bass.
  • Tyrone Wheatley has been hired by Syracuse to be the Orange’s running backs coach.
  • Teryl Austin, a former Michigan assistant, is Florida’s new defensive coordinator.  Urban Meyer sure likes former Michigan assistant coaches.
  • Former Michigan coach Mike DeBord has landed in Chicago as the Bears’ tight ends coach.
  • Former Michigan players Jonathan Goodwin and Adrian Arrington and former coaches Mike Mallory and Terry Malone are Super Bowl champions as a result of the Saints’ victory over the Colts last Sunday.
  • The NCAA has proposed some new rules for the 2011 season.
  • A 13-year-old quarterback committed to USC.  Weird doesn’t even begin to describe this news.
  • It was only a matter of time, but Big Ten expansion rumors involving Texas have popped up in recent days.
  • Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said that if the Big Ten were to call, the Cornhuskers would certainly listen.
  • Michigan State changed its mind and is no longer going to change its logo as a result of all the backlash it received over the news.  It is going to change its shade of green, although that’s not really all that big of a deal.

Wednesday Quick Hits: Michigan a 3-Point Underdog Against ND

By · Wednesday, September 9, 2009 · 4:13 PM |  Share | 4 Comments 
  • Notre Dame is around a 3-point favorite right now for Saturday’s game.
  • Michigan picked up 18 votes in the AP Poll and 4 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.  Craig James, who was one of the announcers for the Michigan-Western Michigan game, ranked the Wolverines 18th this week.
  • The Week 1 BlogPoll is out.
  • Let’s not forget that Greg Robinson coached Syracuse to an upset win at Notre Dame last season.
  • Michigan’s long snapper is the son of a former Notre Dame player, so when he was young he hated Michigan and was an ND fan.
  • TomVH got some recruits’ thoughts on the Western Michigan game.
  • It sounds like Big Ten coaches root for each other, especially in a weekend that includes a game against USC for Ohio State and a game against Notre Dame for Michigan.  I understand conference unity, and I realize this won’t help the Big Ten’s perception, but I hope USC has a repeat performance of last year’s blowout win.
  • Michael Shaw’s parents don’t believe the practicegate allegations are true.
  • Obi Ezeh’s mother would like Michigan Stadium’s PA announcer to say their name correctly. (HT: MVictors)
  • Another great paint picture is out there, this time turning Mike Martin into the Hulk.
  • It’s long been thought by many that Terrelle Pryor strung Michigan along during the final months of his recruitment, knowing that he already was set on going to Ohio State.  Things like this only confirm that theory:

    Pryor also sent Tressel a text after Ohio State’s loss to LSU in the BCS title game, which read, “Don’t worry about it, Coach. We’re going to get it done in the future.”

    That and a few other things sure make it seem like his interest in Michigan was anything but genuine.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Greg Robinson Helping Prepare Michigan’s Offense

By · Tuesday, August 25, 2009 · 12:52 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Monday Quick Hits: Talking Media Day, Quarterbacks, and More

By · Monday, August 24, 2009 · 4:06 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Much was made about this quote from Rich Rodriguez during yesterday’s press conference:

    “In what order and how many, I couldn’t tell you,” Rodriguez said Sunday at media day. “Right now, all three of them look like they’re going to play in the opener.

    “Again, it’s two weeks out. There is a lot going to happen in the next two weeks.”

    Quite a few people seem to be overreacting to the idea that Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson, and Nick Sheridan are all going to play.  I say overreacting because the season is still 12 days away.  If Rodriguez came out and said he wasn’t going to name a starter because everyone will for sure play, then I would be a little concerned.  All Rodriguez said, however, was that as of right now, Forcier, Robinson, and Sheridan look like they will all play.  He followed that up by pointing out that the things can change in the next couple weeks, and to me all he really said was that the quarterback competition is even and don’t expect a starter to be named anytime soon.

    Could we end up seeing all three QBs against WMU?  Of course, but that could happen for a lot of different reasons (hopefully it is because Michigan has the game locked up in the second half and all backups get a chance to play).  I just think people are taking what Rodriguez said as his gameplan or something.  If this quote was a few days before September 5, then I could understand some of the concern, but it isn’t even game week yet.

  • Denard Robinson seemed to be the talk of media day, partly because he told the story of how he got the nickname “Shoelace.”

    “When I was 7, I started playing little league football and never tied my shoes,” Robinson said Sunday. “My coach started calling me ‘Shoelace’ and that has stuck with me.”

    Robinson still doesn’t actually tie his shoes, and considering how fast he is, the coaches don’t plan on telling him to start.

  • Adrian Witty still hasn’t been cleared by the NCAA.  Even if he is cleared for this season he would likely be redshirted because he missed so much practice.
  • Michigan held a full scrimmage on Saturday, and you can find some notes on it at MGoBlue.
  • Brandon Minor missed the scrimmage because of a “minor ankle sprain.”
  • Tim at mgoblog has a recap of what the coaches had to say during media day.
  • MGoBlue has links to video, audio, and photos from yesterday’s media and fan events.
  • MVictors has a photo gallery from yesterday.  Also at MVictors is a look at what Rich Rodriguez had to say about his quarterbacks and a look at why Greg Robinson will be coaching from the field.
  • Maize and Blue Nation also has a photo gallery of Fan day.
  • An estimated 7,500 people showed up for Fan Day.
  • AnnArbor.com’s Michael Rothstein got the story of how Kelvin Grady’s switch to football happened.
  • Being a cornerback from Ohio, you can probably guess why J.T. Turner chose to wear the No. 2 jersey.
  • WolverineHistorian has uploaded extended highlights of the 1989 Rose Bowl.
  • Although Michigan lost one baseball recruit to MLB, another has decided to pass up a chance to sign with the Rays and instead will play for U-M.

Wednesday Quick Hits: Fitzgerald Toussaint Out with Fractured Shoulder

By · Wednesday, August 19, 2009 · 3:34 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • 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.

Monday Quick Hits: Big Ten Close to Adding Another New Year’s Day Bowl

By · Monday, August 17, 2009 · 3:43 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • 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.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Practice Has Begun

By · Tuesday, August 11, 2009 · 9:26 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • Tate Forcier throws a pass during Michigan's first practice. (Carlos Osorio - AP)

    Tate Forcier throws a pass during Michigan's first practice. (Carlos Osorio - AP)

    Michigan started practice yesterday, opening fall camp and more than three weeks of preparation for the 2009 season.  The team won’t put the pads on until Friday, which is when practice will really get going.

  • Although none practiced on Monday, Jason Forcier, J.T. Turner, and Adrian Witty all have lockers.  All three are waiting to be made eligible by the NCAA, though for different reasons.  Forcier is waiting to find out if he will be eligible immediately at Michigan despite transferring this year.  He came back to Michigan for grad school, and if he can play football this season, he will be the second Forcier on the roster.  As for Turner and Witty, their issues are academic-related.  Turner is supposedly being held up by an issue involving an Ohio graduation test, and Witty is waiting to get a test score back.  Hopefully both of their issues are resolved soon so they can start practicing.
  • Michigan has new practice jerseys that feature adidas’ patented three-stripe look down the sides.  This style appears to be common, as other adidas schools have a similar look in practice.
  • AnnArbor.com’s Michael Rothstein has a list of observations from yesterday’s practice, with the most noteworthy one probably being how short Denard Robinson looks in person.  When he walked by me in the crowd at the spring game I didn’t really notice his height all that much, but I imagine on a football field with other players he could stand out for being short.
  • It appears that all players who were injured in the spring or earlier this summer practiced on Monday.
  • Greg Mathews, Martavious Odoms, Donovan Warren, Terrence Robinson, and Je’Ron Stokes practiced punt returns.  Mathews and Warren are the sure-handed veterans in that group, with Odoms being more of an explosive returner (when he actually catches the ball).  Robinson is an unknown since he was injured for most of last season, but coming out of high school all indications were that he could be explosive on returns in a way similar to Odoms.  Stokes is a true freshman.
  • After watching part of one practice, Dave Birkett already thinks Tate Forcier has the edge in the QB competition.
  • With Justin Feagin off the team, it appears Jeremy Gallon has switched to the #3 jersey.
  • Speaking of Feagin, Rich Rodriguez commented on his departure by saying that no red flags were raised while Michigan recruited him.  Up until police came to Schembechler Hall in July, coaches didn’t know Feagin was in any trouble.  It sounds like all of his issues in Florida were kept under wraps as well, as one recruiting analyst from Rivals.com said he never heard anything negative about Feagin’s character.  Usually if a recruit has been arrested, especially more than once, that will get out to the public pretty quickly.
  • Rodriguez answered five questions from Sporting News readers.
  • Al Glick Field House is now officially open, and everyone is impressed by it.  From the outside to the inside, it looks awesome, and that’s not even all of it.  The locker room in Schembechler Hall is brand new as well, and now the entire team is together.  (Before parts of the team were in separate rooms depending on their year.)
  • MGoBlue.com has video of yesterday’s practice, including a look at Zoltan Mesko hitting the roof in the new practice facility.
  • AnnArbor.com has video of Michigan’s quarterbacks doing a drill during practice.
  • Greg Robinson stresses fundamentals.
  • John Beilein was at yesterday’s practice.
  • WolverineHistorian uploaded highlights of the 2007 Michigan-Northwestern game.  I had never seen highlights beyond what was on ESPN since this was before the Big Ten Network was on Comcast.  I’m sure that is the case for many, but now you can watch how Michigan won 28-16.
  • UM-Flint’s club football team had to cancel its season due to a lack of funds.
  • The NY Daily News has an interesting article about Jarrod Bunch, who told his story of making a career change from football to acting.
  • Andy Evans is leaving WTKA and will be replaced by Ira Winetraub.
  • Nothing Is Illuminated created an awesome schedule wallpaper for the 2009 football season.
  • The Free Press profiled Robert Traylor and looked at what he currently is up to.  He seems to have his life in order and now wants to attempt an NBA comeback.
  • Black Heart Gold Pants put together a great post comparing college football programs to pro wrestlers.  Michigan’s counterpart was the Undertaker and Michigan State’s was Kane, who is Undertaker’s little brother in the storyline.  That seems like a very fitting comparison.
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