- The current offensive line situation is as follows: David Moosman is practicing again and will start at center on Saturday. Mark Huyge, who has been starting at right tackle, practiced at right guard yesterday and may start at that position against Indiana. John Ferrara filled in for Moosman at RG against Eastern Michigan, but this week Huyge could be in the starting lineup at that position, allowing Perry Dorrestein to get the start at right tackle.
- Michael Williams wore a red no-contact jersey during practice yesterday.
- Many teams are suffering from flu outbreaks, and Michigan is doing everything it can to prevent that from happening.
- As a result of some general warnings about an increased risk of terror activity, all bags are now prohibited from Michigan Stadium.
- I am currently tied for first in Big Ten Bloggers Pick’em.
- Although walk-ons aren’t necessarily big-name players, they have contributed an awful lot to the Michigan football program, and some are being rewarded for their hard work by being put on scholarship.
- A week after suspending Jonas Mouton, the Big Ten has done the same to Purdue’s Zach Reckman, who threw a right at a Northern Illinois player last Saturday.
- The Athens Banner-Herald has a Q&A with Lloyd Carr.
The 2009 spring game was a huge success. Rich Rodriguez set a goal of having 40,000 people attend the event, and that goal was surpassed by at least 10,000. Unlike spring games in the Lloyd Carr era, which eventually became nothing more than drills and a very short scrimmage, this event was about having fun. Fans were given a chance to get a look at the locker room; the alumni game was very entertaining; and we got to watch a scrimmage that replicated various game situations and lasted for over an hour and a half. All in all, it was a great event and one that will hopefully grow in the coming years.
Here is a recap of the various events that made up the day:
Locker Room Tour
Looking back, I was an idiot for thinking I would be able to tour the locker room despite arriving at 9:15 a.m. When I got to the stadium, I immediately passed on waiting in line, as upon first glance, it was stretched around the side of Crisler Arena. I continued walking and saw that it went all of the way out to Stadium Boulevard. Then, once I made my way into the stadium and walked around the concourse, I noticed that the line stretched all the way to the entrance at the corner of Stadium and Main. As pointed out in The Wolverine Blog’s photo essay of the line, at one time it went all the way to the 50-yard line on the Main Street side. People really wanted to see the locker room, so much so that one person got in line at 3:30 a.m. That is dedication.
(As you’ll notice in the above links, the word “honor” is spelled in a non-American way in the phrase “Strength and Honour.” Anyone know why?)
There were some no shows, and the roster posted on MGoBlue wasn’t all that accurate. Even so, this was a very entertaining event. Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter provided commentary that included many funny digs at the players and coaches (like Brandstatter’s comment about how Jerry Hanlon drew up plays on manila folders). Rick Leach’s interview was particularly hilarious, as his answer to a question about why he was pulled after an interception on the first pass of the game was, “I’m 52 years-old.” Leach also mentioned that he helped put the game together, so he deserves a pat on the back. Ever since the interview on WTKA where he vehemently defended Rich Rodriguez, Leach has been around the program quite a bit, and that is definitely a good thing.
Another funny moment was guest referee James Hall’s response to Brandstatter asking for an official ruling on a play. Hall answered that he didn’t even see the play, and Brandstatter shot back with a great one-liner about how he was just like all referees.
Perhaps the funniest moment was the fact that it was announced that Larry Foote wasn’t allowed to play in the game due to his contract with the Steelers. The Steelers obviously don’t want him getting hurt in a flag football game, so there is a clause that was supposed to prevent him from participating. Well, Foote may or may not have played, and he may or may not have had a one-hand interception. I will leave it at that so Foote doesn’t get in too much trouble.
Holding the Banner
I was lucky enough to be one of the students that got to go down on the field and hold the banner as the team ran out of the tunnel. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sure, and it was as awesome as I thought it would be. While waiting for noon (when the team would retake the field for the game) to arrive, I got to sit on the bleachers down by the 15-yard line on the northeast part of the field. Jay Hopson and Greg Robinson were running drills with the linebackers, which was cool to see up close.
Holding up the banner was much more complicated than I expected. The wind made it tougher, as it was blowing the banner in one direction as we tried to pull it the opposite way. We were warned to hold on tight when the team started hitting it, but that didn’t seem to be a big problem. Seeing the players and coaches jump up and touch the banner was amazing, though. I tried to stay on the field after the national anthem to hang out behind the bench, but an event staff person quickly realized we weren’t supposed to be down there.
- Let’s start with the one player everyone was watching on Saturday: Tate Forcier. Forcier looked about as good as one could have hoped. His passes were accurate, had zip on them, and actually hit his receivers. Only one deep ball (that I remember) was overthrown, and he scored touchdowns on a couple long passes. He also scored a couple TDs by running the ball. Once he lost the ball in the end zone for a safety, but that was about the only bad play that I remember.
Forcier showed off his scrambling skills quite a bit. The defense could only down him by two-hand touch rules (Michigan can’t afford to lose him to an injury), but he had good field vision when he did take off. When he is fair game to defenses next season I hope he cuts down on the amount of times he scrambles, but at least his scrambles were effective. I think as times goes by he will probably be more patient in the pocket, but that was probably the only real negative about his game that I noticed, and it is probably a stretch to call that a negative. I’m just being extra paranoid about his health, as it is already obvious that Michigan can’t afford to lose him.
- The backup QB on Saturday was David Cone. Nick Sheridan was in uniform, but he didn’t do anything more than play catch with Zoltan Mesko on the sidelines since his foot was still in a walking boot. Cone struggled throughout the day but put together a few decent drives as time went by. His passing ability seemed limited, though, as did his running ability most of the time. I say most of the time because he did have a great 35-yard run after he put a move on Stevie Brown. Brown totally bit on it, allowing Cone to run down the field for a big gain.
- The third-string QB was a walk-on, Jack Kennedy. He isn’t even listed on the spring roster, so I’m assuming he is new to the team. He actually looked better than Cone at times, but I can’t stress enough how important it is that Forcier and Sheridan stay healthy. If there is ever a situation where both are injured, I think putting Carlos Brown in and letting him run on every down is probably the best idea.
- Speaking of Carlos Brown, he looked very good. If he can stay healthy, having he and Brandon Minor will be a nice one-two punch. Minor didn’t do anything too memorable, but Brown broke off a huge run for a touchdown once.
- True freshman Vincent Smith played quite a bit and looked pretty good. Despite his small size, he ran the ball downhill and showed off his ability to make moves as well. I believe he had two touchdowns — one that was right at the goal line and another where he ran around the defense from 20 or so yards out. Before watching him in person, I was a bit concerned his size would lead to big hits like Sam McGuffie experienced, but I’m not as worried anymore. McGuffie’s running style was the biggest reason he had three concussions, and Smith, as I said, runs downhill.
- Kevin Grady had a nice touchdown run where he plowed through a pile and came out unscathed to score. It reminded me of his TD run against Indiana a few years ago. Hopefully we will see him do that in goal line and short-yardage situations next season.
- The two most impressive wide receivers were Roy Roundtree and Greg Mathews. Roundtree seems like someone that will challenge for a starting job, as he has great hands and is a viable deep threat. Forcier hit Roundtree on one of his long TD passes, and Roundtree caught one other TD pass I believe.
Mathews will be the No. 1 WR for sure. His best play was going up on a fade route and taking the ball out of the air. The throw wasn’t great, but Mathews made sure the defender couldn’t pick it off and bailed out Forcier. As a way of saying thanks, Forcier gave Mathews a piggy-back ride to the bench.
- Darryl Stonum also had a great TD catch where he stole it away from Boubacar Cissoko. That play made up for a drop Stonum had early on.
- The starting offensive line was as follows: Mark Ortmann (LT), Stephen Schilling (LG), David Molk (C), David Moosman (RG), Mark Huyge (RT).
- As much as I would like to say that the offense looked great because the offense is great, that isn’t a fair assessment. Part of the reason the offense played so well was because the defense struggled quite a bit. I don’t want to read too much into their performance, though. The scrimmage was set up to favor the offense, both based on the rules and the matchups.
- Injuries kept Jonas Mouton (out for spring), Mike Martin (slightly injured ankle; kept out for precautionary reasons), Donovan Warren (out for six weeks following arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle) out of the scrimmage, and Ryan Van Bergen left on a cart mid-way through (out for four weeks with a strained MCL).
- Aside from injuries, Brandon Graham barely played in order to limit the risk of an injury. Even then that didn’t matter too much since the first-team offense and first-team defense didn’t match up at all. The second-team defense faced the Forcier-led unit, making it tough to get a good read on both sides of the ball. I think it is safe to say that the defense does have a long way to go, but their performance on Saturday wasn’t a proper indicator of where they are at right now. I’m a tad concerned but am not ready to panic just yet.
- Due to the matchups and the lack of many starters, no one really stood out on the defensive side of the ball. The secondary did stand out as being particularly bad on many occasions, but Boubacar Cissoko did have at least one good pass break-up that I remember, though Stonum owned him pretty bad on that one TD catch I mentioned. Stevie Brown, as noted, got burned by David Cone. He was playing a hybrid linebacker/safety role and was in a bunch of different formations throughout the scrimmage. It was tough to get a read on him as well, but he did win an award for the most development during the spring, so apparently he has improved from last season.
- Martavious Odoms fumbled a punt during the drills before the game. It was really, really sunny, but that isn’t an excuse. Greg Mathews fielded his punt without any problems, so it seems like Odoms still has practice to do when it comes to punts. Although he took a punt to the house against Purdue last season, he had big problems catching the ball on punts. I don’t want to lose his return ability, but I feel much better when Mathews is back there as the returner.
- Brendan Gibbons can’t get here soon enough. Our current (as in during the spring, not in general) kicking situation is not good. Jason Olesnavage didn’t have any issues with extra points, but his range appeared to be pretty limited. Once he went beyond the 30-yard line, his kicks did not look good at all. His backup is Bryan Wright, who is actually on scholarship. To say he struggled is an understatement. Wright’s kicks were bad, and those were the ones he actually got off. There were issues with the hold and the snap when he tried to attempt some field goals, which probably contributed to his poor kicking. He also had a punt blocked and kicked one off of one of his teammates on a rugby-style kick. It’s a good thing Zoltan Mesko is still here; that’s for sure.
- Entire game (MGoBlue)
- Highlights (BTN)
- Michigan takes the field (YouTube)
- Tate Forcier TD pass (YouTube)
- Tate Forcier TD run (YouTube)
- Carlos Brown TD run (YouTube)
- Kevin Grady TD run (YouTube)
- Tate Forcier interview (BTN)
- Brandon Minor interview (BTN)
- Greg Mathews interview (BTN)
- Greg Robinson interview (BTN)
- View of the crowd (YouTube)
- Post-game press conference (MLive)
- Michigan Sports Center (Flickr Page)
- Michigan Daily
- Detroit News
- Detroit Free Press
- Ann Arbor News
Plenty of recruits were in attendance, including Ricardo Miller, Marvin Robinson, Devin Gardner, and Jeremy Jackson. Some of the recruits made their way up the stadium through the section 23 aisle and were swarmed for pictures and autographs. Denard Robinson, who will be here in a couple months, was also at the game and was the first to get swarmed. He stood out enough thanks to his dreadlocks and red Deerfield Beach varsity jacket, but when a few people started cheering him, it was mayhem. He probably signed autographs and took pictures for at least 20-30 minutes, just as Ricardo Miller and some of the others did (they were all very nice). During the warm ups, Denard was down on the field hanging out with Tate Forcier, Nick Sheridan, and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith, probably getting coached up by all of them.
Varsity Blue has a rundown of the recruits that planned on being at Michigan Stadium on Saturday.
Aside from the alumni in attendance for the flag football game, Super Bowl participants LaMarr Woodley, Steve Breaston, and Harold Goodwin (assistant coach) were honored. Larry Foote was as well, but he got plenty of attention during the alumni game. Like the aforementioned players, Mike Hart and Desmond Howard were given a nice reception when it was announced they were in attendance.
The attendance for the spring game was estimated at 50,000 people. That is a new record for a Michigan spring game, and the hope is that even more people will go to the event next year. If the team has a good season and the weather is as nice as it was on Saturday, I would say they could draw around 70-80,000. I think breaking Alabama’s record is a couple of years down the road and is dependent on a lot of things, but if the team continues to improve it is definitely possible.
The band and cheerleaders were in attendance to help make this more like a real game experience. What made it feel like a Saturday in the fall for me was hearing “down in front” and “sit down.” I don’t want to beat a dead horse and go on a rant about this again, but I certainly did not expect to hear those two phrases at the spring game. Listen, people. If you have a problem with someone standing, then please, stay home. No one wants to hear you bitch and moan when you voluntarily came to the game. It’s clear you don’t want to improve the atmosphere if you are worried about people standing, so just stay home next time. And for the record, the 22 rows in front of me were standing as well, so it’s not like it was just me.
Aside from the complaints about people standing, the atmosphere was great. The crowd was into the game and it did feel like a football Saturday as much as it possibly could for a scrimmage. Overall, this was a great event and I look forward to it growing in the future. Rich Rodriguez definitely is doing a good job of marketing the program, and that job will only become easier if the team starts winning. Until then, being nice and open to the fans is a good way to keep people happy and excited.
- Michigan’s offensive line has been constantly changing due to injuries this season, and more changes are on the way for tomorrow’s game.
Left guard Tim McAvoy has worked at left tackle, coach Rich Rodriguez said, and backup right guard John Ferrara has been getting repetitions at left guard. Those moves were precipitated by injuries to starting left tackle Mark Ortmann and his backup, Perry Dorrestein.
Ortmann, who missed Michigan’s loss to Notre Dame with a dislocated right elbow, practiced in a green, non-contact jersey Wednesday. Rodriguez said before practice that Ortmann would be able to play against the Badgers. He wasn’t so optimistic about Dorrestein, who donned a green practice jersey because of a knee injury.
Thankfully Mark Huyge should be returning from an injury he suffered before the season even started. Any added depth at this point is needed because Michigan is only an injury or two on the offensive line away from complete disaster.
- Along with Michael Phelps and other Michigan Olympians, Mike Hart, Jake Long, and Mario Manningham also will be at the Wisconsin game since their NFL teams have a bye this week. (HT: MGoBlog)
- Michigan will open the 2008 basketball season against Michigan Tech in the first-round of the 2K Sports Classic (aka Coaches vs. Cancer). If Michigan gets by Michigan Tech then they will play the winner of the Northeastern-IUPUI game. It was originally thought that UMass would be in Michigan’s regional, but since they are not I would expect Michigan to advance out of their regional and to Madison Square Garden. If that happens, the Wolverines would likely play UCLA or Southern Illinois. Duke also will probably make it to the semi-finals, but since Michigan plays them in December, my guess is that the Blue Devils are on the other side of the bracket.
- An article on ESPN discussed how some high school athletes are homeschooled, and Tate Forcier was mentioned quite a bit.
- Football recruit Thomas Gordon, a player from Cass Tech High School, is announcing his college decision after his game this afternoon. Gordon’s final two is Michigan and Michigan State, and all indications are that he is going to pick Michigan.
- Greg Mathews likes brownies, especially ones made by Rich Rodriguez’s son.
- The top of the polls are going to look much different next week as Oregon State upset #1 USC last night. The Beavers got out to a 21-0 lead after the first half and managed to stave off a USC comeback to win 27-21. Even though USC had more talent, Oregon State outplayed them.
Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was able to find room to run on nearly every play thanks to his lack of size. Being only 5’6″, he disappeared after getting the ball and really was dominant against a usually great USC defense. James Rodgers, the brother of Jacquizz, scored two touchdowns as well. He was on the receiving end of a couple TD passes from QB Lyle Moevao, meaning the two brothers played a big part in helping Oregon State take down USC.
- Mark Ortmann should be able to play against Wisconsin.
- Perry Dorrestein hurt his knee in practice last week, but has made some progress and may be able to play.
- Mark Huyge is practicing again.
- “It doesn’t look like [Terrence Robinson] will be able to play” against Wisconsin. It isn’t known if he will redshirt yet.
- Michael Shaw is back to full health.
- Michigan’s base defense is “completely different” from what he ran at West Virginia.
- Kevin Grady and Mike Cox will simulate P.J. Hill in practice.
- The return game is wide open and 7 to 8 different guys have practiced back there.
- John Ferrara is working at both right and left guard.
- David Moosman can play both guards and center.
- David Molk is getting better each week at center.
- Terrence Taylor has played well.
- Taylor, Will Johnson, and Mike Martin have been solid.
- Starting off Big Ten play with a win would be huge.
- “Field position is important.”
- On a read play you first have to have the look to fake it. Since he has the option to punt it, the run has to be a sure thing.
- The rugby style of punting was “quite a change.”
- Some Big Ten teams will be exposed because of their schedule. When asked who, Mesko replied, “No comment.”
- Mesko is a business school student and explained what has been happening on Wall Street.
- The #1 goal coming into the season is winning a Big Ten championship.
- The defense has progressed from game to game.
- This was a good time to have a bye week to take care of the fundamentals in practice.
- Travis Beckum, Wisconsin’s tight end, can spread out like a receiver.
- “Everything is running much smoother.”
- “Little mistakes can cost you a touchdown or a first down.”
- Playing Wisconsin is fun for him and the d-line since they run the ball.
- He doesn’t pay attention to what people outside the program say. He hasn’t watched the news since the Appalachian State game.
- The mood is a little more serious once Big Ten play begins.
- He gives Michigan a C or C+ grade through non-conference play.
- The Wisconsin game is the most important thus far since it is a conference matchup.
- With every snap Steven Threet gains more confidence.
- “We have potential all across the board.”
- The team lifted weights and watched film yesterday and will have a different schedule for this week since there is no game on Saturday. They will have a short practice today focusing on special teams and will practice Tuesday, Wednesday, and early Thursday morning. That will give the coaches a chance to go out and evaluate recruits on Thursday, Friday, and possibly Saturday before they get back to their normal schedule on Sunday.
- A second season begins when the Big Ten schedule starts after the bye week. The Toledo game is after the Illinois game, so there will be a break in Big Ten play next month.
- The bye week comes at a good time so the coaches can “step back and do some evaluations.”
- Turnovers were “the big killer” for Michigan in the Notre Dame game.
- He didn’t see what Carson Butler did to get ejected in the film of Saturday’s game and nothing was included in the officials’ report. NBC did show a replay of Butler taking a swing at someone, so he could be suspended for the first half of the Wisconsin game if his ejection was for fighting.
- The wet field was a good thing when Sam McGuffie did the splits once when he was tackled. Since he slid there was some give, possibly preventing an injury.
- Steven Threet played well enough against Notre Dame to be this team’s starter.
- Safety Charles Stewart probably will play more.
- Freshman safety Brandon Smith had his appendix removed last week, so he’s out for a couple weeks and “more than likely” will redshirt this season.
- Many of the turnovers, especially the fumbles, were “unforced errors.”
- Carlos Brown will get more reps at running back in practice this week and is learning the slot.
- Brown is very limited in what he can do at quarterback since the defense basically knows he’s going to run left or right when he comes in.
- There are a lot of mistakes that are “easily correctable.”
- Kick and punt returners are still being evaluated.
- The kick return unit was “awful” against Notre Dame.
- Terrence Robinson will “possibly” be available for the Wisconsin game. He’s going to be limited this week, but should return to practice next week.
- Michigan came out of the Notre Dame game healthy. (There were no new injuries)
- “The sky is not falling.”
- He thought the excessive celebration penalty Washington got last week against BYU was an error of judgment by the officials.
- He didn’t think the chop block call against David Molk in the first quarter of Saturday’s game was a penalty.
- John Ferrara is going to start working out at left guard now to add to the competition.
- Mark Huyge should be close to 100% by next week.
- The preseason BlogPoll is out, and Michigan unsurprisingly isn’t ranked. Georgia came in at #1 and was followed by Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, and Florida. I actually won the “Mr. Numb Existence Award,” which goes to the voter whose poll is the least difference from the cumulative poll.
- Some observations from the preseason BlogPoll: The Enlightened Spartan was the homerest of the homers out there as he ranked Michigan State 10th, and Saurian Sagacity used a formula that resulted in Michigan being ranked 8th. If only that ranking ended up being accurate at the end of this year.
- According to Rich Rodriguez, offensive lineman Cory Zirbel will be out against Utah and probably for quite some time after that. Rodriguez said that it isn’t hopeful that Zirbel will be able to return at all this season as his knee injury is “pretty significant.” Also injured are freshman slot receiver Terrence Robinson, who “tweaked his knee” and “will be out several weeks,” and offensive lineman Mark Huyge, who is out with a high ankle sprain.
- Cornerback Donovan Warren was held out of practice yesterday for precautionary reasons. It doesn’t appear to be anything serious, but it’s still scary when one of your top corners misses practice as it’s just another reason to worry.
- How about some good news? Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown did practice yesterday, which is actually great news. Both missed practice recently, forcing freshmen Michael Shaw and Sam McGuffie to step into the starter’s role. Although the two freshmen are talented, getting Minor and Brown back is very important as they have more experience. We’ll still get a good dose of Shaw and McGuffie against Utah, but you never want to have to go to freshmen this early in the season.
- Despite just moving to the offensive line in the last few days, John Ferrara will contend for a starting spot at guard. I don’t know if that’s nice to hear because Ferrara is a fast learner or if that says something about depth on the offensive line. I hope it’s the former.
- “Bowling for Brock” raised around $15,000 for the Mealer family.
- On Tuesday Rich Rodriguez surprised the team by giving them an afternoon off from practice. Coaches and players went to Fuller Park Pool to have fun in the water and to get a break from football.
- Roy Roundtree’s uncle gave him some advice the night before signing day that helped him pick Michigan.
- Apparently Utah’s offense is struggling a bit in practice. Sounds good to me. Hopefully they struggle on August 30 as well.
- As Jim Carty writes, Morgan Trent has improved greatly in the last year and a half or so. He is now a cornerback all fans can be confident in, which is a big change from constantly getting torched by opposing quarterbacks like he did earlier in his career.
- The Big Ten Network has a preview of a show called “Big Ten Legends: Lloyd Carr.” The show will premiere at 6 p.m. ET on August 26.
- EDSBS improved the creepy BTN recruiting pitches commercial by adding some comical text to it.
- The Wiz of Odds has a picture of what Michigan’s schedule poster looks like for the 2008 season.
- Michael Phelps is coming to a cereal box near you and will be honored (along with his and former U-M coach Bob Bowman) at the Wisconsin game on September 27.
- Horse-collar tackles are now banned from college football.
- Although he hasn’t ruled Michigan out yet, the Wolverines are not one of recruit Dion Sims’ top college choices anymore. Though he is very talented, that’s not a huge deal as Sims is only a tight end and Michigan State is not a top choice anymore, either.
- ESPN released their college football announcers lineup on Wednesday. Sadly, Paul Maguire still is part of the Brad Nessler-Bob Griese crew, meaning Big Ten afternoon football games on ABC will continue to be tough to listen to.
- We probably won’t find out who Michigan’s starting quarterback will be against Utah until next week at the earliest. Normally I wouldn’t expect to find out who the starter is until the game begins, but Rich Rodriguez seems more open about these types of things, so maybe we will find out in the days leading up to the game.
- With Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown being limited in practice due to injuries, Michael Shaw and Sam McGuffie are ready to step up to the plate. Both have gotten a ton of reps in practice and appear to be prepared to play.
- Offensive linemen Cory Zirbel and Mark Huyge are both suffering injuries of their own, causing defensive tackle John Ferrara to move to the o-line.
- Adam Rittenberg put together a great post about how Rich Rodriguez has used two quarterbacks in the past.
- Varsity Blue has put up a photo gallery from Sunday that includes a picture debunking the myth that Morgan Trent ran a 4.13 40-yard dash. That was actually his time in a pro agility drill.
- MLive has a video from media day.
- The Michigan Daily got to the bottom of long snapper George Morales’ scholarship situation.
- Michigan’s official football roster came out yesterday and there are a few notable things about it. First off, we finally got to find out incoming freshman’s numbers. Most were known already, but now we get the full list, which is below.
6 Donovan Warren
15 Ryan Mallett
17 Toney Clemons
21 Junior Hemingway
26 Zion Babb
29 Troy Woolfolk
30 James Rogers
32 Vince Helmuth
33 Marell Evans
34 Avery Horn
38 Artis Chambers
40 Michael Williams
50 David Molk
53 Ryan Van Bergen
58 Brandon Herron
72 Mark Huyge
80 Martell Webb
81 Steve Watson
95 Renaldo Sagesse
JUCO linebacker Austin Panter is #54 and Marques Slocum is #91. Also, wrestler turned running back Mike Milano is sticking with football and is #38.
- Adrian Arrington has returned to the roster after not being listed in the spring. We’ve known that he was back on the team for a while, but it’s still nice to see his name back with everyone else’s officially.
- Speaking of returning to the team, tight end Carson Butler may have a chance to make a comeback as well. Rumors of this exact outcome have been going around the Internet for the last week, but Lloyd Carr officially acknowledged it yesterday.
“I’m evaluating the situation right now. I’m going to make a decision. There’s a little bit more information I need to evaluate,” the Michigan coach said. “I want to make sure that it’s the right thing for our team, first of all, then for Carson, second of all. I’ve got to make sure of that, as sure as I can be. Part of that will be dependent upon what his responses are.”
Carr has met with Butler already and will meet with him again this week. Even if Butler is allowed to return to the team, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that he will be playing immediately. He probably would first have to endure the Michigan Stadium steps program that Adrian Arrington got to know so well, and after that, earn his way back into the starting lineup. I hope things work out and Butler can return to the team. He has to get his head on straight as Arrington has done, but he would be a huge addition to a tight end position that really is thin right now.
- While players return to the team, others depart. Noticeably absent from the newly released roster are FB Quintin Patilla, DT James McKinney, and OL Justin Schifano. Patilla reportedly is actually scheduled to rejoin the team once camp starts next week, so I’m not exactly sure why he isn’t on the roster. McKinney has a medical problem that is preventing him from playing, but if it got straightened out down the road, he could come back. Finally, Schifano gave up on football. He quit the team, so he won’t ever be back I’m guessing.
- To close things out, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said that the chances of the conference expanding aren’t that likely. He stated that his recent comments about looking into the possibility were really overblown, so we shouldn’t worry about it too much. Brian at mgoblog did write a great post about which colleges would be the best candidates to be the 12th team, so I would still check that out.
|Next Page »|