Football Quick Hits: Catching Up on Everything

By · Wednesday, April 28, 2010 · 2:32 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan’s game at Penn State on October 30 is going to be at night.
  • Brandon Graham was selected with the 13th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft last week by the Philadelphia Eagles, which traded up to get him.  Zoltan Mesko was picked by the Patriots in the fifth round and Stevie Brown went to the Raiders at the end of the seventh round.
  • The three players mentioned above were the only ones from Michigan drafted, meaning Donovan Warren really shouldn’t have decided to skip his senior season to go pro.  Just like Ernest Shazor, he left a year early only to go undrafted.  He did sign with the Jets as an undrafted free agent, which is a pretty good team to end up with, but another year in college would have helped his stock big time.
  • In other undrafted free agent news, Greg Mathews and Brandon Minor signed with the Bears, Mark Ortmann ended up with the Panthers, David Moosman joined a few other former Michigan players in Arizona with the Cardinals, Carlos Brown got a deal with the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, and Marques Slocum, who left Michigan in 2008, signed with the Redskins.
  • The Free Press recapped what Graham’s draft night was like.
  • Maize n Brew interviewed Zoltan Mesko, and it is a must read.
  • Dave Brandon recently said this about Michigan’s current scoreboards at the Big House:

    “The reality is those scoreboards are old. They’re old technology and they’re old. I’ve already looked at sketches as to what that might look at and one of the scenarios could add a few seats.”

    Brandon also reiterated that construction of the new basketball practice facility will begin as soon as President Obama leaves town following this weekend’s commencement.  Also, while there may be advertising in Michigan Stadium for the spring game and The Big Chill, things will be different for normal football games, as Brandon understands the tradition of no ads in the Big House.

  • Rivals interviewed Elliott Mealer.
  • Troy Woolfolk, who has a split personality named T-Wolf, didn’t play in the spring game because a Devin Gardner pass in practice broke his pinky finger, causing the bone to go through the skin.
  • The Toledo Blade interviewed Mike Barwis.
  • Jamie Morris no longer is employed by the Michigan athletic department.
  • TomVH interviewed Demetrius Hart’s mom shortly after the spring game.  Hart and his mother visited Ann Arbor for the spring game, and he will be back next month for the BBQ at the Big House, where there’s a chance he could commit to Michigan.
  • Braylon Edwards is going to host a charity basketball game at Crisler Arena on June 19.
  • Chris Perry was arrested last week after getting into a fight with his cousin.  His mother is fighting cancer again, which is said to be the cause of tensions in his family.
  • Boubacar Cissoko allegedly attempted to rob a cab driver earlier this month and stole money from two deliverymen last month.  Some people just never learn.
  • Northwestern is going to play a football game at Wrigley Field.
  • The NCAA approved the Dallas Football Classic and Pinstripe Bowl, bringing the total number of bowl games to 35 for the next four years.

Thursday Quick Hits: Spring Game Gets a Sponsor

By · Thursday, April 8, 2010 · 1:45 PM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • PNC Bank is the “presenting sponsor” of the spring game and will specifically sponsor the locker room tours (6:30-8 p.m. on Friday and 7-9:30 a.m. on Saturday) and “Kick for Cash” promotion.  Part of the sponsorship money from PNC will go towards the “Michigan football interactive play area at the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.”
  • TomVH has a list of who is visiting for the spring game.
  • Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson are apparently pretty even right now at quarterback.
  • Kelvin Grady and Terrence Robinson are getting some time at running back.
  • Will Heininger has a torn ACL and could miss the entire 2010 season.
  • Vladimir Emilien and Jared Van Slyke might return from knee injuries next week.
  • Check out mgoblog for a full recap of Tuesday’s practice and press conferences.
  • The Michigan Daily profiled Zoltan Mesko.
  • The same restrictions implemented at the Ann Arbor Golf & Outing Club last year for football tailgates will not be changed for the 2010 season.  Lame.
  • Red Berenson did a Q&A with AnnArbor.com.
  • The semifinals of the Frozen Four are going to be played at Ford Field later today.  I will probably tune in for a bit just to see what the setup looks like, but I’m still way too bitter over Michigan not being there because of a BS call to watch for more than a minute or two.
  • After the new basketball practice facility is built and infrastructure work is done on Crisler Arena, Dave Brandon wants to completely renovate Crisler to make it a “modern arena.”  Sounds good to me.
  • The Sporting Blog remixed this year’s One Shining Moment video with Luther Vandross’ version of the song, and it just makes the whole thing a million times better.
  • Evan Turner and five Kentucky players have declared for the NBA Draft.

Saturday Quick Hits: Michigan to Play FAU in 2012?

By · Saturday, February 27, 2010 · 7:22 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan and Florida Atlantic are reportedly close to agreeing to a deal that would bring the Owls to the Big House in 2012.  FAU played at Michigan State last season and will play at Spartan Stadium again in 2011.  This year FAU will play MSU at Ford Field, which is where the Owls played in 2008 for the Motor City Bowl.
  • Brian of mgoblog interviewed the author of Bylaw Blog about the allegations against Michigan.  It is very interesting and provides a look at what sanctions Michigan could be facing.  Also at mgoblog is a look at some past cases that are similar to what Michigan is going through and what sanctions came from them.
  • A user on mgoblog compared the Free Press’ allegations with what the NCAA actually found, and it’s pretty amazing just how off the paper was in so many instances.
  • NFL.com has combine videos of Zoltan Mesko and Brandon Graham.
  • AnnArbor.com has a video of Graham getting ready for the combine with Mike Barwis.
  • Tony Gibson thinks Donovan Warren will have a great career in the NFL.
  • New England Patriots and former Michigan linebacker Pierre Woods is working out in Ann Arbor to stay in shape during the offseason.  Considering how he and Lloyd Carr never seemed to be on the same page during his time at Michigan, it’s good to see him back around the program again.
  • MGoBlue has news aerial photos of Michigan Stadium.
  • Dave Brandon’s last full day at Domino’s included a nice surprise.
  • Goalie Shawn Hunwick, who won his first career collegiate game on Thursday, is the scoreboard operator at Alumni Field (softball).  You learn something new every day.
  • Baseball great Barry Larkin originally came to Michigan to play football for Bo Schembechler.
  • Despite multiple reports to the contrary, Texas’ athletic director claims that the school hasn’t had any talks with the Big Ten.
  • Some information about NCAA Football 11 is out, and it looks like EA Sports is finally going to add some features that have been missing from the game for way too long.  That said, not much of this info is gameplay-related, which is what I’m really looking forward to hearing about.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Jack Johnson Hits the Ice for Team USA

By · Tuesday, February 16, 2010 · 3:43 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Wednesday Quick Hits: Catching Up on Everything

By · Wednesday, January 13, 2010 · 3:02 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Apologies for the lack of content lately, but classes got started last week and I’m a little busy, to say the least.

  • Michigan opened up the second part of the CCHA season with a sweep of Western Michigan.  This was exactly what the doctor ordered, because Michigan needed a sweep to get things back on the right track and because Michigan couldn’t afford to lose to Western Michigan.  Friday’s game was a little close, with Michigan only winning 4-3 at WMU, but Saturday’s game was a rout, with Michigan winning 6-1 in dominant fashion.  Hockey was finally fun again, and Yost was rocking.
  • Michigan will look for another sweep when Alaska comes to Yost on Friday and Saturday.  If Michigan were to sweep Alaska, the Wolverines could conceivably move all the way up to a tie for fourth place in the CCHA.  That alone should tell you how important of a series it is, especially with a home-and-home against Ferris State coming up next week and a series with Michigan State after that.  Believe it or not, but Ferris is tied for first in the CCHA right now with Miami, and Michigan State is currently one point back of the top spot.  This will definitely be an important few weeks for the hockey team.
  • Carl Hagelin was named the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week.
  • Chuck Heater was rumored to be a candidate to join Michigan’s coaching staff, but he has decided to stay at Florida.  Now the hot name out there is Mark Snyder, Marshall’s former head coach and a former defensive coordinator for Ohio State.  Snyder interviewed for the linebackers coach job on Sunday, so hopefully we will find out something definitive sometime soon.
  • The investigation of the alleged sexual assault that took place the night/morning after the Ohio State game resulted in no charges, as the accuser didn’t want to press any.
  • Michigan Stadium’s press box is now completely gone.
  • Charles Woodson won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and had a Michigan sweatshirt on during his press conference about receiving the honor.
  • I think it’s safe to say Brandon Smith has officially transferred.
  • Michigan commit Antonio Kinard talked about his plans to redshirt and the recruiting process (including telling Michigan State to “give it up”) in an article on AnnArbor.com.
  • For quite some time it looked like Michigan was going to land Tony Grimes and Clarence Murphy, who were set on being a package deal when they chose their college.  That plan has changed, though, and now it appears that Michigan may not land either recruit.
  • Delonte Hollowell, a junior from Cass Tech, is close to committing to Michigan.
  • Brandon Graham, Brandon Minor, and Zoltan Mesko were invited to the NFL Combine.
  • New athletic director Dave Brandon was interviewed on the Big Ten Network during halftime of last Sunday’s basketball game.
  • DeShawn Sims was named the Big Ten Player of the Week.
  • Eso Akunne is ineligible for the rest of the season.
  • Laval Lucas-Perry is a much better player on the road.
  • Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer is out indefinitely after breaking his wrist.
  • Notre Dame apparently nearly joined the Big Ten in 2003 but changed its mind at the last minute.
  • Ryan Mallett has wisely decided to come back for another season at Arkansas.  Barring a complete disaster in 2010, Mallett should be able to improve his stock to the point where he could be a top-10 pick in 2011.
  • Michigan State’s Greg Jones is also returning for another season, unfortunately.
  • The World Cup will not be coming to Ann Arbor or Detroit even if the USA successfully brings it to America.

Thursday Quick Hits: Talking Crisler Renovations, Recruiting, and More

By · Thursday, January 7, 2010 · 6:32 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The first phase of Crisler Arena renovations will be up for approval at the next Board of Regents meeting (on January 21).  Below is a look at what this part of the renovation would entail:

    If approved, the project will begin in 2011, cost almost $20 million and the first portion of the renovation would deal with plumbing, heating, the Crisler roof, the replacement of lower bowl seats and aisle realignment, according to the Free Press.

    John Beilein, as you might imagine, is excited for the renovation.  Not only is he getting a practice facility, but finally Crisler will be renovated (assuming the Regents sign off on it).

  • Jordan Dumars, son of Joe Dumars, has officially transferred to Michigan.  He will not be a scholarship player, but rather a preferred walk-on.
  • Darius Morris is dealing with elbow tendinitis.
  • Michigan takes on Penn State tonight at 7 p.m. in Happy Valley.  The game can be seen on ESPN2.
  • In case you missed it, Braylon Edwards made headlines for saying that he was from “Lloyd Carr’s University of Michigan” during the introductions for last Sunday night’s Jets-Bengals game.  The immediate reaction most had to the comment was that Braylon was taking a shot at Rich Rodriguez by trying to disassociate himself from the current coach.  Braylon released a statement on Monday to deny that, saying the comment was a “tribute” to Lloyd Carr.  I’m not sure what to think about the statement, but perception-wise it certainly didn’t do Rodriguez any favors.
  • Dhani Jones talked quite a bit about Rich Rodriguez and the current state of the Michigan football program on Jim Rome’s show earlier this week.
  • Devin Gardner, who threw a touchdown pass in the Under Armour All-America Game last Saturday, was hoping to enroll early at Michigan, but he was unable to graduate early from Inkster because the school is on trimesters.  Marvin Robinson had also hoped to enroll early, but he also wasn’t able to.  The six players who did enroll early are Stephen Hopkins, Austin White, Jerald Robinson, Ricardo Miller, Jeremy Jackson, and Christian Pace, all offensive players.
  • It doesn’t appear that running back commit Tony Drake will actually become a Wolverine, as there are rumors about him being a long ways away from qualifying.  Although Adrian Witty did qualify, I don’t believe he made it to Ann Arbor for the winter semester, which was the original plan.  The rumor about that situation is that there is a hang up in the admissions department, which apparently may not accept Witty to Michigan.
  • Michigan commits Cullen Christian and Will Hagerup will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.
  • Detroit Southeastern defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins committed to Ohio State over Michigan, ending what can only be described as a strange recruitment.
  • Brandon Graham and Zoltan Mesko are going to play in the Senior Bowl.
  • 24 former Michigan football players and coaches are on the rosters/coaching staffs of NFL playoff teams.
  • Michigan picked up a commitment from hockey player Cristoval “Boo” Nieves.
  • Former Michigan hockey players Jack Johnson and Mike Komisarek are going to play for the United States in the Winter Olympics.
  • Notre Dame’s new hockey arena is going to be based on Yost Arena, similar to how Notre Dame Stadium is based on Michigan Stadium. (HT: mgoblog)
  • Former Michigan women’s track coach Red Simmons turned 100 last week, and AnnArbor.com had a couple great articles about what an amazing life he has lived.  MVictors got the chance to interview him and shot some interesting videos of Simmons.
  • Supposedly the Big Ten might consider expanding to 14 or even 16 teams, but after reading these two in-depth posts about the topic of Big Ten expansion, that seems beyond unlikely unless the new teams are all high-profile, big-name colleges.
  • Bill Sheridan, father of Nick Sheridan, was fired by the Giants.
  • The following Big Ten players have declared for the NFL Draft in the last few days: Ohio State’s Thaddeus Gibson, Penn State’s Navarro Bowman, and Iowa’s Bryan BulagaPenn State’s Evan Royster and Ohio State’s Chimdi Chekwa and Cameron Heyward have decided to return for another year.

Thursday Quick Hits: Richard Ash Commits to Michigan

By · Thursday, December 17, 2009 · 9:57 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • Florida defensive tackle Richard Ash has decommitted from West Virginia and committed to Michigan.  Ash is from Pahokee, as are current players Martavious Odoms, Vincent Smith, and Brandin Hawthorne.  Ash is a 4-star on Rivals and a 3-star on Scout and ESPN.  He has a pretty impressive offer list that includes Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, UCLA, and USC, among others.  Ash is Michigan’s 23rd commit of the 2010 recruiting class, and another one could be on the way on Saturday when Maryland linebacker/safety Josh Furman announces his decision (he will choose either Michigan or Virginia Tech).
  • Brandon Graham and Zoltan Mesko were named to the AP All-America second team.
  • Roy Roundtree said yesterday that Brandon Smith missed a recent team meeting and is probably going to transfer.
  • The Big Ten released a statement earlier this week saying that during the course of the next 12-18 months it will look into expansion.  I really don’t think anything will come of it, but the debate about expansion has certainly been reignited this week.  My personal opinion on the matter is that the Big Ten shouldn’t expand just for the sake of expanding.  Some possible 12th teams that have been tossed around include Missouri, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Rutgers, among many others.  Out of the list of schools that would realistically consider jumping to the Big Ten, none really excite me.  I wouldn’t have a problem with adding a school like Missouri or Pittsburgh (I don’t think Syracuse would leave the Big East), but Rutgers, for example, just isn’t all that appealing.  Obviously the best case scenario would be to finally add Notre Dame, but the chances of that happening are beyond slim.

    I guess what it will boil down to are these things: 1) Is there a team out there willing to join the Big Ten that also fits the conference’s criteria? 2) Is expanding going to be a smart business decision? 3) Can the Big Ten fairly divide up the teams if a 12th team does join the conference?  The Big Ten will spend the next 12-18 months trying to answer those questions, and once this “evaluation” is complete, there will either be an invitation sent to a possible 12th school or nothing at all will happen.  My guess is the result of this evaluation will be the latter, but anything could happen I suppose.

  • Both mgoblog and Crimson Quarry took a look at what schools would be realistic candidates to join the Big Ten.
  • Missouri’s chancellor actually released a statement basically saying that if the Big Ten were to contact MU, it would be willing to listen.  I don’t know if that is mainly just a bargaining move with the Big 12 regarding issues with revenue sharing and bowl selection, but Missouri is the only school to actually go ahead and release a statement about the Big Ten’s statement.
  • Bill Martin said that Michigan is “open-minded” about the issue of expansion.
  • Former Michigan defensive line coach Steve Stripling has been named Central Michigan’s interim coach, replacing Butch Jones, who left for Cincinnati.
  • Illinois’ Arrelious Benn is going to leave school a year early to enter the NFL Draft.
  • ESPN has apparently made the Michigan-Kansas matchup on Saturday its “green game.”  What that means is that rather than simply watch a basketball game, we will get this stupid promotion shoved down our throat by ESPN.
  • Zack Novak’s trip to Utah last week really sucked.
  • UM Hoops did another Q&A with David Merritt to get his thoughts on what the team has done since the Old Spice Classic.

Friday Quick Hits: Notre Dame Hires Brian Kelly

By · Friday, December 11, 2009 · 10:33 AM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • Zoltan Mesko didn’t win the Ray Guy Award (it went to Georgia’s punter instead), but he and Brandon Graham were named to the Walter Camp All-America second-team.
  • Brian Kelly is officially headed to Notre Dame.  I personally think he will succeed there.  It may take some time, but he has won everywhere he has been in the past.
  • Michigan hosts Notre Dame in hockey tonight (7:35 p.m.) and then goes to South Bend to finish the series on Sunday (4:05 p.m.).  Both games will be broadcast on Comcast 900.
  • Some people thought there was going to be a limit of 25 recruits allowed to sign in the 2010 football recruiting class, but that is not true.  The limit is still 28.
  • It has been a long, long time since Michigan’s football, basketball, and hockey teams have all been struggling this much at the same time.
  • At the end of Wednesday’s basketball game, Utah fans chanted “just like football,” referring to the Utes’ season-opening win at Michigan in 2008.
  • Nine Michigan State football players have been charged with at least one count of assault or assault and battery as well as one count of conspiracy to commit an assault and battery.  In addition, Myles White (commit Austin White’s brother) has been charged for allegedly urinating in public and being a minor in possession of alcohol.  The Alamo Bowl should be interesting to watch simply because of how many players have been suspended in the last few weeks.  Depth is definitely going to be a concern for MSU.
  • The Heisman Trophy will be awarded tomorrow, and I personally think it should go to Toby Gerhart. Ndamukong Suh is a close second on my list, with Mark Ingram coming in third.
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