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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Mo Hurst ups the ante for ChadTough

Thursday, December 21st, 2017


Yesterday, Chase Winovich announced a challenge to Michigan fans to raise $15,000 for The ChadTough Foundation — matching his No. 15 uniform — and he will dye his hair orange for the Outback Bowl. After that number was reached in less than 24 hours, one of his fellow defensive linemates is raising the bar substantially.

All-American senior Maurice Hurst posted a tweet on Thursday morning stating that if $73,000 is raised he will also dye his hair orange for the New Year’s Day matchup with South Carolina.

Hurst’s hair won’t be quite as noticeable underneath his winged helmet as Winovich’s long flow, but if it gets an additional $58,000 raised for pediatric cancer research and awareness, it will be well worth it. Perhaps even more importantly, ChadTough will undoubtedly get airtime during ESPN2’s broadcast of the game because of it.

Come on people, let’s keep those Michigan money canons firing!

Raise $15k for ChadTough and Chase Winovich will dye hair orange

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Chase Winovich has yet to announce his decision of whether to return next season or enter the NFL Draft. But he did decide to do some good for ChadTough this holiday season.

The senior defensive end issued a challenge to the Michigan community to raise $15,000 for The ChadTough Foundation and if the goal is reached he will dye his trademark mane orange for the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.

“I came up with the idea a couple months ago, actually,” said Winovich. “I was thinking, ‘How could I help a charity? What unique talents do I have that could bring people together?’ The one thing I really had that a lot of people don’t have is the long hair. It’s very noticeable, it’s very divisive – people love it and there’s some people that don’t like it. It’s a hot topic.”

It’s brilliant because advances both major factors of the foundation’s mission: to raise funding for DIPG research and awareness of the disease that tragically took the life of Chad Carr, the grandson of former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr in November 2015. If the $15,000 threshold is reached and Winovich is flying around Raymond James Stadium with orange hair flowing out of his winged helmet, it will surely be a conversation piece for the ESPN2 broadcast team of Adam Amin, Dusty Dvoraek, and Molly McGrath.

Hundreds of children are diagnosed with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) each year and the long term survival rate of the rare form of brain cancer is less than one percent. Only 10 percent live two years from diagnosis, but federal funding for research is essentially nonexistent. That’s why the work ChadTough is doing is so important and they’re already making progress.

You can donate to Chase’s Crowdrise campaign here.

Michigan to face South Carolina in Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

Despite finishing fourth in the Big Ten East, Michigan received an invitation to the Outback Bowl over Michigan State and Northwestern, who finished with a better record. Michigan will face South Carolina on New Year’s Day in a rematch of the 2013 Outback Bowl which saw South Carolina top Michigan 33-28.

South Carolina went 8-4 this season and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference, finishing second in the SEC East behind 7-1 Georgia. The Gamecocks beat N.C. State 35-28 to open the season and also topped Louisiana Tech (17-16) and Wofford (31-10), but lost 31-10 to then-No. 3 Clemson in the non-conference. In conference, they lost to Kentucky (23-13), Texas A&M (24-17), and then-No. 1 Georgia (24-10).

Despite winning eight games, South Carolina had just three decisive wins, beating Missouri 31-13, Arkansas 48-22, and Wofford. The other five were all within one score, including the 17-16 win over Louisiana Tech and a 15-9 win over Tennessee. Those two teams finished a combined 10-14.

The Gamecocks are ranked 66th nationally by S&P+ with an offense ranked 88th and a defense ranked 46th. By comparison, Michigan is 21st with the 74th ranked offense and 10th ranked defense.

Quarterback Jake Bentley ranked third in the SEC with 2,555 yards passing on a 62.4 percent completion rate. But he threw 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Will Muschamp’s offense featured a running back tandem of A.J. Turner and Ty’Son Williams that both had 92 carries and averaged at least 5.0 yards per carry. But Bentley, who had just 86 rushing yards, sack yards included, led the team with six rushing touchdowns.

Receiver Bryan Edwards ranked ninth in the conference with 705 yards on 59 receptions and led the team with four touchdown catches. Tight end Hayden Hurst was the team’s second-leading receiver with 41 catches for 518 yards and two scores.

Defensively, South Carolina doesn’t have a Jadeveon Clowney this time, but they’re still a solid defensive team as one would expect a Muschamp team to be. Linebacker Skai Moore ranked 11th in the SEC with 88 tackles and third with three interceptions, while defensive end D.J. Wonnum ranked seventh with six sacks.

The Outback Bowl will kick off at 12pm Eastern on Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla. Perhaps most importantly for this young Michigan team, they’ll get a month of practice to get better as they look to build toward 2018 when they return nearly everyone.

Stay tuned for more a in-depth look at South Carolina in the weeks to come.

Twenty Wolverines earn All-Conference Honors

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

(Melanie Maxwell)

Michigan finished the regular season fourth in the Big Ten East, but was well represented on the All-Big Ten teams, most notably on the defensive side. Altogether, the Wolverines had 20 different players earn All-Conference honors.

The All-Big Ten defense and special teams were named on Tuesday and Michigan and 10 of its 11 defensive starters earn honors, second only to Wisconsin, which had 12.

Senior defensive tackle Maurice Hurst was a unanimous first-team selection by both the coaches and the media after recording 59 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, one pass breakup, two quarterback hurries, and one forced fumble.

Sophomore defensive end Rashan Gary was a first-team selection by the coaches but a second-team selection by the media. He recorded 62 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, a team-high seven quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble. Alternatively, senior end Chase Winovich was named to the first team by the media and second team by the coaches. He recorded 74 tackles and led the team with 17.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks, in addition to five quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

Sophomore defensive back Lavert Hill was named to the second team by the coaches and third team by the media, while fellow sophomore Viper Khaleke Hudson was a second-team selection by the media and third team by the coaches. Hill recorded 24 tackles, five for loss, two interceptions, and seven pass breakups, while Hudson notched 72 tackles, 16.5 for loss, 7.5 sacks, two interceptions, seven pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, and two forced fumbles. Hudson set a Big Ten record with eight tackles for loss in a single game against Minnesota.

Sophomore linebacker Devin Bush was a first-team selection by the coaches and second-team by the media after leading the team with 94 tackles in addition to 9.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, a team-high eight pass breakups, an interception and a quarterback hurry.

Senior linebacker Mike McCray and junior safety Tyree Kinnel were both third-team selections by both the coaches and media. McCray was the team’s second-leading tackler with 75 and notched 13.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, five quarterback hurries, a pass breakups and a forced fumble. Kinnel recorded 67 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 1.0 sack, seven pass breakups and two interceptions.

Sophomore safety Josh Metellus was an honorable mention selection by both the coaches and media after recording 49 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, and a forced fumble. Sophomore defensive back David Long was the final member of the defense earning All-Conference honors as he was named to the third team by the media. Long tallied 20 tackles, 2.0 for loss, 0.5 sacks, two interceptions, and four pass breakups on the season.

Senior safety Brandon Watson was the lone defensive starter left off the All-Conference teams.

Sophomore kicker Quinn Nordin was an honorable mention special teams selection by both the coaches and media after converting 15-of-20 field goal attempts with a long of 55 yards. However, after making 11 of 13 in non-conference play, he was just 4-of-7 in Big Ten play. Freshman receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones was an honorable mention selection by the media as a punt returner. He averaged 8.53 yards per return — which ranked fourth in the conference among players with at least 10 returns — including a 79-yard touchdown against Air Force.

Finally, freshman punter Brad Robbins was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the coaches. He averaged 40.93 yards per punt with four booted over 50 yards and 18 of 58 punts downed inside the 20 compared to just four touchbacks.

The All-Big Ten offensive teams were announced on Wednesday and Michigan found seven players among those honored. Senior offensive lineman Mason Cole and sophomore lineman Ben Bredeson were both unanimous second-team selections by both the coaches and media, while junior running back Karan Higdon was a third-team selection by both. Higdon led the Wolverines in rushing with 929 yards and 11 touchdowns on 6.3 yards per carry. He finished seventh in the conference with 77.4 yards per game, but fourth in average per carry among backs with at least 130 carries.

Sophomore running back Chris Evans was an honorable mention selection by the coaches after finishing second on the team with 661 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 5.2 yards per carry. He was also effective in the passing game, catching 14 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore tight end Sean McKeon and junior tight end Zach Gentry were both honorable mention selections by the media. The duo ranked second and third on the team in receiving yards with 285 and 276, respectively. They also combined for five touchdown receptions. McKeon was the team’s leading pass catcher with 29 receptions. ‘

Finally, senior lineman Patrick Kugler was named honorable mention by the media and fifth-year senior fullback Henry Poggi was Michigan’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.

The Big Ten individual awards will be announced on Thursday.

Wilton Speight to transfer for final season

Monday, November 27th, 2017

(Getty Images)

Senior quarterback Wilton Speight posted an Instagram message on Sunday afternoon thanking Michigan fans and coaches for the past four years and announcing his intention to seek a grad transfer for his final season of eligibility.

Thank you, Michigan. These past 4 years have been nothing short of spectacular. Enrolling in January of 2014 as a kid from Virginia i didn’t know what to expect. Four years later i leave a Michigan Man. The amazing memories with my teammates, playing under the best coaches in America, and enjoying everything that this wonderful university and town have to offer- what a ride. To the fans that stuck with us through thick and thin— thank you. To Coach Hoke for giving a kid with no offers a chance— thank you. To Coach Harbaugh for coming in and making me a better man and a better quarterback. For understanding this decision of mine and always having my back no matter what— thank you. I don’t know where next will be, and I’ll use these next four weeks to figure that out. i’m excited to keep pursuing my dreams in a new jersey, but will forever root for the boys wearing the winged helmet. Go blue!

A post shared by Wilton Speight (@wiltonspeight_3) on

Speight began the season as Michigan’s starting quarterback, but suffered season-ending a spinal injury against Purdue, just four weeks into the season. He had completed 54.3 percent of his passes for 581 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions to that point and his loss was felt by the Michigan offense as it sputtered under John O’Korn until he gave way to redshirt freshman Brandon Peters four games later.

Speight had a solid 2016 season, his first as a starter, with an experienced supporting cast, passing for 2,538 yards, 18 touchdowns, and seven interceptions while leading the Big Ten with a 61.6 completion percentage.

The would-be fifth-year senior was expected to compete with Peters, redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey, senior Alex Malzone, and incoming freshman Joe Milton for the starting job in 2018. His departure almost certainly means the job will be won by Peters, who threw for 486 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions on a 57.8 percent completion rate this season before suffering a concussion against Wisconsin. The concussion kept Peters out of the Ohio State game on Saturday, but he should be healthy for Michigan’s bowl game at the end of December with a full month to prepare as the starting quarterback and a chance to build momentum going into the offseason.

Speight’s transfer destination is unknown at this point, but the Virginia native could potentially look toward the East Coast to rejoin former Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin at Maryland. As a grad transfer, Speight will be able to play immediately without having to sit out for a year.

New in Blue: 2018 QB Joe Milton

Monday, May 8th, 2017


Joe Milton – QB | 6-6, 222 | Orlando, Fla. (Olympia)
ESPN4-star, #8 QB Rivals: 4-star, #6 QB 247: 4-star, #12 QB Scout: 3-star, 29 QB
247 Composite: 4-star #10 QB, #243 nationally
Other top offers: Florida, Georgia, Miami, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Louisville, Missouri, Kansas State

Fresh off of a trip to Rome and the top NFL Draft haul in the nation, Jim Harbaugh continued the momentum by landing a commitment from Orlando, Fla. quarterback Joe Milton. Milton released a great commitment video on Sunday afternoon.

Milton is a four-star according to ESPN, Rivals, and 247, and a three-star according to the lone outlier, Scout. Rivals ranks him the highest as the 6th-best dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class, while ESPN ranks him 8th-best, and 247 as the 12th-best pro-style. Scout ranks him as the 29th-best overall quarterback. Nationally, Rivals ranks him 113th overall, ESPN 124th, and 247 271st. He’s the 10th-best pro-style quarterback and 243rd-best overall player in the class per the 247 Composite.

At 6-foot-6 and 222 pounds, Milton has great size already as he finishes up his junior year of high school. As his commitment video demonstrated, he was originally from Pahokee, Fla., where Michigan landed several players in the past decade. His family moved to Orlando for better opportunities and he drew the attention of many of the top schools in the south. Ultimately, he chose the Wolverines over Florida, Georgia, Miami, Tennessee, and others.

Scout lists Milton’s strengths as arm strength, game management, playmaking skills, pocket awareness, running ability/mobility, and size, while listing his areas to improve as accuracy, decision-making, and release. They expanded on that.

“Milton is a bouncy athlete who is light on his feet, so you have to like his ability to evade pressure and extend plays with his legs. His size for the position is obvious, but overall, he is a good looking athlete who can provide that game-changing play under center. Milton also does a good job of transferring weight and stepping into his throws. He has packed on solid mass over the past year, and measures in at roughly 6-foot-5 when lacing up the cleats. He can continue to work on his accuracy on some of his intermediate throws, but flashes great ball placement when extending the field with the deep ball.”

Milton has been described as raw with a ton of upside, which is a perfect fit for Michigan’s roster, especially under Harbaugh’s tutelage. With Dylan McCaffrey in the class ahead of him and Brandon Peters a year ahead of that, Milton will have plenty of time to develop those raw skills to add to his already impressive frame. New offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton likened Milton to Steve McNair, who enjoyed a long NFL career, including the 2003 MVP award.

Milton is the eighth member of Michigan’s 2018 class, joining running back Christian Turner, offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor, linebacker Otis Reese, defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, and defensive backs Myles Sims, Gemon Green, and German Green.

Jeremy Clark drafted 197th overall by New York Jets

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Cornerback Jeremy Clark rounded out Michigan’s 2017 NFL Draft as the 11th Wolverine selected. He was drafted by the New York Jets with the 13th pick of the sixth round, 197th overall.

Clark missed most of his senior season after tearing his ACL in Week 4. He had started the first three games of the season, recording 10 tackles and two pass breakups prior to his injury. In 2015, he made seven starts, notching 21 tackles and three interceptions.

As a sixth round draft pick, he’ll have work to do to make the Jets roster, but he joins a unit that recorded just eight interceptions in 2016, which was second worst in the league. The Jets were middle of the pack in pass defense and entered the draft with retooling the secondary as a major need. The team signed Morris Claiborne as a free agent but need corners to step up alongside him. Clark will need to fully recover from his injury, but as a big, physical press corner, will have a shot at earning a spot.

Jake Butt drafted 145th overall by Denver Broncos

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

The wait was longer than expected, but Jake Butt was finally drafted with the first pick of the fifth round in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Denver Broncos selected Butt 145th overall on Saturday afternoon.

Butt won the John Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end and was a first-team All-American and All-Big Ten First Team. He won the Big Ten’s Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year award while ranking second on the team with 46 catches for 546 yards and four touchdowns in 2016.

For his career, Butt set Michigan records with 138 receptions and 1,646 yards, the most by a tight end in program history. He also caught 11 touchdown passes. Butt had his best game of the season against UCF, catching seven passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

Butt’s tumble down the draft board was due to a pair of knee injuries suffered during his career, most recently a torn ACL in the Orange Bowl at the end of December. Because of that, he won’t be full speed in 2017.

In Denver, Butt fills a need at a position that didn’t make a lot of production in 2016. Virgil Green lead the Broncos tight ends with 22 receptions for 237 yards and one touchdown. The Broncos drafted Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman in the third round two years ago, but he caught just nine passes for 141 yards last season.

Jehu Chesson drafted 139th overall by Kansas City Chiefs

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Jehu Chesson gave Michigan back to back selections in the 2017 NFL Draft when he was picked 139th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, just one pick after the Cincinnati Bengals selected Ryan Glasgow.

Chesson made 25 career starts at receiver, catching 114 passes for 1,639 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors by the media in 2016 and All-Big Ten First-Team honors by the coaches in 2015. He also added three rushing touchdowns and a kick return touchdown.

Chesson enjoyed the best season of his career in 2015, catching 50 passes for 764 yards and nine touchdowns and adding 154 rushing yards and two scores. He was nearly unstoppable over the final four games of the season when he averaged 126 yards on 27 receptions and scored six of his nine receiving touchdowns.

That performance lead to high expectations for his senior season, but after tearing his PCL in the Citrus Bowl, his numbers declined in 2016. His best game of the season came against Maryland when he caught five passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. The highlight of his career was a 96-yard kickoff return for touchdown to open the 2015 Northwestern game.

The Chiefs ranked 22nd in the NFL last season in receiving yards and 24th in receiving touchdowns. Tight end Travis Kelce was by far the team’s leading receiver, but the team does have a solid corps of receivers including Tyreek Hill and Jeremy Maclin. Chesson will compete with Chris Conley and Albert Wilson for the third receiver spot this fall.

Ryan Glasgow drafted 138th overall by Cincinnati Bengals

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Michigan nose tackle Ryan Glasgow became the eighth Wolverine drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft when he was selected 138th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday afternoon.

Glasgow came to Michigan as a walk-on, but made 33 starts in 45 career games, recording 91 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and a pass deflected. He shared Michigan’s Richard Katcher Award in both 2015 and 2016 with Chris Wormley as the team’s best defensive lineman.

The Aurora, Ill. native earned second team All-Big Ten honors this season and played his best game of the season against Indiana when he recorded a career-high seven tackles, three tackles for loss, and forced a fumble. He notched 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack against Ohio State.

Perhaps the most telling moment of his career came in 2015 when he tore his pectoral muscle against Rutgers and was forced to miss remaining four games. His loss impacted the entire defense, which was gashed for 307 rushing yards by Indiana the next week and and 369 rushing yards by Ohio State three weeks later. With Glasgow back in the middle in 2016, Michigan’s defense finished in the top 15 nationally against the run.

Glasgow joins defensive ends Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson in the Bengals’ draft class as the team tries to rehaul its defensive line. Glasgow will look to replace Domata Peko and will battle Pat Sims and Andrew Billings for a spot in the rotation.