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Posts Tagged ‘LaMarr Woodley’

#7 Michigan 63 – Hawaii 3: Opening statement

Monday, September 5th, 2016


WoodleyWoodsonHarbaughJordanJeter(MGoBlue.com)

The dream of any quarterback is to win the starting job, take the field on opening day and immediately lead the team down the field. Those dreams then continue with a national championship, being drafted first in the NFL Draft, winning the Super Bowl, and being elected into the Hall of Fame. But for Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight, the dream started off unlike he had ever imagined it would.

“I don’t think that’s how he wanted to start his career,” said junior center Mason Cole. “He probably pictured it a thousand ways and that probably wasn’t one of them. But he’s fine. I don’t know what happened on that play but he threw a pick and he got over it. Next drive he came out and drove it 98 yards.”

The junior from Richmond, Va., who won the starting job in fall camp over fellow junior John O’Korn, took the first snap of Michigan’s season at his own 29 yard line, rolled to his right and fired a pass toward senior tight end Jake Butt. But with Hawaii defensive back Damien Packer dropping back into coverage, the pass never had a chance to reach Butt, and suddenly Michigan’s defense was back on the field.

“Obviously that wasn’t the start I was imagining,” Speight said after the game. “I was kind of rolling to our sideline and my momentum carried me right into Coach. He just grabbed me and held me and kind of starting laughing.”

The defense stood tall with a three-and-out and Harbaugh’s commitment to Speight never wavered. Michigan re-took possession on its own 2-yard line and this time Speight looked like a seasoned veteran, marching the Wolverines 98 yards in 11 plays for the game’s first touchdown. On the drive, Speight converted a 3rd-and-7 from the Michigan five with a 16-yard bullet to Jehu Chesson. He also hit Amara Darboh on a screen for a 31-yard pickup on 3rd-and-7 from the 39. He closed the drive with a perfecly thrown fade to Grant Perry for a 12-yard touchdown.

UM-Hawaii_small-FINAL
Final Stats
Michigan Hawaii
Score 63 3
Record 1-0 0-2
Total Yards 512 232
Net Rushing Yards 306 81
Net Passing Yards 206 151
First Downs 26 16
Turnovers 1 2
Penalties-Yards 3-33 8-60
Punts-Yards 0-0 6-256
Time of Possession 27:55 32:05
Third Down Conversions 7-of-7 1-of-11
Fourth Down Conversions 0-of-0 1-of-2
Sacks By-Yards 4-41 0-0
Field Goals 0-for-0 1-for-1
PATs 9-for-9 0-for-0
Red Zone Scores-Chances 6-of-6 0-of-1
Red Zone Scores-TDs 6-of-6 0-of-1
Full Box Score

Harbaugh never thought twice about his decision to leave Speight in the game after the interception and said that he used it as an opportunity.

“It’s very difficult to throw an interception on a series and then come right back and lead a touchdown drive on the following series,” Harbaugh said after the game. “It’s something I’ve always been fascinated in watching (with quarterbacks) and the really good ones can do that. They can think (too much and say) ‘I’m not going to make another bad mistake.’ That’s what some do. Good ones don’t.

“And then to see him start the next drive on the 2-yard line. I mean, that’s as much adversity as you can have for a quarterback starting a series. You’ve thrown an interception in the first throw of the game and then you find yourself on the 2-yard line. But he responded.”

Two hours later, when the clock read zero and Michigan had collected a 63-3 victory — the seventh-largest in school history and the largest since 1975 — Speight’s interception remained one of the few mistakes the Wolverines made all day. Harbaugh said afterward that he didn’t see a single mistake defensively for the first two-and-a-half quarters…

“Watching our defense go through the first half, and even the third quarter, there wasn’t a mistake made,” Harbaugh said. “There wasn’t a linemen mistake made. There wasn’t a stance alignment mistake. They were right with their eyes and right with their feet.”

In a season opener, no one truly knows what to expect. It’s why most good teams front-load their schedule with cupcakes, to work out the kinks before the real season — conference play — begins. But aside from Speight’s first pass, it was as perfect a season opener as one could expect.

Playing in front of a who’s who of sporting greats — Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, and Charles Woodson — Harbaugh used a program record 17 true freshmen. Eleven different players carried the ball, 11 different players caught a pass, four different quarterbacks played, and three lead scoring drives. For just the fourth time in program history, Michigan went an entire game without punting. Only four of Michigan’s 59 plays for the game — Speight’s interception on the first play and three running plays to run out the clock — were not part of touchdown drives.

The defense, which entered the season with expectations to be one among the nation’s best, lived up to its billing, holding Hawaii to negative yards until midway through the second quarter, and only about 140 total yards until the vast majority of defenders on the field were freshmen and backups. Michigan’s secondary, which was playing without All-American cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who was held out due to injury — not only picked off two passes but returned them both for touchdowns.

Season openers against overmatched opponents are typically boring affairs, but even as the lead continued to widen, this one kept interest throughout. It was evident that there is more talent and more depth on this team than Michigan has fielded in a decade. It was evident that the 2016 recruiting class was ranked so highly for a reason.

True freshman Chris Evans backed up the fall camp hype with 112 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. Fellow true freshman Eddie McDoom flashed his speed, taking two end arounds for 34 yards and also caught a pair of passes. Kekoa Crawford caught an 18-yard pass and freshman tight end Sean McKeon caught two passes. Ben Bredeson didn’t start, but showed his talent on the offensive line, while mammoth freshman Michael Onwenu played on both lines. The nation’s top recruit, Rashan Gary, notched three tackles in his debut and looked like he fit the part.

It was a blowout, yes, but aside from injuries to Bryan Mone (leg), Taco Charlton (ankle), and De’Veon Smith (ribs), it had everything a Michigan fan could want to see from a season opener. Speight looked good enough after the interception and it remains to be seen whether he can build on it. And his coach thinks he can.

“It bodes really well for his career,” Harbaugh said. “To have done that, off an interception and then have the very next drive go 98 yards for a touchdown. Now he knows he can do it. Now we can expect him to do it.”

Game ball – Offense

Chris Evans (8 carries, 112 yards, 2 touchdowns)
World, meet Chris Evans. The freshman out of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Ind. showed the quickness and burst that Michigan hasn’t seen out of the backfield in years. While senior De’Veon Smith started the game and fellow senior Ty Isaac was the second back in, Evans made his mark early. On Michigan’s third series and his first carry was a 7-yard gain on 3rd-and-2 to help set up Michigan’s second touchdown. On the next series he raced 21 yards to put Michigan in the red zone and set up another touchdown. One series later, he found the endzone himself from 18 yards out. He then got the scoring started in the second half with a 43-yard run that showcased his burst as he hit the hole and outraced everyone to the endzone.

After the game, Harbaugh praised Evans as a special football player who will have a much bigger role as the season goes on. Harbaugh noted that he didn’t even show everything he can do, such as catch passes out of the backfield, line up in the slot, and return kicks. He may not replace Jabrill Peppers on offense, but he fits the same role and provides the same type of athleticism that can make a good offense that much better.

Game ball – Defense

Mike McCray (9 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)
Injuries have kept Mike McCray off the field so far in his career, but now finally healthy he showed what he’s capable of. In his first career start, McCray lead the team with nine tackles, 3.5 for loss, and two sacks. His speed was a noticeable upgrade from last year’s linebacking corps as he was seemingly in on every play and all over the Hawaii backfield. If McCray can stay healthy and keep up that level of play, one of the only question marks about Michigan’s defense will be much less of a question.

 

Michigan-UConn game preview

Friday, September 20th, 2013


Seven years ago Michigan hosted Ball State in an odd November non-conference matchup. The Wolverines were 9-0 at that point, ranked second in the nation, but on that day the Brady Hoke-led Cardinals almost pulled of a shocker. In front of a stunned Big House crowd that Michigan squad, led by Chad Henne, Mike Hart, Steve Breaston, Mario Manningham, Jake Long, LaMarr Woodley, David Harris, and Leon Hall, nearly suffered a demoralizing defeat. Henne threw a pick-six. Hart fumbled for the first time in two years. The defense gave up nearly 300 yards.

Hoke had some good teams at Ball State, but that wasn’t one of them.

Following the game, Henne acknowledged that with a showdown at Ohio State looming the team wasn’t completely focused.

“I think that is a lot of the reason why we weren’t focused,” Henne said. “Coming into the game, people were reading too many press clippings.”

Woodley agreed.

Quick Facts
Rentschler Field – 8pm EST – ABC
UConn Head Coach: Paul Pasqualoni (3rd season)
Coaching Record: 117-73-1 (10-14 at UConn)
Offensive Coordinator: TJ Weist (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Hank Hughes (1st season*)
Returning Starters: 12 (7 offense, 5 defense)
Last Season: 5-7
Last Meeting: UM 30 – UConn 10 (2010)
All-Time Series: Michigan leads 1-0
Record at UConn: First meeting
Record vs AAC Teams: Michigan leads 6-0
Brady Hoke vs AAC Teams: First meeting

“Coming into this game, everybody was talking about the hype about Michigan and Ohio State, and it kind of overlooked a team like Ball State. If you disrespect a team, they’re going to come out and give it their all.”

Michigan responded with a 34-3 thumping of Indiana, holding the Hoosiers to just 131 total yards and then played one of the all-time great games in the history of The Game a week later in Columbus, falling 42-39 to the top-ranked Buckeyes.

The point is that even great teams suffer letdowns every now and then. Ball State had a chance to tie the game twice in the final minutes just like Akron had a chance to win the game on the final play last Saturday. Michigan was fortunate to come out with a victory and the man who was on the other side of that 2006 affair knows that all too well.

All eyes will be on how this team responds this week against UConn. With all the negativity surrounding the team following last week’s performance, the Wolverines shouldn’t need anything else to fire them up, but perhaps the fact that it’s a primetime game on ABC rather than a noon start on Big Ten Network will be enough.

UConn is probably a team of a similar level as the Indiana team the 2006 squad rebounded with, and while no one is expecting this Michigan defense to put forth as dominant a performance, the expectations remain for a big, convincing win.

The Huskies enter with an 0-2 record, having lost to Towson of the FCS and Maryland, both at home. The Towson game was closer than the score indicates, but the Tigers racked up nearly 400 yards of offense including 201 on the ground. The Maryland game wasn’t quite as close as the final score shows as the Terrapins widened a 13-10 halftime lead to 32-13 before UConn scored with a few minutes to play.

Paul Pasqualoni is in his third season in Storrs and Husky Nation is already calling for his head after going 5-7 in each of his first two seasons. Prior to taking over in 2011, he spent 14 years at Syracuse, going 107-59-1 with six bowl victories, as well as six seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. In fact, as head coach of Syracuse, he went 1-1 against Michigan, beating the Wolverines 38-28 in 1998 and losing 18-13 in 1999.

In that 1998 matchup, Pasqualoni had Donovan McNabb at quarterback, a luxury he doesn’t currently have. Can he pull off the upset in front of the largest crowd in UConn history? Let’s take a look at the matchups.

Michigan defense vs UConn offense: When UConn has the ball

Chandler Whitmer has thrown 19 interceptions and 12 touchdowns in the past 14 games (Mark L. Baer, USA Today Sports)

Following a disappointing 2012 season in which the Huskies ranked 118th nationally in scoring offense, Pasqualoni brought in Cincinnati wide receivers coach TJ Weist to run the offense. Weist spent four seasons on Gary Moeller’s staff in the early 1990s, first as a volunteer graduate assistant and then as receivers coach, guiding the likes of Desmond Howard and working alongside Greg Mattison.

He inherited seven returning starters including junior quarterback Chandler Whitmer who completed 57.6 percent of his passes for 2,659 yards last season. But it was his 9-to-16 touchdown-to-interception rate that Weist is hoping to significantly improve. The results are mixed so far this season with 555 yards on 60.8 percent completions and three touchdowns, but he has also thrown three more picks. Against Maryland last week put up a lot of yards (349), but threw two interceptions and just one touchdown.

His main target is junior Shakim Phillips who has 15 receptions for 255 yards and all three touchdowns so far. By comparison, Jeremy Gallon has 18 receptions for 297 yards and four touchdowns through three games. The former four-star recruit and U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant originally attended Boston College before transferring to UConn and sitting out the 2011 season. However, he strained a hamstring at the end of the Maryland game, so while he insists he will play he might not be at full speed. Fellow junior Geremy Davis is the only other Huskie with double digit receptions so far with 10 catches for 154 yards. He was UConn’s leading receiver last season with 44 receptions for 608 yards, but caught just one touchdown pass.

In the backfield, Lyle McCombs is the feature back for the third straight year, but is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on 36 attempts so far. He managed just 53 yards on 19 attempts against Maryland last week. In 2011, he broke the 1,000-yard mark with 1,151 yards and seven touchdowns, but those numbers declined last season due to injuries and off the field troubles. No other back on the team has more than three carries this season, so it’s clear McCombs will be the workhorse once again. He’s also the team’s third-leading receiver with eight catches.

Deshon Foxx plays the Dennis Norfleet role, a slot guy with four receptions for 54 yards and three rushes for 21 yards. Weist is counting on Foxx to be the speedy playmaker the offense needs with the ability to take a speed sweep for a big play.

Shakim Phillips is the danger man for Michigan's secondary to contain (Stephen Slade)

The offensive line returns four starters from last season. Sixth-year senior Jimmy Bennett is the left tackle with 16 career starts, while redshirt senior Kevin Friend brings 29 career starts to the right tackle position. However, Friend is questionable this week with a high ankle sprain, which could force Xavier Hemingway into his spot. The redshirt sophomore was pushed around the past two weeks, allowing a pair of sacks against Towson and a safety against Maryland. If Friend is out tomorrow, look for Michigan to pick on the right side of the Husky line.

Tyler Bullock, who started the last eight games of 2012, was supposed to be the starting center, but a leg injury has forced UConn to insert Penn State transfer Alex Mateas into the center position. He was routinely pushed back by Maryland’s defensive line last week. Bullock did play some at right guard at the end of the game last week, but it remains to be seen whether he will see more time this week. Left guard Steve Greene has 20 career starts under his belt, while right guard Gus Cruz started five games last season.

While the UConn offensive line has a lot of starting experience, it was the 121st-ranked rush offense last season and currently ranks 122nd this season. If there was ever a game for Michigan’s defensive line to get off the schneid it is this one. The Huskies have allowed 10 sacks through two games.

Whitmer operates mostly out of the shotgun with one back offset and one tight end. Weist likes to line up three receivers to one side and one on the other, which typically results in a throw to the single receiver, Phillips. This is how Phillips scored a 75-yard touchdown last week. Maryland used a blitz-heavy scheme to pressure Whitmer and attack Hemingway, which is typically Mattison’s style, but we haven’t seen it the past two weeks. After getting torched by Kyle Pohl a week ago by sitting back, expect Mattison to dial up the blitz early and often this week.

Michigan offense vs UConn defense: When Michigan has the ball

Both Maryland and Towson moved the ball well against the UConn defense, and both did so with a fairly balanced attack. Towson passed for 193 yards and rushed for 201, while Maryland gained 277 through the air and 224 on the ground. The 212.4 rushing yards allowed per game ranks 104th nationally and both the Tigers and Terps had individual rushers go over 100 yards. Maryland quarterback CJ Brown gained 122 yards on 16 carries, while running back Brandon Ross was five yards short of 100 on 18 carries. Towson running back Terrance West gained 156 yards on 36 carries.

Only five starters return form last year’s UConn defense which ranked ninth nationally in total defense. Three starters from that unit that are no longer around were drafted this past April, most notably tackle Kendall Reyes who was selected 49th overall by the San Diego Chargers.

The leading player on this year’s defense is the only returning starting linebacker, Yawin Smallwood. He led the Huskies with 120 tackles last season and ranked second with 15 tackles for loss. He already has 30 tackles in the first two games, which is twice as many as the next closest. Ryan Donohue and Graham Stewart are the other starters. You and I cheered for Stewart a couple years ago when, while playing for Florida, he blocked an Ohio State punt and returned it for a touchdown in the Gator Bowl. He played in 12 games for the Gators that season before transferring to UConn a year ago. Donohue is a Maryland transfer who played in 20 games for the Terps in 2009-10.

Linebacker Yawin Smallwood has 30 tackles in the first two games (Stephen Slade)

The four-man front includes redshirt senior tackle Shamar Stephen who has played in 34 career games. He ranks third on the team with 14 tackles so far this season. The other tackle is is redshirt sophomore Julian Campenni who started two games last season. End Tim Willman leads the team with 1.5 tackles for loss this season. He started the final game of 2012 and earned the starting role this year, while redshirt junior Angelo Pruitt is the other end.

The secondary is led (on the stat-sheet) by redshirt freshman safety Obi Melifonwu who has 15 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and an interception so far. Free safety Ty-Meer Brown is the most veteran of the unit with 19 career starts. He has nine tackles and a fumble recovery on the young season. The corners are senior Taylor Mack and redshirt junior Byron Jones. Mack has the team’s only other interception this season.

Last week, UConn played Maryland conservatively, intent on not giving up the big play, which they failed to do. The Huskies didn’t blitz once and mostly sat back in a quarters or cover two defense. Against both Maryland and Towson, UConn’s linebackers were susceptible to the run fake, getting drawn up and allowing space behind them, so look for Michigan to take advantage of the play action.

UConn hasn’t sacked the quarterback yet this season, so the Michigan offensive line – which might be shuffled this week – has an opportunity to perform well. Maryland had good success running the zone read and inverted veer, which Michigan doesn’t do as much with Gardner, but has success with especially later in the game.

The other third: Special Teams

Redshirt senior Kicker Chad Chirsten has made all three field goal attempts with a long of 34. He converted 14-of-21 last season and has a career high of 50. He also handles kickoff duties. Last week, only one kickoff resulted in a touchback, so that could be beneficial for Dennis Norfleet. Fellow redshirt senior Cole Wagner was a second team All-Big East selection last season with a 40.5 yards per punt average. Through two games this season he has already punted 15 times and is averaging just 37.5 yards.

Phillips and Foxx are the kick returners. Neither has broken one yet, but Phillips has a long of 39 yards. Freshman receiver Brian Lemelle is the only Husky who has returned a punt – two for two yards.

Prediction

A more focused Michigan team will take the field tomorrow night looking to atone for a poor performance last week. Devin Gardner will be crisp like he was against Central Michigan and Notre Dame. Michigan will look to get Fitzgerald Toussaint established early to set up the play action. Later in the game, the offense will mix in the zone read and inverted veer and Gardner will have a big day with his feet and arm.

The defense will be more aggressive rather than sitting back and letting Whitmer pick them apart. It might give up a couple of big plays, but overall it will keep the UConn offense off balance and result in the best performance of the season to date, piling up several sacks.

The nation will be watching to see just how Michigan responds from the Akron letdown. Everybody wants to know if this team is as good as it looked in the first two weeks or if those were just a mirage. A bye week follows, so Michigan will play with a chip on its shoulder and win convincingly.

Michigan 45 – UConn 20

Freshmen numbers and those who broke them in (Part 2)

Thursday, August 9th, 2012


Last Friday, we released Part 1 of our three-part series on the numbers the freshmen will be wearing this fall and the previous Wolverines who have either worn them or made a name for themselves while wearing them. Today, we take a look at the second part of the series with a group of linebackers and linemen.

#49 – Kaleb Ringer

Bob Chappuis, All-American, Hall-of-Famer, and war hero

The most famous Wolverine to wear number 49 was Bob Chappuis in 1942, ’46-47. His Michigan career was interrupted by service in World War II. As a gunner and radio operator, his plane was shot down over Italy where he was rescued and remained until the war ended. He returned to Michigan to lead the “Mad Magicians” of 1947. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting that year and was named All-American. To this day, he holds Michigan’s single-season passer rating (175.3) and single season record for yards per completion (18.8). When his Michigan playing days were done, he played pro football for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Hornets and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He passed away this June at the age of 89.

Richard Volk was Chappuis’ nephew and wore number 49 from 1964-66. He played halfback, fullback, quarterback, and defensive back positions during his time in the maize and blue and was named All-American following the 1966 season. He went on to a stellar career in the NFL that included three Pro Bowl selections, and he was inducted into Michigan’s Athletic Hall of Honor in 1989.

Other notables to wear number 49: Jay Feeley (1994-98), Ed Frutig (1937-39), Dhani Jones (1996), Andy Moeller (1982-86), Kirk Moundros (1999-2002), Chuck Ortmann (1948-50), Bob Ptacek (1956-58)

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Otto Pommerening was an All-American tackle in #50

#50 – Tom Strobel

The first player in Big Ten history to play in every minute of every game in a season was Otto Pommerening, a tackle from 1926-28. A unanimous All-American in 1928, Pommerening was only 5’11”, 178 pounds, roughly the size of current Michigan defensive back Courtney Avery. Despite his small stature, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest linemen to every play at Michigan. Somehow he finished fourth for the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy, given annually to the Big Ten’s MVP.

Another star to wear number 50 is a guy whose number Strobel is replacing, center David Molk. Molk started 41 career games at center and won the Rimington Trophy last season as the nation’s best center. He was a consensus first-team All-American and team captain. His departure leaves a huge hole to fill, both on Michigan’s line and in senior leadership.

Other notables to wear number 50: Howie Auer (1929-31), Paul Girgash (1979-82), Mark Messner (1984), Jeremy Van Alstyne (2002-06)

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#52 – Royce Jenkins-Stone

Rod Payne was an All-American center in #52

Jenkins-Stone will share number 52 with center Ricky Barnum this season, but the man who was best known for 52 was center Rod Payne. He started 40 games during his career in which he was named first team All-Big Ten twice and first team All-American in 1996. He was drafted in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and battled injuries throughout his career. He currently coaches Spanish River Community High School in Palm Beach, Fla.

Payne was, ironically, the last Michigan starting center to wear number 52 before Barnum this season. The last linebacker to wear the number prior to Jenkins-Stone was Kevin Leach (2007-10).

Other notables to wear number 52: Kevin Brooks (1981-84), James H. Lincoln (1935-37), Stephen Schilling (2006-10), Chris Ziemann (1997-99)

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#53 – Mario Ojumedia

Archie Kodros blocked for Tom Harmon in the late 30s

No Michigan player has become an All-American while wearing number 53, but a very good one just graduated. Ryan Van Bergen started 38 games in his career and was named All-Big Ten honorable mention a year ago. He was an important part of Michigan’s success in 2012, teaming up with Mike Martin to form a formidable defensive line.

Another great number 53 was Archie Kodros in the late 1930s. He was a center paving the way for Tom Harmon for a couple of seasons. In 1939, one Ohio reporter said of Kodros, “One reason why Tom Harmon plays so sensationally each Saturday is shown here. The Michigan line, led by Captain Archie Kodros, No. 53, blocks beautifully and opens the way for Tom to get into the secondary where the star Wolverine back can peddle his own papers.” That’s pretty high praise. He also intercepted a pass against Ohio State to help Michigan win 21-14.

Other notables to wear number 53: Tom Cecchini (1963-65), Richard O’Schaughnessy (1951-53), Shantee Orr (1999-2002), Mel Owens (1977-80), Al Sincich (1981-84)

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#56 – Ondre Pipkins

LaMarr Woodley won the Lombardi Award in #56

Pipkins will share number 56 this season with offensive lineman Joey Burzynski who is battling for the starting left guard spot. From 2008-10, Ricky Barnum wore 56 before switching to 52 last season. The most successful 56 in Michigan history was relatively recent, defensive end LaMarr Woodley. The Lombardi Award winner in 2006, Woodley led the Big Ten and ranked eighth nationally with 12 sacks that season. He also earned a unanimous first-team All-American selection and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He was drafted 46th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007 and continues to be a dominant defensive end.

Other notables to wear number 56: Jim Brieske (1942-43, 46-47), Harold Goodwin (1992-94), James Hall (1995-99), Frank Maloney (1960-61)

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Julius Franks was the first African-American All-American at Michigan

#62 Blake Bars

No Michigan player has earned All-American honors while wearing number 62, but one wore the number and became an All-American a year later after switching numbers. It was Julius Franks, who has the unique honor of being the first African-American All-American at Michigan. He was just the third African-American to play for Michigan and was said to be the hardest working player Fritz Crisler ever coached. He was named to the Michigan Hall of Honor in 1983.

Bars certainly isn’t the most highly-ranked incoming freshman, but he has a unique chance to become the first superstar to wear number 62 if he sticks with it his entire career.

Other notables to wear number 62: Tim McAvoy (2005-09), Quentin Sickels (1944-48)

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Merv Pregulman was an All-American in 67 during the early 1940s

#67 – Kyle Kalis

Defensive tackle Nathan Brink will don 67 this season along with Kalis. Two former Wolverines have been All-Americans while wearing number 67. One is Merv Pregulman, a lineman who played all positions on the line from 1941-43. He was named a Grantland Rice All-American honorable mention his sophomore season and first-team his senior season. He played on a line with Julius Franks (above) and Al Wistert, whose number is getting Legend designation this fall. He was inducted into the College Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and Michigan’s Hall of Honor in 1988.

The other All-American to wear 67 was John Vitale. A four-year starter, Vitale played guard his freshman year and center the other three. He was All-Big Ten twice and first team All-American in 1988.

Other notables to wear number 67: David Brandt (1997-2000), Matt Lentz (2001-05), Matt Patanelli (1935-36), Terrance Taylor (2005-08)

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Stay tuned for part three next week: #71 Ben Braden, #78 Erik Magnuson, #82 Amara Darboh, #84 A.J. Williams, #86 Jehu Chesson, #99 Matthew Godin

Around the League – Week 8

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


Michigan has a great tradition of sending players to the National Football League. While the pace has fallen off over the past few years, there are still plenty of former Wolverines in the League. Each week during the season, we will provide an update on how former Michigan Men fared that week.

TOM BRADYPatriots QB

Mario Manningham caught his first touchdown of the season on Sunday (photo by Julio Cortez, AP)

Last game: Went 24-of-35 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Had a passer rating of 101.8 in the Patriots’ 25-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Season totals: 184-of-272 (67.6%) for 2,361 yards (4th in NFL), 18 TDs (4th), 8 INTs
This week: Patriots host the New York Giants on Sunday at 4:15 EST
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CHAD HENNEDolphins QB

Last game: DNP – Our for season (shoulder)
Season totals: 64-of-112 (57.1%) for 868 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs

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LAMARR WOODLEYSteelers OLB
Last game: Recorded 2 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles-for-loss in the Steelers’ 25-17 win over the New England Patriots
Season totals: 36 tackles, 9 sacks (5th in NFL), 7.5 tackles-for-loss, 2 passes defended, 1 INT
This week: Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens at 8:20 EST on Sunday Night Football on NBC
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MARIO MANNINGHAM Giants WR
Last game:  Caught 6 passes for 63 yards and 1 touchdown with a long of 14 yards in the Giants’ 20-17 win over the Miami Dolphins
Season totals: 24 catches for 290 yards (48.3 ypg) and 1 touchdown
This week: at New England Patriots on Sunday at 4:15 EST
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BRAYLON EDWARDS49ers WR
Last game: Caught 4 passes for 42 yards with a long of 13 in the 49ers’ 20-10 win over the Cleveland Browns
Season totals: 8 catches for 90 yards (30 ypg)
This week: at Washington Redskins on Sunday at 1 EST
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CHARLES WOODSONPackers DB

Braylon Edwards returned form injury to catch 4 passes for 42 yards on Sunday (photo by Ezra Shaw, Getty Images)

Last game: Bye Week
Season totals: 26 tackles, 5 INT (1st in NFL), 7 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD
This week: at San Diego Chargers 4:15 EST

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STEVE BREASTONChiefs WR
Last game: Caught three passes for 42 yards in the Chiefs’ 23-20 overtime win over the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football.
Season totals: 22 catches for 335 yards (47.9 ypg), 2 TDs
This week: Chiefs host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at 1 EST

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JASON AVANT Eagles WR

Last game: Caught 5 passes for 74 yards with a long of 24 in the Eagles’ 34-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football
Season totals: 31 catches for 412 yards (58.9 ypg)
This week: Eagles host the Chicago Bears at 8:30 EST on Monday Night Football
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TIM JAMISONTexans DE

Last game: Recorded one tackle in the Texans’ 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars
Season totals: 6 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
This week: Texans host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at 1 EST
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LEON HALL – Bengals DB
Last game: Recorded 9 tackles in the Bengals’ 34-12 win over the Seattle Seahawks
Season totals: 28 tackles, 4 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery
This week: at Tennessee Titans on Sunday at 4:05 EST
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MORGAN TRENTBengals DB
Last game: Waived by the Bengals to make room for Cedric Benson
Season totals: 6 tackles
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DAVID HARRIS Jets LB
Last game: Bye week
Season totals: 36 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles-for-loss, 3 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 TD
This week: at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at 1 EST
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ZOLTAN MESKOPatriots P
Last game: Booted 4 punts for 168 yards (42.0 avg) with a long of 53 and 1 inside the 20 in the Patriots 25-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Season totals: 22 punts for 993 yards (45.1 avg), 9 inside 20
This week: Patriots host the New York Giants on Sunday at 4:15 EST
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JAMES HALLRams DE
Last game: Recorded 2 tackles in the Rams’ 31-21 upset of the New Orleans Saints
Season totals: 23 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackle-for-loss, 1 pass defended
This week: at Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at 4:15 EST
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LARRY FOOTESteelers LB
Last game: Recorded 8 tackles in the Steelers’ 25-17 win over the New England Patriots
Season totals: 30 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle-for-loss
This week: Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens at 8:20 EST on Sunday Night Football on NBC
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JAY FEELYCardinals K
Last game: Hit 2-of-2 Field Goals with a long of 45 yards and 3-of-3 extra points in the Cardinals’ 30-27 loss to the Baltimore Ravens
Season totals: 6-for-9 FGs (Long 51), 17-for-17 XPs
This week: Cardinals host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at 4:15 EST

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ALAN BRANCHSeahawks DT
Last game: Recorded 1 tackle-for-loss in the Seahawks’ 34-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals
Season totals: 16 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle-for-loss
This week: at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at 1 EST
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ADRIAN ARRINGTON – Saints WR
Last game: Did not play in the Saints’ 31-21 loss to the St. Louis Rams
Season totals: 1 catch for 14 yards (4.7 ypg)
This week: Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at 1 EST
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BRANDON GRAHAMEagles DE
On PUP list with knee injury. Expected to return this week

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RYAN MUNDYSteelers S
Last game: Recorded 5 tackles in the Steelers’ 25-17 win over the New England Patriots
Season totals: 18 tackles
This week: Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens at 8:20 EST on Sunday Night Football on NBC

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PRESCOTT BURGESS – Ravens LB
Last game: Recorded 1 tackle in the Ravens’ 30-27 win over the Arizona Cardinals
Season totals: 3 tackles
This week: at Pittsburgh Steelers at 8:20 EST on Sunday Night Football on NBC

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STEVIE BROWNColts DB
Last game: Did not play in the Colts’ 27-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans
Season totals: 5 tackles
This week: Colts host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at 1 EST

__________________________________

JEFF BACKUSLions OT
Starter
__________________________________

STEVE HUTCHINSONVikings OG
Starter
__________________________________

JONATHAN GOODWIN49ers OG
Starter
__________________________________

DAVID BAASGiants C
Starter
__________________________________

JAKE LONGDolphins OT
Starter
__________________________________

JONAS MOUTONChargers LB
On injured reserve. Has not played yet this season
__________________________________

STEPHEN SCHILLINGChargers OT
Activated from the practice squat, but has not played yet this season

Around the League – Week 7

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


Michigan has a great tradition of sending players to the National Football League. While the pace has fallen off over the past few years, there are still plenty of former Wolverines in the League. Each week during the season, we will provide an update on how former Michigan Men fared that week.

Tom BradyPatriots QB

Charles Woodson celebrates one of two interceptions against the Vikings. He leads the NFL with 5 (photo by Andy King, AP)

Last game: Bye week
Season totals: 160-of-237 (67.5%) for 2,163 yards (3rd in NFL), 16 TDs (1st), 8 INTs
__________________________________

Chad HenneDolphins QB

Last game: DNP – Our for season (shoulder)
Season totals: 64-of-112 (57.1%) for 868 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs

_______________________________

LaMarr WoodleySteelers OLB
Last game: 7 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles-for-loss
Season totals: 34 tackles, 7 sacks (5th in NFL), 5.5 tackles-for-loss, 2 passes defended, 1 INT
_______________________________

Mario Manningham Giants WR
Last game:  Bye week
Season totals: 18 catches for 227 yards (45.4 ypg)
_______________________________

Braylon Edwards49ers WR
Last game: DNP – out for season (knee)
Season totals: 4 catches for 48 yards (24 ypg)
_______________________________

Charles WoodsonPackers DB
Last game: 4 tackles, 2 INT, 3 passes defended
Season totals: 26 tackles, 5 INT (1st in NFL), 7 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD
_______________________________

Steve BreastonChiefs WR
Last game: 5 catches for 64 yards
Season totals: 19 catches for 293 yards (48.8 ypg), 2 TDs

The Rams lost 34-7 to the Cowboys, but James Hall sacked Tony Romo (photo by Brandon Wade, AP)

_______________________________

Jason Avant Eagles WR

Last game: Bye week
Season totals: 26 catches for 338 yards (56.3 ypg)
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Tim JamisonTexans DE

Last game: Did not record a stat
Season totals: 5 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
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Leon Hall – Bengals DB
Last game: Bye week
Season totals: 19 tackles, 4 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery
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Morgan TrentBengals DB
Last game: Bye week
Season totals: 6 tackles
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David Harris Jets LB
Last game: 3 tackles
Season totals: 36 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles-for-loss, 3 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 TD
__________________________________

Zoltan MeskoPatriots P
Last game: Bye week
Season totals: 18 punts for 825 yards (45.8 avg), 8 inside 20
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James HallRams DE
Last game: 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle-for-loss
Season totals: 21 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackle-for-loss, 1 pass defended
__________________________________

Larry FooteSteelers LB
Last game: 3 tackles
Season totals: 22 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle-for-loss
__________________________________

Jay FeelyCardinals K
Last game: 0-for-0 FGs, 2-for-2 XPs
Season totals: 4-for-7 FGs (Long 51), 14-for-14 XPs

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Alan BranchSeahawks DT
Last game: 1 tackle
Season totals: 15 tackles, 1 sack
__________________________________

Adrian Arrington – Saints WR
Last game: DNP
Season totals: 1 catch for 14 yards (4.7 ypg)
__________________________________

Brandon GrahamEagles DE
On PUP list with knee injury. Expected to return this week

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Ryan MundySteelers S
Last game: 1 tackle
Season totals: 13 tackles

__________________________________

Prescott Burgess – Ravens LB
Last game: 2 tackles
Season totals: 2 tackles

__________________________________

Stevie BrownColts DB
Last game: Did not record a stat
Season totals: 5 tackles

__________________________________

Jeff BackusLions OT
Starter
__________________________________

Steve HutchinsonVikings OG
Starter
__________________________________

Jonathan Goodwin49ers OG
Starter
__________________________________

David BaasGiants C
Starter
__________________________________

Jake LongDolphins OT
Starter
__________________________________

Jonas MoutonChargers LB
On injured reserve
__________________________________

Stephen SchillingChargers OT
DNP (On practice squad)
__________________________________

Donovan WarrenLions DB
DNP (On practice squad)
__________________________________

Brandon MinorBroncos RB
DNP (On injured reserve)

Around the League – Week 5

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011


[Ed: We missed last week’s Around the League, so the season totals will include that week’s stats, but the “Last game” stats will just be this past weekend’s stats].

Michigan has a great tradition of sending players to the National Football League. While the pace has fallen off over the past few years, there are still plenty of former Wolverines in the League. Each week during the season, we will provide an update on how former Michigan Men fared that week.

Tom BradyPatriots QB

LaMarr Woodley celebrates a sack of Matt Hasselbeck. He also had a half sack and an interception in the Steelers' 38-17 win over the Titans (photo by Justin K. Aller, Getty Images)

Last game: Completed 24-of-33 passes for 321 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Season totals: 133-of-196 (67.9%) for 1,874 yards (1st in NFL), 14 TDs (1st), 6 INTs
__________________________________

Chad HenneDolphins QB

Last game: DNP – Our for season (shoulder)

Season totals: 64-of-112 (57.1%) for 868 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs
_______________________________

LaMarr WoodleySteelers OLB
Last game: 5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 passes defended, 1 INT
Season totals: 19 tackles, 3 sacks, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, 2 passes defended, 1 INT
_______________________________

Mario Manningham Giants WR
Last game: 5 catches for 56 yards
Season totals: 13 catches for 171 yards (42.8 ypg)
_______________________________

Braylon Edwards49ers WR
Last game: DNP – out for season (knee)
Season totals: 4 catches for 48 yards (24 ypg)
_______________________________

Charles WoodsonPackers DB
Last game: 4 tackles
Season totals: 18 tackles, 3 INT (T-1st), 4 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery, 1 TD
_______________________________

Steve BreastonChiefs WR
Last game: 4 catches for 50 yards, 2 TDs
Season totals: 14 catches for 229 yards (45.8 ypg), 2 TDs
_______________________________

Jason Avant Eagles WR

Last game: 9 catches for 139 yards
Season totals: 23 catches for 310 yards (62 ypg)
__________________________________

Tim JamisonTexans DE

Steve Breaston celebrates a touchdown. He caught his first two TDs of the season on Sunday (photo by John Sommers II, Getty Images)

Last game: DNP
Season totals: 3 tackles, 1 pass defended
__________________________________

Leon Hall – Bengals DB
Last game: 1 tackle
Season totals: 14 tackles, 2 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery
__________________________________

Morgan TrentBengals DB
Last game: Did not record a stat
Season totals: 6 tackles
__________________________________

David Harris Jets LB
Last game: 9 tackles, 1 sack
Season totals: 31 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles-for-loss, 2 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 TD
__________________________________

Zoltan MeskoPatriots P
Last game: 4 punts for 205 yards (51.3 avg), 1 inside 20
Season totals: 16 punts for 729 yards (45.6 avg), 7 inside 20
__________________________________

James HallRams DE
Last game: Bye week
Season totals: 12 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackle-for-loss, 1 pass defended
__________________________________

Larry FooteSteelers LB
Last game: 1 tackle
Season totals: 14 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle-for-loss
__________________________________

Jay FeelyCardinals K
Last game: 1-for-1 FGs, 1-for-1 XPs
Season totals: 4-for-7 FGs (Long 51), 12-for-12 XPs

__________________________________

Alan BranchSeahawks DT
Last game: 3 tackles, 1 sack
Season totals: 14 tackles, 1 sack
__________________________________

Adrian Arrington – Saints WR
Last game: DNP
Season totals: 1 catch for 14 yards (4.7 ypg)
__________________________________

Brandon GrahamEagles DE
On PUP list with knee injury. Expected to return in Week 7
__________________________________

Jeff BackusLions OT
Starter
__________________________________

Steve HutchinsonVikings OG
Starter
__________________________________

Jonathan Goodwin49ers OG
Starter
__________________________________

David BaasGiants C
Starter
__________________________________

Jake LongDolphins OT
Starter
__________________________________

Jonas MoutonChargers LB
On injured reserve
__________________________________

Stephen SchillingChargers OT
DNP (On practice squad)
__________________________________

Donovan WarrenLions DB
DNP (On practice squad)
__________________________________

Brandon MinorBroncos RB
DNP (On injured reserve)

Around the League – Week 1

Friday, September 16th, 2011


Michigan has a great tradition of sending players to the National Football League. While the pace has fallen off over the past few years, there are still plenty of former Wolverines in the League. Each week during the season, we will provide an update on how former Michigan Men fared that week.

Tom BradyPatriots QB – Completed 32-of-48 passes for 517 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT

Tom Brady was the main Michigan alum standout in Week 1. His 517 yards passing is a Patriots record and he combined with fellow Michigan alum Chad Henne to set an NFL record for most combined passing yards in a game

Chad HenneDolphins QB – Completed 30-of-49 passes for 416 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; Rushed 7 times for 59 yards, 1 TD

LaMarr WoodleySteelers OLB – 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle-for-loss, 1 PBU

Mario Manningham Giants WR – 4 catches for 49 yards

Braylon Edwards49ers WR – 3 catches for 27 yards

Charles WoodsonPackers DB – 2 tackles, 1 PBU

Steve BreastonChiefs WR – 2 catches for 26 yards

Jason Avant Eagles WR – 3 catches for 40 yards

Tim JamisonTexans DE – 1 assisted tackle

Leon Hall Bengals DB – 2 tackles, 2 PBU

Morgan TrentBengals DB – Did not record a stat

David Harris Jets LB – 7 tackles

Zoltan MeskoPatriots P – 4 punts for 152 yards (38.0 avg), 1 touchback, 1 inside 20

James HallRams DE – 2 tackles, 1 tackle-for-loss, 1 PBU

Larry FooteSteelers LB – 2 tackles

Jay FeelyCardinals K – 0-for-1 FGs, 4-for-4 XPs

Alan BranchSeahawks DT – 1 tackle

Brandon GrahamEagles DE – On PUP list with knee injury. Expected to return in Week 7

Jeff BackusLions OT – Started

Steve HutchinsonVikings OG – Started

Jonathan Goodwin – 49ers OG – Started

David BaasGiants C – Started

Jake LongDolphins OT – Started

Jonas MoutonChargers LB – DNP

Adrian ArringtonSaints WR – DNP

Stephen SchillingChargers OT – DNP (On practice squad)

Donovan WarrenLions DB – DNP (On practice squad)

Brandon MinorBroncos RB – DNP (On injured reserve)