Michigan Spring Game 2014

7-6 is never good enough at Michigan.

However, they did lose 4 games by 4 points or less.

On the other hand, they won another 3 games in much the same way with an Overtime win over Northwestern and barely sneaking by Akron and UConn. They could have gone anywhere from 11-2 to 4-8. Strange times in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Wolverines are the NCAA all time leader in wins and they didn’t get there by going 7-6 too often.

 

Head Coach Brady Hoke seems to be going backwards a little at Michigan. His first season they went 11-2, and everyone thought Michigan was back. But, they dropped to 8-5 during his second year and his third year was a very average 7-6.

I’m not sure how patient Michigan fans will be with another 7-6 type season and I am also not sure that Devin Gardner is the guy to take them to something better than 7-6.

There was no evidence shown in the Michigan Spring Game that back up Shane Morris can take them further, either.Wilton Speight is a true freshman that is huge. Looks to have a strong arm, but he’s going to be behind the learning curve.

But, all of the Michigan QB’s are learning a new system since Hoke brought in Doug Nussmeier from Alabama. My hope is that the Michigan QB’s will learn the system with the rest of the Spring and Summer coming up. Hopefully, Nussmeier can help Gardner with his confidence level. Gardner is the only returning senior on offense and he needs to accept a leadership role.

Michigan returns 7 offensive starters and 9 starters on defense.

Devin Funchess is more than just a returning starter, he is a potential super star. He is 6-5, 230 and runs in the 4.4 range. This will obviously be his last year at Michigan and he will be looking to improve his draft status.If anyone can take the place of the booted Dorial Green-Beckham it’s Funchess.

 

Look for true freshman Freddie Canteen here, also. He’s got an abundance of talent and speed. Canteen was one of 7 early enrollees and even though he was rated a 3 star, he is very impressive and should start next year as a true freshman. Other really impressive true freshmen are Offensive Tackle Mason Cole, Defensive Tackle Bryan Mone and Defensive Back Brandon Watson.

The best freshman will still be Jabrill Peppers. He is the most explosive and dangerous player in the country. Not only will he be an instant factor at CB, but he will be the Kickoff and Punt return specialist from day one. Peppers is the real deal, no doubt.

Michigan should be better on the Offensive Line this season, but they did lose star Tight End Jake Butt to a torn ACL this winter. The Wolverine coaching staff does expect to have him back by conference, but many feel that is a bit soon.

Butt was a true freshman last season and starting to come into his own.

Corner Back Jordan Lewis was the best player in the scrimmage. He had 2 picks and played really well against Funchess. Blake Countess should be the other corner, but one of them will have a hard time holding off Jabrill Peppers. Senior Ray Taylor will be in the mix as well.

Jarrod Wilson and Jeremy Clark are really good at the safety positions.

 

Senior LB Jake Ryan has moved to the middle spot and is a big leader of the defense.

A life sized statue of Bo Schembechlor was introduced at the Spring Game. Schembechlor Hall on the campus of the University of Michigan is spectacular. Michigan is another campus that is making huge improvements. Feels like all of the schools have a competition going on right now to build the nicest facilities known to mankind. That’s great for the players.

Left Tackle in the Spring Game was true freshman Mason Cole who has a chance to be really special. He was a 4 year starter in high school and could be the same in college. Kyle Bosch started at the guard next to him. Jack Miller was the center. Kyle Kalis played right guard and Ben Braden was at the other tackle.

Offensive line should be in good shape.

Some other defensive standouts in this scrimmage were Defensive End Frank Clark, Defensive Tackle Willie Henry and Defensive End Henry Poggi

Michigan is giving me mixed feelings. As a football fan, I have always like the Wolverines. But, I am a weirdo because I have always liked the Buckeyes, too.

I like Head Coach Brady Hoke and I like QB Gardner. Not sure either can do the job, but I’d like to see them have success.

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