Phillip Paea, Wolverine

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2Apr 2016
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Phillip Paea, Wolverine

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Berrien Springs (MI) Berrien Springs offensive guard Phillip Paea (image via NDInsider)

Berrien Springs (MI) Berrien Springs defensive tackle Phillip Paea committed to Michigan on Saturday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arizona, BYU, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, USC, and Utah, among others.

Paea is listed at 6’4″, 285 lbs. He claims a 300 lb. bench press. He is the cousin of both Michigan defensive tackle Bryan Mone and NFL defensive end Stephen Paea.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 3-star, #13 OG
Scout: 3-star, #26 DT
247 Sports: 3-star, 89 grade, #25 DT, #333 overall

Hit the jump for more on Paea’s commitment.

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2Apr 2016
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Spring Game Observations

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Ty Isaac beat Jabrill Peppers to the edge for a long gain (image via MLive)

After watching Brandon Peters last week and now this week, I have very high hopes for him. He’s not ready yet, but he’s adjusting to the college game quickly and is a good athlete. I think he has the highest upside on the team. I still think it’s a neck-and-neck battle between Speight and O’Korn. I want O’Korn to win the job because I think he has better athletic skills and you can do more things with his legs, but it’s a tough choice. (Yes, I realize Speight scored a TD on a naked bootleg, but the guy he burned was walk-on linebacker Jack Dunaway. Also, I’ve seen Peyton Manning score on a similar play, and Manning is nobody’s idea of a mobile QB.)

I’ve said it for a long time, but Isaac was the best runner on the field. He finished with 10 carries for 78 yards, including two long runs. He was also running behind an offensive line that included mostly backups, freshman left tackle Grant Newsome, and center Mason Cole. He’s not without flaws (for example, he doesn’t have the same angry fervor as De’Veon Smith when trying to break tackles), but Isaac looks improved from last year. Kareem Walker looked decent, though the competition he shined most against were walk-ons. Kingston Davis recovered enough from last week’s undisclosed injury to notch a couple carries, but he didn’t have a lot of room to run; he looks like a truck, but he probably needs to shed a few pounds. Of the fullbacks, I’m not in love with Henry Poggi because he’s just not a guy who’s a threat with the ball in his hands. I really like Khalid Hill there, and I think Bobby Henderson can be a Kerridge-like player (though I’m not sure about his hands yet).

Hit the jump for the rest of the position-by-position rundowns.

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2Apr 2016
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Leonard Taylor, Wolverine

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Springfield (OH) Springfield TE/DE Leonard Taylor

Springfield (OH) Springfield defensive end Leonard Taylor committed to Michigan on Friday night. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Tennessee, among others.

Taylor is listed at 6’6″, 245 lbs. on his Hudl page.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: Unranked
Scout: 4-star DE
247 Sports: 4-star, 95 grade, #3 DT, #22 overall

Hit the jump for more on Taylor’s commitment.

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1Apr 2016
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5 Offensive Players to Watch in Michigan’s Spring Game

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Ty Isaac

Yesterday I posted about what to look for from Michigan’s defensive players (LINK), and now here’s a look at the offense. The spring game is at 6:00 p.m. tonight at Michigan Stadium. Admission is free. If you’re watching on TV, it will be broadcast live on BTN from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. and on BTN2Go after that. Then it will be re-aired in its entirety at 9:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

QB Wilton Speight

We saw Speight play a little bit last year. If we’re being honest, it was mostly bad. If not for one crunch-time, game-winning drive and a touchdown pass to beat Minnesota, it would have been downright ugly. The 6’6″, 239 lb. Speight went 9/25 (36%) for 73 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. However, the coaching staff has stated that the quarterback job is open, and Speight has reportedly inched past John O’Korn. Last Saturday at the Ford Field open practice, Speight was the first guy getting reps. He appears to be more of a game manager, but it would be nice to have a quarterback who can push the ball down the field a little bit.

Hit the jump for four more offensive players to watch.

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31Mar 2016
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Chase Lasater, Wolverine

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Jacksonville (FL) Trinity Christian Academy LB Chase Lasater attempts to block a punt

Jacksonville (FL) Trinity Christian Academy fullback Chase Lasater committed to Michigan on Thursday evening. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Charlotte and Troy.

Lasater is a 6’2″, 238 lb. fullback and linebacker. He claims a 4.57 forty, a 4.4 shuttle, a 34.5″ vertical, a 315 lb. bench press, and a 475 lb. squat. His Nike testing numbers are a little less impressive (4.75 forty, 4.56 shuttle), but still solid.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 3-star FB
Scout: Unranked
247 Sports: Unranked

Hit the jump for more on Lasater’s commitment.

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