MLive: Peppers wins Hornung Award, Butt wins Mackey

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6Dec 2016
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Shane Morris, Ex-Wolverine




Shane-Morris

Former Michigan insider Tom Van Haaren, who still concentrates a lot on the Wolverines, reported earlier tonight that redshirt junior quarterback Shane Morris will transfer (LINK). Since he would be entering his fifth year of college with an undergraduate degree, he could transfer into any grad program that Michigan does not offer.

Morris committed to Michigan in May of 2011, even though he was a 2013 prospect. He was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #3 pro-style quarterback, and #72 overall out of Warren (MI) De La Salle. He was invited to the Elite 11 and played in the Under Armour All-America Game. At the time he was viewed as Michigan’s savior at quarterback, since then coach Brady Hoke was a pro-style guy and Morris was a borderline 5-star prospect to some services. Ultimately, though, the lack of development from Morris may have contributed to Hoke’s ouster. As an injury replacement for Devin Gardner, he completed 29/47 passes for 261 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions as a freshman, including his best career performance in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl after Gardner broke his foot. In that game he was 24/38 for 193 yards, along with 4 carries for 43 yards in the loss. Things were downright terrible in 2014 when he was 14/40 for 128 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions; the concussion he suffered against Minnesota induced new protocols throughout college football, since he was left in the game after taking a shot to the head/neck area and stumbling around for a moment.

When Jim Harbaugh arrived in 2015, Morris was #2 on the depth chart to begin the season, even though the coaching staff was trying to preserve a redshirt year. That was presumably to help him secure a grad transfer later in his career. He sat behind Jake Rudock and was eventually passed by Wilton Speight for the backup gig, anyway. Going into the 2016 season, he was a solid #3 behind Speight and John O’Korn. Morris played in certain packages this past season, mostly handing off the ball or leading the way on some toss sweeps. He was 4/5 for 45 yards this season, along with 3 carries for 19 yards, while playing in just six games.

Morris’s departure was expected. Michigan has a returning starter in Speight and some quality quarterbacks coming in the pipeline. The fate of backup John O’Korn is up in the air, since he also appears to be behind Speight going forward, but there was going to be a logjam with upperclassman quarterbacks. This development won’t hurt Michigan on the field. It opens a door for a potential contributor to get a scholarship.

Transfers and grad transfers often like to go close to home, so I would be inclined to guess that Morris will end up at a MAC school to finish out his career. Along with some big-time offers, he was pursued by Bowling Green, Central Michigan, and Toledo in high school. I’m not familiar with the quarterback situations at each school, but with his college track record, I sincerely doubt he’s going to get a look from another Power Five school unless they’re extremely desperate.

6Dec 2016
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Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 14

Tom Strobel (image via Ohio University College of Business)

Tom Strobel (image via Ohio University College of Business)

Former RB commit Damien Harris: Harris had 8 carries for 86 yards in Alabama’s 54-16 SEC Championship Game win over Florida.

Former head coach Brady Hoke: Hoke awaits his fate after Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich was fired. It’s highly unlikely that the Ducks’ new coach will retain Hoke, but nothing has been decided yet.

Former FB/LB commit David Reese II: Reese made 1 tackle and returned a block extra point for a 2-point conversion in Florida’s 54-16 loss to Alabama.

 

Former LB Kaleb Ringer: Ringer made 4 tackles in Georgia State’s 37-12 loss to Idaho. Georgia State finishes 3-9. Ringer made 41 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 pass breakup on the season.

Former OL/DL Tom Strobel: Strobel saved his best for (almost) last, making 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 pass breakup in Ohio’s hard-fought loss to Western Michigan in the MAC Championship Game, 29-23. That’s a career-best game for Strobel, who has one chance to top it when Ohio plays Troy on December 23.

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5Dec 2016
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MLive: Jabrill Peppers among 5 finalists for Heisman Trophy

The time for Heisman finalists has come, and Jabrill Peppers is among them (LINK). It’s a fitting end to his season – and perhaps his college career – because he’s among the top few football players in the nation. The thing that hurts his chances of winning is that he’s not great at any one thing. He’s not great in coverage, he doesn’t get a lot of sacks, he doesn’t get a lot of turnovers, he hasn’t scored a multitude of touchdowns on special teams, etc. He’s just good at lots of different things, and you can throw him out there at lots of different positions where he can execute at a fairly high level. I think Louisville QB Lamar Jackson will win – mostly because of his running talent – but Peppers supporters have an argument.

There are some good looking blondes and then a brunette doing some yoga beyond the jump.

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5Dec 2016
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Who’s enrolling early in 2017?

isaiah-wilson

Brooklyn (NY) Poly OT Isaiah Wilson

Some class of 2017 prospects will be enrolling in January, which means there’s only a few weeks left for players to make college decisions. Here’s a look at the players Michigan is targeting who plan to enroll early, along with their scheduled commitment dates (if they have been announced).

Cam Akers – RB – Clinton (MS) Clinton: N/A

Aaron Banks – OT – El Cerrito (CA) El Cerrito: Committed to Notre Dame

Ja’Raymond Hall – OT – Oak Park (MI) Oak Park: Committed to Michigan

Najee Harris – RB – Antioch (CA) Antioch: Committed to Alabama

Tarik Black – WR – Cheshire (CT) Academy: Committed to Michigan

Jaylen Kelly-Powell – S – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Committed to Michigan

Alex Leatherwood – OT – Pensacola (FL) Washington: Committed to Alabama

Corey Malone-Hatcher – DE – St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph: Committed to Michigan

Tre’ McKitty – TE – Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy: Committed to Florida State

Donovan Peoples-Jones – WR – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Committed to Michigan

Shanon Reid – LB – Ft. Myers (FL) Dunbar: Committed to Tennessee

Cesar Ruiz – C – Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy: Committed to Michigan

Benjamin St-Juste – CB – Montreal (Canada) Vieux: Committed to Michigan

Ambry Thomas – CB – Detroit (MI) King: Committed to Michigan

Isaiah Wilson – OT – Brooklyn (NY) Poly: Committed to Georgia

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