Recruiting Update: November 25, 2015

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25Nov 2015
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Recruiting Update: November 25, 2015

Baltimore (MD) Gilman QB Kasim Hill (image via Maxpreps)

Waterford (MI) Mott wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick decommitted from Louisville. Fitzpatrick, who holds a Michigan offer and is a former teammate of linebacker commit David Reese, is expected to commit to Nebraska at this point. At one time he was considered likely to flip to Michigan, but the staff seemed to cool on him. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #53 wide receiver, and #272 overall.

Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier offensive guard Matt Bockhorst was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’4″, 290 lb. prospect with offers from Clemson, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #7 offensive guard, and #293 overall. He is thought to be pretty open at this point in his recruiting process. Bockhorst is a thickly built kid who will probably end up playing on the interior due to a lack of foot quickness.

Hit the jump for a few more 2017 prospects, a new 2018 offer, some guys who went off the board, some random bits, and the visitor list for the OSU game.

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24Nov 2015
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Michigan vs. Penn State Awards

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Jehu Chesson. I only say this because Chesson appeared to hurt his shoulder when he was mugged in the process of earning a pass interference call. He fell hard on his left elbow in the endzone after throwing up his arms in exasperation. Michigan needs Chesson and his speed to beat Ohio State. He has 7 touchdowns over his last four games, and he had 4 catches for 69 yards – along with a 20-yard run – before he left Saturday’s game. He also recovered a muffed punt.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . the referee announcing false start penalties and snap infractions. The pre-snap penalties for the past two weeks have been infuriating.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Taco Charlton as a 4-3 defensive end. I don’t like the idea of Charlton playing Buck linebacker, as some people have suggested, because I don’t think he holds much value as a guy who moves around, blitzes from various spots, etc. However, with Michigan’s current personnel, I think they’re best served by running a 4-3 with Charlton – who was previously a backup – out there along with Maurice Hurst, Jr., Willie Henry, and Chris Wormley. Those are their best four linemen. Michigan needs to be intelligent with how they rotate, because the backups are pretty weak. But at this point in the year, everyone is as conditioned as they’re going to be, and they might have to play a few more snaps than what is ideal simply because you want your best vs. their best.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . the referee announcing offsides penalties, defensive holding, etc. Again, the pre-snap penalties are ridiculous. An occasional pass interference penalty or offsides call is to be expected, but Michigan was penalized 13 times for 117 yards last week. (Michigan’s record for penalties is 15 in one game.)

Play of the game . . . Jarrod Wilson tracking down Saquon Barkley. Penn State started off the game with a 56-yard run by freshman running back Barkley, and some teams would have been facing a 7-0 deficit just a couple plays into the game. Wilson was Michigan’s deep safety, and he didn’t have an angle as Barkley broke through the line, but Wilson sprinted to track him down around the 5-yard line. Michigan held on for three consecutive plays and forced Penn State to settle for a field goal, a 3-0 lead, and disappointment.

MVP of the game . . . Jake Rudock. Rudock was very efficient against a tough front seven. Penn State was giving up just 159 yards/game through the air, and Rudock finished with 256 yards on 25/38 passing (65.8%) for 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. The running game was going nowhere (2.9 yards/carry on 30 attempts), but Rudock spread the ball around to nine different receivers. The main trio of tight end Jake Butt and wide receivers Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh combined for 16 catches, 203 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

23Nov 2015
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Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 12

Damien Harris

DB Blake Countess, Auburn: Countess made 8 tackles and 2 pass breakups in Auburn’s 56-34 win over Idaho.

RB Dennis Norfleet, Tuskegee: In the first round of the Division II playoffs, Norfleet led Tuskegee in rushing with 18 carries for 88 yards. He added 2 catches for 32 yards and 2 kickoff returns for 54 yards. His team beat Catawba by a score of 26-16, and they play North Alabama next Saturday.

LB Kaleb Ringer, Georgia State: Ringer made 1 tackle in Georgia State’s 24-10 win over South Alabama.

Hit the jump for updates on former coaches and commits.

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22Nov 2015
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Michigan 28, Penn State 16

Michigan’s defense mostly looked great. 
Except for about three plays, Michigan’s defense looked excellent. Early on, Michigan allowed Penn State RB Saquon Barkley to break free for a 56-yard run after Willie Henry was chopped to the ground and Joe Bolden failed to fill the hole with any aggression whatsoever. Jabrill Peppers failed to locate a back-shoulder throw that turned into a 25-yard touchdown pass to Saeed Blacknall. The Wolverines also had some tackling issues on a completed seam route, but otherwise, the defense looked excellent. The 207 total yards by Penn State was their second-lowest of the season (behind Temple and their 10 sacks of Christian Hackenberg). After Indiana got the edge frequently last week, Penn State rarely tried, although their couple of attempts were thwarted. Color commentator Brock Huard kept asking for PSU to run up the middle, which is generally a bad idea and proved to be again on Saturday. Meanwhile, Penn State’s receivers couldn’t get separation from Michigan’s defensive backs, and Michigan’s defensive line was consistently running around PSU’s linemen or walking them straight back into Hackenberg’s face.

Hit the jump for the rest of the game recap.

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20Nov 2015
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Preview: Michigan at Penn State

Rush Offense vs. Penn State Rush Defense
Michigan is #67 in rushing yards/game with 169, and they are tied for #69 in the country – with Utah! – at 4.33 yards/carry. The Wolverines mix and match in the backfield, but the guys seeing the most crunch-time carries are De’Veon Smith (582 yards, 4.4 yards/carry, 5 TDs) and Drake Johnson (212 yards, 4.5 yards/carry, 3 TDs). Michigan also makes heavy use of the fullback, even using 243 lb. Sione Houma as a short-yardage back (131 yards, 4.9 yards/carry, 3 TDs). Michigan has had the same starting lineup on the offensive line all year. That’s neither a good thing or a bad thing – the Wolverines are rated perfectly average at 100.7 in Adjusted Line Yards, which is #73 in the country. The problem with the running game is that none of Michigan’s backs are dangerous unless Smith can break a few tackles. Meanwhile, Penn State is #48 in rushing defense (152 yards/game) and #39 in yards allowed/carry (3.8). Sophomore middle linebacker Jason Cabinda (6’1″, 245 lbs.) leads the team with 71 tackles, followed by monster defensive tackle Austin Johnson (6’4″, 323 lbs.) with 64 and then sophomore safety Marcus Allen with 57. The Nittany Lions make a ton of plays in the backfield, as four of them have double-digit tackles for loss and they are #2 in tackles for loss with 93. The most effective run game penetrator is Michigan native Anthony Zettel, a 6’4″, 284 lb. tackle. Michigan does not run the ball well, and PSU has given up 220+ yards on the ground in four of their last six games, but it’s going to be tough sledding for the Wolverines.
Advantage: Penn State

Hit the jump for the rest of the preview.

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