Jalen Mayfield, Wolverine

Jalen Mayfield, Wolverine


May 23, 2017

Jalen Mayfield (image via MLive)

Grand Rapids (MI) Catholic Central offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield committed to Michigan on Monday evening. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arizona, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, and Pitt, among others. He was also committed to Minnesota at one point.

Mayfield is listed at 6’5″, 255 lbs. He claims a 5.27 forty. As a defensive lineman, he made 79 tackles and 14.5 sacks in 2016.

RATINGS
ESPN: 3-star, 77 grade, #57 OT
Rivals: 3-star OT
Scout: 4-star, #16 OT, #221 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 94 grade, #9 OT, #86 overall

Hit the jump for more on Mayfield’s commitment.

Mayfield committed to Minnesota in February of 2017, and Michigan offered about a month later. Two days after hearing from Michigan, he decommitted from the Gophers. I put in a Crystal Ball for him to go to Michigan almost immediately after that. He visited for Michigan’s spring game in mid-April and finally made it public today, probably only holding off only because today is his birthday.

Mayfield is a very athletic offensive tackle or offensive guard prospect. While a large part of his highlight reel is on the defensive side of the ball, he moves very well for an offensive lineman. He can pull from his offensive tackle position, and he does a good job of turning the corner and finding moving targets. As a zone blocker, he’s quick enough to get a cutoff block from the backside, and he moves his feet after contact. He bends well at the knees and can be a demoralizing blocker if he gets leverage on a defender.

The biggest thing Mayfield lacks is bulk. At just 255 lbs. or so, he’s not big enough to hold up in the Big Ten. He’ll need to add a good deal of weight before seeing the field. He looks like a potential left tackle prospect, but I’m not sure he has a ton of experience as a pass blocker or using the footwork and technique necessary to excel at the position right out of the gate.

I see Mayfield as a left or right tackle down the road, despite just average height at 6’5″. He will probably need a redshirt year in 2018 to add bulk and improve his pass protection technique. It’s hard to guess how the tackle situation will work out with uncertainty at right tackle and an unknown entity in the injured Grant Newsome at left tackle. But I think Mayfield is a guy who should be seeing the field by at least his redshirt sophomore year, if not sooner.

Michigan now has nine commits in the 2018 class, including two offensive linemen: tackle Mayfield and offensive guard Emil Ekiyor. Technically, Michigan only has room for nine scholarships in the 2018 class. So the class is full! Except there are always unforeseen departures, injuries, etc. Many projections have the class reaching somewhere around 18-20 when all is said and done.

TTB Rating: 84 (ratings explanation)

60 comments

  1. Comments: 682
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    May 23, 2017 at 10:07 PM

    This is why our Oline continues to be a weakness. We settle for undersized long-term projects that no top-notch program wants. Until we start recruiting elite guys on the Oline consistently, we will be a second tier program.

    • Comments: 2275
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 23, 2017 at 10:18 PM

      Taylor Lewan’s offer list: Arizona, Arizona State, Miami, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Wisconsin.

      I’m not saying Mayfield will be exactly like Lewan, but we could have a very good line with a bunch of guys who don’t have offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida State, Clemson, etc. I really like Mayfield. We’ll find out the truth in a few years.

      • Comments: 682
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        May 24, 2017 at 7:01 AM

        You could also name a lot of guys with offer lists like that who were never better than journeyman starters, if that. Not sure what it’s supposed to prove about Mayfield’s likely prospects. Sure, you can go back over the last 10-15 years and cherry pick a few guys who were overlooked by the top-notch programs, but turned out to be stars. So what?

        And yes, we COULD have a very good line with a bunch of 3 stars and low 4 stars, though our coaching staff has shown no ability for that kind of development on the Oline. It’s the third year for this staff, and the Oline is still a mess and the biggest source of uncertainty on the team. Have they turned even one guy into an unquestionable quality player?

        Alabama brought in three 5 stars on the Oline for 2017. How do we make up the gap with guys like Mayfield?

        • Comments: 976
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          May 24, 2017 at 7:36 AM

          You worry way too much about how the other guys are doing, when there’s not one damn thing you can do about what those guys are doing. 18 months ago your shorts were all in a knot about Sparty and OSU. Sparty imploded. Now it’s Alabama and OSU.

          This is just sports, it ebbs and flows. You need to just keep your head down and grind away. Alabama and OSU have natural advantages right now. OSU will have natural advantages for as long as there is high school football and they have enjoyed those same advantages since the flippin snow bowl.

          Get over it. Have some fun.

          • Comments: 682
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            May 24, 2017 at 9:43 AM

            Alabama…OSU..Clemson…Florida State…now Washington, who has leapfrogged us.

            I’ll take what happens, since there is no other choice, I simply refuse to drink the Harbaugh Kool-aid until he’s shown that he can put something better than a perennial 3 loss team out there.

            • Comments: 976
              Joined: 8/13/2015
              Roanman
              May 24, 2017 at 5:45 PM

              You should get to work on your list for replacement candidates.

              • Painter Smurf
                Comments: 209
                Joined: 8/12/2015
                Painter Smurf
                May 24, 2017 at 10:23 PM

                Dont feed the troll.

        • Comments: 2275
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          May 24, 2017 at 8:51 AM

          Yes – and I could name a bunch of guys with big-time offers who also never became better than journeyman starters, if that. Michigan – and Greg Frey – have developed good athletes like Mayfield before. Anecdotally, they’ve had great success with athletic players like Mayfield. Jake Fisher, Patrick Omameh, Taylor Lewan, etc. have all turned into good-to-great OL.

          Our 2018 OL class is way better than Alabama’s – they only have a DE and a WR committed.

          • Comments: 682
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            May 24, 2017 at 9:15 AM

            Come on…please tell me you’re not dragging out the VERY old and VERY thoroughly debunked argument that some 3 stars make it big, and some 5 stars bust out, therefore star rankings don’t matter. Please.

            • Comments: 2275
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              May 24, 2017 at 9:27 AM

              I never said star rankings don’t matter. I said there are examples on both sides. You claim that Michigan won’t succeed without highly ranked players, but some low-ranked players work out. And oh by the way, we also have a commitment from Emil Ekiyor in the same class, who happens to be highly ranked AND has big-time offers.

    • Comments: 976
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      May 24, 2017 at 7:22 AM

      Not.

      This kid is the #9 OT at 247 with a 94. His composite goes down only because 247 composite continues to give consideration to both ESPN and Rivals. Both of whom are in disarray and aren’t doing much if anything in the way of actual evaluation.

      You can chase the 6’5 330 lbs 17 year old kid to the exclusion of bodies like Mayfield’s but what you will frequently find is that Mayfield’s exact same 255 lbs of mostly good weight is wrapped up in 80 lbs of fat. Now, not only do you have to put on the same 40 lbs of muscle, you have to remove at least half of that fat. And maybe you still have a somewhat less effective lineman because he’s significantly less mobile.

      Onwenu is a likely starter as a true Sophomore, but you have already heard whispers about him needing to get weight off. At late teenager/early 20s it’s much easier to put weight on. Consider your own body, it’s never easy to get fat off.

      The other thing to consider is that Mayfield is playing basketball all winter. There is an argument to be made that it would be better were he lifting and thus adding size for football, but there is also the argument to be made about the feet and knee bend that comes on a basketball court.

      As an aside, Thunder long ago expressed his opinion that all you gotta do is lift and eat and you gain weight. That’s not always the case. Actually, I’m still just a little pissy about that comment. I could have consumed half the calories available in Southeastern Michigan during my teenage years and early 20s and still would not have gained much more than ounces. I got harder and faster from the lifting to be sure, but I burned up every calorie I ate. It don’t always work.

      So, maybe you can’t get the weight he needs on him, but I think that’s probably a low percentage risk. I also think that it’s a somewhat higher risk, although not by much, that your 330 to 350 lbs incoming freshman turns out to be Will Campbell and can’t get the weight off that he needs to play. There was another RR lineman whose name escaped me.

      Thunder goes with Lewan in this conversation, I think Omameh is the better reference. It would be good if the kid falls in between. I’m thinking that you won’t see the likes of Tayler Lewan popping up anywhere soon with great frequency.

      • Comments: 2275
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        May 24, 2017 at 8:53 AM

        Let’s be clear here – a 6’5″, 255 lb. kid is not someone who can’t add weight. If he were an ectomorph, he would be 6’5″ and 200 lbs. I’ve never seen an offensive lineman go into college at 260 lbs. and leave at 260 lbs. By the time he plays at Michigan, he’ll be AT LEAST 280 lbs.

        • Comments: 976
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          May 24, 2017 at 5:37 PM

          Agreed, I also think that a 6’41/2″ 17 year old kid has a shot at that magical height for left tackles of 6’6″. Or at least can potentially get close enough to fudge.

        • Painter Smurf
          Comments: 209
          Joined: 8/12/2015
          Painter Smurf
          May 24, 2017 at 10:22 PM

          Webb/Trieu mentioned on the radio today that Mayfield is up to 270 now and the staff expects him to report to freshman camp at 285.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 25, 2017 at 5:29 PM

            Good info. Was thinking something like this was likely given how Mayfield’s recruiting has gone.

            I remember when everyone was projecting a red-shirt for Jon Teske because of ancient weight data. In that case newer data was actually out there, but it wasn’t well known.

          • Comments: 17
            Joined: 8/12/2015
            LeeR
            May 25, 2017 at 9:11 PM

            Too late. Sky has already fallen.

    • GKblue
      Comments: 235
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      GKblue
      May 24, 2017 at 8:19 AM

      Frey just got here, I want to believe he will make a difference. Actually, I was disappointed they didn’t give him the entire OL.

      Please try to remember that one of Mayfield’s strengths is his quick feet combined with aggression. I’ve heard he can pull from the tackle position, not bad. We’ll see if JH and Pep move to more of a zone blocking and multiple wide receiver sets, those feet help in pass pro as well. If he needs to redshirt it doesn’t bother me at all.

      Often those five stars need just as much work depending on the scheme they are being plugged into and they are often also eval-ed based on their size and raw material. We have seen a few 5 star plodders in the past, haven’t we?

      • Painter Smurf
        Comments: 209
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        Painter Smurf
        May 24, 2017 at 10:43 PM

        I am guessing Frey is already making a difference. OL had a lot of young guys and scrubs play in the spring game but they still looked pretty well coached. A+ move by Harbaugh luring that guy back.

        Mayfield looks like a good prospect. Plays with fire and really moves well. Tough to say, but he may be a better prospect than any of the OTs they took last year.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          May 26, 2017 at 11:53 AM

          Agree with this. If nothing else, Frey working with the OTs will give Drevno a chance to focus on the interior players.

          Still, these things usually take time. Michigan lacks experience along the OL and is trying to change scheme (supposedly).

          If these guys can get Michigan up to a top 30-40 OL that’ll be a huge accomplishment.

    • UM_1973
      Comments: 34
      Joined: 10/14/2015
      UM_1973
      May 24, 2017 at 11:25 AM

      I think you need to give Harbaugh & team the benefit of the doubt. Yes, I prefer 5-star recruit over 3-star recruit. Yes, I prefer ready made prospects over prospects where you need to projects. Having said that, some coaches simply have a better eye for talent (especially OL). Look at Wisconsin. They rarely pick highly coveted star-studded Offensive Linemen. Yet, year in year out, they manage to trot out superior Offensive Line productions and consistently send their lineman to the NFL (see the link below). After some time, you simply have to ask whether it is luck or it is skill in identifying lower rated recruits who can excel at the next level. All else being the same, I want the higher rated recruits but for you to simply tag Mayfield as a second-tier recruit unable to propel us to become an elite program, it is very unfair to the UM Coaches. Let’s judge them when Harbaugh & Co are able to put their recruits on the field.

      http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/19212438/which-college-football-programs-produce-best-worst-nfl-players

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 25, 2017 at 5:39 PM

        I agree with this and have made similar arguments. BUT – to play devil’s advocate – Michigan is not putting Stanford level OLs on the field right now and we’re entering year 3.

        Perhaps most discouraging is the lack of young guys emerging from Harbaugh/Drevno’s first class. Runyan/Ulizio/Newsome are not expected to start and it’s year 3 for them. Drevno also didn’t get any of the much hyped 2012 OL class drafted. Where’s the development? It can be argued we’re still in the Hoke era when a guy either had it or didn’t.

        So now Grey Frey is going to be the savior? Maybe – I’m a huge fan – but why does Michigan need somebody to cover for Drevno at this stage? Isn’t his hire an indictment? And what about the differences in scheme between the guys that were coaching for Stanford in the late aughts and the guys that were coaching for Rich Rodriguez at the same time?

        As I’ve said before, this is a big year for Drevno to prove himself. If the OL still stinks in year 3 it’s on him. Same went for Funk/Hoke. You can’t keep blaming the previous regime if guys aren’t getting better.

        • Comments: 976
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          May 25, 2017 at 5:53 PM

          So, to clarify, you are hanging Grant Newsome’s failure to start this year on Tim Drevno?

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          May 25, 2017 at 6:34 PM

          I think the injury is the main thing.

          Drevno not getting ANY of his OL recruits to capable starter level yet is on him.

          • Comments: 976
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            May 25, 2017 at 6:55 PM

            Will Bredeson and Onwenu be starting?

            They were recruited and coached by whom?

            • Comments: 682
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              May 25, 2017 at 7:34 PM

              “Starting” means nothing when they have little or no competition. The team with the worst Oline talent in the country still STARTS five guys. It doesn’t mean they’re any good, or that they can get the job done against elite defenses.

              They had Dawson for two years and failed utterly to make a useful player out of him. 5 star Kugler is only finally starting as a 5th year senior because we moved Cole back to LT in desperation.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3611
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              May 25, 2017 at 7:41 PM

              Yes eventually not-Drevno’s guys will graduate and only Drevno’s guys will be left.

              Onwenu and Bredeson should not have played last year. TBD if they will be league-average starters in 2017. I hope so!

              • Comments: 976
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                May 25, 2017 at 9:30 PM

                So, to recap, Newsome started at LT as a redshirt freshman on an offensive line that placed four count them four guys on the first or second BIG Coaches all conference team and then sent three Seniors to the pros as undrafted free agents. He goes down and was replaced by the true freshman, Bredeson. and, to be fair, Lanky thinks that Newsome’s injury is the “main thing” impeding his development. Onwenu got snaps on both sides of the ball as a true Freshman and will start as a Sophomore. But Drevno’s offensive line recruiting and development sucks.

                I’ve said it before and likely will say it again. If people in this country held themselves to the same standard that they hold their football coaches, we’d have a significantly less screwed up country.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3611
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                May 26, 2017 at 11:51 AM

                Using freshman is sign of a problem – an argument AGAINST, not for OL coaching. Bredeson and Onwenu should have red-shirted. They didn’t because Drevno couldn’t get guys like Runyan, Kugler, Ulizio, etc. up to speed.

                Thusfar, Drevno has failed because the OL has been very very bad. As I’ve said repeatedly – 2017 is an opportunity for him to prove something. Otherwise, it’ll look like he was riding coattails to get to where he is.

                • Comments: 762
                  Joined: 1/19/2016
                  je93
                  May 26, 2017 at 8:17 PM

                  “Using freshman is sign of a problem – an argument AGAINST, not for OL coaching”

                  In year2?!? No, it means his predecessor had poor luck recruiting 2012-14, and the 2015 guys were RSFreshmen, the TrFr–who were recruiter for over a year (vice under a month)–were just more talented

      • Comments: 682
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        May 25, 2017 at 7:39 PM

        I have, for two years. If they are not putting a high quality Oline on the field In year 3, that’s a failure. And there’s every indication that the 2017 Oline will still be a patchwork job with limited talent and no viable depth.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          May 25, 2017 at 7:43 PM

          I agree. The OL coaching has been a failure. I think they wouldn’t have hired Frey if that wasn’t the case. It’s an admission of Drevno’s limitations.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3611
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          May 25, 2017 at 7:45 PM

          People keep wanting to make excuses for this. Injuries, Funk/Hoke, etc. Year 3 it’s on you. Said the same about people making excuses for Funk/Hoke 3 years ago. Some of the same people making excuses now.

          Drevno has an opportunity to prove his ability this year. We’ll see if he’s more Funk-like or Frey-like. Having Frey should help.

  2. Comments: 93
    Joined: 10/22/2015
    SinCityBlue
    May 24, 2017 at 12:44 AM

    I like him. I’ll be the first to admit that i don’t anything about evaluating OLine prospects though. I do like the Lewan comp as he has that nastyness when he finishes his run blocks. He looks like he moves well too at the 2:54 mark locating something to obliterate at the second level. Also, wasn’t Runyan about the same size coming in? Two years later and he’s in the mix for a starting spot at RT so I’m pretty optimistic.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3611
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      May 25, 2017 at 5:41 PM

      I appreciate the humility on the OL evaluations. I think some recruiting pundits would be wise to embrace it at the OL position. OL recruiting is like a box of chocolates.

  3. Hingle McCringleberry
    Comments: 2
    Joined: 5/17/2017
    Hingle McCringleberry
    May 24, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    Not sure all of college football turns 3stars into NFL lineman regularly, but Frey sure has a good track record. Let’s look at the Hoke years if we need a measuring stick or a gauge. A heralded class with Kalis and others, all 4 and 5 stars, how did that turn out. Meanwhile Indiana takes 2 and 3 stars and just runs the ball down everyone’s throats. Then sends multiple 1st rounders to the league. I think I’m going to trust Harbaugh and Co. with their evals!

  4. OVOXO
    Comments: 3
    Joined: 12/29/2016
    OVOXO
    May 24, 2017 at 9:07 PM

    Looks like a kid with quick feet that finishes blocks through the whistle. Me likey.

  5. Comments: 22
    Joined: 12/28/2015
    mich_alumni
    May 24, 2017 at 9:27 PM

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1938590-whats-the-success-rate-for-5-star-recruits-reaching-the-nfl

    There is an article with actual data to back up the fact that OL are simply the hardest to predict success for. A mere 31% of 5 star OL make it to the NFL where 62% of 5 star receivers do. Donovoan Peoples-Jones is much more likely to be a success than Kyle Kalis. That probably means with a position like OL you should spread your risk and take more prospects. This is in fact the exact type of prospect you want to take, an athletic kid that you can bulk up, because the upside if you are able to do so is so high.

    Using that data provided in the article, it would actually make sense to focus your recruiting on a few elite (5*), WR and DB prospects and speculate more on OL. Thunder is 100% right, its guys like Taylor Lewan, Jake Long (a 4*), Patrick Omameh that are going to pan out. Recruiting OL is a volume game and we should be thrilled to get a guys like Mayfield and Hayes, knowing that some of them are simply not going to make it.

    To be fair though following that logic you could make the argument that you shouldn’t be spending speculative scholarships on the Green brothers, and I could agree with that.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3611
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      May 25, 2017 at 6:18 PM

      Great link! That 31% drafted for OL is significantly less than other positions.

      Reinforces the point I’ve made anecdotally for many years. No matter how many 5-stars you get, you still have to attack OL with the a healthy quantity of scholarships.

    • Comments: 682
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      May 25, 2017 at 8:50 PM

      That assumes you can actually land 5* WR and DB recruits every year. We don’t. And as a result, we have to take more numbers at those positions, too, in order to have a decent chance of a quality starting lineup. But at some point, you run out of scholarships. And at Oline, you don’t rotate. In the absence of injuries, you’re going to have your starters playing every meaningful down all year long. Not so at any other position, except QB.

    • Comments: 682
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      May 25, 2017 at 8:53 PM

      If OL recruiting and player development. were only about generating NFL prospects, this would mean something, but it’s not.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 25, 2017 at 9:18 PM

        A guy who argues the merits and value of 5-star rankings based on HS play as an indicator of college success should understand the correlation between college success and NFL draft stock.

        • Comments: 682
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          May 26, 2017 at 7:42 AM

          The point is that you can be a very successful college player, and still be lightly regarded by the NFL, for a variety of reasons. See All-American Ernest Shazor.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 26, 2017 at 11:48 AM

            Just like you can be a 5-star recruit and not pan out or be a 3-star recruit who is a stud.

  6. Lanknows
    Comments: 3611
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    May 25, 2017 at 6:32 PM

    While I appreciate WCB’s point about needing to recruit elite talent, I think his thinking is overly simplistic on several fronts. The most import being:

    1. OL is different, more uncertain than other positions.
    2. Greg Frey has a track record that is stronger than Drevno/Harbaugh.

    Point 1 is chiefly about quantity. No OL recruit is a bad recruit because you have to attack uncertainty with volume (my variant of Don Brown’s quote is basic statistical theory).

    Point 2 is important because while you can poke holes in the Drevno resume, Frey’s is unassailable. He’s both developed players he inherited and recruited successfully (highly ranked players and not). He’s done it with elite talent available at Michigan and at Indiana.

    I like every OL we get. We need to recruit more of them. But I particularly like the more athletic prospects in the Frey-OT mold. I 100% agree with Thunder’s support of these types. Hopefully he grows a bit closer to 6’6 than 6’5. The current weight isn’t worth fretting about.

    Mayfields a great addition. I hope Michigan adds a few more OL to this class.

    • Comments: 682
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      May 25, 2017 at 7:26 PM

      Don’t tell that to Alabama. It’s not an accident that they land 5 star OL recruits every year, and that they have an elite Oline every year.

      And I give Frey no credit for anything he’s done elsewhere or before. When he starts doing it here and now, let me know.

      As far as “quantity”, sure, you can call for recruiting more and more Olinemen, to improve your chances of getting a viable starting 5, but every scholarship you take away from other positions REDUCES your chance of getting enough playable guys there. It’s a zero-sum game and you only have 85 scholarships to get everything done with.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 25, 2017 at 9:05 PM

        Alabama recruits more OL than anyone. They’re not immune from the variability/uncertainty at the position.

        • Comments: 682
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          May 26, 2017 at 8:03 AM

          Another silly claim with no evidence to back it up. Even if it were true, did you take into account that they have to replace guys like Cam Robinson, who leave after 3 years?

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 26, 2017 at 11:05 AM

            Been linked on TTB before.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 25, 2017 at 9:07 PM

        what would be the point of letting you know? you’d be on to the next complaint.

        Michigan is never going to have a staff full of proven coaches (by your definition) because successful coaches move on and get promoted.

        Impossible to please.

        • Comments: 682
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          May 26, 2017 at 8:07 AM

          Does Ohio State have a staff full of successful coaches? Does Alabama? When one of their coaches moves on, do they use it as an excuse for a down year, or do they just replace them with someone just as good? Is Greg Mattison a proven, successful coach? Yes, by my “definition”. Has he been promoted or moved on? No.

          When you start spewing this much made-up bullshit, I know you have no actual argument.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 26, 2017 at 11:09 AM

            Temper temper. Yes, Mattison got promoted and left Michigan.

            Alabama and Ohio State are unproven by your definition. e.g., Kevin Wilson, Brian Daboll. Sure they have impressive resumes to most logical human beings. But WCB says: “When he starts doing it here and now, let me know.”

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 25, 2017 at 9:16 PM

        But the gains at some positions are marginal. We can continue to recruit 8 RBs to the roster at all time, but there’s rarely much difference between guy #2 and guy #5. Meanwhile we’re throwing whatever true freshman has a pulse on the field as a starter on the OL year in and year out.

        RB is the most obvious position where this is problematic, but it’s true for others as well.

        Replacing 3 star recruits with 5 star recruits would help of course because the probabilities are better — but it doesn’t eliminate the uncertainty. It certainly doesn’t eliminate it for underclassmen.

        It’s not zero sum because some positions are more certain than others, the variability isn’t the same, the importance isn’t the same, the need for experience isn’t the same, red-shirting benefits, etc. You have to optimize the roster – that means keeping some positions light (like kicker and FB) and ensuring depth at others.

        I don’t know how to put it more plainly. This is just math. OL are more uncertain. There are 5 x more OL positions than RB. The ratios M is recruiting at are not appropriate and reflect a strategic error.

        • Comments: 682
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          May 26, 2017 at 7:57 AM

          Yes, it is zero-sum. Do you even know what that means? If you devote an extra scholarship to Oline, you have to take one away from another position. And we don’t have 8 scholarship RBs on the roster “all the time”. That’s simply a lie. I challenge you to prove me wrong. As far as claiming that there isn’t much difference between #2 (Chris Evans last year, 88/614) and #5 (Kingston Davis, 2/17), that’s one of the dumber things you’ve ever said.

          Your argument also fails to take into account the need (or lack thereof) to rotate guys other than the starters, and susceptibility to injury. Bottom line, 16-18 scholarship Olinemen should be sufficient, if you’ve got adequate recruiting, coaching and player development. 20-22 is too many. But prove me wrong. The evidence is out there. Show us how many scholarship (not walk-on) Olinemen other top 25 teams are keeping around, year after year.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 26, 2017 at 11:12 AM

            It’s not zero sum at all – because the relevant quantity here is not number of scholarships but on-field production.

            If you allocate all your scholarships to QBs you will not win any games. If you allocated them to all the positions you will get a different result. This is not zero sum.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3611
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            May 26, 2017 at 11:32 AM

            6, 7, 8 – doesn’t matter. It’s way too many.

            RB depth chart last year was:
            1. Smith 2. Evans 3. Peppers 4. Higdon 5. Isaac with Davis, Walker, and Johnson sitting out for real or imagined health issues. Shuffle the order around by number of carries if you want to.

            You want to quibble who is sitting out you can. Johnson got hurt but he started games before. Walker is supposed to be competing for backup carries and ‘making a move’. People thought/think Isaac is legit talent just waiting to bust out. Some people wanted Smith to move to FB so that the #5 guy could step in. — In other words my 2 vs 5 comp could even be understated.

            I stand by my point that the differences along much of the RB depth chart are marginal at best. Michigan has never had to use a walk-on RB, let alone start one. Contrast that situation with the OL where true freshman are forced into the lineup and walk-ons compete for backup spots nearly every year — not due to merit but incompetence.

    • Comments: 762
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      May 25, 2017 at 11:18 PM

      Greg Frey does NOT have a better track record than Harbaugh & Drevno. In addition to the ridiculous turnaround they engineered at Stanford in just four years (with an All American Center), they had three Pro Bowlers with the 49ers
      As far as year 3, we haven’t even started it yet. In the first two years, all they did is take a historically bad unit–never forget consecutive games with below zero rushing yards–and covered up enough for consecutive 10 win seasons
      The only time a Frey OL did anything like that was at the height of the Pat White & Steve Slaton era in Morgantown

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 26, 2017 at 11:42 AM

        The thing is there were other coaches there too. How much of it was David Shaw? Greg Roman? Shannon Turley?

        Michigan’s OL hasn’t just been bad by Michigan standards it’s been bad by Purdue standards. Given the talent available at a program of Michigan’s caliber this is a failure of coaching. Certainly some of that blame goes on Funk & Hoke. Probably most of it. But, again, in year 3 those excuses don’t cut it anymore. Harbaugh/Drevno haven’t produced a quality starter on the OL yet. 2017 is a chance for them to prove themselves.

        Harbaugh as a head coach is proven. Drevno as an OL/OC combo is not.

        • Comments: 762
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          May 26, 2017 at 8:11 PM

          Now you’re speculating on who to credit for OL? David Shaw didn’t follow the guys to SF; Drevno left for SC, and did fine with youth; the 9ers did not do welp without him, and then capitulated without him & JH

          Indiana’s record during Frey’s stay was 26-46, including losses to JH (and Brady Hoke). That’s tough to look past, even while speculating. I like Frey–dont get me wrong–but I don’t think this one is clear that his record is better than Drevno’s, and clearly not better than the JH/Drevno combo…

          As for year3, it hasn’t been played yet, but we shall see

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3611
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        May 26, 2017 at 11:47 AM

        Grey Frey was a co-OC on an offense that was better than Michigan’s last year, with far inferior talent.

        His OL in year 2 at Michigan had less to work with than Drevno’s in year 2 and he turned his recruits into capable starters as red-shirt freshman.

  7. Comments: 21477
    Oct 06, 2017 at 8:20 AM

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