Michigan 42, Maryland 21

Tag: Ben Mason


7Oct 2018
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Michigan 42, Maryland 21

Ben Mason (image via Wolverines Wire)

Hooray for fewer commercials. I have to say it was very nice not to have to sit through commercial break after commercial break after commercial break. I get that college football can’t exist in the form that it does without commercials, but some of the recent games have been tiresome. I don’t watch the commercials, ABC. I go to the bathroom, get a snack, or check my phone.

Hit the jump for the rest of the recap.

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30Aug 2018
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2018 Season Predictions

Nico Collins (image via Twitter)

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LEADING RUSHER
Karan Higdon emerged from last season as the de facto starting running back, and there’s no reason to think he’ll lose that job now, especially after adding about 15 lbs. of muscle in the off-season. Chris Evans projects to be the #2 guy.
Prediction: Karan Higdon, 1100 yards

LEADING RECEIVER
The wide receiver position is a huge mess right now after the transfers of Eddie McDoom, Drake Harris, Maurice Ways, and Kekoa Crawford . . . and, oh yeah, the injury to Tarik Black’s foot. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a tight end lead the team in receiving yards, but I’ll go with Donovan Peoples-Jones. He’s one of four healthy scholarship receivers on the roster, along with Grant Perry, Oliver Martin, Ronnie Bell, and Nico Collins.
Prediction: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 750 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the season predictions.

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10Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #18 Ben Mason

Ben Mason (image via Detroit News)

Name: Ben Mason
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 254 lbs.
High school: Newtown (CT) Newtown
Position: Fullback
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #42
Last year: I ranked Mason #77 and said he would be a backup fullback (LINK). He had 3 carries for 4 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 74

I may or may not have underranked Mason last season. On the one hand, I ranked him #77 and he scored 2 touchdowns, which is pretty good for the 77th-most important player on the team. On the other hand, Michigan had two senior fullbacks on the roster who probably could have punched in those two 1-yard touchdowns. Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi were the co-starters at fullback in 2017, but it was always likely that Michigan would plan to groom Mason for 2018, which is exactly what they did.

This spring there was a bit of a stir when it came out that Mason was playing fullback and linebacker, and Mason did an interview where he discussed his preference – according to him, he has none. He was a fullback and linebacker in high school, and he was seemingly recruited for linebacker before moving to the offensive side of the ball. He does not appear to be a strong contender for any of the linebacker positions, which makes sense to me. It’s one thing for a defensive player to moonlight as an offensive guy, but it’s a whole different story when you try to make an offensive guy into a defensive player; the only case that seems to make sense is when you put in a tall receiver with ball skills when it’s time to defend a Hail Mary. Mason should be focusing on offense, even though Michigan may use the fullback less with Shea Patterson behind center. I expect this Michigan team to be a little more spread-oriented and a little less smashmouth-y.

Prediction: Starting fullback

6Jun 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #77 Ben Mason

Ben Mason (image via Twitter)

Name: Ben Mason
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 247 lbs.
High school: Newtown (CT) Newtown
Position: Fullback/linebacker
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #42
Last year: Mason was a senior in high school. He ran 80 times for 719 yards and 11 touchdowns; caught 15 passes for 188 yards and 3 touchdowns; and made 63 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions (1 for a TD), and 2 forced fumbles.
TTB Rating: 74

Mason is an impressive physical specimen, as evidenced by the fact that he was a relatively unknown prospect when he walked into Schembechler Hall for a recruiting visit . . . and walked out with an offer. He’s been a big deal in his home state for a couple years, but New England isn’t known for pumping out elite football players. But he fits what Jim Harbaugh wants, and that means he’s a versatile, tough football player.

Mason enrolled early in January and took part in spring practices. He spent most of his time as a linebacker, but Harbaugh revealed recently that he will probably be a fullback, which is what many expected when he came out of high school. Harbaugh also said that the running backs were lobbying for Mason to be a fullback, because after seeing him lead block a little bit during the spring, they saw what he could do. At 6’3″ and 247 lbs. with a violent streak, he could be devastating. This year there probably won’t be a ton of room for playing time, since there are two fifth-year seniors at the position (Khalid Hill and Henry Poggi). However, the spot will open up in 2018, and Michigan may want to groom Mason to be the starter.

Prediction: Backup fullback

15Feb 2017
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2017 Recruiting Grades: Defense

Aubrey Solomon (image via Scout)

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I posted the 2017 offensive recruiting grades last week (LINK), so here are my thoughts on the defensive side of the ball. Click on the player names below for their commitment posts.

DEFENSIVE END: B+
Commits (4): Deron Irving-Bey, Donovan JeterCorey Malone-Hatcher, Kwity Paye, Luiji Vilain
Decommits (0): N/A
Why? Michigan went after some elite rush ends (Jaelan Phillips, K’Lavon Chaisson, etc.) in this cycle, but none showed much interest. Instead, Michigan got home-stater Malone-Hatcher, Boston College decommit Paye, and Canada native Vilain as weakside end types. I thought Vilain improved significantly over the last couple years since moving from Ontario to Virginia. On the strong side, Michigan got Irving-Bey and Jeter, both of whom could end up as a 3-technique tackles. I don’t see dominant players here, but it is a solid group and they’ll get high-quality coaching.

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