Kai-Leon Herbert, Ex-Wolverine

Tag: Ex-Wolverines

22Jan 2017
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Kai-Leon Herbert, Ex-Wolverine

Kai-Leon Herbert isn’t a guy who does hats

Plantation (FL) American Heritage offensive tackle Kai-Leon Herbert decommitted from Michigan on Sunday. Herbert is a 6’5″, 284-pounder who’s a 4-star, the #28 offensive tackle, and #252 overall.

Herbert committed to Michigan in July of 2016 (LINK). If you follow recruiting closely, you may remember that he made a The Walking Dead spin-off video for his commitment. It was one of the more creative commitment videos I’ve seen. I gave him an 86. Not for the video, but as a TTB Rating. He’s a legitimate left tackle prospect, though he could play guard as well. But in the months since, his commitment has been viewed as very soft. I said several months ago that I didn’t think he would stick with Michigan, and I even put in a Crystal Ball in on January 11 for him to commit to Florida. I don’t know all the reasons behind his choice, but there have been rumors that he was not comfortable with the number of commitments Michigan had on the offensive line and their continued pursuit of linemen.

Frankly, I don’t know why linemen aren’t pounding down the door to play offensive line at Michigan, especially to play offensive tackle. Michigan has limited options at both tackle spots, and they lose three senior starters from 2016. In fact, Michigan’s best option at left tackle might be to bump center Mason Cole out there and let an unproven player snap the ball. Playing time is right there for the taking if you put in the work to beat out some . . . unheralded options.

Michigan now has 26 commits in the 2017 class, including potential tackles Joel Honigford, Chuck Filiaga, Andrew Stueber, Ja’Raymond Hall, and potentially even James Hudson III, the last of whom was primarily recruited as a defensive tackle. Honigford is almost certainly destined for a redshirt, Filiaga won’t be ready to play left tackle, and Hall probably needs some time, too. Out of the incoming freshmen currently committed, Stueber might be the most ready to step in immediately and play.

I posted an If I Had My Druthers piece on the offensive line last week (LINK), and Mekhi Becton seems the most likely to join the class. However, he took an official visit to Virginia Tech this weekend, and a flurry of nine Crystal Balls have come in so far today for the Hokies, who now hold 75% of the picks. It will be interesting to see if Michigan expands its offer board in an attempt to get another linemen to take an official visit before National Signing Day, since only one visit weekend remains.

22Jan 2017
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Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2006

Justin Boren (image via MVictors)

In an attempt to whittle down the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia at the top of the page, I’m going to split up the 8,000 words there into several individual posts. The Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia will still remain at the top of the page, but it will be limited to active collegians and then have links to each of these posts of older players or classes that have matriculated out of football.

Justin Boren – Offensive guard – Pickerington (OH) North
Boren was the son of ex-Michigan linebacker Mike Boren.  He was born and bred to be a Wolverine.  Freshman offensive linemen are almost guaranteed to redshirt, but he played as a freshman, even starting when guard Rueben Riley was injured.  Boren was a solid starter for Michigan in 2007.  But when Lloyd Carr departed after the 2007 season and Rich Rodriguez was hired, Justin and his family butted heads with the new regime.  Some stories have suggested that Boren couldn’t handle the physical requirements of the new strength and conditioning staff.  The story I believe to be true is that Lloyd Carr had promised to offer the Borens’ younger son, Zach, a scholarship.  However, Zach was a fullback and Rich Rodriguez doesn’t offer scholarships to fullbacks – he fills that position from walk-ons.  That perturbed the Borens enough to send Justin to Ohio State, the school that Zach would also attend.  Justin sat out the 2008 season and started at left guard for OSU in 2009.  Boren was named All-Big Ten in 2010 for Ohio State. He went undrafted in 2011, but spent time on the practice squads of the Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos.
Current status: Out of football

Hit the jump for the rest of the players who left Michigan from the class of 2006.

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19Jan 2017
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Wyatt Shallman, Ex-Wolverine

Three running backs from the class of 2013: Derrick Green, Wyatt Shallman, De’Veon Smith (image via 247 Sports)

Redshirt junior running back/fullback/linebacker Wyatt Shallman will pursue a graduate transfer opportunity elsewhere for next season. He played each of those positions at various times throughout his college career, though he finishes his days at Michigan with 4 career carries for 14 yards while playing in sixteen career games.

My history of discussing Shallman has been short and emphatic. I wrote a scouting report on him in January of 2012 (LINK), had a bit more to say about him when he committed in February of 2012 (LINK), and eventually landed on a TTB Rating of 65 (LINK). Beyond his recruitment, there really hasn’t been much reason to talk about him over the years. He started out as a tailback for Brady Hoke, which was a bad fit to begin. He took snaps at fullback for Jim Harbaugh back in the spring of 2016, and I noted that he did not look enthused to be a blocking back. He switched to defense in the middle of this past season, but that didn’t seem like a great solution. Switching positions in the middle of your fourth year generally isn’t a good sign.

There is the occasional recruit whose negative reviews engender some anger from, well, people who are interested in seeing that recruit succeed. I received a fair amount of hate mail after my assessment of Shallman’s abilities several years ago. Despite the fact that Shallman was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #1 fullback, and #299 overall, I didn’t see him making much of an impact at Michigan.

The departure of Shallman is a positive for all parties. Shallman was not going to play in 2017. He had already been passed up by classmates or younger players at every position he played, and he wasn’t a standout on special teams, either. This opens up a spot for a younger player or a transfer to enter the fray and compete for a more meaningful role. Meanwhile, Shallman has an opportunity to end up elsewhere – likely at a MAC school, I would guess – and carve out a spot.

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12Jan 2017
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Ex-Wolverine Updates: Post-2016 Recap

Kyle Bosch (#62, image via Scout)

Former OG Kyle Bosch: Bosch made 1 tackle this year, but more importantly, he started all 13 games at West Virginia and was named Second Team All-Big 12.

Former DE commit Pharaoh Brown: After missing all of 2015 while recovering from a nasty knee injury, Brown was Oregon’s starting tight end and made 33 catches for 426 yards (12.9 yards/catch) and 5 touchdowns. However, he got in some legal trouble and missed the final two games of the season. His college career is complete.

Former WR commit George Campbell: Campbell redshirted during his second year at Florida State due to injury. He will be a redshirt sophomore this coming fall.

Hit the jump for updates on many, many more former Wolverines.

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3Jan 2017
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Jedd Fisch, Ex-Wolverine

Jedd Fisch

Michigan passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch, who had signed a 2-year extension for the 2016-2017 seasons, is headed to UCLA to be Jim Mora’s offensive coordinator. Fisch was hired by Jim Harbaugh after a two-year stint as the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator. Fisch worked with the receivers and quarterbacks and was involved with the play calling during his time in Ann Arbor.

Options to replace Fisch are varied, especially because Harbaugh has hired from outside of his sphere several times. He had no previous connections to Fisch, he didn’t know Don Brown before bringing him on board, and he had no real connections to Tyrone Wheatley or Mike Zordich, either. I’ll go through a few of the obvious names, though, since it’s hard to comb through the entire sport of football for possible replacements:

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2Jan 2017
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David Dawson, Ex-Wolverine

David Dawson

Offensive guard David Dawson, who would be a fifth year senior at Michigan this fall, is seeking a graduate transfer elsewhere. He announced Monday via Twitter that he would be leaving.

Dawson attended Detroit (MI) Cass Tech, transferred to Texas for his junior year, and then returned to Cass Tech as a senior. He committed to Michigan in February 2012 as a part of the 2013 class, decommitted, and then later recommitted to the Wolverines. In fact, he broke Brady Hoke’s infamous “no visit” policy when he took a recruiting trip to Florida while committed to Michigan, so the coaching staff moved on without him. Eventually, fences were mended and he was “re-offered.”

I took a lot of flak for my thoughts on Dawson when he committed (LINK). You can see there that I was not fond of his abilities, and people were annoyed in the comments. My Twitter mentions weren’t a happy place, either. I gave him a TTB Rating of 71 (at the low end of being an eventual solid starter), and even that was generous. I didn’t see great bend in him, nor did I see a lot of nastiness in his play. Those things seemed to play out at Michigan, as well. He played in twelve career games without ever starting, and when he did play, he did not excel. He played in just three games as a backup in 2016, though an arm injury in the spring hampered him somewhat.

You’ll also see in the link above that I was afraid Michigan would fill up in the 2013 class without having room for the likes of Ethan Pocic. In fact, Pocic was turned away by Michigan and ended up signing with LSU. How did Pocic’s career go in Baton Rouge? He was First Team All-SEC in 2016, Second Team All-SEC in 2015, and started for his entire sophomore year after backup duty as a freshman. He’s considered to be one of the top couple center prospects in the 2017 draft. Imagine if Michigan had an all-conference center the past couple seasons to free up Mason Cole or Graham Glasgow to help at tackle or guard. Considering Michigan lost three games by a total of five points this season, it’s not inconceivable that it could have put Michigan in the playoff, if not at 12-0 in the regular season.

The loss of Dawson should not affect the team much in 2017. He was not expected to start, and he probably would not have been a key backup, either. He was obviously passed on the depth chart by the likes of freshman Ben Bredeson, classmate Patrick Kugler, sophomore Grant Newsome, redshirt sophomore Juwann Bushell-Beatty, and others. Next year’s starting interior could very well be Bredeson, center Mason Cole, and rising sophomore Michael Onwenu. With some highly rated recruits coming in and with some other promising young players, Dawson would have been battling just to be second string.

Michigan has 87 scholarship players scheduled for the fall of 2017 (LINK), so I expect some more departures. Quarterback Shane Morris and long snapper Scott Sypniewski have already begun seeking grad transfers, too.

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