Michigan vs. Michigan State Awards

Tag: Kekoa Crawford

10Oct 2017
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Michigan vs. Michigan State Awards

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Maurice Ways. Michigan tried a couple fade routes on Saturday, though they were ill fated. One was to Sean McKeon – which isn’t a terrible idea – and another was to Eddie McDoom, which is a little more suspect. Ways was a high school basketball player who didn’t concentrate on football until he realized that it’s pretty tough to succeed in basketball if you’re “only” a 6’3″ wing. He might be a better fade option than McDoom or McKeon, who have not shown an ability yet to go up and get the ball.

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25Sep 2017
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Michigan vs. Purdue Awards

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Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . John O’Korn. You don’t want to see anyone get injured, but O’Korn did a pretty good job in place of the banged up Wilton Speight. O’Korn was 18/26 for 270 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception, and he put up the best quarterback performance of the season. He also led Michigan on its two longest drives of the season (84 and 86 yards), including going 3-for-3 in the red zone. O’Korn also passed the eye test with some very good throws, quick decisions, and scrambling ability. O’Korn should be the starter moving forward.

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18Sep 2017
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Michigan vs. Air Force Awards

Zach Gentry (image via Scout)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Zach Gentry. Gentry’s snaps seem to have increased over the past week or two, and his targets have, too. After not recording a reception in week one, he has 3 catches for 71 yards in the last two games. It was mentioned during the broadcast yesterday that Tim Drevno sees him as being similar to Coby Fleener at the same age, except a better blocker. That’s saying something, considering Gentry is still a terrible blocker. Regardless, Michigan needs offensive playmakers, and Gentry can get separation from linebackers and safeties.

Hit the jump for more awards from Saturday’s win.

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17Sep 2017
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Michigan 29, Air Force 13

Donovan Peoples-Jones

Red zone woes. Michigan has scored touchdowns on just 1 of 10 opportunities inside the 20-yard line. They don’t have difference-makers on offense at quarterback or wide receiver, and running back Ty Isaac needs a crease to be at his best. For the past couple years, Michigan could bring in Jabrill Peppers as a Wildcat quarterback, running back, or slot guy, but they don’t have that guy right now. The offensive line needs to improve to help make that difference, and Wilton Speight needs to be better, too. Luckily, kicker Quinn Nordin has been pretty darn good in his first three games, and he’s actually tied for #1 nationally with 11 made field goals (on 13 attempts). That is good for Nordin, but it’s disappointing that Michigan has attempted 13 field goals, which is the most in the country.

Hit the jump for more on Saturday’s win.

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18Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #13 Kekoa Crawford

Kekoa Crawford (image via 247 Sports)

Name: Kekoa Crawford
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Rancho Santa Margarita (CA) Catholic
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #1
Last year: I ranked Crawford #44 and said he would be a backup wide receiver. He made 4 catches for 47 yards and 1 touchdown, and he ran 3 times for 15 yards.
TTB Rating: 81

Normally, I probably would have projected someone with Crawford’s skills as a guy destined for a redshirt, or possibly with just a wee bit of playing time with no discernible freshman upside. Last year I ranked him pretty highly. Why the swing? The kid likes to block. Crawford is the best blocking receiver I’ve seen come to Michigan in a while, even though a couple other guys (Jehu Chesson, Maurice Ways) have developed those skills in college. I think that trait got Crawford on the field early, and he had a decent freshman season for someone playing behind two established seniors in Chesson and Amara Darboh. Crawford also has good hands and made a nice touchdown catch against Maryland.

Now Crawford might be the #1 receiving target in 2017. With Chesson and Darboh gone – and Drake Harris moved to cornerback – the only upperclassman receivers are redshirt junior backup Ways and junior Grant Perry, neither of whom has been a heavily utilized receiver. Since the spring, the expectation has been that Crawford would start at one receiver spot this year, with a freshman (likely Tarik Black or Donovan Peoples-Jones) starting on the other side. Crawford doesn’t have the same athletic upside as those two freshmen, but he does have those soft hands and that blocking ability, and he runs like a running back.

Prediction: Starting wide receiver; 40 catches, 520 yards, 3 touchdowns

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