Should I stay or should I go now?

Tag: Lavert Hill


11Dec 2018
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Should I stay or should I go now?

Devin Bush, Jr. (image via Wolverines Wire)

With an outstanding defense and a competent offense, a lot of Michigan players will need to decide whether to stay at Michigan for 2019 or to head for greener pastures in the NFL (or elsewhere). Here’s a look at the players that I have the biggest questions about going forward.

Ben Bredeson – OG – Junior

Bredeson, a 6’5″ and 320 lb. offensive guard, has said that he is leaning toward returning to Michigan in 2019. Bredeson was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school who made eight starts as a true freshman and has been a full-season starter for the past two years. He has been a Second Team All-Big Ten selection for the past two seasons, both by the coaches and the media. While he has been a good player at Michigan and anchors the left side of the line for a left-hand-dominant team, he has not yet proven to be the road-grader that many expected. Bredeson would most likely get drafted in 2019, but I think he would be a third-day selection. If he returns to develop for one more year, I think he could potentially work his way up into the second day with an outside shot at the first round.
Verdict: Stay in school

Devin Bush, Jr. – LB – Junior

Bush is listed at 5’11”, 232 lbs., and the biggest knock on him is that he lacks size. Well, he’s probably not going to get any bigger at this point. His father, who played at Florida State and in the NFL, was listed at 6’0″, 210 lbs. The younger Bush was 1st Team All-Big Ten and an All-American in 2017, and he is quite possibly headed for the same accolades here in 2018. He finished the 2018 regular season with 80 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 6 pass breakups. He’s a sideline-to-sideline player who hits like a ton of bricks and can cover. At worst he’s a backup linebacker and special teams player in the NFL; at best he’s a tackling machine who fits in well with the new age of small, quick linebackers. I don’t see much of a reason for him to stay at Michigan in 2019, but I would be happy if he did.
Verdict: Go pro

Rashan Gary – DE – Junior

Gary, of course, has already decided to go pro. As the #1 overall recruit in the 2016 class, it was expected by many that he would be headed to the NFL as soon as possible. Not only has he hit three years, but he also suffered from some shoulder problems during his college career. In an attempt to preserve himself for the NFL, it makes sense that he would want to jump into the draft now. It would be very unfortunate if he came back next year, suffered further shoulder injuries, and still wasn’t getting paid for his efforts and pain. I think Gary made the right choice.
Verdict: Go pro

Hit the jump for a look at some other players who might be considering leaving.

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27Nov 2018
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2018 All-Big Ten Defense and Special Teams

Devin Bush, Jr.

The Big Ten released its all-conference defense and special teams units on Tuesday (LINK). Devin Bush, Jr. was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as well as the Linebacker of the Year. Other Michigan honorees include:

COACHES

First Team
Line: Chase Winovich
Line: Rashan Gary
Linebacker: Devin Bush, Jr.
Defensive Back: Lavert Hill
Defensive Back: David Long, Jr.
Punter: Will Hart

Second Team
Defensive Back: Josh Metellus

Third Team
Return Specialist: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Honorable Mention
Line: Bryan Mone
Linebacker: Khaleke Hudson
Linebacker: Josh Ross
Linebacker: Joshua Uche
Defensive Back: Tyree Kinnel

MEDIA

First Team
Line: Chase Winovich
Linebacker: Devin Bush, Jr.
Defensive Back: Lavert Hill
Punter: Will Hart

Second Team
Line: Rashan Gary
Defensive Back: Josh Metellus

Third Team
Defensive Back: David Long
Return Specialist: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Honorable Mention
Line: Kwity Paye
Linebacker: Khaleke Hudson
Linebacker: Joshua Uche
Defensive Back: Tyree Kinnel

The #1 story I take away from this is that Michigan’s defense is pretty darn good. But the #2 story is that other coaches in the conference pegged Josh Ross as an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten linebacker, but he couldn’t wrangle the starting gig away from Devin Gil.

20Oct 2018
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All-Time Interception Returns for Touchdowns

Lavert Hill (image via MGoBlue)

With the recent news that Michigan cornerback Lavert Hill is tied for the all-time lead at Michigan with 2 career interception returns for touchdowns (with Thom Darden and Lance Dottin), I thought I would go back and compile all the touchdown returns in Michigan history. The statistical database only goes back to 1997, so this somewhat abbreviated list is limited in its scope to the past 22 seasons:

  1. CB Thom Darden, 2 (1969-1971)
  2. DB Lance Dottin, 2 (1989-1991)
  3. CB Brandon Watson (62 yards vs. Penn State 2018, 46 yards vs. Maryland)
  4. CB Lavert Hill, 2 (24 yards vs. Cincinnati 2017, 21 yards vs. Wisconsin 2018)
  5. LB Brandon Herron, 1 (94 yards vs. WMU 2011)
  6. S Ernest Shazor, 1 (88 yards vs. Miami-OH 2004)
  7. S Josh Metellus, 1 (73 yards vs. SMU 2018)
  8. CB Blake Countess, 1 (72 yards vs. Minnesota 2013)
  9. CB Raymon Taylor, 1 (63 yards vs. Purdue 2012)
  10. CB Jeremy LeSueur, 1 (60 yards vs. Indiana 2003)
  11. CB Will Peterson, 1 (51 yards vs. EMU 1998)
  12. CB Channing Stribling, 1 (51 yards vs. Hawaii 2016)
  13. CB Julius Curry, 1 (50 yards vs. Ohio State 2000)
  14. LB Ian Gold, 1 (46 yards vs. Arkansas 1998)
  15. CB Andre Weathers, 1 (43 yards vs. Ohio State 1997)
  16. CB Donovan Warren, 1 (40 yards vs. Iowa 2009)
  17. CB Jourdan Lewis, 1 (37 yards vs. Northwestern 2015)
  18. LB Prescott Burgess, 1 (35 yards vs. Notre Dame 2006)
  19. S Jacob Stewart, 1 (34 yards vs. Minnesota 2003)
  20. LB Anthony Jordan, 1 (32 yards vs. EMU 1998)
  21. S Tyree Kinnel, 1 (28 yards vs. Cincinnati 2017)
  22. S Delano Hill, 1 (26 yards vs. Hawaii 2016)
  23. CB James Whitley, 1 (26 yards vs. Arkansas 1998)
  24. CB Grant Mason, 1 (25 yards vs. Iowa 2004)
  25. LB John Thompson, 1 (25 yards vs. Wisconsin 2008)
  26. S Marlin Jackson, 1 (19 yards vs. Notre Dame 2002)
  27. LB Mike McCray II, 1 (14 yards vs. Florida State 2016)
  28. LB Max Pollock, 1 (12 yards vs. CMU 2006)
  29. DE Brennen Beyer, 1 (7 yards vs. Iowa 2013)
  30. DT Willie Henry, 1 (7 yards vs. Utah 2014)

If you have any information on any other interception return touchdowns prior to 1997, please let me know.

14Oct 2018
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Michigan 38, Wisconsin 13

Josh Metellus (image via Detroit News)

So…uh…how about that offensive line? It hasn’t been often that we have said this over the past few years, but the offensive line play was excellent. The Badgers’ defense isn’t as good as it has been in some other recent seasons – the linebackers aren’t as good, and the defensive line was banged up. But it’s still a well coached unit, and the linebackers are solid. This offensive line would have still been mauled in recent years, but Shea Patterson had oodles of time to throw, and Karan Higdon had good enough run blocking to bounce some runs to the outside for big chunk gains. The coverage on the back end was good for the most part, so Patterson still had to scramble (and tried to do too much at times), but there weren’t many mistakes up front. Credit goes to the players, obviously, but I think the Ed Warinner Effect is becoming more and more apparent.

Hit the jump for the rest of the recap.

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17Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #11 Lavert Hill

Lavert Hill (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Lavert Hill
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 181 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) King
Position: Cornerback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #24
Last year: I ranked Hill #17 and said he would be a starting cornerback with 25 tackles and 2 interceptions (LINK). He made 25 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions (for 24 yards and 1 TD), and 7 pass breakups.
TTB Rating: 84

Hill received a bunch of negative attention in the spring and fall of 2017 stemming from comments made by cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich. Zordich essentially questioned Hill’s desire and toughness because he didn’t play through bumps and bruises. But when it came time for the season to roll around, Hill was ready to roll, and he played at a high level. Just like counterpart David Long, Jr., Hill was repeatedly noted by Pro Football Focus as one of the top few cornerbacks in the country. He made an interception against Cincinnati, returning it across the field for a 24-yard touchdown. Overall, it was an excellent season for his first year as a starter, and he was named Second Team All-Big Ten.

Zordich was at it once again this spring when Hill missed some time with a minor injury. Good things must be coming this year if Zordich is down on Hill, so I’m okay with it. Hill should be an all-conference player if he continues to ascend, and Michigan could have the best cornerback duo in the nation. I rank Hill a couple spots above Long because I think Hill is a little more skilled as a cover guy. But neither one cracks the top ten, because Brandon Watson and Ambry Thomas exist. Michigan has four solid corners, making the top two guys slightly less important. With another season like last year, Hill is another guy to watch who could be an early entrant into the 2019 NFL Draft.

Prediction: Starting cornerback; 30 tackles, 2 interceptions

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