U.S. Army All-American Bowl Participants: Michigan

Tag: Matt Wile


11Aug 2017
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U.S. Army All-American Bowl Participants: Michigan

Donovan Peoples-Jones

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a comprehensive list of Michigan’s commitments who were selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

2018
Emil Ekiyor, OG – Indianapolis, IN**
Aidan Hutchinson, DE – Dearborn, MI**
Jalen Mayfield, OT – Grand Rapids, MI**
Cameron McGrone, LB – Indianapolis, IN**

2017
Tarik Black, WR – Cheshire, CT
Chuck Filiaga, OT – Aledo, TX
Deron Irving-Bey, DE – Flint, MI
Dylan McCaffrey, QB – Littleton, CO
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR – Detroit, MI
Aubrey Solomon, DT – Leesburg, GA
Ambry Thomas, CB – Detroit, MI

2016
Devin Asiasi, TE – Concord, CA
Dylan Crawford, WR – Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Lavert Hill, CB – Detroit, MI
David Long Jr., CB – Los Angeles, CA
Michael Onwenu, OG – Detroit, MI
Brandon Peters, QB – Avon, IN

2015
None

2014
Mason Cole, OG – Tarpon Springs, FL

Hit the jump for the rest of the U.S. Army Bowl participants to play for Michigan since 2001.
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29Apr 2015
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2015 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan

Devin Funchess will likely be the first Michigan player selected in this year’s NFL Draft

As the NFL Draft approaches on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we are bound to see a couple Michigan players’ names called. From 2009-2014, Michigan has been going back and forth between having two and three players drafted (LINK). If that trend continues, just two of these players will be selected. Linked to each player’s name is their senior profile, in which I detail some of their workout numbers and a projection.

Devin Funchess, WR: Funchess is the one guy who might sniff the first round, but it would take a leap of faith by a daring team. A wide receiver with a tight end body, he has never been a plus blocker despite being much taller and heavier than the corners and safeties he has faced. When Michigan actually played him at tight end during his freshman and sophomore seasons, he was downright terrible as a blocker. However, he is large and fairly fast and has a 38.5″ vertical. I would not advise a team to take him as a tight end because he doesn’t have the blocking chops, but he’s a guy who can be a mismatch problem for a team that likes to be creative and use multiple tight ends.
My wild guess: 2nd round (#44 overall) to the New Orleans Saints.
Other good fits: Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New England Patriots

Hit the jump for a rundown of Michigan’s other draft-eligible players.


Jake Ryan, LB: Ryan is a guy who could play SAM linebacker in a 4-3, inside linebacker in a 3-4, or outside linebacker in a 3-4. Personally, I like him on the edge in a 3-4 system, where he can use his playmaking skills to keep contain, rush the passer, and make things happen. He does not have great measurables and doesn’t have a ton of experience on the inside, but if a team is willing to spend some time developing him, I think he could be one of those guys who develops into a starting-caliber inside linebacker, too. Ryan also holds some value as a guy who could be an asset on special teams.
My wild guess: 3rd round (#74 overall) to the New York Giants
Other good fits: Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans

Frank Clark, DE: I did not do a senior profile for Clark, whose domestic abuse issues got him kicked off the team late in his senior year. Clark is a big character risk, as he has had multiple run-ins with the law during his college career. As much as you hope guys overcome these issues, my view is that if it costs Clark a job, there is quite possibly someone more deserving who can take the hundreds of thousands of dollars (or millions of dollars) that he would potentially earn. He was a fairly consistent player during the second half of his junior season in 2013 and then most of 2014, but he was never consistently great and the production didn’t match up to the practice hype. I think he has probably maxed out his frame at a little over 270 lbs. and he’s only 6’2″, so he might be somewhat limited. A team might want to trim off a little weight and make him a 3-4 rush linebacker, or a 4-3 team could use him as a weakside end. I think his inconsistency and lack of elite athleticism will hinder him, if not his off-the-field issues.
My wild guess: 6th round (#205 overall) to the Indianapolis Colts
Other good fits: Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders

Devin Gardner, WR/QB: Gardner has resigned himself to the fact that he will almost surely have to play wide receiver if he wants to have an NFL career. At Michigan’s pro day in March, he measured in a little over 6’3″ and 218 lbs. He ran a 4.65 forty, did 15 reps on the 225 lb. bench press, showed off a 35.5″ vertical, broad jumped 9’9″, and ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.42 seconds. Those numbers are solid but not amazing. Considering the fact that he is changing positions and does not have blazing speed, his options may be limited. However, there are other quarterbacks who have made the transition from quarterback to wide receiver in the NFL quite well – Josh Cribbs, Julian Edelman, Bert Emanuel, etc. Those guys generally seem to be smaller, quicker guys who can get open in the middle of the field, not big guys who can go against NFL corners – arguably the best athletes on the field – and win one-on-one battles. I think Gardner is going to struggle with the move to receiver, but he has size, leadership, toughness, and character on his side. I do not expect him to get drafted, but some team will pick him up as an undrafted free agent

Raymon Taylor, CB: Taylor ran a reported 4.42 forty at Michigan’s pro day, which is too fast to be believable. He’s probably more of a 4.55 or 4.6 guy. Measuring in at a hair under 5’10” and 182 lbs., he’s a little on the small side, too. Taylor made some highlight-reel plays in 2013, but he also got burned at times and did not create a ton of turnovers. He will almost surely not get drafted, so his best bet is to latch on as an undrafted free agent and hope he can make an NFL squad.

Brennen Beyer, DE: Beyer was not extremely productive at Michigan despite being a two-year starter, and he did not help himself out much during a pro day in which he ran a 4.87 forty (keep in mind that those times are typically faster than Combine times, so he’s probably more of a 5-flat guy) and did 20 reps on the bench press. At 6’4″ and 256 lbs., he already seemed to have hit his limit since he struggled to even maintain that weight. His size indicates an NFL outside linebacker, but he lacks the speed to play that position in the NFL and doesn’t offer much as a special teams player. He won’t get drafted, and even if he gets a shot as a free agent, I doubt he will stick with a team.

Will Hagerup, P: Hagerup had an up and down career as Michigan’s punter. At times he would look great, and at other times, he would look mediocre. Suspended frequently for off-the-field behavior, he averaged just 36.0 yards/punt as a sophomore in 2011 and had an uninspiring 42.9-yard average as a fifth year senior this past year. He’s another one who will not get drafted, but he might get invited to a camp. Punters are very transient in the NFL, and guys go from starting NFL punter to standing in the unemployment line on a weekly basis.

Delonte Hollowell, CB: I really only mention Hollowell here because he was the “star” of Michigan’s pro day with a reported 4.34 forty, a 37″ vertical, 20 reps on the bench press, and a 10’1″ broad jump. None of that will get him drafted, because he was ineffective on the field and never became a starter at Michigan. I doubt whether he’ll even get an invitation to a training camp.

Other seniors include:
Joey Burzynski, OG 
Jack Miller, C
Matt Wile, K

1Apr 2015
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Matt Wile, #45

Matt Wile (#45, image via BCSN)

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HIGH SCHOOL
Coming out of San Diego (CA) Francis Parker, Wile was a Rivals 2-star kicker. The hometown Aztecs went hard after him under Brady Hoke, and Wile was also pursued by Air Force, Nebraska, and Washington, among others. When Hoke was hired at Michigan, he extended an offer for Wile to play for the Wolverines. After playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he committed to Michigan in late January.

COLLEGE
Immediately upon arriving in Ann Arbor, Wile was counted on to be the kickoff specialist. He averaged 64.0 yards/kickoff and also averaged 41.6 yards/punt on 17 attempts. ESPN and the Big Ten Network named him to their freshman all-conference teams. As a sophomore in 2012, he averaged 60.5 yards/kickoff, averaged 35.9 yards/punt, and went 2/3 on field goals with a long of 52 while handling the long field goal attempts. During his junior year in 2013, he averaged 59.8 yards/kickoff and went 3/5 on long field goals; he also became the full-time punter while Will Hagerup served a year-long suspension, and Wile averaged 40.6 yards, landing 16 inside the 20-yard line and booming 10 of them 50+ yards. Then as a senior, he became the full-time kicker and went 15/21 on field goals, made 28/28 extra points, and averaged 63.0 yards/kickoff; with Hagerup’s return, Wile punted just once.

CAREER STATISTICS
– 284 kickoff, 17531 yards, 61.7 yard average, 108 touchbacks
– 20/29 field goals (69.0%), long of 52 yards, 33/33 extra points (100%)
– 91 punts, 3658 yards, 40.2 yard average, 4 touchbacks, 22 fair catches, 29 inside the 20, 15 of 50+ yards, long of 69, 0 attempts blocked

AWARDS
All-Freshman Big Ten (2011), Academic All-Big Ten (2013-2014)

SUMMARY
This past season it was hard to believe that Wile was a senior. When he was recruited in 2011, he was the beginning of the trend that Brady Hoke was looking for solid, upstanding citizens who you would want to marry your daughter. As a U.S. Army All-American coming out of high school, there was a feeling that he would have a breakout season or become a weapon at some point in his career. Instead, he was mostly a steady, all-around kicker who always kept himself available. He played in every single game Michigan played for four years, 51 straight. He did not have any extremely memorable moments like his predecessor Brendan Gibbons (who had all-time great kicks against Virginia Tech and Northwestern), but his career didn’t have many memorable low points, either.

I WILL REMEMBER HIM FOR . . .
. . . being there when the other renegade kickers on the team were unavailable. Gibbons allegedly raped a girl and was eventually booted out of the university, leaving Wile to pick up his duties. Meanwhile, Hagerup was suspended for at least one game from 2010-2013, including the entire 2013 season. The guy who stepped in every time to pick up the slack was Wile.

PROJECTION
The best part of Wile’s game was his kickoff. He was very consistent in either getting touchbacks or pinning the ball near the left pylon, leaving returners with limited space to work. Unfortunately, NFL teams want kickers to be able to do more than kick off. Wile’s punting and placekicking are not up to snuff for the next level, so his professional career has probably come to a close.

12Aug 2014
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2014 Season Countdown: #16 Matt Wile

Matt Wile (#45)

Name: Matt Wile
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 219 lbs.
High school: San Diego (CA) Francis Parker
Position: Kicker
Class: Senior
Jersey number: #46
Last year: I ranked Wile #15 and said he would be the kickoff specialist, punter, and backup placekicker. He kicked off 76 times for 4,545 yards (59.8 yards/kick) and 37 touchbacks. He punted 61 times for 2,476 yards (40.6 yards/punt). He was 3/5 on field goals and 5/5 on extra points.

Wile was put in an interesting position a few years ago when Brady Hoke got him to commit to Michigan out of the San Diego area. Michigan had been dealing with some atrocious placekicking, which apparently warranted giving a third specialist a scholarship (in addition to punter Will Hagerup and placekicker Brendan Gibbons, both of whom were young players then). The foresight by Hoke was impressive. As a placekicker, Wile made three field goal attempts in 2012 and five in 2013; he replaced Gibbons at the end of the 2013 season when Gibbons was kicked off the team for some bad behavior. Meanwhile, Wile has been a frequent contributor as a punter, what with “starter” Hagerup constantly getting into trouble of his own. Hagerup faced a year-long suspension in 2013, which allowed Wile to be the full-time punter last year.

This year Wile’s duties have been whittled down to placekicking. Hagerup is back for a fifth year to punt (provided he stays out of trouble) and walk-on Kenny Allen will be handling kickoffs. Meanwhile, Gibbons is gone, and nobody but Wile has attempted a field goal in college. Overall, Wile is 5/8 (62.5%) on field goals with longs of 52, 49, and 48 yards to his credit, and he’s 5/5 on extra points. Even when Gibbons wasn’t in trouble, Wile served as the long field goal kicker, which makes that mediocre percentage a little more palatable. Michigan figures to be a strong defensive team this year with some tough games, so a lot may ride on the ability of Wile to get the pigskin over the crossbar.

Prediction: Starting placekicker

27Dec 2013
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Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Preview: Special Teams

Kansas State returner Tramaine Thompson is dangerous with the ball in his hands.

MICHIGAN
Starters: The Wolverines are in pretty bad shape when it comes to special teams, but it could be worse. Fifth year senior placekicker Brendan Gibbons has been ruled out of the bowl game with a groin injury, and senior punter Will Hagerup has been suspended for the entire season, so all the kicking duties will be up to junior Matt Wile (6’2″, 216 lbs.). Wile is pretty experienced for being a backup punter and kicker, but when it comes to kicking field goals, he hasn’t been in many pressure situations. Wile is 1/3 on field goals this year, 5/5 on extra points, and averages 40.6 yards/punt. He’s been the kickoff guy all year and gets a 49.3% touchback rate. Sophomore Dennis Norfleet (5’7″, 169 lbs.) has 36 kickoff returns for 850 yards and a 23.6-yard average. Fifth year senior Jeremy Gallon (5’8″, 184 lbs.) and senior Drew Dileo (5’10”, 180 lbs.) have combined for 12 punt returns and 76 yards, so they’re not much of a threat.
Backups: Redshirt freshman Kenny Allen (6’3″, 226 lbs.) will be the backup kicker and punter, and he has 1 punt this year for 51 yards. Dileo has averaged 19.2 yards on 5 returns, and redshirt freshman Jehu Chesson (6’3″, 196 lbs.) has averaged 18 yards on 2 returns.

KANSAS STATE
Starters: The Wildcats have two excellent returners. One is fifth year senior punt returner Tramaine Thompson (5’8″, 167 lbs.), who has averaged 20.2 yards/return this year with a long of 79 yards; teams respect him so much that they’ve only given him a chance to return 9 punts. Junior Tyler Lockett (5’11”, 175 lbs.) is the kick returner with a 25.5-yard average, and while he hasn’t yet returned a kickoff for a touchdown in 2013, he had 2 scores in each of the past two seasons. Redshirt junior Mark Krause (5’11”, 218 lbs.) averages 41.3 yards/punt and has landed 17 inside the 20-yard line. Redshirt sophomore Jack Cantele (6’0″, 193 lbs.) is 11/13 on field goals and 40/41 on extra points, but he was injured prior to KSU’s final regular season game and may not be back for the bowl game.
Backups: Thompson has returned 2 kickoffs this year, but one was for a 96-yard touchdown. Backup kicker Ian Patterson (5’11”, 233 lbs.), a redshirt freshman, is 2/3 on field goals and 8/8 on extra points; he has also taken over kickoff duties, where he has a touchback rate almost twice as high as Cantele’s.

THE TAKEAWAY
The Wolverines haven’t been particularly strong on special teams under Brady Hoke, but they haven’t been terrible, either. They did block a punt and return it for a touchdown against Central Michigan, and the game-tying end-of-regulation field goal against Northwestern was the #4 play in the Big Ten this year, according to BTN Live. Unfortunately, battle-tested Brendan Gibbons is out, and Wile has been erratic as a kicker and as a punter. Michigan’s return games have been exciting but fruitless with Norfleet, Gallon, and Dileo. Meanwhile, Kansas State has a couple all-conference-caliber returners in Lockett and Thompson, and Cantele is a solid kicker if healthy. The Wolverines did allow a punt return touchdown to South Carolina’s Ace Sanders in last year’s bowl game, so they’ve been susceptible to special teams breakdowns at times. Wile might be able to negate Lockett’s return abilities because he’s pretty good at kicking touchbacks, and Michigan has some aggressive players on punt coverage, but overall, this is looking like an advantage for . . .

ADVANTAGE: Kansas State

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