This is not a list you want to be on, but you have to take the bad with the good. So here’s a look at the players who have thrown the most interceptions in a single game, and I was not aware of the school record until now:
7 – Demetrius Brown (1987 vs. Michigan State)
5 – Stan Noskin (1959 vs. Wisconsin)
4 – John Wangler (1979 vs. Purdue)
4 – John Navarre (2001 vs. Ohio State)
4 – Tate Forcier (2009 vs. Ohio State)
4 – Denard Robinson (2012 vs. Notre Dame)
How do you throw 7 interceptions in a single game and not get pulled before you reach that point?
Brown’s stat line during that game: 12/26 (46.2%), 158 yards, 1 touchdown, 7 interceptions. Michigan State won by a score of 17-11.
I planned to list the times players have thrown 3 interceptions in a game, but there are 44 of them!
Steve Smith and Rick Leach both threw 3 interceptions four times each. The most recent time a Michigan QB threw 3 picks in one game was John O’Korn against MSU in 2017.
Name: Kwity Paye Height: 6’4″ Weight: 277 lbs. High school: Providence (RI) Bishop Hendricken Position: Defensive end Class: Junior Jersey number: #19 Last year: I ranked Paye #17 and said he would be the starting weakside end with 45 tackles and 5 sacks (LINK). He made 54 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. TTB Rating: 81
Michigan had a few breakout players on defense in 2019, and Paye might have been the biggest. He went from being a rotational player in 2018 to getting enough hype following last season to be bandied about as a potential 1st round draft pick. He also was named the #1 “freak” on Bruce Feldman’s annual “Freaks List.” This all came on the heels of a relatively modest 12.5-TFL, 6.5-sack season. His real coming out part seemed to take place against Iowa, when he made 4 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2 quarterback hurries against a respected Hawkeyes offensive line.
This feels like a weird thing to say after all that hype, but here it is, anyway:
Kwity Paye makes me wonder about the effectiveness of Shaun Nua’s coaching.
Paye was a project coming out of high school in 2017, when he was a part-time running back in Rhode Island. So the fact that he has reached these heights is impressive in itself. But when you watched Paye in 2019, he didn’t really do anything special. He’s fairly quick. And he’s fairly strong. And he’s got a good motor. But when it comes to technique or defeating blocks? Nah. He doesn’t have any pass rush moves. He just kind of keeps going and going until he’s in the lap of the quarterback.
If Paye is going to capitalize on the first round hype, I think he has to add some noticeable technique to his arsenal. If he doesn’t, I think that will be an indictment of Nua, who will have had two seasons with a pretty talented guy with nothing much to show for it. For some reason I don’t see Paye taking a giant step forward, but he should still be pretty good. And the fact is that behind starting ends Paye and Aidan Hutchinson, there isn’t much. The most proven guy is Luiji Vilain, who has suffered through injury but hasn’t shown much upside when he actually got on the field. Paye has the versatility to play inside and outside, and he would be a big loss if injured.
Will he be a first round pick in 2021? My gut says no, but he should have a solid season for the Wolverines.
Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood linebacker/defensive end Branden Jennings committed to Michigan on Friday afternoon after previously being committed to Florida State. Jennings picked the Wolverines over offers from Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Stanford, among others.
Jennings is listed at 6’3″ and 225 lbs. As a junior in 2019, he made 135 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks. As a sophomore in 2018, he made 136 tackles and 6 sacks.
Name: Brad Hawkins Height: 6’1″ Weight: 218 lbs. High school: Suffield (CT) Suffield Academy Position: Safety Class: Senior Jersey number: #20 Last year: I ranked Hawkins #33 and said he would be a backup safety (LINK). He started ten games and made 53 tackles with 1 pass breakup. TTB Rating: 78
I typically have an annual “Why did PFF grade that guy so high?” situation, and the 2019 version of that guy was Brad Hawkins. He was First Team All-Big Ten to Pro Football Focus (as the “flex” defender) despite not being on the coaches’ all-conference team and only being named honorable mention by the media. He managed to get his hands on the ball just 1 time, which came in the season opener against Middle Tennessee. After three years in the program, he has just 2 career pass breakups. He is a solid tackler coming up from the third level, but is he much more than that?
Maybe. I sure hope so. Because he’s the only returning starter in the secondary. Michigan lost safety Josh Metellus and cornerback Lavert Hill to graduation/the NFL, and cornerback Ambry Thomas opted out of the 2020 season. Budding star Dax Hill also returns at safety, but Hawkins has to be a steadying force on the back end. Everyone is unproven and almost totally inexperienced behind the starters.
Hawkins has been prone to some coverage busts, and he’s a little grabby for my liking. I think he can be taken advantage of in coverage if opposing offensive lines can hold up long enough to give quarterbacks a chance to throw. But Michigan returns a couple of the top defensive ends in the conference and has a blitz-happy defensive coordinator. Hopefully Hawkins can improve his coverage a little bit while continuing to offer solid run support.