2020 Season Countdown: #46 Gemon Green

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30Jul 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #46 Gemon Green

Gemon Green (image via MGoBlue)

Name: Gemon Green
Height: 
6’2″
Weight: 
180 lbs.
High school: 
DeSoto (TX) DeSoto
Position: 
Cornerback
Class: 
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: 
#22
Last year: 
I ranked Green #43 and said he would be a backup cornerback. (LINK). He made 5 tackles.
TTB Rating:
 82

Green had a momentary uptick in expectations during the pre-season leading up to 2019 when it came out that Ambry Thomas was suffering from an illness. That left Thomas’s availability for the season up in the air, and maybe backup corners like Green were licking their chops at the chance to play. Luckily for Michigan, Thomas made a pretty miraculous recovery to be ready for game one and he stayed healthy throughout the year. Green was limited to special teams as Thomas, Lavert Hill, and Vincent Gray took the vast majority of snaps at corner.

This year Green is in the hot seat. With Hill having graduated, Michigan needs to find a third corner. Green is in his third year on campus and has the most experience of any of the backups, but he hasn’t separated himself from the pack. In fact, word on the street is that D.J. Turner II has been the most impressive of the backup corners. Green needs to stake his claim to playing time here in 2020 or else Gray, Turner, Darion Green-Warren, and/or others might make him irrelevant going into 2021.

Prediction: Backup cornerback

29Jul 2020
Blog, homepage 17 comments

Review of 2013 TTB Ratings

Ben Gedeon (image via MGoBlue)

I’ll just cut right to the chase and say that I did not do a good job with rating the class of 2013. A bunch of good recruits bombed, and in their absence, a bunch of so-so recruits starred. In some ways, it’s not that I whiffed on everyone. It’s that it was a huge boom-or-bust class.

Keep in mind that the ratings (fully explained here) are intended to project how players will fare at Michigan and, to a certain extent, in the NFL Draft. I do not take into account how players will do once they get to the NFL or how they will pan out if they transfer to other programs. I will give myself a grade of 1-5 like a 5-point grading scale (5 is best, 1 is worst) for each player; I reserve the right to give myself an incomplete if the guy never even got a chance to get on the field. I’ll work down the list from highest to lowest with a brief career recap for each player:

100

None

90-99

95: Derrick Green – RB – Richmond (VA) Hermitage
Green ran for just 898 yards and 7 touchdowns on 4.2 yards per carry during three years at Michigan. It didn’t help that his first two years were spent behind a Darrell Funk-coached offensive line, but he fell behind De’Veon Smith, transferred to TCU, and didn’t do anything there, either.
Prediction accuracy: 1. Big oops.

Hit the jump for more ugliness.

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28Jul 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #47 Taylor Upshaw

Taylor Upshaw (image via Maize ‘n’ Brew)

Name: Taylor Upshaw
Height: 
6’4″
Weight: 
240 lbs.
High school: 
Bradenton (FL) Braden River
Position: 
Defensive end
Class: 
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: 
#91
Last year: 
I ranked Upshaw #72 and said he would be a backup defensive end (LINK). He played in six games and made 2 tackles.
TTB Rating:
 73

Last year Michigan needed some help at defensive end after a bunch of departures from the 2018 season. Upshaw took probably as much advantage as he could with future NFLer Mike Danna taking most of the backup defensive end snaps. When Upshaw got on the field, he looked a little thin after being listed at 246 pounds.

One year later he is now listed at 240 pounds, which is probably not a good thing. That’s not even a good weight for a shorter weakside end, let alone a guy who’s 6’4″ and probably headed for the strong side. At the same time, Upshaw actually saw playing time, unlike some of the other options (Gabe Newburg, Mike Morris). I’ve heard a little buzz about Newburg, but Upshaw might be in the race to make the two-deep with Luiji Vilain, Braiden McGregor, Newburg, and others.

Prediction: Backup defensive end

27Jul 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #48 Andrew Vastardis

Andrew Vastardis (image via MGoBlue)

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Name: Andrew Vastardis
Height: 
6’3″
Weight: 
319 lbs.
High school: 
Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge
Position: 
Offensive guard/center
Class: 
Fifth year senior
Jersey number: 
#68
Last year: 
I ranked Vastardis #79 and said he would be a backup center/guard (LINK). He played in five games.
TTB Rating:
 N/A

A good number of walk-ons end up on Michigan’s football team, and the vast majority of them remain unknowns to casual fans. Vastardis started off his career at Michigan as a preferred walk-on. While Michigan does have a fair number of walk-on success stories – many of them Glasgows – Vastardis has an opportunity to add his name to that list. In the past two seasons, he has played in six and five games, respectively, while playing behind Cesar Ruiz.

Ruiz is off to the NFL, which opens a spot at center. Word is that the coaches really like redshirt freshman Zach Carpenter, who seems to be penciled in at the position. But Vastardis offers a great veteran backup option. This will be his fifth year in the program, and he appears to be very strong while lacking a little bit of agility. We probably won’t see much of him as long as everyone stays healthy up front, but the backup center is fairly valuable, considering he’s the one who makes the protection calls for the whole line.

Prediction: Backup center

26Jul 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #49 Darion Green-Warren

Darion Green-Warren

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Name: Darion Green-Warren
Height:
6’0″
Weight:
183 lbs.
High school:
Harbor City (CA) Narbonne
Position:
Cornerback
Class:
Freshman
Jersey number:
N/A
Last year:
Green-Warren was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 16 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 8 pass breakups.
TTB Rating:
78

In what was a mediocre recruiting class in 2020, Green-Warren was one of the hard-fought prizes of the cycle. The importance of his recruitment was probably inflated by two things: 1. his position and 2. his California roots. Michigan has suffered losses from the cornerback position in recent years from guys who were expected to contribute (Benjamin St-Juste and Myles Sims, for example), leaving the position pretty thin, at least from an experience perspective. Michigan fans also probably prop up California kids just because it’s such a talent-rich state.

Green-Warren ended up as a 4-star, top-200 player who participated in the Adidas All-American Bowl. That NBC broadcast was all we got to see from Green-Warren in the final year of his recruitment, because after transferring from Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei to Narbonne for his senior year, no highlights were posted. His senior year stats (16 tackles, 6 TFLs, 8 PBUs) don’t indicate that there were a ton of highlights to post, anyway.

I believe Green-Warren will have a solid career at Michigan, but his so-so top-end speed will hold him back in the long run. He’s a physical player who should have little issue with that aspect of the game, but I don’t think he has a particularly high ceiling. This year he has a chance to fight for the #3 cornerback spot behind Ambry Thomas and Vincent Gray, but he’s likely a guy who won’t play a lot until his second or third year.

Prediction: Backup cornerback