Class of 2014: By the Numbers

Class of 2014: By the Numbers


February 17, 2020
Jabrill Peppers

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I recently did a summary of the 2015 class that was an interesting look back at their five years on campus (LINK). The class of 2014 was Brady Hoke’s final complete class before he was fired, so here’s a look at how that group fared over five years. Michigan landed 17 players in the pack, which ranked 20th in the country according to the 247 Composite.

Hit the jump for the rundown.

Wins: 43
Starts: 142 (Ian Bunting, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Freddy Canteen, Mason Cole, Noah Furbush, Drake Harris, Lawrence Marshall, Jabrill Peppers, Brandon Watson, Chase Winovich)
Passing attempts: 438 (Jabrill Peppers, Wilton Speight)
Passing completions: 257 (Wilton Speight)
Passing yards: 3,192 (Wilton Speight)
Passing touchdowns: 22 (Wilton Speight)
Passing interceptions: 10 (Wilton Speight)
Rushing attempts: 99 (Freddy Canteen, Blake O’Neill, Jabrill Peppers, Speight)
Rushing yards: 131 (Freddy Canteen, Blake O’Neill, Jabrill Peppers, Wilton Speight)
Rushing touchdowns: 6 (Jabrill Peppers, Wilton Speight)
Receptions: 46 (Ian Bunting, Freddy Canteen, Drake Harris, Jabrill Peppers, Jared Wangler, Maurice Ways)
Receiving yards: 375 (Ian Bunting, Freddy Canteen, Drake Harris, Jabrill Peppers, Jared Wangler, Maurice Ways)
Receiving touchdowns: 2 (Freddy Canteen, Jared Wangler)
Tackles: 526 (Ian Bunting, Mason Cole, Noah Furbush, Drake Harris, Bryan Mone, Brady Pallante, Jabrill Peppers, Wilton Speight, Jared Wangler, Brandon Watson, Chase Winovich)
Tackles for loss: 80.5 (Noah Furbush, Bryan Mone, Jabrill Peppers, Brandon Watson, Chase Winovich)
Sacks: 23.5 (Noah Furbush, Bryan Mone, Jabrill Peppers, Chase Winovich)
Interceptions: 6 (Noah Furbush, Jabrill Peppers, Brandon Watson)
Pass breakups: 34 (Noah Furbush, Lawrence Marshall, Bryan Mone, Jabrill Peppers, Brandon Watson, Chase Winovich)
Forced fumbles: 4 (Jabrill Peppers, Chase Winovich)
Fumble recoveries: 8 (Noah Furbush, Lawrence Marshall, Bryan Mone, Chase Winovich)
Punts: 53 (Blake O’Neill)
Punt returns: 39 (Jabrill Peppers)
Punt return yardage: 510 (Jabrill Peppers)
Kickoff returns: 19 (Ian Bunting, Jabrill Peppers)
Kickoff return yardage: 483 (Jabrill Peppers)
Return touchdowns: 4 (Noah Furbush, Jabrill Peppers, Brandon Watson)

Players from the class not mentioned above: LB Michael Ferns III
Transfers: 6 (Ian Bunting, Freddy Canteen, Michael Ferns III, Drake Harris, Wilton Speight, Maurice Ways)
Retirees: 1 (Brady Pallante)

CONCLUSIONS

This comes on the heels of an analysis of the small and overall unproductive 2015 class, but this was actually a pretty amazing class when it comes to hitting on defensive players. Of the six players who transferred, only one played defense; and even that one switched to offense at West Virginia before ending his career prematurely.

  • Michigan got impact players at all three levels on defense: Bryan Mone and Chase Winovich on the defensive line, Noah Furbush and Jabrill Peppers at linebacker, and Brandon Watson at cornerback.
  • Winovich made a good deal of the defensive playmaking with 185 tackles, 44.5 tackles for loss, and 18 sacks, but 526 tackles from a 17-man class seems to be a pretty good chunk of production.
  • The Wolverines landed a 51-game starter in Mason Cole and also got a solid developmental prospect in Juwann Bushell-Beatty.
  • The offensive playmaking was abysmal in this class. Peppers – a LB/DB – was the leading rusher (239 yards) and the second-most-accomplished receiver (10 catches, 82 yards) in a class that included Ian Bunting, Freddy Canteen, Drake Harris, and Maurice Ways.

13 comments

  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 5873
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Feb 17, 2020 at 11:20 AM

    How awful would the Hoke era have been without Mattison?

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1784
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Feb 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM

    Looking at the 2014 & 15 classes – and knowing what happened with the 2013 OL haul, how did we settle for zero Tackles in 2016?

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5873
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Feb 17, 2020 at 1:34 PM

      Devery Hamilton decommitted is probably the biggest thing. Before that they had let Erick Swenson go in favor of Spanellis, presumably because they felt pretty solid at tackle.

      And you can see why they might have felt that way in retrospect. It boils down to Drevno not being as concerned as some fans about strict adherence to positional constraints or physical prototypes. Michigan had already had 4 OTs in the pipeline from the previous 2 classes:

      2014 had Cole who started 30+ games at tackle in his Michigan career and earned all conference honors repeatedly.

      2015 had Runyan – same story as above less a few starts, though it took much longer to get there

      2015 also had had Newsome and Ulizio — both starting OTs at P5 schools though with very different careers obviously.

      The ingredients for a quality group of tackles were all there and then Michigan had Hamilton and Bredeson – who was ranked as an OT and considered a viable option at that position as well – lined up in the class.

      http://touchthebanner.blogspot.com/2015/06/ben-bredeson-wolverine.html

      Once Michigan figured out that Hamilton was gone, Newsome was hurt, and some of these OTs probably fit better inside they addressed the situation taking 4 players listed as OTs in the 2017 class plus James Hudson.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5873
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Feb 17, 2020 at 1:35 PM

    Devery Hamilton decommitted is probably the biggest thing. Before that they had let Erick Swenson go in favor of Spanellis, presumably because they felt pretty solid at tackle.

    And you can see why they might have felt that way in retrospect. It boils down to Drevno not being as concerned as some fans about strict adherence to positional constraints or physical prototypes. Michigan had already had 4 OTs in the pipeline from the previous 2 classes:

    2014 had Cole who started over 30 games at tackle in his Michigan career and earned all conference honors repeatedly.

    2015 had Runyan – same story as above less a few starts, though it took much longer to get there

    2015 also had had Newsome and Ulizio – both starting OTs at P5 schools though with very different careers obviously.

    The ingredients for a quality group of tackles were all there and then Michigan had Hamilton and Bredeson – who was ranked as an OT and considered a viable option at that position as well – lined up in the class.

    http://touchthebanner.blogspot.com/2015/06/ben-bredeson-wolverine.html

    Once Michigan figured out that Hamilton was gone, Newsome was hurt, and some of these OTs probably fit better inside they addressed the situation taking 4 players listed as OTs in the 2017 class plus James Hudson.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5873
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Feb 17, 2020 at 1:59 PM

      I argued for many years that Michigan did not take enough OL but they have rectified that situation under Harbaugh. The OL was in an excellent place in 2019 and despite a lot of departures appears to have strong depth in place for 2020. Harbaugh has been very successful in building up the OL. It was a multi-year process to get there.

      I think the OT vs OG issue that gets a lot of attention is overblown and the success of guys like Cole and Runyan speaks to it. This was far from the worst thing about Drevno. Michigan had some bad luck with Newsome and Hamilton but that kind of thing happens and you have to be prepared for it. They made a mistake with Swenson but it was defended by many at the time as a reasonable decision. Most importantly – they saw it and addressed it.

      Harbaugh reacted and adapted – which is what us fans ask for. He hired help for Drevno then replaced him when he faltered. When attrition hit the OL he reacted by recruiting numbers there.

      I’m not impressed with the 2020 OL class and would love to see a grad transfer shore up the short-term need for experience inside, but the general direction of the OL is very good under Harbaugh.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 1784
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Feb 17, 2020 at 2:22 PM

    “It boils down to Drevno not being as concerned as some fans about strict adherence to positional constraints or physical prototypes”

    this comes off as questioning the coaches. If that’s the case, then it’s safe to question the Head Coach, who has ultimate authority & responsibility of roster management

    Taking zero Tackles in 2016 was felt for the next two – only Cole & Newsome were Tackles – and the staff moved Cole to Center. Ulozio was always a reach, stolen from UConn. Runyan & Bredesen were always best fit at Guard, and Spanelis was a Guard/Center. JBB was looking so bad, ulizio was ahead. With only Newsome settled on the outside, not prioritizing Tackle right away cost us significant growing pains in 2017, and at least ND in 2018

    I’d also caution being to optimistic on the OL next year. When was the last time we replaced so much experience, 2008? Pair that with a new & equally inexperienced QB, and they can make each other look pretty bad (team game and all)

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5873
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Feb 17, 2020 at 3:49 PM

      I wasn’t criticizing Drevno on this point. Runyan and Cole were good at tackle regardless of “best fit”. Erik Magnuson probably fit better next to an elite OT but in college he was very good for us anyway. Bredeson competed with Newsome at OT heading into 2016 and it was supposedly close. He probably would have been a solid player there too. Having swing OL is a good thing.

      It doesn’t matter if Caesar Ruiz is pushing swing lineman out to OT (e.g., Runyan) or if Jalen Mayfield is pushing them in from OT (e.g., Steuber, maybe). Either works. What doesn’t is bad vets and true freshman being thrown out there.

      Bad players are the problem, not a lack of prototypical tackles. Some of Michigan’s worst OLs had Taylor Lewan at LT. It’s more problematic when Pat Kugler and Jack Miller are starting at center than it is when JBB or Ulizio are starting at OT.

      Michigan has been putting true freshman on the field for years up through Ceasar Ruiz in 2017. They didn’t have to in 2018 and 2019 at all. Drevno is part of why. The dividends for that won’t be felt in 2020 but they will when we are getting 5th years from guys a few years later.

      Complaining about pure tackles is missing the point. Getting the right number of recruits in and building them to up to provide sufficient depth such that you don’t have to play freshman is the bigger issue.

      Harbaugh has addressed it.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5873
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Feb 17, 2020 at 4:14 PM

      I share your concern on 2020 OL but despite the lack of proven experience coming back, I think the outlook is less gloomy as it might be on the surface. We will probably not be putting a true freshman out there like in years past and we have enough options that I’m not expecting disaster.

      Steuber, Honiford, Filiaga, Hayes, Mayfield, Vastardis give us 6 upperclassmen to choose from. Any younger options will have to earn playing time over them. I don’t know about the ceiling but I think the floor is reasonably high. Spanellis wouldn’t have walked away if he knew he had a starting spot locked in.

      The inexperienced QB/OL combo is another legitimate concern but the guys we are expected to be plugging in are mostly seniors. They’ve backed up quality starters the last couple years and now is their opportunity to shine. We saw Runyan do it after doing not much of anything for 3 years so I don’t see any reason somebody like Honigford or Filiaga can’t repeat that at OG. The list of QBs who ascend as seniors is long. While I can already hear the things-have-changed retort I believe experience is still valuable.

      Don’t forget also that the offensive staff have all been retained. That practice time they’ve seen won’t be going to waste.

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 25
    Joined: 9/25/2019
    BigCatsFanLandP
    Feb 17, 2020 at 2:44 PM

    See Tackle, Defensive. The new OT. That’s the killer in all of this. First OT, now DT. What’s the damn recruiting philosophy for properly maintaining a roster balance?

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1784
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Feb 17, 2020 at 2:58 PM

      You missed QB BigCat. 2015 might be excusable, but 2016 should aimed higher. Peters flashed a ton of physical potential, but played against Indiana farmboys in HS, and lacked the intangibles JH prefers in his QBs. That was followed by McCaffery, who again has loads of potential, but required a lot of catch-up physically. Next was Milton, with a cannon for an arm, but missing almost everything else. McNamara is short, and not exactly physically gifted. 2020 left us with a 2star reach

      You just can’t catch ohio with so many potentials for failure. Heck, we’ve recruited everyone on our 2020 schedule but ohio, yet 11-1 is considered far too optimistic. That’s telling

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5873
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Feb 17, 2020 at 4:17 PM

        Harbaugh’s first QB recruit transferred because he was buried on the depth chart behind his 2nd and 3rd. What a failure!

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5873
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Feb 17, 2020 at 4:36 PM

        Why can’t we just recruit prototype 5-stars every year? I feel like I’ve heard this type of questions from another poster.

        Here is the disaster dossier:

        2016: Recruited the #6 QB. He transferred out while the #1 QB transferred in.

        2017: Recruited the #9 QB. Who is poised to start.

        2018: Recruited the #18 QB. Took a gamble on raw talent because things look pretty good from the 2 classes before. Appears on the right track heading into his junior year.

        2019: Recruited the #15 QB.

        2020: Recruited another top 20 QB that had to retire for medical reasons.

        2021: Commitment from the #5 QB

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5873
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Feb 17, 2020 at 4:36 PM

          Maybe we can at least wait till McCaffrey/Milton get their shot in 2020 before we knock Harbaugh’s QB recruiting acumen?

          When the worst guy you’ve recruited is still good enough to start at another Big Ten school, I don’t think things are all that bad.

          One would think that recruiting Taysom Hill, Andrew Luck, Jake Rudock, and Shea Patterson would earn a little more faith than this. Not to mention NFL success with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.

          But Harbaugh can’t beat Ohio State so everything he does is poo.

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