Ex-Wolverine Updates: Post-Bowl Edition

Ex-Wolverine Updates: Post-Bowl Edition

January 5, 2015
Oregon offensive tackle Jake Fisher was first team all-conference

The national championship game still remains for Gareon Conley at Ohio State and Jake Fisher at Oregon, but otherwise, the former Wolverines are finished with their college seasons. Here’s a look at what former players, commits, and coaches accomplished during the 2014 season.

Former DT Richard Ash: Ash’s Western Michigan Broncos lost to Air Force in the Idaho Potato Bowl by a score of 38-24. Ash made 2 tackles in the game, finishing the year with 42 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 2 pass breakups, and 2 blocked kicks. The Broncos went 8-5 on the year.

Former TE commit Pharaoh Brown: Brown suffered a nasty knee injury in game ten, so he has missed a chunk of Oregon’s run to the national championship game. He still put up pretty darn good numbers with 25 catches, 420 yards (16.8 yards/catch), and 6 touchdowns, and those were good enough to earn him First Team All-Pac 12 honors. He played too much of this season to get a medical redshirt, so he will presumably return to playing as a true senior in 2015 as long as his knee heals well.

Former CB Cullen Christian: Christian was declared academically ineligible for West Virginia’s Liberty Bowl appearance against Texas A&M, which the Aggies won by a score of 45-37. The Mountaineers went 7-6 this season and didn’t get much help from Christian, who made 5 total tackles on the year as a backup safety.

Hit the jump for the rest of the rundown.

Former CB commit Gareon Conley: Conley made 2 tackles in Ohio State’s 42-35 victory over Alabama in the College Football Playoff semi-final. He has 16 tackles and 2 pass breakups on the season with the national championship game against Oregon remaining. The Buckeyes are currently 13-1.

Former CB commit Dallas Crawford: Crawford and his Miami Hurricanes lost to South Carolina in the Independence Bowl, 24-21. Miami finishes the year with a 6-7 record. Crawford – who moved from running back to safety last offseason – ended the year with 35 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, and 2 pass breakups. Starting running back Duke Johnson declared for the NFL Draft, but while Crawford was a productive backup in 2013, the Hurricanes have a couple capable guys (Joseph Yearby, Gus Edwards) returning in 2015, so I would not expect Crawford to return to offense.

Former OT commit Jake Fisher: Fisher started the year for Oregon as their right tackle, but he moved to the left side when the starter got injured. Fisher was good enough all around to be named First Team All-Pac 12 and protected quarterback Marcus Mariota on his way to winning the Heisman.

Former S Josh Furman: Furman made 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 sack in Oklahoma State’s 30-22 victory over Washington in the Cactus Bowl. The Cowboys end the year with a 7-6 record. Furman made the move from safety to outside linebacker when he transferred after last season, and he finished the year with 64 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 1 interception (returned 35 yards), 4 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble. Furmer was All-Big 12 honorable mention.

Former K commit Matt Goudis: Goudis, now at Miami with Dallas Crawford (see above), did not play after the first couple games of the year after dealing with an injury. He was 4/6 on field goals and 6/6 on extra points up to that point.

Former RB commit Dee Hart: Hart’s Colorado State Rams lost to Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl by a score of 45-10. Hart had just 7 carries for 21 yards in the game, plus 1 catch for 4 yards. He finished the season with 194 carries, 1275 yards, 6.6 yards/carry, and 16 touchdowns on the ground. He also had 18 catches for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns; 9 punt returns for 41 yards; and 3 kickoff returns for 57 yards. For that performance he was named Second Team All-Mountain West Conference. Hart, who had one season of eligibility remaining, declared for the NFL Draft after CSU head coach (and Hart’s offensive coordinator at Alabama) Jim McElwain took the head coaching job at Florida.

Former assistant coach Les Miles: Miles and his LSU Tigers finished the season 8-5 after a 31-28 loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl. His running back, Leonard Fournette, had the longest ever play from scrimmage against Notre Dame (and 89-yard touchdown run), topping Denard Robinson’s 87-yarder a few years ago. Fournette finished the game with 11 carries for 143 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus a 100-yard kickoff return for a score. After the game, Texas A&M poached LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis from Miles’s staff, so the Tigers are in a bit of flux after a down year.

Former RB Thomas Rawls: Rawls, the starting running back most of the year, did not play for Central Michigan against Western Kentucky in the Bahamas Bowl, which ended as a one-point loss for the Chippewas, 49-48. Rawls ended the season with 210 carries, 1103 yards, 5.3 yards/carry, and 10 touchdowns. He was named Second Team All-MAC and has also been invited to the NFL Combine.

Former DT Chris Rock: Rock did not record any statistics for Ohio State this year as a walk-on defensive lineman.

Former head coach Rich Rodriguez: Rodriguez’s Arizona Wildcats finished the year with a 10-4 record, albeit on a two-game losing streak, falling to Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game and then Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. The bowl loss was a 38-30 affair in which the Wildcats had a chance at the end of the game, but quarterback Anu Solomon (28/49, 335 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions) was sacked and time ran out.

Former defensive coordinator Scott Shafer: Shafer, now the head coach at Syracuse, went 3-9 this year, including a five-game losing streak to end the year. The Orangemen were a respectable 37th in scoring defense (24.3 points/game allowed), but they were #121 in scoring offense (17.2 points/game) and #117 in total offense, one spot behind Michigan.

Former QB commit Kevin Sousa: Sousa has had some legal trouble at Wake Forest, and his playing time has been limited. The redshirt junior was 0/1 passing and had 5 carries for 10 yards for the 3-9 Demon Deacons.

Former CB commit Anthony Standifer: Standifer transferred from Ole Miss to FCS team Eastern Illinois in the off-season. He started ten games at corner, finishing with 33 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, and 6 pass breakups.

Former S Ray Vinopal: Vinopal’s Pitt Panthers lost to Houston in a thrilling Armed Forces Bowl, 35-34. Down two scores in the last few minutes, Houston scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick, scored another touchdown, and then hit the two-point conversion with under a minute left for the win. Vinopal made 7 tackles in the game. The senior safety ended the year with 68 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions (returned for 13 yards), 5 pass breakups, and 2 forced fumbles.

Former DT Ken Wilkins: Wilkins, listed as a 6’3″, 250 lb. redshirt junior, played in nine games for California University of Pennsylvania this fall. He finished the year with 37 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 1 pass breakup, and 2 forced fumbles.


  1. Comments: 21556
    Jan 05, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    "Fisher was good enough all around to be named First Team All-Pac 12 and protected quarterback Marcus Mariota on his way to winning the Heisman."

    Ah, yes — this is one of RichRod's "midget" recruits.

    "Furman made the move from safety to outside linebacker when he transferred after last season, and he finished the year with 64 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 1 interception (returned 35 yards), 4 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble."

    Nice numbers, Josh, but you'd be TOO SMALL for the BIG TEN.

    "Wilkins, listed as a 6'3", 250 lb. redshirt junior, played in nine games for California University of Pennsylvania this fall."

    Well, that *was* a RichRod miss. Too small (for real, it would seem) and not very talented. Four stars from Rivals, though! 🙂

    • Comments: 21556
      Jan 05, 2015 at 7:51 PM

      While I agree with the spirit of your argument, which I think is basically "the spread can't work in the B10 because you need big strong players", I think you missed a more interesting data point here.

      Furman couldn't sniff the field for Hoke until he was forced to play safety and got repeatedly torched. Now he turns in those strong stats as a hybrid OLB for a Power-5 team while Michigan still struggled to fill that role?

      Rawls is no saint and has some baggage, but his stats make all of Michigan's RB look pathetic in comparison…..yet he couldn't sniff the field for Hoke?

      Ash is a bit of a stretch, but he was an emergency-only DT for Michigan and turned in a solid season for a decent mid-major team.

      Vinopal doesn't really count, but he was a serviceable player at a position where Michigan rotated three different guys trying to find someone.

      So the question I have is this – how are guys like this total wash-outs at Michigan and have solid seasons elsewhere? That fact is even more magnified by the fact that their positions align with areas Michigan struggled.


  2. Comments: 21556
    Jan 06, 2015 at 12:59 AM

    Sorry — I should've included a sarcasm tag in my earlier post. My only semi-serious comment was the last one.

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