Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 1

Ex-Wolverine Updates: Week 1

September 13, 2020
Tarik Black


WR Tarik Black (Texas): Black had 5 catches for 80 yards in a 59-3 win over UTEP. I’ve queued it up where you can watch him make a tough catch and run, breaking numerous tackles along the way before fumbling . . . and then his touchdown on a crossing route:

TE Mustapha Muhammad (Kilgore Junior College): Muhammad transferred from Michigan to Houston and is now at Kilgore Junior College, which has canceled its season due to COVID.

CB Myles Sims (Georgia Tech): Sims made 5 tackles and 2 pass breakups in a 16-13 win over Florida State.

Hit the jump for more.

DT Aubrey Solomon (Tennessee): Solomon is likely a starter at defensive end in Tennessee’s 3-4 defense this season.

OG Stephen Spanellis (Vanderbilt): Spanellis is listed as a 6’5″, 300 lb. offensive lineman on Vanderbilt’s roster. It’s unclear whether he will earn a starting gig or not.

RB Kareem Walker (Mississippi State): Walker is listed as a 6’2″, 220 lb. running back for the Bulldogs. From what I can tell, he is not expected to be in the top two at his position.

S J’Marick Woods (Duke): Woods made 2 tackles in a 27-13 loss to Notre Dame.


WR Kalil Branham (Kentucky): Branham, listed at 6’1″ and 202 lbs., is expected to be a backup for the Wildcats this season.

CB Te’Cory Couch (Miami): Couch made 1 tackle in a 31-14 win over UAB.

CB Shaun Crawford (Notre Dame): Crawford made 4 tackles in a 27-13 win over Duke.

OG Emil Ekiyor (Alabama): Ekiyor is slated to be the starting left guard for the Crimson Tide.

RB Eric Gray (Tennessee): Gray is the #2 running back behind Ty Chandler for the Volunteers.

OT Devery Hamilton (Duke): Hamilton started at right tackl in a 27-13 loss to Notre Dame.

OT Kai-Leon Herbert (Miami): Herbert is out for the season for Miami.

WR Jeremiah Holloman (FIU): The FIU game against UCF was postponed.

OT James Hudson III (Cincinnati): Hudson will be the starting left tackle for the Bearcats.

C Jalil Irvin (Auburn): Irvin is backing up the center position for the Tigers.

LB Chase Lasater (FAU): Lasater is a backup linebacker for the Owls.

OT Micah Mazzccua (Baylor): Mazzccua is listed as a 6’4″, 326 lb. true freshman backup for the Bears on the offensive line.

TE Nick Patterson (Choate Rosemary Hall): Patterson, who decommitted from Michigan and signed with Princeton, decided to take a prep year and enroll at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. That would make him a teammate of class of 2021 Michigan commit Tristan Bounds, though with Connecticut football being canceled, I’m not sure if Patterson is truly there or not.

Amauri Pesek-Hickson (Kansas): Pesek-Hickson did not play in the 28-23 loss to Coastal Carolina.

S Otis Reese (Ole Miss): Reese has transferred from Georgia to Ole Miss, but he has not received a waiver to be immediately eligible for the Rebels.

OT Erik Swenson (Oklahoma): Swenson started at right tackle in a 48-0 win over Missouri State.

TE Leonard Taylor (Cincinnati): Taylor is expected to be a backup tight end for the Bearcats.

DE Rashad Weaver (Pitt): Weaver missed the season opener due to some issues with COVID testing.


Jay Hopson (Head Coach, Southern Mississippi): Well, so much for that. Hopson’s team fell 32-21 to South Alabama in the season opener, and there was a “mutual agreement” for Hopson to leave. So basically he got fired. There must have been things going on behind the scenes, because you don’t fire a guy after one game if relationships in the athletic department are good.

Les Miles (Head Coach, Kansas): Miles did okay in 2019, but his 2020 season got off to an inauspicious start with a 28-23 loss to Coastal Carolina.


  1. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Sep 14, 2020 at 11:54 PM

    I’m not surprised that the guy who beat out DPJ and Nico for playing time before breaking his leg twice is doing well at Texas.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 15, 2020 at 12:13 PM

      He’s working harder at Texas than he was at Michigan in the past year or two, so that’s good for him/them. I’m interested to see how he’ll do when he’s not playing against a UTEP-like team. Everybody looked good for Texas.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Sep 15, 2020 at 12:30 PM

        Yeah, “it’s UTEP” qualifiers apply.

        I don’t know about working harder. He’s certainly healthier so far.

        • Comments: 3845
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Sep 15, 2020 at 2:09 PM

          I know you don’t believe me, but here are a couple good examples against Wisconsin. Ball’s not going to him? He jogs off the line and won’t try to block anyone. He did this stuff all the time. He also ran shallow crossing routes at probably 80% speed, and he/the team paid for it.


          The guy was playing second fiddle (third fiddle? fourth fiddle?) to other guys, and he didn’t like it.

          Using your logic (Vincent Smith was chosen by the coaches as a starter, therefore he was better), Black was the #4 receiver on Michigan’s team last year. Not only by Harbaugh, but also by noted WR guru Josh Gattis. If he wasn’t starting, there was a good reason.

          Again, I’m not questioning the talent. I gave him a grade somewhere in the 80s coming out of high school. But according to starts and production, he was Michigan’s third-best receiver in the 2017 class alone, let alone getting overshadowed by a 3-star, no-name recruit from the 2020 class.

          So if it wasn’t talent holding him back…and if it’s not ageism…well, the reasons for his being the #4 wide receiver start to narrow down.

          • Comments: 3845
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Sep 15, 2020 at 2:27 PM

            BTW, this is sort of the odd nature of some of your arguments.

            You and I went round and round about Ty Isaac, who admittedly was not great at all “the little things” (pass pro, ball security, etc.), but inarguably put up good numbers (6.8, 5.6, 6.2 yards/carry in his three years). You took a lot of shots at him.

            Now there’s a back and forth about Tarik Black, who does not do “the little things” (run block, run hard, etc.), but ALSO happens to not be very productive (13.6, 8.8, 12.9 yards/catch). You make sure to defend him.

            It just seems to be inconsistent. Black never really did anything beyond 2 catches for 83 yards and 1 touchdown as a freshman against Florida (literally, that was his best career game). Isaac had four 100+ yard games.

            If you don’t like guys who are “soft” or “lack grit,” I get it. I don’t necessarily agree 100% of the time, because soft guys can still do things for you. Deion Sanders was soft. Hollywood Brown is soft. There’s upside to soft guys sometimes. But if you value toughness above all else, then Isaac isn’t your guy.

            And neither is Tarik Black.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 15, 2020 at 4:17 PM

            You’re the one talking about character – who is soft and tough, who works hard etc. Not me. I don’t pretend to know these kids or how hard they work everyday. I read the rumors about Isaac and Black too – but I’m not there so I don’t know. I’m skeptical of the sour grape juice that comes with departing transfers from places like Rivals. I’m not lumping them together in any lazy bin. I assume all these kids work hard, though I know some do not.

            You’re the one questioning coaching decisions on personnel. Not me. I know these coaches know better than I do, even if they are only right 95% of the time. And certainly if multiple staffs decide the same thing well then I am pretty convinced they are making the right call.

            So, while both transferred after falling out of favor to some degree I don’t see similar situations at all. Black did it after he graduated while Isaac did it after 1 year. Black broke his leg twice – something I view as a pretty solid excuse – while Isaac never had any serious long-term injury. Black started games every year, and now he’s starting at Texas too. He started the first 3 games of his college career before breaking his leg, Isaac started 4 games in 5 mostly healthy years.

            They way I see it — two coaching staffs thought Black was good enough to start ahead of stiff competition and two coaching staffs thought Isaac was a guy you could bring in with the game already decided. And note that Isaac was competing against guys you don’t think are very good at Michigan – which probably plays into the twisted rationale.

            Isaac was 5th string at USC, then 5th string at Michigan, then no interest from the NFL. Despite that you continue to argue these millionaire coaches and scouts are just fools for not giving him a chance (even though he was given chance after chance after chance).

            Maybe Black will fall down the depth chart at Texas or maybe he’ll be hurt again. IDK. If it goes down like that I’m not going to sit here and talk about how Black didn’t get a fair shake and is way underrated. I don’t make any crazy predictions about Black and if I did I’d own up to being wrong about them.

            To twist your logic back at you – if Black is starting every year, he is either not lazy or crazy talented – I’ve never heard you argue the he is crazy talented. And if Isaac is strapped to the bench, he either isn’t very talented or he is lazy. I’ve heard you speak on his talent again and again.

            I like Ty Isaac – I just think he’s an unexceptional RB whose whose mix of skills and size don’t fit well with modern football. I like Tarik Black – and think he’s a pretty good college WR at Michigan and Texas, my two favorite college programs. I hope he gets a shot at the NFL but haven’t seen anything to indicate he is a special player.

            Nothing odd about the above, just in how you are reading it.

            • Comments: 3845
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Sep 15, 2020 at 8:41 PM

              You’ve questioned Isaac’s toughness multiple times. Here’s just one example:


              Isaac was #3 in carries in both 2016 and 2017. Fifth string? How does a fifth-stringer start four games?

              See, you’re still taking shots at Isaac, trying to minimize what he did. What crazy predictions did I make for Isaac? The max I said he would run for at any point in his Michigan career was 600 yards, and the max he ever ran for was 548. So my “ceiling” for him was off by 52 yards.

              Isaac: talented, soft, productive…and Lanknows takes shots at him
              Black: talented, soft, not productive…and Lanknows defends him

              The problem with your “starts” logic is that Michigan only starts one running back. There are only 13 starts for the running back position in a season. Meanwhile, there were 36 starts last year at the WR position (Collins 10, Bell 10, Peoples-Jones 9, Black 5, Jackson 1, Sainristil 1). If you’re the #2 running back, you could feasibly never start a game. If you’re the #2 wide receiver, you could feasibly start every game.

            • Comments: 6285
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Sep 16, 2020 at 5:40 PM

              Exactly! The problem is you think a backup RB is more important than a starter at WR. Instead of looking at it as the WR group is 3 or 4 times more important than RB because it’s 3 or 4 times as many positions you seem to put them on equal footing as position groups.

              You are allocating credit in line with boxscore yards, instead of recognizing that every yard is earned by all 11 collectively. You’d think this would be something some numbers geek would do and a coach would have to roll his eyes before explaining how it works in real life.

              When I say 5th string I am talking about where he ended up. Ty Isaac never had a meaningful role in November and never touched the ball against Ohio State. He was given a shot every year, and then demoted down the depth chart when he failed to deliver every year. Meanwhile, Black battled back to get there from a broken leg in 2018 to play against OSU and was in group of starters at WR all season in 2019. Even if Black wasn’t in the WR1 spot he held before injury, he was still in there against OSU before he decided to transfer.

              Meaningful snaps. Who is in when the season is on the line against PSU, Wisconsin, and OSU. Who is in to run up the score against UNLV doesn’t matter anymore at RB than it does at LG, even though one shows up in the boxscores.

              The questions about toughness don’t come from me. If you had said “Isaac isn’t tough enough to play” after 1 healthy season I would have defended him too, or at least said “you know maybe he’s plenty tough and that the real issue is he just is not as good as you think”.

              You said the coaches were making a mistake with how much Isaac played repeatedly and indicated the NFL was making a mistake by not giving him a shot – even after he clearly did not have what it took at Michigan.

              I disagreed with your optimism on Isaac’s ability in the face of depth chart reality, and I was proven correct. I disagree with your pessimism on Black’s character in the face of his resilience – and given his continued playing time and prominent role whenever healthy I would say I’m on track to be proven correct there as well. We’ll see what the season ahead holds… but there is nothing inconsistent about my statements here. If YOU want to paint a picture of Isaac and Black as both being something other than hardworkers (something I don’t agree with), then you are the one with an inconsistent perspective, dogging Black again and again, while advocating for Isaac again and again.

              Maybe Black will leave Austin with a reputation for being lazy too – and you’ll be proven correct if so. I am skeptical that will happen.

              I’ve defended the character of other players who have been derided here unfairly IMO, including Milton and Onwenu.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 15, 2020 at 4:19 PM

            FWIW I do think coming back from a broken leg is pretty tough.

            • Comments: 6285
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Sep 15, 2020 at 4:21 PM

              Given the Harbaugh staff’s pattern of player complaints about their approach to handling injuries, I wouldn’t be surprised if that played a role in Black’s dissatisfaction. But I won’t pretend to know.

              • Comments: 3845
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Sep 15, 2020 at 8:46 PM

                This is a red herring. There was never anything that came out about giving Black a firm handshake, and he was on the field a bunch. He was the #4 receiver (by receptions). Not only that, but he was less productive than Collins/Bell (averaging about 7 and 3 yards fewer per reception), and the one guy he was on par with in yards per catch (Donovan Peoples-Jones) outscored him 6 touchdowns to 1. And considering DPJ’s punt return abilities, he clearly is more athletic and dangerous after the catch.

                Black wasn’t as good as the other guys. That’s easy to discern.

              • Comments: 6285
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Sep 16, 2020 at 5:52 PM

                LOL. A red herring for what?

                I wasn’t arguing that Black is better than DPJ, Collins, and Bell. Though it wouldn’t shock me if that turned out to be true given he started ahead of them early in his career, pre-injury, I don’t expect it.

                I think DPJ and Collins improved more than Black did from freshman to junior year and I think that’s understandable given Black lost most of 2 seasons to injury.

                I’m sure he was frustrated by not being the clear WR1 he was in early 2017. He obviously left for some reason but I’d guess it was not just about playing time. I doubt he would go to Texas if his main aim was to get 80 targets and DPJ’s departure gave him a clear path to a big role. So it was more than that IMO.

                I think he didn’t like something about the staff, whether it was how his injury was handled or how Gattis was running the offense. Like, I said, I don’t know, it’s just my speculation.

                I don’t think Black is a special talent. I think he is a quality college starter who will get some NFL attention but not be standout at the next level or maybe not make a roster at all. For most guys – getting to that spot means you worked pretty hard.

          • Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Sep 15, 2020 at 4:23 PM

            Black started 5 games last year. That’s more than Isaac started in 5 years.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Sep 15, 2020 at 1:43 PM

        For a sec I thought you were using progressive pronouns but then I realized you meant the program.

        Hook em/them/theirs.

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