Nightly Roundup: December 25, 2019

Nightly Roundup: December 25, 2019


December 25, 2019
Don Brown

MSN has an article saying that Michigan is the only Power Five school that doesn’t offer online classes (LINK). In case anyone makes the argument that Michigan is the same as any other school, there’s some evidence for you.

Don Brown talks about the 2020 recruiting class (LINK).

Elle Johnson wants to wish you a merry (NSFW) Christmas:

11 comments

  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 5793
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Dec 26, 2019 at 1:21 PM

    Emphasis on athleticism on the defensive end – just words, but it seems like they are backing it up with a bit of a shift in recruiting.

    You look back to the ’17 and ’18 class an you see a lot of big guys in the secondary. Still a few (Hill and Paige) but the ’19 and ’20 classes seem to be emphasizing more viper-types and both CBs (Dennis and Seldon) look to be pretty short. I think we’re seeing Brown evolve his personnel a bit to fit the changes he is applying on the field.

    Still too many traditional-sized LBs if you ask me, but maybe some of them end up evolving into edge players like Winovich.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5793
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Dec 27, 2019 at 5:18 PM

      I don’t think Brown is doing exactly this but I do think he is tracking towards a more “position-less” defense that emphasizes versatility.

      https://twitter.com/Andy_Staples/status/1210603602680537088

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3500
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Dec 28, 2019 at 1:19 PM

        I really just don’t see this at all. Yes, Michigan is using some hybrids, but that’s no different than what has long been done. Michigan recruits guys at corner who play corner. They recruit guys at safety who play safety. They recruit guys at linebacker who play linebacker. Sometimes they take an OLB and play him at DE, which is not abnormal. Sometimes they take a DE and put him at DT on passing downs, which is not abnormal. That tweet is about taking 5 corners and playing them all in the secondary, and Michigan hasn’t approached that at all.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3500
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 28, 2019 at 1:22 PM

      You say too many traditional-sized linebackers, but traditional-sized linebackers Jordan Anthony and Drew Singleton have both transferred out in the past year or so because they have been passed on the depth chart. They’re really just replenishing the depth chart with Hill-Green, Wheeler, etc. I don’t see those guys as being edge players.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5793
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Dec 29, 2019 at 10:48 AM

        Why would you replenish the type of guy who doesn’t play?

        Michigan’s starting LBs as recruits:
        6’1 210 Hybrid LB
        6’1 200 Safety
        5’11 205 Safety

        Contrast to a three years ago and Don Brown’s starting LBs were:
        6’4 230 OLB
        6’3 215 ILB
        6’0 205 Safety/CB

        That’s an average of 2 inches and 10 pounds different. The CBs have gotten smaller too.

        I look at guys like Morant, Moten, Mohan and I see the next generation of back 7 players. Solomon, Hill, and Johnson from last year. Once upon a time you could tell from looking who was a CB, a safety, and an ILB. The physical distinction is increasingly blurred.

        Brown seems to be recruiting players more like the ones he is putting out on the field. Guys who look like Glasgow, Hudson, Metellus, Hawkins, McGrone. Somewhere around 6′ and 200 pounds with speed to cover and ability to tackle. Position TBD.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3500
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Dec 29, 2019 at 1:25 PM

          I don’t understand the linebacker thing. Who’s the hybrid linebacker, and what is a hybrid linebacker? Cam McGrone?

          The cornerbacks haven’t gotten smaller. Michigan recruited Benjamin St-Juste, Vincent Gray, Myles Sims, etc. The guys who are playing are small because they happen to be better players, but you can’t assume a trend just because of one or two blips on the radar. The QB who’s playing is 6’2″. We can’t assume that Michigan wants short or short-ish quarterbacks just because Shea Patterson is 6’2″. Joe Milton and Dan Villari and Dylan McCaffrey are all taller…and Cade McNamara isn’t.

          I don’t get the “Brown recruiting guys he’s putting on the field” comment, either. He recruited Jordan Anthony, Cornell Wheeler, AND Nikhai Hill-Green, among others. Unless you’re implying that Brown recruited Hill-Green as an inside linebacker with a sinister intention to make him a defensive end, then I don’t think we have any reason to believe that Brown doesn’t see a role for him as an inside linebacker.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5793
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Dec 30, 2019 at 3:28 PM

            I should not have used the hybrid label for McGrone.

            He was on the smaller side of LB recruits like Devin Bush or Charles Thomas but nobody ever considered him a safety AFAIK.

            He’s a LB playing LB and therefore different than the other 2.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5793
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Dec 30, 2019 at 12:42 PM

          When playing time and recruiting point in the same direction I think it is indicative of a trend. The tall DBs aren’t playing much and they are recruiting significantly fewer of them.

          At LB we are seeing the change in personnel on the field but not necessarily such an obvious shift on the recruiting trail. Michigan is still recruiting a bunch of traditional-sized LBs. I’m betting a lot of them end up doing something other than starting at LB for Don Brown.

          Why?… because they are recruiting a ton of viper-shaped DBs who project to be something closer to Hudson and Glasgow than Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray. Hill, Johnson, Solomon, Velazquez, Morant, Moten, Mohan are players that represent the new breed of LB. Of course some of them will stick at traditional safety but the lines are blurring IMO.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5793
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Dec 29, 2019 at 11:17 AM

        You described Hill-Green as a “lumberer”. I’ll take your word for it. Also an “awkward fit” at LB in Brown’s defense. Given his size and the above – I agree. You also say he has “middle linebacker written all over him”. This is where I see things differently.

        I cannot imagine Brown putting a big slow lumbering LB out there anymore. He did it with McCray but that’s when he was working with guys he didn’t recruit.

        Mullings, Savage, Wheeler – all in the same vein of more traditional sized LB like Singleton. Michigan is still recruiting this type of player so that means they want them but my guess is they are more likely to end up in a role like Winovich, Furbush, Uche than as a starting LB in a Don Brown defense.

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3500
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Dec 29, 2019 at 1:27 PM

          So you think the 6’1″ Mullings and the 6’1″ Wheeler are going to be used like Chase Winovich?

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5793
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Dec 30, 2019 at 12:50 PM

          I think there’s a good chance they end up playing on the edge rather than inside. Maybe more Uche than Winovich.

          I’m lumping a lot of guys together here. I’m sure some of them will stay inside and odds are some them will be useful players. But if you choose 5 ‘traditional’ sized LB recruits and 5 ‘undersized’ Viper recruits I’d bet more starting “linebackers” are coming from the latter group.

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