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Tag: 2016 spring game

2Apr 2016
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Spring Game Observations

Ty Isaac 806x

Ty Isaac beat Jabrill Peppers to the edge for a long gain (image via MLive)

After watching Brandon Peters last week and now this week, I have very high hopes for him. He’s not ready yet, but he’s adjusting to the college game quickly and is a good athlete. I think he has the highest upside on the team. I still think it’s a neck-and-neck battle between Speight and O’Korn. I want O’Korn to win the job because I think he has better athletic skills and you can do more things with his legs, but it’s a tough choice. (Yes, I realize Speight scored a TD on a naked bootleg, but the guy he burned was walk-on linebacker Jack Dunaway. Also, I’ve seen Peyton Manning score on a similar play, and Manning is nobody’s idea of a mobile QB.)

I’ve said it for a long time, but Isaac was the best runner on the field. He finished with 10 carries for 78 yards, including two long runs. He was also running behind an offensive line that included mostly backups, freshman left tackle Grant Newsome, and center Mason Cole. He’s not without flaws (for example, he doesn’t have the same angry fervor as De’Veon Smith when trying to break tackles), but Isaac looks improved from last year. Kareem Walker looked decent, though the competition he shined most against were walk-ons. Kingston Davis recovered enough from last week’s undisclosed injury to notch a couple carries, but he didn’t have a lot of room to run; he looks like a truck, but he probably needs to shed a few pounds. Of the fullbacks, I’m not in love with Henry Poggi because he’s just not a guy who’s a threat with the ball in his hands. I really like Khalid Hill there, and I think Bobby Henderson can be a Kerridge-like player (though I’m not sure about his hands yet).

Hit the jump for the rest of the position-by-position rundowns.

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1Apr 2016
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5 Offensive Players to Watch in Michigan’s Spring Game

Ty Isaac 805x

Ty Isaac

Yesterday I posted about what to look for from Michigan’s defensive players (LINK), and now here’s a look at the offense. The spring game is at 6:00 p.m. tonight at Michigan Stadium. Admission is free. If you’re watching on TV, it will be broadcast live on BTN from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. and on BTN2Go after that. Then it will be re-aired in its entirety at 9:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

QB Wilton Speight

We saw Speight play a little bit last year. If we’re being honest, it was mostly bad. If not for one crunch-time, game-winning drive and a touchdown pass to beat Minnesota, it would have been downright ugly. The 6’6″, 239 lb. Speight went 9/25 (36%) for 73 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. However, the coaching staff has stated that the quarterback job is open, and Speight has reportedly inched past John O’Korn. Last Saturday at the Ford Field open practice, Speight was the first guy getting reps. He appears to be more of a game manager, but it would be nice to have a quarterback who can push the ball down the field a little bit.

Hit the jump for four more offensive players to watch.

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31Mar 2016
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5 Defensive Players to Watch in Michigan’s Spring Game

Mike McCray 792x

LB Mike McCray II

Michigan held some open practices in Florida and another at Ford Field last Saturday, but for many, the spring game will be the first opportunity to see the Wolverines in person or at least in action. I posted some notes on the defense earlier this week (LINK), and here are the top five defensive players I’ll be watching at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night:

LB/S Jabrill Peppers
It’s no surprise that Peppers would be first on my list. He might not be Michigan’s best defensive player, but his athletic abilities outstrip those of everyone else on the team. Peppers spent most of his time doing drills at SAM linebacker last Saturday at Ford Field, but when the Wolverines lined up for scrimmage action, he also played safety. The 6’1″, 208-pounder will line up at the line of scrimmage in a 9-technique, over slot receivers, or back deep in coverage. There’s reason to believe he will be a big-time playmaker, so prepare to be impressed when things go live.

Hit the jump for four more players to watch.

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