Ranking Michigan’s Wide Receivers

Tag: Adrian Arrington

24Aug 2020
Blog, homepage 67 comments

Ranking Michigan’s Wide Receivers

David Terrell (image via Michigan Football History)

Previously, I ranked the Michigan quarterbacks (LINK) and running backs (LINK) from the beginning of the Lloyd Carr era onward. That corresponds with the time that I have paid close attention to Michigan football.

Now we will take a look at the receivers. Because I don’t have an endless amount of time, I have to trim this down to guys who started at least twelve games in a Michigan uniform, which represents roughly one full season as a starter. The lone exception here is Devin Gardner, who started a bunch of games, but mostly at quarterback.

Hit the jump for the list.

read more
15Dec 2014
Uncategorized 13 comments

The Transition Effect: Carr to Rodriguez

Ryan Mallett

With an upcoming coaching transition, there has been some concern that players will take flight to greener pastures. When Michigan went from a pro-style scheme to a zone read option scheme in the off-season between 2007 and 2008, some offensive players headed out the door. Not much of that can be attributed to the spread. Every team loses players in the off-season. Sometimes players are sick of standing on the sideline, sometimes they get homesick, and sometimes they butt heads with the coaches. Here’s a look at what the transition from Lloyd Carr to Rich Rodriguez cost Michigan going into 2008 and beyond.

Decommitted due to coaching transition: John Wienke, Christian Wilson
Wienke, a pro-style quarterback, decommitted in favor of Iowa, where he never saw any significant time. Wilson ended up committing to North Carolina due to the fact that Rodriguez’s offense didn’t leave a ton of room for fullback/H-back types. Wilson played but never made a huge impact for the Tarheels.

Transferred to other FBS teams between regimes: Justin Boren, Ryan Mallett
Offensive guard Justin Boren would have been a junior starter in Rich Rodriguez’s first season, but some alleged frictions between Rodriguez and Boren’s family led to his departure. Boren transferred to his home state Ohio State Buckeyes program, where he eventually started and became an undrafted free agent; he never played in an NFL game despite making the practice squad with a couple teams. Meanwhile, his right guard position was taken by David Moosman, who turned out to be a decent but forgettable piece up front for the Wolverines. Theories differ on Mallett, a touted quarterback who transferred closer to home at Arkansas. Some say he was already on his way out the door because of butting heads with Carr; others say he realized he wouldn’t fit into Rich Rodriguez’s offense. Either way, he was replaced by walk-on Nick Sheridan and Georgia Tech transfer Steve Threet, both of whom were subpar passers and poor fits for Rodriguez’s scheme. After the 2008 season,

Left early for the NFL Draft: Adrian Arrington, Mario Manningham
Arrington blew up in his final game, a bowl win over Florida, which might have sealed the deal. His 882 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in 2007 as the #2 option behind Manningham were impressive, although he slipped into the Draft in just the 7th round, making just 9 receptions in a short NFL career. Manningham had some issues following rules/laws and seemed to be headed for the door after a stellar three-year career; he possibly would have been a 1st round pick if not for a marijuana charge, and instead fell to the 3rd round. He was picked by the Giants and has had a solid but injury-marred career with 2,849 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Transferred to other FBS teams after giving Rodriguez a chance:* Toney Clemons, Vince Helmuth, Dann O’Neill, Steve Threet
Clemons spent a year trying to wedge himself into the slot receiver role for Rodriguez, a role he was ill suited for because he was not very quick or elusive. Clemons had been recruited by Lloyd Carr as an outside wide receiver, and he transferred to Colorado for that reason. He had a decent career for the Buffaloes and managed to get drafted. Helmuth was brought in as a Lloyd Carr fullback, eventually moved to defensive tackle under Rodriguez, and then transferred to Miami-OH, where he never played, either. O’Neill spent a year redshirting and then transferred to Western Michigan, where his lack of lateral mobility was less of a hindrance; he started for several years for the Broncos. Threet got kind of a raw deal. After enrolling early at Georgia Tech in January 2007, he transferred to Michigan over the summer and redshirted during the season, hoping to follow Chad Henne as the starter for the Wolverines. Then when Rodriguez got hired, Threet and walk-on Nick Sheridan split playing time before Threet lit out for his third school, Arizona State. He had to sit out the 2009 season to transfer, and then concussions caused him to end his football career early.

Left early for the NFL Draft after giving Rodriguez a chance:* Carson Butler, Donovan Warren
Butler was unhappy with his role as a tight end in Rodriguez’s offense, so he made a mid-season switch to defensive end, finishing with 2 catches, 17 yards, and 5 tackles. He tested the waters of the NFL but was ultimately unsuccessful.  Warren left after his third season in Ann Arbor, hanging around through 2009. It’s unclear whether a different coach could have kept him around for a fourth season, but Warren was All-Big Ten and made 4 picks in 2009, after which he made an ill-advised attempt at making it in the NFL. He was not drafted and spent a few years bouncing around practice squads.

If Michigan changes systems to a spread or, say, a triple option, some transfers can naturally be expected. That change seems unlikely based on what we have been hearing, but anything is possible. The one guy who seemed like a possible early entrant into the draft (Devin Funchess) is gone already. The quarterbacks are mostly pro-style guys, so that would present a challenge if Michigan wanted to run any kind of option-type stuff. Michigan has been running a lot of zone schemes, so a loss of linemen would not seem to be a huge risk, regardless of the coach. The receivers are mostly big, pro-style guys who could get squeezed out if the new coach wanted to put tiny slot guys out there in spades. Michigan’s stable of tight ends would likely not be happy with a move to a spread, though A.J. Williams will be a senior and Jake Butt could be just a year away from heading to the NFL; the biggest flight risks there would probably be the young guys, Ian Bunting and Khalid Hill, who would still have time to redshirt for a year and make an impact elsewhere.

*There were some other transfers (Sam McGuffie, Marell Evans, Kurt Wermers, etc.) that seemed to have less to do with Rodriguez and more to do with homesickness, academic difficulties, etc.

13Sep 2012
Uncategorized 12 comments

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Larry Foote

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football in the first week of the NFL season by a score of 31-19.  Pittsburgh’s defense as a whole didn’t live up to expectation, but Larry Foote delivered a strong performance, tallying eight tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and a pass deflection.  The eleven year veteran again started at “Buck” linebacker for his team–which is just another term for “Will” from what I gather–despite being “questionable” headed into the game.  Also the home to former Michigan athletes Ryan Mundy and LaMarr Woodley, the 0-1 Steelers face off against conference rival the New York Jets next week.

Honorable mention:  A strong case could be made for Charles Woodson, who recorded 1.5 sacks, a handful of tackles and a forced fumble in a 30-22 loss to the 49ers Sunday.  But I’m going with Mike Martin for earning playing time in the first week of his rookie season and getting his first three career tackles. The Titans got shellacked, 31-13, by Tom Brady and the Patriots.

  • Junior Hemmingway bought a Ferrari Spider for his girlfriend and was then cut by the Kansas City Chiefs.  Then the Chiefs signed him again.  Then they cut him again.  [EDIT:  Junior tweeted out, “I just bought a Ferrari Spider for my girl.  I told her to drive it like it got eight legs!”  But I guess those are lyrics from a Lil Wayne song.  Thanks to the commenter for the heads up.  I do not listen to Lil Wayne.] 
  • Adrian Arrington was released by the New Orleans Saints [Update:  Arrington re-signs with the Saints and is placed on the Injured Reserve].  
  • Tim Jamison signed a two year contract extention with the Houston Texans.  
  • Ryan Van Bergen did not make the Carolina Panthers final roster cut.  
  • David Molk is listed as the second string center on the San Diego Chargers depth chart.  
  • Stephen Schilling is no longer with the Chargers and now a free agent.
19Jan 2012
Uncategorized no comments

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Tom Brady

Whoa, Nellie! Tom Brady shredded the Denver defense and set a playoff record with five touchdown passes in one half. He added one more TD just minutes into the third quarter, tying another NFL record for passing touchdowns in a playoff game with nearly an entire half of football left to play. Fortunately for Tim “He Just Wins Games” Tebow and the Denver defense, Brady exercised his inner virtues of mercy and compassion and decided to focus more on his punting skills than his touchdown tosses for the remainder of the game. The final score read 45-10, and Brady finished with a Patriots playoff record of 363 passing yards (76.5 CMP%), six touchdowns and a 137.6 QB rating to go along with his booming 48 yard punt. Zoltan Mesko must be proud.
Honorable Mention: Mario Manningham caught a touchdown pass for the second straight week, this time on a four yard catch in the back of the end zone, as his Giants rolled the 15-1 Packers by a score of 37-20 to advance to the NFC Championship against Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers. Manningham finished the game with 3 catches for 31 yards (10.3 YPC) and the aforementioned touchdown.

Miscellaneous: Adrian Arrington caught one pass for 14 yards but was targeted six times in as his Saints fell to the 49ers. Jim Harbaugh can coach.  Both David Baas (New York Giants) and Jonathan Goodwin (San Francisco 49ers) started at center for their respective teams and will face off in this weekend’s NFC Championship.
12Jan 2012
Uncategorized no comments

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Mario Manningham

It’s been a rough year for Mario Manningham, especially when considering his lofty preseason expectations. Manningham appeared in only 12 games and battled through a concussion and a lingering knee injury while putting up his worst statistical performance since his 2008 rookie season. But that now seems like the distant past after the Giants’ 24-2 NFC Wild Card game victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Manningham caught four passes for 68 yards in the contest, including a game-clinching touchdown grab midway through the fourth quarter. Super Mario looked impressive on the play (watch it here), beating two defensive backs for the 27 yard catch up the middle.
“The fact that Mario made plays was big,” said coach Tom Coughlin. That was something that we needed to have happen and I am certainly glad it did. When you look at tape of some of these games and you look at previous games of the teams that we are playing, you see [number] 82 making catches and running behind guys, and that’s a good thing”

Honorable Mention: Steelers’ starting free safety Ryan Clark nearly died due to a blood condition the last time he played at Mile High Stadium, so being an upstanding guy, Ryan Mundy kindly stepped into his role. Mundy played 60 minutes of good football, recording five tackles and forcing two fumbles, one of which was recovered by LaMarr Woodley. But unfortunately for Mundy, the game lasted 60 minutes and 11 seconds, and he was caught out of position on the first play of overtime, resulting in an 80-yard touchdown and the quickest end to overtime in NFL history. To be fair, it seemed as if the defensive game plan called for Mundy to stay close to the line of scrimmage, essentially daring Tebow to throw the ball, and Tebow surprisingly rose to the challenge. But still . . .
Miscellaneous: Donovan Warren joins former teammate, Perry Dorrestein, and tight ends coach Mike DeBord in Chicago with the Bears. Travelin’ man Martell Webb signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Adrian Arrington caught his third pass of the season in the Saints’ victory over…well, you know.