Review of 2012 TTB Ratings

Tag: AJ Williams

3Jun 2019
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Review of 2012 TTB Ratings

Jeremy Clark

I did a review of my TTB Ratings from 2011 here (LINK), but it’s been a while, so it’s long past time for a look at the 2012 class.

Keep in mind that the ratings (fully explained here) are intended to project how players will fare at Michigan and, to a certain extent, in the NFL Draft. I do not take into account how players will do once they get to the NFL or how they will pan out if they transfer to other programs. I will give myself a grade of 1-5 like a 5-point grading scale (5 is best, 1 is worst) for each player; I reserve the right to give myself an incomplete if the guy never made it to his first season. I’ll work down the list from highest to lowest with a brief career recap for each player:

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25Feb 2016
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Spring Football Preview: Tight Ends

Jake Butt 750x

Jake Butt

Projected starter: Senior Jake Butt. Butt (51 catches, 654 yards, 3 TDs) has been Michigan’s leading tight end for the past two seasons, and last year he was in the running for the Mackey Award, which is given to the nation’s top tight end. He should once again be in the running for the Mackey Award and an All-America nod.

Departures: A.J. Williams (12 catches, 129 yards), who was mainly a blocking tight end, graduated. Meanwhile, redshirt junior backup Khalid Hill is moving to fullback this spring (LINK) and redshirt sophomore Chase Winovich is moving back to linebacker after spending one season at fullback/tight end.

Hit the jump for more on the tight end situation.

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8Sep 2015
Blog, homepage 9 comments

Michigan vs. Utah Awards

Jake Butt

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Ty Isaac. It looks a little bit like De’Veon Smith might be the inside run guy, and Isaac might be the outside run guy. That is, at least until Drake Johnson returns from injury. Smith slammed it up inside 17 times for 47 yards, which is 2.76 yards/carry. Isaac wasn’t a great deal better on average (4 carries, 12 yards, 3.0 yards/carry) but he is quicker. Plus he can catch the ball, which Smith proved he could not do consistently when he embarrassingly dropped a wide open pass that hit him right in the hands. I don’t think Smith should be benched outright, but a 17-to-4 carry advantage is a little too lopsided.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . A.J. Williams. He doesn’t have to play less, necessarily, but I would prefer it if he never or rarely gets targeted. He had 1 catch for 2 yards on Thursday night, and he was targeted at least twice more. There needs to be an element of surprise at times, and maybe he’s the best blocker of the non-Jake Butt tight ends. But he is also arguably the least athletic of the tight ends, and his targets should either go to wideouts or players like Ian Bunting, Khalid Hill, etc. I know the moderators at Rivals were touting Williams as a potential breakout player this year, but I’ll believe it when I see it – and I don’t expect to see it.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . James Ross III. I have yet to be convinced that Michigan’s nickel safety and/or the other linebackers are better than Ross. Ross had 2 tackles and .5 tackles for loss in limited time on Thursday. I don’t think he’s a superstar, but I do think he’s pretty good at playing in space, and he’s perhaps the best hitter of the linebacker crew.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Channing Stribling. Stribling lost contain a couple times early in the game, and I don’t think his athleticism is anything special. He looks bigger and more physical this year, but I have yet to see him show the coverage ability to make a play on the ball. Through two seasons as a backup and one game as a starter, he has notched zero interceptions and zero pass breakups. I won’t declare him a total mess because he was not beaten over the top, but a guy who has been playing cornerback for two-plus seasons should have at least put a fingertip on a ball at some point in his career. Michigan has a transfer from Stanford in Wayne Lyons who has 3 interceptions and 6 pass breakups during his first three-plus years of playing time.

Play of the game . . . Jake Rudock to Jake Butt for a touchdown. Late in the third quarter, quarterback Jake Rudock was desperately looking for a score. He was so desperate that he launched a football into the midst of three red jerseys. Fortunately for him, the 6’6″, 248 lb. tight end Jake Butt rose up to reel in the pass, even though two Utes had chances to make a play on the ball with a third nearby. It turned into a 19-yard touchdown and one of Butt’s career highlights.

Player of the game . . . Jake Butt. Jim Harbaugh likes to use his tight ends, and Jake Rudock likes to use them as a security blanket, too. It’s fortunate that Michigan has a good one in Butt, who is a big target with soft hands who runs routes well. He ended the game with 8 catches for 93 yards (11.6 yards/catch) and the aforementioned touchdown. There were other players who played well for stretches (Jabrill Peppers, Chris Wormley, Amara Darboh), but nobody was as consistent as Butt from start to finish.

28Oct 2014
Uncategorized 13 comments

Michigan vs. Michigan State Awards

Jake Ryan

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Devin Gardner running the ball. Gardner is the best runner on the team. Better than Devin Funchess, better than Justice Hayes, better than De’Veon Smith, better than Dennis Norfleet, better than a healthy Derrick Green. Gardner sprained his ankle against Penn State, so I guess I understand if the coaches were trying to protect him against Michigan State. Regardless, this team can’t pass the ball consistently, and there’s very little running game. Gardner ran the ball 4 times for -18 yards (including 2 sacks). He has to be a part of the rushing attack if Michigan wants to find success.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . A.J. Williams. He’s not a good blocker, he’s too slow to be any kind of running threat, and he doesn’t have good hands. If Michigan can’t put a better tight end out there – if Keith Heitzman really can’t do it, if the coaches are set on redshirting Ian Bunting – then they should just spread defenses out more and hope the running backs or Gardner can find creases. Williams is a liability.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Raymon Taylor at safety. I think the time has come to make an adjustment in the defensive secondary. I do not believe this will actually happen, but Michigan needs better safety play. Jeremy Clark is a liability, and Delano Hill isn’t ready to play safety at this level. Hill got completely lost in man coverage when he allowed MSU wide receiver Tony Lippett a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown, and Hill got trucked by quarterback Connor Cook. The Wolverines need more consistent play at safety, and Clark/Hill aren’t going to give it to them this year.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . Delano Hill. I have never been a fan of Hill, and he has yet to make a play that seems to warrant his playing time. He did luck into a fumble recovery after Jarrod Wilson forced the ball out and it bounced into Hill’s hands, but that’s not enough.

Play of the game . . . so few options. I’ll go with Chris Wormley’s 8-yard sack on Connor Cook. It was Wormley’s only entry on the stat sheet, but it was a somewhat impressive bull rush right through the Michigan State offensive guard, pushing him back into Cook.

MVP of the game . . . Jake Ryan. He had 12 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. That’s the best I can come up with. Nobody stood out. The quarterback was bad, the offensive line was bad, the wide receivers dropped all kinds of balls, the defensive line got pushed around, and the secondary couldn’t tackle.

6Oct 2014
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Michigan vs. Rutgers Awards

Jarrod Wilson (#22) broke up this dangerous pass
(image via College Football)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Da’Mario Jones. Jones is reportedly one of the faster players on the team, and Michigan is lacking a deep threat. Devin Funchess is being bracketed, Amara Darboh doesn’t have great speed, and Dennis Norfleet doesn’t know how to catch a ball that’s thrown at him. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Jones – it could be Freddy Canteen or Maurice Ways – but Michigan needs to find someone else to stretch the field besides a hobbled Funchess.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . A.J. Williams. He is slow and does not have good hands. Devin Gardner threw a quick out to him on Saturday night, and the results were sad. The tight ends running those routes should be Jake Butt or Khalid Hill. We know Butt is good, but Hill is a guy who seems to be improving steadily.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Jarrod Wilson at free safety. I guess I don’t see the rationale behind playing the more inexperienced Jeremy Clark back there in loads of open space, while the more experienced Wilson is covering the flats or stopping the run. Those roles should be flipped. Clark has size and speed, but he lacks field awareness. Meanwhile, Wilson’s jarring hit on Leonte Carroo was the first of its kind for Michigan this season, and – surprise! – it came when Wilson was playing deep.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . tentative Joe Bolden and Frank Clark. On separate occasions, these guys seemed afraid to hit Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova. Bolden lacked his improving aggressive nature on a scramble up the middle, and Clark seemed to pull up on a pass rush that allowed Nova to side-step him and throw a touchdown to a diving John Tsimis. Were they tentative because of the week-long discussion about quarterback safety after the Shane Morris hit? Was it a coincidence? I don’t know. Maybe Gary is just a super Nova. (Sad people make sad jokes.)

Play of the game . . . unlike last week, there are a couple choices. The highlight reel choice was obviously the one-handed snag by tight end Jake Butt. The more meaningful play was Devin Gardner’s 19-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. On a bootleg, he juked the outside contain guy and outran the Rutgers defense to the pylon, all along gliding like only he and a few other quarterbacks can do. He really is fun to watch when he gets in open space. Not many 6’4″, 216 lb. guys can move like he does.

MVP of the game . . . Gardner. He didn’t have a great game, but nobody really stood out for Michigan. Gardner finished the game 13/22 for 178 yards, and 1 interception; he also ran the ball 10 times for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns. For the most part, he managed the game well, especially once he got comfortable in the second half. I also thought Joe Bolden played pretty well – he made 10 tackles, including 9 solo stops, several of which stopped Scarlet Knights in their tracks.