Ranking Michigan’s Running Backs

Tag: Brandon Minor

17Aug 2020
Blog, homepage 14 comments

Ranking Michigan’s Running Backs

Tim Biakabutuka

Please support the blog by using the Amazon links to make your purchases (LINK).

I went through the process of ranking Michigan’s quarterbacks (LINK), which created a lot of debate. This has been in the works for a long time, but here’s a look at my ranking of running backs, going back to the beginning of the Lloyd Carr era.

To be considered for this list, a running back must have started at least ten games in a Michigan uniform*, which roughly equals one full season’s worth of starts with some wiggle room for being banged up a little bit.

*There are two exceptions to this for different reasons, which you’ll see in the post.

Hit the jump.

read more

7Jul 2019
Blog, homepage, Uncategorized 19 comments

The All-Rodriguez Team: Offense

Denard Robinson makes fatties look fat.

In case you can’t tell, I like to make lists.  And depth charts.  And lineups.  This has nothing to do with football.  But when I was about thirteen years old, I laid down in my living room with a piece of paper and a pen.  I wrote down a batting order for my favorite team, the Detroit Tigers.  And the Atlanta Braves.  And the Chicago Cubs.  And, what the hell, the rest of Major League Baseball, too.

From memory.  If you wanted to know the emergency catcher for the Montreal Expos, I was your man (er, well, boy).

So here’s another list.  I’ve often thought about the best players to come through Michigan during the years of my fanaticism, and this one is narrowed down to the Rodriguez years.  Which players in the past few years turned out the best seasons for what amounted to be Michigan’s worst three consecutive years in program history?  Despite the 15-22 record over Rodriguez’s tenure, we had some pretty good individual players.  But as you might expect, the majority of them (nine out of eleven) were on the 2010 squad that had a winning record and played in a bowl game.

QB: Denard Robinson (2010)
182-for-291 passing, 2570 yards, 18 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
256 carries, 1799 yards, 14 touchdowns
This is a no-brainer.  For half the season, he was on pace to win the Heisman.

Hit the jump for the rest.

read more

20Mar 2012
Uncategorized no comments

Michigan Combine participation and Draft position since 1999

Marquise Walker
With the NFL Combine behind us and the Draft not too far away, now seems like a good time to take a look at the recent history of Wolverines in the NFL. Here’s a list of players who have participated in the combine since 1999, with draft position included in parentheses. It’s worth remembering that the vast majority of players who are invited to the Combine end up with NFL teams, even if they are not selected in the Draft.

2012 (3): DT Mike Martin (TBD), WR Junior Hemingway (TBD), David Molk (TBD)

2011 (2): LB Jonas Mouton (2nd), Stephen Schilling (6th)

2010 (5): OLB Brandon Graham (1st), P Zoltan Mesko (5th), S Stevie Brown (7th)*, CB Donovan Warren (undrafted), RB Brandon Minor (undrafted)

2009 (4): DT Terrance Taylor (4th), CB Morgan Trent (6th), LS Sean Griffin (undrafted), DE Tim Jamison (undrafted)

2008 (7): OT Jake Long (1st), QB Chad Henne (2nd), LB Shawn Crable (3rd), WR Mario Manningham (3rd), RB Mike Hart (6th), WR Adrian Arrington (7th), SS Jamar Adams (undrafted)

2007 (6): CB Leon Hall (1st), DT Alan Branch (2nd), LB LaMarr Woodley (2nd), LB David Harris (2nd ), WR Steve Breaston (5th), LB Prescott Burgess (6th)

2006 (5): DT Gabe Watson (4th), WR Jason Avant (4th), TE Tim Massaquai (7th), OL Adam Stenavich (undrafted), LB Pierre Woods (undrafted)

2005 (7): WR Braylon Edwards (1st), CB Marlin Jackson (1st), OG David Bass (2nd), CB Markus Curry (undrafted), FB Kevin Dudley (undrafted), P Adam Finley (undrafted), S Earnest Shazor (undrafted)
2004 (5): RB Chris Perry (1st), CB Jeremy LeSueur (3rd), QB John Navarre (7th), OT Tony Pape (7th), OL David Pearson (undrafted)

2003 (7): LB Victor Hobson (2nd), TE Bennie Joppru (2nd), FB B.J. Askew (3rd), QB Drew Henson (6th), SS Cato June (6th), FS Charles Drake (7th), WR Ronald Bellamy (undrafted)

2002 (4): WR Marquise Walker (3rd), LB Larry Foote (4th), OG Jonathan Goodwin (5th), K Hayden Epstein (7th)

2001 (6): OT Jeff Backus (1st), OL Steve Hutchinson (1st), WR David Terrell (1st), RB Anthony Thomas (2nd), OT Maurice Williams (2nd), CB James Whitley (undrafted)

2000 (7): LB Ian Gold (2nd), FB Aaron Shea (4th), DT Josh Williams (4th), LB Dhani Jones (6th), QB Tom Brady (6th), DE James Hall (undrafted), WR Marcus Knight (undrafted)

1999 (8): OT Jon Jansen (2nd), TE Jerame Tuman (5th), WR Tai Streets (6th), CB Andre Weathers (7th), RB Clarence Williams (undrafted), QB Scott Dreisbach (undrafted), SS Marcus Ray (undrafted), LB Sam Sword (undrafted)
*Not invited to the Combine
Average number of Michigan players participating in the Combine: 5.4
Average number of Michigan players selected in the Draft: 4.1

Average Draft position: 3.8th round
14Jul 2011
Uncategorized 3 comments

Review of 2006 Recruiting: The Running Backs

The Roster
Michael Hart, Jr.
Kevin Grady, So.
Jerome Jackson, Sr.
Mister Simpson, RS Fr.

The Recruits

Carlos Brown
High school: Heard County High School in Franklin, GA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star and #5 RB; Scout 4-star and #24 RB
Other notable offers: Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina
College: Michigan
Scoop: Brown arrived when the starting job was locked down by Michael Hart and probably should have redshirted as a freshman, when he contributed only 16 carries for 41 yards as the sixth-leading ground gainer.  He made 12 starts over the next three years, several of which came when Michigan’s starters (Michael Hart, Brandon Minor) were injured.  Brown led the team in rushing with 480 yards as a senior in 2009, despite missing several games due to injury.  He finished his career with 201 carries for 1,025 yards (5.1 YPC) and 8 touchdowns.  He also caught 14 passes for 135 yards and 1 touchdown and returned 19 kickoffs for 386 yards.  The lightning-fast running back was known for three things: speed (85- and 90-yard touchdown runs in his carer), an inability to break tackles (witness the phantom tackle by an EMU safety), and injury (freshman inexperience aside, he played in only 21 of 37 games from 2007-2009 – which meant he was available only 57% of the time).  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Brandon Minor
High school: Varina High School in Richmond, VA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star and #1 FB; Scout 4-star and #29 RB
Other notable offers: Florida, Miami, Tennessee, Virginia Tech
College: Michigan
Scoop: Just like Brown, Minor arrived at a time when Michael Hart was an established starter.  Minor was second on the team as a freshman with 238 yards rushing, behind only Hart.  Minor started only six games from 2007-2009 and had injury problems that limited his playing time, despite playing in 32 out of 37 possible games in those years.  He led the team in rushing his final two seasons, led the team in scoring in 2008, and finished with less than a 5.2-yards-per-carry average only once in his career (2007).  He finished his career with 331 carries for 1,658 yards (5.0 YPC) and 20 touchdowns.  He also caught 10 passes for 70 yards and 2 touchdowns and returned 14 kickoffs for 261 yards.  Minor was voted All-Big Ten Honorable Mention as a junior and prior to his senior season, he was on the Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards’ watch lists.  He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Knowshon Moreno
High school: Middletown South High School in Middletown, NJ
Ratings: Rivals 4-star and #10 RB; Scout 4-star and #9 RB
Other notable offers: Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech
College: Georgia
Scoop: Moreno redshirted in 2006 due to the presence of a trio of talented backs in Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin, and Danny Ware.  However, he burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2007 with 1,334 yards on 248 carries and 14 touchdowns that season.  Moreno was even better in 2008, when he had 250 carries for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns.  For his career, Moreno had 498 carries for 2,733 yards (5.5 YPC) and 30 touchdowns.  He also caught 53 passes for 645 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Moreno was drafted in the 1st round (#12 overall) by the Denver Broncos in 2009.  In two seasons he has 429 carries for 1,726 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Cameron Smith
High school: Brookwood High Schoo in Snellville, GA
Ratings: Rivals 4-star and #20 RB; Scout 4-star and #21 RB
Other notable offers: California, Oregon, Purdue, Virginia
College: N/A
Scoop: There were rumors that Smith wouldn’t qualify, and I can’t find any information about a college football career.

Chris Wells
High school: Garfield High School in Akron, OH
Ratings: Rivals 5-star and #1 RB; Scout 5-star and #1 RB
Other notable offers: USC
College: Ohio State
Scoop: Wells shared time with Antonio Pittman as a freshman in 2006, but still had 576 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Wells started in both 2007 and 2008 and totaled 481 carries for 2,806 yards (5.8 YPC) and 23 touchdowns.  He also caught 14 passes for 63 yards.  Wells was drafted in the 1st round (#31 overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in 2009.  He’s been a backup running back for the Cardinals for two seasons with 292 carries for 1,190 yards 9 touchdowns

Michigan didn’t offer many running backs in the 2006 class, but 4 out of the 5 were pretty successful in college.  Injuries derailed the careers of both Michigan commits, but both also averaged over five yards a carry in their careers.  Minor was a tough inside runner with the ability to break tackles and big runs, and Brown was a home run threat with two 85+ yard touchdown runs and a 61-yard touchdown reception in limited time.  His 201 career carries were less than Moreno or Wells ever had as starters in any season.

Biggest miss: Wells.  Even though he was the lower pick in the 2009 draft compared to Moreno, he hurt Michigan with 222 yards and a backbreaking touchdown run in the 2007 version of The Game.

Biggest bust: Smith.  Brown was rated higher on Rivals, but Smith never made it to college at all.  Even though it was frustrating to watch Brown get tackled so easily and injured so often, he was also exciting to watch when he was on the field.  I would rather watch Brown than a ghost.

Best in class: Moreno.  Arguments could be made for Wells, LeSean McCoy (2nd round pick out of Pitt, current starter for Philadelphia Eagles), or Dexter McCluster (2nd round pick out of Ole Miss, punt returner and backup RB for Kansas City Chiefs).  But Moreno was the highest draft pick of the four, had an excellent college career, and seems to have a decent NFL career in the works.  Wells has been a disappointment in the NFL, McCoy played in a subpar Big East conference, and McCluster is more of a scatback than an every-down player.

7Jul 2011
Uncategorized 10 comments

2006 Offer Board

David Cone – Statesboro, GA (Michigan)
Mitch Mustain – Sprindale, AR (Arkansas)
Neil Caudle – Hoover, AL (Auburn)
Tim Tebow – Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (Florida)
Matthew Stafford – Dallas, TX (Georgia)
Pat Devlin – Exton, PA (Penn State)
Dexter Davidson – Coconut Creek, FL (Pittsburgh)
Nick Stephens – Flower Mound, TX (Tennessee)
Taylor Potts – Abilene, TX (Texas Tech)

Carlos Brown – Franklin, GA (Michigan)
Brandon Minor – Richmond, VA (Michigan)
Cameron Smith – Snellville, GA
Knowshon Moreno – Middletown, NJ (Georgia)
Aaron Gant – Orchard Lake, MI (Ohio State)
Chris Wells – Akron, OH (Ohio State)

Greg Mathews – Orlando, FL (Michigan)
Damian Williams – Springdale, AR (Arkansas)
Chris Slaughter – Fort Valley, GA (Auburn)
Percy Harvin – Virginia Beach, VA (Florida)
Tony Wilson – Daytona Beach, FL (Georgia)
Derrell Johnson – Youngstown, OH (Iowa)
Robby Parris – Cleveland, OH (Notre Dame)
Chris Bell – Norfolk, VA (Penn State)
David Ausberry – Lemoore, CA (USC)

Dedrick Epps – Richmond, VA (Miami)
Will Yeatman – San Diego, CA (Notre Dame)
Jake Ballard – Springboro, OH (Ohio State)
Andrew Quarless – Uniondale, NY (Penn State)
Nate Byham – Polk, PA (Pittsburgh)
Dorin Dickerson – Imperial, PA (Pittsburgh)

Perry Dorrestein – Plainfield, IL (Michigan)
Stephen Schilling – Bellevue, WA (Michigan)
Alex Stadler – Bealeton, VA (Alabama)
Jim Barrie – Tampa, FL (Florida)
Marcus Gilbert – Fort Lauderdale, FL (Florida)
Daron Rose – Tampa, FL (Florida State)
Bartley Webb – Springdale, AR (Notre Dame)
Connor Smith – Cincinnati, OH (Ohio State)
Sam Young – Fort Lauderdale, FL (USC)

Justin Boren – Pickerington, OH (Michigan)
Justin Anderson – Ocilla, GA (Georgia)
Joe Thomas – Parma, OH (Pittsburgh)


Greg Banks – Denver, CO (Michigan)
Brandon Graham – Detroit, MI (Michigan)
Adam Patterson – Columbia, SC (Michigan)
Quintin Woods – Flint, MI (Michigan)
John Paul – Immokalee, FL
Micah Johnson – Fort Campbell, KY (Kentucky)
McKenzie Matthews – Syracuse, NY (Pittsburgh)
Jason Adjepong – Carteret, NJ (Virginia Tech)

John Ferrara – Staten Island, NY (Michigan)
Jason Kates – Harrisburg, PA (Michigan)
Marques Slocum – New Berlin, NY (Michigan)
Corey Peters – Louisville, KY (Kentucky)
Dexter Larimore – Merrillville, IN (Ohio State)
Jason Pinkston – Pittsburgh, PA (Pittsburgh)
Butch Lewis – Aurora, CO (USC)
Neil A’asa – Big Rapids, MI (Utah)

Obi Ezeh – Grand Rapids, MI (Michigan)
Cobrani Mixon – Cincinnati, OH (Michigan)
Jonas Mouton – Venice, CA (Michigan)
Quintin Patilla – Flint, MI (Michigan)
Akeem Hebron – Gaithersburg, MD (Georgia)
Toryan Smith – Rome, GA (Notre Dame)
Thaddeus Gibson – Euclid, OH (Ohio State)
Michael Morgan – Dallas, TX (USC)
Joshua Tatum – Oakland, CA (USC)

Jai Eugene – Destrehan, LA (LSU)
Ken Tinney – New Berlin, NY (Michigan State)
Darrin Walls – Pittsburgh, PA (Notre Dame)

Steve Brown – Columbus, IN (Michigan)
Jamar Hornsby – Jacksonville, FL (Florida)
Myron Rolle – Princeton, NJ (Florida State)
Asher Allen – Tucker, GA (Georgia)
Reshad Jones – Atlanta, GA (Georgia)
Taylor Mays – Seattle, WA (USC)
Antwine Perez – Camden, NJ (USC)
Franchot Allen – New Berlin, NY (West Virginia)

Bryan Wright – Salem, OH (Michigan)