School in the News: Florida State

Tag: Florida State

5Nov 2019
Blog, homepage 20 comments

School in the News: Florida State

Willie Taggart (image via SI)

As most/all of you know by now, Florida State fired head coach Willie Taggart after a 27-10 loss to Miami this past weekend. That dropped the team to 4-5 this year after a 5-7 year in 2018, bringing Taggart’s record to 9-12 over a little less than two years.

One way this MAY impact Michigan is in the form of Taggart himself, who previously coached under Jack Harbaugh and with Jim Harbaugh. Taggart was Harbaugh’s running backs coach at Stanford and helped produce Toby Gerhart’s Doak Walker Award-winning season. Taggart went on to become the head coach at South Florida, then Oregon, then FSU. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Taggart find himself as an analyst at Michigan or even taking a position coaching role in 2020. This is way out in the future, but Jay Harbaugh has coached other positions (tight ends, special teams), so if there’s a staff shakeup after this season, Michigan does have some flexibility to bring in Taggart.

On the recruiting front, Florida State has already lost a couple commits, including Deerfield Beach (FL) Deerfield Beach running back Jaylan Knighton, who’s from the same high school as a Denard Robinson.

Other FSU commits with Michigan offers:

Michigan would like to add another running back in the 2020 class, and Toafili was a primary target before picking the Seminoles. The Wolverines were also making a decent effort with Douglas, who’s a speedy slot/running back/returner.

30Dec 2016
Blog, homepage 20 comments

Orange Bowl Preview: Wrap-up, Notes, Predictions

I hope you’ve enjoyed the football previews this week. I don’t follow a lot of other Michigan blogs, but I think you’ve probably found more content here this week than at any other independently run Michigan site. Here’s a wrap-up of this week’s posts, as well as some additional thoughts:


  • Today, December 30, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. EST
  • Miami, FL
  • Televised on ESPN
  • Jim Harbaugh (2-1 in bowl games) vs. Jimbo Fisher (4-2 in bowl games)


  • Florida State players recruited by Michigan: OT Abdul Bello, LB Josh Brown, DE Brian Burns, OT Landon Dickerson, QB Deondre Francois, WR George Campbell, QB Malik Henry, LB Dontavious Jackson, OT Roderick Johnson, CB Marcus Lewis, DT Derrick Nnadi, RB Jacques Patrick, RB Amir Rasul, DE Janarius Robinson, LB Josh Sweat, WR Auden Tate, DB Levonta Taylor, TE Naseir Upshur, DE Jalen Wilkderson, OT Jauan Williams
  • WR George Campbell III was committed to Michigan at one point and was a high school teammate of Michigan center Mason Cole
  • Offensive lineman Andrew Boselli is the son of former NFL left tackle Tony Boselli

Hit the jump for more on the Michigan vs. Florida State matchup, along with a bonus picture of Michigan fan/model Elle Johnson.

read more

30Dec 2016
Blog, homepage 4 comments

Orange Bowl Preview: Michigan Defensive Line vs. Florida State Offensive Line

Roderick Johnson (image via 247 Sports)



  • SDE: Fifth year senior Chris Wormley (6’6″, 302 lbs.)
  • DT: Fifth year senior Matt Godin (6’6″, 294 lbs.)
  • NT: Fifth year senior Ryan Glasgow (6’4″, 299 lbs.)
  • WDE: Senior Taco Charlton (6’6″, 272 lbs.)

Football Outsiders has Michigan’s defensive line at #4 in Adjusted Line Yards, and that reinforces the idea that Michigan has one of the top few defensive lines in the country. That’s good because they are huge (three guys who are 6’6″!) and experienced. The top NFL prospect is probably Charlton (37 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 9 sacks), who has been dominant at times. Next is Wormley (38 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 5.5 sacks), who will play strongside end and defensive tackle at times. Glasgow (40 tackles, 9.5 TFLs, 4 sacks) has turned from being excellent at holding up to double-teams to now getting penetration throughout his career. Godin (26 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 1 sack) plays less than the other three and isn’t as effective, but he’s a solid-level starting player. The unit is #2 in Standard Down Line Yards and #1 in Adjusted Sack Rate. Of course, Michigan has other players who rotate in and play well, but there aren’t many weaknesses among these top four guys.

Key backups: Backups at all four spots are worth mentioning here. Number one overall recruit from 2016 Rashan Gary (6’5″, 287 lbs.) rotates in at strongside end and has 24 tackles, 5 TFLs, and 1 sack on the year. He hasn’t been a terror off the edge as a pass rusher, but he’s very consistent and does his job well. Redshirt junior Maurice Hurst, Jr. (6’2″, 282 lbs.) is a viable NFL prospect and is Michigan’s quickest interior defensive lineman. He’s made 30 tackles, 9.5 TFLs, and 3.5 sacks this season. Redshirt sophomore nose tackle Bryan Mone (6’4″, 310 lbs.) played the best game of his career against Ohio State in the regular season finale and has 9 tackles and 1 TFL. Redshirt sophomore Chase Winovich (6’3″, 245 lbs.) came out of nowhere to turn into an effective pass rusher, and he now has 33 tackles, 8 TFLs, and 5.5 sacks. A couple of these guys can rotate in at a time and Michigan won’t really skip a beat.

Hit the jump for a look at FSU’s offensive line.

read more

29Dec 2016
Blog, homepage 3 comments

Orange Bowl Preview: Michigan Defensive Backs vs. Florida State Receivers


Travis Rudolph (image via Chop Chat)

I’ve been posting highlights of commits, top whatever lists, etc. on the Message Board (LINK), so check it out if you get a chance.


Starters: Michigan features a two-time First Team All-American in senior cornerback Jourdan Lewis (5’10”, 186 lbs.), who missed the first 25% of the season with a hamstring injury. He still ended up with 23 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 12 passes defended (tied for #8 in the conference). He owns the school record for pass breakups and generally shuts down his receiver. On the other side is 6’2″, 175 lb. senior Channing Stribling (27 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1 sack, 4 INTs, 12 PBUs), a lanky corner who has struggled in the run game but has had good coverage most of the year. Senior free safety Dymonte Thomas (6’2″, 199 lbs.) has improved from some early-season struggles and ended the regular season fourth on the team in tackles with 61, along with 1 INT and 7 PBUs. Senior Delano Hill (6’1″, 215 lbs.) has 47 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 3 INTs, and 3 PBUs. This is one of the top few secondaries in the country.

Key backups: Sophomore safety Tyree Kinnel (5’11”, 206 lbs.) is one of just a couple guys worth mentioning after a regular season that included 15 tackles and 1 TFL. He’ll spell either of the other safeties. The other guy is redshirt sophomore nickel corner Brandon Watson (5’11”, 203 lbs.), who was addressed with the linebackers and plays some on the outside. Watson is physical but not a great athlete.

Hit the jump for a look at FSU’s receiving targets.

read more

28Dec 2016
Blog, homepage no comments

Orange Bowl Preview: Michigan Linebackers vs. Florida State Running Backs

Dalvin Cook (image via Miami Herald)

Previously: QB vs. QB, Michigan RB vs. FSU LB, Michigan WR vs. FSU secondary, Michigan OL vs. FSU DL


Starters: Michigan’s top three tacklers are the three starting linebackers, and they rarely come off the field. The most well known is redshirt sophomore Heisman finalist Jabrill Peppers (6’1″, 205 lbs.), the SAM linebacker – a hybrid S/LB – who ended the regular season with 71 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 7 quarterback hurries. Peppers plays all over the place and will have his hands full with Florida State likely choosing to run right at him since he’s undersized for a linebacker. The leading tackler is 6’3″, 247 lb. senior middle linebacker Ben Gedeon. He made 98 stops (tied for #10 in the conference), 15 TFLs, and 4.5 sacks. Gedeon is much improved this season, a good athlete, a heavy hitter, and an effective blitzer. The WILL linebacker is 6’4″, 248 lb. redshirt junior Mike McCray II (71 tackles, 13 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, 6 PBUs), who plays a lot like Gedeon, though he’s more instinctive in defending the pass. The trio makes for Michigan’s best linebacker corps in . . . a long time.

Key backups: Michigan doesn’t substitute much, but the most likely true linebacker to play is 5’11”, 232 lb. freshman Devin Bush (11 tackles, 0.5 TFLs), a backup WILL. Redshirt sophomore Brandon Watson (5’11”, 203 lbs.) will also likely play some on defense, and he’s a backup for Peppers at SAM, though he’s used more like a slot corner.

Hit the jump for a look at Florida State’s running game (a.k.a. Dalvin Cook).

read more