Review of 2021 Season Predictions

Tag: Jordan Whittley

4Jan 2022
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Review of 2021 Season Predictions

Aidan Hutchinson

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Now’s your chance to lambaste me for my idiocy, so you can go check out my season predictions if you want (LINK).

Season prediction: Hassan Haskins, 900 yards
Actual: Hassan Haskins, 1327 yards
Scoop: I thought Michigan might spread the ball around a little more – and I did not expect Haskins to get 270 carries – but Haskins got a big boost in production when Blake Corum injured his ankle. Haskins notched 27, 31, 20, and 28 carries in the wake of Corum’s injury before the latter returned healthy. The last time any running back topped 270 carries in a season was Mike Hart, who had 318 attempts in 2006.

Season prediction: Ronnie Bell, 800 yards
Actual: Cornelius Johnson, 620 yards
Scoop: Bell got hurt in the first game of 2021, tearing his ACL on a punt return. He had 1 catch for a 76-yard touchdown at that point. After a two-year run as Michigan’s leading receiver, it was time for a new king, and that new king was 6’3″, 210 lb. Cornelius Johnson. Johnson made 39 catches for 620 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Hit the jump for more.

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21Sep 2021
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2021 Michigan vs. Northern Illinois Awards

Michigan wide receiver Cornelius Johnson (6) celebrates his 87-yard touchdown reception with Joel Honigford (84) in the first half of a NCAA college football game against Northern Illinois in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . A.J. Henning. Henning is averaging 50.0 yards per carry and 12.0 yards per reception. Those are pretty good numbers, but he only has 5 offensive touches so far this season (2 rushes, 3 receptions). As the season goes along, I would like to see him get the ball more, particularly in the passing game.

Let’s see less of this guy on offense . . . nobody.

Let’s see more of this guy on defense . . . Jordan Whittley. This has nothing to do with the play on the field, but as long as it doesn’t put the game at risk, I would like to see Whittley get more playing time so he can work himself into shape. Listed at 348 pounds, he could be a key component at nose tackle down the stretch, but his snaps are limited right now due to conditioning.

Let’s see less of this guy on defense . . . nobody.

Play of the game . . . Cade McNamara’s 87-yard touchdown pass to Cornelius Johnson. Not only did the pass go into the record books as Michigan’s third-longest pass in school history, but it was just exciting to see Michigan take a deep shot and hit it. It was one of those plays where you could hear and feel the excitement in the stadium as Johnson ran a stop-and-go on the right sideline, got himself about five yards of separation, and then pulled away from an overmatched NIU cornerback.

Player of the game . . . Andrew Vastardis. It’s not often that I go with a lineman for player of the game, but I thought Vastardis played very well. Granted, the opposition wasn’t stellar, but that could be said at pretty much every position for Michigan. Playing center, Vastardis and the offensive line didn’t get confused by much of anything Northern Illinois threw at them, and he made some very nice blocks in the running game. Michigan ran 48 times for 373 yards (7.8 yards per carry) and 8 touchdowns, the second-most rushing touchdowns in school history.

2Sep 2021
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2021 Season Predictions

Aidan Hutchinson

Look below for my bold, sure-to-be-100%-correct predictions for 2021.

It doesn’t get any bolder than picking the guy who has finished #1 or #2 in rushing the past two seasons (and the #1 guy from 2019 is playing for UCLA now). Yes, you guessed it. I’m picking Hassan Haskins. Haskins was a ho-hum recruit who has become a very dependable runner, if lacking great breakaway speed. Last season he took a stranglehold on the job, running 61 times for 375 yards (6.2 yards/carry) and 6 touchdowns. Sophomore Blake Corum should also get a good chunk of carries, but in crunch time, I expect Haskins to be the primary back.
Prediction: Hassan Haskins, 900 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the prognostications.

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14Aug 2021
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2021 Season Countdown: #24b Jordan Whittley

Jordan Whittley (image via Oregon Live)

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Name: Jordan Whittley
348 lbs.
High school:
Richmond (CA) Castlemont
Nose tackle
Fifth year senior
Jersey number:
Last year:
Whittley opted out of playing the 2020 season at Oregon State.
TTB Rating:

Whittley was a huge addition to Michigan’s team this off-season. Listed at 358 pounds for Oregon State (now at 348), he was an immovable object at nose tackle the last time he played in 2019. The high school running back-turned-defensive tackle has bounced around to a few places, and apparently, whatever was going on in Beaverton did not fit his tastes. He entered the transfer portal and ended up with the Wolverines. California to Oregon to Michigan is a path rarely traveled, but it appears to be working okay this time.

What will Whittley bring to the table for the Wolverines in 2021? So far practice buzz has been non-existent about Whittley, while there have been some rumblings about fellow nose tackle Mazi Smith. Michigan needs at least one of those guys to step up this season for a new 3-4 defense that needs to be more stout in the interior. I have a hard time believing in any kind of consistency for either one, but I do believe that part of the reason for the Mazi Smith buzz is that the coaching staff brought in competition in the form of Whittley. So regardless if which one wins the most snaps, the presence of the other might light a fire under someone’s butt.

My guess is that Smith will get the first shot to play nose tackle, but it’s nice to have Whittley on board as a rotation piece and potential starter.

Prediction: Backup nose tackle

21May 2021
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Jordan Whittley, Wolverine

Jordan Whittley (image via Detroit News)

Oregon State graduate transfer defensive tackle Jordan Whittley has selected the Michigan Wolverines as his destination for 2021.

Whittley is a 6’1″, 358 lb. nose tackle. He missed 2020 with a tumor near his heart, but the last time he played (when he was listed at 6’1″, 324), he made 14 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 1 pass breakup, and 1 quarterback hurry. Before Oregon State he was at Laney College, a JUCO in Oakland, California, that was profiled in season four of Last Chance U. Out of high school in the class of 2014, he was a 247 Sports 2-star and the #287 athlete, signing with San Jose State but never attending.

Whittley was listed as a 6’2″, 225 lb. running back coming out of high school. He tore his ACL and put on 100 lbs. or so while he was laid up recovering.

Michigan needs help on the interior of the defensive line. Former defensive coordinator Don Brown did not stockpile nose tackle types, leaving the Wolverines thin on pluggers and heavy on tackle/end tweeners. Michigan addressed the dearth of defensive tackles in the 2021 recruiting class, but nobody is ready to play as a true nose tackle right away. Whittley – if healthy – should be able to hold up to double teams. He won’t be Maurice Hurst, Jr. and living in the offensive backfield, but he should be able to let the linebackers flow to do their job.