Ranking Michigan’s Running Backs

Tag: Michael Shaw

17Aug 2020
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Ranking Michigan’s Running Backs

Tim Biakabutuka

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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.

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16Jan 2017
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Review of 2008 Recruiting: Running Backs

Sam McGuffie (image via AnnArbor.com)

Kevin Grady (RS Jr.)
Carlos Brown (Jr.)
Brandon Minor (Jr.)
Avery Horn (RS Fr.)

Michael Cox
High school: Avon (CT) Old Farms
Ratings: Rivals 3-star RB
College: Michigan UMass
Other notable offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland
Scoop: Cox redshirted as a freshman. He had 13 carries for 113 yards (8.7 yards/carry) and 2 touchdowns in 2009, and then he had 6 carries for 56 yards (9.3 yards/carry) in 2010. He remained for 2011 but didn’t touch the ball. He took a grad transfer exception to end up at UMass in 2012, where he ended up as the starting running back. He had 198 carries for 710 yards (3.6 yards/carry) and 5 touchdowns, along with 13 catches for 63 yards. He was drafted in the 7th round (#253 overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. Over the 2013-2014 seasons, he totaled 26 carries for 76 yards and 5 catches for 21 yards. He was used extensively as a kick returner, totaling 31 returns for 697 yards (22.5 yards/return). He has been out of the league since the end of that 2014 season.

Sam McGuffie
High school: Cypress (TX) Cy-Fair
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #10 APB
College: Michigan Rice
Other notable offers: Notre Dame, USC
Scoop: McGuffie played immediately as a freshman, carrying the ball 118 times for 486 yards (4.1 yards/carry) and 3 touchdowns; he also caught 19 passes for 175 yards and 1 touchdown. He transferred to Rice after the season and sat out 2009. He carried the ball 197 times for 883 yards (4.5 yards/carry) and 6 touchdowns, and he also caught 39 passes for 384 yards (9.8 yards/catch) and 3 touchdowns, in 2010. An injury-shortened season in 2011 saw him carry the ball 38 times for 158 yards (4.2 yards/carry) and 1 touchdown, along with 9 catches for 72 yards (8.0 yards/catch) and 1 touchdown. He moved to slot receiver for 2012, catching 54 passes for 603 yards (11.2 yards/catch) and 5 touchdowns. He went undrafted in 2013 and spent some time on a few practice squads. He’s now a member of the U.S.A. bobsled team.

Michael Shaw
High school: Trotwood (OH) Trotwood-Madison
Ratings: Rivals 4-star, #7 RB, #102 overall
College: Michigan
Other notable offers: Clemson, Nebraska, Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia
Scoop: Shaw started his career as a backup and maintained that role for the remainder of his four-year career. He had 42 carries for 215 yards (5.1 yards/carry) in 2008. Then in 2009, he had 42 rushes for 185 yards (4.4 yards/carry) and 2 scores. In 2010 he ran 75 times for 402 yards (5.4 yards/carry) and 9 touchdowns. With the arrival of Brady Hoke in 2011, his attempts fell to 31 while rushing for 199 yards (6.4 yards/carry) and 3 touchdowns. For his career, he had a respectable 190 carries for 1,001 yards (5.3 yards/carry) and 14 touchdowns, along with 19 catches for 124 yards (6.5 yards/catch) and 1 score. He was undrafted in 2012 and did not play professionally.

Hit the jump for other players the Wolverines targeted in 2008, along with some other bits and pieces at the end.

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26Apr 2012
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2012 NFL Draft Preview: Michigan-style

Mike Martin will probably be the first Wolverine drafted, but not until Friday night

Last year saw only linebacker Jonas Mouton and offensive tackle Steve Schilling get drafted, both by the San Diego Chargers.  It’s no sure thing that Michigan will beat that number this year, especially now that tight end Kevin Koger suffered an Achilles injury.  Here’s a look at the Wolverines who are eligible for the draft:

Mike Martin, DT
Martin is the likely top choice out of Michigan.  He’s 6’1 3/8″, 306 lbs. and ran a 4.86 forty yard dash at the NFL Combine.  He also put up 36 repetitions on the 225 lb. bench press.  Martin is too undersized to play nose tackle in the NFL, but I think he can play as a defensive end in a 3-4 look or as a 3-tech defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense.  Martin is pretty quick and uses leverage very well, and best of all, he’s a hard worker with a good motor.  I don’t know if Martin will be a Pro Bowler, but he could have a ten-year career.
Projection: 3rd round to Chargers

David Molk, C
Molk is 6’0 7/8″, 298 lbs. and ran a 5.2 forty.  The general knock on Molk is that he’s not very big, which is true.  He is very quick, though, and excelled in the zone blocking system run by Rich Rodriguez from 2008-2010.  Molk looks like an NFL backup, but one of the problems with him will be that he doesn’t offer any position flexibility – he’s a center and that’s it.  Lots of teams like their backup centers to be able to be plugged in at guard, too.  I doubt anyone’s going to hand Molk a starting center job, but he could be brought in as the heir apparent to a veteran center or to work in for a zone running team.
Projection: 5th round to Texans

Junior Hemingway, WR
Hemingway is 6’0 7/8″, 225 lbs., and ran a 4.51 forty yard dash at the NFL Combine, which is much faster than I expected him to run.  Hemingway doesn’t play that fast, and his real strength seems to be the timing on his jump balls and his ability to outmuscle opposing receivers.  For a receiver with just average height, 225 lbs. is a lot.  Hemingway struggled with staying healthy early in his career, and his inability to get separation consistently limit him to being a possession receiver at the next level.
Projection: 6th round to Bears

Ryan Van Bergen, DE
Van Bergen is a 6’4 1/2″, 290 lb. defensive end with a 4.99 forty.  He’s a high character guy who has a little bit of surprising athleticism.  He lacks the pass rush abilities to make a star-level impact at the next level, but he could be an Aaron Smith-like defensive end for a 3-4 team or a left/strongside end for a 4-3 team.  I think he might be able to play for five or six years, but his ceiling is probably a journeyman type of career.
Projection: Undrafted

Kevin Koger, TE
Koger measured in at 6’3 3/4″ and 253 lbs. with a 4.8 forty.  He was borderline draftable before hurting his Achilles, so I sincerely doubt whether he’ll get picked.  Koger has decent size and speed, but he’s not a particularly good runner after the catch and his hands are a bit shaky.  He might be able to be a second or third tight end for someone, but I don’t think he’ll ever be a starter.
Projection: Undrafted

Other undrafted players: WR Kelvin Grady, OT Mark Huyge, WR Martavious Odoms, RB Michael Shaw, CB Troy Woolfolk

23Jan 2012
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All-Star Game Recaps

Kevin Koger caught only one pass for eight yards in Saturday’s East-West Shrine game, but he impressed during the week leading up to the event and is the first player mentioned in a Sports Illustrated article identifying the game’s 10 best practice performers. Koger played fullback and H-back for the West, notching a key block on Tyler Hansen’s quarterback draw touchdown run and showing some awareness by picking up a botched snap exchange. SI writer Tony Pauline has this to say about the four-year starter:

“Koger was lost for much of the past three seasons in a Michigan offense that had little use for a tight end, but he displayed NFL ability in a big way. Koger was a dominant blocker all practice long, stopping opponents dead in their tracks. He made a terrific 25-yard reception down the seam in scrimmage, displaying natural pass catching skills. Koger lacks the foot speed to be a true down field threat, but at a position that’s thin on talent in April’s draft, he could be the biggest sleeper of them all.”

SI’s list of practice standouts also praises Iowa cornerback Shaun Prater and Michigan State wide receiver BJ Cunningham. Junior Hemingway wasn’t mentioned in the article, and he didn’t get to play in the Shrine Game, either, due to a hamstring injury. Koger’s West team won the game, 24-17.

Michael Shaw tried to turn some NFL heads while playing in the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game in Tuscon, Arizona last week. His Stars (East) team was defeated on a late touchdown from the Stripes (West), 24-21, but Shaw gained 29 yards on seven carries in the game, including a 16 yard run. In an interview with the Tuscon Citizen, Shaw spoke positively of Rich Rodriguez, saying that he expects his former coach to compete well against Oregon and USC in the Pac 12. He also spoke about his running style and what he’s trying to prove to NFL scouts.

“I want to show them that I’m an every-down back. I have speed, but I don’t want speed to be my crutch. I love to run inside. I love to be physical.”

Martavious Odoms caught one pass for 23 yards in the Battle of Florida All-Star Game. His South team, coached by Miami Hurricanes legend Howard Schnellenberger, was rolled, 51-3, by Bobby Bowden’s North squad. Marell Evans was scheduled to compete in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday, but no statistics appear to be available for him (EDIT: According to Evans’s Twitter, he made 9 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass breakup. -Thunder).