Review of 2008 Recruiting: Offensive Line

Tag: Rocko Khoury

23May 2018
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Review of 2008 Recruiting: Offensive Line

Patrick Omameh (image via Giants Wire)


Tim McAvoy (RS Jr.)
David Moosman (RS Jr.)
Mark Ortmann (RS Jr.)
Cory Zirbel (RS Jr.)
Perry Dorrestein (RS So.)
Bryan Nowicki (RS So.)
Steve Schilling (RS So.)
Zac Ciullo (RS Fr.)
Mark Huyge (RS Fr.)
David Molk (RS Fr.)

Hit the jump for a summary of Michigan’s offensive line recruiting in the 2008 class.

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18Mar 2012
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How will the recent departures affect Michigan in 2012?

Darryl Stonum is Michigan’s biggest off-season loss

Several football players have left Michigan’s program this offseason, including four announced departures during Friday’s spring practice press conference.  Here I’ll rank the departures from most important to least:

WR Darryl Stonum: Stonum was booted out of the program for yet another run-in with the law.  He had several alcohol-related offenses throughout his college career and was suspended for the entirety of the 2011 season, which would have been his senior year.  Instead, he took a “redshirt year” and everyone hoped he would mature and jump back into a starting role for 2012.  In 2010 he had 49 receptions for 633 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He probably could have approximated those numbers again in 2012 because he would have been the most proven and most physically talented wide receiver on the roster.  The Wolverines lost Junior Hemingway, Martavious Odoms, and Kelvin Grady to graduation, who combined for 46 receptions, 908 yards, and 7 touchdowns.  Now the top two wideouts going into 2012 seem to be the 5’8″ Jeremy Gallon (31 receptions, 453 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Roy Roundtree (19 receptions, 355 yards, 2 touchdowns).  The loss of Stonum will hurt Michigan significantly.

C Rocko Khoury: Khoury was considered to be in the mix for the starting center job in 2012.  He had been the top backup at the position for the past two seasons, and with David Molk’s graduation, there was an opening.  Most of the buzz this offseason indicated that Ricky Barnum was the front-runner for the position, and perhaps that was because the coaches knew for a while that Khoury would not return.  I would be interested to know why Khoury is done at Michigan.  Did he burn out?  Did he assume he would lose the battle with Khoury?  Will he continue his career elsewhere?  The answers to those questions are unclear.  It is clear, however, that the Wolverines are dangerously thin at center now.  Barnum – who has a history of getting injured –  is practically guaranteed to start at center, and the backup is redshirt freshman Jack Miller, who was listed at 263 lbs. last season.  Other options are Elliott Mealer, who has played guard and tackle in his career and taken some practice; walk-on Joey Burzynski; or one of the true freshmen, although none of them was expected to play center when recruited.  Considering Barnum’s injury history, one or more backups are practically guaranteed to play at some point.

WR Terrence Robinson: Robinson was a virtual non-factor as a wide receiver (1 reception for 43 yards in 2010), but he turned into a bit of a special teams coverage demon in 2011.  He made a total of 6 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery on punt and kickoff coverage teams.  Some insiders believed that he even had a good shot at contributing on offense, based on comments that some of the coaches had made.  Robinson’s role can likely be filled on special teams, however, and history suggests that any offensive output would probably have been minimal.

RB Michael Cox: Cox contributed very little in Michigan’s 11-2 season last fall; the most he did was return a couple short kickoffs.  He had 19 career carries for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns, most of which came in 2009.  While Cox gave flashes that he might have been the most physically talented running back on the roster, rumors persisted that he struggled to learn the playbook and had some attitude issues.  He did play very well whenever he got a chance to show his skills, but all indications seemed to be that he would be see only limited duty again in 2012.  Of the six players listed here, Cox is the only one who has announced plans to continue his career elsewhere; he will transfer to UMass and play football for the upcoming season.

LB Isaiah Bell: Bell had been moored to the bench for the last three seasons.  He was likely destined to continue that role as a benchwarmer, and his departure should have virtually no effect on the team.

LS George Morales: Much like Bell, Morales hadn’t seen the field yet in his career.  The Wolverines have a couple long snappers already on the roster, one of whom (Jareth Glanda) won the starting short snapper job last season for field goals and extra points; there are also a couple kids entering school as part of the 2012 class who might be able to help if needed.

16Mar 2012
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Four redshirt juniors won’t return in 2012

According to head coach Brady Hoke, running back Michael Cox, center Rocko Khoury, long snapper George Morales, and wide receiver Terrence Robinson will not return for their redshirt senior seasons in 2012.

I guess this means Khoury won’t be winning that center position.  This makes Michigan painfully thin at center, with only fifth year senior Ricky Barnum and redshirt freshman Jack Miller the only scholarship centers on the roster.  Fifth year senior Elliott Mealer has some experience snapping the ball, but only in practice. 

7Mar 2012
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Poll Results: Who will be Michigan’s starting center in 2012?

Rocko Khoury (#63) has a chance to win the starting center job in his final season

Last week I posed the question, “Who will be Michigan’s starting center against Alabama?”  Here are the results of the poll:

Rocko Khoury: 44%
Fifth year senior Khoury has played sparingly in his four years on campus.  He has, however, made two prominent forays into the lineup.  He subbed in for David Molk against Iowa in 2010, when Molk suffered an injury on the first offensive snap of the game; then Khoury filled in for one series in the 2012 Sugar Bowl before the again-injured Molk returned in hobbled form.  Khoury played admirably in the first and questionably in the second.  Khoury has been second on the center depth chart for the last couple seasons, so it makes sense that he would be the heir apparent to Rimgton Award winner Molk.

Ricky Barnum: 28%
Also a fifth year senior, Barnum started a few games at left guard in 2011.  Unfortunately, Barnum has suffered numerous injuries throughout his career.  Whether in spring practice or the regular season, he’s suffered a significant injury ever since he was a redshirt freshman.  Barnum played some center in high school and has taken snaps throughout his college career, although he has yet to snap the ball in a regular season college game.  Early reports are that Barnum will get the first shot to win the starting center job this spring, but that doesn’t necessarily mean much.  Michael Schofield, Barnum’s replacement at guard last season, played well and could slide in as the starter at left guard (or right tackle) if Barnum wins the starting snapper’s job.

Jack Miller: 26%
Miller will be a redshirt freshman in 2012.  Reports from practice have been positive, but the general consensus is that he needs to add weight and strength before playing.  Beating out a couple older and bigger players seems like an insurmountable task to me . . . unless an injury occurs.  And with Barnum ahead of Miller on the depth chart, that seems like a strong possibility.

Other: 0% (1 vote)
I would be interested to know whom this voter had in mind.  No other current player has snapped the ball in a game (in fact, Khoury is the only player with that distinction), and the only other current roster options seem to be redshirt freshman guard Chris Bryant and fifth year senior tackle/guard Elliott Mealer, who has also snapped the ball a bit in practice.  Anyone else would be a true freshman.

4Jan 2012
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Sugar Bowl: Michigan 23, Virginia Tech 20

Troy Woolfolk’s helmet is thrust in the air under a downpour of confetti
(image via BTN)

Wow, that was an exciting game.  And not in a good way . . . except for the fact that Michigan won.  That was Michigan’s ugliest win of the season and it took some lucky calls to go the Wolverines’ way.

The offense disappeared. Yikes. Denard Robinson had 13 carries for 13 yards.  Fitzgerald Toussaint had 13 carries for 30 yards.  Altogether, Michigan ran the ball 30 times for 56 yards, or 1.9 yards per attempt.  Robinson completed 9/21 passes for 117 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 pick.  It was a bad night.  As I was laying out the Virginia Tech position previews over the past couple weeks, people kept commenting on how I was overrating the Hokies.  They are pretty good.  Maybe Michigan fans will understand that now.

Michigan got lucky.  The guys in the winged helmets played hard-nosed football at times last night, but ultimately, they got very  lucky on numerous occasions.  Two Jayron Hosley interceptions were negated, one because the ball hit the ground and one because he yanked on Jeremy Gallon’s jersey and got called for pass interference; he almost had another pick when he jumped a Junior Hemingway hitch route.  Free safety Eddie Whitley let two interceptions go right through his hands, including Hemingway’s 45-yard touchdown catch.  On top of Robinson’s one interception, he almost threw four  more . . . and on only 21 attempts.  Aside from the near-interceptions, Hokies wide receiver Danny Coales caught what might have been the game-winning touchdown pass, only to have it overturned because the nose of the ball hit the ground; it was probably the right call, but it could have very easily remained a touchdown after the replay booth took a look at it.

We’re going to miss Junior Hemingway.  That guy doesn’t get the ball very often, but he makes huge plays. He only had 2 catches on the night, but they went for 63 total yards . . . and 2 touchdowns.  Nobody else even sniffed the endzone.  Roy Roundtree makes some big catches once in awhile, but he hasn’t been nearly the receiver that he was in 2010.  Michigan needs a youngster to step up next year, whether it will be a redshirt sophomore Jerald Robinson or a freshman Jehu Chesson.  Hemingway was the obvious pick for Sugar Bowl MVP, at least on Michigan’s side.

We missed are going to miss David Molk.  I started off the game being extremely frustrated.  Starting center David Molk, who happened to win the Rimington Trophy this season for being the nation’s best player at his position, sat out the beginning of the game after injuring his lower leg during pregame.  Backup Rocko Khoury combined with Robinson to have two bad snaps on Michigan’s first three plays.  Both snaps were catchable but slightly off target, and the second one was a bullet to boot.  I can’t put all the blame on either player, but when you have one starter for the entire season and even up to pregame of the bowl game, it’s somewhat understandable that there will be some snap issues when the backup has to start the bowl game.  Molk returned after the first offensive series and the snap issues disappeared, although he looked gimpy for the entire game.  Michigan’s lack of a running game may have been partly due to Molk’s injury, but I’ll have to watch the game again to see what the real issues were.

That’s what true athletes look like in the secondary.  Michigan lined up in Cover 0 and got torched.  Virginia lined up in Cover 0 and got sacks.  The Wolverines’ cornerbacks and safeties just aren’t fast enough and athletic enough to lock up with decent receivers on a regular basis.  It’s frustrating to watch, but J.T. Floyd, Blake Countess, Troy Woolfolk, Jordan Kovacs, Courtney Avery, and Thomas Gordon aren’t the same caliber of athletes that the Hokies put out there.  Countess is going to be good, I believe, but he’s hit a rough patch here at the end of the season.  Watching Hosley, Whitley, Antoine Exum, and Kyle Fuller fly around the field was a bit of a wake-up call and shows how far Michigan has to go.  Hosley alone had 4 pass breakups.

Everyone’s expectations for Frank Clark just doubled.  The freshman defensive end made a highlight-reel interception when he leaped to knock down a Logan Thomas pass and came down with the pick.  I mentioned in the preview that I thought he would play quite a bit with defensive tackle Will Heininger out, and that came to fruition.  He seemed like a man without a position when he came out of high school, but it looks like he’ll be a good one for the next few years.

Tackling was an issue.  Michigan’s tackling has been so good this year that I’m going to assume this game was a bit of a fluke, but Michigan missed numerous tackles.  And some of the guys who were whiffing are normally very good tacklers, like Jordan Kovacs and Kenny Demens.  It’s understandable to whiff on David Wilson or get run over by the 6’5″, 254 lb. Logan Thomas, but Michigan was missing tackles on Danny Coales, Josh Oglesby, etc.  It was a bad time to have a poor night of tackling, but luckily it didn’t hurt the Wolverines in the win column.

Red zone defense was huge.  For whatever reason, Michigan really buckles down in the red zone.  As the announcers mentioned last night, Michigan was #2 in the Big Ten and #4 in the country at stopping opponents in the red zone.  Virginia Tech had long drive after long drive and ended the game with 377 yards (Michigan had 184), 22 first downs (Michigan had 12), and 76 offensive snaps (Michigan had 52) . . . but it doesn’t matter so much when you have to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns.

Brendan Gibbons to the rescue.  I don’t think anyone – including me – expected Gibbons to be so reliable this year.  But in the Sugar Bowl he went 3/3 on field goals (from 24, 37, and 39 yards out), including the game-winning 37-yarder, and 2/2 on extra points.  And for the entire year, he went 13/17 on field goal attempts and 54/55 on extra points.  Bravo to him.