2002 Offer Board

Tag: Steve Breaston

14Jul 2011
Uncategorized no comments

2002 Offer Board

70 total offers

Matt Gutierrez – Concord, CA (Michigan)
Chris Pazan – Chicago, IL (Illinois)
Drew Stanton – Farmington Hills, MI (Michigan State)
Tyler Palko – West Allegheny, PA (Pittsburgh)
Trent Edwards – Los Gatos, CA (Stanford)
James Banks – Indianapolis, IN (Tennessee)

Darnell Hood – Harper Woods, MI (Michigan)
Pierre Rembert – Cudahy, WI (Michigan)
Thomas Clayton – Alexandria, VA (Florida State)
David Horne – Omaha, NE (Nebraska)
Maurice Clarett – Warren, OH (Ohio State)
Chris Wilson – Baltimore, MD (Penn State)
Kenny Irons – Dacula, GA (South Carolina)
Gerald Riggs, Jr. – Chattanooga, TN (Tennessee)
Erick Phillips – Hilliard, OH (West Virginia)

Jason Avant – Chicago, IL (Michigan)
Steve Breaston – Pittsburgh, PA (Michigan)
Carl Tabb – Ann Arbor, MI (Michigan)
Jemalle Cornelius – Fort Meade, FL (Florida)
Akieem Jolla – New Orleans, LA (Miami)
Matt Trannon – Flint, MI (Michigan State)
Roy Hall – Lyndhurst, OH (Ohio State)
Jejuan Rankins – Windsor, NC (Oklahoma)
Maurice Stovall – Radnor, PA (Notre Dame)
Marquis Johnson – Champaign, IL (Texas)

Kevin Murphy – Grand Rapids, MI (Michigan)
Curtis Justus – Perry, OK (Miami)
Aaron Kirkland – Fayetteville, NC (Tennessee)

Mike Kolodziej – Joliet, IL (Michigan)
Chris Felder – Oelwein, IA (Iowa)
Stephon Heyer – Snellville, GA (Maryland)
Nathan Rhodes – Bakersfield, CA (Washington)

Tom Berishaj – Sterling Heights, MI (Michigan)
Rueben Riley – Grand Rapids, MI (Michigan)
Shadu Moore – Paterson, NJ (Boston College)
Mark Farris – Pittsburgh, PA (Penn State)
Cody Douglas – La Marque, TX (Tennessee)
Justin Blalock – Plano, TX (Texas)

Mark Bihl – Washington Court House, OH (Michigan)

Rondell Biggs – Southfield, MI (Michigan)
Jim Unis – Gloucester, MA (Boston College)
Elvis Dumervil – Miami, FL (Louisville)
Clifton Ryan – Saginaw, MI (Michigan State)
Andrew Wicker – Clinton, LA (Mississippi)
Markell McKinley – Weir, MS (Mississippi State)
Chris Frome – Newhall, CA (Notre Dame)
Travis Leitko – The Woodlands, TX (Notre Dame)
Calvin Thibodeaux – Houston, TX (Oklahoma)
Edwards Johnson – Detroit, MI (Penn State)
Tim Shaw – Livonia, MI (Penn State)
Julian Jenkins – College Park, GA (Stanford)
Brian Pickryl – Jenks, OK (Texas)

Larry Harrison – Detroit, MI (Michigan)
Gabriel Watson – Southfield, MI (Michigan)
Brandon Greeson – High Point, NC (Nebraska)
Greg Jones – Jonesboro, AR (Tennessee)
Lyle Sendlein – Scottsdale, AZ (Texas)

David Harris – Grand Rapids, MI (Michigan)
Obi Oluigbo – Alexandria, VA (Michigan)
Brian Thompson – Saginaw, MI (Michigan)
Jeremy Van Alstyne – Greenwood, IN (Michigan)
Chris Hollis – Aurora, CO (Colorado)
Reggie Dent – Riviera Beach, FL (Florida Atlantic)
Mike D’Andrea – Avon Lake, OH (Ohio State)

Quinton McCoy – Chandler, AZ (Michigan)
Sammy Joseph – Marrero, LA (Colorado)
Vernon Russell – River Ridge, LA (LSU)

Willis Barringer – Toledo, OH (Michigan)
Michael Hinton – Burlington, NC

Keith Andrews – Monroe, LA (Mississippi State)

22Dec 2010
Uncategorized 16 comments

Mailbag: Has anyone else deserved the #1 jersey?

Desmond Howard

Touch The Banner,

As you know you put Mario Manningham as your Former Michigan Athlete of the week, and it reminded me of a question I’ve always wanted to ask a fellow Michigan fan. Since the time of Braylon Edwards we haven’t had a WR wear the #1 Jersey. If you had to look back on the receivers we’ve had, which one would you think would be the most deserving of the #1 jersey?

Michigan Fan from Dayton, Ohio

The origin of the #1 jersey tradition stems from Braylon Edwards in the early 2000s.  Edwards requested the #1 jersey to honor his childhood hero, Anthony Carter.  Carter had been a receiver who wore the #1 at Michigan from 1979-1982.  Since Carter’s time at Michigan, five players have worn the #1.  All have been wide receivers – Greg McMurtry, Derrick Alexander, Tyrone Butterfield, David Terrell, and Edwards.  For some perspective, here are their career statistics:

1. Carter: 161 receptions, 3076 yards, 19.1 yard average, 37 touchdowns; 25.5 yards per kick return; 11.5 yards per punt return, 2 touchdowns
2. McMurtry: 111 receptions, 2163 yards, 19.5 yard average, 15 touchdowns
3. Alexander: 125 receptions, 1977 yards, 15.8 yard average, 22 touchdowns; 12.7 yards per punt return, 4 touchdowns
4. Butterfield: 4 receptions, 68 yards, 17.0 yard average, 0 touchdowns
5. Terrell: 152 receptions, 2317 yards, 15.2 yard average, 23 touchdowns
6. Edwards: 252 receptions, 3541 yards, 14.1 yard average, 39 touchdowns

But it was Edwards who turned the #1 into what it is today.  After requesting that number before his junior season, head coach Lloyd Carr told him that he would have to earn it, so as not to disrespect his childhood hero; Edwards was going to have to work hard on the field and become a leader in order to exchange his #80 for #1.  Edwards, who had suffered from inconsistency and suspect hands up to that point, stepped up his game and his leadership, and with a good deal of hype, was awarded the #1 jersey prior to his junior season in 2003.

As far as I see it, there are several candidates to discuss who might have been worthy of the #1 jersey.  Here’s how I would rank them and my thoughts on whether they were deserving of the hallowed jersey number:

1. Desmond Howard (1989-91), #21.  Howard was the country’s most electrifying player in 1991, scoring 19 receiving touchdowns, 1 punt return touchdown, and 1 kickoff return touchdown.  He also caught 62 passes for 985 yards for an average of 15.9 yards a catch that season.  And all of those accomplishments came on the heels of a 1,000-yard season in 1990.  In addition to his receiving skills, he averaged 13.8 yards a carry on 23 attempts in his three seasons, scoring 2 touchdowns.  He also averaged 26.9 yards a kickoff return and 13.0 yards per punt return.  Oh yeah, and he won some kind of trophy or something.
My vote: Worthy

2. Amani Toomer (1992-1995), #18.  Toomer is a tough one.  Michigan’s offense evolved throughout the 1990s into the mid-2000s, from a 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust mentality to a we’ll-chuck-the-ball-whenever-we-feel-like-it mentality.  Toomer was still in that early phase and played with the likes of Tyrone Wheatley and Tshimanga Biakabutuka, two stellar running backs.  Toomer wasn’t particularly big or fast, but Michigan’s powerful running game opened up plenty of space downfield for the quarterbacks to throw.  As a junior, he gained 1,096 yards despite only catching 54 passes.  He then capped his career with 44 catches, 758 yards, and a career-best 7 touchdowns in 1995.
My vote: Worthy

3. Marquise Walker (1998-2001), #4. As a junior, Walker was the second receiver behind David Terrell and still managed to grab 49 passes for 699 yards and 4 touchdowns. Walker stepped it up another notch as a senior, totaling 86 catches for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns once Terrell had moved on to the NFL. He had six 100-yard games despite being the only significant receiving threat, including 15 catches, 160 yards, and 2 touchdowns against Ohio State that year.
My vote: Not worthy

4. Tai Streets (1995-1998), #86.  Streets had a solid sophomore season during which he caught 44 passes for 730 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He suffered from an injury late in his junior season, which helped limit him to 28 catches for 476 yards and 6 touchdowns; however, he had 4 receptions for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns (including a 58-yarder) in the Rose Bowl game against Washington State that propelled Michigan to a national title.  As a senior, Streets had 67 catches for 1,035 yards and 11 touchdowns.
My vote: Not worthy

5. Jason Avant (2002-2005), #8.  For his first three seasons, Avant played second fiddle to Braylon Edwards.  He notched only two receptions in 2002 (hello, burned redshirt) and then had 85 catches spread over his sophomore and junior seasons.  Once Edwards went off to the NFL, Avant caught 82 balls for 1,007 yards and 8 touchdowns.  He was very reliable; I only remember him dropping one pass in a Michigan uniform, and I was astounded.  But he only averaged 12.3 yards a catch as a senior.  Reliable, but not a gamebreaker.
My vote: Not worthy

6. Mario Manningham (2005-2007), #86.  Manningham burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2005, when he caught the game-winning score from Chad Henne against Penn State.  He averaged 18.5 yards a catch and scored 9 touchdowns as a sophomore, then followed that up with a 72-catch, 1,137-yard, 12-touchdown effort in 2007.  He had a couple stellar games against Notre Dame in his career and caught a 97-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Mallett toward the end of 2007.  Those are great numbers.  Except Manningham struggled with off-the-field issues while at Michigan, which got him suspended for one game in 2007 and ultimately caused him to drop in the 2008 NFL draft.  If Edwards had to work harder and become a leader, Manningham certainly wasn’t deserving of the honor.
My vote: Not worthy

7. Steve Breaston (2003-2006), #15.  Breaston is one of those players about whom you think, “I bet he was a stud in college now that he’s having 1,000-yard seasons in the NFL.”  He’s having a solid NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals, but his numbers as a receiver were far from spectacular in college.  Granted, his career overlapped those of Edwards, Avant, and Mario Manningham, so opportunities were scarce.  Still, Breaston averaged just 39 receptions, 424 yards, and 2.5 touchdowns a season in a career where he saw significant playing time every single year.  His biggest asset was his return ability, which saw him average 24.6 yards on kick returns and 12.6 on punt returns, with 5 total touchdowns.  Any team would love to have him as a second or third wideout, but his limited production and iffy hands prevent him from being a #1 guy.
My vote: Not worthy

8. Mercury Hayes (1992-1995), #8.  Hayes was a solid but unspectacular receiver who played alongside Toomer for all four years at Michigan.  He had an outstanding senior season in 1995, with 48 catches for 923 yards (19.2 yards per catch) and 4 touchdowns.  But the preceding years were just mediocre, and he didn’t offer much in the way of versatility (running, returning punts and kicks) to give him the nod.
My vote: Not worthy

Statistics obviously don’t tell the whole story.  If you go by touchdowns only, the trio of Edwards, Carter, and Howard are the only receivers with 30+ career touchdowns.  If you go by yardage, well, there are a fair number of 1,000 yard receivers, too (Streets, Walker, Avant, Manningham).  A big part of the #1 jersey seems to be “feel.”  How dominant was the player?  Was he a one-man wrecking crew?  Was he a leader?  Was he the quarterback’s go-to guy? 

It’s also difficult to judge who’s worthy of the #1 jersey because, frankly, Derrick Alexander (who had mediocre statistics) and Tyrone Butterfield (who barely played, period) skew the statistics significantly.  If those two players arrived on campus in the post-Braylon years, neither one would get the #1.

I gave the nod to Desmond Howard because he was clearly a dominant player, won the Heisman trophy, and set Michigan’s record for receiving touchdowns in a season.  I also gave the nod to Amani Toomer, which was tough to decide; while he didn’t have an overwhelming senior season, he did have 1,000 yards as a junior and averaged over 20 yards a pop.  He could easily have been awarded the #1 jersey for his senior season like Braylon, but then would have put forth an underwhelming senior year.

The senior versions of Tai Streets and Marquise Walker were both worthy of the #1 jersey by post-Braylon standards.  But their mediocre seasons as underclassmen meant that they didn’t reach that status until their senior years were completed.

Oddly enough, Mario Manningham was perhaps the second-most talented player on this list, despite coming in at #6.  From a purely athletic standpoint, I would rank Manningham just behind Desmond Howard on this list, and ahead of #1 jersey wearers like Alexander, Butterfield, McMurtry, and even Terrell.  Unfortunately, he falls down the list because of his off-the-field issues.  If Braylon Edwards couldn’t get the jersey until he proved himself as a worker and leader, then Manningham clearly never reached that point.

It’s difficult to compare across generations.  Michigan’s offense, the rules of college football, and the overall philosophies of football have changed immensely in the last 20+ years.  But using hindsight to look back across the past two decades, I only see two additional players who were deserving of the #1.

17Nov 2010
Uncategorized no comments

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady helped beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday by a score of 39-26.  Brady was 30-for-43 with 350 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and 1 rushing TD.  Additionally, he’s my QB in my fantasy football keeper league and earned me 38 points.  If only Michigan could produce a solid tight end and a running back or two, I could field an all-Michigan fantasy team . . .

Honorable mention: Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Steve Breaston made 4 catches for 98 yards and averaged more than 24 yards on five kickoff returns.  Unfortunately for him, the Cardinals lost to Seattle, 36-18.

3Nov 2010
Uncategorized 2 comments

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Steve Breaston

Steve Breaston had been injured for several weeks, but he returned on Sunday for the Arizona Cardinals’ 38-35 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He caught 8 passes for 147 yards.

Honorable mention: Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Morgan Trent made 9 tackles, 2 assists, 1 interception, and 1 pass breakup in a 22-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

9Aug 2010
Uncategorized 3 comments

Review: 2009 Season Predictions

Jordan Kovacs went from an afterthought to a Freshman All-American.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to record my predictions, in order to look back on them at a later date. Well, that date has come. It’s a few weeks prior to the 2010 season, and I can’t help but think back on how I did last year (2009 Season Predictions here). I didn’t do too badly, but there were a couple surprises.

Starting Quarterback
Last year’s pick: Tate Forcier. I said he’d start every game.

I should have picked . . . Forcier. He started every game.

Leading Rusher
Last year’s pick: Brandon Minor. I said he’d end the season with about 900 yards.

I should have picked . . . Minor. Minor only had 502 yards, but he missed three full games (plus parts of several others) due to injuries.

Leading Receiver
Last year’s pick: Greg Mathews. I said he’d catch 50 balls for 650 yards.

I should have picked . . . Roy Roundtree. Mathews only caught 29 passes as the coaching staff continues to de-emphasize outside wide receivers. The leading receiver was slot receiver Roundtree, who caught 32 balls for 434 yards.

Leading Tackler
Last year’s pick: Obi Ezeh.

I should have picked . . . Steve Brown. Middle linebacker Ezeh fought through a back injury and inconsistency to finish third with 69 tackles. SAM linebacker Brown brought down 80 ballcarriers, while redshirt freshman safety Jordan Kovacs made 75 stops.

Leading Sacker
Last year’s pick: Brandon Graham. I said he’d finish at 10 sacks.

I should have picked . . . Graham. The obvious choice was obvious. Graham ended the season with 10.5 sacks, or 1/2 more of a sack than I thought. Damn half sacks!

Leading Interceptor
Last year’s pick: Donovan Warren. I said he’d snatch 3 errant passes.

I should have picked . . . Warren. He actually picked off 4 passes, so once again, I overestimated. If he had only picked off 3 like I told him to, then maybe he’d have stuck around for an extra year! Then again, that pick-off against Indiana really saved Michigan’s ass.

All-Big Ten First Team
Last year’s picks: Brandon Graham and Zoltan Mesko.

I should have picked . . . Graham, Mesko, and Donovan Warren. Graham and Mesko were voted All-Big Ten first team by the coaches. Those two plus Warren were chosen for the first team by the media. Two for three isn’t bad.

Leading Scorer (non-QB, non-kicker)
Last year’s pick: Brandon Minor.

I should have picked . . . Minor. He scored 8 rushing touchdowns (48 points). The next closest scorer was Carlos Brown with 5 touchdowns (30 points). Placekicker Jason Olesnavage scored 75 points, but kickers are almost always the leading scorers, which is why I didn’t allow myself to pick him.

Breakout Offensive Player
Last year’s pick: Junior Hemingway.

I should have picked . . . Roy Roundtree. Hemingway only caught 16 passes, while Roundtree emerged as the go-to receiver late in the season and perhaps the front-runner for the next wearer of the coveted #1 jersey.

Breakout Defensive Player
Last year’s pick: Troy Woolfolk.

I should have picked . . . Jordan Kovacs. I don’t feel bad about the Woolfolk pick. He made 46 tackles and I think he surprised a lot of people with his solid play at both deep safety and cornerback. Despite switching to cornerback halfway through the season, it seemed that opponents targeted Donovan Warren more often than Woolfolk. Still, Kovacs was a Freshman All-American, started eight games, and finished second on the team with 75 tackles.

Most Disappointing Offensive Player
Last year’s pick: Kevin Koger. I said he wouldn’t catch any more than 15 passes.

I should have picked . . . I’m not sure. Greg Mathews? Maybe Koger was the right pick. I said he’d catch 15 passes or less, and the spiteful bastard caught 16 just to piss me off. Regardless, he dropped a lot of passes in the second half of the season and got phased out of the offense a bit. It’s arguable who was the most disappointing, but I’m satisfied with my pick. I think most Michigan fans expected more production from the tight end spot.

Most Disappointing Defensive Player
Last year’s pick: Ryan Van Bergen. I said he’d end up with about 20 tackles and a couple sacks.

I should have picked . . . Obi Ezeh. Maybe Jonas Mouton. Those inside linebackers made a lot of Michigan fans sad. It might be a little harsh to put Ezeh here, since he had a bad back and everything. But it’s one of the two. Both were benched at various points, and Mouton had the same number of tackles as cornerback Donovan Warren. That’s not good. Meanwhile, Van Bergen basically doubled my predictions – he had 40 tackles and 5 sacks. Good for him.

In Summary . . .
Well, the results are a mixed bag. Out of twelve predictions, six of them were spot-on. That’s 50% (I’d like to thank my 4th grade teacher for the math skills). Technically, I guess I should get a slight deduction for only picking Graham and Mesko as All-Big Ten First Team; the coaches agreed with me, but the media added Warren. That’s 49%. But I think I should get a few points for Koger as Most Disappointing Offensive Player, as well as a slight bump for Woolfolk as Breakout Defensive Player. That puts me at right around 55%.

So . . . 55% of the time, I’m right every time. Perhaps I should not be trusted.

Go blue!