2012 Season Countdown: #38 Terrence Talbott

Tag: Terrence Talbott

23Jul 2012
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2012 Season Countdown: #38 Terrence Talbott

Back when Terrence Talbott was #22

Name: Terrence Talbott
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 178 lbs.
High school: Huber Heights (OH) Wayne
Position: Cornerback
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #37
Last year: I ranked Talbott #71 and said he would be a special teams contributor.  He played in two games on special teams but didn’t accrue any statistics.

Talbott is already a junior, even though it feels like he should be a redshirt freshman or sophomore.  One of the victims of the great cornerback migration back in 2010, he played as a redshirt freshman despite being unready.  I would argue that Rodriguez burned Talbott’s redshirt unwisely, but I can’t blame Rodriguez here like I do for Devin Gardner and William Campbell – Michigan did actually need help at cornerback.  So now Talbott’s a junior, and some suggested he was pushing starter J.T. Floyd at the boundary corner position in the spring.  By the April 14 open scrimmage, Floyd was the #1 guy, but it may be a situation to watch.

Floyd had a significant injury in 2010, but otherwise, he has been healthy.  As a fifth year senior and two-year starter, it’s unlikely that he gets unseated at this point, despite some struggles late in the season.  But the news about Talbott’s emergence suggests that if another injury occurs or if Floyd gets tired, he may have a capable backup ready to contribute at a helpful level.  I don’t think Talbott is waiting in the wings to become a star, but he does play the run well, which is very important for a boundary corner in this defense.

Prediction: Backup cornerback

4Apr 2012
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Spring Practice Thoughts and Rumors – Defense

Cameron Gordon has impressed the coaches again this spring

If you missed yesterday’s discussion of the offense, here it is.  And now for the defense:

Defensive end: As we know by now, Craig Roh has switched to strongside end.  He has done fairly well at the position, but he’ll need to spend the next several months eating a ton and bulking up.  The coaches want him in the low 280s and right now he’s about 270.  Insiders say Frank Clark looks like the starter at weakside end for the upcoming season.  Brennen Beyer, who switched from SAM linebacker this offseason, also has reportedly fared well but looks to be a step behind Clark at the position.  Beyer’s a thicker, run-stopping sort and Clark will have to work on that aspect of his game.  Nathan Brink is the presumed backup at the 5-tech position but has been limited due to his late-season broken leg.  Keith Heitzman is also in the mix, which would be great for depth at the position.  I would not be surprised to see one or two of the freshman defensive ends get some action, such as Matt Godin at 5-tech and Mario Ojemudia on the weakside, although Heitzman’s emergence might preclude Godin from having to burn a redshirt.

Defensive tackle: The first team defensive tackles appear to be Will Campbell at nose tackle and Jibreel Black at the 3-tech.  Campbell looks fit and is being more consistent with his technique, but the coaches continue to work on that aspect.  Black needs to add weight, but he’s more athletic than most 3-techs (especially compared to Will Heininger), so he adds a different dimension.  Richard Ash appears to be the backup nose tackle.  Meanwhile, Ken Wilkins has supposedly taken a leap forward this spring.  He was mired on the bench last season and there were a lot of questions swirling about him, but it seems the light has gone on.  He could be the #2 defensive tackle going into the season.  Chris Rock has also earned a tiny bit of buzz and has put on a significant amount of weight to play the 3-tech.

Linebacker: I don’t mean to overstate things, but the competition between Jake Ryan and Cam Gordon appears to be neck-and-neck for the SAM position.  The coaches really like Gordon’s athleticism, and he’s done a good job in pass coverage, which makes sense because he’s a converted safety.  Ryan has continued to progress after having a solid redshirt freshman season.  There was a huge dropoff last season between Ryan and Beyer, but that won’t be the case this year (if Cam Gordon can stay healthy).  At the MIKE spot, Kenny Demens hasn’t necessarily taken the forward steps that the coaches want.  He has been hampered by a thumb injury, and the #1 middle linebacker in his absence has been freshman Joe Bolden.  Mike Jones is buried at the #3 spot.  The best linebacker this spring has been Desmond Morgan, according to several accounts.  He’s put on a decent amount of weight after playing at 225 last season, and insiders suggest he’s probably close to 240 now.  The backup to Morgan at WILL has been Antonio Poole, who redshirted last season.

Cornerback: Blake Countess has one cornerback position locked down.  At the boundary corner position, Terrence Talbott has stepped up to challenge J.T. Floyd.  Insiders say that Floyd’s “benching” is partly due to him underperforming and partly due to rewarding Talbott for hard work in the offseason.  It might be unlikely that Talbott takes a job from a fifth year senior, but the possibility exists.  He’s made his move not by being a great coverage guy but by supporting the run and turning into a very good tackler.  Those are the top three corners right there.  Raymon Taylor continues to earn buzz as perhaps the secondary’s best athlete, but he’s still not ready mentally and physically.  Courtney Avery is the nickel corner, where he did a great job last season and doesn’t seem to getting challenged this spring.

Safety: The starters here are pretty clear with Thomas Gordon at free safety and Jordan Kovacs at strong.  Freshman Jarrod Wilson has picked things up quickly, and he might be the #2 free safety.  Marvin Robinson has returned to the practice field this spring after disappearing last year with some legal issues.  Despite his absence, Robinson appears to have taken another step forward and should be the heir apparent to Kovacs. A couple backup safeties have been absent from practices so far this spring: Tamani Carter and Josh Furman.  I would have to assume that they will be buried a little bit if/when they return.  These coaches do not like guys who miss practice.

21Jun 2011
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2011 Countdown: #71 Terrence Talbott

Terrence Talbott (#22)

Name: Terrence Talbott
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 171 lbs.
High school: Wayne High School in Huber Heights, OH
Position: Cornerback
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #22
Last year: I ranked Terrence Talbott #69 and said he would get scarce mop-up duty.  He had 16 tackles and 1 pass breakup.

Talbott was someone who played significant minutes in 2010 that probably shouldn’t have.  He was undersized and outmatched, but the dearth of experienced cornerbacks, the injuries to Troy Woolfolk and J.T. Floyd, and the departure of Justin Turner turned Talbott into a 13-game contributor on special teams and at cornerback.

There were lots of rumors this spring that Terrence left the team at one point, and that the coaches gave him a couple days to consider whether he wanted to stick with the new staff or not.  Ultimately, the smaller Talbott returned to the team but was largely invisible throughout the spring.  Barring further injuries in the defensive backfield, I expect him to be buried on the depth chart again in 2011, which is where he probably should have been last year.

Prediction: Contributor on punt and punt return; backup cornerback

18Aug 2010
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Troy Woolfolk has an Ouchie

I hope this makes you feel better.

Reports and statements after practice today strongly suggest that senior cornerback Troy Woolfolk dislocated an ankle today. If that rumored prognosis is accurate, Woolfolk will most likely miss the entire 2010 season.

Who will take Woolfolk’s spot at cornerback?
This practically cements the starting cornerbacks as redshirt sophomore J.T. Floyd and true freshman Cullen Christian. Floyd was probably set to be the #2 cornerback. Christian is the most talented of three incoming freshmen at the position, with more talent and potential than Terrence Talbott and Courtney Avery. Senior cornerback-turned-wideout-turned-cornerback James Rogers will also be in the mix.

Will any position changes occur to fill the void at cornerback?
Michigan doesn’t have the talent or depth at other positions to move many guys. Sophomore Teric Jones played cornerback last year but moved to Bandit in the spring. When redshirt freshman J.T. Turner decided to transfer last week, head coach Rich Rodriguez stated that Jones would get practice reps at Bandit and cornerback. I imagine that Jones will make a full-scale move to cornerback now. Another option is true freshman D.J. Williamson, a 6’1″, 170 lb. receiver who played a little defense in high school. Longshots to move include true freshman safety Ray Vinopal and redshirt junior safety Michael Williams, who has seemingly been squeezed out of the competition at Spur. None of these players should be considered as challengers for the starting cornerback job, however.

How did the depth at cornerback get so . . . shallow?
From the Class of 2007, wide receiver/cornerback Zion Babb ran off after Rodriguez arrived in Ann Arbor. Five-star cornerback recruit Donovan Warren entered the 2010 NFL Draft early, only to go undrafted. Cornerback/safety recruit Michael Williams suffered a knee injury and moved to safety full-time after Ron English was let go.

From the Class of 2008, Boubacar Cissoko took stupid pills once he arrived on campus and was booted from the team in mid-2009.

From the Class of 2009, athlete recruit Denard Robinson was pegged by some teams as a cornerback; he came to Michigan as a quarterback and has seemingly taken the lead in the race to be behind center in 2010. J.T. Turner arrived on campus out of shape and remained out of shape; he decided he’d had enough of Mike Barwis and his crazy “stay in shape” demands, so he received his transfer papers last week. Robinson’s high school teammate Adrian Witty failed to qualify initially, and then once he qualified, Michigan’s Admissions department failed to admit him for January 2010.

From the Class of 2010, prized defensive back recruit Demar Dorsey failed to meet Michigan’s admissions standards (and apparently Louisville’s, too). The late pursuit of Dorsey may have curtailed Michigan’s chase for a couple potential mid-level cornerback recruits, particularly Rashad Knight and Tony Grimes. Athlete recruit Conelius Jones failed to qualify.

Overall, that’s nine potential cornerbacks who are either playing other positions (Michael Williams, Denard Robinson) or no longer on the team. I can’t blame Lloyd Carr or Rodriguez for most of those position changes and such. However, the handling of the cases of Adrian Witty, Demar Dorsey, and Conelius Jones should come into question now. Why were those three allowed to sign Letters of Intent if they weren’t qualified? At such an important position – and one in such dire need – Rodriguez couldn’t afford to hand out scholarships to kids who would never play a down for Michigan. He did anyway. I hope I’m wrong, but this could be a major failure of the Rodriguez regime at Michigan.

Are there any positives that could come of this?
Well . . . uhhh . . . since Woolfolk played as a true freshman in 2007 (a waste of a redshirt at the time), he’s only a fourth year senior this season. He could possibly regain his health enough to play as a redshirt senior in 2011.

How much does this impair Michigan on the field in 2010?
Significantly. The likely starter at free safety is a true freshman who changed positions from wide receiver in the spring. One starting cornerback is a guy who many (including me) believed should be a safety . . . that is, if Michigan had enough depth at cornerback to move him. The other starting cornerback is either James Rogers, a senior who has barely seen the field in three years, or a true freshman. Michigan’s defense was going to be bad in 2010, anyway. The loss of Woolfolk not only affects the passing game negatively, but also exchanges a solid tackler for an 18-year-old kid who admittedly needs to improve his tackling (Christian). This injury probably lowers Michigan’s win total by one or two games.

29Jun 2010
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2010 Countdown: #69 Terrence Talbott

Name: Terrence Talbott
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 172 lbs.
High school: Wayne High School in Huber Heights, OH
Position: Cornerback
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Prediction for 2010: Scarce playing time

The younger brother of defensive tackle recruit Terry Talbott, Terrence is a small-ish corner. Despite graduating in the same class, the brothers aren’t twins – their birthdays are separated by about nine months. Terrence is an excellent athlete, with good speed and great leaping ability. I’m afraid that his athletic skills don’t quite translate into being a great football player, though. There’s just a little something missing.

But this team needs help in the defensive backfield, and Terrence might be a little further along than Courtney Avery at this point. There’s been some indication from insiders that Terrence’s upside is questionable, and his ceiling might be limited to special teams coverage. I have a feeling that his situation might be similar to that of sophomore defensive back Teric Jones, who played scarce minutes in 2009 because the coaches didn’t want to burn Justin Turner’s redshirt. In other words, the coaches would rather have the player with less upside (Jones, possibly Terrence Talbott) use up his eligibility in four years rather than devoting a scholarship to him for a fifth year.

We’ll see what happens, but I’m guessing we’ll see Terrence on the field against Massachusetts and/or against other teams against whom the score gets out of hand.