Ask a Question: Sione Houma

Tag: TTB Andrew

7Mar 2012
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Ask a Question: Sione Houma

Sione Houma

Salt Lake City FB Sione Houma battled through injuries his senior year, yet he still managed to rush for 790 yards on 93 carries (8.8 average) and eight touchdowns. With his injuries and senior year of football now behind him, Sione has his sights sets on Michigan as he looks to provide versatility and depth at the fullback position next year. I’ll be talking with Sione later in the week, so leave a question in the comments section if you so desire, and I’ll do my best to address it in the interview.

6Mar 2012
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James Rogers Answers Your Questions

Former Michigan wide receiver and cornerback James Rogers
During Rogers’ time at Michigan, he switched back and forth between offense and defense, learned a lot of different playbooks and schemes, and got to know quite a few coaches. Now, after earning his Michigan degree, James is playing for the KC Command, talking about his ambitions, and reflecting on many of the questions offered by TTB readers.
Recent happenings: “I was substitute teaching back in my home town of Madison Heights, and I also coached football. I was actually going to take the middle school basketball coaching job and track coaching job, too, but I ended up coming down here to play arena football for Kansas City, so I’m going to do that for right now. But I’ll probably look into coaching in the future. . . . [Arena football] is a little bit different than the outside game. It’s a lot faster pace, a lot shorter field, and it kind of has a disadvantage for the cornerbacks because the wide receivers get to run up to the line of scrimmage, and go in motion. But I’m enjoying it so far, though. All my teammates are pretty cool; I’m having a good time down here.”
Favorite Michigan Memory: “I had two picks that Purdue game my senior year; that felt good on an individual level. . . . In 2007, my freshman year, we started off slow but ended up picking our season up and went down there to the Capital One bowl and beat Tim Tebow in the bowl game that year. So that was a great memory about the whole of Michigan football. I think that’s one thing I’ll never forget.”
Switching between offense and defense at Michigan: “It kind of helped me out; it was kind of difficult, too, though. . . I had to learn several play books. And when I was there, we went through two coaching changes and then went through another coaching change at defensive coordinator. There were a lot of different playbooks that I had to learn. I began to study every night; football was like a class in itself. . . . When Rich Rod got there, he asked me to come to the offensive side of the ball, and then at the end of my junior year, Coach Robinson came to me and asked me if I’d mind coming back over and playing [on defense], and I was like, ‘yeah, sure, no problem.’ . . . I just said to myself that I have to put all those young kids on my back and help lead that whole defensive backfield.”
Watching the 2011 Wolverines: “It was definitely tough to sit through those years where Michigan was at its down point because Michigan’s one of those schools that’s always on top. But what I can say about us and those seniors the two years before me is just that we were never going to give up. We stuck in there and we fought. We knew the main point was, yeah, we’re there to play football, but let’s make sure we get this education while we’re at it. For some of those players like me who stuck around and went through those bad seasons, it was still good enough for us to know that we finished college and got our degrees from one of the most prestigious colleges in the world. But yeah, it would have been great to have been on that Sugar Bowl team. But I’m still happy for those guys; those are our boys, and I feel like we helped prepare them to do that.”
Differences between the two coaching staffs: “I’m not going to lie; it was definitely different from Coach Carr to Coach Rod’s staff. We had just got real close to Coach Carr’s staff, so it’s kind of like when you lose someone really important in your life. . . . We were so comfortable with Coach Carr. It was almost like losing a parent or something. That’s how we felt when Coach Carr had left. . . . Coach Carr and the whole staff, I really enjoyed his whole staff.”
NCAA investigation, Free Press allegations: “The part that hurt the most was it being brought to the media. It kind of made us seem like we were criminals, almost. The University of Michigan is a very big deal, so with people just looking at us like that, it kind of did give us kind of a negative view on the team. We kind of felt like, yeah we’re working extra hard, but we didn’t feel like we were doing anything too out of the ordinary that a lot of other schools weren’t doing. It’s something I think that also made us have that little setback, but as a team I think we stuck together, and I think we overcame it.”
John U. Bacon’s Three and Out: “I have not read the book. . .I couldn’t tell you anything about it.”
WR or CB? “I think any football player would love to be on the offensive side of the ball. How many young kids at a young age are like, “I want to be a D-lineman or a cornerback?’ Everyone wants to be wide receiver, quarterback, or running back . . . but at Michigan and knowing about Charles Woodson, I was happy to play cornerback, too, though. I’m happy I played cornerback, and if I had to do it again, I’d certainly play cornerback.”
28Feb 2012
Uncategorized 6 comments

Ben Braden Answers Your Questions

Ben Braden
In a matter of months, class of 2012 offensive lineman Ben Braden has grown over an inch and gained 40 pounds of mostly muscle. Now standing at 6’7” 325 pounds, Braden is ready to get on campus and make an immediate impact on the football field – which is good news because Michigan needs game-ready linemen now. Ben was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his Sunday afternoon to speak with me about those topics and address the many inquiries posed by TTB readers.
Physical development: Really it was because of strength and conditioning every day and pretty much just eating everything in sight. I try my best to avoid junk food and eat a lot of high protein and high carbs – burgers, chicken, steak, pasta, salad. I pretty much eat everything; I just try to stay away from really sweet stuff like chocolate and stuff like that. I’ll eat a lot during the day, but it’ll be in smaller portions. I don’t do any supplementary thing and don’t have a certain amount of calories I try to eat every day, either. I just eat.
Early playing time: Right now, the plan is that I will not be redshirting. I think I’ll be a second stringer, and then just go from there. But right now that’s the plan between me and the coaches. . . . [I’ll be playing] right tackle.

Representing Rockford: I live not necessarily out in the country, but I’m about 20 minutes from the town. So going to Ann Arbor will be a little bit of a change, but it won’t be like going to New York City or anything. Rockford isn’t one of those places where everyone knows everyone, but it’s a quiet place. . . . Coach Hoke and Coach Munger [Rockford’s HS coach] have a lot in common as far as coaching personality goes, so that will be nice that I won’t feel like I’m going from one thing to the complete opposite. . . . The last time I went to a University of Michigan camp, he [Coach Munger] was there, and I’m pretty sure he plans on going back.
Coming to Michigan: To prepare I just keep exercising every day, trying to stay in shape, and I’m just really looking forward to going. I’m really happy and truly blessed. I’m a little nervous, too, but who wouldn’t be? . . . I’m just focused on getting there and getting used to the system, and once you’re used to that everything will just fall in place. . . . When I came to Michigan [as a recruit], my host was Russell Bellomy, so I’m looking forward to seeing him again.
Managing critical scouting evaluations/recruiting rankings: The ratings are just ratings to me. They don’t determine how well I play, and they don’t determine how I am as a person. Basically my goal when I get there is just to do my best at everything and try to play as much as possible, and whatever I get is just going to be what I get. The ratings are going to be what they are. They’re not huge to me, I guess.
Breakin’ Furniture: When I was little – it was when the Hercules movie came out and I thought Hercules was the coolest – my great-grandmother gave me a rocking chair. So I took that and said, “Mom, look what I can do,” and I threw it against the wall and completely shattered it. . . . but no not recently; I’ve learned to be pretty gentle [with furniture].
Being the first recruit of the Brady Hoke era: No, I don’t feel any pressure from it, but it’s definitely an honor. I mean, Brady Hoke’s just an amazing person all around. Aside from being the coach, he’s just a great person. I think it’s a great honor to be the first to commit to him. I’m excited. It’ll be fun.
To learn more about Ben, you can check out a video interview with Tom VanHaaren and an Mlive article about his history playing hockey.
23Feb 2012
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Ask a Question: Ben Braden

Ben Braden is a large man.
It’s only been eleven months since Ben Braden became the first verbal commitment of the 2012 class, but a lot has happened since then. For one, Michigan gained an additional 35 commitments. For another, Ben grew an inch or two and added about 40 pounds of mostly muscle, putting him at 6’7” 325 pounds as of November 1. I’ll be talking with Ben this Sunday, so feel free to leave a question for him in the “comments” section if you have any Ben Braden related catching up to do.
21Feb 2012
Uncategorized 44 comments

Mini State of the Blog

Thanks to Brady Hoke for restoring Michigan’s football program.

I would just like to take a moment and thank the readers, commenters, and contributors who spend their time here at Touch the Banner.  With TTB Andrew’s help, visits to the site have increased over the past year by more than 700%.  As I mentioned on Twitter, the blog has reached the point where people were e-mailing me on Sunday night asking, essentially, “WHERE’S MY DAMN CHRIS FOX COMMITMENT POST?!”  This after I had written six commitment posts in the previous 32 hours or so (along with, you know, living my life).

I have big plans for the blog, and I certainly hope it continues to grow.  I appreciate the e-mails, comments, tweets, etc., even many of the negative ones.  This past year has been a great one for Michigan football.  I hope 2012 is even better.

Thanks again for reading, and Go Blue!