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B1G Roundtable - Fall Camp Edition #1

  • Rocky,

    I have a question. We have had problems with Campbell and leverage issues since he came in. I realize not all tackles deal with this issue but Campbell is a taller tackle at 6'5". Do you see Hoover having similar problems as he is 6'7"?

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  • Yeah, i figured you guys had seen enough film on him to know. Do you think he will be an asset or liability?

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  • Wolverine247

    c_woodson

    I actually like Drew Dileo to be Michigan's #3 WR. Kid has great hands and has made some big plays in his career thus far.

  • Wolverine247

    Ducksworth

    Hoover actually went to my high school and I've been pretty close to him and his sister (fell off a bit since college started). He is a very hard worker and very loyal to the Spartans and I know that he'll give everything he has to working hard on the offseason to get low enough to make an impact.

    6'7 is really tall for an interior guy, but I have no doubt that he will not be a liability. He may not be a star, but he'll be a serviceable big body to open up space for Rush and Gholston on the ends.

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  • This. Belton holds the ball like LeSean McCoy, who was fumble prone in college. It is a worry. However, the kid has thick legs which is always good for a RB. At 5'10" 202, he is the perfect size, IMO (I always like shorter RBs).

  • No. We have Ameer and Heard to take some carries. Also tmart said he would be running more. Which he needs to do. And we have marrow as a Bigger full back type back, he played for bama for a year.

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  • SpartanTailgate

    SpartanRocky

    It's definitely a concern. Macks hit the general point right on the head though; low-man wins in the trenches. Most OGs are between 6'2 and 6'5, and most DTs between 6'1 and 6'4. It's pretty logical that most 6'2 guys can get lower than most 6'5 guys and so on down the line.

    There is some hope though. Guys like John Henderson, JJ Watt and Cameron Heyward all have had success on the interior at 6'6 or so, though both Watt and Heyward played both DE and DT their last years. It all depends on how low Hoover can get. If he struggles consistently, then he's only going to see the field on pass-downs. I'm also curious to see his swim move; the tall man's best friend.

    In an ideal world (for MSU), his long arms allow him to prevent the opposing OL from getting their hands on him, while his long stride carries him into the backfield. On passing downs, his height makes it hard for opposing QBs to pass over him and he ties up blockers allowing MSU's blitzing LBs to get through the line of scrimmage unscathed.

    In an ideal world (for the rest of the conference), OL are able to get under him with regularity, making it very hard for Hoover to be used against the run. That limits him to sure passing downs and he really only sees the field on 3rd and long.

    It'll probably end up somewhere in the middle; I bet he struggles more against the run than the pass, but is able to play at least 50% of the snaps on the season. Definitely one of the guys I'm most looking forward to watching this year.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • SpartanTailgate

    SpartanRocky

    Gotcha. I love Burkhead, but I don't think he can handle another 250+ carry season. I think he's best at around 20 carries/game. Sounds like you've got enough guys around him to the point where he doesn't have to be quite as much as a workhorse . . . except when you really need him.

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • sorry work got in the way.

    Battles

    QB - believe or not there is one here. Even coach admit this will be more of a battle than it was last year. Not really an indictment on DOB, but more that there have been some pleasant surprises. Curt Phillips has come back from his 18 knee surgeries and looked strong. RS Freshman walk-on Joel Stave is looking like a steal. Whatever shakes out there will be some depth. Not great, but better than expected. IMO it is still a DOB lock

    OLB - With Borland and Taylor entrenched as starters there is a battle for who will replace departed Claxton. We are probably deeper than ever at LB. That was shown when they moved Jake Keefer to DE. As it stands right now AJ Fenton is the favorite, but this competition could be 4-5 deep overall. Two guys with some game experience will factor in Ethan Armstrong and Connor Oneil. I like Armstrong out of those two, but he is coming back from injury. Soph Marcus Trotter has been turning heads since the spring game. A real dark horse here is true freshman Vince Biegel. Reports on him are glowing. Coach even said he will be hard to keep off the field. I would go with Armstrong in this battle, but would not be surprised to see a number of faces throughout the season.

    WR #2 - Abracadabra will be #1 after that who knows. We have recruited better over the last few years, but until they catch balls in games who knows. Duckworth will start the year, but I think there a couple of guys who could pass him throughout the season and possibly in camp. Coaches have raved about AJ Jordan and may be the most talented of the bunch. Isaiah Williams was left off the roster momentarily for unknown reasons. Chase Hammond looks the part, and was impressive in the spring game. At 6'5" 212 I would imagine he is part of the goal line package. Marquis Mason is another one. Big athletic receiver that can create space, but has some trouble reeling it in. I think Jordan eventually gets the job. Just a question of when.

    OG - Robert Burge is #1 right now, but he will get a fight from Kyle Costigan. A lot of fans are not big on the walk on Burge, due to bone head plays in the past. Coaches like his mean streak. Casey Dehn off the team again opened this spot up IMO. I would not be surprised to see someone in camp jump into this fight such as; Dallas Lewellan or Ray Ball. I think any of these guys are capable, but I would love to see Lewellan jump up and take it.

    DL - tough to call it a competition, because we will be set on rotating all spots. Some may not know, but former 4 star Jordan Kohout has left the team due to migranes. Big blow as he was playing really well. Losing his talent hurts, but I still feel good about the depth on the inside.

    Most Concered

    QB - will be until i see otherwise. May not need to worry, but Ball and company can't run into a brick wall

    Punter - Yeah I said it. The kid coming in looked like crap in the spring game. We have enjoyed so much success in the past and field position can be so huge late in the year.

    Pass Rush - not a unit per say, but a real concern. Our DB's last year were at a disadvantage and that cannot happen again this year. Getting healthy will help. On paper the problem should be fixed, but without a JJ Watt on the roster I will wait and see.

    Most Confident

    RB - arguably one of the better units in the country. I feel great at least 3 deep. The plan is to employ formations using both Ball and White. IMO Gordon will pass White on the depth chart.

    LB - Excited to see this unit on the field. If the DL is as improved as I think it is these guys will be making a lot of plays.

    OL - Mainly because I have been conditioned not think otherwise. Really though i have watched the guys stepping in for sometime and know what they can do. Most outsiders see what we lost and would panic, but I don't think we should. Wagner and Frederick will be high draft picks. Groy has plenty of game experience covering for injuries and Havenstien is a monster. Slight pause for the other OG spot, but I think it will shake out. This could be our biggest line ever.

    Kicker - French looks to kick off what should be a great career. Strong accurate leg.

    although we may not be at the elite level just yet there will be a point where people will see we are more of a reloader than a rebuilder.

  • SpartanTailgate

    Braintrust

    You're confident with the OL with the lack of depth in there?

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  • SpartanTailgate

    Braintrust

    From Most to least confident (there isn't a big gap between them):

    Special Teams
    CB
    LB
    S
    DL
    TE
    OL
    RB
    QB
    WR

    Battles:
    DT/NT: Looks like its between Hoover, Kittredge and Clemons for that spot next to ARW. Hoover should win it out.
    FS: Between RJ Williamson and Kurtis Drummond. Drummond should get the spot because of experience
    WR: Messy. You have Arnett, Lippett, Fowler, Mumphrey, Caesar, Burbridge, Madaris, Sims Jr, Kings, and Kerrick (and more). I have a feeling come game 1, it will be Lippet and Fowler, with Arnett as the slot.
    TE: Dion Sims is our starter for sure, but the 2nd TE will come down to JUCO Jamare Mills or Caesar if they want to move him inside since he might have gotten too big to play WR.

    This post was edited by Braintrust 20 months ago

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  • If I remember correctly, I read that Michigan returns 7/10 in the 2-deep from last year (sound familiar). I feel like Phil Steele stated that, but it has been awhile. Couple that with bringing what many say is a college ready 4*/5* recruit in Kalis, I feel pretty good about Michigan's oline and depth.

    And you harped on depth, which means injuries would have to come into play. Do you feel good about MSU's QB depth considering the favorite to start was knocked out of the last game he played in where it wasn't mop up duty of a MSU blowout and he couldn't make it through the spring healthy?

  • Bucknuts

    callen05

    BeBucks is slacking so, I'll throw a few things in here:

    What, if any, position battles are going on in your fall camp? Who're your projected winners of said battles?

    WR - Corey Brown, Devin Smith, Chris Fields, Evan Spencer, Verlon Reed, Mike Thomas

    Basically pick two or three of those, depending on the base set. Really only one slot-type guy in the bunch and that's Corey Brown. I'm expecting all of the listed guys to see some time, but Devin Smith, Corey Brown, and Evan Spencer probably win out on the depth chart. Devin Smith has probably the most pro-potential, but Corey Brown has a chance to be very good in the college game if he can be more consistent.

    RT - Reid Fragel, Taylor Decker

    Coach speak will tell you that no one has their starting job yet, but this is really the only position on the OL that's up in the air. Fragel was a blocking tight end that we always felt was best suited at tackle and Decker is the new kid on the block. Whichever one loses out is probably the first tackle off the bench. Decker is the future of the position and has impressed the staff since day one but Fragel is probably the best choice to start the season.

    Which position group are you most concerned about headed into the fall,

    WR, OL

    WR - Some really good athletes, but not really enough diversity in the type of WR. Would really love to have a true slot type WR.
    OL - There is a lot of talent here, but it's not the most experienced group. Also change in philosophy tends to have a lot of issues in the trenches just as much as anywhere else.

    and which group are you most confident in?

    DL, far and away. Very talented and very deep. Probably still not a true pass rusher in the starting line, but the starting line will be built to stiffle strong rushing attacks and there should be plenty of passrush fire-power off the bench.

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    Time and change will surely (truly) show How firm thy friendship ... OHIO!

  • The Michigan guys did a great job of covering the topics, for Michigan. Thank you everybody else for giving insight into your programs.

    My look that has probably already been covered,

    RB: Who starts until Fitz gets everything straightened out? Rawls ran with the 2's in the spring and Hoke was talking about how hard he runs at yesterdays presser. Smith is more of a 3rd down change of pace back. Rawls should be the man.

    WR: While the starting 2 are set, there will be plenty of 3-wide and 4-wide sets for another year. Who will step up to help Roundtree and Gallon? Robinson? Jackson! Dileo? I love Dileo in the slot. I have heard that Darboh was the most impressive freshmen so far in camp, 6'2' 220 lbs. drool

    TE: Moore is the senior that hasn't lived up to his hype. Funchess and Williams are the freshmen coming in with new hype. I see Moore locking down the position with his college frame and experience.

    LG: Walk-on Burz... was running with the 1's in the spring, but imo, that was so Mealer would give the 2's a OT to work with. I think Mealer starts and gets pushed all year by Kalis.

    DTs: Starters are set, rotation guys are to be watched. Washington, Ash, Wilkins, Pipkins... All need to be sorted out.

    WDE: A month ago there were no concerns with Beyer and Clark looking to slug it out, not with Clark's career on hold, it looks like a freshman will be seeing the field. At one time I thought that would be a Wormley/Strobel battle, but with Mario Ojemudia already at over 230lbs, he maybe ready to go, in pass rush situations.

    Position group concerned about, DT and TE, and that is it.

    Most confident in, the whole back 7 on defense.

  • SpartanTailgate

    SpartanRocky

    What's up with your LBs? I know last year was an uncharacteristic "down" year for the LBs, but I also know your fanbase is extremely high on Shazier. Is Sabino playing SAM or MIKE? Is Curtis Grant really 265 pounds? Any changes in scheme?

    Michigan State does not and will not run the 3-4 defense.

  • Bucknuts

    callen05

    Shazier is gonna be a mans-man this year. Once he figured out what he was doing last year, he was impossible to keep off the field.

    Grant was a bit chubby last year and didn't really pick everything up as fast as we had hoped, but he'll be in the middle this year and be quite a bit lighter. He's one of the guys that was given a mandate to tone up when the new regime came in.

    Sabino is the old-man of the group and will be at SAM. He's always had loads of natural talent but he's never been able to put it all together.

    Last year Sweat couldn't stay healthy and Storm Klein was never able to make that jump to the next level. Always felt he was a step slow.

    Scheme will be pretty much what you've seen for the last ten years, with some small tweaks from the new personnel.

    This post was edited by callen05 20 months ago

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    Time and change will surely (truly) show How firm thy friendship ... OHIO!

  • Shazier is a crazy athlete, if he can remember his assignments or hit the right gap, he will devastate an offense.

    I want to see Adolphus Washington get some reps for you guys this year, he was one of my favorite prospects from last season.

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    Damaged goods

  • Watching Shazier last year and then again in replays, I can honestly say I love the play of the kid. If Michigan had lost, I might be singing a different tune though.

  • Bucknuts

    callen05

    He finished that game with a torn MCL or something like that. It's been a little while since we've had someone with his closing speed, probably since Hawk. Last few years of LBers have been solid, but no one that really creates "splash" plays.

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    Time and change will surely (truly) show How firm thy friendship ... OHIO!

  • Curtis Grant slimmed down to 235

    OSU always plays the majority of downs with only 2 LBs, expect the SAM / Sabino to not see as much playing time compared to the other starters.

    callen05 did a great job of covering everything else.

    Thanks for all the info guys, it was a great read.

  • As a follow-up to my post on Michigan, it has been confirmed that Jake Ryan will get practice reps at WDE. This might be a little bit of a transistion, moving from SLB to WDE, but not as much as other B10 fans might think. Ryan spent a lot of snaps last year with his hand in the dirt, so it's not necessarily new to him. His back-up at SLB in Cam Gordon is very serviceable. He may not be as good against the run, but is better in coverage. Situationally, I would expect Beyer to be at WDE on running and short distance downs, and Ryan will slide down with Gordon coming in on passing downs. Mattison said in his presser today that he wants the best 11 on the field. Having some flexibility is certainly a good thing, especially with a DC that is as creative and experienced as Mattison.

    Early reports from camp are that Armora Darboh, the true freshman WR, had an excellent first day. I'm not trying to gleen too much from one day of no pads, but it is noteworthy when Denard and Roy Roundtree both commented on him being the best freshman on the field. It seems likely that he will contribute in some capacity this year. At a cut up 6'2", 220lbs, he could pose problems for opposing defenses. Once again, he has a lot of learning to do, so though I don't necessarily expect an immediate impact, I feel good about predicting that he will be a contributor later in the season.

    Borges (the OC) said in his presser that So. Thomas Rawls will be the guy at RB if Toussaint misses time, but he will continue to use Sr. Vince Smith as a situational (i.e. 3rd down) back. RS Fr. Justice Hayes will get some looks. Personally, I look for Smith to start against Bama based on experience, but Rawls will get in early, assuming that Toussaint is suspended for whatever amount of time that may be. On a semi-related note, Borges said that the OL came in looking good with added size and strength.

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  • really sad we missed out on Darboh. I think he will be a stud.

  • Yep. When he said cut-up, he meant it. They have a pic of Darboh with other players and Darboh is cut 220lbs. Looks impressive for being a true freshman.

  • SpartanTailgate

    Braintrust

    I wasn't trolling. IIRC Hoke said there was enough depth on the O-line to field a full spring game.

    I feel fine about the QB depth. Maxwell was knocked out during the Bama game, so were a lot of our other players lol. He could have played in the Spring, the injury was minor but Dantonio didn't want to risk it since the spring is meaningless. Also, Connor cook looked better towards the end of the spring game and Freshman Tyler O'Connor has looked "flat out amazing" in training camp.

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  • Agreed, there was enough depth on the O-line, as evidenced by the spring game.

    Didn't Maxwell miss more than just the spring game? With limited practices, especially for a first time starter, some would call those practices a little more than meaningless. Good to hear Cook progressed, I remember the first part of the game, I don't think I watched it all the way through. O'Connor and company practicing in pads yet?