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JonBenke

2011 Michigan Football

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Just looking at the rosters Michigan and State both look pretty mediocre imo. They both have some awfully suspect position groups at this point, but then it's two weeks before the first tomato can game, a lot could change by big 10 season

Love to read some rationale behind half of that. Just about every publication that produces a pre-season All-Conference team contains as many MSU players as there are from any other school in the B1G.

When comparing "apples to apples", I would submit that an honest appraisal (at least of the two schools in question here) of position group to position group - would lead to Michigan having an advantage in but one. OL.

WR is within the margin. QB too. DL is probably pretty close to that as well - but I'd submit that MSU's depth would give it a decided advantage. Other than that...Where do you folks see things differently?

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Kevin Koger and Roy Roundtree were made available to the media post-scrimmage.

Scout.com: Kevin Koger, Roy Roundtree talk receivers

Kevin Koger

Question: Have you noticed Denard’s improvement since the spring?

Kevin Koger: “Definitely -- being on the receiving end of those passes you can definitely tell he has made a great improvement. Coach Borges has done a great job with him and Devin Gardner and the rest of the quarterbacks. You can definitely tell improvement.”

Question: Is that confidence, is it technique, where do you see the biggest difference?

Kevin Koger: “Probably more technique. Denard is always confident, always smiling, confidence is never faded in him. Probably just more technique wise.”

Question: Can you sense a difference in the ball you’re getting than maybe the one you were getting last year or in the spring?

Kevin Koger: “Probably just more timing wise, just the time it gets there when I’m out of my break. That’s probably the main difference.”

Question: You guys had a prolific offense last year, you guys put up points like crazy, do you feel that this offense can get to that level or be that successful?

Kevin Koger: “It is hard to compare last year to this year, two different philosophies. We’re just going to try and manage the game and help the defense out as much as we can so we can win football games.”

Question: How important is time management, time of possession?

Kevin Koger: “It is definitely a big part. Coach Hoke always says that the best defense we play is when the defense is on the side line and we’re on the field managing the ball so they can get their rest.”

Question: How about you in particular as a tight end, as a receiver have you been more involved in the way they execute things?

Kevin Koger: “I think it is fair to say that. I definitely got a lot of reps during camp and we have about two weeks to go, so I’m expecting to get a lot more. We’ll see what happens.”

Question: How many sets do you guys have with two tight ends?

Kevin Koger: “We just go by personnel groups. We have tons of formations so it is just by personnel groups.”

Question: You guys are going over to the stadium for a scrimmage on Saturday and there are some young guys who haven’t had a chance to go out there yet. What do you tell them as you try to give them that game day mentality for a scrimmage?

Kevin Koger: “Just be confident. You know what you’re doing, we do it every day in practice. Don’t let going over to the Big House intimidate you, and don't let that it is a big evaluation that we have on Saturday coming up intimidate you. Just be confident, you know what you’re doing and just execute.”

Question: Is it kind of hard to separate playing on State Street versus playing on Main Street and kind of seeing a difference?

Kevin Koger: “No because I’m a firm believer that you play how you practice. If you practice half speed, if you go through the motions, that’s how you’re going to play on Saturday. I just come out here every day and be ready to work and go full speed every time.”

Question: Is that one of the hardest thing for a young kid when they come in to learn, that going in practice you got to go full boat the whole time because it is like you’re trying to replicate for a game?

Kevin Koger: “Definitely. All the players that come in here, they the stars of their high school teams, so they are used to be being better than everybody else -- and they come here and everybody is just as good as you are. It takes more than just talent to succeed here. I think they’re finding that out.”

Question: What kind of things do you want to see on Saturday that will prove to you that you have had a successful scrimmage as a team?

Kevin Koger: “Just execution, probably execute plays. Everybody come off the ball well, hard and low. I guess we’ll just watch the film afterwards and see how we did.”

Roy Roundtree

Roy Roundtree: “We still got two more weeks. Just taking camp day by day and today I feel like we got better too.”

Question: How do you feel about the depth at receiver right now, I know you guys are missing Daryl (Stonum)?

Roy Roundtree: “I love it. Nobody has a spot on the team and everybody is competing for the #1 spot. Coach Hoke always told us that he is going to play the best players and the best players are going to practice hard every day to get out there.”

Question: Coach has talked about Denard Robinson’s growth at camp; what is the biggest growth area from Denard?

Roy Roundtree: “His poise back in the pocket. Everybody wants to say he's a running quarterback, and he has really been sitting back and reading the defense and timing the routes off right. I think he is really being poised. I think he has been getting comfortable day by day.”

Question: Coach Hoke said he has completed 70% of his passes in the fall camp, what percentage of that is going to Roy Roundtree?

Roy Roundtree: “He is spreading it out. I wish they all could go my way but they don’t. As a wide receiver corps, as being a leader of the group and having Junior Hemingway and Kelvin Grady, we’re all just sticking around and trying to get open and get the timing right and he is finding the receivers at the right time.”

Question: I know Denard is always confident, but is he more confident as a passer than he was say even in the spring?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah I feel like in seven on sevens we’ve been doing all summer he has been getting all the wide receivers out there and getting the timing down. I feel he is very comfortable from when he first started. That’s good on our heads because to see him poised that’s our leader on the offense and basically the team -- to see him poised, all of us poised. We just stay calm and he’s really working hard to be comfortable back there.”

Question: Are there times that you come out of your break and the ball is there and you’re just like the timing is dead on?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah. Today, we got a pass off today and as soon as I came out of route, it was right there. It just shows that our timing is getting better and better day by day.”

Question: Has anything surprised you by what you’ve seen from Denard in camp?

Roy Roundtree: “Not really because I’m around him every day, I get to see him every day and get to work out with him. He was my workout partner all summer, so we got extra work in. What I’m seeing now is the same thing that he did in the offseason. The coaches see it on film every day.”

Question: Has Junior Hemingway had a great camp, because you talked a little bit about once Daryl was getting redshirted this year that it has to be you and Junior that really leads the way for this receiver corps.

Roy Roundtree: “I feel like Junior has been having a great camp. I could give encouragement to all the receivers because that’s how we’re going to get better, everybody is going to push somebody. That’s the biggest task for us this year. We got over Stonum and are just trying to work better day by day.”

Question: With this offense are there going to times that fans are going to say man that looks familiar and times it looks like old school Michigan?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah. The offense is ridiculous. We got a lot of plays, different formations. It is a lot of everything. Every day we put in new plays and we’re just trying to get the best one.”

Question: Are there plays that look like…we haven’t seen much but sometimes things are a little spread out and Denard is running, are there plays that are spread?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah there are some spread like plays, but Coach Borges is going to keep Denard safe. Just having him back there and Denard is going to read the defense and if it is for him to run, I’m pretty he’ll take off.”

Question: What have you seen from Jerald Robinson this fall?

Roy Roundtree: “He’s really matured. I talked to him the other day, this camp, you got to stay focused. Don’t get down because your legs sore that’s what supposed to be happen, but Joe has been having a great camp also because he wants to learn and wants to get better.”

Question: Do you feel like he is going to get time this fall?

Roy Roundtree: “Yeah I feel like he is going to get time because of the work ethic that he has and he is really pushing himself. He is asking older guys for help for different type of route concepts. That’s the best thing about it.”

Question: The thing with Daryl -- over the offseason was that a distraction at all or did you just kind of have to assume that we just have to take care of ourselves rather than worried about who is going to be here and who is not going to be here?

Roy Roundtree: “I really wasn’t sure. I wasn’t really trying to get into the situation with him. I’m not sure.”

Question: Do you think Denard is enjoying this transition in this offense?

Roy Roundtree: “I think so. He is the leader of the offense and he has got to come out with energy to get us pumped up because that’s who we look at. I feel like he is really getting comfortable day by day, and we got two more weeks and ya’ll will see for yourself.”

Question: You still see the flashes obviously of what he can do with his feet that is not gone, but you have just seen more of other stuff too?

Roy Roundtree: “Oh yeah, I see it all now. The drop back quarterback that he was in high school, I see that, and sometimes he is in shotgun like he was last year -- and it is just the way he is back there. He is not getting frustrated that he can’t do this and do that. He is an athlete and he can do it all. To see that that way he motivate himself and motivates us in practice, it is a good thing to see.”

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Brandin Hawthorne happy to be back at linebacker.

TheWolverine.com - Brandin Hawthorne happy to be back at linebacker

Michigan's coaching staff didn't know what to do with Brandin Hawthorne when he arrived for the 2009 season. And they didn't know where he best fit in 2010 either. This coaching staff was a little uncertain at first, but eventually moved Hawthorne to the weakside linebacker post, and he has, seemingly, found his home ...

"I was actually recruited as a linebacker so to be back feels really natural to me," said Hawthorne. "This is the position I played my whole life until I got to Michigan so it's nothing new, but I've had to learn the system, my responsibilities, and that takes time."

Hawthorne was one of seven early enrollees in Jan. 2009 and was one of eight Floridians that signed with the Maize and Blue that February. Though he was only a three-star recruit, Hawthorne had made 200 tackles in his career at Pahokee, with 76 tackles for loss and 42 sacks, and the expectation was that he would develop into a 220-pound SEC-type linebacker - the ones with great speed, quickness and athleticism that the Big Ten supposedly lacks.

Hawthorne struggled to put on weight though and after an uneventful rookie campaign, in which he saw action in just four games, all on special teams, he moved to safety for the 2010 season. However, Hawthorne wasn't a safety. He wasn't fast enough and didn't have the coverage skills. He felt lost.

He appeared in nine games, but only one in a defensive role. He began spring practice someone that nobody was talking about and without an identifiable role. He ended the spring with greater direction and a message - gain weight.

Hawthorne weighed 205 pounds in the spring. He weighs 214 pounds today and though he's not gigantic, he's big enough to handle his tasks at the weakside linebacker position.

"I'm not a real physical player - I'm more finesse - but I'm fast and smart," he said. "You need a brain on defense and I'm smart enough to recognize formations, and help move guys around. And I think I'm pretty good at making plays. I know I'm not going to overpower someone but I'm pretty good at slipping through the cracks."

Hawthorne is in the midst of a three-man tussle to start at the WILL, battling with fifth-year senior Brandon Herron and redshirt sophomore Mike Jones. At Tuesday's media-attended practice, he played with the first unit in the abbreviated time reporters watched the ones vs. ones.

There is still a long time before game week, and the coaching staff likes Jones and Herron also, but Hawthorne is at least in the mix.

"I am very excited, but I'm taking it one day at a time, and just trying to do my best day after day, be consistent like the coaches keep telling us we need to be," he said.

"Whatever happens, happens. I'm just glad to be back at linebacker and playing a position that I feel really comfortable with."

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Former Michigan kicker Jeff DelVerne was at the scrimmage and tweeted these observations.

I was at the U of M scrimmage today and they look very organized! Fitz Tousaint was the star for me.. Defense looks amazing

Denard is the real deal in this offense.. Seems to be easier to scramble in this offense cause defense doesn't expect it

I would say that the coaching staff today spent a lot of time on tackling, technique and teaching (less ranting). Black @ DE looks quick

Demens is baaaadddd to the bone

Kicking game looked solid! This freshman kicker has a lot of swagger/confidence and I couldn't believe it. Going to be a good year

I was shocked to see the growth from last year to spring to now! Very sharp on both sides of the football.

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Supposedly a freshman OL player has left the team.

Believe that would be one of Bryant, Miller, or Posada iirc.

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Perhaps it is depth charts, it is also being said he may be done with football completely. I wonder if something else is at play.

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So, mgoblog says will Campbell is pretty much not a football player. Not incredibly surprising, but disappointing nonetheless.

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So, mgoblog says will Campbell is pretty much not a football player.

Not incredibly surprising, but disappointing nonetheless.

I saw this, and was not happy with this ... hoping they can get something out of him -- looking grim.

We needed him, for the defensive line to be a strong unit. All of this .. it's still a rebuilding process.

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Some think this could lead to UM bringing in a class of 27, as most assume this was unexpected.

That said, another OL - to be six total - is crucial, and this might push UM to taking a 7th.

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Confirmed it is Posada via ann arbor news.

Doesn't seem like that great of a loss, frankly. I never quite saw it to begin with. Overweight/Out of shape, didn't seem to have great feet...Another RichRod reach, from my perspective. My god, does that man's offensive line recruiting appear pretty abysmal or what? People carped a lot about his defensive "prowess" both in recruiting and tactically, but I think the real dampener moving forward could come on that offensive line.

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Yeah, Taylor Lewan sucks. That said, I agree with the; doesn't seem like that great of a loss.

This helps recruiting.

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Doesn't seem like that great of a loss, frankly. I never quite saw it to begin with. Overweight/Out of shape, didn't seem to have great feet...Another RichRod reach, from my perspective. My god, does that man's offensive line recruiting appear pretty abysmal or what? People carped a lot about his defensive "prowess" both in recruiting and tactically, but I think the real dampener moving forward could come on that offensive line.

Maybe in 2 years time, but the upper classmen are pretty good. He did have a habit of underrecruiting some positions at time. That's valid criticism. He never recruited a single impact player on D though. Well, maybe Avery, but that's it.

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Yeah, Taylor Lewan sucks. That said, I agree with the; doesn't seem like that great of a loss.

This helps recruiting.

Even Slappy Smith found one every once and a while...Do you think Rodriguez did a nice job recruiting on the offensive line Benke?

Here's the problem...2007's class was small (Molk and Huyge) but luckily for you guys you essentially hit (received meaningful contributions) from both...2008 RR's "first" class, (RichRod only recruited Barnum from this group, I believe - or was this Omameh's class too?) had that attrition at the top with O'neill, Mealer appears to be organizational depth, with Khoury as your first man in (on the three interior slots), Wermers - non factor, and Omameh (I think) as a nice guard prospect moving forward. 2009 only saw three linemen come into the program - Lewan (who I've never seen anyone here refer to as anything but a nice young player), Schofield (breaking into the two-deeps, probably on track, but will need to make his move over the next 12 months, and Washington (on the DL now). Now that's a small class on face, even before Washingtonmoved, you follow that up with 2010's grou...I mean player (who's already gone) and you start to see some cracks in the veneer. You add on 2011's group - one of which just left, one of which is grossly overweight/out of shape (I'm not even sure where Jack Miller or Rock are repping right now, but I know where the depth chart suggests you need them to be).

There's just no other way to spin that Benke, it's best case scenario - neglectful...Worst case, just retarded.

Edited by lionstigersand...

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Do you think Rodriguez did a nice job recruiting on the offensive line Benke?

No. Like most other positions. That said, Lewan has a good chance to become something very special. I say "good chance" because last year, as a RS freshmen, he more than held his own against top B10 DL.

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I think Rodriguez did a good job recruiting starters on the O-Line. The problem is he recruited 0 depth, the same problem he had at many positions.

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I think Rodriguez did a good job recruiting starters on the O-Line.

Who did he recruit, minus Lewan, that you like?

Patrick Omameh isn't bad -- he's a good B10 G, but the jury remains out on guys like Michael Schofield, Ricky Barnum, Elliot Mealer, and Rocko Khoury. I agree he didn't recruit any depth though. That sucks.

That said, moving forward, I really like what we're bringing in recruiting wise, with more to follow.

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I think Rodriguez did a good job recruiting starters on the O-Line. The problem is he recruited 0 depth, the same problem he had at many positions.

I'd argue even that's debatable...Molk's a Carr kid and assuming Huyge wins one of the spots on the right-side (probable), that leaves Rodriguez: Lewan (nice player), Omameh (jury's out, rushed a bit last year, but still could turn out pretty well, and is certainly on track) and one of Schofield (T) or Barnum (G)...Probably should see something from one of them before we credit Richard for finding high-end starters with relative regularity.

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I think Patrick Omameh is a good B10 G, but agree with all the other question marks.

And like I was saying before; some of these question marks are going to end up with a positive outcome.

I also wouldn't quickly praise RichRod for any player the new regime turns into something positive.

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I think Patrick Omameh is a good B10 G, but agree with all the other question marks.

And like I was saying before; some of these question marks are going to end up with a positive outcome.

I also wouldn't quickly praise RichRod for any player the new regime turns into something positive.

I typically consider 'good' to be an all-conference'ish player. Joel Foreman is good. Omameh was solid last year (a little up a bit down, all of which is to be expected for a youngster getting his first crack...That said, this is probably the best OL you'll have until 2013-or-so. Thanks to Richard.

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