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Your Way Too Early Michigan Hockey Preview

So, after a one year hiatus, I'm back to a semi-regular status of posting—which basically means whenever I find time to actually write something. Since football has been beaten to death per usual, I'll instead devote the remainder of this post to hockey season, which is still one month away.

Following their thrilling run to the Frozen Four, Michigan will see a large piece of last year's roster depart. Gone are Louie Caporusso, Scooter Vaughn, Matt Rust, Brandon Burlon (a year early to the New Jersey Devils), Ben Winnett, Chad Langlais, Bryan Hogan, and resident Swede Carl Hagelin. Normally this would mean disaster, as Caporusso, Rust, and Hagelin were responsible for a sizable portion of Michigan's offense. However, Michigan managed to pull of a last minute steal from Princeton in Zach Hyman, who is hockey's equivalent of a 5-star recruit, and who should hopefully offset the loss of these players. Other newcomers include Mike Chiasson (D), the son of Steve Chiasson, Brennen Serville (D), who was drafted in the 3rd round by the Winnipeg Jets, Phil Di Giuseppe (F), Andrew Sinelli (F), Travis Lynch (F), Mike Szuma (D), and Alex Guptill (F). Guptill's rights are owned by the Dallas Stars, while Hyman's are owned by the Florida Panthers.

Returning players to watch will be David Wohlberg, Luke Glendening, Chris Brown, Jon Merrill, and, naturally, Shawn Hunwick. Glendening will be the team's captain, while Wohlburg, Pateryn, and Hunwick will serve as alternates. Goaltending, shockingly, will be the position to watch. With the abrupt defection of John Gibson to the OHL's Kitchener Rangers, the roster only has two goaltenders in Hunwick and Adam Janecyk. Look for Michigan to pick up another walk-on goaltender at some point this season.

Michigan's schedule this coming season is not as difficult as in years past. All out of conference games are at home this year, and none are against particularly difficult opponents. The toughest challenge (outside of the GLI, where Michigan faces Boston College) will be Union, which was ranked #1 for a time last year. Highlights in the CCHA schedule include 2 series with Miami, with the RedHawks traveling to Ann Arbor the first weekend of February; the usual two series with Michigan State, with the lone home game being December 10, and two series with Ohio State, which has the series at Yost on the same weekend as the football game against Nebraska—prepare to have no voice if you do all three games in two days—and also features the teams playing at Progressive Field (home of the Cleveland Indians) on January 15. Unfortunately, Michigan only plays Notre Dame in one series this year and it is in South Bend.

Overall, this shapes up to be an interesting year for Michigan's hockey program. The team has currently made the NCAA tournament 21 times in a row and the streak appeared to be in jeopardy after the departure of most of the team's offense. Retaining Hunwick and capturing Hyman late in the recruiting process are two key components to keeping this streak alive. If Hunwick goes down with injury, however, it could be a very long season barring the emergence of Janecyk. Look for questions on offense in the beginning of the season, but if the team manages to find it's footing offensively and Hunwick does not get injured during the season, Michigan should be able to keep the streak alive.

As for the rest of the CCHA, Western Michigan lost its coach to the Detroit Red Wings, but made an excellent hire in Andy Murray, who has coached in the NHL and is known for developing young teams. Western should have a decent season. Miami loses a sizable portion of its team including Hobey Baker winner Andy Miele and starting goaltender Cody Reichard. They also lost highly regarded recruit Connor Murphy to the OHL. They will still, however, be a title contender. Michigan State hired Tom Anastos as its new head coach following the retirement of Rick Comley, which stunned many people, as Anastos was the commissioner of the CCHA before he was hired. Look for Michigan State to reload and not pose a serious title challenge this season. Notre Dame returns much of its roster and is likely the favorite heading into the campaign.

Check back for more hockey news once the season begins—October 1 exhibition game against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, first real game against Bentley October 8.

10 things I hate about Western Michigan University

This one is personal since I went to WMU. It will be filled with a ton of "Cool Story bro" moments.. So it may get nasty brother...

10. I hate Greg Jennings and he owns flag football.

While at WMU Greg Jennings thought it would be a good idea to join some kids flag football team. He owned every team. It wasn't even fair. Thank god I played DE. He would just blow by people and some random QB would just throw it as far he could... TD. Yeah made it really fun. They knocked us out in the first round of the playoffs. Why on earth did Lloyd Carr pull his offer after he committed to Michigan? If  Carr wouldn't have pulled it I may be a WMU flag football champion today.

9. Wheres Waldo Stadium? 

I will admit that I didn't spend a ton of Saturdays at Waldo since my XGF got me UM student tickets. I did catch a few games and lets just say...ZZZzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzz. Wooo hoo Mac football. I could get a better sleep in the stands then in my bed since it was so quite and boring. No one would even watch the game after tailgating. It was like alright.. we are drunk? Yes. Now what? Wanna go watch Michigan at Oregon? Yeah lets go(proceed to stumble home). Also whats with the name? Waldo? I expected to see that striped traveling virgin from those awesome books as a kid standing on the sideline with a headset on. I will say having a Demons restaurant at the field was pretty awesome. That was about it.

8.Team Colors..Barf

I hated WMU colors. Just ugly. The old school colors and the new ones sucked hard core. Walking around the campus was like walking on a giant dirty penny from 1986. Everything is copper and black. No wonder I was depressed while I attended.

7.Tim Allen's "Grunting Sounds"

Tim Allen went to WMU. I hated Home Improvement as a kid. I hate it now. His animal sounds for cheap laughs are beyond lame. I think I hate that sounds more then Tim Allen. He did give us the Santa Clause. I heard he did a lot of coke while at WMU... Just a random rumor.

6. The Bars suck in Kzoo
YES! Generic bar photo! Good Times!
Not sure why but I found one bar I liked out of like 20. The Irish pub I would go to 4-5 times a week was great but outside of that the rest were garbage. One bar(name escapes me) with two floors was the worst. They took my roommates ID and wouldn't give it back claiming it was fake. We argued for a bit. We had to call the cops to get his ID back. The cop made the bouncer feel like an idiot. I know.. I know.. Cool story bro.

5.The Bitch at Alpha Pi Whatever
I lived right off from fraternity road and there was this rich girls fraternity where most of them drove Lexus and BMW sorts. It was a huge fraternity. One day my car was broken into while parked on their road. I asked the girl who was sitting outside the fraternity if she saw anything. She wouldn't respond. I asked again. She said "I didn't say anything. What does that mean?" I was sorta surprised. So I asked if I could borrow her cell really quick to call the cops. She said no.... Go to hell you stuck up bitch.

4.The Dude who stole my bike
I had a lovely green bike. It was sweet. It was a Diamondback and even had awesome pegs. It got me to school every day. I chained it up every night outside my house. One morning I come to find my bike stolen and a chain laying on the ground in pieces. So I had to take the bus and walk after that. A few weeks later I saw a dude driving a bike that looked like mine but spray painted lime green. If I had a any balls I would have done something about it but I was a young coward. Miss that damn bike.. Now I have a "Next" bike from Walmart.. Its a piece..

3.The Dude who broke into my car and stole all my shit!

I didn't have the best luck in Kzoo. I had a Saturn that I made a fake parking pass for. Well after months of getting away with it the towing company figured it out and towed me($75). That forced me to park on fraternity lane. One late afternoon I come to the car and the window was busted out($125) and my Cd player($11),Sub($85) and amp($80) were gone. The assholes busted my Viper cop detector($75) on the side walk for the hell of it. My insurance covered zero($0) of it. I drove around with out a window for a few days in the winter. It was awesome.... Screw you thief! I hope you are behind bars somewhere but odds are you are on welfare and you are still stealing the money from me that comes out of my check!! ARHHHHHHHH!

I hate the city with all my being. It is a cesspool of thugs, thieves, students and scumbags. Their is like four different colleges so it is a mad house at all hours. I had to walk home through a riot once.. No really a real riot broke out. Everything looks run down and old. Everyone treats everyone like shit. A ton of one way streets. People get murdered on a monthly basis in the student getto. The snow that was there is crazy since its close to Lake Michigan. My neighbors did nothing but smoke weed in their car all day. I think I am done ranting and raving but I do hate the city. Its garbage.

1. The 2009 WMU football Team

This team caused me anxiety a good 3 months leading up to the game vs Michigan. They have a NFL caliber QB, they have a ton of seniors and even ESPN types were picking that as a upset to watch since we sucked the year before. I worried and worried... Are we gonna finally lose to a Mac team? No we won! We saved that Mac lose for a far worse mac opponent... Toledo. Anyway Michigan blasted those Horses thanks to some Tate and Denard magic. It turns out the 2009 WMU football team wasn't that great and got me all worried for no reason. F you guys for that.

Recruiting? Check.

The impossible has happened..... Midnight Maize found a recruiting guru. I would like to introduce ScoutExile. Scout has already gotten to work with his Thomas Tyner interview. To keep up with Scout and Midnight Maize recruiting follow @ScoutExileMM He should have a lot of updates and recruiting tidbits being posted through twitter.

We will also have Scout on our Midnight Chats on most night talking recruiting and taking questions. The recruiting link won't work for a bit as we figure out the recruiting board and prospect interviews. But it will be coming.

We maybe adding a second recruiting dude but I am still in the middle of talking with that second party. So recruiting news will be oozing out of Midnight Maize starting now. Enjoy and welcome Scout to Midnight Maize!

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Introducing: Thomas Tyner (Class of 2013, Beaverton, OR)

Introducing: Thomas Tyner

(Class of 2013)
Beaverton, OR
Running Back
Height: 6'1" Weight: 210 pounds
Favorite NFL Player: Adrian Peterson
Favorite Meal: McDank from McDonalds
Favorite Song at the moment: "African Queen" by 2Face Idibia
Hobby: Piano

Last week, 247sports released its Future 247, its early list of the top 247 players in the class of 2013. Eight of these 247 players were awarded a 5-star rating by the websites' analysts. It was no surprise when 1 of these players 8 players was Thomas Tyner, a running back from Aloha High in Oregon. It wasn't surprising to see Tyner selected because is seen by some recruitniks as a once-in-a-generation 'super recruit' with combination of an NFL running back's ideal size and an Olympic sprinter's speed. Tyner is able to break tackles and is also extremely shifty, and can make defenders miss. Last season, he ran for 1821 yards on 197 carries (9.25 yards per carry) with 19 touchdowns. This earned Tyner the distinction of Oregon's Offensive Player of the Year and scores of other accolades.

Despite only being a sophomore, Tyner is already a proven winner. He was a intricate part of Aloha winning its first-ever OSAA Class 6A state championship last fall, rushing for 163 yards in the 34-13 victory over Tualatin. The following spring, Tyner finished track season with a best time of 10.35 seconds and a state title in the 100m dash. Though Tyner is aware that speed is one of his strengths, he humbly admits that he's working on his stamina. To be fair, this isn't Tyner's fault. Citing a blue collar background, Tyner has a superior work ethic. He goes all-out in every game, practice, scrimmage, and meet.

Top high school 100m times of last season.

How fast is Tyner? Well, we're talking about speed that would warrant a nickname like Dilithium II or Trilithium. In high school, Denard's fastest official time was a 10.44. Tyner told me that he runs a 10.35, and ran an automatically-timed 10.38 in the Metro Championship meet.

Video of Tyner's 10.38 in the 100m.

Tyner is so fast that he has a legitimate shot at making the Olympics, and loves running track. Some have even suggested that he would opt for track over football. Tyner says otherwise, "[in college] I want to do both [football and track]."

Tyner's diet is reminiscent of what Michael Phelps ate while training in Ann Arbor.

As for college, Tyner doesn't have any early favorites, and says he's "opening [himself] up to the nation." He is very open to the possibility of going to college away from the west coast, and Michigan is one of the schools that Tyner has expressed interest in. Having allowed athletes like Denard Robinson to compete in track while playing football won't hurt the Wolverines' chances with Tyner.

With Shane Morris (potential #1 QB in 2013) already in the fold for the class of 2013, there may not be a more important recruit than Thomas Tyner. So Wolverine fans, make sure to remember the name "Thomas Tyner."

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Mike Williams is so Money

I was surfing Ebay as I do a lot and found this used game jersey of Mike Williams. Mike left after taking some bad hits to the head. He was never a big time player or anything.. .Not even close really. You might remember him from the 08 Juice Williams Michigan slaughter in which he(so was everyone) was burnt on many occasions on the zone read plays.

This Jersey is going for $187.50 right now with over 1 day left which I find stunning. I can't even fathom what a Denard game jersey might go for. I like collecting UM things as much as the next fan(maybe even more so) but in no way would pay more then $40 for that jersey.

Brink or Bust

One of the two pictures that exist on the net of Brink
A lot of people have been freaking out over the coaches comments about Nathan Brink. Many feel its just a ploy to get Big Will motivated. I might have thought that if it was one comment and that is all we heard but it has been non stop as of late.

There is no way in the world the coaches would give this kid endless praise if it weren't real. Brink can read the news too and there is no way they use a kid like that. Like I said if it was one comment but its been a Nathan Brink love fest by the coaches. People are freaking out but maybe the kid can play. If Big Will can't be counted on then moving RVB over is gonna be needed. Nathan fills in and a way we go. Brink or Bust. I think this may say even more about Black and Roh.

I really believe Brink starts on Sep 3rd. Don't freak out until we get to see the goods but this not a "lets use this name to get others to play better". He is playing.

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Will the Real Slim Running Back please stand up? v4.0

A Running Back look from a March, Aug and Oct posts, lets review how this has shook out.

Who will be our starting running back come UCONN? WMU? Michigan has a stable of young and capable running backs who could(will anyone ever?) break out. We could have a running back by committee  Won't have a running back by committee which I am in favor of. I never liked that RR wouldn't stick to Shaw or whoever when they got a roll on. Its been so long it feels like since we have had a "good" running back. I love you B.Minor but we haven't had that stud at Michigan since Mike Hart. Minor could have been but he was hurt too much and being made of glass isn't a Michigan running back trait. I think for Michigan to have the season we all want them to have, someone needs to break out of the pack as that stud Michigan back. Lets take a look...

Coaching Change and Running Backs

With the new coaching change I like Michigan's chances of finding a solid running back for the first time since Mike Hart. I was never crazy about Rich's use of out running backs. No one could ever find a rhyme. We would just switch the back on a down basis. No Hoke will stick with 2 or 3 at the most. Someone is gonna be featured. The question is who?

Michael Shaw

Shaw now a Jr has had his highlights(08 Minn game) and low lights(passed on the depth chart by V.Smith). I like Shaw a lot. More then most. Some fans have written him off in favor of V.Smith and Fitzgerald Toussaint. I on the other hand think Shaw can become that stud we have wanted since Mike Hart. I love his power for how small he is. He seems to explode into holes,LB and everything else. He may lack a bit of vision but I am hoping by year three he can make strides in this area. A big part will be if Tate can improve his zone reads and get Michael Shaw the ball at the right times. You also gotta love Shaw's passion as you can see how much he hates to loose(He was the kid on the bench tore up after Iowa). Don't give up on Michael Shaw everyone.. He may surprise you.

Shaw as of today is listed as the number one back with Smith. I expect him to do well if given enough carries to get going. I think he is a RB who needs to get a rhythm going. Denard and Shaw in the back field is a serious home run threat but with Shaw's history it's also a serious negative yardage threat as well. I am sure we will see both Shaw and Smith in many sets so this could be very interesting to see who gets the carries.

Shaw has been banged up since late in the BG game. He sat out the IND game and than ripped off a nice run up the middle in the MSU game. After that he hasn't been seen much. It's hard to tell if thats more due the coaches liking the V.Smith more or his injury has caused this. I will guess it's the bad knee more than anything.  I am hoping he can get back to 12-15 carries at PSU. He seem to be on to something vs BG(yes almost baby seal) by hitting his holes and not dancing. Lets hope Michael Shaw has learned something and can get back on the field.

Today 08-23-11
Is this the year Shaw becomes a stable running back for Michigan? Most say if you weren't a good running back by your 2nd or 3rd year then you will never be. I think Shaw still has a chance. I think the pro style looks will help him. Not as much thinking and with the way he runs it suits him. The dude runs hard. If he ever breaks one off he will be gone. Last year Shaw was building on something before getting hurt in the ND game. After that his carries became sporadic. Shaw never was much of a factor after that. I think Shaw is one  of the favorites right now to win the job. The coaches gotta love his style and if he can keep healthy can be a good weapon for this offense and help Denard stay off his ass.

Vincent Smith
The true frosh showed a lot of guts last year and played well in the OSU game. Here's the catch going into 2010. He got injured. He will be coming back from a torn ACL. It could stunt his growth going into year two. On the flip side, how could you not love Smith? He is most like Mike Hart. He's got great vision and can move the chains. He also pass blocks very well and catches out of the back field like a champ. He was one of the few to show up in the Wisky game. Smith is the slowest of the RBs. He may even be slower then Mike Hart but... He's a RB who just moves the chains. I will take that any day over the home run threat. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from his injury. He maybe the number one come UCONN.

V.Smith didn't lose much of any ground from being out all spring. Guys like Mike Cox could not hop Smith with him being out. He is a great grind it out type of RB. I can't see him busting a 60 yard TD but he will move the sticks for you which is more important in the big picture(as Mike Hart). He also shows a great skill of catching out of the back field which Mike Shaw might lack. V.Smith is the "OR" right now with Michael Shaw so we will be seeing a lot of both of them come this Saturday. They are really a great combo since one is a speedster and Smith is the grind man. If one fumbles they will have Mike Cox waiting in the wings.

V.Smith seem to be RR favorite back. "He's not a fumbler" Rich said. Well that was said after he put one the turf after the Michigan was driving on Iowa. So now thats Smith and Hopkins who have coughed one up. Gotta wonder if Hopkins might start taking some carries away from Smith. You gotta like Hopkins better up the middle. I hope the Power I Smith up the middle play is trashed. So far its been for a loss and a fumble. Brian of Mgoblog and Magnus of Touch the Banner have expressed a desire to see less of Smith and I have to agree. Hes a good 3rd down back and catches well out of the back field and in the slot but as a guy who gonna get you 80-100 yards and break something open and keep a defense off Denard.... The kid just isn't that. Rich seems to love the kid, not sure if he raking his yard or what but I doubt V.Smith is heading to the bench. I like V.Smith but he needs to be given less carries IMO.

Today 8-23-11
Vincent Smith. The teachers pet with the last staff? Maybe. But I still think he has a place in the offense. He seems like a perfect fit for 3rd downs since he can pass block well and catch out of the back field. Smith on 1st and 2nd down? I think the days maybe over with. He did look to have his speed and quicks back after looking a little slow from the injury in 09. I wouldn't count out Smith but I think his days as a starter are over.

Mike Cox
Mike is that wild card that I like. He maybe our next banger if given a chance. He has shown a lot in little chances. Sure most have been vs The Washington Generals football team but I expect him to get a fair chance to be in the mix. I hope Mike gets a fair chance because he could turn out to be better then we all know. If his RB gig doesn't turn out he can always turn to his modeling.

Mike Cox has a great blend of Speed and Power but has he learned the play book and cleaned up the mental mistakes? As of today Mike is listed 2nd on the depth chart. He should get chances this Saturday to prove that he may be worth starting. Mike still seems to be the dark horse or wild card of the group. It wouldn't be surprising if he became the man but it wouldn't be surprising if he sunk of the depth chart either. He's got the tools but does he have the brawn?

A big Swing and a miss on my part. Figure Mike might get his chance vs IND but I guess I was wrong. V.Smith took much of the load with Hopkins getting a carry. I just don't know anymore about M.Cox. He must be clueless on blocking assignments and everything else. He has the most gifts physically but can't put it together mentally. I am sure it's pretty frustrating to the coaches when they need a guy like him on the field. I still would wish he would get a small shot. Just give him a few carries here and there and see what happens. If I had to guess... Mike Cox will have to improve in the off season and come out next year looking to make a impact in the spring camp. What I am saying.. He won't see the field this year.

Today 08-23-11

Are Magnus(24th best player on the roster) and I the biggest Mike Cox fans in the world? I would say so. I can see the talent oozing out of him but he fails to put it together. We hear about flashes in practice but then we hear about fumbling and mistakes. I haven't heard as many rumblings about mental issues as years past but  this offense is a bit better suited for him. If I had to guess Cox gets a few carries in the first game vs WMU. You have to see if maybe he is just a gamer and poor practice player. I don't think he starts vs WMU but he gets a look. If he can't protect the QB though then he will never play. That is what it may come down to for him. If he doesn't find his way onto the field this year then he will not be asked back for a 5th year.

Fitzgerald Toussaint
If Mike Cox is a wild card then what is Fitz? Right now he is a practice hype machine. Some have said "FITZ WILL BE THE STARTER BY GAME FOUR OMG!!". There has been so much crap to come out of UM practices over the years that I don't buy it until I see it. He has yet to take a game snap and some have placed him as our number one back. I am a show me person. Running backs coach Fred Jackson who hypes someone every year has done that with Fitz.

“He’s a good player,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen enough. I didn’t have my blinders on.”
Alright maybe this isn't a ton of hype but many people on the boards have added to his hype. I know he can be good and I hope he is but I just wanna see it.

With lots of internet rumblings and the super Fred Jackson hype of being "Mike Hart but faster". Fitz has more hype than most RBs get before taking a snap. Hype doesn't matter if you can't stay healthy. Right now that hype is stuck at the 4th spot on the depth chart. A lot may have to do with his health and being banged up. Some saying he may not even play vs UCONN. This is pretty concerning since he seems to be injury prone just like Mike Hart. It would be interesting to see if Fitz would have been the number one back if healthy. We may find out in a few weeks when he will be finally healthy. He better hope that another back hasn't ran away with the job. Poster FormerWolv even said Fitz was the clear number one back. We will see how true it is once he is healthy.
Not much has changed since the 30th of Aug. Fitz got his chance in BG game in which he looked good. He did make a nice run(you could drive a truck through the hole) but was caught from behind by a MAC LBer. His knee still looked to be holding him back. He than put the TD on the next play. Everything great right? WRONG! He found a way in two plays to hurt his shoulder and has been out since. So what we have learned is that Fitz is B.Minor but x100000 in being injury prone. It looks like he may be dressed for PSU game but lets hope he doesn't cough before the game.. He may be in street clothes by kick off.

Today 8-23-11
Here we are again. The Fitz hype train is rolling right along as always. He got glowing reviews the other day when a former kicker was at the latest scrimmage called Fitzs his MVP for the day. People say I am hater on Fitz but I am not. I just think the guy has been a practice hero since he came to Michigan. I would love for him to snag the job so that we have "a running back" that is the for sure man. I wish any of them would. He just gets hurt all the time. You are no good to anyone if you can't stay healthy. I still like his chances to start or play a lot on Sept 3rd. The season is less then 2 weeks out and he is getting the praise. He did the same last year before getting hurt. Maybe this is the year that Fitz stays healthy and gets that shot that makes him a starter.

Stephen Hopkins

The Hopkins love train is starting to gain some speed half way through the season. He looked good running tough vs a great Iowa team. Many are calling for him to get the load of carries and count me in. Hopkins may get a major chance vs PSU this Saturday. The young horse is gaining a lot of confidence and it will be interesting to see what kind of chance Hopkins will get.

Today 8-23-11
Hopkins had a nice little season last year. He was good around the goal line of course but didn't do much outside of that. Did fumble a few times. I think again he can be used as a full back and running back. Rumor has spread that he has been in the dog house for some reason and may not even dress for the opener. Not sure how much I believe that but its out there. I don't think he wins this job just because he is a bit limited. He is a great bowling ball but he needs great line play all the time to gash a defense on a regular basis. He will be a situation type of back.

New Kids
As for the new kids Austin White and Stephen Hopkins. I don't see them getting snaps unless one comes out of no where and shows some great stuff in the spring and fall.

Austin White is off the team(holds back mean things to say). Hopkins still getting praise and could see a snap here or there. He could be our 2010 goal line back but we will see. He is sitting at 4th or 5th right now so he is a spot duty guy if others don't hold their own.

Today 8-23-11
Rawls and Hayes have gotten some nice pub by none other than Fred Jackson. But what does that really mean? Not much. Rumor is that Rawls is a bit banged up in the shoulder and has gained some Fitz like love from the fan base. Hayes I think might be a year away from getting in on this party. He could be an option at WR but again a RS may not hurt. I see Rawls getting maybe a carry or two vs WMU but I can't see him jumping anyone. Not this year.

Predictions from my squawking
So who is the our starting back come fall and vs UCONN? If I had to guess right now I say Shaw shows and does enough to be that starter come game one. It won't be by much and will have to show a lot to keep his starting job for the first three games.

I hate to say this but I told you so... I told you so. Shaw starts with V.Smith and both could be yanked for Cox if either don't produce or turn the ball over. Shaw doesn't have many fans so this is great shot to show what he can do. Without Rage or Gesundheit in his way anymore he will be given a chance to showcase his skills. UM will be pounding the rock on Saturday, lets hope someone steps up and produces.

I hate to say this but... I was wrong. Shaw hurt... Smith "meh" and Cox glued to the bench. Oh and Fitz is a scarecrow. So the running back position is a bit of a mess. Something Michigan isn't used to. Someone has to step up and help Denard. If I guess what will happen the rest of the year... Shit I dunno. Shaw gets some more carries since he is back to feeling better and Hopkins steals some carries from V.Smith. Either way we may be a year away from solving this issue(lets hope).

Today 8-23-11
Here we are again.. Who is the running back? I dunno...Who knows. I hope to god this is the last year I have to write this. I will do one more if someone grabs the job.. I'll do it out of just pure joy. I miss having a great UM back. So as of today if you asked me I got two dudes in mind. Michael Shaw and Fitzs. Those two seem to be getting the reps in practice from reports. I expect one of those two to start vs WMU and see the major part of the carries with Cox coming in at 3rd. I think Cox will get a few too but those are the two main guys. Smith will be seen on 3rd downs.

The question will be if Shaw and Fitz can stay healthy enough to become the man.. or men. If they fail then we move on to Cox and maybe even Rawls. You know the coaches would love to have a guy or good idea going into the ND game but I am not sure they will. Should be interesting. Lets hope this post won't have to repeat through out the season.

Shredders Running Back Depth Chart(8-23-11) 

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10 Random Predictions

I can pretty much tell the future. I hang out with Professor X and drive a Delorean on the weekends. Oh and Desmond is my 2nd cousin. I have foreseen the following.

10. Kenny Demens will be become a all big ten performer
-He now has the coaching to go along with the talent. As long as his shoulder holds out he should be come the best MLB since David Harris. He has the starting gig on lock down and all big ten type of year will happen. I see a 1st or 2nd team in his future.

9.Denard will throw more INTs then last year.
-Not the best prediction but with the new system and bad foot work still in the brain he will turn the ball over more in first 6 games then last year. After game six the game and offense should start to slow down for him. I see a 23 TDs and 16 INTs type of year for Denard

8.Michigan vs ND will set records
-I know its nothing ground breaking but I expect the Big House attendance record to go down on this night.

7.Michigan will lose to Norte Dame and beat OSU.
-Call it a bizarre gut feeling but our team will still be feeling out the coaches and still thinking a lot. Kelly might be the first legit coach the Irish have hired since the good Dr. OSU will spiral out of control once they lose games they normally don't. Team turns on each other and by the Michigan game just want the season over. Michigan will have been Hoked by then and the thinking on the field will be a thing of the past.

6.Devin Gardner will have people thinking..
-When Devin gets to play in spots he will look good. So good he will have people thinking... Should we benc.... Na! Denard get back in there!

5.Michael Shaw and Smith win the RB job
-I have stuck with Shaw for the last two years.. Might as well keep it rolling. The offense will suit him better. He no longer has to think as much. Cox will push for time but Shaw sees most the snaps. Smith will be on 3rd downs.

4.Wile is the real deal
-Wile becomes our first legit kicker since Rivas, he makes fans weep when he hits a game winner vs NW.

3.The Michigan secondary looks good.
- It is a strong part of the defense and doesn't look like a black hole of sadness for once. The curse of Turner and Boo Boo is over.

2.Defensive line has issues
-Defensive line still doesn't have someone that can kill QBs on a every down basis. It keeps Michigan at the bottom of the Big 10 in sacks. Black still needs a lot of work and becomes the Navarre of DEs to fans.

1.Michigan is Average.
-Michigan goes on to have a 7-5 year or 8-4 year. Fans are happy the defense looks average for the first time in 3 years. The offense has ups and downs but hits its stride by game 6 or 7. Michigan builds some steam for the 2012 season after beating OSU and winning its bowl game. People have high exceptions going into 2012.

Fan Day 2011

Note: I am still learning how to use my SLR so some of the shots may be a bit washed out or lack color. I had the ISO up to high on a few.

Well I did it. I went to Fan Day 2011. I almost said forget it since I worked 3rd and I was dead tired and it was raining.

 Midnight Maize 

I sat in the Meijers parking lot wondering if it was gonna be worth the trip. One of the main reason I wanted to go was to try out my new SLR camera and if it was gonna rain the whole time then I wouldn't be able to use it. After almost falling a sleep in the parking lot a few times I said... What the hell.. I'll just go.

 Midnight Maize 

On the road I was so tired I had to do more dangerous things to keep myself awake. Like Tweet like crazy to keep myself active. Listening to some Michael Jackson helped too.

 Midnight Maize 

Then I saw this beautiful Cheetah.

Fan day adventures: What a graceful cheetah..

After the beauty of the Cheetah wore off I was thinking about pulling over and getting a quick nap. I swear I was seeing things.

 Midnight Maize 

Then I got a new wind when I was just tweeting like crazy and being a hazard on the highway. I finally made it to A2 and looked for a Wendys for like 20 mins. I followed my GPS to the one by the Damons. I was beyond happy to drag my ass in there for a cheese burger and fries with a super large Coke. In fact I think I had best Wendys burger ever that day. It was fresh with plain cheese. Just how I like it. After sucking down a gallon of Coke I headed over the Big House.

It was 1pm so I wasn't super early or anything. The year before we got there at 11am and waited but this year I just wanted to get less popular position groups... Well I was mistaken. Every line was wrapping around the Big House. Last year I just walked into the LB line and a few others. This year the mouth breathers were out in full force. I couldn't even get a poster. I think I was only one with out one. I swear some people had like 10. It seemed like the school had very little control over this event. People could barley stand in line right. I think about 25k showed up and the year before maybe 11-14k showed so a lot more people. I ended up just wondering around the stadium looking for the shortest line. They ended up smashing all the D linemen,LB,CB and special teams all in one line instead of spreading them out which was dumb as hell. I ended up just taking some pics of the team getting a deal picture before settling on a line.

Some score board shots.

They are very impressive. They are huge and awesome. I always hated the old ones since replays were hit or miss depending on where your seats were. Now you won't miss a play. It is a GIANT upgrade.

I then decide to go sit my ass in line. I chose the WR since I wanted Stonum, Roy and Juniors Autos. I thought I was pretty far back. I had no idea as the line got longer and longer behind me.

That line only got longer. I then had Mr.Gallon run in front of me to use the rest room. When you gotta go.. You gotta go.

Lots of kids were having fun at least. I wish my boy was old enough to bring and play catch while we waited. I did find a Mini Denard

The players seem to have a lot of fun and were great to the fans. I was a bit disappointed that Stonum wasn't there but I understand why.

Here are the three things I came away with signed. I was lucky to get three things signed. I heard some came away with zero after getting cut off in line.

After getting through the WR I saw no point in trying any other lines since there was only 15mins left. So I just started shooting the camera.

Then I thought I ran into Dave Brandon on the field... I did not. This is his clone! I watched a fan come and say "Hello Mr.Brandon, nice to meet you" The guy was like "Yeah I am not him.. We do look a lot alike don't we?" The fan agreed and walked off a bit embarrassed but really I thought it was him before I heard him say he wasn't. My pic isn't the best but they are freaking clones.
Now the Moment you have been waiting for... HOKE POINTING AT THINGS!

The kickers had a competention and I am not sure who won but Wile did look good and level. He seems like a quite kid. He was just nailing one FG after another and with a giant crowd cheering around him. Its not 107k on Saturday but its a good sign.

I headed up the tunnel and got a few pics

As I was sitting the bottom of the tunnel packing up my camera I can hear the old man staff guy yelling at people to move. Then comes the kickers running up the tunnel. Then Brady Hoke. I put my hand out and Brady gives me some skin(as my dad used to say). Of course I went right to Twitter. Brady was put into a white padded van(ok it wasn't padded) and drove off.

 Midnight Maize 

The Good
-Denard is a true superstar. It was a frenzy at his table all day.
-The kids love them some Denard.
-Some kid in line asked his dad "why did Michigan trade Tate?" The Dad: He didn't get traded. He was kicked off the team for being a loser and skipping class".
-Marcus Ray was great to the fans.
-The kicking on the field
-People who act like human beings
-WR core are like BFF.
-Dave Brandon clone
-Hoke high five
-People who come and hit the food stands. I never thought I needed cheesy nachos while waiting to get my football signed.
-Going on the field
-Yay! I got a Magnet!
-My Wendys Plain Cheese Burger

The Bad
-Lines... Lines..
-Sorta unorganized
-Moving all the defense to one section.
-Having linemen with QBs.
-I didn't get a poster which sucks and I love seeing people who have like 10 of them. Again a lack of control.
-Going over 30 hours with out sleep.. Dumb on my part.

All in all it was a good trip but its starting to become to crowded. I think it needs to be moved back to the practice fields so they can control it a bit better. Some kids didn't meet a single player because of how it is set up. I hope for less people next year but I know that is a long shot. Thanks for looking.

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