It's still the off-season and college sports news is, at best, sparse. So to pass the time we're making up our own news. In that vein we're previewing portions of the University of Michigan Football Team's upcoming 2010 Schedule.
Specifically, we're previewing the most dangerous players on each team Michigan will face this year. Some will be on offense, some on defense, and all of them will be players worthy of your scorn. We've got a full 2010 football schedule, so we'll break down the key cog to each opponent one at a time. We've even got a convenient schedule and hatin' guide for you to go off of.
We're almost done with the preview, the conference slate and our season guide of players to hate. This time we're looking toward West Lafayette and their ManBearPig Defense end Ryan Kerrigan. Kerrigan is a freak of effin' nature. A 6'4", 263 lbs senior Defensive End who eats babies, craps railroad ties, and once studied glass making under Dale Chihuly. It didn't work out. Kerrigan kept drinking the molten glass and farting it out. His last shart sold at auction for $7 million and is presently on display at Lordes. He and Chihuly had a split after that. Now Kerrigan plays football and he's next up on our list o' loathing.
Who Is He, Exactly?
Out of high school Kerrigan was a consensus three star defensive end/tight end who garnered some interest from Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame, but that interest never materialized into an offer. Most of Kerrigan's offers were MAC level, and Kerrigan chose to remain in-state and picked Purdue as his final stop on the recruiting trail.
The Munice, Indiana, product immediately saw the field for the Boilermakers. Kerrigan played sparingly as a 2007 freshman, but got some valuable game experience, but it was his sophomore year that everyone started to take notice of his talents. Kerrigan led his team in sacks and TFLs in his sophomore year, racking up 56 tackles, 7 sacks, and 11.5 TFLs. Not bad for a kid that the big boys didn't want. If the big shots of the Big Ten were feeling dumb for missing out on Kerrigan after watching him terrorize their backfields as a sophomore, they really felt stupid last season.
In 2009 Kerrigan was a demon in an ugly helmet. In his junior season Kerrigan registered 66 tackles as a defensive end, including 18.5 TFL and 13 sacks. The stat that stands out even more than his sack and TFL numbers is the number of forced fumbles. Kerrigan forced seven fumbles in 2009. SEVEN. That's insane. Well the rest of the country started taking notice. Kerrigan was named a second team All-American by Rivals.com, honorable mention All-American by College Football Insiders and SI.com, first team All-Big Ten by media and second team by coaches.
Now he's a Senior on every conceivable watch list for defensive players and pushing for a potential First round NFL pick. And he's on our schedule. Time to get your hate on people.
So, Explain Why We Should Hate Him
Last season Kerrigan was a Wolverine killer. The junior had 6 tackles, forced 2 fumbles, had 3 TFL and two sacks. If you need a reason to hate more than that, well, you're dead inside. I mean this guy was everywhere in the Michigan backfield and that's not including QB hurries which are a notoriously difficult thing to chart. And by my recollection he had 1,500 on roughly 70 plays from scrimmage. Now he's a pre-season All-American with a first round draft pick looming over his head as motivation. What's worse, he's got a semi-competent offense to back him up. This will make him even freer in the pass rush knowing that if he makes a mistake it's not going to cost his team the game. Really, do you need more than this?
Give Me His Weaknesses, So That I Might Exploit Them
At 263 Kerrigan might be a tad undersized, though he's sure to add weight as he grows over the summer. But at this point I'm kinda stretching to find flaws. He can get sucked in on passing situations exposing his side to screens, and he can get sucked into the the backfield on outside allowances allowing a cutback or direct running lane, but he's pretty good at recognizing those ploys. The best thing to do against Kerrigan is to employ a TE bump and force him to choose between the straight pass rush, the run, or the screen. If you can get him thinking you're in good shape. However, if you're in obvious passing situations a second guy ain't going to hurt on the pass rush defense.
This guy is going to be a nightmare come November 13. Block him, chip him, keep him off balance. The fact that I've got to write about him and that he's an All American candidate before the season even starts is a reason to hate. And besides, Purdue's won two, TWO, straight over Michigan. There can't be a third. That's enough of a reason to hate.
So get your hate on Wolverines fans. His name is Ryan Kerrigan.