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Thursday Morning Brews: God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise

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We’re about to enter peak crootin’ season

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State
We’re about to enter peak crootin’. Don’t get in this man’s way.
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

We’re now less than three weeks from National Signing Day, so buckle up. With February 1st fast approaching, expect plenty of twists and turns as the recruiting season comes to a close. Michigan currently has the 4th ranked recruiting class, comprised of 27 commitments, according to the 247 Composite Rankings. In front of the Wolverines are Alabama, Ohio State, and Georgia. Penn. State (#14) and Maryland (#17) are the only other B1G teams presently in the Top 25. Michigan State (#31), Nebraska (#33), Rutgers (#35), Wisconsin (#38), Northwestern (#41), Illinois (#45), and Iowa (#49) find themselves in the Top 50.

Michigan was Ranked #10 in the Final AP Poll of the Season

Clemson dislodged Alabama from the #1 spot after the former’s thrilling victory over the latter in last night’s National Championship game. The remainder of the Top 10 is comprised of: USC, Washington, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn. State, Florida State, and Wisconsin. The B1G had four teams in the final AP Poll, all in the Top 10. Michigan began the season ranked at #7.

Pep Hamilton has Agreed to Join Jim Harbaugh’s Staff

Hamilton will reportedly become an Assistant Head Coach and Passing Game Coordinator, essentially filling the position vacated by Jedd Fisch. Hamilton has coached with Harbaugh before, instructing wide receivers during the 2010 season. Hamilton brings an experienced, yet youthful, presence to the the Michigan staff. While only 42 years old, Hamilton’s resume boasts of coaching stops at Howard, the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers, the Chicago Bears, Stanford, the Indianapolis Colts, and, most recently, the Cleveland Browns. Hamilton is well schooled in the pro-style offense and has a track record of developing top-end quarterbacks, like Andrew Luck. You can read more in-depth analysis of Coach Hamilton from MnB HERE. The University has not yet confirmed his hiring.

Ben Bredeson Named Freshman All-American by Football Writers Association

The 6’5” 310 lb freshman saw action in all 13 games this season. Bredeson started the year as the first man off the sideline for Tim Drevno’s offensive line. After Grant Newsome suffered a knee injury, the line was reshuffled and Bredeson started the final 8 games at left guard. Bredeson will provide much needed experience on the offensive line next year, as Michigan loses three fifth-year seniors to graduation from the unit. Bredeson was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the coaches and media following the regular season.

Penn. State Tops Post-Season B1G Power Rankings in Gross Miscarriage of Justice

Despite needing a miraculous fourth quarter, complete with a blocked FG returned for a touchdown, to be beat Ohio State at home and losing to Michigan by 5+ TDs, Penn. State topped both teams to be ranked the best team in the B1G at the end of the season. Wisconsin and Iowa rounded out the Top 5. Despite valiant efforts against the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, and Indiana this season, Michigan State’s 1-8 conference record was only good for 11th place.

Early Enrollee Corey Malone-Hatcher Continues his Recruiting Ways

Known for recruiting his fellow 2017 prospects, the 4* defensive end isn’t altering his ways just because he’s now on campus and starting Winter Term classes. Malone-Hatcher has now set his sights on 5* defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon. Solomon, who recently re-entered the Michigan recruiting picture after withdrawing his commitment to the Wolverines over the summer, is considered an Alabama-lean and will be an uphill battle for Malone-Hatcher and the Michigan coaches. Malone-Hatcher says he’s in frequent contact with Solomon, and is optimistic about Michigan’s chances of landing the highly-touted prospect.

As was widely expected, Jabrill Peppers chose to forgo his final two years of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft. Peppers, the most electric player to take the field for Michigan in quite some time, will be missed by fans and coaches alike. SBN’s Dan Kadar projects Peppers to go #12 overall to the Cleveland Browns, who have multiple first round picks this year. Peppers is also projected to go as early at the Top 10 by some analysts, and as late as the mid-20s by others. I’m sure all Michigan fans join me in wishing Jabrill the best of luck at the next level. He unquestionably will make us all proud.

The 2016 football season is officially over and we’re 233 (or 234) days away from the 2017 season opener against the Florida Gators at Jerry World. Despite losing three of the final four games of the season, I’m optimistic for the coming year under Coach Harbaugh. There’s a number of great things going on with this staff and in recruiting. Despite losing a significant number of seniors, the goals next year will still be a conference title and a national championship. For more on the challenges the Wolverines will face next year, check out our own Anthony Broome’s weekly column over at Freep.

Michigan Women’s Basketball topped Indiana 78-74 on Tuesday night. The win brought the team to 14-4 (3-1) on the season. Michigan was led by Sophomore center Hallie Thome, who contributed 21 points and 11 rebounds. Also scoring double figures for the Wolverines were Katelynn Flaherty (17 pts), Kysre Gondrezick (17 pts, 8 assts), and Siera Thompson (10 pts). Flaherty’s 17 points on Tuesday gave her more than 1,600 points in her Michigan career. She’s only the fourth Wolverine to score than many points for the women’s basketball program. Their next game is against Minnesota on Sunday at 4:30 PM and can be seen on BTN.

Coach Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their new child Wednesday afternoon. John, apparently named for Jim’s brother, the current Baltimore Ravens head coach, is Coach Harbaugh’s seventh child and Sarah’s fourth. Jim Harbaugh has three children from an earlier marriage, including current Michigan assistant coach, Jay Harbaugh. It appears that Sarah followed Jim’s vaunted steak and milk regime, as Coach reports that John is already talking. His first words were, allegedly, “who’s got it better than us?” I trust that the attending nurses and doctors at Mott Children’s responded with a resounding, “nobody!”