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Thursday Morning Brews: The Ties That Bind

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Jim Harbaugh likes to win, Michigan offers a top 2019 prospect, and Mike Barwis works with Michigan NFL hopefuls

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to this morning’s Brews, folks. Like some of you, I’m trudging through the remains of this year’s iteration of Snowmageddon for the East Coast. Thankfully, I’m further south and didn’t catch the worst of it. I hear things got really real in New Hampshire on Wednesday, though. To get you through your Thursday morning we have: a story from Jim Harbaugh’s past, recruiting news, and some basketball news - both new and old.

Let’s hit the links:

Michigan looks to continue adding linemen to the roster in the 2018 recruiting class. According to Brice Marich at Scout ($), Tim Drevno recently made contact with 3* OL prospect Jalen Mayfield. The 6’5” 255lbs lineman is currently committed to Minnesota, but he has told Marich that he will visit Michigan later this month. His commitment to Minnesota came in February, and he has not yet received an offer from Michigan. Other schools who have extended scholarship offers include Iowa, Michigan State, and a smattering of MAC schools according to 247Sports. Marich indicates that Mayfield could play on either side of the ball in college.

Jourdan Lewis, Taco Charlton, and Freddy Canteen appear to be training with former Michigan strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis. Barwis, noted for his intensity, has become something of a fitness guru after his time on Rich Rod’s staff. His company, Barwis Methods, provides training and rehabilitation services to athletes. Notably, Barwis worked with Brock Mealer, the brother of former Michigan lineman Elliott Mealer. Brock was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident and given a 1% chance of walking again. After working with Barwis, Mealer was able to walk with the assistance of canes and famously led Michigan onto the field during a 2010 home game. The three recent players are joined in the photograph by a couple of Michigan men, Mike Martin and Lamarr Woodley. Other former Michigan and NFL players that have trained with Barwis include Larry Foote, Braylon Edwards, Chris Perry, Victor Hobson, and Mike Hart.

Chris Webber called in for a remote interview on fellow Michigan man Rich Eisen’s show on Monday. Webber, of course, was part of Michigan’s Fab Five recruiting class that found great success in the early 1990s. For those readers who are too young to remember that era, Webber was also a central figure in the Ed Martin scandal - reportedly accepting cash and loans from the program booster. This led to an NCAA investigation, the forfeiture of wins, titles, and so forth. Since that time (partly due to a contact ban that expired in 2013), Webber and the University have not enjoyed the best relationship. As Sam Webb points out, however, perhaps Webber’s latest comments on the matter evince a desire to come back into the Michigan family. Read the article for yourself and sound off in the comments.

In his guest column for the Detroit News, Scout Mid-West Recruiting Manager Allen Trieu highlighted a recently-offered 2019 prospect from Missouri. Isaiah Williams promises to be one of the top-recruits of the 2019 cycle, and it shows on the field. Trieu reports that Williams amassed 3,500 yards of total offense, passed for 29 TDs, and ran for another 20 TDs. Trieu points out that Williams is a little undersized to play the QB position at the college level. After all, the sophomore checks in at only 5’10” 160lbs. Williams’s coach says that Michigan envisions him as a two-way player, getting snaps at positions like slot, QB in wildcat sets, and as a nickel back on defense. Williams currently has offers from 25 schools, including most of the B1G, the top-flight PAC-12 schools, plus Texas, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame. Williams plans to visit Michigan soon.

Jim Harbaugh likes to win, even when it’s a pickup game against his family in the driveway. So goes the story, as recently relayed by John Harbaugh to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and reported by Nick Baumgardner of MLive. The tale is replete a friendly shoot-around becoming a four on four game, arm bars, pricker bushes, brotherly taunting, and a 6-1 run to win a pick-up game to 7. As John tells it, things started out collegially enough - that is, until his daughter started draining jumpers and Jim’s team found itself down 5-1 (I assume they were playing by 1s and 2s). After that, Jim took over - hitting reverse layups and getting after it on rebounds. The rest, as they say, is history - as Jim’s team came from behind to secure a 7-6 victory (I guess win by two isn’t a thing in the Harbaugh family).

On Tuesday one of our new writers (welcome, Gary) took a look at what is different, and what is the same, about this year’s Michigan basketball team and last year’s team. Gary points to things like development of post players, more diverse scoring production, and defense as reasons why this team will go further than last year’s disappointing early-round exit from the Big Dance. Is Gary right? Go give his article a read, if you haven’t already, and sound off in the comments section with your thoughts.

From the “there’s more to life than sports” file, Austin Hatch was the subject of a People Magazine profile that broadcast on ABC News Tuesday night. Hatch, the former basketball player who took a medical scholarship after his freshman year and became an assistant, famously survived two plane crashes in which his immediate family members perished. Thankfully, he was in class and not with the team last week when the team’s plane failed to get airborne, crashing through an airport perimeter fence and coming to rest in a field. In the profile, Hatch discusses how he has dealt with the two incidents that took his family and the role his girlfriend has played in that process. The two plan to get married after Hatch graduates next year.