Happy Thursday, folks, and welcome to this morning’s Brews. The content this morning is a little eclectic, but that’s just the nature of being between major sports seasons and non-rev. teams that don’t often play mid-week games. We have a brief interview with Karan Higdon about the great work he’s trying to do with at-risk kids, some #ProBlue, a little coverage of next year’s DLine, and a spot of basketball.
Let’s hit the links:
Junior RB Karan Higdon is participating in the Barger Leadership Institute, which is a component of the undergraduate College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences at Michigan. The BLI seeks to, “partner with other programs and units on campus to provide Michigan students with rich curricular and co-curricular opportunities as well as funding in support of leadership learning that teaches beyond the conventional classroom.” Higdon is participating in the program to learn skills he can utilize in his capstone project which provides after-school programming for at-risk primary school students.
During the offseason, NFL Network puts together a top-100 list of players based upon the votes of current players. Checking in at #72 for this year’s list is Taylor Lewan, the former 2014 first round NFL Draft pick, two time All-American, three time All-B1G, and two time B1G Offensive Lineman of the Year. Also appearing on the list is Brandon Graham, who himself earned All-American and All-B1G honors en route to being a first round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Graham checked in at #93. The list is released in segments, with a new portion coming each Monday night on NFL Network.
The NCAA has released their Academic Progress Rate (APR) report and Michigan Athletics as a whole has once again earned high marks. The eight programs in the tweet above earned perfect APR scores of 1,000. Football had the third highest APR score in FBS with a 993. The teams ahead of Michigan were Northwestern (995) and Air Force (995). Men’s and Women’s Basketball each earned scores of 995. Notably, our friends from Columbus (975) were outdone in the classroom by our friends from Toledo (981), Alabama (980), Kent State (978), and Miami of Ohio (976). Programs must earn an APR of at least a 930 or face sanctions, i.e. a postseason ban, from the NCAA.
Michigan's young DL thinks it can be the best in America, Don Brown wants them to prove it https://t.co/znUGN2mfQl— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) May 10, 2017
Despite losing three NFL Draft picks and an UDFA signing from last year’s stellar defensive line, Rashan Gary says that the DLine can still be the best in the country next year. Gary recently told Nick Baumgardner of MLive, "No doubt about it . . . We're going to be ready to go." Bravado aside, there is reason to think that Michigan’s DLine could be a top unit next year despite the loss of Senior talent. Gary will anchor the line along with Mo Hurst and Chase Winovich. Add in a crop of fresh faces like Aubrey Solomon, Carlo Kemp, and perhaps Corey Malone-Hatcher, Donovan Jeter, and Deron Irving-Bay and there’s decent depth there. Don Brown says, “No one rises to low expectations. You have to set your expectations high.” High expectations, indeed. For more, check out Baumgardner’s full article above.
The latest NBA Draft Big Board from the Sporting News is out and two Michigan players rank in the top 60. D.J. Wilson checks in at #35 and Moe Wagner checks in at #58. These rankings seem to be consistent with the reported comments of some NBA Execs. who think that both should return to school for one more year. Whether they will or not remains to be seen. Both can withdraw from the Draft and return to school up until May 24th.