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Tuesday Morning Brews: If the Sun Comes Up

Football, Football, Football in this morning’s Brews

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Maryland v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Remember last week when Nick, Will, and I talked about Michigan Softball and we said we liked them to not look past their quarterfinal match-up and make it to the B1G Tournament finals to face Minnesota? Yeahhh. That didn’t quite work out. Anyway, Michigan was still selected for the NCAA Tournament (25th time in program history) and will be heading to Seattle for their NCAA Regional match-ups. There they will play Fresno St. on Friday at 9 PM EST. Also in this morning’s Brews, we have all sorts of football news so let’s get right into it.

Michigan’s Football is looking to upgrade its facilities, and - yes - this is different from the twenty-some million dollar renovation/expansion of the weight room we covered a couple months ago. The University has sought approval for a $14.8 million space within Schembechler Hall that is described as a “Football Performance Center.” The center will include things like team meeting rooms, lockers, and administrative space. If approved, this would be the second alteration to Schembechler hall of the decade. The $9 million expansion of the facility was completed in 2014.

Senior Patrick Kugler and Freshman Cesar Ruiz are battling to be the starting center on next year’s offensive line. Both have the potential, as they were each the #1 center recruit in their respective recruiting classes. Kugler has the experience and savvy, being a RS Senior he’s been around the program and knows the playbook. Ruiz has the raw talent and boundless upside. After the Spring, it looks like Kugler has the edge - but there’s still Fall camp for Ruiz to seize the spot. Of Ruiz, OC Tim Drevno says, “Cesar is going to be a special player here some day. The way he can snap the ball and bring his hands on you . . .[h]e has a football awareness. He has a videotape machine in his head . . . .” The center of the OLine looks to be in good hands for years to come.

USA Today recently reported on the B1G Conference’s latest tax filing, which included, what USA Today estimates to be, a $20 million bonus for our good friend and all around stand-up guy, Jim Delaney (yes, sarcasm). After the USA Today report was published, Nick Baumgardner raised an interesting question. Members of the P5 football conferences receive a share of conference revenues after the season. New schools don’t receive a “full-share” immediately upon joining the conference, rather they see their shares increase over some period of time (i.e. 6 years) until they reach full-share status. In Rutger’s first year (following the 2014-15 season), they received between $9m and $9.5m - meaning that it’s very possible Jim Delaney received more money than Rutgers this year. And they say they can’t afford to pay the players...

Former Wolverine and newly-minted Dallas Cowboy Jourdan Lewis is in the news again. His (now) local news outlet is reporting that his girlfriend had called the police due to an altercation between the two prior to the 2017 incident for which he has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. In May of 2015 Ann Arbor police were dispatched to an apartment the two shared following an argument that, the police report indicates, involved shoving by both parties. Due to conflicting statements and insufficient proof that a crime had occurred, no charges were filed. Cowboy’s head coach Jason Garrett said they did their due diligence on Lewis before taking him in the third round and team owner Jerry Jones says he feels very good about the pick. Lewis continues to maintain he has done nothing wrong ahead of his July 24th court date stemming from the 2017 incident.

Yesterday evening RS Junior Drake Harris announced that he was switching from offense to defense. The (former) wide receiver will now be a cornerback. Harris came to Michigan with high expectations. A standout WR at in-state Grand Rapids Christian, he’s struggled to get on the field in college. Owing to injuries that took his last season of high school and first season of college, Harris has been limited to 8 catches for 50 yards over his RS Freshman and Sophomore seasons. Harris now joins a deep, if inexperienced, secondary.

UNINTERRUPTED, a multi-media venture created by Lebron James (think Derek Jeter’s The Players Tribune, but more video focused) followed former Michigan standout Jabrill Peppers as he embarked on his journey from Michigan to the NFL. There are four installments of a mini-series of sorts called Draft Diaries concerning Peppers, totaling approximately 30 minutes of material in the aggregate. The four installments cover preparing for the NFL Combine, the NFL Combine, Michigan’s Pro Day, and NFL Draft Day. All four videos can be found HERE. Even though it’s a bit of a time investment at 30 minutes, I highly recommend the profile. It’s very well done and presents a great window into a player who has electrified Michigan Stadium for the past couple years.