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Tuesday Morning Brews: Whoa, Nelly

Hold the phone

Football Players at Michigan State - University of Michigan Game Photo by James L. Amos/Corbis via Getty Images

Happy Tuesday, folks. Welcome to morning Brews. In case you haven’t heard, Keith Jackson passed away last Friday at the age of 89. For those younger than 35, Jackson was the sports announcer. He called college football games for about 50 years, most of them with ABC. He was the one who called Desmond Howard’s punt return in 1991, punctuating it with the now iconic “Hello Heisman!” as Howard crossed the goal line and struck his pose in the endzone. Depending on who you talk to, he’s the one who christened Michigan Stadium as “The Big House.” Berman, Buck, Johnson, and others are all walking in Jackson’s footsteps, so take some time today to listen to a few of his best calls from over the years.

Let’s get to it:

Jourdan Lewis, Channing Stribling, Jeremy Clark, and others went from Michigan’s secondary to the NFL after last season. The youth in the secondary was a major question mark coming into the 2017 season, and the young guns excelled. Michigan finished with the No. 3 ranked pass defense in the S&P+, and a big component of that was David Long. Long finished with 21 total tackles, 2 TFLs, 0.5 sacks, 2 INTS, and 6 PBUs. All of that combined for the nation’s lowest passer rating when targeted, 17.6, according to Pro Football Focus College. Quite different from last year, Michigan’s entire secondary will be back next season. The Wolverines’ 2018 opponents should take notice.

Maurice Hurst was one of the best defensive linemen in the entirety of college football last year, and PFF says he was the highest graded player at any position. Hurst finished the year with 60 tackles, 13.5 TFLs, 5.0 sacks, and 2 PBUs just for good measure. In the latest mock drafts I’ve seen, Hurst has been slated to be picked in the first round. Whomever does select him in the draft will get one of the better defensive linemen Michigan has ever had. We’ll find out where he’ll be playing at the next level on April 26th.

Do you remember Sam McGuffie? He was a four-star RB and one of the centerpieces of Rich Rod’s first recruiting class in 2008. McGuffie had electric stuff. Speed on demand, the ability to change direction on a dime, and he was hurdling defenders before it was cool. Alas, it didn’t work out for him at Michigan. After his freshman year (118 rushes, 486 yards, 3 TDs) he transferred to Rice where he finished out his career. After that, he bounced around the NFL and CFL for a couple years before he got into bobsledding—seriously. Now, he’s going to the Olympics, which start next month. For the full story and some footage of him bobsledding, check out the tweet above.

A week ago last Thursday, I brought you the news that Katelynn Flaherty had made more three-pointers than anyone in Michigan basketball history—men’s or women’s program. Today, I’m bringing you the news that she now has more points than anyone—men’s or women’s—in Michigan basketball history. Glen Rice formerly held the distinction with his 2,442 points. Flaherty crossed that threshold with her 26 point effort against Nebraska on Saturday. Michigan won that game in overtime 69-64, moving the Wolverines to 15-4 (4-2) on the season. They’ll be back in action this evening against Ohio State at 7 p.m. on BTN.

What a difference a weekend makes. After a disappointing showing in the Great Lakes Invitational, and being on the wrong end of a weekend sweep at the hands of No. 1 Notre Dame, things were looking a little down for Michigan hockey—but not anymore. The Wolverines traveled to Minnesota over the weekend and came away with two wins over the ninth-ranked Golden Gophers. Michigan topped Minnesota 5-3 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday. The two victories caused the voters to take notice, as Michigan begins this week ranked at No. 20. The Wolverines’ are now 10-10-2 (5-7-2) on the season.