Hello! As is tradition, there is a number of clues in today’s Brews leading to a song title; and no, it’s not “Maybe Tomorrow” by Stereophonics.
Hitting the Links Travels East
The Utah transfer is going to provide a valuable fourth body for Michigan’s cornerback rotation; this defense could be even better next year with the starters in the secondary finally getting settled in.
Jim Harbaugh has clearly liked having a lot of cooks in the kitchen when it comes to offensive game planning, and he’s also clearly fond of both Drevno and Pep Hamilton.
I’m naturally an optimistic observer, but there’s no denying that fans’ patience has gotten worn out with what they view as a same old ball and chain approach by Harbaugh. We’ll see if 2018 feels like more of the same or if Harbaugh is willing to gamble on some new approaches.
Maurice Hurst, Mason Cole and Mike McCray are all going to be taking part in the combine which kicks off late February. We all know that Cole and Hurst are great at what they do, but I think Mike McCray is a better prospect than Michigan fans have given him credit for. Sure, he can’t keep up with Saquon Barkley, but he’s a linebacker. The guy is more athletic and stronger than most, and I think the combine will reflect that.
In the interest of fairness, here’s a more pessimistic and negative take than I would normally offer on Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class, courtesy of Nick Baumgardner. Obviously fans are pretty unhappy right now, and a lot will depend on how Michigan starts recruiting for 2019, which could make this long off-season feel a little more encouraging.
The top recruit in 2019 is Ishmael Sopsher, a 6’5”, 279-pound defensive lineman out of Amite, Louisiana, which is about 75 miles from New Orleans. Only two in the top ten are from the Midwest; Ohio’s Zach Harrison (Michigan’s definitely in the hunt) and in-state Devontae Dobbs, who’s been lukewarm toward Michigan.
I will say this, though: Harbaugh built Stanford with this as his first full recruiting class, and this as his second. He is clearly comfortable with three-star guys, and he has shown he can raise a program with that approach.
But I do get that it’s frustrating watching Ohio State reload year after year and other programs seemingly doing more with less. I’ve been pulling my hair out over the success OSU has had in the NFL; Malcolm Jenkins with the Eagles, Michael Thomas with the New Orleans Saints, Zeke Elliott with the Cowboys, and on and on. I still haven’t watched an Ohio State game twice, because we never win.
Plus, there’s a lot of pressure from outside the fan base to live up to the hype, but it seems like we never do. It’s not all misery, though; just ask the first-time champion Eagles. It can be a long train ride to success but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth going through the ups and downs.
We’ll close today with something that I know Michigan fans have been teased for - looking back at past glory. But I’ve always loved studying Michigan football history, and it reminds me that bad times are often fleeting. So, on that note, feel free to relax for a few minutes and watch this video from 1964, when Michigan went 9-1 under Bump Elliott and won the Rose Bowl. That year featured a pair of top-ten teams in the Game, and Michigan was carried by 63 rushing yards from Mel Anthony and 3/9 passing from Bob Timberlake (God, old stat lines are weird) to win in Columbus.
Thanks for reading today, everybody. I love you all.