Now that bowl prep is in full swing for both the Michigan Wolverines and Alabama Crimson Tide, we are starting to get an idea of who may be in or out for each team. The Wolverines seem to be anticipating having all hands on deck for the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, but the same may not be the case for Alabama.
The Tide will be down a pair of starters on defense in linebacker Terrell Lewis and defensive back Trevon Diggs, who will both be sitting out of the Citrus Bowl to preserve their respective draft statuses.
“Every guy’s got a choice and decision to make, and we certainly respect and understand their decision and wish them well in what they choose to do,” head coach Nick Saban said on Monday.
“I try to get guys to make business decisions about what they’re going to do. I kind of get it if they’re going to be a high first-round draft pick: the money, versus how you can protect yourself and insure yourself, they make a business decision that says the risk is not worth the reward of playing in the game. But if you’re not in that position, you have an opportunity to showcase your talents and try to impress people with how you play in the game. That’s what I told those guys and it’s their choice.”
Running back Najee Harris, left tackle Alex Leatherwood, right tackle Jedrick Wills and wide receivers Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs III are all considered potential top draft choices, but they participated in Monday’s practice and it appears that they will be suiting up for the Citrus Bowl.
Michigan players spoke on Sunday night after the awards banquet at Crisler and the overwhelming message seemed to be that most everyone is planning on suiting up, so it appears that the only major names missing this game will be the ones above and Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, who is out for the season with a hip injury.
On a potential fifth year for Shea Patterson
Something that has been floating around social media and the message board world is the possibility that Shea Patterson can return to Michigan for a fifth season of eligibility and his third in Ann Arbor. Because he played in only three games his freshman season, some believe that he has a case for a petition with the NCAA despite the fact the redshirt rule that allows four games without a burned year of eligibility was not in effect yet in 2016.
Patterson says that fans are considering it more strongly than he is.
“I haven’t looked into it honestly,” Patterson said on Sunday. “That’s something I’ll have to sit down and discuss with my family, as far as the future goes. But right now, I’m just focused on this bowl game.”
Patterson is currently committed to play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 18 in front of NFL scouts, which would obviously mean his time at Michigan is officially done even if he were considering a fifth year.
Still, the possibility at least could give him a fallback option if the draft grade he receives is underwhelming. Considering he tested the waters somewhat last year and has been put through the ringer in terms of fan criticism, struggles on the field, a new offense and rebounding from all of that, it seems like the work at Michigan is about done. Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton are ready for an opportunity and another year of Patterson might (understandably) cause one of them to move on.
For now, Patterson returning should be treated as nothing more than message board fodder. I would not plan on him being on the roster in 2020.
- Five-star 2020 Michigan hoops commit Isaiah Todd was profiled for his performance at the Good Guys vs. Cancer event over the weekend: “The 6’10” Michigan signee showcased why he is ranked among the countries Top 10 prospects. He has the most pro-looking game of anyone we have covered over the past few years. The growth in his game from last year to this has not come from any skill development, however, it came from where he played from. Eighteen feet and in, Todd is an absolute monster. When he is determined to get to the rim, playing in the dunk spots, or facing up form the free throw line and mid-post, his skill set, length and athleticism are unmatched on most floors. Todd showcased his dominance, while still showcasing his beautiful 3-point shot. He is a monster prospect, continuing to solidify his top prospect status in North Carolina and his Top 10 status in the country.”
- Congrats to Michigan offensive guard Ben Bredeson was named an AP All-American on the third team.
Georgia running back James Cook was arrested while driving a car with dealer tags on it, which might be a problem.
- Minnesota Nice is an actual thing, as the Gophers sent thank you cards to the Outback Bowl for selecting them to play in the game this year.