Some outstanding players have suited up for the Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball team in recent years. But they had not had an incoming recruit or commitment be named to the McDonald’s All-America team in 18 years.
That changed this week.
Isaiah Todd, a senior out of God Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the No. 12-ranked prospect in the 2020 class, was one of 24 players named to the team Thursday.
The boys and girls McDonald's All-American rosters have been announced pic.twitter.com/l6NajDVfDj— ESPN (@espn) January 23, 2020
Todd, a five-star recruit who was the first player to commit to Michigan following the Wolverines named Juwan Howard head coach, is the first Wolverines recruit to make the list since Daniel Horton did in 2002.
A second McDonald’s All-American, five-star guard Josh Christopher, is considering Michigan but has yet to make a commitment.
The All-American game will take place April 1.
Michigan a second-tier program?
A recent article on ESPN.com pegged Michigan as a second-tier program, citing mediocre quarterback play.
Comparing the Wolverines to Ohio State, the article suggests poor play from behind center is what has plagued Michigan. But then, as if throwing a dog a bone, the article points out that LSU, too, was in a similar boat until smokin’ Joe Burrow came along.
While Ohio State has gone from Braxton Miller to Cardale Jones to J.T. Barrett to Dwayne Haskins to Justin Fields, Michigan has endured plenty of stat lines like this: 17-for-37 for 233 yards, one TD and two picks. That was Shea Patterson’s production in the Citrus Bowl, and it fits with the litany of underachievers at the position for the Wolverines.
But wasn’t this LSU’s lot in life for too long? Then one day Burrow comes along and — voila! — becomes a champion. Whether Michigan is any closer to finding its own Burrow is open for debate, but it’s worth remembering that from 2015 through 2018, LSU had 59 touchdown passes combined. Burrow threw for 60 in 2019. It can happen that fast.
Michigan fans are hopeful that heading into the 2020 season, with either Dylan McCaffrey or Joe Milton under center, that trend changes.
Possible help inside coming from transfer portal
Speaking of positional weaknesses for Michigan football, the defensive line has been mentioned more than once recently due to struggles in big games — namely Ohio State. And while teams have gashed the Wolverines at times on the ground, things only seem increasingly grim heading into 2020, as a great deal of depth on the defensive line has opted to move on.
With that being said, there are some potential options for Michigan in the transfer portal. A recent article posted to MLive broke down those players. The article mentions six players, including Josiah Sa’o of Vanderbilt, Tyreic Martin of Miami, Gerald Wilbon and D’Andre Christmas-Giles of Texas, Jovan Swann of Stanford and Ellison Jordan of Penn State.
An update on Wolverines at Senior Bowl practice
The Senior Bowl is Saturday, and practice has been a spectacle for NFL scouts looking over the talent for the next NFL draft.
As it turns out, two former Michigan players are headed in completely opposite directions.
Former Wolverines linebacker Josh Uche has been “stealing the show,” according to Yahoo! Sports’ Eric Edholm, who had this to say about Uche:
Uche had a fantastic practice Wednesday, racking up wins all day. He has great twitch and wiggle, and great upfield quickness to stress bigger tackles. Every time I looked up, Uche was in the backfield.
That’s not all he does. Uche also opened eyes in coverage, blanketing Purdue TE Brycen Hopkins on one impressive one-on-one rep. It’s unclear if Uche will have quite the three-down versatility of players such as Patriots LB Jamie Collins or Saints LB Demario Davis, but I’ve been impressed with his bag of tricks.
Edholm did point out some concerns over Uche’s size, but certainly said more positive things about his upside.
Meanwhile, Shea Patterson found himself under the spotlight for opposite reasons. His throws were reportedly “off” throughout practice, and then a video of Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia went semi-viral.
Trouble on the snap exchange = angry Patricia.— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) January 22, 2020
WARNING: NSFW language. pic.twitter.com/nIYpahDPPj
To Patterson’s credit, word is his practice Thursday was improved from the past few days.
- Ever wonder what former Michigan quarterback Drew Henson is up to? Word on the street is after scouting with the New York Yankees organization, the once stud prospect is getting involved in football once again.
- Michigan football recently announced the hiring of two new defensive staffers in Bob Shoop and Brian Jean-Mary. Now, the Freep is reporting both agreed to two-year contracts with the Wolverines.