QB John Navarre

2002 Statistics

Coach: Lloyd Carr
76-23, 8 years
2002 Record: 10-3
at Notre Dame LOST 23-25
at Illinois WON 45-28
at Purdue WON 23-21
at Minnesota WON 41-24
at Ohio State LOST 9-14
Florida WON 38-30

2002 Final Rankings
AP-9, Coaches-9, BCS-11

2003 Outlook

Last season, everything happened just right for both Ohio State and Iowa to roll through the Big Ten. Michigan was victimized by both teams. This year, it can be Michigan's turn to wear the magic slipper - its up to them. The Wolverines don't have any really glaring weaknesses, and those nagging areas of concern - the sluggish running game, injury depletions at linebacker, and a wobbly kicking game - are all things that can certainly be fixed by strong spring and summer practice sessions and the unusually consistent infusion of new talent in Ann Arbor.

We look for Michigan to look a little more like the Michigan of old - to establish a stronger running game behind their veteran OL, to be more dominant on defense as the linebacking crew returns to full strength, and to take advantage of a fairly easy schedule to make a strong push for the conference title. Michigan is never that far back, even as they've recently dropped from their usual Top 10 perch. They are a recruiting juggernaut that reloads linemen and any speed needs readily. This squad will flourish and build a team the old fashioned (Smith Barney) way, they'll earn it on the front lines. And we all know, if you can control the line-of-scrimmage…

Once again, it should come down to the final game of the season, this year in Ann Arbor, as the Wolverines host Ohio State in what looks like a battle not just for Big Ten honors, but a possible berth in the BCS (championship game in New Orleans?) Solid play will make this year's version transparent to easily show us where the team is headed in 2004.

Projected 2003 record: 10-2
QB John Navarre
LB Pierre Woods
LB David Harris
QB - 4 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 4
WR - 4 DB - 4
OL - 4.5 ..

Passing: John Navarre, 448-248-7, 2905 yds., 21 TD's

Rushing: Chris Perry, 267 att., 1110 yds., 14 TD's

Receiving: Braylon Edwards, 67 rec., 1035 yds., 10 TD's

Scoring: Chris Perry, 14 TD's, 84 pts.

Punting: Adam Finley, 69 punts, 42.2 avg.

Kicking: Adam Finley, 7-10 FG, 20-20 PAT, 41 pts.

Tackles: Carl Diggs, 63 tot., 44 solo

Sacks: Larry Stevens, 4 sacks; Grant Bowman, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Marlin Jackson, 3 for 40 yds.

Kickoff returns: Jeremy LeSueur, 26 ret., 22.4 avg.

Punt returns: Markus Curry, 12 ret., 6.4 avg.


WR Braylon Edwards
OFFENSE: B.J. Askew-FB, Ronald Bellamy-WR, Bennie Joppru-TE, Dave Petruziello-OG
DEFENSE: Dan Rumishek-DE, Shawn Lazarus-DT, Victor Hobson-OLB, Charles Drake-SS, Cato June-FS, Shantee Orr-DE (NFL)

By Joe Howley
Royal Oak, Mich.

Quarterback John Navarre has gradually developed into a consistent, dependable leader for Michigan - much to the disbelief of many Old Blues who have pined for Drew Henson the last three seasons. Coach Lloyd Carr's multiple-set concentrates on ball possession and clock control, so Navarre didn't have flashy yards-per-play averages or a terrific pass efficiency rating (122.2, 56th in D-I). But what Carr asks a QB to do - keep the chains moving and not cough up the ball -- Navarre does very well. With the exception of the Iowa game, in which UM suffered an across-the-board meltdown, Navarre looks poised and confident even in pressure situations.

Much of Navarre's passing success was due to junior wideout Braylon Edwards, who led the team in receiving (10 TDs). He'll be the feature receiver in 2003, with a probable push from redshirt freshman Steve Breaston, a standout Pennsylvania product with reported 4.4 speed who dazzled scouts as an option QB during his prep career. Breaston's athletic ability will have coaches spending hours figuring out a way to work him into the lineup. Our guess is that Carr will do exactly that and find a way.

The Wolverines will have a deep and experienced line built around three 5th-year seniors. This should keep Navarre unscathed and also open more room for the Wolverine running game.

All-Big Ten tackle Tony Pape will lead the offensive line for U-M. Pape has started on both sides of the OL and shown good strength and athleticism at either position. Left guard David Baas, a junior, is another returning All-Big Ten selection, while left tackle Courtney Morgan and center Dave Pearson join Pape as 5th-year seniors, giving Michigan excellent experience and depth up front.

Michigan's offensive line performed reasonably well last year in protecting Navarre (22 sacks allowed), but the Wolverines had a curiously anemic average of 3.8 yards per rushing attempt - far below their normal standard and an embarrassing ninth among the Big Ten's 11 teams. Some of that is scheme - Michigan often runs out of single-back formations or motion sets which takes an extra blocker out of the backfield - but there's no question that the Wolverines' run-blocking should be improved. Michigan concentrates on zone blocking principles and gap protection, somewhat of a change from their traditional emphasis on power blocking.

The vacant right guard slot should go to sophomore Matt Lentz, while junior Andy Cristopfel and sophomore Andy Stenavich also return in backup roles. With four veterans back, along with quality performers in the skill positions, the heat is definitely on the Michigan blocking corps to come out with a dominating performance.

After Edwards, the U-M receiving group also has some questions to answer. Seniors Tyrece Butler and Calvin Bell, and junior Jermaine Gonzales, have all seen game action, but none have shown more than brief flashes of ability. But Michigan is rarely lacking for raw athletic skill, so expect to see one or more of these players break out into a prominent role.

Junior FB Kevin Dudley and sophomore FB Sean Sanderson will battle for the starting role. Dudley (6-1, 235) is more of a conventional fullback type, while Sanderson (6-3, 285) is more like a transplanted O-lineman. His ample size will help those linemen to pull and stunt more in their blocking schemes. SPRING UPDATE: RB David Underwood has really impressed coaches and will most likely be the undisputed #2 guy behind Perry. A name to look out for in the fall is freshman, Elijah Bradley, from famed DeLaSalle High School in California. Carr says he has exceptional speed and a lot of potential. He did not participate too much in the spring due to injury. Frosh FB Brian Thompson has a great shot at being the starting fullback. Junior FB Kevin Dudley looks to hold down the back up spot. Early-projected starter Sean Sanderson did not participate in the spring due to grades and Lloyd Carr says he has "no idea" if he is coming back in the fall. It is safe to assume that Sanderson is in the doghouse. There are also concerns about his conditioning.


TB Chris Perry


Returning Starters in bold
QB John Navarre-Sr (6-6, 228) Spencer Brinton-Sr (6-5, 224)
FB Kevin Dudley-Jr (6-1, 232) Brian Thompson-Fr (6-2, 212)
TB Chris Perry-Sr (6-1, 220) David Underwood-Jr (6-0, 220)
WR Jason Avant-So (6-1, 206) Tyrece Butler-Sr (6-3, 213) / Calvin Bell-Sr
WR Braylon Edwards-Jr (6-3, 206) Steve Breaston-Fr (6-1, 169)
TE Tim Massaquoi-So (6-4, 231) Andy Mignery-Sr (6-3, 250)
OT Adam Stenavich-So (6-5, 302) Rueben Riley-Fr (6-3, 318)
OG David Baas-Jr (6-5, 320) Courtney Morgan-Sr (6-3, 298)
C Dave Pearson-Sr (6-3, 291) Mark Bihl-Fr (6-4, 278)
OG Matt Lentz-So (6-6, 301) Andy Christopfel-Jr (6-3, 295)
OT Tony Pape-Sr (6-6, 305) Demeterius Solomon-Sr (6-6, 297)
K Adam Finley-Jr (6-4, 206) Philip Brabbs-Sr (6-2, 200) / Troy Nienberg-Jr



By Joe Howley
Royal Oak, Mich.

Michigan DC Jim Herrmann uses a basic 4-3 set with a variety of coverage and rush packages. While the Wolverine defense was improved from a lackluster 2001, Michigan still finished in the middle of the Big Ten pack in most statistical categories, ergo their middle-of-the-pack finish.

U-M had one truly outstanding category on defense in 2002: sacks, where its total of 42 paced the Big Ten. But the Wolverines didn't have any single dominant pass-rusher; instead they scattered their sack action throughout the lineup and attacked opposing passers from a number of different positions. This bodes well from a game-plan standpoint -- opposing OCs can easily account for just one or two pass-rushing specialist(s), but with 10 players recording multiple 2002 sacks, game plans will be hard to find that keep this entire defense checked. The leading sack artists returning are seniors DE Larry Stevens and DT Grant Bowman, each with four. They should combine to give the Wolverines one tough pass-rushing combo… up front to say the least. However, standout DE Shantee Orr elected for early NFL draft entry, letting some of the air out of the vaunted attack.

Junior cornerback Marlin Jackson will head the secondary after recording a school-record 18 pass breakups. Coming off All-Big Ten selection, he will (bar injury) be a top contender for Thorpe Award honors. Senior Jeremy LeSeur will be back at the other corner. In the starting lineup for the second half of the season, he showed improved coverage abilities against some of the better Big Ten passing attacks. Senior Jon Shaw, junior Markus Curry and sophomore Ernest Shazor will also be in line for playing time in the secondary. This secondary will use well-earned experience to improve from their 69th ranked pass defense.

Injuries wracked the Michigan linebacking corps in 2002, to the point that for the team's Outback Bowl match up with Florida, Carr had to shuffle players to keep his defensive lineup viable and in one piece. Senior Carl Diggs (leg broken in OSU game) will be the leader of the linebacking unit at the SAM slot. Senior Zach Kaufman, lost too, but at midseason with a knee injury, returns at the WILL position. Junior Roy Manning, another early-season casualty, will also contend for playing time (if he's back at full speed). The linebacking crew could become a real strength if all these players come back at full throttle, but the sheer number of injuries has to keep this area as a "wait-and-see" proposition. SPRING UPDATE: Though the lineup could change before the Wolverines open the 2003 season in late August, especially with linebackers Carl Diggs and Zach Kaufman expected to return from injuries, the team's No. 1 defense featured a number of new faces during spring scrimmages. Redshirt freshman David Harris and sophomore Lawrence Reid held down the inside linebacker spots. Sophomore Pierre Woods, a converted defensive end, is at outside linebacker. One word of caution -- the linebackers, as they presently line up -- have a ways to go. Yet several months remain before the start of the season, and more changes are likely in store.

There are some gaps in the front line. Sophomore Patrick Massey and senior Norman Heuer will get first shot to fill the vacant tackle position left by Shawn Lazarus. Both are capable as Heuer was a regular until injury forced him out. Out on the flank, the departed Dan Rumishek should be replaced by sophomore Pierre Woods, with hungry senior Alain Kashama also contending to start. This line has much work to match 2002's respectable 3.4 yards-per-rush average.


CB Marlin Jackson


Returning Starters in bold
DE Alain Kashama-Sr (6-5, 259) Rondell Biggs-Fr (6-2, 261)
DT Grant Bowman-Sr (6-1, 290) Patrick Massey-So (6-8, 262)
DT Norman Heuer-Sr (6-5, 288) Gabriel Watson-So (6-4, 358)
DE Larry Stevens-Sr (6-3, 261) Jeremy Van Alstyne-Fr (6-4, 235)
OLB Pierre Woods-Fr (6-5, 238) Roy Manning-Jr (6-2, 238)
ILB Zach Kaufman-Sr (6-1, 234) Carl Diggs-Sr (6-1, 247)
ILB Scott McClintock-So (6-2, 243) Lawrence Reid-So (6-1, 219)
CB Markus Curry-Jr (5-11, 181) Charles Young III-Jr (5-11, 195)
CB Jeremy LeSueur-Sr (6-1, 199) Darnell Hook-So (5-11, 190)
SS Ernest Shazor-So (6-4, 218) Jon Shaw-Sr (6-0, 202)
FS Marlin Jackson-Jr (6-1, 189) Willis Barringer-Fr (5-11, 198)
P Adam Finley-Jr (6-4, 206) Andy Mignery-Sr (6-3, 250)




Junior punter Adam Finley averaged 42.2 yards per boot, but more importantly the coverage meant a net of 36.7, third in the conference and 20th in all I-A.. Then, Finley finally, brought some semblance of order to the U-M placekicking situation late in the season by hitting 7-of-10 FGAs. Finley has the punting job nailed down, and looks to still have the inside track to the placekicking duties as well.

It's safe to say the U-M kicking game, beyond Finley, is still shaky.

Michigan was almost perfectly average on punt returns, using a variety of players in that role, while LeSeur did the same for KO returns with 22.4 per. While the return units didn't really damage the Wolverines, they didn't help very much either - a situation we expect to change. Someone dominant will emerge from so much talent. And the talent emerging will be eager to prove itself on these special team (coverage) units.


Lloyd Carr expressed much praise and admiration for WR Jason Avant, saying he works extremely hard, has great hands and is a very physical receiver. Frosh WR Steve Breaston has been hurt most of the spring, but has garnered much hype. Navarre says that the receivers will be a pleasant surprise this year - we agree… Carr acknowledges the inexperience at TE, but said Andy Mignery and Tim Massaquoi possess talent. Mignery is a converted QB, reminiscent of former Wolverine Jay Riemersma, who is now an NFL TE… Carr believes Chris Perry will have an outstanding season, thanks in part to an improved work ethic. Perry is stronger this year, though his weight has gone down. Carr says with a year under his belt and high expectations, Perry will shine in '03…

Thoughts on the defense this spring have been about where Marlin Jackson will play? He has excelled at CB for the Wolverines thus far, but with two other quality CBs in Jeremy LeSueur and Markus Curry, the coaching staff has worked Jackson at safety. In fact, the starting four during the spring had LeSueur and Curry at corners, with Jackson and Willis Barringer at safeties. Barringer has been drawing coaches' praise all spring, noted for being an excellent tackler and a smart member of that secondary. Darnell Hood has been moved from RB to CB and should see immediate action there (as a backup)...Oh yeah, we need to make mention of two incoming STUDS at safety - Prescott Burgess and Ryan Mundy. Both were recruited by almost everybody...The stiffest competition has come at LB, where the injuries have forced new guys to the forefront. A name to start learning is David Harris. A redshirt freshman, Harris is an intense player with great movement and an astounding tackling ability. Lawrence Reid has also emerged, and come fall, the Wolverines will have five prime candidates for the two ILB spots.

Three players will compete for the punt return job - Jermaine Gonzales, Markus Curry and Braylon Edwards. Gonzales looks to be the guy, thanks to soft hands and quick maneuverability, but Curry has more experience at the position. Our money is on Gonzales handling the bulk of jobs… Michigan's kicking horrors last season leave four players battling for the placement chores, which includes true freshman Garrett Rivas.