DT Terrance Taylor

2007 Statistics

Coach: Rich Rodriguez
1st year
2007 Record: 9-4
at Northwestern WON 28-16
at Illinois WON 27-17
at Michigan State WON 28-24
at Wisconsin LOST 21-37
Florida WON 41-35

2006 Final Rankings
AP-18, Coaches-19, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

What happens when the winningest football program in collegiate history (total wins – 869 – and winning percentage – 74.3%) gets just its 11th new head coach in the last 106 years, and does so in headline-grabbing fashion as the Wolverine brain-trust nicks one of the hottest coaches over the last three years? It’s simple…the pigskin world salivates in knowing how drastic some of the offensive changes will surely be since Rich Rodriguez is the innovative mind now in charge. Michigan football finally shakes its staunch, conservative image and radically changes direction, and for the good.

This program held out as one of the last major schools to adapt to the spread looks that capitalize on the kind of physical superiority Michigan regularly fields. Ohio State has proven itself unbeatable for four straight years employing these schemes, so it’s about time this happened.

AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year and new offensive coordinator Calvin Magee is the method behind Rodriguez’s madness, following him from West Virginia after producing one of the country’s top five rushing attacks for each of the past three years. A total of six assistants came here from WVU, with Magee, QB coach Rod Smith and OL coach Greg Frey forming the nucleus to create the new offensive looks.

This will be a multiple formation team that uses no-huddle, two-back sets and trickery to bring all weapons to bear. Offensive fruition has been slow to come; the Michigan defense easily outpaced the offense as turnovers galore highlighted the spring scrimmage. After basic analysis of the shortcomings of the QBs’ performances all spring, the glaring dilemma in production will assuredly be due to the new UM QBs being not quite ready for the breadth of the tough playbook now being implemented. The offense is complicated and needs an experienced field general, something that will take a while to find. Also marginally bad is that neither dual-threat Sheridan nor drop-back type Threet could get the ball 40 yards down field in the spring game’s stiff wind, the same kind of wind that kept Chad Henne’s efforts in the Ohio State game. The RBs, receivers and TEs all are in place, so the line just has to get its proverbial act together to handle the fast-paced approach soon to be in vogue. How long the offense takes to reach top speed will dictate just what kind of year the entire team will have.

The defense is being shaped by Scott Shafer, with help from ex-Southern Mississippi DC Jay Hopson at LB coach (the LBs were the core of his always tough defenses in Hattiesburg) and WVU-transfer Bruce Tall getting the experienced Wolverine linemen. Shafer is a DB specialist, an area needing attention due to turnover and the new attacking philosophy now found on D, and ex-Mountaineer assistant Tony Gibson will make sure the secondary changes take hold, as we’ve seen so far. The eight returning defensive starters only boast one LB, and he is still an underclassman (Ezeh). But with this much talent, more than he ever saw at USM, Hopson will have his group looking like the usual deadly LB corps found here and they will be ready by fall. The safety starters also are both new, but they, too, have come along quickly. This D will win a few games when the offense struggles, something not seen here last year (in the home loss to Oregon and the road defeat to Wisconsin.)

The opener with Utah will not be taken lightly after the first I-AA program they faced in 64 years won last year at the Big House in possibly the biggest upset in college football history. Also not forgotten is how the Utes, under Urban Meyer, nearly pulled off their own shocker in Ann Arbor during their last visit, a 10-7 defensive squeaker which might have revealed just what will happen this time, too. Miami is the MAC East champs, while Notre Dame has a lot to prove after its worst showing in 44 years. These three non-cons would all be easy pickings for past Wolverine teams, but adjustments will be ongoing during this warm-up phase. Then the home tilts with Wisconsin and toughening Illinois will let the Big Ten know whether this is a rebuilding year or one that again sees UM challenge for the conference crown. Heck, if RR can just beat OSU – a game that hasn’t been one but once in the past seven tries – he will be given a first-year pass even if his guys finish around .500, not a likely result.

The changes go beyond X’s and O’s. Guys like conditioning coach Mark Bawris have helped turn up the football volume in ways that hit home off the field, too. Instead of playing video games and watching TV after practice and/or in the locker room, players are powwowing over what happened on the field and what they can do to make it better. The extensive nature of the more complicated schemes, on both sides of the ball, forces such with so many new faces to go along with the new looks. Coaches have said strongly that the dilemmas in adapting to the current approach so far have more been attributable to personnel changes than due to sheer difficulty of the system(s). Once everything is in motion on the high level needed, this is going to be a dangerous team no one will want to see (likely by November). A few early lumps will quickly be smoothed out to see Michigan rise back into the top 25 by October. Where they ultimately end could be anywhere from six all the way up to double-digit wins, and the limb is just too big for us to go out onto so we can comfortably say for sure what will happen. One thing is for sure – Michigan won’t be caught lulling viewers to sleep anymore. Rich Rodriguez, for better or worse, will give the 107,000+ something to contemplate/debate each week as the Wolverines try the fast-track back to the top.

Projected 2008 record: 8-4
QB - 2.5 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 3 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: David Cone, 1-1-0, 21 yds., 0 TD

Rushing: Brandon Minor, 90 att., 385 yds., 1 TD

Receiving: Greg Mathews, 39 rec., 366 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: K.C. Lopata, 11-12 FG, 28-29 PAT, 61 pts.

Punting: Zoltan Mesko, 70 punts, 41.1 avg.

Kicking: K.C. Lopata, 11-12 FG, 28-29 PAT, 61 pts.

Tackles: Obi Ezeh, 68 tot., 33 solo

Sacks: Brandon Graham, 8.5 sacks

Interceptions: Morgan Trent, 2 for 0 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Carlos Brown, 16 ret., 19.1 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Greg Mathews, 28 ret., 8.0 avg., 0 TD


CB Morgan Trent
OFFENSE: Chad Henne-QB, Mike Hart-TB, Jake Long-OT, Adam Kraus-OG, Alex Mitchell-OG, Jeremy Ciulla-OG, Justin Boren-C (transferred), Mario Manningham-WR (NFL), Adrian Arrington-WR (NFL), Ryan Mallett-QB (transferred)
DEFENSE: Shawn Crable-SLB, Chris Graham-WLB, Jamar Adams-SS, Brandent Englemon-FS

Everyone wants to know – what will the Michigan offense look like under the new administration? The highly anticipated changes the country is eagerly awaiting will be somewhat different than the offensive schemes run at West Virginia. Still, compared to the old pro-style seen here, this offense will have more similarities to the Mountaineers’ spread look under Rodriguez than anything Lloyd Carr ran. Their initial depth charts, which coach Rich insists will change up until the last week of August, speak of four WRs, so the spread is on tap, but so are two-back formations and a running QB wrinkle, depending on which QB is in.

That’s the cue for local (Saline) Nick Sheridan, the walk-on dual-threat who has a place in the Rodriguez QB unit with the best feet of any hurler. Sheridan, along with big freshman Steven Threet, has had issues so far expanding his impact in the passing game. To not telegraph the play-call, Sheridan will have to pick up his passing game. He will also have to avoid the turnovers on the option seen in the spring game (three fumbles). Threet was the No.9 QB prospect (pro style, Rivals) and has the arm to succeed on passing plays. Moreover, he also has both the wheels and smarts to make good, quick decisions while in the midst of the fray. Threet, a load to bring down at 6’6 and 230lbs, was a bit ahead of Sheridan this spring. He’s our choice if one has to be chosen, but it’s up in the air until late August. Both probably get face time until the obvious better player emerges in real game revelations for Rodriguez.

Don’t be surprised when RB Brandon Minor lines up for the direct snap. Never a QB in prep, the junior has stepped up his leadership in light of the mass vacancy of guys who led the team for the past four years. Coming out of the shotgun will allow Minor to run downhill more; his tries to get around the corner were a factor in why he wasn’t the impact player he could have been in 2007. You can bet any RBs who can catch out of the backfield will see lots of reps…enter Avery Horn, a scat-back with more speed than Minor. Horn tore it up in the spring game (top rusher) when the offense was struggling, so the freshman is on the radar for getting carries. The other big back, though, will be the country’s former No.4 RB prospect, Kevin Grady. The East Grand Rapids product spent all of last season watching from the pine after a spring knee injury lasted throughout fall. Grady is big, fast and the reason two-back sets will still be seen in Ann Arbor. Still, Grady has had two years of marginal production when given his shots (yards per carry were 4.0 in his freshman campaign and 3.4 as a soph), so he isn’t the main back (ala Hart) and the combination variations are endless. That includes the prospect of true freshmen having some impact. The sheer freak physical package of Cypress’ (TX) Sam McGuffie (41 inch vertical leap, 4.32 seconds in the 40, and benches 355lbs) will give him inroads if he can prove to be what he seems - the fastest guy out of the backfield once given the ball. The other backfield stalwart, fullback Mark Moundros, has also been pledged a decent number of reps, if we believe offensive coordinator Calvin Magee (no reason not to…for now). Lots of formations will include a FB, but Minor and/or Grady should be a popular choice, though, Moundros is an excellent ball-carrier (ran for 2,100+ yards as a prep senior). We just don’t think the QB-RB tandem will try to use the running dimension the same way White and Slaton did, basically where the QB gets the shotgun snap and he and the RB run into each other, both of them with hands on the ball so defenders cannot immediately tell who has the rock as each runs off of a respective OT. It worked in Morgantown, but won’t here without a superior running QB. Hence, when you see Minor getting the direct snap, this will be the primary time to run this type of play.

The receivers are mostly a new bunch. Greg Mathews is the lone face with serious experience, and his vocal role in spring practice gives promise that the corps can grow together as a unit. Mathews isn’t a burner, but runs sharp routes and gets open underneath well. Toney Clemons has shown more speed, but neither he nor Hemingway nor Babb is a breakaway threat once in the open field. That’s why coach Rich recruited speed, speed, and guess what…? More speed! Darryl Stonum enrolled early for spring ball and is as advertised, a top recruit and true freshman sensation who can get behind the defense. He stands out, as will anyone who can stretch the field with their quickness to, in turn, force safeties to commit and then be exploited. Not a popular position at WVU, TE Carson Butler will play the same role, damaging defenders with his size and speed likely as an H-Back (to spread his defender out more than if he is tucked up onto the tackle). Martell Webb and Mike Massey also are too good to not see significant playing time, so how the H-Back/TE/FBs are inserted will keep defensive coordinators busy into the wee hours preparing their guys for every possibility.

More big off-season news came when the front line lost one of its two returning starters. Justin Boren made a big stink about the decay of “family values” due to the change in coaching regimes (a non-issue for the team as they’ve plowed forward happily), but what will be missed is his experience since the entire interior of the line has now been gutted. Mark Ortmann played behind all-world LT Jake Long, but he gained valuable knowledge and technique from Long, and looks good as a starter. Originally a guard, Stephen Schilling will remain outside as the lone returning stanchion since he has excelled here. Inversely, Cory Zirbel has moved inside nicely, and is needed after playing at tackle behind Schilling so well. David Molk was the nation’s top center prospect (Max Emfinger) and a true score under the prior staff. Journeyman-type Tim McAvoy lands in the other guard slot, rounding out a mobile starting five which has responded well to the rigors of Rodriguez’s no-huddle demands. No-huddle variations are what drove Boren away, and good riddance since the lumbering OL-types seen last year wouldn’t work well in the new scheme, anyway.

The offense is a lot for the kids to adapt to – grasping the new terminology and coordinating precision will be improved with each snap and every practice, which may take a while. The talent levels are high, but vaulting the Wolverine offense into the 21st century will still be a work-in-progress until it is officially unveiled and gains identity.


WR Greg Mathews


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Steven Threet-Fr (6-6, 230) Nick Sheridan-So (6-1, 212)
David Cone-So (6-7, 214)
FB Mark Moundros-So (6-1, 232) ..
RB Brandon Minor-Jr (6-1, 214) Carlos Brown-Jr (6-0, 213)
Kevin Grady-Jr (5-9, 228) (susp.)
Avery Horn-Fr (5-10, 175)
WR Greg Mathews-Jr (6-3, 207) LaTerryal Savoy-Jr (6-3, 210)
WR Junior Hemingway-So (6-1, 214) Zion Babb-So (6-1, 189)
WR Toney Clemons-So (6-3, 201) Darryl Stonum-Fr (6-2, 190)
TE Carson Butler-Jr (6-5, 250) Mike Massey-Sr (6-5, 225)
OT Mark Ortmann-Jr (6-7, 294) Bryant Nowicki-So (6-9, 326)
OG Cory Zirbel-Jr (6-5, 292) Mark Huyge-Fr (6-6, 292)
C David Molk-Fr (6-2, 282) David Moosman-Jr (6-5, 292)
OG Tim McAvoy-Jr (6-6, 288) ..
OT Stephen Schilling-So (6-5, 295) Perry Dorrestein-So (6-7, 308)
K K.C. Lopata-Sr (6-2, 233) Jason Gingell-Sr (5-9, 194)




Word on the street up in the capitol is that the line is outshining the LBs and DBs so far. That makes sense, seeing who has departed. Moreover, the top four tacklers from ’07 are the departees, so production through experience is the only thing needing to be found with so much physical prowess already in place. The new coordinator is from Stanford; Scott Schafer has never had so much talent at his scheme’s disposal. Schafer’s specialty is the secondary, which fits well with the losses there. The overall philosophy is reportedly changing to a more aggressive approach, likely forcing more turnovers but also allowing more big plays until the terminology and strategies are under the player’s collective belts. The 4-3 is the base formation.

Specific praise (as well as serious critique) has come from coach Rob in regards to senior Terrance Taylor. TT’s two blocked kicks last season accentuate his status as top tackler from the entire DL, rare from anyone playing inside. He easily sheds blocks and makes big plays. Will Johnson also plays big for an inside guy, though, he is a mobile type who can make plays all the way to the sideline if need be. Marques Slocum is an ex-OG who has done adequately on defense, but hasn’t hit his stride…yet. Slocum was the top guard prospect in the 2005 incoming national class, giving him and everyone incentive to keep competing for reps with so many capable hats. The outside is well covered, too. Jamison and Graham (along with Taylor) are the top returning players in the TFL category. In-state Gatorade Player of the Year and No.2 LB prospect Brandon Graham had initially transformed into a lineman due to size issues. Sure, he was strong and quick enough to succeed, but under Rodriguez’s strength coach Mark Barwis, Graham has seen the same thing that many have after working under Barwis, that they have gone back down closer to the weight they were at as freshmen and are playing better for it. Graham: “He’s Crazy, but he’s nice at the same time. He doesn’t care about anything but going 100%.” Knowing how hard Rodriguez in turn pushes his guys, Barwis’s role is essential and has everyone reaching their physical potential. Tim Jamison is the DL’s third senior returning starter, and his outstanding stat line means foes cannot double-team everyone who can possibly disrupt the play flow. Adam Patterson is just awaiting his chances, as is versatile ex-TE Ryan Van Bergen. Having eight guys on the line capable of starting will put the rushing defensive stats back in the top 10 like they were until last year’s anomalistic 56th-ranked results.

The LBs look like they’ve stratified, led by last year’s Freshman All-American Obi Ezeh. Ezeh noticed the backlog at RB, his recruited position, and he quickly adapted to the ways of the defense, well enough to start at MIKE as a freshman. Ezeh was initially displaced as a starter by John Thompson, a fifth-year senior, after the line was rearranged due to the Appalachian State loss. Thompson was then injured, opening the door back up for Ezeh to reclaim his starting post. The two pushing each other this year is another boon for the D. Thompson has taken a real leadership role this spring with the corps. Austin Panter is coming along great – the 2006 NJCAA National Defensive Player of the Year knows how to play a responsible role after competing in 8-man football in prep. Both he and backup Brandon Logan are quick enough to line up opposite third- and fourth-WRs. Similar to Graham on the DL, Jonas Mouton has bumped up in weight and therefore has taken nicely to the SAM slot. The ex-safety also has no trouble matching up with WRs and/or TEs. Marell Evans was seen quite often in first-team rotations in off-season practices and workouts, so the bodies are there, two deep, and just need to come together like all great Wolverine LB corps eventually do. Then they’ll explode and unite the defense beautifully.

The secondary has experience at corner, thanks to the decision to start Freshman All-American Donavan Warren most of last year. Warren will become a lockdown corner, as should ex-WR Morgan Trent. Both starting corners impressed in spring drills, as did senior nickel Doug Dutch, who is possibly the fastest of all the CBs. The corners really stood out over the safeties, but replacing two starters in back means shaping new faces, something that can work when the coaching staff is also in its initial campaign. Brandon Harrison was also a Freshman All-American back in 2004, and his 4.25-second time in the 40 literally depicts how he has shown flashes of his potential when given the chance. Stevie Brown joins Harrison, and both have made coaches notice their progress. Brown can bump into one-on-one with ease, proving just as quick as his counterpart and as much of a leader as anyone on D. New names will be given chances until backups at safety are solidified.

Practicing against the Wolverine’s new spread offense really is pushing everyone to play together and overcome the newness issues. If it all starts up front, then UM is in great shape – foes will be stuffed when they initially run it, and then will be incredibly rushed when trying to establish an aerial presence. This D won’t allow four foes to go over 30 points, like they did for the first time last year since 1999. The hawkish, bullying type of attack this defense is soon to employ will take chances and try to use physical superiority at any/every turn. Successes and failures will both be predicated upon this risky approach.


DE Tim Jamison


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Tim Jamison-Sr (6-3, 263) Adam Patterson-Jr (6-3, 259)
DT Terrance Taylor-Sr (6-0, 319) Marques Slocum-Jr (6-5, 336)
Renaldo Sagesse-So (6-4, 308)
DT Will Johnson-Sr (6-5, 285) John Ferrara-So (6-4, 274)
DE Brandon Graham-Jr (6-2, 270) Greg Banks-So (6-4, 258)
Ryan Van Bergen-Fr (6-6, 265)
SLB Jonas Mouton-So (6-2, 230) Marell Evans-So (6-3, 231)
MLB Obi Ezeh-So (6-2, 247) John Thompson-Sr (6-1, 239)
WLB Austin Panter-Sr (6-3, 231) Brandon Logan-Sr (6-1, 208)
CB Morgan Trent-Sr (6-1, 188) Troy Woolfolk-So (6-0, 195)
CB Donovan Warren-So (6-0, 180) Doug Dutch-Sr (5-11, 204)
SS Brandon Harrison-Sr (5-9, 206) Charles Stewart-Sr (6-2, 206)
FS Stevie Brown-Jr (6-0, 209) Michael Williams-Fr (5-11, 185)
P Zoltan Mesko-Jr (6-5, 235) ..




K.C. Lopata will be a fifth-year senior and the starter after his 11-for-12 performance in 2007. Lopata followed the 3-for-9 abomination that was Jason Gingell’s PK efforts (Gingell’s missed and then another subsequently blocked attempts returned for a TD cost the Appalachian State game). Zoltan Mesko punts like he’s from another world; Mesko is good for 41+ per try with great control, and he can give it his best shot as a solid place kicker if need be. Donovan Warren is decent at PRs, but he must have surged to pass Mathews as the favorite there. Brandon Harrison is the new face at kick returner, a smart move with his jets. Speed comes out of the defensive backfield in droves, so return men are just waiting if there are troubles.