HD's Ocatgon--- The RB's and QB's analysis..A look under the microscope

                                                                  April 27th

                As promised, we return giving you a better look at the RB's and QB's position and their battle going into Fall...There are a lot of prognosticators out there giving many different opinions...Some are close to what I see/think is going to happen so, here goes.....


1...Denard Robinson a.k.a (the Florida Puma)-----Wow was the word described after DR's Spring game performance..Denard Robinson might not be your exact height wanted in a QB but, everything else this kid brings to the table far outweighs that minor concern...DR is cat like quick(hence the Puma label)..DR has the intangibles that will lead him to succcess...His leadership and charisma are growing on his teammates daily..He can change gears and direction at the drop of  a dime and doesn't lose any speed in doing so...He has a "different" release point when throwing the ball but make no mistake about it...IF he can learn to harness a "touch pass", this kid will be unstoppable in this offense...He is what the coaches want not only due to his strong arm and awareness but, if UM is in a 3rd and long and he can't find a receiver, look for Pat White part 2 to run all over opposing defenses keeping those ever so important chains moving...His growth in one year has been phenomenal and I believe we will see it this Fall..
      Current status--B    Potential-- A-

2.... Tate Forcier(the California kid)----Tate Forcier struggled for the first 2 series he was in on Saturday April 17th...The offense didn't look very smooth and you could see the frustration mounting..Keep in mind that TF was running with the 2's a lot and going against our #1 Defense...I have always liked TF's game because he demands a certain type of respect out there...He believes in himself and the team and has no problem putting them on his shoulders in the last minutes of a game...He reminds me of Brett Farve a little bit..He just has that certain swagger/moxie that you need at this position..TF's 3rd drive he took the boys right down the field and scored on our #1 Defense and doing it rather effortlessly...I will be watching closely come fall to see what type of Offense the coaches want to run...Whoever starts on September 4th will tell ME A LOT about what this season is going to be like..TF is probably still our most accurate passer we have but he needs to work on fundamentals and reading D's to get some major PT THIS fall (imo)...This IS a battle we will see going strong into the season...
          Currrent status    B-     Potential  B+

   *HD EXTRA*-----Both QB's above NEED to learn and perfect the read-option play to make this Offense a juggernaut that it's capable of being...They both have the ability to do so but, will they? I happen to think someone is already improving in that area and we will all hear about it soon enough....

3... Devin Gardner(backyard baller)-----Devin Garder is the FUTURE of UM football...I am glad he is from right here in Michigan because I would not want to see him on the oppositions sidelines..He has the height, frame, speed, arm and smarts that the coaches need at the QB position in this offense...He is a replica of what the coaches would mold if asked to do so...He has such a nice touch on his deep balls and runs like a Gazelle...He is not 4.4 speed kind of kid but, his long strides make him deceptively fast...He played very well for a True Frosh in the Spring game even though he was going against the 3rd team Defense most of the day..I truly believe that DG will be one of the best QB's to leave UM when his time is done here and dare I say 2013 Heisman Candidate?  Hmmmmm, I think so!!!
      Current status-----C+/B-        Potential---- A  

   My OPINION on this on-going battle----

   I believe you will see DR and TF battling for the #1 spot come kick-off time Sept. 4th against Uconn...If everything plays out the way I think they will you will see DR start that game and rotate with TF throughout the first half...Whomever has the "hot hand" will lead them on to the field in the 2nd half and take us to the promiseland...You will see D Gardner get worked into the offense during the OC games to get his feet wet..I wouldn't be surprised to see him play an intrical part of the late Novemnber show down in Columbus...Even if it is just to make the Defense have to plan ANOTHER game plan against UM..


 1..Mike Cox----I have been saying since last years Spring practice that this kid needs some PT...I truly believe you would have seen more of him IF the 2 RB's weren't Seniors last year...He is a big but shifty runner and would be a great addition to this offense...He made several defenders miss tackles in the game and ran one over as well...He is considered to be one of the best athletes on the team and is the best pass catcher out of the backfield...The one area of weakness is the playbook..I'm not going to harp on it to much but, you won't play if you don't know your assignments on every down...Let's hope he can put it together!
             Current Status--- B-              Potential ----A-

2...Fitgerald Toussaint--- I believe he and MC will be the starters come Fall unless the next RB I will speak of shortly steps his game up...FT, another RB that I have been clamoring about for a year now is also a power-runner, even moreso than MC but doesn't quite have the top end speed I initially once thought...That is not a knock on him and he is one of my favorites...I guess he and MC are very similar in styles although FT needs to work on blocking and MC needs to get the playbook down..FT is hard to tackle solo due to his stocky build and thick legs...I believe that FT will have a break-out type year because he is a gifted player...
            Current status---- B-           Potential-----A-   

3...Michael Shaw------He has had an up and down Spring but some still think he's the best RB we have...I need to see more out of MS if I'm going to give such high regards..MS is a real threat on the outside with his speed and elusiveness but being skinny and running upright will not get you the carries needed up the middle or a very long career..He has breakaway speed and if he hits a crease, you will be reading the bottom of his Adidas trying to catch-up...I love this kids ability, I just hope he can put it all together to become that homerun hitter we need...
        Current status-------B-            Potential-----B+

4..Stephen Hopkins------He might only be a true Frosh as far as the classroom but as far as the football player goes, he is a men amongst boys...A very strong, thick legged powerful RB that we will see get PT this fall...He will be the big back in the 2 back set and also get carries inside the 5..His punishing style of running gives us some UMPH up the middle and a good blocker as well..He likes to mix-it-up and has already done so during practices and the game..He will be a leader on the Offense by next year(vocally and physically)...This kid has that persona and demeanor that make others around him more interested in what they are doing...Can you say the epitome of a team player? I know I can..
         Current status------C+               Potential------A-

4...Austin White-------Another true Frosh on the roster and he has some excited about his pass catching abilities...I wonder if he will be the "perfect" speed back or not because I'm not sure he has the homerun abilities every down or if he likes to block but, give him a swing pass or RB screen and this kid will be gaining ground in no time..A lot of the critiques of the RB's I have given are correctable and I'm sure they will be...AW just needs another year  of S&C and to get acclimated to the College level before I think he gets PT...Imo, he will Red-shirt this year and I would agree with that move if it happens...
          Current Status------C                Potential-----B

5..Vincent Smith--------Make no mistake about it..IF VS were totally healthy, there wouldn't be any ambiguity at the RB position and who starts...He will be the starter once he comes back from injury (imo).He is little in stature but huge in ability and heart...He can run by you or run you over as well...I absolutely love this kids game and can't wait until he returns...
           Current status-------B                Potentail------A-

    My OPINION on the RB position and what you should expect come fall----

  I believe you will see  MC and FT running with the one's when Denard Robinson is in there and probably more of MS  when TF is QB'ing the one's.....There is A LOT of ambiguity at this position, maybe the most on the team this year so I will be watching this battle closely.We need a "go to guy" while V Smith is hurt and I hope someone(s) steps up.....

    Thanks for stopping by and make sure  you check back daily for all the other player analysis and game time opinions..We will also bring to you current player interviews that we do on occassion and also high school recruits as well....

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