Lean year for state teams at NFL draft
ANDREW KUHN WASHTENAW VOICE
Lean year for state teams at NFL draft
ANDREW KUHN WASHTENAW VOICE
LOCAL PLAYERS DRAFTED/SIGNED BY NFL TEAMSMichigan: Brandon Graham, DE: Drafted in the first round by the Eagles Zoltan Mesko, P: Drafted in the fifth round by the Patriots Stevie Brown, S: Drafted in the seventh round by the Raiders Brandon Minor, RB: Signed with the Bears Carlos Brown, RB: Signed with the Saints David Moosman, G: Signed with the Cardinals Donovan Warren, CB: Signed with the Jets Greg Mathews, WR: Signed with the Bears Mark Ortmann, T: Signed with the Panthers Michigan State: Jeremy Ware, CB: Drafted in the seventh round by the Raiders Blair White, WR: Signed with the Colts Brett Swenson, K: Signed with the Colts Ross Weaver, CB: Signed with the Dolphins Trevor Anderson, DE: Signed with the Colts Eastern Michigan: Zach Johnson, P: Signed with the Chiefs Central Michigan: Antonio Brown, WR: Drafted in the sixth round by the Steelers Dan LeFevour, QB: Drafted in the sixth round by the Bears Frank Zombo, DE: Signed with the Packers Bryan Anderson, WR: Signed with the Patriots Josh Gordy, CB: Signed with the JaguarsWestern Michigan: Tim Hiller, QB: Signed with the Colts
Michigan needs to see improvements this spring, hopes seven early enrollees will help
Sports EditorIn 1934-38, the Michigan Wolverines football team never finished with a winning record. During the 72 years since, Michigan has never strung together three-straight losing seasons, but that streak is in jeopardy now. A glittering recruiting class of 27 players could help coach Rich Rodriguez improve on his 8-16 record in Ann Arbor the past two seasons. The biggest problem: not enough talented players on his roster. In his first season he had to call upon walk-on quarterbacks to take the reins after starter Ryan Mallet transferred to Arkansas. Last year, with position changes and injuries, Rodriguez had a walk-on safety starting. The past two seasons, he has been looking to fill the “bare” cupboard he said the program had. He’s hoping that will change as maturing sophomores and juniors get help from the new recruits. Nearly two weeks into spring practices, Michigan will need to see improvements from those players — including seven of the true freshmen who enrolled at Michigan in January in time to get a head start on their collegiate careers. Devin Gardner, a quarterback from Inkster, is the most-heralded recruit. He enrolled for the spring semester to try to learn the Michigan offense. Gardner would be Rodriguez’s first dual-threat quarterback at Michigan. Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson and Gardner will all be battling for the starting job. Forcier has the inside track, with Robinson getting reps at receiver and Gardner still learning the system. Michigan will need to find leaders to develop on the defensive side of the ball after losing first team All-Big Ten defensive end Brandon Graham and second team All-Big Ten cornerback Donovan Warren. Even with those two leading the way last season, Michigan allowed the third-most points per game in the conference. Will Campbell and Mike Martin are both coming off very solid years at defensive tackle, which should help the line, but the secondary is a more problematic issue. During the next two weeks, the Wolverines will need to see J.T. Turner and Vlad Emilien step up following their redshirt seasons last year. Turner was a highly-touted recruit last year and should fill one of the two cornerback vacancies. The other corner spot is expected to be filled by Demar Dorsey, a true freshman who wasn’t able to enroll early. At free safety, Emilien will try to take over where walk-on Mike Williams started most of last season. Troy Woolfolk can start at strong safety or corner, and it’ll mostly depend on Dorsey’s play in fall camp. Michigan is making changes, most notably playing its first night game at Michigan Stadium in 2011 when it plays host to Notre Dame. But it’s a day game next month that will shed the most light on Michigan’s fortunes. The Wolverines play their annual spring game on April 17.
Michigan Wolverines Football
Michigan saw a wide variety of football in the 2000’s, from coach Lloyd Carr’s 11-0 start in 2006, to Rich Rodriguez’s first year at 3-9 and missing a bowl game. Either way, there was plenty of talent on the field in Michigan Stadium, with many of these Wolverines playing on Sundays now.
OffenseQuarterback, Chad Henne (2004-2007) The four-year starter re-wrote the record book for Michigan passing stats. As a freshman, he led Michigan to a Rose Bowl appearance.
Running backsChris Perry (2000-2003) Perry was a big part in both of Michigan victories against Ohio State this decade. During his senior year he won the Big Ten MVP. Mike Hart (2004-2007) Like Henne, he started throughout his career and made his own record books for Michigan rushing .
Wide receiversBraylon Edwards (2001-2004) A big, strong and fast receiver with all the intangibles for a great playmaker. He has the most receptions, yards and touchdowns in Ann Arbor. Marquise Walker (2000-2001) Although his career started in 1998, he left his stamp at Michigan at the turn of the century. .
Tight endBennie Joppru (2000-2002) In 2002, Joppru was named an Associated Press All-America for his 53 receptions and five touchdowns. .
Offensive LineLeft tackle: Jake Long (2003-2007) The two-time, Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and All-America, Backus Award winner was selected first overall in the 2008 NFL draft. Guard: Steve Hutchinson (2000) In his one season Hutchinson played this decade, he didn’t allow a sack and was named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. Right tackle: Adam Stenavich (2002-2005) Two-time All-America, Stenavich will sadly be most remembered for being arrested and not starting the 2005 Rose Bowl. Guard: Matt Lentz (2002-2005) First Team All- Big Ten in his junior season and Second Team as a senior. Center: David Baas (2001-2004) Baas played center and was awarded All- Big Ten honors and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2004. .
DefenseDefensive Line: Gabe Watson (2002-2005) Twice named All-Big Ten, he finished his career at Michigan with 94 tackles, 14.5 for loss and five sacks playing tackle. Alan Branch (2004-2006) Branch came up big on the biggest of stages in 2006 when he caught his first career interception for No. 2 Michigan against No. 1 Ohio State. Lamar Woodley (2003-2006) He was the anchor to the amazing 2005 defensive front that led Michigan to two Rose Bowls. Brandon Graham (2005-2009) The heart and soul of this season’s defense. In the year’s biggest win, Graham wrapped up 3.5 sacks against Notre Dame. .
LinebackersLarry Foote (2000-2001) Enjoyed one of the best years of any Michigan linebacker. In one game against Iowa, he collected three sacks and a record seven tackles for loss. Shawn Crable (2004-2007) A two-time Second Team All-Big Ten player who anchored a strong defense in 2006 that started the season 11-0. David Harris (2003-2006) In his last two seasons playing in Michigan Stadium, he led the team in tackles and won the award for Michigan’s best linebacker in both seasons. .
Defensive backsCorner: Marlin Jackson (2001-2004) One of the best shut-down defenders at corner this decade, he made big plays, including two touchdown returns in his career. Leon Hall (2003-2006) He picked off more passes than any other player this decade at Michigan with 12 and broke up the most passes ever at Michigan, 43. .
SafetiesErnest Shazor (2002-2004) He led the team in tackles his senior year and intercepted two passes to become a finalist in the Jim Thorpe Award. Jamar Adams (2004-2007) His most productive season as in 2007, when he led the team in tackles, interceptions and pass break ups. .
Special TeamsKick/Punt Returner Stevie Breaston (2003-2006) Owns the school record of five returns for touchdowns. He also ran for an unbelievable 3,592 return yards in his career at Michigan. That’s more than two miles, folks. .
KickerGarret Rivas (2003-2006) Michigan’s all-time leading scorer, he connected for 64 field goals at a 78-percent rate. .
PunterZoltan Mesko (2006-2009) A finalist for the Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter), and a two-time All-Big Ten punter.
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