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matt

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: April 14, 2007, 08:57:55 PM

Today was Michigan's final spring practice which included the Blue vs. White Scrimmage. The Blue team was the offense, and the White team was the defense. The White team actually ended up winning 42-41. They earned points by holding the offense to three and outs and forcing a turnovers. They actually had a full contact scrimmage for the first time in about 4-5 years (with the exception of the QBs). The offense had a lot of players sitting out today. RB Mike Hart was not dressed and did not practice this spring, but he was on the field most of the day. WR's Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington were not dressed. Manningham is not at 100% and Arrington is trying to get back in Lloyd's good graces. The fact that he was at the practice indicates that he may just be doing that. As a result, many of the receivers we saw today will not play much this fall, with soon to be sophomore Greg Mathews being the exception. Mathews has a good chance of becoming the KR/PR specialist, the position Steve Breaston has filled the last few years. Incoming freshman Junior Hemingway should get a chance to make an impact at WR this season.

We also got some good news with the fact that Carlos Brown will NOT be transferring, and he will apparently still be a running back and NOT switch to corner. I'd expect him to be third string between Heisman candidate Mike Hart and his fellow sophomore Brandon Minor. He enrolled a year ago so he could participate last spring, but Minor ended up making a bigger impact than Brown. Apparently last year's back up QB, Jason Forcier will likely be transferring to Stanford. Chad Henne will likely be backed up by true freshman Ryan Mallett. Henne looked like a QB who you can tell is going into his fourth year of being a starter. Henne won MVP of spring practice. Mallett has a strong arm, but he needs to work on his accuracy. Hopefully, he'll benefit greatly from practicing with and observing Chad Henne this year. He'll also be helped by the fact that he'll be coached by Scot Loeffler, possibly the best QB coach in the country.

Defensively, the line should be great. The linebacking core will be young, but if they gel quickly, they could be pretty damn good. Our real weakness is going to be in the secondary. The fact that Morgan Trent will be starting at one of the corners scares the hell out of me. Hopefully one of the incoming freshman can somehow make a HUGE impact in summer practice and we won't have to worry about Trent playing. The graduation of Leon Hall leaves the opportunity for someone...anyone to step forward, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. The place kicking job is up for grabs, and none of the kickers particularly impressed me today. Punting will be a strong point with the return of Junior Zoltan Mesko.

There were about 15,000 people at the Big House today. That's not too bad, considering the high temperature was 40 with no sun and the wind chill putting the temperature closer to 30 than 40. Some of the people behind me were commenting on the future of the program once Lloyd decides to retire. Some Michigan fans believe this will happen sooner rather than later. If Lloyd coaches 3 more years, that will give him 15 seasons as HC with at least one national championship (and this team has a chance to contend for one this year) and perhaps more importantly...it will put current AD Bill Martin out of the picture. Martin apparently wants the next coach to come from outside of the program. Lloyd wants the next coach to be a "Michigan Man". He's said to favor QB coach Loeffler, but Defensive Coordinator Ron English could also be a candidate. The guys behind me seemed to favor Les Miles becoming the next Michigan coach, but that doesn't particularly excite me. There are some Michigan fans who would like to see how Jim Harbaugh does at Stanford, and if he does well, they'd like to see him be our next coach.

Now for some pictures:

Heisman candidate RB Mike Hart


Next year potential top 10 draftees LT Jake Long and QB Chad Henne (also a Heisman candidate)


True Freshman QB Ryan Mallett


Some of the WRs with Mini Me (#13 is Greg Mathews and the one in street clothes is Mario Manningham)
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