Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Final Review The Recruiting Class Of 2008 Experienced A Time Of Transition In Michigan Football T By Michael Spath he first recruiting class of the Rich Rodriguez era totaled 24 signees, but included 14 that had verbally committed to Michigan when Lloyd Carr was the head coach and 10 that announced for Rodriguez. The class ranked 10th nationally and carried an average rank of 3.67 stars, boasting 17 four-star prospects. Not everyone fit with the schemes Rodriguez intended to run offensively and defensively, but there was plenty of talent, and the newest Wolverines figured to add a new chapter to the storied tradition of U-M football. Instead, perhaps not surprisingly, the class would splinter. The class became synonymous with Rodriguez's struggles — a cohort of skilled athletes that would sputter, failing to live up to their potential. Only when Brady Hoke arrived, reenergizing the Wolverines in 2011, did the class of 2008 emerge, overcoming a poor start to finish with their heads held high. Here is a comprehensive overview of that class, including its best players, top individual performances, greatest victories, a rundown of all 24 signees, and a final grade. Top 10 Individual Performances Of The Class Of 2008 1. WR Roy Roundtree vs. Illinois, 2010: In a wild and crazy game that will live in infamy for its 67-65, triple-overtime outcome (favoring the Maize and Blue), Roundtree racked up more receiving yards (246) than any other wideout in Michigan's history. The 6-0, 180-pounder scored on the very first play from scrimmage, a 75-yard TD streak down the middle of the field, then added another 75-yard catch, and reached the end zone on a 33yard touchdown reception. 2. RB Sam McGuffie vs. Notre Dame, 2008: The four-star brought incredible hype with him to Ann Arbor thanks to YouTube clips of him hurdling defenders (and the spoofs they generated). Though he wasn't long for U-M, leaving after his rookie year, McGuffie showed what all the fuss was about just three games into his career, rushing for 131 yards on 25 carries (5.2 yards per attempt) while recording a 40-yard TD grab off a screen pass in which he weaved through traffic. 3. DB J.T. Floyd vs. Illinois, 2011: Nine games into the 2011 campaign, Michigan was 7-2, but had just fallen at Iowa and lost two of its past three. U-M traveled to Champaign to face a dangerous Illinois team. The Wolverines dominated defensively, holding the Illini to 245 yards of offense. Floyd made life especially difficult for UI signal-caller Nathan Scheelhaase, breaking up two passes and picking off a third, which he returned 43 yards. U-M scored three plays later in taking a 24-7 fourth-quarter lead it would not relinquish. 4. WR Martavious Odoms vs. Nebraska, 2011: Once Michigan's top target, catching 49 balls in 2008 and 22 in 2009, Odoms had dropped on the depth chart — injuries didn't help — and had made just three grabs in the first 10 games of his senior year. However, the 5-8, 173-pounder had long proven himself a reliable option for U-M's quarterbacks. He would make the play of the game in the win, stretching out while keeping his feet in-bounds for a 38-yard TD reception in the back of the end zone to give Michigan a 38-17 lead. 5. TE Kevin Koger vs. Ohio State, 2011: The 6-4, 258-pound tight end had already scored eight touchdowns in his career, but chances are the ninth TD he hauled in will be the one he remembers the most. In a tightly contested, back-and-forth matchup between rivals, Koger had three catches for 36 yards through three quarters when he slipped undetected into the end zone and came down with a Denard Robinson pass for a four-yard touchdown and a 37-27 lead. 6. DT Mike Martin vs. Purdue, 2011: Early in his career, Martin watched as routine meetings with Purdue became offensive slugfests, the two teams combining for 164 points during the 2008-09 seasons. Defense asserted itself in a sloppy, rain-soaked 27-16 U-M win in 2010, and Martin wanted Michigan's defense to lead the way again in 2011. Making life miserable for the Boilermaker QBs all day, the 6-2, 304-pounder recorded two sacks among seven total stops. 7. WR Roy Roundtree vs. Northwestern, 2012: To call the first two months of Roundtree's senior season disappointing would be underselling it. The dependable receiver had only 13 catches in eight games. He had two grabs for 64 yards at Minnesota Nov. 3, but had only one reception through three quarters against Northwestern a week later. In the fourth, everything changed. Roundtree caught three balls for 90 yards, including a you-had-to-seeit-to-believe-it 53-yard Hail Mary with only seconds left in setting up a game-tying field goal. 8. WR Darryl Stonum vs. Notre Dame, 2009: Stonum had enjoyed a solid rookie season, making 14 grabs for 176 yards in 2008, but had not demonstrated the full range of his bigplay potential when the 2009 campaign commenced. After just one touch in the opener against Western Michigan, Stonum snagged a 10-yard catch early in the first quarter against Notre Dame, and then stood on the 6-yard line awaiting a kickoff from the Irish. Finding the seam, Stonum accelerated and was off, covering 94 yards for a touchdown. He would also add four catches for 54 yards in the 38-34 victory. 9. LB Kenny Demens vs. Northwestern, 2012: Moving into the starting role midway through his sophomore season, Demens racked up four double-digit tackle performances in 2010 and five more in 2011-12. His nine-stop effort against the Wildcats stood out, though. Demens made two of the most important plays of the day, first dropping QB Kain Colter for a one-yard loss on third-and-one and then finishing off the Wildcats in U-M's 38-31 OT win with a tackle on fourth down. 10. RB Michael Shaw vs. Massachusetts, 2010: After McGuffie left, all eyes turned to Shaw, who possessed the elite track speed that should have been an asset in the spread offense. Injuries handicapped Shaw in 2009, but early in his junior year, he showcased his immense potential, rushing for 126 yards and three touchdowns on only 12 carries (10.5yard average) in a closer-than-expected 42-37 win over UMass. Shaw scored on a 34-yard gallop early in the third quarter and a four-yarder in the fourth to seal the victory for the Wolverines. Against Illinois in 2010, wideout Roy Roundtree set a U-M single-game record with 246 receiving yards. 246  ■  The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview photo by per kjeldsen

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