Return to Glory

Return to Glory

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Realistic Expectations for Michigan St.

Aug. 31: Boise St. WIN
Sept. 8:  @Central Michigan WIN
Sept. 15: Notre Dame WIN
Sept. 22: Eastern Michigan WIN
Sept. 29: Ohio St. WIN
Oct. 6:   @Indiana WIN
Oct. 13:  Iowa (homecoming) WIN
Oct. 20: @Michigan LOSS
Oct. 27: @Wisconsin LOSS
Nov. 3:  Nebraska WIN
Nov. 17: Northwestern WIN
Nov. 24: @Minnesota WIN

10-2 Overall
6-2 Big Ten

The one consistent thing about the Spartans of old was their inconsistency. However, Mark Dantonio has clearly turned around the Spartan program and has them looming as a perenial threat in the Legends division moving forward. Defensively, the Spartans should again be the elite unit in the Big Ten and arguably a Top 5 defense in the country. The Spartans return 8 defensive starters including: William Gholston, Max Bullough and Johnny Adams. In fact, 6 returning defensive starters were All Big Ten members last season. The issues will be on offense where the Spartans must break in a new quarterback and crop of wide receivers. Replacing Kirk Cousins, the winningest quarterback in school history, is no easy task. The task is even more daunting with the exodus of graduated wide receivers: Keith Nichol, Keshawn Martin, and BJ Cunningham. The bright spot is that Andrew Maxwell is an experienced backup that has been around the program 4 years and many feel is ready to step into the bright lights. Plus, he will have an experienced offensive line and Le'veon Bell to hand the ball off to in the backfield. Kicking off the year with Boise St. with a new quarterback and wide receivers looks daunting, but don't forget the game is at home and Boise is having to replace their own long time starters in quaterback Kellen Moore and running back Doug Martin. The Notre Dame game is another key earlier season game, but ultimately won't have an impact on the Big Ten conference race. The late October stretch on the road at Michigan and Wisconsin is the daunting part of the schedule that sinks the Spartans hopes of heading to another Big Ten title game.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Owen Salzwedel verbally commits to the Gophers

Owen Salzwedel became the 4th verbal commitment of the Gophers 2013 recruiting class on June 21st. Owen is 6'5" 235lbs and plays defensive end for Beaver Dam High School in Beaver Dam, WI. Much like Chris Streveler, Owen hasn't received much interest from big D1 programs yet. However he does hold offers from Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Toledo. After his senior season this fall, Owen will have been a 3 year starter. In 2010, Owen recorded 11 sacks and improved upon that last year by notching13 sacks as a junior.  The Gophers continue to desperately need to upgrade their pass rush and Owen seems to be the next piece to the puzzle. His measurables continue to follow the Gophers trend of seeking slightly undersized ends that have the speed and athleticism to get to the quarterback quickly.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chris Streveler verbally commits to the Gophers

Gopher recruiting continues to pick up some steam after a slow start with the verbal commitment of Chris Streveler. Chris is a dual threat quarterback from Woodstock, IL. He is listed at 6'2" 190lbs. Chris hasn't received much attention from the larger D1 schools, but he has solid size and athleticism. He accounted for 43 touchdowns and 970 rushing yards during his junior season at Marian Central High School, while leading his team to an 11-1 record. With the only loss being in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A tournament. He has demonstrated a strong work ethic and is extremely competitive, so he seems to be capable of being a solid leader.

Here is a good article that provides some further insights on Chris Streveler.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alex Mayes verbally commits to Gophers

Alex Mayes verbally committed to the Gophers on June 18th. Alex is a 6'5" 285lbs offensive tackle from Van Alstyne, TX. He is a solid 3 star recruit according Rivals and Scout, with Scout ranking him the #41 offensive tackle in the country. It is just a verbal commitment right now, but all accounts are he is firmly committed to the Gophers. In fact, Alex has stated he is not taking any more campus visits or attending various camps. His final 3 schools that were in the running were Minnesota, Colorado and Kansas St. Another reason this is a significant recruiting win is that Alex's younger brother, Connor, is another solid offensive linemen that will be in the 2014 class. Both brothers have stated they would like to play together and Connor already has an offer from the Gophers, so this could prove to be a double win. It is exciting to see the Gophers continue to build their pipeline of offensive line talent, as they will be a key component of the Gophers turning their fortunes around.

Here is a great article by Grant Erickson highlighting Alex Mayes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Charges against Hageman dismissed

Great news for the Gophers, Ra'Shede Hageman's disorderly conduct charges stemming from a fight outside a Sally's Saloon and Eatery on May 10th have been dismissed. Ra'Shede's initial response was that he was actually breaking up the fight, but Ra'Shede and his attorney declined further comment after the charges were dropped. I have seen no word on further any further action will be taken by Jerry Kill, or the athletic department. With the charges having been dropped I don't envision any sort of suspension occurring for Ra'Shede. Instead, I imagine he simply got to have a delightful chat with Jerry Kill about avoiding further incidents moving forward.

Brian Bobek transferring to Minnesota!

Although 2013 recruting has gotten off to a slow start, a big piece of news broke June 16th when it was announced the Ohio State center Brian Bobek is transferring to Minnesota.
Brian will have to sit out this upcoming season and will then have 2 years of eligibility remaining for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Brian is going to be paying his own way this fall due to the Gophers being at the scholarship maximum, but then be on scholarship starting January 2013. This is an exciting transfer because Brian was a highly touted prospect coming out of high school. ESPN ranked him the #3 center prospect in the 2011 recruting class. The scouting report on Brian is that he has solid athleticism and is a technically sound run blocker. The most recent measurables I have seen list Brian at 6'2" 280lbs. Brian is a solid recruit that certainly infuses more talent into the Gophers young offensive line. I am really excited about this transfer because it may mean that Issac Hayes can stay at guard, instead of some projections that have him taken over at center. This gives the Gophers more flexibility and elite level linemen that can compete in the trenches of the Big Ten.