WolverineNation Roundtable


1. Which special teams player do you think will help the most in the Wolverines' return game?

Michael Rothstein: Someone who isn't even on campus yet -- Dennis Norfleet (Detroit/Martin Luther King). Michigan really started to show interest in him once Darryl Stonum was dismissed from the team -- and Stonum was slated to be the Wolverines' top returner next season. So if Norfleet can come on campus and show the same speed and elusiveness he did in high school, he could end up being Michigan's quickest, most unexpected, contributor on special teams in 2012.

Tom VanHaaren: I think Jeremy Gallon probably helps out the most, but it really seems like new signee Norfleet can bring a lot of speed on special teams. If he can bulk up a little bit and keep that speed then I think he has a chance to be electric back there.

Chantel Jennings: I hate to rain on this Norfleet parade, but I'm going to have to go with Gallon. He had a really promising season last year and while he never broke through for any huge gains, he had holes that he almost broke. I think in 2012 he will break a few of those.

2. There's less than a month left before the Wolverines head to Indianapolis. What has been the biggest shock to date about the season?

MR: The inconsistent play of sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. A sophomore slump could have been mildly expected, however the way he has essentially disappeared from some games this season has been stunning. As of before the Nebraska game, his scoring in Big Ten games has dropped from 14.9 points a game to 14.4. His shooting percentage has plummeted from 46.4 percent to 36.7 percent. His 3-point percentage has dropped from 44.2 percent to 21.2 percent. His rebounding and assist numbers have stayed consistent, but he just seems off.

TV: I was going to say Hardaway Jr., but I looked up his stats and I think what was more shocking to me was that his average numbers are pretty similar to last season's. A lot of people have been saying he's in a slump, but he averaged 13.9 points off 42-percent shooting in 2011, compared to averaging 14.7 points off 41.2 percent shooting this season. From how everyone was talking about him it seemed like he was having a terrible season. From those numbers he's pretty close to averaging what he did last season. That really surprised me.

CJ: I would say it has been how well redshirt sophomore Jordan Morgan has held up. I knew he would be a serviceable big man in the Big Ten, but with the lack of depth at his position he has been relied upon so heavily this year. While he hasn't had any games where he scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, he is putting in his eight points and six boards each game. He has really developed as a player, specifically his timing. He has used his pump fake really well this year and has been able to get a few opponents in foul trouble, something that rarely happened last season.

3. Where do you think the 2013 football recruiting class will rank compared to the 2012 class?

MR: It'll be tough for Michigan to beat its 2012 class, which filled a lot of needs -- but the 2013 class has a chance to rank higher. It already has one of the best quarterbacks in the class, Shane Morris, locked in. Same with an elite defensive back in Dymonte Thomas. And Michigan's offer sheet reads like a who's who of the early 2013 ESPNU 100 -- so Michigan is clearly trying to be a major player early on with many big-time recruits. That gives the Wolverines a chance to have at least an equal class. I'll say, and obviously there is a long way to go, that Michigan finishes in the top 10 again.

TV: I think the 2013 class might have a chance to be a little better than the 2012 class. I'm not saying it's going to be the top class, but the prospects whom Michigan is already in on, and in good shape with, lead me to believe this class will be very good. Morris is a Top 100 player as well as Thomas, both already committed. That's a great start to have two commits that are most likely going to be in the ESPNU 150, as the 2012 class had four ESPNU 150 commits total. They're halfway to matching that, and I think they will pass that handily if everything goes as planned.

CJ: I think the 2013 class will be better. The 2012 class finished as No. 8 overall in the country, and I’m guessing Hoke has a top five class up his sleeve. Morris is a huge draw to the program, and he hasn’t been shy about his goal of having the nation's top recruiting class. I'm excited to see Hoke and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer go head-to-head on a few different recruits to see who wins out. Obviously, that happened a bit this year with Bri'onte Dunn and Armani Reeves, but we'll see where the chips fall next year. But, I will say that I think Michigan will finish with the best recruiting class in the Big Ten for 2013.