February, 29, 2012
By Chantel Jennings | ESPN.com
Lon Horwedell/Icon SMISophomore Frank Clark, along with Brennen Beyer, is expected to give Michigan more of a pass-rushing element from the defensive end position next season.
We’re well into spring break for Michigan students. But the basketball team is still around and the fans don’t get a spring break, so we know you have questions.
And we love hearing from our readers. Michael will be handling next week’s mailbag so if you have any questions send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: @Showboat804 via Twitter: If Michigan has a terrible season next year how will [Michigan coach Brady Hoke] keep this recruiting class together?
CJ: I don’t think that’ll be a problem. Hoke put together much of last year’s No. 7 class in the country without so much as a game under his belt as a Michigan coach (though he closed it out as a BCS bowl game champion). If the team does poorly that could act as a positive for many young players because they could see the potential for playing time (especially with so many four stars already committed). Also, it’s not just Hoke holding this class together. Several of the 2013 commits have already begun trying to establish a family-like feel in their class.
Q: Art Vandelay via Twitter: U of M lacked an edge rusher last season. Who's the favorite to get pressure this year, and who are they targeting for this for 2013?
CJ: Last year it would’ve been Craig Roh, who’s likely moving to the other side of the line. But I think this season someone like Brennen Beyer might drop down from linebacker to defensive end, giving Michigan an athletic pass rusher. Frank Clark saw some playing time as a freshman and should be another piece to Michigan's pass rush puzzle. Part of the Michigan coaches’ goal has been to add speed at this position, which they did in the 2012 class with Mario Ojemudia. One of Ojemudia's biggest strengths is his speed off the edge, so he’ll have a chance to get some time early. They have also already addressed that need in the 2013 class by adding Taco Charlton. At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds Charlton has a lot of athleticism and size that is highly wanted at his position.
Q: Van Shumake via Twitter: Why are U of M fans arrogant & think their school has the "winningest" record when early on they played inferior opponents?
CJ: I think arrogance is in the eye of the beholder, so it’s not really an objective question. And Michigan fans don’t just think Michigan is the winningest program -- it is. The Wolverines have amassed 895 wins over their 132-year history (that’s 6.8 wins per season). And it’s not that they played inferior opponents in the beginning. The Wolverines had a solid coach for the first two decades of their program. Fielding H. Yost invented the forward pass, changing the game and making defenses completely unsure of how to defend. In 1901, the Wolverines outscored opponents 550-0. In 1902 it was 644-12. It’s not that they were playing terrible teams. They were very good early on and it gave them some cushion in the later years when everyone began catching up.