Michigan Wolverines: Brandon Moore

It’s game week. If you’ve already started tailgating, there’s no judgment. It has been a long, long offseason. We have the mailbag every Wednesday, so feel free to drop me an email (jenningsespn@gmail.com) or send me a tweet (@chanteljennings) whenever questions pop in to your head and check back here to see if they make the final cut.

Now, on to this week’s questions…

1. Andre Davis, Evansville: What's the biggest weakness on this year's team?

[+] EnlargeDerrick Green
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comDerrick Green, who was ranked No. 38 in the 2013 ESPN 300, is well behind other running backs to start the season for the Wolverines.
A: Having not seen this team play yet, I’m going to go with the interior offensive linemen. Graham Glasgow, Jack Miller and Kyle Kalis combine for a total of zero starts, which isn’t exactly what you want to see. Don’t get me wrong, there are other areas of doubt, obviously. The wide receivers took a blow. We have no idea what the running back situation looks like. The secondary is pretty turned over, experience-wise. The defensive line may or may not be better than last season. However, if the offensive line isn’t effective then it puts Devin Gardner in a much more difficult situation. With Gardner in a more difficult situation, he has a tougher time getting the ball to Fitzgerald Toussaint or any of his receivers. If the offensive line can’t protect him, he faces injury and then Michigan is left with a true freshman or a walk-on, neither of which is a scenario I think people want to see played out. Those three guys up front need to have chemistry and need to play older and more experienced than they are if they want the offense to function like it can.

2. Mike Randazzo, Salt Lake City: How will Greg Mattison take advantage of the CMU QB being 2-of-4 passing in his career? Unleash blitzes early, or drop many back?

A: Well, junior Cody Kater was the understudy to a pretty talented quarterback in Ryan Radcliff (3,158 yards, 23 touchdowns as a senior), and I never underestimate what a player can learn while studying the guy in front of him. However, yes, he is inexperienced and the Central Michigan offensive line is in a worse place without No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Eric Fisher protecting the QB. However, I don’t think Mattison will just throw the kitchen sink at him. The goal is for Michigan to be effective defensively on a regular basis with a four-man rush. I’d imagine we’ll see some blitz schemes early just to get Kater on his heels and let the Chippewas know that they can, but I don’t necessarily think that means they will consistently.

3. Jacob Sharar, Clovis, Calif.: Who is more likely to have a break out season and compete for All-American status: Jeremy Gallon or Frank Clark?

A: That’s a tough question. Because you have to look at depth at the position nationally and if only one rush end is named and it’s between Clark and, you know, Jadeveon Clowney, I think we know who’s going to get the All-American status. However, even if Clark isn’t named a first team All-American, I think he’ll have the more successful season at his position. I expect Gallon will have a great season, maybe even a 1000-yard season. But when you look at who will contribute more to Michigan and how that will be seen nationally, based on how other people at the same position perform, I think the scales will tilt to Clark. If he lives up to his billing, I think he’ll be the one with the ridiculous stats at the end of this year.

4. Kellen, Detroit: Which position on the depth chart seemed the most surprising to you?

A: Probably running back. I already knew that Derrick Green wasn’t going to be first or second string, but I thought the coaches had been downplaying his fall camp. To see him listed as sharing the fifth-string position with De'Veon Smith, however, was just kind of a surprise. I think most expected Green to come in and compete for the starting spot from Day One. Now, this doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t do that. But if you want to trust the depth charts (which, Brandon Moore -- with a cast on his foot -- was listed as a first string tight end last season for many weeks), it means he hasn’t done that yet, which surprises me. Green has had a month to prove himself better than Drake Johnson, Thomas Rawls or Justice Hayes, and he hasn’t. I would imagine he’ll move up the depth chart at some point this season, but I definitely wouldn’t have guessed at any point since he committed last winter, that we’d see him as a fifth stringer.

Exit Interview: TE Brandon Moore 

March, 4, 2013
'Exit Interview' is a concept started at WolverineNation last year where we chat with Michigan athletes not returning for next season.

Brandon Moore is the last of an era at Michigan. He was recruited by Lloyd Carr as the No. 6 tight end in the Class of 2008, signed with Rich Rodriguez and played for he and Brady Hoke -- although not as much as Moore planned.

Moore had two career catches and spent most of his senior year injured.

Q: You came into Michigan somewhat highly touted and your career had ups and downs. How do you view your career?

Exit Interview: TE Mike Kwiatkowski 

February, 21, 2013
"Exit Interview" is a concept started at WolverineNation last year where we chat with players leaving Michigan about their experiences with the Wolverines and, in some cases, what's next.

Mike Kwiatkowski began his Michigan career like almost every other student. In the stands. As a spectator. But he eventually found his way on the team and for his final year, into the starting lineup for six games this season. He made four catches for 37 yards in his career.

WolverineNation caught up with Kwiatkowski as he prepares for a future in pharmacy.

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Exit Interview: LS Curt Graman 

February, 15, 2013
‘Exit Interview’ is a concept started at WolverineNation last year where we chat with players leaving Michigan about their experiences with the Wolverines and in some cases, what’s next.

Curt Graman didn't play much in his career and other than a brief stint at tight end, a position he played in high school, his specialty was as a long snapper.

WolverineNation caught up with Graman last month.

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J.T. FloydJoe Robbins/Getty ImagesJ.T. Floyd surprised teammates and family by lopping of his dreads before the Purdue game.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- At the end of practices during the week, Michigan coach Brady Hoke gathers the defensive line together and has them do a drill to keep them active and ready to deal with some of the most mobile quarterbacks they will face.

He calls it “chase the rabbit.”

“You ever try to catch a rabbit,” Hoke said. “They are hard to catch.”

Not that Hoke has ever tried himself -- after asking a reporter if he had tried to catch one he said he never has, either -- but the point of the drill is to help his linemen take correct angles to the ball and also teach how to stay up to speed against guys like Michigan will face Saturday, Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase.

Michigan goes about this two ways. One is the rabbit drill. The other, which the Wolverines do each week as well, is run quarterback Denard Robinson against the first-team defense for multiple periods each week in practice.

It happens to keep defenders -- and, in theory, Robinson -- sharp and also prepare them for the speed of anyone they’ll face.

“We build a mindset and a mentality,” Hoke said. “With us going so much against each other, obviously 16 is kind of hard to corral once in a while. That helps us as a team when we’re a playing against a guy like Scheelhaase.”

Not dreading the cut: For five years, J.T. Floyd had not cut his hair, letting his dreadlocks grow through his entire career, making him easily recognizable on the field and along with Robinson, the dreads had become somewhat of a trademark for him.

Until last week, when he decided to cut them off.

“It was just time,” Floyd said. “Now I’m going for a different look. It’s just a different time.

“It was something, it was an easy decision to grow them out and just as easy a decision to cut them.”

One of the last people to see Floyd with the dreads was Robinson, who didn’t believe him when he said he was planning on cutting them. Robinson was also one of the first people to see him after the haircut.

He didn’t save any of them for posterity, either, letting the dreads be swept up by the barber. He didn’t tell his family, either, allowing it to be a Saturday surprise at Purdue, when Michigan suddenly had two short-haired cornerbacks.

“It was great,” Floyd said. “A great feeling the next morning to just wake up and rub your head and actually feel your scalp. Great feeling.”

Will Floyd’s decision rub off on Robinson, whose dreads are third only to his untied shoelaces and running ability as traits most recognizable with Michigan’s senior quarterback?

“I’m trying to persuade him to cut them, but it’s not going to happen,” Floyd said. “Not going to happen.”

This and that: Hoke said Jordan Kovacs, who played through an injury last week, is "good." ... Hoke said Tuesday’s practice was “comparable” to what he saw last week preparing for Purdue, which he deemed some of the best practices of the season. ... Hoke said Wednesday that tight end Brandon Moore is practicing again and could play this week, but wouldn’t commit to it. Hoke also said “we’ll see” when asked about the availability of fullback Stephen Hopkins. Hopkins has missed time due to injury.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. --- During the bye week, Michigan coach Brady Hoke said junior wide receiver Devin Gardner was fine after sliding into a structure during a play at Notre Dame Stadium two weeks ago. But on Saturday night following the Wolverines' 44-13 victory at Purdue, Gardner addressed the issue himself.

"I hit the ground and my shoulder felt really weird," Gardner said. "I didn't really feel good about it. And then I was advised to probably stay down. I'm fine."

Against Purdue, Gardner caught two passes, accounting for 31 yards and one touchdown -- the only passing touchdown of the game.

"It's OK; I'm fine," Gardner said. "I played today and I felt like I played, blocked and did everything that receivers should do."

Other injuries: Senior safety Jordan Kovacs wore a brace on his right knee throughout the Purdue game, though he said he was fine. … Brandon Moore (MCL), Stephen Hopkins (hamstring) and Richard Ash (undisclosed) didn't make the trip to Purdue. … Brennen Beyer (knee) and Marvin Robinson (undisclosed), who were recently held out of games, both made the trip and played.

WolverineNation roundtable 

September, 20, 2012
Every Thursday, Tom, Mike and Chantel will discuss three issues in and around Michigan sports. This week, they look at Notre Dame, freshman starters and the 2013 recruiting class rankings.

1.) What aspect of Notre Dame should the Wolverines be most worried about heading into this Saturday?

[+] EnlargeAndrew Maxwell
Mike Carter/US PresswireThe Notre Dame D-line made life miserable for Michigan State, which surely got Michigan's attention.
Tom Van Haaren: From the looks of the game Notre Dame played against Michigan State, I would say the defensive line. Spartans quarterback Andrew Maxwell looked like he was under pressure the entire game, and Michigan's offensive line has had its struggles so far this year. Michigan will need to keep the Notre Dame defensive line in check if it wants to see offensive success in South Bend.

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Michigan football coach Brady Hoke met with the media Wednesday afternoon for the final time before the Notre Dame game Saturday. Here are a few quick notes from the press conference:

Out: Brandon Moore (MCL)

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Michigan goes injury-free Saturday

September, 15, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- As Michigan walked off the field Saturday after a dominant 63-13 win over UMass, the Wolverines had another victory, one they hadn’t seen this season.

They emerged from a game healthy for the first time this season. Kind of.

Michigan had no major injuries during the game, unlike the previous two weeks, when the Wolverines lost cornerback Blake Countess (ACL) for the season, tight end Brandon Moore (knee) for several weeks and defensive end Brennen Beyer (knee) for an unknown period of time.

“I don’t know if we had any boo-boos today,” Hoke said. “But we’ve had one of those years where we have had a lot of guys dinged up.”

However, the week itself wasn’t as kind.

(Read full post)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan senior tight end Brandon Moore will wear the No. 87 Legends jersey in honor of Ron Kramer for the rest of the season.

"When you think of the history and tradition of this program and some of the great players like Ron Kramer, to carry on that legacy, that responsibility, is humbling," Moore said in a statement. "It's an honor to wear No. 87."

Moore, who used to wear No. 89, is injured and will not dress Saturday.

Kramer was a two-time All-American in 1955 and 1956 and a three-time All-Big Ten first-team player from 1954 to 1956. He mostly played tight end and on the defensive line for Michigan, but also saw brief stints at quarterback, running back and returning kicks and punts.

At Michigan, Kramer is eighth all-time in receiving yards among tight ends with 880 from 1954 to 1956.

Besides football, Kramer also played basketball and ran track at Michigan. He averaged 16.9 points a game for the Wolverines from 1954-57 in basketball and scored 1,119 points in his career, 38th all-time. Kramer is also Michigan’s all-time free throw percentage leader at 87.8 percent.

Kramer, who died at age 75 in 2010, was a first round draft pick for Green Bay in 1957 and played in the NFL for 10 seasons. He had 229 catches for 3,272 yards and 16 touchdowns during his career.

His jersey has been the third given the “Legends Patch” distinction by Michigan, joining the No. 21 from Desmond Howard last season (currently worn by Roy Roundtree) and the No. 47 from Bennie Oosterbaan (worn by Jake Ryan).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan now has an idea of who it will play and who it will redshirt this season.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Wednesday that he feels comfortable with where his team stands now with its freshman class after 12 of them have played in the first two games of the season.

And if they haven’t played yet -- it is likely they won’t until 2013.

(Read full post)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan's injury issues grew Saturday as the Wolverines took more hits on defense.

The Wolverines have already lost defensive lineman Chris Wormley and cornerback Blake Countess for the season to torn ACLs and linebacker Kaleb Ringer to a knee injury.

On Saturday, depth took a bigger hit -- temporarily -- with injuries to defensive linemen Brennen Beyer and Richard Ash.

(Read full post)

There were too many possible puns, so freshman tight end Devin Funchess couldn't get away from the media without letting them know what his nickname was.

And while "D-Funch" was his ultimate response, several had hoped it would be along the lines of "Getting Funch-y" or "Bunches of Funchess." Because no one could deny that Funchess had quite the coming-out party on Saturday against Air Force and the public had already begun crowning him with nicknames.

The true freshman, who stepped into the first-string tight end position after senior Brandon Moore suffered a knee injury, became senior quarterback Denard Robinson's go-to tight end. He caught four passes for 106 yards and one touchdown.

(Read full post)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Brady Hoke is familiar with Air Force, having faced the Falcons and their option-style offense during his time in the Mountain West.

And the biggest key to it, from a defensive standpoint, is making sure to stay on assignments and sure tackling. This is something the Wolverines struggled with mightily against Alabama on Saturday.

“It’s always a challenge any time you get into a midline series offense,” Hoke said. “It’s a fun challenge because it really speaks of playing assignment football. We gameplanned way back, did very little this fall camp but we’ll start tonight.

“You can’t do too much because their personnel and what Troy [Calhoun] is doing, they’ve changed a little bit with going no-huddle right now.”

That’s a bit of a change than when Hoke faced him in the Mountain West, when the Falcons didn’t run out of no-huddle.

(Read full post)

Fifth-year senior safety Jordan Kovacs has been praised during fall camp for his consistency during his time at Michigan, through his play and his demeanor. And defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who has singled out very few players during fall camp, was quick to point to Kovacs as the most consistent player the Wolverines have had so far this season on defense.

"That young man has had a tremendous camp," Mattison said. "You talk about consistency -- if you graded every play, I'd like to see that grade, because he's really working hard and he has been the most consistent."

Mattison said several other players have had consistent practices, but no single player has strung together consistently solid practices the way Kovacs has.

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Michigan C Cites Concussions In Decision To Quit
Joe Schad discusses how concussions and a concern over long-term health have helped Michigan center Jack Miller decide not to play football his senior year.