Michigan Wolverines: Terry Richardson

The Wolverines are less than a week away from signing day. Michigan still has its top recruit, Jabrill Peppers, in the fold, while the No. 2 and No. 3 commitments -- wide receiver Drake Harris and defensive tackle Bryan Mone -- have already enrolled.

Here’s a look back at Brady Hoke’s top three commits in each of his Michigan recruiting classes and what they’ve done so far in their careers for the maize and blue.

2013 class:

No. 1: RB Derrick Green

The freshman toted the ball 83 times this season, though if Hoke weren’t so loyal to his upperclassmen then Green probably would’ve taken over the job earlier from Fitzgerald Toussaint. Green finished the year averaging 3.3 yards per carry (third best on the team) and will look to be the featured back next season.

[+] EnlargeJourdan Lewis
Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY SportsMichigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis just missed on a few big plays during his freshman season but showed promise for the future.
No. 2: CB Jourdan Lewis

Lewis appeared in all 13 games for the Wolverines this season but only tallied 17 tackles and two pass break ups. He picked up more reps as the season came to a close but he (like fellow freshman Channing Stribling) found himself in a lot of “close but not quite there” situations with wide receivers.

No. 3: G David Dawson

Dawson redshirted this season but his name was brought up a few times, specifically during bowl practices. He should be able to compete for reps next season but likely won’t crack the starting lineup.

2012 class:

No. 1: CB Terry Richardson

He didn’t get into a game this season after appearing as a back up cornerback in four games in 2012. He was known for his speed and quickness as a high schooler, but at 5-foot-9 he seemed a little bit on the smaller end for Greg Mattison’s defense.

No. 2: OLB Royce Jenkins-Stone

As a freshman Jenkins-Stone played in 13 games on special teams and once appeared as a backup linebacker. As a sophomore he again played on special teams and one game as a linebacker. In his career he has registered 11 tackles.

No. 3: G Kyle Kalis

He redshirted last season but started eight games this season at right guard. He missed some time because of an ankle injury but showed a ton of promise on a struggling O-line. His return next season should help solidify the interior offensive line and the aid the struggles the Wolverines had.

2011 class:

No. 1: CB Blake Countess

Countess came off his ACL injury and recorded a Big Ten-best six interceptions this season. His 42 total tackles was two shy of his freshman total. He should be the vocal leader of the secondary next season as a fourth-year junior.

No. 2: CB Delonte Hollowell

In 10 games this season Hollowell tallied just two total tackles. In just four of those games Hollowell saw time on defense, as he mainly played special teams.

No. 3: DE Brennen Beyer

Beyer played at SAM linebacker this season until Jake Ryan returned and then moved back to the defensive line, where he played in 2012. He accounted for 27 tackles, four tackles for a loss, two sacks, one interception and five quarterback hurries.

WolverineNation Roundtable 

May, 30, 2013
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Every Thursday our writers sit down to discuss a few issues surrounding Michigan sports. With the commitment of Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, NJ/Paramus Catholic) still fresh, we figured we’d stick to three questions surrounding the No. 1 cornerback in the country.

1. With a guy like Peppers committing, which DB on Michigan's roster do you think could get left out when he arrives?

Tom VanHaaren: That's tough to answer because it's going to change. We don't know if he will start at corner when he gets there, or how he will initially contribute. We can assume that Blake Countess will have his spot locked down and will only be a redshirt junior when Peppers arrives. The other wrench in this scenario is the number of defensive backs Michigan brought in for the 2013 class. It seems as though Raymon Taylor would be the guy that would be moved if Peppers gets playing time immediately, but with Greg Mattison's defense and that many weapons they might just be able to move a few guys around and roll out different packages.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- While Michigan’s offense has a bunch of questions surrounding who will play where and how much time freshmen might see, the Wolverines’ defense has other issues.

These, though, aren’t so bad.

Michigan has significant depth -- albeit some inexperience -- at every spot on its defense. This allows the Wolverines to come closer to reaching defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s goal of being able to rotate players at both defensive line and linebacker to keep them fresh for later in games and later on in the season.

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Michigan begins spring practice on Saturday with both some question marks and some major returning talent. Brady Hoke says of his team: "We're very young. But these guys have a lot of fight to them." There will also be a lot of fighting for starting jobs, beginning in a few days. I recently caught up with the third-year Wolverines coach for his thoughts on the approach of spring ball:

What are the main things you're looking for this spring?

Brady Hoke: Well, you know, we've got a lot of open spaces. Some guys graduated, some guys aren't with the program anymore and we've got a lot of young guys. I think we only have 11 starters back on both sides of the ball, so there's going to be a lot of great competition, which is exciting. I think the leadership of our seniors, they've done a nice job of holding everybody accountable. But when you get out there with the pads on, it's a little different than just running around in shorts.

[+] EnlargeBrady Hoke
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsWith only 11 returning starters, Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he's excited about the competition this spring.
Some of that competition will be on the offensive line, where you've got three open jobs on the interior. How do you see those battles right now?


BH: Well, I think the interior of both lines, there's going to be a lot of competition. We've got to find a center, and that's between [Jack] Miller and [Graham] Glasgow, and Joey Burzynski will try to figure that out a little bit, too. At the guard positions, Ben Braden is going to move down inside and start out at the left guard, but he'll have a lot of competition because Burzynski is back and so is Blake Bars. Kyle Kalis will move into the right side, and it will be interesting again with [Kyle] Bosch and some of the guys who have been here a little bit. I think it will be a really good competition at all three of those inside positions.

Having Taylor [Lewan] back is huge. I think it's great for him and great for Michigan. Mike Schofield has had a really good winter. He had some real bright spots during the course of last season, and I think his development is going to be something special.

You mentioned the defensive line, where you also lost a couple of veterans. How does that shape up?

BH: I think inside, we get Jibreel Black for another year and Quinton Washington. But once you get through that, there are a lot of young guys ... Willie Henry, Ondre Pipkins, Ryan Glasgow, Richard Ash and Chris Wormley are all guys who can either play the inside tackle or the strongside end. We'll find out the guys who are competitive. Tommy Strobel is another guy we think had a real good winter, and Keith Heitzman. So it's going to be fun to see them compete.

Does having so many young guys in key spots on the line make you nervous? Or do you have a lot of confidence in them because you recruited most of them?

BH: I think it makes you nervous if you think you may have recruited the wrong guys. But we like the work ethic. We like how they've come in to learn and with a lot of enthusiasm. I think there's some competitiveness that we need to keep pushing as a program. You know, we lost five games on the road. We've played pretty well at home but we've got to do better on the road and that's a mindset, a mentality that you have to compete through everything, on every down.

Devin Gardner goes into spring practice as your starting quarterback. How has he developed as a leader?

BH: I have been really excited about the progress he's made. I'm seeing that maturity that it takes and the leadership it takes and the competitiveness it takes to be the quarterback at Michigan. I think that's a real big part of how he's grown, and I think he's done a nice job with it. I'm liking the direction he's going, and hopefully he can just keep going and keep growing.

What about your running back position this spring, with Fitz Toussaint hurt and Derrick Green not there yet?

BH: You know, Fitz has come along pretty well. I don't think he'll do a lot of contact or anything like that, but I think he'll be cleared for a lot more drill work. That's gone real well. We've moved [Dennis] Norfleet back to running back and we're going to give him an opportunity. Dennis, he's a smaller guy, but he's a very competitive, very tough young man. Drake Johnson is a guy we redshirted a year ago, and we really liked the way he competed in scout situations. In the bowl practices, we did some scrimmages and gave him a lot of carries, and we're very excited about what he has to offer.

Thomas Rawls is coming back, and I think he learned a lot last year about the vision he needs to play with, and I like how he's competed through the [winter]. And Justice Hayes is a guy who gives you a little bit different look because of how he can get on the perimeter. He did some things in a couple of games last year, but now I think he'll have a big stage to prove himself more this spring. And he's a bigger guy now, he's 190-something pounds, so he's a little bigger.

[+] EnlargeDrew Dileo
Kim Klement/USA TODAY SportsMichigan coach Brady Hoke said that he's pleased by more than just the on-field success of WRs Drew Dileo and Jeremy Gallon.
You have Jeremy Gallon back at receiver, but you lost Roy Roundtree. You sounded excited about some of the younger guys there during bowl prep. Is spring their time to step up now?

BH: Yeah, I think so. First of all, I think the leadership with Gallon and Drew Dileo, they've done a really nice job being leaders at that position. They're not big guys, but they have a real spirit for the game and really do a nice job of working and leading. We have Amara Darboh, who played a little last year, and Jehu Chesson, who we redshirted a year ago. And I think Jeremy Jackson has had a very good winter; we're very excited about some of the progress he's made. Joe Reynolds is a guy who walked on here, and he's done a very nice job. And Bo Dever, his dad played here and he walked on. I think that during the course of the spring, we'll be in pretty good shape there. I think as we keep going, we'll keep improving at that position.

Linebacker was a strength for you last year and looks to be so again. Do you see some good competition there this spring, particularly at the weakside spot?

BH: Yeah, I think with Desmond Morgan and James Ross, there's going to be great competition. Joe Bolden and Royce Jenkins-Stone and Mike Jones are all guys who are very competitive, and I think the three young guys coming in are going to be guys who will give us a lot of good competition and a lot of good depth. Kaleb Ringer is coming back from injury, so we'll see what he can give us. At the sam linebacker, Jake [Ryan] is coming back, and we really like what Cam Gordon has done during the winter. So I think we feel a little stronger at that position.

How do you replace what Jordan Kovacs gave you in the secondary?

BH: I don't know if you ever replace that kind of leadership, but I really think Thomas Gordon, he's played a lot of football here, and it's time for him to demonstrate the leadership. And he's doing that. Because of the number of snaps and everything he's done, he's really fallen into his own a little bit. Courtney Avery has played a lot of football, and whether he's a corner a nickel or wherever, he's got to give us great leadership and great reps. Blake Countess is getting healthier; he'll do some things during the spring. Josh Furman, I think, has come on.

We've got to see where Terry Richardson is and where Marvin Robinson is. Both those guys have played a number of snaps. We've got Raymon Taylor back, who I think started every game for us last year, we're excited about his development. Dymonte Thomas is a guy who's going to compete, and he'll pressure some guys. Jarrod Wilson is another guy who played some last year for us. Ross Douglas is here early. Jeremy Clark is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound safety we redshirted a year ago, and it's going to be a big spring for him to make some moves.

So I think we may have more personnel back there. And even more in the fall when Channing Stribling gets in, and Reon Dawson gets in and Jourdan Lewis. I think it's going to add something to our secondary.

Finally, what has your message been to the team this offseason after last year's 8-5 season?

BH: Well, our message has been, we haven't met the expectations at Michigan. That's something that as a football community… that we really feel that we have to do a much better job in all areas, from the coaching aspect of it, from learning and playing with the competitiveness we want to have, from every player at every position playing with the intensity we want to play with. It's about having a mindset and a mentality of how we want to play the game. We make no excuses, but at the same time, we know we have a lot we can do to play better football.

WolverineNation roundtable 

February, 21, 2013
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Mason ColeCorey Long/ESPN.comStar offensive lineman Mason Cole is slated to visit U-M this weekend.
Each week, Tom, Mike and Chantel sit down to talk about three topics surrounding Michigan sports and recruiting. This week, they take a look back at the Wolverines’ football freshmen who didn’t redshirt, the basketball team’s drop in the polls, and a big-visit weekend for Wolverine recruiting.

1) Of the true freshmen who played in 2012, who should the Wolverines have kept redshirted?


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Raymon TaylorAP Photo/Michael ConroySophomore Raymon Taylor was thrust into a starting cornerback position when Blake Countess went out for the season due to injury, and his experience should help Michigan's secondary next season.
Over the next few weeks, WolverineNation will look at every position on the Michigan roster and give a depth chart analysis of each position on the roster heading into the offseason.

This was considered a position of strength entering last season, with two experienced corners getting ready to man their positions and have breakout years. It didn’t really take place as Blake Countess missed all but one game of the season with an injury and J.T. Floyd was consistent but didn’t make the next leap.

Now, entering next season, Michigan is in the same position. It has two starting cornerbacks ready to jump up a talent level and a bunch of guys behind them who are talented but don’t have much experience at all.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan’s path to winning the Outback Bowl just got more difficult. For the Wolverines, already trying to beat a top-10 team with a strong defense and a capable offense, losing starting cornerback J.T. Floyd, the most experienced and consistent corner on the roster, along with Big Ten punter of the year Will Hagerup is a big blow.

Now Michigan has to face South Carolina with sophomore Raymon Taylor and junior Courtney Avery as the starting cornerbacks. Taylor has proved he can play well against topflight opponents this season, but Avery has rarely been in a position to be an every-down player throughout his career.

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Norfleet makes move to cornerback

December, 14, 2012
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Dennis Norfleet always has been Michigan’s shiftiest, fastest freshman on the field. This movement, though, had little to do with his speed.

[+] EnlargeDennis Norfleet
Ray Carlin/Icon SMIRunning back and return specialist Dennis Norfleet has switched to cornerback.
Norfleet has made the move from offense to defense, settling in the last two weeks at cornerback instead of running back, where he saw limited action. It is a move the coaches have contemplated for a while, but they didn’t make the switch until after the regular season concluded.

“We talked about it for a while,” coach Brady Hoke said. “Just to get another good athlete on the field.”

It is an athleticism Norfleet showed a multitude of times this season returning kickoffs, which is a role he will still play. It is there where the 5-foot-7 freshman made the most impact, gaining 795 yards and coming within one cut of breaking long returns a handful of times this season. He also showed promise returning punts, averaging 26.5 yards in his two punt returns.

As for his switch, Hoke said the move wasn’t made due to depth at either spot, although Michigan now has two healthy, scholarship running backs in sophomore Thomas Rawls and redshirt freshman Justice Hayes. The Wolverines have a little more depth at cornerback with senior J.T. Floyd, junior Courtney Avery, sophomores Raymon Taylor and Delonte Hollowell and freshman Terry Richardson.

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WolverineNation Mailbag 

September, 5, 2012
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Michigan is still smarting from its 41-14 loss to defending national champion Alabama, a performance in which the Wolverines were dominated in every phase of the game.

While Michigan coach Brady Hoke isn’t making any wholesale changes after his team’s Week 1 performance, he was forced to replace a cornerback when Blake Countess was shut down for the season with an ACL tear.

But you had questions after Alabama. So we will try to provide answers in this week’s Mailbag. If you have more questions, tweet them to @chanteljennings or email her at jenningsespn@gmail.com for next week’s Mailbag.

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Defense must cope without Countess

September, 3, 2012
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- This was exactly the news Michigan didn’t want to hear. The deepest position on its team, the group perceived as strength of the defense this season, is now down a man.

Not only a man, but its best player. Sophomore cornerback Blake Countess (torn ACL) is out for the year for Michigan, a season-long residual of an already rough few days for the Wolverines after losing to No. 2 Alabama, 41-14, on Saturday night.

(Read full post)

WolverineNation mailbag 

August, 29, 2012
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The fact that I can write that there will be an actual, live football game this weekend seems pretty unreal. The summer flew by and college football season really is here. There's still some predicting that needs to happen, but most people will have concrete answers to their toughest questions soon. Like: Will Fitzgerald Toussaint play against Alabama? Can Will Campbell play up to his potential this season? Will a freshman receiver see the field? And really, what do tigers dream of when they take a little tiger snooze?

We love hearing from our fans, so keep the questions coming. And, if you have any really tough questions or questions about hair, send them to Mike for next week's mailbag. You can tweet him @mikerothstein or email him michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com.

But now, let's get to business. Jace Maleport, Grand Rapids, Mich.: If Michigan loses to Alabama, how severe do you feel the negative impact would be on the team from a loss of 7-14 points (close) compared to a loss of 21 points or more (blowout)?

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Some college football prospects have the opportunity to experience the recruiting process with an older brother, which allows them to be a step ahead when they actually go through it.

But for players like running back/linebacker Gary Hosey (Detroit/Cass Tech), who doesn't have any older brothers, it could've been overwhelming when Big Ten schools like Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin started recruited him during his sophomore year.

But luckily for Hosey, he has any number of Cass Tech teammates who have gone through the process that he can go to when he has questions.

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WolverineNation Mailbag 

July, 4, 2012
7/04/12
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Denard RobinsonLon Horwedel/Icon SMI The Big Ten's deal with the Pac-12 means intrastate schools such as Western Michigan are coming off the schedule.
It's summertime in Ann Arbor and it's getting very, very hot. The kind of hot that makes you stockpile popsicles and invest in new oscillating fans. Well, that's what I do.

For those of you who have yours fans set up around the couch and are eating endless amounts of popsicles, watching reruns of old Michigan games and waiting for the 2012 season to arrive, here is something that will help tie you over.

The 2012 season will come and answer its own questions. But until then, I'll answer some. We love hearing from our readers so tweet me @chanteljennings or email me jenningsespn@gmail.com to get your questions in our weekly mailbag.

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Entrance Interview is a series at WolverineNation -- similar to our Exit Interview series -- where we chat with incoming Michigan football and men's basketball players about their thoughts as they start college, what their expectations are, and what they'll miss most about high school.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- James Ross (Orchard Lake, Mich./Saint Mary’s) is a teenager built like a man, muscle put together on top of muscle with baby fat all but eliminated. One of the players signed by Michigan in the Class of 2012, the 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker looks more like a 25-year-old who has spent a decade building his body instead of a high school student transitioning to college.

But Ross is about to be a freshman for the final time in his life later this month when he matriculates at Michigan. WolverineNation caught up with him at the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy to chat about his competitive streak, life with family, advice for his little brother and his love of the ladder.

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Entrance Interview is a series at WolverineNation -- similar to our Exit Interview series -- where we chat with incoming Michigan football and men's basketball players about their thoughts as they start college, what their expectations are, and what they'll miss most about high school.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Terry Richardson (Detroit/Cass Tech) was Michigan’s highest-rated recruit in the Class of 2012, the No. 68 player in the country as a 5-foot-10, 163-pound cornerback.

He also comes into Michigan at a position where the Wolverines have perhaps the greatest depth of anywhere on their roster with the top six cornerbacks from last season returning. WolverineNation caught up with Richardson as he hung out with the Michigan coaches at the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy last week, and he discussed the depth chart, the potential to redshirt and walking around Michigan's campus.

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