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Posted on Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 10:15 a.m.

J.T. Turner, offensive linemen among the standouts on Michigan's scout team

By Dave Birkett

The Michigan football team's 2009 recruiting class has produced two starters (quarterback Tate Forcier and outside linebacker Craig Roh) and several backups and special-teams contributors. Coach Rich Rodriguez said more help is on the way.


J.T. Turner

Rodriguez singled out cornerback J.T. Turner, safety Thomas Gordon and receivers Jeremy Gallon and Cam Gordon when asked what freshmen currently redshirting have caught his eye. He also said Michigan has "some really talented young offensive lineman" in Taylor Lewan, Quinton Washington and Michael Schofield.

"We haven’t talked about it a lot because we haven’t had time to catch our breath during the season," Rodriguez said. "But we feel pretty good about this last year’s recruiting class as far as guys that fit here both athletically and academically and (can) be the type of guys we want to go forward with."

Turner, one of the jewels of the class, was expected to have an early impact but missed the first few days of practice with an NCAA Clearinghouse issue and never caught up. He hasn't played this year.

"We still think he’s going to be a really good player," Rodriguez said.

While coaches typically don't have much time to evaluate freshmen during the season, Rodriguez said his scout team scrimmaged for 15 to 20 minutes during Delaware State week.

"I tell the players when they’re on the scout team or demo team or look team that we are looking at them, that they’re position coaches are looking at them," Rodriguez said. "You can usually tell throughout the course of a season which young guys are going to be ready sooner rather than later."


Brandin Hawthorne

Michigan has played 10 of 21 true freshmen this year, though linebacker Brandin Hawthorne has not seen the field since September and is in position to get his redshirt back.

Rodriguez said he expects a similar impact from his 2010 class.

"We need to have another two years and three years of really good recruiting classes that fit our needs and they pan out the way we hope," Rodriguez said. "The whole key is you’re recruiting the right student-athletes and developing them. And there’s always mistakes made along the way, but you want to minimize those mistakes and bring the kind of recruiting classes in over the next few years that you can help win championships."

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 4:35 p.m.

Im blaming RR for a couple of things 1 he has to realize that the defensive staff brought over from WV are not working out yet he keeps them because of friendship bad idea FIRE your secondary and LB coaches they are bums. 2 Theres no fire in this team I remember back when playing MICHIGAN instilled a little fear in the opposition MICHIGAN was mean and nasty they hit so hard that wr and QB,s tended to get a little fidgity when they heard footsteps now we have petit little school girls playing on both sides of the ball they are scared weak not very fast as advertised and always out of position the O-LINE cant sustain blocks half the time to get the running game going or at least protect the QB the defense what can you say about the defense they are the BIGGEST bust of all time in MICHIGAN HISTORY they are the worst to ever wear the winged helmet they SUCK


Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 9:29 a.m.

it takes time to rebuild a team. why didn't lloyd carr restock the team for the next year? stop blaming rich rod for having nothing to work with. he will turn it around.........


Wed, Nov 11, 2009 : 9:23 a.m.

HeartbreakM. I was not comparing Rich Rodriguez and Michigan to the NFL and the Dolphins. You completely misunderstood my point. My whole point is that the ridiculous impatience of some with the fire Coach Rod now stuff is nonsense. I was using the dolphin's example basically showing that these SAME FANS would probably say Bill Parcells stinks too and want him fired, which is obviously not the case. (Parcells record speaks for itself). So does Coach Rodriguez. It does come down at this point anyway, to personnel. Has it occurred to anyone that if you do fire Coach Rod that the Merry GO Round of coaches is detrimental to the development of the players? Changing systems on the fly? There have been bright spots and improvements on this team from last year. Offensively! The Defense is the problem, but if anyone thinks that Coach Robinson should be fired then here we go again with the Merry Go Round of coaches. (4 possible Def coordinators in 4 seasons? Please!) More players are necessary and that takes time! I firmly believe that Coach Rod can get it done! Lets GO BLUE!


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 9:12 p.m.

pardawg45, there is a big question if his type of recruits can compete in the B10. I haven't seen it yet. I think they're too small and the speed hasn't made a difference yet. Chosen 1 makes the right point. Its about the coaching ability leading the team. Plus they don't seem to respect RR. A few of the top teams in this country (TCU) don't have nearly as much untapped/undeveloped talent as we do. Its a shame. I wish we could get Miles...


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 7:11 p.m.

yes it does come to the "recruit class" because those kids are all Rich Rods kids. so yeah it does come to that because these kids are prolly good and will be good when they can get on the field.. i understand that it's frustrating but people really have to learn to be patient.. people calling for his head right now give all michigan fans a bad name.. they all want the next best thing even if they dont know what or who it is.. just root the next two weeks and hope for the best.. GO BLUE


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 6:27 p.m.

Way to go wersch213, Your comments actually reflect the opinion of the majority of Michigan fans, not to mention Mary Sue and the out going AD. By all accounts that enter into the final decision, I think RR will get the time he needs to put it all together. Going to be exciting when he has completed the transformation of Michigan football program. It doesen't matter who came into this program after LC, rebuilding or reloading and negative feedback was going to happen. Stay the course all you pessimists, the sky is not falling! It's an investment in the future. I'll bet all you pessimists cashed in your 401K when the stock market was hovering around 7,000. Well the optimists were buying more stock. I'm buying into RR. GO BLUE ALWAYS


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 5:56 p.m.

You people...players not wanting to comment. I wonder why? Because whatever they say a reporter will twist into a newsworthy story. So no, not commenting is not "thinly veiled disagreement". Good help is coming in the secondary and offensive lines, that is great news to report because nobody knows what is going on with these players. John Beilein and Michigan Basketball...that is all I have to say. Give Rich some time for god sakes and Michigan football will soon surpass the ceiling that LC couldn't break through.


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 3:01 p.m.

You don't really want to compare RR to the NFL. First of all, comparing to a complete disaster that happened to the Dolphins is not where Michigan was. A disaster at M was 7-6 or 9-4, not beating OSU. A disaster at M for LC was not losing to Illinois, Purdue, PSU, MSU, Iowa---all IN THE SAME YEAR!!! And do you think any NFL franchise would put up with more than 2 years of his coaching? Think again. He did not need to dismantle the whole team to get "his system". It's not showing anything so far.


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 2:42 p.m.

What happened to "In Rich, we trust"? What, that only applies when we are winning games...? In two years, if we are still 5-5 after ten games (barring some sort of tragedy), I will be the first one asking for a new coach, but changing mid stream is how you end up like Nebraska. (Pssst, I don't want to be like Nebraska)


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 2:27 p.m.

Funny that when Michigan was consistently ranked in the top five recruiting classes, recruiting mattered. Now it's just about getting overhyped prep athletes...


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 1:55 p.m.

@ChosenOne...I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic.


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 1:54 p.m.

detroit rocks....u would be wrong if u bet that. Ohio state for one has a 4 star rb, 2 4 star ol, 2 4 star dbs, 1 4 or 5 star lb all redshirting this year. Penn State can boast some of the same things. Sparty even has some dbs and ol that were big recruits for them that are being redshirted.


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 1:47 p.m.

I agree there is a talent gap, but it's in the coaching staff, not the players And I think a lot of people would be patient if we saw: 1. Improvement in play through the course of each of the last two seasons. Instead the team seems to play more poorly as the season progresses. NOT A TALENT ISSUE. 2. A head coach who at least once in a while shouldered some accountability solely. Instead we hear week after week that the kids are executing, he doesn't trust the defense, that he had huge problems when he arrived, and on and on and on. Suck it up RR and admit that you've made some big mistakes since you arrived on campus and fired the entire staff on your second day. 3. Some indication that the RR is getting the most out of the talent he has. I do not believe last year's team only had 3-9 talent, nor do I believe that this year's team has played up to their ability at 5-5. 4. Some indication that RR hasn't lost the respect of the team. Instead of enthusiastic support, his players are saying they don't understand his decisions (Minor) and that they don't feel comfortable commenting on things (thinly veiled disagreement). We're not rebuilding from a 1-15 team two years ago. We're (trying) to rebuild from a debacle of a coaching debut and as near as I can tell there is little indication that we'll be back where we were when RR arrived any time in the next few years. Good coaches inspire their players to be their best. Bad coaches blame their players for failing to be their best.


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 1:18 p.m.

NFL teams are built through the draft. College teams are built through recruiting. Yet, so many in this forum wont give Coach Rodriguez the time necessary to do that. Just Unbelievable! Quick example, living down here in South Florida, the Dolphins are just 2 seasons removed from a 1-15 season, then Bill Parcells came in and now there are improvements to be found (just like Michigan) and major areas that need to be worked on. (Just like Michigan). Yet, I guess with the mentality of many in this forum, I guess Bill Parcells stinks too (since the fins are 3-5), and should be fired? And yes, commenting on how well the red shirts (scouting team) are doing IS important! They are future players! Just amazing the lack of understanding and patience by some! Lets GO BLUE!


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 1:12 p.m.

I would bet that no other school in the Big 10 has talented red-shirts. This is the kind of innovation that will take RR straight to the top!


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 12:41 p.m.

Won't really know if they are great recruits. Why do we think these are great recruits? because they have a 5 or 4 star rating? those ratings don't mean much. Just a way for people to get overhyped about high school kids who may or may not be as talented as being predicted. Adam Patterson was i think a 4 star recruit but doesn't even get on the field for our defense. We can say we have great recruiting classes but look what Iowa does with 3, 2, and 1 star guys. It's not about the recruits, its about being able to develop them. A kid may have talent, but if he isn't intellectually capable of learning a system he may never get on the field despite being hyped as a 5 star recruit.


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 12:27 p.m.

As frustrated as we all are especially after the last couple of games, people have to be patient. You are changing entire systems of play. Can't really judge him till his third or fourth year- only then can you see what he can do with HIS continual crop of players. I understand the frustration, but we gotta wait it out. They will be better each sucessive year. For his scheme RR is bringing in some great recruits- gotta wait for them to mature though.


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 12:02 p.m.

People, really? Changing coaches after RR is building the team is a hardcore bad idea. What are you thinking? "Oh, let's go back to playing the way did with LC, it was super duper fun winning bowl games. Super, neato! Wait a second, all the people we have been recruiting under RR are smaller and faster...they seem to fit his style of playing. Let's blame the new coach because now we are not winning bowl games this year. Man, we should have hung on to RR!"


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 11:16 a.m.

translation "Even though I haven't done a very good job as coach, I am just trying to find a way to convince to let me stay and screw things up more."


Tue, Nov 10, 2009 : 11:14 a.m.

How long does it take to catch up if you just miss the first few days of practice???