You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Aug 29, 2010 : 6 a.m.

Top 5 things we think we learned about the Michigan football team in summer camp

By Pete Bigelow

With few exceptions, outsiders haven’t had a peek at the Michigan football team’s practices all summer. So it’s impossible to say for certain how the Wolverines progressed over the past few weeks.

Combine the comments of coaches with the occasional snippet of information, though, and patterns emerge. Here’s a look at a few of the storylines that emerged this summer, and a look at what we think we learned about Michigan:

1. The secondary is in trouble. Four years from now, this could be a terrific group. Safety Marvin Robinson headlines a promising class. But true freshmen aren’t ready yet. “My biggest worry is my experience defensively,” Rich Rodriguez said at media day.

“With young kids, you guys know, it’s like having kids all in diapers right now instead of one in diapers and one a teenager,” defensive backs coach Tony Gibson said.


Mark Moundros has gone from a starting fullback to team captain and a possible starting linebacker for Michigan.

Melanie Maxwell |

2. Mark Moundros may start at middle linebacker. That's a dramatic leap up the depth chart, to be even with Obi Ezeh and Kenny Demens.

Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson said that when he first arrived in Ann Arbor last year, he had mistaken Moundros, the team’s fullback, as a linebacker when he saw him weight lifting.

At 6-foot-1, 233 pounds, he fits the mold, and this off-season Moundros made the position switch. When the Big Ten Network filmed a summer practice for its preview, commentators made note of the fact that Moundros played significantly with the first team.

3. Devin Gardner is the real deal. Maybe it won’t be for a year or two, but Gardner is going to make a big impact on the Wolverines. He’s got the size (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) and speed ideal for a prototype Rich Rodriguez quarterback.

(By comparison, Pat White was approximately 6-foot-2, 185 pounds at West Virginia under Rodriguez).

Asked about Gardner’s progress this summer, his competitor Denard Robinson said, “Pssh, he’ll play.” Robinson paused, and his eyes opened as wide as saucers. “He’s a player. He’s a player.”


Co-captain Steve Schilling provides experience to Michigan's offensive line.

Melanie Maxwell |

4. There’s depth on the offensive line. Interior linemen Steve Schilling, David Molk and Patrick Omameh might be the strength of this team. The guys on the outside and on the bench aren’t so bad either.

The Wolverines spent the summer examining different combinations at tackle. Mark Huyge will anchor one of the positions, and Taylor Lewan or Perry Dorrestein at the other. Michael Schofield is a capable backup.

Hard to imagine, but in two short years the line has gone from the most suspect unit on the team to the most stable and reliable.

5. Youth movement continues. By the third year of the Rich Rodriguez era, the Wolverines probably had hoped to fortify their ranks enough that upperclassmen dominated the depth chart.

With 18 returning starters, Michigan is getting there. But the youth movement will continue this fall. As many as 12 true freshmen have a shot at playing. That's a lot.

Want one to watch? Keep an eye on defensive lineman Jibreel Black. “He wears No. 55 and looks a little like BG at times,” Rodriguez said, referencing the departed Brandon Graham. “But he’s got a burst and some natural athletic ability. I’ve been really pleased with his progress.”

Have a question about Michigan football? Email Pete Bigelow at or join him on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.



Wed, Sep 1, 2010 : 7 a.m.

Yes, Sean T you have yet to learn in your life that every now and then you will get stomped and I believe you will still be a great person. You see Sean T, I will never attack a man or woman's character just becuase I don't approve of the way they are entertaining me. If I base a persons greatness on their football win loss record that would make me a pretty sad judge of character. I believe that this man, RR is just a heartbeat away from turning this program back into greatness and untill he proves to me otherwise I will support him regardless of the last 2 yrs. Many times in my life I have seen greatness emerge from the back of the pack.

Sean T.

Wed, Sep 1, 2010 : 12:46 a.m.

If we get stomped on Saturday, will RR still be a great coach?


Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 11:59 p.m.

GoBluin PA, did I mention to you that there is no such thing as Santa Claus? Boys and Girls, I won't be using any of you to cheer up the depressed people of this world. Lighten up, take a chill pill, I promise you if Mich. loses you won't get evicted, enjoy the moment, have some fun here you weary people game day is on shortly for goodness sake enjoy the season. Go Blue!

Sean T.

Mon, Aug 30, 2010 : 12:45 p.m.

So in other competent RB's! Thanks GOBLUE.


Sun, Aug 29, 2010 : 8:28 p.m.

Clark, we MAY have competent RB's, but they may turn out to be busts. The fact is we have some kids with potential, but no one w/any experience. Shaw was bust last year and not much more than a change of pace back his freshman year. Smith didn't play enough last season and is coming off the knee. The rest are pretty much unknowns. Let's hope someone steps up.


Sun, Aug 29, 2010 : 5:58 p.m.

sean we have 4 competent running backs and in 6 days we will find out if the rich rod hype is real or memorex. I am hoping for a high powered offense. Either way rich will win or back up the truck

Sean T.

Sun, Aug 29, 2010 : 3:02 p.m.

I hope we can put up some points but I find it hard to believe that we have a high octane offense without a competent RB. Averaging 17 points a game is more than likely without a running game.


Sun, Aug 29, 2010 : 1:44 p.m.

I think we'll be okay. But get ready for a lot of 42-35 or 45-38 games. No doubt about, it'll be exciting football.


Sun, Aug 29, 2010 : 7:36 a.m.

Gardner HAS to play if Rich Rod wants to save his job. No doubt this team will score but can they stop anybody?


Sun, Aug 29, 2010 : 7:30 a.m.

Not that much new news here. Opposing teams might lite up our secondary, they will learn fast. I remember in the past, Bo, LLoyd and Gary there were many times that either the offensive line or defense started out slow and at times it took a few games before they jelled this is differant though these kids are young I have confidence that the coaches will coach em up and by next year they'll be flying all over the field. Well, either way Mich. football is one of my favorite forms of entertainment next to ice-fishing.