April 14, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke talks to defensive tackle Richard Ash (54) during the Michigan spring game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: Player Development and Team Status -- Reality Check

GBMWolverine Coach's Corner2Posted at 5:30pm — 11/5/2013

Michigan Football: Player Development and Team Status — Reality Check

As I was reading the back and forth between my friends Diehard and jsk it got me thinking. So as I did my 12 mile bike workout I decided to start a new thread instead getting this lost on an old already long one.

Player development and recruiting are not exact sciences. And all players develop at different rates depending on their skill, mental toughness, and ability to adapt to new scenery. Most of these kids are used to being STUDS and the shock of not being the “Star” can really be a shock. Other factors can also hit home. I know of one case where the player had a Jesuit education 1 thru 12 and not having that spirituality to lean on hurt.

Apr 13, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive line gets set during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

I watched Kalis completely dominate opponents, just mauled them. Guess what, at a school like Michigan it takes more than a mauler to succeed. Another player like this is Strobel. We really liked this kid thought he would contribute early. Problem is he has trouble gaining weight. He has busted his tail and still the weight is not coming yet. Is he a bust or poorly coached, no (IMO). Some kids just take longer.

To the team, and I agree it has not progressed as much we might like. I think is a reason why. I checked our depth and our 2 deep looks more like a scout/demo team than a 2 deep for a major college program. Michigan has six 1st or 2nd year players in the two deep Offensive Line. That is 60%. Players like Kalis and Bosch should be either on demo squad redshirting or getting mop up time at end of game.

Poor recruiting four and five years ago has forced Michigan to play kids earlier than is ideal or wanted. Our top three tight ends are first or second year players. Funchess should be a player used in specialty packages, not forced to be our go to guy.

Same on defense where four 2nd year players in 2 deep. Three or four linebackers in same spot. Lewis should be playing some nickle, or on demo. Not playing regular in key situations. When you are forced to rush this man young guns into key roles you are going to be inconsistent.

I still expect Kalis to be very good and two years we will be bemoaning how we going to replace this nasty, stud drive blocker. Asking him to be that today is just not reality guys. He was not ready for the role.

I am not telling my Blue Brother to lower expectations or except mediocrity. Just that developing young talent, especially without a solid foundation to build on is not easy. The climb up will not be straight up. There will be bumps and potholes on the way.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — CoachBT

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