Posted at 6:00am -- 5/7/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan ..."/> Posted at 6:00am -- 5/7/2011 GBMWolverine: Coach's Corner -- Michigan ..."/>

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Kevin Koger — Spring Evaluations


Posted at 6:00am — 5/7/2011

GBMWolverine: Coach’s Corner — Michigan Football — Kevin Koger — Spring Evaluations

GBMWolverine Football Spring Evaluations: Position by Position — Player Profile.

GBMWolverine readers: Here is a brief overview of Kevin Koger and GBMWolverine’s analysis concerning his progress this spring with the new system.

Note: We will not evaluate every player on the team and with this position group (tight ends), #90 Mike Kwiatkowski, #40 Nate Allspach, and #42 Dylan Esterline. If you would like to chat about these players bring them up on the message board, in chat on Monday nights or send us an e-mail request.

Coming in: Chris Barnett (Bell), Frank Clark (Glenville), and Keith Heitzman (Hilliard Davidson).

Note – two of the three have real possibilities of playing defense.

As stated, the staff is wondering if two of these players will end up on the defensive side of the ball, especially since Michigan already has two verbal commits from the 2012 recruiting class in Devin Funchess (Harrison) and A.J. Williams (Sycamore), along with a possibility of adding another tight end to this recruiting class.

Obviously we have already stated that A.J. Williams could easily grow out of the tight end position and become an offensive lineman in a few years.

Losing: Kevin Koger, and Steve Watson

Kevin Koger
Height: 6’4
Weight: 255
Number: 86
Position: Tight End
Year: Senior
City/State: Toledo, Ohio
High School: Toledo Whitmer


Kevin, the staff affirms, is one of the best athletes on the team. Even with his ever-present smile he has to be smiling more than ever seeing this new coaching staff coming in and bringing an offense that suits his game.

We are excited to see how Koger plays in an offense better designed for his skills.

He was limited this spring for a few weeks because of a hamstring problem. We do not believe the injury was that serious, but the coaches wanted to be cautious since they view Kevin as a known commodity. If a critical game we believe Kevin would have played.


He is an excellent physical specimen with the skills to be difference maker in this offense.

What impressed us the most this spring was Kevin’s blocking. Kevin did a nice job of gaping down on the 5-technique defensive ends. This is a must if Michigan is to run the power play successfully.

If Koger can stay healthy we expect a huge year from him. We expect by the end of the year a lot of people, fans, media, will be saying where did he come from and too bad he doesn’t have another year left (Thanks Carson Butler).

In this offense Kevin could be a big nightmare for a defensive coordinator, especially if Denard can get everybody involved. Where the defensive backs have to worry about the wide receivers, the safeties about the passing game in general, along with worrying about Denard taking off, this is when we all could see Kevin become a real weapon.

Matching him up against a linebacker will be tough for a defense, especially with Kevin’s size and speed, but if he is matched him up with a safety there becomes a problem of being able to bring him down. Any extra attention Kevin would receive allows others single coverage.

Needs Work:

Some want to make a bigger deal than we believe it really is, but Kevin does need to concentrate more on catching the ball. We believe that in the past this difficulty had to do with either a bad pass, a tough pass for a bigger receiver, or he was surprised the ball was actually coming to him, meaning he was not watching the ball in the entire way. When one ball comes your way every other game, the anxiety builds.

As the picture illustrates above, Kevin has some big hands and good hands for making the tough catch.

The staff members believe most of the talk about the tight ends catching the ball has to do with not getting them the ball enough so when they do drop a ball it became magnified. Not many people talk about all the drops the slots receivers had and Michigan would continue to throw the ball to the slots regardless of numerous drops.

Kevin needs to stay healthy. He is the only tight end with game experience and needs to show the other tight ends how to be effective at Michigan.

Contributing This Year?

Yes, Kevin will be the starting tight end for Michigan this year. We will probably see some two tight end sets along with Kevin even splitting out in the slot receiver position if needed, and of course the H-back role if needed as well.

Final Thoughts:

We cannot believe this is Kevin Koger’s last year at Michigan. The time has flown by but it is great to see him in an offense that will use the tight ends in the passing game.

We believe with a good year Kevin could provide the athletic ability at the next level, especially for a team that likes to use a tight end in both the running and passing games. Most tight ends anymore do not like to block or do not block well, but Kevin has had a lot of practice blocking the past three seasons and now is the time to shine on the other things he does well.

Side Note:

We have been covering Kevin since his junior year in high school so we have a little bias here, but we want to thank him and his family for all the time they have spent with us talking about anything and everything.

I am sure his dad wishes he had one more year as well to keep getting those good seats in the “Big House” being a lifelong Michigan fan, but maybe Kevin will be able to help him out sometime soon with this problem.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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