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August 23, 2013

Big House bullets: Aug. 23

Big House Bullets

Introduction
Quote of the Week
Quick-hitting notes, interesting stats, a compelling Tweet: you'll find it all right here, in Big House Bullets. While the weekly feature is still taking shape, I'd love to get your feedback on it. If you have suggestions or read a story that may make an interesting note, please e-mail me at andy.a.reid@gmail.com.
"You've got to give him a lot of credit because the third preseason game for a lot of people is a game where a lot of your starters play significant downs. For him to work that out and get here early in the morning, it was really something that was special."

-- Michigan coach Brady Hoke on Tom Brady's visit to Ann Arbor.
Notes, News and Views
By the Numbers
  • Whitfield A Fan Of Gardner: George Whitfield, the owner of the quarterback camp Whitfield Athletix, worked fairly extensively with Gardner this summer, according to a story in the Detroit News. "He's supremely talented. He has as much athletic tool and talent as anybody in college football. There are a lot of great players and there are a lot of dynamic young guys out there, but there are only a handful of dynamic, charismatic kids. College football needs Devin, needs his story, his triumphs, his charisma, who he is, what he's all about to be." Click here to read the rest of the story.
  • Set The DVR: Inside Michigan Football, the weekly show featuring host Jim Brandstatter and Michigan coach Brady Hoke, is set to return Monday, Aug. 26 for a preseason show. The show will premier every Monday, recapping the last game and looking ahead to the next one. The show will air on Fox Sports Detroit. Click here for more information.
  • On This Day In Michigan Sports History: On Aug. 23, 2006, wide receiver Junior Hemingway committed to Michigan. Hemingway had a monster senior year, wearing the No. 21 Desmond Howard Legends jersey and earning game MVP honors by catching two touchdown passes in the Sugar Bowl.
  • Wolverine Radio On Demand: You can now subscribe to the Wolverine Radio On Demand on iTunes! Just go to the iTunes store, search "Wolverine Radio" and subscribe for free. You can now listen to Balas, J.B., Spath and I talk about Michigan sports on your iPod, in your car or while working out. Technology is awesome, you guys.


-31: The amount of points Vegas expects Michigan to beat Central Michigan in the season opener Aug. 31.
2: Freshman quarterback Shane Morris' number on the depth chart. Hoke named him Gardner's backup this week.
54.1: With the loss of Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr. and the senior class, the Wolverines are returning 54.1 percent of their scoring next season.
South Campus Power Rankings
1. Brady Hoke: Hoke will kick off his third season as Michigan's coach in a little over a week - and almost everyone is predicting a Wolverines-Buckeyes rematch in the Big Ten Championship Game. Will Hoke bring hom his first conference championship?
4. Taylor Lewan: Lewan's decision to return to Ann Arbor for his fifth-year senior season was met with some criticism by national pundits. But now, with the football season just around the corner, Lewan is receiving national praise. Lewan is a consensus preseason All-American, according to the national preview magazines. Lindy's magazine ranks Lewan as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the entire country and considers him the Big Ten's best pass blocker.
2. John Beilein: After taking the Wolverines all the way to the NCAA Tournament National Championship Game, Beilein is riding high. Beilein just extended his contract through the 2018-19 season and earned a raise to over $2 million a year. The future looks bright.
5. The Michigan men's swimming and diving team: The Wolverines scorched through the 2012-13 season, dominating teams all year and finishing the year with a national title. Now, several members of the team - including coach Mike Bottom - are gearing up for a fun summer. Two swimmers, Connor Jaeger and Sean Ryan, and two former swimmers, Tyler Clary and Charlie Houchin, will compete in the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. Bottom will be on the Team USA coaching staff.
Devin Gardner: Gardner - who proved himself in five explosive starts at the end of 2012 - is poised to have a huge season. And he's the talk of the town, with QB specialists and pundits across the country singing his praises.

Andy's Two Cents
  1. Most Intriguing Games Of Week One: Obviously, you, dear reader, will be watching intently when Michigan kicks off against Central Michigan. But there are plenty of interesting matchups in the first week to help satiate your college football hunger. Thursday Aug. 29, South Carolina hosts North Carolina, and you can see if Jadeveon Clowney lives up to the hype. Friday night, check out your first look at Michigan State in the post-Le'Veon Bell era. Ohio State takes on Buffalo and Wisconsin plays UMass at noon Saturday, and there are two intriguing night matchups, with Georgia traveling to Clemson and LSU playing TCU at Jerryworld.
  2. Norfleet Ahead: It seems like - ever since Steve Breaston finished his Michigan career - the Wolverines' primary focus on punt returns is playing it safe - and even that has come with mixed results at times. Norfleet, as eager as he is to make a play, make take some risky chances. But every so often, those chances are going to pay off in big ways. I'm really excited to see him get his shot at returning punts.




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