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F10Y CFB – Week 13 Scouting Notes, Ohio State vs. Michigan

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The final weekend of the regular season, which doubles up as rivalry weekend, had some great match-ups, but all eyes were on the big one between the #2 Buckeyes and the #3 Wolverines.

The loser knew that this would cost them a place in the Big Ten Championship game and, more importantly, almost certainly rule them out of the college football playoff.

I’m not sure anyone could have predicted what unfolded here, as a remarkable second half display from Michigan blew Ohio State away 45-23.

We’ll get into the big draft names below and how they fared in this heated rivalry…

Ohio State

Offensively the Buckeyes looked good early on, but as the game wore on they found it much harder to move the ball down the field on a tough Michigan defense. 

Quarterback C.J Stroud will shoulder a fair portion of blame for this defeat, but in all honesty he wasn’t helped by his offensive line and a real lack of running game to fall back on.

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The stats will show him throwing two interceptions, but these were desperation picks as he tried to spark his team into life. This game certainly won’t define his draft status, he is still one of the most accurate passers in the country and when he stays in structure he looks like an NFL franchise quarterback.

On the other hand, out of structure is a bit of a different story, and a lot of plays when he was under pressure he looked sloppy, but the tools he does have will still have NFL teams drooling over him.

There’s no doubt that the Buckeyes have more stud wide receivers coming through their ranks, but as they aren’t draft eligible yet we’ll move our focus over to the offensive line, where they have a couple of very highly rated guys.

Offensive Tackles, Paris Johnson and Dawand Jones have had very good seasons to date, but Michigan gave them their toughest tests yet, and ultimately exposed them both a little bit.

Jones entered the game as a bit of an injury doubt, but played through it, and this may help explain why he wasn’t at his dominating best. He lacked his usual fluid mobility, and although he was still able to toss guys around once he got his hands on them, he was also done a bit too easily by twitchier pass rushers.

NFL teams will know what you’re getting with him, which is a right tackle only, but one who could step in immediately and improve an NFL offensive Line. He looks like a top two round player to me, and possibly as high as the end of the first round if he tests really well. 

However, Johnson is a different kettle of fish altogether.

The traits and athleticism he displays are off the charts, but on every watch this year he has had mental lapses, and his rawness is continuously exposed by clever pass rushers.

When it’s good it is exceptionally good, but there are still too many mistakes in him to warrant this top ten hype.

Johnson is helped by a real lacklustre tackle class, which got worse when young stud Olumuyiwa Fashanu of Penn State decided to go back to school, so the temptation is there for him to come out early and possibly be OT1.

If he is a high pick, I really hope his NFL team doesn’t throw him out there on day one, as I think there may be some real growing pains with him. There’s no doubting the talent though…

The Buckeye defense was exceptional for the first half of this game, but the second half saw big plays on busted coverages, and poor tackling and angles on big, back breaking, long touchdown runs.

There are future NFL players all over this defense though and two of them were excellent in this game.

Linebacker Tommy Eichenburg has been an absolute revelation for the Buckeye defense this season. He has gone from a relative unknown to leading the team in tackles in one season, and it’s tough to understand how he didn’t see the field earlier on in his career.

Statistically this was one of his quieter games, but you could still see the read and react speed on his run fills, and his excellent athleticism and sure tackling. This is a guy that has really thrown his name out there, and although he has a year of eligibility remaining, he may want to test the draft waters, as he could easily be a top 75 pick when all is said and done. 

EDGE Zach Harrison has been a bit of an enigma during his four years in Columbus.

He was a top end five star recruit but has only flashed that kind of lofty status, never really dominating like his high school tape would suggest he should.

Well, this season the light seems to have come on, as he has shown more high level, consistent play, than ever before. He had both Michigan tackles in fits during this game, consistently beating them outside and inside, and disrupting plays throughout the game.

Despite plays like the one above, he still isn’t the most productive player in the world, but you can see his development in his pass rush plan, and he can win in multiple ways now, making him difficult for tackles to adjust to.

Harrison is incredibly gifted athletically, and with his super size profile (6’6 272lbs) he will certainly appeal to all NFL teams. This is a very deep EDGE group, so he may not go as high as some similar types in recent years (Odafe Oweh springs to mind), but you’d expect someone to pull the trigger on a traitsy, athletic EDGE like this before the end of round two for sure.


The Wolverines boast a very young team, so the future is bright for them beyond this season, but from a NFL draft perspective we don’t have too many guys to gush over for this upcoming draft. We’ll take a look at three guys who are draft eligible, and who certainly helped themselves during this game.

Center Olusegun Oluwatimi was already on my radar, having scored very high grades in his three previous seasons at Virginia. He decided to transfer out of there and opted to come to Ann Arbor, where he has been excellent again, and helped solidify the Wolverine interior line.

The former Cavalier was dominant again in this game, paving huge rush lanes for big plays, particularly in the second half. He is a thick built anchor type, who is difficult to move when engaged, yet still has enough movement to get out and block on the edge, and at the second level. He was up against some pretty talented interior defensive lineman, but managed to really limit the impact they had on the game.

There isn’t a consensus number one Center in this class, but he has done enough over his 3000+ career snaps to be up there in the conversation as the top guy this year.

Cornerback Mike Sainristil has had a very interesting career at Michigan.

Recruited as a cornerback, he spent his first three years as a wide receiver, where he showed ability but wasn’t overly productive in that role. For this season he has gone back over to defense and has been the teams starting Nickleback all year.

You can instantly see that he is much better suited to this role, as he moves really well in space and he has very quick click and close ability.

It’s a difficult position to play, and he has been exposed at times this season, but you can see that with some more time he could develop into a decent prospect in that position.

#0 gave up a couple of big plays against the Buckeyes, including a touchdown, but if he does enter the draft this year I could see a team taking a late round flyer on someone with his kind of skillset and upside. 

Like Ohio State’s Zach Harrison, Michigan’s Defensive Tackle Mazi Smith has been a bit of an enigma since arriving on campus.

A four star recruit, he barely played his first couple of seasons, but has been a mainstay on the defensive line for the last two years, flashing big time ability in some games. This was probably his best performance that I’d seen from him in his career. He was unblockable at times, getting in the backfield and regularly disrupting run plays and even getting pressures when the Buckeyes passed. He even lined up as an EDGE on one play, and beat the aforementioned heralded tackle Paris Johnson to the outside, and got in on a pressure. We know he’s athletic, as he was the number one player on Bruce Feldman’s pre-season freak list.

He will test through the roof at the combine, and even with just these flashes he shows, he’ll end up going on day two as players with this type of size/speed profile don’t last long on draft day.

This brings an end to my 2022 season scouting notebooks. It’s been quite a journey from all the way back to that classic week 0 game in Dublin, through to “the game” this past weekend, packed with future NFL talents.

We’ll see where these guys, and the ones mentioned in the previous 12 weeks’ reports, go in the 2023 NFL draft in April.

Find the rest here in the college section of the F10Y site.

Follow Keith on Twitter @LordLucken

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F10Y CFB Player to Watch: Blake Corum, Michigan

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It’s that time again! It’s time to sit down and check in on one of the more interesting players and match ups for this weekend’s college football schedule in our Player to Watch space.

However, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that this column appears to have somewhat of a touch of bad luck that follows the players covered – You can read the rest here – With none having a particularly great outing game after being written up.

Big Blue fans will hope that a similar effect isn’t felt by their star running back in this weekend’s game against Iowa… Although, how do you better 243 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns? Anyway, let’s get into Blake Corum…

So who is this power cube of a running back?

Blake Corum is on quite the tear to start this season as Michigan have stormed to a 4-0 start and to #4 in the AP Top 25 (although more importantly to the same position in the UK & Ireland CFB Media Rankings). Corum has scored at least one touchdown in each of the four games, he has had a 5 touchdown game against UConn and followed this with the aforementioned 243 yard game against Maryland last weekend! So it’s safe to say that he’s having quite the season so far!

Last year he was part of an absolutely deadly duo with Hassan Haskins in the Wolverines backfield with the pair combining for over 2,400 all-purpose yards. These guys powered Michigan as they won the Big Ten Championship, ended the season ranked #3 in the country, losing in the college football playoff semi-final to eventual champions Georgia and best of all, beat Ohio State. 

I’ve got to say I was very interested to see how Corum would fare without Haskins, but he seems to be shouldering the load and thriving as the main man this season! Whether he succumbs to the previously discussed Player to Watch Kiss of Death remains to be seen.

Into the background before we get some film study in then; Corum stands at 5’8 and packs a dense 210 lbs on to his frame – We really are talking about a wrecking ball of a runner here. Corum grew up in Marshall Virginia before heading to St. Frances Academy in Baltimore for High School where he accumulated over 40 touchdowns across his Junior and Senior seasons, which earned him a 4-star rating across all major recruiting sites. 

Since arriving on campus in Ann Arbor, Corum has worked his way up the depth chart to make it into his current role; in his Freshman season he mainly saw action as a returner, returning five kicks and one punt, with small action as the third running back in rotation. Although he showed his potential by scoring twice in 31 total touches. Then came the breakout Sophomore season where he and Haskins dominated pretty much everyone they faced.

Let’s see how he does his damage…

Corum is a squatty back who can do damage between the tackles. He has a jittery, one-cut style and good vision, which is fantastic when combined with his burst and lateral quickness when needed to create yardage.

Check out how he makes the first man miss with a cut to the outside before a little shake’n’bake leaves another Northwestern defender’s ankles in shambles for a nice gain that leaves Michigan on the verge of a score.

Which brings me on to Blake’s next strength – The guy is a finisher from short yardage.

This is the very next play in the game against Northwestern. He doesn’t get stopped from that distance, as you can see in the above tweet thread vs. UConn. 

Let’s talk about an aspect where Blake is underused – Pass catching. With only 31 catches to date, there isn’t a huge sample size for this but I feel from what I did see, Corum has nice, soft hands and he can take in ones like this that require him to make a catch on the move. Back to the Northwestern game;

There’s no run after catch here, which I feel he can easily get in different circumstances, but I have included this one as I felt it was one that could easily have been dropped. He’s backpedalling, with defenders approaching at pace.

Generally speaking, I see a lot of evidence of Blake being a safe checkdown option with the ability to catch the ball with hands extended away from his body, before turning and accelerating upfield for a decent gain. Easy money for JJ McCarthy and Michigan.

This is an area that will also intrigue NFL teams and make them wonder about his ceiling in his area, because it does feel like there’s untapped potential here.

 This next clip is one I absolutely love, which is from the Michigan State game from last year. Michigan schemes up a lovely run off the left side of their line here, Corum shows outstanding patience to wait for the blockers to open things up and he’s able to burst through the gap. This is a long-developing run play with both tight ends making their way across the formation, as well as the center getting involved. Some running backs would get jittery and get dancing feet in the backfield on plays like this, but not Blake.

It’s not a huge gain but just shows his maturity as a runner.

I’ve also seen multiple instances of Corum being willing and able to do the dirty work as a running back. Corum is willing to chip as he releases out of the backfield, he’s willing to stay in as a pass protector when needed too, and he’s more than a speed bump in those situations. Corum will also get after it as a blocker downfield too when the ball doesn’t go to him and he puts in the effort when doing so.

Add this to his value as a returner, (although as the clear RB1 Michigan hasn’t asked him to return through four games this year) and we have a player whose stock has a good floor level. 

However, as is tradition here in the Player to Watch film segment, we can’t finish off before giving one area of weakness and for Corum aside from his size profile, it’s his long speed. 

In short areas he’s great and he has the burst to make a short gain into a long one but over long distances he’s just not a burner.

We can see this in this return against Western Michigan last season. It’s a superb play and sets Michigan up with fantastic field position, but I feel like a real speedster takes his to the house.

A positive within a play I’m using a negative though – The contact balance is brilliant. Corum’s low center of gravity and thick lower half means he’s very difficult to bring down on first contact.

On to this weekend!

This week against Iowa sees Corum face a stingy defense with a couple of big linebackers…

Iowa’s record stands at 3-1 for the season so far, which on the face of it, seems pretty good. However, anyone who has been paying attention to college football will have noticed that the Iowa offense has become somewhat of a meme with their lack of scoring punch. Although, back-to-back 27 point outputs (albeit against Nevada and Rutgers) may stem the tidal wave of tweets somewhat.

On the flip side, the Hawkeyes defense is performing at a high level, having given up just 20 total points all season. Ok, the opponents have been South Dakota State, Iowa State, Nevada and Rutgers but still, this defense has always been a good units that has almost always performed to a level that is more than the sum of its parts in under Kirk Ferentz and DC, Phil Parker.

The unit is anchored by linebackers, Jestin Jacobs and star man, Jack Campbell, who was ranked very highly by myself and Keith in our Summer Scouting podcast. Jacobs measures up at 6’4 and Campbell at 6’5, unusual given their positions, so it will really feel like a David and Goliath(s) game when Corum gets to the second level. Campbell in particular is a tackling machine with good tackle radius and stopping power. He’s not the most athletic when moving side-to-side, but I know he’ll have been devouring Corum film in the lead up to this game and will be ready.

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I really feel like this one-on-one is key – If Campbell can stop Corum from getting going, it’ll go a long way to stopping the cogs in the Michigan machine from turning, and give Iowa a chance to stay in the game and maybe steal it. The Wolverines may have put up 200 points so far this season but this is Big Ten football now, and Kinnick Stadium is never an easy place to play.

So should you be looking forward to seeing Corum on Sundays?

Corum will get drafted, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

He has been very productive, he’s got some interesting traits as we discussed earlier, as well as some special teams value. He has also played at a high level for a blue blood programme, in a time of success for the programme. However, just how high will he be drafted?

I feel like Corum’s size puts limitations on his draft ceiling – There just aren’t too many 5’8 running backs who are hugely successful in the league right now and of course, running back is a hugely devalued position in today’s NFL, especially when it comes to the draft.

His old buddy Hassan Haskins was picked up with the 131st Pick (fourth round) by the Tennessee Titans, and I think that could be a similar point in which Corum has his name called on day 3 of the draft next April.

Yes, it sounds sort of disrespectful to say that his super-productive college player will go on day 3, but that’s the reality of having this profile, at this position. Every season there is a running back who is productive in the NFL, that 90% of fans of his team won’t have heard of before he started scoring touchdowns on Sundays. Think of someone like Elijah Mitchell at the 49ers, he was drafted in the 6th round and has 1,100 scrimmage yards last year! However that is sadly the reality of it, especially when he doesn’t have that breakaway speed. He’s a short-term, short yardage battering ram, the kind of back that an NFL team will draft, run into the ground whilst on his rookie contract and then discard, in all likelihood.

Sad, but true. 

To Conclude… 

Corum is a super-fun player to watch and he will be fondly remembered in Ann Arbor and by Michigan fans for a long while. However, there’s a part of me which feels that he could blend into relative obscurity in the NFL, whilst having a respectable career for a decent number of years.

The sort of player who makes me think, fun college player but just fine in the NFL. 

So let’s enjoy his dominance whilst he’s still playing on Saturdays! Corum is worth a watch almost alone for a Michigan team who will be pushing all the way for that 4th playoff spot this year and another visit to the CFB playoff.

By Lee Wakefield – Follow Lee on Twitter, @Wakefield90

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Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Team

Welcome to the second of our preseason all-conference teams for each of the Power-5 conferences.

Check out the first instalment of the series here where our guy Will Lane gave you his picks for the SEC. Right now though, Lee Wakefield is giving you the best of the Big Ten conference, widely thought of as the next best conference in the country after the SEC.

Check out Lee’s picks below;

Here is Lee’s analysis of the picks:

No shocks here as the dominant team in the conference, Ohio State, dominates our preseason All-Conference team with the Buckeyes contributing seven players across both sides of the ball. Which includes the biggest superstars of the team in CJ Stroud, TreVeyon Henderson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba on offense.

It may be somewhat surprsing to see Iowa share the number two spot with Maryland in terms of contributors here.The Terepins should have a pretty legit offense in particular, and in truth, there would have been more Maryland selections in we had extended the exercise to include a second team! It really was a toss up between Rakim Jarrett and Dontay Demus at wide receiver and these two guys should be really fun to watch if Taulia Tagovailoa (another guy who might have pushed for second team) can bring it all together as a passer.

In true Big Ten fashion, I love the offensive line here with the whole unit being made up of guys who could eventually be top-50 draft selections when they do enter the league. Peter Skoronski and Paris Johnson headline the group but Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz could be the first center off the board come next April’s draft.

Flipping over to the defensive side of the football, this Big Ten defense has a whole bunch of playmakers, in the front seven in particular – Watch out for Mazi Smith of Michigan, he is the #1 player on Bruce Feldman’s Freak List for the 2022 season and if Durrell Nchami can put it all together he’s going to be a fast-rising edge defender as we move through the draft cycle. Keith and I mentioned Jack Campbell on our Summer Scouting Episode on linebackers as the quintessential Bin Ten linebacker and he would truly be the heartbeat of this unit from America’s heartlands.

Finally, on the back end, it’s super-solid. Joey Porter, Tiawan Mullen and Riley Moss give the team three great coverage guys, with Avery Moss providing a whole bunch of versatility! This All-Star team really could run with the best of them in college football, and there will be some unbelievable clashes in the conference within the conference as usual this coming season.

Thanks again for reading! Tomorrow we will hit you up with our selections for the ACC at Midday (UK) and also the Big XII at 5pm (UK)