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Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Big Ten mailblog

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

You didn't think I'd forget to get the mail, did you?

Matt from Pensacola, Fla., writes: Hey Adam, I was reading the article on the Elite 11 and noticed that Daryll Clark has bulked up to 240 with 3% body fat. I no longer live in PA and haven't seen much of PSU for a while, especially any of the players. Have you seen him recently? If so, does he look like he bulked up? Do you think that the increase in body mass will effect the way PSU runs the Spread HD? I know it could help him power the ball more, but as a QB, should that be the route he should be looking at, especially with the lack of experience at backup? If he gets injured, the season could be over. Great job on the blog by the way.

Adam Rittenberg: I haven't seen Daryll for a while, Matt, but he'll be at Big Ten media days next week. I'll definitely let you know how he looks, but I know colleague Bruce Feldman was blown away by how massive Clark has gotten during the offseason. That's a pretty amazing physique, and Penn State will need it to hold up given its lack of depth behind Clark. Some might say 240 is too big, but Terrelle Pryor is 238 and I don't hear any complaints there. I like what Clark has done during the offseason. Penn State should still be very careful with how much they run him this fall, but he can definitely take a beating with that body.


Cory from Columbus, Ohio, writes: I would like to see a schedule of when each school begins their summer practices (and the more details for each school's camp that can be included, so much the better)Perhaps I have not been looking in the right place or not looking hard enough, but I have yet to see such a list.If such a list can be made, I think many would appreciate it.

Adam Rittenberg: Yep, you missed it from a few weeks back, but not to worry. Here's the schedule for nine teams and the remaining two.


Mike from Ann Arbor, Mich., writes: Adam, I was not real optimistic about Michigan's upcoming season (thinking maybe 6-6 if lucky) until a friend brought up a point that made a lot of sense: when looking at Michigan's season last year, it seems all people see is their record and not their potential. They lost a few games by a touchdown or less and played solid first halves against teams like Michigan State and Ohio State, and were even beating Penn State in the third quarter. All this despite a completely new offense, no dual-threat quarterback, and an underperforming defense. They also return all the main contributors on offense and most of the playmakers on defense, and bring in some pretty good freshmen. I know theres no proof yet but I think if Forcier plays half as well as he did in Spring ball, with their schedule they could win 8, dare I say even 9 games. What are your thoughts?

Adam Rittenberg: I see your point, Mike, but I think the way Michigan looked at times last year fueled a lot of the negativity. Even in the Wisconsin win, I heard some old timers up in the press box say at halftime that this was the worst they'd ever seen Michigan play at home. Though the scores were not all lopsided, things just weren't pretty for the Wolverines for much of 2008. Looking ahead to this fall, I see the potential for a lot of improvement. Not nine or 10 wins, but certainly 6-7 and maybe eight. Forcier's continued development this summer is critical, and it'd be nice if Denard Robinson progresses quickly in preseason camp. The opening stretch will tell a lot, as I see the potential for Michigan to start 4-0 if things fall right.


Matt from Plymouth, Minn., writes: Hey Adam, great job with the blog, I am a big gophers fan and a season ticket holder and was wondering if you saw any of the posts about Hayo Carpenter finally making it into town. It looks like he will be eligible after all which is big news for the gophers. I guess I don't have a specific question but I think it would be really cool to see a post about him in your blog because he is considered by many to be the top JUCO WR transfering to D1 this year.

Adam Rittenberg: Thanks, Matt. I have seen the news about Carpenter's arrival on Tim Brewster's Twitter page. It's certainly a big boost for Minnesota. The Gophers need a legit second option at wideout to complement Eric Decker and reduce some of the double teams, and Carpenter very well could be that guy. Decker sounded very excited about the receiving corps when we talked last week. Troy Stoudermire could be an excellent addition there as well. I'll try to have something more on Carpenter next month, though Brewster usually doesn't let players talk to the media until they've played a game.


Eduard from Grand Rapids, Mich., writes: You obviously have never sat in the nickle seats of Ohio Stadium, Beaver Stadium or the end zone of Kinnick stadiums.If you had, then you would know that they are not the best locations to watch a football game or to even feel that you constantly have a "nosebleed". The only stadium that is a true bowl with close action from any seat is Michigan Stadium

Adam Rittenberg: Sure, there are some bad seats at Ohio Stadium, which has posts that obstruct your view. But do you really get "close action" from Row 91 at the Big House? Some of the rows near the field at Michigan Stadium are barely separated from one another height-wise. If you're vertically challenged like me, it can be tough to see over the people in front of you. I love seeing games in Ann Arbor, but there are plenty of questionable seats there, just like there are at most stadiums.