Chat with Chantel Jennings
Welcome to WolverineNation! On Thursday, reporter Chantel Jennings stops by to chat about the state of Michigan football.
Jennings joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering University of Michigan athletics for three years at The Michigan Daily. Jennings graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in English and Spanish and lives in Ann Arbor.
Send your questions now and join Jennings Thursday at noon ET!
Chantel (12:01 PM)
Hey everyone! Welcome to the chat. Make sure you get your questions in and I will try to get to as many as I can over the next hour!
If Artavis Scott commits to Clemson this upcoming week how much will it effect the decision next year for George Campbell Jr?
Dave (SD, CA)
Do Michigan fans really think the 2013 offense will take a step forward? Defenses had to spend so much time and energy keying on D Rob...that threat is gone.
Chantel (12:05 PM)
I believe the offense will take a step forward. You've got a QB who's really settled in to his spot now and has had time to establish chemistry with his receivers. With Robinson out there, yes, there was that threat of something possibly happening, but Borges never really could run his offense the way he always had. Now, I think we'll see more threat from the TE's and if Green, Smith, Toussaint can establish themselves as a top RB, that'll open a lot up. So yes, one threat is gone, but the Wolverines will still have a QB that has the possibility to do some damage and enough threats around him that they'll be dangerous to other teams, too.
Chantel (12:06 PM)
@ Matt -- Sorry, I skipped over your question! Anyway, no I don't think it'll have too much of an affect on George. He has had Mason Cole in his ear for a long time and maybe now Artavis (if he commits elsewhere) will be in his ear as well, but I really don't think that'll play into his recruitment too much.
Kyle G. Nashville, TN [via mobile]
What is the REAL plan for the QB position? I know D. Gardner is "the man" but is a guy that has played primarily receiver our best option/choice for QB? Is this our QB for the next 2-3 years?
Chantel (12:08 PM)
Kyle -- he is absolutely Michigan's best decision this season. I don't think Shane Morris is ready for that kind of a moment yet. Give him a season or two with Borges, studying under another guy and I think he could be a solid player for Michigan but he's still young. And I wouldn't take any of the walk-on's over Gardner (if that weren't already obvious). Even last year, in the hectic situation he was thrown in to, he did really well. Now that he has had an entire off season as a QB and he has the peace of mind of his redshirt, I think he'll be ready to lead this team.
Justin (AB, Germany)
Huge Michigan fan stationed over here in Germany, I have a couple questions for you Chantel. 1) What is the senior class doing this year to come together (Leadership training with Navy SEALs last year) and who do you see being the rock as a senior leader this year? 2) With the injury to Jake Ryan and most likely Beyer moving back to help out at LB who do you see making the biggest impact at DE.. Heitzmen or Taco..or?, and do you think this will have an impact on the recruitment of Hand? THANKS! ][V][
Chantel (12:11 PM)
1) They're doing the SEALs training again and I'm sure they'll also have team building events in A2, as well. The real rock of this team, I believe, will be Taylor Lewan. He passed up on a lot of different things to represent Michigan and play another year. His teammates really respect that. 2) I think Frank Clark could be a real threat at DE. Taco is another possibility but I don't see him getting quite as many snaps. It could have an impact on Hand's recruitment, but there are several factors weighing in to that.
Nathan (West Bloomfield)
Chantel, good afternoon! Whats your GUT tell u about JJones and Tay Scotts decisions?
Chantel (12:12 PM)
I've said for a while that I felt as though Jones were headed to Ohio State and with his decision coming today, I still believe that. As far as Artavis Scott, I'm not really sure if Michigan leads for him at this point but we'll see as he announces next week at The Opening.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What College Football Players will set School Records in 2013 for Michigan?
Chantel (12:17 PM)
If Derrick Green had an absolutely stellar season and started from day one, I think he could possibly take the freshman rushing record. That's a big "if" though.
The question on every michigan fans mind, What week do you perdict jake ryan back in the season?
Chantel (12:20 PM)
Brady Hoke recently said that he thinks Ryan could be ready as early as October. Michigan has its bye the last week of October so I think more realistically we'd see him early November just because they'll want to sort of play it safe. Could his first game back be at Michigan State on Nov. 2? Perhaps. But that might be risky, too.
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
How would you rate the Wolverines chances of landing DE Da"Shawn Hand at this point?
Chantel (12:21 PM)
I think Michigan has put itself in a really good spot with Hand. The coaching staff is his favorite of any school recruiting him and at the end of the day, I think that's more important that other factors. Academically, he has been very impressed with U-M as well and I know he has built relationships with a lot of the Wolverine commits.
Trevor (Detroit )
Why is there so few Michigan commits at the Opening?
Chantel (12:24 PM)
A few of the commits didn't camp at NFTC's for various reasons -- time conflicts, location, etc. Drake Harris, who had an invited, had to back out because of his summer classes. And a few of the commits who did camp just didn't pick up invites. It's not the end of the world. I know fans are thinking that it's crazy because last year there were a ton of Michigan commits there and this year there aren't. Well, it is what it is. Not all of the 11 commits are headed to The Opening, but I can guarantee you they've all been working out this summer which is what people should be worried about.
How has the early scouting on Derrick Walton gone? Does he have star potential?
Chantel (12:26 PM)
Early scouting report? He just got to campus! My guess is so far the basketball part of life has been easy -- it's the dorm life/figuring out bus routes/knowing where his classrooms are part that he's having more difficulty with :)
John (Lexington, KY)
Does Kyle Kalis see the field this year?
Chantel (12:26 PM)
I think so. I really thought he might see the field last year. And especially when the O-line had some major struggles, I was pretty shocked not to see his name called. But I think they definitely wanted to save his redshirt. I could see him as a starting guard this season.
Matt (Garden City)
Who are some of the 2014 recruits slated to attend the BBQ, & any chance that Michigan could get a commit from one?
Chantel (12:31 PM)
A few big names are 2014 DB Adoree' Jackson and 2014 DE Andrew Wiliams. A lot of 2015 kids will be there too, including George Campbell Jr., Mike Weber, Shaun Crawford, Osa Masina. So it should be a really big weekend. Five of the commits will be in attendance, so you can expect them to have their recruiting hats on. I'm not sure if the weekend itself will produce a commitment, but I know the feeling a lot of recruits have gotten at the BBQ (the family, laid-back atmosphere where they get to know coaches as people) has helped them eventually commit.
Is there a realistic chance of pulling Leonard Fournette from the south?
Chantel (12:31 PM)
I don't really see it happening.
Since this will be the one and only season that Michigan could possibly face Ohio State 2 times, what do you feel would be the ramifications if Michigan won both games and if they lost both games (not split)?
Chantel (12:33 PM)
If I'm giving you a Brady Hoke answer... "None of it matters unless Michigan wins a Big Ten Championship." However, I think it might end up being one of those overplayed storylines. Yes, it can be an historic event and season, but they're only important games if Michigan plays well enough before the first Ohio State game to possibly get to a second.
Hi. What are the chances that Coach Hoke can bring the first full NC since 1949 to Michigan this year?
Chantel (12:34 PM)
This year? I think that's a bit premature. Give him another two to three years. Could he win a Big Ten Championship this year? Yes. I could see that.
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
What's the latest buzz on Hardaway's stock for tonight's draft?
Chantel (12:36 PM)
Chad Ford had him most recently at No. 25, which I think makes sense.
Kevin Standart (NorCal)
How would you describe the secondary for this year? Will we see more play-pass? Can this O-line become physically dominant?
Chantel (12:36 PM)
Ah, three for the price of one!
Chantel (12:38 PM)
1) I think the secondary will be better than last year, which seems odd since they lost Kovacs and Floyd, but I just have a feeling Greg Mattison is going to have them playing as a unit. 2) Yes, I think so. Michigan has the tools to be effective with it. 3.) Give them time. They'll be young and their growth curve will be aimed up, but if they're not stout from the first snap, give it some time. They'll grow up fast with Lewan there to lead the way.
Jeff (New York)
What kind of expectations do you have for men's basketball this year? Specifically, GR3 and McGary.
Chantel (12:40 PM)
Expectations will hinge on the PG position. Can Spike be a playmaker? Can Walton -- a true freshman -- be THE man? Because, Michigan will be able to be effective in the transition game even without a Trey Burke-like PG. But, they need more than the transition game to be a Big Ten championship level team.
Robbyt003 (Grand Rapids, MI)
Funchess or Gallon, who ends up having more TDs?
Chantel (12:42 PM)
Ohhh tough question. Gallon is a safety blanket for Gardner, but I think with a more Borges style offense and Funchess having grown in the offseason, we'll see him targeted more. I'm going to go on a limb and say Funchess has more TD's, but Gallon has bigger touchdowns.
Ronald Maki (Houma, La.)
is this kid Taco as much as reported to be?
Chantel (12:44 PM)
He's a ridiculous athlete and since he enrolled early, he had extra time with Greg Mattison, which I know Taco was super excited about. I think we'll see him on the field some this season.
Kurtis (Boca Raton)
I know we offered a scholarship to the kicker. Why is it that many schools do not use a scholarship for a kicker when the kicker can win or lose a game for you?
Chantel (12:45 PM)
I think there's this old-school thought that special teams guys need to earn their scholarships. Clearly, Hoke doesn't think that.
Abe (Ann Arbor)
Do you think the defense will take a step forward or backward this season?
Chantel (12:49 PM)
It'll be interesting. The D-line is changing a bit, but the guys who've been there have grown. The linebackers are in an interesting situation without Jake Ryan. And the secondary is relatively young. I think as the season goes on, they'll look better. There will be growing pains though. Lots and lots of growing pains.
What is the odds that Green is are Starting HB week 1?
Chantel (12:51 PM)
Hard to say. But, as I've said before. It really doesn't matter who starts that game so much as who gets the most snaps. Because Toussaint might start for the sake of experience, but Green could take more snaps.
Matt (Dallas, TX)
Any chance Shane Morris gets red shirted this season? Would love to get an extra year out of him but if Gardner goes down the season is over.
Chantel (12:51 PM)
Jordan (Lowell, mi)
Who do you expect will fill out the remainder of the 2014 football recruiting class?
Chantel (12:53 PM)
Michigan has a shot with two other top five players -- Da'Shawn Hand and Adoree' Jackson. Those are two really big names. Outside of those two, defensive lineman Malik McDowell has heavy interest. Parrker Westphal and Kalen Ballage are two kids I think we could see eventually commit.
Any further word on the Countess? Will he be in the secondary on Day One?
Chantel (12:54 PM)
No further word on him. But I do think he'll be in the secondary on day one.
Jason Ellis (Nashville TN)
What other wide recievers will be better than Jeremy gallon on the Michigan depth chart
Chantel (12:55 PM)
I don't know how you're defining better... but, I will say that I think Drew Dileo and Amara Darboh are going to have very good seasons.
Miles (Fayetteville, AR)
I know that Scott is deciding at the Opening. What do you think his chances are with landing at Michigan?
Chantel (12:57 PM)
I'm not sure if Michigan leads here right now. He's choosing from Florida, Florida State, Clemson, Michigan, OSU, UCF. I'm not sure if Michigan fans should get too excited.
Kylin (Ann Arbor)
You always have good recruit stories. What's the funniest thing that has happened this summer?
Chantel (12:59 PM)
Well, I have a coffee addiction. Tom and Mike always tease me about it. But I rarely show up to any press conference/game/practice without a latte. However, I guess recruits are starting to notice... The other day Moe Ways tweeted that he has never seen me without my coffee cup. I guess I need to finally admit I have a problem :/
Chantel (1:00 PM)
Well it's 1 p.m. guys so my time is up. Thanks so much for joining. Have a safe weekend and enjoy your Fourth of July.