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 (11:59 AM)
Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by! Make sure you get your questions in and I'll try to get to each one before our hour is up.
Will Michigan surprise Ohio state this year?
Chantel (12:03 PM)
I think it'll be a good game, but I'm not really sure what you mean by "surprise." By that point in the season (which is one reason why the rivalry is so intense), for the most part, both teams know what to expect and what's coming. Meyer and Hoke might save some wrinkles but it's not like you'll see an entirely new offensive or defensive scheme that game. Most people are projecting OSU to win, and I think -- at least at this point -- I'm also on that side of the fence. And I just say that because both U-M lines are unproven.
will U OF M take another LB in this class now that there is a scholarship available with Poole career ending?
Chantel (12:04 PM)
I wouldn't rule that out. I could see Michigan taking another LB in the 2014 class.
who do you think will take the last 4 to 5 scholarships for this class
Chantel (12:06 PM)
Numbers are always tricky. With 14 commits right now, they can take about four more but attrition happens so maybe one or two more even? That being said, I'd say these are the possible names you could see sign with Michigan and take those last spots: Malik McDowell, Da'Shawn Hand, Dwight Williams, Parrker Westphal, JuJu Smith, Adoree' Jackson, Jimmie Swain.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will Michigan's Training Camp Open for 2013?
Chantel (12:07 PM)
The first practice is August 5. Returning players report August 4. Freshmen report August 3.
Brad (Oakville (Ontario))
I know Tom is the dessert guy, but please settle a bet for my wife and I...is dessert every night after dinner a MUST? I think it is. Thanks!
Chantel (12:08 PM)
Ohhh. Dessert is a must. It doesn't have to come after dinner though. If I'm craving ice cream at 9 a.m., I let it happen.
Jk (State down below)
will Justice Hayes see action this year or be buried at the bottom of depth chart? If buried, do u see him transferring?
Chantel (12:09 PM)
I don't see him getting a lot of looks, to be honest. I think the real battle will be between Fitzgerald Toussaint and Derrick Green, while also not ruling out Deveon Smith. Those three would probably be the three-deep.
Who do you see as an under the radar/breakout player this year, and is the corner spot oppsite countess a competition?
Chantel (12:10 PM)
There has been a ton of talk about Amara Darboh as a WR but recently I've been thinking Jehu Chesson could be the wide receiver to watch. He's so fast and he has good hands. I could see him be a really reliable guy for Devin Gardner.
Do you think the coaches are waiting to get the best of the best even though they have a lot of scholarship offers out there?
Chantel (12:13 PM)
The thing about an offer is that it isn't always binding. Even at schools like Michigan, a prospect could have an offer and come to the coaches and say he wants to commit, but the coaches don't have to accept. They'll take who they want. And they won't take guys that they might have offered for any assortment of reasons.
Thoughts on Maryland basketball fitting into the B1G?
Chantel (12:16 PM)
A) I think every Big Ten writer will be thrilled that they learned how to write Evan Smotrycz's name the first time around. B) I think it'll be an interesting fit. It makes the east coast a Big Ten territory now and I think you'll see recruits respond to that.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Will John Belein close the deal and lock up Mississippi sharpshooter Devin Booker?
Chantel (12:17 PM)
Yes, he's from Mississippi, but remember he has his roots in Michigan. But aside from that, I think it's a definite possibility. I saw Booker at Michigan's camp this summer and he seems to be very comfortable around the coaching staff. If Derrick Walton lives up to his billing, Booker could have an ideal situation to step in to with a tested PG, and playmakers around him so that he could take in the game at his own pace and really become his own player at Michigan.
Ryan (Angell Hall)
Many projections have Michigan taking 3 more commitments. How likely is it they take more than that? Thanks in advance!
Chantel (12:18 PM)
I think they could take more. Attrition happens.
Who do you think starts the season as the #2 QB? Will the equipment staff have DG's kevlar uniform ready for opening weekend?
Chantel (12:20 PM)
I'll say this: I think Cleary starts the season as the #2 QB, but Morris ends the season as the
Will (Alexandria, VA)
If you had to make two completely outrageous, but still somehow possible predictions for this season what would they be? One stats based and one other?
Chantel (12:23 PM)
1. I think Hoke plays another one of those "Glasgow is in contention" bits during fall camp like he did last year when everyone thought Barnum was the starting center and suddenly, ooop, jk, he's not. I think Miller will be the starting center and that it's not much of a debate. 2. I think it'll be unseasonably warm in November, specifically for the OSU game (this is also wishful thinking -- I wouldn't mind a mild winter).
Chantel (12:23 PM)
That first stat isn't completely stats related, but sort of. Just go with it.
Who do you think will be the 2 captains this year?
Chantel (12:24 PM)
Taylor Lewan and Devin Gardner.
Is Darboh ready to start opposite of Gallon and Dileo at Slot?
Thanks for chatting with us CJ.Out of the freshman and sophomore defensive lineman, who is poised to have a surprisingly effective season? Someone that we Michigan fans might be overlooking...
Chantel (12:26 PM)
Taco Charlton. I'm not sure if people are overlooking him since he early enrolled and was relatively hyped. But I do think he's poised to make some plays this year for U-M.
Qotho (Richmond, VA)
What do the OL numbers look like for the 2015 class?
Chantel (12:30 PM)
It's still a bit too early to say, especially depending on where Michigan finishes with this current class. They already have one 2015 commitment with OT Jon Runyan Jr. But I don't think we'll be seeing another six-commitment class (cough, cough 2013) anytime soon.
Stephen (South Carolina)
Will The O-LinE Be Better Than Last Year At Least In The Run GaMe?
Chantel (12:34 PM)
I think so. I would imagine they'll be better than last year, but it will depend a lot on chemistry. And with Taylor Lewan already giving the group a nickname and having the mustache thing this spring, I think the chemistry is there. We'll see if that translates to the field.
Freddy (Dearborn Hts)
Does Fournette commit this weekend??
Chantel (12:36 PM)
I don't see that happening.
Troy (Kansas City)
Based on last years stats, Stanford led the nation with 57 sacks...we had 22 iirc. 40 sacks (based on last year's stats) would get us in the top 10. Based on what you have seen, heard, and the development of Wormley & Taco...would you take the over or under if set at 40 and why?
Chantel (12:38 PM)
I'm taking the under. For Michigan to double its sacks in one year while transitioning it's D-line and playing young, inexperienced players, well that would be pretty ridiculous. I'm sure Greg Mattison would love that but I just dont see it happening.
Jeff Cummins (New York City)
How do you think the "chicken" comment will impact this year's game vs. ND?
Chantel (12:39 PM)
There will be a lot of emotions playing in to the game. Between the rivalry ending, the chickening out comments, the night game atmosphere, the history, well, there's going to be a lot going on. I think it'll add fuel to fire for both sides.
Dan Denver, CO [via mobile]
Does Green take the #1 running back by game 3?
Chantel (12:40 PM)
Game three would be Akron. I would say that if Green isn't the starter by that game but he seems to be on that track then Michigan would need to decide whether they'd want him to start his first game on the road (No. 4 against U-Conn) or at home in the conference opener (No. 5 against Minnesota).
is 2015 commitment jon runyan a big time prospect/worthy of an U OF M scholarship?
Chantel (12:42 PM)
I think so. He's 6-foot-3 but I think he has some more growing to do. For Michigan to offer and accept a rising junior OL means they saw a lot, a lot out of him on tape and at camp. Plus, he's a kid who's going to run through the doors for Michigan and recruit pretty hard, too.
what do you think the odds are that we get leonard fournette with us already having green? also is the fact that hand did not make it to the barbecue a bad sign for signing him?
Chantel (12:45 PM)
Not sure how realistic it is for Michigan fans to get super excited over Fournette. Regarding Hand, remember that all of these trips are coming out of the prospects' pocket and that in between recruiting, these kids want to have lives, too. For a guy like Hand, who already has his top three and has already visited Michigan, is it worth it for him to spend the money and time to come in on a weekend when 20+ other prospects are visiting? Is he really going to be able to have the kinds of conversations with coaches that he wants to have? I think these kind of events are great, but if you're far enough along in the process to have a top three, these events aren't always at the top of the list.
Do you think Michigan will pick up Tyrone Wheatly Jr?
Chantel (12:46 PM)
Hard to say. It's very early in the process for him. But if we see Funchess targeted a lot this season, I think that would help.
How many different uniforms will be worn this season?
Chantel (12:49 PM)
Ah, the inevitable uniform question. Who knows. They won't be Oregon, I can say that. But I don't think they'll have just one, either.
I know its incredibly unlikely, but is it possible that Michigan and Ohio State could play each other three times this year? Say Michigan and Ohio State are undefeated when they play at the end of the season, and Michigan wins a close one, then Ohio State wins a close one in the Conference Championship. If no one else is undefeated nationwide, could they have a rematch in the national championship game?
Chantel (12:50 PM)
This sounds more like reallllly wishful thinking than anything else.
Jeff Cummins (New York City)
How does Aaron Wellman's S&C program compare to the Mike Barwis program? Do the players buy into Wellman's program enough?
Chantel (12:52 PM)
From what I've heard, both are good in different ways. Obviously, you see a lot of guys who've gone pro coming back to train with Barwis. However, I've heard that his program made everyone into very athletic players whereas Wellman's is more about tailoring each guy into the body shape and playing shape that their position coach wants them to be in.
Chantel (12:53 PM)
Just over five minutes left. If you're sitting on a question, get it in now...I answer the best three I have!
Aaron (Leesburg, VA)
Do you anticipate Devin Gardner having a big season and challenging Taylor Martinez and Braxton Miller for All Big Ten honors?
Chantel (12:54 PM)
I think Miller takes home the All-Big Ten 1st team QB honors, but I think the battle for second team will be tight between Martinez and Gardner.
North (Charleston, SC)
In your opinion, who will be the first undersized CB currently on the roster from Cass Tech to make an impact on the field: JL, TR, or DH?
Chantel (12:57 PM)
I think Jourdan Lewis or Delonte Hollowell have a shot. Hollowell has a bit more experience and I think it would've done Lewis well to enroll early, but, those two jump out to me a bit more than Terry Richardson.
Chad (Ann Arbor)
Which 2014 players will benefit the most from early enrolling?
Chantel (1:00 PM)
Jabrill Peppers, no doubt. The kid is very, very smart. Give him an extra semester with Wellman (though, he's already coming in very fit) as well as an extra semester to learn Mattison's defense, and you've got a nasty, nasty player there.
Chantel (1:01 PM)
All right, folks, it's 1:00 p.m. and that's all the time I have for today. If I didn't get to your question, feel free to email me (jenningsESPN@gmail.com) and I'll make sure to get through those this afternoon and get back to you. Have a great day!