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December 6, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Chantel Jennings

Chantel
  (12:06 PM)

Hey everyone! Let's get our Michigan chat on...

Sean (South Lyon)

Do you think the way Lewan performs against Clowney in the Outback Bowl will have a factor on him entering the NFL Draft?

Chantel
  (12:08 PM)

It should be interesting. No doubt it'll be one of those matchups that tons of NFL scouts have their eyes on. And if Lewan gets destroyed by Clowney (not expecting that to happen, just playing the devil's advocate), it would probably affect Lewan's stock. But he'll have the combine to show what he can do as well. But if he does well with Clowney, as he has with so many DE's this season, then I think there's a decent chance we see his NFL stock rise and well, you can take it from there....

Mitch (San Diego)

Does Denzel Ward have any interest in Ohio that should concern M fans?

Chantel
  (12:10 PM)

He tweeted out yesterday that he's still 100 percent Michigan. I wouldn't be worried about anything. He's so excited to be a Wolverine and he was floored by the kind of coach Darrell Funk is. Plus, his HS coach is a good guy and preaches keeping your word and making informed decisions. Yes, Ward decided early. But, I think it was a very well-informed decision.

Tony (KY)

Any news on Devin trying to get his medical redshirt?

Chantel
  (12:10 PM)

Nothing new yet. We'll keep you guys updated. Trust us, we're not holding anything out on you guys!

byco (Charlotte, NC)

Is there and update on why Hopkins left team?

Chantel
  (12:11 PM)

Mike and I both reached out to him and he didn't respond. And Hoke really had very little to say on it. I hate speculating on these kind of things because who knows, it could've been so many different things.

Eric (DC)

what positions & numbers are michigan still looking to fill for the 2013 class?

Chantel
  (12:14 PM)

Well they've put out a bunch of 2013 O-line offers recently so it looks like that's a point of interest. They also put out two LB offers (Jon Reschke and Jamieon Moss) as well as reaching out to a few others. Secondary is still a point of interest - Conley reopened his recruitment, but the Wolverines are still interested in him. Also there's McQuay and then safety Malcolm Cook (Virginia commit) reopened his recruitment and Michigan reached out to him. And then you've also got them with RB Derrick Green. So it looks kind of all over the board.

Aaron (Ann Arbor)

What was your most and least favorite song from your Bust trip with Ace and Haiko?

Chantel
  (12:15 PM)

Most favorite? Anything I played. Least favorite? Everything and anything Heiko picked (which was everything from Christmas music to country to rap to pop...my ears have finally stopped bleeding).

Mike (Ann Arbor)

Anything cool happen at the Bust that hasn't been written about yet? Would be interesting to get a behind the scenes take on it.

Chantel
  (12:17 PM)

I wrote about all my favorite moments on the message board: http://insider.espn.go.com/insider/michigan/forums/_/the-den#!/topic/1354596358-449-504

Charlie (Nashville, TN)

I've read (aka just Google'd) that Jake Butt, Kyle Bosch, Taco Charlton, Ross Douglass, Dymonte Thomas and Logan Tuley-Tillman are expected to be early enrollees. Is that still the case?

Chantel
  (12:20 PM)

Yup, those are the commits that are enrolling early. And 2013 recruit Leon McQuay III is planning on enrolling early wherever he decides.

steven (nyc)

there is nothing wrong with christmas music #stophating

Chantel
  (12:22 PM)

I love Christmas music. But I also love listening to full songs. That was the problem. It was like "Have a holly, jolly Christm....I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums....We are never ever ever getting back together...." 20 seconds max on each song....not ok.

GBK (Lincoln Park)

So that means McQuay needs to commit somewhere in the next three weeks?

Chantel
  (12:23 PM)

Yes. He will commit to the school's coaches. But he's not announcing to the public and media until the Under Armour All America game in January.

jaspersail (A2)

Any reports on how well Drake Johnson has performed in practice?

Chantel
  (12:26 PM)

No. We don't get any of those reports.

ken (Farm Hills)

What do you think our chances with Dawson are?

Chantel
  (12:30 PM)

I think the fact that he had some kind of a heart-to-heart/genuine conversation with Hoke and the fact that Hoke re-extended another offer to Dawson says something. That being said, he's still taking an official to Ohio State. He's still interested in Alabama, and those coaches were at Cass Tech this week. So with Dawson, I just don't know but I think the second offer does show something.

Bryan Stevenson (Ann Arbor MI)

How the hell do your hands not get tired from all these replies? Well I guess you'd be used to it by now. Prepare for major arthritis!

Chantel
  (12:31 PM)

I'm a writer. It comes with the territory!!

Tony (KY)

Can Shane Morris overtake Gardner as the starter next season or is Devin entrenched as the starter?

Chantel
  (12:32 PM)

I think Gardner has the leg up on Morris, especially since Morris can't enroll early (high school rule). However, anything is possible and I know Shane is working hard this offseason to recover from mono and be ready in case he is given the chance next season. That being said, Gardner has stepped in this year and proven himself already as a solid player.

Zach (Long Island, NY)

What do the Wolverines need to work on most before its bowl game?

Chantel
  (12:33 PM)

Football.

Chantel
  (12:35 PM)

I think they need to figure out how to best use Denard. Like so many games before, I think this game will be a defensive battle. Which defense can make a better stand? Which defense makes fewer mistakes? So there's a lot of pressure on Mattison and his D. But let's be serious, Denard is a guy that can make defenses make mistakes. He can be a game changer. What he does to South Carolina's D will be a huge indicator of the game, I think. So Hoke and Borges need to figure out how they're going to use him.

Jim (Grand Rapids)

Whats the word of the day?

Chantel
  (12:36 PM)

Cantankerous.

Chantel
  (12:36 PM)

Borges used that word with me in a one-on-one interview earlier this season. Not kidding.

Jim (Grand Rapids)

Bowl season is the beginning of the segway to next season. Freshmen are a ball of controlled chaos, but you can usually tell who's a "football player." Which younger guys can we expect to step up for us next fall? Specifically, any buzz on the redshirt guys like Kalis and Chesson?

Chantel
  (12:39 PM)

Well Jim, I think freshman O-linemen like Kalis, as well as Ben Braden could be pretty chaotic for opposing D lines next season. And I've heard good things about Chesson too. He's one heck of a runner. He won several state hurdling championships in high school, but he came into Michigan a bit undersized. With a year of weight lifting I think he could be like a rover down the field for Michigan next year. Amara Darboh is another guy who could be a physical, bigger receiver.

Tony (KY)

Stopping Clowney. that's what Michigan needs to work on.

Chantel
  (12:40 PM)

Yes, that's another thing Michigan needs to work on. I'm really excited to see that match up. And, I said this yesterday, but I wish I could've also seen a Jake Ryan-Marcus Lattimore matchup. That would've been interesting to watch.

chris (dearborn)

with conley and dawson rooming together at the under armor game does that help or hurt?

Chantel
  (12:42 PM)

I'm not sure if that will hurt or help. They have so much going on during the days that it's not like they'll be sitting in their room staring at each other for 20 hours a day. I think it's more crucial that they're on the same team as the rest of the Michigan commits. Shane Morris will have his senator hat on, I'm sure.

chris (dearborn)

how many dawson/conley question have you had so far?

Chantel
  (12:44 PM)

Quite a few. Quick! Someone ask about Green!

Charlie (Nashville, TN)

Does Caris LeVert look as small in person as he does on the court (via TV)? Or is it mostly that everyone else is just so much bigger? I haven't had a chance to make it up for a basketball game yet to find out for myself.

Chantel
  (12:45 PM)

He's thin. The roster says he's 6-foot-5, 170. I think that's generous.

Ed (Minnesota)

Any word on how Fitz T. is doing in his rehab from his broken leg?

Chantel
  (12:47 PM)

We don't really get injury reports. The fact that we were told he received surgery rather than that there were "things, stuff and boo boos" is an improvement though.

Brian (Toronto)

Do you really think the coaching staff is spending large amounts of time worrying about how Denard fits into this game plan? I really get the feeling this coaching staff is more focused on getting ready to really compete next year for the Big Ten Championship and are doing whatever they can with these extra practices to do so. What do you think?

Chantel
  (12:48 PM)

I disagree. Yes, they'll use some early practices for development for younger guys. But this is a bowl game and if you think Hoke or anyone on that staff is looking past South Carolina, then I think you're mistaken.

Jim (Grand Rapids)

Have you heard the song "Thrift Shop?" Do you think Brady Hoke would enjoy the song? Can you ask him. What about Borges?

Chantel
  (12:49 PM)

Yup, just came on my playlist. Love it. Not sure Hoke or Borges would love it. Perhaps. You never know.

steven (nyc)

smh at heiko. any insight into why dennis finley from cass tech was offered? it seems we are trying to fill a guard spot but isn't he a tackle?

Chantel
  (12:50 PM)

I don't have any insight, but I would assume they think he could play tackle. He's a big kid (6-6, 275) and still has some body to grow in to. He's athletic and a quick learner.

Jeremy (Michigan)

Whats happening with Green?

Chantel
  (12:52 PM)

Annnnnd here's the Green question....

Chantel
  (12:53 PM)

Nothing too new with Green. He hasn't spoken publicly about any of the Auburn coaching stuff, which is one of his finalists. We're going to have to wait on this one.

chris (dearborn)

who would be a greater get back dawson or conley?

Chantel
  (12:55 PM)

I would've said Conley initially, just because of the depth the O-line has between the 2012 and 2013 classes. But with Michigan clearly focused on getting itself another 2013 OL (all the recent offers), it makes me think they need one. Which would make me say Dawson.

Brandon (Wisconsin)

Who do you think Denard will group with for the combine?

Chantel
  (12:55 PM)

D-line? Why not?

Chantel
  (12:57 PM)

Haha, I would assume RB or WR. They'll look at the numbers as well as his projections with different stuff.

Bryan Stevenson (Ann Arbor MI)

Will Michigan be able to get the ground game going against SC strong front four? or will they be forced to score points through the air?

Chantel
  (12:58 PM)

I think it's necessary to get the ground game going. Rushing will open up the passing lanes. At that point, who knows if Denard will be able to throw or not, but I think attacking South Carolina on the ground will be huge.

Chris (Charleston,SC)

Nik Stauskas has been getting a lot of praise and attention so far (and much of it is deserved). What do you think his ceiling is? Has he become the most important freshman on the team?

Chantel
  (1:00 PM)

I've been so impressed with him. All I had heard about him coming into the season was that he was a pure shooter, so naturally I assumed he was a one trick pony. Noooope. The kid has athleticism, he attacks the basket well, plays good D (man to man and zone, which is impressive), and he has handles. It's hard to say which freshman is the most important, but he's a key to this team's success - that's for sure.

Chantel
  (1:01 PM)

Well it's 1:00 guys, so my time is up! But thanks for joining the chat today. If you have any lingering questions shoot them my way on twitter: @chanteljennings or send them to mike for next week's michigan mailbag: michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com. Hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend!