WR Braylon Edwards

2003 Statistics

Coach: Lloyd Carr
86-26, 9 years
2003 Record: 10-3
at Oregon LOST 27-31
at Iowa LOST 27-30
at Minnesota WON 38-35
at Michigan State WON 27-20
at Northwestern WON 41-10
Southern Cal LOST 14-28

2003 Final Rankings
AP-6, Coaches-7, BCS-4

2004 Outlook

In a year where the Big Ten appears weak, it may surprise some that expectations for this Wolverine team are so low. Sure, Michigan always finds a way to slip up in a game they shouldn't, but, overall, the new season appears promising.

There are certainly questions to be answered, particularly depth-wise, but this is Michigan we're talking about. Can anyone reading this honestly say that the Wolverines don't consistently reload, year-in, year-out? This team is as talented throughout as most programs in the nation. Youth isn't necessarily a death sentence, simply look at USC's national championship team or Miami every year. In fact, we'd even venture to say that some of the incoming starters are more athletically gifted than their graduating counterparts, most notably on the defensive line.

The one thing that fans should watch for is an emerging running back. This one question, if answered, could lead this team to be even more successful than they were. Surely the depth in the backfield says such.

But the most revealing measuring stick may be in scoring trends. With a new QB, the defense has to be initially tight. Michigan's D only allowed 23 TDs in ranking 11th in scoring allowed. Offensive confidence will be affected if the defense allows teams to build leads. The secondary cannot get caught cheating up into the box to aid the marginal line. Therefore, keeping the play in front of them becomes a key for overall team success.

Be careful not to discount this Michigan team too quickly. We say that they're fully capable of making a "run for the Roses," and possibly even more. With a schedule that appears fairly weak by Michigan standards, a run for a title, whether it's conference or even national, is not out of reach.

Projected 2004 record: 9-2
QB - 3.5 DL - 3
RB - 2.5 LB - 4
WR - 5 DB - 4.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Matt Gutierrez, 19-13-0, 153 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: David Underwood, 52 att., 276 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Braylon Edwards, 85 rec., 1138 yds., 14 TD

Scoring: Braylon Edwards, 14 TD, 2-pt., 86 pts.

Punting: Adam Finley, 53 punts, 40.0 avg.

Kicking: Garrett Rivas, 9-12 FG, 48-49 PAT, 75 pts.

Tackles: Lawrence Reid, 82 tot., 53 solo, 5 TFL

Sacks: Pierre Woods, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Leon Hall, 3 for 3 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Steve Breaston, 9 ret., 21.2 avg.

Punt Returns: Steve Breaston, 45 ret., 13.8 avg., 2 TD


LB Pierre Woods

Questions abound concerning the Michigan offensive backfield. While the annual Spring Game could not possibly answer all of those questions, several players at both QB and RB appear ready to take the stage. The best news came from senior RB David Underwood, who looked extremely efficient during snaps with the first team. Underwood opened exhibition with a 45-yard run down the sideline and continued to rip-off nice runs on other occasions. Splitting time in the backfield were fifth-year senior Tim Bracken and sophomore Jermome Jackson, who scampered for a 20-yard TD run to cap a solid day. The other spotlight battle at QB didn't get any clearer as Matt Gutierrez and Clayton Richard were each sharp. A potential TD pass during the opening drive was dropped by TE Tim Massaquoi. Still, Gutierrez was impressive, and he bounced back in his second drive by avoiding the rush and hitting wide receiver Jermaine Gonzales over the middle for 18 yards and a first down. Richard, meanwhile, showed flashes of solid play, and his day was highlighted by a 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who had beaten cornerback Marlin Jackson on the play. The Edwards-Jackson matchup pitted the Wolverines' top two weapons against each other in a showdown that was a highlight of the day. Edwards caught several passes, including the score from Richard, and induced a pass interference penalty against Jackson as well.


C. Richard, 14-22 for 110 yds.
M. Gutierrez, 12-22 for 83 yds.


J. Jackson, 11 att., 71 yds, 1 TD
D. Underwood, 7 att., 67 yds.

OFFENSE: John Navarre-QB, Dave Pearson-C, Tony Pape-OT, Andy Mignery-TE, Chris Perry-TB, Calvin Bell-WR
DEFENSE: Larry Stevens-DE, Norman Heuer-DT, Grant Bowman-DT, Carl Diggs-ILB, Jeremy LeSueur-CB, Jon Shaw-S

Young redshirt sophomore Matt Gutierrez has been primed for the starting job since entering the program, as coaches have praised his work ethic. Size-wise, Gutierrez is the prototypical Wolverine QB but has shown substantially more mobility than Navarre did. Wolverine fans are eager to see if Gutierrez can continue his winning ways at the college level, after never losing a game in high school. The added movement at the QB position adds yet another dimension to an already potent Wolverine offense, so one should expect to see Gutierrez utilized in more bootleg and roll-out play calling schemes. The newest rumor buzz from inside the program is the sixth year of eligibility granted to senior Spencer Brinton in early March. Brinton has had limited playing time at Michigan (only 21 pass attempts in his career), and he, as of pre-spring practice juncture, should occupy the second string. Look for some changes in offensive philosophy from the Wolverines with Gutierrez. Hopefully, his desire to win is contagious amongst the team, or at least that's what Michigan fans are hoping...

Running Back
Calling the Wolverine running back situation a mess would be a gross understatement. Michigan has four able backs with which to work. Sophomore Jerome Jackson is said to be the leader heading into spring. Jackson has shown a nice distribution of speed and power in his limited appearances. Accordingly, we have yet to see how well Jackson catches the ball, a crucial attribute for any Michigan back, so it's unknown exactly how much the offense will suffer without Doak Walker-winner Chris Perry. Coaches have stated that Pierre Rembert "would be" the starter if not for his fumbling habits showcased in practice. Rembert is more of a Michigan-styled back size-wise, but has been criticized for his lack of break-away speed. Senior Tim Bracken was named the 2001 starting tailback before breaking his leg prior to the season. He may be the sentimental favorite for the job, due to his "feel-good" comeback story, but his numbers have failed to set him apart from the group thus far. The fourth back, Michigan's most experienced (at 119 career attempts) is more of a bowling ball than a football player. David Underwood, an imposing figure, looks more like an NFL linebacker than a collegiate halfback. The quartet of backs will probably be used in a situational rotation, at least early on in the season. We won't be surprised to see any of the four emerge as a starter, so this is something fans will need to keep an eye out for during spring practices.

Wide Receiver
Braylon Edwards leads a talented group of high-flying Michigan wideouts. Edwards, who also stars on the Michigan track team, caught 85 balls in '03. He looks to be the first receiver to ever get three successive 1,000 yard seasons at Michigan. Following a breakout sophomore season, Jason Avant brings the type of possession receiving necessary for moving the chains. Avant is physical with his downfield blocks and adds another weapon over the middle. The trio of highlight reel-making wideouts is completed by the quickness of KR/PR/WR, and Big Ten co-Freshman of the Year, Steve Breaston. Breaston is the third dimension of the Michigan snarlers, bringing an incredible mix of agility and speed to the table. He is also one of the few players in Michigan history to score a touchdown in four different ways (punt return, pass, run, reception). Sophomore Carl Tabb will most likely make an impact on both the receiving corps, and special teams with his blazing speed (a clean 4.3-40), and vertical leaping ability (42 inches). Defensive coordinators will have their hands full trying to contain this quartet, or, as Joe Tiller once referred to them, "tools in the tool box."

Tight End
Michigan has traditionally been a school that utilizes the tight end frequently, but the 2003 crew wasn't much this way. Tyler Ecker, who sat out the 2001 and 2002 campaigns for a Morman Mission, is what one would expect of a Big Ten tight end, combining size and great catching ability. Tim Massaquoi, who switched from wide receiver to tight end prior to the 2002 season, is a mismatch player with tight end size and receiver speed (4.5 in the 40). The only knack on Massaquoi has been his inability to catch the ball at times, most notably on third down. The situation is abundantly obvious - someone needs to step up here. Michigan simply uses the tight end too much in offensive planning to be ineffective at this position.

Offensive Line
Although two starters from Michigan's dominant 2003 line depart, the depth here is unbelievable. The Big Ten is known for trademark burly linemen, and powerful, grinding attacks. There isn't a better illustration of those two qualities than you'll find at Michigan. Coaches have been raving about the play of junior center Mark Bihl, the expected successor of a departing Dave Pearson. A question at right tackle looms over the line as spring approaches, but it is said that Mike Kolodzjej will take over in place of Tony Pape here. Very much as in year's past, this Michigan offensive line is huge (averaging 308 pounds per man), so they have their footwork cut out for them. With second team All-American anchor Dave Baas at LG, this line should improve on the 26 sacks allowed in '03.

There's no denying the losses here, especially in the backfield. However, one must be led to believe that a change in offensive philosophy (the Wolverines will have to attack more) will lead to more explosiveness and scoring in 2004. Whenever you lose a Heisman finalist back, your ground production and its consistency is bound to slip. The burning question is whether or not an older, more mature group of acrobatic wide receivers will be able to pick up the slack and help to open up the ground attack. We think that this offense will be more than enough for Michigan to just "get by"; in fact, we think they'll do rather well. Look for newbie quarterback Matt Gutierrez to put up some great numbers in 2004, and the Wolverine offense to seep with potential. Realizing such is the key to a Top 5 finish.


OG David Baas


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Matt Gutierrez-So (6-4, 230) Clayton Richard-Fr (6-4, 227)
FB Kevin Dudley-Sr (6-1, 237) Brian Thompson-Jr (6-2, 235)
TB Jerome Jackson-So (5-11, 198) David Underwood-Sr (6-0, 227)
WR Braylon Edwards-Sr (6-3, 206) Steve Breaston-So (6-1, 181)
WR Jason Avant-Jr (6-1, 209) Carl Tabb-So (6-2, 193)
TE Tyler Ecker-Jr (6-6, 249) Tim Massaquoi-Jr (6-4, 249)
OT Adam Stenavich-Jr (6-5, 313) Mike Kolodziej-Jr (6-7, 319)
OG David Baas-Sr (6-5, 307) Jeff Gaston-Sr (6-5, 290)
C Mark Bihl-So (6-4, 301) ..
OG Matt Lentz-Jr (6-6, 316) Leo Henige-Jr (6-4, 331)
OT Jake Long-So (6-7, 331) Rueben Riley-So (6-3, 311)
K Garrett Rivas-So (5-9, 210) ..
Matt Gutierrez....GOO-tear-ez
Braylon Edwards....BRAY-lynn
Jason Avant....a-VANT
Adam Stenavich....STEN-ah-vich
David Baas....bahss
Mark Bihl....BEEL
Garrett Rivas....REE-vas
Tim Massaquoi....MASS-ah-coy
Mike Kolodziej....kah-LOW-jay
Leo Henige....hen-ah-GEE (as in McGee)
Rueben Riley....RUE-ben



Defensive Line
The defensive area of concern begins here, most notably at DT. The middle of the Wolverine line is massive, as DTs Gabe Watson and Larry Harrison put buffets out of business. Although both have saw action, the concern is a lack of depth here. At a position where rotations are quite common, and necessary, having guys in the two-deep with very little experience must be a major worry for the Wolverine coaching staff. At defensive end, sophomore LaMarr Woodley emerged as a potentially devastating pass rusher, tallying two sacks and four TFLs in just two starts. Woodley has the size and speed (4.5-40) to be one of the Big Ten's premier defensive ends. Patrick Massey provides versatility with his size, which also makes him optimal for deflecting passes at the line. Coaches have stated several times that Patrick is capable of playing defensive tackle, as well as end. The Wolverine line is one of the biggest you'll find. An improvement on last season's 22nd ranked rushing defense (allowed 116.6 YPG) is not out of the question. This unit is stacked full of starting talent, and simply needs time to develop. How long that takes will go a long way toward predicting the team's overall fate.

All-American candidate Pierre Woods leads this deep and quick, yet youthful group. Woods led the Wolverines with seven sacks, and Pierre enrolled at Michigan as a DE, which may explain his instinct as a pass rusher. Woods has an incredible nose for the ball, and the ability to chase it down quite quickly (4.6-40). The middle is stapled by leading-tackler Lawrence Reid, who was given the Roger Zatkoff award (top linebacker at the University of Michigan). He finds the ball. David Harris, once considered the front-runner for the other spot, will not be participating in spring festivities due to a knee injury he suffered against Houston. This leaves a golden opportunity for Scott McClintock. Scott is no stranger to the field, for he has started three games. The depth of this unit it outstanding, as everyone in the two-deep charts has real-game experience. The versatile size and respectable speed of this group makes it one of the best in the Big Ten.

Defensive Back
After being named preseason Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as a cornerback, Michigan coaches moved Marlin Jackson to free safety, where he played his entire injury-plagued 2003 season. The hope amongst all Maize 'n Blue faithful is that Jackson can return to his 2002 All-American form, when he set the Michigan single-season Pass BreakUp record of 18 (currently third in all-time pass breakups at Michigan with 29). Senior Markus Curry enters his second season as a starter for the Wolverines at the other CB slot after being named second team All-Big Ten. Strong safety Earnest Shazor is a feared force in the middle. Widely recognized as one of the hardest hitters in the conference, Shazor contributed two sacks. The Michigan secondary is big, fast, and nasty, and returns three starting upperclassmen. Shazor and Jackson give opposing receivers reason to fear leaving their feet. This unit is almost certainly the best in the conference, if not the entire nation, coming back after ranking 9th nationally in pass-efficiency defense.

Michigan does have some questions on the defensive side of the ball, primarily in two-deep charts, but very little of those are burning. Virtually the only major concern is associated with depth at defensive tackle, which is something that should develop. Each dimension is strong. It's time to hand the reins over, OSU... Michigan has the best defense in the Big Ten for '04.


CB Marlin Jackson


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE LaMarr Woodley-So (6-2, 268) Rondell Biggs-So (6-2, 268)
DT Gabe Watson-Jr (6-4, 333) Will Paul-Fr (6-3, 264)
DT Larry Harrison-So (6-3, 313) Alex Ofili-Jr (6-4, 289)
DE Pat Massey-Jr (6-8, 276) Jeremy Van Alstyne-So (6-4, 258)
OLB Pierre Woods-Jr (6-5, 248) Roy Manning-Sr (6-2, 240)
ILB Lawrence Reid-Jr (6-1, 219) Obianna Oluigbo-So (6-0, 243)
ILB Scott McClintock-Jr (6-2, 243) David Harris-So (6-2, 246)
CB Marlin Jackson-Sr (6-1, 199) Leon Hall-So (5-11, 193)
CB Markus Curry-Sr (5-11, 183) Darnell Hood-So (5-11, 191)
SS Ernest Shazor-Jr (6-4, 226) Jacob Stewart-Jr (6-0, 212)
FS Ryan Mundy-So (6-1, 209) Willis Barringer-So (6-0, 201)
P Adam Finley-Sr (6-4, 209) Mark Spencer-Jr (6-0, 215)
Ernest Shazor....SHAY-zer Alex Ofili....OH-feely
Jeremy Van Alstyne....all-STINE
Obianna Oluigbo....oh-BEE-anna oh-LEE-bow
Willis Barringer....BARE-in-jur




Last year, freshman Garrett Rivas connected on nine-of-twelve FGAs, including a game-winner in a comeback in Minnesota. Michigan's kicking game no longer appears to be a glaring weakness.

As soon as the Wolverines had one problem fixed, they had discovered another. Michigan tried to implement a "rugby-style" punt at Iowa, in which the punter would run to his right while kicking the ball. This formation led to a block by the Hawkeyes, and even more disruptions and problem by game's end. This ultimately cost Michigan the game. Wolverine fans have feared having to punt the ball ever since. Senior Adam Finley would love nothing more than to erase these memories. Conventional approaches will win field position battles for these guys.

Return Game
The one area in which the Wolverines succeeded at in special teams play was the return game. WR Steve Breaston quickly placed himself amongst the nation's most electrifying punt returners with a pair of '03 TDs and a 13.8 yard average. After the graduation of Jeremy LeSueur, one figures that Breaston will almost exclusively lock up the main kick returner position. WR Carl Tabb, a former state track champion, will most likely fill in the other slot on kickoffs.

Calling the Wolverine punt and kick coverage "shaky" might be an understatement. Big returns, TDs - Michigan allowed it all in '03. Poor coverage contributed heavily in all losses. A new special teams coach, former U of M offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, should help. So, too, should their defensive depth.


Matt Gutierrez
still has not secured the starting spot at quarterback. RS freshman Clayton Richard is holding onto the second spot, while sixth year senior Spencer Brinton (who was injured during practice) should occupy the third spot come fall. The race for running back has narrowed to two - David Underwood and Jerome Jackson were equally impressive in spring competition. Pierre Rembert, once considered a favorite for the spot, has fallen into Carr’s doghouse and may now slide to fourth string behind Tim Bracken. The WRs were as good as advertised in spring practices, although Braylon Edwards has still shown tendencies to drop the easy catch. Tyler Ecker has all but assured himself a starting slot at TE during spring ball, as Tim Massaquoi is still having problems catching the pigskin in game situations. With the exceptions of the guards (Baas at LG and Lentz at RG) the line is up for grabs. Coaches tried David Baas at center, but moved him back to guard after a short trial run. It now appears that the center spot is between Mark Bihl and transplanted guard Leo Henige. The tackles have been interchangeable thus far. Massive freshman Jake Long (at 331 pounds) will most certainly make a splash on either side of the line. The other three tackles: Stenavich, Kolodziej and Riley will most likely all see time. Stenavich at LT and Long on the right appear to be the current starters.

A change in defensive philosophy has been the buzz around Ann Arbor this spring, a move to the 3-4 is in store, at least partially for the Wolverines. News that DE Jeremy Van Alstyne would miss the 2004 campaign with a knee injury made the change in a philosophy a must. This has accordingly shuffled some players to and from positions within the front seven. LaMarr Woodley will now play some OLB as showcased in spring ball, as will OLB Pierre Woods see duty at DE this upcoming fall. The pass rush displayed in the spring scrimmages has left something to watch for opponents, as the move creates a more athletic defense for the Wolverines. It has yet to be determined who will fill in the middle besides Reid, but Roy Manning should have a slight edge due to Sophomore David Harris missing spring ball while recovering from last season’s ending knee injury. Sophomore Ryan Mundy appears to have surpassed Willis Barringer for the starting FS spot. Earnest Shazor has reportedly enhanced his coverage skills and has become a more vocal leader on defense, along with being the most impressive overall at this point.

Steve Breaston
is the punt returner, that we can assure you. Kickoffs seem a little more cloudy though. Breaston, Tabb, Gonzales or Curry could return kicks to start the season. Although Breaston’s slick moves are better suited for punts, we’d still bet on him being the main kickoff guy.

Offensive MVP: WR Braylon Edwards
Defensive MVP: SS Earnest Shazor
Top Newcomer: FS Ryan Mundy
Spring MVP: SS Earnest Shazor