Media Day: Shannon talks

Media day at UM was Thursday and was there. Read on to see everything Coach Shannon was talking about.

* His four years here has been a challenge but he's very proud of the direction of the program and how the team worked this summer. He credits the people around the campus helping the team reach various APR rates.

* He mentioned that he's not about padding the schedule. As a coach, he wants to play against the best and thats why you see teams like Ohio State on the non conference schedule.

* They finally have enough depth to have challenges at every single position on the football team.

* They take academics serious. If you miss a certain number of classes, you'll get suspended from the football team and nothing can change that. The team has bought into those rules.

* Six or seven players already graduated, even before the start of spring football. Richard Gordon and his sister both have graduated already.

* This summer, the OL and DL came to lift at 5:30 and ran at 6:30 in the morning. Skill guys came in agt 7:30. The whole team was done by 9:30. The voluntary 7on7 on Saturdays were done at 7 am. He was impressed by their commitment to that.

* Richard Gordon has improved a lot. He started out as a DE here. He got hurt last year. When he graduated in the spring, it showed a "big boost" in him. They've seen him more talkative and being more of a leader. Gordon is in charge of the locker room and making sure it's in order and he's done a nice job of that.

* LB Darrell McClover a few years ago never played a snap until his senior season. "His senior season was phenomenal." Sometimes it takes certain guys longer to mature.

* He monitors facebook accounts of his players. He doesn't want them putting something up that they'll regret a few years later or something that could prevent them from getting a job, for example. One player mentioned on his that he hopes Coach Shannon isn't checking this and he was.

* From a recruiting standpoint, he'd rather sit and talk 1 on 1 with the kids or the parents. He just wants to get to know them. He doesn't need to research them online. "I like face to face stuff."

* On Latwan Anderson, "Hes on track. I don't have anything to do with that. You may want to ask the track coach about him."

* Graig Cooper is taking his time. Shannon doesn't know when he'll be fully ready but "he's fine. he was out there catching balls, running around fine. It's just a matter of when his body responds." The two of them have a special bond that was developed by Cooper sharing a lot of family/personal stuff with Shannon.

* Re: Chase Ford, a Juco buddy of Shannon's told him about him. He sent McGriff. "He's tough like Shockey. He has great hands. Now he just has to learn the system. We got Jimmy Graham to that point and now it's up to Coach Pannunzio to get him to that point."

* Jacory didn't start throwing the ball till late June. Missing spring helped him learn a lot. He did all the footwork stuff through spring when he couldn't throw and now his footwork is great when he throws. He did a lot of film work.

* If Damien Berry loses his position, we're still a good football team because someone pushed him to get better. There will be some changes because of the competition. Guys like Berry understand they need to keep playing and studying film to stay at that high level.

* "K-Rob has matured a lot. I didn't think he was gonna be where he's at. We're gonna be excited to see where he's at." The scrimmages will be the key to see where he's at.

* Three of UM's four returning OL guys played OT in high school (BWash, Franklin, and Figs). They'll find out real early if the new tackles can get it done. Not playing the tackles in the spring helped the younger guys get more reps. That was very productive and "made the younger guys grow faster."

* Adewale Ojomo is ready to go. He brings enthusiasm to the defense and he's grown a lot both mentally and physically.

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