Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Northwestern WR Kyle Prater Ruled Eligible

In general Big Ten news, Northwestern wide receiver Kyle Prater, who transferred from USC, has been ruled eligible to play this season, a decision from the NCAA which Wildcat fans have been anxiously waiting on for many months. Getting a guy like Prater would've been huge for Michigan, but for Northwestern he might as well be a literal fusion of Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald, and Plaxico Burress in one DB-destroying form.

But seriously, this should be a big addition to what is somewhat surprisingly a very solid group of wide receivers, even after losing top receiver Jeremy Ebert to the NFL. Northwestern has a deep group, consisting of Demetrius Fields, Christian Jones, Tony Jones, and Venric Mark. Now, you can add Prater to the mix. Needless to say, Michigan's secondary depth will be tested. When NU spreads us out with four or five wide and Colter decides to run around, our linebacking speed will also be challenged.

A reminder: Prater is 6'5''. Considering that Michigan's corners are all very, very tiny, this could be a problem on November 10th when Northwestern comes to town. Kain Colter probably still won't be zinging it all over the field like he's Dan Persa just yet, but there's no doubt that he will probably have improved a decent bit by this November. If Michigan isn't careful this one could end up being the Inexplicable Conference Loss that was a regular thing under Lloyd.* FWIW, Christian Jones is 6'3'', Tony Jones and Fields are 6'0'', and Mark is 5'8''.

Prater was a 5-star prospect wanted by basically everybody, including Michigan. If he can contribute like his talent would indicate that he can, Northwestern might have a sneakily good offense despite not having a real solid option at tailback to take the load off Colter. It might be too early to officially dub this a trap game, but, you know, be wary. The Northwestern game, a week after traveling to Minnesota and the week before Iowa (and then Ohio State the next week), this could very well be one to watch

*You know, despite the fact that every Lloyd loss seemed like the "you shouldn't have lost to that team" variety"...the man still compiled a .753 winning percentage. Or, in Michigan Man parlance: UNACCEPTABLE.

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