DIED, by balloon-puncturing quote after a short period of general crotchetiness and incomprehensibility: "Wizard Hat and Snake Oil," meme, aged approximately two months.
Roy Roundtree in the Dayton Daily News:
"You know what?" Roundtree said. "It was my decision."
Last December, Melvin Fellows orally committed to play football for Illinois, declared his decision final and said, "This is the end of the process for me."
According to a vague, unwritten Big Ten code of conduct, at that point Fellows was off limits to other league coaches. That's how it is supposed to work, at least -- once a kid commits, back off.
Far from backing off, though, Ohio State came after him hard. Just weeks after his Illinois commitment, the Buckeyes offered Fellows a scholarship. And on Saturday, the big defensive end from Garfield Heights will stand on the Ohio Stadium sidelines, watching the Buckeyes' spring game instead of the Illini's game, as he had originally planned.
"Almost all the schools still recruited me after I committed," Moore said. "If I didn't call them back, most of them stopped eventually. Some coaches started recruiting me a lot harder, like Tennessee, Miami and Duke. Sometimes you think, 'Why even commit?' "
Which, like... of course. Roy Roundtree is perfectly capable of making sound decisions like "not going to Purdue." He has free will. Every coach in the Big Ten has, at one time or another, attempted to poach some other Big Ten school's "commitment." And with commitments coming earlier and earlier the decommitment becomes more prominent: over 600 last year. Rodriguez's recruiting practices are unremarkable.
Roy Roundtree didn't switch from Purdue because Rich Rodriguez pulled some sort of trick move, he did it because he wanted to. Forcing him to stick to his Purdue commitment would have helped out Purdue somewhat, but at the expense of the kid, whose welfare is far more important in the grand scheme of things than that of a couple million-dollar sports programs.
Aaaand we're done here.
This is a house in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a nice house. It is for sale, and this is one of the images of it posted on the internet to entice buyers:
Why do you care? You probably don't, but if you read Orson's latest and wondered what the deal was about the image that sent his real estate agent scurrying to find out just what the hell Orson-Spencer Hall-Swindle's phone number was, call him up, and ask him to remove it. Thanks to the magic of Google cache, it has been recovered. This is it.
Why anyone would care even a little bit about the publication of this internet-available image I don't know, but I do know that Kansas' nonconference schedule this year was Central Michigan,Southeastern Lousiana, Toledo, and Florida International. If Mangino is irritated by people on the internet posting this photo that just makes the feeling mutual. And seriously, people... don't post stuff on the internet if people looking at that stuff is going to be a problem.
Look, look at Mark Mangino's stuff. It's a little fey. Like his nonconference scheduling. That is all.
(Streisand effect, lawya!)
It's not my fault. Okay, so I'm logging on to facebook to play Scrabulous when I see this new feature they've implemented that lists a bunch of people you have mutual friends with, the hypothesis being that if you know a bunch of people person X also knows you probably know person X.
Yeah... not so much:
I make it a strict policy never to dive into players' Facebook accounts ever since I think I got Marques Slocum suspended by pointing at his profile for injury information, prompting Orson to unearth the infamous/awesome "Fuck Lion" survey. The internet had a good laugh, Marques got nominated for Sportshuman of the Year, and I may have in some small way contributed to The Horror. Good job, Brian.
Except... except... scroll down and, well... I have gone over this particular profile with a fine-toothed comb and found nothing more untoward than holy rippling pecs, Batman, and his eligibility has expired anyway, so...
This is Chris Graham trash-talking a goat.
Also there is this. If the internet was a woman I would buy it a diamond ring and then scream "I love this internetwoman" in some bird-laden piazza and internetwoman would be embarrassed until I showed her the rock. Because women just care about diamonds. That's what advertising says.
Uh... I have a number of West Virginia blogs in my feed reader and it's been interesting to see their expectations for the new kid-friendly coaching staff. Since they are college football fans and it is spring, they are giddy. But for weird reasons. See this item thrown in amongst a bunch of aspirations:
I want defensive coordinators to literally shit their pants on the opposing sidelines wondering about our next play call. I want 430+ yards a game. I want Pat White and Noel Devine to both be in New York when the Heisman Trophy is awarded.
West Virginia's yards per game the last two years: 456 and 461. To that blog's credit, the post before that one is cautious about the idea of West Virginia's new offense, but that stands alone in a sea of bubble screen hating, complaints about predictability, and exhortations to throw it over the middle.
Hey! They're just like us. Except their team finished 50th, 5th and15th in total offense the past two years while Michigan was 55th, 38th and 68th. It's surreal to see these guys complaining about "DickFraud" (LOL!!1!) like he's Mike Debord. "New emphasis on passing" helps Pat White "progress" is the line being provided by the coaching staff, as if it's not natural for quarterbacks, especially running quarterbacks, to rely more on their arm as they age. As if Rodriguez never had Shaun King or Woody Danztler. As if a new emphasis on passing is necessarily a good idea when you average 6.15(!!!) yards per carry.
Yeah, Pat White got hurt and that cost West Virginia dearly, but you know what also gets people hurt? Hits in the pocket when your right tackle whiffs a block.
Jimmah! ... should probably just wear hats. The whole hair thing is not working out for him:
Zip. RB/slot recruit Michael Shaw is fast:
Event 2 Boys 100 Meter Dash Durham
Meet: m 10.20 1978 Eric Brown, Hampton VA
Nike Qualify: N 10.73
Name Year School Finals Wind Points
1 Shaw, Michael Trotwood Mad 10.39 4.9 10
2 Benton, Travis Redan HS 10.54 4.9 8
3 Spreads, Dantwan Dutchtown HS 10.67 4.9 6
4 Marshall, Brian Ooltewah 10.73 4.9 5
He is also fast:
Event 6 Boys 200 Meter Dash
Meet: m 20.90 1988 Kerry Wooden, Newport VA
Nike Qualify: N 21.69
Name Year School Finals Wind Points
1 Shaw, Michael Trotwood Mad 21.30 2.2 10
2 Myricks, Johnny Ooltewah 21.94 2.2 8
3 Seamster, Sammy Ooltewah 21.97 2.2 6
4 Boyce, Derek Webb School 22.24 2.2 5
The 100-meter time is a hundredth away from the Ohio state record, by the way. Also, "Sammy Seamster" and "Dantwan Spreads" are awesome names, as is "Ooltewah."
Ha-ha. The only thing basketball can possibly give me is schadefreude:
Bye-Bye Beverley? - That's the jarring headline of Brandon Marcello's latest Slophouse blog entry. According to the post, Patrick has been making some comments on his Facebook page that could lead some to believe that he won't be with the Hogs next season, including "I
Head coach Red Berenson of the University of Michigan ice hockey team announced Friday (April 18) that rising senior defenseman Mark Mitera (Livonia, Mich.) will be the captain for the 2008-09 season.
Red's lost his captain once before: Mike Van Ryn skipped town before his junior season in an attempt to circumvent the NHL's draft regulations by playing with a CHL team. He even had his own loophole named after him until the NHL's new CBA did away with it. You'd think he'd be wary enough to get a clarification on Mitera's status, and there is indeed a premium Rivals article($) with highly encouraging quotes. He's staying. Please don't shoot me if he goes.
Update: The Daily confirms:
Berenson said he gave Mitera the captaincy after the defenseman assured him that he had decided to return for his senior year. Mitera confirmed that he has made the commitment to return in an interview.
Ohio running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, teammate of safety commit Isaiah Bell, has committed to Michigan. Informative update coming.
Mildly informative update: He's fast, as per usual:
Liberty junior Fitzgerald Toussaint and senior James Allen will lead the Leopards this year in the sprint. Toussaint was sixth in the 100 at state, while Allen took third in the 200. Both runners have great chances to sit high atop the podium come early June.
Toussaint and Allen will have to find two more running partners for the 400 relay, an event the Leopards placed second in Division II last season.
Sixth in the state as a sophomore: not bad. He runs far on few carries also as a sophomore:
Liberty junior Fitzgerald Toussaint tore up the league as a sophomore in 2006, averaging 12 yards per carry, rushing for 1,100 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns.
With every skilled position filled last year, Toussaint was fortunate to earn a spot. Junior Julius Ferrell wasn't so lucky.
A couple years ago, when Dallas Saunders was still an assistant at Chaney, the Cowboys scrimmaged Akron Garfield, which had a running back named Chris Wells who was headed to Ohio State.
Saunders came away impressed.
Friday night, the Struthers head coach had a similar feeling after watching Liberty junior Fitzgerald Toussaint juke, jive, spin and accelerate past his team â€” sometimes breaking a few tackles along the way â€” on his way to 239 yards and four touchdowns.
"He's a special back," said Saunders after his team's 43-22 road loss to the Leopards. "I don't know that he's quite at that [Wells'] level, but he's the best I've seen in awhile."
But, like... okay. There are kids not as good as Beanie Wells who would be fine on Michigan's team. Toussaint isn't ranked by Scout, Rivals, or ESPN yet; he had offers from Pitt, Illinois, and WVU but not Ohio State. If I had to guess he'll probably be a mid-to-low four star when he gets ranked. Ohio State generally prefers its tailbacks bigger than Toussaint, who's in the 5'9"-5'10 range and is often compared to Sam McGuffie by Michigan fans who watch his Scouting Ohio video (I like when the man says "shawties!").
Said video isn't quite the McGuffie mixtape, especially since Liberty doesn't play the top competition in Ohio, but it is pretty good. He's fast, he's got some jukes, and doesn't go down that easy. He's got this weird jump-stop thing going on where he'll take one step that slows him considerably, the go "WOOP!" and past the defender.
There are now two running back sorts in this class but Rodriguez's philosophy on slick little bastards appears to be "gotta catch 'em all" so look for another two or even three slot/tailback/DB types as Rodriguez gets Michigan's speed up to speed.
Side note: while Michigan has ceded ground in-state and in Ohio at certain positions, like ground pounding running backs and water buffalo pocket passers, to MSU and OSU, this is an example of a guy for whom Michigan is now a beacon on a hill. Toussaint is a great fit in the spread 'n' shred and could be a slot receiver or a tailback who experiences Great Success. Meanwhile at OSU, Maurice Wells is buried.
Related note: Youngstown Liberty has another potential Michigan recruit in FB/LB Julius Ferrell. An injury robbed him of most of his junior year and thus offers are slow in coming -- Akron is the lone suitor at the moment -- but he'll be one to watch into the fall. He said Ohio State was his leader a month ago, FWIW.
Received two conflicting opinions on whether Mark Mitera will stay or go. Western College Hockey's Chris Dilks:
I think the odds of Mitera leaving are probably better than 50/50. Pretty much everything I've ever heard is that Mitera would leave Michigan after three years, even before his freshman season. I kind of discount the midseason chatter about him staying. You hear that from a lot of players who get caught up in the camaraderie of the team during the year, and don't want to make it seem like they're bailing on their their teammates as soon as the season as is over. But once the season is over, they sit down and look at it and decide it's really best for them to sign. Personally, I think Mitera is ready to go. I'm not sure what else is left for him to prove at the college level.
Is it best for Mitera to sign? Gabe Nelson, currently at the Michigan Daily, provides some insight into Mitera himself...
He is a junior biophysics major who takes his studies seriously. My friend was his lab partner and said always worked hard and cared about his education. He's one year from that degree. Considering he's the only upperclassman hockey player in a legitimate major, don't you think that indicates a determination to stick it out?
...and the situation of the Anaheim Ducks:
The Ducks are likely to get knocked out of the playoffs by the Stars, reducing their immediate need for a rookie defenseman, and already have a stacked defensive core in the NHL.
Chris Pronger "C"
They have six legitimate top-six defensemen on that list. They are not hurting immediately for another. And would Mitera leave Michigan so he could go play for an AHL affiliate and probably not make the Ducks right away? Another year at Michigan, with visibility as the captain, gives him a better shot at making the team right away and gives him better leverage for a contract.
Just a thought. I'd personally be shocked if Mitera decided to leave. He has very little to gain.
Nelson's right about the Ducks' D corps. All but DiPenta are signed next year and all but Huskins are solid NHL defensemen making 1.2 M+. There's no room at the inn for Mitera and no chance he'd make the team. He's also right about Mitera's degree program:
Personal... Enrolled in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, majoring in biophysics ... Graduated with honors from Ann Arbor Pioneer High School in 2005. ... Drafted in the first round (No. 19 overall) by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
No independent study there.
Not to unduly insult someone who's weighing whether to take the NHL millions now or later, but I also question Chris's assertion that Mitera has no developing left to do at the college level. He was indeed lights out early in the season, but as soon as he deflected a Notre Dame shot into the top corner of the net in January there was a significant wobble to his game: turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. There were several games in which Mitera was directly responsible for opponent scoring chances and goals via sloppy passes or turnovers along the boards. At no time did he seem to be above the level of competition like Mike Komisarek or JMFJ.
He's clearly very good and could go if he wants, but if he's serious about school -- check -- and is going to be developing at Michigan or in the AHL, -- check -- I think he might stay. Lord knows Michigan's lost kids with no chance of making the show for years, and by merely floating the idea of a return I have singlehandedly guaranteed he'll depart August 15th immediately after tearing everyone's ACL in fit of pique. But the indicators here are not all bad.