this may be of some local interest
Real, Live, Actual Football
— EliteFootballNetwork (@EliteFBNetwork) August 20, 2016
That's the good stuff.
High school football season is here, with scrimmages dominating the slate last weekend and the real games getting under way for the most part this weekend; the MGoCrew will be at the Prep Kickoff Classic on Saturday to see Southfield A&T vs. Detroit King and Cass Tech vs. Oak Park.
One Michigan commit performed so well last weekend that he's already earned a rankings bump on one site and could see a second follow suit soon. Four-star GA DT Aubrey Solomon ranked #207 overall on 247's (non-composite) rankings when he committed in June; after Barton Simmons saw his scrimmage, he's up to #110:
In Aubrey Solomon's first game of the year on Thursday night, he was totally dominant. The 6-3, 305-pound Michigan commit out of Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County showed outstanding motor, physicality and quickness in his team's win over Jones County High School. During a cycle in which the defensive tackle position doesn't have a lot of depth, Solomon is one of the rare interior defenders that would be among the best in the country in any recruiting class.
Scout's top analyst in the south, Chad Simmons, had a similarly glowing review:
Aubrey Solomon was a force against Jones County week zero in the Corky Kell Classic. He may not have had a dozen tackles, but he was consistently pushing offensive linemen backwards, pushing the pocket back, forcing the running backs to change their lanes, and forcing the quarterback to throw early Thursday night. Solomon has come into this season is great shape 295 pounds, and he played fast. He flashed great quickness off the ball and a motor that did not stop. He chased the ball, he had a key sack, and he was a force all night. Solomon is currently the No. 2 defensive tackle in the South behind LSU commit Tyler Shelvin — that could change.
Solomon looked great on the field. Off the field, he gave a 15-minute interview to 247 that requires its own section. Let's get to it after the jump.
Per Jon Runyan's instagram:
That's Andrew David in the picture. David came in as a scholarship kicker but wasn't in the conversation last year despite the open job and was then recruited over when Michigan brought in Quinn Nordin, the #1 K in the country to three of the four services. He was used as a pooch punter this spring; apparently that didn't take.
With Kenny Allen likely to have both specialist jobs this year and Nordin set to take over at one or both in 2017, David's departure shouldn't impact Michigan much on the field. They might look for a scholarship punter now, but with so many high-end guys on the hook and no obvious candidates they could pass.
David's departure brings the 2017 class up to 22 scholarships right now, with 30 or so signees likely.
It is possible that there have been MSU players with these names.
I can't believe this is real but a great friend who is an MSU grad is sure bent out of shape over it:
Love the site and Go Blue,
The worst thing about shirts like this is the five seconds where you think you should get it to troll someone and then remember that the #1 person being trolled in that situation is yourself.
Lessons from decommit central last year
While reading the latest Recruiting Overview I saw you mention forced decommitts. It seemed like a lot of those from last year, except for the most prominent one, were summer camp offers/commits. I am wondering if the coaching staff will lay off those sorts of camp offers this year due to the backlash from last year? Perhaps they will adjust how the offer is made, such as "We like you Mr Under The Radar Recruit and think you could have a potential bright future with our team. Here is an uncommittable offer than could become committable later this year if you keep your grades up/keep getting better on the field/the math at the end of the recruiting cycle works in your favor." Could we see something like this or will offers go flying out every which way again (that's how it appeared from a layman's POV) this summer?
It does appear that Michigan has altered their approach after The Swenson Incident. A number of different recruits have been on commit watch without a payoff: AL S AJ Harris and AL OL Toryque Bateman come to mind. Harris had a huge crystal ball surge for Michigan and a bunch of insiders predicting a commit. He was apparently held off and ended up committing to Ole Miss recently. Bateman came up saying it was 50/50 he would pull the trigger—which is more like 90/10 in recruit-speak—and left without doing so; it now seems like he'll be headed elsewhere. Last year both of those guys might have committed and then been let go late in the cycle.
Michigan does have a few guys they've been less than cautious with and I do expect they'll suffer/encourage decommits over the next six months. The number should be greatly reduced from last year's double-digits.
It's impossible to know exactly what conversations are going on between coaches and "offered" players but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Michigan's offers are conditional in some way, whether it's grades or guys higher on Michigan's board going elsewhere. I'd assume Michigan is being a lot more explicit about this, so guys aren't jumping on the future decommit train. Michigan offered MO DE Anthony Payne and FL DE Donovan Winter, sort of. They did so after Corey Malone-Hatcher and Luiji Vilain committed, so I doubt those were actual committable offers; both guys went off the board to other schools in short order.
Michigan is continuing the offer cannon approach. They're being much more clear about which offers are "offers." Probably.
[After the JUMP: a jerk i tell you what]
Jerky tempo response
1 hour 49 minutes
LET THE CHILDREN BOOGIE! [Eric Upchurch]
A big thanks to our sponsors. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's. Shopping with them helps us and supports good dudes. Come by Moe's on North University on Friday nights this season as we debut a new tradition game nights tradition, a LIVE broadcast of MGoRadio!
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QB: Still Speight by a nose, which means it's a tie. Good either way.
RB: A rougher, tougher unit. Peppers & Smith in a "Spread H" would be nifty
FB: Hit your targets!
WR: Chesson and Darboh then a big gap.
TE: BUTT!!! and a pile of good things
OL: Seniors at their ceilings. Cole to C is good but LT?
DE: Ridiculous athleticism, extraordinary strength, and yes, some Wormley.
DT: Step into the maw.
LB: Highly recruited, somewhat experienced seniors is a special kind of biggest concern
Peppers and Lewis: Pretty good.
Other DBs: Seniors. Also pretty good.
SPECIAL TEAMS (1:32:11)
Gonna miss you Baxter
"Bombs Over Baghdad" – Outkast (a preview tradition)
"Jumpman" – Future and Drake
"Starman" – David Bowie
"Across 110th Street"
THE USUAL LINKS
Young Toothless in repose [Fuller/MGoBlog]
What’s it like for you to be back in the mix?
“It’s great. I really missed playing football. Mostly I just missed the camaraderie, I feel like. When you’re hurt, you’re not playing, you have to sit out. You don’t get to play with your friends—these guys are your best friends, your teammates, guys you work all year with to achieve your goals, and not being a part of that really hurts.”
How much did it bother you down the stretch last season to watch and not be a part of it?
“It…the thing that bothered me was I felt like I was hanging my teammates out to dry. I know we played a lot of up-tempo teams and you need depth against those teams. You can’t expect four or five guys to go out there and play every snap against a team that’s snapping the ball every 15 seconds. So, I felt like I could have done more. I felt like I was kind of hanging them out to dry, for lack of a better term, out there, so that kind of hurt pretty bad.”
You were saying at the linemen camp that you felt you were healthy and ready to go. Are you able to assess it better now that you’re actually going against people?
“Yeah. I mean, there’s no substitute for a 300-pound man trying to block you. So, it took a couple days to get back in the swing of things but I feel great. I feel 100%. Feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. Everything’s going great.”
How about the depth as it stands now? They’re talking about rolling lines.
“I’ll let Coach Mattison and Coach Harbaugh talk about the depth chart. It’s not really my place to talk about it.”
Harbaugh was saying that Michael Onwenu is possibly his favorite player on the team—or favorite of the freshmen, that he’s going both ways. So are you going against him and working with him?
“Yeah, he’s a mountain of a man. He’s a big guy. He was playing defense and giving us looks as an offensive guard in individual, you’re just like, ‘This kid is huge.’ And he picks up on everything really quickly. If you can play offensive and defensive line both as a true freshman or you’re rolling through depending on the day, whichever side of the ball they want you to play, that’s pretty impressive.”
If you had to guess, how much would you say he actually weighs?
“Um…I think the most recent weigh-in was about 375, so I think that’s the heaviest on the team by about 50 pounds. That’s a pretty wide margin on a college football team.”
But he still can move well at that size?
“Yeah! He moves extremely well for a guy who [inaudible].”
You felt earlier you could have done more last November. Medically, you weren’t allowed to play, right?
“No, I wasn’t. It’s just the feeling like I was I was out there with my guys. Maybe that’s just me. I don’t know. It was just a weird feeling sitting at home. I’ve been traveling basically every game since my redshirt year, and so watching on the couch instead of being there, it was just a little strange.”
Does that make you reassess things, not coming back by the end of the season?
“Yeah, it’s just like this game does end and having it taken away so abruptly—like, if I was a true senior or something that could have been my last game, [the game] against Rutgers. It kind of makes you take every day and cherish it and not take it for granted.”
What was the rehabilitation period like for you and the recover period like for you?
“I spent six weeks in an immobilizer. Just a little wedge thing right here to keep it still to let it heal. But our strength training staff and our athletic training staff was great, especially Jason Williams, a Michigan grad. He took probably about an hour out of his day every day to work with me for God knows how long. Probably like two weeks straight. So, that was great and I really appreciate the strength staff and the athletic training staff for that.”
What’s your reaction to the new boss on defense?
“He’s the man. He’s awesome. It’s a little different being coached by him. He’s not as big of a screamer as our past defensive coordinator but he gets the point across. He’s a great guy. His defense is awesome and we’re excited to play in it this year.”
[After THE JUMP: the origin story of Young Toothless and a little technique talk with McCray]
Sam, Brian, and Craig are gone, but the MGoBlog Roundtable's second string of Bruce Madej, Ace Anbender, and Ira Weintraub would start for just about any other Big Ten radio roundtable. Things they discuss:
Another second unit that would start for just about any Big Ten program
Fullbacks! Don't forget about Hirsch
Chris Evans hype that only makes sense if it's real
Bo Schembechler believed you shouldn't be allowed to write about football if you don't understand all the subtle and sublime intricacies of offensive line play
A different take on Happy Gilmore
Iowa fans still hate Ed
You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Audioboom, which includes John U. Bacon's show, the new Spath show, and more.
Segment 2 is here.