Shane [in video above]: I'm Shane Morris, class of 2013. I committed to the University of Michigan. I committed to there because I felt it was just somewhere I grew up as a fan. When I was younger, it was always a dream for me to go to the University of Michigan, but I never thought I would get the honor to have the chance. So, right when I got the offer I was just ecstatic, and that's the place where I knew I wanted to go. The new coaches there are just great people. So uh, thank you.
Tim: You were at the Barbecue at the Big House about a week and a half ago. How did that go for you?
Shane: It was awesome. I mean, I got a chance to meet a lot of the players who are committed for 2012. They're great people, you know, we're going to have a great group of people there throughout Michigan. So that was really fun.
Tim: Have you been doing a little recruiting of your own?
Shane [at right, between future teammates Terry Richardson and James Ross]: Oh yeah. Definitely, I'm just trying to get the best players out of the country to come to Michigan. On Facebook or whatever I have to do to get ahold of them.
Tim: A lot of times when guys make an early commitment, they stop going to the camps and stuff, and seem satisfied. You seem like you've been doing a lot of that sort of stuff still to prove yourself, what are your goals there?
Shane: I'm definitely going to do all I can, because I mean, I want to be the best player that I can possibly be. I'm not going to relax or take a day off just because I'm already committed. I mean, I'm not going to go to other college camps, I'm going to Michigan. I'm 100% committed there, I'm not going to check out any other schools or anything. But I'm going to keep doing all I can all during the winter and offseason to be the best I can.
Tim: Is any part of you gunning for that five-star status?
Shane: I mean, it'd be something cool to have. You know, just to know that you were a 5-star when you're in high school. But I mean really, I don't really care about that, I don't care about all of that. I've already decided where I'm going to go, and when people think of me [how good I am], they can just think about that. [SWAG]
Tim: Your De La Salle team made it to the regional finals [in the MHSAA Playoffs] last year, so what are your goals for this year, and what are you planning to do to achieve them?
Shane: Our goals are obviously to win a state championship and I feel like we did enough work in the offseason, and we've got some kids who can play for us at our school that we can do that. You know, we're just going to keep working hard every day at practice and our coaches are gonna do the best they can to get us prepared.
Previously: CB Greg Brown, CB/S Tamani Carter, CB Blake Countess, CB Delonte Hollowell, CB Raymon Taylor, LB Antonio Poole, LB Desmond Morgan, LB Frank Clark,
LB Kellen Jones, DE Keith Heitzman, DE Chris Rock, and DE Brennen Beyer.
|Toledo, OH - 6'4" 270|
|Scout||3*, #16 C|
|Rivals||3*, #53 OH, NR WDE(?)|
|ESPN||3*, #53 DT|
|Others||247: 3*, 85, NR|
|Other Suitors||BC, MSU, Pitt, Stanford, Illinois|
|YMRMFSPA||generic non-Molk C|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Commitment post from Tim. Tim had not one but two in-person evals. Tom interviewed him.|
|Notes||Younger brother Matt is 2013 OL prospect.|
Jack Miller is tough to get a read on for many reasons. One: googling "Jack Miller" turns up all sorts of folk even when you include stuff like "football" or "St John's," his high school. Two: the recruiting sites mostly rank him as a defensive end but Michigan plans to play him at center.
But, man, if you want local news clips do I have some local news clips. BAM
Maybe someday, they'll be able to catch the real deal - the gym's inspiration - an actual rat named Stuart, after Stuart Little.
"Kind of like Rocky catching the chickens," said Jack Miller as he laughed. "Maybe we'll try to catch Stuart one day.
"I think when we leave, he gets out here on the turf and does a few agility drills and what not. He watches us. He learns."
That segment's title: "Welcome to the Rat's Nest!!!" Words. There are none.
In order of preference: Harbaugh, Hoke, Other, Howard Chen, Miles. ZEERP (I am out of Batman whap noises):
"There's a whole new energy and a whole new vibe with Michigan right now," he said. "The program's re-invigorated, I think. Coach Hoke's doing a great job putting a new face to the program and everybody's loving it."
Unfortunately, the dogged efforts of Mr. Chen to publicize Jack Miller's ability have not been replicated elsewhere. ESPN's useless evaluation evaluates him exclusively as a defensive tackle after dismissing OT, his high school position, as an option. Here is the useful bit:
He already is a fairly big kid and displays the frame to pack on more good size and will likely grow into a fulltime interior player sooner then later. … Offense is an option. He is a physical run blocker who gets hands on, but needs to watch his pad level.
There you go. Watch your pad level, kid. Like every other high schooler in the universe.
That evaluation is it as far as scouting reports from major sites go. Scout and Rivals don't really have anything, and Rivals persisted in ranking him as a defensive end anyway.
We do have a couple of local evals. Sometimes dour co-blogger Tim had a "Mikey Likes It" moment or two with Miller:
Offensively, he had pancake blocks on nearly every running play. I was more impressed with him on that side of the ball.
And the next time he caught up with Toledo St. John's:
On offense, he's a vicious blocker who never seems satisfied unless his man is pancaked. His quickness in pass-blocking isn't the greatest, but Ross didn't have anyone who could make him pay for that (and he won't have to deal with it as much playing on the interior of the line in college). He could have an impact on either side of the ball in college, but he looks like a future David Molk(!), nasty streak and all.
And Touch The Banner noted the nasty streak while expressing some reservations:
He's clearly an aggressive player, both on offense and defense. He likes to hit people hard. And when he does, he doesn't celebrate. To me, that means he's used to it. It's not an exciting novelty for him to punish somebody. It's just his job.
However, one criticism that I have of Miller is that he plays high. This is a problem both on offense and defense, and that concerns me, especially as an interior lineman prospect. Especially if he's going to play center, leverage is of utmost importance. And in my opinion, playing low is something that's very difficult to change. It's something that comes naturally or it doesn't. That's the difference between elite players and so-so players.
And his own evaluation praises his ability to snap the ball—something Michigan fans have learned not to take for granted of late:
“I think I am best suited in the long run for offensive line,” Miller said. “My body type and how I move, I think, is more suited for offensive line.” …
“I can snap the ball and shotgun snap real well, so (the coaching staff) really likes that,” Miller said.
So he can snap and is mean, and comes by this meanness naturally, and does not notice it. He's also got the frame to become a large, drive blocking sort and a pad level problem that might make that difficult. Pass protection is not an asset but he should be able to get by on the interior. In a hypothetical world where the recruiting services other than Scout bothered to project him to his college position it sounds like they'd all be okay three-star ratings anyway.
Miller should be an asset off the field. He's got excellent academics—Northwestern and Boston College were his leaders until Michigan hopped in:
Northwestern will be difficult to leapfrog. The offer he desperately covets is the Michigan Wolverine piece of paper.
"It is historically such a great program," said Miller. "It is not very far from home. It is not Toledo. It is definitely one of those programs. If they were to offer me I would have to take some steps back. It is probably the only program I that would do that for me."
And he's had to grow up quickly. Unfortunately, his dad died of lymphoma two years ago:
Jack is the most mature high school kid that I have ever seen,” Pearson said. “I guess that's because he's had to be. But the other thing is because he wants to be.”
That Miller has become such a presence wherever he goes can be largely attributed to his father — an energetic, engaging personality himself — a guy who made sure to pack maximum effort into his relationship with Jack and younger children Matt and Molly, especially in his final eight years while he was battling his disease.
Barring injury, Miller will be around for five years. Barring something unexpected with the lineup he'll start for three of those years, and he'll probably be at least okay unless the pad level issue is chronic.
The results are clear: In two years, Jack Miller's gained about 50 pounds of muscle. His brother Matt's gained about 70, still has two years left in high school, and already has a scholarship offer from Toledo.
"You hate it a little bit right now," Jack said. "You're thinking, 'God, I'd rather be laying on the couch or in the pool' or something like that, but for the big picture, when it comes Saturdays at the Big House, that's what it's all about."
MGoBlue bio features a fake 40 that goes to 11:
Prep … attended St. Johns Jesuit High School (2011) coached by Doug Pearson … played defensive end and offensive tackle … ran 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds … bench pressed 315 pounds and squatted 475 pounds … had a 30-inch vertical jump …
Why Generic Non-Molk C? There are two phases in my understanding of center play: David Molk and vast ignorance. I don't think Miller is going to end up playing much like Molk, who's about six-foot and lightning quick for a guy pushing 300 pounds. Molk is a blunt talker but his mean streak is a bit limited because he often expresses it by balletically sealing a defensive tackle out of hole instead of clubbing a guy to the ground.
Miller, by contrast, pushes the upper bounds of how tall you want a center to be at 6'4" and could top out significantly over 300 pounds. It sounds like his strengths will be punishing people unless he gets too high and gets punished himself. This means he's not Molk, and honestly I could tell you bupkis about specific traits of previous Michigan centers.
Guru Reliability: Garbage save Scout as they don't even bother to rate him at his best college or high school position. Also centers are the most-ignored offensive linemen.
General Excitement Level: Moderate. Developmental center project who seems to have the attitude and size to make it. Technique will come, or it won't.
Projection: With Molk and Rocko Khoury in front of him Miller is a lock to redshirt even given the depleted state of the offensive line. He's not likely to beat out Khoury as a redshirt freshman, but he will have the job almost by default in 2013. Michigan's collecting OL rapidly in the 2012 class but none are center types; anyone competing with Miller will be switching positions or a true freshman.
So about that image above. First you should know I've been looking for an excuse to associate Ohio State with Cartman ever since Brian made him Steve Spurrier in 2005. And that makes us…*
I'm so off the point, which is to introduce a ✔++ diary by TSS where he calculated the Body Mass Index of the entire Big Ten (plus some Catholic school I would argue is Butters). Really it doesn't say much other than who's got the biggest team of big guys in the Big Ten, but since this is the man-meat conference after all that's relevant.
This Diary of the Week has a lot going on in the subplots and that's what I love about it. For example which positions are packed into one body type and which have a huge variance in player size?
Your answers are receiver and … dammit TSS: "DL"? That's probably a whole bunch of redshirted freshmen who haven't gotten their T's and E's yet.
As a user noted in the comments BMI is about telling bloggers they need more exercise, and probably not so valuable when you're talking about Barwicized athletes who spend entire semesters working on adding muscle mass. As to usefulness of weight watching in general, if a slimmer, older, more athletic Will Campbell looks like this…
…again in 2011 and 2012 because of a weight regimen I am all for it. As a blogger I still feel like we have no way of measuring more than 18-year-old body < 21-year-old body, but this is a new and noble attempt to do that and I applaud.
*If you've been paying attention at all to South Park and Big Ten football you will have realized by now that as much as we'd like to be straight-man Stan, we are Kyle. As in balancing academics with still being one of the cool kids, embarrassed by our East Coast heritage, wondering what happened to the days when little bro was a prop for "kick the baby," and overly prone to bouts of crushing ennui when Cartman fakes out the principle with fake contrition and is rewarded with his $10 million. Wikipedia on Kyle:
Kyle often displays the highest moral standard of all the boys and is usually depicted as the most intelligent. When describing Kyle, Stone states that both he and the character are "reactionary", and susceptible to irritability and impatience. In some instances, Kyle is the only child in his class to not initially indulge in a fad or fall victim to a ploy. This has resulted in both his eagerness to fit in, and his resentment and frustration.
We Don't Need No Education
In other must-read diaries recently, here's one from IncrediblyBLUE, from when he played for Hoke at Ball State. Astoundingly, in this entire story not once is Hoke described as pointing at something---he makes his staff point at things for him:
"To help you guys remember this, I made these numbers.” Coach Hoke then holds up two pieces of paper with a very large ‘1’ and ‘2’ printed on each piece respectively. “So guys,” he bellows, “Remember….Academics…#1,” he says, while holding up the sign that says ‘2.’ Aaron Wellman stands next to him pointing to the sign. Coach Hoke then switches to the #1 sign and continues, “Athletics….Number 2!” This time Wellman is using a two fingered point at the sign that says #1. Everyone in the room is laughing and nodding their head. Coach Hoke then puts back up the sign that says #2 and says again, “So, academics here,” and switching signs back to the #1, “Football here. Does everyone understand that?”
A few posters got a little nervous at non-quotes making light of "voluntary" practices – and I admit I got a little squeamish too – but I assure you there's nothing in there for a local columnist with a grudge to invent a scandal out of. The next story promises "4AM sandbag carries at the stadium in sub-zero temperatures." Well shit.
Denard-Back or Dual-Threet?
So here's what I've been working on lots.
It's a tracker for the 4-star and higher quarterbacks recruited from 2002 to 2010 based on a question posed in some thread a few weeks ago when both erstwhile 2009 commits Beaver and Newsome popped up in transfer news. There are two tabs, one for drop-backs and another for dual-threats. Feel free to browse through and edit – it's easy to see how far I got.
The point of this exercise is to test the hypothesis that going back to a Pro-Style offense has a (clear?) benefit in greater predictability from recruiting high-profile players at the offense's most important position. If we take as a given that Michigan's Michiganness will net Michigan the highest rated X-type of quarterback, high predictability means those guys will end up the best QBs of their classes in college performance. If there's higher variability, as is hypothesized for dual-threat QBs, the ability to nab the top guys is less of an advantage. The hypothesis goes if you have fewer traits to focus on (poise, accuracy, decision-making, arm) it's easier to rate, and you're less likely to have one essential trait end up a game-changing weakness.
I'm not far enough along on the drop-backs to make anything like a conclusion or even see a pattern yet so you can be my helpers. After all what's Dear Diary all about if not
profiting from other peoples' labor collaborating the efforts of MGoCitizenry!
Thanks dahblue for the great shotz.
Etc. from a Long Offseason
I bumped this by m1jjb00 up from the boards and it only got 3 likes. I mean he left out Harry Newman from the core circle of awesome (just 'cause it's not called the Heisman doesn't mean it wasn't a walk-away Heisman), but otherwise his comparison of alumni worthiness for a Michigan Ring of Honor is so worth a look.
THE_KNOWLEDGE is holding tryouts for a General Disarray to his Professor Chaos. All you have to do is correctly predict the outcome of Michigan's 2011 games, plus the bowl games OSU will be banned from. Note: I'm not copyediting TK posts because his formatting is part of the shtick, and how can I judge what they do with commas in the 23rd century?
I bitched at a Gopher working for DetNews (who hasn't written me back – Henning tell him how it's done, man!) about why we don't need a mascot.
And Hoke Saves Lives made a hype movie that's almost as long as a Wisconsin drive, and like things to cheer about last year itself is half-Illinois:
The soundtrack doesn't do it for me. However if you turn off the YouTube volume, then hit play on the Flaming Lips' cover of Dark Side of the Moon right on the 3-second mark, it totally lines up! Run, rabbit, run!
- There are no real injuries on the team. Troy Woolfolk and JT Floyd are full-strength, "we're pretty daggone healthy"
- "Darryl's done a great job with what we've asked him to do, and we'll go from there." He will be able to practice with the team as he redshirts. The redshirt will not affect the number of scholarships available for the 2012 class (still 26).
- "There's a couple guys" who will challenge to be the starting punter in camp. Matt Wile will be able to (possibly) do both. "You can be a great kicker on State Street, but we kick up on Main Street." They still don't know how the new video boards will affect the wind in the stadium, so kickers will practic ein pressure situations there.
- Will Campbell left spring around 342 pounds, now he's around 319 pounds. Taylor Lewan has gained a few pounds.
- There will be five days of 2-a-days during summer camp. That can be adjusted, based on how the practices are going. On Wednesday and Thursday, the players will be in shoulder pads and helmets, then full pads start on Friday. Guys are practicing hard even though they aren't in pads yet. There's a balancing act between being physical in practice and keeping guys healthy. Quarterbacks won't be live during camp.
- In the past, summer camp could consist of three days with just freshmen, to get a little extra teaching in for the young guys. They don't have that anymore, but sometimes the freshmen will stay an extra half an hour after practice to get some work in.
- As far as installation, both sides of the ball need three bread and butter plays "that we can hang our hat on." On offense, that includes the power play, a play-action pass off that, and a 2-minute specific play. On defense, they need three calls guys can execute without having to think.
The first day of camp is best for seeing how the players' bodies have changed, and getting a first evaluation on team toughness and senior leadership.
The players came into camp with an attitude of being ready to improve.
It's too early to evaluate running backs. They've only had one day in shorts so far.
There are enough players at wideout to make up for the absence of Stonum.
The team is too busy to worry about buying into any hype or anything. "We now we have so many things that we need to get better at, and so many things that we need to be a little more physical at."
It's been hard for Will Campbell to get established, as he's been moving around positions. Now, he's set at one position and will hopefully take advantage of that.
The first day of practice went alright, but Hoke has a list of things to talk about improving in the staff meeting and team meeting tonight.
The coaching staff needs to communicate clearly about what they want, so the players will be able to retain what they've been taught.
There's a lot of "want-to" and "pride" on the defense. They need to identify the playmakers before they can worry about what it will be this fall.
"We want a championship culture here. There's an accountability that we all have to have to each other for a championship culture."
Molk doesn't have troubles gaining the right amount of weight. He's around 288 or 290 now.
Will Campbell came into Michigan out of shape, but he's been working hard ever since. There's a hunger in his eyes to succeed this year.
The chemistry on the offensive line is good.
"We didn't only work hard - which we've always done, we've always been a hard-working team - but we worked hard together." The team made strides together. In the past couple years, there were a few stragglers who weren't "all-in."
The first couple days of camp aren't fun, because they don't get to hit each other yet.
There's less yelling out of the new staff. There wasn't a problem with the yelling before, but it's just not there now.
Jerel Worthy's tattoo is stupid. "I don't know why you'd stain your body like that. It's his issue."
Both lines are strengths of the team because they have experience. "Put more pressure on us. If the offensive line is the only thing judged to win a game, put it on me. We'll win."
Denard's been working on dropping back, and the offense is running smoothly. There's no difference for the offensive line. There's a misconception that spread offensive lines aren't physical, but Michigan ran primarily inside last year.
The fifth-year seniors haven't had a satisfying season yet. After the 9-4 Capital One Bowl year (which should have been better), they had three disappointing seasons. "There's nothing more that I want this year then to win every game and beat every opponent by as many points as possible."
The seniors have passion together for winning, and that will rub off on the younger players. Hoke gives the class some responsibilities, and that has made them tighter as a group.
"I guess it can make them tougher" for a defense to practice against a pro-style offense.
There's a sense that things are returning to "Michigan" again, after a few weak years. They didn't stray away over the past three years, but the winning wasn't there. "The main thing about that Michigan tradition is winning."
The toughest part of getting back on the field is the mental aspect of believing that you can make the cuts you could before. "Will I be the same athlete that I was?"
The defense will be better this year because they'll bring more intensity. The secondary will improve with more experience, because the freshmen got thrown into the fire last year, and now the veterans are returning. This is also Troy's favorite defense of the four coordinators in five years. "It's not too much of thinking... I just feel like we can react and we're putting pressure on people." They're focusing on the little details of technique, which should help the defense be more successful this year.
Will Campbell (hey, expect lots of MSM columns about him this week!) hit his weight goal. That's helping him move faster and be a better athlete.
It's going to be tough for Darryl Stonum to sit at home on the away game weekends. Troy went through it last year with his injury, and he'll try to help Darryl through it. Stonum, Brandon Herron, and some of the other teammates got in contact with Troy last year, and he'll do that going forward.
The year off helped Troy gain an appreciation for the mental aspect of the game, instead of just relying on his athleticism (since he couldn't do the physical part last year). Is he as fast as we was before the injury? "Faster. No doubt." Before he was back to 100% on the ankle, he had to work on the right speed mechanics instead of just running out there, now that it's back to full strength, he has the technique and the natural ability.
Coach Hoke sees Michigan as "his final stone," rather than seeing each coaching job as another stepping stone. That sincerity and passion for Michigan are part of what has made him such a successful recruiter.
Troy is planning to compete for a starting spot - nothing is guaranteed. He's planning to only play corner.
There's nothing wrong with a coach who yells constructively. These coaches prefer to explain rather than yell though.
Ryan Van Bergen
The tempo of this camp is a little slower than in the past, because there's a bit more focus on individual teaching of the new schemes.
Mike Martin, RVB, and Will Heininger did a good job getting the D-line together in the summer to work on individual things, because they all want to get better. "We tried to spend a lot of time together as a unit... we tried to make each other as close and as tight as possible before camp started." They're still a work in progress.
Taylor Lewan came in around 250 pounds, and he's put in a lot of work in the past couple years to get up to 303 now. Craig Roh has put on 10-15 pounds as well. RVB is up near 290. That's a good weight for him in the scheme. There's been some emphasis for a lot of guys up front to add weight. In the previous regime, quickness was more valued.
He was eating 6,000-7,000 calories per day to gain weight. It's tough to eat that much and keep a diet of healthy foods - you need good fuel foods. "My specialty right now is pineapple-glazed salmon."
The defensive line should get more pressure on the QB this year. "I think we had some good pressure on quarterbacks last year, but the amount of takedowns we had when we got there, we weren't cutting it." They want to lead the league in QB takedowns this fall.
"I feel an obligation right now to my seniors" to have a successful season. They've been through a lot with coaching changes, etc. "I want these guys to be remembered as some guys who came in and helped the transition for Coach Hoke."
Jerel Worthy's tattoo: "He can put whatever he wants on his body, he's still gotta play a football game."
The beard of the wolf. Troy Woolfolk is inspired by Lloyd Carr:
Yea, and in the year two thousand and eleven the Michigan Wolverines perceived the New Orleans Bowl and said amongst themselves "shall we not take for ourselves what Troy's punter has shown to be good?"
The mouth of the horse. Ohio State fans have suddenly found that it's not nice when your opposition says mean things about you and takes your recruits. Or they've learned to complain about the former instead of the latter no matter the facts on the ground, anyway. Kyle Kalis:
"…[Hoke] has never said anything even remotely close to (negative) about Ohio State.
“People think that he does all of this negative recruiting, but he does no such thing. Any time my dad brought up anything about Ohio State, coach would actually stop him and say ‘I’m not going to say anything about that situation. It’s unfortunate and I hope they can get over this hump.’ ”
Kalis has been manipulated. Keep that in mind. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom!
It was tough to pass up Calvin peeing on John Hamm. Jerel Worthy is trolling us with his arm:
Or he's been trolled. Click for a bigger view of a Wolverine-type object wearing a Missouri helmet being stepped upon. QED: Jerel Worthy drives a truck with fake testicles.
I wonder how these percentages break down:
% of OSU themed tattoos that involve Michigan symbols being peed on/crushed/anally penetrated
% of MSU themed tattoos w/ same
% of ND themed tattoos w/ same
% of M themed tattoos w/ same broken out by rival.
Somebody should do a survey. I'm guessing ND is in last by a considerable margin and that 90% of all redneck-tastic Michigan tattoos focus on OSU.
Your lying eyes. I usually forward along all history-related questions to MVictors, as they are specialists. This edition of mailbag by proxy involves the colors on Michigan's uniform and is actually double-proxied since Greg pinged uniform maven Steve Sapardanis for a comprehensive answer:
Let’s get this out of the way first: never, ever, ever go by the color you see of pics online, in mags/programs or even in photos – see these Harbaugh photos as reference:
These two pics are from the same game, maybe even the same play, maybe even the same photographer (probably not), but notice the difference in colors.
Everything you wanted to know about Michigan's maize and more at the link.
Understatement. Rod Beard sat down with the entire basketball coaching staff for an extensive interview. Here's John Beilein doing his best George Clooney:
Q: I know you can't talk about specific recruits — even ones who have verbally committed — but how do you feel about your recruiting efforts this summer?
Beilein: I'll just say we're getting very positive feedback.
Indeed. I'm not sure just how up to date Beard is on Michigan's recent efforts, though:
Q: Is it a philosophical choice to go after unrated recruits and help make them a better players?
Beilein: As you're building a program, there's a plan that you gradually go in that direction, but you have to get solid first. In the recruiting wars, if you go after only the top-50 guys and you aren't successful, the No. 51-150 guys are long gone when you turn back. It's better to set your sights and then build a program so you get guys who have a high ceiling and in time will develop. Tim Hardaway Jr. is a great example of a guy who barely makes the top 100 — but now, he's one of the top 10 in the country out of that class. We're never going to say that we don't want to recruit a top-50 guy. If he fits what we're looking for, we'll recruit him.
The last unrated guy to commit to Michigan was Max Bielfeldt; right now the 2012 and 2013 classes are all four-star sorts. Hit the link for Bacari Alexander praising Beilein's "ability to be human." Good job, lizard coach from the fifth dimension!
BONUS BIT: Michigan may have offered another 2012 big. Marshall Wood is unrated but is attracting high-major interest. He can get up, yo:
Certainly looks like a Beilein big what with the driving to the bucket from the perimeter. Usually Michigan won't offer-offer until you get to campus-campus, which Wood hasn't yet. Michigan probably gave him the nudge-nudge wink-wink about it and they reported it as an offer, but Mitch McGary is supposedly planning another visit to Ann Arbor on or around Labor Day.
So: Michigan is definitely trying to fill their 2012 spot.
Movement. Sense? It seems this edition of the periodic NCAA let's-fix-everything tribunals may actually create a significant change in the organization, at least as it pertains to basketball recruiting. "Consensus was reached on some aspects of a new recruiting model," those being:
- A start date for official visits beginning after the men’s basketball championship in April of the junior year.
- Deregulating the type of communication between coaches and prospects (including text messaging and other forms of electronic communication).
- Allowing unlimited communication after Aug. 1 before the junior year in high school.
- Permitting evaluations at certified nonscholastic events on two weekends in April, with some restrictions.
- Permitting some contact at a prospect’s educational institution in conjunction with an evaluation, with some restrictions and requirements.
Somewhere, Kelvin Sampson is weeping into a Western omelet.
Both Eamonn Brennan and The Bylaw Blog rush to heap praise on this hypothetical model where coaches and recruits can approach each other like people instead of anonymous partners in a secretive arranged marriage. Brennan:
The NCAA might not be ready to let coaches talk to recruits year-round. Nor is it ready to totally reconsider its system. But it is beginning to make some serious progress, and that progress continued with the Leadership Council Friday. Incremental though it might be, at least it's a step in the right direction, right?
So for the Leadership Council’s top-to-bottom review of the men’s basketball recruiting model to wrap up within a year is a small victory for Division I’s governance structure. The results of that review are even more encouraging.
Infante also mentions a new provision for "on campus evaluations"—tryouts—as the most important change. Beneficiaries of this hypothetical new system:
The model, with the NABC’s limited tryout rule, would greatly favor coaching staffs who can make good evaluations during the spring and summer before a prospect’s junior year.
Sounds good if John Beilein's your coach, yes?
Meanwhile, 50 superfriends gather… The NCAA is also collecting its presidents together today and tomorrow to have one of those serious discussions that usually don't lead anywhere. Everyone Gregg Krupa tried to talk to said "NCAA? Never heard of it" except Mary Sue Coleman:
"This intertwining of intercollegiate athletics with universities in the United States is unique in the world, but we risk losing it if it is not done with transparency and integrity and if people believe it is not being done by the rules," said Coleman, who can not attend the retreat because of prior commitments. "I am very hopeful we'll stay on course with this, and the meeting in Indianapolis is an important part of that."
College football's scandal epidemic and rattling from the Big Ten and SEC about upping scholarship rewards, increasing academic standards, and maybe not booting kids to South Alabama after a season do provide a background in which Actual Reform is possible. The new, far less restrictive basketball recruiting model is an indication things might get done.
They'd be in these areas:
Establishing the success of athletes in the classroom as an expectation, rather than a goal. [Ed: A toothier APR?]
Protecting integrity by retaining amateurism, evaluating and improving the behavior of athletes and enhancing enforcement.
Strengthening the fiscal viability of sports by reducing disparities in revenues, spending and subsidies.
I'm not sure how the hell they propose to do anything about the third.
And now for no reason at all. Presenting Louisville's quarterbacks in their new uniforms:
At least Adidas didn't make us look like Taylor Twellman.
Etc.: This year's edition of "Les Miles doesn't count so good." Via Smart Football, treating your goal line package like special teams. The guy behind Mets Maize has figured out he never writes about the Mets. Up next: figuring out that white text on a dark background is so 1995. Houston Nutt's been busy with his copy of Word 97. HSR on the Stonum suspension. Pre-Snap Read previews Michigan.
Weeeee, defensive tackles. MO DT Ondre "Pee-Wee" Pipkins has pledged to Michigan's 2012 class.
4*, #12 DT,
4*, 5.8, #19 DT
#4 Missouri, #246 Ovr
|3*, 78, #45 DT||
4*, 94, #16 DT,
#3 Missouri, #149 Ovr
The best three sites that have rated Pipkins place him in about the same place within his position group. The primary disagreement is where that 16th-18th DT fits in the grand scheme of things, with 24/7 Sports the most optimistic, and Rivals barely slotting him into their Top 250. ESPN, clearly, is without a clue. As you'll see, he's been dominant ever since the Army Combine.
ESPN (per typical) is the odd service out on his height, calling Ondre merely 6-2, while the other three sites agree that he's 6-3. 24/7 Sports is the outlier on weight, crediting him at "merely" 305 pounds, while the others all put him in the 320-325 range. 6-3, 320 seems to be your consensus weight.
He was the subject of a Sam Webb article back in April:
"Pipkins is a big-bodied space-eater that can command double teams, but he's quick enough and light enough on his feet to penetrate and disrupt," said Trieu. "Once he learns to really use his hands and consistently play under people, he's going to be an even tougher guy to move and block. Right now he's rated the No. 16 defensive tackle nationally, but he does have a chance to move up higher. Big kids like him that are 320 pounds and move the way he does are very rare."
His coach agrees with Allen's assessment:
"Ondre is strong and quick off the ball, and when he can latch onto an opponent and stay low, he can take care of some gaps for sure," Reynolds told Scout.com. "He gets double-, sometimes triple-teamed, which allows our linebackers to flow freely. He plays with a good motor. His job is to draw the double- and triple-team, but he is very disruptive in the backfield. We're going to do some things next year to try to open things up for him."
He even told Sam how Michigan plans to use him:
"(Michigan assistant) Coach (Greg) Mattison said I'd have the chance to play right off the bat because I'm the kind of defensive tackle that can move around and play multiple positions. They're only taking one nose guard and I can be that nose guard and come in and play for four years. That's mainly what they tell me -- that I can just come in and play nose for a straight four years, graduate, and take a chance of getting to the NFL."
Last spring, he impressed at the National Underclassmen Combine in Kansas City:
Ondre Pipkins (Park Hill) is a physically imposing 6'2 319 lb d-lineman with the skills to pay the bills. He has great quickness for somebody his size, good lateral movement and strength (bench pressing 185 lbs 21times). Pipkins was a force to be reckoned with and is worth looking out for.
He won the defensive line MVP at that event. Pipkins was a "star" at the Army Combine ($, info in header).
Tom Lemming likes his game:
“He’s one of the two best players in Kansas City,” said Lemming, who has covered the national recruiting scene for more than 30 years. “He can play both sides of the ball. I think he could an All American guard on offense or a very steady defensive tackle.”
Considering the #1 player in Kansas City is also supposed to be the best player in the nation (WR Dorial Green-Beckham), that's high praise. Ondre has been firmly stock-on-rise for a long time, so this commitment is big for Michigan.
Ondre's a Saginaw native, who went to school in Rochester Hills his sophomore season. That explains Michigan and Michigan State interest. Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio State... need I go on? He has a huge offer list.
UPDATE: Hey, those were the stats for long-lost recruit Wayne Morgan. Hooray for copying and pasting!
I couldn't find easily-available junior stats on Pipkins.
FAKE 40 TIME
Rivals lists a 5.15 time for his 40-yard dash, something totally reasonable for a guy his size whose athleticism is one of his strengths. A mere one FAKE out of five.
Oddly for a high-ish profile guy, there's very little on him. This video, entitled "Ondre Pipkins Highlights" doesn't seem to be him at all.
He's featured in the first 7 or so reps in Rivals's OL v. DL Army Combine highlights, but other than that, I can't find a whole lot of freely available stuff.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Pipkins is a much-needed piece of this class, and he'll have a chance to contribute almost immediately as a member of the DL rotation in 2012, with a good chance to take over a starting position upon Will Campbell's graduation following that season.
If he's as good as the combines would lead us to believe, he has definite NFL potential, and a good chance to make All-Big Ten teams as an upperclassman.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Finally comes the DT. Michigan's needs are filled - aside from at least one wideout - and can focus on just taking top-top prospects for the remainder of the class, regardless of position.