From Portage Northern.
Update 7/1: Linked to video of OH TE Kevin Koger, note on VA LB Marcus Dowtin, article on IL OL/DT Garrett Goebel, PA TE Hubie Graham, PA LB Shayne Hale, PA WR Jonathan Baldwin, KS LB Arthur Brown. Added IL QB John Weinke. Removed FL OL Matt Patchan (dropped us), VA WR Deion Walker (dropped us), NC RB Brandon Barnes (NC State), VA QB Mike Glennon (NC State), OR DE Ethan Johnson (ND), GA S Jamoris Slaughter (ND), WI OL Kevin Zeitler (Wisc), VA LB Marcus Dowtin (UGA). Moved MI OL Rocko Khoury to committed. Also: Khoury commit article.
Also: articles on OH RB Michael Shaw (also a RUTS post), PA WR Jonathan Baldwin, OH TE Kevin Koger. Added AZ S Jarrell Barbour, GA LB Devonta Bolton, MI OL Deontae Pannell. Moved IL QB John Wienke and TX WR Daryl Stonum to committed And... wow... linked to thread at a Michigan message board in which the mother of PA FB/LB Christian Wilson asks a bunch of questions and gets some good answers and some appalling juvenility.
Editorial Opinion: A lot of movement this week. Section by section.
Commits Elsewhere. A lot of guys went off the board. Some (Walker, Barnes, Patchan) kind of mentioned us a couple times but were never strong possibilities. Glennon, Dowtin, and Zeitler all camped and showed some genuine interest. Glennon and Zeitler both decided to stay close to home; Dowtin picked Georgia. Those seemed unfortunate earlier in the week, but with the commits of Wienke and Khoury it's no big deal. Dowtin is a nice prospect but Michigan has a lot of potential linebackers on the board. Slaughter plays a position of need, safety, and picked Notre Dame "over" LSU and Michigan, but never visited anywhere other than ND, the equivalent of Stonum picking Michigan "over" USC and Florida. It would have been nice to get him, though. He's a mid-four star. Johnson seemed a huge longshot, then camped for most of the week and got everyone's hopes up. On his way back home he stopped by and committed to ND, one of his pre-camp rumored leaders. That's life, I guess.
Hail Hale. A welcome article from the Pittsburgh Trib-Review:
On Sunday, Terry Smith said, Hale called and told him to cancel their scheduled unofficial visits. They had planned trips to Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State this week, to Rutgers next week and to Alabama and Florida in the third week of July.
Apparently, Hale also is dead serious about wanting to go to school with Cameron Saddler, Gateway's 5-foot-6, 165-pound multi-purpose back and return specialist. They have vowed to attend the same school and it's no coincidence that three of Hale's finalists â€“ Michigan, Virginia and WVU â€“ have offered scholarships to both.
"I think he's tired of this whole process," Smith said, "and didn't want to waste time visiting places he wasn't going to go."
"I think he's tired of this whole process," Smith said, "and didn't want to waste time visiting places he wasn't going to go."
The other finalist is Ohio State, long presumed to be Hale's leader. This should put us in good position to land the duo. Hale had previously named a top three of OSU, Michigan, and Florida, so we should have an edge against OSU (we've offered Saddler) and the Virginia schools (he liked us better before). Though West Virginia and Virginia might be more attractive to Saddler, as they can promise the electric midget playing time at RB and WR that Michigan probably can't, we do have a major hole when it comes to kick returns with Steve Breaston's departure. It'll be interesting to see how this all falls out; we're in much better position than we were a week ago.
Garrett Goebel. Notre Dame's windfall on the defensive line appears to be helping us with IL DT/OL Garrett Goebel. Previously down to Michigan, OSU, and ND, he's now cut ND (or they've just filled up, whatever) and has visited:
How did the visit go?
"The visit was really good ... I hadn't been to Michigan before."
"I got a tour of facilities, I met with players and with the coaches. I got to talk to Coach Carr ... he's a cool guy."
"I'm visiting Michigan again soon. This time I'm bringing my parents. I think it'll be July 10th."
What other visits have you made?
"I've visited Ohio State -- I've been there twice."
Do you have a top 2-3-4-5?
"It's Ohio State and Michigan."
The return trip w/ parents July 10th is a good sign for a kid I, personally, had written off as a Buckeye. He plans on deciding sometime this summer; if you were of a hopeful frame of mind you could envision the July 10th visit as a lets-make-sure-this-is-where-I'm-going-to-school sort of thing. But that would be the happiest fairy-wonderland sort of thought process.
FWIW, Bucknuts -- until recently, the Scout OSU site -- insider Steve Helwagen pegged Goebel at "65-35" for OSU in a recent chat; he also had this exchange:
Kasaun (Jun 27, 2007 12:43:03 PM)
Goebel said he's taking his mom to Michigan. I think he's in maize and blue
SteveHelwagen (Jun 27, 2007 12:43:35 PM)
That could be. Not sure if she was at OSU. Maybe she wants to see both close up and help him decide.
Helwagen also calls Koger 50-50 between OSU and Michigan. The Blade has an illuminating article on him that does not, unfortunately, illume where he's likely to go to school. If you put a gun to my head and asked me to pick, I would hesitantly choose Michigan because the OSU depth chart isn't actually any better since Jacob Stoneburner is a frickin' TE -- seriously -- and they use one while we use two. That combined with the Kogers' longstanding Michigan fandom makes me think we still have the advantage. We'll see though; he seems very much in play.
Michael Shaw, a RB and teammate of TE commit Brandon Moore, may have been on the verge of committing to Penn State until Jay "Nepotism" Paterno struck, sending Nit message boards into a veritable tizzy:
The four-star tailback had intended to make the trip to Happy Valley this weekend to take a tour and visit with the members of the Penn State coaching
staff that were on campus, but a change of plans will have him visit at a later date.
"Me and my dad were going to fly down to Penn State, but with Coach (Jay) Paterno, we never got it officially confirmed," said Shaw. "I called coach Paterno, and my dad sent coach Paterno some messages, and coach Paterno said that it would just be best for us come in July."
Since Paterno's already presiding over a passing offense that hasn't seen the top half of I-A since he took the reigns, internet people were understandably upset. Run Up The Score says NSFMF:
In the end, things will probably be fine. According to Shaw's high school coach, who stopped by FOS for a chat last night, Shaw will likely commit to Penn State later this summer. However, this screwup (and there's no other word for it, really) certainly let Michigan, Clemson, and Nebraska back into the picture. Does that sound like a good sign for a young running back â€” which Penn State needs more than just about anything else â€” who has repeatedly said his dream school is Penn State?
Good enough for me: Shaw now considered a longshot.
Jonathan Baldwin. Any potential ND lead remains just a rumor, though the same goes for any potential Michigan lead. A recent newspaper article on Baldwin lays it out:
Baldwin's list of scholarship offers is awfully impressive. Two weeks ago, Baldwin had trimmed his list of schools down to six - Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida, Miami, Southern California and Pitt. But on Thursday, Baldwin said three more schools are back in the race, Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia Tech.
Baldwin says that right now, no school has an advantage over another. In fact, Baldwin isn't afraid to admit that he is still getting comfortable with the fact that some of the grandest names in college football want him to be a part of their program.
Sounds like any decision is a long way off and that any favorite at this point would be a slight one.
Christian Wilson's mom. Of all the message boards in all the internets the mother of H-back/LB recruit Christian Wilson could have ended up to ask questions about the Michigan program, she had to pick SackCarr.com. Yick. At least it appears that Mom is sold:
My son is a 08' recruit who likes Coach Carr. I know you can't beleive everything you hear and read, but I am concerned if he commits and Carr retires, what future he will have there.
I'm a mom so I won't claim to be football savvy, but I do have pride in my son and the Michigan Reputation which is why i would love my son to be a Wolverine.
Any advice or thoughts?
The concerns are two-fold: potential Carr retirement and the lack of an H-back in the Michigan offense since BJ Askew got drafted by the Jets. She actually got some good advice from a couple posters until some 14 year old started in with the usual "WHY AREN'T WE AGGRESSIVE CARR IS A LOOSER" etc etc. I mean... you claim to be a Michigan fan and a recruit's mother comes to you in the hopes of assuaging some doubts her son might be having about the school and you start ripping on the coaching staff. Nice. Anyway, other than that, the upshot appears to be that Wilson favors Michigan:
I loved it. I'm biased though. I am a Sales Director and have sales reps who cover the State of Michigan, so I would be able to see my son when on business trips. I like the size and the hospital development is fantatstic. (I work in Pharma distribution) I feel in love with UM the first day I was there. It's the spirit of the school, you can't help but love it!!!!
On the recruitment side, all coaches and staff as well as the academic advisor really impressed me. I think my sons fear is living up to the Michigan reputation and wanting to do well in all aspects. Sports and academics. It's a big decision. That is why I came to many of you for some advice on H-back. He is nervous about living up to the expectation, but I guess what kid wouldn't be for any position they play.
Wilson himself debunked a report that had Clemson and UNC leading; sounds like all signs point to Michigan here as long as the family decides Wilson has a place on the field. Quick, someone whip up a Shea/Askew highlight reel on Youtube.
This is madness... THIS IS RECRUITING! I guess it's good that Scout has decided to one-up ESPN's top 150 and Rivals' top 250 with a whopping top 300, but I don't think the rankings have much in the way of fidelity once you get down that far. FWIW, Michigan commits on the list:
- 20 Boubacar Cissoko
- 80 Dann O'Neill
- 94 Daryl Stonum
- 109 Brandon Moore
- 144 Mike Martin
- 160 Marcus Witherspoon
- 172 Kurt Wermers
- 227 Elliot Mealer
That's every recruit save instate guard Rocko Khoury and Wienke, a nice haul thus far.
Full board can be found here. Stonum update coming soon.
Universal Top 100 wide receiver Daryl Stonum of Sugarland, Texas, has committed to Michigan. Informative update coming sometime Monday.
A commitment, but not from that guy. Top 100 wide receiver Daryl Stonum
decides tonight around midnight Eastern; this commit is from Illinois quarterback John Wienke:
GoBlueWolverine just got of fthe phone with Tuscola, Ill. quarterback John Wienke (6-3, 210).
"I committed to Michigan late this morning!"
"I just felt the most comfortable there."
After camping at Michigan and then visiting, he said, "Everyone was just so nice to me there, I just couldn't see myself anywhere else."
Wienke's other finalists were Iowa and Illinois. Though it's a weak year for quarterbacks, he is an Elite 11 selection. Rivals rates him a three-star and the #17 QB in the country; Scout hasn't ranked him yet. Google engaged; will update with relevant information.
Update: I don't have anything truly informative, but there's plenty that's entertaining. UK was on Wienke early in the year, but once actual schools with actual football programs got involved the Wildcats understandably went out the window. The reaction:
1) Tuscola (Ill.) quarterback John Wienke got an offer from Michigan, Illinois and Iowa in the past three days, so any chance that UK can land him is thrown out the window. Wienke was supposed to go to UK's camp in a week or so, but that seems questionable now. Despite being the first to offer him and the fact UK is in the SEC has meant very little to the 6-foot-5, 215 pound gunslinger. [sic sic sic, jesus people, you have schools down there, don't you?]
I dunno, I just found the idea that a recruit would think to himself "I know Michigan is a national power, but at UK I could lose by multiple touchdowns to Florida and Tennessee... SOLD!" funny.
Wienke lead Tuscola to a 14-0 record and its first ever state championship in anything last year, throwing for nearly 3000 yards and 29 touchdowns with seven interceptions. In the final they faced heavily favored Aledo, #1 in their division. The result:
Tuscola's John Wienke threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns Friday afternoon to lead his team to a 35-20 victory over Aledo in the Class 1A state championship game at Memorial Stadium on the University of Illinois campus.
Wienke was 20-32. Reviewers were all impressed:
To be honest, this was the first time I got a chance to see Tuscola play this season. Man alive, they were impressive. They had a distinct size advantage over Aledo, and used it to pop everything in a green jersey. At the same time, the Tuscola passing game had a day for the ages.
I say the passing game because â€” to me at least â€” it seemed like equal parts John Wienke and his receiving corps. Broc Winn turned a pair of 10-yard curls into long touchdown receptions. Wienke checked down to his fourth receiver to find Nick Hanke on the 80-yard touchdown pass that put the final nail in Aledo.
Was I ever impressed by Tuscola jr. QB John Wienke. Then I find out he is 6-4, 207 and I'm thinking this Class 1A kid is going to be a Division I prospect next season.
Hell, even the Illinois General Assembly was impressed:
2 WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3 Representatives are pleased to congratulate the Warriors of
4 Tuscola High School on winning the 2006 IHSA Class 1A Football
5 Championship; and
6 WHEREAS, At Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, the
7 Warriors defeated Aledo High School in a 35-20 victory to claim
8 their school's first State title in any sport; and
9 WHEREAS, Tuscola quarterback John Wienke passed for 384
10 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the team to this moment; and
11 WHEREAS, Through hard work and determination, the Warriors
12 pulled off a stunning victory, and fans of the team yelled
13 until some lost their voices, excited over this impressive
14 accomplishment; ...
11 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
12 NINETY-FIFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we
13 congratulate the Warriors of Tuscola High School on their first
14 State championship and look forward to many more.
Boilerplate congratulations, maybe, but the "some people even lost their voices" is endearingly weird. Additional endearing weirdness can be found in a general assembly resolution specifically praising the Weinke family that hilariously lists the many and varied athletic accomplishments of John, Judson, and Johanna Wienke before dryly noting that "proud siblings" Jenna and Jason exist but have no other distinguishing characteristics whatsoever. (The existence of these resolutions has caused a friend and former resident of the state to spend the last fifteen minutes on Google attempting to discover how much these people are paid so that she can declare it to be far too much. UPDATE: It turns out it's just gone from 57k to 63k; there is an appalled person next to me who is now looking up Illinois teacher salaries.)
Since he won a state championship with his school, Wienke was given the opportunity to answer "Griese or Grossman?" by the Sun-Times, the Bears being in something of a quarterback quandary at that point. Wienke chose... wisely:
1 John Wienke
Junior, Tuscola, Class 1A champion:
"Brian Griese is more consistent because he's been [in the league] longer, so Brian Griese is better to go with. He's more of a veteran and he's used to the big crowds and games. With Rex Grossman, I don't know if he's just not getting used to things."
Weinke's recruitment started a little slowly, as he got scholarship offers from a few non-BCS schools and Kentucky, a BCS school in name only. Then he attended the Colorado NIKE camp, winning MVP honors and picking up offers from Colorado, Iowa, and Purdue. A few weeks later he attended the Michigan camp, impressed, and got his offer. Of the camp quarterbacks, Wienke was the first choice. Offers are still pending to OK QB Nathan Stanley and MI QB Brendan Kay; now they'll only get them if Michigan decides to take another quarterback (a possibility).
Editorial Opinion: Wienke was on the upper end of reasonable expectations for a quarterback to come in in 1 A.M. (anno Mallettus). Though
the recruit sites don't seem high on him yet, he appears to be on the upswing with the Elite 11 invite and might end up a high three star. In a weak year for quarterbacks nationwide, a good pickup.
Fire Mark May provides.
Your Home Field Advantage
Give the more zealous portion of your fanbase a religion. What's this cult following? Feel free to give the splitters a derogatory nickname.
Zealotry runs low in the Michigan fanbase; it is both out of character in general and fairly difficult to maintain after five miseries in six against most hated rival forever. There are people who are hopeful but chastened and then there are the jaded. What zealotry exists seems mostly confined to kids who don't know better, those who have taken up their Zoltan worship with admirable fervor, and that crazy old guy who used to come to hockey games and shout "hey! hey! hey!" as if he was some sort of crazy elderly "that was a penalty" metronome. I miss that guy.
Your biggest rival is in town, and College Gameday is coming....to your citaaaaaaay... Create a blatant corporate sellout promotion to appeal to the mass unwashed.
I do not understand this question. Who am I appealing to? Gameday watchers? Fans approaching the stadium? Me (mass unwashed could refer to my hair)? If it's the latter, everyone would get tshirts reading "It wouldn't be that surprising if Jim Tressel turned out to be a child molester"; on the back they would say "I'm just sayin'", because when you say "I'm just sayin'" you can get away with anything.
Add one local delicacy to your stadium's concessions. Post-tax pricing is optional.
I don't actually buy concessions in-stadium, like, ever, but I believe that Spot's "wings" -- often less wing, more Tyrannosaur forearm -- already have outposts inside the stadium, though I think they restrict themselves to cheesesteaks and the like. So that obvious answer is out, leaving a really, really obvious answer: BTB, nee Big Ten Burrito until the athletic conference sued the pants off of the local cheese and rice and bean and optional meats in a tortilla of joy purveyor. It is still called Big Ten Burrito in our hearts, and if there was any justice they would be in the stadium as well. Ideally these would be as enormous and reasonably priced as the existing BTBs.
With an unlimited AD budget, add or subtract one thing to your school's gameday experience that has nothing to do with football.
This idea is good and free: unite the Maize Rage and hockey season ticket holders in the best student seats available on the condition that they import/invent a wide variety of entertaining cheers, chants, and profanity.
General NCAA questions
Coin a hilariously unrealistic stereotype that you would like to "make stick" for this upcoming season.
My world is full of hilariously realistic stereotypes: Ohio State fans all secretly want to drive monster trucks. Michigan State fans are all bitter about getting rejected from Michigan. Notre Dame fans could, with only a little prodding, end up building Charlie Weis a spaceship so he can fly them to salvation.
Oh, wait, I've got one: Michigan football always wins when it matters most.
Redesign your conference or independent schedule with reckless abandon. Be prepared to include compensation for jilted schools and conferences in your explanation.
In an ideal world I can explode twelve-team conferences entirely. Penn State, Virginia Tech and Boston College are hacked off their conferences and join the Big East. Four teams from the Big 12 and SEC grab TCU, a newly booted USF, and teams to be named later to form an eight-team conference. Everyone plays round-robin schedules; championship games go away. Oh, and no one can play I-AA schools and the NCAA actually enforces its attendance mandates -- paid attendance -- and boots 20-30 teams from I-A.
Following up on your new realignment, blow up the BCS and devise a national playoff system, money grabs and missed exams be damned. Using your new fantasy conferences is optional.
This exercise has been undertaken in this space earlier. The upshot: a six-team playoff with home games for higher-seeded teams with the final at the Rose Bowl. First two rounds take place in December. Bowl system remains intact otherwise. Six teams is the best balance between preserving the importance of the regular season, since there is still a compelling reason to finish one or two and acquire a bye, and opening up the field to a reasonable number of competitors. There are no autobids in my fantasy system, so conference realignment (and non-BCS complaining and the Notre Dame exception irritant) is a nonfactor.
Elect one public figure to replace NCAA president Myles Brand. Anyone with proper name recognition is eligible.
You don't even have to replace the second "C" on the wheel he uses as he steers the ship of state. Only half in jest. Obviously the NCAA does not need to murder 10 million people, but socialism would be better for everyone at this point. Unfettered capitalism in this instance leads to Michigan-Appalachian State.
Draymond Green to Michigan State, says the News:
Saginaw's Draymond Green, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound power forward with one year of high school remaining, is expected today to announce a verbal commitment to Michigan State.
Mixon stuff for real. Confirmation on the Mixon transfer from a real newspaper:
Kent State appears to be on the verge of landing University of Michigan transfer Cobrani Mixon to bolster the interior of its linebacking corps.
Several Internet reports are claiming the Cincinnati Colerain graduate, who redshirted for the Wolverines last season, has agreed to transfer to KSU. Those rumors appear to be true.
Good luck, Cobrani. You had interesting hair.
Gratuitous video. Biakubutuka goes for 313.
And Rivals decided to post video of an up and coming Michigan defensive end... um. Lamarr Woodley. Timely!