he grew a beard
A monster signing day for Michigan starts off with the official commitment of FL QB Justin Feagin:
American Heritage quarterback Justin Feagin is going to commit to Michigan, according to Stallions coach Willie Bueno.
Feagin will come in as a QB.
Michigan's also picked up a commitment from FL OL Ricky Barnum($), which is a hell of a get this late in the recruiting process. Barnum was a Florida commit until, like, two seconds ago.
Terrelle Pryor's announcement? Back off:
"I'm 100 percent sure I'm not signing," Pryor said. "It's a tough decision and I'm still trying to decide between Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State."
Pryor did say he has eliminated Oregon and told the Oregon coaches the school was too far from home. Pryor said he'll probably make a visit to Penn State.
"When we talked (Tuesday morning), I gave him my choice and he gave me his," said Pryor's father, Craig. "They weren't the same. But it's his decision."
Craig Pryor said he did not pick Ohio State, but he did not indicate what school his son chose.
Craig Pryor also told his son that playing immediately might not be the best way to make progress. He said it wouldn't hurt if he sat back and watched while he tries to learn to read defenses.
"He's not worried about playing right away," Craig Pryor said. "It will give him time to learn and adjust to the speed of the game."
You can parse that a number of different ways, but the bit about "playing immediately might not be the best way to make progress" sounds very bad for us. It is possible that Pryor's dad was asked a bunch of leading questions and played them off, leading to a noncommital answer that seems something else out of context. I find it hard to believe that long-dormant Penn State and the worst quarterback coach in college football could swoop in and grab Pryor with one visit from their doddering, soon to retire coach and there seemed to be a buzz congealing around Michigan yesterday.
FWIW, Rivals had this earlier:
You just can't think Signing Day will come and go without the Trojans pulling an upset someplace along the line. This is a tough call because the main candidates are Nick Perry, T.J. Bryant and Jerrell Harris and most observers expect each of them to go elsewhere, but even if they strike out on those three perhaps a big de-commitment will come their way.
This is a change in tune for Mike Farrell, who had previously predicted Perry to USC. Perry's officially eliminated Michigan State, which would seemingly put Michigan in an excellent position for Perry's 11 AM press conference.
Update II: A Cleveland-area blogger interviews yrs truly, BTW, about various topics related to Pryor and signing day.
Well... if you're not into wild-ass internet speculation just skip this one.
Still here? Okay. I present this thing from the CBS Sportsline message boards:
I just flew back from Pittsburg and guess who sat nect to me on the flight. Jerome Bettis. I sat and talked football with him for about 2 hours. Guess what he told me. Terrell Pryor is going to Michigan. Was never a doubt in his mind after the official visit. This was passed onto him from Charlie Batch who he had just been out with the night prior to his flight with me. As a Buckeye fan I'm crushed, and don't want to believe it. It even took away from the fact that I was sitting next to an NFL future HOF player and talking with him. I can furnish a photo upon request of myself and "The Bus" if needed. I hate when Darth Rodruigez and the evil empire wins.
The horrible grammar and spelling immediately raises suspicions until "As a Buckeye fan" explains them away. That's verisimilitude, baby.
A check of this guy's posting record reveals this is not a driveby; "bolosak" has 200-some posts and was a frequent participant in the pissing matches between LSU and OSU fans in the run-up to the Not Sugar Bowl.
This, by itself, might not be worth posting. Bolosak could be going for a hoax. However, the College Football Talk post referenced this morning is another piece of information in Michigan's favor; I also received an email from a reader who seemed connected* during the coaching search indicating that a Western PA source was also claiming Pryor would choose Michigan. These are three hopeful signs, and I want you to think of me when Pryor picks Ohio State tomorrow.
*(odd phrasing, yes. Normally I would go with "previously reliable," but in this case the emailer was one of a number sending information along the lines of "there's a power struggle going on but Les Miles is close to a done deal" in the week before the Herbstreit "newsflash." The information ultimately turned out to be incorrect, but I believe that was more because the situation changed than anything else.)
Update: Another "probably OSU" piece from a reputable source to offset any flickering optimism you might have:
Jeannette quarterback Terrelle Pryor plans to announce his college choice Wednesday and indications are it will be Ohio State.
A few of Pryor's friends and acquaintances told the Post-Gazette Ohio State is Pryor's top choice. One unnamed source said Pryor told him recently he would sign with Ohio State.
Who knows? Bleah!
Update II: Forgot a hat tip to The Only Game That Matters on the message board thread.
Patrick Omameh has committed to Michigan. Omameh is a late-developing sleeper sort who committed to Cincinatti over the summer, then got late offers from Michigan and Michigan State after growing significantly during his senior year. Ohio State also had some interest, but did not offer despite a flurry of speculation they had a couple of weeks ago.
He is currently in possession of three stars from both Scout and Rivals. ESPN gives him a 69 -- horrible -- and rates him the country's #113 OT. Given the late interest from major programs, that's probably outdated.
BuckeyePlanet has a helpful scouting report:
Perfect frame for adding weight. Solid center prospect but could eventually project on either side of the ball or at offensive guard. In the DeSales offense he is usually asked to crab block and then get to the second level, which is not necessarily easy to do. Because of that technique he shows good quickness and great flexibility. Not strong enough right now but can work on that during his first few years to help generate better push up front and better drive off the snap. Initial contact is decent but needs to get stronger to push people aorund. Great motor and great hustle. Along with his strength needs to work on his punch in passing situations and needs to work more from the knees rather than the waist.
Also, was a first team all-state pick this past season in DII.
Omameh may be a low-rated recruit without killer offers, but the late growth spurt, impressive high school campaign, and rumors of a potential OSU offer should reassure anyone looking on this kid as pure filler. Offensive line is always the hardest position at which to project; he's got a shot.
Anyone looking for a good reason to bash recruiting coverage despite overwhelming evidence of statistical validity should seize upon this will-Pryor-sign-tomorrow tempest in a teapot; yesterday two media outlets (Rivals and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) had a stupid tiff about whether Pryor was 80 percent sure or 50 percent sure he'd sign on Signing Day. The Post-Gazette put up an article stating Pryor would sign and had eliminated Oregon; Rivals responded with a bitchy little piece about how "other published reports" were wrong.
Guess who's now rushing to tell you that Pryor will OMG sign tomorrow ($; meat in headline)? Rivals. This is news because Rivals said that Pryor might not sign yesterday after the Post-Gazette said he would. So hurray for all that.
Anyway, the meat: at 12:05 we get to find out whether Terrelle Pryor is the savior of the Michigan program or the most overrated recruit in the history of everything and a sloppy dresser to boot.
WARNING: NO PRYOR CONTENT.
It is time once again for the College Football Blogger Awards. As your reigning overlord, Every Day Should Be Saturday is the host and has kicked off festivities with the barely-formatted hunk of ugly that is his gift to other bloggers: yes, you do something better than Orson. Even if it's just putting together a slightly less crappy table.
I've got official nominees for four separate awards. Now for some pregame pump-up:
Dur du dur! Dur dur dur dur dur dur dur! Dur dur dur dur! Dur!
(For the illiterate or whatever: previous line is so obviously the opening riff to "Eye of the Tiger." Learn to READ.)
Best National Blog
|Votin' Style||Blogger Vote|
|Reigning Miss USA||Sunday Morning Quarterback|
|OMG Five Finalists|
|Votin' Style||Anyone can vote, even Kim Jong-Il, which is ironic.|
|Soon to suffer a coup:||N/A. New.|
|Do you smell, etc?|
|Votin' Style||Blogger Vote|
|Reigning Miss USA||EDSBS|
|Send in the Clowns|
|Vote like a what?||Blogger Vote|
|Chief dispenser of whoah||N/A. New.|
Update 2/5: Removed OH WR Roy Roundtree (premium article but the meat is in the headline/header).
PRYOR EEEE PRYOR EEEE: He's not deciding... unless he is! Jack McCallum knows jack and says OSU; Tom Luginbill also knows jack and says Michigan.
Editorial Opinion: Pryor either will or will not announce his college choice on Signing Day. Given the vast tide of public opinion pointing towards Ohio State it would be better if he delayed, which is either a 10-20 percent chance or a 50-50 chance depending on whether you listen to Pryor from yesterday morning or Pryor from yesterday afternoon. The yesterday morning bit was covered... er... yesterday. The yesterday afternoon one:
"I spoke to Pryor, and he said the report was incorrect," Farrell said. "He said was still 50/50 whether he'd sign or not, and Oregon is not eliminated. He said it's still Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State if he signs Wednesday, and Oregon is in the mix if he waits."
Whatever. Anyone who cares what the exact fake percentage is Pryor announces tomorrow should stop, shower, and go outside, and that's coming from a guy who's 50-50 to put on pants on any particular day. I mean 80-90 percent to put on pants. And the pants might still be from J. Crew unless the moon is gibbous, in which case the pants will definitely not be from J. Crew. Unless they are.
While the bulk of public opinion remains Ohio State, Scout guru Bob Lichtenfels -- the guy Pryor called to break the Rodriguez-to-Michigan news -- keeps flitting around Penn State boards saying vaguely positive things about a late Penn State push. Michigan has its own advocate in ESPN's Tom Luginbill, who's consistently said he believes M is the place for him, albeit in CYA terms. The latest:
Tom Luginbill, national recruiting director for ESPN Scouts Inc., gives the Wolverines a slight advantage in this quarterback derby because of Rodriguez.
"I really believe Ohio State, early on, was the front-runner, as well as Tennessee, until David Cutcliffe left for Duke," Luginbill said.
"Then all of a sudden, the Rich Rodriguez scenario took place and vaulted this thing into the stratosphere."
"Terrelle Pryor can run that offense. He knows it. Rich Rodriguez knows it. And it would be an opportunity to start the process off with him in that scheme and have him essentially be the guy the minute he steps onto the field," Luginbill said. "Not just because he's talented enough, but because he's the only one who can run it. And I think that obviously that has to be intriguing if you're Terrelle Pryor."
ESPN has proven itself completely useless in the prediction game, unfortunately, but if you wish to concoct crazy stories about the WWL leveraging his appearance on the network into killer inside info, be my guest. It will make you feel better for somewhere between a day and around two months.
And, hey, unreliable rumor site College Football Talk -- an offshoot of completely unreliable rumor site Pro Football Talk -- says Michigan thinks it wins:
A source close to the Michigan coaching staff tells CFT that head coach Rich Rodriguez believes top high school recruit Terrelle Pryor will announce tomorrow that he's going to Michigan.
Pro Football Talk has developed a reputation for getting information no one else is able to... hopefully this is their first big college splash.
This is always fun: Every year the Detroit News sends out a survey to its top 15 instate recruits asking them about their best and worst experiences and why not MSU or UM (or both if someone leaves the State). Once you get down into the double-digits asking the "why not M?" question gets cruel, though, especially for kids committed to State. MSU commit Charles Burrell:
Why not U-M? I didn't receive a scholarship offer from Michigan. That was the school I always wanted to go to. It was kind of disappointing they didn't offer me. I worked real hard to receive an offer.
Awwww. Aw. Poor kid.
Then there's Jonas Gray's story:
Why not U-M? I'm pretty close with people who have ties with U-M. My track coach, Stanley Edwards, is one. I got turned off when they offered me as an athlete. I ran a 4.3 (40-yard dash) at their camp and thought that would be good enough that they would offer me as a running back. Plus I knew coach (Lloyd) Carr wouldn't be there for four years.
It'll be interesting to see how he works out at Notre Dame. Michigan actually offered then-whodat Mike Cox over Gray despite Gray's blazing camp 40. No offense to Jonas, but I hope he kinda sucks because watching him excel would be tres frustrating.