Oh, right. Amongst the many mysteries found in Rich Rodriguez's phone records are the 112 calls to Peterstown, a tiny hamlet of 300 on the Virginia border hours away from Morgantown. This all seems verrry suspicious to crack West Virginia reporters:
Let the latest innuendo roll as many seem suspicious of the 112 calls placed by Rich Rodriguez to Peterstown in his final two months on campus. A lot of the phones calls are to faraway cities â€” Phoenix, Boston, Toledo, to name a few â€” but it's easy to make logical connections to Rodriguez.
Peterstown is puzzling, though. I've gotten a bunch of calls and e-mails wondering about the identity or the person/people. I do not have the number. Every number was blacked out except for the calls made to and received from the state of Michigan. Why? I have no clue.
"The intrigue lives on," concludes crack West Virginia reporter. Indeed. The intrigue. The mystery. The... voicemail:
It does appear that the voice mail number for Cellular One (which was the carrier for at least one of Rod's phones) uses the Peterstown exchange
Type: Cell Phone
Provider: American Cellular Corporation
Location: Peterstown, WV
I'm a cell one customer and 994-0001 is definitely the voice mail #.
Man... jeez. Everyone's ready to string up Jim Carty after yesterday, when he wrote an article stating Rodriguez should apologize and pay up, then directly asked Rodriguez about apologizing in the teleconference. Rodriguez responded "apologize for what"; Carty responded "for hurting their feelings." Which... uh... didn't go over well amongst Michigan fans. A followup today:
What he still doesn't seem to get, though, is that the main reason he's being smeared is because he behaved so poorly on his way out as West Virginia football coach.
Michigan fans want to overlook that. They want to circle the wagons around their guy, even though he's a guy they hardly know.
This cuts both ways, does it not? Both Rodriguez defenders and assaulters hardly know him. We know almost nothing about what went on in the WVU athletic department. We have no idea why Rodriguez left. Carty details a list of offenses:
Let's imagine you had a football coach you loved at Michigan, who told you, "This is my school," who said he was going to be "here a long time," and a year later, behind your back, when he was thought to be recruiting for Michigan, he's caught interviewing for another job.
Then the coach informed Bill Martin he was quitting by sending a graduate assistant to tell Martin, and called Michigan's top recruit - and incidentally the best player in the nation - to tell him he was leaving, before he told his own Michigan players, and invited the kid to ditch Michigan and come to New Job U.
Then, hours after quitting, he used his Michigan cell phone to call high school recruits who had already committed to New Job U.
Oh, and he hired lawyers to get him out of the buyout he owed you according to terms of the contract he just signed last summer.
There's no way you'd be defending that guy.
Defending, no. This is not about "defending," though. There's a proper level of disgust here that WVU fans are entitled to about equal to Michigan fans' disgust with Ryan Mallett. I don't want Mallett to be any good at Arkansas and I think the guy is a prima donna. But I'm not going to sneak into his dorm room every night and hit his fingers with a tiny hammer so they're oddly sore the entire year. He left. I don't care past that.
Rodriguez left. This is his sin. Leaving a school is unavoidably kind of skeezy in a way that taking a new accounting job is not because you have made promises to a bunch of kids in college. There's no way around that. But the same curse would have followed Greg Schiano (who flirted with Miami last year) or Kirk Ferentz or, hell, even Brady Hoke.
The rest of it doesn't bother me, though. Who was harmed by any of it? At one point Rodriguez flipped from being WVU's coach to being Michigan's coach, and he immediately started acting on behalf of Michigan. Rodriguez got burned by the Pryor call when Pryor immediately rang up Scout to break the news, but given the state of the rumors flying around it's very doubtful something wasn't going to break in the next couple hours. And does it matter how the news breaks? He left.
I fail to see anything even slightly unethical in Rodriguez's initial calls to Michigan recruits. They occurred after Rodriguez met with his team; he had discharged his obligations to WVU then. Does it matter which phone he made them from? No. Thought that may be a technical no-no, it's not unethical in any way. Sticking that in there submarines Carty's thrust much in the same way WVU now looks ridiculous for claiming that the entire athletic department went through Rich Rodriguez's shredder.
Attempting to get out of a buyout is SOP; see John Beilein. No one demanded Beilein apologize.
Similarly, the infamous "grad student" thing. Who cares? He left. He met face-to-face with his kids and told them. That's what's important. He did that. I don't care what Ed Pastilong thinks. I care what Owen Schmitt thinks:
Schmitt, an honor student, did not criticize his coach's departure.
"You've got to do what you've got to do sometimes," Schmitt said at the time. "He did all he could for us. As far as I know he did a lot of great things for this university."
Giving Schmitt a chance was one of them.
Criticisms of Rodriguez all boil down to "he left." Yes, he did, and he's already apologized to the people he had to. Yahoos like this...
...deserve nothing but pity.
Update: Wow. This blog has given Stuart Mandel a lot of stick in its history, but his latest is a comprehensive WVU takedown. I take back 20% of all the nasty things I've said.
Be sure to read the official mgoblog recruiting philosophy before committing suicide over anything you read here.
A Note on "Stars": These are my guesstimates. Players don't have stars associated with them yet. When the recruiting services add them I'll adjust my ratings. Half-stars appear to provide some additional accuracy. Generally a 4.5 star is a guy solidly in the top 100 on Scout/Rivals/ESPN and really highly rated by one. A 3.5 star is either a guy who is is a 3 on one site and a 4 on the other or a four-star that no one seems particularly excited about.
A Note on Premium Info: No illicit sharing of said material will appear on this site. Players are listed with interested schools in their profiles; this information is public. Commitments are by definition public. Any assertions as to schools in the mix, decision dates, or leaders I will back up with links to public information.
Projected Class Size:
As of right now: 18. Probably 22 by signing day.
|Expired Eligibility||Henne, Hart, Long, Kraus, Crable, Adams, Englemon, Campbell, C. Graham||9|
|Transfer||Forcier, Mixon, McKinney, Mallett||4|
|Early Entry||Manningham, Arrington. Maybe: Taylor||2|
|Unrenewed Fifth /Medical||DeBenedictis, Ciulla, Mitchell. Possibilities: Gallimore||3|
|Other||Unused: 1. Stupidity: Germany, Richards, Sears; Lethargy: Schifano.||5|
Anything not in the "expired eligibility" is a wild-ass guess from me; read nothing into it, I beg you.
Update 1/21: removed TX CB Adrian Bushell, CA OL Vaughn Dotsy, a couple WRs. Added OH LB Taylor Hill as committed.
|Sad Josh||The genre of player with unrequited interest in Michigan. Unlikely to receive offers; most will eventually fade off the list and go to Duke or Michigan State or something.|
|Nefarious Eduardo||Player is a longshot. Either they've declared someone else a leader publicly or popular opinion holds that they're likely to go to another school.|
|Data||Either no opinion or Michigan is one of a fairly even group of chasing schools. Players in this category maintain no leader or change their leader frequently. The default category for players that we don't know much about yet.|
|Happy Teeth||Players who have Michigan in a small leading group or have Michigan as a tenuous favorite. Should be regarded as a good shot, not a slam dunk.|
|Mr. Blue||Player is either a verbal or is expected to be one sooner or later. Players with this designation are 65%+ to be Michigan commits.|
Needs: Minor. Mallett's on board;
Forcier and Cone provide adequate depth. I would expect one guy of the three-star variety.
Update: Forcier's departure means that one quarterback is a must and should improve our chances a bit, since Mallett can no longer redshirt and we can offer any prospective commits an opportunity to get two years of separation.
Update Update: With Wienke's commit and the transfer of Stephen Threet, who's now essentially a member of the 2007 class who has to redshirt, we are done. I have Pryor on the board until he eliminates us officially.
Projected Commits: 1.
|Terrelle Pryor||PA||*****||Michigan, Ohio State, others||National #1 recruit. CNNSI article. NYT article. Video, more video, AA game video.|
|Justin Feagin||FL||**||M, Miami, Syracuse, Rutgers||Dual threat HS QB who's an ATH type that could end up several different places. Small-school player of the year in FL, third in Mr. Football voting. Rodriguez was on him at WVU; Michigan has taken up the baton. Video.|
Running Back / Fullback
Needs: Minor(FB)/Major(RB). Vince Helmuth and Andre Criswell will battle for the fullback job for the next few years. There's not much depth, but Michigan can move over some tight end or defender who's not going to see any time otherwise. At tailback Michigan picked up Avery Horn last year and has true sophomores Carlos Brown (argh wasted redshirt) and Brandon Minor, but looks for at least one tailback in every class. Whoever comes in this year will have a clear shot at the starting job after Mike Hart's departure.
Projected Commits: 3, 2 RB, 1 FB.
|Sam McGuffie||TX||****||Michigan||Kid with the crazy highlight reel; parents originally from Michigan. Scout article. Houston Chron article. Scout article. Chron article. Set your DVRs for Oct. 18. Blue on McGuffie.|
|Mike Cox||CT||**||Michigan||MGoBlog on Cox.|
|Christian Wilson||PA||****||Michigan||Fullback/H-back offer. ATH LB. Scout article. Clemson lead? No. Michigan lead. Scout article. Down to M, Rutgers. Video on commit. Article on him and cousin. Brief. Mention as "Beast".|
|Darrell Scott||CA||*****||Texas leads M, CU, others.||Scout article; transfer to Ventura St. Bonaventure (Michael Williams). Will take official visit here. Interview; highlights. USA Today article.|
Needs: Minimal. Clemons, Hemingway, Babb, and Webb all came in a year ago (though Webb is widely expected to end up at tight and Babb could be in the secondary sooner or later). Michigan always takes at least one, but a second will only be because Michigan found a player they really liked.
Projected Commits: 2.
|Darryl Stonum||TX||****.5||Michigan||Fort Bend Dulles (Woolfolk, Herron). Early Enrollee. Says we are team to beat. Scout article; another Scout article. Houston Chronicle article.|
|DJ Woods||OH||***.5||M leads Cinci, Auburn, PSU||Nebraska commit who decommitted when Callahan got fired; WVU commit who decommitted when Rodriguez left. Now strongly considering M.|
|Vaughn Carraway||PA||***||M leads(? -old) PSU, Tenn, BC, Pitt, WV||Claims an early offer. Rivals article. Scout article; another. Scout; second.Still visiting.|
|Terrence Robinson||TX||****||M, BC, Wake||Recent offer; 5'9 slot receiver like Reynaud. Youtube highlight; another. Chron article.|
|Jaron Brown||SC||***||M, Clemson, SoCar||Offer, will visit, but a longshot.|
|Commited Elsewhere But Michigan Might Take A Run At Them|
|Jonathan Baldwin||PA||****.5||M, Pitt lead(?) ND, USC, UF, Miami||cousin of Ty Law. Big dude, 6'6". Coach believes he favors Michigan. May play basketball instead (basketball no longer a threat). Scout article. Another Scout article. Local newspaper article; blog article. M lead? All American Bowl invite. Newspaper article; second. Blue Chip chat. Post-Gazette.|
|Cameron Saddler||PA||***||M, WVU, UVA, 'Cuse||Tiny scatback/KR type a la that Florida midget. Apparently offered. Scout interview. Pitt Trib-Review article. Previously mentioned UVA lead dissipating. WVA newspaper article. Blue Chip Chat. Newspaper profile. Returnin' kicks. Returnin' punts.|
Needs: Moderate. Would be "minimal" but Michigan is running a ton of multiple-TE sets these days. Two tight ends came in the last class. There is a third player, Quintin Woods, in academic limbo who may or may not arrive on campus.
Update: Carson Butler getting the boot upgrades the need here to "serious"; Brandon Moore's commit helps mitigate that somewhat. We will probably take another at this point.
Projected Commits: 1-2.
|Brandon Moore||OH||****.5||Michigan||Offer. Video. Rivals Top 100/Scout Top 100. MGoBlog on Moore. Scout article; video interview. Photos. DDN article.|
|Kevin Koger||OH||****||Michigan||Offer. M-OSU battle. Blade article. Bunch of pictures. ATH DE. Video. Blade again. Blade on his commitment. Blade. Solid even after the coaching switch.|
Needs: Severe. Michigan has only five offensive line recruits across the last two classes. Fortunately two of those recruits, Justin Boren and Steve Schilling, appear to be can't-miss players. Beyond them is very little. Expect at least five recruits.
Projected Commits: 5.
|Dann O'Neill||MI||****.5||Michigan||Tackle. Rivals 100 (#64). Grand Haven Tribune article. AANews article. Grand Rapids Press.|
|Elliot Mealer||OH||***.5||Michigan||Tackle prospect. Video. Blade article.|
|Kurt Wermers||IN||***.5||Michigan||Scout interview. Guard prospect. Article. MGoBlog on Wermers. Scout article. Local newspaper article. Video.|
|Rocko Khoury||MI||***||Michigan||Scout article. Commit article.|
Needs: Moderate. It's hard to tell exactly who's a tackle and who's an end on the defensive line. It's also hard to tell whether or not freshmen Marques Slocum, Renaldo Sagesse, John Ferrara, and Jason Kates are going to do anything. Ferrara and Kates redshirted and Slocum may not have a redshirt year available after his bizarre academic sojourn, so for class balance purposes it may be more important than one might think to grab a DT in this class.
Projected Commits: 1.
|Mike Martin||MI||****||Michigan||Offer. Rivals250. Senior year highlights.|
Needs: Moderate. Michigan has a plethora of good sophomore options in Eugene Germany, Brandon Graham, and Adam Patterson (arrrgh wasted redshirt) plus freshman Ryan Van Bergen.
Projected Commits: 2.
|Nick Perry||MI||****||Michigan, MSU, USC||May be an OLB. Offer. Lemming thinks he'll stay home, FWIW.|
|Commited Elsewhere But Michigan Might Take A Run At Them|
|Shayne Hale||PA||*****||M, OSU, WVU, UVA||Teammate and cousin Cameron Saddler keeps talking about a package deal. Scout article. Pittsburgh newspaper article. All-American Bowl invite. Package deal on? Local TV station article; WVA newspaper article. Scout article. Local newspaper article: now a DE? PTR article. Scout; second.|
Needs: Minor? Michigan evidently thinks the need here is severe given the offers they have out, but since Jonas Mouton, Obi Ezeh, Cobrani Mixon, and Quintin Patilla all redshirted Michigan has no fewer than six linebackers with freshman eligibility. Marell Evans and Brandon Herron are a lock to join the redshirt crew, too.
Projected Commits: 2, but it would be nice if they were big-timers.
|JB Fitzgerald||NJ||****||Michigan||Offer. Junior stats. Scout article; second. Has visited lots; think we lead. Another Scout article; another. Schiano following him around in a helicopter.|
|Kenny Demens||MI||***.5||Michigan||Offer. Commit article.|
|Taylor Hill||OH||***.5||Michigan||MGoBlog on Hill.|
|Marcus Witherspoon||NJ||****||Michigan, Tenn, UNC||Rivals 250. Offer. Scout interview. MGoBlog on Witherspoon. Newspaper article. Reopened recruiting after coaching change, Michigan still likely destination.|
Needs: Moderate, even considering Cissoko's commitment. Though Michigan's now secured two five-star-ish commits in two years, in the new spread-mad era of college football one can never have enough cornerbacks. Two of last year's three commits are huge projects; Michigan will go hard after another couple corners.
Projected Commits: 2.
|Boubacar Cissoko||MI||****.5||Michigan||Heavily hyped after a couple standout combine performances as a junior. Detroit Cass Tech. PSU Nike Camp MVP. Video. DetNews article. Varsity Blue scouts. Still solid. Fluff.|
|JT Floyd||SC||***||M, Tenn||Very soft UT commit, but has visited and will make return trip. ATH S. GoVols article. Palmetto Sports. Scout. Recent Scout article; still in it.|
|Joevall Hoseay||MI||NR||open||Not offered yet; quoted as one of the "I want to go to Oregon" kids; later disputed that version of events. lolmsm.|
|Troy Tidwell||MI||***||open||Detroit Southwestern.|
|Brandon Smith||NJ||****||Michigan||HS QB. ATH WR/OLB(?). Offer. Scout article. Sounds enthused. Rivals article; Scout article. May commit at PSU? Interview. Visited CU.Commit article.|
|Keanon Cooper||TX||***||M leads Wisc, Minn, TT, OK||Offer. Scout article; another; another; another; another (kid loves talking to Allen Wallace, that's for sure).|
Needs: None. Zoltan is a sophomore, Bryan Wright a redshirt freshman.
Projected Commits: 0, though if someone wants to walk on they'll take him.
A reminder: the Star Scale for Rumor Credibility.
- 0-star: incoherent ravings.
- 1-star: clearly biased speculation without backing.
- 2-star: Some guy saying something on some board that claims insider info due to a chance occurence.
- 3-star: Information from someone less established as an insider but a frequent poster who seems sane and useful.
- 4-star: recognized insider-type person with no ax to grind who has established his bonafides on past recruits.
- 5-star: actually verified by an article and a quote from the player, a family member, or a coach.
So. Cutoff is two stars... sometimes three. Played by feel. In the future there will be denotations as follows:
UV: the information in sum(star rating).
Links will be provided so you can judge for yourself; posts that will fall into the memory hole will be copied for posterity.
Update 2/25: Added NJ S Brandon Smith, TN WR Rodriguez Wilks, IL OL Graham Pocic, CA OL Vaugn Dotsy, and FL LB Nigel Bradham. Linked to Mike Zordich interview. Fixed "illcit" typo that had been there for two years. Added VA LB Marcus Dowtin, GA DT Omar Hunter, and MI CB Troy Tidwell, MN WR Michael Floyd, OH WR Nate Wilburn-Ogletree. Linked to Jon Major interview. Added KY DE Dexter Heyman, KY DT Brandon Newman, CT DT Massengo Kabongo.
Downgraded NC S Robert Blanton from green to yellow.
Update 3/5: Upgraded Jonas Gray from red to yellow. Added MI QB Brendon Kay, NJ LB Marcus Witherspoon, MN LB Sam Maresh, MI WR James Wade. Linked to article on MN WR Michael Floyd -- he has an offer. Added CA WR Christopher Owusu. Noted that 'Bama and UF lead for GA S Darrell Simmons.
Removed IN OL Braxton Cave and IN WR John Goodman, who both committed to ND.
Update 3/15: Downgraded PA LB Andrew Sweat to yellow. Downgraded OH TE Brandon Moore to red; bet you a dollar he's SEC. Added OH OL Matt Grieser, IN OL Kurt Wermers, FL DT Marcus Forston, NJ WR Dejuan Miller, OH LB Justin Staples, OR OL Matt Lipski, IL DE Darius Fleming, NY RB Latavius Murray, NV(!) TE Cody Aughney, PA WR Vaughn Carraway, and NJ DE Jack Crawford.
Linked to article on TX WR Daryl Stonum (down to Michigan & Florida), update on TX RB Sam McGuffie's track exploits. (Second McGuffie track update.) CA OL Khaled Holmes likes Borat. Linked to articles on MN WR Michael Floyd and IL DE Darius Fleming. Downgraded Zebrie Sanders to red -- we're not in his top five.
Removed OH OL Mike Adams (OSU).
Update 3/21: Linked to articles on NC DB Robert Blanton, NJ LB JB Fitzgerald (lol). Noted that GA DT Omar Hunter has his offer now. (woot) Moved MI OL Dann O'Neill to committed. Added IL RB Jason Ford, NJ LB Brendan Beal. Removed OH TE Kyle Rudolph (dropped us), OH LB Devoe Torrence (OSU). Moved PA DT Lucas Nix to OT, where he's getting recruited by a lot of schools. If he ends up here OT is a much more logical place for him to play.
Update 3/26: Removed FL OL Michael Brewster (dropped us). Downgraded PA TE Mark Weddeburn to red after ugly Scout article. Upgraded CO OL Bryce Givens to green: we lead w/ Nebraska. Linked to articles on OH S Dan McCarthy, PA OL Luke Nix (upgraded Nix to yellow since this supposed heavy Pitt lean does not appear to be materializing), PA OL RJ Dill, OH LB Brandon Beachum, TX OL JB Shugarts, KY DE Dexter Heyman. Upgraded Zebrie Sanders to yellow; top-five omission in earlier article appears to be momentary oversight. Added MD OL Lane Clelland, SC OL Kenneth Page.
Update 4/5: Linked to article on PA WR Vaughn Carraway. Black Shoe Diaries now has a recruiting board of his own; it thinks we lead for him. Bumped MI WR Fred Smith to green. Linked to article on PA LB Shane Hayle; not in top six but he hasn't really narrowed it. Added CA QB Dayne Crist. Downgraded WA DE Kavario Middleton to red; nasty Scout article. Added TX DE Kapron Lewis-Moore, MI TE Tyler Hoover, OH TE Kevin Koger, AZ RB Covaughn Deboskie. Removed MN LB Sam Maresh (Minnesota), PA RB Cameron Saddler (lack of mutual interest).
Update 4/10: Linked to articles on CA WR Christopher Owusu, CA OL Khaled Holmes, and MO TE Wes Kemp. Both downgraded to red due to a lack of interest on M's part. Removed MN LB Sam Maresh (Minn). NE OL Trevor Robinson (Neb), OH TE Nic DeLillo (Clemson). Note that the same article claims M is in Zebrie Sanders' top three. Linked to articles on AZ RB Covaughn Deboskie and KS LB Arthur Brown. Removed TN WR Rodriguez Wilks (we threw him an offer but he's SEC all the way), CO OL Bryce Givens (Neb). Added OH OL Elliot Mealer, OH LB Jamiihr Williams. Linked to very positive article on MI WR Fred Smith and one of those Scout articles about campers/visitors that make a lot of assertions worth evaluating.
Update 4/15: Added a legend. Some small changes: all of our little projection icons have names. Mr. Blue, previously reserved for Michigan commitments, is now deployed for players like Marcus Witherspoon (please note latest Rivals article from the PSU site: "Witherspoon has heart set on Big Ten school"; it's not PSU) and Fred Smith who are highly likely to end up Michigan commits and -- this has key -- have said as much publicly. Hopefully no Rojo types end up in this categorization, but no guarantees are provided. There's a new icon, Sad Josh, used for guys who have expressed an interest that Michigan does not seem to reciprocate. With the clarifications and such several players have been moved into new categories. Smith and Witherspoon get Mr. Blue. Deboskie gets a green now that there's a separate category for players who are expected to end up at Michigan. A bunch of players got shoved into Sad Josh. Er.
Added MI DT Mike Martin. Linked to stories on OH TE Kevin Koger, CA QB Dayne Crist (header for second is not good), IN OL Kurt Wermers, IL DE Darius Fleming, some video of OH OL Elliot Mealer. Removed FL LB Nigel Bradham (FSU), CA CB Robert Golden (we don't seem that interested, and neither does he).
Update 4/20: Linked to article on TX RB Sam McGuffie. Removed CA CB Brandon Leslie (no mutual interest), PA LB Andrew Sweat (dropped us), CA QB Dayne Crist (ND), MI S Charles Burrell(MSU). Added OH RB Darius Ashley, MD RB Josh Haden, NC RB Brandon Barnes, LA TE Tyler Edwards. Linked to header on OH OT Elliot Mealer, article on PA WR Jonathan Baldwin, article on OH LB Brandon Beachum, article on MI TE Tyler Hoover.
Removed GA S Darrell Simmons (dropped us), NJ LB Brendan Beal (dropped us). Linked to article on OH OL Zebrie Sanders. Added TX S Keanon Cooper, OK S Kye Staley. Moved OH OL Elliot Mealer to committed.
Update 4/30: Added VA WR Deion Walker, KY OL Ryan Benzick, IL DT Garrett Goebel, AZ OL Zach Schlinck, WV OL Josh Jenkins, OR DE Ethan Johnson (offered). Linked to articles on OH OL commit Elliot Mealer, GA DT Omar Hunter. Removed IL RB Jason Ford (M lack of interest). Linked to brief mention of possible M lead for IL LB Stephen Filer.
Am specifically leaving two guys off the board despite some announced interest: TX WR Sedrick Johnson claims a verbal offer from Michigan and has them in his top five, which he claims is in no order before talking all about how Texas A&M is highly likely to get him. CA RB Milton Knox says Michigan is in his top five; we haven't offered. If these guys appear to be serious targets later I'll add them.
Update 5/7: Linked to Scout header indicating IL OL Graham Pocic has an offer. (This means the gray icon has been replaced with a yellow.) Linked to AJC article on GA DT Omar Hunter, blog post on AZ RB Covaughn Deboskie. Noted assertion on BP that OH RB Darius Ashley has officially snagged a Michigan offer (FWIW. Seems solid to me). Added PA RB Cameron Saddler, TX LB Joseph Ibiloye, NV DT Lawrence Guy, AZ CB Marc Anthony. Removed MD OL Lane Clelland(ND). Linked to articles on MD RB Josh Haden, PA TE Hubie Graham (#2), PA WR Jonathan Baldwin.
Update 5/14: Consistent and repeated pessimism at BP re: OH TE Kevin Koger has caused me to bump him up to blue. (There is also a poster who has to be a high school classmate of IL OL/DT Garrett Goebel ranting about woo OSU in that recruitment; don't know how seriously to take it.) Also downgraded PA OL Lucas Nix to red; seems the Pitt lean is for real. Moved Christian Wilson from LB to RB; he's been offered as a FB/H-back. Linked to articles on OH OL Zebrie Sanders, IL OL Graham Pocic, KS LB Arthur Brown, AZ OL Zach Schlink, GA DT Omar Hunter. Added AR WR Joe Adams.
Much rejiggering of DTs, much of it based on one of those GBW summary articles: MI DT Mike Martin has an offer and is widely presumed to be a lock; he's upgraded to blue. NV DT Lawrence Guy now has an offer and has Michigan in his top three; green. MS DT Cameron Wagner is downgraded to gray with the new offers out. KY DT Brandon Newman goes down to red; there has been much talk of him and Notre Dame.
Linked to articles on AZ RB Covaughn Deboskie (visit coming up), NJ S Will Hill (he speaks!), another on IL OL Graham Pocic, PA WR Jonathan Baldwin (amongst other PA recruits). Also here is another combine article. Removed OH LB Mike Zordich.
Linked to Jim Stefani's early Michigan top 25.
Update 5/21: Linked to article on DC DT Reggie Ellis. Added KS TE Spencer Ladner, AL OL Antoine McClain, GA S Jamoris Slaughter (Scout article), FL OL Matt Patchan. Linked to Rivals roundup article w/ info on Cissoko, Fred Smith, Vaughn Carraway, newspaper article on Butler High in NC. Did some general cleanup with schools of interest and reorganized a couple sets with some new gray icons. Linked to Jonas Gray article. Does he have a frickin' offer or not? Linked to articles on PA WR Vaughn Carraway, NC S Robert Blanton, PA LB Shayne Hale, PA QB Terrelle Pryor, header on PA WR Jonathan Baldwin (no longer considering basketball), pictures of OH TE Kevin Koger. Moved IN OL Kurt Wermers and OH TE Brandon Moore to committed. Added TX CB Adrian Bushell. Downgraded Darrell Scott to red, removed FL DT Marcus Forston (was only on board because of single brief mention, does not appear to have any serious interest). Linked to articles on the commitments of Wermers (second article) and Moore. Added AZ TE Dion Jordan.
Update 5/28: Linked to articles on TX WR Daryl Stonum, NJ LB JB Fitzgerald (lolacronym), IL OL Garrett Goebel, MO LB Spencer Ladner, MI WR Fred Smith, IL OL Graham Pocic, GA DT Omar Hunter. Also linked to what seems very solid speculation on NC S Robert Blanton: ND. Added CA S Rahim Moore, AL LB Jerrell Harris, OH DB DJ Woods, CT LB Jonathan Meyers, AZ LB Kurt Magnum, OH RB Michael Shaw.
Backed OH TE Kevin Koger down from blue to green after the Brandon Moore commit. Another article on Goebel. McGuffie is going to be on ESPN2 this fall. Bumped GA DT Omar Hunter to blue; article header encourages. Bumped Darrell Scott to yellow; reports of having a top three minus Michigan not true.
Update 6/4: Linked to articles on MO TE Spencer Ladner, PA RB Cameron Saddler, TX S Keanon Cooper, NJ LB Marcus Witherspoon, TX DE Kapron Lewis-Moore (downgraded to red; no M mention), TX CB Adrian Bushell, OH OL Zebrie Sanders, MI RB Jonas Gray, OR DE Ethan Johnson, OH LB Brandon Beachum. Added AZ RB Ray Polk, CA DE (DT?) Jamaar Jarrett, LA CB Robby Green. Linked to a trio of articles on some PA recruits: WR Jonathan Baldwin, LB Shayne Hale, and QB Terrelle Pryor, OL Lucas Nix, RB/WR/KR Cameron Saddler.
Removed PA LB Shariff Blake (no M interest), CA OL Khaled Holmes, PA OL RJ Dill, TX LB Joseph Ibiloye (dropped us). Linked to the Pittsburgh Sports Report's PA Top 50. OH RB Michael Shaw now has an offer. Linked to articles on WA DE Kavario Middleton, MI OL Rocko Koury, LA CB Robby Green. Moved NJ LB Marcus Witherspoon to committed.
Update 6/11: Removed MO TE Spencer Ladner (Cal), GA DT Omar Hunter (ND), LA TE Tyler Edwards (dropped us). Moved MI DT Mike Martin to committed. Linked to articles on KS LB Arthur Brown, MI RB Jonas Gray, LA CB Robby Green, PA QB Terrelle Pryor. Added IL DE Glen Foster, IL OL Neal Dieters, TX WR Jeffery Fuller, VA QB Sean Glennon, TN OL Preston Bailey. Noted solid inside info on OH RB Michael Shaw from BP. Linked to speculation on PA WR
Today was Return Volley day in the WFJihad; Rodriguez spoke to the Toledo Blade, made an appearance on the Huge Show, and held a teleconference with various reporters. I haven't listened to the teleconference yet, but did listen to "Huge".
The Huge interview was mostly a rehash of the Blade article except for one point I don't believe has been broached so far: Rodriguez's office cleaning took place in the middle of a typical workday in the WVU offices, in the midst of secretaries and associates and what-not.
Rodriguez has provided his side of the story now and probably won't be heard from again on this topic; WVU's "investigation" continues apace.
Sugar rush. Ryan Mundy refers to Mike Barwis as "a live wire." Uh... yeah (NSFW, but not in a naked way):
Talking. Orson interviewed yrs truly about the state of Big Ten recruiting; unfortunately a small part of the bit it on Michigan got cut off, though anyone who's followed this blog isn't going to learn anything shocking.
ALL HAIL LEMMING. At MGoBlog our policy on recruiting sites is simple: whichever one thinks the most highly of Michigan recruits wins. This year, Tom Lemming wins:
- #11 Sam McGuffie(!)
- #45 Brandon Smith
- #49 Boubacar Cissoko
- #59 Dann O'Neill
- #80 Daryl Stonum
- #93 Brandon Moore
All is forgiven, you oily, muscled ex-postal worker, you.
"Pitt's out, period. I won't go there, for sure," Pryor said. "I get false stuff said about me all the time. I'm used to it."
Pryor already took an official visit to Ohio State and said he counts Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Louisiana State, Oregon and Penn State among his finalists.
"I want to play in a college town, a facility that has 100,000 and is packed," Pryor said. "That's how I want to do it."
...then proceeds to dole out stadium capacities and fill percentages to eliminate non-Big Ten teams. VB then cuts OSU because of the college town thing to reach the inescapable "Pryor to Michigan... or, uh, PSU I guess!" conclusion.
Let's hope he places a strict limit of 200k on the town he decides to live in, but I think that was more a response to people quizzing him about Pitt. Pitt's in Pittsburgh, doncha know, and regularly packs its stadium to 50% of capacity. Pryor was expressing reasons he was not going somewhere; in context that quote is sadly without import.
I need some positive encouragement from the you about the football team in 2008. While I think Rodriguez is a GREAT coach and can do amazing things for Michigan, my concern with his hiring was always the transition. While I'm excited about the new era of Michigan football, I need someone to convince me that we're not going to go 6-6 next year. My big fear is a John Beilein-like transition period. Here's the parallel:
1. New coach comes in with a radically different philosophy
2. A large and talented senior class leaves the roster inexperienced (Hart, Henne, Long, Kraus, Crable, Adams, Englemon) vs. (Sims, Petway, Harris, Abram)
3. A collection of other experienced contributors leaves by choice or otherwise (Manningham, Arrington, Mallet....others?) vs. (Baker, Morris, Price, Smith)
4. The team is now composed of talented but inexperienced players who are not a great fit for the type of scheme the coach wants
5. The coach somewhat writes off the season while he pushes his system in place
Now, I certainly realize that the basketball team was not in great shape regardless of the transition and that losing 8 contributors from basketball is far more drastic than losing 10 from football. However, the similarities are starting to worry me. Everyone will now assume that we're getting Pryor - but what if we don't? Tell me why we can win 8 or 9 games....or can we?
-Adam R Cole
Uh, well... next year looks pretty rough to me and your basketball analogy is terrifying. I hate your analogy so much.
The upside: even with the departures of Manningham and Arrington, that's only eleven contributors departing. Michigan was pretty young this year and returns its entire defensive line plus its top three corners.
The downside: Freshman quarterback of some variety, entirely new offensive system, one returning WR with appreciable experience, and wholly new safeties. Ugly kicker: More attrition is on its way, as Rodriguez has repeatedly stated he expects to sign a full class of 25 players. Ugly kicker x2: road games against Penn State and Ohio State and, uh, I guess Notre Dame. Who will still probably be bad, but... yeah. So will we, in all likelihood.
I'm not expecting anything great.
so, we know that coach rodriguez (i cannot do coach rod sounds like a bad porn moniker) wants a full recruiting class of 25, but i am curious as to what you are hearing vis a vis antonio bass.
the kid will likely never play again, but he has worked his ass off (from the little i read) and stayed in school. is there any chance that the road to 25 recruits will come on the back of guys like bass?
i think coach is a good honorable man, and denying a 'ship to someone like that would have profound affects, not mainly upon his psyche, but his life options as right now the UM degree, along with his perseverance, are two things that can greatly aid his future. it would also seemingly send the wrong message to players. no?
thought you might look into/weigh in on this.
Players who cannot continue because of medical hardship can be removed from the team but keep their scholarship without occupying one of the 85 slots. When Zia Combs was forced to retire because of a neck injury, he remained on scholarship. If Bass does not return, and despite hopeful noises from his father whenever they ask him about it that seems exceedingly likely, he will still be able to get his degree.
brain, [WORD -ed]
i was reading "West Fin'Jihad: Day II" today and i finally reached the
doesn't it seem like WVU must have some good reasons to be *this* pissed at
RR? i mean, coaches leave schools all the time and very rarely is the venom
this poisonous...and in this case from the university itself, not just the
now, i know one might say, "yeah WVU has 4 million reasons to be mad at RR"
but this seems over the top.
put that together with the comments from the crazy NC State player who used
to go to WVU about RR.
point is, are you at all worried that RR might be, well, someone who we will
be cursing in 4 years with adjectives like dirty, selfish, slimy, etc.?
(Nick refers to this post from Scout's message boards by one Sean Berton, late of WVU and NC State.) I don't lend Berton's post much credence, since he transferred immediately upon Rodriguez's arrival and has no personal knowledge of the guy except a couple meetings, during which he found Rodriguez to be the worst person ever... possibly because Berton was not wanted by the new staff. Berton compares and contrasts Rodriguez to Nehlen, painting the latter a saint and the former a devil, without mentioning that Nehlen was and is one of Rodriguez's biggest supporters. Sour grapes from a guy in no position to make credible accusations.
As to your larger point: there is obviously extreme animosity between Rodriguez and the WVU athletic department that goes both ways. WVU is bitter, suing Rodriguez pre-emptively and releasing this likely-spurious shredding garbage. Today WVU papers are filled with the shocking revelation that Rodriguez called Michigan recruits after being announced as Michigan's head coach. Rodriguez has made some relatively mild public comments about being disappointed in the reaction of his home state and made a dark comment about stuff "coming out" that was tinged with bitterness; he's also either enlisted WVU booster Ken Kendrick to tell his side of the story or, at the very least, not politely asked him to shut up. His quotes in the Blade today are the topper.
This is an ugly public spat on both sides. He and Ed Pastilong hate each others' guts, and their uneasy truce finally blew up in the aftermath of the Pitt loss. That's the only way, IMO, that Rodriguez was ever going to leave WVU: if he found the working environment intolerable. Now each has found their nemesis in the other.
What does this say about Rodriguez? Well, not everyone gets along with him. He can probably be a bit of a dick from time to time. And Ed Pastilong is his antipode. It doesn't mean much else. For all the talk about Rodriguez's horrible ethics, WVU hasn't had a hint of scandal in his tenure there. His major sin appears to be making do with a cast of dodgy characters like Pacman Jones, et cetera, because of the limitations imposed on him by West Virginia's status as a state entirely devoid of football talent.
Though Jones and Chris Henry have proven themselves to be world-class jackasses, many other people in the WVU program have not. Pat White's a legendarily nice guy. Owen Schmitt is 250 pounds of awesome. WVU didn't score at all in the 2006 Fulmer Cup and had but 9 points in 2007, six less than Michigan. (I wonder if EDSBS ever anticipated the day when the Fulmer Cup would be used in a serious discussion of disciplinary issues. ) Nine points in the last two years is well within the bounds of reason.
Rich Rodriguez has a bad reputation, but for what?
One thing that might cause Michigan to regret the hiring of Rodriguez might be wild success followed by a big-bucks NFL departure. (I'll believe Michigan is not a terminal college job when I see it.) Personally, this would be okay with me since Rodriguez's name is built entirely around his NFL-unfriendly offense. Teams would be leery until he had a Spurrier-like run of ownage, and if Rodriguez does that... uh... okay.
Would such a departure be "selfish"? I guess in a technical sense, yes
. He would be doing something he wanted to do. But not really.
More in this vein:
For a guy who likes to come off like a real hard driving, critical blogger you either are displaying some incredible naivete or are just wearing maize-and-blue glasses regarding the destruction of records.
Rodriguez did do something in his office to some materials. Even the most venomous West Virginia, Rodriguez-hating fan can't make up all the details that have been provided.
At the very least what Rodriguez is accused of doing is petty and vindicative. Why in the world would he want to destroy player records? Was there something to hide? Or was he just pissed off at the nasty response to his leaving W. Va.?
At the very most Rodriguez performed a criminal act, ridding himself of personnel records, all of which are confidential and none of which he had a right to destroy. He works at a public university and I very seriously doubt that a UM coach, who if he/she had done the same thing would feel a nasty outcry.
I was a Rodriguez fan long before that eventful Friday afternoon when The Sporting News reported that Martin and Campbell were interviewing Rodriguez for the job.
His hiring sent me into an orgasmic ecstacy. I guess all orgasms are ecstatic.
This one was particularly powerful.
The fact is that at least some of the accusations will turn up to be true. Depending on how much is proven perhaps Fred Jackson will have "interim head coach" added to his resume.
Marvin and I are operating with different assumptions. His assumption is that there is enough smoke to assume Rodriguez did something wrong. My assumption is that Rodriguez has pissed off a group of people like no coach ever did before and they're out for blood. In clear terms: nothing the West Virginia athletic department claims can be trusted. Everyone from the governor on down is pissed and trying to nail Rodriguez on anything they possibly can. Witness the Rodriguez-phones-M-recruits thing from today.
If you're inclined to think Rodriguez is equally unreliable on this matter, fine. That leaves this situation at a he-said-they-said stalemate. Of the two scenarios -- Sacred Single Hard Copy and Insane Rednecks -- which seems more plausible? I know which one I've got.
Riposte. For those wishing Rodriguez himself would say anything, he has. The Toledo Blade, oddly, has the scoop:
"The things they are saying are not true," Rodriguez said. "It's a lie. How can you put out lies and think it's OK? They don't care what the truth is, they just want to smear Rich Rodriguez." [It don't matter to Jesus! -ed]
"The implication to me is slanderous," Rodriguez said. "What they are implying, to me, attacks my integrity, and that's why I'm so upset. This has gone too far.
"It's bad enough that they throw things out there, and my family gets harassed, my relatives get threatened, and they try and attack my credibility right in the middle of recruiting. And then to throw something out like this, with anonymous sources ...
"And how it becomes a story, and why it's become big news, to me, is just baffling."
"Every coach got a file when a kid missed a class. The academic people got it, and the athletic director got it. All this stuff about not having contact information or academic information on the kids, it's a lie, it's all a lie," Rodriguez said.
"They're painting a picture like I'm the only one that had those files, and I threw them all away. That's not the truth. They're painting a picture like I erased all the kids' files, and that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. And anyone with any common sense that's in a Division I athletic department or football program knows the same thing."
This is the crux of the matter: the accusations against Rodriguez are completely, wholly, and totally unbelievable. There is no way WVU does not have all the critical files the need backed up. This is a multi-million dollar operation. This is not 'Nam. Even if they did not follow basic procedures every small business in America manages, there is no way WVU would permit the announced coach of another school into the Sacred Single Hard Copy Room with a shredder, nor that "several" people would watch him shred Sacred Single Hard Copies and do nothing about it except let a single tear run down their cheek. Anything that only Rodriguez had was by definition a personal file.
More devastating allegations from WVU:
In the hours after telling his team he was leaving for the University of Michigan, former West Virginia football Coach Rich Rodriguez called at least two Wolverine recruits from his WVU cell phone, according to records obtained by the Daily Mail through the Freedom of Information Act.
The recruits in question are Boubacar Cissoko and Rocko Khoury, Wolverine commits from Michigan who never even looked at WVU. There is a third phone call that WVU thinks is Dann O'Neill, another Michigan commit from the state who wouldn't attend WVU if you held a gun to his mother's head, and others to places like Houston and Toledo that may or may not be to other Wolverine commits. This is a coach going to work at his new school after informing his old school of his decision, but doing it on the wrong phone.
Apparently either Dave Hickman or the WVU athletic department doesn't know anything about NCAA regulations, because this paragraph features in the article:
The NCAA recruiting calendar was also in a quiet and dead period when WVU believes some contact was made.
Dead periods and quiet periods have nothing whatsoever to do with phone contact -- coaches are allowed to call a recruit once per week. Instead they regulate in-person contact; a "dead" period means no in-person contact at all and a "quiet" period means no off-campus contact. The dead period regulation even has this disclaimer in it:
It remains permissible, however, for an institutional staff member to write or telephone prospective student-athletes during such a dead period.
Even an athletic department as addled as WVU's should know these things; throwing this in the article is an attempt to baselessly smear Rodriguez.
And it's one that appears to have worked. The Wizard of Odds frets that "the calls appear to have been placed during a recruiting dead period, meaning contact with recruits was forbidden, according to NCAA rules. This, of course, is an even bigger no-no." It is not a no-no. It is a yes-yes, but the dangerous assumption that something in a newspaper is correct causes memes like this to spread out of control. Reliable Spartan shill Mike Valenti got Hickman on his show yesterday and spent the time saying extremely balanced things like "he's [Rodriguez, not Hickman] being spiteful and really, really low about it." On PTI yesterday, Mike Wilbon called for Rodriguez's suspension until the matter's completion based on one anonymous source with no evidence but one hell of an axe to grind. Even Jim Carty, so skeptical at first, now claims that Rodriguez needs to "apologize and pay up". Apologize for what? Carty says that...
The first - and best - action the new coach could take is calling a press conference to announce he's paying West Virginia the $4 million buyout that was in the contract he signed.
It's the right thing to do.
You signed the contract. Live with it.
All well and good if Rodriguez is the only one in violation of the contract; he obviously does not think so. Neither do a whole bunch of pissed off WVU boosters. Was John Beilein supposed to "apologize and pay up" when he got his buyout reduced? Everyone regarded that little standoff as a matter for the lawyers and an obvious move by both sides that would end in a settlement -- these punitive buyout clauses are often regarded as unenforceable. Not so here. Why?
Look, if Rodriguez really did shred a bunch of critical WVU documents that had no duplicates elsewhere that's a serious problem. If these allegations turn out to be true it will seriously darken my opinion of this hire. But the accusations leveled are so improbable that what's far more likely is that some very bitter people in West Virginia just can't handle Rodriguez's departure.
I'm sure Dave Hickman is getting great information from someone high placed in the WVU AD, as he claims. But he appears to be regurgitating the information provided without applying a critical eye to it. Thus the "dead and quiet" period comment, and the remarkably gullible publishing of WVU's ludicrous claims they had no idea who was even on the team in the wake of Rodriguez's exit.
"We think there was a guy named Pat something," say West Virginia officials. "And maybe a 'Noel,' though that girl must be a kicker."
Do not believe everything you read in the paper.
Expect more articles with quotes like this:
University spokeswoman Amy Neil said the WVU Office of Admissions and Records maintains grade and attendance records in a separate location, so no student-athlete's academic career is at risk.
"We're not sure what records are missing, but all student records, including those of the football team, are kept within the Office of Admissions and Records," she said. "Those records are secure."
Really. I'm shocked.