"It's not about last year or who's here or who's isn't here," says your head coach. "It's about getting out here and competing and seeing who is here, and that's where we're gonna go."
Michigan went into this offseason with one open spot on the blueline after Kevin Quick bought a "Swedish Credit Card Inspector" t-shirt and Carl Hagelin fell for it. However, they'd signed two players to LOIs. Probable late first-round pick Brandon Burlon is definitely coming in. Greg Pateryn, however, was expected to cool his heels in the USHL one more year unless someone bolted.
Fargo Force Head Coach/General Manager Dean Blais tells WDAY 6 Sports that two of the players he was counting on this fall have chosen to play elsewhere. Garrett Clarke has opted to play with a Canadian Junior Hockey Team, and Greg Pateryn has chosen to skate for the University of Michigan. Pateryn has signed with the Wolverines and had expected to play a season in Fargo before joining Red Berenson's team, but because of a need at the U of M, is now projected to see playing time for Michigan.
Everyone envisioning a gaping hole on the top line can take a breath: this is not necessarily Max Pacioretty, the lone first-round pick who hadn't publicly stated he would return, signing with the Canadiens. In the accompanying video, Blais says Red called him up last week and told him one of his players didn't make it academically, so Pateryn was coming in.
But someone's gone. It's not necessarily a defenseman, since Chris Summers could slide up to forward. Let the speculation begin; watch for a CHL signing in the near future; I just hope it's not one of the freshmen.
Update 6/9: Linked to articles on OH OL Chris Freeman, FL RB Jamaal Berry (second), FL S Jonathan Scott, AZ DE Craig Roh, SC WR Alshon Jeffery. Noted Scout header that says M leads for FL LB Brandin Hawthorne.
Added FL WR Jeremy Gallon, then moved him to committed. Also added FL S Mike Jones, NV DE Keenan Graham, MA OL Brennan Williams, SC S DJ Swearinger, TN LB Greg King, LA WR Kenny Bell.
Removed OH LB Dan Fox (ND), IL WR Kraig Appleton (dropped us), CA RB Dasarte Yarnaway (not recruiting), TN OL Alex Bullard (ND), OH WR Patrick White (MSU).
Editorial Opinion: Michigan just held a one-day camp for a host of prospects, but no movement came out of it. Michigan appears to be holding on offers until they finish their full camp, which will be this weekend. At this one-day camp the focus was mostly on Inkster WR/S/LB Cameron Gordon, a four-star with only a few offers yet, and an array of three-star-ish offensive linemen. Expect a wave of offers to go out during and after Michigan's summer camp; a couple commits should follow.
And hey, he's a weird name: Tate Forcier. The California quarterback showed up and performed. WTF, right? Well, rumors persist that Kevin Newsome is asking schools to continue recruiting him. Whether that's the product of Michigan's continued pursuit of Forcier and FL QB Eugene Smith or vice versa is unknowable, but be advised that the quarterback situation is not put to bed yet.
As for the gentlemen who were excised: White, Fox, and Yarnaway didn't have offers. Appleton's turning into a pretty big recruit -- LSU is involved with him and he's from Illinois -- and Michigan probably had an offer out, but I don't think anyone's too concerned with wide receiver, especially after Jeremy Gallon's commit this week. Bullard, OTOH, is an offered lineman who isn't going to Michigan. He never seemed like a strong possibility after naming ND, UT, and UF his top three in an article from a month or two ago, but did take an unofficial.
NOW IS THE TIME ON RECRUITING [DAY] WHEN WE FLORIDA.
FL RB Jamaal Berry reiterated how impressed he was with Ohio State in a couple articles. He plans on visiting Michigan...
"I'd also like to go to Michigan and see what they're like," Berry said. "They need some running backs and it would be a good opportunity to play early. I like how they are another school with good tradition and are known for being a running team."
...but that seems like an uphill battle.
Meanwhile, FL S Jonathan Scott has Michigan in his top three. Weird, because:
"I think if I went to Michigan it would be fun to play against my brother [sophomore corner James Scott]," he said. "That's a big rivalry (against Ohio State) and a great game. I haven't really talked to him about how he'd feel about it, but Michigan is a big-time offer so I'm sure he'd be cool about it.
"I really like coach Rich Rogriguez," he said. "He is coming from West Virginia and was able to make them an elite program, so I think he'll be great at Michigan too."
South Carolina and LSU are the other two schools he seems set on visiting officially; childhood favorite Florida State does not appear interested.
Another Florida safety worth keeping an eye on is Orlando Edgewater's Mike Jones. Jones has a weird pair of leaders for a guy from Orlando:
"I really like Michigan a lot. I like Notre Dame too. They are my top two schools.
"Michigan has always been good. They have a huge fan base with a big stadium. It's crazy. I have not been up there yet and I will go there this summer or maybe the fall. I think I fit in with their defense from what I know. I can fit in just about anywhere because there is versatility to my game.
"Notre Dame is a smart school and you need grades and better be able to handle the academics. They have a great fan base. I love coach (Korwin) [sic] Brown. I would like to play for him. He's a real fiery guy."
This one also might be a bit of an uphill battle. Jones' father is an old teammate and good friend of Brown. FWIW: Edgewater is the school that provided Michigan with Greg Mathews.
All I've got on this is a header, but it's an encouraging one:
Michigan, USF -- One & Two for Pahokee LB
That's about FL LB Brandin Hawthorne, a teammate of incoming freshman WR Martavious Odoms. That's good -- other than USF, Hawthorne also has offers from Tennessee, Kansas State, and a few others BCS schools -- but Hawthorne plans on visiting a bunch of camps around the south in the coming months. It sounds like he's sniffing around for some big offers closer to home; would not be surprised if Michigan's lead here is temporary. For now, though, that's nice.
A note on rankings: Rivals is revamping their rankings again and two recruits too big hits: both Kevin Newsome and Jeremy Gallon dropped out of the top 100. Gallon's hit was not a big surprise -- 5'8" -- and Newsome apparently had a rough NIKE camp. The company line on that is Newsome was attempting to shorten up his delivery and once he works through some issues with that he will be a combination of Dan Marino and Godzilla. We'll see, I guess. The whole reason Newsome started the year as a top-20 prospect was an excellent performance at the Army All-American camp; now he's one of two.
One last item: remember Larry Caper, the Michigan State commit who caused some minor rending of garments from Michigan fans when he wasn't offered? Dude just got the boot from the Rivals 250.
Voting is now closed in the first round of the Woodson regional. Your winners:
80.5% of vote
58.6% of vote
60.7% of vote
Chris Wild's paint masterpiece, Jason Minor's blueprint (which, I must confess, was one of my favorites), Bryan Rosenbaum's montage [note: apologies to Bryan, who I dubbed "Ben" earlier -ed], and Eric Jaffe's foray into the realm of coaches old are eliminated. Sad fugee faces for all.
Steinberg, with the largest percentage of votes in favor, will take on Menzies in the next round; the other two will go head-to-head. Obviously.
Spartanburg quarterback Jones gets offer from Michigan
What about Beaver/Newsome? This Jones guy is a rising junior. And this is how he got his offer:
Cornelius Jones hasn't played a down for the Spartanburg Vikings varsity football team yet, but Michigan has seen enough to offer him a scholarship.
The junior quarterback received his first offer Tuesday, after Vikings coach Freddie Brown sent the Big Ten school a five-minute video of Jones from a scrimmage.
That is a hell of a five-minute video. The article mentions that Jones hasn't played forSpartanburg in "a couple of years" because he "got in some trouble"... what kind of trouble can an eighth-grader get in? Don't answer that.
Burl Ives. The NHL draft approaches, and Red Line Report ranks incoming blueliner Brandon Burlon one of the top ten available. Okay, it's #10, but still:
Brandon Burlon rounds out Red Line's top 10 list. There's not much buzz about him, but we feel he'd be a solid choice anywhere after No. 20. He's got great feet and a mean edge. He's as fundamentally sound in his own end as any defender in the draft, and we think he's got some untapped offensive potential as well.
Yost Built has a little more on Burlon and notes Greg Pateryn is projected by one Sabres site as a potential fifth-round target. Not bad for a guy who was promised very little scholarship money.
Stones. Michigan's baseball team may have received some unexpected good news in the MLB draft, when two draft-eligible juniors fell to the fifth round. Jason Christian, rated at about the end of the third round, was picked by the As. He's widely expected to sign and the relatively small drop probably won't affect that.
Zach Putnam, however, has to be disappointed after he fell to the second-to-last pick of the fifth round after widely being projected as a sandwich pick or even a late first-rounder. Juniors usually sign because they lose their leverage if they return, but Putnam's drop might motivate him to return. Baseball America:
The Indians finally put Zach Putnam out of his misery, taking him with the penultimate pick of the fifth round. If the Indians put him in the bullpen, expect him to move quickly with his fastball-splitter mix. However, Putnam might prove to be a tough sign this low. Suffice it to say he's had an enigmatic career when it comes to scouts, who seem to like him less than his performance would indicate.
A recent change in the draft rules allows teams that draft college juniors to retain their rights until a couple weeks before the next year's draft. (High schoolers have to be signed by August 15th.) If Putnam thinks he's been shorted, he could return to Michigan in the hopes he has a wicked pissah of a senior year and either forces the Indians to shell out considerably above slot or watch him re-enter the draft (and hopefully go much higher). His situation bears watching, which is more than you could say before the draft.
Meanwhile, the Indians went Michigan mad, drafting Adam Abraham with the 411th pick and Nate Recknagel with the 591st. Cislo and Fetter were not drafted; Mike Powers went in the 31st round to the Mets. We'll know about everyone's fate by August 15th.
Raise a glass to the NCAA hockey rules committee. In marked contrast to the constantly blundering football committee, they've made every effort to improve the game. To wit, the rules changes for this year:
No change after an icing. As per the NHL rule that everyone loves.
Limited-application shootout. When I heard college hockey might be considering the addition of a shootout, I was pretty leery. The Pairwise is so jittery and shootouts are so random that instituting them would add even more weirdness to the NCAA's selection criteria. But this seems okay:
In a release from the NCAA today, it says the rules committee has voted to maintain the current game structure of 60 minutes, followed by a five-minute overtime, but individual conferences are allowed to use a shootout at their discretion.
The shootout could be used to award points towards the league race, though any game decided by a shootout would go into the record book for NCAA Tournament qualifying purposes as a tie.
I'm still not a big fan of the idea -- seems gimmicky -- but if those are the rules any grumbling I have is minor.
All games have two referees now. This one I'm not so sure of. The CCHA had zero competent referees at last count and will now have twice as many incompetent ones. OTOH, cutting down an incompetent ref's responsibilities should edge him towards competence, or at least consistency. We'll see how it goes.
All faceoffs are held on faceoff dots. This is a minor change but a good one. Those faceoffs right inside the blue line have always bothered me. Your reward for winning one is the puck outside of the zone and a dump-in. Now those will be from the proper dots inside the zone, and winning one will lead to a scoring chance. More chances == always good.
Only in Ohio. Ha-ha:
A Cleveland-area principal says he's embarrassed his students got proof of their "educaiton" on their high school diplomas.
Westlake High School officials misspelled "education" on the diplomas distributed last weekend. It's been the subject of mockery on local radio.
Etc.: You remember these?
Mike Barwis had one, and some wolves.