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.
Editorial Opinion: Lost in this weekend's Amaker firing, at least here, was the commitment of instate OT Dann O'Neill, which was expected sooner or later but is still nice to have given last year's fiasco. O'Neill seems like a solid four star at this point, a guy closer to the top 100 than three-star status. At 6'7", he's a tackle. Michigan has now locked up two of the top three prospects in the state. (The third is DCD RB Jonas Gray, who Michigan still hasn't offered, though Florida has. Gators lead...
Jonas Gray: Received a UF offer and almost committed. UF leads. Holds offers from Michigan State, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois and Colorado.
...or do they?
Jonas Gray: Now says Michigan State and UF are his top 2 of the teams who have offered.
Gray's offer list is surpassingly weird: CU, Illinois, MSU, Minnesota, and frickin' Florida. The only confirmed RB offers I've found are to CA's Darrell Scott and the incomparable Sam McGuffie. Wonder what the holdup is?)
Anyway: O'Neill is a hugely important pickup and the first of what should be a five or six guy OL class. And he's a tackle. Three cheers for all that.
Omar Hunter, the guy from Georgia who was so darn excited about Michigan a few weeks ago, has his offer. GBW claims we are the favorite:
He has numerous offers, but U-M has offered now and is his fav.
There's an opening on the DL all of a sudden.
Robert Blanton's Michigan quote in this Scout article is priceless:
"Michigan was my first offer," he said. "It was my sophomore year. I've been there two times. I attended their camp last summer and got to meet Coach (Lloyd) Carr and talk with him for a while. We went into his office and he showed me his custom-made putting green he has. I couldn't believe it. Then he told me I had the offer. That was great. I really like everything about Michigan. They have won more than any other team in college football...they dominate. I like that."
We have a lockdown on any and all recruits who want to play putt-putt in the head coaches' office. Pimpin' Lloyd Carr aside, Michigan must really want Blanton to offer him as a sophomore. He's from Jamar Adams' school and we've got a good shot at him, but he's playing it close to the vest.
(Is this further evidence to throw on the Charlie Weis is a Enormous Tool pile?
He asked me how I'd feel if I got an offer from Notre Dame. I told him it would be amazing, I would love to get an offer. Then he said 'okay you do.'
I just can't envision that going down. "Son, how would it feel to get an offer from Notre Dame?" ...as if he expects the recruit to break down and start blubbering as if his life's one true goal had been accomplished. I'm pretty sure I would regard Weis with the same scorn no matter where he coached, but could he coach anywhere other than Notre Dame? "Son... how would it feel to get an offer from Purdue?" Yeah. Not so good.)
JB Fitzgerald has us in his top three:
"I can't say I have a strong favorite or favorites," said Fitzgerald, who reports a 4.7 forty time. "I want to see what each school has to offer before I rule anyone out. Right now, I'd say I like Rutgers, Michigan and USC. If I got an offer from the Trojans, that might change things a little bit.
"I took an unofficial to Michigan the second week of February," he said. "I liked the program a lot. They really showed off their tradition....how much of a part of life it is to them. I got to sit down with Coach (Lloyd) Carr for 20 minutes and that's when I got the offer. Then he sat with me and my dad at the basketball game that night. I can't say enough about what a great guy he is. He is so down-to-earth and easy to talk to. All the coaches are like that there."
"Easy to talk to"... some Detroit beatwriters might like to contest that description. Fitzgerald goes on to talk about USC in an alarming fashion. Trojans haven't offered but if they do I think they become solid favorites.
We lead for NY S Brendan Smith, though slightly:
"I grew up following Michigan," Smith said. "I just love their style of play. They are a fast-paced team and they know how to control the game. They also have really good academics and are well respected in both football and academics.
"They are the only school that has told me what position they want me for," he said. "They are saying safety. Everybody else is telling me that I'm an athlete."
JB Shugarts has a telling quote:
They are reconstructing their facilities and the campus is really nice," he said. "The program is really family-oriented and I like that coach Jim Tressel will be around for a long time."
Dollars to donuts our competition is hammering the Carr retirement thing into the ground... what an odd thing to say unless someone else isn't going to be around a long time. It's a valid thing to bring up; we just have to hope that the other attractions of Michigan can bring classes good enough to keep us afloat until Ron English becomes head coach and turns us into an OMG shirtless beacon on a hill.
The Detroit News recaps the recent shenanigans within the program; mostly stuff you've heard before except for this bit:
And backup defensive end Eugene Germany was ticketed for marijuana possession in Ann Arbor on Feb. 12, according to court records. But Germany, who admitted responsibility and paid a $50 fine, recently was granted a release from his scholarship so he can transfer.
With the assumed dismissal of Butler, that would bring us to two of the three bad actors called out in the spring press conference already gone; now we're just waiting on Arrington's fate. Dude: you're from Iowa. Let's get some sensibility up in this place. You can either return to the land of cows and corn or play in the NFL. This is not a hard decision.
Gracias to commenter RossMBA, who pointed out that my assertion about the unimportance of the Germany possession charge was really wrong here.
...but, like, 25% less than usual.
Now would be a good time to explore the wonders of MGoStore; yea, verily there is a sale ongoing with a secret code. Merely enter "SECRETBLOGSALE" in the text field designated for such things when you check out and 25% will be hacked off the price of your dozen shirts.
But wait... there's more! There actually isn't. Sorry. But it's still pretty awesome. Sale goes until March 31st. Click for store:
Eugene Germany ticketed for weed:
University of Michigan defensive end Eugene Germany was ticketed for marijuana possession last month, according to 15th District Court records. Germany admitted responsibility and paid a $50 fine on Feb. 20 at the court in Ann Arbor.
Impact: minimal. This is probably the reason he's being held out of spring practice and is already factored into his tenuous status.
Airing on Comcast ch. 8 in the Ann Arbor area, viewers can watch the Wolverines tangle with North Dakota on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Comcast Local will air at 1 p.m. a taped-presentation of the final from the Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, where top-ranked Notre Dame and Michigan State are playing.
At 3:30 p.m., Comcast will carry the Northeast Regional championship game live from Manchester, N.H.
As it is scheduled now, the station will air the East Regional final from Saturday on tape at 6 p.m. and air Sunday's West Regional final on tape at 8:30 p.m.
Should Michigan get past UND, the regional final against Air Force (ha!) is currently scheduled for tape delay. For some reason. I can't imagine Comcast Local has anything better to show.
...and probably Chris Richards, who is apparently named "Christian." He's not acting very Christian these days. From MLive:
Two University of Michigan football players are accused of attacking a fellow student in the West Quad residence hall for no apparent reason on St. Patrick's Day.
Carson Butler, 19, and Christian Richards III, 19, were arraigned today in 15th District Court on one count of aggravated assault and one count of assault and battery each. They were released on $5,000 personal bond and have a pre-trial hearing March 27.
Richards had some unreported legal issues earlier this year:
In addition to the charges stemming from Saturday's incident, Richards has another case pending. He was charged with illegal entry on campus last year. Richards failed to appear for his arraignment on that charge, and a bench warrant had been issued for his arrest.
With Butler already hanging by a thread -- he was one of the three who were "possibly... maybe not probably" going to get back this year -- this has to end his career at Michigan. Richards is probably also going to get the hook, what with the breaking and entering and skipping out on arraignment and then beating the crap out of a random student. Scholarship count for '08 now at 15.
Update: hey, these are our first Fulmer Cup points ever. Too bad it's not something innocuous like speeding tickets and will actually cost is a potential starter.