"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Previously: S Vlad Emilien, S Thomas Gordon, CB Justin Turner, CB Adrian Witty, LB Isaiah Bell, LB Mike Jones, LB Brandin Hawthorne, DT Will Campbell, DE Anthony LaLota, DE Craig Roh, OL Michael Schofield, OL Taylor Lewan, OL Quinton Washington, WR Cameron Gordon, and WR Je'Ron Stokes.
|Apopka, Florida - 5'8" 165
|Scout||3*, #45 WR|
|Rivals||4*, #11 ATH, #151 overall|
|ESPN||77, #80 ATH|
|Other Suitors||Auburn, Kansas, Iowa|
|Brief TomVH interview. UV embeds some videos Gallon recorded on his official, and asserts he looks like Snoop from the Wire.|
|Notes||Still attempting to qualify. Huge SI article on the single wing features Gallon.|
There is no more concise description of Jeremy Gallon than his high school's nickname wrought singular: "Blue Darter." Given the winged helmet you can see above, it seems like fate itself ordained Gallon to be a slot receiver at Michigan.
And lo, it has come to pass. Gallon's commitment to Michigan was, like that of DeQuinta Jones, sudden and based on nothing more than his relationship with Michigan's coaches. Unlike Jones, Gallon stuck with his commitment, possibly once you've worn a winged helmet nothing else compares.
At the time, Gallon was a 5'8" slot ninja playing quarterback and still managed to rank amongst the top 100 on Rivals. Though he dropped in a re-rank—probably because various Rivals folk did a double take, saying "he's how tall?!"—he clawed his way back up the lists after an impressive showing at the Army All American game, at which he was the only slot receiver. This is a perfect summary of Gallon's projected talents: he's absolutely a slot, which brings with it the sort of limited upside that causes only one of them to get invited to an all star game, but he may be the best in the country. After all, how many guys of any size can levitate?
In fact, a quick scan of Rivals' rankings turns up only one slot electron ranked higher than him: Pahokee star Nu'keese Richardson, a
Florida Tennessee commit. Everyone else on the list under six foot is a defensive back or running back. Though Gallon doesn't rate as highly at ESPN or Scout, everyone lists "size" is the major downer and is otherwise positive:
Has great feet and is really slippery as a runner-- is very tough to get a clean shot at. Runs low and gets lost behind his blockers, does a good job using his stature to his advantage and doesn't take many big hits as a result. He can really accelerate and shows explosive first step quickness as a back. Has good vision, can hit the cutback and he has the speed and second gear to hit the edge and turn the corner. Shows wiggle and the ability to make multiple defenders miss in space.
Scout's Bob Lichtenfels:
"I think Gallon is a stud. I think for Rich Rodriguez, that's the next Darius Reynaud. He doesn't have elite speed, but his quickness and shiftiness is just out of sight."
There's a disconnect here between the talking and the numbers, some of which can be attributed to the usual disconnect between talking—which is invariably to people who want you to say good things and therefore more positive—and the numbers. But not all of it, possibly not even most of it. This is one of those guys that, as the theory goes, is a three or four star to everyone else but a five star in Rodriguez's offense.
And just look at him go:
"His game is: he's fast. And he's elusive -- he's hard to get a handle on. He changes directions real well. And he's also very strong. He power cleans 310 pounds, which is the most on our team."
Rivals' summary of his Army game performance:
Gallon was the star of practices all week and was effective in the scrimmage and during the game itself. He is tiny but he has great quickness and he is smart. He knows how to find space between the cornerback and the safety and catches almost everything thrown his way.
The catching is a major point, since there's always that question with high school quarterbacks turned wide receivers. Take Steve Breaston's well-documented (and slightly overrated) tendency to drop slants, or Terrence Robinson's reported struggles this spring. So it's encouraging to hear items like this from Rivals' Adam Gorney:
“He’s obviously not the biggest guy, but he doesn’t need to be. He’s going to be able to get open, get the ball in his hands and do a lot of things with it. He had good hands today and every time the ball was thrown his way, he caught it. He looked like one of the best guys there.”
If Gallon's existence as a single-wing QB has a downside it also has an upside: Gallon's versatility will serve him well at Michigan. Lichtenfels' reference to Reynaud is on point: at West Virginia Reynaud* lined up in the backfield regularly and wasn't above taking a carry or an option pitch. Gallon's extensive experience in the backfield—he racked up over 3,500 rushing yards in two years as Apopka's single-wing star—should provide the offense with a flexibility in formation they lacked last year.
And, you know… these passing stats aren't half-bad for a wideout. His junior year:
He also completed 56 of 88 pass attempts for 1,071 yards and eight touchdowns and no interceptions.
I can't find solid senior year stats, but Varsity Blue made a game attempt to total up the incomplete information provided and got a partial season count that was 15 of 29 for 341 yards. These aren't dinks: single-wing passing is a go-deep-or-go-home sort of enterprise. Gallon's approximate YPC in his two years as a quarterback is a Yossarian-worthy 19.9. While Gallon isn't going to give Tate Forcier a run for his money, he's going to be a slot receiver who takes a lot of pitches and screens that defenses will be freaking out about. Could he be an Antwaan Randle-El trick play factory? Let's hope, as that would be awesome.
Gallon is a Swiss Army knife of a player: pocket-sized, versatile, capable of surprising feats, and… uh… hard to tackle. (If you've ever tried to tackle a Swiss Army knife you know what I'm talking about. They're pointy.) It's hard to envision a scenario in which one of his diverse and sundry talents doesn't find him on the field, if not this fall than next.
Actually… there is one scenario. Despite telling TomVH this in January…
I asked him about the rumor that he wouldn't qualify, and he told me, "No, that's not true. I'm on track, and will qualify to play."
…there remains a possibility he won't make it in. Gallon remains "on track," which is better than signing with a JUCO but not as good as qualified. Though the latest reports are trending positive, Gallon still has work to do.
Why Steve Breaston? In high school Breaston was an electric quarterback who spent his time running around making various people look silly indeed. At Michigan he settled into the nascent slot receiver spot, was the recipient of a ton of bubble screens, and was generally a YAC terror. Breaston is considerably taller, but everything else fits.
Etc.: There is an unbelievable amount of video out there on Gallon: Interview from the Army game; smokes ND commit Zeke Motta for a TD in this AA practice clip; video of six touchdowns in a playoff game; GBW interview from AA bowl.
Guru Reliability: Moderate to high. All Star appearance but a big spread in the rankings.
General Excitement Level: High. He's a slot who promises to be a multi-purpose threat, and there might be some awesome trick plays in there somewhere.
Projection: If he makes it—about which I know nothing—he'll have an opportunity to contribute immediately what with Terrance Robinson enduring a case of dropsies in spring and Roy Roundtree being a poor target for bubble screens. Even if playing time in the slot is not immediately available he could potentially return kicks. Versatility and his existence at a shallow position suggest a redshirt is unlikely.
*(Reynaud, by the way, has a fan way into the metric system. His wikipedia page has a variety of touchdowns scored or yards gained, every single one of which is annotated with a conversion from yards to meters. Por ejemplo:
When Slaton was injured against Louisville, Reynaud filled in for him at running back, contributing to Reynaud's 221 yards (202 m) rushing on 14 carries for the season. Reynaud had a career-best 110 yards (100 m) on 5 catches with a touchdown against ECU, when the run offense wasn't productive.
Buy or throw at, your choice. Attention State College persons/bloggers: I'm going to be in your neck of the woods next weekend, as the GF attends a food studies conference. (The last one was in New Orleans, which seemed more logical, no offense.) She is going to busy talking about Foucault and whatnot; I am going to be bored and possibly forbidden from doing any sort of daytime activities. This is your opportunity to discuss Big Ten refereeing with an actual Michigan fan.
Correction. Yesterday I asserted that club varsity teams had it made. Unfortunately, this was so vastly wrong I received two responses that explained just how vastly wrong I was. Picking the first to arrive in the inbox:
I thought you might want to know a little info about our team and I can clear up the term "varsity-club" a little bit. For our team, each player pays dues of $3,500 per year. Our annual budget is over $500,000, this is more than almost all of the big time Division 1 programs (much more when you consider we don't provide scholarships). The University provides $20,000 a year to us. The rest is made up through our dues, fundraising, and sponsorships. I can't give specifics in regards to the other varsity-club teams here, but I know that they pay dues and not much is free.
-David Reinhard, #20
These are men who love their lacrosse. For more on the club varsity status and what it takes to remove "club" from it, see this Daily article from a couple years ago that focuses on the lacrosse team. I assume they're on top of the list for addition given their success and the sudden, permanent availability of Oosterbaan, but that any varsity additions will be put off until the stadium renovation starts gushing cash.
It will not die. Big Ten meetings have just gone down, causing a minor deluge of weird content. It's time for the annual fruitless discussion of a ninth conference game:
"We talk about that at every meeting," said Michigan athletic director Bill Martin, who added that the drive for nine is getting more support. "As the guarantees [for nonconference games] go up and up and up and the fans want to play our sister institutions in the conference, to me it's a no-brainer. Play 'em."
Martin has been leading the charge on this since it came up, FWIW, which is an indication the athletic department is not happy with the current state nonconference scheduling. So there's that.
This discussion is such a zombie that I mentioned it "would not die" the last time it came up; I still fail to see how the league can get away with having one team play only eight conference games while everyone else has nine. This haphazard system was the best I could do in February:
All league schedules are set just like they are now with the exception of one particular week. This week is kept clear until the previous season ends. The last place team in the league gets matched with a pre-arranged MAC opponent. They probably wouldn't mind, as they would have an easier path to bowl eligibility.
At this point you have ten teams in two groups:
- 2 teams not scheduled to play the last-place team.
- 8 teams with the last place team on the schedule.
The group of two have one and only one available option for their ninth game and get matched up with that option. The other six (or eight) teams get randomly matched up with one of the two teams they miss, with an emphasis on 1) variety and 2) fairly balancing home and away.
At that point you're hoping there are no worst-to-first miracles, which is an uncomfortable spot to be in. Would that work? I kind of think it might. I have doubts you could get enough schools on board to get it approved.
More interesting and more plausible. The Big Ten has talked about moving up the window during which you can go on official visits:
Zook and several of his Big Ten colleagues are discussing whether football recruits should be allowed to take official visits during June or even May of their junior years. Recruits currently cannot make official visits until after the first day of classes during their senior year.
"What's happening is these kids are making a lot of unofficial visits, which they're having to pay for," Zook said Wednesday. "Some of them quite frankly can't afford it. So you're helping that way as well."
I'm on board with this; who cares when an official visit is, within reason? It would help the Big Ten recruit distant prospects: last year LA WR Kenny Bell seemed interested in Michigan and planned a visit that fell through because his family couldn't afford it. He ended up signing with LSU. Also, I'd rather bring a kid from sweltering August mosquito death into a pleasant Michigan summer than go from pleasant southern winter to 20 and snowy.
Maybe that's why Rittenberg mentions other conferences' desire to shove officials all the way back to December, which what?
Yes, they can read. Unless you're a South Florida fan, and even then most of them can read. Wisconsin just got hit with a decommit from spectacularly-named safety Vander Blue. The predictable result:
“Just to see how these so-called Wisconsin fans, what they had to say on those blogs,” he said, “it really made me second-guess: Do people really want me here?
“Because I know if I was a fan and I heard about a recruit I’d be more like: ‘What can we do to help him? And not: ‘Let’s make him feel like the worst person in Madison right now.’"
Point for Blue. Also I'm willing to bet 99% of the flaming came from Scout/Rivals/newspaper message boards and not blogs simply because there is no Wisconsin blog of note. The SBNation blog—which I guess is the closest thing—has a grand total of zero comments on three Blue stories.
Originally Posted: Sun, 1 Mar 03:26 EST
The Streaker Tripper - m4w
Date: 2009-03-01, 3:26AM EST
I was streaking through the Diag Friday night at 2:15 am. Coming around the corner of State and Liberty, fast as a naked blur, I bumped into you and we both fell to the ground. I was a little upset with you at first, cuz I scratched my right butt cheek pretty bad, but I knew it was my fault. You said, "Nice New Balances," And all I could say was, "Thanks," with the adrenaline still rushing. In less awkward circumstances, I would have liked to talk to you. I had never run into a girl that fast or naked before... I didn't know how to respond so I helped you up quickly and kept running. Since my friends paid me $100 for making it to Kerrytown with just my socks, shoes, and a big smile, I'd like to take you on a date. You looked pretty fit so maybe you'd like to go for a run sometime. Hit me up! Bye!
* Location: Corner State+Lib
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
As the OP states: please, no discussion of current or former defensive linemen.
I was wondering if you follow the Director's Cup at all and if you think Michigan should expand its number of varsity teams (even though only 10 are counted for each gender in the standings). Stanford has dominated the cup basically since its inception, then followed by UCLA. In third place I would put either Michigan or North Carolina, followed by Texas and Florida.
Michigan seems to have a budget surplus every year and there are a few possible teams that could really make an impact (Men's Rowing and Women's Lacrosse). I am not sure how funding of varsity club teams works, but I once heard students have to pay to play on those teams (although that may only be true for club teams like Rugby). If that is true for varsity club teams, then with funding the students on those teams wouldn't have to worry about financial issues and have the potential to be better.
I realize the budget surplus helps with the renovations and that the smaller sports are not money makers, but it would be nice to see Michigan compete with Stanford for the title, even though it really doesn't mean much. Your thoughts please.
I found this article on MGoBlue.com about club varsity status from Sept. 2000.
On "club varsity": I believe the point of the status is to officially support those teams so that participants don't have to pay. Michigan is basically running a well-supported D-III varsity program. In fact, all club teams get some level of financial support from the U, though in the case of things like synchronized swimming it's not much. (I had a friend on the team.)
As far as the personal value of the Director's Cup to me: it doesn't have much. There's a certain brand of college football fan also that really likes soccer—especially the international variety—and I'm a part of this group, as is Orson Swindle. What do soccer and college football have in common? Infrequent competition, unfairness, insane fans, and life-and-death hanging over every moment. Gunmetal gray skies and the clash of civilizations. The sort of emotion that makes non-sports fans recoil in genuine horror instead of that mock NPR stuff.
My fandom is heavily dependent on the crazed excess of others, with a few exceptions: baseball is often just sitting outside in nice weather eating peanuts and requires little onfield motivation to enjoy, and that sort of stuff.
When the Director's Cup standings come out and Michigan is high up in them but not #1, I make some vague mention of it and go on with things. I mean no offense to the various athletes that compete in sports where parents make up a significant portion of the viewing public, but I just don't get into it that much. I'd rather Michigan focus its effort and money on sports that promise to build a fanbase, which they've been doing by renovating the Fish and building an actual soccer stadium.
In this downtime of UM sports, I assume you get 10 questions a day about this topic. By the looks of your last 4-5 mailbag posts, I bet I am on target.
Anyway, I was never good at math so maybe you can crunch the numbers and tell me what a terrible idea this is…
What is the net profit of 1 home game against Nobody U? Revenue is easy – 100K or so times $50 or 5M. Then tack on parking, concessions, etc. But then factor out costs. I wonder what the net comes out to be…
If I was Bill Martin, I would then say we make XXM on our 8th home game. Let’s say it’s 8M. Could be totally wrong – who knows. Then, say to all of the alumni/fans/etc. – “OK you want a quality road game, have the season ticket holders cough up an additional XX per game and jack concessions up by XX% to get him there. I know I would pay an extra $100 or so total not to have a UMass or Toledo ticket in hand and instead watch UM play at say Georgia.
A back of the envelope calculation:
Two games against Delaware State:
100k times 50 bucks is 5.5 million, minus about 500k that the visiting school gets paid. Random guess as to ancillaries – costs: 1 million, bringing the gate to around 12 M.
Two games against Georgia:
0 from the Georgia game but an extra half-million from the home game, so 6.5 M. There would also be incrementally increased TV revenue but, frustratingly, in the Big Ten all TV revenue is split, even nonconference games.
So you're looking at around a $55 surcharge to bring a big opponent to down. It would probably be somewhat less than that since Delaware State games don't bring the sort of excitement a big nonconference opponent would, which would help sell suites and the like, especially in years when Michigan has ND/PSU/OSU on the road and the big home game is Michigan State.
The TV revenue is a killer: since it's split, you're giving 90% of the benefit of your real opponent to Indiana and their matchup with Murray State. If there was a way around this, you'd have to think it would be worth a couple million for a big game when there's little else to show. ESPN should start making multi-million dollar donations to scholarship funds.
Would I do a $55 surcharge? Yeah, probably. Would I do $25? Absolutely.
This was on the long-ago post about Rodriguez offering like a maniac:
Interesting read. However, I'd say that while you never like to see a Coach make an offer to a player and then for one reason or another and in one way or another, back off/rescind that offer, it works both ways.
What happens with the recruits who verbal to a school and then rescind that verbal? I'm sure there might be others but Beaver is the first one that comes to mind. RR thought he had his two QB recruits all sewed up, only to find out in December that Beaver was switching his verbal. Luckily, he was able to scramble and land Robinson, but if Beaver had said 'no thanks' earlier maybe RR would have targeted and gotten a higher rated QB (not that Robinson is awful).
Like you, I hope RR doesn't make it a habit of offering scholarships, getting a verbal and then in one or another pulling that offer, but unfortunately, it's probably going to happen on occasion.
It doesn't really work both ways in game theory terms. Since universities have to recruit year after year the sort of scholarship sleight-of-hand that seems necessitated by this flood of offers has the potential to damage your reputation and hurt your ability to acquire players. Individual players' reputations might be hurt by a sudden decommit—I for one don't think much of Beaver—but that doesn't hurt their ability to do anything except be friends with certain people he doesn't know.
I'm all for Rodriguez keeping his options open after receiving a commitment, as he did with Tate Forcier despite two "commitments" from other quarterbacks, in case one or the other falls through. And if there are a few players Michigan has recruited and later realize they've made a mistake on, it's probably best for both parties if Michigan communicates that, whether it's directly or not. Better to know before you sign a LOI.
But like the Saban thing, the sheer numbers suggest that sooner or later there's going to be some ticked off recruits.
Dr. Z, out and about. I made mention of this when Paul Zimmerman suffered a series of debilitating strokes, but it bears mentioning again: Zimmerman was a formative influence on yrs truly. His crotchety, detail-obsessed, no-bullshit work was the spiritual predecessor of UFR and this blog's desire to find a number that corroborates any belief it happens to have. In my first heady years of broadband internet I absorbed every word he wrote for what was then CNNSI.com. A couple years ago I bought a used copy of "The New Thinking Man's Guide To Pro Football" and—this is unusual when it comes to sports books for me—read it.
So the stroke was pretty harsh, and it's good that Zimmerman is both alive and mobile but tragic that the strokes have left him bereft of the thing that was his stock and trade:
The e-mails suddenly stopped last autumn. Zimmerman, better known to the readers of Sports Illustrated as "Dr. Z," suffered a series of strokes that left him unable to speak or write.
There was a fundraiser for Dr. Z a few days ago that endeavors to get him in an expensive, specialized program that might restore his ability to do these things. It's at a place you might be familiar with:
The event, along with an online memorabilia auction, is expected to raise more than $125,000 to help offset the costs of a six-week immersion program at the University of Michigan. Most of the treatment, aimed at getting Zimmerman behind a keyboard again, is not covered by insurance.
Again: I hope he makes it back.
That's a zinger. As you might imagine, Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician is intimately familiar with the various nonsensical utterances of Greg Robinson and enjoys them in a fashion that has only recently ceased to be ironic. So of course it caught this gem from a long fluff piece in the Free Press:
"In his mind, [Troy Woolfolk] saw himself paddling uphill with two real good corners playing ahead of him...All of the sudden he had the opportunity to compete for a starting job and he took to it like a duck to water.”
Yes, our defensive coordinator just accused someone of paddling uphill.
Also of note is Robinson's wholly unique approach to defense. He likes aggression. Desmond Howard:
He told me he's going to have his defense as an aggressive defense, a defense that's going to keep pressure on quarterbacks so they can never get comfortable.
I can tell you that in my ten thousand years covering college football I have never heard a defensive coordinator suggest he would be anything other than a piteous mewling fraidy-cat, and this new "aggressive" mantra both thrills and frightens me, like the opportunity to make out with Paris Hilton.
But wait! There's more! Robinson's philosophical inspiration appears to be the comments section/message board on this very blog. Howard again:
Remember that little fishbowl that your teacher used to have on her desk with the goldfish in it? Imagine 11 piranhas in that thing. It's like a frenzy.
Imagine 11 "douchey" MGoBlog posters in that thing: dead quarterbacks. Opponents averaging 20 yards per game. Meticulously spelled and punctuated game recaps. Let's get to it. (NOTE TO ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT: I expect a Rose Bowl ring out of this.)
Upon this, we can all agree. This is treading dangerously close to politics, which is verboten in this place, so let this not suggest any opinion one way or the other about abortion. On this subject, I believe exactly what you believe.
But one thing we can all agree on is that Notre Dame is a strange island in the sea of time populated mostly by strange bitter short insecure impolite people and one enormous mofo who may be Sam Young but probably isn't and seems pretty cool:
Sitting president makes the gesture of providing a commencement speech, is extremely gracious and polite, and gets spittle flecked on him and booed. It's a cult, I say.
Etc.: College Game Balls gets all mathematical with nonconference schedules. The Pac-10 wins handily, and that's without considering the fact that their fourth "nonconference" game is an average Pac-10 team instead of Delaware State. The Weis-record-omission thing? Eh… overblown.
1) The site is enduring some server issues that occasionally result in the White Screen of Death. This is… well… it's white. And there's nothing else. If this happens it is not your fault. Hopefully the server issues are resolved in the next couple days.
2) I have a new home at The Sporting Blog, which is where This Week In Schadenfreude will go; I've been tasked with (mostly) daily posts on a variety of subjects. First post is here; author page is here; I'm hoping to get a feed up a la AOL on the right sidebar.
TSB has also just added LSUFreek and Oops Pow Surprise—and already has Shoals, McErlain, and Orson—which, like, awesome. I can now suggest things to the Freek, if anyone has ideas.