this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Anyone who's walked or driven by the Big House knows there are some impressive superstructures going up. But how do they look from your seats? Reader Matthew Waun provides some photos (as always, click for big):
Much more intimidating, IMO.
You can see the top rows of the boxes actually jut out over the field, which will help reflect noise. If you believe the crew of scientists who wheeled the oversized metallic dandelion onto the field at halftime of the Minnesota game, the boxes will double the perceived loudness on the field. Which, like, dude. I'll believe it when I hear it but here's hoping.
Piled up. Kudos to the Daily's Dan Feldman, who ferreted out a ton of interesting factoids and quotes in his latest article. Remember the spread punt formation that cost Michigan the Iowa game and sent Jim Boccher into insurance or accounting or whatever? It's back:
The Wolverines will use a spread punt formation, and they will send six gunners as opposed to the two last year.
Redshirt junior Zoltan Mesko will roll out on some kicks, and said he will stretch the field as far as he needs to. And he will directional kick, which wasn't part of last year's punting plan but won't be a difficult adjustment.
"Point your body that way, and that's the way it's going," Mesko said. "It's not that difficult."
You know those rumors that Terrance Taylor wasn't buying into the system and had some issues with the coaches and conditioning? True, but maybe not a huge deal:
Taylor said his place on the depth chart was due to "clashing" between himself and the new coaches as they got used to each other's personalities.
"Situations happen, problems occur," Taylor said. "But as the (spring) season went on, things worked out. I'm going to go out there and play. No matter if I'm third, fourth, fifth team, I'm going to go out and play like I'm on the first team, so it wasn't a big deal."
You know those rumors that Darryl Stonum might not be happy? (I didn't, but a couple emailers indicate they've been scooting around message boards.) He seems to be settling in:
Sam McGuffie arrived at the airport during the clinic, and running backs coach Fred Jackson playfully scolded Stonum for signing autographs while stranding McGuffie.
Need Barwis porn?
Stonum was the only early enrollee this year. He said he arrived in Ann Arbor in January weighing about 170 pounds. He now weighs about 195 pounds and has gotten faster.
Need evidence that random middle-aged women ask way better questions than actual journalists?
When Rodriguez asked the participants in the Women's Football Academy if they had any questions, one woman asked which assistants would be on the field and which would be in the press box.
Rodriguez explained offensive coordinator Calvin Magee and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith would be upstairs so they could see the entire field.
Then he turned to Shafer to ask what his plans were. Because the staff had been so busy with recruiting and spring practice, they hadn't formalized that. Shafer said he and defensive line coach Bruce Tall would be in the press box. ...
"In my opinion, you can't see a thing on the sideline during the game," Shafer said. "Anybody that's watched a game on the sideline in between the 30-yard lines realizes that you don't know what just happened unless it's run right at your side."
Also, Terrance Robinson will get Henne's #7.
By this point I've excerpted almost half the article and seriously pushed the boundaries of fair use. There's more original information in this one article than the Free Press has published in the past week. Contrast their article on the women's football academy with the Daily's: you get all that relevant info in the Daily; in the Free Press you get to find out that Rod Smith compares passing to Tae Bo.
Dear Daily: a winner is you.
Speakin' of... did I freak you out about Stonum and then drop it? Sorry. I will attempt to repair the hurt. A reader forwarded along this message Stonum sent out to Myspace friends:
I got a comment today about me being unhappy at Michigan and wanting to possibly transfer. I just want to take the time to let everyone know it's all rumors. I'm very content with my situation in Ann Arbor and want to wait and see how things play out before I make that kind of decision. I hope all this gossip can stop so I can just go about my business and play football. I love the tradition and hope to live up to all of your expectations.
All due Myspace caution applies (though the Bryce McNeal stuff turned out to be basically correct, if premature); Stonum will be around in the fall but I think Rodriguez will have to pass a bit more to keep the receiving talent Michigan's collected happy.
I loathe MGoBlue's new picture gallery software, which doesn't allow you to save or even link to specific pictures, but there are some great ones in the academy gallery. #39 is a particular favorite.
Scoutin'. The hockey team recently acquired a recruited walk-on from the same school as 2009 D recruit Mac Bennett. Bob Miller took the opportunity to get a scouting report on one Luke Glendening from Bennett. Bennett's favorite thing about Glendening? He uses the point a ton in the offensive zone, naturally. Also:
He's in the gym day in a day out and you can tell that he wants to get better. He was told that he was going to be a "support" player, but with his work ethic and determination I wouldnt be surprised if he ended up being a fourth line player. He's definitely someone that you want on your team and someone you don't want to play against.
Meet the new JJ Swistak/Charlie Henderson/Danny Fardig?
Schedulin'. Michigan's just released the hockey schedule. Michigan State, Ohio State, and Miami are Michigan's clustermates, which should be fun. (In the CCHA, you play everyone twice and two extra games against three teams in your "cluster"; State is always in Michigan's cluster.)
- two home games against St. Lawrence
- A Thursday(!) home game against Niagara, followed immediately by
- a Saturday game at BU
- Minnesota and Wisconsin on the road, and
- the GLI.
Michigan's opening GLI opponent will be Tech; North Dakota is the guest this year. There are no games at the Palace or in Fort Wayne or anything.
Does it seem like the schedule is short a couple games? Michigan trips to Alaska this year. Those games are exempted by the NCAA and should allow Michigan another couple nonconference matchups.
Etc.: This has to be the most unlikely thing that's ever shown up on youtube: a six-minute Johnny Sears highlight reel. No... seriously. Elsewhere, Dave Barry scouts Chad Henne and Jake Long, and Rodriguez blah blah blah West Virginia blah blah.
Four different people have sent me this [update: five!], claiming that it comes from the women's football academy and is Michigan's new road jersey. One, "RoyalBlue," claims credit:
(Blogger is having some image issues so I had to go with the imageshack url... it might blow up.)
Here's a picture of Henne from last year for comparison. Basically, it appears the stripes on the shoulders are more prominent and there's a little yellow panel on the sides. It looks a little WVU-esque for many, I'm sure, but the piping that threw everyone into a fit turned out to be a minor annoyance. These things usually look different in action.
Update: RoyalBlue has posted a few more of the uniform actually one someone, though the subject is a woman who looks about 100 pounds too small. I just got a lot crankier:
Those aren't the new helmets, BTW.
Michigan's picked up a commitment from IL OL Michael Schofield, a Rivals250 offensive tackle. Schofield picked Michigan over offers from Penn State, Notre Dame, Miami, Wisconsin and Oregon, so he's probably legit. An informative update is coming up, but since he's an OL chances are it won't be very informative.
Uninformative Update: Son of a bitch. Apparently Michael Schofield is also the name of one of the main characters on "Prison Break," which makes picking out things not about "Prison Break" difficult.
Informative Update: Still pretty light on information. ESPN hasn't ranked him yet. Scout is way less enthused than Rivals is, ranking him the #47 tackle in the country and providing only three stars; Rivals says #18 and offers four. The offers -- Notre Dame, Miami, Oregon, and basically every Big Ten school save Ohio State -- side with Rivals.
There are actually a couple articles floating around out there that provide some sort of information, though it's not of the most useful variety. Rivals chipped in something early this recruiting year:
Another big lineman that people in the Midwest will be talking a lot about is Michael Schofield of Orland Park (Ill.) Sandburg. His name is just starting to emerge and after schools saw his film on Rivals.com, they're starting to come after him like crazy. Seeing him in person Saturday, showed why. He measured in at 6-foot-7 and 276 pounds. He's still got a lot of room to grow into his frame, too.
There's also an article from the local paper with a couple nice quotes. This one's from his coach:
"I don't know that he came out of nowhere," said Dave Wierzal, Sandburg's second-year coach. "When recruiters see him on film, he is one of the kids who plays to the whistle, makes the second block and blocks downfield. Put the whole package together and you see a kid who will produce at the Division I level in the next few years."
And this is from the dread pirate Lemming:
"Schofield is a good athlete and it is a bad year nationally for offensive linemen," Lemming said. "Everyone is looking for them and Chicago is loaded with offensive linemen. If you're an offensive lineman, you should be working on your quickness. If you improve your foot speed, you'll get a scholarship. Kids who are borderline national recruits are getting offers. There are very few good offensive linemen in the South and East."
So... uh... thanks for that, Tom. Sounds less than enthused.
Despite that, Schofield is a plan A prospect with many impressive offers and Michigan's first offensive lineman in a class that is getting loaded at the skill positions but had no one to block for the little bastards. Thumbs up.