this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
At any moment Ace could be forced to write a post on any of them. [Rapai]
Seth: Which of the recent camp commits (Metellus, Viramontes, McKeon, Weaver, Richardson, Dytarious, Evans, Enis) are you most excited about?
Alex Cook: I feel like I have to pick Dytarious Johnson here. First of all, his name is Dytarious, which puts him in the 99th percentile as far as awesome names go, and you can't really discount the value that brings. Secondly, he's rangy and he hits hard, the type of hits where the ball-carrier has no chance of gaining any yards after contact, but he's still able to run really well for a guy his size -- as far as modern-day back seven prospects go, you need to have guys that can hit and run, not just one or another. Harbaugh seems to be loading up on position-less guys who have really good physical skills and attributes, with the hope that he'll find a spot for them somewhere. Johnson will find a spot.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that he was also the prospect that created an epic freakout on Alabama's SB Nation site, Roll Bama Roll. Accusations of cheating is one (hilarious) thing, but saying that these camps aren't for the good of the kids is something that's somehow more ludicrous. Add in the latent suspicion that the only reason we support these camps is because Saban doesn't, and Dytarious's commitment has made more waves than any former 2* I can remember.
David Nasternak: I will go with Victor Viramontes. It has become clear that Harbaugh is looking for generic football players, instead of more specialized skill-specific athletes. When you can play quarterback and linebacker, you are definitely just a football player! That appears to be what Viramontes can do...not to mention that he is also listed as a dual-threat QB (GT offer to play QB accentuates that). Which is a little insane (hmmmm, that sounds familiar).
After reading different reports on his abilities, it seems that Victor could end almost anywhere on the field. Obviously, he has some talents under center, played linebacker, even read about potential at safety, and given all of that -and his build- I wouldn't rule out some sort of 'blocky/catchy' sort of position. Maybe even in the Owen Marecic sort of role?
I think what excites me most about the whole Viramontes situation is that Harbaugh loves and craves players who are versatile and just want to find a way onto the field. In order to do this, an athlete must have quite the work ethic and a high football IQ...qualities that are reflective of Harbaugh himself. Also, knowledge of different positions paired with varied athletic skills gives the coaching staff flexibility in adding wrinkles to different play packages. Something else that is quint-essential Harbaugh.
Viramontes may blow up and become a star at some point which would obviously be ideal; however, it seems that his baseline is still a hard-working, versatile football dude who exemplifies the type of player that Harbaugh can mold into a team success.
[Jump for some differences of opinion, I hope]
HTTV on Kindle! We have a Kindle edition of the book. We had to drop a lot of the pictures and formatting because of Kindle restrictions and we don't have to print it, so it's a bit cheaper than the book itself at $9.
If you are a Kickstarter backer who would like the Kindle version in addition to the DRM-free digital copy provided to all backers, please give us a little time to figure out how to give it to you. We'll send out an update when we've figured it out.
Books themselves are being lovingly folded right now and should start shipping soon. Because of the way this works there will be a sizeable spread in delivery times (they get mailed out in batches as they're finished), but we are going to hit our mid-July goal.
More Battle. Apparently this is serious:
Would be more surprised if Tyus Battle doesn't commit to Syracuse by weekend's end than if he does commit.
— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) June 19, 2015
It is difficult to imagine that Syracuse is suddenly the choice since they have a coach who's already announced he's retiring and are stung by NCAA sanctions, but that's basketball recruiting for you. If Battle does indeed defect and this head-fake costs Michigan Josh Langford I'm going to be pretty pretty annoyed.
Sounds like work. Kirk Ferentz is the first—only?—Big Ten coach to come out against satellite camps.
“What it really gets down to is just how you want to use your time. Me personally, I’m hopeful — and the NCAA will probably react — my personal preference is I’d like to see camps probably be limited to campus. On top of that, I would support not allowing any outsiders coming to work your camp.”
Iowa has actually done two or three of them already, but…
"We did three this year, and I don’t think we made the news for any of them. We don’t really broadcast it."
The noise you are hearing is an Iowa fan snapping a pencil with his mind.
Cost of attendance calculations. The NCAA's "Power 5" conferences adopted legislation to extend scholarship benefits to cover the full cost of attendance. What does that mean? There is a number that schools maintain called "cost of attendance" that has nothing to do with sports. It's for calculating financial aid, that sort of thing. Now that it's been dragged into a realm it doesn't really belong, people are noticing that the numbers vary a lot—and not very sensibly. Massive rent areas like Palo Alto or Ann Arbor often have nearby universities with low COA numbers; meanwhile Auburn has one of the highest numbers in the country.
How did they come to that conclusion? A lengthy Montgomery Advertiser article explains why. It has essentially been indexed to inflation from a large number determined a long time ago:
Reynolds, who has worked for Auburn for 16 years, said he inherited a cost of attendance figure when he began working for the university and has routinely increased the tuition, board, and personal figures in accordance with the Consumer Price Index, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with transportation being increased in accordance with the CPI inflation rate, and room being the average cost of all available on-campus housing, currently 4,539 beds.
"This is a financial aid budget," he said. "This isn't an athletic scholarship budget."
The $5,586 in Auburn's cost of attendance is divided into $2,728 for personal expenses and $2,858 for transportation, according to the budget Reynolds provided to theAdvertiser, and remains unchanged from a year ago.
At some point the Power 5 is going to have to come together and figure this out, because there's no way they're going to let a four-year gap of up to ten thousand dollars stand.
A nation of Joe Tillers. Back in the day, (probably) Joe Tiller used to bomb his colleagues behind their backs in entertainingly catty anonymous Athlon articles. It hasn't been the same since he retired to wherever walruses fade away, but the re-emergence of Jim Harbaugh in college has revitalized the genre. ESPN's Travis Haney interviewed a dozen or so coaches, offering anonymity in exchange for salt($). He got some. Bret Bielema asked to be identified and said Harbaugh was rad:
“I have had great respect for Coach Harbaugh for what he built at Stanford and as a man who isn’t afraid to speak his mind,” said Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who specifically asked to be identified on the record. “Too many people in today’s world love to voice opinions and beliefs when convenient. Few represent who they are and what they believe daily.”
And… I developed respect for Bret Bielema? Odd day.
Others did not think Harbaugh was rad:
“I think he’s nuts. He loves to stir the pot. He’ll have a very short shelf life – but he’s a very good football guy. I will be interested to see how he does there,” a Pac-12 coach said. “[Former 49ers and current Bills offensive coordinator] Greg Roman has always been the brains behind the operation. [Harbaugh] has been at private schools before so I’m interested to see how he does at a public school. There’s a huge difference in how things are handled.”
Greg Roman, Brains Behind The Operation. No offense to Greg Roman but all you have to do to dispel that is look at Harbaugh's coaching tree, which is already more impressive than most.
Others refer to Harbaugh as "Rain Man-ish," which… okay, accurate. Whole thing is insider but worth it.
Speaking of Rain Man-ish. Former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker:
"He dressed up in full gear and practiced the whole practice – pads, helmets, everything on. He had the whole uniform on,'' Walker said of Harbaugh. "We came out and said, "Who is that dude out there? And it was Jim Harbaugh. He had some old high top cleats on.
"He did pretty good. He just couldn't throw the deep, deep pass."
Walker thinks Greg Roman is not the brains behind the operation:
"I think he is going to be great (at Michigan),'' Walker said. "People buy into his philosophy. Every team he has ever been on has been good, right? So you tell me what he is going to do. Young kids love to have a coach who is crazy."
Just like Domino's clap clap clapclapclap. The Michigan athletic department's annual budget shows a shortfall for the first time since Tom Goss was athletic director:
Michigan's athletic department had a deficit of nearly $8 million this year, marking the first time in about a decade it operated with a loss, according to interim athletic director Jim Hackett, but he assured the budget for 2016 will be balanced.
Since Goss was working without PSLs or the Big Ten Network, that is truly impressive. Hackett explained why there was such a big shortfall:
"The result of football ticket sales being down (and) added compensation for settlements this past year caused us to have a deficit of about $7.9 million. We covered that with operating reserves, but we've got a balanced budget proposed for next year."
Michigan had to give away almost 20,000 tickets for the Maryland game, then pay Brady Hoke after they fired him, then continue paying Brandon his 100% guaranteed contract, then gather up every nickel in a five-state radius to present to Jim Harbaugh. The first three are Dave Brandon's fault. The last is a pretty good idea:
"We can tell you today, season ticket sales, which are just a portion of the stadium, will probably hit an eight-year high. We just started selling our packets, with combined games (Wednesday) online, (and) we've had almost 18,000 tickets that were sold for some of the single games. We're very optimistic about our fall and what promises there."
Michigan should get out of paying much or all of what it owed Brandon, as well. That dude somehow scoring a CEO job that should pay him more than he was getting as AD means that Michigan won't have to compensate him unless he gets fired from that gig too.
He's worse! /checks coaching hires… He's not good! Chip Brown lays the wood to Texas athletic director Steve Patterson in a 5,000 word piece with startling revelations like:
Steve Hank, chief revenue officer of Texas athletics, told HornsDigest.com the 6 percent average increase (actually 5.7 percent, he said, but it was rounded up) was based on a formula that involved the value of each seat “spread across” the entire, 100,119-seat capacity of Royal-Memorial Stadium.
But when comparing exactly what football season ticket holders paid in 2014, including their contribution to the Longhorn Foundation to retain those tickets, to what they are paying in 2015, season tickets were increased an average of 21.5 percent.
Sources said football coach Charlie Strong, who saw his and his coaching staff’s personal ticket allotment cut from eight to four last year, fought to increase the salaries of his eight quality control coaches from $24,000 to $50,000 after last season.
Texas has the lowest salaries in the Big 12 for its quality control coaches – even behind last-place football finisher Kansas ($45,000).
Strong’s request was denied by Patterson, and six of Texas’ eight quality control coaches who had built relationships with the rest of the staff, left to find better paying jobs, the sources said.
But he did hire Charlie Strong and Shaka Smart. Despite being quite evidently an idiot. People in charge of things are just in charge of them.
Gil (right) at The Opening Miami regional [Photo via 247]
It didn't take long for Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan S Devin Gil to join teammate Josh Metellus in Michigan's 2016 class. Metellus, also a safety, committed on Wednesday, and Gil followed suit this morning. Four-star linebacker teammate Devin Bush Jr. is also strongly considering the Wolverines, who already have five Florida prospects committed in the class.
Gil is the 17th total commit in the class and the second at safety.
|3*, #93 S||3*, NR S||3*, 78, #33 S||3*, 83, #79 S||
3*, #63 S,
Gil is universally regarded as a three-star recruit, and ESPN is the only outlet that places him close to four-star territory (their #29 safety is a four-star). He has a solid frame for a safety, listed at either 6'0" or 6'1" and 200-205 pounds; several scouting reports suggest he could grow to be a linebacker at the next level.
[This post has been updated. Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the informative portion.]
Get your welp on:
Tyus Battle is taking an official visit to Syracuse this weekend & opening up his recruitment, per sources. Committed to Michigan in May.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) June 19, 2015
There had been rumbles the last couple days to the effect that Battle would take a visit to Syracuse, who had been one of his presumed leaders along with Duke before his commitment to Michigan.
It's unclear at this point how open his recruitment is, but in general schools that suffer a decommit do not get the kid back. How Syracuse remains appealing after Jim Boeheim got blasted by the NCAA remains a bit of a mystery.
Michigan was very strong with AL SF Josh Langford before Battle committed on his official visit and will probably look to re-open serious contact with him immediately.
I attended the Sound Mind Sound Body camp at Dakota High School last Friday and had the chance to speak with a number of Michigan commits and targets. Today’s interviews include Jaylen Kelly-Powell, a Cass Tech safety with offers from most of the Big Ten, and Osiris St. Brown, a four-star receiver (according to the 247 composite) who visited Michigan earlier in June.
Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 2017 safety
Adam: How do you feel you did out there today?
Kelly-Powell: I feel pretty good. I had fun.
Kelly-Powell: Yeah, two times.
Adam: How did today’s camp compare to the others you’ve been to?
Kelly-Powell: This was better. This one was bigger. Everybody from around the world came out.
Adam: What’s it like to have all of these coaching staffs here?
Kelly-Powell: It means a lot to learn from the best. Most of these coaches have actually played in the NFL and so they can teach you a couple things.
Adam: Where’s your recruitment at right now? Do you have any timeline going forward?
Kelly-Powell: No. Kelly-Powell, right [Bill Rapai]
Adam: What was your favorite part of today?
Kelly-Powell: Coaches teaching me techniques and stuff. That helps.
Adam: What kind of feedback did you get from the coaches out here today?
Kelly-Powell: They said I did good. They said I’ve got great feet and everything so just keep working hard. It went pretty good.
Adam: As far as Michigan goes, who’s recruiting you?
Kelly-Powell: Coach Partridge and coach Wheatley.
Adam: Can you describe their recruiting styles? What are they like?
Kelly-Powell: Well, coach Wheatley, he treats me like I’m his son. He actually talks to me. He’s not trying to sell me on anything, he just tells me how it is and what to look for in a college. He’s really good. Coach Partridge, he’s like that too.
Adam: What are you looking to work on this summer?
Kelly-Powell: My technique.
Adam: Any other visits planned?
Kelly-Powell: Tomorrow [Saturday the 13th] I’m going to Michigan.
Adam: Will you be at their camp?
Kelly-Powell: No, I’m just doing a visit. From there we’ll go on a college tour with Cass [Tech].
[After THE JUMP: Osiris St. Brown and Harbaugh vs. Ralph]
at least there's still bubble hockey? [Bill Rapai]
I don't know if there was anything Jim Hackett could have done about this in the short time he's been athletic director, but man, for the second straight year the hockey schedule is deeply unappealing to me as a season-ticket holder. Worse, it doesn't set Michigan up well for an attempt to make the tourney in Red Berenson's final year. Let's run down the problems.
The nonconference schedule sucks
Here's the nonconference schedule, with last year's RPI out of 59 in parentheses after. Home games bolded.
- Mercyhurst x 2 (39)
- @ Union (30)
- @ RPI (46)
- Robert Morris x 2 (25)
- Niagara (58)
- @ BU x 2 (3)
- Dartmouth x 2 (22)
- NMU (GLI) (35)
- Tech or State (GLI) (8 or 32)
- Ferris State (34)
The best nonconference home game is none. The only team that made the tournament last year (other than Tech, which is in the GLI with Michigan every year) is BU. BU has been thoroughly mediocre for the past five years when Jack Eichel wasn't around. He and his +51(!!!) are no longer around.
The opponents aren't even interesting from a historical standpoint: other than Ferris State and NMU in the GLI, none of these teams are old CCHA teams. They are just random Eastern teams that aren't good and want a paycheck.
This is especially grim because the Big Ten was so bad last year. In a tough, or even reasonable, league a 22-15 record is a good shot at the tournament. Michigan had none because the Big Ten was a disaster. Even if the league gets off the mat somewhat this year (doubtful since MSU and Wisconsin both inexplicably retained their coaches), Michigan is going to need some help from a solid nonconference schedule. This is emphatically not it.
And that goes double since the home/road split is 9/5. The current iteration of the RPI irrationally overrates road wins and irrationally underrates home wins, so any team that is willing to scrimp for guarantee games like Michigan clearly has is putting itself even further behind an already rather large eight ball.
There are infinite football conflicts
It's like this was intentional:
- There are only four road games before the Christmas break.
- Two of them come during football's bye week.
- One of the Robert Morris games is on October 31st. Michigan plays Minnesota that day. That game has already been announced for 8 PM.
- There is a home game on the day of a home OSU game that's at least 50/50 to be at 3:30.
- In the unlikely event Michigan makes the Big Ten Championship game, there is a home game against Wisconsin probably at the same time.
I understand that some conflicts are inevitable. This is close to maximum hypothetical conflict. Michigan has scheduled games that no Michigan fan is going to want to attend that hurt their chances to make the tournament.
There are way too many games early and way too few late
As mentioned, the season ticket has 12 of its games before the break and just 7 after, one of which is the NTDP exhibition. There is another month-long gap between home games. (At least this time it's not because Michigan sold a game against MSU so Chicago could ignore it.)
- And Michigan inserted the Ferris game into a weird mid-February bye week. They go six weeks(!) between home league games, from Ohio State on January 17th to Ohio State on March 4th.
There are still no playoffs
Maybe I'll fly to Minneapolis, though. It could happen.