I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
I spoke with Jack today. I don't have the story or interview posted yet, but I asked him point blank if there was anything Carolina could offer him to bring him away from Michigan next year and his answer was "no".
He also added that the rumor he might not attend Michigan was news to him and nothing more then a rumor.
I shiver with anticipation. Also, Pierre Maguire remains a clown.
This means I'll probably have to restrain my muttering about GBW for a while, but I'll take it.
Update 7/29: Noted that Florida, Oklahoma, and Miami lead for NV RB DeMarco Murray. Noted that Miami leads for VA RB Brandon Minor, removed QB Jake Locker(UW), QB Mitch Mustain(no longer listing us), OL Conor Smith(Ohio State). Moved Butch Lewis from OL to DT. Moved IN S Steve Brown to committed. Linked to AJ Wallace article.
Editorial Opinion: As expected, Brown committed to Michigan. Brown was under the radar a bit until the Michigan NIKE Camp, where he ran very fast in various directions and jumped high in some more. He ran a "4.39," if you believe 40 times. Before the day was out he had offers from Michigan and Notre Dame. He's in both the Rivals and Scout top 100 lists and is being generally described as a "freak" and a "stud" by people who like annoying mgoblog.
Brown is projected as a free safety and plans on wearing #2 in tribute to
Cato June Charles Woodson. Teh sweet.
Couple commits elsewhere, none particularly surprising. Smith is the son of an ex-Buckeye. Locker blipped up with one article on GBW and was never heard from again in Michigan recruitnik world. This happens a lot on GBW: a West Coast guy says he's interested like, once, and I put him on the board and he's never heard from again. In the future skepticism will increase.
AJ Wallace article doesn't sound promising. Michigan is in the running... to receive an official visit. Usually that's a death knell for a particular school's chances.
Well, Wisconsin BlogPoller Bruce Ciskie took home the latest fabulous prize package by correctly deducing that "Oklahoma +4 Moving Company" meant... well, here's Bruce (ESPN Bruce, no pooftahs!):
Congrats to Bruce Ciskie from Proctor, Minn., who correctly answered that OU +4 was "Oklahoma's average margin of victory over Texas the last five years is four points lower than the number of days it's now taken the movers to deliver your stuff." For his genius, Bruce will receive a copy of the ESPN Sports Almanac; a Romain Sato Russian nesting doll; a Starter foam Bruinhead (donated by ESPN The Mag writer Eric Adelson); an official Fox 40 referee whistle (unused!) donated by my colleague The Skunk, and a special mystery prize plucked from some unsuspecting stooge in my office.
Allow myself to introduce the five progressively Mini-er-Mes lodged inside my body.
Bruce received the fabulous prize package. His reaction: sweet. But there's no mention of the mysterious, er, mystery prize snatched from the desk of an ESPN colleague. What could it be? Chris Berman's nickname-testing card?
Mike "Shot Through The" Hart "And You're To Blame, You Give Love A Bad Name (Bad Name)"? -XXX too long.
"Pope" Urban "Planning" Meyer? -XXX mixed metaphor.
Steve "Breaston" - XXX That's actually his name.
Stuart Scott's list of rejected catchphrases?
"Cool as the other side of the sun."
"Look at me! I'm pretending to be black!"
"Boom goes the DY-NO-MITE!"
Stephen A. Smith's fan mail?
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The mind boggles!
Just to clear up any confusion: Montoya is officially gone. I thought that this post said as much but a couple people have wondered why I didn't say anything about it. I'd just like to announce that it's not because I've crawled into the fetal position and sobbed. No, I'm saving that for Jack Johnson's departure.
Some good news on that front, though: Michael Spath says that he believes there's a "90% chance" Johnson plays for Michigan next year. That's speculation (though informed) on Spath's part. GBW is apparently putting someone on the hockey beat and in a post at USCHO he says:
I've been trying to get in contact with Jack since yesterday afternoon but we keep playing phone tag. We did chat for a quick second and he told me that the rumor that he would sign before his freshman year was nothing but a rumor.
So he'll probably be a Wolverine next year. Past that? Well... Michigan graduates no defensemen in 2006 but has recruited Chris Summers and Stephen Kampfer. If you do the math it says "Hurricanes."
Just to reinforce how much you desperately want to see Johnson in Maize & Blue:
After the Carolina Hurricanes drafted defenseman Jack Johnson No. 3 overall in the NHL draft Saturday a rival general manager stopped by to add another layer to Johnson's reputation as an intimidating body checker.
According to Hurricanes GM Jimmy Rutherford, the rival happened to ask another prospect what he feared most. It's a standard question used to help teams acquire a psychological profile of a potential draft pick.
"Usually the players say spiders or something like that," Rutherford said, laughing. "But when they asked this kid what he feared he said, 'Jack Johnson.'"
Lifted from this USA Today article. More on Gojira in the article, including a discussion of his ability to hip-check. The last hockey player anywhere I saw lay out a hip check was former Michigan defender Mike Roemensky, who was often erroneously called for tripping by The Incompetent Mike Wilkins when he broke it out.
Also, Johnson charged the mound once playing baseball to defend teammate Sydney Crosby. (Boston Fan in Michigan just went "rowr" to herself.)
It appears that this year's main candidate for a sickening, heart-rending early departure is Jack Johnson, who hasn't even shown up yet. Johnson was selected third in yesterday's NHL draft by the Carolina Hurricanes and he's going to be pressed to sign, like, right goddamn now:
Johnson had a Michigan tie on when he went to the podium to shake hands with the Carolina brass.
"I guess he can take that off," joked Rutherford. "We'll have discussions with him and his family and try to decide what is best for him. I would like to have the opportunity to talk to Jack about signing and getting started in Lowell because I think it would be a huge jump for him to play in the National Hockey League immediately."
Johnson said he would likely decide within the next week whether he'll go to college or turn pro.
"It won't be money," Johnson said. "It will be what I personally think is best for my development. I don't want to jump the gun too soon. I want to make sure I do the right thing. I'm pretty sure I'll have the right gut feeling. There is no rush."
So the Canes are definitely going to try to sign him. They'll offer the rookie cap. The only question is whether Johnson really wants to play for Michigan. No doubt Johnson will be talking to Aaron Ward and Danny Richmond, both ex-Michigan players currently with the Hurricanes. There's a snippet in the article regarding them:
Johnson has been skating recently in pickup games with Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward, who also attended the University of Michigan.
"I'll have some interesting conversations with him now, something to break the ice with," Johnson said. "I'm still kind of in awe of guys who play in the NHL so I kept my mouth shut and if he was open I always passed to him."
The Hurricanes also selected Michigan defenseman Danny Richmond with the 31st overall pick in 2003. Richmond could be ready to crack the Carolina defensive corps this season if he's gotten stronger in the offseason.
Strength was never Richmond's problem at Michigan. His problem was his general lack of interest in defense--a problem for a defenseman. I had heard that Richmond regretted his decision to leave Michigan for the OHL but he was clearly aiming to sign ASAP.
Neither Ward nor Richmond will really have much impact, though. Johnson probably knows exactly what he'll do right now. He just has to come to terms with it. He's been a future Wolverine for more than three years now. We'll find out in a week whether he ever ends up an actual Wolverine.