Anu Solomon (Arizona), Eddie Vanderdoes (UCLA), Juju Smith-Schuster (USC)
The optics surrounding programs in the South are much different than those in the North. USC – the Pac-12’s most historically successful program, one that should theoretically be a playoff contender – has been a dysfunctional mess in the post-Pete Carroll era: sanctions and the hilariously ill-fated Lane Kiffin hire set the Trojans back and their former AD Pat Haden handled the Steve Sarkisian situation very badly. Now Clay Helton, a pretty uninspiring promotion from within the Carroll tree, is the head coach, handpicked by Haden. Their crosstown rivals have things better, as Jim Mora has gone 37-16 in four years at UCLA, but an 8-5 result last season is cause for some concern (though there were plenty of injuries, to be fair), as is the Bruins’ slide down the division standings year-over-year. Those two programs are the most well-equipped for success in the Pac-12 South due to natural advantages, but the odds of playoff contention seem remote.
Each of the other four programs in the division have their own questions – though Utah is definitely in a better place than the other three. Both Arizona schools regressed mightily last season: U of A followed up a New Year’s Six appearance with a 3-6 conference record in 2015 (and Rich Rodriguez had to fire DC Jeff Casteel after the season), ASU had two ten-win seasons in ‘13 and ‘14 before winning six games last season – and Todd Graham’s synonymous for fleeing programs for better jobs at the earliest available opportunity, though he’s now entering his fifth year at Arizona State. Colorado has been wandering in the wilderness since joining the Pac-12 and that’s unlikely to change any time soon. Kyle Wittingham has been at Utah for over a decade and once went undefeated in the Mountain West – two consecutive losing seasons put him on the hot seat, but 9-4 in ‘14 and a 10-3 showing in ‘15 (including a bowl win over much-hated BYU) has him safe again.
Of the six teams in the Pac-12 South, Utah’s the only one who’s on an upward trajectory entering 2016 and they have to replace very productive starting quarterbacks and running backs. UCLA’s a strong candidate for a rebound and USC always has plenty of talent. Still, the South looks to be the worse of the two divisions in the Pac-12, one without an obvious frontrunner or a team that stacks up well for a playoff run.
[After the JUMP, team previews]
It’s still surreal to realize that Stanford(!) is the most stable program in the division
Last year, the Pac-12 was the power conference left out of the playoff – ultimately, Stanford’s week one loss to Northwestern, of all teams, left the league with a two-loss champion and the committee was given an undefeated (ACC) or one-loss champ (SEC, Big 12, B1G) by the four other conferences. At the risk of being too reductive, it was a pretty solid year for the conference, although the encouraging and disappointing seasons divided along division lines. The South was supposed to be a very strong division and it really underwhelmed. Both Los Angeles schools were preseason top 15 teams: USC had a ton of off-field problems (including a mid-season coaching change) but won the division and finished 8-6, UCLA finished third and 8-5. The Arizona Schools combined to go 13-13 after entering the season with some degree of hype. Only Utah really exceeded expectations at 10-3 and their blowout road win over Oregon was its best since joining the league.
In the North, five of the six teams finished with winning records: Stanford recovered nicely from that early upset to win the league and Washington State lost to an FCS team and went on to go 9-4, their most wins since 2003. Cal finally had a breakthrough of sorts with first overall draft pick, QB Jared Goff, and advanced stats favorite Washington arrived a year early with their own potential star QB, then-freshman Jake Browning. Even Oregon – who started the year in the top ten only to finish with a 9-4 record after blowing an enormous lead in their bowl game against TCU – took down Stanford on the road, denying their main competition at the top of the North a chance to make it into the playoff. The other four Pac-12 North bowl teams won those contests, highlighted by Stanford’s rout of Iowa in the Rose Bowl.
By and large, bowl wins mean little more than an increase in the trinity of hype / optimism / expectations and that will be the case again in the Pac-12 North. To open our rundown of the power conferences in college football, we’ll take a look at that division, home to a bona fide playoff contender with a star running back (Stanford), a potentially stumbling blue-blood (Oregon), and the return of good FBS football to the state of Washington as both programs look to be on solid footing for the first time in a while.
[after the JUMP, team-by-team previews]
Tiller was always good for some anonymous snark
I always miss Joe Tiller when these get published. ESPN does the anonymous coach quote article, and while some of it is of little utility…
Coach, can you talk about Indiana's tempo?
"They're unique in our league in that they're going to try to get 100 plays in a game and just literally outscore you." -- Big Ten defensive coach [who all Big Ten fans reading this article hope is not employed by their program]
…there are a couple interesting bits about Michigan. This isn't a huge surprise since the last coach was Brady Hoke:
"This coaching staff knows how to mask things. It's a lot more double-team, a lot more movement, a lot more point-of-attack doubles and down blocks. They're a team that embraces the 4- and 5-yard play, and not a lot of people in college football do that anymore." -- Big Ten defensive coach
It's still good to hear that Michigan's offense is reputed to be tricky. There is exactly zero chance opponents thought Michigan's offense was difficult to prep for under Carr or Hoke.
Another coach says the linebackers were the weakest part of Michigan's defense a year ago "but with the guys they have up front, if they're healthy, you can get away with whatever at linebacker." Our theory that Michigan could put out a lawn chair at LB and be okay if Glasgow is around: endorsed.
Yet more satellite camp stuff. It is insane how much people continue to talk about this. There are slightly more important things going on in college football at the moment, but there is just a nonstop train of satellite camp takes. Which, again, are about people showing up on a football field and doing football-related activities in full view of the world. And yet. Anyway here's the whatnot.
Jon Solomon stops by one of the satellite camps in Baltimore, discovering that the people who attend them are in favor of them:
I spoke to a couple dozen parents and players over a span of about five hours and this was the resounding message: Thank you for coming, Jim Harbaugh.
"It's huge -- huge -- to have this in inner city Baltimore," said Christopher Braswell, who took his 14-year-old son out of school -- almost all of the middle-schoolers played hooky -- to the middle school camp. "It gives kids a sense that someone's out there who cares about them. These guys come from Michigan. It's 10 bucks, so they're not making any money off it. A lot of people can't afford more. Bring your kid here to interact with college coaches and high school coaches. Black, white, they're just out there having fun. What's wrong with that?"
This is somewhat tautological, yes. People doing thing like thing. Thing is harmless to everything except Hugh Freeze's free time. Turns out you have to explain tautological things to lizard people sometimes.
Solomon's article is long and manages to blow up some arguments against the camps along the way. Greg Sankey:
Sankey on satellite camps: “These are not instructional. There are videos and pictures out there that don't look very instructional to me."
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) June 3, 2016
The middle school camp in the morning is largely about teaching and drills, all without pads and helmets, just like the high school session. These middle schoolers are too far away from college for serious consideration of recruiting them just yet.
Also, Gene Wojciechowski drew either the short or long straw, depending on your perspective, and took in Michigan's Australian satellite camp:
Spent 3 hrs in see-yr-breath cold/rain conditions at Michigan sat camp near Melbourne, last nite. Don't hv dog in sat camp fight, but...
— Gene Wojciechowski (@GenoEspn) June 3, 2016
...was impressed by Aussies' passion for game, and Mich coaches' desire to teach them. U wd hv thought u wr at Mich practice--high intensity
— Gene Wojciechowski (@GenoEspn) June 3, 2016
...Didn't matter there were maybe--maybe--a handful of college-level prospects. If this was abt spreading CFB word, then Mich coaches did so
— Gene Wojciechowski (@GenoEspn) June 3, 2016
I'm eagerly awaiting the first statement from Sankey that has any relationship to reality. Meanwhile Kirk Herbstreit says Michigan doesn't "need to do it." This is true. Michigan is doing it anyway.
Also, Harbaugh addresses the tucked-in jersey thing:
"I'm a tuck-in guy," Harbaugh explained, tugging at his belt. "In football, the advantage of tucking in your jersey is big. It's harder to grab the jersey when it's tucked in. When it's untucked, they can grab it, they can sling you, they can swing you, so I always like to tuck in it, and I like the sight lines better of a tucked-in shirt. Football is a game of sight lines -- a very symmetrical field with lines and hashes and dimensions. Sight lines are important."
He's thought long and hard about this.
And then this thing. I was maybe going to fisk that article about "absolute power" from a week ago but I've decided it's just too bad to go over in detail. Wendell Barnhouse, who used to have a job with the Star-Telegram and then the Big 12 but is currently writing for a site I've never heard of, put a bunch of words on paper he has to immediately refute because this is his thesis:
Now here is where this column will anger the thousands of Michigan fans, alums and Jim Harbaugh cultists. Harbaugh is corrupting his absolute power absolutely.
You have read the previous sentence, probably twice, trying to figure out if there is any meaning encapsulated in it. There is not. The Lord Acton quote this dude is trying to reference is about power corrupting individuals that hold it. Barnhouse is stating that Harbaugh is… corrupting power? Which is not a thing?
Barnhouse's point is that what Harbaugh is doing is "about optics" and it's bad for the NCAA, which who cares, and then he comes back around to be like BANG BAYLOR. Sorry. "BANG" "BAYLOR":
Harbaugh is engaged in “wretched excess” disguised as “outworking other coaching staffs.” Staging 38 satellite camps in 30 days might be more about carpet-bombing the “Michigan brand” more so than landing five-star recruits.
And it’s also about Jim Harbaugh having the all-encompassing power to do what he wants. There are numerous examples, including a recent one, that illustrates the danger that lurks.
This draws about 35 different false equivalencies and amply demonstrates why Barnhouse is no longer employed as a writer: he's bad at writing.
Harbaugh already had an opportunity to start off his career in corruption last year and passed. Logan Tuley-Tillman, who had a good shot at being the starting left tackle this year, was booted from the team the instant Harbaugh found out he'd done something seriously wrong.
Etc.: A three-part oral history on a basketball season that ended with a loss in the NIT final. Rutgers? Rutgers. Nitpickers gonna nitpick. ESPN's Where In The World Is Jim Harbaugh is entertaining. Scott Steiner on Harbaugh.
Malone-Hatcher: Ankle "Never Better"
Steve Lorenz's VIP Notes from Corey Malone-Hatcher's commitment feature a few notable tibdits about his recruitment. Jim Harbaugh remembering to ask about Malone-Hatcher's younger sister each time they talked apparently struck a chord with the family, while Greg Mattison—and his wife—may have been the most important factor in getting CMH's commitment. Lorenz also got details on how Malone-Hatcher expects to be utilized in Don Brown's defense:
"He was really clear with us," Orlando Malone mentioned after Corey committed. "Corey's worked really hard to put himself in a position to be a guy that will get to the quarterback consistently, and we wanted to make sure that's how he was going to use us. He was pretty blunt about how he wanted to utilize him. 'We'll put him on his own at end sometimes. We'll line him up next to another defensive end in certain sets. We'll shift him to middle linebacker. We want to do a lot of things with him, but we'll get him to the quarterback'. He has a complicated scheme, but was clear about how he'd use Corey. That was important to us."
Malone-Hatcher has some versatility; while he'll mostly be a defensive end, he played middle linebacker extensively during his junior season before it was cut short by an ankle injury. Speaking of which:
"Never better, man," Malone-Hatcher said when asked how he was feeling coming off his ankle injury. "My confidence is at an all-time high."
That is nice to hear.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Previously: Last year's profiles. S Josh Metellus, S Khaleke Hudson, CB David Long, CB Lavert Hill, LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse, LB Devin Bush Jr., LB Devin Gil, LB Josh Uche, DE Ron Johnson, DT Michael Dwumfour.
|Paramus, NJ – 6'4", 293|
|Scout||5*, #1 overall
#1 DT, #1 NJ
|Rivals||5*, #1 overall
#1 DT, #1 NJ
|ESPN||5*, #1 overall
#1 DT, #1 NJ
|24/7||5*, #1 overall
#1 DT, #1 NJ
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace.|
|Notes||Paramus Catholic (Jabrill Peppers, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Chris Partridge.)|
Michigan has never grabbed the consensus top prospect in the country since recruiting rankings were a thing. Maybe Drew Henson would have been that guy if the recruiting-industrial complex had gotten going slightly earlier. It did not, and thus Gary is undisputed as the highest-profile prospect ever to don a winged helmet. And it's close when it comes to any helmet, any time.
There are many reasons for this. One is the fact that as a rising junior his SPARQ test was better than the average DL at the NFL combine. Ian Boyd:
The numbers on Gary are jaw-dropping, no matter how inflated high schooler measurables can be. In a partially laser-timed SPARQ test before his junior year, he produced the following results, blowing away all other 2016 stars tested at the national event.
Height Weight 40 time Shuttle time Vertical leap Rashan Gary as a high school junior 6'4" 287 4.74 4.38 32.1" Average 2015 NFL Combine defensive lineman 6'3 1/2" 286 4.96 4.5 32.2"
That group includes some relatively lean defensive ends; Gary's got a big enough body to play defensive tackle. His 40 time was better than what 15 linebackers produced at last year's Combine. Three wide receivers had slower shuttle times, and five linebackers had lesser vertical leaps. Some of those NFL prospects were as many as 80 pounds lighter than Gary.
Some perspective from Scout's Scott Kennedy:
He out-jumped a wide receiver, he out-shuttled a defensive back and he out-40'd a BCS safety commit. At 287 pounds, that's insane.
Those numbers were gathered at the Opening in 2014, and his play matched or exceeded the promise therein. Despite being one of only two 2016 players invited, he was amongst the best players—not just defensive ends—present. Scout placed him in their East top five afterwards:
He was a combination of strength, power, athleticism and freakish natural ability. He didn’t win every rep, but he darn near did. And he did it despite having limited technique. Gary used his speed, balance and competitive fire to stand out, and make plenty of other players step back and watch.
Other analysts declared him "ridiculous" with "incredible burst, balance and strength"; "ridiculous" (again); and exclaimed that "speed, power, agility, acceleration, strength… yeah, Gary has it all." All of this was as a prospect a year younger than the rest of the best dudes in the country.
By the time the 2015 version of the same event rolled around he left no question who the main dude was. Then he followed that up with an impressive high school season and more of the same at the Under Armour game, where he tied a game record with three sacks after spending a week in practice making every five-star OL in the game look foolish. (Ben Bredeson drew mention as the only guy to give him even momentary pause, but that's another profile.)
Let us now deploy the longest and most effusive bulleted scouting lightning round in the history of this series.
- Greg Mattison, Michigan DL coach: "The thing that's so exciting about Rashan is that you can watch a highlight tape and then you can watch an entire game. And it's the same thing."
- Adam Gorney, Rivals: "Incredibly active, he’s like a whirling dervish, he’s impossible to stop and he’s going to be the guy every single play that just keeps going after offensive tackles so in the third and forth quarter he’s going to wear a lot of people down and get a lot of his plays.”
- Josh Newberg, 247: "In my nine years covering [the UA] game, I think Gary may be the single most dominant player I’ve seen. When he’s not sacking the quarterback, which he’s done a lot this week, he is disruptive as hell."
- Adam Friedman, Rivals: “He’s been totally dominant, tossing guys around from the first minute of the first practice on, just totally dominant. Today, during one-on-ones, he was going over, around and through guys. … You can’t say enough good things about how he’s done out here.”
- Bill Greene, Scout: "Last year at Under Armour featured three tremendous defensive tackles in Christian Wilkins, Terry Beckner and Daylon Mack. All three played well this year as true freshman. What I saw out of Gary today puts him way above those three. There are very few true difference-makers coming out of high school every year. Rashan Gary is exactly that."
- Barton Simmons, 247: "everything you want out of an elite defender. He's coachable, plays with effort and intensity, he's one of the best athletes in this class and he's versatile."
- Same dude: "Rashan Gary is the best prospect in the country right now. The guy may not have had two bad reps the entire camp. If an OL didn't come correct with Gary lined up on in front of him, he was going to not only get beat, but also get embarrassed. How good is Gary? This was the best defensive line performance I've seen since The Opening's inception."
- Mike Farrell, Rivals: "Just an animal, 100-percent every drill, 100-percent every rep, constant motor, physical as heck, puts offensive linemen on skates, really dominant whether he’s playing end or tackle. Everything as advertised, today.” … "as dominant as I’ve ever seen from a defensive tackle who played mostly outside and was still too fast and athletic for everyone.”
- 247 collectively, post-Opening: "just dominant. In every drill, every situation, every rep, he was the best The Opening had to offer. In fact, he's one of the best we've ever seen at The Opening. … If we're making bets on what alumni from this event are going to be sitting in the green room on NFL Draft night in a 3.5 years, the smart money is on Gary."
- Brian Dohn, Scout: "Gary is the most impressive prospect I covered at the high school level. If it was a camp setting, he dominated. If it was a game, it took two and sometimes three players to slow him down. Even when he was not making a play, he was impacting the game because he freed up others to make tackles. His speed, acceleration and power was always amazing to see."
Finally, Greg Powers resorted to the same shrug Michigan fans are currently deploying when they talk about Jourdan Lewis:
Rashan Gary did Rashan Gary type things. He is the No. 1 prospect for a reason. There are not too many more superlatives you can throw on him.
I deleted twice as much as I included here; the only thing less than rapturous is his ESPN profile, which has some of that disconnect between ranking and report that crops up. It's not bad by any means; a ton of "excellent" and "very good"… it's just more clinical:
Gary is a talented prospect that can wreak havoc at the high school level and has the size and has flashed the maturity to be able to come into a program and be able to contribute quickly. While a very good player at this stage, still has room to improve and round out his game and that current ability coupled with some continued upside makes him an excellent prospect.
I guess that guy who evaluated Isaiah Bell is no longer with the company.
He's a consensus #1 player. He's the first defensive tackle to finish #1 overall on Rivals. While Rivals doesn't think he's the quite best prospect ever, he's "somewhere in the middle" of a list of luminaries including guys like Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, and Percy Harvin. For much of the year 247 had him as one of the rare players who they'll break their ranking scale for. In the six years that 247 has been around, only 6 have gotten a ranking above 100. Five have gone on to be college superstars: Fournette, Clowney, Kouandijo, Nkemdiche, and Garrett. These are guys who don't need first names for CFB fans to identify them. (Okay, maybe Garrett since his name is kind of common: that's A&M defensive end Myles, currently projected by many to be the top pick in next year's draft.) The fifth, Trent Thompson, just finished his freshman year at Georgia. 247 broke the scale for Gary, too, and only reeled it back in late. Instead of a 101, he's now a 100. C'est la vie.
Recruiting rankings are in fact gospel when it comes to the bluest of the blue chips. Aside from a few guys (Dorial Green-Beckham, Bryce Brown, Seantrel Henderson) who didn't make it for reasons other than their talent, every Rivals or Scout #1 player in the last decade has at least been good and has usually been excellent. And even Brown and Henderson stuck on NFL rosters, with Henderson starting every game as a rookie.
Gary doesn't have any apparent character issues—in addition to Gary's insane suite of physical skills, he's consistently praised for his effort level and coachability. When Mike Farrell put together his awards from the UA game he mentioned Gary a half-dozen times; he probably would have named him winner of all those categories if he wasn't aiming for some variety. The awards he did give Gary are illuminating. One was for being the guy with the highest motor; the other was for most consistency. Meanwhile Michigan has a guy on staff who knows Gary very well. Chris Partridge:
"There are certain players who just have something," Partridge continued. "A work ethic on the field and in the classroom and a love for the game where they've got a bounce in their step when they hit the field."
He stacks up towards the upper end of these #1 prospects given the various superlatives that apply not just to his class but to anyone many of these scouting veterans have ever seen.
The recruiting folks have a strike rate near 100% on guys of this caliber, and on average this cohort of dudes trails Rashan Gary. If he stays healthy he's a lock All Big Ten player and it would be an upset if he wasn't an All-American.
But where does he go? The same place a grizzly bear goes: anywhere he wants. Clint Brewster:
He fits in any defensive scheme. Gary’s got the edge rushing ability to be a finesse defensive end in a 4-3 or a defensive tackle. He can really play any technique along the defensive line because of his blend of athleticism, quickness, size, and explosive power.
That evaluation is repeated various places. Put his hand in the dirt and you're good. The Boyd article above is all about how to deploy him, eventually settling on a combination of end and three-tech depending on Michigan's needs on any particular Saturday, on any particular snap. Brewster projects he'll settle in the 310-pound range, which is plenty big enough for DT and could make it challenging for even Gary to get a consistent edge rush.
To start Michigan plans to deploy him as a defensive end. That makes sense given the composition of the roster, which is thick with talented DTs. That composition changes radically next year, when the only veteran DTs on the roster other than the probable starters—Mone and Hurst—are Brady Pallante and Michael Dwumfour. Gary will probably stick at SDE, nominally, and start there, but he'll get an increasing number of 3-tech snaps as Michigan spots the DT starters.
Long term he fits best as the rare defensive tackle who is an impact pass rusher. His impact at 3tech is going to be greater than it will at SDE because a pass rush up the gut is doom in a way that coming around the corner isn't always; the number of players who can be a disruptive force in the backfield shrinks as you go from WDE to SDE to 3TECH to NT. Gary will end up at the place his impact is most outsized, except insofar as his position is "Being Rashan Gary." That spot is three-tech.
Etc.: South Carolina is weird, man. The most convincing explanation I've heard for the racist voicemail his school received is that it was a Gamecock fan.
Why Ndamukong Suh? Gary has the same kind of size and outlandish athleticism that Suh developed over his tenure at Nebraska. Suh was a four-star recruit who took significantly longer to develop than Gary projects to, only making an impact at Nebraska as a redshirt junior. But when he did, Nebraska's defense was just about impregnable. Suh's NFL draft profile reads almost exactly like Gary's scouting above does:
Suh is an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism. He isn't a massive body but has enough power to play as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme or as a 4-3 defense tackle or end. … often unblockable for one offensive lineman and draws many double teams from opposing offenses. ….supreme blend of power and explosiveness from the defensive tackle spot. Possesses great size and strength to hold up at the point of attack in the running game or bull rush the pocket. Uses his athleticism and instincts to chase down running plays. Highly-competitive performer with a big-time motor.
Suh bore that out in the NFL, albeit with some anger management issues that Gary doesn't appear to have.
The closest Michigan comparable is probably Allen Branch, who was the kind of massively disruptive three-tech Gary projects to be down the road. I thought about Lamarr Woodley and Brandon Graham since both were five star recruits who provided buckets of pass rush from the SDE spot, but both those guys are a couple inches shorter and 40-50 pounds lighter than the finished version of Gary projects to be.
Guru Reliability: Exacting. As per usual with the top player in the country he gets scouted top to bottom.
Variance: Low. Already college-ready size, speed, and strength—make that NFL-ready. Coachable, smart, and high effort.
Ceiling: Vast. NFL first round pick potential, yes. First overall potential, yes.
General Excitement Level: /tents fingers, cackles.
Projection: Should slot in at SDE behind either Wormley or Charlton, depending on how things shake out. Even the surest things along the defensive line usually take a season or two to wind up to full viciousness, and Michigan has really good players across the front. He will still get a ton of playing time at SDE and as a tackle on passing downs, enough to be a virtual… uh… sixth starter along with the actual starters and Bryan Mone.
As a sophomore he moves into the starting lineup, probably still at SDE. While the roster is pretty scanty at DT after Mo Hurst and Mone, there aren't any slam dunk guys at SDE either; the best line Michigan has will put all three out at the same time. In his third and probably final year at Michigan, he's highly likely to move inside to three-tech, where he has his highest upside. From there to the stars.
oh hey look who's ready for the Tennessee camp [via the incomparable Smoothitron]
Unless you're about six years late joining Twitter or doing something ridiculous like spending time outside enjoying the summer weather, you've noticed that there's a new component tucked into Jim Harbaugh's satellite camp tour in 2016. Harbaugh's a master of both connecting with people and efficiency, and what better way to break the ice as quickly as possible than wearing the jersey of a local legend.
Sometimes they have Michigan connections (he wore a Denard jersey in Jacksonville), sometimes they have Harbaugh connections (he wore an Andrew Luck shirsey in Indianapolis), and sometimes they just show off how insane Harbaugh's list of Known Friends and Trusted Agents is (he wore a Hank Aaron jersey in Atlanta and got Aaron to wear a Michigan hat). The Matlete asked Seth when our jersey prediction article was going to be published, and that got the wheels turning; once you picture the gloriousness of Jim Harbaugh photoshopped into a Charles Woodson jersey there's no turning back.
June 6: Baltimore, MD- St. Frances Academy, Patterson Park
Johnny Unitas? Joe Flacco? His own jersey?
I'm torn here. Unitas may not play that well with kids in high school, but it's a nice nod to the Colts' history and to one of the best quarterbacks ever. Then again, there's an elite QB (or is he?) playing for Harbaugh's brother; he also could go with a Willie Henry Ravens jersey if he's looking for a Michigan connection. The wild card would be throwing on his old Ravens jersey, a gentle reminder that he knows the NFL from just about every perspective.
June 7: Mobile, AL- University of South Alabama
Hank Aaron, part II
Harbaugh may have already worn an Aaron jersey in Atlanta, but I see no reason to shy away from wearing it again in Hammerin' Hank's hometown; there aren't many athletes more impressive to call your friend than baseball's home run king.
June 8: Cleveland Heights, OH- Raw Talent U Camp
Howard's been around the program a lot lately, and though there are a few good choices from Cleveland they haven't won a Heisman at Michigan, ipso facto it's Desmond.
[Does the Harbaugh-in-a-Woodson-jersey picture show up again AFTER THE JUMP? You had to ask?]