"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."
Update 6/9: Linked to articles on OH OL Chris Freeman, FL RB Jamaal Berry (second), FL S Jonathan Scott, AZ DE Craig Roh, SC WR Alshon Jeffery. Noted Scout header that says M leads for FL LB Brandin Hawthorne.
Added FL WR Jeremy Gallon, then moved him to committed. Also added FL S Mike Jones, NV DE Keenan Graham, MA OL Brennan Williams, SC S DJ Swearinger, TN LB Greg King, LA WR Kenny Bell.
Removed OH LB Dan Fox (ND), IL WR Kraig Appleton (dropped us), CA RB Dasarte Yarnaway (not recruiting), TN OL Alex Bullard (ND), OH WR Patrick White (MSU).
Editorial Opinion: Michigan just held a one-day camp for a host of prospects, but no movement came out of it. Michigan appears to be holding on offers until they finish their full camp, which will be this weekend. At this one-day camp the focus was mostly on Inkster WR/S/LB Cameron Gordon, a four-star with only a few offers yet, and an array of three-star-ish offensive linemen. Expect a wave of offers to go out during and after Michigan's summer camp; a couple commits should follow.
And hey, he's a weird name: Tate Forcier. The California quarterback showed up and performed. WTF, right? Well, rumors persist that Kevin Newsome is asking schools to continue recruiting him. Whether that's the product of Michigan's continued pursuit of Forcier and FL QB Eugene Smith or vice versa is unknowable, but be advised that the quarterback situation is not put to bed yet.
As for the gentlemen who were excised: White, Fox, and Yarnaway didn't have offers. Appleton's turning into a pretty big recruit -- LSU is involved with him and he's from Illinois -- and Michigan probably had an offer out, but I don't think anyone's too concerned with wide receiver, especially after Jeremy Gallon's commit this week. Bullard, OTOH, is an offered lineman who isn't going to Michigan. He never seemed like a strong possibility after naming ND, UT, and UF his top three in an article from a month or two ago, but did take an unofficial.
NOW IS THE TIME ON RECRUITING [DAY] WHEN WE FLORIDA.
FL RB Jamaal Berry reiterated how impressed he was with Ohio State in a couple articles. He plans on visiting Michigan...
"I'd also like to go to Michigan and see what they're like," Berry said. "They need some running backs and it would be a good opportunity to play early. I like how they are another school with good tradition and are known for being a running team."
...but that seems like an uphill battle.
Meanwhile, FL S Jonathan Scott has Michigan in his top three. Weird, because:
"I think if I went to Michigan it would be fun to play against my brother [sophomore corner James Scott]," he said. "That's a big rivalry (against Ohio State) and a great game. I haven't really talked to him about how he'd feel about it, but Michigan is a big-time offer so I'm sure he'd be cool about it.
"I really like coach Rich Rogriguez," he said. "He is coming from West Virginia and was able to make them an elite program, so I think he'll be great at Michigan too."
South Carolina and LSU are the other two schools he seems set on visiting officially; childhood favorite Florida State does not appear interested.
Another Florida safety worth keeping an eye on is Orlando Edgewater's Mike Jones. Jones has a weird pair of leaders for a guy from Orlando:
"I really like Michigan a lot. I like Notre Dame too. They are my top two schools.
"Michigan has always been good. They have a huge fan base with a big stadium. It's crazy. I have not been up there yet and I will go there this summer or maybe the fall. I think I fit in with their defense from what I know. I can fit in just about anywhere because there is versatility to my game.
"Notre Dame is a smart school and you need grades and better be able to handle the academics. They have a great fan base. I love coach (Korwin) [sic] Brown. I would like to play for him. He's a real fiery guy."
This one also might be a bit of an uphill battle. Jones' father is an old teammate and good friend of Brown. FWIW: Edgewater is the school that provided Michigan with Greg Mathews.
All I've got on this is a header, but it's an encouraging one:
Michigan, USF -- One & Two for Pahokee LB
That's about FL LB Brandin Hawthorne, a teammate of incoming freshman WR Martavious Odoms. That's good -- other than USF, Hawthorne also has offers from Tennessee, Kansas State, and a few others BCS schools -- but Hawthorne plans on visiting a bunch of camps around the south in the coming months. It sounds like he's sniffing around for some big offers closer to home; would not be surprised if Michigan's lead here is temporary. For now, though, that's nice.
A note on rankings: Rivals is revamping their rankings again and two recruits too big hits: both Kevin Newsome and Jeremy Gallon dropped out of the top 100. Gallon's hit was not a big surprise -- 5'8" -- and Newsome apparently had a rough NIKE camp. The company line on that is Newsome was attempting to shorten up his delivery and once he works through some issues with that he will be a combination of Dan Marino and Godzilla. We'll see, I guess. The whole reason Newsome started the year as a top-20 prospect was an excellent performance at the Army All-American camp; now he's one of two.
One last item: remember Larry Caper, the Michigan State commit who caused some minor rending of garments from Michigan fans when he wasn't offered? Dude just got the boot from the Rivals 250.
Voting is now closed in the first round of the Woodson regional. Your winners:
80.5% of vote
58.6% of vote
60.7% of vote
Chris Wild's paint masterpiece, Jason Minor's blueprint (which, I must confess, was one of my favorites), Bryan Rosenbaum's montage [note: apologies to Bryan, who I dubbed "Ben" earlier -ed], and Eric Jaffe's foray into the realm of coaches old are eliminated. Sad fugee faces for all.
Steinberg, with the largest percentage of votes in favor, will take on Menzies in the next round; the other two will go head-to-head. Obviously.
Spartanburg quarterback Jones gets offer from Michigan
What about Beaver/Newsome? This Jones guy is a rising junior. And this is how he got his offer:
Cornelius Jones hasn't played a down for the Spartanburg Vikings varsity football team yet, but Michigan has seen enough to offer him a scholarship.
The junior quarterback received his first offer Tuesday, after Vikings coach Freddie Brown sent the Big Ten school a five-minute video of Jones from a scrimmage.
That is a hell of a five-minute video. The article mentions that Jones hasn't played forSpartanburg in "a couple of years" because he "got in some trouble"... what kind of trouble can an eighth-grader get in? Don't answer that.
Burl Ives. The NHL draft approaches, and Red Line Report ranks incoming blueliner Brandon Burlon one of the top ten available. Okay, it's #10, but still:
Brandon Burlon rounds out Red Line's top 10 list. There's not much buzz about him, but we feel he'd be a solid choice anywhere after No. 20. He's got great feet and a mean edge. He's as fundamentally sound in his own end as any defender in the draft, and we think he's got some untapped offensive potential as well.
Yost Built has a little more on Burlon and notes Greg Pateryn is projected by one Sabres site as a potential fifth-round target. Not bad for a guy who was promised very little scholarship money.
Stones. Michigan's baseball team may have received some unexpected good news in the MLB draft, when two draft-eligible juniors fell to the fifth round. Jason Christian, rated at about the end of the third round, was picked by the As. He's widely expected to sign and the relatively small drop probably won't affect that.
Zach Putnam, however, has to be disappointed after he fell to the second-to-last pick of the fifth round after widely being projected as a sandwich pick or even a late first-rounder. Juniors usually sign because they lose their leverage if they return, but Putnam's drop might motivate him to return. Baseball America:
The Indians finally put Zach Putnam out of his misery, taking him with the penultimate pick of the fifth round. If the Indians put him in the bullpen, expect him to move quickly with his fastball-splitter mix. However, Putnam might prove to be a tough sign this low. Suffice it to say he's had an enigmatic career when it comes to scouts, who seem to like him less than his performance would indicate.
A recent change in the draft rules allows teams that draft college juniors to retain their rights until a couple weeks before the next year's draft. (High schoolers have to be signed by August 15th.) If Putnam thinks he's been shorted, he could return to Michigan in the hopes he has a wicked pissah of a senior year and either forces the Indians to shell out considerably above slot or watch him re-enter the draft (and hopefully go much higher). His situation bears watching, which is more than you could say before the draft.
Meanwhile, the Indians went Michigan mad, drafting Adam Abraham with the 411th pick and Nate Recknagel with the 591st. Cislo and Fetter were not drafted; Mike Powers went in the 31st round to the Mets. We'll know about everyone's fate by August 15th.
Raise a glass to the NCAA hockey rules committee. In marked contrast to the constantly blundering football committee, they've made every effort to improve the game. To wit, the rules changes for this year:
No change after an icing. As per the NHL rule that everyone loves.
Limited-application shootout. When I heard college hockey might be considering the addition of a shootout, I was pretty leery. The Pairwise is so jittery and shootouts are so random that instituting them would add even more weirdness to the NCAA's selection criteria. But this seems okay:
In a release from the NCAA today, it says the rules committee has voted to maintain the current game structure of 60 minutes, followed by a five-minute overtime, but individual conferences are allowed to use a shootout at their discretion.
The shootout could be used to award points towards the league race, though any game decided by a shootout would go into the record book for NCAA Tournament qualifying purposes as a tie.
I'm still not a big fan of the idea -- seems gimmicky -- but if those are the rules any grumbling I have is minor.
All games have two referees now. This one I'm not so sure of. The CCHA had zero competent referees at last count and will now have twice as many incompetent ones. OTOH, cutting down an incompetent ref's responsibilities should edge him towards competence, or at least consistency. We'll see how it goes.
All faceoffs are held on faceoff dots. This is a minor change but a good one. Those faceoffs right inside the blue line have always bothered me. Your reward for winning one is the puck outside of the zone and a dump-in. Now those will be from the proper dots inside the zone, and winning one will lead to a scoring chance. More chances == always good.
Only in Ohio. Ha-ha:
A Cleveland-area principal says he's embarrassed his students got proof of their "educaiton" on their high school diplomas.
Westlake High School officials misspelled "education" on the diplomas distributed last weekend. It's been the subject of mockery on local radio.
Etc.: You remember these?
Mike Barwis had one, and some wolves.
Continued from yesterday.
RHP Tyler Mills
Mills was Michigan's Gatorade player of the year and was the highest-rated recruit M picked up according to PerfectGame. Despite that, he may be the player with the least information available. High school stats:
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior right-handed pitcher started 6-1 with a 1.50 ERA, recording 75 strikeouts in 51 innings at the time of his selection and leading the Oilers (24-3) to a third consecutive Saginaw Valley League championship and a berth in the Division II postseason regional tournament. A returning First Team All-State selection, Mills, also an outfielder, had produced a .426 batting average, 33 runs scored, 30 RBI and five home runs through 27 games.
LHP Bobby Brosnahan
Brosnahan will almost assuredly redshirt after undergoing Tommy John surgery just seven innings into his senior season. That sounds like a sure way to use up a scholarship on a guy who's never going to contribute, but these days TJ surgery has a super-high success rate. It just takes forever to recover:
Tommy John surgery is considered one of the major advancements in sports medicine in the last quarter century. The New York Times reported in 2007 that the surgery has an 85 percent success rate and that one in seven pitchers in the major leagues had the surgery.
"I'm not worried about it. The surgery has been around for about 30 years ... they've got it down to a science," Brosnahan said. "Most of the guys they repair now come back stronger.
"Nobody likes to have it, but if you work hard through rehab you can come back better than ever."
Before the unfortunate pop in his elbow, Brosnahan had the requisite silly numbers, going 8-0 with an ERA of under one as a junior. Kentucky, Michigan State, and "some southern schools" were interested.
RHP Kevin VanGheluwe
VanGheluwe is also injured, and real scary-like:
"His (right) arm was discolored," Collins said. "It was like if you held it out of a car window and lost circulation. His dad (Mark VanGheluwe) took him to get examined and they gave him some medication to disperse the clot. He contacted (U-M coach Rich) Maloney and he told them to come immediately to U-Hospital. On Thursday, he had surgery to break up the blood clot and they said his muscles were pushing against the rib cage on that (right) side. I was told it was a normal case to remove that top rib on that side. And that was done Friday. Both were successful."
Jesus. As a junior, he had some wicked impressive stats:
VanGheluwe was 11-2 with a 0.79 ERA last season. He also hit .454 with 10 home runs and 55 RBI. He was named to The Detroit News first team All-Metro and to the All-State Dream Team by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.
High school stats are, as always, totally meaningless. But this guy from some little Michigan newspaper says...
He is one of the best prep baseball players I've ever seen (maybe the best) and here's hoping for a full recovery.
...and he's seen literally dozens!
Elsewhere, an Indians blogger who appears to know his drafting like whoah singled him out as a guy who might be an excellent late pickup:
6'2" and 205' and a University of Michigan signee he was all-state as a junior and had a 21-2 mark coming into his senior year but he had blood clots in his right arm and had a rib removed this off-season and so is out for the entire season.
Dude... rib removed... you don't think? Nah.
His coach, and a bit on his skillz:
"He's still growing," Kuppe said of the three-year starter. "I think what's most impressive is that he's gotten better all three years, and he's going to keep getting better."
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound ace has four pitches in his arsenal, including a fastball that he can dial up to 89 mph and a curveball that hits 79 mph.
Unlike Brosnahan, VanGheluve should be ready in the fall.
RHP Brandon Sinnery.
Michigan has now hit for the cylce at New England prep schools, picking up players in basketball (Courtney Sims and Kendrick Price), hockey (many; Max Pacioretty is the current hotness), football (Mike Cox), and baseball (Sinnery). Hopefully Sinnery is closer to Patch than Sims.
Though the other offers Sinnery received don't exactly seem impressive -- Vermont and Manhattan, with Elon and Florida Atlantic mentioned among the suitors in contact -- the articles on him state specifically that his scholarship is a full one. Baseball teams have only 11.7 scholarships to offer and often carry many more players than that*. A full ride is something usually reserved for the Putnams and Abrahams of the world.
PerfectGame.com rates him an 8.5 on their ten-point scale. 8 is "mid-round pick and definite D-I prospect"; 9 is "top ten rounds, top D-I prospect." Their scouting report:
Brandon Sinnery is a 2008 RHP from Worcester Academy, residing in Franklin, Massachusetts, with a 6'4"/170 pound frame. Lean and lanky frame, projectable body, short circle arm action, good arm speed, solid mechanics, FB [fastball] has life at 86 mph, solid CB [curveball] with bite at 71 mph, CH [changeup] has sink and fade at 74 mph, pounds the zone, good student
They rate him the #3 pitcher in Massachusetts. He is purported to have four pitches, and his mom likes him:
His pitching repertoire is impressive - a fastball in the upper 80s, along with a curveball, changeup and splitter. But his mother has been more impressed with the lessons he has learned off the mound.
"We've seen him lose with dignity, and seen him win in very difficult pressure situations," Donna said. "It's been interesting to see the life lessons that have come out of baseball."
A right handed pitcher for Worcester Academy (42K's, 7BB's, 0.88ERA, 5-1 record with 2 saves, 30 2/3 IP, 12hits), he was selected to the 1st Team All League-Central New England Prep School League.
"What sets Brandon apart from others who have talent is his determination, focus, and the ability to perform under pressure," said Peter Kostacopoulos, his 2007 Varsity Baseball coach. "These are the qualities that define success and give some athletes a competitive edge. I am sure that Brandon will continue to combine his baseball abilities with his personal qualities to ensure himself continued success in the future."
Maloney called him "wiry" and specifically said that he could be good "with development"; a redshirt may be in order.
I dunno, man, and it doesn't sound like anyone does, either. There does not appear to be a Putnam or an Abraham amongst the recruits, but they again locked down the best guy in the state and picked up three guys from elsewhere who should contribute.