this guy evidently hired to work for AD
2-1-2006 - Michigan 71-65 Penn State - 16-3. 6-2 Big Ten
No column-type thing today--a victory over PSU does not stir the muse sufficiently to wax on about anything. Instead, a Covered In Oil-inspired excessive use of the "strong" tag explosion.
- I didn't see the UCLA game, but I imagine that the offensive side of things was much like what we saw against the Nittany Lions: a profusion of open three pointers. In college there's not much you can do when the opponent decides to pack the lane except hit your open threes. Do so against PSU: win. Shoot 5 for 23 while your opponent hits 10 of 21: lose.
- What is with Big Ten basketball announcers being deliberately obtuse? The color guy yesterday must have claimed that "it's not the number of turnovers, it's the timing of them" about eight times. This is obviously dumb and false. Why did he have to say it over and over again, then revisit it at inappropriate times (like Geary Claxton's late basket to cut it to three... no turnover in sight)? Big Ten Wonk's inveighed against the crabby Billy Packer and I can't stand Bill Curry, his nasty football doppelganger, but the mindless boosterism of C-list announcers is equally annoying and far more frequent.
- Why do I mention it? It bothers me when people assume that their viewers are too stupid to realize what they're watching. It's insulting. Three types of people watched the Michigan-Penn State game: Michigan fans, Penn State fans, and people in traction without remote controls. Playing up the game as something other than a dreary mid-week Big Ten contest played in front of dozens of spectators fools no one... you can give it to us straight.
- Credit to Courtney Sims for his temporary resurgence against Wisconsin, foul abbreviated though it was, but, um, Chris Hunter should start from now on. The final straw? Sims got blocked not once but twice by the ill-disguised lollipop guild masquerading as Penn State's front line. On the same possession! At this point, Sims is completely indistinguishable from a giant, wussy 17-year cicada. Every once in a while there will be an impressive display of ostentatious excess, but in between there are vast gulfs of total invisiblity.
- There was some debate in the preseason about exactly why Sims disappeared so frequently in games. I claimed that skinny-ass Sims couldn't handle big, tough posts who muscled him out of the lane. Ryan shot that down. Now I think I get it: to defend Courtney Sims, you have to try. It's that easy. Fight him for position and double down when he gets the ball, and he's done. His big game against Wisconsin? Well, as Wonk has noted (though what's with the Lloyd cheapshot, Wonk? Et tu!), Wisconsin's defense is predicated on good positioning, not fouling, and not doubling. (Check the opponent's turnover numbers: Wisconsin is dead last in the league.) That's a veritable petri dish of nummy agar for Sims, allowing him to get position and ever so slowly work his way into a good shot.
Given time and space, Courtney Sims has the skill to kill you. Front him, make his catches and touches difficult, and double when he gets the ball, and poof, just like that he's gone.
- Hey, Ron Coleman, you can play. Yay.
- If you managed to combine Dion Harris, Daniel Horton, and someone who never turned the ball over into Voltron point guard, you would have Chauncey Billups. Horton: deadly from the line (40 for 40). Harris: 7-11 from three yesterday. Turnovers: self explanatory.
- Iowa on Saturday: a tough, winnable game. Win and thoughts of Big Ten titles are officially allowed to share space with sugarplum dreams in your head. Lose, and we're worrying about seeding going into the stretch run. I'll take it.
Hi. It's more recruiting for, like, maybe the next day or two. If this bores you to tears, sorry.
Frequent commenter and recruiting aficianado WolverineKeith was kind enough to provide a general overview of each recruit in this year's class. His comments follow below along with handy summarizing tables. I interject on occasion.
QB David Cone
|Statesboro, Georgia - 6'6" 201
|Scout||3*, #23 QB|
|Rivals||3*, #33 QB|
|ESPN||6.2, #83 QB|
|Stunned by the turn of events; Down By The River|
|Notes||Option QB in HS; GA state champs|
Cone fits the classic definition of a sleeper recruit. He was virtually unknown in recruitnik circles before coming to camp and performing on par with, if not better than bigger name QB recruits (Pat Devlin, Neil Caudle, others). Played on a running team in HS, so has very little experience throwing the ball. Has excellent size and reportedly has good raw tools. This is could be Loeffler's greatest accomplishment. Michigan was his only major offer.
[I still say "John Navarre, functioning quarterback" stands as Loeffler's Sistine Chapel, but to each his own.]
Projection: Redshirt. Will be behind Jason Forcier on the depth chart.
Context: UM brought in Jason Forcier last year and Cone this year. Neither is considered a sure bet, although some are very high on Forcier. UM will have only 3 scholarship QBs next year, so QB will be a major focus next year.
[Michigan hopes to hammer out this issue sooner rather than later.]
RB Carlos Brown
|Franklin, Georgia - 6'0", 205
|Scout||4*, #24 RB|
|Rivals||4*, #39, #5 RB|
|ESPN||7.2, #59, #10 RB|
|YMRMFSPA||Tyrone Wheatley (Keith sez Kelly Baraka)|
|They Are On Fire|
|Notes||Can't live without eyesight; Jan. enrollee.|
Definitely this year's most out-of-the-blue recruit. [The Justin Fargas award?] Most recruitniks didn't consider him a real possibility for UM, especially after he eliminated them from contention. Brown is a true speed back, something that has been missing in recent years. Played QB in high school. Very highly-regarded as a prospect. Chose Michigan over Georgia, South Carolina, and much of the SEC.
[Many similarities between Antonio Bass and Brown, from the sounds of it. Has the inside track on Minor since he enrolled early.]
Projection: Will play next year. Will compete for carries with Michael Hart and Kevin Grady.
Context: UM brought in RBs Kevin Grady and Mister Simpson last year. They didn't really need a running back, but you can't turn down superstars.
[The midwest appears to be looooaded with running backs of all shapes and descriptions next year, so Michigan will probably take one even though the depth chart is forbidding at the moment.]
RB Brandon Minor
|Richmond, Virginia - 6'0", 213
|Scout||4*, #29 RB|
|Rivals||4*, #1 FB|
|ESPN||6.8, #33 RB|
|Minor Minor Minor Minor|
|YMRMFSPA||Leroy Hoard (Keith: BJ Askew)|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Smash face! Car safety!|
|Notes||Senior year hip flexor injury may have depressed rankings.|
Big, bruising back. Excellent between-the-tackles runner. Rated highly by all and even higher by (creepy) ["creepy" in original -ed] Tom Lemming. Listed as a fullback by most major recruiting services, but will start out at tailback at UM. Had an incredible junior season but suffered from some injuries his senior year which may have hurt his stock as a recruit. Chose Michigan over Tennessee, Miami, Virginia Tech.
[Also of note: Michigan offered Minor on or around signing day last year, which speaks highly of his ability. At that time Hart, Grady, and Martin were looking like a troika of doom and this recruiting class was looking like it was going to be really small. That's a major vote of confidence in him.
Will they move him to fullback? Doubtful: their first '07 commitment is FB Vince Helmuth.]
Projection: Probable redshirt, especially if any nagging injuires remain.
Context: See Brown above.
WR Greg Mathews
|Orlando, Florida - 6'2", 189|
|Scout||3*, #39 WR|
|Rivals||4*, #93, #8 WR|
|ESPN||6.8, #34 WR|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Mention in the "Van Down By The River" for offense.|
|Notes||Sentinel article on a fourth quarter explosion; Jo
ey talks Greg Mathews face; Parade All-American; Central Florida Offensive player of the year.
Recruiting stock rose dramatically over the course of the year. Took over most HS games he played in. Initially favored childhood favorite Miami over Michigan, but didn't like being slow played and committed to Michigan. Eventual Miami offer was turned down. Has excellent size and has been mentioned as a possible recipient of the #1 jersey. Chose Michigan over Miami, Florida State, Ohio State.
[Lack of a Miami offer was really strange and probably caused by his slow 40 times at the camps he attended. Who gets recruited by Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State but doesn't get a Miami offer, especially when the Hurricanes' recruiting class isn't exactly overflowing with talent? Some major disagreement between scouting services on him: Scout says 3*; Lemming and Rivals say Top 100.]
Projection: Will enter the large pool of talented WRs with limited experience. Amongst will compete for time with Adrian Arrington and LaTerryal Savoy. Redshirt possible but unlikely. [Personally, I disagree. With Arrington, Bass, Savoy, Manningham, Dutch, and Tabb in front of Mathews I'd bet he redshirts.]
Context: UM brought in 3 WRs last year, the aforementioned Manningham, Bass, and Savoy. Manningham and Bass played extensively as freshman. Mathews will have to compete for time. WR was not a position of need this year, but it's nice to get Mathews as a bonus.
OT Perry Dorrestein
|Plainfield, IL - 6'6", 283
|Scout||3*, #81 OL|
|Rivals||3*, #43 OT|
|ESPN||6.0, #76 OT|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Eh, he's okay.|
Least hyped of the linemen Michigan is bringing in, although [all together now] linemen are the hardest position to project. Continues Michigan's tradition of bringing in Illinois linemen. Has the frame to adding another 30-40 pounds. Chose Michigan over Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska.
[Lloyd said he was a true 6'7", so he'll probably get tossed in the LT heap with the three guys from last year. They'll fight to the death; one will replace Kolodziej next year.]
Projection: Redshirt. PhD-level courses in the weight room. We'll see you in two years, Perry.
Context: Three players projected at tackle came in last year (Zirbel, Ortmann, McAvoy). Dorrestein will start behind them. Look for Michigan to try and grab a pair of tackles (Josh Oglesby!) next year. [Not likely!]
C Justin Boren
|Pickerington, Ohio - 6'3", 319|
|Scout||4*, #42, #7 OL|
|Rivals||4*, #64, #1 C|
|ESPN||7.2, #71, #2 OG|
|Boron The Destroyer|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Ha ha Buck suxor.|
|Notes||Son of 80s linebacker Mike, brother Zack is a 250 pound HS freshman. Scout interview.|
Son of former UM linebacker Mike Boren. Potential UM/OSU recruiting battle that never was - committed to UM early on. [Though not before his brother Zack paid a visit to the Rivals premium board and posted something along the lines of "Michigan better get on Boren!!! He's slipping away!!! This can't happen!!!" Yes, exclamation points and all. Little Boren is true blue... and not little at all. You can probably consider him Michigan's first 2009 recruit.] Rated Rivals' #1 center and will play on the interior of the line at UM. Jaw-dropping performance at the US Army AA Game. [Spent the game kicking LSU recruit Al Woods' ass.] Has enrolled early and many recruitniks are clamoring to see him next year. Chose Michigan (very early in the process) over Ohio State.
Projection: I tend to think he'll redshirt, but may/will win a spot the year after that. [Earmarked for center, so it will be hard for him to beat out then three-year-starter Adam Kraus as a redshirt freshman.]
Context: It's good to have a player who's going to be a center from day one. Michigan has gotten by the past few years by moving players from guard (Baas), tackle (Kraus), and even defensive tackle (Pearson).
G/T Steve Schilling
|Bellvue, Washington - 6'5", 290
|Scout||5*, #19, #3 OL|
|Rivals||5*, #26, #2 G|
|ESPN||7.2, #105, #9 OT|
|The Big Schill|
|YMRMFSPA||Steve Freakin' Hutchinson|
|Previously On MGoBlog||General effusion. "None of these guys is in his class."|
|Notes||Seattle Times article; Seattle PI article; News Tribune article; Rivals "Breakdown" segment.|
One of the year's biggest recruiting coups for Michigan. Considered one of the top two or three linemen in the nation. Played for a Wing-T team in HS, so has extensive experience in run blocking but will have to learn how to pass block. Analysts have noted his athleticism, footwork, speed and long arms as strengths. At this point, opinions seem split on whether he is best suited for guard or tackle. Unknown wher
e exactly UM sees him fitting in. Chose Michigan over Washington, Cal and USC.
[What he said about the coups and stuff. Offensive linemen are notoriously hard to project, but when I researched "The Big Schill" (link at right) there was nothing but effusive praise for the guy... and I know that excessive hype is the foundation of all recruiting, but this had a different tenor to it. I hope he can play RT.]
Projection: Redshirt due to that lack of pass blocking experience. Could compete for a spot as a redshirt freshman.
Context: Will start somewhere on the line for a long time.
Thanks to Keith for the capsules. Defense (and kicker!) tomorrow. Basketball coming up in a bit.
Like this except less flammable
Think Gabe Watson. Yes, you have to include that bit about taking half the plays off, looking and moving quite like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, and probably spending at least a portion of his career in the doghouse because he keeps cheeseburgers under his pillow. But it sounds like you get those instances where he drives a guy five yards into the backfield some, too... depending on who you listen to. The major scouting services disagree more violently on Kates than any recruit I've seen since I started following this stuff. Rivals has him a solid four-star guy. Scout gives him two--a rating usually reserved for MAC/Michigan State recruits.
Who to believe? Hell if I know. Notre Dame recruited him earlier in the year and he might have committed or something... the details are fuzzy. We do know that ESPN was reporting his commitment... and simultaneously taking flak for it:
Tom Luginbill: Hello football fans and welcome. Before I start off, I would like to address the Jason Kates issue as it relates to him commiting to Notre Dame. We have credible sources and believe that he has committed to Notre Dame and we will stick to that notion for the time being. If anything changes, I can assure you we will let you know right away. We do not feel it to be necessary to change our stance at this time.
There are rumors that there were some academic issues, though nothing of the sort has been mentioned since. It sounds like a situation where ND was hesitant to accept a commitment from Kates after offering due to lackluster senior year play and pulled some "er, tests... core thing... um, GPA call us later" thing. If that speculation's correct, that's not a good sign. I'd rather he triumphantly overcome his academic issue than have no serious ones at all and be shooed away. (Obviously, the previous paragraph is mere conjecture.)
ESPN likes him okay, giving him a 6.6:
Kates gives you a big bodied presence on the defensive line with good strength and athletic ability. ... He does a very good job of using his hands to get separation and keeping them active the whole time he is engaged to maintain separation and free himself. He can hold his ground at the point of attack and has the lower body strength to anchor in.
It sounds like this: Kates doesn't have the natural ability of Watson (who was a consensus OMG SHIRTLESS recruit), so if he has Watson's lackadasical work ethic he'll never see the field. If he gets his ass in gear, though, the high-four-star buzz that was being batted around earlier in the year when Kates was being chased heavily by ND and Penn State could come to fruition: he could match Watson's production. That was All Big Ten. He's got upside, baby!
MGoBlue has posted the 18 letters of intent they have recieved. Kates and Mouton are officially in; Slocum did not sign a second LOI but is trying to qualify. Of note are the following listed positions:
Defensive Tackle: John Ferrera, Jason Kates
Running Backs: Obinna Ezeh, Brandon Minor, Carlos Brown
Tight End: Quintin Woods
Woods was thought to be a DE recruit, Ezeh a linebacker, and Ferrera was listed as a defensive end by the recruiting services. Content coming; busy beavering in the background.
Update: Notable by his absence: K Bryan Wright from Ohio. What's the deal?
We now conclude your Signing Day drama: DT Corey Peters is going to Kentucky. Jonas Mouton, Adam Patterson, and Jason Kates are all scheduled to announce today, but Patterson has publicly acknowledged he's heading to Michigan, Mouton was reported to have committed but appears to be holding back final confirmation for a television announcement tonight, and Kates isn't going to Syracuse. Analysis and stuff to follow.
Rivals west coast guru dude Greg "Em" Biggins has posted once more on the fate of CA S Jonas Mouton:
In an earlier story, we wrote DB Jonas Mouton will be announcing tomorrow night at 6:30 on the Fox Sports HS show. That is now off as we're hearing that Mouton has committed earlier today to Michigan. We've heard this from two good sources close to Mouton and we'll be trying to confirm it with the horses mouth himself later this evening.
Sweet. There's some debate over whether Mouton will stick at safety or eventually move to WLB, but in either case he's still a guy rated in the Rivals 100 (#45), Scout 100 (#48), and ESPN 150 (#128). Mr. Burns says eeeexxcellent. Patterson and Mouton have committed; Rose and Matthews have dropped us; only DTs Jason Kates and Corey Peters remain on the board going ito signing day. Kates is looking good. Peters is still uncertain. Informative update on Mouton coming sometime tomorrow.