somehow we're only 124th
I'm back from parts unknown—okay, Phoenix—with definitive proof that TomVH, not myself, is the recruiting analyst with the vacation-commitment curse (or gift, depending on your perspective). It's been mostly quiet on the recruiting front for the past week, save for Michigan finally pinning down a big-time visit.
Roll Out The
Red Blue Carpet
LA RB Leonard Fournette would like some extra barbeque with his barbeque, please:
New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine 2014 running back Leonard Fournette has been talking about visiting Michigan for some time now.
On Sunday, Wolverine247 insider Steve Lorenz confirmed that Fournette, the Nations top running back, will visit Michigan for an extended visit next week.
This year's BBQ at the Big House is a two-day event slated for Saturday/Sunday; Fournette will arrive in Ann Arbor on Thursday and spend the weekend — accompanied by both of his parents, per GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz ($). Fournette and his family remain adamant that the nation's top back doesn't have any leaders despite everyone expecting the Louisiana native to stay in the Southeast. Michigan is still a longshot and I will continue saying that until there's very concrete evidence to the contrary; Fournette staying for a long weekend with his parents, however, certainly indicates serious interest.
Fournette won't be the only 2014 running back in attendance at the BBQ; Michigan has long been among the top schools for New Jersey three-star Jonathan Hilliman, whose offer sheet far outstrips his current rankings — he'll be in town this weekend, but the Wolverines have ground to cover, per Rivals's Adam Friedman ($):
Hilliman's top five schools were, in no order, Ohio State, Alabama, Rutgers, Michigan and Vanderbilt but he already knows of one school that will make it to the next round.
"I'm going to cut down to three," he said. "Ohio State is still the leader. We're keeping in contact and it's easy for me to see how interested they are. I know Ohio State is going to make the cut and most likely Rutgers will also but I want to see how the visit goes. I'm not sure of which school will be that third one.
The BBQ gives Michigan a good chance to be that third school; Ohio State is obviously the team to beat. I'll have the full rundown on BBQ visitors on Thursday, once I've had a chance to settle back in and more recruits confirm whether or not they'll attend.
[Hit THE JUMP for news on early enrollees, the latest on Adoree' Jackson, and updates on several underclassmen, including Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and the two choice eliminations from his recruitment.]
Effective at the end of the season, Michigan's iconic equipment manager Jon Falk will retire.
Falk was formed in the strata underneath Ann Arbor sometime in the late Cretaceous era and unearthed by Fielding Yost during the construction of Michigan Stadium. Falk handed Yost a winged helmet, and was offered a job. In the intervening epoch he has equipped Michigan football players head to toe as they won more games than any other program, and at least part of this paragraph is factual.
Some more fact-like facts from the press release:
“I remember the day that Bo Schembechler interviewed me and said that working at the University of Michigan would present great opportunities for my career,” said Falk. “He offered me the position but I decided that staying home to care for my mom and grandmother was more important. My mom woke up at 4 a.m. and came to me with tears in her eyes and said, ‘Jon, you are going to Michigan. Bo and the University of Michigan are going to take care of you and this will be a great career move.’ As I reflect on my nearly 40 years at Michigan, I have been fortunate to work with some great coaches, administrators and thousands of players. After talking with Dave Brandon about my retirement, I realized that Bo and my mother were right. Dave and Michigan have taken care of me. I’m appreciative of all that I learned, was a part of and contributed to at Michigan. This is a special place and I will always love Michigan and Michigan Football.”
“Jon has given so much of his life to Michigan Football and we are all grateful to him for his dedication, passion and loyal service to our championship culture,” said head coach Brady Hoke. “He is a big part of this program and his colorful personality will be missed around Schembechler Hall, Michigan Stadium and on the road in opposing venues. We are happy that Jon will be able to enjoy retirement with his wife Cheri and family, but that is on hold until he helps us chase another Big Ten Championship this fall.”
Also, Cathy Schembechler:
Cathy Schembechler, Bo’s Widow
It is virtually impossible for any former Michigan football player from the past 40 years to talk about Michigan football and not have the name ‘Big Jonny’ pass their lips. He's easily the most important guy at Schembechler Hall that you can talk to today if you want to know about Michigan tradition. One of my favorite things to do when I go back to Ann Arbor is to sit in Big Jon's office and listen to him tell stories ... Bo stories especially. Even though I think he's softened up just a little over the years, he's still a man whose respect you have to earn, no matter who you are ... and he's loyal to a fault. His impact on and contributions to Michigan football will never be forgotten.
The full thing has many more quotes and is behind the jump.
[UPDATE via Ace: Falk talks retirement on mgoblue's un-embeddable video player]
Deal with it. Is this off topic? Yes.
my world cup future's so bright I've got to wear shades thrown at me by irate Salvadoreans
But it gives me a chance to mention that you guys who make college football topics—topics about OHIO STATE—and make them off topic are just as bad as a guy who makes a pokemon thread and declares it on-topic. This section has gone from off topic to META:.
Bombs away. Mike Slive took some soft shots at the NCAA during his SEC Media Days appearance, but he's got nothing on new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who just got off the podium at his conference's event. Choice quotes (or paraphrased quotes) from twitter:
- "Realignment will never be considered one of our proudest moments."
- Bowlsby says big conferences don't want to get rid of the NCAA altogether. That's true. They don't want to stage another softball tourney.
- Bowlsby's remarks are measured but aggressive about the NCAA's lack of innovation. Echoing Slive, sans historical references.
- "The time has come to think about federation by size and scope"
- "I really think we need to reconfigure the leadership in the organization."
- "It's time to reevaluate our core purpose."
- “I’m not critical of Mark Emmert. I’m critical of an organization that is just not very efficient.”
The glove has been removed, and used to slap.
Bowlsby's comments come on the heels of ACC comissioner John Swofford floating the idea of a "super division" that would separate the Indiana States from the big programs, allowing those larger programs to make changes that would make the enterprise somewhere between a bit and significantly less icky.
"That's a potential way of making a change that would basically retain the fundamental NCAA oversight and umbrella, if you will," Swofford said. "If the five conferences were to break off, I mean, that's a complicated move. You'd have to, in essence, duplicate the NCAA in some form or fashion, and then what does that mean for intercollegiate athletics? So if you've got another division, if that's the answer within the NCAA, you can maneuver and find an appropriate way, I think, to address those kinds of issues."
Dollars to donuts Scott and Delany follow up with agreement; these guys don't yawn without a focus group about it and if all three are taking potshots at Emmert and company, there was meeting. With cigars.
Next time read the wall? OSU starting RB Carlos Hyde is a person of interest in an assault that had twitter and message boards abuzz the last couple days. Not helping is Aaron Hernandez and the legion of guys itching to write COLUMNS about Urban's corrupting touch with youth, but the vibe I get is that it's pretty bad. "Sources" tell the Dispatch Hyde is gone, so… yeah. Bad.
Dude, next time read the wall.
I'll take "things you don't have to tell Brady Hoke recruits" for $1000, Alex
OSU is also looking into an incident with corner Bradley Roby in Bloomington over the weekend, the Dispatch says. He was arrested for "battery resulting in bodily injury." Not a good weekend for the Buckeyes.
If gone, Hyde will be replaced by Rod Smith, who's a lot like Hyde, and sophomore Brionte Dunn. The dropoff there would not be huge. Roby would be a different matter, since top-half-of-the-first-round cornerbacks don't grow on trees. Sounds like Roby's thing is more of a two-game suspension kind of thing, though:
Sources told The Dispatch he was asked to leave a bar after a disturbance, refused, and was subdued by bouncers at the bar before being taken into custody.
Unless that bodily injury is ripping a guy's heart out through his chest, he'll hang on.
Random old-ish thing. 1995 ad for M/OSU, amongst other things:
Tim Biakabutuka would go off for 313 yards in a 31-23 victory.
Well, maybe. Michigan and Ohio to face off in a high school all-star game, replacing both the intrastate Michigan game and the now-defunct Big 33 matchup. It's scheduled for June 14th, 2014, which is after the date when Michigan freshmen coming up for summer enroll, AFAIK. Apparently it can't be any earlier because the MHSAA, which remains as up-to-date as a Model T, will kibosh the eligibility of anyone who participates in such a thing before things like track end.
Michigan has always been a little iffy on letting their freshmen participate in such things, and I don't think they'll be fired up to put their recruits through a live-contact game six weeks before the season.
Previously: CB Reon Dawson, CB Channing Stribling, S Delano Hill, S Dymonte Thomas, CB Ross Douglas, CB Jourdan Lewis, LB Ben Gedeon, LB Mike McCray, DE Taco Charlton,DT Maurice Hurst Jr., DT Henry Poggi, OL Patrick Kugler, OL David Dawson, OLLogan Tuley-Tillman, OL Kyle Bosch, OL Chris Fox, OL Dan Samuelson, TE Jake Butt.
|Detroit, MI – 6'2", 235|
|Scout||3*, NR overall
|Rivals||3*, NR overall
#32 TE, #21 MI
|ESPN||3*, NR overall
#8 H-back, #9 MI
|24/7||3*, NR overall
#31 TE, #14 MI
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace. Ace scouts East Village.|
|Notes||Transferred from Crockett to East Village Prep, FWIW.|
Recommend the John Woo-approved touchdown at 20 seconds. Also, Scout's Josh Newkirk put together a reel of his performances at one 7-on-7 tourney that's impressive both for its length and some of the catches Hill brings in:
We're in the thick of this year's crop of hybridized, NFL-style versatile offensive players. You know, the guys that will let Michigan crank you from a big formation on one play and flip to a four-wide the next with limited personnel switching. Khalid Hill will live in the heavier end of Michigan's formations, moving to and fro across the line of scrimmage, blocking and heading out into pass patterns. SB Nation has an excellent primer on Hill's job description I recommend you take in all of, but the short version from the man who kind of invented the spot himself:
This takes you back to [former Redskins Coach Joe] Gibbs' description of the modern H-back: "An H-back has to have good hands and be super smart."
Bonus items include bone-shattering blocking (taken for granted at the NFL level, I imagine) and the ability to get vertical from time to time; Hill hits on at least a few of these categories. According his coach, he has them all…
"He's a great pass catcher. He has the blocking ability of a lineman, the athletic ability of a skill guy, and the hands of a wide receiver, so he's a match-up nightmare. What he brought to the table for us this year was, he created mismatches down seams of the field."
…but coaches tend to get excited about their kids. To the scouts!
The one he's definitely got: hands. Virtually every report I've collected praises them first off. 247's Clint Brewster:
The first thing that really jumps off the tape about Hill is his catching radius. He can scoop a pass up off of his shoelaces or go up and make a tough catch well over his head. Hill also has good arm extension when making a catch, not allowing the ball to get close to his body. Hill is quarterback friendly and really makes an inaccurate pass look easy to catch with his natural adjustments. After the catch Hill shows an excellent burst of speed and can really make a bigger defender miss a tackle or plow over a smaller one. Hill does a great job of getting vertical on seam routes when lined up in the slot or attached at the line of scrimmage. Hill runs precise routes, really getting good separation from his opponent with sharp cuts and head nods.
Regardless of how he lines up he can help move the chains as a receiver. He has good hands and demonstrates that he can consistently extend for the ball. … good quickness and is active with his hands in working to clear past defenders who may try and hinder his release. He is a solid route runner best suited as a short-to-intermediate target. He has solid speed, but comes across as a kid who is a little quicker than fast and doesn't look to possess the ideal long speed to be a vertical threat. After the catch he will quickly get turned up-field and fight for what he can get.
You'll note an almost total lack of blocking notes in both evaluations above, and that's for a reason: ESPN says that's an area that "could use some real development."
But back to the receiving. Ace took in East Village Prep's opener, in which Hill went for a 65-yard TD, and reported back:
Hill's first catch of the season was a slant route that he took 65 yards for a touchdown; the throw was slightly behind him, but he reached back and plucked the ball out of the air without breaking stride, then turned on the burners and outran the entire Oak Park secondary. It was a very impressive effort that showed off Hill's potential as a receiver.
Hill looked very comfortable working over the middle, whether he lined up at tight end, H-back, slot, or wide receiver; he's at his best finding open space in the heart of the defense. His hands look good as well, as he caught everything thrown his way, making sure to catch with his hands instead of his body. When running routes, Hill showed why he earned a Michigan offer.
That is a piece of skill Michigan fans have recently seen out of Drew Dileo in a guy 50 pounds heavier and a half-foot taller: a rare quality. But back to the blocking issues.
However, Hill ran into problems when asked to run block. He had a difficult time staying engaged with defenders and knocking them off the ball; on several occasions, he never found someone to block at all.
Is it good news that Hill was such a valuable receiver as a high school player that his blocking can lack so badly? Well… maybe. In hybrid land a lot of these guys get picked for the one skill they have because coaches think they can fix the other bit. As we learned with Funchess last year, though, a mismatch guy is only a mismatch if he can block.
Once Hill can do that, though, he has potential to "surprise" defenses. Another recurring theme in the evaluations is continued references to his surprising—always surprising—athleticism. Scout's eval:
Scout.com Player Evaluation:
Hands and Concentration
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
Stocky kid with surprising quickness and athleticism for his build. Very light on his feet, has great route running skills and ability to catch the ball as a tight end or H-Back. Soft, reliable hands and good run after the catch schools. Will have to learn to block potentially from the backfield as he may see time there in college. Not your traditional tight end at 6'2, but has the skills to be a matchup problem. - Allen Trieu
The ever-popular "size" area for improvement and more references to his developing blocking skills feature.
Tim Sullivan caught him at a 7-on-7 event:
He looks like a defensive lineman … but has quickness and speed that are bound to surprise those who think he's just a big man playing tight end, rather than a true athlete. He isn't going to run by many safeties, but makes quick, sharp cuts to get open in the middle of the field, or toward the sidelines as an outlet on some plays. He has the frame and leaping ability to make high catches over the middle - and the fearlessness to jump and make plays with his body exposed.
Hill presented a serious matchup problem for defensive backs unaccustomed to handling a player with his combination of size and athleticism. Hill runs crisp routes and has soft hands, so while he doesn't wow you with his frame or speed, he finds a way to get open and has developed a great rapport with his future college quarterback.
You get the idea. Let's continue attacking the horse, though:
Steve Wiltfong: "The sure-handed Hill knows how to get open, and was the go-to guy for Morris throughout the weekend."
Brewster at SMSB: "Hill does a great job getting in and out of his breaks. He did a nice job of getting separation from his defenders and snatching the football with his arms extended to not let it get anywhere close to his body."
Sullivan at the Columbus NFTC: "Hill impressed again on Saturday, with more athleticism than he's given credit for at times, precise routes, and as always, very good hands. "
Ace at SMSB: "Hill looked very good in the reps I saw him taking, running crisp routes and catching almost everything thrown his way. He nearly pulled in a ridiculous one-hander early in the morning session, but couldn't quite haul it on; otherwise, any pass in his direction resulted in a catch. Hill isn't the fastest tight end out there, nor the biggest, but he finds a way to get space from defenders and then shield them off with his body."
I declare this horse deader.
Hill camped as a junior, which got him on Michigan's radar. He won the positional MVP there, no doubt a help as Michigan evaluated him for their early offer. It didn't hurt that Hill and Shane Morris rolled around the 7-on-7 circuit on the same team, as Ace mentions obliquely above. Morris developed faith in Hill to the point that you can get a 3 and a half minute highlight reel out of one 7-on-7, as you see above, while other guys on the Max Ex team (like C'sonte York) can only squeeze out a minute and a half by adding some practice reps in.
As a senior, Hill may have added some blocking skill after a shoulder injury forced an interesting, temporary position move:
“Two weeks ago the A-C joint in my shoulder got sprained in a game and I couldn’t do anything but block, that’s the only thing that didn’t hurt,” Hill began. “So I told my coach to put someone else at tight end and I’ll play offensive tackle. Same thing happened last year when I hurt my knee- I moved to tackle. I just want to be on the field to help my team in any way possible. It’s all about the team.”
(File under The Pattern as well.)
Sullivan caught one of his later games and focused on his blocking, which was much-improved in his eyes:
[Hill] was far more aggressive and willing to punish defenders in this game, and played a big role in opening up holes. He also used his hands to prevent the defender from disengaging, which allowed him to seal the edge.
Hill still shows a tendency to get off balance at times in his blocking, especially on the edge. While it's unlikely to harm the team in any significant way, that can limit big runs if they break into the secondary. On a similar note, he was beaten in space a couple times, but given his athleticism, that should be an easy fix to make.
He still had issues making second-level blocks after coming off combos, FWIW, something Ace noticed when he scouted East Village as well.
So… Hill has some developing to do as a blocker, especially because most of his activity is going to be of the lead variety from now on, something he hasn't done much of yet. That'll delay his bid for playing time; once he gets that down he has the potential to be a guy linebackers swear to themselves about when they try to take a block and he flits by. Hill has the potential to be a premium piece of the offense when space gets constricted.
Etc.: Junior stats: 29 catches for 448 yards, six TDs. Lingo ahoy!
"I feel great," he said. "There's a smile on my face. I'm cheesin'."
That's immediately post-commit.
Why Phillip Lutzenkirchen? Auburn's red-zone touchdown machine is the best I've got on the college level. Lutzenkirchen spent his days on the Plains blocking on short yardage and slipping out into uncovered pattern after uncovered pattern. His catching ability was superb for a guy his size and he brought enough wood as a blocker to convince AU opponents to sell out against the run, much to their detriment.
Lutzenkirchen is in the same height range but did top out at nearly 260 pounds; Hill may end up ten pounds short of that.
Guru Reliability: High. Lots of camps, and while there's a little divide in the rankings (Scout has him just a few players away from a fourth star; Rivals ranks him below an in-state tight end headed to Air Force) everyone says he's the same player.
Variance: Moderate. Will be a blocking back and guy who catches some short stuff, occasionally getting into a wheel route; blocking must develop.
Ceiling: Low-plus. While Hill can be a useful cog, that seems to be the limit. Does bring some potential as a consistent mismatch if he can learn to block, though.
General Excitement Level: Low-plus. Is kind of a fullback, and how many kind-of-fullbacks are going to be on this roster? On the other hand, seems like a red-zone efficiency piece, and who doesn't like red-zone efficiency?
Projection: Probable redshirt since most of the evals mention he has a long way to go as a blocker. He does fit the profile of a guy who will get time on special teams sooner rather than later, though, so nonzero chance he ends up covering kicks. A serious role in the offense will have to wait.
How long is a mystery. He's got Sione Houma and Joe Kerridge in front of him in terms of seniority, and Kerridge got a lot of playing time in which he showed some promise as a Kevin Dudley-style linebacker eraser… as a redshirt freshman. It'll be a battle for Hill to pass him full-time.
Situationally… yeah, there's room, especially after Gardner graduates and Shane Morris presumably ascends to the throne. A couple years down the road Hill will presumably be accustomed to blocking out of the backfield and his 7-on-7 running buddy will be looking for him in practice whenever they're on the field together.
Football is here, and it is beautiful. Two pallets filled with boxes with 55 books apiece arrived at Underground Printing's warehouse yesterday afternoon. The people with rush orders ought to be getting them in their mailboxes today. I've moved the writeup over to the diaries for now so all those who helped can remain standing and be recognized. If you happen to run into any of our authors, production folk, photographers, etc., celebrate these people. Hold a shindig in their honor, build a statue in their commemoration, and declare the day Eric Upchurch Day or Greg Dooley Day or Courtney Fathers Day, etc. Maybe bring a cloak and scepter to work today in case you need to drape one over them. Basketball-hockey is now in production and should be out around late September.
Diaries were weak this week. LSA's thing compared turnover margin to winning over time among too small a sample and offers no conclusions. The other was k.o.k.Law remembering the Ed Martin scandal and the '98 Rose Bowl before coming back to finish his trip to the hoops championship game story. Best to head to the board.
PEOPLE WHO PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE DAYS NAMED FOR THEM
If you're looking for MGoStaff next week, try Chicago. Big Ten Media Days are next week, and Brian will be in town to participate in an alumni group Q&A with Sam Webb and Gerry Dinardo on Wednesday. Yes the book will be there.
If you're looking for former players, try…paintball?
That is Vincent Smith, but those are not finger guns. People who helped support the Hope for Pahokee thing got to play a round with the Pahokee guys. I prefer to remember Smith jackrabbitting around as a freshman and finger-gunning and blocking like a mountain goat, not for his role as a supporting actor in how great Clowney looks when nobody blocks him.
DEVIN GARDNER: SEC SUPERSTAR
According to Bodogblog the SEC coaches were gushing about Devin at SEC media days. Obligatory Gardner doing stuff vs. an SEC team video:
GARAGE SALE DAY
Is today. Reportedly there were about 80 people in line before 8 a.m. to get first crack at Michigan schlock. I think Fuller is over there right now. Find him and throw a shindig.
SALUTE TO MGOSENIORS
Those who've been here since the site moved from blogspot, happy 5 years of Never Forget banners, Shavodrick Beaver news. Those who've been around since the before times will remember what it was like to live through the first coaching search. Aye, before there were sailboats there was utter panic and profiles in heroism and way more Flight Tracker. There was also the Fandom Endurance Badge, which props to the Glove for framing it.
Let's everyone Bruce Lee kick a Buckeye in celebration.
REVERSING THE O'BANNION EFFECT
You know how Beilein likes to get those younger-than-they-should-be guys like LeVert then cackle when they turn into 6'6 wingers. The other side of that is kids who get held back a year so that they're a year larger and more athletic while trying to distinguish themselves against high school and collegiate competition. This was going on at least as long ago as when I was a kid. Some of these kids then leap back to their correct grade if they've reached the elite mark, in order to get to the NBA sooner.
RIVALS MAKES A LIST, WE CHECK IT TWICE
MGoBlue.com put up a bunch of interviews with Michigan coaches of the various sports on Wednesday and fished a Michael Spath article out of it. Read it as "Michigan has five coaches ranked higher in their sport than Brady Hoke if anything before 2012 is a dark and mystical past." Red Berenson isn't even among the five. Frankly I'm surprised it's just that many. There are a bunch of coaches in college football's ranks who've won one or more national championships, built multiple programs to prominence, and have been simply doing it much longer than Hoke has. Meanwhile Michigan is an annual competitor for the Director's Cup because the athletic department shells out for the best of the best in many sports that SEC teams don't even bother playing. If we're not tilting to the sports people care about I don't know if Beilein would be first either; he is tops on their list because Rivals is a very "What have you done for me lately" kind of outlet. But if we're being serious about his, I mean: Carol Hutchins, Red Berenson, Kurt Golder. Chaka Daley didn't even make Spath's Top 10. Wrestling just brought in the country's top recruiting class.
Your Moment of Zen:
Attention MGoShoppers: If you have been storing a donkey and/or an over-hyped defensive end in your mailbox, I suggest you move it now:
This is the official MGoBlog annual season preview and feature book, totally indie for the totally second time. Like other 2013 preview publications, the book with the donkey-hating cover has 128 pages of features and 2013 team preview content in it. It also has a mustache, a middle finger, and we drew all over Urban Meyer's face. This is all before we get to Page 6.
Again, we funded it through Kickstarter, and again you people jumped to support it and our stretch goal of a basketball hockey book as if it could bring Taylor Lewan and Mitch McGary back. I'm not saying they returned for a chance to be the cover athletes of HTTV and HTTV Hoopsahockey; that is just a coincidence.
HOW YOU CAN HAVE THIS
Get in your time machine and get in on the kickstarter or preorder it. We sent the rush orders yesterday and two pallets of books are as we speak on their way to Ann Arbor. Those who helped us Kickstart it will get it first, followed by the preorders. Plan is to try to get through the high-donor folk first but we've streamlined the process so well this year we're not anticipating the huge long wait again. I have been told this is the wrong way to manage expectations. So expect your stuff to arrive July 31, then be pleasantly surprised or whatever.
HOW YOU CAN HAVE THIS IF YOU DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO A TIME MACHINE
It is possible using various methods to exchange currency for it.
Our online fantasy sports partners at DraftStreet bought up a bunch of these and are giving them away if you deposit at least $15 to play their fantasy sports games. Once you deposit you'll get a code to input into our store. Method 1 also has the benefit of being the most beneficial to us since we get paid double per book. You'll also be able to use our code (77HATESDONKEYS) on Draft Street for 30% on top of whatever you put down (so if for $15 you get $19.50 in your Draft Street account and a copy of HTTV sent to you). So to review:
- Take this link right here to the offer page.
- Create a new account on Draftstreet and deposit $15 or more.
- Enter 77HATESDONKEYS as a code while you're doing that to get 30% more.
- As soon as you put in your deposit, DraftStreet will send you an email with a special link back to our store, and a code to use there to get you free shipping. If you don't receive an email, contact email@example.com and he'll get you squared away.
We're checking the list against DraftStreet's before they go out so make sure the addresses match.
Awesome, right? There are caveats. 1) Limit's one per customer. 2) They're looking for new members so if you've already got an account there (even a free one) you'll be locked out, at least on that email address. Also locked out: Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Vermont, and Montana. Yes we have readers in Montana. More than in Vermont, actually. Hi people from Montana (or guy with 217 computers)! Also: sorry people in Montana, try Method 2.
Method 2 is to order it from the MGoStore. It is $15.00. Shipping will make it about $20 depending on where you live and taxes, for example it's $20.59 to first-class it if you live in Michigan, $20.77 to send it to Wrigley Field, and $19.42 to a guitar store on Bleeker Street in New York, a frozen banana stand in Santa Monica, Calif., the Office of Discreet Extra Benefits in Columbus, Ohio, or the MGoBlog computer bank in Malta, Montana.
Method 3 is to walk into any Underground Printing outlet—including Moe's—in Ann Arbor and purchase it. Working on getting it on other racks. If you'll be around Ann Arbor on August 24, pin that afternoon for the tentative release party at UGP's shop on South U and drinks afterwards at Good Time Charley's.
WHAT IS IN IT: STUFF
Like the roster? Yes it has a roster, and it is kind of useful because the positions aren't just groups: Jake Ryan is a SAM, safeties are broken up into SS and FS, though we didn't get into who's a right or left tackle, or a U-back or a boundary versus field corner. The last changes I could make were to get the RBs # changes; most of the freshmen #s weren't in yet. There's a Letter from the Editors by Brian and me where we just kind of call each other and ourselves awesome for various things. Monumental—he of the awesome wallpapers—did the covers and the section breaks again. Wait'll you see what he's working on next.
WHAT IS IN IT: THE PREVIEW PART
Pgs. 8-37: Position-by-position rundown of the entire team by Brian. Two extra pages were dedicated to the offensive line this year since that's a big question mark and there weren't enough quarterbacks to fill four pages. We stop for summaries at the end of each unit (offense/defense) and finish with a thing on the incoming recruits. We couldn't resist adding Peppers. Why it's different than other preview magazines: we admit it's 50/50 that Glasgow pushing two expected starters is foreboding.
Pgs. 38-61: Every opponent next year by Ace (most of them), Heiko & me (Notre Dame and MSU), and a guest appearance by Mike Pettigano, the Brian Cook of the PSU blogosphere. Why it's different than other preview magazines: greater appreciation for Shane and LeeAnn Bullough, and we know there's nothing more important to Iowa than a punter named Kornbrath.
WHAT IS IN IT: THE FEATURE PART
Pgs. 64-79: Twisted Blue Steel by Craig Ross and Brian Cook. Brian's two articles are his parting songs to Denard and Kovacs. Ross, because he is Craig Ross, went up to Al Borges and asked him to explain what the hell he was thinking against Ohio State last year. And Al Borges, because he is Al Borges, gave him an answer which, if not precisely a good one, at least kind of explains what happened there (besides the communists infiltrating our fluids of course).
Pgs. 80-99: Technical Dossier by Mathlete (who goes by a human name in the book), Michael Elkon of Braves & Birds, and me again. Coulda just called this the "Trajectory" section this year. Mathlete's is an update on his annual metrics and how good the numbers say Michigan ought to be this season. Elkon looks at the possibility of renewing our subscription to the 10-Year War, why it could happen and why it might not. Mine tries to evaluate what kind of program Michigan will have when all of these recruits have grown up, comparing the Hoke method to how Nick Saban built Michigan State, LSU, and Alabama. Okay fine, it's really just lots of charts and Hoke pointing at things.
Pgs. 100-118: Tales of Old Blue, better known as the annual John Kryk and Greg Dooley (aka MVictors) section. Ironically the old fogies part of the book is the section with two consecutive articles where someone gives the finger. See if you can guess where they might be among:
- The 40-year anniversary of when Michigan and Denny Franklin got hosed, wherein Kryk goes back to talk to Denny and those still living among the ADs involved in the vote to pick apart what really happened to send OSU to the Rose Bowl.
- The Ron Kramer Story, minus the parts they were allowed to print in the football programs the day his number was Legendsed.
- An interview with Bob Bergeron, Michigan's most automatic kicker and subject of that one Sports Illustrated photo with a pizza in the hot tub.
- Five Myths of the Little Brown Jug. Since I read this I've passed the forkish intersection of Stadium/Packard probably 20 times and still can't look at it the same.
Pgs. 122-127: The Roundtable. Talking points are the X factors, breakout players, confidence quotient, and the new-look Big Ten, with Brian, me, Ace, and Craig Ross.
Pg. 128: Hail to the Hail to the Victors Backers.
We couldn't have had one without the other. The big backers get a page in the book. Because I still don't think that quite covers how thankful we are to our kickstarter supporters, I'm gonna just go ahead and Hail! them some more on the front page. No you don't get a jump; this is the people most responsible for HTTV 2013 existing on a physical plane. May their names be sung to your children's children's children by Muppets:
|Jose Alvarez||The Houtman Family|
|Mark Bisard||Thanks Krug!|
|Christie Brown and Ben Davis||Cory & Garrett Kastl|
|David Callahan||Richard Kim|
|Brian Callahan||Andrew Kim|
|Milton Feldberg||The Linn Family|
|Timothy P Finch||Evan Makela|
|Will Fluharty||Edward Mitchell|
|Bryan Fuller||Chad Osburn|
|Darren Gilbert||Malcolm T. Simpson|
|Dave Glasser||Bo Snyder|
|Zachary Hirsch||Dan Valerius|
|Myron Hnatczuk||Bill and Rob Weiner|
|Pete, Lauren, Ben, and Carly||Center Ice|
|Tom Hoover||Takao Yamada|
And those who gave uber piles and thus get sentences:
|HAWAIIAN WAR CHANTERS|
|Aaron Bozicevich||National Championship Game 2014 - Schnoor gets "INDICUD" tattoo'd on his back in Pasadena, CA. It was the Sugar Bowl, and he said 'drop your panties or get the fuck out'.|
|Scott Childers||Thank you Denard. Go Blue!|
|Samir Dahman||Dahman Law, unabashedly supporting the legal and blogging interests of Wolverines all across enemy territory, and now in Michigan. Check us out at dahmanlaw.com and Go Blue!|
|Randy Dean||M FAMILY SURROUNDED IN COLUMBUS -(STOP)- AINSLEY EMERSON ELLA AND RANDY DEAN REMAIN BLUE -(STOP)- HUNTER DEAN AND BEN GRINDLEY BITTEN BY RABID URBAN LOST -(STOP)- INTERNET HERE IS TERRIBLE -(STOP)- BEAT -(STOP)- OHIO -(STOP)-|
|Michael Hacker||Hacker Bros. BBQ: Live from AAGO since 1998. You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.|
|Bryan Hunkele||From Bryan, Christina, Harper, David, Justin, Kobi, Harjote, Atishay and all Wolverines everywhere: thank you, Denard Robinson.|
|William Johnson||Thank you to my Dad, William W. and my late Mom, Marian for helping me to fulfill a dream to graduate from Michigan. I am also proud of my son and fellow Wolverine, Rob.|
|Adam Lanseur||Thanks to Brian and all of the contributors and users that make MGoBlog a great community. Go Blue!|
|Justin||Mark Jaques, this season is going to be legen .... wait for it.... dary! Happy Birthday my friend|
|Rahul Yaratha||Shout out to my 5th Williams-Michigan brothers and sisters - Go Blue|
The title page dedicates the book to the "Dr. Huang and the rest of the Dad-saving doctors and medical staff of the University of Michigan Hospitals. The leaders and the best indeed."
This is because they saved my dad, and not just in the way hospitals usually go about this dad-saving business. Because they diagnose as a team instead of as specialists, rather than giving up on vital organs they managed to figure out some things were only turning off because they were waiting for other parts. Heavenly Bo is getting misty-eyed.
GRATITUDES AND BRADY HOKE EPIC DOUBLEPOINTS TO:
Courtney Fathers of Corkboards, who took the job on the side of both a real job and a side job working for the Red Wings and Griffins while in the midst of their respective playoff runs. If you compare this book and the last one to any that came before it you can begin to appreciate her talent. When you consider she gave up on sleep for a month for us…
Eric Upchurch and Bryan Fuller, who took a bazillion photos and helped me pick out what we needed. You are already familiar with their skills at capturing the moments that are burned into our memories, but we saved some of the really nice ones for the book.
Tres Crow and Becky Long, our volunteer copyeditors.
Underground Printing and Rishi Narayan for their friendship and partnership and distributorship.
Bob Bergeron, Al Borges, Peg Canham-Keeley, Wayne Duke, Bump Elliott, Dennis Franklin, and Ramzi Nasrallah of Eleven Warriors for agreeing to be interviewed by our authors.
To the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library for lending us their photos. Also the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor Sports Memorabilia, the [Univ. of Alabama student paper] Crimson White, The Akron Buchtelite, James Brosher of the Indiana Daily Student News, UtheBuckeyblog.com (who calls us UMGoBlog.com), Mike Pettigano, Chuck Miller of Central Michigan [University] Life, Darren Cooper of NorthJersey.com, Ace, Heiko, and U.S. Army specialist Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public Affairs.
Bentley (if you're here you've almost certainly bookmarked that already), Cfbstats.com, collegefootballdata.org, NCAA.org, Footballoutsiders.com, sports-reference.com, and MGoBlue.com for sharing data.
And finally, the administrators, staff, coaches, and players of the Michigan Football team, for giving us something worth obsessing over.