LIST OF WWE PERSONNEL?!?
Two 2015 commits are officially in: QB Alex Malzone and ATH Brian Cole enrolled at Michigan this week.. Given what should be an open, heated competition for the starting quarterback job next season, it's especially nice to get Malzone on campus early; while he won't be the favorite to land atop the depth chart, he's got the talent to make a run for it.
I've failed to mention this in the past couple roundups, but as you might expect, the recruits who stuck with Michigan through the turmoil of the last several months are very solid in their pledges now that Jim Harbaugh is in place. 2015 four-star S Tyree Kinnel, for instance, is back to recruiting for the Wolverines after previously considering a flip to Notre Dame, per MLive's Nick Baumgardner:
"Oh yeah I'm recruiting," Kinnel said. "I'm talking to (five-star corner) Marcus Lewis, (five-star corner) Iman Marshall, I've been texting four-star safety Shaun Crawford (a former Michigan pledge, currently a Notre Dame commit) a bit.
"And I'm still talking with Alex (Malzone), he's staying on top of everyone. He's giving me more names to keep texting. He's on top of everybody. We're trying to get this whole thing together, and I know (Michigan commit) Brian Cole has been recruiting like crazy, too. We're trying to finish this class strong."
Marshall is reportedly setting up an official visit, while Lewis is considering the same; unfortunately, there hasn't been much to indicate Crawford will reconsider Michigan.
In other news, Kinnel's senior highlight reel just posted on Hudl.
Several To Go
Surprise! Four-star CT TE Chris Clark's recruitment remains bizarre as all hell. Clark is down to Michigan and UCLA, and he's scheduled officials to Ann Arbor for January 16th and LA the following weekend, per 247's Steve Wiltfong.
Which program will land Clark is anybody's guess. He told 247's Tom Loy there's "a part of me that feels UCLA is going to be the place for me," naming UCLA as his leader even though he's never been to their campus. He's also yet to meet Jim Harbaugh in person, which could swing things the other way, and... well, you try to figure out the quotes he gave GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz ($):
Based on his previous verbal commitment to Michigan under Brady Hoke, Clark did admit that gives the Wolverines a slight edge down the stretch in his recruitment.
“I would say I think UCLA, right now, in terms of the opportunity, it’s better there,” Clark said. “But I’d say in terms of my comfort level and in terms of where I know more about, it would definitely be Michigan.
“But I think the opportunity is a little greater at UCLA from all the stuff I know now but I think in terms of where I probably feel more at home or where I feel more comfortable with, Michigan would have that advantage right now.”
Bogenschutz took that to mean Michigan holds the edge. I am the shrug emoticon.
Three-star MI ATH John Kelly spoke to Harbaugh last week; he told Scout's Josh Newkirk that the new Michigan coach is "a real cool guy," and he's being recruiting as an athlete who can pick his position when he gets to campus ($). Kelly set up official visits to Tennessee and Minnesota later this month and plans to do the same for Michigan and Michigan State before a signing day decision.
[Hit THE JUMP for updates on several top 2015 targets as well as Harbaugh hire reactions from a handful of the best 2016 prospects in the country.]
When can we fire this apparel company?
What do you think will happen when the Adidas contract runs up? It's no secret around these parts the quality of garments that Adidas has put out have been sub-par to say the least. I know the majority of MGoBlog would prefer to go back to Nike, but there's a faction that would like Under Armour. Where do you see this going? Especially since I would anticipate the Nike contract not being nearly as lucrative as an Under Armour signing or a re-up with Adidas. Does Hackett (assuming he's still around) or a new AD listen to the fans or do you think they go for profit here?
I don't know. Nike isn't willing to spend bucks as huge as Adidas and Under Armor, which was a contributing factor in Miami's recent switch to the only incompetent Germans. Adidas has the four most expensive (FOIAable) contracts in college sports, with Michigan's whopping 8.2 million at the top of the list. That number is double what OSU gets from Nike.
Part of that premium is because Adidas isn't as cool to the whippersnappers and you have to weigh that, but this isn't a few hundred thousand a year Michigan is weighing. Switching to Nike would be a decision that costs Michigan a significant chunk of change.
The ideal situation may be Under Armour stepping in with an on-par offer. UA's done some wacky stuff with Maryland but they've been extremely reserved with Auburn's classic look. (An extensive Googling reveals no alternate uniform horrors.) I'm a huge fan of what they've done with Northwestern, incorporating a historical design element in a unique way.
Aside from the excessive logo frippery* that plagues everyone these days, that is a fantastic, distinctive look. Even the font is on point. I'd rather have UA take a swing at—or just, like, sit quietly by and not do anything weird with—Michigan's uniforms than Adidas.
But I don't wear the stuff so I don't know. It seems like the players are gung-ho about Nike and Hackett is listening; plus it seems like there is some real recruiting impact in basketball.
*[The best thing Dave Brandon did with Michigan's brand is render the mandatory Big Ten logo in Crisler as faintly as possible.]
Rate the get
How big of a get is Harbaugh compared to Ohio state landing Urban? Obviously OSU's down time was smaller than Michigan's, and Urban won national titles at Florida, but in terms of hires it has to be close to comparable, right? Recruits lining up and all that.
In terms of difficulty of acquisition it's a much, much bigger get. Meyer was momentarily retired and looking to get back into coaching, and his preferred style of offense makes him unattractive to NFL teams. It probably took the two sides about a half hour to come to an agreement after Tressel got axed. Michigan was in a much more difficult situation with Harbaugh, who could have coached at about 20 NFL teams if he wanted to.
In terms of impact and probable success, it's close. I would still go with Meyer, who had already won two national titles, over Harbaugh. Harbaugh's done kickass things in his tenure as a coach but he hasn't had the kind of sustained run on the mountaintop that Meyer did at Florida. That's splitting hairs in any case.
[After the JUMP: manball an aid? best coaching combos, NFL reporters, Milhouse.]
here's a picture of this dude in a dumb hat to make you feel better
Well, this is annoying: Shannon Turley apparently isn't coming after several outlets and Cardinal players said he was. Neither is Stanford DC Lance Anderson, but that was always a longshot what with Mattison and Durkin set to split coordinator responsibilities. Turley's apparent about-face is a bigger deal, since he's a great candidate at an important spot.
Hopefully we'll get some confirmations on Drevno/Durkin/Mattison today.
A couple of Kentucky outlets are reporting that Wildcats TE coach Vince Marrow is staying with UK; this one in particular was accurate about things being up in the air when others were reporting that he was a goner:
BREAKING: Source tells KSR that Vince Marrow will return to Kentucky. Deal to be announced tomorrow
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 5, 2015
This is a much bigger deal for Kentucky than it was ever going to be for Michigan, as Marrow was connected to about half of their recruiting class—Michigan is going to do just fine on the recruiting trail under Harbaugh either way.
First reported($) by 2016 OL commitment Erik Swenson to Scout and later confirmed by many places, including a lot of Stanford players: Shannon Turley, the Cardinal's Director of Football Sports Performance, is taking the same job at Michigan.
If Turley departure news is true, potentially devastating news for Stanford -- countless players will say Turley built program's advantage
— David Lombardi (@LombardiESPN) January 4, 2015
Turley has been at Stanford for eight years, arriving with Harbaugh and staying on after his departure. He first met up with Harbaugh the year before they made the move to Stanford, with Turley taking an equivalent job at San Diego.
Turley is an ideal candidate. Stanford built its program by taking lightly recruited guys and turning them into half-hog, half-demon, all-man on both sides of the line. The first wave of Stanford NFL hits came from the two- and three-star ranks of Walt Harris's recruiting: after consecutive drafts that saw no Stanford players taken, Toby Gerhart was a second rounder in 2010 and a TE and FB went in the seventh round. Since, Stanford linemen and backs have been regular features—13 in the last four drafts, with few of them four-stars and exactly zero true blue-chippers (ie, top 50-ish players with a raft of offers).
From 2006, the year before Turley arrived on the Farm, as Stanford’s campus is known, through last season, the number of games missed because of injury on the two-deep roster dropped by 87 percent. In 2012, only two Cardinal players required season-ending or postseason surgical repair; this year, only one.
…Turley was named the 2013 S&C coach of the year and scored a New York Times encomium just over a year ago that described his Chip-Kelly-esque approach to making his players functionally strong and resilient:
His approach is grounded in physics, on the premise that low man wins on contact, that to get low requires mobility and stability and the ability to apply force in the opposite direction. His players bench press, but he cares more about how they lift — with hands closer together, without bouncing the bar off their chests — than how much. He wants them to bend all the way down when they squat.
Freshmen in Turley’s program do not lift weights upon arrival. Instead, for the first few weeks, they do “body work,” or push-ups and pull-ups and squats or lunges without weights; basically old-school, military calisthenics.
“You have all these different genres of training, and we steal from them all,” Turley said. “CrossFit. Bodybuilding. Power lifting. But ultimately, it’s none of those. It’s a system we’ve developed to train football players.”
Turley builds "real-world applicable man strength," and has done so at the place having the most success at doing so relative to recruiting expectations in the country; he has been doing it for eight years. He's young and innovative, but experienced. He's intimately familiar with Jim Harbaugh. He is currently the subject of an outpouring of well wishes mixed with regrets from current and former players on Twitter…
Can't believe what I am hearing about coach turley. That man built the Stanford program and is the most important person within.
— Lee Ward (@LeeWard36) January 4, 2015
…and he's headed to Ann Arbor.
We have some!
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
UPSHOT FOR REST OF COACHING STAFF
Well, with Stanford DC Lance Anderson suddenly a thing again despite the fact that DJ Durkin is, according to Sam, in town means many things are possible. Michigan's coaching staff is now this Sportscenter commercial:
RIP Stu Scott
We should know most of the names by tomorrow or Tuesday, with maybe two or three spots (RB, TE, DBs) still to settle.
I don't have much to say here, because nobody is going to want to read this.
Michigan went into halftime with an eight-point lead after Spike Albrecht drilled a contested three over AJ Hammons. A long two by Zak Irvin kept the lead at eight with 19:11 left in the second half.
The Wolverines would not hit a shot for the next 12:34. They'd finish with just three second-half field goals.
The big three of Zak Irvin, Caris LeVert, and Derrick Walton combined to hit just 6/31 shots. Irvin managed to miss all four of his layups, and he accounted for nearly half of M's total attempts at the rim. If not for Albrecht scoring 17 and Ricky Doyle going 3/3 from the field, this game somehow could've gone worse.
Aubrey Dawkins, the hero of the Illinois game, scored a basket for Purdue on an accidental tip-in. He did not score for Michigan.
A Big Ten road loss is not a death knell, of course. The fashion in which Michigan acquired it, however, is deeply troublesome. The Boilermakers crushed them in the paint, owned the glass, and on the rare occasion they gave up half-decent looks, the Wolverines rarely converted.
Whether it's inexperience, injuries, the lack of a viable big man, or—most likely—some combination of the three, there's something deeply wrong with this team. They're running out of time to figure it out.