Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
Previously: Jim Harbaugh, DJ Durkin, Tim Drevno, Greg Mattison, Kyle Kalis, Brian Cole, Chase Winovich, Drake Harris, Jabrill Peppers, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Willie Henry, Jourdan Lewis, Wyatt Shallman, James Ross III
Tyrone Wheatley has his hands tied. Ask him about his running backs and that’s the symbol he shows you, hands mashed together to indicate the lack of separation between the players in his position group. He talked about that at Media Day, as well as what it’s like to have his son play for both his alma mater and the team he’s currently coaching.
Did you go back and watch any film on Drake Johnson to get a feel as far as what you’re going to have with him?
“Yeah, I did. I mean, I knew Drake. I recruited Drake when I was at Syracuse. He’s a guy who has a lot of talent [and] a lot of promise, but once again, he’s going to be held to the same standard.”
How did the group look as far as skills beyond just running with the ball- blocking, things of that nature- in the spring?
“They looked good. They looked real good. They had a great base. They’re all well coached backs. All are well coached backs. The biggest thing now is you just have to separate them.
“Right now they’re all in a pack. One or two just has to emerge and separate themselves from the pack. I think that’s the biggest problem that’s going on right now. They’re all well coached, they’re all good athletes, they’re all good football players, they’re all good running backs, but no one has just said, ‘Hey, I’m going to distance myself’ and that’s the problem right now.”
Have you had any talks with Fred Jackson as far as picking up where he left off?
“Uh…eh, you asked that question already. No, not really.”
Your son being here- how much does he want to separate himself from you and be a college student? What’s that relationship been like?
“We give him his space, but to say separate himself, he’s already separated himself because the distance of my playing years and his playing years are so far apart that there’s already distance. Now I’m dad, but I’m the running backs coach. Coach Harbaugh, Jay Harbaugh, coaches him. So when you say distance yourself, that’s the distance.
“We’re close. People have to understand that’s my son still and I still will look at him as a father, being proud of him as a father and having expectations. I think sometimes a father’s expectations are a little tougher than a coach’s expectations, you know? But yeah, the distance is already there but we’re very close.”
[Much more after THE JUMP]
Winston Narrows List, Stops By A2
John Beilein's top recruiting priority is to land a quality point guard in the 2016 class and U-D Jesuit four-star Cassius Winston has been the number one target on the board for a while. Michigan got a couple encouraging developments on that front this week when Winston cut down his list and then dropped by Ann Arbor for an unofficial, per The Wolverine's Chris Balas ($):
Winston trimmed his list to four recently, striking Harvard from his list and leaving Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford and Pitt. Most believe it's a U-M vs. MSU battle, and Winston added some intrigue when he visited Ann Arbor again Aug. 16.
"He loves everything Michigan has to offer, loves the basketball," his dad said. "He really likes the academics, too."
Winston is slated to take an official visit on September 19th; he's already taken one to Stanford and is supposed to see MSU the week prior, giving M the last crack unless he adds other visits to the schedule. His father told MLive he's getting a little tired of the recruiting process and would like to make a final decision before his senior season begins. This looks like an in-state battle and the Wolverines may have a slight edge right now.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
The saddest legend. Is Toys R Us headquartered in North Carolina?
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) August 17, 2015
Why stop there, NC State? You've honored a gentleman you chased off your campus for playing baseball who finished his Wolfpack career with 7.2 yards per attempt. Once you've broken down the walls between that gentleman and a legends patch there are no barriers left.
Who's wearing 23 for you? He's now the Michael Jordan memorial (probably) tailback. He played somewhat near your school, after all. Jordan Spieth—certainly a carbon-based lifeform—does not have a number, so you can put a patch for him on all your jerseys. Dr. Manhattan may be fictional, but that doesn't have to stop you, NC State. Six words: NC State legend Dr. Manhattan cosplay.
Boom. You just got wow experienced. That will be one million dollars for consulting. Make the check out to Boom Wow Experienced Dot Org Net Inc.
On Samuelson's exit. Dan Samuelson was extremely candid with Nick Baumgardner in the aftermath:
"It had been a tough two years, not seeing the field and really not ever hitting the two-deep spot," Samuelson said Saturday. "I just realized, this is my third season, my chances of playing still aren't very good. I decided it was time to make a change and head somewhere where my chances were a little better.
"I just felt like it wasn't the best fit for me anymore."
Samuelson says he was third string throughout the spring and summer, and was told to focus on gaining more weight this offseason by Michigan's coaching staff -- something he says he accomplished after wrapping spring ball at 6-foot-5, 289 pounds.
But once camp began, Samuelson says he began to realize he wasn't making any progress when it came to Michigan's depth chart.
These days it's tough to play at less than 300, and Samuelson struggling to get up to 290 in his third year means the writing's on the wall. Samuelson made no bones about it.
Injury scares. While it seems Bryan Mone is going to be laid up for a long time with the broken ankle everyone says he's got, rumors that two more players were down for the count seem overblown.
The way this generally goes is several sites report the same thing without names, but with each one using a different set of parameters to indicate who it is (offensive freshman expected to contribute, etc.) people can deduce who the players in question were. Then the sites are like "right, those two guys" in follow-ups. It's a quality system. I enjoy it.
Anyway, in this case the two injured gents were TJ Wheatley and Wyatt Shallman. Steve Lorenz reported that Wheatley had a knee thing that was just a strain, not torn ligaments; Sam Webb reported that Shallman has a strained calf. Both are missing practice time and may miss a game or two but should be back early in the season.
This is a bad article. There are many bad articles. I don't often point them out these days, but this one is special. It is a column in Psychology Today titled "Obesely Speaking" about something something Harbaugh intermittent reinforcement SCIENCE:
We are also drawn to Harbaugh because we are a social species, and instinctually we know that we are only as strong as our weakest, as healthy as our sickest, as wealthy as our poorest – though we’ve lost sight of that. Hence, his many humanitarian deeds add yet another level of appeal. I asked several Internet social media groups, such as Michigan Football HQ, The University of Michigan M Club, Michigan Proud and True, Big Ten Talk etc. why they liked Jim Harbaugh. U of M alumnus, Bruce Laing, encapsulates the majority opinion: He will instill toughness and accountability in the athletes, posted Laing in the University of Michigan M Club. Our children's futures are vital, so we embrace the importance of education, accountability and toughness because they galvanize that future; yet another reason Americans are drawn to Harbaugh.
Woof. The saddest part of this article is that it has 80(!) references to scientific papers at the end of it. Hopefully the guy just writes his columns such that all those papers are always at the end and he just C&Ps it. As good an explanation as any.
Well done. EDSBS commentariat member Tim Hodgson undertook an experiment:
Undertake your experiment today!
No union for (just) you. The National Labor Relations Board turned down Northwestern's attempt to unionize yesterday with a ruling reminiscent of Kirk Ferentz facing fourth and two in the opponent's territory:
"In the decision, the Board held that asserting jurisdiction would not promote labor stability due to the nature and structure of NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)," the NLRB wrote in its decision. "By statute the Board does not have jurisdiction over state-run colleges and universities, which constitute 108 of the roughly 125 FBS teams.
"In addition, every school in the Big Ten, except Northwestern, is a state-run institution. As the NCAA and conference maintain substantial control over individual teams, the Board held that asserting jurisdiction over a single team would not promote stability in labor relations across the league.
"This decision is narrowly focused to apply only to the players in this case and does not preclude reconsideration of this issue in the future."
They punted. That's disappointing and a bit nonsensical. Matt Hinton points out that this is a federal agency explicitly concerned with a "level playing field" that does not exist and never will. By shooting down this case, the NRLB forces any unionization effort to be held over at least all private schools and probably something even wider than that.
There is short term relief here for the NCAA; in the longer term this is going down in court.
Etc.: Wheatley profiled. 1981 SI piece on Bo is gold. The first-ever sports team at Michigan. Do not read, Gary Danielsn. Also do not read, Gary Danielson. Here is a week old piece on Kevin Tolbert I meant to link earlier.
Previously: Jim Harbaugh, DJ Durkin, Greg Mattison, Kyle Kalis, Brian Cole, Chase Winovich, Drake Harris, Jabrill Peppers, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Willie Henry, Jourdan Lewis, Wyatt Shallman, James Ross III
Tim Drevno, a driving force behind Stanford’s mauling offensive lines during Harbaugh’s tenure, takes the reins not only of that position group but the entirety of the offense (at least in part) in 2015 as O-line coach/offensive coordinator. He talked about where his line was coming out of spring camp, what he’s looking for in his starters, and the progress of Michigan’s running game at Michigan’s Media Day.
What are some of the traits you want to see from your starting five?
“Yeah, I feel good about going into training camp. I think those guys had a nice spring, a good offseason in the weight room and things. I want to see us get better every day. Fix a problem; take two things and fix it and get better every day and then we’ll be on course.”
Do you feel like that’s the key to opening up the rest of the offense is how well you guys play up front?
“Well, everybody knows it’s about the offensive and defensive line, [and] it’s about the quarterback. If you’ve got those three things it makes your life a lot easier. Not saying the other positions aren’t important, but it is one of the lightning rods of being competitive and successful.”
How early in camp do you like to have your five? Does it change team to team?
“Ehh, it changes team to team and where you are and what you’re doing. I couldn’t tell you, but you get a feel as you go and see who the best five are. But I couldn’t tell you an exact date.”
[More after THE JUMP]
Three-star CB Antwaine Richardson was among of Michigan's spate of June commits after performing for the coaches at the Miami satellite camp. That he earned an offer is all the more impressive given the news that broke today—according to ESPN's Wells Dusenbury, Richardson tore his ACL in May, an injury that will unfortunately end his senior season before it begins. Richardson somehow managed to partake in that camp in June before undergoing surgery in July. The injury shouldn't affect his status as a Michigan commit:
Richardson's knee injury, however, has not affected his commitment to Michigan. In fact, the coaching staff was aware of the injury before Richardson's decision. The three-star recruit verbally committed to the Wolverines on June 12, weeks after being hurt.
"I told [the Michigan coaching staff] I tore my ACL before I committed, so they knew what I was coming into," said Richardson. "They said, 'We'd still love to have you up here. Just rehab real good so you can get back to normal and start cutting the same.'"
"To me it felt good. That meant they really wanted me. Some schools would back off after they found out you tore your ACL, but they still wanted me."
Richardson is aiming to enroll early. Given ACL recovery timelines these days, he'd be on track to participate in spring practice.
Injury news is never good news but in this case at least we have confirmation Richardson is one tough SOB. The mere thought of playing corner with a torn ACL caused me to walk with a slight limp this morning.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Previously: Last year's profiles, S Tyree Kinnel, CB Keith Washington, DE Shelton Johnson, DE Reuben Jones, OL Nolan Ulizio, OL Grant Newsome, OL Jon Runyan Jr., TE Tyrone Wheatley Jr., WR Brian Cole, WR Grant Perry, RB Karan Higdon.
|Albuquerque, NM – 6'7", 240|
|Scout||4*, #278 overall
#19 QB, #1 NM
|Rivals||4*, #105 overall
#4 Pro QB, #1 NM
|ESPN||4*, #118 overall
#9 Pro QB, #1 NM
|24/7||3*, NR overall
#15 Pro QB, #1 NM
|Other Suitors||Texas, Bama, Neb, UL, OkieSt, TCU, Tenn|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace.|
|Notes||Decommitted from Texas.|
People don't know what to make of Zach Gentry. Presented with a quarterback pushing 6'8" playing New Mexico football that resembles Godzilla versus Assorted Oompa-Loompas, they are intrigued. When Godzilla roars past the Oompa-Loompas for consecutive 80-yard rushing touchdowns, they start looking around for Morpheus. I mean:
A dual-threat quarterback trapped in the body of a prototypical pocket passer … one of the more unique quarterback prospects I've ever seen. There's really not a good comparison out there for him because he's such a rare breed, but the comparison he's been given of having Ryan Mallett's size with running ability is as accurate as anything I've heard.
Gentry seems like a glitch in the Matrix. These things don't go together often:
Gentry completed 60 percent of his passes during a 12-game season and threw for 2,978 yards and 26 touchdown passes while rushing for 1,057 yards and 22 scores. An athletic quarterback, Gentry concluded his high school career with 55 passing touchdowns and 47 touchdowns on the ground.
He breaks things, including English: multiple recruiting sites deployed modifiers in front of "unique" in an attempt to grasp what was going on.
As a result, Gentry was hotly pursued by a number of major programs. Texas, obviously, was one. Tennessee was highly interested in making him Tyler Bray 2.0 (this time he's sane!). And yes, the Bama offer was very much legit. 247 reported in May that the Tide's QB recruiting was "primarily focused" on Gentry, and when he dropped to Texas the question there was "where do we go from here" because they didn't really have many other targets. (Bama, being Bama, did okay for itself by snaking five star Blake Barnett away from Notre Dame.) Michigan was interested during Hoke's final year but did not offer after observing him in person.
[After THE JUMP: lots of disagreement dispersed by FINAL JUDGMENT.]