[I walked into the scrum mid-answer.] “Camp’s really been fun lately. I’m actually enjoying camp. You know, getting to spend time with the boys playing football. It’s crazy because usually different teams go do activities, but we just wake up, come down to Schembechler and practice. And that’s fun, to spend time with the boys.”
Do you think losing last year to injury changed your perspective on that, wanting to be back around and involved?
“Yeah. One thing that my injury taught me is just to be thankful. There’s people that can’t walk. I’m just grateful, grateful to play football.”
Obviously a lot of talent on the defensive line; you guys showed it last year. Do you ever think about if you were healthy, what it could have been?
“Yeah, I wish I’d be out there to be with the boys, but everything happens for a reason.”
With you back in the mix, can you talk about that depth a little bit?
“It’s really good. Coach calls it like he doesn’t really have starters, he has a two-deep group and everybody—basically anybody could play if [inaudible].”
Is it the depth that stands out most about the defensive line or is there something else that stands out to you?
“What do you mean by that?”
What stands out about the group?
“What stands out? We have a lot of veterans back, that’s what really stands out. We have so much leadership from the defensive line, and what’s really positive about the D-line is all the old heads we have.”
Why is that important? We know about the physical part of the defensive line, but the mental part.
“Mental part? Sorry, I’m lost.”
The leadership: why is that important as opposed to all the guys coming back?
“Oh, leadership! Because we have so many young guys—a lot of young guys. It’s good to have that leadership because it shows the younger boys what to do, and the vets throughout the whole thing have just been good leaders and everyone’s been backing them up.”
What’s Don Brown like to play for?
“Oh man, I love it. Coach Brown, he’s a fun coach you want to play for. I don’t know. Coach Brown, he’s just a great ol’ guy.”
What does he do that you like?
“He just brings the juice to every practice. In practices and in meetings he always has his juice. So much energy from Coach Brown.”
You talked about being thankful and you talked about the old heads a little bit. Do you find yourself in a position where you’re talking to the younger guys like, ‘Hey, don’t take this for granted.’?
“Oh yeah, definitely. Yeah, I talk to mostly all the freshmen. I took them in under my wing and just told them to be grateful because there’s no other place like Michigan. Everybody just likes and enjoys the struggle of being out there.”
[More after THE JUMP]
So it turns out the Georgia 247 post was the one to read into.
God Bless pic.twitter.com/Uub9inc0Da
— Aubrey Solomon (@AubreySolomon91) August 22, 2016
As Solomon said in the note, Michigan will get a chance to bring him back into the fold when he takes an official visit this fall. In the interim, the coaches will continue to push hard for four-star UT DT Jay Tufele, and we may see some names that haven't been mentioned around here in a while—Popo Aumavae comes to mind—pop back up on the board.
EDIT: 247 has an article up on Solomon's decommitment, and, well...
"A day or two ago, they sent my mom a card thanking us for going to the Michigan bbq, but we never went," Solomon said. "I do not know which recruit they were talking to, but it was not me. It was just a little heartbreaking, for me to supposedly be so high on their list, for them to confuse me with someone else. Plus they spelled both of my names wrong after I told them, but that was not the main issue. I guess they do not have tabs on me."
...that's not ideal. Solomon mentions his mom "loves" Georgia and that he didn't consult her before making his initial commitment. Even with the return trip scheduled, Georgia looks like a big favorite now.
Real, Live, Actual Football
— EliteFootballNetwork (@EliteFBNetwork) August 20, 2016
That's the good stuff.
High school football season is here, with scrimmages dominating the slate last weekend and the real games getting under way for the most part this weekend; the MGoCrew will be at the Prep Kickoff Classic on Saturday to see Southfield A&T vs. Detroit King and Cass Tech vs. Oak Park.
One Michigan commit performed so well last weekend that he's already earned a rankings bump on one site and could see a second follow suit soon. Four-star GA DT Aubrey Solomon ranked #207 overall on 247's (non-composite) rankings when he committed in June; after Barton Simmons saw his scrimmage, he's up to #110:
In Aubrey Solomon's first game of the year on Thursday night, he was totally dominant. The 6-3, 305-pound Michigan commit out of Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County showed outstanding motor, physicality and quickness in his team's win over Jones County High School. During a cycle in which the defensive tackle position doesn't have a lot of depth, Solomon is one of the rare interior defenders that would be among the best in the country in any recruiting class.
Scout's top analyst in the south, Chad Simmons, had a similarly glowing review:
Aubrey Solomon was a force against Jones County week zero in the Corky Kell Classic. He may not have had a dozen tackles, but he was consistently pushing offensive linemen backwards, pushing the pocket back, forcing the running backs to change their lanes, and forcing the quarterback to throw early Thursday night. Solomon has come into this season is great shape 295 pounds, and he played fast. He flashed great quickness off the ball and a motor that did not stop. He chased the ball, he had a key sack, and he was a force all night. Solomon is currently the No. 2 defensive tackle in the South behind LSU commit Tyler Shelvin — that could change.
Solomon looked great on the field. Off the field, he gave a 15-minute interview to 247 that requires its own section. Let's get to it after the jump.
Per Jon Runyan's instagram:
That's Andrew David in the picture. David came in as a scholarship kicker but wasn't in the conversation last year despite the open job and was then recruited over when Michigan brought in Quinn Nordin, the #1 K in the country to three of the four services. He was used as a pooch punter this spring; apparently that didn't take.
With Kenny Allen likely to have both specialist jobs this year and Nordin set to take over at one or both in 2017, David's departure shouldn't impact Michigan much on the field. They might look for a scholarship punter now, but with so many high-end guys on the hook and no obvious candidates they could pass.
David's departure brings the 2017 class up to 22 scholarships right now, with 30 or so signees likely.
It is possible that there have been MSU players with these names.
I can't believe this is real but a great friend who is an MSU grad is sure bent out of shape over it:
Love the site and Go Blue,
The worst thing about shirts like this is the five seconds where you think you should get it to troll someone and then remember that the #1 person being trolled in that situation is yourself.
Lessons from decommit central last year
While reading the latest Recruiting Overview I saw you mention forced decommitts. It seemed like a lot of those from last year, except for the most prominent one, were summer camp offers/commits. I am wondering if the coaching staff will lay off those sorts of camp offers this year due to the backlash from last year? Perhaps they will adjust how the offer is made, such as "We like you Mr Under The Radar Recruit and think you could have a potential bright future with our team. Here is an uncommittable offer than could become committable later this year if you keep your grades up/keep getting better on the field/the math at the end of the recruiting cycle works in your favor." Could we see something like this or will offers go flying out every which way again (that's how it appeared from a layman's POV) this summer?
It does appear that Michigan has altered their approach after The Swenson Incident. A number of different recruits have been on commit watch without a payoff: AL S AJ Harris and AL OL Toryque Bateman come to mind. Harris had a huge crystal ball surge for Michigan and a bunch of insiders predicting a commit. He was apparently held off and ended up committing to Ole Miss recently. Bateman came up saying it was 50/50 he would pull the trigger—which is more like 90/10 in recruit-speak—and left without doing so; it now seems like he'll be headed elsewhere. Last year both of those guys might have committed and then been let go late in the cycle.
Michigan does have a few guys they've been less than cautious with and I do expect they'll suffer/encourage decommits over the next six months. The number should be greatly reduced from last year's double-digits.
It's impossible to know exactly what conversations are going on between coaches and "offered" players but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Michigan's offers are conditional in some way, whether it's grades or guys higher on Michigan's board going elsewhere. I'd assume Michigan is being a lot more explicit about this, so guys aren't jumping on the future decommit train. Michigan offered MO DE Anthony Payne and FL DE Donovan Winter, sort of. They did so after Corey Malone-Hatcher and Luiji Vilain committed, so I doubt those were actual committable offers; both guys went off the board to other schools in short order.
Michigan is continuing the offer cannon approach. They're being much more clear about which offers are "offers." Probably.
[After the JUMP: a jerk i tell you what]
Jerky tempo response
1 hour 49 minutes
LET THE CHILDREN BOOGIE! [Eric Upchurch]
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QB: Still Speight by a nose, which means it's a tie. Good either way.
RB: A rougher, tougher unit. Peppers & Smith in a "Spread H" would be nifty
FB: Hit your targets!
WR: Chesson and Darboh then a big gap.
TE: BUTT!!! and a pile of good things
OL: Seniors at their ceilings. Cole to C is good but LT?
DE: Ridiculous athleticism, extraordinary strength, and yes, some Wormley.
DT: Step into the maw.
LB: Highly recruited, somewhat experienced seniors is a special kind of biggest concern
Peppers and Lewis: Pretty good.
Other DBs: Seniors. Also pretty good.
SPECIAL TEAMS (1:32:11)
Gonna miss you Baxter
"Bombs Over Baghdad" – Outkast (a preview tradition)
"Jumpman" – Future and Drake
"Starman" – David Bowie
"Across 110th Street"