that is nice bonus change
Major changes are involuntarily happening around here. You see, Rudy, my people have been snatched up. Tim is moving to fill the vacancy at The Wolverine left by Josh Helmholdt's ascension to Midwest Recruiting Analyst. Tom is departing, as well. That site is yet to launch and I've been asked not to spill the specific beans so you'll have to deduce.
These are well-deserved jobs for both guys and I'm happy for them. For me—and you—not so much. Unless you want to do this:
MGoBlog Recruiting Ninja
The position is a combination of Tim and Tom duties that were previously split because of the organic nature of Tom's emergence. Recruiting ninja will:
- Collect information from around the web for a weekly roundup post.
- Write up new commitment posts.
- Maintain the recruiting board.
- Head out to reasonably local football games to get footage of commitments.
- Utilize the wonders of the internet to interview recruits on- and off-line.
Output should be a post or two daily with regular items on the message board a la Tom.
Ideally, candidates should:
- Already have a decent idea who Ben Gedeon is, what Tha Ringer is, and why Michigan's high-rated recruits drop more often than they rise when rankings are revised.
- Have a writing portfolio of some variety.
- Be able to write relatively clean copy without outside editing.
- Have an online presence.
- Know how to assemble and edit video.
- Have journalist skills like talking to people and getting information from them friendly-like without making them think you're weird.
- Desire for Michigan to win football games without that interfering with #6.
- Not mind odd hours.
All of these will be tough to achieve so don't worry if you're missing a couple.
The job pays like an entry-level gig at a regional newspaper. 100% telecommute, no set hours, flexible vacation as long as it's not during football season. If you want a business card that says "recruiting ninja" we can make that happen. No benefits at the moment because I haven't begun to figure that out, but if that is a hangup it is negotiable for the right candidate.
If you're interested, email me 4-6 pieces (preferably URLs to pieces) and a resume. If the email contains background on you that helps illuminate where you are and where you're going that will also be helpful.
Recruiting has slowed down now that camp has started and the season is approaching. With a limited number of spots left you would expect that anyway. Here's a look at what happened this week and what might be happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH, or email me with any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'3", 240 lbs.
Poggi is a 2013 lineman who is already blowing up with offers. Michigan, Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Tennessee are among his bigger names to offer already. He made his way in to Ann Arbor this past week and told me about how that went.
I visited there [Monday], and really enjoyed it. I hung out with the coaches and talked to them about what position I'd be playing there. They want me to work as a five tech [DE] which is what I play now.
The visit gave Poggi a chance to sit down and talk face to face with the Michigan coaches.
I talked to Coach Mattison, he's great, he coached one of the players from my high school at Notre Dame and my dad has known him for awhile. Coach Hoke told me that they really care about the defensive line there, and I thought Coach Montgomery was really impressive. Coach Montgomery is a great guy, he knows what he's talking about.
The timing of this visit was good for Michigan because he's already been out to a few other schools and plans to really focus on his season.
I've taken a few visits down south and decided to go to Ann Arbor before camp starts for us. They've always been interesting to me, their tradition, and I hear Coach Hoke is doing a lot of good things. It was my first time up there so it was good. I would say Michigan is up there, I really like the people down there and the education they have.
Despite the fact that he hasn't started his junior season yet Poggi has somewhat of an idea of when he'd like to decide.
I would rather not prolong my commitment. I don't know the exact date, but I'd like to take a couple official visits. If I know before I can take visits then I would just commit, I don't really have to take the officials.
Poggi is already a huge prospect for the 2013 class, and Michigan has helped themselves tremendously by making an early impression.
6'3", 215 lbs.
Gedeon is another 2013 prospect that recently made it up to Ann Arbor. He also holds a Michigan offer and will be a big part of Michigan's recruiting plans for the 2013 class.
I went to Michigan's camp and Coach Mattison had mentioned that they were having a BBQ. My parents and I went to the BBQ and it went great. That was my first time visiting besides the camps. I've camped at Ohio State, Penn State, and Northwestern too. I definitely want to make it to Penn State, Ohio State, Northwestern, and probably Tennessee for a visit too.
Both the BBQ and Michigan's camp made a lasting impression on Gedeon.
Michigan was my first camp and I got an offer afterwards, so that was my first offer too. Usually you're pretty excited about your first offer so that was pretty sweet. The coaches told me that I'd fit in with the place they have there. I think they have a pretty sweet recruiting class right now and they're starting on my class.
Gedeon said that it helps to know that Michigan is recruiting well, but it's not the only reason he's interested.
It helps to have a good class, they'll probably be top five so that's definitely a plus. Michigan has the most wins, and I've always followed Michigan throughout my childhood, so I've always been a fan.
He plans on using this year to work on his game and leadership skills as well.
I've definitely been trying to become more of a leader. Last year I was just a sophomore so this year I'm trying to be more of a vocal leader. I think I blitz pretty well, I'm trying to work on my leverage, get my pad level down, and I also think I'm really good at getting to the ball.
Ben plans on making it up for a Michigan game this season, but isn't positive yet on which one.
I might visit for the night game against Notre Dame. I'm just going to let my recruitment play out and see what happens. I might make an early decision but we'll see what happens.
I think right now for Gedeon some of the bigger schools like Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State are a few that stick out for him.
6'3", 285 lbs.
Dillard is another 2013 prospect that could end up with a Michigan offer. He's not originally from Michigan, but is hoping to learn more about the program.
Most of my family is from North Carolina. It's been six years since we moved to Michigan. I've heard a ton about Michigan's tradition from some of my teachers.
Dillard has gotten a head start on his recruitment, and is already starting to hear from some top programs.
Michigan State invited me to their practice, and I've heard from Indiana, Cincinnati, Stanford, Oregon, EMU, WMU, Michigan, Arkansas, and UCF. I work with Lomas Brown every Saturday and I also train with Mike Barwis at his facility five days a week.
He's heard from a good amount of schools and Michigan has already told Dillard a timeline for their evaluation on him.
Coach Funk told me he wants to watch my first three games of the season. All the [Michigan] coaches liked me at their camp and so they want to watch the first three games and then decide on an offer.
Dillard is an outstanding young man. He's only 16 years old and is already involved within his community. He has been involved with the Special Olympics, and Big House Big Heart Champions for Charity.
With the commitment of DT Ondre Pipkins many fans were wondering where DT Danny O'Brien stood and if the Michigan coaches would still accept a commitment from O'Brien. Danny has a phone call scheduled with the Michigan coaches to talk on Monday [the 15th] about where he stands. He told me that he will still consider Michigan if there's a spot open. I will let you know how the phone call went as soon as he has it.
As I noted earlier in the week, Washington OL Joshua Garnett is now planning his visit for the Notre Dame night game. That's a big deal because he had been previously saying he would wait until the Ohio State game to visit. In the post I made it clear that Garnett and Michigan commit Erik Magnuson have become very close and that Michigan has a real chance of landing Garnett. I want to reiterate that now, he doesn't know where he's going yet but Michigan has a legitimate shot at landing him.
Since the season is almost here that also means official visits will be scheduled soon. The first game against Western Michigan won't be as big as the Notre Dame game visit-wise, obviously, but there are some notable prospects that are planning to make it in. So far commitments Allen Gant and Matt Godin have said they'll be there. There is also a good chance that receivers Amara Darboh and Darius Powe will be in for that weekend as well. Powe isn't sure what date he'll be in yet, but he told me he wants to make it in for a game earlier in the season.
2013 DB Shaquille Wiggins also said that he will be in for the Western game, but I'm going to double check to make sure he didn't mean the Notre Dame game. Most of these aren't set in stone anyway so just keep that in mind. Also these aren't all of the names necessarily, just who I've spoken with so far.
Hypothetical activities by a 67-year-old Jimi Hendrix if he were still alive | Lies, Deceit, & Stuff
I spent most of today trying to play with this diary by airvipermb, which spent some time yesterday on the front page before I knocked it back. For those who don't remember the Jimi-headed versions from last year, the OP did a tremendous job of going through Big Ten rosters and putting down how many upperclassmen each team was projected to play as starters and on the two-deep. What this doesn't do is provide any predictive information.
For that reason this isn't front page material. Not yet at least. But I'd like to help it get there.
First, upperclassman starters in 2011, in table format. I changed it to percent; starter % of upperclassmen is out of 11, two-deep is % of upperclassmen out 22. Because I'm pretty sure this is how airvipermb did it (likely reasoning: too hard to find data otherwise) a redshirt sophomore is an underclassman while a true junior is an upperclassman.* Your most experienced Big Ten two-deeps next year (UPDATE: added deltas):
|Team||'11 Starters||Delta||'11 Two-Deep||Delta|
The author was optimistic but this says Michigan's defense is still the youngest in the conference excepting younger siblings. Does that matter? The O.P. suggests it does; the data say NSFMF.
Here's how this all looked last year:
|Team||2010 DFEI %ile||2010 Yds/G||2010 Starter%||2010 Two-Deep%|
I showed the Yards per game because that's the sorting metric the author used. I'm gonna talk DFEI from here on since I'm an advanced stats fan but if you're not such, mentally upgrade Penn State and Wisconsin for hard-nosed grind-it-out game planning, and downgrade Illinois, Indiana and Purdue for "not getting it." It doesn't matter because these numbers are all over the place:
HOWEVA, if you do the same thing on pure recruiting the results are also bouncy. Here's 4- and 5-stars recruited by Big Ten teams from '06 to '08, out of 22 spots available:
Actually this is pretty un-bouncy except Nebraska and Iowa outperformed by a lot and Penn State and Michigan (infinite ARGH!!!) underperformed. Iowa is our super-duper experienced two-deep so maybe that explains them and Michigan's young roster explains Michigan. But then what's Penn State's problem? This study doesn't say. Future study: I would love it if we could get a spreadsheet of all of the Big Ten players on the 1- and 2-deep.
* Let's use Nebraska 2010 as an example for how this can throw us off. You appropriately call them a great defense and rank them second to Ohio State, which I think we can concur on. Here's Nebraska's defense as of this date last year. I count six upperclassman starters there. However Cam Merideth, Baker Steinkuhler, Sean Fisher, Will Compton and P.J. Smith are all from the Class of 2008, i.e. they're redshirt sophomores. Also from that class: Alfonzo Dennard, counted as a junior. See the problem? You've got returning starters three years removed from high school counted the same as Courtney Avery (a true freshman who was a QB in H.S.) last year, despite there being vast difference between their respective expectations of experience-based contribution.
Still Raining, Still Dreaming
Jimi eat galaxy.
Until a few hours ago, it looked like the SEC was ready to swallow up one of the last quasi-worthwhile bits of the Big XII that doesn't have its own channel. This of course sparked another round of speculating how many galaxies the Big Ten must own to keep up, from oakapple and justingoblue. This being the Big Ten, it's not who would come (except Notre Dame) so much as who can fit the academic criteria without being a.) Ivy League, or b.) Athletically challenged.
Justin took it from an academic expenditure perspective, which is an interesting way to get around having to use academic rankings like U.S. News & World Report's, and avoids the weirdness from endowments-based ranking. The candidates are Duke, UNC, Virginia, V-Tech, Pitt, Rutgers, Cuse, Mizzou and Notre Dame, though all but Duke, UNC and Pitt would be near-bottom in the conference at research spending.
For the wargames route, consult oakapple, who took a more pragmatic, dominos (NTD's) effect approach. After six previous dominos it's the Big Ten's turn and…
VII. What Does the Big Ten Do?
The short answer, at least for now, is: probably nothing. The Big Ten is already in a position of strength. It has no particular need to expand. There are only two institutions that could improve the Big Ten’s current product: Texas and Notre Dame. The Irish have chosen repeatedly to remain independent, and for reasons noted above, the Longhorns are more likely to choose the Pac-12.
Galactic plans are on hold until such time as the Pac 487 annexes China and the Big East is trying to teach the French to play football, or Zoltan demands such, whichever happens first.
Scoreboard! Thanks to M-Wolverine at Fan Day, and M-Wolverine's camera.
EGD had some thoughts for a Top 10 (which means 11 not 12) other ideas for Jerel Worthy tattoos. I'm surprised nobody suggested just getting a chip drawn on his shoulder. I'm also surprised it wasn't the 2008 scoreboard, because that's exactly what my MSU friends/family still troll me with (the reminder of 2008 is what stings). Anyway these are good but I want pics! Those of you with Photoshop/GiMP, or who are Samara Pearlstein, get on this!
And THE_KNOWLEDGE is apparently using up the last miles on his current time machine lease to predict the standout of the 2012 class will be… well I can't ruin it.
Now seven practices in, the kids are "learning more with each practice." They're bringing energy to practice, but need to sustain that throughout to show they can compete late in games and in the season.
The team is healthy, and there's lots of competition
Two-a-days start tomorrow. The adversity of two-a-days can "teach you about who the leaders will be on the team."
On padded practice: "guys are willing, wanting." Need to see consistency between the morning and afternoon practices. Will be in full pads for 3 days of two-a-days this week. Guys are anxious to establish themselves. Want to prove to coaches and teammates how they've progressed since spring.
On kicker Matt Wile: "Obviously he's a San Diego guy. His dad was one of our orthopaedics at San Diego State." Lance Ortega was his kicking coach, the staff knew him. Matt is a 5th generation Michigan grad.
"He's doing well. I think this is a big stage. That mental part of going out there, until you get on Main Street and have 110,000, you've gotta see where the guy's at." He can do a good job coaching himself with fundamentals, etc. Doing punting, KOs, and FGs right now. "I'd be very comfortable" having a true freshman handle those duties.
On running backs: The young guys missed some time finishing up summer school. Rawls is talented, has done a good job. Backfield is unsettled. Need to show consistency from practice to practice. "We'd like to have one guy who could tote it 25 times." Maybe a couple situational guys, 7-10 carries for a secondary back.
"Our base run play will be the power play, and that's no secret." Denard's talents, and opposing defenses wil adjust what they do. 10-15 snaps running for Denard. "The objective is to win, and we've gotta do what it takes to help Michigan and this team win." He's fitting into the offensive system. "We're fortunate enough that he has some other things that he brings to the table."
Denard is a great kid. "Leadership qualities really start to stick out more and more [for upperclassmen]. That's what I've liked that he's done in camp."
On rooming, Koger: "Seniors are rooming with freshmen. Part of that is to get to know them. Set the example, set the expectation." Koger extensively praised for his demeanor and selflessness, the sacrifice he'll give for this team. "He's a tremendous guy. I'm talking about things not on the football field."
The offense question again: "You've got a system that you wanna run, but you're not going to be putting a square peg into a round hole either." Al Borges has a coaching pedigree that proves he can adapt to different personnel. He'll get playmakers the ball. "At the end of the day, we've still gotta block up front, and knock people off the football."
On Mattison: great coach, great integrity. Builds great relationships with players. "He's coached a lot of football, coached a lot of guys. He brings so much from a knowledge standpoint."
On captains: "They won't get picked for 2 more weeks. The team will vote."
On countdown clocks: "Those are important football games. Those are big rivalries."
On the defense and standouts: "I don't think we've played to the standard that's going to be acceptable, to this point. We need to be more physical at the point of attack."
"Tom Gordon has had a good summer. Kovacs has really taken ownership." Kovacs is one of the guys who shows urgency in getting to the football. Kenny Demens also mentioned as a standout. Nathan Brink shows toughness as a DT/DE. JB Fitzgerald: "you talk about another guy who stands out as far as his leadership goes, and selflessness."
On the two-deep: They'll start penciling that in by the end of the week. "We're gonna scimmage pretty good in six days on Saturday. We'll put them in a lot of situations and see how they respond."
On Woolfolk: Troy Woolfolk has progressed well. Has taken some senior ownership of the team. Had a minor hamstring injury yesterday, there's enough competition at that position that they could afford to rest him and be cautious. JT Floyd and Courtney Avery competing at CB. "We don't have the greatest competition everywhere. I wish we did, because that makes us better."
On McColgan: a tough guy. "When you look at it, he's one of the true fullback bodies that you have." TEs will get a chance to play H-back as well.
On this still being Michigan [tremendous van river]: "I think I've made this comment before: This is Michigan. There won't be any excuses. If we don't win the Big Ten Championship, we've failed these kids, as coaches."
On the offensive line: Elliott Mealer: "He's competing." The rest of the guys: "Our left side of our line with Taylor back, and I think Ricky Barnum's done a nice job. Molk's back." Omameh at right guard. "Patrick and Elliott and Mike Schofield and Huyge - I think that's great competition."
On the backfield again: "I think there's some guys back there who can do it. All of them have shown signs of being able to run the ball like we'd like."
Another big commit for Michigan, and we're back on the front page. A couple services should be revamping their rankings in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that as well. Action since last rankings:
8-7-1 Illinois gains commitment from Taylor Barton.
8-8-11 Michigan gains commitment from Ondre Pipkins. Indiana gains commitment from Shawn Heffern. Michigan State gains commitment from Kodi Kieler.
8-9-11 Indiana gains commitment from Sebastian Smith. Ohio State gains commitment from Roger Lewis. Minnesota "gains" commitment from Nick Rallis.
8-10-11 Nebraska gains commitment from Deion Jones. Penn State gains commitments from Eugene Lewis and Tommy Schutt.
8-12-11 Penn State gains commitment from Armani Reeves. Wisconsin gains commitment from Walker Williams.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg|
*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte is not included in Minnesota's average, Darius Stroud doesn't count against Indiana's average, and Steffon Martin is excluded from Purdue's.
On to the full data, after the jump.
standard APR picture lead now with more apropos-ness
[sportswriter impression] This time, they're serious. [/sportswriter impression]
No, seriously, they appear to be serious. The NCAA announced (and then quickly approved) a massive increase in the APR's toothiness by requiring a 930 for a sport to participate in postseason play, whether it's the NCAA tournament or bowl games.
That's good for Michigan, which has only brushed up against penalties due to the unprecedented transferfest that took place upon Rodriguez's arrival. Once coaching transitions are out of the way they'll be well clear of 930 in every sport. Meanwhile, teams like Purdue, Ohio State, and Indiana have all seen their basketball programs suffer sanctions for falling beneath the 925 mark. They'll have to be more careful about one-and-dones and academic risks, i.e. recruit more like John Beilein.
As far as football goes, if you're worried about the Rodriguez anchor (an 897 2008 APR), don't be. The Bylaw Blog says the 2014-2015 APR will be the first point at which the new regulation will go into effect. At that point the anchor will have rolled off. The only yearly APR number to count then will be last year's score, an okay 946. Michigan's attrition during this coaching search has been less extensive and more likely to get waived (three medical scholarships and just the one academic implosion). This year's class has a lot of 3.8 GPAs and no immediately apparent academic risks—they'll be fine.
The Bylaw Blog also says it's critical to get rid of the one year lag in the APR. Michigan won't find out its 2010-11 number until next summer. I'd also suggest the thing has to be more transparent. Right now we just get a number; in the future they have to show how they got that number, because it's serious now. It's not going to fly with people if Kentucky basketball can boot seven guys off the team and not even have its APR flinch. Each APR report should come with
- The number of players who got through the year.
- The number of players who left the team
- The number of players who left who the school got a pass for and why
Right now trying to figure out your APR is fraught with difficulty; it needs to be more transparent, within FERPA reason.
Other retreat items
Stewart Mandel highlights these three things as areas the NCAA will look to overhaul in the near future:
Based on comments made this week, and Thursday's evidence that these things really can come to fruition, we should expect major changes in three other areas over the next six to nine months:
• An overhaul of the current enforcement process. Emmert and the presidents spoke universally of a desire to cut down on the many "nuisance rules" (free lunches, text-message limits, etc.) that take up an inordinate amount of compliance officers' time while beefing up penalties for deliberate, egregious rules violations. This will likely include expanding the classifications for infractions from the current and vague duo of "major" and "secondary."
• Allowing individual conferences, if they so choose, to implement full cost-of-attendance scholarships (as Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany first pushed for last spring) and/or multiyear scholarships. The obvious implication is that only the richest conferences could afford to do so, which in traditional NCAA parlance represents dreaded "competitive equity" issues. But the presidents seem to be lock-step with the commissioners in believing said imbalance already exists.
• Raising initial academic eligibility standards both for high school seniors and juco transfers. No specifics were offered, but they could be along the lines of SEC commissioner Mike Slive's proposal to increase incoming students' minimum core GPA from 2.0 to 2.5.
Kelvin Sampson and his quivering upper lip are listening to "Killing Me Softly" on repeat. It's time for more Selfish Homer Perspective!
- Overhaul enforcement to cut down on nuisance rules + hamsandwiching real violators: Can we retroactively de-major our stretching/GA violations? No? Bollocks. Good for Michigan and its general lack of "deliberate, egregious rules violations."
- Full cost of attendance: Not relevant in football and basketball since anyone Michigan is recruiting against will implement FCOA. I guess we won't lose QB recruits to Tulsa. Good to very good in smaller sports: some elite hockey programs are D-II and may not be able to afford a system-wide FCOA; 3-5k per year can't hurt when it comes to battling OHL teams; a lot of equivalency sports do recruit against MAC-type schools that happen to be very good in some smaller sports (Akron soccer, various baseball schools) and this is basically extra scholarships for them.
- Raising initial standards. I will believe this one when I see it but clearly good for Michigan, which is attractive to high-academic kids and never takes JUCOs.
And now the Student Welfare Gadfly perspective:
- Enforcement overhaul: Meh.
- FCOA: obviously good as it actually funnels some of the insane buckets of cash to the kids making those—and apparently all the ones spending it, but I'd rather it goes there than a coach or administrator.
- Initial standards: Tricky. Slive's proposal didn't prohibit kids who fell under the standards from attending, I believe, it just prevented them from playing. Kids in school taking up roster space having to learn is good; shuffling more of them off to dubious JUCOs is not so much.
Mandel is gobsmacked by how sensible everything sounds and how quickly they made a huge structural change with the APR stuff and it's hard to argue. The NCAA seems serious this time around. Seriously.