"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
This is the second installment of a comprehensive look at quarterbacks whom Jim Harbaugh recruited and coached. Part 1 looked at his WKU recruits, his work with the Oakland Raiders, and his first head coaching job at San Diego. A few trends that came out:
- He recruits at least two QBs per class
- They tend to look like shooting guards: tall, athletic, gangly, on the border of dual-threat/pro-style. He scouts them at multiple sports.
- Their teams usually perform above or far above the usual for that program.
- He likes them smart.
We are now entering the Stanford phase, so it’s a good thing we could notice item #4 above before the sample was ruined.
We also got an idea of how Harbaugh coaches them. He likes his heady guys to memorize a million things they can think about pre-snap. When he has one of those guys, they go to the line with three plays called, and the quarterback decides which by defensive alignment. Conversely, post-snap reads are super-simplified and drilled mercilessly so that his QB barely has to think about his progressions during a play.
This week we get into his last two stops before Michigan.
Head coach and quarterbacks coach, 2007-'10
2007: Harbaugh took over at Stanford in December 2006 with Kellen Kiilsguaard, a high three-star dual-threat, and L.D. Crow, an early-recruited academic from the South, already committed. Crow was on a lot of 2007 early watch lists (I know because I was reading those religiously for Mallett news) and Stanford's first commit of that class, but he was passed by a lot of guys by Signing Day (not Nick Foles, Kellen Moore, or Ryan Lindley). Kiilsguaard would eventually switch to safety. Harbaugh couldn't lure another QB but did get a transfer from Michigan. MGoBlog's Brian Cook:
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jason Forcier can read the writing on the wall -- it says "Jesus Christ, that kid can throw eighty yards" -- and is transferring to Stanford effective at the end of the semester. Lloyd is not happy about it.
Forcier, like all Forciers, was an accurate Marinovich project with enough legs to be classified as a dual-threat but not enough to overshadow his passing.
On the roster were a pair of fliers in Alex Loukas, a 6'4/193 Purdue-al-threat (see: every other Purdue quarterback of the period), and Marcus Rance, a barely three-star guy from Washington whose next best offer was Idaho. Harbaugh also inherited a 5th year senior and on-and-off starter in T.C. Ostrander, an Elite 11 prospect who signed as a 4-star and two spots below Brady Quinn in a deep year for pro-style QBs. Ostrander split time with 2006 3rd round draft pick (and former 5-star) Trent Edwards for three seasons.
Last among inherited bullets was Tavita Pritchard, a 2005 3-star pro-style guy ranked just behind Colt McCoy. Pritchard had thrown one pass—that incomplete—and was sacked on three other career snaps before Harbaugh arrived.
Ostrander suffered a seizure the week Stanford would go into #1 USC as 41-point underdogs. Against a brutal defense, Pritchard wasn't doing too hot—he'd go 11/30 for 149 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in that game. But then 20 of those yards were a laser to Richard Sherman, and another 10 were the fade to Mark Bradford to win it. Pete Carroll wanted to know what Harbaugh's deal was.
Harbaugh's deal was he was recruiting quarterbacks. Andrew Luck committed at the end of June 2007, before Stanford had played a game under Harbaugh. The interest in Stanford was already there for the academic Texan, and meeting Jim sealed it.
Jim continued to recruit a second QB for the class. Targets included Dayne Crist (Notre Dame), Jerome Tiller (ISU), Sean Renfree (Duke), Ted Stachitas (Wake Forest), Wayne Warren (Rutgers), B.R. Holbrook (New Mexico), and another Texas prospect, Robert Griffin III. RGIII turned down Harbaugh's offer because of Stanford's admissions policy:
“I was graduating early, and Stanford wasn’t allowing early graduates to enroll and that was the biggest issue,” Griffin said.
So Stanford wound up with just one quarterback for the class. Luck was the epitome of the Harbaugh quarterback recruit: valedictorian smart, extremely productive in high school, cool demeanor, and some wiggle. Under Harabaugh he would develop into the best pro prospect since Peyton Manning, whom Luck displaced.
|Year||W-L||Player||Att||Cmp%||Yds||Rtg||Att||Yds||YPP||TD Rate||Int Rt|
TD rate and INT rate on the right are percentages for all attempts (passing and rushing
The sophomore Luck won the job over the incumbent senior Pritchard in 2009, but it was his junior season, 2010, when he really became Andrew Luck.
[Jump for 2009-2010 targets and the San Francisco story]
Michigan (14-14, 7-9 B1G) at
Northwestern (14-5, 5-11)
|WHEN||9 pm ET, Tuesday|
|LINE||Northwestern -2 (KenPom)|
PBP: Dave Revsine
Analyst: Jim Jackson
Right: Rahk had nine points on seven shots in the first matchup. [Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog]
Derrick Walton is still expected to sit out, though he did at least travel to Maryland on Saturday.
THE LAST TIME
Thanks to a strong all-around performance by Caris LeVert and a missed layup by Northwestern's Bryant McIntosh on the game's final possession, Michigan escaped with a 56-54 win at Crisler back in mid-January. A solid outing from Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman covered for the absence of a sick Spike Albrecht. The efforts of those two and Derrick Walton—who hit some timely threes—were just enough to overcome a 22-point game from Wildcats center Alex Olah.
On that fateful final play, LeVert came up limping. We'd soon learn he was out for the rest of the season. Michigan, 4-2 in the conference after the win, has gone 3-7 since.
This is close to a must-win for Michigan if they want to get into the NIT. While a losing record no longer automatically disqualifies a team from making the NIT, no such team has been selected; Michigan would need to beat Rutgers and win the 8/9 game in the Big Ten Tournament just to get back to .500. (I don't believe the NIT counts the victory over Hillsdale, a D-II team.) That wouldn't necessarily guarantee Michigan gets in—they'd probably have to pull a huge upset over Wisconsin in the next round to lock down a spot.
Needless to say, the path to the NIT is a whole lot easier if Michigan wins the remaining two regular season games. At that point, they'd probably only need to win one game in the conference tournament to feel good about their postseason standing.
THE LINEUP CARD
Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.
|G||30||Bryant McIntosh||Fr.||6'3, 177||85||24||No|
|Decent scorer, high assist rate. Not remarkably efficient, but can create.|
|G||14||Tre Demps||Jr.||6'3, 198||82||24||Not really|
|Takes a ton of shots but isn't a great shooter: 48/33/65 2P/3P/FT%.|
|G/F||20||Scottie Lindsey||Fr.||6'5, 175||41||15||No|
|Low usage, mostly out there for defense. Struggling with shot.|
|F||34||Sanjay Lumpkin||So.||6'6, 220||85||10||Not Really|
|Minuscule usage, efficiency has plummeted in B1G play. Meh rebounder.|
|C||22||Alex Olah||Jr.||7'0, 270||72||25||Yes|
|Good rebounder, shot-blocker. Not a great finisher, but has range.|
|F||4||Vic Law||Fr.||6'7, 185||53||20||Not really|
|Good defender, rebounder whose offensive game is still developing.|
|G||23||JerShon Cobb||Sr.||6'5, 208||36||15||No|
|Spot-up shooter (36% 3P) missed last six games due to injury. Questionable.|
|F||32||Nathan Taphorn||So.||6'7, 215||20||18||No|
|Hitting 59% of twos and 50% of threes in limited opportunities.|
Northwestern's loss to Michigan was their fourth defeat in what would become a ten-game losing streak—they didn't win a game between December 30th and February 15th. The Wildcats then ripped off four straight wins, beating Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State (60-39!), and Indiana; three of those came at home. Most recently, they got crushed at Illinois.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
Yee baby yee. Jordan Morgan is playing overseas, and has found out that Hardaway and father are chicken spokespersons in Turkey.
So things are going to go okay for THJ if he ever has to seek asylum in Turkey. People will recognize him and give him succor in the form of chicken for reasons they no longer remember. And then he doesn't have to be on the Knicks anymore!
Speaking of Euro basketball. Hello post incoming?
Alba Berlin standout in #AdidasNGT Moritz Wagner, im told next year will go to NCAA. Michigan is no.1 option.
— Vedran Modrić (@vedranmo) March 1, 2015
Depending on who you talk to and when, Wagner's either 6'9" or 6'10" and displays the advanced ball skills typical of euro bigs. He could be a 4 or 5, maybe even a 3 if Michigan rolls a natural 20. Meanwhile check this court out:
That court hosts seventy different sports. Several of them haven't even been invented yet. Also, they emphatically do not call technicals for hanging on the rim in whatever league he's playing.
Beilein visited Wagner in November and Michigan could use a flexible player who could fill in at either of the frontcourt spots.
And let's check in with the German perspective:
In the first days of pre-season, the heads of coaches full of question marks. Which fragrance brands are the new ones such as the elderly respond? How fit all?
Google translate is getting really good these days.
Flippin. Dang son.
— Blake Countess (@TheeCount2) February 27, 2015
Countess for alumni cheerleader?
It lives. We've addressed Texas's Brandon problem occasionally in this space, usually when referring to the Longhorns' spectacularly tone-deaf, loathsome women's AD Christine Plonsky or branding-means-you-brand true believer Steve Patterson, the AD proper. Patterson has pissed off a lot of people in a manner similar to Michigan's dear departed, though I don't think he's firing off the emails just yet. Chip Brown has talked with the big ballers in Austin and comes back with quotes ominous for Patterson's future:
“It’s clear Steve Patterson is a numbers guy. Well, you can reach all your numbers and have it be a complete failure if you alienate important people along the way,” said one key UT donor who has been left cold by Patterson.
“It’s also how it’s done. This place is too important to too many people for athletics to be run like some cold, bottom-line pro franchise front office. I see a lot of John Mackovic in Patterson. Mackovic tried to tell us how to think and how it was going to be, alienated people, and at the first sight of trouble, he was gone.”
If Charlie Strong doesn't make it, Patterson will be quickly disposed of. Patterson's made the mistake of pissing off the men with money instead of the hoi polloi, who are less easily roused to rebellion.
I wonder why you're failing. I haven't talked much about the local media landscape in a while because we're clearly in the "…and then you win" segment of the process. Teams have their in-house organs, it's difficult to tell some of them from purportedly neutral guys at papers—Vincent Goodwill went from embarrassingly carrying water for Joe Dumars to literally working for the Bulls—and the bleeding has gone from layoffs everywhere to weird infosec campaigns to get guys to resign.
As a result of Goodwill's departure, barely-literate Terry Foster has been thrown back on the Pistons beat. He's taking the idea he should actually work for the paper that's been inexplicably paying him for decades hard:
He is complaining about an NBA beat that several thousand people in this state would get a tattoo on their forehead for. Jeff Moss has broken a lot of media stories over the past few years and reports that Foster's getting six digits from the News. That's incredible: Foster's contribution there has been the occasional slapdash column his editors have to turn into English. For years.
And they can't just get rid of the guy for some reason. Even if Mitch Albom's contributions to the Free Press consist of Borscht belt jokes so lame his colleagues are calling him out on his terrible columns, at least you can argue that Captain Fun Death Times has a certain cachet with the demographic that still subscribes to a newspaper. Terry Foster? Who does Terry Foster appeal to? Maybe his family, if they haven't read his output in a decade.
A sane organization would have fired Terry Foster years ago.
Gibbons compare and contrast. Rasheed Sulaimon's dismissal from Duke stems from rape allegations that were never followed up on by the alleged victims or the university itself. A basic timeline:
- October 2013: student says in a "large group setting" at a diversity retreat that Sulaimon sexually assaulted her.
- February 2014: at subsequent diversity retreat, a second student asserted the same thing.
- March 2014: unnamed person affiliated with basketball program (manager? teammate?) brings this information to the team psychologist; from there it goes to the rest of the program.
- January 2015: intern quits based on finding this out, gets lectured by the designated fireman Duke has, six days later Sulaimon is dismissed for vague failure to live up to program standards.
A couple people have emailed wondering about parallels here. There aren't many. Gibbons was the subject of a complaint that the university evaluated, deciding to expel him. Nobody even went so far as to pursue that remedy at Duke despite the anonymity offered by that process; Duke either put restrictions on Sulaimon that he failed to live up to or panicked and booted him after intern incident made them afraid they were about to have this hit the media. One doesn't reflect on the other.
I can't say much more without running afoul of no polo, but I don't know what the hell a coach is supposed to do in that situation. The only group of people less qualified to adjudicate a sexual assault accusation than university bureaucrats is the coaching fraternity, and with no one pursuing any kind of sanction it seems impossible to boot a guy because some people said some things that no one evaluated.
Michigan's case was much more clear cut, with significant physical evidence addressed by a neutral (or at least an attempt at a neutral) evaluation, and then the subsequent PR incompetence.
It was always such. Analytics has won and is in its hot moment, which means a lot of people who don't know their ass from a properly-deployed regression are prominent. This is more prominent now but nothing new: witness David Berri, PRINCETON(!) economist and crazy person.
Except PRINCETON economist David Berri is not actually that, and apparently never was?
Berri graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a B.A. in economics in 1991, and earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. from Colorado State University. He taught economics at Coe College and California State University-Bakersfield before accepting a position at Southern Utah University in 2008.
No offense to any of those fine institutions, but if this was clear from the start maybe we don't have to deal with the scourge of this guy in the first place. All have the salutary property that anyone hailing from one of their institutions has to actually explain themselves instead of just saying "I'm from PRINCETON."
[I hope I get to overuse this screen cap by the time the season ends]
Friday, February 27, 2015
Michigan 3 Wisconsin 0
Michigan 1 Wisconsin 0 PPG 01:35 Hyman (19) from Nieves (17) and Werenski (15)
Boo Nieves sets a screen for Zach Werenski, who is skating toward the blue line. Werenski draws a defender high; Nieves stays stationary. Werenski passes to Nieves before the defender can make a play on the puck, and Nieves takes off for the net unscathed.
Nieves makes a simple pass to Zach Hyman.
Hyman is looking to the opposite faceoff circle, but the puck never gets there. It hits the leg of the netfront defenseman and is deflected into the top corner.
You may remember me from such emoticons as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
[After THE JUMP: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ redux]
play this man in all kinds of weather [Bryan Fuller]
Autobench bitchin'. 1-3-1 after halftime not a great move. Would still give Beilein all my food. In praise of Spike. Center position down the road. Dawkins offer lack confusion part sixteen. Chatman! Life!
Back in it. Margin of error very slim now. Werenski a terror on both ends, no matter who's defending. Goalie business.
GIMMICKY SPRING PRACTICE SECTION
TOP FIVES! Our top five most secure and least secure projected starters. You'll never guess what our least secure spot is. (You have never seen football and are naming positions in cricket.)
"Across 110th Street"
"King of the Road," (spectacularly drunk) REM
"Wabash Cannonball," Townes Van Zandt
"Hercules," Aaron Neville
THE USUAL LINKS
Will Costello Visit? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Michigan's top target at quarterback, California four-star KJ Costello, has repeatedly stated his intention to take a trip to Ann Arbor in the near future; he's also hinted at a forthcoming decision.
Several reporters caught up with Costello at the Pylon National 7-on-7 Championship last weekend in Las Vegas, and it's unclear whether or not he'll make it to campus before a decision. The lack of clarity comes from quotes that directly contradict each other. Here's Costello talking to Scout's Greg Biggins ($):
Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita quarterback K.J. Costello could be closing in on a decision.
"I think it will happen sometime in March," Costello said. "I don't think I'm going to take any more visits, I have a good idea what I want to do. With Stanford and USC, I was always going back and forth every other day but I'm pretty set now and it's just a matter of doing it.
Same Costello, same weekend, different reporter—247's Steve Wiltfong ($):
“I’m pretty close [to a decision]. Day in and day out I’m trying to think If I feel like I’m feeling the same way. If I’m feeling the same way four, five, seven days in a row, I’ll make my decision.”
Ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s No. 4 pro-style quarterback and No. 42 prospect overall, Costello may take one more visit.
“I’ve been talking to (Jim) Harbaugh quite a bit,” he said. “He wants to get me out there as soon as possible. I think I might head out there during the week next week, if I can find a flight. Or in two weeks.”
Costello also told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz that he's trying to set up a visit, but his next couple weekend are booked with Elite 11 camps and he's unsure if he can miss school for a trip ($).
It doesn't look great for Costello getting to Ann Arbor before a decision. While he's been on campus before, that wouldn't be good for the chances that he'll choose Michigan over either of the in-state finalists.
If Costello drops to Stanford or USC, the quarterback picture could still gain a lot of clarity soon. Five-star WA QB Jacob Eason told Wiltfong that while Michigan is making a bigger push than any other school for him to reconsider his commitment, "something would have to go wrong with Georgia" for him to make a change ($). He's leaving the door ajar, but only just.
That leaves four-star IN QB Brandon Peters, who's slated to visit for the Spring Game. Michigan pushed to the forefront of Peters' recruitment when they offered shortly after NSD, and there's been a lot of optimism that he'll commit so long as no other quarterback takes the spot before he gets to campus. At the time, Costello seemed like a more legitimate possibility; at this point, I'd say Peters is the safer bet to end up in the class.
[Hit THE JUMP for a five-star visitor, new offers, and more.]