in town for free camps
Photo via 247.
Michigan's camp tour has paid off once again, this time in the form of a commitment from three-star Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic CB Antwaine Richardson, according to multiple outlets. Richardson, a high school teammate of incoming freshman DE Shelton Johnson, earned an offer on Sunday after performing in front of the coaching staff at the South Florida satellite camp. He's the 11th commit in the 2016 class and the first at cornerback.
|NR CB||3* CB||NR CB||
3*, 86, #81 CB,
3*, #88 CB,
As you can see, Richardson is another under-the-radar type, so let's head off some of the inevitable comments right now and note that his top two was Miami (YTM) and Wisconsin—yes, both programs offered—before Michigan swooped in.
All four sites list him at 6'0" and 162-168 pounds, a nice frame for a cornerback.
The only scouting reports out there on Richardson right now are quotes from... Richardson. Those can be helpful, but first let's take a look at his film:
I like what I see. Richardson has decent footwork for a taller corner, and he knows how to use his length to his advantage. He's not afraid to be physical; there are a few really impressive jams at the line and some big hits on his tape. A few of the special teams clips indicate he's the type of high-effort, high-athleticism prospect Harbaugh covets.
When Richardson got his Miami offer, he compared himself to a couple of the NFL's very best at his position, per 247's Nate Adelson ($):
“I compare myself to Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson,” Richardson said. “I’m a speed corner, I can play off or press, and I’m aggressive on the line. I’m trying to get out of my breaks quicker and sink my hips while I’m backpedaling. I have good footwork and I don’t let anybody catch the deep ball on me.”
He also relishes contact, something he told Scout's Benjamin Worgull after adding his Wisconsin offer:
“You have to be real good (to play) in the Big Ten because they have Ohio State, some good teams in the Big Ten,” he said. “You have to bring your ‘A’ game when you play those teams, so getting an offer from Wisconsin means I got to bring my ‘A’ game.”
In Richardson’s mind, his ‘A’ game encompasses all defensive schemes.
“In man coverage, I love covering,” Richardson said. “I am aggressive, I love to tackle, I love to hit hard and I don’t think nobody can catch a deep ball on me.”
For now, that's about it on Richardson in the scouting department. Despite the lack of articles on him, what's on film should answer any questions about why Michigan offered him and accepted his commitment.
Richardson holds offers from Florida Atlantic, Iowa State, Miami (YTM), Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and several others.
Delray Beach Atlantic has a solid history of producing D-I prospects, and specifically top-level defensive backs: Mike Rumph (Miami), Brandon Flowers (Virginia Tech), and Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech) were all picked in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. Current San Diego Chargers OT Orlando Franklin (Miami) is also an Atlantic product.
According to 247, Richardson had 37 tackles, ten pass breakups, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles as a junior.
FAKE 40 TIME
ESPN has full testing results that include a 4.70 40-yard dash, which gets zero FAKEs.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Richardson should be afforded a redshirt when he gets to campus, as Michigan is only set to lose Wayne Lyons (and, if his fifth year is unrenewed, Terry Richardson) from their group of cornerbacks after this year. The competition should be wide open when Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling graduate following the 2016 season. While Brandon Watson, who looked ready to play a bigger role this spring, and Reon Dawson will provide competition, Richardson and 2015 incoming freshman Keith Washington have the advantage of being hand-picked by Harbaugh and Co.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan is now up to 11 in the class, which is projected to have only 14 spots right now, but that number will inevitably rise between attrition and possible unrenewed fifth-year seniors. Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive tackle, defensive end, and outside linebacker remain pressing needs, and Michigan is likely to stay in pursuit of help at defensive back unless they decide they'd prefer Chris Evans at corner and Kiante Enis at safety.
Our fantasy partners at Draft Kings have been supporting Hail to the Victors since their main marketing guy helped us Kickstart the 2012 edition.
In 2013 he bought a bunch of the books off of us and gave them out to anyone who deposited at least the amount it cost the Kickstarter backers.
Last year they asked if they could just hand us money to keep making it, and I was like "can I tell people you gave us money?" and apparently this is called a sponsorship so they're sponsors. And they bought a bunch of books to give out again. As for this year…
They're the Sponsors Again!
Yay! But seriously I'm sure you've seen stuff for this daily fantasy sports website popping up all over the place lately, and we're very lucky that the people in charge of that are longtime and earnest fans of this site.
So once again if you missed the Kickstart you can still get this year's book basically for the Kickstart price by depositing $15 or more with them. (Or if you just want the digital edition—it's a PDF—deposit $5 or more).
The nice part for you is if you blow through that deposit, at worst you got a copy of a book you were buying anyway minus the shipping cost. But, like, it's a deposit; if you make money you got a free copy of HTTV, and you get money.
(The nice part for us is we get money if you do this.)
How this works:
2. You create an account using an email address that isn't associated with a Draft Kings account already.
3. You deposit $15 or more (for a full book) or $5 or more (for just a digital copy).
4. Within 24 hours I'll email you to say you get a book and ask for your address (if you don't hear from me or another MGostaffer within a day email me at [my name]@mgoblog.com
The books will be mailed out in batches so the sooner you act the sooner the book comes.
1. Gotta be a new user. They're looking for people who haven't tried out their games before, so if you're already in you're out of luck.
2. Gotta be in the U.S. (otherwise shipping's a nightmare). If you're from AZ, IA, LA, MT, or WA—i.e. states with prize laws—contact firstname.lastname@example.org to address that first.
3. Gotta be 18 (or 19 in Alabama or Nebraska).
What About the Kickstarter Books?
The final version has been approved at the printer so now we wait for them to physically print it. Make sure you sent us your address (just doing the Kickstarter isn't enough).
You should be getting your digital copies in your inboxes starting today. It's a 12mb PDF file but I have a lower-resolution 5mb one if you desire to put it on a Kindle or something that cares about hard drive space.
What if I find all this confusing and just want to pre-order a copy?
Go to the MGoStore! It's $15 plus about $5 for shipping depending on where you are.
Michigan has announced that two of their games will actually be at noon this year:
CHICAGO, Ill. -- The University of Michigan football program had a pair of non-conference games selected for noon broadcast nationally, announced today (Friday, June 12) jointly by the networks and the Big Ten Conference. The Wolverines will host Oregon State (Sept. 12) in their home opener and a week later will play UNLV (Sept. 19) in their second of three straight games at Michigan Stadium.
Oregon State is on ABC, UNLV on BTN.
The Michigan noon kick was all but dead. I don't know if this is Hackett, Harbaugh, or random fate, but hooray for a few noon games that allow Michigan fans to see the rest of college football. 3:30 games on the 12th include Iowa-Iowa State and ND-Virginia; on the 19th Nebraska-Miami and Auburn-LSU are at 3:30. A number of other interesting games are likely to join those as the TV people figure out what they want and when.
Coach Plastic Man
The satellite camp tour certainly can't produce anything stranger than shirtless Peruballing Harbaugh, right?
— Chris Brown (Chrissoo_valid) June 9, 2015
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 10, 2015
Michigan has made their way through two stops in Texas and is now in California; meanwhile, the Sound Mind Sound Body camp (TomVH preview here) is underway in Michigan, and many of the participants in that camp are expected to drop by Ann Arbor this weekend.
The satellite camps are moving so quickly—and the visitor lists have been so fluid—that I can only say I'm doing by best to hit the highlights here. Coverage of all this is certainly going to bleed into next week as reporters are able to catch up with the various high-profile participants.
Top performers from the Houston camp included four-star OLB Jeffrey McCullough and 2017 five-star DT Marvin Wilson, who has Michigan in his top five, per Steve Lorenz. Four-star TX DT Jordan Elliott, a Houston commit, also dropped by to connect with the coaching staff, per Scout's Ahmard Vital.
The Dallas camp featured a lot of talent, including top-100 OT Jean Delance, who told Lorenz that he's got a "great relationship with the staff," and he plans to visit Ann Arbor soon. Three-star DE Rahssan Thornton, whose recruitment has seemingly become a Michigan/LSU battle, told 247's EJ Holland($) it was "the best camp I've gone to that I can remember." (He also said "Jim Harbaugh is like someone's cool dad.") 2017 five-star QB Shawn Robinson called Harbaugh "a quarterback genius."
Michigan leads for a couple prospects from their camps in Florida. Three-star DE Terrell Lucas told Steve Lorenz that Michigan "is on top" in his recruitment ($). He laid out a timeline for The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan ($):
"I like the whole thing about Michigan," Lucas explained. "When I hear 'Michigan,' I hear 'family.' You think of Ann Arbor, the town, you don't just think of the football team, you think of the city itself.
"Right now I'm open and trying to keep my options open. I'm considering all the colleges and trying to evaluate. I don't think it should take me that long to make my decision on which college I'm going to go to. Well before the end of the summer, I will have made my decision. End of the month or two I'll be done with it."
If he sticks to that timeline, Michigan is in very good shape. The Wolverines also emerged as the leader for DE/TE Rashad Weaver, who was offered as a jumbo athlete a few days after performing in front of the coaches, whose promise to uphold their end of the bargain stood out to Weaver, per TMI's Brice Marich:
“I would have to say yes (Michigan leads),” said Weaver. “At first when they offered, I had no leader, but when he said they would honor my commitment even if I got hurt, then that put them at the top of my list. They are the only coaches that have told me that.”
That's all from the camp tour for the moment; with SMSB this weekend, there will be much more next week.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Mark The Nomad still wins by a million. In what is inevitably going to be a successful trolling of Michigan State message boards across the state, MLive asked their readers for pictures of their badass Michigan tattoos. None approach the glory of Mark the Nomad's Harbaugh on Saved by the Bell masterpiece, but there's no shame in coming second in this competition.
This is my favorite:
"I need a wolverine, but I don't want it to be generic."
"I could make him look like he just walked in on his parents having sex."
"Make it so, number one."
-"Jean-Luc Picard's many tattoos: a memoir," by Jonathan Frakes
Second place goes to the guy who went full entrails.
The owner of this tattoo helpfully points out that the heart in the wolverine's hand comes from the pile of rotting gristle that used to be an Ohio State player below. Sports: we are reasonable about it!
A blessed man indeed. Jim Harbaugh has never heard of Paul Finebaum.
A coach approaches, fixes his collar and tells him he was the talk of the Paul Finebaum Show that day. Finebaum, whose show is nationally syndicated and televised on the SEC Network, discussed Harbaugh's appearance in Alabama with his legions of dedicated callers.
Harbaugh looks confused and shakes his head. He doesn't know who Paul Finebaum is.
The coach continues, "He's a radio show host."
Again, nothing from Harbaugh.
"He's a big deal down here in SEC country," another coach chimes in.
For just about anyone else involved with college football I would assume that is a put-on. Harbaugh is constitutionally incapable of being anything other than HIMSELF AT MAXIMUM VOLUME, though.
I assume that Harbaugh's knowledge of things is a sine wave of infinite amplitude. He can tell you the exact order of battles on the Eastern Front of World War II and the order of elimination of every Bachelor contestant in history; he's never heard of popcorn and thinks marsupials are horses. He regularly knits shawls with his teeth; every damned time his wife turns the faucet on he goggles and exclaims "WHAT IN TARNATION IS THAT?" Etc.
Mmm shade. Nick Baumgardner:
INDIANAPOLIS -- Someone forgot to tell Jim Harbaugh he's supposed to hate this stuff.
"The Raiders are still in play" is played out right now but if we keep saying it it'll be funny again in a few years. The Letterman approach.
Baumgardner quotes Harbaugh at his Sincerely Yours In Football best:
"This is the greatest sport ever invented," Harbaugh says. "Nobody will ever play four years of high school football and look back and say 'I wish I hadn't played football.' You ever hear anybody say that?
"It just doesn't get said. Because it doesn't happen. Football is darn good for you. Darn good for you."
SEC honks who are cheesed off about these satellite camps downplay this aspect of Harbaugh's personality, but it seems real to me. Harbaugh is a football evangelist in an era when people are muttering about the long-term future of the game. He's also a guy looking for recruits. It can be both.
Less of a big deal right now. Michigan's summer basketball camp came and went in the middle of this swarm business with hardly a mention. That's partially Harbaugh sucking up the offseason oxygen—something Beilein is probably happy about—and partially the fact that Michigan doesn't seem on the verge of offering blue-chip 2017 guys who are talking like they will commit. Last year Tyus Battle and Derryck Thornton were in attendance—one out of two ain't bad.
This year, 2017 NV SF Greg Floyd, a top 75 guy but not a five-star, was the most notable (uncommitted) name participating. Austin Davis and Jon Teske were there; Cassius Winston was present but sat out with his broken wrist. The rest of the notables are younger kids that may or may not end up on the radar in the next couple years.
Speaking of Winston, his visit for the camp follows one in May. Both Scout and Rivals seem to be incrementally more optimistic with each one. The vibe now is that Michigan probably tentatively leads; before it was that they maybe tentatively lead.
Okay. The basketball rules changes that were proposed have officially been instantiated.
OFFICIAL! 30-sec shot clock, 4-foot arc, reduction in time outs among changes coming to men's basketball next season. pic.twitter.com/qgLqt0BS6D
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) June 8, 2015
I don't think the clock change will impact Michigan—or anyone—disproportionately. Michigan does get dinged by the larger arc, as they've always been a team that tries to take a charge instead of block a shot. Teske is arriving at the right time, at least.
And thank God for small timeout murders. Put the rest in a sack and throw them in the river, please.
In Texas. A slice of life from the Houston stop:
“OK, you gotta run, speed up, throw a catchable ball,” he said, jogging in a loop and throwing the ball to a camper 10 yards away, always moving. “Throw a catchable ball. That’s not a catchable ball. A catchable ball is right there. Shoulders, one foot in front of the number.
While observing, the former San Francisco 49ers coach offered: “No one likes watching incompletions. They really don’t.”
I imagine a couple of projectors got broken in there.
Another reason we're doing well at Paramus. Blake Costanzo is a former San Francisco 49er who's now an assistant at Paramus Catholic. His take on Harbaugh is a bit different than the few 49ers who have not already retired:
"Awesome," Costanzo said. "You want to play for a guy who's been through it, been to practices, grinded, knows what it's like to be in a locker room. To have a guy that knows what you are going through is huge." …
"Everywhere is Michigan country now. They've been all over the country," Costanzo said. "They are just good people. I know a lot of the coaching staff and they are just good people. I promote good people no matter where they are."
Michigan looks set to rake in a number of New Jersey commits this cycle.
Can't stop, won't stop. Old Dominion announces a 2016 satellite camp stop for the sisterhood of the travelling football. No doubt it will be the first of many.
MLB draft fallout. Baseball saw a number players drafted. CF Jackson Glines, a senior, went in the 10th round. Junior 2B/closer Jacob Croenenworth went in the 7th; he's a junior but Bakich is not holding out hope he'll return. 3B Travis Maezes went in the 13th; Bakich says they might get him back.
Michigan's recruits went late if they went at all, so they should arrive on campus.
What is the difference between this run:
…and this run:
If you guessed "the one Harbaugh/Drevno were coaching got yards and the one from Hoke/Borges didn't" you win a running theme of the 2015 offseason. The results are certainly stark; why that's true is what we're interested in.
The Power Play
These are both the same play by the offense, and the same play Brady Hoke promised to make into Michigan's base because it is the manliest of plays. It is Power-O, the one where you pull the backside guard and try to run between the tackles.
You can click for biggers
The play is relatively simple to draw up and complex to execute because it uses a lot of the things zone blocking does, including having the blocking and back react to what the defense does. For all the "manball" talk this isn't ISO, where you slam into each other quickly. Depending on how the coach wants to play it and what defensive alignment you see, the basic gist is to get a double or scoop of the playside DT and kick out the playside DE, then have an avalanche of bodies pour into that hole—if the defense is leaping into that gap you adjust by trying a different hole further outside. Leaving two blockers to seal off the backside, one blocker, usually the backside guard, pulls and becomes the lead blocker—it's up to him to adjust to what he sees when he arrives.
You can run this out of different formations with different personnel, and the one immediately apparent difference in the above diagrams is Michigan was more spread—a flanker (Z) is out on the opposite numbers and the strongside is to the boundary; after the motion this is an "Ace Twins". Stanford ran this with a heavy "22-I" formation, meaning two backs (RB and FB) and two tight ends (Y and H) in an I-form. The benefit Michigan gets from its formation is the guy Stanford would have to block with its fullback Michigan has removed from the play entirely by forcing him to cover the opposite sideline.
What Stanford gets in return for its fullback is matchup problems: the open side of the field is going to be two tight ends and a fullback versus two safeties and a cornerback. Run or pass that can go badly for the defense as these size mismatches turn into lithe safeties eating low-centered fullbacks, and dainty corners on manbeast TEs.
In War of 1812 terms, Michigan is the Americans, sending the fast-sailing frigate Essex in the Pacific so the enemy has to move ships to the Galapagos instead of harassing the Carolinas. Stanford is the British, parking 74-guns ships of the line where engaging them cannot be avoided and trusting the outcome of any forced engagement should turn in their favor. The point is both work to the advantages and disadvantages of the talent on hand. (In this analogy Borges is a guy trying to use Horatio Nelson tactics with a Navy of sloops and brigs).
That being said, it still works as well as anything—people did in fact score points before the spread, and those who scored a lot of them could do so by keeping defenses off balance and with good execution. As we'll see both of those factors played a big role.
[after the jump]