there would have to be some to wash away
[Ed: see what he did there?]
Remember, all-time updates can be found on the 2011 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. If you have any recruiting tips or questions, you can e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @varsityblue. For game updates on Wolverine commits, check out the Friday Night Lights series.
Decision Time is Finally Here. Maybe.
GA S Avery Walls has been named to the Army All-American game. His coach had plenty of good things to say about him too:
"Avery came to this school and just instantly was a great leader who showed great character," Gess said. "As far as him as a player, he just shuts down a whole side of the field because coaches won't throw or run that way. He also raises his teammates' level of play. He's a great representative of Eagle's Landing Christian and what they stand for."
He'll make a decision next month, after a couple visits to Oregon and Cal. Michigan was in great shape after his visit to Ann Arbor, and hopefully the Ducks and Bears do nothing to change that. Walls is an early-enrollment candidate.
If FL RB Demetrius Hart doesn't make his decision next week, it wouldn't be the first time he's changed his mind about an announcement timeframe. However, this is the most public he's been about when he'll pick his school. Hart is taking an official visit to Alabama this weekend. Tom hinted that Hart may take another unofficial visit in his weekly update, and I bet that would be to Michigan should he choose the Wolverines. It's still looking good here.
Assume the Position: D-Line
Michigan is hunting for at least one defensive tackle, and probably another defensive end. Who are some of the candidates?
FL DT Tim Jernigan will not decide until after his senior season. He's also started planning out some of his visits:
He said he plans on attending at least one game involving each of the schools, including the UF-Alabama game Oct. 2 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the LSU-UF game in Gainesville on Oct. 9 and games at Michigan and USC.
That means no Michigan State game in Ann Arbor, leaving Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin weekends. If his coach is right:
The biggest factor the coach said would play into Jernigan’s decision is playing time.
With a college-ready frame and skill set, Howard said Jernigan is going to likely attend the school that can provide him a chance to play early.
That means Advantage: Michigan over all of his other contenders.
MI DE/OL Anthony Zettel gave raving reviews of his visit to Michigan State:
"It was an amazing game to be at," Zettel said. "I think that Michigan State is starting to become a very good team. I was able to have some small talk with a lot of the recruits at the game."
OK, maybe that's more "I was in attendance" than anything hugely positive for the Spartans. Scout's Allen Trieu explains to the Lansing State Journal:
Michigan looks like it could be the team to beat for Zettel, but the Spartans are in contention.
"He's been a life-long Michigan fan, and you just want to be able to stay in the game with him," Trieu said. "The fact that he hasn't committed to Michigan yet is a big thing for Michigan State."
At this point , when "not committed to Michigan quite yet" is the best thing you can say about State's recruitment of the kid, the Wolverines are looking good.
GA DE Ray Drew, Walls's buddy, wants to visit Ann Arbor:
"I would also like to go to Michigan to see the Big House. Every football player knows about that place... There are a lot of schools I would like to see before I decide on signing day.”
He says he's close to having all of his visits set up, so we should know soon when he'll be in the house. Drew won't make a decision until Signing Day.
MI RB Thomas Rawls is smashing Mark Ingram's Flint-area rushing records. If he can get his grades up, he could be a good addition to Michigan's class. At 5'10", 215, he's a differenet sort of back than Hart.
NJ TE Jack Tabb is taking an official visit to Iowa City this weekend ($, info in header), even though the Hawkeyes already have three (!) tight ends in this class. Michigan is in the running for one of his other visits, and he took a trip to Ann Arbor earlier this summer.
IL OL Chris Bryant, a recent visitor to Ann Arbor, has the Wolverines in his top 3/4 with Arizona, Stanford, and Illinois. From the tone of the article, Michigan is still on top.
KY LB Lamar Dawson has M in his final 7.
Dee Hart isn't the only Orlando Dr. Phillips guy with Michigan interest. It is highly unlikely that FL S HaSean Clinton-Dix will strongly consider Michigan anymore, but his fellow safety Roderick Ryles is looking for an offer.
FL TE/DE Brandon Fulse has narrowed his list, and Michigan is no longer on it.
Happy Trails, FL DE Giorgio Newberry. He's committed to Florida State.
It appears as though VA CB Demetrious Nicholson is no longer planning to take a Michigan visit.
FL QB Bennie Coney is holding a Michigan offer. It will be interesting to see what types of QBs Michigan goes after this season.
Just to clarify, Plant City is not the same Plant that 2011 OL Commit Tony Posada attends.
OH RB William Mahone is interested in Michigan, and attended a summer camp in Ann Arbor this summer. The Buckeyes already have two RB commits in 2012, so they won't be the competition.
As expected, MI DT Danny O'Brien received his verbal offer from Michigan at the Bowling Green game.
ESPN's Chris Pool reports that IL DT Tommy Schutt also holds a verbal offer from the Wolverines.
Also in attendance last Saturday was OH S Allen Gant. The son of former Wolverine Tony Gant (and nephew of Charles Woodson) plans to take his time making a decision.
It returns. Why didn't we have them for the first four games? Our super-inside connect with WOLV moved to Chicago and it took some time to coordinate with WTKA, which is generously providing studio space, and get everything up and going. But that's all in the past and we'll have them on the regular from here on out except maybe next week because I have to go to a wedding in Arizona this weekend and most of Sunday is driving or being on a plane. We'll try; no guarantees.
Since this is the first one since the season preview we talk about the entire nonconference season, discussing positives in negatives in a meandering conversation. A special section is dedicated is to One Of These Seasons Is Not Like The Other.
After that we bring on regular guest Jamiemac of Just Cover to talk Indiana—he is a nominal Hoosier when it comes to the football—and the rest of the Big Ten, with far too much time spent on this weekends epic clash between Minnesota and Northwestern. (Note: the lines we talk about were the LSVC opening ones since that's all we had at the time; the line moves since have conformed to expectations by making Wisconsin about a field goal favorite at MSU and pushing the Indiana-M line out to about two touchdowns.
The usual links:
The hockey team takes on Mercyhurst this weekend in an actual game, and since I had the good sense to write my hockey season preview in the summer it exists for the first time ever. The forwards:
- Lose just Brian Lebler and midseason defection Robbie Czarnik.
- Return everyone else including seniors Carl Hagelin, Louie Caporusso, and Matt Rust.
- Add talented-but-engimatic forwards and draft stock imploders Luke Moffatt and Jacob Fallon.
Carl Hagelin == hockey Denard.
- Michigan loses Chris Summers and Steve Kampfer.
- They return Tristin Llewellyn, Chad Langlais, Brandon Burlon, Greg Pateryn, and Lee Moffie.
- They add second-rounder Jon Merrill, 2009 third-rounder Mac Bennett, and undrafted NTDPer Kevin Clare.
Biggest concerns are Llewellyn's reliability, a shut-down defender against top pairings, and how to get Moffie on the ice if he's learned how to play D.
I have no idea what will happen here. Hunwick could backslide as his rebound control betrays him, and Hogan could bounce back to his junior-year form. If you put a gun to my head I would say Hunwick claims the starting job around midseason, but that is a prediction with nothing but good memories from the playoff run behind it. I don't think anyone has a clue here, including the coaches.
Yost Built is also ramping up its season preview. Michigan is ranked #4 in the first USA today poll of the season and the official site has launched a "Countdown to Faceoff" series similar to the CTK videos. Here's Louie Caporusso:
The TV schedule, road games in bold:
|10/2/10||Mercyhurst at Michigan||7:35||Comcast|
|10/8/10||Michigan at Bowling Green||7:05||Comcast|
|10/30/10||Ferris State at Michigan||7:35||Comcast|
|11/5/10||Michigan State at Western Michigan||7:35||Comcast|
|11/13/10||Notre Dame at Michigan||7:35||Comcast|
|11/19/10||Lake Superior at Michigan||7:35||Comcast|
|12/3/10||Michigan at Ohio State||7:35||BTN|
|12/11/10||Michigan State v. Michigan
The Big Chill at the Big House
|12/30/10||G-L-I Championship (Teams TBD)||7:35||FSD|
|1/7/11||Michigan at Michigan State||7:35||BTN|
|1/8/11||Michigan State at Michigan||7:05||FS PLUS|
|1/14/11||Ferris State at Michigan||7:35||CBS College|
|1/15/11||Michigan at Ferris State||7:05||Comcast|
|1/21/11||Alaska at Michigan||7:35||FS PLUS|
|1/29/11||Michigan v. Michigan State (JLA)||8:05||FSD|
|2/4/11||Michigan at Miami||7:35||CBS College|
|2/5/11||Michigan at Miami||5:05||FSD|
|2/11/11||Ohio State at Michigan||7:35||BTN|
|2/12/11||Ohio State at Michigan||7:35||BTN|
|2/18/11||Western Michigan at Michigan||7:35||Comcast|
|2/19/11||Western Michigan at Michigan||7:35||FSD|
|3/4 OR 5/11||First-Round Campus-Site||TBA||CBS College|
|3/12/11||Second-Round Campus Site||TBA||Comcast|
|3/18/11||CCHA Semifinal # 1||4:35||FS PLUS|
|3/18/11||CCHA Semifinal # 2||8:05||FS PLUS|
|3/19/11||CCHA Championship Game||7:35||FS PLUS|
That's 20 of 34 games plus potential additions if they get to the GLI championship (likely since the first opponent this year is Michigan Tech) and host a playoff series, which they obviously will. As a bonus, all of the FSD games will be in HD.
Serious coverage will have to wait until football season is over, but there will be erratic posts when warranted.
A Stupid Prediction
Michigan spent most of last year floundering around looking like they'd be the first Berenson team in 20 years to miss the tournament, then caught fire in the CCHA playoffs. Eight games later they were undefeated in the postseason when some guy from Hockey East and his galaxy-spanning incompetence robbed Michigan of a goal that would send them to the Frozen Four. Fate being what it is, Shawn Hunwick would misplay an easy slap shot in the most crushing hockey game I've ever seen.
The question Michigan hockey will spend the first half of the season answering is "well, which is it?" Is it the .500 team that entered the CCHA playoffs or the undefeated team that outshot Miami almost 4 to 1 in the first overtime of the Waterloo, Indiana game?
It should be the latter. Michigan will battle Miami for the conference title, make the NCAA tournament as either a 1 or 2 seed, and then you've got single elimination playoff hockey designed to make a mockery of anyone stupid enough to predict it. Red is going around bluntly stating things like this:
"We realized we were as good as anybody at the end of last year and this team will take that (confidence) and put that on the ice."
"Does it make our team better? Definitely, it's huge," said Berenson of having Hagelin and Caporusso back. "You're so much more optimistic because you know who your top players are. I felt they had their heads in the right place. They are really invested in this program."
They will lay waste and then it will be the tournament again, where nothing makes sense and it all matters so much.
For live updates of the games I'm attending, follow me on Twitter @varsityblue. If you can help out finding articles on any of the commits, @reply me on Twitter or e-mail me, and I'll try to include your contribution.
FL QB Kevin Sousa
Last week: Lake Nona was destroyed yet again, this time dropping a 7-41 decision to Sebring. The grisly details:
The Blue Streaks' Clarence Counts recorded the first of four interceptions against Lake Nona star Kevin Sousa on the first play of the game...
Lake Nona was able to avoid the shutout when Sousa found Dmitri Fontana behind the defense on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter...
The Sebring defense made life miserable for Sousa all game, holding the future Michigan Wolverine to 20 yards rushing and 8 of 17 passing for 126 yards.
"He's a good player," Sutton said. "Our defensive line did a good job and our middle linebackers spied on him, so we did pretty good... We wanted to shut him out," he said. "We know how good we are. We could have shut them out easily. We had a few mistakes and we just have to get better at it."
Article 2. Sousa has uploaded highlights of his last two games:
If that's what the blocking looks like on the good plays, I can only imagine how bad it is when he's forced into poor throws.
|Kevin Sousa 2010|
|Oak Ridge||L 0-48||6||13||46.15||34||2.62||0||1||7||31||4.43||0|
This week: Lake Nona plays Lake Wales on Friday.
MI WR Shawn Conway
FridayNightHighlights.tv has comprehensive highlights, as usual.
|Shawn Conway 2010|
|North Farmington||W 26-6||4||32||8.00||1||3||137||45.67|
|Country Day||L 21-28||3||62||20.67||0||3||32||10.67|
This week: The Maples travel to Hazel Park Friday at 7.
OH OL Jack Miller
Last week: St. John's lost to Toledo Whitmer 24-49. No mention of Miller in the game article.
This week: St. John's hosts winless Toledo Start Friday at 7pm.
FL OL Tony Posada
This week: Plant hosts Armwood in "The Rivalry" on Friday.
MI OL Jake Fisher
This week: TC West plays Dearborn Edsel Ford on Saturday at 6 at Ferris State.
OH DE Chris Rock
Last week: DeSales lost to Orchard Lake St. Mary's 0-24. Game highlights. I was there, so enjoy some original video (Rock is #54, playing defensive end and right tackle):
Those highlights should be HD, but obviously are not. I'll try to figure out what the technology problem is for the next edition. Scouting report:
I was not impressed with Rock's play. It's possible he was just having a bad night, but there have been reports from this entire season that suggest Rock is "just a guy" out there. Though St. Mary's gameplanned a bit to keep him out of the game (running away from him, double-teaming him, etc.), that's not the only reason he wasn't a factor.
He was routinely stoned by St. Mary's tackle #72, and it's not like that guy's going to go on to play Division-1 football. For being the biggest (not fattest) guy out there, Rock's strength seemed to be seriously lacking, and his movement skills left something to be desired.
With a guy Rock's size, you assume that a couple years under a collegiate strength and conditioning program will mold his body into a more powerful, quicker one, but it's not at that point right now. On offense, Rock's effort, even on simple cut blocks, left a lot to be desired.
This week: DeSales takes on Maumee on Thursday night..
MI DE/LB Brennen Beyer
Last week: Plymouth took down Livonia Franklin, 24-7. Beyer had a touchdown catch:
Plymouth snapped the 7-7 tie on its first second-half drive when Austin connected with Beyer with a 34-yard spiral to make it 14-7.
The article also mentions Beyer's coach praised his defensive efforts.
Article 2 provides a bit more detail on the reception:
senior receiver Brennen Beyer (4 catches, 78 yards, 1 TD)...
According to Beyer, Plymouth’s offensive coordinator told him he “saw an opening on the slant and that they were going to throw it to me."
This week: 3-1 Plymouth hosts Westland John Glenn on Friday at 7.
TX LB Kellen Jones
Last week: St. Pius X had a bye.
|Kellen Jones 2010|
|Trinity Christian||W 33-7||11||5||1||0|
|Worthing||W 20-12||DNP - ankle|
This week: St. Pius takes on St. Thomas Catholic on Friday at 7:30.
OH CB/S Greg Brown
Last week: Fremont Ross pasted University 38-10. Only Brown mention:
After a 40-yard run from Greg Brown, Gabe Tayar knocked in a 32-yard field goal.
The Fremont Ross Forum blog on the game.
Update from the Cleveland Benedictine a couple weeks back: we already knew that Brown kicked off the game with a big touchdown reception, and his final stats were 4 receptions for 147 yards.
This week: The Little Giants take on Findlay on Friday.
MI CB Delonte Hollowell
Next Week: Cass Tech goes to Detroit Mumford on Friday at 4.
Brabbs reminder. Chicagoans: Phil Brabbs is having a fundraiser this weekend for the Indiana game, which Michigan will DOMINATE. Offer still stands on the Brabbs shirts, BTW: buy one, get five bucks off a second shirt in the (now severely reduced) MGoStore.
Insane rootability UPDATE! This is quality except for hated non-journalist Melanie Collins(!) introing it:
(Note: last time Melanie Collins was referenced on the blog the comments got very sad; just don't, hokay?)
Also: you've already seen Stonum kick the glasses up a notch this week, but what about Taylor Lewan's insane mustache tattoo?
The purpose of this:
"I mean it's the best icebreaker in the world. You go up to them," Lewan said, putting his finger in place to reveal the mustache, "'Miss, let's be serious, I just want to dance.'"
You will not be surprised to learn the idea originated in third grade. I mean:
"My friend thought it would be a cool idea to draw a mustache on (his finger)," Lewan said. " I was like 'this is the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life. I have to do this for real.'"
I love this team.
Kicking paint. Via a reader:
Injury watch. Another pair of big injuries hit the Big Ten this weekend, with Purdue QB Robert Marve and Penn State RT Lou Eliades tearing ACLs and getting knocked out for the year. Marve's replacement is a redshirt freshman who will further condemn Purdue to a terrible season; they're now down their top QB, RB, and WR and just lost to Toledo by 11. The Rockets were dead last in total offense going into the Purdue game; they put up 31 points and exceeded their season yardage average by 100. Purdue is bad. Someone should Yakety Sax the upcoming Purdue-Minnesota game.
Penn State winnability watch. Eliades's loss sends Penn State into a further bout of scrambling on the OL. They were already starting two(!) guys who played guard in 2009 at tackle. Now they're going with this guy:
Filling Eliades will be redshirt junior Chima Okoli, who is an offensive lineman for the first time in his career. Okoli was a full-time defensive lineman in high school and at Penn State until spring drills, when he reluctantly shifted to offense.
Penn State's starting tackles are now 6'3" and 6'4", and the position switch starter klaxons are blaring. Linebacker U on the situation:
The offensive line was already having issues before this tragedy. I lost count just how many times I pounded my fist on the bar table today when PSU only had to pick up a yard or two in third down situations and got manhandled by Temple's defensive line. … I am now taking bets on just how many of our linemen are going to join ex-punter Jeremy Boone in getting swallowed by Iowa's Adrian Clayborn next week.
Normally level-headed official-journalist-type-guy Bill Kline also sounds the alarm, albeit about a different position:
Penn State's safeties are just too slow. Drew Astorino and Nick Sukay both got burned on runs, and more than once. Andrew Dailey also was beaten. Terrelle Pryor is gonna eat them up, let alone Denard Robinson of Michigan. Can you imagine those safeties trying to even touch D-Rob? He could outrun those guys wearing a NASA spacesuit.
Yeesh. He also has some critical words for Bolden ("overthrows open receivers, holds onto the ball too long, rifles it in there harder than a sledgehammer") and actually says the PSU coaches should have inserted Kevin "Michigan Fans Are Just Bitter" Newsome at some point against the Owls.
All that sounds like overreaction to me. Even so, the Penn State game has moved into the coinflip-ish band with MSU and Iowa, even at night on the road. I remain terrified of Wisconsin even if Vegas hates them.
The Freude. TWIS is up and has the usual bout of Notre Dame self-loathing. Get your laughs in now since ND's next five games should all be easy wins—Boston College is the toughest opponent in that stretch and they also feature in TWIS because they have a 70-year-old OC named "Tranquill," which is just too easy.
Also featured is TRAIN MONKEY:
Train monkey could have called a better four down set
TRAIN MONKEY FOR WVU OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR.
BONUS! This just came down the NDN crazy pipe:
My mom says it's ok we lost because Stanford is a good team
by KLav18 (2010-09-27 16:03:17)
I want to punch her in the face and tell her that is the whole problem. We can't beat anyone good because we suck.
Is there anything more entertaining than ND Nation after a loss? Yes: Denard Robinson. But that's it.
I admire your enthusiasm. One Indiana fan's opinion of this weekend's game:
Michigan has no chance next week....
their defense doesnt exist. They barely beat an ND that IU could easily handle (ND couldnt dominate PU, which got killed by Toledo. You think Toledo would beat IU??). They barely beat UMass (FCS team?) at home.
They are not going to get 400 yards on IU.... let alone 700 yards.
Michigan are getting full of themselves, again. The BTN is helping.
Chappel will destroy them. Robinson will get some of his yards, but no one else will. And if they are sandbagging his injury, Tate Forcier's parents will have to take down his website after the game.
This is just one guy, obviously. Most other IU fans are hopeful but reasonable, or seem reasonable next to this guy, who also suggests that if the "referines" give Michigan the game again, IU should join the Big 12.
Etc.: Oregon blog Off The Pond finds AP voter John Wilner's secret ballot notes. Wilner is one of two voters to exclude Michigan, and the rest of his ballot does not make the guy out to be a genius. (The other guy not to vote for Michigan is creepy/sad cheerleader groupie Scott Wolf.) Nobody goes to Florida State games. Just 61k showed up for the Wake Forest game; they haven't topped 70k for the last five games. TV Guide droids are changing the storyline.