"He's a hard worker, and he watched me and Tim (Hardaway Jr.) and Nik (Stauksas) put work in to become (first-round picks), and I'm just happy he's getting better," Burke said. "It's great for the program, too. It shows what type of program the University of Michigan is and the direction it continues to go in."
If you’ve read enough of my pieces you know I don’t put a lot of stock in most of what football announcers talk about. Whether it is harmless and/or mindless cliches or things that are flat out wrong, much of football announcer conventional wisdom is more conventional than wisdom.
One of those cliches I wanted to look at was the concept that coaches love to go for the kill shot after a big momentum change like a turnover or a stop on downs. After a big defensive play, are coaches really trying to seize the opportunity and turn an expected possession into a quick score, and if so, is it working.
One thing to note is that a quick change does not significantly impact the offense’s ability to score. After adjusting for field position, there is virtually no difference in the offense’s expected points whether the drive was obtained by turnover, fourth down stop, punt or kickoff. Of course the field position is a win, but intercepting a ball 40 yards downfield on third down yields no existential benefit over knocking it down and fair catching a 40 yard punt on the next play. Punts and stops on fourth down have very slight positive impacts and turnovers actually decrease a team’s likelihood of scoring, but the effect is so small it’s typically not even worth a field goal over the course of an entire season.
So there is no special advantage of the big defensive play for the offensive side, but how often does the offense attempt to capitalize in a big way right off the bat. To evaluate this you have to figure out what you can measure. There aren’t really running plays that are designed to be big plays, except maybe a reverse, but that’s hard to identify over a large set of data. Same with trick plays. You can’t even tell where a pass is thrown. Was it a screen or a deep ball. Both could be incomplete or big plays.
To try and and answer the question the best approximation I could find was how often the first play of a drive was a pass and went for at least 20 yards. More big passing plays than in other situations would be a good indicator that teams were gunning for a quick strike. For the baseline I looked at drives obtained via kickoff, either after a made field goal, touchdown or start of a half. For these drives, only 8.9% of first plays were passes for at least 20 yards.
Drives resulting from a turnover on downs generated the highest deviation in successful attempts down field, producing big pass plays nearly 35% more often than the baseline scenario. Interceptions and punts were right behind with a 32% increase in big play generation. Coaches were still aggressive but to a lesser extent after a recovered fumble or an opponent’s missed field goals, producing big completions just over 20% more often. Despite safeties being a big momentum swing, that was the most conservative scenario for coaches long passes being less likely than any other scenario, even after adjusting for less field to work with. Even with large deviations, we still aren’t talking about this being a regular occurrence. The baseline is just under 9% and no situation generated more than 12% big pass plays.
So even though the question was answered that yes big plays do happen more frequently in this situation, there are still many things that I am unsure about. Is the increase in big plays because the defense is unprepared for the cliche move or because the opportunity for a big pass play is always there but the offense just doesn’t go for it as much in normal course of play. On top of that, is the increase success coming at a risk for offenses. As noted above, despite getting more big plays on the first play of the new drive, offenses aren’t actually scoring any more points on these drives. Maybe for each big momentum piling pass there are two incompletions that put the offense in an unnecessarily risky situation.
Having exhausted the stretches of my data my personal conjecture would be that yes offenses are going for the jugular at a higher rate immediately after a big defensive play. However, this strategy is probably a high deviation, zero average change result for both offense and defense. The evidence points to teams taking more and completing more big passes, but the untold story are the misses which are the likely culprit to the big defensive play not translating into any measurable offensive boom.
Based on the data and my inferences off of it, if I were advising coaches I would not recommend introducing the new risk to the offense and play it straight unless I was in a trailing or underdog situation. Defensivley, I would make sure the team is prepared to cover a big attempt. This should help reduce the likelihood of the big play for the opposing offense and hopefully increase the likelihood of a wasted down, putting the quick start defense in a good position right off of the bat.
(Click the image to view full size)
For most of us, our fanatical and absolute devotion to Michigan sports have gotten us into some degree of hot water at the workplace. Few of us would be so indignant, of course, but that wouldn't necessarily make for good reading, would it?
On Thursday we'll keep up with Tom and his ongoing altercation with THE MAN, namely the eternally grumpy Mr. Boyle.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog, and at least
every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to check out our newest
feature, Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
|Targets||Ht.||Wt.||40||High School||Rivals Rank||Scout Rank||247 Rank||Commit|
|Wilton Speight||6'6"||217||4.73||The Collegiate School, Richmond, VA||NR||NR||3*, #29 PRO||MICH|
|Jonathan Hilliman||6'||201||St. Peter's Prep, Jersey City, NJ||NR||3*, #27 RB||3*, #24 RB|
|Jalen Hurd||6'2"||190||Beech Sr HS, Hendersonville, TN||4*||4*, #7 RB||5*, #11 Nat'l, #1 RB|
|Bo Scarbrough||6'1"||215||4.5||Northridge HS, Tuscaloosa, AL||4*||4*, #6 RB||5*, #13 Nat'l, #2 ATH||Bama|
|Leonard Fournette||6'||210||St. Augustine HS, New Orleans, LA||5*||5*, #1 RB||5*, #5 Nat'l, #1 RB|
|L.J. Scott||6'||215||Marion Harding HS, Marion, OH||NR||NR||3*, #2 FB|
|Joe Mixon||6'||180||Freedom HS, Oakland, CA||4*||3*, #20 RB||4*, #174 Nat'l, #20 ATH|
|Elijah Hood||6'||212||4.55||Charlotte Catholic HS, Charlotte, NC||4*||4*, #13 RB||4*, #106 Nat'l, #9 ATH|
|Shai Mckenzie||6'||212||Washington HS, Washington, PA||4*, #159 Nat'l||NR||3*, #35 RB|
|Drake Harris||6'4"||180||Grand Rapids Christian HS, Grand Rapids, MI||4*||4*, #24 Nat'l, #3 WR||4*, #89 Nat'l, #10 WR||MSU|
|Mark Andrews||6'6"||225||Desert Mountain HS, Scottsdale, AZ||4*||4*, #10 WR||4*, #85 Nat'l, #2 TE|
|Josh Malone||6'3"||186||Station Camp HS, Gallatin, TN||4*||4*, #22 WR||4*, #60 Nat'l, #4 WR|
|Dionte Sykes||6'2"||190||Williams Field HS, Chandler, AZ||NR||NR||3*, #41 WR|
|Javon Harrison||6'2"||190||4.5||Kathleen HS, Lakeland, FL||4*||3*, #24 S||3*, #37 ATH||VT|
|Corey Holmes||6'1"||168||4.48||St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Fort Lauderdale, FL||NR||3*, #48 WR||4*, #36 WR|
|Marshon Lattimore||6'||185||Glenville, Cleveland, OH||4*||4*, #2 WR||NR|
|Artavis Scott||5'11"||180||East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, FL||4*||4*, #15 WR||4*, #69 Nat'l, #6 WR|
|Demarre Kitt||6'1"||195||4.59||Sandy Creek HS, Tyrone, GA||4*||4*, #27 WR||4*, #177 Nat'l, #21 WR|
|Christian McCaffrey||6'||190||Valor Christian HS, Highlands Ranch, CO||4*, #195 Nat'l||3*, #38 RB||4*, #7 APB|
|Saeed Blacknall||6'3"||205||Manalapan HS, Manalapan, NJ||4*, #109 Nat'l||NR||4*, #211 Nat'l, #23 WR|
|K.J. Williams||6'2||190||Liberty HS, Bethlehem, PA||4*, #193 Nat'l||4*, #18 WR||4*, #153 Nat'l, #12 ATH|
|Malachi Dupre||6'4"||175||4.6||John Curtis Christian HS, River Ridge, LA||4*, #83 Nat'l||4*, #3 WR||4*, #59 Nat'l, #6 WR|
|Jeb Blazevich||6'5"||223||5.01||Charlotte Christian, Charlotte, NC||4*||3*, #7 TE||4*, #164 Nat'l, #5 TE|
|Nic Weishar||6'5"||215||Marist HS, Midlothian, IL||NR||NR||4*, #205 Nat'l, #8 TE|
|Tyler Luatua||6'4"||230||La Mirada HS, La Mirada, CA||4*||4*, #1 TE||4*, #19 Nat'l, #1 TE|
|Daniel Helm||6'5"||220||Glenwood HS, Chatham, IL||4*||NR||NR|
|Andy Bauer||6'6"||304||5.2||De Smet Jesuit HS, St. Louis, MO||4*||4*, #13 OT||4*, #68 Nat'l, #10 OT|
|Orlando Brown||6'8"||345||Peachtree Ridge HS, Duluth, GA||NR||3*, #34 OT||4*, #242 Nat'l, #25 OT|
|Damian Prince||6'7"||310||Bishop McNamara HS, Forestville, MD||4*||4*, #8 OT||5*, #14 Nat'l, #3 OT|
|Bentley Spain||6'6"||285||Providence HS, Charlotte, NC||4*||4*, #10 OT||4*, #18 Nat'l, #4 OT|
|Mason Cole||6'5"||270||East Lake HS, Tarpon Springs, FL||4*||4*, #20 OT||4*, #44 Nat'l, #6 OT||MICH|
|Jay Hayes||6'5"||270||Poly Prep, Brooklyn, NY||4*||4*, #9 OT||4*, #114 Nat'l, #8 DT||ND|
|Cameron Robinson||6'6"||320||Ouachita Parish HS, Monroe, LA||4*||5*, #3 Nat'l, #1 OT||5*, #4 Nat'l, #1 OT|
|Braden Smith||6'6"||285||5.12||Olathe South Sr HS, Olathe, KS||4*||5*, #6 Nat'l, #2 OT||5*, #12 Nat'l, #2 OT|
|Casey Tucker||6'5"||270||Hamilton HS, Chandler, AZ||4*||5*, #20 Nat'l, #4 OT||4*, #63 Nat'l, #8 OT||USC|
|Roderick Johnson||6'6"||315||Hazelwood Central HS, Florissant, MO||4*||4*, #18 OT||4*, #91 Nat'l, #13 OT|
|Jackson Barton||6'6"||275||Brighton HS, Salt Lake City, UT||4*||4*, #14 OT||3*, #30 OT||Utah|
|K.C. McDermott||6'6"||285||Palm Beach Central HS, Wellington, FL||4*||5*, #16 Nat'l, #3 OT||4*, #38 Nat'l, #5 OT|
|Jamarco Jones||6'5"||285||De La Salle Institute, Chicago, IL||4*||4*, #5 OT||4*, #82 Nat'l, #12 OT|
|Tommy Doles||6'5"||240||Grand Rapids Christian HS, Grand Rapids, MI||NR||3*, #10 OG||4*, #219 Nat'l, #23 OT|
|Alex Bars||6'6"||275||Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, TN||4*||3*, #25 OT||4*, #168 Nat'l, #19 OT|
|Juwann Bushell-Beatty||6'5"||295||Paramus Catholic HS, Paramus, NJ||NR||NR||4*, #24 OT|
|Demetrius Knox||6'5"||300||5.3||All Saints Episcopal, Fort Worth, TX||4*||4*, #7 OT||4*, #47 Nat'l, #7 OT||Texas|
|Sam Mustipher||6'4"||286||Our Lady of Good Counsel HS, Olney, MD||4*||3*, #13 DT||4*, #199 Nat'l, #11 OG|
|Da'Shawn Hand||6'4"||245||4.81||Woodbridge Senior HS, Woodbridge, VA||5*||5*, #2 Nat'l, #1 DE||5*, #1 Nat'l, #1 SDE|
|Malik McDowell||6'6"||292||Loyola HS, Detroit, MI||4*||4*, #4 DE||4*, #24 Nat'l, #2 SDE|
|Conor Sheehy||6'4"||255||Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI||NR||4*, #14 DE||3*, #16 WDE||Wisc|
|Lawrence Marshall||6'4"||205||Southfield HS, Southfield, MI||NR||NR||NR|
|Garrett Dickerson||6'4"||240||Bergen Catholic HS, Oradell, NJ||4*||4*, #7 DE||4*, #61 Nat'l, #4 WDE|
|Jae'Sean Tate||6'5"||200||Pickerington Central HS, Pickerington, OH||NR||NR||NR||Ohio|
|Andrew Williams||6'4"||245||Eagle's Landing Christian Academy, McDonough, GA||4*, #85 Nat'l||3*, #24 DE||4*, #191 Nat'l, #11 WDE|
|Bryan Mone||6'4"||315||Highland HS, Salt Lake City, UT||4*, #172 Nat'l||4*, #7 DT||4*, #114 Nat'l, #8 SDE||MICH|
|Dexter Wideman||6'4"||276||4.86||Saluda HS, Saluda, SC||4*||4*, #6 DT||4*, #103 Nat'l, #7 DT|
|Andrew Brown||6'4"||292||Indian River HS, Chesapeake, VA||5*||5*, #21 Nat'l, #3 DE||5*, #2 Nat'l, #1 DT|
|Nyquan Harris||6'3"||285||Lake Taylor HS, Norfolk, VA||NR||NR||NR|
|Dante Booker, Jr.||6'3"||210||4.7||St. Vincent-St. Mary HS, Akron, OH||4*||4*, #2 OLB||4*, #20 Nat'l, #1 OLB|
|Kevin Crosby||6'1"||226||4.69||Bamberg-Ehrhardt HS, Bamberg, SC||4*||3*, #11 MLB||4*, #181 Nat'l, #6 TE|
|Michael Ferns||6'3"||235||Saint Clairsville HS, Saint Clairsville, OH||4*||4*, #6 MLB||4*, #98 Nat'l, #4 ILB||MICH|
|Brenon Thrift||6'3"||230||4.7||Gateway HS, Monroeville, PA||NR||NR||3*, #19 ILB|
|Nyles Morgan||6'2'"||220||Crete Monee HS, Crete, IL||4*||4*, #4 MLB||4*, #167 Nat'l, #5 ILB|
|Kyle Berger||6'2||200||St. Ignatius HS, Cleveland, OH||NR||NR||4*, #22 OLB|
|Dwight Williams||6'1||212||Junipero Serra HS, Gardena, CA||4*, #101 Nat'l||3*, #12 OLB||4*, #117 Nat'l, #5 OLB|
|Bryson Allen-Williams||6'2"||218||Cedar Grove HS, Ellenwood, GA||4*, #247 Nat'l||3*, #20 OLB||4*, #209 Nat'l, #16 OLB|
|Kenny Young||6'2||215||4.6||John Curtis Christian HS, River Ridge, LA||4*, #191 Nat'l||3*, #11 OLB||4*, #213 Nat'l, #11 ILB|
|Otaro Alaka||6'3"||210||Cypress Falls HS, Houston, TX||4*, #167 Nat'l||NR||4*, #29 OLB|
|Petera Wilson||6'3"||232||White Station HS, Memphis, TN||4*, #245 Nat'l||3*, #18 MLB||3*, #18 ILB|
|Melvin Keihn||6'3"||220||4.5||Gilman School, Baltimore, MD||4*, #243 Nat'l||4*, #8 OLB||3*, #21 WDE|
|Jalen Tabor||6'||181||Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington, D.C.||4*||4*, #6 CB||4*, #21 Nat'l, #4 CB|
|D'Andre Payne||5'9"||172||H.D. Woodson HS, Washington, D.C.||NR||3*, #24 CB||4*, #171 Nat'l, #14 CB|
|Jabrill Peppers||6'||190||Paramus Catholic, Paramus, NJ||5*||5*, #11 Nat'l, #4 CB||5*, #3 Nat'l, #1 CB|
|Damon Webb||5'11"||170||Cass Tech HS, Detroit, MI||4*||4*, #7 CB||4*, #192 Nat'l, #16 CB||Ohio|
|Nick Watkins||6'1"||180||4.5||Bishop Dunne Catholic, Dallas, TX||4*||4*, #5 CB||4*, #30 Nat'l, #5 CB|
|Parrker Westphal||6'1"||186||4.45||Bolingbrook HS, Bolingbrook, IL||4*||4*, #12 CB||4*, #165 Nat'l, #13 CB|
|Edward Paris||6'2"||188||4.35||Timberview HS, Mansfield, TX||4*||4*, #4 CB||5*, #10 Nat'l, #2 S||LSU|
|Troy Vincent, Jr.||5'10"||181||4.8||Gilman School, Baltimore, MD||4*||4*, #11 CB||3*, #22 CB|
|Adoree' Jackson||5'10"||172||Junipero Serra HS, Gardena, CA||5*, #8 Nat'l||5*, #7 Nat'l, #2 CB||4*, #33 Nat'l, #4 CB|
|T'Kevian Rockwell||6'1"||190||Wylie HS, Wylie, TX||4*||4*, #7 S||4*, #115 Nat'l, #10 S|
|Brandon Simmons||6'||170||4.6||Timberview HS, Mansfield, TX||4*||4*, #4 S||4*, #226 Nat'l, #19 S|
|Quin Blanding||6'2"||196||4.55||Bayside HS, Virginia Beach, VA||5*||5*, #15 Nat'l, #2 S||5*, #6 Nat'l, #1 S||UVA|
|Montae Nicholson||6'2"||200||Gateway HS, Monroeville, PA||4*||3*, #12 S||4*, #212 Nat'l, #18 S|
|Erick Smith||6'1"||185||Glenville HS, Cleveland, OH||NR||NR||NR|
|Dravon Henry||6'||185||Aliquippa HS, Aliquippa, PA||4*, #157 Nat'l||3*, #19 RB||4*, #28 ATH|
|Kiy Hester||6'2"||200||De Paul Catholic HS, Wayne, NJ||4*||4*, #15 CB||4*, #128 Nat'l, #12 ATH|
|Juwann Winfree||6'2"||180||Dwight Morrow HS, Englewood, NJ||NR||NR||NR|
|Kalen Ballage||6'2||212||4.4||Falcon HS, Falcon, CO||NR||NR||4*, #34 ATH|
Bluestreak hasn't been maintaining the 2014 offer list so I've updated it. I used Rivals offer list along with TTB and the old 2014 list to compile this chart, making some judgment calls along the way. In some cases, I moved players to the positions they were offered at by Michigan's staff. (with the exception of Bo Scarbrough who was offered as a WR.) Michigan has verbally offered 85 players. The distribution is as follows:
In-State Players of Interest:
DT Kenneth Finley 6'3" 265 lbs. Muskegon HS
CB Jalen Watts-Jackson 6' 173 lbs. Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep
LB William White 6'1" 215 lbs. Detroit Cass Tech HS
RB/LB Gary Hosey 6' 230 lbs. Detroit Cass Tech HS
QB Tyler Wiegers 6'4" 190 lbs. Detroit Country Day
DT Jake Khoury 6'3 268 lbs. St. Francis Catholic HS
RB Lorenzo Collins 6' 210 lbs. FH Harrison HS (MSU lean)
WR Brandon Walker 6'2" 185 lbs. Carman-Ainsworth HS
OT Ka'John Armstrong 6'5" 272 lbs. Detroit Loyola HS
OG Derek Brown 6'4" 295 lbs. Yale HS
OT Curtis Doyle 6'6" 270 lbs. Alma HS
ATH Avonte Maddox Detroit King HS
S Jared Wangler De La Salle Collegiate HS Warren, MI
While this post may become somewhat obsolete in the very near future, here's the latest update of the Big Ten recruiting landscape. Not a whole lot of action this week, but both Michigan and Notre Dame get big pickups during the same week that Rivals updates their rankings. Changes since the last rankings:
6-2-12: Michigan picks up Maurice Hurst Jr. Notre Dame picks up Jaylon Smith.
UPDATE 6-4-12: Michigan picks up Henry Poggi.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
On to the full data after the jump.
January 4th was at the peak apex and swift crescendo of a roller coaster of weirdness that permeated Ann Arbor, Michigan for the last four years. We all know that when things get weird, the weird turn pro, but what happens when things return to normalcy?
Michigan began a warpath of rampage wider than Genghis Khan. Michigan had no wall. The first victims of the conquering heroes were the clueless and tailback led offense. Nebraska has always had an interesting and sometimes intimidating offense. The TB actually plays in the QB position for Nebraska. This offense has seen days of complete domination and recently, days of high Drama between their prima donna TB/QB and their 12 time anger management/spittle distance champion coach. Their latest season proved to be as bi-polar as Pelini. The 2011 Cornhuskers team defeated foes the like of Michigan Staee Penitentiary, Iowa, and an emotionally charged cult team from State College, PA.
Michigan came in unsure about the future after many déjà vu experiences of late season collapses and self loathing tongue lashings. Watching the game in the quiet hamlet of Livonia with my necessary equipment and required medication, I quickly realized my mind did need prodding for altered consciousness. The serious beating of the Cornhuskers by the Wolverines was like watching an unruly Kodiak taking on a clubbed foot mink. This was a Michigan effort I haven’t seen in a long time.
Nebraska served as a launching pad for GoBo’s offense and Hoke’s voodoo pointing to the next week death match against the Terrell Pryor’s School of Selective Contributions located in a shitcan town dead center of a cesspool state north of where the Hatfields and McCoys spilled blood over swine. The game went back and forth and Michigan tried dearly to hand the evil empire an undeserving victory. As best as the philanthropic Wolverines tried, they ended a long agonizing stretch of losing to a team that needs four people to figure out how to spell their state’s name.
The Wolverines found themselves in an unusual place, playing football in January in New Orleans (Thank you to all the MGoGeographers out there for setting me straight). Unfortunately, I missed half the game studying an accordion type device that promised to send you to a planet of unicorns, badass grizzly care bears, and a bottomless plate of fat free/vitamin rich BBQ spare ribs. I did return from the outer reaches of the universe to see an anemic offense get in a position to win the game with a field goal. At first I thought I ended up on an episode of Sliders, reaching a parallel universe. Michigan winning a big game on special teams? Staunch defense not allowing massive deflation compared to the previous three years of eleventy billion ppg, to a high powered and traditional powerhouse from the ACC? I realized then that the ESPN3.com screen in front of me in a valley separating NY and PA that Todd Blackledge and Brad Nessler would never be in a place that resembles a personal utopia. This was real. The year ended and Michigan was Sugar Bowl champs. What now? What panic and angst would I write of? Is this the end of the modern day Greek tragedy known as Michigan football? As a fan I sure as hell hoped so, but as a periodic panic purveyor, I feared the worst.
As spring football ushers in absolutely nothing in substance and the recruiting trail of coming years are hot, the feared doldrums of normalcy and confidence have not yet fully entrenched the Michigan faithful for the upcoming year’s slate of games. The ulcer creating anticipation and fear are starting to creep back into the hearts of Mittenanders everywhere. The Michigan team will no longer be such a severe underdog for teams the like of Nebraska and they will also have to play the most difficult challenges in the belly of several beasts. The schedule is grim from start to finish with the exception of little brother at home. Dave Brandon sold his grandson’s first born male to play the incorruptible Tide of Alabama in the home of the vilest man in the NFL. Along with Alabama away, Michigan must also battle filth in Columbus, Nebraska, and South Bend. Also adding to the drama this year is the new coach for our last opponent of the regular season, Urban Meyer, or as I enjoy calling him, Pope Urban II. Will he tilt the edge back into the favor or mouth breathing truck drivers or will he wilt and receive mysterious personal and family issues pulling this great coach of Tim Tebow back to the commentator’s desk of Brent Musburger and Matt Millen?
Those issues above combined with the usual tragic injuries of gladiator sports, unexpected moments of disappointed, disgust, and the usual hijinks of college football are a sure bet to create the writing fuel many of the bloggers here eat up. With expectations up, and challenges large, we shall have another year in which there may be little actual turmoil, but we can be sure that turmoil, panic, and The Fear will have a safe place on this blog of myriad personalities and clinically psychotic bloggers in this invisible village of rabid fanatics. Have a great, safe, and twisted summer. See you in August.
Hey MGoBloggers, just got back from a really fun event at Sunda in Chicago, the Illinois launch of TwentyFour wines from Charles Woodson. He took pictures with everyone, chatted with people, and we all had 4 glasses of different wines from their label. A few notes follow:
He's just a really nice guy. He holds C.S. Mott as a special place (which we already know) but he truly seems touched by his experiences there when he was a player and afterward. The proceeds from dinner and from the silent auction are going to his foundation which is tied to C.S. Mott. I picked up a signed authetic helmet. Pretty sweet swag I must say.
During question and answer session (about 50 people there), he talked about his time as Michigan. He felt his greatest football moment was his punt return against Ohio. He was asked if he was going to do the Heisman pose in the endzone, and his honest answer was yes, he wanted to do it, but he got mobbed by his teammates before he could. He said it turned out to be better that way b/c he feels the pose really was Desmond's moment, and the rose in the teeth is his. I agree with him 100%, I'm glad he didn't give the pose, although had he done it I'm sure we'd all look back at it and call it some sort of tradition.
Questions asked about his eventual HOF induction for the NFL and his Green Bay jersey retirement (good # of Packers fans at the event), and he was extremely humble saying he would hopes it will happen and would relish the events. He said he'd be speechless if the Packers retired his #.
Questions about winning a National Championship vs. a Super Bowl; he said at the time, since he's in college, there's nothing better than a NC, but once you get to the NFL, at that level, winning the Super Bowl is the best reward. Obviously a PC answer with a bipartisan crowd (almost tripartisan with a couple Raiders fans), but it was clear to me he has a lot of pride in winning that Super Bowl, but Michigan obviously has a special place in his heart.
Obvious questions about current team and coach. He said that, bottom line, Coach Hoke just cares about people and cares about his players. He's a no nonsense guy when it comes to that. He loves the kids and it's completely clear to every family he recruits that he loves the kids. That's part of what makes him so special. He said the turnaround in the team, even without "Hoke's" recruits, speaks for itself, and the excuses for the previous coaches (re: Rodriguez) not winning with Carr's recruits is, well, a swear word that I won't write out for Charles' sake. He said the biggest difference between now and the previous coach is, simply, flat-out coaching. It's better now than it was the previous 3 years. As with many former players, it's clear he loves where the program is and where it's going. Jarrett Irons also showed up and seemed to agree with what Charles said.
Question about being the "last" defensive player to win the Heisman. He laughingly corrected the guy and said he's the first and last defensive player to win it. Then he said he's sure another defensive player will win it eventually, but he's honored that he's been the only one so far.
As far as concussions and stuff, he talked at length about how he played flag-football from age 7, then started tackle at 11 or 12, and that's all he's really known in life. He feels like maybe he didn't take his education seriously b/c he knew he had the talent to get to the NFL. He laughed when he said he just recently found out how much more work he has to do to get his degree. He said a lot of guys just don't have the planning WHILE they're playing football for life AFTER football, and he's fortunate to have the wine stuff, the foundation stuff, and some other things to let him easily transition when he's done. Irons chimed in again and said the lack of association in the football fraternity is what causes so many guys to become depressed afterwards, not necessarily the hardship from lack of income and money and things like that. Charles seemed upset about Junior Seau's demise and doesn't think he'll end up that way. He said all those hits he's given and taken, he can't get them back, so he absolutely advocates what the NFL is doing to limit concussions and protect players.
I asked him directly when we were talking about the infamous fire. He said mostly stuff we already knew, but Rick (his wine partner who was also at the function) was the guy sleeping. Charles was up til at least 4 am, then saw the smoke. He woke Rick up, woke up his friend sleeping in a bedroom, and got them out. Others had already ran out as well. Someone there knew exactly how many people were staying at this 17,000 sqft house (Charles and Rick didn't know as they were out and came back late), so as Charles and Rick were running back into the house to get more people out, they were told the count was correct and nobody else was left inside. They watched the entire thing burn to the ground.
I asked him to play for our flag football team playoffs and he laughingly said he can't. We talked about a couple NFL guys who've injured themselves in the off-season and are probably going to lose some money. He's got 2 years left on his deal, so if he makes it 2 more seasons he should get a pretty decent contract afterwards (I think he'll be fine).
When asked about his Michigan jersey "retirement," he basically said, while smiling, "I'm not supposed to be talking about that." This leads me to believe he's gonna follow in Desmond's footsteps, yet again. Nothing we probably couldn't have guessed, but I'm assuming it means something this season. Maybe MSU? Illinois for homecoming? Nothing else seems worthy this year.
tl;dr, I know. Diary if it's deemed worthy. Thanks. Also, pardon mistakes, I've had too much wine. Goodnight.