...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Anthony Standifer (right) goes in for a tackle [photo credit: Debra Edwards | The Commercial-News]
2012 defensive back commit Anthony Standifer is regarded as one of the hidden gems of Brady Hoke's current recruiting class. The Crete-Monee (IL) product is coming off an eight-tackle performance in the Warriors's 32-8 season-opening victory over Thornton Fractional South. Standifer leads a talented team that includes highly touted junior receiver Laquon Treadwell, and as he says in the following interview, he hopes to take home a state title for the Warriors after they bowed out in the third round of the playoffs last season. Here's what Anthony had to say about his goals, recruitment, and his teammate Treadwell when I caught up with him:
ACE: What have you been doing to prepare for this season? Anything different from past years now that you're a senior and you know you'll be playing in college?
ANTHONY: I've been watching game film, working out with the team and on my own, and I've been studying the other team more.
ACE: You went from being an under-the-radar recruit to choosing between Michigan and Notre Dame pretty quickly. What was that experience like for you?
ANTHONY: It was a good experience. Sometimes I liked the attention, some of the time I didn't, but i just took it day by day and made the best decision.
ACE: Your teammate Laquon Treadwell is getting a lot of attention, including from Michigan, for the class of 2013. How has he looked this fall, and have you been trying to recruit him to Ann Arbor at all? Are there any other players you've been in contact with?
ANTHONY: He has been doing real good. He keeps progressing and he knows just as much as I do about Michigan, and I'm not pressuring him to make a decision.
ACE: What are your goals for your senior season, both for yourself and for Crete-Monee?
ANTHONY: Win [the state championship], and get more interceptions and tackles than I did last year [44 tackles and nine interceptions].
Thanks to Anthony for taking the time to answer my questions. You can follow him on Twitter, username Freakyy_Chewyy (your guess is as good as mine on that one).
Today, I go to grad school in Austin and I am witnessing the preparation for the football season at the school that is 34 wins behind Michigan. I am supremely indifferent about the Longhorn Network, Memorial Stadium, and finding a tailgate spot for Saturday’s game against Rice. Texas football? Meh, I don’t care. Though the name is "neither Greek, Latin, nor English, [but merely] a piece of language gone mad.", The Clan of Catholepistemiadis my birthright. MGoBlog is my homepage and although I don’t have a clue about the stats and all that smart people stuff, my weeks in the fall are determined on Saturdays and have been for as long as I can remember.
My fandom begins on a cold January night 25 years ago and although I have no recollection, my first pair of shoes were blue and gold Nikes from Mast’s shoe in Ann Arbor. Growing up near the Fife family, my shoes were destined to walk over as a little neighborhood kid playing 500 with Dugan, Jeremy and Dane throwing to all of us kids. My earliest Michigan memory – where I went to bed sobbing- with Dugan as a freshman was Webber in New Orleans. For a 7 year-old staying up until 10 PM was huge, but watching Michigan was my obsession from then on.
There were happy moments as kid: 1997 - A friend’s birthday party seeing #2’s interception against MSU, A cold gray November Cub Scout camping trip listening to the punt return against Ohio St, screaming that December when he won the Heisman, having my first kiss at halftime of the Rose Bowl. Charles Woodson is my 11 year-old idol. I was even more hooked after that. Buying all the Michigan T-shirts with the Tasmanian devil in Maize and Blue, “Michigan Football is Life, The Rest is just details”, and best of all a #2 jersey. As I look back as a kid, the events of my life are all remembered in context to Michigan games. That year is special to me just because of how old I was. If I was five years younger or five years older, the impact of that season would not have been imprinted on my sports soul.
Getting the thick envelope in the fall of my senior year of high school, my dreams were realized. I was going to moving to my personal Valhalla. Approaching my freshman year, I had no one living to counsel me about life at Michigan as all of my family is all either a Chippewa or a Spartan. My long passed grandfather was kicked out of Michigan after one semester after WWII for driving his blue Packard onto the lawn of DKE and yelling for his brother-in-law to come down out of the house. My uncle who had died the year before I started school was a huge Michigan fan, but lived far from me and that resource was gone as well. I got a lot of his things including a CD with Hail to the Victors, which I played constantly during the 2003 Oregon game assuming that his spirit on the track would somehow allow Michigan to win a regular season West Coast game. Yet again, more Michigan misfortune.
Things were never the same after that trip to Eugene. Rumors about Lloyd’s health. Chris Webber in federal court. Tommy Amaker. Antonio Bass’ knee. My freshman, sophomore against Ohio St. Football Armageddon. Bo gone. Freep Derp. My senior year was the worst. The Horror, Oregon, Losing Chad, Wisconsin, and Ohio St. The rain, the score, Tressel: it all was a massive dong punch. Many people in red were on the business end of curses as I cried leaving Michigan Stadium being the first class since the 1930’s to go all four years without beating them. I was most upset for Mike, Chad, Jake and Mario. They never will get their due.
I blamed Lloyd. He always turtled. It was time for a change. It was peanut butter jelly time. I was excited. Up until the last 3 years, I remembered the losses more than the wins. But, I longed for old Michigan. The Michigan of my childhood. Maybe that’s the only place it still exists.
I was on a cruise ship during the end of “The Process” paying like $4.00 a minute to find out wtf was going on. I almost choked on my own puke when I saw Brady’s name as the choice, but then I hear him speak. Wow. I was hooked again. Then I thought to myself, “Are we Notre Dame?”. I guess that remains to be seen. Hoke is what is needed and he seems to have luck or the Devil working right alongside with him. The first question that they should have asked Hoke comes straight from Cypher asking Neo:
"So, you're here to save the world? ... What do you say to something like that?"
It’s about wins and losses, but it is obvious more than that that. It’s about the seniors this year who were being recruited when I was a senior. It’s about covering the scars of past three falls. It’s about the dilithium of the nicest quarterback who I’m so proud of. It’s about once again, putting the end of pin into the reset button of this whole thing, holding down for 10 seconds, and seeing what happens. I’m sick and tired of emo. I’m ready to savor the tribal glow once more.
Back by popular demand, or maybe entirely despite it, I return for my third year providing your weekly primer in what not to watch. Last year, no team pulled off the shutout, but 12 teams had 2 or fewer wins. Welcome to the list, Memphis. Elsewhere, New Mexico managed to go 1-11 and not finish last in their conference. The mighty MAC had no less than 4 teams with two wins or less. So without further ado, let's get into it.
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Under new management, obviously. The B1G (plus Notre Dame) must've known there were changes going on at MGoBlog, because barely anything happened on the recruiting trail these past couple weeks. Thanks, everyone! Action since last rankings:
8-14-11 Purdue gains commitment from Jordan Roos.
8-21-11 Wisconsin gains commitment from D.J. Singleton.
8-24-11 Penn State gains commitment from Malik Golden.
8-25-11 Northwestern gains commitment from Greg Kuhar.
8-27-11 Iowa gains commitment from Ruben Lile.
|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 (Minnesota), Darius Stroud (Indiana), and Steffon Martin (Purdue) are exluded from their respective team averages.
On to the full data, after the jump.
|#1 Michigan - 22 Commits|
Michigan remains solidly at the top of the rankings. Sione Houma picks up three stars from 24/7 after previously being unranked.
|#2 Notre Dame - 13 Commits|
No change for the Irish.
|#3 Penn State - 17 Commits|
ATH/WR Malik Golden COMES TO PENN SCHTAAAAATE. He isn't quite enough to bump the Nittany Lions past Notre Dame, but they're hot on the Irish's heels for the #2 spot.
|#4 Ohio State - 12 Commits|
No change for the Buckeyes, despite the rumored Adolphus Washington commit. He's not in this class... yet.
|#5 Michigan State - 14 Commits|
Kodi Keiler is upgraded from unranked to three stars on ESPN.
|#6 Wisconsin - 10 Commits|
The Badgers pick up safety D.J. Singleton. Hugs Etienne goes from unranked to three-stars on 24/7. Hugs all around, I guess (sorry, that was too easy). If Wisconsin can pick up a couple more commits, they have a good shot of passing MSU in the rankings.
|#7 Indiana - 17 Commits|
The Hoosiers add Sebastian Smith. Tanner Kearns gets 3 stars from 24/7. Four players (Kearns, Cornett, Todd, and Fletcher) earn two-star rankings from Rivals after being previously unranked. Alex Todd upgraded to three stars on Scout and 24/7, and Dawson Fletcher gets two stars from 24/7.
|#8 Northwestern - 14 Commits|
The Wildcats grab Greg Kuhar. Chris Fitzpatrick picks up two stars from Rivals and 24/7, and Mike McHugh gets his two stars from 24/7 as well. Northwestern inches closer to Indiana, but, well, Gunner Kiel.
|#9 Iowa - 10 Commits|
The Hawkeyes picked up a commit from Cass Tech ATH Ruben Lile last night, which vaults them ahead of Minnesota (larger class, far lower quality) and Nebraska (still stuck on six commits).
|#10 Minnesota - 18 Commits|
No new commits for the Gophers. Mitch Leidner gets three stars, and Brian Nicholson and Samad Hinds each two stars, from 24/7.
|#11 Nebraska - 6 Commits|
No change for the Huskers.
|#12 Purdue - 12 Commits|
The Boilermakers land Jordan Roos, although 24/7 has yet to catch on despite the fact that they have him as a three-star and he committed two weeks ago. B.J. Knauf gets a third star from Scout and 24/7, Jonathan Curry gets bumped up a star by ESPN, and Anthony Brown and Paul Griggs get three stars from 24/7. Scout is still missing Andy Garcia, Steffon Martin, and Knauf from their commitment list -- thanks for making this task easy, guys. At this point, I'd say Purdue is pretty close to leaping Nebraska, but the lack of a single four-star player (on any service) makes it tough to justify that move unless they pick up a couple more commits.
|#13 Illinois - 8 Commits|
No new commits for the Illini. Joseph Spencer picks up a three-star rating from ESPN. Zach Jackson and Joey Warburg each get three stars from 24/7.