M Downing shaking hands pregame. Taller than all the refs... nice.
I had the pleasure of attending the U17 5 nations tournament last night in A2. Team USA's captain is the newest UM hockey commit Michael Downing. He is every bit as big as advertised, just needs to fill out a bit, which will not be an issue as he only recently turned 16.
In his own zone, he was physical showing a quick stick and a bit of a nastiness to his game. His break out was good, both passing and skating, will just need to improve on the quickness of his decisions in this area as he move up competition. His skating was very good and he used it to jump into the offensive rush on several occasions. He was part of the first PP unit and scored a PP goal as he crashed the net, grabbed a rebound, made a move and roofed it from in tight. Showed some real nice hands for a big kid and a Defense man at that. Did all that
In short, I was very impressed with the kids game and size. And the coaches must be impressed with some intangibles to have named him captain. To my untrained eye UM is getting (please no more defections) a very good one.
I was also impressed with a couple other kids. Big forward Michael Turner showed great hands, with decent skating - this look to be a little awkward maybe due to recent growth spurt? But when he fills out and gets his feet under him, he will be tough to stop.
Adam Erne was also very good. Always seemed to be around the net with a good control on the puck. Another kid with some size, seems to have grown into it a little quicker than Turner.
The Goaltender Demko was top notch. Big kid, stayed square to shooters, only let one in. Was very good at controlling the puck for the most part, smothering it when needed, kicking it way out or deflecting it up into the netting. i think he was 6-3.. little different look than UM has currently.
Lastly, my favorite kid to watch was Daniel Vanderwiel. A little shorter, but very well built and loved to use it. Several nice open ice hits, rubbed guys out along the boards. Was very physical all game long. The Czech players were looking out for him all game. Just has to do a better job of controlling the puck once he crushes the puck carrier and holding it along the boards, then you might have a little Tkachuk on your hands.
Saw a ton of NCAA coaches there including Billy Powers. Hopefully he was making some inroads with a few of the other kids.
On the recent commitment of Kyle Kalis, many Michigan fans became excited at landing such a highly rated prospect
And they have reason to, because Kalis will develop into a great contributor on the football field
But, THE KNOWLEDGE laughs at many folks on this website and other places that think they know which prospects to get excited about
Many indeed was the number of folks that were considerably less excited about the commitment of a less heralded, and mostly unknown, prospect to the 2012 Michigan class
these people are idiots
and the name of that prospect is Sione Houma
The proprietor and #2 writer on this blog, B. Cook himself seemed less than thrilled about the commitment of Houma; naturally less knowledgeable ordinary fans followed suit
but THE KNOWLEDGE is not ordinary as everyone knows
THE KNOWLEDGE soars and basks in glory due to his great abiltities, more than anyone can ever dream of
with the future in hindsight, THE KNOWLEDGE reveals that Houma is the most important commitment of the class
He will be the best player on the field, and will earn muti-year All-American honors
On to other matters
The event most people are awaiting in the next few days is the decision of the NCAA on the heinous violations committed at OSU
so they can know if the answered THE QUESTION correctly
THE KNOWLEDGE, of course, already knows the result, but will not reveal it in order to keep the excitement growing until it reaches a crescendo
THE KNOWLEDGE will return in the future to congratule the winners of THE QUESTION and also to reveal the season review for Michigan
August 8, 2011
For IMMEDIATE Release
Media Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423
U-M Football Fan Day and Athletic Department Garage Sale Slated for Sunday, Aug. 14
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan football program will hold its annual Fan Day on Sunday, Aug. 14, at Michigan Stadium. The autograph session and opportunity to meet the 2011 Wolverines team will run approximately from 2-3:30 p.m. EDT.
Prior to Michigan football’s Fan Day, the U-M Athletic Department will hold a garage sale from 8-11 a.m. at the indoor track building, which is located just beyond the right field fence of U-M’s baseball field.
Items for sale include football jerseys, football pants, footballs, shoes, polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, basketball practice jerseys, warm-up jackets, warm-up pants, robes, gloves and other merchandise.
Cash and credit cards will be accepted.
Fan Day at Michigan Stadium is free and open to the public. All gates at the Big House will open starting at 1 p.m. Parking will be available in the lots adjacent to Michigan Stadium and Pioneer High School. In order to expedite the autograph process and accommodate as many fans as possible, players and Head Coach Brady Hoke will autograph one item per person.
Hoke will sign autographs on the Michigan Stadium field, and his line will be accessible only through the main tunnel on the east side of the stadium. Michigan players will be signing autographs along the north and south concourses at the concession stands by position groups. The offensive players will be located along the north side of the Big House between sections 29 and 38, with the defensive players residing on the south side between sections 8 and 13.
Please visit MGoBlue.com for player autograph locations.
All fans in attendance also will have the opportunity to win a pair of tickets to games against Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State and Minnesota as well as autographed items signed by Head Coach Brady Hoke and Denard Robinson. To find out how to enter to win, please visit the Michigan Sports Marketing tables located at sections 1, 2, 4, 8 and 10 in Michigan Stadium
Football's media is also on Sunday prior to the fan day, so look for plenty of content early next week.
The college and high school football seasons are almost here which means things will slow down a bit. Michigan only has around five spots left so it's a numbers game from here on out. Here's a look at what happened this week and what's happening in the future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH or email me with any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'5", 275 lbs.
The 2013 offensive lineman was on Michigan's campus Sunday [the 7th]. It was his first trip to Ann Arbor and he came away impressed.
We met with Coach Funk, talked to him for about half an hour. After that they took us around the campus, showed us the facilities, the locker room, and the stadium. I feel really good about Michigan, I really liked it. I didn't know much about them going into it, but I was really impressed.
Bosch is going to be one of the top lineman in the midwest, so this was a good opportunity for the Michigan staff to show him what they have to offer.
They told us about the program a little bit. We got to meet with Coach Borges, and Coach Hoke too. They were telling us that they'll be going back to the pro style offense. I didn't really know much about Michigan until today. I didn't know that they had the Big Ten and National titles. I had no idea that they have the biggest stadium; I thought Penn State's was bigger. The facilities were great and the locker room was great too.
While he doesn't currently have an offer the Michigan coaches made it known that they will be recruiting Kyle.
They told me they're extremely interested in me. They want me to play interior, either guard or center. A lot of schools have said both guard or tackle so that's fine.
As for his timeline he plans on taking a strategic approach to see where he fits best.
I've been out to all the schools that have offered except for West Virginia and Stanford. I think at the end of the season I'll put all my offers on the table and try to get it to a top five. After I find a top five or top ten I'll look more in depth and talk more to coaches to try to find the best fit.
It was big for Michigan to get this visit in before the season starts. Since Kyle is going to narrow his choices down after his season this gives him a chance to see what Michigan is like on a regular basis as opposed to a game-time atmosphere.
6'2", 180 lbs.
Ramsey, New Jersey
As I reported earlier in the week, Michigan is back in the top three for Armani Reeves. Michigan told Reeves that they are looking to add another elite corner to this class. Yuri Wright happens to be an elite cornerback that Michigan is also pursuing. The four-star defensive back told me how he feels about Michigan.
I would say Michigan is in my top two, I've always liked Michigan. I haven't really cut my list down yet, but they're in the top somewhere. Just the tradition that's at Michigan, the winningest program, the coaches, and the whole experience of going to school there. Coach Mallory has been telling me it's just about getting a chance to come to Michigan and getting better when I get there, and hopefully make it to the league.
While Wright hasn't cut his list down he does think that Michigan will get one of his official visits.
I talked to Coach Mallory the other day. I'm definitely going to take one of my officials there, but I'm not planning on making my decision until the Army All American game. I'll take all of my officials and then decide. I don't know what other schools I want to visit yet, but I've always liked Colorado, Georgia, Cal, and Michigan State too. Those are some of them.
When it comes to New Jersey high school athletics Stephen Spiewak from MaxPreps is one of the top sources for information. I also caught up with him to get his thoughts on Yuri. He had the following to say.
Yuri didn't play football as a sophomore, he's a converted basketball kid. I think he's going to be the best kid from the Bosco [Yuri's high school] group this year. He joined the team as this 6-foot-2 athletic freak with a mean streak who just shut everyone down.
So, he's pretty good then. Spiewak also thinks there's a good chance that Wright will leave the New Jersey area for school. Since he's not making a decision for awhile there's a lot that can happen between now and then, but Michigan has a shot. The cornerback situation has been a hot topic lately. WIth Michigan getting back in the mix for Armani Reeves everyone immediately thought it had to do with Terry Richardson.
While I don't think anyone knows exactly what Terry will do I am under the impression that this coaching staff wants to add another cornerback on top of Terry and Anthony Standifer. That will be interesting to see how that scenario plays out.
6'1", 180 lbs.
2013 DB Dymonte Thomas was in Ann Arbor last week or the Big House BBQ. He came up with his cousin Bri'onte Dunn, and seemed to enjoy himself.
Michigan's pretty nice. Coach Mattison is a character, he was joking and making funny remarks the whole time. I feel really comfortable with Michigan and their coaching staff. The campus was really nice, they showed us the business building and that's what I want to go into. They also showed us the 'M' that you can't walk on.
As usual the Michigan commitments were doing their best to recruit the non-committed kids, which included Dymonte and Bri'onte.
I took Bri'onte up and we met the quarterback [Shane Morris] that committed and Kyle Kalis was trying to recruit us. He was trying to get me to go to Michigan. I just want to wait for my colleges to offer and take some visits to all the schools though. I'll probably be up for the Notre Dame game and the Michigan-Ohio State game too. I really like Michigan, I think they're at the top. Michigan State isn't very far behind, I like their coaching staff too.
It's a good sign that he wants to make it up for multiple games, especially if he can bring Bri'onte along to those events too.
I recently went out to see 2013 WR Jake Roh at practice. Jake is the younger brother of Michigan defensive end Craig Roh. They're built completely different, and Jake is a good sized receiver with great hands. Here's a few clips from practice with an interview, I'll have more highlights from him after their scrimmage on Wednesday.
2013 WR Laquon Treadwell was also at the BBQ last week. He told me he had a great time and was just trying to find out more about Michigan. With each visit he's getting more and more comfortable. He said again that Michigan is on top, but even if they were to offer he wants to wait and take some other visits before making a decision.
The news that WR Darryl Stonum is redshirting this year could potentially affect the recruiting numbers for this class. But the coaches are the ones that made the decision to redshirt him so they obviously knew about it. If that hasn't changed their recruiting plans then there will have to be more attrition elsewhere, presumably.