...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
The spring game was a success from a recruiting perspective on a few different levels. The commitment from instate LB Royce Jenkins-Stone was an important early get that most didn't expect so soon. Outside of the commitment here's a look at what some of the other visiting prospects had to say. As always you can find me and more updates on Twitter, and if you have any questions or tips please email me at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'6", 289 lbs
Diamond is a big-time prospect nationally and for a Michigan class that needs a hig- profile tackle or two. He has been to Ann Arbor plenty of times, but this time he brought someone new.
I've seen a lot of that stuff before, and they were just showing us around. My father was there for the first time and he said everything was great. He got a great impression from everything, and he thought the coaching staff was great. He actually said he would feel comfortable with me playing there so that felt good.
Since Diamond has taken numerous visits to Michigan's campus, and the fact that his teammate Chris Bryant signed with Michigan, these visits are more about comfort than discovery for him. But...
It did give me a chance to see how they coached and how they were showing the players what they need to do. I saw Coach Funk is doing a good job with those guys getting the fundamentals down. I've seen a lot of them now and it's about getting familiar with these schools. These visits, I have my parents go up to see where I might be going. I didn't really see anything new, it was just more of a confirmation of what I've been seeing.
While he didn't necessarily see anything new with the program, Jordan definitely got to be a part of a new experience.
When we got there we came out on the field and there was a bunch of fans telling me Jordan we need you. To have them recognize an offensive lineman and ask me for autographs was pretty cool. I was getting stopped on the street and people were asking me if I was Jordan Diamond. I was signing autographs for little kids, and to have that happen at a big school was cool. Being with the players is always great too; they're exactly the same on and off the field. The character and attitude they have is always the same.
Jordan isn't positive exactly when he wants to make his final decision, but he knows how he wants to get there.
I'm going to keep taking visits right now, then narrow it down to a top ten during the summer. After that I'll get it to a top five before the season starts and I'll take my official visits to those five. I know Michigan will definitely be in the top five. Michigan is looking solid right now.
Diamond has always wanted to take his visits and take his time with the process, so this is nothing new. These early visits have helped Michigan lay the ground work for later on in the process when the tough decisions come around.
6'7", 305 lbs.
Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania
Denman is a huge offensive lineman that has racked up around 21 offers from schools like Michigan, Boston College, Miami, MSU, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Wisconsin to name a few. JJ took in Ann Arbor for the first time and came away impressed.
I spent the whole day Friday looking around the campus, and then Saturday we spent more time at the facilities and the spring game. I was the only one there on Friday so we got talk to all the coaches. We talked about how they're bringing back a pro style offense and that they need big linemen. Everything overall was good, I really liked the coaches. The coaches seem real down to earth and straight shooters. The Big House: I walked in there and it was just huge. They said they were going to put up scoreboards and that they might be adding more seats which is crazy.
The Big House is typically something prospects remember from their visits, but the MIchigan players were what stuck with Denman.
All the players are genuine guys. I talked to Denard Robinson and it was just like he was a normal guy. He saw me walk by and was just like "hey what's up man," it was like he didn't even do what he did on the field. I talked to Jake Long too and he was the exact same way. It's like Michigan doesn't produce cocky guys, they're all humbled and that was cool.
Although JJ has a pretty big offer list he already has a good idea of who makes up his top group.
I think I know the schools that I like, I'm going to go out to a couple more just to make sure. I definitely know I'm going to take an official visit to Michigan, and I'm going to try to make it back for the Notre Dame game because it will be their first night game. I'll probably take all five of my officials. The five schools right now are Michigan, Boston College, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Rutgers.
It sounds like this visit helped Michigan but it won't mean much until he starts taking official visits.
6'3", 215 lbs.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Ojemudia is an interesting instate prospect that has been up to Michigan with his teammate TE Devin Funchess a few times now. If you remember last time Mario said that he was surprised that he liked his Michigan visit so much. It seems like the spring game might have helped Michigan a little more.
It went really well, it was fun. I didn't really see anything different but I'm feeling really comfortable with all the coaches, and I really like Michigan now which is kind of weird since I grew up not liking them. I think these visits have sort of leveled everything out now.
Mario has also been to Michigan State three or four times now, but hasn't been in a while. Having processed the trips he's taken, he thinks the visits have helped him narrow down his list to a group of three.
I've somewhat narrowed it down. I like Michigan, Stanford, and MSU, but that could all be subject to change if I get another offer from a school I like. Two schools that I really like are Penn State and Ohio State.
All of these trips he's taking are helping him get to his final decision, which he says he wants to have done before his season starts.
2013 QB Shane Morris was also on hand for the spring game. He seemed to enjoy the fan attention he got as well.
It went really well, I had a lot of fun. I signed my first autograph on a #12 Michigan jersey. That was crazy. I've pretty much seen the whole school three times now so I just want to get to know the coaches better and get more comfortable at the school.
Michigan commit OL Caleb Stacey had his decision validated while he was on campus for the first time as a commitment.
It went great, I had two kids around the age of ten ask for my autograph. It made me feel like I was at home with great people, great atmosphere, great fans, and just all around great place. I was trying to recruit [JJ Denman] and Sheldon Day while I was up there.
** QB Zeke Pike is announcing his decision on Wednesday. He told me that he's down to Auburn, Michigan, and Purdue. He said you shouldn't look too much into the rumors about him being committed to Auburn. I have a strange feeling about this one.
New York DB Wayne Morgan's coach tells me that Michigan has moved up on his list.
Ohio LB Joe Bolden took in Ann Arbor with his parents, and may be nearing a decision.
I hinted on Twitter that there was going to be a silent commit yesterday. The prospect told me it was ok to tell people his intentions, but to obviously keep his name quiet. The plan was to commit to the coaches, take two more visits then come forward with the announcement at his school. He told the coaches Sunday night and they told him that he should take the other two visits first then commit to them. It wasn't a rejection, but more so not acknowledging a commitment from a kid that wants to take visits. The announcement should happen in 3 or 4 weeks.
If you missed it here's last week's Weekly Update with TE Pierre Aka, DE Noah Spence, and WR Amara Darboh.
|MICHIGAN FOOTBALL DEPTH BY CLASS|
|D. Gardner*||D. Robinson|
|J. Jackson||D. Stonum*|
SCHOLARSHIP COUNT: 59
Current Commits: 23
Unrenewed 5th Years: 1 (M. Cox)
Transfer: 1 (?)
SPOTS OPEN: 5
After Brian's Mailbag post on the front page, and some debate in the comments about the nature of Title IX's influence in equal funding for coach's salaries, I went all the way through the database here from the Michigan Athletic Department. On top of this, I took a look at the law itself, and have concluded that coaches salaries do not have to be equivalent, both through reading the law and through anecdotal evidence as told by UM's salaries.
|Salary Figures||Gross||Number of Coach's||Mean||Median|
aaamichfan inspired a different look at this in addition: factoring out RR and Beilein. In that case the figures change to:
|Salary Figures||Gross||Number of Coach's||Mean||Median|
Edited again to factor out all FB/MBB and Men's Hockey assistants, as well as Red. As positive numbers were advantage men previously, negative numbers are advantage women.
|Salary Figures||Gross||Number of Coach's||Mean||Median|
|Men's (Very Modified)||1,456,420.40||18||80,912.24||60,000.00|
I'm not trying to make a political or value judgement based on this. Certainly, on the top end at least, the men's sports salaries are justified based on revenue generated and salary levels at comparable institutions. This data is from the RR era and I did not include S&C coaches in the figures. I excluded S&C because a) it's hard to determine what sport they are attached to based on the salary database and b) I didn't think S&C coaches count towards the "equity" parts of Title IX, unless Michigan was employing undergrad assistants or something for women's sports, which obviously they are not.
One other note, it was impossible to tell who two of the coaches were. This could affect the data in either direction, but the salaries were both on the low end, and there were only two. So, at most a ~$50,000 swing, though it is very possible both were S&C coaches and therefore wouldn't have been included anyway.
Edited to fix whatever happened with the table, my apologies. Edited again to add the second table.
Via Media Relations:
The game starts at 10AM.
Ohio LB Joe Bolden (6'2", 225 lbs) was in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago with his dad and his uncle, who also happens to be his coach. He decided to take another trip back up, but this time with his mom and dad. Here's his highlight film and his thoughts on the visit.
TOM: You were just in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago, so what prompted this visit?
JOE: I didn't see as much as I wanted to last time. This time we got to drive through campus, see the classrooms, and we just got to see a lot more than last time. We go the grand tour of everything. I didn't get to see a dorm because there weren't any vacant, but I got to see the building that I would be living in.
TOM: I know you went up with your dad and uncle last time, who went with you this time?
JOE: Just my mom and dad.
TOM: What did they think of the visit. Your dad has seen campus before, but this was the first time for mom. How did she like it?
JOE: She really liked it. She really liked Coach Hoke, and Mrs. Hoke and Mrs. Mattison were actually up there so she got to talk to them for awhile too. To me she seemed pretty impressed.
TOM: Did they have questions for the coaches that they, as parents, wanted answered? I know moms can be protective sometimes.
JOE: Not really any more questions, they pretty much answered everything before I asked them. Coach Hoke without my parents even asking answered everything. We sat down for about 45 minutes and just talked about me living up there. He talked about her being a mom and obviously she's protective. He told her that if I were to choose Michigan that I'd be safe and taken care of.
TOM: So where are you at right now with the process? I know you told me last time that you think you're getting close, but what does that mean?
JOE: Right now I have it narrowed down to a couple schools that I'm very serious about, but I want to keep those quiet so I don't give anyone the wrong impression. I'm getting as much information on them as I can, and talking to as many good resources as I can.
TOM: How will you know when you're ready to decide?
JOE: I still haven't gotten the chance to sit down with my mother, father, and uncle and weigh out the pro's and con's of everything. My uncle wasn't at school today, but we'll probably sit down in the next couple days. I really don't have a timeline, it could happen tomorrow or it could happen in February. I'm not sure yet.
TOM: When you say weigh everything out, what are you thinking about with regards to each school?
JOE: Academics has always been a big part of my life. My parents have stressed school work comes before the game of football, so that's number one. If I fit into the program, if I like the coaches, and if the university has tradition, a good winning tradition.
· $20 donation receives a Fathead Teammate Block M (roughly 12”x7”)
· $100 donation receives a Fathead Junior Big House Mural (17”x30”)
· $250 donation receives four passes to a pre-season scrimmage
· $500 donation receives 2 pre-game sideline passes (does not include game tickets) to ONE of the following four games: Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State or Minnesota.
· $750 donation receives 2 pre-game sideline passes (does not include game tickets) to the Nebraska game.
· $1,000 donation receives 4 Mott Club Tickets which includes ($300/individual ticket):
1. Stadium Parking for Spring Game
2. Priority Access (front of the line fast-pass) to the Michigan Experience
3. Priority Access (front of the line fast-pass) to Locker Room Tour and associated experiences Friday or Saturday
4. On-field experience during the Alumni Flag Football Game (designated bleacher area)
5. Access to special viewing location for the Spring Game and a VIP Reception in the Regents Guest Area (food will be served) with drop-in from Desmond Howard and other football alums during and/or following the game
Following is a list of everything you need to know about the annual spring game and activities:
Parking: The lots around Michigan Stadium owned and operated by the University of Michigan are free and open to the public. The U-M Golf Course Lot (Green) will be restricted to golfers only. Pioneer High School will be charging $20 for cars and $50 for RVs on Saturday.
Gates, Restrooms and Concessions: The Michigan Stadium gates will open one hour prior to the alumni game at 9 a.m. All available restrooms on the lower concourse will be open and concessions will be available at several locations throughout the stadium.
Locker Room Tours: Fans can tour and take photos in the Michigan team locker room from 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday (April 15) and from 7-9:30 a.m. on Saturday (April 16). Fans will have access to the stadium field on Friday night during the time devoted to the open locker room but the field will not be accessible Saturday morning because of the spring game activities.
Desmond Howard Returns as Honorary Captain: Michigan’s 1991 Heisman Trophy and current ESPN College Game Day analyst Desmond Howard will be the Honorary Captain for the Mott Spring Game. Howard will be present for the alumni game, spring game and Mott Hospital functions.
Victors Classic: Former U-M football players will be split into the maize and blue teams and will match wits in the third annual alumni flag football game starting at 10 a.m. Over 85 former football players from five different decades will participate.
NFL Players to Attend Spring Game: Some of the current NFL players scheduled to be in attendance are Steve Breaston (Arizona Cardinals), Prescott Burgess (Baltimore Ravens), Braylon Edwards (New York Jets), James Hall (St. Louis Rams), Mike Hart (Indianapolis Colts), Marlin Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles), Zoltan Mesko (New England Patriots), Ryan Mundy (Pittsburgh Steelers) and LaMarr Woodley (Pittsburgh Steelers).
Hockey Team to Receive Recognition: The Michigan men’s ice hockey team, the 2011 NCAA runner-up, will be honored during one of the breaks at the Mott Spring Game. The Wolverines played for the national title last Saturday (April 9), falling 3-2 in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth. The Wolverines completed the season with a 29-11-4 record this season and won the CCHA regular season championship.
The Michigan Experience: New for the 2011 spring game is an interactive area for kids to participate in football activities. Located on the south concourse of the stadium grounds, there will be football related activities for kids, football character photos and a healthy kids area.
Kick for Cash: The athletic department will randomly select one fan to attempt field goals with the chance to win a PNC gift card up to $300. They will have the opportunity to kick from three different spots, the 10-, 15- or 20-yard lines, with varying prizes for each of the three distances.
Matt Giraud to Sign National Anthem: Former “American Idol” contestant Matt Giraud is going to sing the national anthem for the game. A Kalamazoo, Mich., native, he was born in Dearborn and graduated from Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti (2003).
Radio Broadcast: Ann Arbor’s Sports Talk 1050 AM WTKA will have the exclusive broadcast of Michigan’s spring football weekend activities. Ira Weintraub and Steve Clarke will be broadcasting live from the booth and Sam Webb will be roaming the sidelines during the day’s activities. The station will begin broadcasting Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and carry the former player’s flag football game and the final spring practice in its entirety on its airwaves.
Michigan Rewind: The athletic department’s online football recap show will have a complete highlight package and interviews with Brady Hoke and players available on MGoBlue.com following the conclusion of the final practice.
Inside Michigan Football: The final show of the spring will air on Thursday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. The 30-minute behind-the-scenes look at Michigan football will recap the spring game and all the activities surrounding the partnership with C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
Big Ten Network Broadcast: Matt Shepard (play-by-play) and former Wolverine offensive lineman Jon Jansen (analyst) will broadcast Michigan’s spring game live on Big Ten Network starting at noon EDT. In addition to the practice game footage, the network will feature post-scrimmage interviews with head coach Brady Hoke and players.