this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Many Michigan fans are mystified by the current recruiting strategy of taking so many low-rated (or unrated) players at this early stage in the process. ‘Does JH know what he is doing?’ ‘Why not wait, as you can scoop up these guys later if the bigger fish don’t come on board.’ Even those of us who totally trust JH must admit to being a bit boggled when he took the 2 star DE; notwithstanding that he had worked him out personally at camp. However, when you look at the numbers - in light of Harbaugh’s track record - his madness makes more than just sense... it is genius.
2015: I believe that we will take Jhonny Williams as a transfer so will need to make some room to get down to 85. That should be no problem with the rumored medicals and other natural attrition.
2016: It looks like we are going for 25 recruits (#Fab 25)... or even more. There are 15 - 16 spots open at present which means that 10 or so more are expected. We do not name names on this site (and I fully agree with that policy), but looking at the roster it is fairly easy to see where the 10+ openings will come from. Medicals, un-offered 5th years and transfers for PT or other reasons could open at least 25 spots for the 2016 class. In fact, 28 (the league maximum if you have at least 3 early enrolees) is a very plausible number. This makes the spate of offers - and the less-than-sexy commitments - more understandable.
The bottom line is that JH is Confident that with his track record, and an EUTM, he can spot the right kind of athletes and mold them into Winners. To get 25 - 28 of those guys you can't sit on your butt waiting for high rated prima donnas to sign your dance card. This is why the 'Swarm' camps were such a stroke of genius. They gave JH the opportunity to see athletes from all over the country up close and personal. All of the ones who checked out as potential winners were offered. Never mind the star ratings of the armchair experts; one of the best talent evaluators in all of football worked these guys out in person. There is absolutely no way that he could have seen the vast majority of these kids if he had just waited for the Michigan camp... Genius!
We've got the Right guy in the Right Place at the Right time... Enjoy!
Sometimes I feel my abilities to contribute to this blog are limited. I didn’t grow up playing organized sports, so I can contribute very little technical data. I spent much of my time learning nonessential sports information by studying books, magazines, and sports cards. I tried my hand at writing a diary about this kind of off the wall material once and enjoyed the experience. However, WolverineDevotee has admirably cornered the market on these types of posts, so I must look for something else to add.
Last summer, I happened to be in an antique store in Carson City (MI not NV) because of a rather bizarre part of my job in my former career as legislative staff. While there, I saw old department store catalogues for sale. They were surprisingly expensive, so I didn’t buy any, but as with most things in life, the internet answered my needs and scanned copies were easily found.
As I looked through them, I noticed that many displayed Michigan apparel in some form, and that gave me the idea to add some fashion perspective to the blog. With all the hubbub about Nike vs. Adidas and shades of Maize, I thought this would be a good time to collect these pictures and provide a laugh for some and memories for others. I hope you enjoy this brief look at ‘M’ fashion from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
First a quick disclaimer…my source for this post does not have an exhaustive list of catalogues, so there could be a many other images out there that would be good to add. Also, I may have missed some within these catalogues; scrolling through 500-600 pages in one catalogue can get tedious. However, I will add that the catalogues are fascinating, not only for the price and styles but the breadth of what they sold.
1970 Montgomery Ward
I started looking at the catalogues in the mid-to late 1960s, but there was very little sports apparel of any kind. Some NFL, but no NCAA until the late 70s. The NFL gear could be another post, but I couldn’t help including this gem. I realize Joe Namath was a big thing in this era, but I saw nothing else like this. A few team shirts and jackets each year, but then along comes a doll complete with 12 different outfits. Incredible.
Here we have our first instance of ‘M’ apparel. Unfortunately, the actual clothing isn’t shown, but the logo to be used on the jacket is in the second column from the left, second from the bottom. For this they stayed all business and used the traditional university seal. It’s also interesting to see the variety of teams offered, including schools like Maryland, Michigan State, Texas Tech, and California. In later years, options would be very limited to major schools like ‘M’, Notre Dame (who is surprisingly not offered here), and Penn State.
Another offering from same catalogue is the “sport carry all”. Unfortunately, no ‘M’ logo is pictured, but it was an option (with colors navy and gold, really?), so I thought I would include it here. Interestingly, here Notre Dame is offered, along with very odd choices in Boston and Delaware.
Here is a t-shirt with a very large ‘M’ on it. It’s an interesting variation of the split M. But hey, at least it’s not that Gopher or the UCLA Bruin.
A slew of interesting takes on various logos here. Again, a unique version of the split M. This time with university seal doing the splitting. I have certainly never seen this variation anywhere else.
I’m kinda liking this varsity sweater, though I’m not sure I would have occasion to wear it. This is an interesting rendering of the block M. Skinnier than usual, and it seems like the middle portion doesn’t come as low as it should.
These short, mesh jerseys were pretty popular in this era, at least they sold NFL versions in a number of different years. I thought it was interesting that they used Ron Kramer’s number here, but then I realized that they were each number 87…and this was Christmas 1986, right before 1987.
Again with the number 87. Who wants to wear a jersey with the year on it?
Preppy collegiate sweatshirt? Sure, I guess. It’s interesting that apparel with the University’s seal was popular enough to be offered several times. Also, your nation’s rugby shirt if you’d like; I assume in anticipation of the Olympics the following year.
Here’s another offering from 1987. Apparently, they felt kids would be disappointed if they got a Penn State helmet and it was blank, so they added an emblem.
Quite the large wolverine we’ve got here. But again, it could be worse; at least it’s not the cartoon Bruin of UCLA. Also, Hawaii with a rare appearance. Was that a normal logo for them? If so, it’s terrible.
Mesh jerseys with another appearance in 1988. It’s pretty tough to see what is on the ‘M’ set. It looks like a typical split M on the shorts.
“In case anyone has any doubts or has terrible eyesight, I cheer for the Wolverines” says the fan with a massive split M on his sweater. In all fairness though, if there was a year to wear this sweater, 1989 was the year.
While we’re on the subject of apparel from the great year of 1989, I’m going to make a quick interlude to insert a couple of personal pictures of ‘M’ clothing from that year. Though I probably should have included these in this post your own apparel thread. I found this t-shirt at a thrift store a couple years ago. Oh that there might be occasion for a similar shirt to be produced again.
This sweatshirt was my older sister’s, but it ended up in a bag of clothing repatriated by my parents to my house several years ago. I don’t know what a teddy bear had to do with ‘M’ or with the Rose Bowl, but it was available if you wanted it.
Here we have “team jackets by Chalkline.” And another logo variation with the words Michigan and Wolverine down each side of the block M. I can’t say I’m sad that this style of jacket has passed on.
Back to the large wolverine here, also large stripes. Maybe this was the impetus for the “throwback” jerseys of 2011?
Finally from 1989, another version of the mesh jersey. Unfortunately, only displayed with Notre Dame. But some pretty awesome socks down in the corner.
Here the apparel with the university seals is offered on kid’s clothing. Again, I don’t picture this conversation happening “Hey Tommy, that’s an awesome garland around the lamp on your sweatshirt.” Also, does Notre Dame still use that Leprechaun? It seems very familiar from that era, but not so much lately. Maybe I just haven’t paid attention recently.
And here is an adult option of the clothing from the last page. Also, Zubaz. I’m young enough or sheltered enough that I associate these with the 2014 Tigers, but I guess they were quite the thing in 1991. The logo looks like the split M with “Wolverines” across it, an interesting twist.
And Zubaz hats to go with those pants. I realize this is just like, my opinion, but these jackets are awful. Again, the ‘M’ offering isn’t the worst (I would say that goes to Georgetown). I would like to think that if I was a functioning adult (and not just a 6 year old) at the time, I would have had the same opinion in 1991, but who knows…
Here the M is split by a…wolverine? Might as well. It looks like they have two different shades of maize going here, but when has that ever worried anyone?
Replica helmet for sale, not much of note here. Unless you want a Super Bowl helmet with the score on it. I guess if you were a fan of the Cowboys this would be nice, but it doesn’t seem like there would be a wider appeal.
And a duffel bag, again nothing too unique or interesting. I like the basketball court rugs. That’s an item that could do with a revival, if it’s not still available in some form.
Ah, the Starter jackets of the mid-90s, certainly an iconic look. From a marketing standpoint, things seems fairly standardized by this point. It’s interesting that the split M has been dropped, it was such a ubiquitous symbol for quite a while.
To complete 1994, a couple of seating options. It looks like they solved the multiple colors of maize from 1991 by going with blue, but interestingly they kept the wolverine. Maybe I haven’t noticed, but I don’t remember seeing a wolverine image used in marketing at all recently. You also had the option of buying an “ABC Wide World of Sports” beanbag if you didn’t feel like supporting a specific team.
Finally, a couple bonuses. I had to include this page from the 1975 Montgomery Ward catalogue because it reminded me of Graham Glasgow.
And this offering from the 1976 JCPenney catalogue. I suppose I should mark this last one as NSFW or at least OT, but for those of you who were around and conscious of such things in 1976, were his and hers matching underwear really a thing? Like did people coordinate each day? Would you plan out your whole week in advance? I’m not sure I even want to know the answers to these questions.
A look at the recruiting rankings of Harbaugh's 2010 Orange Bowl team (and a thought about Andrew Luck)
Last week I posted a diary in which I looked at the recruiting rankings of Coach Harbaugh's 2007 and 2008 classes at Stanford. This is a summary of what I learned:
Despite only having one consensus four-star, Stanford's 2007 and 2008 classes produced five first-team all-Americans, eight first-team all Pac Ten players, two second-team all Pac Ten players, and four honorable mention all Pac Ten players (note that I counted Owen Marecic as both a first-team all Pac Ten player, an award he won as a FB, and an honorable mention all Pac Ten player, an award he won as an LB).
Coach Harbaugh's recruiting picked up in 2009, with that year's Stanford class including nine consensus four-star players. Stanford's 2010 class also included several consensus four-star players.
Stanford's 2010 Orange Bowl wining season was the peak of Coach Harbaugh's time on the Farm (they finished the year ranked No. 4), and I wondered how much the 2009 class and the 2010 class were responsible for Stanford's success that year. Did the lowly-ranked 2007 and 2008 classes create a decent foundation for the program with Stanford only making the jump to elite status once the cavalry arrived in the form of 2009's and 2010's highly-ranked players?
The answer to my question, to a surprising extent (to me anyway), was no. The starting line-up for Stanford in 2010 (the starters for the Cal game, anyway), which I list below, included only four four-star players (I bolded their names). Seven spots in the starting line up, meanwhile, were filled by players who were either two-star recruits or unranked at the time they entered college (I underlined their names).
QB – Andrew Luck – R/Soph – **** (0.9768)
RB – Stepfan Taylor – Soph – **** (.8961)
FB – Owen Marecic – Senior – ** (0.7745)
LT – Jonathan Martin – R/Soph – *** (0.8620)
LG – Andrew Phillips – R/Senior – *** (0.8264)(inherited from prior staff)
C – Chase Beeler – R/Senior – *** (0.8558)(transfer from Oklahoma)
RG – David DeCastro – R/Soph – *** (0.8847)
RT – Derek Hall – R/Senior – *** (0.8333)(inherited from prior staff)
WR – Ryan Whalen – Senior – walk-on, seemingly no recruiting ranking/stars
WR – Doug Baldwin – Senior – ** (0.7778)
TE – Konrad Reuland – R/Senior – **** (0.9780)(transfer from Notre Dame)
DE – Matt Masifilo – R/Junior – *** (0.8889
NT – Sione Fua – Senior - *** (0.8778)
DE – Brian Bulcke – R/Senior – ** (no 247 ranking)(inherited from prior staff)
ILB – Owen Marecic – Senior – ** (0.7745)
ILB – Shayne Skov – Soph - **** (0.9514)
OLB – Chase Thomas – R/Soph – *** (0.8641)
OLB – Thomas Keiser – R/Junior – ** (0.7444)
CB – Richard Sherman – R/Senior – *** (0.8389)(inherited from prior staff)
CB – Johnson Bademosi – Junior – ** (0.7333)
SS – Delano Howell – Junior – *** (0.8877)
FS – Michael Thomas – Junior – *** (0.8484)
Starting line ups don't tell the whole story of a season, of course, so l looked at other contributing players, which I defined as anyone with 100 or more yards rushing, anyone with 100 or more yards receiving, anyone with 20 or more tackles, and the second team offensive line (note that second team center was a “Player X or Player Y” situation). This group included three four-star recruits and four players who were either two-star recruits or unranked as they entered Stanford.
RB – Anthony Wilkerson – **** (.9378)
RB – Tyler Gaffney – Soph – **** (.8955)
RB – Usua Amanam – R/Fresh –*** (0.8742)
QB – Alex Loukas – R/Junior – *** (.8241)
RB – Jeremy Stewart – Senior - *** (0.8000)
TE – Coby Fleener – R/Junior – *** (0.8333)
WR – Griff Whalen – Junior – walk-on, seemingly no recruiting ranking/stars
TE – Zach Ertz – R/Fresh – **** 0.9090
WR – Chris Owusu – Junior – *** (0.8708)
SS – Taylor Skaufel – Senior – ** (0.7852)
ILB – Max Bergen – R/Junior –** (.7444)
LB – Chike Amajoyi – Senior –*** (0.8294 )
LT – Tyler Mabry – R/Junior – *** (0.8368)
LG – Matt Bentler – R/Junior – ** (0.7889)
C – Sam Schwartzstein – R/Soph - *** (0.8273)
C – Kahlil Wilkes – R/Fresh - *** (.8620)
RG – Kevin Danser – R/Fresh - *** (.8600)
RT – James McGillicuddy – 6th/Senior - *** (.8667)(inherited from prior staff)
Summary: Coach Harbaugh took Stanford to the No. 4 ranking in the country with seven four-star players, eleven two-star/unranked players, and a host of three-star guys making up the bulk of his team. Two-star/unranked players outnumbered four-star players in the starting lineup by seven to four...Note: I'm treating Owen Marecic as two players here, because he started on both offense and defense.
A brief editorial: Finishing No. 4 in the country with a team that is more two-star than four-star is pretty remarkable in my eyes. I'm inclined to give Coach Harbaugh total trust when it comes to recruiting right now. He's earned it.
A final, somewhat tangential thought: I can imagine someone saying, "But he had Andrew Luck!" And there was undeniably a certain amount of fortune in that. But it's worth noting that Luck's offers before Stanford offered him were Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas, Nebraska, Purdue, Northwestern, Duke, and Houston.*1 Alabama would later offer Luck, but coaches like Bob Stoops, Mack Brown, Pete Carroll, and Les Miles apparently never did.
Luck was admittedly an unusual recruit. At one point he named a top five of Stanford, Purdue, Northwestern, Virginia, and Rice. It accordingly didn't take much to see that he was among the best chances a school like Stanford had to land a four-star quarterback. But Harbuagh still had to understand that Luck was worth the four-star hype and worthy of going "all in" for, which is how Luck's high school coach described Stanford's approach to their recruitment of Luck. *2 My conclusion about Luck, then, is that it's not fair to assert that Coach Harbaugh papered over the flaws in his two and three star team with an all-everything player at QB who was obviously going to be an All-American. Unlike Terrelle Pryor, for example, Luck simply wasn't considered that when he was in high school, and at least some insight was required in picking him as your potential future quarterback.
The Washington Post just reviewed the widely reported study of a think tank (AEI), which dismantled the NFL's Wells report. AEI showed that the Pats balls were not abnormally deflated. That had already noted by many reputable scientists. What’s new about the Washington Post’s take, however, is that it comes out and says what many of us who've read the AEI report were too polite to say. The Post provides a scathing—almost directly accusatory-- rebuke of the Wells reports' analysts and of the NFL itself.
Why? When AEI reanalyzed the data, “The math in the Wells report didn’t add up….the results could not be replicated.... What’s worse, is the methods it used were not the ones it said it used. “The Wells report said it would use one equation, but then used a different (and weird) equation to arrive at its numbers (see my summary of the details below).*
It’s a standard principle in science: If you can’t replicate a set of results, then …a flaw or a fraud is at work. Either you made a mistake, or you made it up. Another plain English phrase possibly applies to all of this:
….”Lately the NFL has begun turning these special counsel investigations into manipulated campaigns calculated to enhance the commissioner’s profile and powers.
And they seem to be written to fit predetermined conclusions.”
(a not surprising fact given that the analysts it paid had previously written reports to help industries dispute links between cancer and 3 known causes of it: asbestos, toxic waste and cigarette smoke.)
According to the Washington Post, The AEI’s re-analysis of the Wells report supports the NFL Players Association’s charge that the Wells report “delivered exactly what the client wanted. It ….wasn’t an investigation; it was a frame job by the commissioner’s office desperate to reestablish its authority.”
“Twice now Goodell has ginned up false scandals that seriously and unfairly targeted individual players, and damaged franchises, on what turned out to be bogus or flawed evidence. Forget his bungled handling of Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice — at least those guys actually did something wrong. In the Deflategate and Bountygate affairs, Goodell hammered people who appear to have done nothing.” (even if they were apparently paid to do it in Bountygate)
Recall that the NFL also enabled Brady and the Pats to be convicted in the court of public opinion through daily leaks of false information about ball pressures, switched kicking balls, trips the john, and other incidents. Meanwhile, it withheld for over a month the true data, which could refute not only the data inaccuracies but also the faulty analyses)
The Post continues: “The AEI’s entry into Deflategate is important, because the institute was a major factor in righting the Goodell-driven injustice in Bountygate back in 2012. The Commissioner went all hanging judge on the New Orleans Saints, suspending several officials and players for a supposed bonuses system to injure opponents between 2009-2011. But then AEI analyzed injury data — something that surely the commissioner should have done. The AEI found that the Saints injured fewer opposing players than all but two teams in 2009 and all but one from 2009-11. After AEI’s report was presented at an NFL hearing, the suspensions were vacated……
Goodell is now in a truly interesting and awkward position. …Does Goodell stand by the conclusions of the Wells report, dig in and refuse to budge — thus establishing that he’s incapable of fairly considering evidence and is a serial abuser of his powers? Does he try to parse and sidestep the AEI analysis, by claiming that the scientific evidence is just a small part of the case against Brady? Trouble with that is, more than half of the Wells report’s 243 pages is taken up by pressure gauges and pounds-per-square-inch analysis – all of which must be thrown out according to AEI. If the balls weren’t deflated, then what’s left? One e-mail exchange, in which Brady complained that some game balls against the New York Jets were ludicrously overinflated. Is this evidence of ill intent? Hardly. Brady’s solution to the over-inflation was to suggest the refs check the rulebook. Not the act of a cheater.
Or does Goodell do the right thing and rescind Brady’s suspension on the basis of the new info in the AEI report — thus admitting that the league spent millions on a railroading farce? There is trouble for Goodell in this option too, because it suggests that the league office under Goodell’s leadership is either incapable of executing a proper investigation, or unwilling to….Brady may or may not win his appeal. But there is one sure loser here, trapped in a box of his own making: the commissioner.”
*you can read the AEI report link below. Among the Wells reports’ questionable practices:
1. it claimed to include a mean term in the statistical model (ANOVA) as well as a second error term and other interaction effects, But it actually did not use this model to obtain the reported results.
2. The authors also give the impression of running a regression using all the data but instead used a series of individual regressions.
3. They falsely claim that substituting different pressure gauges’ results in the analysis yielded the same results.
4. The halftime measures suggest the two referees switched gauges between testing the Pats and Colts balls, and this is not noted in the report. (the two gauges different by as much a 0.7 PSI, about half the degree of deflation claimed).
5. In their statistical analysis, the Wells study only compared the pressure changes in the Pats balls with the Colts balls, not with the expected pressure changes based on atmospherics. This not only invalidated the statistical assumptions (since similar changes from pregame to halftime measures will occur due to atmospheric conditions, leading to correlated error terms in an incompletely specified model). Beyond merely changing confidence in the statistical significance of results, however, it also made the results completely misleading. To show this, AEI does a separate and study of atmospherics (the relation of the ball’s pressure to temperature and other factors). When the latter are analyzed, the Patriots balls do not significantly deviate from the prediction of the Ideal Gas Law in the direction that one would expect based on the Wells report’s conclusions. By contrast, the Colts halftime pressures were higher than predicted, implying less deflation occurred than actually should have been the case. That was because the balls were given more time to warm up and were not measured until just before the halftime ended.
The AEI’s analysis of this point is incredibly detailed--even to the point of analyzing sequential pressure changes in the measures of the Pats, then the Colts’ balls. It thereby shows how the pressure changes could be explained by the order of measurement of the Pats and Colts balls. It is not consistent with the NFL’s allegations that the Pats deflated the balls. .
ADDENDUM: Summary of the appeal letter sent to the NFL (with expected arguments)
1. Brady was not proven guilty.
The accusation disregards contrary evidence. It’s based on speculation piled upon speculation about Brady’s involvement with two Pats’ employees’ purported conduct. It grasps at dubious, contradictory and mischaracterized circumstantial evidence merely to conclude that it is “more probable than not” that Mr. Brady was “generally aware of” “inappropriate activities.”
(Also, the balls were not abnormally deflated in the first place).
2. Brady's punishment is unfair and inconsistent.
The NFL stipulates a $25,000 fine for a team, not for a player. Yet, Brady suspension would cost him nearly $2,000,000 in unpaid salary for an alleged “general awareness” of actions
(not to mention endorsements lost already from the NFL’s defamatory and inaccurate media leaks, a million dollar Pats’ fine, the loss of 2 draft picks worth more millions, and the consequent threat to the future success of Brady’s teams).
Even if there were one iota of definitive proof of deflation and guilt, no player in the NFL’s history has ever gotten anything approaching this level of investigation or discipline for similar behavior.
(Brady’s initial suspension far exceeds that of Adrian Peterson for child abuse or Ray Rice for knocking his wife unconscious and dragging her out of an elevator by her hair. Also, 2 teams escaped any punishment at all after definite proof that they overinflated kicking footballs).
Never before in history had the NFL even tested football pressure at half time, let alone conducted a sting operation on other players for similar behavior.
(A former Bears QB admitted deflating balls. Colts’ sideline employees were never investigated despite the suspicious actions they accuse the Pats of. Reportedly, they carried under their sleeves the pins that could be used to deflate balls illegally. Other Pats critics like Jerry Rice were never investigated or penalized despite admitting that he applied stickum to his gloves to make it easier to achieve a completion. That’s a clearer advantage for Joe Montana than Brady).
3. Goodel should not arbitrate this case and the Exec VP Vincent should not have determined discipline in the first place.
An independent arbiter is needed due to NFL bias Only Goodel—not Vincent—is supposed to determine discipline. (Such delegation is a ruse to let him control the investigation and avoid embarassment). In fact, a previous independent arbitrator said Troy Vincent was unfamiliar with proper disciplinary procedure and should have no role in it. Also, Vincent cannot be unbiased as he was directly involved in game day events. As such, he must testify about his own involvement in such events. Goodel must too.
(The implicit accusation is that the NFL and Indy set up a “sting operation” to implicate Brady and the Pats. Who was the driving force behind the investigation? Mike Kensil, whose father was the Jets president and who himself worked 20 years for this team—one that has had longstanding legal disputes with the Pats. Kensil reportedly walked up to the Pats equipment manager at halftime and said, “We weighed the balls. You are in big f—ing trouble.” The NFLPA believes this statement not only showed prejudgment but also that Kensil took joy in trying to catch the Pats in the act. To make matters worse, Kensil destroyed the alleged “evidence.” Kensil inspected the footballs at halftime and instead of preserving them as evidence had them reinflated. As such, it was not possible to judge the pressure of all Pats and Colts balls together under the same atmospheric conditions. Remember that the AEI report found that such conditions fully explained the pressure differences).
Also, both Goodel and Vincent must both testify about when they became aware of the Colts’ complaints about ball deflation and what decisions and steps were thereafter taken. Specifically, the NFL had claimed it did not suspect deflation until a ball was intercepted in the game’s 2nd quarter. But there is now written evidence that Indy informed the NFL of their concerns a day earlier. If the Colts had notified the league that the Patriots were breaking the rules, the league is supposed to notify the Patriots about the complaint.
Also, since we now know that league officials were alerted before the game, they must explain why the exact PSI of each ball wasn’t recorded by NFL officials before the game.
(Apparently, the refs were not told of the concern of league officials prior to the game so that an improper sting operation could proceed. The NFL officials’ sting operation proceeded even though refs could have prevented this crucial game from being played with presumably underinflated balls).
The NFL is biased and lacks credibility in this case. Goodel, Vincent, and other NFL officials are themselves suspected of improper behavior. So, Goodel must explain why a neutral party with no ties to the League should not be appointed for Brady to maintain the integrity of the investigation. Goodel previously concluded that one was needed to hear Ray Rice’s case for that
4. In a footnote, the NFLPA letter also says that Brady did not knowingly violate rules or fail to cooperate with the investigation.
(But would any celebrity hand over their cell phones and emails to a biased organization that previously defamed his character through unauthorized and inaccurate news leaks?).
5. If the NFL does not appoint an independent party, the Brady and the NFLPA will sue the NFL.
In-state recruiting doesn’t matter very much. Traverse City, Toledo, Tampa, or Timbuktu - it’s all (more or less) the same once they’re in Ann Arbor. A 4-star from Illinois is just as good as a 4-star from Michigan. John Beilein doesn't care about that imaginary line and neither should our football coach. But locals care about 'turf' and it’s an interesting topic for message boards, radio, etc.
The following numbers reflect Michigan’s historical success at landing elite in-state prospects. Here “Elite” is defined by being ranked in the top 5 in-state (according to 247 composite rankings) AND getting a Michigan offer (per Rivals). Not perfect methodology (it skips guys like Mike Martin, Danny O’Brien, Onewu, and Falcon whose offer lists merit a better rank) and inherently favors Michigan by excluding guys it doesn't bother to offer (e.g., Kyonta Stallworth), but it’s a consistent approach over many years.
- 88% for Lloyd Carr: Lloyd landed almost everyone he wanted from 2002-2006 (15/17). Some lean in-state talent years, so overall numbers are low.
- 77% under 'normal' circumstances: Put on your Maize-colored glasses and scrub away the Rodriguez years, along with the shoulder year on each side (Carr’s I’m-trying-to-retire-here 2007 class and Hoke’s I-just-walked-here-anyone-got-a-jacket? 2011 class). Outside of these dark years, Michigan has landed nearly 4 out of 5 elite in-state prospects.
- 64% for Brady Hoke - Hoke got 9/14 between 2012 and 2014, even as the storm clouds started looming in 2014.
- 57% overall - Michigan’s overall historical success rate between 2002 and 2014. By my count Michigan landed 31 of the top 54 elite prospects that it offered.
- 33% (projected) for Harbaugh* - Our hero's estimated success rate across the 2015 and 2016 classes presumes Michigan gets 1 out of Kareem, Corley, or (flips) Hill. If you're an optimist they can get to 7/9 if Michigan has a great year and flips Hill and Hayes, lands Corley and Kareem, and/or Falcon or Onwenu bump up ahead of Jordan. That'd get Michigan back up to the where we'd like to see things.
- 31% for Rich Rodriguez - While Rodriguez was distracted by pursuits in Florida (actually mostly Ohio, but details...) he only managed to land only 4/13 from 2008-2010.
Perhaps this small sample size snapshot is contributing to some of the overall consternation about recent recruiting and rankings. Michigan fans have been taught to EXPECT getting/keeping 3 out of every 5 elite in-state prospects. MSU, USC, OSU, ND will steal a few, but the majority should stay 'home'. When Michigan's done worse than that (Rodriguez), it's coincided with bad results.
|Year||Success Rate||Hit||Miss||Not offered|
|2002||75%||Gabe Watson, Will Cooper, Carl Tabb||3||Drew Stanton (MSU)||1||Kyle Brown (MSU)|
|2003||80%||Lamar Woodley, Jim Presley, Jake Long, Jerome Jackson||4||Doug Van Dyke (Purdue)||1||None|
|2004||100%||Will Johnson, Alex Mitchell, Morgan Trent, Roger Allison||4||None||0||Justin Hostkins (ND)|
|2005||100%||Kevin Grady, Antonio Bass, Terrance Taylor||3||None||0||Evan Sharpley (ND), Ryan Allison (MSU)|
|2006||100%||Brandon Graham||1||None||0||Jeff Lindsay (Purdue), John Maddox (WVU), Pat Rigan (MSU), Anthoney Bowman (Iowa)|
|2007||20%||Ryan Van Bergen||1||Ronald Johnson (USC), Dionte Allen (FSU), Joe Barksdale (LSU), Darris Sawtelle (Tenn)||4||None|
|2008||40%||Dann O'Neill, Boubacar Cissoko||2||Nick Perry (USC), Jonas Gray (ND), Fred Smith (MSU)||3||None|
|2009||25%||Will Campbell||1||Edwin Baker (MSU), Larry Caper (MSU), Chris Norman (MSU)||3||James Jackson (OSU)|
|2010||25%||Devin Gardner||1||Will Gholson (MSU), Dior Mathis (OR), CJ Olaniyan (PSU)||3||Robert Bolden (PSU)|
|2011||40%||Justice Hayes, Brennen Bayer||2||DeAnthony Arnett (Tenn), Lawrence Thomas (MSU), Anthony Zettel (PSU)||3||None|
|2012||80%||Richardson, Ross, RJS, Norfleet||4||Aaron Burbridge (MSU)||1||None|
|2013||60%||Morris, Dawson, Lewis||3||Steve Elmer (ND), Jon Reschke (MSU)||2||None|
|2014||50%||Harris, Marshall||2||Malik McDowell (MSU), Damon Webb (OSU)||2||Byron Bullough (MSU)|
|2015||50%||Cole, Malzone||2||Mike Weber (OSU), Tyriq Thompson (MSU)||2||Kyonta Stallworth (MSU)|