i find this extremely interesting
Kellen Jones is a linebacker from Houston, Texas, recently highlighted in the Weekly Update post. We got a chance to hear from Jones' coach, now we get a chance to hear from Kellen himself on where he stands with his recruitment. First, the highlights, then the talking.
TOM: I know that your dad is a big Michigan fan, are you also a fan like he is?
KELLEN: I grew up a Michigan fan through my dad, and he grew up a Michigan fan, so yeah. He was a big fan when Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback for Michigan. He loves the maize and blue, and he passed that on to me. I know The Victors song, and everything.
TOM: So what was it like getting an offer from Michigan then?
KELLEN: Coach Jackson came to visit me this spring, and I was very excited to see him. He said he had a special letter for me as I was just walking off the field, and it was crazy. I have a good relationship with Coach Jackson; it’s definitely a good relationship. We talk all the time, and I just started to talking with Coach Robinson, too. I know all about his resume. He won Super Bowls with the Broncos, and coached at Texas, so that’s great.
TOM: Is that something that impresses you, or something you’re looking into?
KELLEN: Oh yeah, definitely. I want to play for someone that has a good resume, and a lot of experience at my position. I like Coach Robinson’s Super Bowl wins.
TOM: Where have the coaches told you they see you fitting into the system?
KELLEN: They have told me linebacker, in general. They say it will most likely be middle linebacker, but it could be at outside linebacker, and coming off the edge, too. I actually just got off the phone with Coach Jackson, and we’re all going to talk about that more, on where I fit in.
TOM: Where are you at right now with your recruitment? What are your plans for the summer?
KELLEN: I’ve already visited Arkansas, Missouri, and Colorado. I plan on visiting Michigan in late July, too. I’m definitely coming this summer. I’m interested in Stanford and Purdue, too. Purdue because of their engineering program. I plan on majoring in engineering, so I like that. Michigan is high on my list, because of their academics and history, too.
TOM: When will you be making your decision then?
KELLEN: I plan on making my decision before the season starts. I’m still going to take some official visits, but it won’t have any impact on my decision. I’ll probably just go to some schools that I’ve always wanted to see growing up. I might as well take advantage of that.
TOM: Ok, and lastly, if you could, just give us an idea of what kind of player you are. What are you like on the field?
KELLEN: I’m a very vocal person on the field. I like to take on the leadership role, and I like to be a playmaker. I have a passion for the game, and I love winning. I hate to lose, and don’t ever want to lose. I love to force fumbles, and make plays.
TOM: Ok, well thanks for talking with me, I appreciate it.
KELLEN: Ok, make sure to tell the Michigan fans that my Dad and I say, Hail to the Victors!
Action since last rankings:
6-21-10 Minnesota gains commitment from Quinn Bauducco.
6-22-10 Indiana gains commitment from Jalen Schlachter. Iowa gains commitment from Henry Krieger-Coble. Nebraska gains commitment from Zach Sterup.
6-23-10 Indiana gains commitment from Jay McCants. Iowa gains commitment from Austin Vincent.
6-24-10 Michigan State gains commitment from Paul Lang.
6-25-10 Notre Dame gains commitment from Eilar Hardy.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals and Scout are on the 5-star scale, ESPN is on their numerical rankings. In next week's update, I may convert Rivals to their "RR" rating. Please bear with me (and let me know) if you see any errors in the charts, as adding Nebraska may have screwed with some stuff that I didn't notice.
|#1 Ohio State - 15 Commits|
Buckeyes stay atop the rankings.
|#2 Nebraska - 12 Commits|
The newest member of the Big Ten is quietly putting together the #2 class in the conference.
|#3 Notre Dame - 11 Commits|
Safety help come in the form of Ohio's Eilar Hardy.
|#4 Michigan - 5 Commits|
Michigan manages to stay ahead of the Spartans on virtue of average value per commit. Will they have a QB in the class at this time next week?
|#5 Michigan State - 6 Commits|
Sleeper TE Paul Lang goes green.
|#6 Indiana - 18 Commits|
Hoosiers still paving the way in terms of number of commitments. They also have better quality in commits (two 4-stars?!?!) than they have in the past. I still don't think Taylor will finish ranked this high.
|#7 Iowa - 5 Commits|
Iowa barely hangs on ahead of Purdue on the basis of Rivals and ESPN averages. When both schools' commits are fully ranked, we'll see how it shakes out.
|#8 Purdue - 5 Commits|
No change for Purdue. They're awaiting Rivals rankings for two of their guys.
|#9 Northwestern - 5 Commits|
No change in Evanston.
|#10 Minnesota - 5 Commits|
Minnesota picks up Quinn Bauducco and passes Wisconsin on the basis of his rankings.
|#11 Wisconsin - 4 Commits|
Passed by Minnesota.
|#12 Illinois - 4 Commits|
No change for UI.
|#13 Penn State - 1 Commit|
Penn State still seriously lagging behind. Does that mean a slow start to the season could doom their recruiting class?
In an Unverified Voracity last week, Brian made the case for adding a ninth conference game to the Big Ten schedule, and indicated that a number of schools (including Michigan, apparently) are leaning in favor of it.
A few purported advantages are cited. First, schools find they are having trouble selling tickets to non-conference games against no-name opponents. Second, it reduces the need for protected cross-division rivalry games. And third, it reduces the advantage of any scheduling disparities.
Although not mentioned by Brian, another factor is that it keeps more revenue in the league. Every time a Big Ten team visits a non-Big Ten stadium, the conference does not get the benefit of television or gate revenue from that game.
These advantages seem to me over-stated. If games against low-quality opponents don't sell, don't schedule them! Nothing prevents the Big Ten from adopting a conference-wide policy limiting or eliminating games against mid-major, FCS, and Division II opponents.
Protected cross-division rivalry games are not needed, because the current Big Ten scheduling formula protects only two games per school. In a six-team division, you'd have five rivals you're guaranteed to face every year. If the Big Ten can manage with just two protected rivalries per team, as it has done, surely it can manage with five.
I do agree that a nine-game schedule reduces—though it does not eliminate—the possibility of a team winning its division without having faced one of the major powers in the other division. But it introduces disparity of a different kind, since teams would play an unequal number of home and road games.
There are other significant disadvantages to a ninth conference game. Mediocre programs rely on weak non-conference schedules to reach bowl eligibility. Whatever you may think of the value of a bowl game featuring two 6-6 teams, the fact is that such games exist, somebody is invited to play in them, and the payout is shared by the whole conference.
Replace a patsy with credible opposition, and the Big Ten can probably count on some teams not making a bowl, that otherwise would have. This, in turn, would increase the pressure on athletic directors to avoid scheduling serious non-conference opponents, since there would now be only three games under their control, instead of four.
Bear in mind that about half the conference has an annual rivalry with a non-Big Ten BCS-level opponent. Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue all play Notre Dame; Iowa plays Iowa State; Illinois plays Missouri. It's too soon to tell which, if any, of its rivalry games Nebraska will choose to retain, but chances are there will be at least one.
As a practical matter, then, teams like Michigan would be down to just two discretionary games per year. Over the long term, that's less exciting for fans, as you lose the opportunity to see unfamiliar opponents coming into Michigan Stadium. With ten games a year locked in against BCS-level opposition, Michigan fans might never see a serious non-conference opponent again, aside from Notre Dame.
From a strictly parochial standpoint,when Michigan doesn't schedule home-and-home series against better opponents, it can schedule one-and-dones that don't demand a return game, and play a total of eight games at home to four on the road. The Wolverines had that advantage last year, and will again in 2011. That's harder to do when you're locked into nine conference games.
Incidentally, a number of Big Ten teams already have a full four-game slate of non-conference games scheduled in 2011. I doubt that schools will want to pay cancellation fees, so 2012 is probably the earliest this could be done, if it is done at all.
College football scheduling has become a farce, because the existing system does not sufficiently reward a tough schedule. The rankings penalty for playing a highly-ranked opponent, and losing, is far worse than the penalty for playing Delaware State, and winning. Rankings value wins (no matter against whom) far more than they credit excellence in defeat. This is a problem the Big Ten can't solve on its own.
But I strongly suspect that if the Big Ten goes to a nine-game conference schedule, it will simply increase the incentive for athletic directors to schedule meaningless games early in the season. In the aggregate, Big Ten schedules would become a lot more boring. That's not what we need.
I have quite a bit of info, and I'm going to be out of pocket for the next couple days, so here's the weekly update.
6'1", 209 lbs.
Kellen has made it public that he is very high on Michigan, and his father is a huge fan of the Wolverines, as well. Jones' father grew up in the midwest, which is likely where his fandom stems from. I had the chance to speak with the head coach at St. Pius X, Coach Kimball, about Kellen. Here's a few notables from our convo.
Kellen's one of those kids you dream about as a coach. He has a relentless work ethic, he's a go getter, and a leader. We issued equipment on the first day, and Kellen got dressed up in full pads, greeted everyone at the door, and asked them if they were ready. We think, instead of comparing him to someone else, he might be the next Kellen Jones.
Coach Kimball told me that some people see him as a middle linebacker, some as an outside linebacker. Either way, everyone agrees he's going to have a nice career at the next level. His coach had this to say about his recruitment.
Kellen originally wanted to commit before the season, but the offers started to come in, more and more, so we decided that it would be in the middle of the season. He's going to try to make it up to Michigan, but we're not sure when.
When asked about Michigan's chances, his coach said they have a very good shot, and that Kellen is taking a very hard look at the Wolverines. Jones also has a pretty exciting highlight video:
5'11", 182 lbs.
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Jarrett is a four star corner, with a nice offer sheet that has been considering Michigan for awhile now. I asked him how his recruitment was coming along, and he had some positive developments in the near future for Michigan.
I'm going to be narrowing down my list in about two weeks. I'm going to get it down to about 8 or 9 schools.
I then asked if Michigan would be on that narrowed down list, and he had this to say.
Heck yeah! They already have two defensive backs in this class, but I'm definitely considering them. They're still recruiting me pretty hard, too.
It looks like Michigan is still on the search for defensive backs, and they happen to be in good position with a few.
5'11", 184 lbs.
Avery is a big hitting safety, out of Georgia that recently took a visit up to Michigan with his mother, who happens to be a Buckeye alum. Walls got a chance to check out Michigan, and then head north to look at MSU as well. As you can see by his picture, he would have no trouble remembering Michigan's mascot, if he were to choose them. I spoke with Wall's head coach, who is new to the program, but already had a good feel for Avery as a player.
I coached against Avery last year, we played against him. He's a physical football player who loves to hit. He's generally always around the football, too, he's got great ball skills. I was really impressed by how he moves around the field, too.
While he had good things to say about his trip to Michigan, don't get too excited yet. As I just said, Walls' mother is an OSU alum, and he grew up a fan of the Buckeyes, too. Ohio State hasn't offered yet, but if they do, I would imagine they would lead. His coach tells me he's wide open at this point, and will be trying to figure out where his 5 official visits will take place.
6'5", 258 lbs.
Andre is seemingly down to USC, Oregon, and Michigan as his top choices. He has taken and unofficial visit to USC, and you can now add Oregon to that list, as well. He took a trip up to Eugene, since his dad lives very close to campus. He had this to say about his experience.
It was pretty crazy up there. Their facilities are awesome, I can't really tell you one part that stuck out, it was all great. They're actually planning on building a six story, 80,000 square foot football building that will have coaches offices, players lounge, and will look over the city. They want it to look like a fortress.
Phil Knight is possibly crazy and a genius all at once. Unfortunately this visit leaves Michigan on the outside looking in, as far as the first hand experience for Andre. It's my assumption that the time between these visits and when he'll make it up to Michigan is possibly hurting Michigan's chances. The fact that they are also on the outside looking in, as far as distance doesn't help either. We won't know anything until he visits, but I'm thinking this is starting to fade.
6'6", 315 lbs.
As I told you in this update, Tony was coming up to Michigan for camp, with one of his coaches. He did just that. I spoke with him today about his trip, and although our conversation was brief, he had some great things to say.
The trip was wonderful. It was a thousand times better than what I expected. This puts Michigan in the lead, for sure.
This is great news, especially since we got him on campus. One of the major hurdles is out of the way. I am still a little worried about if Florida offers, and how that will change things. We'll see how this plays out, and if they decide to offer. Posada plans on taking a few more visits, and then hopefully making his decision.
6'2", 213 lbs.
Have you heard enough about him yet? As I'm sure you've all read, Kevin was offered, and already has his flight booked up to Ann Arbor this Tuesday.
The reason I'm including him on this update is for a few reasons. One, I wanted to make sure everyone knew he is coming up with Coach Paradiso, his high school coach. Paradiso has been on all of Kevin's trips with him, and he's the one that is closest with Kevin, helps him with his recruitment, etc. The other reason is because Kevin gave me a timeline of when he expects to decide. This is what he said about a possible commitment.
I don't think I'll commit while I'm there, because I'd like to at least discuss it with Coach Paradiso. But, I could make the decision as early as the plane ride back, or the latest by July 4th.
It sounds like Kevin won't jump the gun while he's at Michigan, while he did still leave open the potential for that. He trusts Coach Paradiso to help him, and wants to discuss it with him. Whether that happens on the plane ride home, or by the 4th of July, I would very much expect him to pick Michigan.
- Unfortunately, it looks like S Ron Tanner, from Ohio, will be committing to Ohio State soon. I haven't confirmed that with him, but I was told by a reliable source to be the case.
QB Kevin Sousa, from Lake Nona High School, has an offer from Michigan. Kevin's coach just called, and said Rich Rodriguez just called him to let him know that Kevin has an offer. As I wrote a week ago, Kevin was told this offer would be coming. Kevin's interest in Michigan is very high, and his coaches feel the same way. His coach told me their plans for Kevin, and they might move quickly.
We're going to try to get him up there in the next week. It will most likely be Tuesday. We just want him to see everything up there, and make sure that it's something that he likes. Michigan is really high for him, and us. My advice to him was, with Michigan, they're the whole package. The offense they run, the prestige of the school, and he'd have a chance to grow as a quarterback, since he's so new to football. I told him that playing two years at Michigan is a successful career.
Sousa could possibly be up to Michigan this coming Tuesday, and it sounds like there could even possibly be a decision that would come shortly after.
We don't want to say too much, yet. I don't want to speak on behalf of Kevin, but there's a possibility that he could commit while we're there. We're not going there for no reason, that's for sure. I don't want to say he will for sure, but there's a possibility.
So, it sounds like we might be on commit watch for Michigan's next quarterback commitment.
**UPDATE** - Kevin sent me a message, and they have their flight booked. He and his coach are flying up around noon on Tuesday, and flying back the same night. We are officially on commit watch.
Hello everyone, Six Zero back with a very special installment of:
SIX QUESTIONS WITH WOLVERINE HISTORIAN
Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog. Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.
Some journalists are like deer hunters, stalking and begging their elusive prey
for even years before finally hitting paydirt. Others, it seems, are just lucky,
and inexplicably have those home run interviews fall into their lap without
any rhyme or reason as to why.
So then, if you are to consider me anything close to a journalist, please feel free to consider me one of the lucky ones today. Gentlemen, and ladies, it is my distinct pleasure to offer you this exclusive MGoProfile of the preeminent filmmaker
of the Michigan fanbase. Yes-- Please welcome Wolverine Historian!!
1. The one and only Wolverine Historian, maker of over 280 moments and three years of pure Michigan cinematic awesomeness. Tell us the story of how your legendary work came to be-- what was your first movie, what motivated you to create it, and did you ever think it would have exploded to become what it is today?
ESPN Classic started featuring old college football games in the late 90’s and at the time, I thought it was a great idea. I started tuning in to the station all the time just hoping they would feature old Michigan games. As time passed, I discovered that showing old Michigan football games was very common on Classic. But 70% of the games featured were losses. And these weren’t just any losses. These were the most heartbreaking, bone chilling, vomit-inducing, pull your hair out and scream kind of losses. They showed Kordell Stewart throwing that Hail-Mary so many times I’m surprised they didn’t wear out the footage. The same went for those two kickoff returns by Rocket Ismail. As the years passed, it just got worse and worse. One day, I added up all of the UM games I had ever seen on Classic just to see what our record was on that station and I found out we were a whopping 34 games below .500. Not exactly a balanced and fair representation for the winningest program in college football history. At that point, I washed my hands of Classic forever and hoped that I could someday repair the psychological damage that station had done to my fellow Wolverine fans.
YouTube exploded around 2006. Once I discovered it, I went looking through YouTube and found out there wasn’t many Michigan football related videos on there at the time and that disappointed me. I knew I had a ton of games on VHS tapes stored away so I thought I would try to learn how to make highlight videos myself and start an account. (It was very confusing at first. I am by no means a computer whiz). Once I eventually got the account going, I decided to make victories the obvious center point. No losses were allowed, not that I keep them anyway. And the rest is history. Even though my channel is just a YouTube account, I still like to think of it as the anti-ESPN Classic.
The first video I uploaded to my account was a portion of the ‘Big Ten Ticket’ from 1997 where Don Shane of Channel 7 news in Detroit and Bo Schembechler previewed the Penn State game in Happy Valley. There was no real motivation behind making that the first video. I just happened to be watching it shortly before.
The channel “exploding” is just what I hoped would happen for the fans. I wanted to create a place where Wolverine fans could watch memorable football moments and be happy. That was my main intent and it worked. But there have been extra bonuses along the way. I’ve been contacted by a few former players (Billy Taylor, Alfie Burch, Tony Henderson, Rasheed Simmons and Woodrow Hankins) who have shown appreciation for the videos. I had a long retired Michigan alum (class of 1948) from down in Florida send me a thank you note for uploading the ‘48 Rose Bowl because he never knew the footage existed. I’ve received compliments from fans of Oklahoma, Alabama, Virginia, Florida and Texas who would like to start their own ‘Historian’ accounts. And I am proud to say that I am despised in Ohio. One of my closest friends got transferred to Columbus last year for work and she called me up one night to tell me how often she hears of fellow residents complaining about that WolverineHistorian jerk on YouTube. According to them, Michigan fans don’t deserve such a resource. Hearing stories like that are the gifts that keep on giving.
2. Sir, you make us all wish to be more “despised in Ohio.” Your videos span the entire history of Michigan football, and basketball as well. Where do you get all of this footage from in the first place? How is a typical Michigan Historian video created, and how long does it take to pull a finished piece out of the fire?
I started taping games here and there in 1996. Any victories would just be saved and throw in to a bin which I could go back and watch whenever I needed a football fix. Eventually, I wanted to start collecting games from the Moeller years, the Schembechler years and before so I went online and found many Michigan contacts who could hook me up or trade games with me. Ten years later, I’m still doing that.
A typical Historian video is created through the “magic” of Windows Movie Maker. I have a VCR/DVD player connected to my computer which is how I transfer the footage. When I want to upload a game, I copy the necessary plays from a scoring drive - as well as the often retro introductions and endings - I splice them together on to one file which is then ready to be uploaded to YouTube. Copying all the plays is the most time consuming, especially for the extra special games like rivalry and bowl victories that I want to split into parts. That process alone can take over an hour which is why making a video is not always a one day project. The actual uploading of a 10 minute video usually takes around 25 minutes.
Wangler to Carter. Hello Heisman. Bo singing the Victors. In your expert opinion, what is the single most iconic video clip of Michigan football?
There have been many, many memorable moments over the years. But I think Wangler to Carter from Homecoming 1979 is probably the most iconic video clip of Michigan football. I was born 4 months after that game was played so I obviously have no personal memories of it. But the video speaks for itself. One last play, Carter dancing into the end zone, the crowd going insane, Bo jumping up and down, Bob Ufer screaming, “Oh my GOD!!! Carter scored!!!” and Lee Corso having a stroke on the Indiana sideline. There is nothing that is not perfect about that clip. I could watch it a million times and never get tired of it. If I had a time machine, I would go back to this game just so I could be a part of the atmosphere on that last play.
3. Despite your own shout-out to MGoBlog, your own YouTube channel has certainly gathered some steam as a legitimate Michigan web site, with a healthy, growing fan base to boot. Where do you see the Wolverine Historian brand going in the future?
I like the thought of my channel being a legitimate Michigan web site. Although, with only 1,815 subscribers, that might not be accurate exactly. But regardless of what is considered truly legitimate, it’s good to see the other M football sites on the internet linked to my channel.
Despite the fact that we have the most televised football team in college football history, some day I’m going to run out of games to upload. When that day comes, I’ll be fine with “retirement,” and just keeping my channel up for the fans. I could always continue doing current games but they won’t be as good as others picture quality wise since I don’t have an HD TV. And yes, I know it’s pretty lame that in the year 2010, I still use a VCR to tape games. But it gets the job done.
Of course it does… and it’s not like the video quality of a game from 1975 would look any better in hi-def anway. Pouring over all that game film must reveal some insight into the program as a whole over so many years. What do you see (besides losing, hrmph) that makes the Rodriguez-era Wolverines so different than previous incarnations?
The Rodriguez-era has been like nothing I have ever seen before and unfortunately, that includes many losses. I never thought I’d be seeing Michigan run a spread offense, yet here we are. The current era also makes me miss the days where we had stifling defenses. With the exception of a few obvious years, that became a major problem during the Lloyd Carr era and it’s looked even worse during RichRod’s first two seasons. I just hate the thought of knowing that you have to hope your offense will win you games because the defense won’t be of any help. That’s not the way football should be.
Other than the wins/losses, the Rodriguez-era Wolverines just have a very modern feel to them. Besides running the spread, we have the player introductions and pump up videos (which is nice) and piped in music at the Big House (which is not so nice.) It’s all a matter of taste. To me, less is more like in the old days. I don’t need Michigan football to be flashy. I just want us to start winning again. And if we do, I’m sure I will have an easier time embracing the Rodriguez-era.
4. When you’re not creating the best darn Michigan content on Youtube, what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
I’ve always considered myself a laid back kind of guy. That sounds better than outright calling myself lazy which is what I tend to be sometimes. But my favorite type of free time involves a quiet evening just hanging out with my friends for dinner, a movie or just chilling with them in front of the TV. The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park are almost always can’t miss shows when I’m with them or alone.
During the Spring and Summer, I force myself to be more active. I often go for walks in the evening if I have the time and shoot hoops at the park. I like to bowl and play tennis even though I’m pretty mediocre at both. I like to watch Pistons, Red Wings and Tiger games with my dad. I’ve never been to a game at Comerica Park and I’m going to try to get out there for a game sometime in July.
And, to continue in the spirit of learning more about the man behind the lens, describe the perfect meal.
I am a very meat and potatoes kind of guy…literally. I’m happiest with a steak cooked medium well, seasoned mashed potatoes and/or French fries, bread and a
coca-cola. Outback Steakhouse is one of my favorite restaurants but I have several family members who can grill a mean steak as well. And that works out fine for me since I can’t cook to save my life. For dessert, nothing beats a homemade vanilla cheesecake with fresh strawberries. That’s been my favorite dessert since I was a kid. My tastes are not very original, obviously. But that’s the perfect meal for me.
I wish I had a favorite original game day tailgate menu but I don’t. And that’s mostly because I’ve never tailgated before. Ever. I’ve been to many games at the Big House over the years but I’ve never once tailgated. I hope to do that one day and finally feel the full game day experience, food and all.
5. So you’re not in it just for the food. Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
Other than the fact that I just have good taste? Sure. As a little kid, I became a Michigan fan because my side of the family were Michigan fans. My cousin’s side of the family were State fans. Thank GOD I was born on the right side. My parents took my sister and I to my first ever game in 1985 against Indiana. I was 5 years old and I will never forget that feeling of walking inside that stadium for the first time. At that age, 100,000 people looks no different than 1,000,000. That was all I could concentrate on. We won 42-15 that day but I don’t remember a single thing about the game itself. I don’t know who scored all those touchdowns or who made the big defensive plays. All I remember is looking at all the fans sitting around me and being in awe. I’m ashamed to admit it, but at that age, I didn’t care what was going on down on the field because the sport just didn’t interest me. I was too young to truly understand the beauty that is football. (Luckily, I found someone online who has a copy of this game and I should be getting it in the mail next week. I can’t wait to sit down and watch it so, for the first time in 25 years, I’ll know what happened.)
Eventually, as I got a little older and figured out how great football was, I wised up and that’s when the Wolverine Football bug consumed me. Bo Schembechler, Desmond Howard and Tyrone Wheatley just added to that. By the time I was 13, I was officially obsessed. It’s hard to come up with the exact words to explain why I am a Michigan fan. But Bob Wojnowski made a quote many years ago that sums it up better than I ever could have…
“You see it on the helmet, hear it in the song, smell it in the big old stadium. It’s the winged stripe and the high-stepping band and the mingled scents of old cigars and fresh cider. It’s Michigan tradition. You don’t know exactly when it starts or when it ends, but you know it when you see it, feel it, smell it.”
I was already a fan but once I was exposed to all of that, there was no going back.
6. Some of my favorite videos of yours are the player tributes-- the Tom Harmon piece should simply be required viewing for any UM fan, and the Grbac one brought back some great memories as well. So, finally, the staple last question-- who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
It has to be Anthony Carter. I was in my crib when he was making magic in Ann Arbor so I do not have any first-hand memories of him. But I have more than a dozen of his games on DVD, I’ve seen his most memorable highlights, read articles and recaps and I’ve watched every interview with him or about him. He was just a freak of nature any time he got on the football field. He was quick. He played smart. No matter how hard the ball was thrown, he could adjust his body and time it perfectly to make the catch. He could burn defenders with ease in double coverage. A 50+ yard kickoff or punt return for him was common. Having him run a reverse netted at least a 30 yard gain. He was the ultimate weapon and I would have given anything to be able to see him play in person. AC started a new age for Michigan football where, yes, it was O.K. to pass the ball. And many spectacular receivers followed in his footsteps.
I’m glad you love the player tributes, by the way. This summer, I plan on making tributes to Henne, Hart, Manningham, Desmond Howard and updating new ones for Tom Brady and Tyrone Wheatley. Just a heads up for you and anyone else who dig the tributes.
I’m sure you all can relate to that feeling in late July, when you find yourself literally claimed—no, consumed-- by that insatiable hunger for the coming season of Michigan football. For years I remember sitting and playing NCAA impatiently while waiting for Labor Day weekend to finally arrive, when my beloved Wolverines would embark on another quest for a magical year. For a long time I believed
there was no remedy for this ailment.
Of course, Wolverine Historian’s work is that medicine.
I was, admittedly, a bit late to the WH party on Youtube. To my recollection I remember Brian referencing his work for months before finally going over to see what all the fuss was about. And then… satisfaction!! I would often pull up the vids at work, and tuck the window away somewhere beneath some random Photoshop palette, and keep one headphone in my ear to hear Keith Jackson or Musburger
call the heroics of names like Harbaugh, Grbac, Collins and Brady.
And of course, Woodson. I dare you to watch Historian’s classic
97 Dream Season series and not feel compelled to run down the nearest
hallway and jump to touch an imaginary Go Blue banner.
I must admit, my pulse has risen a bit since writing that last paragraph.
When it comes to bringing the glory of the Maize and Blue to the masses, Wolverine Historian is in a league reserved for very few. He’s more Brian than he is us, and yet he’s clearly just a regular dude, and I mean that in as complimentary a way as I possibly can. And as we exorcise the ghosts of the past two years this fall, I am sure he’ll be there every step of the way, recording it all one victory at a time.
I’d like to personally thank the proprietor of this here blog for making this interview possible, and I’ll see you guys next week for another edition of MGoProfile!