This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
I don't know John Gibson, and I have absolutely no insight at all into what happened. His situation is different than others, mostly because he is already drafted, and high. If I was a betting man, I would guess that his NHL team encouraged this move, but that is simply a guess. They may not have "encouraged" it so much as they made it clear which path they would prefer. And when the people who you hope will be paying you millions of dollars in the near future tell you their preference, it can be a strong incentive.
You guys are going to get even more upset when you read my fictional story, which is actually a hybrid of several true stories I've personally experienced (or close friends have). Don't be mad. The OHL is a business, they make money when they lure good players in and win. That is there job. Don't get upset at them for doing their job.
The NCAA has rules in place that make it impossible to compete for a kid who is even slightly leaning towards the OHL. It's like Tyson in his prime fighting Ali in his prime, except Ali has a gun.
First, let me talk you guys off the ledge. I was upset about him leaving for a few reasons:
1. I knew how upset you guys would be. Your, like, my internet buddies, yo.
2. He wasn't just committed, he signed an LOI. He had a lot of time to make his decision, make the goddamn choice BEFORE!
3. Our goalie recruiting is totally messed up now.
Now the part where you back up.
1. If you read my posts in other threads, you may remember that I am not that high on Gibson. He's good, but I don't find him particularly spectacular. How does he compare to Jack Campbell? He doesn't, and it isn't even close.
2. He would have left before making a huge impact. Obviously, he is dead set on making the show. Even if he had enrolled, he probably would have peaced out immediately upon realizing that he could play professionally in the AHL. This would also allow him to get a signing bonus. Roughly, his bonous would have been something in the 200k range, maybe a bit higher. 200k spread over three years: 67k a year + AHL Salary (about 58k) = $122,000 per year before taxes. The same logic of this argument applies to Jack Campbell, and his money would have been even larger. Don't fret over it.
3. We will get another good goalie. I promise. Michigan is the most prestigious hockey program in the country. Furthermore, goaltenders are far and away the most difficult position to project from level to level. It might be better to get a guy ranked 90/100 who stays for all four seasons then to get a 98/100 if he'll leave the first chance he gets.
The Interesting Part
So what the hell happens when a rock-solid college commit bolts for the OHL? Well, I've seen it unfold many times. Here is how it might go from the perspective of the prospect in chronological order:
- You let people know you're committed to College X, all is well.
- You still get drafted to the O, but you don't care, you're a loyal guy.
- You will get multiple phone calls from owners, GM's, scouts, etc. Sorry fellas, I'm going to School X.
- You will get a phone call from a number you don't recognize. This will be the first of many. You'll answer and they will say "Hey, its ****". And you will become amazingly excited because you're speaking to a current NHL superstar who, as coincidence would have it, played for the exact same OHL team that is courting you! He'll talk up the team, coaches, city, and the OHL path in general. He'll act like you're already best friends, and tell you to call him any time and that he'd love to meet you in person. "Come out for a game", he'll say, "I'll leave tickets and dressing room passes for you and your family at will call".
If it's Windsor, you might get a call from Taylor Hall, for Sarnia, Steven Stamkos will do. Get the picture?
- After this, you're still solid to School X, but man was it cool talking to that famous player. Next time the OHL GM calls, you're a bit less hostile than usual.
- Finally, you agree to go with your family to the OHL city to at least hear the coaches out. Its always smart to weigh out your options, right?
- You will arrive in the city and head straight to the arena. WOW! This place is amazing. I could totally see myself playing here! Oh, whats this? It's a bunch of current and former players hanging out in the player's lounge on the PS3. Sweet, they know my name!
- They invite me to hang out at the mall with them. My parents are talking to the coaches so thats cool. We get in one of their cars.
"Nice car, your parents bought you this?"
"Nah, bought this after I signed in the show, pretty sweet eh?
"Pretty sweet is right"
- We get to the mall. These guys are so cool and hilarious. Always joking around. Man, they have a lot of money, look at all the stuff they're buying! Those NHL bonuses must be huge. Everyone at the mall recognizes them and asks for autographs. Must be nice to be a celebrity.
- My parents call, it's dinner time. The boys drop me off at the coaches house. What a house! I've never been to a house this big before, and on the water.
- After an unbelievable waterside BBQ meal, the boys call me back and say they're taking me out on the town. I can borrow a nice shirt, no problem.
- We get to the bar district, everyone is saying things to us as we pass down the sidewalk.
"Boys, take home the championship!" "Beat Team X!" "Great win last week!"
- We get to a bar with a 50 foot line at the door, and I'm underaged. No big deal, the bouncer shakes everyones hand and lets us in. We settle in a booth and the bottles start flowing.
- I start walking around with my new friends. Since when do hot girls I've never met just start flirting with me? That one must have been 25. People I don't know keep buying me drinks, I haven't spent a dime yet, how'd I get so drunk?
- Closing time, one of the guys pays the thousand dollar tab and i follow them out, joining a group of girls I swear weren't this hot 5 drinks ago. Oh well.
Then it happens, the final straw.
- As we're walking back to the hotel, player X grabs my shoulder and says
"Look man, I totally respect that you want to go to college. I seriously considered it too. But you wanna live like this?...come play with us. I got drafted in the first round and they gave me 300 grand. I'll be a millionaire before you start sophomore year."
- Normally I would find this arrogant and rude, but right now I'm tripping out on drinks and ladies in tight skirts. He's right, this is the only way to live.
- So I'll go on for a few more weeks pretending I'm not going to the OHL.
Finally I'll admit to myself what I want to do.
Then I'll spend a few weeks feeling guilty.
Then I'll spend a few more weeks deciding how to break the news.
But eventually, I'll do it.
And then I'll be one of them
...and life will be good.
The story I just told you is a slight exagerration of several experiences. But that is basically how it goes. The story is not meant to tell exactly what happened, but rather the way the prospect would remember it the day after. Also, I'm not trying to glorify the OHL lifestyle, but thats what they'll make it look like when they're courting you.
The map you see below is a compilation of all the players that have been on the U of M roster starting with Bo and ending with RichRod.
There is a lot of information here...but lets start with the Michigan/Ohio region and work our way out to the rest of the country.
Michigan vs Ohio
There has been a lot of discussion on this board about the Great Wall of Tressel, and how he shut down the border. Lets take a look at how our roster was compiled with Michigan and Ohio kids over the past few decades.
A couple of things stick out here...
- During Bo's era 1 out of 4 kids on the team were from Ohio. From Lloyd's tenure and to the present it was 1 out of 10.
- Our presence in Ohio started to decline long before Tressel got there.
- RichRod always caught a lot of flack for not recruiting Michigan players, but he averaged more Michigan players then previous coaches (Yes, I know we are dealing with sample size, and most of his roster was still Lloyd's players.)
Here is a look at some of the raw data I was working with...
Rich Rod's Midwest:
Regional and National Footprint
The graphs you see below break down our roster by Region....
I was pretty amazed to see that 82% of Bo's roster was compiled of MidWest kids. I'll update this or do a Part 2......but it will be interesting to see how Hoke's first class will break down once it's complete. Right now its leaning torwards Bo's percentages.
** note: All data was pulled from http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/football.htm
[Ed-M: I used basically the same database for this year's HTTV article on recruiting Ohio, and ran into a similar problem: walk-ons. Bentley doesn't say who's a scholarship player and who isn't. Also the nature of a 4- to 5-year turnover cycle makes it hard to see what effect a coach is having except by tracking trends, not total % of players. For example, Bo's Ohio recruiting had been trending down for a long time in his later years, so that when Moeller took over it looks like the story is Mo recruited nationally and Bo was a Midwest guy. In truth, Bo took over a team from Bump that had been capping at 80% people from a mitten- or trash can-shaped state. Bo started by scouring Ohio but once his program was established he went all around the country. To wit:
If you break that into trend-lines...
...the conclusions are radically different than the percentages above suggest. Also RR and Mo weren't really there long enough to make any judgments, except the first chart shows a pretty radical growth in Ohio prospecting by RR replacing in-state success of Carr.]
Four star wide receiver Amara Darboh (6'2", 190 lbs, 4 Star) took in Ann Arbor the past few days with his basketball coach. The Iowa prospect wanted to get a better feel for what Ann Arbor had to offer, and also try to gain a level of comfort with the Michigan coaching staff. He's on his way back from his visit now and updated me on how the visit went. I couldn't find much film online, so here's a nice play from him and what he had to say about the trip.
TOM: So tell me how the trip was overall, was it better than you expected?
AMARA: Yeah. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a great visit. I had a great time. We got to meet all the coaches and got a chance to sit down with the AD. Just being in the Big House and the feeling in Ann Arbor, it was great.
TOM: I know you got there Monday and left today [Wednesday], but when did the visit actually start? Did you and your coach see anything on Monday?
AMARA: Yeah, we got there Monday and went over to the Big House. We looked at the new scoreboards and everything. We got a chance to talk to Coach Mallory for a little bit, too. Tuesday we watched some players finish their workout, met some more coaches, and met some players in the locker room. After that we talked to Coach Hoke and I got to hang out with some of the players like Roy Roundtree and [Devin] Gardner.
TOM: You told me your basketball coach is a Michigan fan, too. Was he having fun on the trip?
AMARA: My coach was having a blast. He just kept thanking me for having him come with me, but I kept thanking him. We were in the Big House together and we just kept on saying how small we felt. We were on the field just looking at everything.
TOM: I know you said before the trip that you would probably have some questions once you got up there. Did the coaches answer any of your questions and what were they mainly talking to you about?
AMARA: Yeah, the coaches were telling me how I would fit in to the offense they were bringing in. They answered all my questions really with what they told me. They told me how the offense works and how everything is run there.
TOM: Now that you've gotten a chance to sit down and meet the coaches do you feel comfortable with them?
AMARA: I feel a lot better with them. They all seem like really nice guys and they have a great staff there. This visit helped Michigan a lot, and it also helped with my comfort level, so yeah.
TOM: Since you say it helped Michigan do you think this will help speed along the process at all? Last time you said you would probably take a few official visits and then decide, is that still the case?
AMARA: I think this is going to help speed up the process a little. I still want to take official visits, but there's certain schools now that I know that I fit in with, so it helped that part.
Once the news broke that the NCAA didn't find any new infractions with the Ohio State case naturally everyone turned their thoughts to recruiting. How would this affect any prospects that are considering Ohio State, and more relavent to Michigan how would it affect Kyle Kalis?
There has been some scuttlebutt among Ohio State fans that Kalis would eventually switch back to the Buckeyes despite the fact that a good amount of their fans trashed him on the internet for making the switch in the first place.
Kalis has been saying all along that he is solid to Michigan and won't re think his decision no matter what happens with the sanctions at Ohio State. Today he had this to say about the situation:
Despite all the speculation about the limited sanctions that Ohio State will receive, I've grown to love Michigan too much to ever consider going back. I'm excited to get up there next season and to start what I know is going to be a new chapter in Michigan history, and with the amazing class that my head coach Brady Hoke is putting together.
Pretty strong words for a soon to be high school senior. When I brought the topic up he laughed and said none of it was true. There's always speculation that happens with recruiting, and I never say never but this should reassure Michigan fans on where Kalis stands on his recruitment.
Kalis has also been recruiting for Michigan, and has already started to build friendships with his future fellow classmates.
This weekend will be a big event for Michigan with the BBQ, but there will be a big time visitor before the cook out as well. With limited spots left prospects could start to make decisions depending on what their peers decide to do themselves, so every spot left is on watch. 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 and email me with any tips at [email protected].
6'2", 190 lbs.
West Des Moines, Iowa
Darboh is a four star receiver that has shown interest in Michigan for quite some time, bnut has been unable to make it up to Ann Arbor. That's about to change, as he has finally set up a visit to take in the campus and environment.
I'm going up to Michigan tomorrow [Monday the 25th]. Me and my basketball coach are going. He's a Michigan fan and he was able to give me a ride, so he wanted to go. We're taking off here at 8am on Monday, staying all day Monday, all day Tuesday, and then we might be back for a little bit on Wednesday too.
This is a big visit for both parties since Michigan is currently looking for wide receivers and Darboh hasn't been able to meet most of the coaching staff.
I have met Coach Mallory, but I haven't been up there yet. I'm excited, I don't have any questions right now but I'm sure once I get there I'll have some. I'm just excited to see everything. I've heard a lot of good things from my coaches. I've talked to the Michigan coaches over the phone, but I want to meet them and hopefully meet some of the players too.
As far as where his recruitment stands Darboh says he will likely narrow his list down by the time his season starts.
I thought I'd have a top list already but I'm not going to have it until my season starts. Hopefully when my season starts I'll have it narrowed down to a top five and then just go from there. If I take an official visit somewhere and I feel comfortable and it feels right then I'll just commit there. Right now everything changes every now and then because I haven't seen everywhere yet. I don't want to name a list until I finalize it, but I think Michigan has a good chance to be in the top five. I'll know more about them after my visit.
Amara also holds offers from Florida, Iowa, Iowa State, MSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin among others.
6'7", 320 lbs.
Braden has been committed to Michigan since March, though it seems much longer with all the other commitments Michigan has reeled in since. At the time, little was known about him, but since then Braden made quite a bit of noise at Michigan's camp with his size and performance.
I went up against a lot of good defensive linemen. Towards the end of the camp we were given the option to switch to defense, so I tried that out too. I did get to meet some of the other prospects and we were all kind of getting to know each other more than anything. Right now my height is 6-foot-7 and my weight is 320-pounds. I'm not really focused on a certain weight, just getting stronger and faster and better. That helped this year at the camp, but I still have some things I'm trying to improve on.
Ben is starting to realize that his last year of high school football is upon him, but is just trying to focus on one step at a time.
It's all starting to set in with all the seniors, but I'm just trying to worry about the season. With Michigan my family and I are going to try to get up for a few games. I do want to get up to the night game against Notre Dame.
There have been fans that are concerned with what the final product will look like for Michigan on the field in 2011. They've been wondering how that translates to the recruits, and what their perspective is on how well Michigan does this coming season.
Just from meeting the coaching staff I'm very comfortable with their methods and how they teach technique. The biggest thing that I really love and a huge key to why I committed is the family atmosphere. With Brady Hoke and all the coaches I think this season is going to be great, it's going to be huge. I know that they're going to do great. With recruiting I think it's cool that we have a lot of good athletes that are committing to my class. I know we're all excited to interact and build friendships too.
Braden's size and performance at Michigan's camp, in my mind, don't match up with how he's rated on the recruiting sites. As Tim speculated in last week's Friday Night Lights primer, he should have a shot to move up.
6'2", 186 lbs.
Powe is a four-star receiver that has recently come to the attention of Michigan fans. He has shown interest in Michigan, and says the Wolverines are among his top group.
I'm trying to visit Michigan. I've been talking to Coach Heck about when I should come out there. [In order] Oregon State, Michigan, UCLA, Miami, and Cal are on top right now. I'm trying to wait everything out to see all my choices and narrow everything down.
Powe's teammate and fellow wide receiver Malik Gilmore is currently committed to Oregon State, but also had interest in Michigan at one point. It will be interesting to see how Powe's recruitment plays out. He says that he's a fearless playmaker that isn't scared to go across the middle of the field to make a play.
I posted today that 2011 OL Graham Glasgow switched his preferred walk on commitment from Ohio State to Michigan in mid June. He's a 6'7", 295 lb tackle that has been showing some potential so far. Another walk on OL that seems to be holding his own is Gary Yerden from from Parchment, Michigan. Others have pointed out on the board that Yerden was formerly a weight lifter and broke the dead lift record in high school.
If you somehow missed the visitor list for the Big House BBQ this weekend you can find it here. This should be a big deal for Michigan; there are a few uncommitted prospects at the event and there might be potential for a few things to keep an eye on. We'll see.
2013 QB Shane Morris, 2012 DB Terry Richardson, and TE Ron Thompson are all at the Gridiron Kings event in Florida this week. If you've missed coverage of it you have not been on the internet because it's everywhere. Just in case, here's a link to an article. In that article Tom Luginbill says that if Shane Morris were in the 2012 class he would a top five or six guy in the country.
Action since last rankings:
7-18-11 Minnesota gains commitment from Jack Lynn.
7-19-11 Penn State gains commitment from Skyler Mornhinweg.
7-22-11 Penn State gains commitment from JP Holtz. Indiana gains commitment from Darius Stroud.
7-23-11 Purdue gains commitment from Jimmy Herman.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg|
*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte is not included in Minnesota's average.
On to the full data:
|#1 Michigan - 19 Commits|
No change for the Wolverines. May next week's BBQ recruiting event get the ball rolling again?
|#2 Notre Dame - 12 Commits|
No change for the Irish.
|#3 Ohio State - 11 Commits|
Though NCAA allegations may be scaring off out-of-state recruits, the Buckeyes are putting together a decent class - entirely from Ohio.
|#4 Penn State - 12 Commits|
Nittany Lions pick up a couple new commits. Yes, Mornhinweg is the son of NFL coach Marty.
|#5 Michigan State - 11 Commits|
No change for the Spartans.
|#6 Wisconsin - 8 Commits|
Wisconsin still looking for ratings for a number of their commits.
No change for Northwestern. 24/7's concept of their commit list is... limited.
|#8 Indiana - 13 Commits|
Hoosiers pick up JuCo linebacker Darius Stroud.
|#9 Minnesota - 16 Commits|
Rivals still doesn't include Nick Rallis as a Gopher commit. Jack Lynn has picked Minnesota.
|#10 Nebraska - 5 Commits|
No change for the Huskers' small class.
|#11 Iowa - 6 Commits|
No change for the Hawkeyes - though ESPN is reporting another commit in offensive lineman Ryan Ward.
|#12 Purdue - 8 Commits|
Jimmy Herman is finally a commit according to Rivals. The Boilers pass Illinoi on class size.
No change for the Illini.