These next few weeks will be crucial for the finish of Michigan's recruiting class. This weekend and next weekend will see Michigan hosting lots of talent. Here's a few updates on some of those recruits, a new visitor scheduled, and a current commitment.
6'0", 190 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Michigan was outside of Wayne's top list for a while, and they weren't sure if they would get an official visit from him. He decided that the Wolverines would be included in his top five, which will result in the official. He'll be in Ann Arbor this weekend with his mother to take in the campus.
I'm really just looking for comfort, and I want the coaches to make it clear to me how I'm going to fit into the system. I'm hoping to see a good environment and campus, and how the coaching staff works. I'll also be looking at depth charts, and I know Michigan needs defensive backs.
An important factor in this process will be Wayne's mother, who will be accompanying him on this visit.
My mom is really looking for a lot of the same things that I am. She wants to feel comfortable with the school, and feel comfortable enough to let me go there.
His mother has been on all his trips with him so far and will also be at his final visit to Nebraska. Lyons will be making his announcement at the Army All American game, and Michigan has been making some strides with him. Also visiting this weekend are four star Maryland DB Blake Countess, who Michigan is in good shape for, and current commit DB Delonte Hollowell. I'll update as I hear any more recruits that will be in town.
6'2", 230 lbs.
Dawson had told me a few weeks back that he wasn't as interested in Michigan as some of the other schools in his top seven. He has always maintained that Michigan is in that top seven, but they needed some work to do. They will now get a chance to do that work, as he's decided to schedule a visit to Ann Arbor.
I'm coming up there on January 22nd. Michigan's in my top seven, and I didn't get to go there for a game so I thought I'd come and take a look. I don't really have any leaders right now, but I'm looking for a place that I feel comfortable. I haven't really seen as much of Michigan, so they're still a little behind some others.
As he noted Michigan is behind, but like Lyons a visit is a step in the right direction. Dawson won't be making his decision until signing day, so there's plenty of time to think about it, plenty of time for Michigan to let him know how much they want him. The other schools he lists in his top seven are Tennessee, USC, Florida, Louisville, Kentucky, and Oregon.
6'1", 210 lbs.
Kellen's family is as excited as anyone for him to join the Michigan family. His father is an MGoBlog reader, and wanted me to share a few things with his fellow fans. The pictures below are of Kellen with former Michigan linebacker Jarrett Irons at a family get together, and the second with Coach Rodriguez and former Michigan great Desmond Howard. Below that is a highlight tape from one of Kellen's games a few weeks ago against St. Thomas, where his team won 33-28 (ED: I'm having problems with uploading the video to YouTube. I'll post it when it goes up). Enjoy.
- New Jersey TE Jack Tabb is visiting North Carolina this weekend, and most likely Arkansas on the 10th. He's hoping to have his decision made by Christmas. Michigan has put themselves in good position with Tabb after his official visit.
Last night Denard Robinson was named the 2010 BigTen Offensive Player of the Year. Coaches and members of the media agreed that one of the nation's most explosive players was worthy of the conference's top offensive honor.
Earlier this season I created the Denard Robinson Action Figure, Heisman Trophy Candidate Edition (but not really real, lawyers). I made some modifications to the original artwork to give the action figure a "legendary" feel and to commemorate Denard Robinson's stellar season; the modifications include sepia tone on the cardboard packaging, a platinum football and special edition text.
As happy as I was with the Ohio State wallpaper, after another embarrassing loss in The Game I'd much rather see this on my desktop until the bowl game destination and opponent are announced. Once I know to which sunny location Michigan is headed (and who they'll be facing) I'll get started on a series of wallpapers for the lead-up to the game.
The image below is a preview only. You can get the widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
All of the 2010 Wallpapers
Tim didn't include the full All Big-10 Team for 2010 as voted on by the coaches. Denard is an honorable mention, presumably because only the coaches vote for the whole team while the media also vote on Player of the Year. Congrats to all, including David Molk (1st Team), Roy Roundtree, Jonas Mouton, and Mike Martin (2nd Team), and Steve Shilling (Honorable Mention).
Also, Ryan Kerrigan took home Defensive POY, Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin) was voted Lineman of the Year and his teammate James White is Freshman of the Year.
2010 All-Big Ten Conference Football Team
As selected by CONFERENCE COACHES
|FIRST TEAM||OFFENSE||SECOND TEAM|
|Dan Persa, Northwestern||Quarterback||Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin|
|Mikel Leshoure, Illinois||Running Back||Evan Royster, Penn State|
|Dan Herron, Ohio State||Running Back||John Clay, Wisconsin|
|Tandon Doss, Indiana*||Receiver||Marvin McNutt, Iowa#|
|Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Iowa*||Receiver|
|Dane Sanzenbacher, Ohio State*||Receiver|
|David Molk, Michigan||Center||Mike Brewster, Ohio State|
|Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State||Guard||Julian Vandervelde, Iowa|
|John Moffitt, Wisconsin||Guard||Justin Boren, Ohio State|
|Mike Adams, Ohio State||Tackle||Riley Reiff, Iowa|
|Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin||Tackle||D.J. Young, Michigan State|
|Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin||Tight End||Allen Reisner, Iowa|
|Dan Conroy, Michigan State||Kicker||Derek Dimke, Illinois|
|FIRST TEAM||DEFENSE||SECOND TEAM|
|Adrian Clayborn, Iowa||Line||Corey Liuget, Illinois|
|Cameron Heyward, Ohio State||Line||Karl Klug, Iowa|
|Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue||Line||Mike Martin, Michigan|
|J.J. Watt, Wisconsin||Line||Ollie Ogbu, Penn State|
|Greg Jones, Michigan State||Linebacker||Martez Wilson, Illinois|
|Ross Homan, Ohio State||Linebacker||Jeremiha Hunter, Iowa|
|Brian Rolle, Ohio State||Linebacker||Eric Gordon, Michigan State|
|Shaun Prater, Iowa||Defensive Back||Brett Greenwood, Iowa*|
|Tyler Sash, Iowa||Defensive Back||Johnny Adams, Michigan State*|
|Chimdi Chekwa, Ohio State||Defensive Back||Trenton Robinson, Michigan State*|
|Jermale Hines, Ohio State||Defensive Back||Chris L. Rucker, Michigan State*|
|Defensive Back||Aaron Henry, Wisconsin*|
|Anthony Santella, Illinois||Punter||Aaron Bates, Michigan State|
HONORABLE MENTION: ILLINOIS: Jeff Allen, Nate Bussey, Trulon Henry, Graham Pocic, Tavon Wilson; INDIANA: Damarlo Belcher, James Brewer, Mitch Ewald; IOWA: Christian Ballard, Mike Daniels, Adam Robinson, Ryan Donahue; MICHIGAN: Denard Robinson, Stephen Schilling; MICHIGAN STATE: Edwin Baker, Kirk Cousins, Mark Dell, Joel Foreman, Charlie Gantt, Marcus Hyde, Jerel Worthy; MINNESOTA: D.J. Burris; NORTHWESTERN: Drake Dunsmore, Jeremy Ebert, Brian Peters; OHIO STATE: Devin Barclay, DeVier Posey, Terrelle Pryor, John Simon; PENN STATE: Quinn Barham, Chris Colasanti, D'Anton Lynn, Derek Moye; PURDUE: Ricardo Allen, Dwayne Beckford, Carson Wiggs; WISCONSIN: Montee Ball, Niles Brinkley, Antonio Fenelus, Peter Konz, Bill Nagy, Blake Sorensen, Mike Taylor, Ricky Wagner, Philip Welch, James White, Kevin Zeitler.
|OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:||Denard Robinson, Michigan|
|OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR:||Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin|
|DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:||Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue|
|DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR:||Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue|
|FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:||James White, Wisconsin|
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honorees: Tavon Wilson, ILL; Tyler Replogle, IND; Ricky Stanzi, IOWA; Mark Moundros, MICH; Kirk Cousins, MSU; Jon Hoese, MINN; Corbin Bryant, NU; Bryant Browning, OSU; Brett Brackett, PSU; Ryan Kerrigan, PUR; Scott Tolzien, WIS.
This is my first journal entry. Never thought I'd see a reason to do so. Brian's and company, as well as large portion of the casual/everyday posters had been enough for me. I really didn't then, or probaby, now,have anything that would bring anything new or better written. Now, knowing my opinion is just that, my opinion, I feel compelled to hunt and peck this entry.
Why....why would any sane fan of this great team even entertain the idea of a coaching change? I don't need to recount everything you already know. Plain and simple when we hired R.R we hired a new era. I've watched this TEAM for 40 yrs. I know what a Michigan man is. Michigan men don't say big blue and thet don't whine like buckeyes when for the first time since I was a young boy we don't get our nine wins every season -- nine being a give or take sorta thing. I'm not gonna go research the #'s but i believe I was 12 the last time we didn't make a bowl. Now two years and we're back. But i still hear this whine.
If I could justify any of the numerous reasons, maybe just one, this entry would never be made. I see the same #'s, opinions, polls and content that you do; and as hard as I've tried to stay off the boards I cannot. Michigan is MICHIGAN for a reason. We are truly the leaders and the best. Sometimes "leading" can be painful. When these kid have had a chance...a fair shot at showing their talent and heart, we will have, as you've already seen, the most dynamic point scoring machine this league has ever seen. Denard now with Devin in the wings. What else do you want ? Everyone sans S.S is back. But still this whine.
KIDS who shouldn't even see playing time for two years are thrown into the Big 10 and I hear whine. Are you kidding me ! ? The talent is there and the heart is as big as I've seen. Give these kids a chance, a fair shot. Is a year too much ? Practices before the 28th, the bowl game, off season...We'll have a decent D next year. R.R and company have had nooooo luck. None. I read it in here somewhere; no special teams, no defense and we manage 7-5. If you were told preseason of the injury plague that would be our defense this year; would you have bet on 7-5 ? I wouldn't have.
I know in my heart and soul he needs only 2011 to make his case. By 2012 we'll be a BCS contender. We have the chance to witness something special, Something new and ahead of the curve -- the Big 10 has never seen what they'll see once these guys grow up. You don't think he "fits" or isn't a Michigan man; that's on you. I want to see what I've always seen at the Big House: a team other teams are afraid of. A team that dominates and executes and does it with integrity and class. You think Tress would have suspended a key player prior to this game ?
No more whine. The pain is over you just don't know it yet. "Coaching changes yes....Regime change ? Naw baby naw.....D.B is laughing at all R.R haters and those quick to squeeze the trigger. He know's......I know he knows. But I still had to hunt and peck....and I feel better ;-)
GO BLUUUUUUE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Disclaimer: This is my opinion. And for the record, because the decision to keep or fire Rich Rodriguez is completely out of my hands, I no longer have an opinion on the subject. I trust the people in charge and will go with whatever decision they make. Unlike most of these other diaries, this has no statistics. They just aren't my thing. I warn you, this is long. It is basically my rationale for being rational. Take it for what it is worth... Thanks.
After the Ohio State beatdown, I was angry and wanted RR fired. Sunday I was too angry about the Wiki Leaks guy so I cooled down a little bit. On Monday, after seeing Denard Robinson win the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award, I've cooled down significantly and am looking at things more rationally, but not delusionally by any means.
Rich Rodriguez has done a terrible job coaching this team his first three years. When his WVU DC wasn't coming, he should have kept Ron English because he doesn't know shit about defense and/or the Big Ten. Ron English wasn't the greatest DC, but he was young, had energy and the respect of the kids that we had. RR should have adjusted his offense to Threet's talents, but he either didn't know how or was too stubborn. Then comes Tate, played well but he was a Freshman - what did you expect? Then Denard played flat out amazing but still he was a first year starter (Who won Big Ten OPOY). The defense? Can't honestly say Greg or Shafer are terrible coordinators or RR is a moron for forcing a system and staff upon them (or both). Either way, the entire coaching has failed when it comes to tackling. Every football player needs to know how to tackle with proper form. Offense on turnovers, special teams, and obviously defense. That is a fundamental. RR needs to give up on his defense philosophy and fire his friend Tony Gibson. On special teams, the kicking game is partly RR's fault, but Gibbons was a bust. Hagerup is great. Poor tackling on returns - that is mostly on Tony Gibson and partly on the other coaches for not teaching this fundamental football move. I don't know if they break down special teams film to look at teams blocking schemes on special teams, but uh, it didn't look like it. The injuries in 2010 really hurt, especially on defense and in our run game. Red zone turnovers by a first year starter at QB really killed us in some of those games, too.
It's a real conundrum we are in. Fire him and somewhat start over with a new guy, although I think the transition wouldn't be as bad as 2008 with a coach that isn't as stubborn as RR. Or say that for the first time, we have a returning QB that has proved he is electric. A stable of great WRs and RBs, many who are upperclassmen. Solid OL. Solid incoming recruits. Defense returning from an injury plagued year with many young players that had on the job training and game experience that will have an entire new staff running their own that is actually effective in defending Big Ten offenses (that is a MUST if RR stays). If RR can't handle an autonomous defense, then he is not all in for Michigan and should be fired. You want to build the best program in America right? Then bring in the best Defensive Coordinator and Staff you can find and let them do it their way, the same way you do it with your offense.
I pity David Brandon for having to make this decision. It basically makes or breaks his legacy as an AD. (And could have an impact on his political future, who knows.) Fans, media and former players all calling for the coach's head. Does he succumb to their demands? Does he see what I stated above and say "One More Year?" If he gives him another year and we have great season in 2011, he is a genius. T shirts will be made, "Patience is a virtue? No - David Brandon is patience." If we flop, he is a chump with no credibility.
In 2008 when Rich Rodriguez was hired, there were people who didn't like him. 3-9? More people didn't like him. First NCAA violations in program history? More. 5-7? More. 7-5 with poundings by Big Ten's elite? Even more. And it's hard to argue against those people, it has not been pretty or fun by any means. And then there are the people who stood by the coach no matter what, because he was the Michigan coach. As long as they always pulled for Michigan to win, these groups are the same - just passionate Michigan fans with strong opinions. And today, there is a supposed divide amongst the Michigan faithful. FIRE HIM NOW and WAIT AND SEE. These groups are also one in the same - one views the glass half full, the other half empty. The WAIT AND SEE group is no doubt angry with the way this coach has mismanaged and poorly coached his way into a hole in the job of a lifetime and straight up dragged Michigan through the mud. With all the drama and losing the past couple years, they still ask for patience because they want to see where this thing goes when some stability is involved (minus the defensive coaches =)..) The FIRE HIM NOW group wants to...well..FIRE HIM NOW. And you can't really blame them for feeling this way after the past few seasons. At the same time, as much as they were saddened, angered and frustrated by watching the games we lost, they can't tell me that they weren't thrilled watching Denard Robinson go apeshit on Notre Dame or the defense coming through in 3OT against Illinois. I know you can argue that all the wins, yards and points came against lesser opponents, a back-up QB at ND and vs. UCONN, Bowling Green. You can argue that we played close games against bad teams. (We did, FCS UMASS 42-37 are you kidding me?) You can argue that we were not even close in any of our losses, and that most yards and points came in on clean-up duty defenses. Once again, you are probably right. You don't even have to argue about the defense. However, you can't argue against the fact that our offense has shown flashes of being unstoppable and that the defense was plagued by freak injuries that forced inexperienced players, young and old, to play in games they had no business seeing the field in. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you want the coach to stay for one more year, you should be able to support him and still agree that he has done a horrendous job thus far and excuses about the cupboard being bare aren't applicable anymore. You should demand he stays away from the defense. If you want him fired now, ask yourself this question. If you could turn the page and take a peek as to what 2011 holds for Michigan Football with Rich Rodriguez, would you be curious enough to take a look? If you would, then maybe your mind isn't as made up as you thought it was.
About five weeks ago, I took two polls after the loss to Penn State. The results were not too surprising, but I felt that it would be interesting to see what the board thinks after all of the ANGAR. Well there has been a large amount of ANGAR after the game on Saturday, so I conducted another poll. Admittedly, the loss was probably too fresh in our minds, but I was impatient, and I wanted to see if all of you really wanted to keep this guy. There have been several hundred responses to each survey, and I really appreciate everyone taking the time to do this.
The answer is yes, MGoBoard still wants Rich Rodriguez to coach Michigan again in 2011
After the Penn State game (with the assumption of a 7-5 record), I asked if Michigan should retain Rich Rodriguez as head coach.
|Response:||% of responses|
|I'm not sure||11|
After the game this weekend, the responses were not quite as steadfast in their support of Rodriguez, but there is still a clear majority in favor of retaining Rodriguez. Apparently 7-5 looked better five weeks ago than it does now, and the way that the games were won or lost were probably not exactly what most of us had envisioned at that point, although nobody thought that Michigan would beat Wisconsin (88% thought that Michigan would lose) or Ohio State (85%).
|Response:||% of responses|
|I'm not sure||13|
GERG is not as lucky as Rodriguez however. The responses to asking if Michigan should retain Greg Robinson weren't shocking.
Five weeks ago:
|Response:||% of responses|
|I'm not sure||37|
|Response:||% of responses|
|I'm not sure||12|
I think we're pretty clear on this. Needless to say, MGoBoard wants Greg Robinson to resign, retire, or be fired. I think the consensus is that Rich Rodriguez will need to completely overhaul his defensive coaching staff, starting at the top, make a good hire this time, and give the defensive coordinator free reign in personnel, strategic, and recruiting decisions. Greg Robinson has failed here (and it was not entirely his fault), but we're fed up with the performance on defense and we think it's time for a change.
The other four questions that I asked were pretty consistent in their responses, but yet again, there was less of a clear cut majority. Keep in mind that most of the responses in the previous polls were largely given with the assumption that Michigan would not beat Illinois and finish 6-6.
Has Michigan shown enough improvement in Rich Rodriguez's tenure?
|I'm not sure||14|
Can Michigan eventually succeed under Rodriguez?
|I'm not sure||21||18|
Would Michigan be better off with Rodriguez as head coach in 2011 than without?
|I'm not sure||15|
Take a guess: Will Michigan retain Rich Rodriguez as head coach?
|I'm not sure||5||13|
Well, there you have it. I would agree with the majority who want Rodriguez to have another year (personally I think that a coach should have more than three years to build a program and that it's hard to discount the progress that has occurred from 2008 to now), but I understand some of the perspectives of those who wish to have a change in coaching occur because it has been frustrating to seee the team perform so poorly.
A couple of interesting responses from some seemingly irrelevant questions from the earlier survey:
Question #5: If a coaching change is made, should it be done before or after the bowl game?
- Before – 51%
- After – 37%
- I’m not sure – 12%
Question #8: Would Jim Harbaugh be the best candidate if Rodriguez is fired?
- Yes – 48%
- No – 19%
- I’m not sure – 33%
There isn't really correlation between these two and any other of the questions, so there isn't really much to be gained other than just an answer to my curiosity, I suppose. By the way I don't think that this is a place to start a "'Jim Harbaugh is awesome!' 'No he's not!" flamewar (which are kind of annoying anyways)*
There are countless other threads in which to debate the merits of Jim Harbaugh, and I wonder what the response would be now if I asked the same question, but it is irrelevant because as of now, Rich Rodriguez is our coach and devoting so much time debating the merits of a possible replacement coach if he is fired is potentially pointless.