Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
Massachusetts LB Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs) is on his way home from a visit to Ann Arbor this weekend. He took in the visit with his teammate ATH Armani Reeves and his father who happens to be a Michigan fan. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say about the trip.
TOM: I know you got to Ann Arbor on Friday, so can you take me through what you guys got to see the first day?
CAMREN: First we got right in to the academic meetings, and it was probably one of the best academic meetings I've ever been to. They covered everything, they have internships for the players they can help you with, and they're also starting to give all athletes iPads instead of books which is pretty cool.
TOM: After the academic side did you get a chance to meet with the coaches?
CAMREN: Yeah, we met with my position coach Mark Smith, Coach Hoke, and Coach Mattison. Coach Mattison said he thinks that I would probably grow into a SAM. They kind of run a 5-2 look, so he said I might be able to play WILL too. Coach Hoke talked about where he wants to bring the program. He wants the old Michigan back, and he wants to bring in the type of players that they used to bring in. He wants the excitement from the fans back and he basically just wants Michigan to be back where it was.
TOM: What did you do after meeting with the coaches?
CAMREN: We got a tour of the facilities and the whole campus. The Big House was huge, obviously. It was amazing though, you could tell the fans are right on top of you and it's one of the loudest and the biggest stadiums.
TOM: You did all of that on Friday, so what did you guys do today [Saturday]?
CAMREN: We checked out the opening practice. It was cool, there was a lot of media and alumni there. You could tell they were excited to see how Coach Hoke was going to handle everything. Even though it was the first practice you could tell they were trying to get the tempo high. The defense had to pick up the ball and take it into the endzone every time like they were picking up a fumble.
TOM: You went on this visit with your teammate Armani and your dad, what did they think of the trip?
CAMREN: My dad was amazed. That was the school that has been in my ear since I was born, and I've always worn those colors. He was amazed with everything. Armani, Michigan is one of the few places that you can see the history of the school. You can't really compare a lot of things at Michigan to other places. Like the locker room was incredible, and it was cool to be able to share that with my best friend. He said he definitely wants to see the school again and get back up for another visit. He's going to make his decision in December, but they're definitely up there for him.
TOM: Armani's not deciding until December, but you're deciding in June so what did this visit do for Michigan and how would you rank it from 1-10?
CAMREN: This visit was probably a 10. The visit was huge, it's definitely up there in my favorite schools. I want to make my decision in June, so I definitely want to get back up here for another visit. I really like Coach Hoke, Coach Smith, and Coach Mattison a lot. It's going to be a great place and I'm really interested in looking into Michigan more.
TOM: Wow, was there anything that stuck out to you to make the trip ranked that high?
CAMREN: It was really the little things that added up to one big positive. A lot of the little things that Michigan has and not a lot of other places do are what made me like it. The access some of the players have to certain things, the attention they get, and Coach Mattison being one of the highest paid defensive coordinators in college football is big. He coached all those great players with the Ravens and now he's at Michigan. All of that just made it great.
TOM: So what's next since you're going to be making your decision relatively soon?
CAMREN: I'm really down to Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. This was the first visit and then I'm going to Penn State next week, North Carolina on the 9th, and then Wake Forest that same weekend. I also know that I'm going to be back up to Michigan for another visit too.
Note: this diary has changed quite a bit since it was originally posted. The Michigan win over Notre Dame made a huge difference in their final position, as did the WCHA, CCHA, and Hockey East championships.
Saturday's important results
Michigan 4, Notre Dame 2
BC 5, Merrimack 3
Miami 5, Western 2
North Dakota 3, Denver 2 in OT
Air Force won their conference tournament, so they get the autobid and 16th spot.
UNH has dropped to a #4 seed. Since they stay in Manchester as the host school, and the committee does not want intraconference first round matchups, BC would probably be the #1 in St. Louis. Here is how the brackets should look:
16. Air Force
11. Notre Dame
2. North Dakota
10. Western Michigan
3. Boston College
14. Colorado College
This bracket has no intraconference matchups in the first round. It also limits travel as much as possible, and at least gets a team or two that might draw fans in St. Louis. Merrimack gets placed in Manchester to at least have a team other than UNH that will fill those seats. The original location would have been Michigan and Miami in Manchester, with BC and Merrimack in St. Louis. That seems stupid.
The most likely way for this bracket to change is if the committee decides not to put both Denver and North Dakota in the same region. The Michigan-UNO pairing would get switched with the Denver-Western pairing in that case. I don't think they'll do that, however, because it might absolutely kill the attendance in St. Louis. At least Michigan has the fan base to bring people to St. Louis, and Nebraska-Omaha is within driving distance. Denver and Western probably don't draw people to St. Louis. They could also switch Denver and Merrimack, but that would mean a regional in New Hampshire with three "western" teams, and you could have a lot of empty arenas, which the NCAA abhors. Also, there is more bracket integrity with the above setup.
The only way that this bracket could see substantial change is if the committee bumps UNH up to a 3 seed, switching them with UNO. This would be way against their stated principles, but it would allow them to put BC and UNH in the Manchester regional without playing each other, and have Miami host in St. Louis. Michigan would probably get sent to Manchester in that unlikely scenario.
Selection Sunday is tomorrow at 11:30 am on ESPN2, when we'll find out for real. Go Blue!
Ohio offensive lineman Caleb Stacey (6'4", 275 lbs) made a trip up to Ann Arbor on Thursday with his head coach Kurry Commins. The guard was hoping for a Michigan offer and came away with just that. This was the first time for both he and his coach to take a tour of Michigan's facilities, and both were impressed with what they saw. "It was an outstanding trip. First class all the way, first class facilities, and the people I came in contact with were overwhelmingly amazing," said Coach Commins.
The Oak Hills coach wasn't familiar with Ann Arbor, but there were some familiar faces inside Schembechler hall. "I have a really good relationship with Coach Hoke and Coach Smith, and some members of his staff," Coach Commins said. "I had talked to them about Caleb back when they were at San Diego State. When they moved to Michigan we got them Caleb's film immediately and have been in contact ever since."
That relationship that has already been formed between the coaches will definitely help with Michigan's pursuit of Caleb Stacey. "It's definitely going to play into it. We develop relationships with our players the same way Coach Hoke does. The fact that I think so highly of Coach Hoke helps with how Caleb sees him, too," he said. That won't be the only factor into Caleb's recruitment, but it definitely helps to speed up the relationship forming process.
Caleb reflected those sentiments of his coach and saw what his head coach had told him of the Michigan staff. "[Coach Commins] speaks very highly of Coach Hoke. They both preach the same thing about becoming a better person, and being better in the classroom," said Caleb. "I took Coach Commins word on who they were up there and it was exactly that."
Since it was their first time on campus, Stacey and his coach made sure to check out all aspects of Ann Arbor. "We drove around campus and got a feel for it. It was a good day to go up since it's St. Patrick's day, all the students were outside hanging out," said Stacey. "I got to see the strength coach and basically learn about the tradition at Michigan."
As it usually is, the Big House was a main feature of the visit and it was something that stuck out for Caleb from his trip. "The stadium speaks for itself. I got to go in to the biggest stadium in the country. It's breathtaking to imagine yourself playing in there in front of that many people," he said.
Outside of the stadium it was the people and coaches that made the biggest impact on Caleb. "The tradition up there is great. I definitely felt the tradition from the coaches. They all preach Michigan and that was something that I was really looking for," said Caleb. "The way they have produced offensive linemen and now they're going to let the linemen up front go after it, it really gives you goose bumps."
The visit was described as a great trip by both Caleb and his coach, but he's not ready to name any leaders. Their was also no clear top school going into this process, but Caleb did say this was a big offer for him. "I talked to my coach a few days ago and he asked me what would be an offer that I would really want and I said Michigan so this was pretty big," said Caleb. Stacey plans on taking a trip to West Virginia next and then potentially will come up with a top school list to narrow things down from there. This visit definitely helped Michigan move themselves into position with Stacey.
Though Michigan opened the season at home with a resounding win over Florida, the true home season starts this weekend, as the Wolverines start a string of seven consecutive home games over four weeks. Before getting into those details, let's pick up where last we left the team.
Going undefeated over Spring Break is more the norm than the exception for the Michigan Lacrosse team, but that doesn't mean this year's trip out West was without drama.
Road Trip Recap
Though the University of Oregon has started the season a very disappointing 2-5, they managed to give Michigan a run for their money in Los Angeles a couple weeks back. The Wolverines trailed throughout most of regulation, but managed to stage a comeback to force overtime. In the second OT session, senior Chad Carroll scored the golden goal for Michigan to wrap up a 9-8 win.
The Wolverines atoned for the close call against UO by easily dispatching an overmatched Loyola Marymount squad 12-2 in a true road game. In a low-scoring game, there weren't many offensive standouts, but sophomore Thomas Paras finished with two goals and an assist. This game could have been a much bigger blowout, but the teams were playing slowly on a beaten-up field.
Michigan closed out their spring break trip with a visit to Chapman, one of their biggest rivals in recent years. Though Michigan struggled mightily on faceoffs (which had been a strength through the previous three years of dominance), they were able to make up for it by playing mistake-free ball. The Panthers couldn't reciprocate, and the Wolverines emerged with an 11-8 victory.
After a week back in school, the team traveled to Athens, Ohio on Saturday to open up conference play against Ohio University. The Bobcats are new to the MCLA, but sloppy play from the Wolverines prevented them from getting a blowout victory. Trevor Yealy did manage to score 6 goals in the 15-5 win.
Michigan's home slate gets off to a very tough start as traditional rival BYU will try their luck in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse (Friday at 7PM). The Cougars have started the season 7-0, including an impressive 11-7 win over #6 Colorado this weekend.
Many of the familiar faces from BYU over the past couple years are no longer around. Midfielder Elliott Grow and LSM Britton Cone (1st-Team All-Americans last year) have graduated, leaving junior midfielder Andrew Harding (3rd-Team) to be the face of the Cougars.
A much more in-depth preview of BYU can be found here.
The Panthers started their season by playing several non-MCLA-D1 teams, but have started getting into a more traditional schedule. They kicked off the conference slate with an 11-1 victory over fellow CCLA East squad Toledo to take the early lead for the Division title (Michigan caught up with the victory over Ohio). They traveled to Florida a couple weekends ago, falling 9-22 to Central Florida before rebounding with a 10-8 victory over South Florida.
Pitt is led offensively by sophomore attack Tyler Novotny, who is averaging 4 points per game (almost exclusively with goals, not assists). Pitt's Matthew Pham has fared well on faceoffs, winning nearly 66% of them so far this season, so it could be interesting to see how Michigan's relatively-inexperienced players fare against him.
Again, a more detailed preview can be found here.
In the old haloscan days, when THE KNOWLEDGE exploded on to the scene and quickly rose to become the greatest poster on this very blog (which he still is and will continue to be for ever), one man rose up to the level of becoming a friend of THE KNOWLEDGE
he was THE MICHIGAN MAN
While THE KNOWLEDGE is the greatest exponent of revealing the future, THE MICHIGAN MAN was very good in accurately diagnosing the truths hidden behind the masks of cheaters
He shouted from the rooftops (typed a lot in caps) about the fraud that Jim Tressel was (or, in his vernacular, Tre$$eLLLLL)
but no one on these very pages gave him much credence, perhaps because they did not like his style, or because they are too dumb.
no one except THE KNOWLEDGE
THE KNOWLEDGE assured THE MICHIGAN MAN that he understood and encouraged him to start his own blog
people didn't believe THE MICHIGAN MAN then, but who's laughing now?
the case is similar with the doubters of THE KNOWLEDGE - although these people are lower in number, and border on the lunatic
in a previous post, THE KNOWLEDGE had clearly revealed that Urban Meyer will soon be replacing Tressel as the coach at OSU. as usual, a lot of cynics didn't believe it
now, the talk everywhere is that Tressel will be replaced by Meyer
who's laughing now?
THE KNOWLEDGE will laugh even more and bask in glory when this becomes official in the next several months
THE KNOWLEDGE shall soar
and leave every doubter in a trail of dust
- Michigan will defeat Duke
- But lose to SDSU in Elite Eight
Championship in basketball and football in 2012
This weekend is one of the first big visit weekends for the Michigan coaches. I've confirmed a number of big prospects so far, and as usual this list will continue to change as we get closer to the weekend.
- Visiting Today - Ohio OL Caleb Stacey (6'4", 275 lbs): No offer yet, but hoping to get one soon. ***Michigan offered Caleb on his visit.
- Ohio OL Kyle Dodson (6'6", 315 lbs): Michigan has made a lot of ground up with Dodson. He's very interested in Michigan.
- Mass LB Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs): Making his decision in June so this visit will be big for Michigan.
- Mass ATH Armani Reeves (5'11", 185 lbs): Teammate of Camren Williams, very excited about the visit.
- Michigan LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2", 215 lbs): This is good for Michigan to get Royce back on campus. He's seen his recruitment take off offer-wise and Michigan needs to solidify their position.
- Michigan LB James Ross (6'0", 210 lbs): Same deal with Royce, this is great for Michigan to get James back up on campus.
- Michigan DB Terry Richardson (5'9", 160 lbs): Michigan has a lot of work to do with Terry so any type of visit is a good one.
- Michigan OL/DL Kelby Latta (6'4", 295 lbs): Michigan's new coaches have sparked some serious interest from Latta. Before the hire he was very high on Wisconsin, but the new coaches are giving Michigan a chance.
- Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown (6'6", 260 lbs): It will be good to get Brown on campus this early. There's limited spots in Ohio State's class for defensive ends and Brown could end up being a key prospect down the road.
- Michigan OL Ben Braden (6'7", 285 lbs): I reported earlier in the week that Braden had made a trip up to Michigan this past Sunday, and he was offered on that trip. Braden may be coming up this weekend, or it could be next weekend as well.
- Illinois DT Vontrell Williams (6'2", 265 lbs): No offer yet, but hoping to get one.
- Ohio TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs): Williams has tried to schedule a visit for the past two weekends, but it looks like the 26th will end up the date he'll make it in.