The college and high school football seasons are almost here which means things will slow down a bit. Michigan only has around five spots left so it's a numbers game from here on out. 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 or email me with any tips or questions at [email protected].
6'5", 275 lbs.
The 2013 offensive lineman was on Michigan's campus Sunday [the 7th]. It was his first trip to Ann Arbor and he came away impressed.
We met with Coach Funk, talked to him for about half an hour. After that they took us around the campus, showed us the facilities, the locker room, and the stadium. I feel really good about Michigan, I really liked it. I didn't know much about them going into it, but I was really impressed.
Bosch is going to be one of the top lineman in the midwest, so this was a good opportunity for the Michigan staff to show him what they have to offer.
They told us about the program a little bit. We got to meet with Coach Borges, and Coach Hoke too. They were telling us that they'll be going back to the pro style offense. I didn't really know much about Michigan until today. I didn't know that they had the Big Ten and National titles. I had no idea that they have the biggest stadium; I thought Penn State's was bigger. The facilities were great and the locker room was great too.
While he doesn't currently have an offer the Michigan coaches made it known that they will be recruiting Kyle.
They told me they're extremely interested in me. They want me to play interior, either guard or center. A lot of schools have said both guard or tackle so that's fine.
As for his timeline he plans on taking a strategic approach to see where he fits best.
I've been out to all the schools that have offered except for West Virginia and Stanford. I think at the end of the season I'll put all my offers on the table and try to get it to a top five. After I find a top five or top ten I'll look more in depth and talk more to coaches to try to find the best fit.
It was big for Michigan to get this visit in before the season starts. Since Kyle is going to narrow his choices down after his season this gives him a chance to see what Michigan is like on a regular basis as opposed to a game-time atmosphere.
6'2", 180 lbs.
Ramsey, New Jersey
As I reported earlier in the week, Michigan is back in the top three for Armani Reeves. Michigan told Reeves that they are looking to add another elite corner to this class. Yuri Wright happens to be an elite cornerback that Michigan is also pursuing. The four-star defensive back told me how he feels about Michigan.
I would say Michigan is in my top two, I've always liked Michigan. I haven't really cut my list down yet, but they're in the top somewhere. Just the tradition that's at Michigan, the winningest program, the coaches, and the whole experience of going to school there. Coach Mallory has been telling me it's just about getting a chance to come to Michigan and getting better when I get there, and hopefully make it to the league.
While Wright hasn't cut his list down he does think that Michigan will get one of his official visits.
I talked to Coach Mallory the other day. I'm definitely going to take one of my officials there, but I'm not planning on making my decision until the Army All American game. I'll take all of my officials and then decide. I don't know what other schools I want to visit yet, but I've always liked Colorado, Georgia, Cal, and Michigan State too. Those are some of them.
When it comes to New Jersey high school athletics Stephen Spiewak from MaxPreps is one of the top sources for information. I also caught up with him to get his thoughts on Yuri. He had the following to say.
Yuri didn't play football as a sophomore, he's a converted basketball kid. I think he's going to be the best kid from the Bosco [Yuri's high school] group this year. He joined the team as this 6-foot-2 athletic freak with a mean streak who just shut everyone down.
So, he's pretty good then. Spiewak also thinks there's a good chance that Wright will leave the New Jersey area for school. Since he's not making a decision for awhile there's a lot that can happen between now and then, but Michigan has a shot. The cornerback situation has been a hot topic lately. WIth Michigan getting back in the mix for Armani Reeves everyone immediately thought it had to do with Terry Richardson.
While I don't think anyone knows exactly what Terry will do I am under the impression that this coaching staff wants to add another cornerback on top of Terry and Anthony Standifer. That will be interesting to see how that scenario plays out.
6'1", 180 lbs.
2013 DB Dymonte Thomas was in Ann Arbor last week or the Big House BBQ. He came up with his cousin Bri'onte Dunn, and seemed to enjoy himself.
Michigan's pretty nice. Coach Mattison is a character, he was joking and making funny remarks the whole time. I feel really comfortable with Michigan and their coaching staff. The campus was really nice, they showed us the business building and that's what I want to go into. They also showed us the 'M' that you can't walk on.
As usual the Michigan commitments were doing their best to recruit the non-committed kids, which included Dymonte and Bri'onte.
I took Bri'onte up and we met the quarterback [Shane Morris] that committed and Kyle Kalis was trying to recruit us. He was trying to get me to go to Michigan. I just want to wait for my colleges to offer and take some visits to all the schools though. I'll probably be up for the Notre Dame game and the Michigan-Ohio State game too. I really like Michigan, I think they're at the top. Michigan State isn't very far behind, I like their coaching staff too.
It's a good sign that he wants to make it up for multiple games, especially if he can bring Bri'onte along to those events too.
I recently went out to see 2013 WR Jake Roh at practice. Jake is the younger brother of Michigan defensive end Craig Roh. They're built completely different, and Jake is a good sized receiver with great hands. Here's a few clips from practice with an interview, I'll have more highlights from him after their scrimmage on Wednesday.
2013 WR Laquon Treadwell was also at the BBQ last week. He told me he had a great time and was just trying to find out more about Michigan. With each visit he's getting more and more comfortable. He said again that Michigan is on top, but even if they were to offer he wants to wait and take some other visits before making a decision.
The news that WR Darryl Stonum is redshirting this year could potentially affect the recruiting numbers for this class. But the coaches are the ones that made the decision to redshirt him so they obviously knew about it. If that hasn't changed their recruiting plans then there will have to be more attrition elsewhere, presumably.
Action since last rankings:
7-26-11 Minnesota gains commitment from Rodrick Williams Jr.
8-1-11 Purdue gains commitment from Jonathan Curry.
8-3-11 Minnesota loses commitment from Andre McDonald. Notre Dame gains commitment from Sheldon Day.
8-5-11 Iowa gains commitment from Laron Taylor. Purdue gains commitment from Anthony Brown. Illinois gains commitment from Zach Jackson.
|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, Darius Stroud doesn't count against Indiana's average, and Steffon Martin is excluded from Purdue's.
On to the full data:
|#1 Michigan - 21 Commits|
Sione Houma up to three stars on Scout.
|#2 Notre Dame - 13 Commits|
Sheldon Day selects the Irish. Scott Daly gets a 2-star rating from 24/7 Sports, and Deontay Greenberry gets his fourth from ESPN.
|#3 Ohio State - 11 Commits|
Luke Roberts moves up to three stars on Scout.
|#4 Michigan State - 13 Commits|
No change for the Spartans.
Jake Kiley gets three stars from Scout, along with Jesse James and Austin Johnson moving up from two stars.
|#6 Wisconsin - 8 Commits|
Arthur Goldberg moves up to three stars on Scout.
|#7 Indiana - 15 Commits|
Cornett and Fletcher pick up rankings from Scout.
McHugh and White are rated as 2-stars by Scout. Olson moves up to three stars on that service, as well.
|#9 Minnesota - 17 Commits|
Rivals considers Andre McDonald's on-again off-again relationship with the Gophers to be in the off-again phase at this point. The Gophers did pick up RB Rodrick Williams Jr. Leidner and Lynn moved up to three stars on Scout. Hinds and Murray picked up two star ratings from Scout. Philip Nelson moved down to two stars on ESPN.
|#10 Nebraska - 5 Commits|
Scout downgrades Michael Rose to a 3-star. No further changes for Nebraska.
|#11 Iowa - 9 Commits|
Mitch Keppy picks up a 3-star rating from 24/7 Sports. Keppy and Malloy up to three stars on Scout.
|#12 Purdue - 11 Commits|
Boilers pluck 3-star tight end Jonathan Curry from Alabama, continuing the weird theme of having the most national recruiting class (sorry, Mark Dantonio). Jimmy Herman picks up a third star from Scout. Thomas Meadows gets two stars from ESPN.
Illini pick up Zach Jackson. Spencer gets a third star on Scout.
Since there isn’t much sexy in the fall roster updates (so far at least…despite Denard and co. anecdotally touting the gains of the guys upfront in the B1G presser) I thought I’d look at the roster info and see if I could represent the data in a different way.
Body Mass Index (BMI) came to mind – as both an indicator of fitness and body type. In this diary I’m looking at BMI and trying to see what this might indicate for 2011 in the B1G using the results from last year.
Here’s how BMI is calculated along with an explanation (thanks to Wikipedia)…
The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics". Body mass index is defined as the individual's body weight divided by the square of his or her height. The formulae universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2.
So what I’m proposing is looking at muscle/fat per square inch. It’s going to be similar to just looking at weight but not quite. In addition I’m going to look at the entire B1G plus ND. Here we go…
I went to each school’s website and pulled their roster and went about computing muscle (or fat as the case may be) per square inch. I thought I was doing everyone a service by pulling directly from the source. It didn’t turn out that way…here’s what I got…
Starting with this variability chart…
You may ask why the heck the schools are ordered like this left to right. I’d like to say it is the leaders on the left, the legends on the right and ND in the middle. But it’s nothing as nonsensical as that. I’ll get back to this. But first…a few comments…
Std Dev. doesn’t play much of a factor here wrt Avg team BMI.
The green diamonds are mean diamonds. They are useful (to me at least) to see if distributions have significant differences. Two distributions are significantly different (p<0.05) when the diamonds do not overlap…i.e. NU is significantly more puerile than Penn State. I say puerile but BMI is not a measure of manliness necessarily…is it? [Ed-M: gracile/robust perhaps? #anthrobionerdiness]
What might the mean differences indicate…it could be team fitness…it could be style of team play…it could be roster management…it’s definitely all these things and more.
So what does Avg. team BMI have to do with being good at football?
BMI in a traditional sense signifies four body types.
Roughly broken out like this chart.
In Football the vast majority of any team is at least overweight on this scale. Per the chart above the average B1G player is nearly obese (29.6). Football players don’t play by these rules however (actually this is sadly not the case –
- but I am not going there right now. Suffice to say – don’t let your BMI get out of control and/or if you must…then lose it when you quit playing or suffer the consequences.)
Since the 60’s at least we have seen larger and larger men take up football. BMI has risen along with these weights.
1969???…I guess Bo started this issue…
Anyway…not all BMI is good for football.
This does not equal This
But then again…one of these guys carried this off the field on his final college game.
While the other guy carried this…long may he not shave…
So what does BMI have to do with being good at football? I guess the best way to look at that would be BMI vs. Wins…
Hmm… let’s regress for a few moments…
OK…so there’s no significant correlation (p<.05) but it’s not like there is nothing going on here. Still it’s not worth extrapolating moments to 2011.
I took a look at some of the names behind the dots…(sorry for the small type…I can’t fix that evidently with this software.)
Ash and Campbell are outliers for Michigan. Relative to other DL types like Nix Jeremiah and Hankins they aren’t so out of control however. Ragoo is simply a very large person. Position group is a factor here however – which is reasonable.
Here’s the breakdown by position (again for the B1G+ND)…
I kept many of the same labels…
Hemingway is a different body type altogether than the rest of the B1G receivers.
Ragoo and Cully are interesting. Both are significant outliers for their position group. Where you might think that Ragoo is a (6’7” 391 lb) Terrence Cody-type lineman (there are no OMG shirtless search happy images of him to compare) Cully is a 5’1.5” 197 lb frosh for Penn State whose team photo is pretty revealing…
Johnathan Ragoo (OL – Minn) Jeff Cully (DB – Penn State)
As stated before Ragoo is huge. Cully is tiny. Both are BMI kings of their position group. Cully is MAC-sized. Cully is stubby legged. Cully is a walk-on (I presume at least.)
This brings up a dataset issue. I pulled everyone on each teams' roster when I imported the data off the Web. I wanted the best comparison possible, but when I went to each team's website roster I found them in various formats and protocols. Penn State does not list redshirts. The position groups have different nomenclature school to school. Nebraska (don’t get me started on Nebraska) had 152 players on their roster. Notre Dame only had 78.
WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Nebraska. They are an orange to the B1G apple…
I leveled the rosters by position and threw all redshirts with their graduating classes. I did not ferret out the walk-ons or separate the projected starters (it was simply too much work.)
Here’s the offensive line data for the B1G. This is clearly the most significant of position groups.
Taylor Lewan is bottom of the group for Michigan. This is likely a sign of fitness on his part (and Schofield and Gunderson for that matter) [Ed-M: Lewan was also a project recruit who started football later than most][Ed-TSS: Glasgow is a project as well yet is above the mean for the subset of Michigan OL].
Frederick for Wisconsin is in the top of his group. This is likely an equal if opposite sign of fitness on his part. This is clear when looking at the same chart versus weight. Here’s that data:
When you look at weight alone Lewan/Schofield and Gunderson pull up to middle of the pack. Frederick falls down into the mid distribution. This isn’t true for other laggards like Flavin and Tansey or for Ragoo who are still kings of both charts.
Sorry again for the labels …
Though overall BMI for OL correlates well for 2010 Wins (p<0.06) – the Std Dev. of the BMI data correlates even better (p<.016). Using both with a weighted leverage to model the wins brings the p<.0155.
Again the labeling issue. Mich and Penn State are overwriting each other here.
Here’s a graph of the residuals; this doesn’t overwrite if I stretch it enough.
Teams above the line outperformed the model; teams below did worse than expected.
In 2010 the biggest OLs with the tightest distribution of BMI won more games. Not a huge insight but insight non the less. Basketball on grass was not working last year.
The good news for Michigan is that the incoming class of OL is the BMIiest in the entire conference. Adding those numbers to the previous charts gives Michigan a considerable bump in beef.
Posada and Bryant have identical BMI. Yerden and Williams at too close to label simultaneously but the difference is pretty stark vs the previous chart. This new class is a different kind of beast.
I’m not saying this new class of OL are going to be the difference between winning or not this coming year (I would like them all to red shirt if possible), but our offensive line is looking good with respect to muscle fitness and incoming beef.
Thought I’d share some data. First time diary. Must go to sleep now. Go Blue!
Time spent in my (almost) three short seasons with Coach Brady Hoke.
I was never that good at football. I was a decent blocker, and I could catch most balls that were thrown in my direction, but I was never particularly fast and my route running was, in Coach Hoke’s words himself, “Satisfactory at best.” The main two things I had going for me in my ability to become a member of the Ball State Football team were that I could punt a ball 75 yards in the air easy, and that my best friend from high school was a full ride three year starter at linebacker.
After being recruited to the Ohio Bobcats, the Kentucky Wildcats, the Akron Zips, Ball State University, and Purdue University, I left high school with exactly zero offers save a preferred walk-on spot as a so called “ATHLETE” at Ball State. After graduating high school in the winter, I chose to attempt to walk on to the Purdue Boilermakers before spring ball. The special teams coach there told me I needed to be in better shape and make sure my grades were good, and he would possibly have a spot for me in the fall. The afore mentioned special teams coach took a job with Ball State that summer, and I had already considered leaving Purdue because I wanted to get out of my hometown, West LAFFALOT, so I followed him there and walked on the following spring. This is how I came to have Brady Hoke as my head coach.
In order to put any of these memories into order, I would have to write them all before posting any. Instead, these diaries will be more of little glimpses into my interactions with Coach, absolutely not in chronological order. These are not exact quotes; it is much too hard for me to remember word for word what was said 5-8 years ago.
The Compliance Story
I will start off with one that I posted in this thread; I apologize for those of you who have already read this one.
At the beginning of the season, an NCAA compliance guy comes in to talk about the rules of the NCAA and what the coaches can and can’t force us to do. He tells us about the amount of practice time we can use a week, the amount of time spent in non-practice, football related activities we can spend each week. He tells us that summer ball is and will always be optional. He also talks about receiving improper benefits and what it can do to a football program and coach if you get caught. After he left, first our strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman (currently still on Coach Hoke’s staff) comes in and tells us, “That guys a prick. Always trying to make my job harder.”
Coach Hoke then comes in. “I hope you guys were listening,” he starts. “Everything that guy said is true. We can’t force you to be at practice more than X hours each week. I can’t make you come to morning conditioning when you have practice in the afternoon. Hell, we can’t even make you play football here. If you don’t want to wash your hands after you piss, were not going to make you do that either,” he continues, as a few people in the room start to chuckle and understand what our great Coach is telling us. “You don’t even have to go to class tomorrow if you don’t want. In fact, if you guys don’t feel like eating tomorrow, or the rest of your life, be my guest.”
By now, the majority of the room was laughing. Coach Hoke quieted us down and said more seriously, “You will practice, with us, for the maximum amount of hours we are allowed to. Everything on top of that will be voluntary. Those of you who choose to volunteer for these additional hours, you are the ones who make this team better, you are the ones who will stay on scholarship, you are the ones who will see the field and produce on the field.”
Near the beginning of the fall after I walked on, Coach Hoke talked to us a little bit about academics and athletics.
“I want you guys to know that the reason you are attending this great university is to get a degree. Football might have been your deciding factor, but my job is to make sure that you receive an education off the field as well. You can do whatever you want with it; just help me to finish my job.
"To help you guys remember this, I made these numbers.” Coach Hoke then holds up two pieces of paper with a very large ‘1’ and ‘2’ printed on each piece respectively. “So guys,” he bellows, “Remember….Academics…#1,” he says, while holding up the sign that says ‘2.’ Aaron Wellman stands next to him pointing to the sign. Coach Hoke then switches to the #1 sign and continues, “Athletics….Number 2!” This time Wellman is using a two fingered point at the sign that says #1. Everyone in the room is laughing and nodding their head. Coach Hoke then puts back up the sign that says #2 and says again, “So, academics here,” and switching signs back to the #1, “Football here. Does everyone understand that?”
So, I’ve got to get this bar open and I’ve squandered all my time on writing this. I’m going to continue writing these little memoirs if ya’ll would like me to, the next one that I already started on is entitled “BRADY HOKE…THE PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME”
Thanks for reading…
EDIT: Just want to add this second disclaimer. I know these first two stories I've posted scream "OMG COMPLIANCE NOOO." I posted these two stories because these were two of the first interactions I had with Coach Hoke. I wouldn't worry too much. I don't know that I have any more stories about the NCAA compliance guy and Coach Hoke that go together, you can take what you want from what I have to say but please don't take 10 minutes of the countless hours I've spent with Coach Hoke and say, "Augh! compliance VIOLATIONS!"
A few days ago Massachusetts DB Armani Reeves had reported that he was again talking with the Michigan coaches. After discussing Michigan's intentions with Brady Hoke, Greg Mattison, and Curt Mallory, Reeves decided that he would think about adding them to his top list, which already included Penn State and Notre Dame.
Tonight he decided that he would continue with Michigan in his recruitment plans.
I'm going to put [Michigan] in the top three. Just because I like them so much that I was willing to look into what they have to offer. Pretty much everything I said before that they have academics, the whole thing with Michigan. I haven't really thought about what's next or if I'll visit any time soon yet. I don't know when I'm going to make my final decision either, this kind of changes things a little bit.
It says a lot that not only were the coaches able to get him to consider them again, but that he has included them in the top three. It's probably a good indication of how serious he is about Michigan and also how serious he is about his recruitment. As he said he hasn't thought out the future yet, but I would imagine he'll use an official visit to see Ann Arbor one more time.
Sometimes I'm not above sending a letter to the local paper. I come from a long line of people who wrote letters to local papers (surprise!). Anyway, I penned this as a response to DetNews' Josh Katzenstein on Michigan's Mascot but then Brian front-page responded to the same thing, so there's no use saving it for Dear Diary anymore.
Here's the damn letter that doesn't say "capturing the Sharp market" anywhere in it. Image at right is from MVictors.
Get your arrogance hats ohnnn:
- You can cheer the winningest program in college football history.
- You can cheer because you're the largest group of football fans gathered together to watch a football game in the world.
- You can cheer because of their success on the field.
- You can cheer because they stand up after their failures.
- You can cheer because the best things about our state: integrity, hard work, engineering, business, nature, and beauty, are embodied by its oldest and greatest institution.
- You can cheer because this program, this team, and this school care more about being worth cheering for than whether or not you're cheering.