"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
Beaver commits to Tulsa?
Last year we saw two highly touted QB recruits opt out of their verbal commitments to the Wolverines. But the circumstances around Beaver’s de-commitment were rather shocking, I mean the kid decided to go to Tulsa?
In his recruitment he listed that Tulsa and TCU were the first to offer, followed by a slew of higher rated programs: Nebraska, Arizona, Clemson, Texas Tech, and Michigan. However, it does seem the prestige of the Wolverines offer won him over because within about 2 months of his first contact with the Michigan coaches he committed.
However, Beaver’s early commitment didn’t seem that strong by the fall and Beaver’s recruitment as a whole seemed to stop after he suffered a season ending shoulder injury. However, he took an official to Tulsa on Dec. 12, an in-home visit by their coaches the next week, and by the 19th, he decided to leave the bright lights of the Big Ten for C-USA.
Beaver is on record as saying:
- "It's about family, faith and friends," said Beaver. "I needed to go to Tulsa. Tulsa is all about family. They have great support there with the coaches, team and university. Picking a school is not all about the logo."
- "Now my mom can come to all the games to watch me."
- "My goal is Tulsa's goal. Tulsa believes in winning, and I'm going to just go out and win."
- "I was impressed with how (the Tulsa coaches) carried themselves. They told me everything that was offered, and everything they said made sense."
We can sort through these quickly: Tulsa is a faith based private school (smallest in I-A and affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA), that might remind some of a high school and is certainly more conservative than Michigan’s more liberal atmosphere.
The school is certainly much closer for his mom to visit. Ann Arbor is about 1,158 miles from Wichita Falls, TX (Walking about 15 days, 17hrs…), whereas Tulsa, OK and Wichita Falls, TX are under 4 hours by car.
As for education (which I saw him highlight on some other quotes), though it is not up to Michigan’s World Class standards, Tulsa is no slouch – with high rankings from US News and others.
And as for the winning? Well clearly the football program does not have Michigan’s history, and C-USA is not on the same level as the Big Ten…but the school has a few famous alums including NFL Hall of Fame member Steve Largent. And, if Beaver was referring to last year in particular, then he would be right since the Golden Hurricane football team did win 11 games, including the GMAC bowl against Ball State.
Where Is Beaver Now?
He joins a team that has won the West in C-USA the last two years and had the best offense in the country in 2007 (second best in 2008). He will be joining the team as it sees its Sr. QB exit after throwing for over 4,000 yards and 46 TDs last season.
The offense they run is a pass happy aerial attack that emphasizes lengthening the game and being very aggressive/almost never punting (punting sucks without the space emperor).
Tulsa plays its first three games on the road @Tulane, @New Mexico, @Oklahoma (September 19th). So Beaver should get quite an eclectic experience playing the Tulsa schedule each year… (They also play Sam Houston State and Boise State).
Overall, the opportunity is there for Beaver to start immediately and though he will likely experience growing pains, he should have a productive career in C-USA. And, hopefully he finds that right combination of faith+family+winning+academics+geographical proximity to Wichita Falls that he desires.
Not everything makes perfect sense in the world of College Football, and everyone has heard of a star student opting for a small college or a local university… Why can’t the star QB?
Maybe this is where Beaver was meant to go? Without his de-commitment Michigan likely wouldn’t have landed D-Rob. So maybe this works out best for everyone…
Sorry to make this my first post here guys, but there's a story on the Tulsa World Web site saying Beaver has committed to the Golden Hurricane, following a home visit from their coach. It doesn't check out anywhere else, but seriously.