"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
So, I had a unique experience today visiting an Oregon State booster event where we got to tour the football facilities, watch a game prep practice (for Weber St) and do a Q&A with Gary Anderson and their new AD from UCF.
So first off, I felt like it would be sacrilegious to wear anything but Michigan gear to the event, so I had on khakis, a blue Michigan top and my Michigan hat :P For obvious reasons, I got quite a few death glares at the event and quite a few Michigan zingers that I expected to hear.
Gary Andersen on Harbaugh:
Where the event got interesting was when Gary came out to do a Q&A. Someone asked a question, and he gave a short answer, then he turns to me and stops the Q&A and says (paraphrasing) “Wow, you have a lot of balls, you must really love Michigan” which got tons of laughs, we then conversed a little in front of about a hundred boosters, and he talked about his previous meetings with Michigan which was interesting. He said that he’s very excited for the M game and that he sees it as a great indicator of where his team will go this year. He then applauded our coaching hire saying “I mean geez, you guys hired the coolest coach in football period.. If you don’t believe me, ask Jim” which was kind of a knock on Harbaughs ego, but I thought it was humorous. Overall, he’s a pretty nice guy, and came off pretty classy to me. His prediction: Oregon State wins a close one.
Football Practice Tidbits:
First off, Gary said they will be using a 2 QB system throughout the year, and from what I can see, their QB situation is pretty dismal. Quite a few overthrows and almost interceptions throughout practice.
Also, they will apparently be using their starting WR to kick field goals! I’ve never heard of that happening. I didn’t see any kicking in practice so I’m not sure how good he is. After watching their practice, I think they’ll be a decent opponent, but if we don’t win, I will be mildly depressed haha.
The Oregon helmet upside was humerous to me, and apparently Beaver fans call them TTDS (that team down south).
It was cool to see their heisman trophy up close.
Since Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha offensive guard Terrance Davis has been sending some strong Michigan signals lately, I went ahead and put together an evaluation. It seems like he's the lineman most likely to drop for Michigan right now.
I wrote up a scouting report on Gainesville (GA) Gainesville cornerback Chris Williamson, who will be taking an official visit to Michigan this weekend. As far as pure athleticism goes, I think Williamson is perhaps the most exciting player Harbaugh has started recruiting, except for maybe Roquan Smith. Both these guys are potential game-changers, but Williamson could play several positions (CB, WR, S, PR, KR), whereas Smith is more limited (LB, maybe RB). I don't think Williamson would be a real game-breaker as a returner, but he would be a very solid corner whose basement might be James Rogers.
Several people had been asking about a scouting report on John Kelly, and since we know Harbaugh is recruiting him, I went ahead and wrote one up. I also thought it was interesting that Harbaugh reportedly told Kelly he's "the best athlete in the state," which may mean that he thinks Kelly is a better prospect than the early-enrolled Brian Cole. Anyway, here it is:
This week's scouting report is on Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton linebacker Osa Masina, who was Michigan's first linebacker offer in the class of 2015. His 247 Sports Crystal Ball is point 90% to Utah because of his older brother there, but recruiting gurus are insistent that Michigan still has a strong chance.
This week's scouting report is on Lawrenceville (NJ) Lawrenceville Prep offensive tackle Grant Newsome. I've been a little surprised that he hasn't been mentioned around here (and other places in the interwebs) much because at this point, he's probably the most likely 2015 lineman to commit to Michigan. Penn State and Ohio State have done a good job recruiting the previous guy with that title, Pittsburgh (PA) Baldwin's Sterling Jenkins. Newsome is a pretty solid prospect in his own right.