Sylvia, go to the dry cleaners and get me my indignation pants. Fire up the typewriters, stentorian columnists of America, because FL DE and Auburn signee Corey Lemonier has got a gun!
Don't forget that he probably has scurvy.
Even more Dorsey still. The WLA has a guest post up from a person with "extensive real-life experience dealing with juvenile offenders." His has some numbers on how likely an average juvenile offender is to re-offend…
My research indicates that after two years, generally speaking, a youth has a four percent chance of re-offending. To put it another way, a youth has a 96% chance of not re-offending. Mr. Dorsey, having been free of criminal activity for two years would seem to fall into this category. Even Jamie Mac would take those odds.
…and perspective on the "risk" we're talking about here:
There are a whole bunch of people out there that are wailing because Mr. Dorsey might besmirch the good name of the U of M.
Mr. Dorsey is coming into a highly structured, overwhelmingly positive environment. His cousin and positive peer will be there. He’ll have tutors and advisors and Barwis. He’ll live in a supervised residence in a city that almost forgets crime even exists. He’ll be pursuing an education that could set him for life just as likely as an NFL contract might. And the downside is that he might, might give the U of M a black eye? Wow. Life really is getting cheap nowadays.
Rodriguez's discipline track record should be judged as a whole, and with few significant incidents in the last five years it's a good one. Demar Dorsey isn't going to change that by himself, and the focus should Michigan doing whatever it can to extract him from the negative environment he was in previously. It doesn't always work—Pacman Jones—but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying.
Wojo, meanwhile, has a take on the matter that meets his usual standards of sanity. Wojo has other positive aspects, as well, but it's the not being totally insane that stands out these days.
War of the Roses. There are a ton of positions on defense where a half-dozen kids will go head-to-head for starting jobs this spring but only one spot with real uncertainty on the other side of the ball. That's tailback. Fred Jackson on his group:
“I got five or six guys here that I got to make a decision on at the end of spring to see how we’re going to shape up for camp,” Jackson said. “I don’t know what to expect from of a lot of them, but I think we have enough talent to have an excellent group. It’s just a fact that I have not had a chance to put them all on an equal playing field yet, and once I do I’ll know a lot more.”
I'm slightly worried that Jackson isn't comparing any of his guys to Adrian Peterson crossed with a killer whale, which in his language means "barely functional Big Ten player," but we'll probably get some quotes like that after spring practice.
Hello: goodbye: hello: goodbye: hello. Goodbye. Jim Harbaugh is at Stanford, as you well know, and hauled in a pretty decent recruiting class despite a whopping 19 decommitments. That makes Michigan's 2009 class look downright peaceful, and comes with Stanford coming off an excellent (for Stanford) 8-5 year in which their moose tailback almost won the Heisman.
Jim Stefani on what might be going on:
This begs an answer to the question as to why Harbaugh and staff are accepting so many verbals from prospects who are not yet admitted. Perhaps it is in hope that will eventually qualify. Perhaps it is to build recruiting momentum by putting together a class that looks great on paper and would attract additional prospects. Maybe if Harbaugh goes through a couple of difficult seasons he could in part justify the poor performance to the Stanford administration by arguing that his limited success is due to the limited recruiting universe that he can avail himself of. He could pull out a list of all the kids that he received commitments from and tell his boss that if these kids had been accepted into Stanford the team would have performed much better.
I think Harbaugh has little choice but to recruit a bunch of guys he thinks might get in to Stanford and hope the admissions committee admits them. His alternative is to give conditional offers that kids can't commit to pending admission and watch them head elsewhere. It'll be interesting to see how long Harbaugh is willing to put up with those meddling adults before heading to greener pastures.
Strange days. So what's Bill Frieder up to these days?
The Sacramento Kings owners are Joe and Gavin Maloof and long story short, they got me into skateboarding and I run a huge skateboarding event called the Maloof Money Cup. This is competition skateboarding. We’ve got it on national television and it’s the world’s greatest skateboarding event with the richest purse. We have a half-million purse at each place.
That is… unexpected.
Minus ten million for cheese. I noticed this too when throwing together a Sporting Blog post on disappointing recruiting classes. Three Big Ten teams ended up in the top five, but one of them was not Wisconsin despite the Badgers ending up a bizarre 86th in their team rankings. This is why:
Take a look at who the Badgers signed; it’s not USC, but pretty decent group, right? Scout has it ranked at 33rd. Rivals? No lie, it’s #86. Now, I’ll just use one example here to keep this brief. Ken State is ranked 5 spots higher than Wisconsin on Rivals. They have fewer commits, and a much smaller average star rating. It’s incoherent to suggest that most, if not all Kent State commits would immediately flip to Wisconsin if they received an offer from the Badgers.
It's not that Rivals hates all of Wisconsin's recruits relative to Scout, because the Badgers finished behind a don't of teams with way worse star ratings and fewer commits. Wisconsin's 51st in star average, and would obliterate say… UTEP. Or Vanderbilt. Or Toledo. Or a couple dozen other teams they somehow finished behind. Bret Bielema's criticism of the guru industry seems well-founded, at least in his specific case.
Now I get it. Tim Brewster's "extension" does not have a raise except for some incentive clauses and reduces Coach TRY FIGHT WIN's buyout to 200k per year left. He's probably safe for this year and next, but then it's axing time.
So I think he's going to try to knock down all the pins. During the couple years I was doing standup comedy at half-ass open mics around town, one of my compatriots had a funny bit about how he couldn't really consider bowling a sport because analysis always boils down to "…so I think he's going to try to knock down all the pins."
What this reading consists of, then, is a mystery indeed:
“Bowling was probably the hardest class I had last semester,” [Austin] White said at the National Signing Day press conference. “You know, if I had like 20 pages of reading for Meteorology, I would have 40 for Bowling. And then there was a bunch of terminology and phrases that I had never heard before.”
Like… strike? Spare? Turkey? I bowl about as well as Barack Obama but I bet it's not too hard to pick up on the lingo. What does page 40 say? What about page 4?
Etc.: Even more podcast can be had at "The Michigan Man Podcast." I do my best Mel Kiper impression with Michigan's defensive recruits. Interested in rap about Demar Dorsey that slams Certain People in the media? Of course you are. Don't get super excited about Manny coming back yet.
And now for the most timely podcast in the history of the site: the Signing Day Espectaculo, which is actually posted the day before the event in question. This was taped Sunday so we did not know that Rashad Knight was headed to Rutgers. Obviously we still do not know what's up with Sean Parker and Demar Dorsey. We also didn't know that Richard Ash was wavering, though apparently his wavering is wavering.
Our assumption was that Michigan gets one or two of the safeties on the board and keeps the defensive tackles. Hopefully that is not a silly assumption.
- Helpful iTunes subscribe link
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- Direct download link
- What's with the theme music?
Signing Day 2010 promises to be far less hectic than last year, when Michigan picked up Denard Robinson, Adrian Witty, and Je'ron Stokes but lost out on Pearlie Graves and Dequinta Jones, and far, far less hectic than 2008, when Michigan snake-oiled a half-dozen guys and Sam McGuffie went on a vision quest. But it's still going down, and we'll be here to answer all your questions six to ten times each.
An up-to-the-minute accounting of events that will go down tomorrow: [UPDATE: HA HA! I meant Wednesday.]
CA S Sean Parker announces at 10 AM on ESPN. National guru opinion is USC, Michigan insider opinion is Michigan.
FL S Rashad Knight could drop to Rutgers or Michigan at any time but since he's waited this long he'll probably have a signing day press conference of some sort. Time is indeterminate. This one is fuzzy.
FL S Demar Dorsey announces tomorrow. Florida State is the favorite; Michigan just put on the full-court press. USC is also involved. Florida pulled his offer once he started looking around.
OH DT Terry Talbott may end up elsewhere. Twitter du Tom:
Jay Minton, Terry Talbott's coach sent me an email: "Terry's head is spinning, I wish I could tell you what he'll do."
There is an article on Rivals($) to similar effect. Talbott visited North Carolina two weeks ago. Brother and OH CB Terrence Talbott did not go and has been adamant he will sign with Michigan and the brothers wanted to stay together, so Michigan should come out on top here. That quote is alarming, though.
Other decommits are unlikely. No other Michigan recruits have taken post-commitment visits and all of them have taken Michigan officials; it would take some Roy Roundtree-style subterfuge for a Michigan commit to end up elsewhere. MI RB Austin White, TX RB Stephen Hopkins, MI QB Devin Gardner, MI WR Ricardo Miller, MI WR Jeremy Jackson, OH WR Jerald Robinson, and OH OL Christian Pace are already on campus.
Things happening tomorrow:
- A potentially epic signing day liveblog kicks off at 9:30 to catch the Parker announcement. Depending on level of interest and how tolerant we are of answering the same questions fifteen times, this may extend until the Rich Rodriguez press conference scheduled for 6 PM.
- The most timely MGoPodcast in history will drop, though obviously it will not contain information on Parker, Knight, or Dorsey.
- The front page will update throughout the day with things that are occurring.
Okay, he's enrolled. Now strike! Devin Gardner finally managing his early enrollment has spurred not one but two columns echoing a theme from this blog. It's "please God, no more freshman quarterbacks." Angelique Chengelis:
So former Inkster star Devin Gardner has enrolled at Michigan, and the potentially next great quarterback will participate in spring practice and compete for the starting job this fall.
Operative word: Compete.
And the Daily's Andy Reid:
So, Devin Gardner is officially on campus — but be careful what you wish for, Wolverine fans. He’s not the answer for next season.
I agree with both takes, as is obvious anyone who's been reading this site's annoyingly persistent demand to redshirt Gardner if at all possible. I've read a couple other evaluations of Gardner's recent play that jive with what I though I saw in the later editions of the MGoCreeperVan's Gardner highlight videos: his throwing motion degraded over the course of the year from the very pro-style delivery I saw in Inkster's opener against Pioneer to the shotput pushing motion that was more prevalent in the state championship game. I don't think Gardner got a lot of dedicated QB coaching at Inkster and will probably need a year of constant correction to get his mechanics back to the point they were at when he was the #1 QB in the country to Rivals.
Is it really not that bad? I basically share the same opinion most people seem to have about this Michigan class: it's short on blue chips and—on paper—the worst recruiting class since Kelly Baraka and Reggie Benton were the highlights of the lame 2001 group. In terms of production on the field, Lloyd Carr's last two classes are probably worse for reasons that aren't anyone's fault, but at least when those kids were in high school people thought they were pretty good.
But actually it might not be that big a deal. This was created by a Rivals poster elegantly named "Stinky P1nky" on the 21st. [Update: FWIW, the poster in question first put this chart on The Mainboard.] It is thus a tiny bit dated but the changes since then are small and the resulting chart is an interesting one:
Michigan's class is #11 nationally if you average out the four major services that do these things, though I'm not that familiar with MaxPreps's rankings. (They're probably a little better than that now since the Black commit temporarily bumped them a spot on Scout and Rivals, but then again they'll probably fall by signing day as they're almost full and other teams have more room to add players.) Notre Dame is just behind M and probably dropped after losing a couple of high profile recruits, one of whom is a four-star defensive end from Indiana who goes to a Catholic high school. Harbaugh can recruit a little bit.
This doesn't take class sizes into account very well and thus probably overstates the class quality, but at the very least it's a lot of solid players who will help Michigan solidify the roster, banish walk-ons to the scout team, and put them on a talent footing at or above the Wisconsin-Iowa range in which it's obviously possible to have an excellent team. If and when Michigan gets back there and the maelstrom of negativity surrounding Rodriguez subsides, a recruiting bounce would have them back at their traditional level. And last year's class, the first that Rodriguez was wholly responsible for, certainly indicates that is where Rodriguez would like to go.
The fudge factor. Now to throw some cold water on the above positivity with a seemingly unrelated Notre Dame commitment. A relatively anonymous TE/OT from Kentucky named Tate Nichols is committed to Stanford, but then backs off and switches to Notre Dame. His rankings then:
Two of the three main recruiting sites considered Nichols a tight end recruit and as such didn't slot him very high. Both Scout and Rivals tabbed Nichols as a 2-star tight end recruit with Scout considering him the 52nd overall TE. ESPN did list him as an offensive lineman, giving him 3-stars, a 75 grade rating, and a ranking as the 101st overall offensive tackle recruit.
His rankings now:
Update: These were his rankings on Saturday when he committed. Today, Tuesday morning, Scout has changed him to a 3-star offensive line prospect and the #71 overall OT recruit.
Would this have happened if Nichols switched his commitment to Kentucky? I seriously doubt it. But when it's Notre Dame or Michigan picking up a who-dat type recruit that guy tends to grab stars almost instantly. This year Michigan saw it with Carvin Johnson, Jake Ryan, and, to a lesser extent since he's still two stars on Rivals, Ray Vinopal. All of those guys were unranked or two stars until their Michigan commit prompted a re-evaluation.
That's not to say that the guys who got bumps didn't deserve them, but it's obvious that committing to a primo school causes the sites to re-evaluate your game. San Diego State commits are not afforded this privilege.
Speaking of Jibreel Black. Useful: Touch the Banner has a scouting report in which Brandon Graham gets name-checked. Useless: remember these guys?
Apparently part of the Rodriguez rebuild is getting a couple of defensive linemen whose names combine in a funny way when they're on the bench: Michigan has just recruited guys named "Black" and "Ash." They should go the whole nine yards and invite Ball State running back Brandon Kish to walk on and then have poker pro Tony Ma hang around on the sidelines.
Kramer was defending on the left wing in front of Michigan's bench when Laval Lucas-Perry swung his elbow high, forcing Kramer to bob out of the way.
Seconds later, Michigan called a timeout and Kramer walked toward Purdue's huddle motioning to his arm and patting his elbow. That was likely directed to the officials.
Apparently, Kramer also told coach Matt Painter. Painter -- spouting mad -- then appeared to go toward Michigan's bench. He was held back by official Steve Olson, who had his hand on Painter's chest. Painter appeared to be jawing at Michigan assistant coach John Mahoney. Mahoney came over to Painter and appeared to pat him on the back and then walk away.
And by "incident" we mean "non-incident." Was this on TV? I don't recall this, though I admit that for a good chunk of the second half I was not paying super-close attention. I imagine a gritty gritadillo like Kramer spends a lot of time dodgy elbows that want to go where his craggy, pore-laden gritface happens to be. A little hissy from your coach about not actually getting hit is a little weird even if he got clocked last year. He's Gritopher Gritmer: he likes elbows in the face. Makes him feel alive.
Side note: Mahoney is the assistant who got T-ed up last year. He's yappy.
It's a matter of national security. The Detroit News reports back on their efforts to FOIA something from MSU about the Posse Roundup & Engineer/Woman Beatdown:
Most details of the altercation at the Rather Hall dormitory, however, were blacked out on the document. Officials cited sections of the FOIA law that protect an individual from unwarranted invasion of privacy and legal proceedings in an ongoing criminal investigation as reasons why most of the information was withheld.
Officials also declined to reveal details of six 911 calls made around the time of the incident, video surveillance footage in the dormitory, results of polygraph tests and taped interviews with players.
This is not surprising given the lengths to which universities go to avoid FOIA compliance, and I said earlier that the four additional departures from Michigan State's team seemed like a stiff price to pay. I do wonder if some of the big names returning to the team (Cunningham and Dell, mostly) might be the beneficiaries of a double standard that Michigan State would not like to see in the public eye.
Also: six 911 calls. !!!
Meanwhile, two more Spartans have been charged. They are DT Oren Wilson and perpetually troubled walk-on Myles White. White 1) was involved in the first PREWB, 2) just plead guilty to public urination, and 3) is now involved in PREWB II. Surely this must be the end for him. He's a walk-on. I track because I fret: Myles White is incoming Michigan tailback Austin White's brother.
Wilson started all last year as the NT, FWIW.
Small disaster apparently averted. Depending on what you believe, 2010 hockey recruit Jacob Fallon either got the boot or voluntarily left the NTDP, thus throwing his immediate future in flux and opening up a possibility he would play in the CHL. That is apparently not going to happen. Fallon has latched on with the Indiana Ice of the USHL and will presumably be in Ann Arbor next year unless Dean Lombardi drafts him and then kidnaps his mom.
Good work, Nike. This kind of stuff is why I'm glad Michigan got away from Nike:
Stephen Spiewak, the National Football Editor for MaxPreps.com, graciously answered a few questions about Michigan’s current recruiting class. MaxPreps.com is a part of CBS Sports and covers recruiting in football and other sports nationally. MaxPreps currently has the Michigan class ranked 9th nationally, which is on the optimistic end.
TOM: How does MaxPreps rank recruiting classes for each year?
STEPHEN: It's based on a computer formula from our lead researcher, Brian Raab, so it can update quickly as commitments/decommits occur. Brian assigns a rating to every player in our recruiting database based on their ranking according to Tom Lemming. (Top 100, top 25 pos. rankings, etc). His formula considers the quality of each recruit and the number of total recruits, to guard against sample size issues (e.g. a large class of mediocre recruits ranking higher than a smaller class of stellar recruits).
TOM: MaxPreps is really high on Devin Gardner, but around the recruiting world there seems to be some difference in opinion on him. Why do you think there's such a wide range of rankings when it comes to Devin?
And why is MaxPreps so high on him?
STEPHEN: I think part of the reason there's a difference of opinion on Gardner is because he's one of the top quarterbacks in a class that's probably lacking the Jimmy Clausen/Matt Barkley/Garrett Gilbert elite recruit. I think there's always the presumption that if you're one of the top QB’s in the country, regardless of how strong the QB class is, you should be ranked at a certain position. I think some people disagree. The thing that I like about him is that he's a high-ceiling guy that was still productive as a high school player. Sometimes I think the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of performances at combines, games, and camps, and track records of success at the high school level are somewhat trivialized.
TOM: With the team coming off of two poor seasons, how do you think Rich Rodriguez has done recruiting-wise, with bringing in top recruits, his kind of players, and position of need?
STEPHEN: Well, right off the bat, I think Gardner is a great fit, but probably won't help right away. I like the wide receivers he reeled in. I think that a speedy, slot back type threat would be a big boost to this class. But if Gardner can contribute sooner rather than later, perhaps that's what becomes of Denard Robinson.
TOM: Besides Gardner, is there anyone in this class that you look at and say, Michigan really needed to get him, or they're going to be excited about him?
STEPHEN: I really, really like Josh Furman. I think he'd be able to contribute on offense, but I think he'll be a big boost to the linebacking unit. I have heard about Furman for a few years, and this year he really put it together and was flat out dominant. I know some people think he has NFL potential.
TOM: Who do you think are the possible early contributors out of this class, either by need or talent?
STEPHEN: I suspect Richard Ash might be able to plug some holes on the defensive line. Cullen Christian is a nice, big corner. Wouldn't be surprised if he saw some reps.
TOM: How do you think, if you were to guess, Michigan closes out this class. Any surprises on signing day?
STEPHEN: I think they land Sean Parker and end on a high note. It's down to USC and Michigan. His coach paints him as the type of kid who wouldn't mind getting away from home. The problem is that he's played in the Tampa 2 his whole high school career, so it'd be an easy transition to play for Monte Kiffin. Landing Parker might open up the door for his teammate, junior Chris Brown. And there's a freshman quarterback on that team who will start at a sophomore named Troy Williams who could be one of the nations best by the time he's a senior. He's definitely one to keep an eye on.
FL S Demar Dorsey is a safety prospect from Lauderdale Lakes, Florida who took an official visit to Michigan this past weekend. Dorsey, a Florida commitment, is a highly ranked recruit and happens to be the cousin of Michigan's very own Denard Robinson. I caught up with him after his visit, and this is what he had to say.
TOM: How was your visit to Michigan?
DEMAR: It was great taking the trip to Michigan. I learned a lot of new things about the academics, and about the program. I met a couple players, coaches, and their wives and kids. Went to Rich Rodriguez’s house, and hung out and played video games. We were at the basketball game, too, that was fun. We all ran on the court after they won, which was fun.
TOM: What were the coaches telling you about what position you’d play?
DEMAR: They want me to play safety and corner. They said that they want me to play offense, too. They said I could play a little receiver, run some reverses, and screens because of my speed.
TOM: Denard Robinson is your cousin, what had he told you about Michigan before this visit?
DEMAR: He was just telling me not to listen to what other people say about the weather, and the academics are strong. Having him there won’t be a big factor in my decision, but it would be nice.
TOM: What made you decide to come up to Michigan?
DEMAR: Shoelace was telling me about the program, and I was just waiting for my test scores to come back. I was going to go to Tennessee, but then the coaches changed so I put Michigan back on the map.
TOM: You and Devin Gardner played in the UA game. Did you guys strike up a friendship?
DEMAR: Yeah, me and Devin met at the Under Armor camp and game, and we hung out a couple times at the camp. We already knew each other, so we got to know each other a little more and had some fun together.
TOM: What other visits do you plan on taking?
DEMAR: I’ve been to Florida already, so I’m going to Florida State this weekend and then USC.
TOM: Are you still committed to Florida?
TOM: Is it a soft commit?
DEMAR: I’m just trying to take a couple visits to see what other schools have to offer. I think I’m going to stay committed, but I’m not sure. It’s going to come down to signing day, so I’m not sure what could happen, really.