this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
I haven't seen any discussion on the topic, so I figured I would start a Monday morning thread about the SB commercials. While people generally look forward to them, I found this year's crop, much like last year's, to be largely forgettable. Have the agencies just run out of ideas? Last week, I saw a rundown of the top 15 or 25 SB commercials of all time, and the new ones are just a step down.
What did everyone here think? Any favorites? Least favorites? Discuss.
Magnus had an excellent primer on the presumed QB targets for Michigan in 2014 earlier today, http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/scouting-report-2014-quarterbacks
ESPN had their own report this afternoon, an update from the private workout Wilton Speight had with Jeff Hecklinski on Friday. To that end, the workout apparently went well. But the most interesting piece of info. is the reported "top 3" on the Michigan coach's preferred list. According to Speight, it's between him, David Cornwell, and Michael O'Connor.
"He told my coach that the Michigan coaches have talked and I'm one of the top three (junior) quarterbacks in their eyes in the country," Speight said. The other two, Hecklinski said, are Michael O'Connor from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG and David Cornwell from Norman (Okla.) North. All three could soon garner scholarship offers.
It doesn't look like this year's NSD will have much drama re. the 2013 class (excl. any Poggi news), but we may have an idea of who gets the QB offers for 2014. Speight's coach was told to wait for a phone call on Wed. morning.
I guess somebody had to do it. Less than an hour until the Cake-Demanding Harbaughs take on the Demands-Yet-To-Be-Uttered Harbaughs. As Bo smiles from football Valhalla...
I didn't see any posts about this excellent event.
First, if you haven't heard about these, they are for kids in grades K-8 to interact with U-M athletes. There are a number of sports represented, with a few events yet to come. Link is here.
I really didn't know what to expect. My 2nd grade son and 6th grade daughter attended after getting a heads up from a friend back in November. The football event was yesterday, Feb. 2nd.
They had 6 stations for the kids to do different drills, 5 minutes at each station. At each station there were 4-6 football players or student managers running the drills. Then they got a water break, reset the stations to different activities, and did another rotation. Finally, they got all the players to sit behind tables with Sharpies and the kids could have one item autographed by each of the players.
Kids got to block, tackle, run, catch, throw, punt, place kick, and more. It was very well organized.
Not that you would expect anything less from Michigan players, but I was truly impressed with how positive, magnanamous, and patient the players were. It was obvious that they wanted to be there and they took time to pose for pictures and talk one-on-one with the kids.
Players of note:
- Taylor Lewan was there (in socks the whole time) floating from station to station and talking with anyone who wanted to. He was looking very trim and said he lost some weight when he had his tonsils out after the bowl game.
- Devin Gardner emceed the event with a microphone at the center of the field. He hammed it up with other players, "interviewed" the kids about what they were doing, and even lead a chorus of Happy Birthday.
- Jeremy Gallon was all smiles and took time for pictures and conversations with anyone who wanted them.
- Dennis Norfleet was a bundle of energy and motion the *entire* time. He was constantly recognizing kids for their efforts and just displayed an awesome, over-the-top personality.
- A bunch of offensive linemen were running one drill that called for the kids to jump over a couple of barriers stacked on top of each other; if a kid didn't make the leap, they'd look at each other and say, "LINEMAN!" and high-five the kid.
Here is a link to some pictures. (I ended up taking over 300, so this is just a small sample! I didn't want to post pictures where individual kids could be identified, so these are of players or large groups.)
Basketball is upcoming, but already full. I think men's and women's soccer and swimming are all coming up. I don't know exactly what those events will be like, but if they are anything like football, I can't recommend them enough.
In case you missed this article from Friday, Simmons does a great job discussing a couple of "modern miracles" that may warrant a bit more scrutiny. I'm not saying that I know that any of these guys are juicing, but Simmons's list of "people who should have to pee in a cup" makes some excellent points. Interested to hear what the board thinks of it. Why don't we have better PED testing in sports? Reasons cited often include players' freedoms, and that blood testing is invasive, or something. Well, there are all kinds of random and invasive rules commiserate with playing pro sports. Hell, the combine has a literal meat market where players walk around in their underwear and are measured in front of hundreds of men. I'd think that the clean players would push hard for more testing.
Remember as you hear today that a 37 year old tore his triceps 2 months ago and is now on a "victory tour" making tons of tackles... that the NFL doesn't test for HGH.
The following anecdote is also 100 percent true … When Bertrand Berry and Ty Warren suffered a complete tear of their triceps, it took them six months to recover. When Arizona left tackle Levi Brown suffered a complete tear of his triceps in August 2012, the Cardinals immediately put him on their season-ending injured list. When Ray Lewis suffered a complete tear of his triceps in mid-October, we thought he was finished for the season … only he returned to action a little more than two months later. During the third month of his "recovery," he made 17 tackles in a double-overtime playoff game in Denver. In 13-degree weather. At age 37. So when Lewis's name landed in this week's PED scandal, nobody tumbled over in shock. We wasted the rest of Super Bowl week talking about him, wondering whether he cheated, watching his denial for signs that he was lying, Googling "deer antler spray" and talking about everything other than the game. Eventually, the moment will pass, like it always does. Nothing will change. Sadly, the collective irresponsibility of some sports media members — call it "cornballbrotheritis" — ruined any rational media member's chances to question the current environment. You don't trust our ability to handle such a loaded subject, nor should you. We've ruined your trust too many times.