Dadeville (AL) DT Rod Crayton is coming off an extremely impressive junior season, and his recruitment is beginning to gain steam as a result. Standing at 6'2", 290 pounds, Crayton currently holds offers from Arizona, Auburn, FAU, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Penn State, and Washington State. He's one of several top-flight visitors who will be in Ann Arbor this weekend, and he's expecting to get some big news when he's on campus:
ACE: First of all, what schools have been showing interest in you lately?
ROD: LSU, Tennessee, Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, FAU, Memphis, Louisville, Michigan, Penn State, Washington State, and Arizona, and also Auburn and Alabama.
ACE: Talking about Michigan specifically, have they offered you, and do you have any plans to come up and visit?
ROD: I'm visiting Michigan on Sunday. They tell me they have some good news for me when I come up there, so I'm expecting an offer.
ACE: Who are you talking to from Michigan?
ROD: Coach Montgomery.
ACE: When you come up to visit, what are you going to be looking for in terms of checking out the school?
ROD: I'm just going to see how it is. See the campus, see the coaches and get to know them a little bit. See how everything is up there.
ACE: Going back to your junior season, how do you think you performed on the field, and what kind of numbers did you put up?
ROD: I did pretty good. I had 162 tackles and 11 sacks.
ACE: If you had to scout yourself as a player, what would you say are your biggest strengths and what are you looking to improve for your senior season and the next level?
ROD: To improve, I have to stay low. My strengths are working with my hands, pushing back the pocket, and making plays down the line of scrimmage.
ACE: Do you know what schools you'd like to check out over the offseason?
ROD: I'm actually going to Penn State on Saturday, then Michigan on Sunday.
ACE: Do you have any idea in terms of a timeline of when you'd like to make a commitment?
ROD: That's not gonna be any time soon. I'm trying to [take some visits first].
ACE: What are going to be the main factors that you're looking for when it comes down to picking a school?
ROD: Somewhere where I feel comfortable at, where I've got a good relationship with the coach, and where I can play at—I want to go somewhere that best fits me.
Had a discussion about tackling in a previous thread. I won't try and taint the jury so I just want to give you a scenario and see what you think.
Let's suppose you are Jamiemac and you are at the UM spring game. Since you are a gambling addict you have bet Ace on the Spring Game. The maize team is heading down on the last drive and you need a stop to win the bet. Borges has called a throwback screen to Toussaint and your heart is rising in your throat as you see vast green space in front of him. The lineman has cut one defender but one guy has read the play and he has recovered enough to be 8 yds away squared up with Toussiant as Toussaint has secured the catch.
Who do you want to that defender to be to save you?
One catch it can't be Kovacs because Mattison has him on the sidelines calling the defense.
While reading Brian's amazing post about the clinic meeting with Mattison, I came across one piece that I can not understand:
Michigan does not align to strength but rather aligns to field—ie, if you're on the left hash the SAM will be to the wide side of the field and if you're on the right hash the SAM will be to the wide side of the field. You can flip your tight ends all around and Michigan won't flip in response. I assume the flipping from earlier in the year was a necessary evil as Michigan tried to get everyone up on the new system.
I don't understand how this can possibly be true. For example, if the ball is on the left hash and the offense comes out heavy left (a TE at least to that side) or a TE with a wing or a even a fullback in the game too, how can our D stand a chance by lining up in an under front with the Sam away from the power?
Wont we be badly outnumbered on that side? A power run with a pulling guard would be a 4 on 3 advantage and possibly more if you decide to read an unblocked DE to the wide side.
In a normal under front, the shade is to the tight end and the 3-tech is away. Does this still stand if the offense lines up power into the boundary? If not how is it not absolutely deadly for the defense to have only a shaded nose and an end to the tight end side?
I talked with Damore'ea Stringfellow today following his offer from Michigan yesterday. Great kid, great name and has a lot of talent: Damore'ea Stringfellow
I also posted an update on Durham Smythe, the TE out of Texas who was offered this afternoon and should be talking to Sebastian LaRue tonight who was offered today as well.
Michigan is currently a 13 point underdog to Alabama in the JerryWorld game. (Link: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120215/SPORTS0201/202150407/1131/Michigan-now-13-point-underdog-against-Alabama.)
Personally, even though I'm not much for bets, I'd take Michigan at those odds. Of course, I'm a shameless homer who only roots for Michigan, but I can't see them beating us that soundly.
I also believe that Michigan has an advantage in facing them at the beginning of the season. Denard should have a lot more opportunity to surprise their defense. Even though Alabama has many great incoming freshmen, it always takes a while for newcomers to make solid contributions. We'll see. Of course, it'll be interested to hear RDT's take on the game and the odds.
I’m going to come right out and say it: I think Michigan will beat MSU next year. Big surprise, I’m a Michigan fan that thinks Michigan will win. I think it’s a fair assumption, I think Michigan has a better team. I by no means think it’s a lock like many others seem to be desperately trying to convince themselves. Here’s what we are looking at for Michigan State.
Key Offensive Losses: Cousins, Cunningham, Martin, Linthicum, Nichol, Baker, Foreman.
Cousins and Cunningham are the two biggest loses. Foreman, who was State’s best lineman on a terrible line, was overrated. He’ll get replaced, some of MSU’s injured players will come back, and the line will probably be only marginally better than last year. Baker isn’t much of a lose, Bell is a better back anyway and they have some depth with Caper there. Linthicum could hurt them a bit, but if Sims lives up to any of his ability or one of their other TEs continue to show like they did last year it won’t be too bad. Martin was hit or miss, he had speed but pretty crappy hands, and is probably someone who can be replaced. Cunningham can’t immediately. But WR depth isn’t terrible, though it is young. Maxwell isn’t a bad QB and will probably step right in and be middle of the pack Big Ten. He has a pretty strong arm and is pretty accurate, has potential, and State will run the ball enough to give him some help.
Defensive: Worthy, Robinson, Depth players
Like it or not, and probably a function of playing in a relatively weak offensive conference (this also helped Michigan to a certain degree), but MSU’s defense was pretty good last year. Tommy G, while a dirty player, is pretty damn good. Their D-line has some depth, and while losing Worthy really hurts, they also lose his at least one off-sides a game move. They will still have a good D-line, as they have the required depth at this position. As most people agree, it starts upfront, and they are solid here, probably about the same as last year. The LBs they will be better than last year, they lose no one. DBs are their weakness, and they lose some leadership but get some pretty good players back. This is the area where they lack depth though and could get exposed it injuries happen.
Overall, I think their defense hit their peak last year. They can be a top 10 D but until they bring in more consistent talent they won’t go much higher than that. They have some limitations athletically that make it so other schools can and will be ahead of them, but at least for next year they should be solid.
So that sums up what I have to say about State. Most people will disagree I’m guessing, fine, and some will have valid points. I’m by no means saying they are world beaters. I’m guessing they will be a top 25 team next year though, hovering around 20-30 for the most part. I think Michigan will beat them but that it will be a very competitive game. That’s my rant and essay/thesis all rolled into one, but what you say?