Following up on Tom VH's post from yesterday, ESPN and Rivals are reporting that Aziz Shittu has withdrawn his commitment to Stanford and is opening up his recruting again. It certainly seemed to be moving in that direction in Tom VH's post and it's official now.
Ok so let me preface this post by saying that I'm a Walmart Wolverine whose only venture into the Midwest came when I spent a long weekend in Chicago 3 years ago. What I'm wondering is what makes the Ohio recruiting grounds so much superior to Michigan? For as much anti-Ohio sentiment as there is around here, it's an accepted fact among everyone that Ohio has the better players. The thread a few posts down the board references an SI article that says Ohio State is still the #2 most desirable coaching job in college football regardless of the future sanctions that they have coming their way. The author's rational was nothing more than the fact that they will always have the inside track on Ohio recruiting.
This leads me to believe that the football culture in Ohio is deadly serious and at a level unmatched elsewhere in the country save for Texas and maybe Florida. Is this the case? The state has a population of 11.5 million which is comparable to Illinois at 13 million and Michigan at about 10 million. Is Ohio's commitment to youth football just that much more fanatical than other Midwestern states? It's become abundantly clear to me that OSU fans have a win at all cost mentality but does that same fanaticism trickle down to the high school level and, if so, does it serve to create better players?
My gut feeling is that other states have a much more rational outlook on the sport. The passion of the Michigan fanbase is unquestionable but at the same time I don't see the typical Michigan fan forcing their kids into football. In other words, I get the impression from the majority of MGoUsers that it's ok if your son wants to play baseball or join an after school debate team or whatever. I'd appreciate it if someone could shed some light on this topic for an outsider like me.
The title of the topic does not do it justice, but Spencer's thoughtful piece on the nature of college football coaches and alcohol is definitely worth your time on this Friday afternoon.
(yes, I realize most of you read EDSBS every day, but this is a great piece of writing.)
Michigan checks in at No. 12, between USC and Notre Dame.
OSU at No. 2, Penn State at No. 8, Nebraska at No. 15.
Take this with a grain of NaCl but I've now heard this from multiple people who don't know each other:
Michigan's night game jersey will be Yellow.
No word yet on if it will be like the blue and white hockey sweaters with number on chest like has been discussed on the board but IDK. Could this mean white pants?! OMGz.
I searched around and didn't see this anywhere. Sam Webb asked Allen Trieu, Bill Greene, and Dave Berk about prospects from Ohio (Kalis, Dunn, Odenigbo, Wormley, Pittman) that MSU/UM are pursuing and how matters might have changed due to fallout from Tressel's retirement.
Bill Greene on Dunn:
I think Michigan absolutely has a legitimate shot at Brionte Dunn. I think Penn State would be appealing to him too. [...] I think any of the schools in the Midwest that can sell him on an I-formation, power running game has got a shot. I would put Michigan as the No. 1 competitor for Ohio State for Brionte Dunn and I would say Penn State is right there too. He said he's also going to visit Penn State.
Trieu on Wormley:
Even through all the things that he was saying, I always felt like Michigan was the leader for Chris. I think Michigan is the clear leader now and I think it would be an upset if he went anywhere but Michigan.
Berk on Pittman:
I think that kid is going to stay in the Midwest. I think you can look at Notre Dame, Michigan State and Michigan as programs that should probably jump above Ohio State right now with him. We have to keep in mind that it may not be the cool thing to say Ohio State has dropped on your list if you're an Ohio kid. You never want to come out and say that.
Greene on Pittman:
I have known Se'Von since he was 12. I think I know him pretty well. He's another one that I don't think is going to go a thousand miles from home to college. I could be wrong, but I think with Se'Von Pittman it is a two-team race with Michigan and Ohio State. Everyone else is trying to get in where they can fit in. I think he is going to visit Alabama, I think he is going to visit Florida, but I think in the end he is going to stay close to his mom and play in the Midwest. Three months ago I would have said done deal Ohio State — total lock Ohio State. I certainly wouldn't say that today.
So Berk and Greene taken together would seem to suggest that we should probably lead for Pittman, currently do lead for Wormley (no surprise there), and have a decent shot at Dunn (though the part about PSU was news to me). They talked about Ideafi Odenigbo somewhat, but only with regard to how MSU's chances might improve (summary: somewhat, and McGowan's commitment will help, but he wants elite-level academics a la Stanford and ND). Are we not really pursuing him anymore? I remember his tape being excellent.