if you seek an image of the most Wisconsin OL ever, enter here
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg posted a short piece about the National Football Foundation's Honor Society and I was surprised to see that Michigan was the only team in the Big Ten + Nebraska not to have at least ONE selection. The conference had 29 selections including six each by the Hoosiers and Buckeyes.
How can that happen at one of the conference's top-two academic institutions?
Michigan offered Illinois DT Jaleel Johnson yesterday and I caught up with him to talk about the offer. Jaleel has been open about wanting a Michigan offer for some time, so he was excited when it came through.
The [Michigan] coaches were in school yesterday during school hours. They didn't watch practice, but they verbally offered me and told me that they want me to come out for a visit. I'll be making that visit sometime in the near future, over the summer. I do like Michigan, but I would like to get a feel for the school by going up and checking it out.
I asked him where he was at in his recruitment and what he knew about Michigan so far.
I'm pretty far into my recruitment, I have 11 offers now. I plan on narrowing down my list sometime during my season and then making my decision in the winter. I know that Michigan has the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, which is a team that I like. I also believe they have won the most Big Ten Championships. The rest will be about getting to know the coaches.
I think Michigan has a good shot with Jaleel, like he said he needs to see campus first and get to know all the coaches. Here's a look at his film if you haven't seen it already. Jaleel's other offers include Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, MSU, and Wisconsin.
I just read that Sparty will open the 2012 Season under the Friday night lights in a nationally televised game on the Big Ten Network. The game is scheduled for September 2nd (the beginning of the Labor Day weekend) in East Lansing.
As you know, we open the 2012 season on THURSDAY night against the Crimson Tide in the 8th Wonder of the World. What a great weekend of football it will be.
A narrow miss on KY QB Zeke Pike leaves Michigan looking for another quarterback in the class of 2012. While there are still some big name options left on the board, the Michigan staff is expanding their search and exploring all options. New York QB Chad Kelly (6'3", 205 lbs) is one of the prospects being evaluated. Kelly made a trip over to Ann Arbor this past Monday after taking in Purdue and Michigan State. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say about the trip.
TOM: Tell me about your trip, what did you get to see in Ann Arbor?
CHAD: We basically took a visit through everything, the academic center and the Big House.
TOM: Was that your first time in the Big House?
CHAD: Yeah it was. It was pretty sweet. I didn't realize how big it was and how if you yell it echoes within. It was just crazy how big it was, it was really special.
TOM: I know Michigan hasn't offered you yet, but what were the Michigan coaches talking to you about on the trip? Did they tell you what you need to do to earn an offer?
CHAD: Yeah, they said that I have to go to camp, but we will see after Friday. Coach Mallory will be at school on Friday to watch me throw. We talked to Coach Hoke and Coach Borges basically about the same thing.
TOM: So you might still camp then, depending on what happens Friday?
CHAD: I might be.
TOM: What was your overall impression of the trip? How did it compare to the other two visits, Purdue and MSU?
CHAD: My impression was that it was a great program and they're turning it around from the past few years. I think it compared pretty well and overall it was a good time.
TOM: For any fans that haven't seen you play, what do you think you do well and what are you working on?
CHAD: I think my strengths are keeping the play alive and looking downfield to throw. I'm working on better decision making and for people that might not think I'm a pro style quarterback I have a very strong arm.
TOM: I'm sure you get asked this in every interview, but I have to ask if your uncle, former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly, has been helping you through this process.
CHAD: Yeah he has. He's helped me with knowing where to go check out and everything. Sometimes I work out with the Bills and get insight on everything so that helps too.
TOM: As far as your overall recruiting process, do you have a timeline set or do you know when you want to make your decision?
CHAD: In the process I'm just checking everything out, trying to find the pros and cons of all these schools. I will make my decision before the season though.
TOM: What about narrowing down your list, do you plan on doing that soon?
CHAD: Yes, right after my visit to Alabama in early June.
So now that we've entered the dead zone of Michigan football I thought we'd do a little speculate a little on who will have the most impact this fall as a true freshman.
Personally I think that running back and corner back are the easiest positions to due well at as a freshman since, many times, they are asked to rely more on their god given talents, than to rely on reading offenses or defenses, so I'm starting there.
With that assumption, that leaves me with 6 recruits Blake Countess, Tamani Carter, Greg Brown, and Delonte Hollowell at DB and Thomas Rawls and Justice Hayes at RB.
Out of the DB's Blake Countess appears (based on recruting sites) to be the best athlete and talent so I am putting him as my number 1 DB to make an impact.
Between the two running backs, Hayes has the better recruiting hype, but Rawls has the size on his side. I am going to go with Hayes on this one, as I am hoping that his speed will complement Denards well, and we have some other bruising backs that might keep Rawls on the sideline for next year.
So now I have it down to Blake and Justice as my two potential breakout freshmen. For me, I'm going to go with Hayes. I obviously like a healthy T-wolf at the 1, but also really liked Avery at the two last year, epecially towards the end. If these players come back strong (and Floyd recovers as well), I think this allows time for Blake to adjust, and move into the lineup possibly later in the year. With RB, although I like Shaw, Hopkins and Smith, as well as possibly Cox and Tousaint, none have separated themselves from less than ideal production pack of last year. This means that an open competition leaves room for a freshman to come in and shine.
Anyway, would like to hear others thoughts. It's nice to be talking about which Freshman could make an impact instead of how many do we have to smart. Go Blue!