...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
This weekly update is brought to you late by CMU's homecoming. Here's a look at a few recruits that I caught up with after the Iowa visit weekend. I'll pass along more info as I start to catch up.
5'10", 185 lbs.
Fort Myers, Florida
Dallas has dreadlocks, so he's ok by me. He's also very interested in Michigan, so much so that this past visit vaulted the Wolverines into the top spot. I was under the assumption that Michigan had been leading anyway, but this visit may have pushed it over the top for him. Every time he comes up to Ann Arbor he seems to be more and more comfortable with the surroundings and coaches.
Crawford was on the trip with highly touted teammate WR Sammy Watkins. Watkins has always listed Miami as one of his top schools, and often throws in Michigan and Clemson. There seems to be some problems up at Miami now, rumors that freshman safety Latwan Anderson is going to transfer along with what maybe two or three more young players. Miami also recently lost 2011 commit WR Eli Rogers, and while this isn't confirmed I've heard that they have some work to do to keep 2011 QB commit Teddy Bridgewater.
Just something to keep an eye on. If Miami continues to play poorly and starts to lose players and commitments, it may help Michigan's case. It also helps that his teammate is in his ear about joining him. They will both be back up for official visits around December. I'm more and more optimistic about Watkins as the time passes. Two unofficial visits to Michigan signal major interest.
6'4", 255 lbs.
Wormley is an important piece to the 2012 class on the defensive side of the ball. Michigan fans have been anxious about defensive recruiting, but the 2012 class could restock Michigan's depth chart in a big way. Early on I had reported that Ohio State was in the lead because of the attention he was getting from them, but that may have changed.
The game was good, besides the loss. Michigan has been moving up, they're up there right now. They just offered me too.
He likes to keep things close to the vest, but the word on the street now is that Michigan is the team to beat, and it may be pretty hard to beat them. [Ed.: The generally plugged Buckeye Planet mods are saying it's likely M, FWIW.]
Michigan has offered Wormley, as he said, which is a step in the right direction. He said that it feels good to have the offer, but he's probably not going to be making any decisions any time soon. Wormley will be one of the best players out of Ohio, and should be in the 4-5 star range when the rankings come out for 2012.
6'2", 213 lbs.
Lake Nona, Florida
Michigan's quarterback commit was in Ann Arbor for his first game, and really enjoyed seeing the atmosphere. Sousa has only been playing football for a few years, so hasn't been too sure how he stacks up, or how well he's prepared for the next level. His coach told me that meeting Michigan's quarterbacks gave him a better glimpse of his potential:
The game experience was great, and Kevin enjoyed the excitement and everything. Sousa finally realized how gifted he is physically after meeting each quarterback and seeing their performance in the weight room. I just hope they show him the interest they should because he's a steal.
I've mentioned the last bit before, but it seems like there may be a lack of communication going on. I'm not going to speculate on the reasoning behind that, for obvious reasons. We'll see how it plays out.
- It looks like the Illinois game will now be the date for the big Dr. Phillips visit. So far commit Demetrius Hart, S Roderick Ryles, WR Chris Gallon, and QB Nick Patti are scheduled to be there. If Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix shows up, then his recruitment might get interesting.
- DT Kevin McReynolds (6'2", 280 lbs, 4 Star) is now interested in Michigan. He spoke with the coaches last week, and said he would like to make it up for a visit. Here's his junior film, and a video of how he currently trains. Michigan coaches will be at his school on Friday, so it sounds like they're turning up the heat on Kevin.
- [Ed.: A newspaper article indicates CB Greg Brown was scheduled to be at Syracuse this weekend. That might be an indication the two parties are looking to go separate ways.]
Another forum post on this earlier, but RR confirms.
Sigh. This doesn't sound like a motivating tactic. And we're pretty well stacked at OG. Not good, don't see how he can move like he'd need to in our OL zone blocking scheme. And we are not stacked at NG behind Martin. Bye-Bye dreams of Roh-Martin-RVB-Campbell line of Death and Destruction in 2011.
EDIT: Bonus speculation on who's moving from OG to OT, and switching safety positions.
I just wanted to give a big shout out to Moe Sport Shops for the quick delivery of my Dhani Jones Signature Bow Tie.
I know there was a post on this last Saturday but I wanted to remind the community that the bow ties are still available and they're for a great cause, C.S Mott Children's Hospital.
Here's the link - http://www.moesportshops.com/products/view/1413/49
And the description tag from Moe's page about the bow tie:
" Former Michigan Football player, current Cinicinatti Bengals star, and bow-tie aficionado, Dhani Jones, has partnered with Moe Sport Shops and Underground Printing to promote the Dhani Jones Signature Bow Tie for a Cause campaign. This limited-edition bow tie will be available online and on campus to benefit U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
Encouraged to wear a bow ties by his best friend, Kunta Littlejohn, who was diagnosed with Lymphoma, these ties have become a symbol of perseverance. By supporting this campaign you are promoting the Bow Tie Beliefs
‐ critical thought, collaboration, self‐representation, and service ‐
For more information, please visit:
Here's a cool video of Dhani earning a little more money for the cause:
Sorry for the link, I can't get the video to embed.
So the forum topic on NFL coaches' playing careers got me to wondering about where the Big Ten coaches played and if any of them played in the NFL. So, here is the comprehensive rundown. As of now, it includes Tim Brewster. Nothing on interim HC Jeff Horton, as I can't find any info on his playing days. Note that Brewster and Fitzgerald appear to be the only ones who even attempted to play in the NFL - Brewster got cut in 2 training camps, and Fitz signed a FA contract with Dallas, only to give up playing after the preseason.
Not really sure what any of this shows other than that they all played college ball somewhere with varying levels of success (Fitz easily the most decorated, many of the others just have token notes that they played). They're just alphabetical by school, but if I had to rank the top 3 based on what I've found, it'd go Fitzgerald, Brewster (I know, right?), and Pelini.
|Illinois||Ron Zook||DB||Miami (NTM)|
|Indiana||Bill Lynch||QB||Butler||4 varsity letters; Captain of basketball team|
|Michigan State||Mark Dantonio||DB||USC (NTUSC)||3-year letter winner|
|Minnesota||Tim Brewster*||TE||Illinois||Training camps||2-time All-Big Ten|
|Nebraska||Bo Pelini||FS||Ohio State||2-year starter, co-captain|
|Northwestern||Pat Fitzgerald||LB||Northwestern||FA with Dallas, one preseason only||2 time Big Ten DPOTY, Nagurski and Bednarik trophies twice, CFB Hall of Fame|
|Ohio State||Jim Tressel||QB||Baldwin-Wallace||4 letters, 1 all-conference|
|Penn State||Joe Paterno||QB/CB||Brown|
|Wisconsin||Bret Bielema||NG||Iowa||4 letters|
Looking through the depth chart, it looks like we have 1 freshman, 4 sophmores, 4 juniors and 2 seniors starting on offense and 2 freshman, 4 sophmores, 2 juniors and 3 seniors starting on defense. That seems pretty similar to me, yet the results are anything but. I understand that there are TRUE vs. redshirt freshman getting pt on defense, which accounts for some of the disparity, but how can the offense be among the nations best so young, while the defense is among the nations worst. All of the talk coming in was how complicated RR's offense was and how it would take a few years for it to develop as the right type of players got the right type of experience. So far that has held true and we are starting to see the fruit of their labor. Is our defense that much harder to figure out than our offense? Is the talent better on offense than defense? Or has the coaching been that much better for the offense? In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld (or at least Jerry Seinfeld impersonators), "What is the deal?"
I am in the category of bloggers who give Rodriguez (and by extension, Greg Robinson) a pass for the play of the defense this year.
- We lost Woolfolk and Jones and Van Slyke to injury, Warren to the draft, Cissoko to sad stupidity, Turner to laziness and a following transfer, and Demar Dorsey to the NCAA clearinghouse. Add these players, and the defense looks very different.
- We went from the Carr regime to Scott Shafer to Greg Robinson as Defensive Coordinator in three consecutive years, a recipe for disaster.
- We had a disaster with Hopson as position coach with the linebackers.
- We have a lack of experience throughout the defense, witnessed by all the true freshmen getting playing time.
- We have a lack of depth in much of the defense.
All these things should be better next year. The freshmen and sophomores being baptized by fire will be seasoned vets next year. We have more defensive recruits coming on board. We will be in our third year under Gerg, with greater familiarity on schemes, and less thinking, more reacting instinctively. We also will see continued improvement in the linebacking corps.
I think Brian is exactly right in suggesting that 2011 is the critical year for evaluation of Rodriguez as Michigan's football coach.
My one complaint: I lay responsibility for special teams play this year on Rodriguez. To my way of thinking, this is a coaching issue, and less one of experience and depth. Our kicking game and return game and coverage on punts, field goals, and kickoffs all leave a lot to be desired. With Gerg working with linebackers, (and hence, no problem with NCAA coaching staff restrictions,) there is room on the staff for a coach dedicated to special teams play. While player stupidity occurs at every level from PeeWee to the NFL, I just don't see an adequate excuse for how special teams have performed in 2010. For this one area, I hope that Dave Brandon meddles and gets on Rodriguez to improve.