I did not make this headline up
With Running Backs being a big question mark and with the addition of a new offense...Who do you guys think steps up and takes the starting spot? And who fills in behind him? With our depth i really dont know who to expect.
Defensive tackle is one of the holes that hasn't been filled yet for Michigan, which makes Darian Cooper one of the most important recruits left on the board. Up to even a few weeks ago it seemed like Cooper wasn't going to entertain the idea of even visiting Michigan. The new coaching staff made him a priority and convinced him to visit this past weekend. Michigan has now moved into his top four with MSU, Iowa, and Georgia Tech. Here's his film, and what he had to say about the visit.
TOM: Tell me from the start what you guys did.
DARIAN: We got there at five on Friday, and we went and ate dinner at the Big House. After that I hung out with some of the players, we hung out with Josh Furman, Patrick (Omameh). We got to meet all the players and we played some video games.
TOM: Was Saturday more the business side of it then?
DARIAN: Yeah, Saturday was more the academic side of it. My mom and little brother were with me, and we spent a few hours with the Dean of business. They went over what a degree means from Michigan and the overall academics there.
TOM: That's usually what parents care the most about, did your mom come away impressed with that?
DARIAN: Their degree ranks 15th in the nation, so it's hard not to be impressed with that. My mom doesn't care so much about the football side. She wants there to be stability with the coaching staff. Football is football, you line up and the objectives are all the same, so she's worried about the other parts.
TOM: I'm assuming you also met with the coaches, Coach Hoke and Mattison, on Saturday. What did they have to say?
DARIAN: They were talking to me about my role on the defense. For the past few years their strength has been offense, and they were telling me that they're defensive minded coaches and they want to bring that defense back. They're putting an emphasis on defense now.
TOM: What did they say as far as your role in the defense, what's their pitch to you?
DARIAN: They were telling me it's a great opportunity to play early. My freshman year, Coach Mattison said I would be a relief for Mike Martin on the field. They would work me into a nickel package, and a third down rushing defensive tackle. Playing is good, I don't really care what my role is as long as I get to play.
TOM: You went from not wanting to visit Michigan, to now potentially having them in your top group when you decide. Did this visit help Michigan even more?
DARIAN: Michigan moved up in my mind, definitely. I'm really focusing on my experience with the players at each school. Buildings are buildings, but it's all about the people in the place not the bricks that have been laid.
TOM: Was there anything that really stuck out to you that was different from other visits?
DARIAN: It was an official visit, so everything's going to be great. What I liked was that they didn't take me to the most expensive restaurant that I'll never eat at again, which was interesting. They took me to the training table and told me everything that was real, and this is how you'd live here. They didn't try to sell me with stuff that wasn't going to be how it was there. I liked that part.
TOM: Where do you go from here?
DARIAN: Most likely make my decision on signing day. I'll sit down with my mom, and make my decision.
This was the last weekend before Signing day and Michigan still has some big name recruits left on their board. Four star Texas tight end Chris Barnett was a little late to the party, but he's at a position of need for Michigan. With this visit Chris will now have to decide between staying committed to Arkansas, or choosing Miami or Michigan instead.The coaches went out and convinced the Arkansas commit to come up and experience what Michigan had to offer. Here's his film, and what he had to say about the visit.
TOM: Tell me about the visit. When did you get there, and how did it go?
CHRIS: We got there Friday afternoon. We went through Schembechler Hall on a mini tour first. When the rest of the recruits got there we went out to eat and hung out with our hosts. The next morning we went through an academic tour, position meetings, we met with the AD, took a tour of the stadium, took a tour of Ann Arbor, and walked through the campus a little bit. We went to dinner later on and then hung out with our hosts again.
TOM: You mentioned your hosts, who was your host?
CHRIS: I had multiple hosts. I had Kevin Koger, Patrick Omameh, Junior Hemingway, and Devin Gardner. I met Darryl Stonum from Texas too.
TOM: What was it like hanging out with the players? Did you feel like you were comfortable with them?
CHRIS: The players have been through a lot together. The only thing that's been consistent with them is each other. They've been through coaching changes and everything. When they introduce themselves, they don't say this is my friend or this is my homeboy, they say this is my brother he plays quarterback. They're not associates, they're family. This is how close they are. We were about to go to Kevin Koger's apartment, we walked in and there was already three players there before Kevin even was. He just walked in and it was cool, it was fine that they were there. We went to someone else's house and we just walked right in. I haven't seen anything like that on any of my other trips.
TOM: Outside of the players, what about the coaches, what did they talk to you about?
CHRIS: They basically talked about the system that they were carrying over from San Diego State. They need guys that are mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to play. They were really honest and open that it wasn't going to be easy, it was going to be hard, but it would be rewarding in the end and the long run. They talked about the things they expect from their players, the three strike rule they have, and what they expect out of them.
TOM: Was that a good thing for you? Is discipline something you like in a coach?
CHRIS: It was great to hear that because you want them to be your coaches, but you also want to have someone that's there for you and they really seemed like they care about their players. It wasn't about them. I think you need discipline because that's how you grow as a person and player, with discipline and structure.
TOM: What about the academic side, you mentioned you took an academic tour. Did that have any impact on you?
CHRIS: Yeah, it was crazy. I went up there with my cousin, and we knew they were good but (a Michigan) degree is something like 14th overall in the country. They rank right up there around Yale and Harvard. They talked a little about how the athlete weighs in and how it's easy for you to connect with people later in life, too.
TOM: What did this visit do for Michigan? Did it help them out, how is everything going to play out for you?
CHRIS: I was amazed by a lot of things. It's going to be interesting. We're going to go back and weigh the pro's and cons and my emotions with these programs. We'll figure out what's best for me. I'm going to look at if the school has connections, will my degree mean more coming from that school, it's going to be a tough choice. I've been that guy so far that makes my decision with emotions and got caught up in the glitz of everything. I'm in a stable place now, and I'm not just looking at that stuff. I want to sit down and weigh everything out.
TOM: There was talk that you would wait until after signing day to decide, is that the case?
CHRIS: Yeah, I'll probably sign on Friday or Saturday. I just want to take myself out of the emotions for awhile, and away from everything. Sit down weigh everything out and then make my decision.
I saw some people wondering what the "3 strikes" thing was. Hoke talked about it at the recent coaching clinic and it goes as follows
If you do something dumb that hurts the team or the school you get a strike. This would be something like skipping a class.
Strike 1 - You get up at 5 in the morning with the S+C coach and push a 45lb weight plate up and down the field for an hour.
Strike 2 - You do the same for multiple days
Strike 3 - Your whole unit comes in and participates with you...ie... if Obi had 3 strikes the whole linebacker core would come in,
Strike 4 - Hoke said no has come back from a 4th strike...at this point your whole side of the ball would come in at 5AM and push the plate.
Ok so not exactly some kind of prophetic realizaton but it is something that I was thinking about that struck me as interesting.
It has now been 13 years since the NCAA implamented the BCS system. It was 13 years of ups and downs in college football. Through it all 13 teams were crowned National Champions. But almost all of those teams have something in common, NCAA violations.
|1998||Tennessee||13-0||Fiesta: Beat Florida St. 23-16||Phillip Fulmer|
|1999||Florida State||12-0||Sugar: Beat Va. Tech 46-29||Bobby Bowden|
|2000||Oklahoma||13-0||Orange: Beat Florida St. 13-2||Bob Stoops|
|2001||Miami, Fla.||12-0||Rose: Beat Nebraska 37-14||Larry Coker|
|2002||Ohio State||14-0||Fiesta: Beat Miami, Fla. 31-24 (2 ot)||Jim Tressel|
LSU (National Champs)
USC (#1 in AP Poll)
Sugar: Beat Oklahoma 21-14
Rose: Beat Michigan 28-14
|2004||USC||13-0||Orange: Beat Oklahoma 55-19||Pete Carroll|
|2005||Texas||13-0||Rose: Beat USC 41-38||Mack Brown|
BCS Championship Game:
Beat Ohio State 41-14
BCS Championship Game:
Beat Ohio State 38-24
BCS Championship Game:
Beat Oklahoma 24-14
BCS Championship Game:
Beat Texas 37-21
BCS Championship Game:
Beat Oregon 22-19
Of that list I see only 3 schools who have not faced some form of NCAA sanctions in the last 10 years; Oklahoma, Texas, and LSU. I dont include Auburn because come on, seriously, I shouldnt even have to explain why. We have seen Florida State and its exam scheme, USC and its payment of players, Florida having to suspend Newton because of his antics, Alabama caught redhanded, Miami and its swagger, and Ohio State with not 1 but 3 offenders(Clarrett, Troy Smith, Pryor). And when you consider the cheating that doesnt get caught then you have to add LSU to the list of cheaters with the obvious over signing of recruits.
So in some way shape or form, 11 of the last 13 National Champions cheated to win that championship. They committed acts that they knew to be violating NCAA rules but they did it with the intent to create and advantage to win. Now I havent done any extensive research on the subject. This is just me thinking through the information. Feel free to pick this apart or add in your own info, I might be way off in my thinking. But I actually think I am on to something here and am curious what you think.
Another Michigan defender makes the frontpage, awesome to see attention go to a few of the best Michigan defenders in recent memory. Considering that the SB is essentially Woodson v. Woodley for us non-PIT/GB Michigan fans, I'm torn. But I'll be rooting for Chuck, he's my all-time favorite.