I got to thinking, we throw the term grit around a lot here, which is good. I like my nouns to be portable just like the next man. But what do we mean by grit? Does it mean that you have to be a 2-3 star grinder, who is usually white? Actually, I don't really care to define the term much. Defining it reduces it to less than awesome.
Instead, I thought of nominating players to join the Grit Pantheon and sit atop Mt. Schembechler and drink nectar, ambrosia, and buckeye tears.
I can't do an all time team, since 1991 is as far back as I really remember, and I only got MGoStatus in 2009. Here are my 2011 nominees for Grit Pantheon:
David Molk (Sugar Bowl Injury)
Van Bergen (Sugar Bowl Injury)
V. Smith (handguns, 5'6" of cut blocking cruise missle)
Odoms (injured, buried on depth chart, heart of a champion. see 2008 minnesota game)
Kovacs (you know the story)
D. Robinson (pats Gholston on the ass after Gholston tried to break his neck)
B. Mealer (you know the story)
2012 nominee: Dennis Norfleet. See the video from the 7on7 where he smacks concrete face first at full speed and bounces up for the next play.
Who do you nominate for grit?
This afternoon, as our children were playing in a park, I brought up to my cousin the story about Urban Meyer's recent press conference in which he plans to refer to Michigan as "That Team Up North". My cousin is a journalist, formerly a full-fledged sports journalist, and he currently writes for a major South Florida paper. He is a UFlorida graduate, and he actually broke the Urban Meyer Utah-to-Florida story for the Palm Beach Post. There is some discussion whether it was them or the Florida Times-Union who broke the story first. Nevertheless, he was able to break the story because he had become close to the Meyer family during the preceding month of his arrival at Florida, often dining with them in their home. He broke the story because Urban Meyer's wife called my cousin directly to tell him.
My cousin, as someone who sees Meyer as a liar (b/c he was also intimately involved in the media coverage during his tenure at Florida), says that the name change of a rival is a common theme for Meyer. He says that Meyer did it at Bowling Green, at Utah, and then again at Florida. Apparently Meyer chose FSU as the rival-du-jour, and just designated them with just a crimson bar on their schedule. So he sees this as Meyer stirring the pot of a rivalry, which he says is his MO. However, he doesn't believe he called a press conference at any of his other stops. Also, he thinks (as most of us do) that Meyer saw the writing on the wall with Saban/Alabama dominating the next several years of the SEC and bolted.
I just thought this information, from someone who closely followed Meyer since his leaving Utah, would be interesting to the Board.
Now that the 2013 recruiting cycle is now in full swing I thought it would be fun to create a best guess/ wish list for 2013. I have bee gathering information from all of Aces and Aquamans articles, Toms stuff over at ESPN, and Sam Webbs recruiting round up. Everyone here seems to think we will have about 20-22 spots open in this years class and I think that will be a safe bet. Lets get this started.
1) Quarterback - Shane Morris (check)
2) Running Back- Wyatt Shallman
3) Running Back -Ty Issac
4) Big Wide Reciever- Juron Dukes
5) Big Wide Reciever- Laquon Treadwell
6) Playmaking Wide Reciever - maybe a guy like Robert Foster or James Quick, I think Shane will be able to help reel one of these guys in.
7) Recieving Tight End- Khalid Hill (check)
8) Balanced Tight End- Jake Butt
9) Tackle- Logan Tulley-Tillman
10) Tackle- Hunter Bivin
11) Tackle/Guard- Kyle Bosch
12) Gaurd- Ethan Pocic
13) Guard/Center- Chris Fox
14) Defensive end- Taco Charlton
15) Defensive end- Tashawn Bower
16) DT- Henry Poggi
17) LB- EJ lavenberry
18) LB- Ben Gedeon
19) CB- Jourdan Lewis
20) CB- TIm Harris
21) Safety- Dymonte Thomas (check)
22) Safety- Su'a Cravens
This what I ended up coming up with when looking at what I have read and listened to. I'm not going to lie and say i'm confident in this list mainly cause I have no clue on a few things like oline. I just took names that I have seen a lot and have high interest. I do think the staff will go with a big playmaking wr eventually and having Shane will help a ton. There are guys on the list that like Michigan but personally think they will go somewhere else ( Poggi, Lavenberry and Su'a Cravens to be exact) but I do think Michigan has a chance.
Please feel free to pick apart my list and make one of your own if you want. I would like to thank Ace and Aquaman for all the hard work they have been doing. Also Magnus and his input is always a great read.
EDIT: I feel like I should throw this in here that I don't expect this list to hold up. Heck when I was making it the first time around a work yesterday I had Shaq Wiggins on there and that got shot down last night.
Columbus (OH) Marion-Franklin WR Jaron Dukes made his first-ever trip to Ann Arbor yesterday for an unofficial visit to his childhood favorite, Michigan. Dukes told me earlier this week that he was "ecstatic" upon receiving his Wolverine offer and "[has] my mind set on where I want to go," but he's heeding the advice of his coaches and parents and making sure to check out not only Michigan, but other schools as well before me makes a commitment. I spoke with Jaron last night when he returned from his visit, and needless to say he enjoyed the trip:
ACE: How'd you enjoy the visit?
JARON: Oh, I loved it. It was the best.
ACE: Do you want to expand on that? Take me through what you saw in Ann Arbor.
JARON: I'll tell you what I saw. I saw a love for Michigan. Everybody I talked to loves the university, loves everything about it. They were a family, you could tell there was a bond everywhere you went, you could just feel it. It was just a great place to be. They took me through the facilities, they showed me the field, academic center, athletic center, I talked to the dean, everything—it was just great.
ACE: Who hosted you on the visit and what coaches were you talking to?
JARON: It was myself, Coach Heck, Coach Montgomery, and another coach, I think he was the linebackers coach.
ACE: What was your impression of the coaching staff?
JARON: (laughs) We were just over there having a good time, laughing and talking, making sure Michigan will be a place that I will be happy at. It was just having a great time getting to know the school and everything, not putting pressure on me, just letting me enjoy seeing the campus and everything for right now.
ACE: What would you say was the high point of the visit? Can you pick out a particular thing that stood out to you?
JARON: Easily. Easily I can say the highest point was me starting from the very top of the tunnel, running down the tunnel, jumping, and just walking out onto the field. I went from the 'M' in the center of the field, to end zone, to end zone, and back to the center, and a tear came down my face.
ACE: Is Michigan a place you could see yourself playing?
JARON: Oh, yes sir.
ACE: I know you didn't want to make a snap decision, a commitment on the visit, but what is it going to take it terms of knowing when you'd like to make a decision? Also, what's it going to take for another school to be able to match what Michigan offers?
JARON: I don't think, well, I don't know. I guess they have to show, they'd have to impress my parents. If my parents are happy, then I'm going to be happy, but as long as I feel I'm safe there, then it'll be OK.
ACE: What did your parents think of the trip?
JARON: My parents really liked it, they loved it. They just want me—and they should—they want me to go around and make sure that I've got everything else out of the way that I want to see. They want me to go around and see what other colleges have to offer. Show me that there's more than just one school out there.
ACE: Do you know what other schools you want to see at this point?
JARON: Yes. I would like to take a trip to Cincinnati, Michigan State, I'd like to go up to West Virginia, maybe Illinois.
ACE: Do you know when you'd want to take those visits and when you'd want to be done with your recruitment, or is that still to be decided?
JARON: That still has to be decided with my parents, and me and my coaches would have to go over it.
Apparently 2012 RB commit Dennis Norfleet is quite the terror on the basketball court.
Norfleet is reportedly a gritty point guard and a tenacious defender. The money quote:
"I've been coaching him now for four years, but I'm still amazed at some of the things he does," said Brooks. "He wants to win no matter what. If he has to dive into the bleachers, he will. If he has to guard a 6-8 guy, he'll do it for his team."
Not bad qualities for a rb/slot either.
Nick Sheridan has been bumped from an offensive GA at Western Kentucky to QB's & passing game coordinator for the school. I'll choose to remember his playing career by 2008 Minnesota and nothing else though.