I have often wondered do college Coaches lobby for a four star kid to get a fifth star
to increase his Teams profile to attract the attention of or sway other high profile recruits?
I know all of the diehard Michigan fans like myself are still coping with the fact that we lost (again) to MSU, and a lot of you are reacting in total Schadenfreude fashion, blaming the coaches for everything and wondering how long our misery will last. I'm still optimistic about this season as long as we don't collapse in John L. Smith pre-Dantonio MSU fashion.
I think if we executed properly on Saturday with nothing at all changed in the gameplan, we win. A whole lot of us (including myself) have been begging for Gerg to employ more press coverage and man to man concepts as well as playing more aggressively. He did. And the defense gave the offense every opportunity to win the game in the early going.
While Spartan fans would love to think they owned Robinson and the run game, we made as many mistakes in the run game as we did in the pass game, they just weren't as eye gouging. Denard slipped or missed a cut on several plays that could have been moderate to game breaking. There were also several runs where the backs only needed to break an arm tackle or make one guy miss, and they didn't.
I think our defense (more so than other defenses) plays much better with momentum on their side. When the offense let great opportunities go to waste the whole team seemed deflated. I think Denard and many others on the offensive side of the ball played a little amped up and when that happens it can throw the precision off that is so desperately needed against a stout defense.
And it would be wrong for me to not say that MSU is much better than I ever thought they would be. They are a scary matchup for anyone right now and they beat us on plays when we had the play well covered schematically. Gerg can't fill a gap or keep contain, and Cousins made several perfect passes.
Iowa will give us plenty of opportunity to win on Saturday. Let's just hope this year's team isn't as affected by emotion as last year's. RR's job depends on it whether we like it or not.
Noticed on MGoBlue boxscore that the attendance was listed at 113,065 for Saturday's game. How is it possible that the game against our in state rival did not top the mark of 113,090 for the dedication game against UCONN? Are they not counting the press box and everyone with credentials? I thought it was a no brainer that they would break 114,000.
Just read the great post from tomcat re: his flight next to recruit Kellen Jones. (http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/my-flight-kellen-jones) Kellen is yet another example of a (future) Michigan player with strong character and values. Denard and Roh and Mealer clearly are just a few of the players at Michigan who want to be on a team with others who work hard and have high personal integrity. IIRC, this was part of the concern voiced by Woolfolk regarding Tate back in August.
I think we are not going to have the spate of character issue problems seen at various Thug U's and Party On Schools out there. I think having an LB like Kellen Jones on board is just tremendous.
One of the quotes from Kellen's visit to Michigan and time with Denard implied that if Denard wasn't hosting Kellen, or at the game, he would just be in his room by himself, probably studying. He said being all in for Michigan meant being all in for academics.
I'm curious, for mogreaders who are in the dorms with guys on the team: is my observation about our team on the mark? Obv., I don't need or want to know anything personal. Having said that, reading between the lines, I get the sense that we have not only a bunch of great athletes on the field, we have a bunch of great guys on the team who represent the University well OFF the field.
Figured this was appropriate for this week and how much attention that front four is getting in the media, justifiably so due to their effectiveness.
First when you come to Iowa as a dlineman you are left on the island since it is pretty much a standard four man front with little, if any, blitzing. They like twists and line stunts, but it sort of feeds a unit mentality of "it starts and stops with us". Take that comment FWIW.
Second, they still love to bulk up less regarded recruits and position switch guys to DT, particularly LBs. Last year it was King and Kroul who were 3* LBs in high school. This year it is Karl Klug (2* LB), Mike Daniels (2* DE) and Christian Ballard (4* TE) in the middle. On the edge, they tend try for at least one more highly regarded DE where you have Adrian Clayborn (4* DE) and Brodrick Binns (3* LB) on the other side. This approach creates a fairly athletic line, but is not possible with a good SC program (which they have) and gives me some hope that we can have the same sort of luck.
With that being said, I think we can still get them to the edge, I am less optimistic able much up the middle as there LBs run downhill behind that line. Unfortunately it will look a lot like last week so we will need effective passing to help the run game.
This was a big weekend for visitors, and although Michigan lost no one was disappointed with their trip. Michigan hosted three prospects on official visits, Kellen Jones (commit), Marquise Williams, and Devondrick Nealy. Here are reactions from Jones and Nealy followed by updates on a few defensive(!) prospects.
5'10", 175 lbs.
Slot Receiver/Running Back
Jefferson County, Florida
This was Devondrick's first official visit of the season. He's headed off to Minnesota next, believe it or not. He was excited before hand to make it up to Ann Arbor, and the visit seemed to exceed his expectations.
The visit was tremendous. I didn't commit, but it was close though. After this visit Michigan is my top school, for sure. Everything they have to offer outside of the football program was incredible. They broke down the academics part and it was great. I could really see myself at Michigan. The excitement came from the football program, but I was also excited about everything outside of football they have there.
So good luck Minnesota. Nealy now has Michigan at the top of his list followed by (in no order) Minnesota, Arkansas, and Auburn. He will take all five of his official visits and make his decision once they're done. Anything can happen, but it's good to get the early lead. I was also told by someone recently that Nealy had befriended now Michigan commit Demetrius Hart at a camp in Florida. Nealy apparently likes Demetrius, and likes the idea of being a tandem on offense with him as well.
6'2", 215 lbs.
St. Pius X, Texas
Current Michigan commit Kellen Jones came up for an official visit by himself to see more of the social side of the program. He was able to take that in and get to know some of the players a little better.
The visit was fantastic, despite the fact that Michigan lost of course. We hung out with Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner. It was cool to do that, I really like those guys. Denard said he hates losing, and if we wouldn't have been there he would just be by himself in his room. They were just telling me that you can't come up here and mess around, it's all in for football and academics, and I loved that.
Kellen loves Michigan, and despite living in Texas understands the rivalries and everything about the program. This visit gave him more of a personal sense to it, and allowed him to build friendships with current players. He also got a better view of where he fits into the defense next year.
Coach Robinson was saying that they see me as a Jonas Mouton type of player. Playing sideline to sideline, maybe a little inside, and a little outside too. I got a good chance to be with the coaches which was great. Coach Barwis is always fun to be around.
Since Kellen is a current commit, and loves Michigan, he got a chance to interact with a few other recruits and get their perspective on things too.
I talked to Delonte Hollowell (commit), and he's just like me he loves Michigan. I was there with Marquise (Williams) too, and he said Coach Rodriguez has been recruiting him since he was a sophomore. He really liked the environment, I think he was having a great time. He and Devondrick both were amazed with Mike Barwis, too. They both had a really good time.
I think it was a bonus to have Kellen there on an official visit. He's a yes sir, no sir kind of kid and is always excited to talk about Michigan. It sounds like he did a little recruiting, and it may have worked.
6'0", 190 lbs.
Wayne Lyons is the number four safety in the country, and recently decided that Michigan is back in his top list with Stanford, UCLA, Florida, Tennessee, and Nebraska.
I started talking to the coaches from Michigan a lot more, and realized that they do have a true need for me. I talk to coach Dews most of the time. He tells me how it's a good place, and that I would really fit in.
Lyons has already been to Notre Dame and UCLA, he also has a visit already scheduled to Nebraska at the end of October. That leaves two spots left for an official visit, and he's still not sure if Michigan will get that visit.
I'm thinking about making that one of my official visits. They're not necessarily on the outside, they're making it in there. It's just because I've been talking to the other schools for awhile now and I've already seen the other campuses. They're coming on though.
It seems like it would be a good idea to visit Michigan if he has already seen the other campuses. Michigan is making up ground with him, and I have a good feeling about him taking a visit.
- S Karlos Williams - Karlos told coach Smith that he will be taking an official visit up to Michigan once his season is over. His situation is interesting because he's committed to FSU, where his brother plays. He always says "You never know" when I ask if there's a possibility he will decommit from the Seminoles. Some kids just tell me that they're committed and he just want to take a look. "You never know" makes me wonder. Still, it will be hard to pry him away from FSU.
- LB Sean Duggan - Sean decided to take a visit up to Michigan this weekend, and it was his first college game experience. He said the atmosphere was crazy, and it definitely helped Michigan. He's down to Michigan, Boston College, Duke, and Virginia, and will be back up to Ann Arbor in December for his official visit. Boston College is the main competition.
- S Avery Walls - Recently took a trip to Oregon and was at Cal for an official visit this weekend. He leaves Monday night, and I have a phone call scheduled with him Tuesday. This was the last visit he will take, and he should be ready to announce his decision within the next few weeks, unless something has changed that. I still think Michigan is in good position, but the Oregon visit does give some cause for concern. He ended up missing the first half of the Oregon game, FWIW.
- Here's a list of prospects Michigan is still after in the Rival's Top 250 list.
- Iowa visitors - Full list will be posted soon. Some names of who's planning on making the trip, to tide you over: DB Dallas Crawford, WR Sammy Watkins, WR AJ Jordan, TE Drew Owens, and WR Hakeem Flowers. 2012 prospects: DE Chris Wormley, RB Will Mahone, QB Demetrious Davis, WR/DB Chris Davis.