a terrible blight on our fine country
Angelique Chengelis has an ARTICLE in today's Detroit News. Whoever wrote the headline summed it up nicely: "Scrutiny Relentless on Embattled UM AD Dave Brandon". It's great to see this issue continue to get front page treatment (although Schlissel's measured approach won't satisfy all who frequent this board).
The alumni survey gets a lot of attention, and MGoBlog gets a shoutout, in typically accurate Chengelis fashion:
Also on Tuesday, MGoBlog, a Michigan fan blog, published email exchanges allegedly made between Brandon and several fans. The blog could not verify Brandon wrote them, but the responses credited to him were dismissive and smug.
WIth the current instability with both our Coach & AD it is inevitable that our recruits will at least maintain contacts with other schools. Out of the current 9 recruits which players can we afford to lose the least ?
I actually think 3 are critical:
1) Alex Malzone - we really need a QB especially one who seems to have a genuine love for Michigan and has done nothing but win championships at Brother Rice.
2) Grant Newsome - OL depth is critical. We all have learned what can happen when we whiff even a single year at this position.
3) Brian Cole - We need dynamic playmakers and we need to keep him away from Sparty.
Nick Baumgardner at Mlive penned an article about Brian Griese and his take on the current situation. Link is here.
I don't normally read the comments below articles, especially when reading political ones because so many of the comments make you wonder how so many can waste a brain. However I found this one below and it made me grin. "Those who stay..."
CommieHigh86 10 minutes ago @KeithKZ That WOULD be the Spartan way to handle things -- like Max Bullough -- to selfishly abandon your team when they need you most. So I'm not surprised to see you suggest this. But at Michigan, "those who stay will be champions." #Go Blue!
Saturday, Chris Spielman compared player development at MSU and player development at UM, putting forth an argument we are all familiar with. MSU develops lower rated recruits into better players than UM, even though UM gets higher rated recruits. The upshot is supposed to be that UM's coaches fail to develop talent. I actually think the two claims are distinct, and both are overstated. UM and MSU both consistently develop ‘low-ranked recruits’ into all-conference caliber players within four, and sometimes three years of play. Neither UM nor MSU consistently develop any level of recruit into serviceable players within the first two years of play. Here are my reasons for that conclusion:
1 - UM has players that were low-ranked (walk-on up through borderline 3/4 star) recruits and developed. Jake Ryan, Frank Clark, Devin Funchess, Ryan and Graham Glasgow, Willie Henry, and Desmond Morgan are all examples of this. Jake Ryan was a 3 star who became JMFR. Frank Clark was a three star 220 pound tweener who became a 280 pound all conference defensive end who will be drafted by the NFL. Devin Funchess was a borderline 3-4 star who will be a 1st round NFL pick. Ryan Glasgow was an unranked walk-on with very little football experience who became a serviceable B1G starter at NT by his RS sophmore year. His brother had similar background and is now a decent offensive lineman by his RS junior year. Willie Henry was a 3 star who is clearly developing at DT, and he is only a RS sophmore. Desmond Morgan was a 3 star who developed into a solid LB by his senior year. All of these players are at least in their third year with the program.
2 – It is arguable that our elite (5 or borderline 4/5 star, top 100) recruits have not met their potential. This is where I think the real criticism lies. Those recruits include Devin Gardner, Shane Morris, Kyle Kalis, Ty Isaac, Ondre Pipkins, Erik Magnuson, Derrick Green, Dymonte Thomas, Shane Morris, Patrick Kugler, Henri Poggi, Jake Butt, Kyle Bosch, Jourdan Lewis, Jabrill Peppers, Drake Harris, and Mason Cole.
Jake Butt, Jourdan Lewis, and Mason Cole are clearly not busts.
Other than Gardner and Morris, all of our five-stars are injured or cannot play - Kalis (lingering back injury), Green (broken collar bone), Harris (hamstring), Peppers (knee injury), and Pipkins (ACL) are injured. Bosch is on a temporary leave of absence. Ty Isaac has to sit out this year as a result of his transfer.
Gardner, Morris, and Green are all extremely hard to assess because of our offensive line. For the sake of argument, I will declare Gardner a bust, Morris as a serious danger to be a bust, Green as a less-but-still-significant risk to be a bust.
Its too early to tell (due to a combination of youth and position) for Magnuson, Poggi, and Harris.
I think the strongest argument for busts on this list are Devin Gardner, Dymonte Thomas and Kyle Kalis. The only player on this list who is beyond his third year is Devin Gardner and the only players in their third year are Kalis, Isaac, Pipkins, and Magnuson. Everyone else is in their first or second year in the program. 5 of the 16 are offensive linemen, a position that is notoriously difficult to assess in recruiting and usually takes a longer time to develop than other positions (e.g. running back).
3 – MSU obviously develops 3 and 4 star talent. However, they usually do so over at least three years. Cook is a RS JR, Langford is a RS JR, Lippet is a RS SR; their offensive line consists of a RS SR, two RS JR, and two RS SO. On defense, all of their youth is concentrated in the secondary, where they start a RS JR, SO, FR, and RS SR. This is uncharacteristic for State, and they are uncharacteristically vulnerable in the secondary this year (surprise!). (Note: UM's entire offense has this problem except for the QB, a walk-on guard, a 3 star DE recruit who now plays center, and a 3/4-star WR.) Cook and Langford came into their own as RS SO, so it is unfair to claim it took them three years to develop. However, they played behind one of the best offensive lines in the B1G last year. Garder, Morris and Green played behind...
4 - Assessing MSU's ability to develop 5 and 4/5 star recruits is problematic because the sample size is... William Gholston, Malik McDowell, and maybe Montae Nicholson. Notably, according to Rivals, Andrew Maxwell, Max Bullough, Isaiah Lewis, Aaron Burbridge, and 5-10 unnotables were 4 stars.
Pulling it all together
I think the clear theme in 1), 2), 3), and 4) is that the three year mark is the earliest reasonable time to assess player development. U of M has numerous walk-ons and 3/4 star recruits who are beyond that mark and serve as starters. Many of them are all-conference caliber players who will be drafted in the NFL. Other than Gardner, Kalis, Isaac (really? clearly not a bust), Pipkins (probably not a bust, but I’ll list him anyways), and Magnuson, all of UM’s ‘busts’ have two or fewer years. All of state’s 3-4 star recruits who developed into all-conference level players have at least three years of development. Furthermore, MSU struggles at positions where they are forced to play players with less than three years experience.
It is also clear that Michigan’s skill position players, especially Gardner, Morris and Green, are adversely affected by a young offensive line.
Finally, almost every five-star talent other than Gardner and Morris is unable to play this year due to injury, personal problems, or transfer. I don’t think this has to do with conditioning; it has to do with risks inherent in playing football, problems that crop up in life, and the NCAA rules.
The Rawls and Furman objection
Rawls and Furman are doing very well after they transferred, which is terrific. What does this tell us about our player development? Not much, in my opinion. Rawls did not play against CMU’s toughest opponents, Syracuse and Kentucky. He has run well against Chattanooga, Purdue, Toledo, Ohio, Northern Illinois, Ball State, and Buffalo. It is important to note that Derrick Green performed quite well against that level of competition, running for 137 yards and two TDs against Ohio and 170 yards and a TD against App. St. Furman is doing great at LB for OK St. I don’t think he would or should crack the depth chart at LB for Michigan. I certainly don’t think the coaches should put the level of time and effort that would be required to transition him to that position. A better argument is that we should have trained him to be Peppers backup at the nickel; we might have messed that one up.
The QB objection
QB development is arguably disproportionately important. MSU is VERY good at developing QBs. It is hard to assess UM, but they haven’t looked good over the last six years. I am willing to grant Nuss a pass on this though. He’s proven that if you give Nuss two years and a decent recruit, he will develop QB potential.
Apparently Peppers and his mother had an apartment arranged for them as a "favor" when he was at Don Bosco, which he was forced out of when he transferred schools. Any possibility U of M will face consequences for recruiting a player who is later deemed ineligibile (if that's the case)? Sorry if this isn't an appropriate topic, feel free to delete.