this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
DURKIN STUFF. He's coaching Florida right now, for what little a January third bowl game as an interim means. Expect him to be announced tonight or tomorrow; Florida players aren't happy he's leaving:
"I think he's an amazing coach," safety Keanu Neal told The Sun. "I hate that he's leaving, but it is what it is, it's part of the business. But he's been the same. He's been coaching his tail off, like he would have if he had a job. I'm surprised that he's doing that. He's really doing a good job."
Durkin did special teams before he got elevated to DC and may be able to chip in some there, especially with Mattison sticking around.
DREVNO STUFF. Allen Trieu pings various Scout analysts for information on new Michigan OC coach Tim Drevno and comes back with a mixed bag on his recruiting but a highly positive take on his coaching skills. USC folks didn't seem blown away by his salesmanship, but at Stanford—where Harbaugh had coaches recruit their position no matter where the recruits were geographically—this list of names is stunning:
He had David DeCastro, Jonathan Martin, Kevin Danser, Khalil Wilkes, Sam Schwartzstein, David Yankey, who were really big ones, all guys who were the backbone there, and he was the point person or the initial evaluator on those guys and developed a few before he left with Harbaugh. Decastro was a top tier guy, Martin was a three-star, Yankey was a three-star out of Georgia, Wilkes was from Georgia, so they were identifying guys and he developed them and was the point person there and he contributed a lot to the outstanding offensive line they had under Harbaugh and the early part of David Shaw.
I've started going over old Stanford games and it's boggling to watch a team in 2010 just mashing opponents off the ball with power, power, power.
NO FERRIGNO. Michigan's worst-performing assistant will not return.
So @TomLoy247 tells me Dan Ferrigno will not return as Michigan's tight end coach.
— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) January 3, 2015
Under Ferrigno, Michigan special teams were dismal. Their archaic punt formations cost them return after return, lanes on kickoffs and punt returns were nonexistent, and fielding eleven players was a challenge not always met.
Meanwhile Michigan's tight ends improved in no way whatsoever. Even the much-maligned Darrell Funk saw his OL take a major step forward this year.
MARROW ON THE CLOCK. In related news, multiple outlets are reporting($) that Kentucky TE coach Vince Marrow has an offer in hand from Michigan and should decide on it by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. The Michigan side of things is confident here, with rumors that it was Marrow reaching out to Michigan rampant and Sam Webb saying a friend of Marrow pegs it at 98%($).
Kentucky folk are relying on Marrows long association with Mark Stoops, but even if they make the money equal a guy like Marrow—who was a GA as recently as three years ago—is probably going to consider job security highly, and even though Mark Stoops is doing pretty well for himself the flameout rate of Kentucky coaches is near 100%.
THIS PERSON ISN'T ACTUALLY A COACH BUT HE'S CLOSE I GUESS. Longtime Harbaugh associate Jim Minick will be Michigan's director of operations. As of 2011, Minick was working as a Marine recruiter in a 14 state area—he's a retired colonel. Minick and Harbaugh go way, way back. Like third grade way back. In fifth grade, meanwhile:
And we were playing football in the front yard. You know, my brothers and Jim and John, and we were arguing over a call, Jim and I were. Jim and I are – I guess from our parents’ side, unfortunately – very much alike. So we’re arguing over a call, and his dad and my dad just kind of look at each other and go, ‘Damn it, that’s enough. You two fight.’ So right in the front yard, our parents had Jim and Jim square off in a fistfight, just to quit arguing about calls. And sure enough, that’s what we did. And I caught him real good. I caught him right in the mouth, cut my hand open on his tooth. Blood’s everywhere. And at that point, they broke us up. And the funny thing about it is, because the fight was called because my hand was bleeding, Jim claims he won the fight.
Minick should bring some stability to the football ops spot after it's seen five different people occupy in the years after Brad Labadie was fired for his role in stretchgate. I imagine a retired Marine colonel will manage to get his paperwork done.
ETC.: Nebraska hires 49ers OL coach Reggie Davis, so he won't be joining Harbaugh at Michigan.
Peter Frampton:Michigan's offense::Let's stop this analogy right now.
It's nearing Thanksgiving; which means it's time to make pie! Who likes pie? Everyone likes pie! Unless it's a "why our offense sucks so much" pie. Alas, you have all been sampling lots of "Why our offense sucks so much" pie these last few weeks, and we've identified most of the ingredients in this suck pie. What we haven't done yet is say how much any one ingredient is contributing relative to any other. This seems important.
So, I'm going to give you a list of identified ingredients in this suck pie, and you're going to tell me--pie chart like (i.e. adds up to 100%)--how much each suck factor, in your estimated opinion, has gone into our pie:
Fans demand Michigan Manliness. Thus putting the previous regime on not-firm ground and necessitating another transition and talk of MANBALL for stupid political reasons. Rosenberg/Snyder go here.
- Rich Rod! One OL in 2010 and his own suck pie of defense that necessitated another transition. GERG goes here. Zero RS juniors goes here.
- The Process. Which helped doom the 2011 offensive line class. "Just two OL, both of them fliers, in two classes!" goes here. "None of our tight ends are old enough to buy beer!" goes here. "We're stuck running high school blocking schemes because interior OL are too young!" goes here.
If you believe this is a result of Nebraska's defense having a sudden aneurism of competence (hence all the blood), please answer #10 "Universe" on your cards. [Fuller]
- Hoke demands MANBALL! Only if you think there's an executive order from Hoke that forced Borges to use more "big"--ie TEs and FBs instead of WRs--formations and man-blocking.
- Borges can't cook fusion cuisine. Incoherent playcalling and gameplanning, players constantly put in bad positions and asked to do more than their skills suggest they're good at. RPS minuses go here.
- Dithered on MANBALL transition for Denard. Spent 2011 and 2012 trying to be all things; decision not to sacrifice those years to transition is costing us in 2013. "Older guys can't MANBALL" goes here.
- Dithering in 2013. Personnel switches, gimmick offenses, acts of desperation burned practice time, retarded player development, and contributed to snowballing effect. "Tackle over" goes here.
- Funk/OL and execution. Offensive linemen not doing the things that should reasonably be expected of them given their talent/experience levels. "Schofield is missing slide protections" goes here.
- Ferrigno/Jackson and execution. Backs and tight ends who can't block or run routes (if you think this is just on them being too young, that goes elsewhere; if you think Funchess ought to be able to crack down and Toussaint get under a guy by now it goes here)
- Bloodymindedness of Universe. IE anything else: Spain, Monkey Rodeo, MSU broke Devin, opponents are just that good, etc.
[After the jump, the lede, buried]