well that's just, like, your opinion, man
please stop yelling at me about Gary starting, you win [Eric Upchurch]
Care to offer your guess on how the snaps will be distributed along the defensive line?
I would guess something like this:
Strongside End: 40% Gary, 20% Wormley, 20% Godin
Nose: 55% Glasgow, 45% Mone
3-Tech: 45% Wormley, 45% Hurst, 10% Godin
Weakside End: 65% Charlton, 25% Winovich/Jones/Kemp, 10% formations with only 3 down lineman.
Obviously this exercise assumes no injuries, and I ignored Lawrence Marshall who'll probably see some playing time.
Interested in your take,
Other than the fact that you project only 80% of the strongside end snaps that seems about right to me. (I assume that was meant to be 60% Gary.)
Over this offseason I've gotten a bunch of pushback about my assertion that Gary probably won't start, pushback that now seems on point after various insiders have asserted that Wormley will stick at 3-tech and Charlton will move over to WDE. But that was always a distinction without much of a difference. Even if Gary was nominally behind Wormley at SDE there would be sufficient snaps available when Wormley rests or Michigan goes to a pass rush package for Gary to make an impact. We're talking about a half-dozen snaps per game going to one guy or the other guy.
The only slight corrections I'd make would be to bump Glasgow up to 60 or 65% and bump Charlton to 70% at the expense of three-man lines.
No doubt there's been a recruiting uptick since Harbaugh came aboard....Rashan Gary is nice. But what about our lower ranked pickups? I seem to remember you comparing the success of Tressel 3-stars to Carr 3-stars, and the difference was stark.
Without the benefit of seeing how they pan out, how do you think JH's less-heralded guys will stack up to those of previous regimes? vs. Tressell/Urban? Curious if you've noticed a difference in talent/potential based on film and summer camp performance.
I don't remember that post but there is certainly a difference in quality amongst the vast plain of three-stars, one that's relatively easy to discern. However, that difference isn't based on evaluations I make with my amateur read on Hudl highlight films. It's more about the shape of a kid's recruitment.
There are three stars who end up on the radar of major schools, and three stars who do not. Maybe a Josh Uche or a Nate Johnson comes with sufficient questions for a rating service to correctly peg them a three-star, but it's also correct for teams like Florida or Notre Dame to go after those guys when their plan A gentlemen are uncertain or head elsewhere.
When we're talking about Michigan commits the players in question have tautologically garnered big time interest. That's one vote of confidence; it's better to have other votes from top 25 schools. There's a set of three stars who are targets of multiple big schools and a set who are not. My read on how the 2016 composite three-stars fit in those bins:
- Multiple options: Nick Eubanks, Khaleke Hudson, Nate Johnson, Josh Uche, Eddie McDoom, Elysee Mbem-Bosse, Michael Dwumfour.
- Hard to tell: Kingston Davis.
- Not so much: Sean McKeon, Devin Gil, Josh Metellus, Stephen Spanellis.
I believe everyone in the "multiple options" section could have gone to one of PSU, Florida, Auburn, or Oregon, along with a number of other schools on that level. Davis almost certainly could have gone to Nebraska and maybe LSU or Florida but probably not. The four guys in "not so much" didn't field much if any interest from top-half Power 5 schools. Four guys out of a class of 28 is quite good.
It's hard to get a solid read on the number of comparable prospects in earlier classes. Awareness of the "offer"/OFFER distinction has crept across college football gradually and many earlier recruiting assessments take listed offers at face value when they probably shouldn't. There's more wobble in older assessments, but here's my estimate of the number of Michigan three-stars that didn't seem to get a whole lot of interest from top 20 programs. (I'm not counting MSU here since they only started recruiting like a top 20 team last year and are no longer.) You'll find some excellent players on these lists, but all told it's better to be noticed by more than one big program:
- 2012 (9/22): Matt Godin, Kaleb Ringer, Sione Houma, Jehu Chesson , Drake Johnson, Willie Henry, Ben Braden, Jeremy Clark, Blake Bars. Godin and Bars might have had real interest from Notre Dame.
- 2013 (7/28): Jaron Dukes, Csont'e York, Channing Stribling, Khalid Hill, Da'Mario Jones, Reon Dawson, Scott Sypniewski. I'm leaving out kickers but counting Sypniewski here since long snappers are usually walkons; Harbaugh just got the #2 guy in the country as a PWO. Dan Samuelson and Ross Douglas were Nebraska and PSU decommit three-stars and the only guys in that range who had big time offers.
- 2014 (6/16): Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Wilton Speight, Maurice Ways, Noah Furbush, Brandon Watson, Brady Pallante. Jared Wangler was a PSU decommit.
- 2015 (5/14): Karan Higdon, Grant Perry, Keith Washington, Jon Runyan Jr, Nolan Ulizio. Shelton Johnson was a battle against FSU; Reuben Jones against Nebraska.
Lone wolf fliers comprised over a third of the four Michigan classes before Harbaugh got a full recruiting cycle, and just 14% of the 2016 class. So yes, the 2016 class's three stars are a different caliber.
Given Harbaugh's tendency to rack up decommits it's too early to state with any confidence how many will be in the 2017 class. As of right now I'd put Joel Honigford (Oregon), J'Marick Woods (VT, maybe LSU), Phillip Paea (Oregon), and maybe Andrew Stueber (Tennessee) into the "major target" category" and Ben Mason, Carter Dunaway, Chase Lasater, and Kurt Taylor into the "not so much" category. (I'm assuming Benjamin St Juste ends up a composite four star.)
[After the JUMP: Notre Dame resumption!]
We are drafting Big Ten teams because the one sure way to get us to do our homework on in-conference players is to make it a competition and rip on each other.
Previously on Draftageddon:
A Heisman candidate QB and the reigning Thorpe winner go after two members of Michigan's secondary. (Peppers, Lewis, & Butt)
An underwhelming first swing through receivers, and lots of linemen. (Chesson, Cole, Wormley, Glasgow)
A Michigan second-teamer goes before Purdue-Matt Godin. (Charlton, Hurst)
How things stand:
If we hadn't taken the entire first team of Ohio State and Michigan State last year we'd be homers.
ACE: Round 9, Pick 1: Jalen Myrick, cornerback, Minnesota
OFFENSE: QB CJ Beathard (IA), RB Saquon Barkley (PSU), WR Jehu Chesson (M), OG Jacob Bailey (IU), WEAPON Jabrill Peppers (M)
DEFENSE: NT Ryan Glasgow (M), DT Jake Replogle (PU), DE Sam Hubbard (OSU), OLB/NICKEL Jabrill Peppers (M), CB Jalen Myrick (MN)
SPECIAL TEAMS: KR Jabrill Peppers (M), PR Jabrill Peppers (M)
We’re starting to reach the end of the guys who graded out really well on PFF, but we’re not quite there yet. Jalen Myrick has been overshadowed in Minnesota’s secondary by Eric Murray and Briean Boddy-Calhoun, but with both of those guys off to the NFL, he’s set to break out this year. In fact, he graded out better than both of them last year, when he managed to push his way into the starting lineup for seven games and would’ve played more if injury hadn’t cut short his season:
Myrick ranked ninth nationally in our cornerback grades through week nine, until a rib and lung injury knocked him out of the Ohio State game in week ten and prematurely ended his regular season. Opposing QBs had a NFL rating of 34.8 on targets thrown his way, ranking him third among all returning CBs with at least 250 coverage snaps in 2015. His deep speed and ability to play the ball in the air made him an effective defender downfield, and as long as he maintains his health this year he should be one of the Big Ten’s best at his position.
In addition to strong ball skills, Myrick has great top-end speed, and he’s a tough SOB:
Myrick's breakout 2015 season hit a speed bump because of a freak injury at Ohio State on Nov. 15. While being tackled on the opening kickoff of that game, he suffered a collapsed lung. The injury forced him to stay in a Columbus hospital for two days and be driven back to Minneapolis. But say this about his toughness: Myrick played most of the first half with one working lung, believing at first he only had a back spasm.
JESUS. That article also mentions Myrick played so well last year that the coaches stopped shadowing the opponent’s top receiver with Murray (a fourth-round pick this year); they felt they had two legit #1 corners. He’s also a very capable kickoff returner—he had a 100-yard touchdown against Northwestern in 2014 on which he showed off some serious wheels. I had Myrick above Likely on my draft board—definitive, I know—and I’m quite pleased he fell to me here.
[After the jump: cornerbacks we wouldn't take before Will Likely, a few offensive steals, and a true freshman you can probably guess which]
Good lord. Rashan Gary runs a 4.7 and is already stronger than half the NFL combine:
— Need nobody but God (@ElyseeBoss) July 12, 2016
Per 247 that's more than Graham Glasgow, Joey Bosa, and Jack Conklin managed at the combine this year. Impressive! Less impressive than this, though:
Did 225 25 times 〽️ . First day went smooth ‼️
— Khaleke Hudson (@KhalekeHudson) July 12, 2016
Shorter arms have an easier time with the bench press but that's still crazy. I'm anticipating Hudson's on-field impact almost as much as Gary's.
Football was different in 1977. Then-DC Bill McCartney on Michigan's philosophy:
These days waiting for a mistake is something that'll get you killed against the best offenses, and while teams like Iowa continue to keep everything in front of them their defenses top out at pretty good.
#disrespekt makes an arrest report. Draymond Green falls victim to the proverbial chip on the shoulder:
— Zack Pohl (@ZackPohl) July 12, 2016
Per reports, the player in question is defensive back Jermaine Edmondson, who has zero career starts.
Early lines. Per the Golden Nugget, Michigan is an 11.5-point favorite over Wisconsin, a four point favorite over MSU, a 4.5-point favorite over Iowa, and a 3 point underdog to Ohio State. That Wisconsin number is surprisingly big even though they had a rough season last year; injury and inexperience on the OL was particularly harmful to their chances. Being solid road favorites against MSU and Iowa is nice.
These are all the wrong answers. Mississippi State put Jeffery Simmons, who was caught on film hammering on a prone woman, back on their team just before a month-long period with no press for Dan Mullen. They spent that month reviewing Dave Brandon's Big Book Of Real Good PR, resulting in some unbelievably ham-handed and offensive responses to the berating they had to know they were in for:
Dan Mullen on Jeffrey Simmons' 1-game suspension: "I wasn't involved much. It was a university decision."
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 12, 2016
Finally got to ask Mullen: What if your wife or daughter? "I don't think my family would be in that situation." WHAT?!
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_AJC) July 12, 2016
I hate the "your wife or daughter" angle that always gets brought up when this happens. It is explicitly asking the responder to be irrational, to pass judgment in a situation when they should recuse themselves. But holy shit, that is the dumbest possible answer for that dumb (and very, very common) question. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since the athletic director cited the fact that Simmons could end up at another SEC school if MSU cut him loose when the decision was actually made. People in charge of things are just in charge of them for no reason, part infinity.
You knew this but now there are numbers. Out of 321 coaches in a Kenpom autobench study, John Beilein is 308th in his willingness to play guys with two fouls in the first half. The last four years Michigan has been 1st, 2nd, 9th, and 17th in free throw attempts per FGA. Nothing about this is rational.
You can put the statue back up but he has to be wearing a blindfold. Penn State got in a fight with its insurance company, because someone had a very bad idea at one point, and today various court records were released to the public. They're as bad as you might expect:
Greg Schiano and Tom Bradley show up in a Mike McQueary deposition and -- surprise! -- it's not good. pic.twitter.com/7XkemiDXEu
— Larry Jawnson, Sr. (@PancakeCatapult) July 12, 2016
Per the deposition, Paterno knew as early as 1976 and responded to an allegation with "I don't want to hear about any of that kind of stuff." A deposition is not a conviction; it is a thoroughly damning document all the same. There are many of them:
That is but one of the multiple depositions from the documents illustrating claims of abuse that spanned more than two decades before it was brought to the attention of law enforcement. The documents stem from an insurance lawsuit over allegations that a boy told Paterno that Sandusky was abusing young boys.
It seems likely that both Bradley and Schiano knew about it and did nothing. McQueary has no reason to lie about any of this. There are probably many more who had less direct knowledge but heard dark rumors. It takes a village to enable a predator.
Etc.: Michigan and Michigan State revenue. Gap in ticket revenue is pretty astounding. Odd things going down at Scout. Never take money from Russians. Drew Henson is now a Yankees scout. Angelique on Jack Harbaugh.
Previously: Last year's profiles. S Josh Metellus, S Khaleke Hudson, CB David Long, CB Lavert Hill, LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse, LB Devin Bush Jr., LB Devin Gil, LB Josh Uche, DE Ron Johnson, DT Michael Dwumfour.
|Paramus, NJ – 6'4", 293|
|Scout||5*, #1 overall
#1 DT, #1 NJ
|Rivals||5*, #1 overall
#1 DT, #1 NJ
|ESPN||5*, #1 overall
#1 DT, #1 NJ
|24/7||5*, #1 overall
#1 DT, #1 NJ
|Previously On MGoBlog||Hello post from Ace.|
|Notes||Paramus Catholic (Jabrill Peppers, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Chris Partridge.)|
Michigan has never grabbed the consensus top prospect in the country since recruiting rankings were a thing. Maybe Drew Henson would have been that guy if the recruiting-industrial complex had gotten going slightly earlier. It did not, and thus Gary is undisputed as the highest-profile prospect ever to don a winged helmet. And it's close when it comes to any helmet, any time.
There are many reasons for this. One is the fact that as a rising junior his SPARQ test was better than the average DL at the NFL combine. Ian Boyd:
The numbers on Gary are jaw-dropping, no matter how inflated high schooler measurables can be. In a partially laser-timed SPARQ test before his junior year, he produced the following results, blowing away all other 2016 stars tested at the national event.
Height Weight 40 time Shuttle time Vertical leap Rashan Gary as a high school junior 6'4" 287 4.74 4.38 32.1" Average 2015 NFL Combine defensive lineman 6'3 1/2" 286 4.96 4.5 32.2"
That group includes some relatively lean defensive ends; Gary's got a big enough body to play defensive tackle. His 40 time was better than what 15 linebackers produced at last year's Combine. Three wide receivers had slower shuttle times, and five linebackers had lesser vertical leaps. Some of those NFL prospects were as many as 80 pounds lighter than Gary.
Some perspective from Scout's Scott Kennedy:
He out-jumped a wide receiver, he out-shuttled a defensive back and he out-40'd a BCS safety commit. At 287 pounds, that's insane.
Those numbers were gathered at the Opening in 2014, and his play matched or exceeded the promise therein. Despite being one of only two 2016 players invited, he was amongst the best players—not just defensive ends—present. Scout placed him in their East top five afterwards:
He was a combination of strength, power, athleticism and freakish natural ability. He didn’t win every rep, but he darn near did. And he did it despite having limited technique. Gary used his speed, balance and competitive fire to stand out, and make plenty of other players step back and watch.
Other analysts declared him "ridiculous" with "incredible burst, balance and strength"; "ridiculous" (again); and exclaimed that "speed, power, agility, acceleration, strength… yeah, Gary has it all." All of this was as a prospect a year younger than the rest of the best dudes in the country.
By the time the 2015 version of the same event rolled around he left no question who the main dude was. Then he followed that up with an impressive high school season and more of the same at the Under Armour game, where he tied a game record with three sacks after spending a week in practice making every five-star OL in the game look foolish. (Ben Bredeson drew mention as the only guy to give him even momentary pause, but that's another profile.)
Let us now deploy the longest and most effusive bulleted scouting lightning round in the history of this series.
- Greg Mattison, Michigan DL coach: "The thing that's so exciting about Rashan is that you can watch a highlight tape and then you can watch an entire game. And it's the same thing."
- Adam Gorney, Rivals: "Incredibly active, he’s like a whirling dervish, he’s impossible to stop and he’s going to be the guy every single play that just keeps going after offensive tackles so in the third and forth quarter he’s going to wear a lot of people down and get a lot of his plays.”
- Josh Newberg, 247: "In my nine years covering [the UA] game, I think Gary may be the single most dominant player I’ve seen. When he’s not sacking the quarterback, which he’s done a lot this week, he is disruptive as hell."
- Adam Friedman, Rivals: “He’s been totally dominant, tossing guys around from the first minute of the first practice on, just totally dominant. Today, during one-on-ones, he was going over, around and through guys. … You can’t say enough good things about how he’s done out here.”
- Bill Greene, Scout: "Last year at Under Armour featured three tremendous defensive tackles in Christian Wilkins, Terry Beckner and Daylon Mack. All three played well this year as true freshman. What I saw out of Gary today puts him way above those three. There are very few true difference-makers coming out of high school every year. Rashan Gary is exactly that."
- Barton Simmons, 247: "everything you want out of an elite defender. He's coachable, plays with effort and intensity, he's one of the best athletes in this class and he's versatile."
- Same dude: "Rashan Gary is the best prospect in the country right now. The guy may not have had two bad reps the entire camp. If an OL didn't come correct with Gary lined up on in front of him, he was going to not only get beat, but also get embarrassed. How good is Gary? This was the best defensive line performance I've seen since The Opening's inception."
- Mike Farrell, Rivals: "Just an animal, 100-percent every drill, 100-percent every rep, constant motor, physical as heck, puts offensive linemen on skates, really dominant whether he’s playing end or tackle. Everything as advertised, today.” … "as dominant as I’ve ever seen from a defensive tackle who played mostly outside and was still too fast and athletic for everyone.”
- 247 collectively, post-Opening: "just dominant. In every drill, every situation, every rep, he was the best The Opening had to offer. In fact, he's one of the best we've ever seen at The Opening. … If we're making bets on what alumni from this event are going to be sitting in the green room on NFL Draft night in a 3.5 years, the smart money is on Gary."
- Brian Dohn, Scout: "Gary is the most impressive prospect I covered at the high school level. If it was a camp setting, he dominated. If it was a game, it took two and sometimes three players to slow him down. Even when he was not making a play, he was impacting the game because he freed up others to make tackles. His speed, acceleration and power was always amazing to see."
Finally, Greg Powers resorted to the same shrug Michigan fans are currently deploying when they talk about Jourdan Lewis:
Rashan Gary did Rashan Gary type things. He is the No. 1 prospect for a reason. There are not too many more superlatives you can throw on him.
I deleted twice as much as I included here; the only thing less than rapturous is his ESPN profile, which has some of that disconnect between ranking and report that crops up. It's not bad by any means; a ton of "excellent" and "very good"… it's just more clinical:
Gary is a talented prospect that can wreak havoc at the high school level and has the size and has flashed the maturity to be able to come into a program and be able to contribute quickly. While a very good player at this stage, still has room to improve and round out his game and that current ability coupled with some continued upside makes him an excellent prospect.
I guess that guy who evaluated Isaiah Bell is no longer with the company.
He's a consensus #1 player. He's the first defensive tackle to finish #1 overall on Rivals. While Rivals doesn't think he's the quite best prospect ever, he's "somewhere in the middle" of a list of luminaries including guys like Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, and Percy Harvin. For much of the year 247 had him as one of the rare players who they'll break their ranking scale for. In the six years that 247 has been around, only 6 have gotten a ranking above 100. Five have gone on to be college superstars: Fournette, Clowney, Kouandijo, Nkemdiche, and Garrett. These are guys who don't need first names for CFB fans to identify them. (Okay, maybe Garrett since his name is kind of common: that's A&M defensive end Myles, currently projected by many to be the top pick in next year's draft.) The fifth, Trent Thompson, just finished his freshman year at Georgia. 247 broke the scale for Gary, too, and only reeled it back in late. Instead of a 101, he's now a 100. C'est la vie.
Recruiting rankings are in fact gospel when it comes to the bluest of the blue chips. Aside from a few guys (Dorial Green-Beckham, Bryce Brown, Seantrel Henderson) who didn't make it for reasons other than their talent, every Rivals or Scout #1 player in the last decade has at least been good and has usually been excellent. And even Brown and Henderson stuck on NFL rosters, with Henderson starting every game as a rookie.
Gary doesn't have any apparent character issues—in addition to Gary's insane suite of physical skills, he's consistently praised for his effort level and coachability. When Mike Farrell put together his awards from the UA game he mentioned Gary a half-dozen times; he probably would have named him winner of all those categories if he wasn't aiming for some variety. The awards he did give Gary are illuminating. One was for being the guy with the highest motor; the other was for most consistency. Meanwhile Michigan has a guy on staff who knows Gary very well. Chris Partridge:
"There are certain players who just have something," Partridge continued. "A work ethic on the field and in the classroom and a love for the game where they've got a bounce in their step when they hit the field."
He stacks up towards the upper end of these #1 prospects given the various superlatives that apply not just to his class but to anyone many of these scouting veterans have ever seen.
The recruiting folks have a strike rate near 100% on guys of this caliber, and on average this cohort of dudes trails Rashan Gary. If he stays healthy he's a lock All Big Ten player and it would be an upset if he wasn't an All-American.
But where does he go? The same place a grizzly bear goes: anywhere he wants. Clint Brewster:
He fits in any defensive scheme. Gary’s got the edge rushing ability to be a finesse defensive end in a 4-3 or a defensive tackle. He can really play any technique along the defensive line because of his blend of athleticism, quickness, size, and explosive power.
That evaluation is repeated various places. Put his hand in the dirt and you're good. The Boyd article above is all about how to deploy him, eventually settling on a combination of end and three-tech depending on Michigan's needs on any particular Saturday, on any particular snap. Brewster projects he'll settle in the 310-pound range, which is plenty big enough for DT and could make it challenging for even Gary to get a consistent edge rush.
To start Michigan plans to deploy him as a defensive end. That makes sense given the composition of the roster, which is thick with talented DTs. That composition changes radically next year, when the only veteran DTs on the roster other than the probable starters—Mone and Hurst—are Brady Pallante and Michael Dwumfour. Gary will probably stick at SDE, nominally, and start there, but he'll get an increasing number of 3-tech snaps as Michigan spots the DT starters.
Long term he fits best as the rare defensive tackle who is an impact pass rusher. His impact at 3tech is going to be greater than it will at SDE because a pass rush up the gut is doom in a way that coming around the corner isn't always; the number of players who can be a disruptive force in the backfield shrinks as you go from WDE to SDE to 3TECH to NT. Gary will end up at the place his impact is most outsized, except insofar as his position is "Being Rashan Gary." That spot is three-tech.
Etc.: South Carolina is weird, man. The most convincing explanation I've heard for the racist voicemail his school received is that it was a Gamecock fan.
Why Ndamukong Suh? Gary has the same kind of size and outlandish athleticism that Suh developed over his tenure at Nebraska. Suh was a four-star recruit who took significantly longer to develop than Gary projects to, only making an impact at Nebraska as a redshirt junior. But when he did, Nebraska's defense was just about impregnable. Suh's NFL draft profile reads almost exactly like Gary's scouting above does:
Suh is an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism. He isn't a massive body but has enough power to play as a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme or as a 4-3 defense tackle or end. … often unblockable for one offensive lineman and draws many double teams from opposing offenses. ….supreme blend of power and explosiveness from the defensive tackle spot. Possesses great size and strength to hold up at the point of attack in the running game or bull rush the pocket. Uses his athleticism and instincts to chase down running plays. Highly-competitive performer with a big-time motor.
Suh bore that out in the NFL, albeit with some anger management issues that Gary doesn't appear to have.
The closest Michigan comparable is probably Allen Branch, who was the kind of massively disruptive three-tech Gary projects to be down the road. I thought about Lamarr Woodley and Brandon Graham since both were five star recruits who provided buckets of pass rush from the SDE spot, but both those guys are a couple inches shorter and 40-50 pounds lighter than the finished version of Gary projects to be.
Guru Reliability: Exacting. As per usual with the top player in the country he gets scouted top to bottom.
Variance: Low. Already college-ready size, speed, and strength—make that NFL-ready. Coachable, smart, and high effort.
Ceiling: Vast. NFL first round pick potential, yes. First overall potential, yes.
General Excitement Level: /tents fingers, cackles.
Projection: Should slot in at SDE behind either Wormley or Charlton, depending on how things shake out. Even the surest things along the defensive line usually take a season or two to wind up to full viciousness, and Michigan has really good players across the front. He will still get a ton of playing time at SDE and as a tackle on passing downs, enough to be a virtual… uh… sixth starter along with the actual starters and Bryan Mone.
As a sophomore he moves into the starting lineup, probably still at SDE. While the roster is pretty scanty at DT after Mo Hurst and Mone, there aren't any slam dunk guys at SDE either; the best line Michigan has will put all three out at the same time. In his third and probably final year at Michigan, he's highly likely to move inside to three-tech, where he has his highest upside. From there to the stars.
last year we made Spencer get a Brady Hoke tattoo
I feel superfluous. EDSBS's annual charity drive is going on and this is the moment in time when I point the money cannon…
— NewAmericanPathways (@newampaths) April 18, 2016
…who pointed the money cannon already? I was all set to point the thing, maybe give it a burnish, polish sort of thing, calibrate it, stencil a shirtless Harbaugh on it, you know, prep it. I see someone has already done all of that. Well… fine. I'm going to point it anyway: you can give here to further increase Michigan's dominance in this event. Meanwhile at the bottom:
Trump University $10.02
Michigan State $10.00
No nevermind no. We've been mentioning it obliquely more or less since Harbaugh was hired, and now seems like the time to just say it since they've once again caused a panic about a potential transfer: The Wolverine is utterly unreliable at this point. Their most recent "Inside The Fort" asserted that an unnamed quarterback easily deduced to be Brandon Peters was homesick and a transfer candidate. This contradicts both information that 247's Isaiah Hole got from Peters's dad at the spring game, and this morning on WTKA Sam Webb shot that down emphatically:
Any rumors you might have heard about Brandon Peters thinking about transferring have been 10000% refuted by sources to @SamWebb77
— The Michigan Insider (@michiganinsider) April 19, 2016
This is more or less our agreed-upon breaking point as a staff. They're putting out supposedly insider stuff that is balderdash way too frequently. Earlier this spring Rivals asserted that Michigan was going to straight-up cut returning starter and fifth year senior Kyle Kalis, which was and remains ludicrous for a dozen reasons. They claimed that Ian Bunting was doing terribly in practice and was headed towards being a bust; they backtracked on that immediately since various coaching staff members started effusing about him. That in fact directly contradicted what we were hearing from other reporters, who were talking to Michigan coaches.
Tim and Brandon are of course MGoBlog alums and do yeoman work holding things together over there but this is happening way too often to let is pass without mention. I know who Scout and 247 talk to: football coaches, players, and the families of the latter. I don't know who Rivals talks to but it's not them. I'm not saying that they're wrong all the time, but I wouldn't take anything bizarre that they say at face value until confirmed by someone else.
What does it take to get booted from a Dantonio team? MSU has lost DE Montez Sweat and DT Craig Evans to "personal issues." Those must be weighty indeed for the two to depart from a team that has repeatedly driven guys from jail to practice, especially since Evans looked very good last year as a rotation player. If MSU doesn't get a sixth year for Damon Knox their defensive line could be a lot weaker than it's been recently.
Why MSU thinks they'll get sixth years for Knox, LB Ed Davis, and OL Brandon Clemons is unknown. The article above says they haven't even applied yet…
Knox is one of three MSU players who has yet to submit his appeal to the NCAA to gain another year of eligibility via medical waiver. Knox, along with offensive lineman Brandon Clemons and linebacker Ed Davis, is still gathering the information to send in.
…but that almost has to be incorrect, right? These things shouldn't take that long, and if there's doubt—and there is serious doubt—MSU is doing those players a disservice by preventing them from entering the draft.
About that doubt: the NCAA is very strict with sixth years* and it certainly appears that all of those players took voluntary redshirts. Knox's bio notes that he was scout team player of the week before the OSU and Iowa games in 2011; those were the 5th and 10th games of the season so it beggars belief that he wasn't healthy enough to play. Ditto Davis, who got the same honor before the 4th and 9th games the same year. Clemons doesn't have sufficient evidence to disqualify him from a sixth year literally in his MSU bio but is an OL who redshirted because all OL redshirt.
*[If you are healthy enough to play for a few games that counts as a voluntary redshirt. The NCAA shoots down a ton of kids. A fifth year is way easier.]
Do it. Do it now. Sorry, A Lion Eye, but you gotta do it now:
Please god no. What the hell are we doing? NO. no. NOO. pic.twitter.com/1ryotvuO6x
— Robert (@ALionEye) April 15, 2016
How to repeal the camp ban posthaste. NCAA executive Oliver Luck says that the membership will "revisit" the satellite camp ban. Tom Van Haaren details what needs to happen:
One of the options Harbaugh and Manuel have is trying to get a 66.7 percent of the majority of 128 FBS programs to request that the ruling be rescinded within a 60-day override period. Since the original vote only received 66.6 percent approval, well below the required 85 percent, the programs that disagree with the ruling can still get the ban relinquished.
The original vote to ban the camps was done by conference representatives, whereas a reversal would require individual votes from programs. Getting roughly 85 programs to request the repeal might be difficult, but there are a growing number of coaches speaking out against the ban.
I'm not sure it will be that difficult if reports from the Pac-12 and the Sun Belt are accurate. Reports from both conferences hold that the coaches are almost unanimously opposed to the ban. The Sun Belt thing is wild. They sent Texas State's AD to vote in favor of the ban. Here's Texas State's football coach:
"... the Sun Belt and the MAC to be able to go to Texas and Ohio State camps and see those kids." (2/2)
— Keff Ciardello (@Keff_C) April 14, 2016
The Sun Belt is of course the conference whose commissioner answered questions about why on earth the Sun Belt would shoot themselves in the foot with his best Perd Hapley impression. Nobody knows why this dude voted the way he did.
Except one man. One pirate man. Mike Leach continues on the path of the righteous:
"I can't help but wonder if there was some manipulation with this thing, because that doesn't make any sense," Leach said. "I don't know what ivory tower or what cliff these people flew to vote, but this is something out of 'James Bond,' where they got together and voted and plotted taking control of the world. Wherever it was, some lair in the mountains with ice and machinery, a cold Dr. Evil environment where these guys voted on this thing then, at the end, they all put their hands together and did a really weird laugh, because soon they'll be conquering the world."
I love Mike Leach and hope nothing but good things happen to him forever. Mike Leach may have no connection at all to the university, but he is the best thing about Penn State.
You keep using that word. Rutgers got a commitment from NJ RB/slot Bo Melton a few days ago. Melton had a Michigan offer of some variety and of course you know all about New Jersey and Michigan recruiting, so it's unsurprising that Harbaugh is living rent-free in the collective Rutgers head:
Just one problem with "I don't follow, I lead": Melton is a Rutgers legacy. How you doin'? (Also whoever put this together left out the A in "garden.")
Clemson Dan. Sooooooo Sam Webb played me this voice mail a few months back, and it is creepy as hell:
“If you’re coming down here, you gotta do just like the KKK and be serious about your football. Clemson and the KKK, the two things we love the most,” the caller said.
The target of the voice mail, which came at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 28, was Paramus Catholic star Rashan Gary. It was made the day before the defensive lineman took an official visit to Clemson.
The man who left the message identified himself twice during the 58-second voice mail only as “Clemson Dan.”
Clemson fans and apparently coaches claimed this was a false flag operation, and they might be right. But what if it's a DOUBLE false flag? Did you think about that? Yeah. Anyway, all Clemson fans are in the KKK. That's my takeaway.
Etc.: No, Penn State. No. NCAA will now pay for parents to attend official visits. Graham Glasgow projected as a third-rounder. Cardale Jones was not at OSU to play school, but mostly because he (correctly) didn't care about it. Man talking about Harbaugh sick of people talking about Harbaugh.
Before we start, folks who aren't going to be mentioned because they were on the sideline: Jehu Chesson, David Dawson, Ryan Glasgow, Mo Ways, Kingston Davis, Karan Higdon, Shelton Johnson.
Established guys we didn't see much of
I've seen a number of open practices by now and there's always a subclass of guys who aren't hurt but don't play much. Those guys are gentlemen who have established who they are and are too important to the team to expose them to extensive contact. They've made it, more or less. (These are never OL or DL.)
Most of the gentlemen who fell into this category are obvious: Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Amara Darboh, Jourdan Lewis. There was one that indicates a supposedly contested position battle that might not be all that contested: De'Veon Smith saw very few live contact carries.
Tyrone Wheatley Jr Is A Tight End, And A Mutant
Some guys leap off the field the first time you see them in action, because… whoah. Devin Funchess did so at the first open practice these eyes ever laid eyes on, and that proved itself more or less correct over the course of his career. It was immediately apparent that Funchess was a rare combination of size and mobility.
Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is that plus 70 pounds. He's not Funchess. He's in fact the opposite of Funchess as far as blocky/catchy types go. But he has that same combination of size and mobility that makes you go "whoah" the first time you see him in action. I was typing out tweets about how his ability to relocate himself at his size was uncanny even before he did this:
— ap (@plurjuice) March 26, 2016
That's not a great angle; I had one. Devin Bush Jr had outstanding coverage underneath Wheatley, grabbing an arm and forcing the one-handed stab. Which Wheatley made, escaped/stiffarmed an understandably stumbling Bush, and then outran a bunch of LBs and safeties to the endzone. Even though large chunks of the crowd had left by that point it drew the largest cheer of the day, and deservedly.
That was not a one-off play. Wheatley had four or five other catches where he looked both unexpectedly mobile and a natural receiver. He also had an outstanding block in space against Chase Winovich that allowed John O'Korn to uncork a long post throw to Grant Perry for a touchdown.
There have been persistent rumors that Wheatley was destined for OL because of his size and some assertions to that effect in Rivals's Inside The Fort posts. This practice will definitively dispel those rumors. Wheatley isn't just a tight end, he is a potential gamebreaker. At 280.
[After THE JUMP: future mutants, QB battle, an extant run game, and some dude from Malaysia.]