Really cool article that features some of our opponents' anonymous responses to questions about Michigan's defense. They're very homogenous/consistent responses. An interesting read for those with Rivals subscriptions.
I'm rooting for ND for the first time in my life. Feels dirty.
Denard and Vinny Smits:
BWC and Gordon:
Omameh and The White Receiver:
|Boubacar Cissoko||Started||Started||Started||Started||Played||DNP||DNP||Inj. Only - suspended|
|Mike Jones||DNP||DNP||DNP||Played||Played||DNP||DNP||Inj. Only|
Rich Rodriguez has said that Boubacar Cissoko is expected to return to the field this year once he clears up the issues that got him suspended. That means he won't be redshirting. Only freshmen will redshirt this year, then, and the list of eligible guys is as follows:
- Isaiah Bell
- Jeremy Gallon
- Brendan Gibbons
- Cameron Gordon
- Thomas Gordon
- Mike Jones (Injury redshirt only, as he's played in a couple games - but not the DSU blowout).
- Anthony LaLota
- Taylor Lewan
- Michael Schofield
- Fitzgerald Toussaint
- Justin Turner
- Quinton Washington
A couple of these guys might be in the mix for playing time later in the year (especially Jones, since he's already played), so keep your eyes peeled.
From behind a paywall, Michigan kids like Cam and Thomas Gordon, Rocko Khoury, Teric Jones, and of course Will Campbell are drawing praise from an "insider" who sees a lot of practices. Right now, Teric Jones, who was moved from offense to defensive back, is responding well and asserting himself as a talent that will warrant playing time. Khoury is pushing those in front of him. Cameron Gordon, who many believed would end up at linebacker, has been very impressive as a receiver; a big guy with good hands who is not afraid to go over the middle for a catch, and he will undoubtedly be a good blocker as well.
For those of us who believe in recruiting Michigan, this comes as no surprise. What Michigan kids may lack in development due to the constraints of the MHSAA, weather, coaching and facilities, they make up with in ahleticism, talent, love of the game, and desire. You can't say enough for kids who have dreamt of playing for one of the big in-state schools, and if given a fair shot, as they are, they do not back down to their much more heralded colleagues from football havens like Ohio, Florida, and Texas.
I am encouraged by the reports coming in regarding Michigan kids and look forward to seeing how they perform on the field. I also hope that Rodriguez works to downplay, and even wipe out this silly perception that seems to be going around Michigan that the Wolveerines are not necessarily a welcome wagon for home-grown talent. Especially in his first few formative years, when as we saw with DaQuinta Jones and Pearlie Graves, out of state kids in general and southern kids in particular can be awfully wishy-washy about their committment to play for Michigan.
Much of the 2010 class is made up of midwest recruits, and UM has landed three top players from the home state already. It will be interesting to see how this trend develops in the future.
I know there has been a wave of folks who say things like "A three star from Florida is better than a four or five star from Michigan" or "I don't care where the players come from"--but again, getting kids from your own back yard, solidifying your home base, is a foundation that I believe UM needs and can benefit from. These kids won't get homesick, are used to the weather, can be spiritual and emotional leaders, won't wilt under Barwis, and will more likely stick out their first couple years when playing time is not exactly easy to come by.
I'd like to know the thoughts any MGoBloggers have with regard to this topic!
Michael Spath, Rivals, recently interviewed 2009 Recruit HB Teric Jones.
On Mike Barwis - "Every day, I feel bigger, stronger, faster. Thomas (Gordon S, fellow recruit) and I have been working out according to the Mike Barwis' plan and we can both see the changes in ourselves and each other. It's a full-body workout. It's a challenge but it's preparing both of us for what's coming up this summer."
On fellow future Wolverine Will Campbell - "I see him all the time – the three of us hang out a lot – and he tells us all about the coaches and our teammates and what you have to know about everybody," Jones said. "He just tells us that the coaches are very honest and straightforward and they're going to tell you what you have to do to play and it's up to you whether you want to do those things or not. But they don't let you just 'get by' – they're going to make you work hard."
On learning the playbook - "The coaches keep telling me they want to use me at both but they can only do so if I understand both," he said. "Every day after working out I go home and look at those books and try to learn as much as I can. I'm going to be prepared."