this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Avery Horn, Sam McGuffie
So I got this email and I was going to put it in a mailbag and then I realized the world needed a stand-alone dossier of the things Fred Jackson has said about his running backs. This is it. This is the email:
You frequently make a jab at Fred Jackson and his son for jointly comparing freshman running back Thomas Rawls to Mark Ingram, saying that this comparison is part of Jackson hyperbole. It sounds like your point is that the Jacksons have a history of comparing mediocre running backs to great ones. However, in the "Fred Jackson Hyperbole Tracker" tab, when I click on it, the only posts it brings up are two, and both involve Rawls. Could you provide more instances where Jackson erroneously jumped the gun with a whacked-out comparison of a running back that only resulted in mediocrity?
The only additional comparison I can think of that Jackson (Sr.) made recently was that Stephen Hopkins reminds him a lot of Chris Perry. … Are there other times when Jackson did made comparisons and was wrong?
If there are, then Jackson certainly has a history of hyperbole, and your point stands. If not, then perhaps you're just being a little too cynical about the potential that Rawls has. Yes, it's probably always safer to be skeptical when someone says "this guy will be awesome," but it could be that Jackson hasn't been able to get excited about running backs in recent years. He did, after all, coach some decent running backs over the years, who did some good things for Michigan. Though I shouldn't need to tell you that.
Let me know what you find. I'd be curious to see if Jackson has done this before.
You defy the memes. I accept your challenge.
Jackson called Allison "unbelievable," adding the Lake Orion native has a chance to be "the best fullback we've ever had here." High praise indeed given he's only been hitting for a week.
"Everybody used to say Anthony [Thomas] couldn't run, but nobody could catch him either. Underwood is like that. He can break out in the secondary and they'll say, 'He doesn't look like he's running,' but you won't find anybody catching him."
Running backs coach Fred Jackson called Horn the fastest tailback he has ever coached.
Luckily for Michigan, it has what running backs coach Fred Jackson calls the best two running backs in the same class in his 17 years with the Wolverines — freshmen Michael Shaw and Sam McGuffie.
“Sam is the quickest I’ve seen,” Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson said.
"Michael Hart ability with speed," Jackson said, comparing Toussaint to U-M's all-time leading rusher. "The kind of guy that can do Michael's cuts, he can sit down, sink his hips and explode by making steps. He's faster than Mike and a very, very tough guy, like Mike was."
More Fitzgerald Toussaint:
"He's as talented as anyone who walked in the door," said Jackson, who has coached Michigan career leading rusher Michael Hart, Chris Perry, Anthony Thomas and Tyrone Wheatley, to name a few.
Jackson said he had never before heard of a player breaking his shoulder blade. But before the injury, Jackson saw budding talent.
"He's got great feet, acceleration, strength, power," Jackson said. "I can compare him to somebody -- he's like a fast Chris Perry. He's going to be very good."
I got guys now that got me very excited. I'm talking about a couple years like '94, when we had Wheatley, Biakabutuka, Jesse Johnson, Eddie Davis, those kind of guys.
Brandon Minor (and the rest of the 2008 group):
Jackson said he never has had a speedier group of tailbacks while at Michigan, and he never has had a more physical back than senior Brandon Minor. … "I've coached a lot of tough guys, but I'm going to say right now, (Minor's) probably the toughest back I've ever coached physically," Jackson said.
"Thomas Rawls, to me, is a combination of Anthony Thomas and Chris Perry, but he's faster than both of them," Jackson said. "He's got their feet, their power, and he's got a running style more like Chris', because he really sinks before he hits you."
"No doubt," Jackson said. "I saw him play enough. The kid's got the right stuff. He's just like [Alabama's Mark Ingram], but he's faster than Ingram. He ran 10.65 in the 100 meters, at 220 pounds. Just think about that."
"Before he's done here, he'll be another Chris Perry. But I don't know if Chris was ever 230 pounds."
Michigan RB Coach Fred Jackson didn’t hold back when talking about Shoelace’s speed, “I promise you this, there ain’t nobody in the country who can catch him,” Jackson said. In my 18 years here, I’ve never seen a kid that fast. Nowhere. And I’ve seen some fast kids on other teams, (but) I’ve never seen anybody that fast. “I mean, it’s scary. Every time you miss him in practice, strike the band up, it’s a touchdown. He’s going to shock a lot of people.”
Okay, that last one is right.
UPDATE 8/13/2012: On Thomas Rawls:
"He's got Mike Hart kind of feet, but a lot faster than Mike."
UPDATE 8/14/2012: Comparing Rawls to Mark Ingram:
"They were almost identical high school backs," said Jackson. "Obviously, Mark Ingram had a great (offensive) line at Alabama that helped him along, but Thomas is a lot faster than Mark, (and) has the same type of ability. I'm not trying to compare them in any way but when you watched them in high school, they were very similar running backs."
On Dennis Norfleet:
"Norfleet is as quick as any kid at Michigan since I've been here," said Jackson, in his 21st season. "I've not seen a guy that quick." ...
"...I don't think (anybody) is faster than Denard," Jackson said. "(Norfleet's) got the quickness that will put him in the same positions Denard gets in quicker than Denard will get in them. Now, Denard once he gets side by side will pull (away) from him probably."
Terrelle Pryor- "He's like Michael Vick, only dumber"
Luke Fickell- "He's like Adam Sandler, only sweatier"
Jack Kennedy- "He's like Tom Brady, but with a better arm. And he's far more handsome."
Brady Hoke- "He's like a combination of Andy Reid and Bill Belichick. Literally. It's like Andy Reid ate Bill Belichick."
He's like Anthony Thomas, Tim Biakabatuka, and Chris Perry combined into one, except that he isn't nearly as bit or as fast as that combined trio. And, as an aside, he's like Brad Pitt as far as looks go, only not as good-looking as Pitt.
Fred Jackson doesn't use hyperbole... the rest of the world just suffers from hypobole.
Thanks for telling it like it is, Freddy.
This post was like something G.B. Shaw would have written, only wittier.
i get the sense that the emailer is offended by Brian's take on FJ. i think the emailer is taking Brian's comments the wrong way. everyone likes FJ and thinks he's a great coach. no one is criticizing him. just poking fun and keeping his comments in perspective.
this is the best post ever written. It is like you gave Ernest Hemingway a MacBook Pro. Better than Ring Lardner, better than Grantland Rice. Like John U. Bacon, only faster and with better leverage.
MGoPacquiao is going to be upset you beat him to that.
Do we have any quotes about Mike Hart, Chris Perry, Ty Wheatley, Touchdown Tim and the guys who actually were good?
Fred Jackson on Chris Perry:
"He's like Barry Sanders with wings and the ability to talk to animals"
Those guys were like Jesus, only more humble and meek. And they turned water into 23-year aged single-malt scotch.
"The people who vote gave Eddie George the Heisman, but Tim is a better running back."
Eddie had a good pro career and Tim didn't, but only due to injuries. One year that he was healthy for Carolina he was tearing it up.
When is his re-election campaign…err nevermind, he is not a politician. All those overly positive statements would make a politician blush.
Love me some Fred Jackson, that was awsome, i do not care if it was hyperbole or not.
Here's to Fred Jackson coaching as long as JoePa, but without the broken bones!
WE STILL <3 YOU FRED!!!!!
I can't even recall Roger Allison...
I vividly remember Jackson talking about Shaw and McGuffie before the 2008 season started thinking that the offense will be fine with two up and coming greats in the backfield regardless of who was under center... i be wrong
I'm sure it was just as painful to him watching Sheridan throw the floaters as it was to all of us.
The Sheridan/Threet combo wasn't scaring anyone.
I don't think McGuffie thought watching the floaters was painful. It was what the linebacker did when he caught them.
Poor kid. He needed a year or more to build himself up to where he could protect himself.
Too bad Fred Jackson isn't right all the time.
He is the only running back I've watched where I felt like he was tackling defenders.
Yeah, he was darn fun to watch.
you didn't thnk he was fun to watch? When he was healthy and on the field I have to say I loved watching him plow through defenders and then break into the open field...I guess you didn't. You are a UM fan right?
I'm not sure we can safely categorize the Denard comment as hyperbole.
If the "fast kids on other teams" were from the SEC, then he'd be speaking the truth. lol
"Okay, that last one is right."
When asked about Tyrone Wheatley's ability, Fred Jackson spontaneously combusted.
he only spontaneously combusts when we're about to win a MNC:
This post was amazing. Like a cross between Kafka, Shakespeare, and Woodward and Bernstein. This "Brian" guy is gonna be considered one of the all-time greats by the time he leaves here...
LoL, this must be Jack's 1st rodeo.
That email from Jack was an easy slow pitch, just so he could watch Brian hit it out of the park. That had to be from someone who watches this rodeo frequently.
Could call Jack!
This is possibly the most enjoyable post in the history of MGoBlog. Or at least in the history of my participation in MGoBlog.
anectdotal to me.
I think I need to see a scatter gram and a chart to be sure.
Behind The Numbers: FJ Hyperbole Quantified.
Alls I know is we have one fantastic stable of running backs right now, including Shaw, Hopkins, Toussaint. Why did RR insist on running Denard 400 times a game and leave these guys fresh as a daisy. We could have had three 1000 yard back last year. Fred must have been pulling his hair out on the sideline
Because when they got their chances they didn't do anything...in contrast to Denard who set NCAA records practically every game.
In reality Denard running turns any RB in the backfield into an extra blocker which was a key ingredient to the special sauce for our offense last season.
And Denard is the fastest guy on the team, bar none.
Gordie was writing sarcastically.
Who "didn't do anything"? Fitzgerald Toussaint had a 61-yard carry and 1 touchdown on about 6 carries last year. Michael Shaw averaged 5.4 yards a catch and had 9 touchdowns. Michael Cox averaged about 9 yards a carry.
As far as I can see, the only ones who didn't do very well were Hopkins (4.1 yards/attempt) and Smith (who ought to be a 3rd down back, not a feature back).
Did Rawls really run a 10.65 100? of all Fred's comments, at least that one is quantifiable and verifiable.
This post was awesome. What Happened to Underwood? Ph yeah, Mike Hart.
"but it could be that Jackson hasn't been able to get excited about running backs in recent years"
Do you EVER read anything Michigan recruiting related? Rhetorical question... The man IS NOT capable of not getting excited...