"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
"The experience he has from last year is starting to show," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. "He’s making shots, and he made some gutsy plays against Portland. He’s got a confidence about him that he can get the job done."
Conference play has come, and Big Ten teams can safely retreat to their thunderdomes to clobber each other in peace, insulated from the braying mockery of the national media. There is still upheaval. Michigan has fallen apart. Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke have been confined to the Touliers Palace.
Michigan picked up their 17th commit of the class of 2013 tonight, as Hudson (OH) LB Ben Gedeon made his long-awaited pledge to the Wolverines:
"It’s awesome! I’ve kind of known throughout my whole recruitment that Michigan has been my #1 school. To finally get the commitment out of the way and saying I’m going to be a Michigan Man is just awesome."
Gedeon joins Mike McCray among linebacker commits in the class. Of the 17 Wolverine commits, 13 of them—including Gedeon—are on the ESPNU 150 Watch List.
4*, #13 OLB,
4*, #8 OLB,
4*, 90, #21 ATH,
Gedeon will be a four-star across the board as soon as ESPN comes out with an actual list, and only 247 seems to think he doesn't crack the top ~250 players in the country [EDIT: Gedeon is listed at #255 overall on his 247 profile, so he's universally regarded as a top ~250 recruit]. His listed size ranges from 6'2", 200 lbs. (Scout) to 6'3", 220 (247), with recent articles pegging him at about 6'2, 215. Recruiting: Not the most exact science.
Gedeon is an extremely versatile athlete for Hudson, lining up all over the field for them on offense. His best position, of course, is linebacker, and he sounds like a player who will end up at the WILL for Michigan. First up with the evaluations is Mark Givler of Rivals ($):
At the college level, Gedeon will play linebacker and showed good instincts, toughness, and athleticism last Friday night. Gedeon's best position at the next level will probably be middle linebacker where he he has the toughness to fight through traffic and get to the ball carrier. Though getting sideline-to-sideline probably isn't his best strength, he does it well enough and covers well enough that he should be a well-rounded linebacker at the next level.
His size—and the glut of larger inside players in the class ahead of him—means Gedeon will probably end up on the weak side, where his athleticism and coverage ability will be a strength. Rivals's Josh Helmholdt broke down Gedeon's tape last September and saw improvement over his camp performances ($):
We saw Gedeon at two camps in the off-season. In early season film, though, he has looked even more athletic than when we saw him running around in just shorts and a t-shirt. At each new evaluation, Gedeon seems to have lost a little of the stiffness we saw out of him in our first evaluation. He may not quite be the 6-3, 215 pounds he is listed, and he does not blow running backs up, but Gedeon can run with backs and tight ends and will make for an athletic linebacker at the next level.
Again, athleticism and pass coverage are mentioned as positives; considering the WILL is occasionally tasked with sticking to a slot receiver, those skills are at a premium.
Gedeon has placed well in both initial state of Ohio rankings for the class of 2013. Scout has him at #11 in the state, one spot behind fellow commit Jake Butt. Here's Allen Trieu's take on their top-ranked linebacker:
Gedeon is a fantastic athlete as evidenced by what he's done all over the field from running back to receiver to linebacker. He can definitely run and play a sideline to sideline game. He may not play the same level of competition as some of the other top linebackers on the board, but we feel he has the most upside of the bunch.
“Overall, he is a great athlete. His junior highlights were outstanding. He makes plays all over the field. He’s almost a throwback type. He’s just a tough, hard-nosed football player.”
In case you didn't glean this from the above, Ben Gedeon is a very good athlete.
To go with his Michigan offer, Boston College, Duke, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, and Virginia extended scholarships to Gedeon.
Gedeon earned first-team all-state honors last season with 120 tackles to go along with over 1,400 rushing yards and 27 total touchdowns. As a sophomore, he was a third-team all-state member after amassing 105 tackles, five sacks, 500 rushing yards, 300 passing yards, and 300 receiving yards.
FAKE 40 TIME
I actually couldn't track down a 40 time for Gedeon. ALL OF THE FAKES, I guess.
There's also a sophomore highlight reel from 247Sports; though it doesn't have any defensive plays, you can see Gedeon lining up at tight end, H-back, wide receiver, kick returner, and even quarterback.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Gedeon doesn't have ideal size for the MIKE or SLB spots, but his athletic ability and coverage skills make him a perfect candidate for the WILL. He's a near-lock to redshirt given his need to put on weight and the fact that James Ross and Kaleb Ringer should end up on the weak side from the class of 2012. Desmond Morgan will be a returning starter as a true sophomore next season, and Ross is a future star, in my opinion.
Where Gedeon could make an early impact is special teams, where he can put that athleticism and versatility to good use. I expect he'll be a contributor in that area after a redshirt year, and from there he'll battle with Ross and Ringer for a spot in the rotation. As a redshirt junior, he should get a crack at the starting lineup.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan has now filled their two open spots at linebacker—the coaching staff was clearly confident they would take Gedeon, having told four-star LBs Alex Anzalone and Shane Jones they were full prior to his commitment—though all indications are that they're reserving a spot for E.J. Levenberry (likely a SLB), one of the best players on the board at any position.
As for the class in total, the Wolverines now have 17 players committed in what will likely be a 23-24 man class. The biggest needs are along the defensive line and at wide receiver, where Michigan will likely take two more prospects for each group.
I'm really excited to have him, because he'll be a great LB here at Michigan. It's just weird to think we actually have enough depth to properly develop him, now. No more, "Will he be okay if he gets forced on as a freshman" worries.
I am back from vacation, and so are the recruiting rankings. In this update, we see Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Penn State all edge closer to Michigan, which still is well ahead of the field despite not picking up a commit in forever, you guys.
Let's look at where we could end up (under the assumption we take 24 guys):
Conservatively: None of our 3 stars get another star, none of our 4 stars get another star, and our last 7 commits are 5 four stars and 2 three stars. That would give us 18 4* and 6 3* commits, for an average of 3.75 stars.
Realistic Best Case Scenario: Shane and a linemen get a 5th star, so does one 3 star guy (likely Conley or Smith). We fill our last 7 slots with a 5 star and four 4 stars. That leaves us with 3 5*, 18 4* and 3 3* commits, for an average of 4.00 stars.
Likely scenario is somewhere between the two, with an average of around 3.85 or so. Very, very good.
Ace (or other recruiting ninjas), has an Ohio State offer lost the import it held under Tressel? It used to be (seem) like they gave out 40ish offers a year to land 25 players. To me, an OSU offer meant the kid was damn good (especially defenders) and a very likely Buckeye. Now, it seems like every highly rated guy in the country sports an OSU offer.
Is there a real philosophy shift under Meyer, or am I nuts?
I didn't follow recruiting as closely when Tressel was in charge, but it certainly seems like Meyer is throwing a lot more offers out there. I should be doing a podcast in the near future with Alex from 11 Warriors (Ohio State) and Jeff from Black Shoe Diaries (Penn State), and I'll ask Alex about the shift in philosophy.
Alex can speak to this way more than I can, but as an OSU fan that's "tapped in," so to speak, I can offer this: Urban has a very different philosophy than JT. He has a much more national approach, which will inevitably lead to a higher number of offers. Additionally, unlike JT, his staff hands out what can be characterized as "non-committable" offers. Aaron Bailey (high-rated QB prospect) is a good example. He was offered with the caveat that Urban and his staff wanted to see him throw at camp before he commits. This is a pretty standard practice nationally, but one that JT rarely used.
I speak for most Buckeye fans when I say that we expect higher-rated classes under Urban, but one that will feature Ohio a tad bit less--which will ultimately allow Michigan to nab more Ohio talent.
In the old Hollywood Squares game show, when a contestant made a dumb move, the MC out of politeness did not say "Boy, that was a dumb move". Instead he would say "Interesting strategy, this may work out".
What I've actually found interesting so far, and maybe this is just because it's early in the recruiting season still for teams not named Texas, Michigan, or Florida, is that even though he's put out more national offers, the class still has a decidedly Ohio flavor to it with 5/8 guys being from Ohio. Of course it could still end up completely different if they get more national guys and stop getting the Ohio guys, but they'll probably still get Shelton Gibson, Caleb Day, Courtney Love, and probably Donovan Munger. That doesn't seem all that off to me from what they might normally see.
A small word of warning - your post is an echo of what Michigan fans were saying at this point in 2008. The result is that we missed out on talent from Michigan and Ohio. This benefited MSU and, to a lesser extent, OSU.
I am not trying to provoke an argument as to the comparative merit of Meyer or Rich Rodriguez. (There are a number of significant differences). However, Meyer's change in recruiting seems to mirror the one that RR tried to impliment at Michigan. It will be interesting to see how it works out.
“Your satisfaction lies in your illusions/ But your delusions are yours and not mine”
It use to be, if you were a top guy from Ohio ... you were offered and went to Ohio State. Period. That's basically how it was, while he was there ... and yea, he would lose out on a guy here and there, but for the most part, they got who they wanted from Ohio. Now, it seems, Urban offers and goes all out nationally, while the top guys from Ohio are told nay or yay, and for some reason, Urban has been telling a bunch of top Ohio kids nay in 2013; McCray, Butt, Taco, etc ... and it could easily come back to bite him in the ass. It should.
Not hating here, but I don't think UFM wanted Butt, Taco, or McCray. They never got much interest even from the old staff. And you are correct, it very well could bite us in the ass. Early returns, though, are that we'll be fine. Tressel normally went 60-70% Ohioans in his classes and that's what Urban has so far. I think he'll end up being in the 60% range annually (just my opinion), but the Ohioans he's going to take are going to be national level kids. Marshall, Burrows, Price, Lisle, and Thompson all have high-level national offers and are ranked in the Rivals 150. The biggest difference will be the fringe Ohio players that Tressel would take on a yearly basis. I don't think Urban will settle for a kid who may not be OSU talent level just because he's from Ohio.
There are more OSU offers going out, but that doesn't mean they are going out to lesser caliber players. Especially with a more national focus it seems, there will just be more offers from OSU. In this case, you cam rest assured Gedeon had a very 'commitable' offer from OSU.
Meyer is recruiting more nationally than Tressel did. Tressel offered fewer guys, because a higher percentage of the guys he offered were in-staters who were likely to commit. Meyer is offering a lot of guys from CA, FL, MD, etc. where guys are predisposed to being Buckeyes, and OSU is no better than the other top-flight schools they've been offered by.
I'm not saying one method is better than another, and it's possible that Tressel's method would have changed when Hoke was hired anyway, due to his ties in (and emphasis on) Ohio.
EDIT: I guess my point in all of that was that an OSU offer is no less impressive now than it was before, just because more of them are committing elsewhere. OSU is recruiting very well, so if Urban Meyer wants a guy, it almost certainly means he's really good.
As a knowledgeable Buck sort, have you also noticed a shift in the type of personnel that Urban is going after? I don't expect it to be the monster shift we had going from Carr to Rodriguez to Hoke, but does it seem like he wants a different style of player?
FWIW - Urban missing on a few Ohio guys might not be the disaster that we Wolverines wish it to be. It strikes me that he has awfully good recruiting connections outside of Ohio. I'll be interested to see how this all plays out . . .
will start for 2 or 3 yrs here. As for Urban... he is reminding me more and more of RR, national recruiting "his" type players... everyone is forgeting Meyer runs a "spread".... typical Ohio boys might not fit as well. Anyway... all the better for Hoke.... Smash Mouth football baby!!!