Gene Chizik just went undefeated and won the national title less than two years ago. I think he still has a guaranteed additional year or two.
Thursday Recruitin' Discovers New Mono Side Effect
Today's recruiting roundup features the latest on Derrick Green, Laquon Treadwell's potential fifth star, the new 2014 Scout 300 rankings, and more.
Momentum Changing For Green?
Tremendous caught up with VA RB Derrick Green, newly-minted Scout five-star and one of the top three targets remaining on Michigan's 2013 board, for a thorough rundown of his recruitment. Six schools—Michigan, Auburn, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Oregon, and Virginia Tech—are currently in the running for his services, though the general sense is that the Wolverines, Tigers, and Vols stand out from the pack at large. Green says he could make a decision at any time between now and signing day:
Decision: "It could be NSD; it could be tomorrow. It's going to be a feeling thing for me. Whenever it feels right, I'll make my decision then. I'm not really putting pressure on myself to decide at a certain date, so I'm just going with the flow".
As for where that flow will take Green, much remains uncertain. If he's swayed at all by success in the 2012 season and coach job security, however, Michigan could have a distinct edge provided they don't fall flat in the Big Ten, something also pointed out over at Tremendous. Auburn, thought to have the edge after multiple visits from Green, currently sits at 1-3, with their only victory on the year coming against Louisiana-Monroe; Gene Chizik has one of the hottest seats in the country and his job prospects don't look bright considering the tough SEC slate ahead. Tennessee's in better shape with a 3-2 record, but they're 0-2 in the SEC and face ranked teams in each of the next three weeks, with a home contest against Alabama sandwiched between trips to Mississippi State and South Carolina.
While a sub-par season from Auburn or Tennessee may not be enough to dissuade Green from making an SEC commitment—he doesn't mention team success as a prominent factor in his decision—the very first thing he mentions is his relationship with each team's respective coaching staffs; obviously, if the Tigers or Vols clean house that likely takes them out of the running. While that could open the door for Ole Miss or Oregon to jump to the forefront, it would also likely thrust Michigan into the driver's seat.
There's a long way to go, of course, and this is largely conjecture; the outside forces surrounding Green's recruitment, however, could easily favor Michigan so long as they take care of business in conference play.
[Hit THE JUMP for details on the 2014 Scout 300 and much more.]
You Can't Have One Without The Other (Two)
Oh, hell, might as well include updates on Laquon Treadwell and Leon McQuay III, right? While y'all may be sick of hearing about them, please direct me to any other prominent 2013 targets and I'll be happy to discuss someone else.
Recruiting analysts have raved about Treadwell's performance so far this season, and now Rivals' resident Illinois expert, "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran, is making the case for him to receive a fifth star in the Chicago Tribune [emphasis mine]:
I like that my employer doesn't throw around five-star rankings. In my humble opinion, Treadwell has earned it.
He might be the best receiver prospect I've seen in my 20-plus years of covering, ranking and evaluating the best football talent in this state.
I saw Treadwell in action last Saturday against Bloom. I already knew he was an exceptional talent with all the physical tools and traits you look for in a top-flight receiver. He has great speed and size, runs disciplined routes, can catch, has exceptional vision and outstanding body control.
But the little things Treadwell does really caught my eye.
To put the bolded claim into context, Illinois has produced two Rivals five-star wideouts in that time: former USC and current Northwestern WR Kyle Prater and 2002 Texas commit Marquise Johnson, who transferred to Texas Tech and never really panned out. You may also remember one Jason Avant, who starred at Chicago Carver and was the #13 receiver nationally in the class of 2002. While other states have turned out more talent at the position, it's still an impressive claim.
The news about McQuay doesn't directly involve McQuay, actually, but instead current USC DB commit Chris Hawkins. USC is currently at their NCAA-mandated scholarship limit of 18 for the 2013 class, but a few commits are at least looking around, including Hawkins. However, while Hawkins visited Washington last weekend, he came away from the trip saying he's "100 percent committed to USC," according to Rivals' Adam Gorney ($, info in header). That would be good news for Michigan, as a Hawkins decommit would open up a spot for McQuay, who currently favors the Trojans. Unfortunately, they're not out of the woods yet, as Hawkins is still planning trips to Notre Dame and Arizona State. His situation is one to keep an eye on.
Mono Side Effect: Loss Of Star
Mike Farrell's latest column discusses the possibility of USC QB commit Max Browne rising to the #1 overall ranking in the class along with the possibility that Shane Morris falls due to his lost senior season:
The lefty was awarded his fifth star following summer appearances at numerous camps as well as The Opening and Elite 11. However, after completing just over 50 percent of his passes as a junior, Morris started off this year 40-of-83 for 456 yards with three touchdowns and three picks. Then he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and could be out for the rest of the season, which makes it unclear if he'll be ready to play in the Under Armour All-American Game in January.
So, was the poor start due to mono or was it more of the up-and-down play from last season that held him back from his fifth star? Mono is unlikely to affect him long term when it comes to his college career, although it could delay his immediate impact depending on how long it takes to recover and gain back weight. His senior year playing sample will certainly lead to some detailed discussion.
While it's certainly unfortunate that such an illness could cause Morris to drop in the rankings, (1) it doesn't really matter, since he'll eventually bounce back to where he was pre-mono, fifth star or not, and (2) the truth is that a missed season does hurt his development, especially since he's unable to train, and that means it's unlikely he'll hold onto five-star status all the way through signing day.
Meanwhile, fellow 2013 commit Jourdan Lewis received his Army All-American jersey in a ceremony at Cass Tech last week. He'll be joined by future teammates Dymonte Thomas and Chris Fox representing the Wolverines in the game.
Scout released their initial top 300 for the class of 2014 and the list is littered with Michigan offers and targets, most notably #76 Michael Ferns—Michigan's lone commit—and top in-state prospects Malik McDowell (#15) and Damon Webb (#33). After seeing Webb several times both in camp settings and actual games, I very much agree with his lofty ranking, and I'm excited to see McDowell in action this weekend—he's been so dominant this season that he's rarely played even into the second quarter. Tremendous has a detailed breakdown of prominent Michigan targets on the list, and TTB has the usual rundown of every Wolverine offer to make the cut.
One such player, IL OT Jamarco Jones (#26 overall), tweeted yesterday that he'll visit Michigan for the Illinois game. He's one of the top offensive linemen on the board and getting him on campus this early is a nice start for the Wolverines.
The lone in-state offensive lineman with an offer, Grand Rapids Christian's Tommy Doles, is strongly considering the service academies, according to Josh Helmholdt ($):
Doles is projected as a high BCS prospect with offers already in from Michigan and Iowa State, but this is a kid with aspirations beyond college football and the service academies have struck a particular chord in the patriotic young man.
At 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Doles should be able to pass the stringent height/weight requirements the military academies hold should he continue to pursue that option. Although he is a little undersized for the offensive line, Doles plays with good strength and is an aggressive blocker. His offense is pass-first, so we have seen a lot of him in pass sets. Doles could get his chest higher and does tend to get caught reaching, but he has great feet and is a very athletic offensive line prospect.
As a slightly undersized lineman, Doles fits the mold of a service academy player, as you saw when Michigan took on the cut-blocking attack of Air Force earlier this season.
Lastly, Tremendous breaks down Michigan's current and potential targets at quarterback for the 2014 class; an offer has yet to go out to a QB, but Michigan will need to take at least one in the class, preferably an elite prospect (obvious point is obvious).
Even if he survives this year—and I think there's a real chance he doesn't—the fact that it's a serious discussion could cause Green to look elsewhere. I don't think he's looking for a coach who could very well be fired after his freshman year.
When he doesn't have Cam Newton, Chizik is now 17-13 overall and 8-11 in the SEC at Auburn after putting together a 5-19 (2-14 Big 12) record at Iowa State. Not an entirely fair way to look at it, but minus Newton and Gus Malzahn he hasn't exactly put together a stellar resume.
Not to mention the domination by Nick Fairley that year. He was another big reason Auburn had a great year.
I agree with corundum. If we are firing guys less than two years removed from national championship victories then what is this sport coming to? Are we going to have Caliparis of football paying kids in blow and strippers to win championships and then running to the next job when the house of strippers and blow comes crashing down all around them? Will someone please think of the student-athlete?
he's recruited at such a high level that the stars awarded the very recruits he is putting on the field who are sucking are working against him.
Tommy Tuberville went undefeated at Auburn in 2004 and was fired in 2008. Auburn folks are a fickle bunch.
Plus, Chizik suffers in popular opinion from being a "nobody" before he was hired and from the perception that Cam Newton singlehandedly won the championship.
kind of like having a serious girlfriend or wife while still perusing and spending some "quality time" with other ladies?
What's a wife?
Until a recruit signs a National Letter of Intent, there is no official obligation on either his behalf or the school's. For instance, Oklahoma just pulled the scholarship they had offered to Matt Beyer, an offensive lineman who had verbally committed but then learned that he had a career-ending spine injury.
I have a problem blaming kids for looking around before they put pen to paper when schools are free to "look around" for other ways they might use the scholarship that they promised. This is where a standup coach like Hoke can gain a long-term advantage: by letting kids know that if Michigan offers a scholarship, they mean it.
I like Doles as an athlete, but I'm kind of surprised that he earned a Michigan offer so soon. He's very, very thin right now. It seemed like Michigan was going with bulldozer types with all their offers to guys who are 280+ pounds (Bosch, Tuley-Tillman, Fox, etc.), but Doles looks like a guy that Rich Rodriguez would have gone hard after.
I agree Magnus. Is Doles solely an OL prospect for Michigan, or possibly DL as well? He just seems like he needs to add a ton of weight. I know he is only a junior, but still for him being only about 240 lbs. and to play on the offensive line, it seems like he needs to add about 40 lbs. or so by the time he were to hit campus.
Over a year and a half before he hits campus.
Taylor Lewan weighed in around 250 when he got here, ended up starting as a redshirt freshman at left tackle.
Doles seems to be in the David Molk mold of Center. Small (relatively), athletic, tough, smart, a leader,and dedicated. I like it.
According to Lewan's Scout, Rivals and ESPN profile pages he was around 270 lbs. his senior year. Of course those could have been wrong. I personally do not remember what weight he was as a freshman, so you may be correct.
|77||Taylor Lewan||OL||6-7||268||FR||Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral)|
Thanks gordie bell. I'm with Magnus though that it just seems like the coaches want more "college-sized ready" offensive linemen out of high school and that's why the offer to Doles is a bit surprising. Not knocking his ability or anything but if he can bulk up and gain weight, the offer will make more sense, IMO.
Patrick Omameh's Rivals profile from his senior year says that he weighed 236 pounds. If a kid has the right kind of frame, it's amazing what a year or two in a top-quality nutrition and workout program can do.
That is a great example. Didn't even think about Omameh.
That's not really a counterexample. Omameh was an athletic defensive end-type that Rich Rodriguez recruited. Omameh seemed to be going in a very good direction with Rodriguez at the helm running a zone scheme, and seems to have regressed a little bit now that we're running less zone stuff. My point is that Hoke seems not to be recruiting those types of players, with the apparent exception of Doles.
I think he has the athleticism to play defensive line, but Michigan wants him for offense.
but I think Jalen Ramsey is another USC DB commitment who might not be 100% solid and planned on taking some visits at one point.
That's true. I was in AFROTC there, and we had a couple D-1 athletes. The instructors give a lot of cushion for attendance to guys who have other major commitments. They just want to see you're doing something to develop your leadership.
There is some thought that Derrick Green will make his announcement at the end of the month. I read that on twitter from more than a couple sources.
#1 RB in the nation (Rivals) 5* Derrick Green expected to announce late October. AU is still feeling good according to insiders.
If that's the case, I don't like Michigan's chances very much.
Then again, I am pretty sure Green is visiting for the MSU game. We may have a pretty good shot.
I just got some very reliable information last week that we are sitting very well for him. If he's committing at the end of the month, I think he's blue.
Can you expand on that at all?
I'd really rather not. I'm not trying to make a prediction that he's going to commit, just trying to dispel fears that he's going to commit elsewhere. I had reliable information that Sean Parker was a silent commit before and he changed his mind, so I'd really rather not go spouting off on this one. All you need to know is that someone in the know thinks that he is ours.
So somebody named ____Damn____ is claiming that anonymous sources have given him information that suggests that [highly coveted recruit] currently favors _________.
Stop me if you've heard this before.
If his payout is larger than Tuberville. Tuberville's was five million....tight pockets might buy him another season.
That could certainly factor in—he's got a $7.5M buyout this year. It goes down to $5M in 2013, $3.5M in 2014, and there's no buyout if they fire him in 2015.
Yeah, for that kind of money, they'll keep him around at least one more year unless Auburn really shits the bed. Which I'll be cheering for.
EDIT: The next four games are key for Auburn. They play Arkansas, @ Ole Miss, @ Vandy and TAMU. They basically need to go 3-1 in that stretch to make a bowl game.
Chizik didnt build the team that won the national title.. He had 2 juco players and a stud freshman for one yr.. His team looks terrible right now..The only thing that he might have going for him is his recruiting class that has a bunch of studs.. I dont think he will last long though.. The same goes for dooley at tenn.. Both will be fired and we grab Green..IMO
I don't think Gene will get fired. He does have some highly regarded young talent on the team. Maybe too young to play.
Coaches getting fired after 2 years is crazy to me.
It would be three.
Keep in mind that Chizik had Gus Malzahn his first two years, and he no longer does. Malzahn was a big part of why they won the national title with Newton. Without him, their offense has looked pathetic.