"There's a certain level of confidence and composure he brings to the court," said sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins, who played the bulk of his minutes as a freshman while LeVert sat on the end of the bench in a sweat suit. "When you know you have a player like that on your team of that caliber, it's just like, we're in his hands and he can do a lot of things for this team. It's a comfort. It's nice."
"I just really wanted to see him in a game and I loved what I saw," Beilein said. "He was active. He's got a motor. He's got some things he's got to work on. He doesn't have the strength to (play) the way he'd like to in the Big Ten yet, but that's what we're going to work on in-between (games) without inhibiting his ability to play the next game."
At this point, anyone reading this post is pretty familiar with Da'Shawn Hand, the nation's top overall prospect. Michigan and Virginia Tech are presumed to lead the other three schools in his top five—Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina—while LSU and USC are on the outside looking in. Even further on the outside is Ohio State, where Hand reportedly had a poor visit experience the first time around, and despite a decent trip there last weekend—he swung by while in town for the Columbus NFTC—the Buckeyes won't be a factor in his recruitment going forward.
If you believe Eleven Warriors [ed-S: ...''s recruiting guy Jeremy Birmingham, not Ramzy] , this is because the Ohio State coaches suddenly decided they weren't very interested in the top player in the country—for reasons, you see—and here begins the fisking:
For some reason, my contention that Ohio State would not be aggressively attempting to get back into the Hand sweepstakes set off an internet wildfire with people.
This contention is reasonable; it's become clear that Ohio State is a longshot at best to get Hand, and the coaching staff could better spend their time targeting prospects with more interest in the Buckeyes. This would be a good place to stop, but...
As I have said a few times, it's a simple matter of personality. Ohio State wants people who are going to go 1000 miles per hour, every day, on and off the field. They want people who fight for each other, for their university and for their own improvement. They want people who are challenging themselves to improve every day and do so without the need to proclaim their own greatness for people to see, read, or hear. They want competitors and they want fighters.
...then there's this load of crap, as if the above doesn't fit what every football coach in America is trying to find in a recruit. Which leads us to the really stupid thing:
As far as Da'Shawn Hand? I've never said he was not a competitor, just that things with Ohio State and Hand did not see eye-to-eye from the start of his visit in November because he was not being treated any differently than any of the other recruits on hand, 90-minutes before kick-off of the biggest game of the year. The Buckeyes could not give Hand the attention they would have liked to, and the day was a bit too hectic for him to get "comfortable" at Ohio State.
This is a remarkably shitty thing to write about a high school kid without anything approaching first-hand evidence. The "I've never said..." hedging is just that, hedging, because discussing OSU's supposed lack of interest in reconnecting with Hand after everything in the previous paragraph is either a case of really unfortunate juxtaposition or the type of insinuation that unfairly impugns the character of a 17-year-old — one who, by all other accounts, is a kid of extremely high character.
The timing—when it's become blindingly obvious that Hand doesn't want to go to Ohio State—makes this come off as some seriously sour grapes. I'm sorry, Buckeye faithful, that Hand's reaction to being asked about Ohio State in the above video was this:
But, no, I'm not actually sorry. A high-profile player isn't interested in your school and may very well end up at a rival school. These things happen. Responding to this by suggesting that a player doesn't work hard enough, or is afraid to compete against the best, or isn't motivated enough to improve ... even if the implication is merely by context, that's a bad look. Nearly as bad as the one Hand gave when asked about Ohio State.
I think Eleven Warriors does a fantastic job, and that includes their recruiting coverage, but seeing this—and the wild speculation that it inevitably led to in such a forum—was disappointing. Perhaps, next time, just say that the kid isn't interested and move on.
[Hit THE JUMP for camp highlights of Ian Bunting, the latest on the Malik McDowell transfer rumors, and more.]
Good Skills, Bunting
Tight end commit Ian Bunting earned position MVP honors at last weekend's Columbus NFTC and a subsequent invite to The Opening. Highlights of his camp performance are above, via GBW, and feature a pretty nifty one-handed catch. There's no way to say this without sounding creepy, but... he's got huge hands, right? That's a lanky kid in general, in the overgrown-receiver, Funchess-like way, and this makes sense when he reminds you that he's never actually played tight end before, per GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz ($):
“I think I did really well. I tried a little tight end this time around which I’ve never really done but I’m going to have to start some time so I might as well. It was fun and I liked it. I had some really good looks from some great competition here.”
Galloping effortlessly down the sideline with his long legs, Bunting looked smooth in his drill work, showing good discipline in his routes, looking the ball into his big mitts for hands. Still, Bunting admits he has plenty to work on.
“Getting in a three point stance and getting off a press,” he said. “I’ve never really done it before but it’ll come.I’m going to play a little tight end this year on my high school team too, so, I’m going to learn.”
Yeah, odds are the Funchess comparisons will also extend to Bunting's blocking until he plays at the college level for a couple years.
The Paramus Catholic junior had just finished first in the 100-meter dash at the 45th boys NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield, but his time of 10.80 was way off what he had hoped.
"That wasn’t good,’’ said Peppers, the No. 2 football recruit in the nation who has committed to Michigan.
So then he did this in the 200:
The powerfully built 6-1, 205-pound Peppers found another gear and powered his way past Clemes with 50 meters to and then started to pull away on his way to victory in 21.13, a Bergen County record and No. 4 in state history.
Yeah, still fast.
BBQ Adds A Big-Time Visitor
Five-star CA CB Adoree' Jackson may play on the West Coast, but he's got Midwest roots after growing up in Illinois, and a visit to the old stomping grounds will include a trip to July's BBQ at the Big House, per Sam Webb ($):
“I’m actually going back home to Illinois in July,” Jackson reported. “By the time I get back home (the Michigan coaches) said they get back in the office in July. So at the end of July I should be there for a visit.”
“I doubt I’m going to be able to make it to all those schools (for unofficials). I’m just trying to visit the local ones… Michigan, Notre Dame, Illinois and Tennessee. That’s pretty much the local ones that I can get to. I doubt I will get all the way around. I’m not even planning on doing all that. I just want to enjoy my little break while I can and if times allows, I’ll go see the schools.”
Michigan could be a major player in Jackson's recruitment—his interest sounds quite genuine if you read the whole article—though they're at a disadvantage in at least one area: Jackson plans to run track in college, and his other top schools (USC, UCLA, Florida, and Florida State, among others) boast better track programs in better track conferences. This hangup is why 247's Gerry Hamilton doesn't give the Wolverines the same shot with Jackson as the two Florida schools ($):
The 5-foot-11,185-pound two-sport budding star has long been thought to be locked into staying on the west coast at the end of the day since moving to the area from Illinois, but we continue to hear that Florida and Florida State are more than in the hunt to land the uber-athletic prospect. Michigan is also in the hunt moreso than some others in the top 10, but track is expected to play a key role in the decision making process with the southern schools standing the best chances long term to get him to leave home.
USC appears to be the team to beat, so Jackson has to decide both to leave California and deemphasize the track factor for Michigan to have a legit shot; if his visit goes well, however, that could very well be the case.
The Detroit News reports that top-ranked in-state DL Malik McDowellwill transfer from Detroit Loyola for the upcoming school year, likely to Southfield High School. This shouldn't affect his recruitment drastically, but there are a couple positives if this does go down:
McDowell's coach at Loyola is a big Notre Dame guy, while Southfield's coaches have a very good relationship with Michigan's staff.
Michigan commit and fellow D-lineman Lawrence Marshall plays for Southfield and would certainly be recruiting McDowell on a daily basis.
Loyola plays in one of the state's lower divisions—watch this to get an idea of the level of competition—while Southfield will give McDowell stiffer competition, including an opening-week game against Cass Tech.
People will stop asking if they play the same position if they're on the same line (this may only affect bloggers with email addresses)
This isn't a done deal yet, but it sounds very likely to happen, especially if the News is running with the story.
Michigan makes the top six for NJ RB Jonathan Hilliman along with Ohio State, Miami, Vanderbilt, Alabama, and Rutgers, per Scout's Brian Dohn ($).
A probable happy trails to DC CB Jalen Tabor, who named a top five that doesn't include Michigan. With the Wolverines in hot pursuit of Jackson and IL CB Parrker Westphal this isn't a big surprise.
2015 East Lake (FL) ATH George Campbell, future five-star and current high school teammate of Mason Cole and Artavis Scott, was the first rising junior to earn an invite to The Opening, per TomVH. He also confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times that he'll accompany Cole and Scott to the BBQ at the Big House in July.
Fantastic work here by MGoUser Coastal Elite to put together a (chart?) chart of Michigan's head-to-head recruiting efforts so far in this class. By Coastal Elite's method, the only schools to get the best of the Wolverines for mutual targets in this recruiting cycle are Texas and LSU.
He's extremely biased and he, along with other posters on 11W, for some reason can't see that. The fact that he's on the staff of 11W hurts the credibility of the site as well. He's certainly made a name for himself though; a mod on both the Ohio St. and Michigan Rivals sites have ridiculed him in recent days.
I blame 2013 on artistic renditions of pineapples.
if any of you have low enough blood pressure, go ahead and read 11 warriors for 15 minutes and report back to me. they have some intelligent, reasonable posters but the percentage of clowns is just too too high. this blog definitely has its clowns, but they are a relatively small percentage and tend to get voted down (and become more or less invisible) relatively quickly. not the case with 11 warriors. it's a step up from RCMB, but not a large one in my opinion.
That article seems to have had quite the impact. OSU has had TONS of success as of late, which means that at least half of any criticism directed at them can be dismissed as mere jealousy. However, there has been SO much STRONG evidence laid against them lately indicating that their sporting culture is offensively obsessive and detrimental that I do believe it has merit. My null hypothesis is that Ohioans are really no different than us - they are so similar, right? - but I am willing to be swayed, and I do feel swayed. I truly think they're being douches.
The thing that bugs me the most about RCMB is the usually high number of posts and posters that (lie) talk about their $80k cars, $1m houses, $200k/year jobs, etc. etc. - yet they have an online presence that is pure trash and they clearly are fabricating their lives. It is as if they all got together and agreed to all make stuff up and to all believe each other. It is one giant circle jerk.
ACT scores are usually the average of four subscores on the test. Some people don’t take the average of these scores, but rather just add them all up. While it’s not commonplace to do this, I’ve seen NCAA eligibility charts that look at the added, not average, ACT scores. That is likely the reason for the 75, which is actually a 19.
That while the writer's view of Hand may be a little out of bounds, I'll give him credit on what he said on Winovich. While a good part of OSU nation is saying that Winovich didn't have a commitable offer, or that Ubs cooled on him or that Winovich was scared of competition-- the guy says straight out that Michigan just beat OSU for him. He could have taken the easy way out and given the Buck fans what they wanted to hear but didn't.
The other interesting thing that I read there was that he thinks Jamarco Jones is trending away from OSU and will end up either at MSU or Michigan, which means that he thinks he'll end up at Michigan-- because, well, obviously.
but the idea that Ohio State doesn't want the #1 overall player because he doesn't fit is laughable homerism. Like Michigan and everyone else also identified that he isn't a hard worker but we want him anyway or something. Buckeyes seem to have a hard time grasping that recruits might not be interested in their school
OSU fans are just trying to come to terms with the fact that somehow the top prospect in the nation is not remotely interested in them and their rockstar coach, Urban Fucking Meyer, and yet somehow, he's very interested in a school they consider to be "inferior." And they come to terms with that by spewing shit like this, saying he isn't a competitor, he's not OSU material, blah blah blah. I'd find it hard to believe that if Da'Shawn Hand woke up tomorrow and said he was interested in attending OSU, that their fans wouldn't be forgetting everything they said, jumping for joy, and talking about how Hand is going to dominate Michigan for 4 years.
Even on the off-chance that Hand is a self-centered kid who feels that needs the spotlight on himself at all times, Hoke and Mattison would take care of that pretty quickly.
Attention campers. Lunch is cancelled due to lack of hustle. Deal with it.
"Even on the off-chance that Hand is a self-centered kid who feels that needs the spotlight on himself at all times, Hoke and Mattison would take care of that pretty quickly."
I'm not sure how you can come to that conclusion. Our staff has had trouble with a few kids too. The punter-who-never-punts comes to mind. A couple of our kids have had DUI's as well. I'm not saying Hoke can't get a kid focused, but nothing is a foregone conclusion.
or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
This is what makes Mr. Birmingham's words seem all ludicrous speed. He is basically saying that Hand doesn't like OSU because they didn't blow smoke up his ass, which is exactly what UM didn't do either. Yet he likes UM a lot more. Huh? Me not understand words good?
with better grammar and no bewbs. Oh, and 11W will contain the occasional post recognizing that Michigan's recruiting and on-field improvement will likely lead to an annual dogfight for the top of the B1G (albeit, with OSU usually winning and going on to the MNC). RCMB never gives an inch on recruiting -- stars don't matter and In Dantonio We Trust.
Haven't you heard? Michigan's recent resurgence in recruiting success is entirely due to cheating because no blue chip recruit would ever choose Hoke over Dantonio, or Meyer, or Saban, because Hoke is fat.
Oh yeah, and recruiting rankings don't matter and have no correlation to overall program success.
....and they're not too sure about science either.
"...what do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?"
I've read 11W enough to get a general sense of the community, and what I think they had is a mediocre copy of this one. It has some good posters and writers, but it feels far more homerish and naive (if that makes sense for a team-specific blog) than you see here. This site can get into its fair share of circle-jerks about recruits and the teams, but it always feels like the lead writers (i.e. Ace and Brian) keep a fair bit of perspective on the proceedings in a way that only occassionally pops up there.
As for the track desires with Jackson, you hear that with kids and then once they show up on campus that tends to die down. After playing D1 football, it can be difficult to really train the way you need to be a sprinter. We look at Denard and see how fast he is, but as a track guy his body would need to be honed differently than in football, and his success running is largely due to innate ability. Denard took the track side as a side project while his focus was on football; I'm guessing that Jackson, regardless of where he goes, will give track a try but will need to pick one or the other at the end, and my guess is that after an offseason he'll just focus on football.
the Jeff Demps story. Does Jackson have that kind of track talent? Olympics kind of track speed? Don't know that much about Demps and his track training other than I think he did manage to run for Florida for the majority of his career there and grabbed a spot on the U.S. T&F team for the 2012 games (though IIRC bc someone else was injured). Would be tough, though, and I tend to agree with you. Unless Jackson has that kind of track talent, I would guess football wins out.
It unlikely that Jackson has Demps's talent level, but a lot of players have done the football and track thing at their schools. I bet the school's track program will play a very small role since football will be primary for him, and track isn't a sport where you need other people around you to make you look good. If you run a 10.2 100m, you'll qualify for NCAAs whether you do it in the Midwest or anywhere else. ND has a kid on their team who is a very good sprinter on their track team George Atkinson, I believe.