This conversation went to pot in a hurry.
Thursday Recruitin' Makes A Face
Not A Good Look
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 ($):
“I think I did really well. I tried a little tight end this time around which I’ve never really done but I’m going to have to start some time so I might as well. It was fun and I liked it. I had some really good looks from some great competition here.”
Galloping effortlessly down the sideline with his long legs, Bunting looked smooth in his drill work, showing good discipline in his routes, looking the ball into his big mitts for hands. Still, Bunting admits he has plenty to work on.
“Getting in a three point stance and getting off a press,” he said. “I’ve never really done it before but it’ll come. I’m going to play a little tight end this year on my high school team too, so, I’m going to learn.”
Yeah, odds are the Funchess comparisons will also extend to Bunting's blocking until he plays at the college level for a couple years.
Meanwhile, Jabrill Peppers is still really fast, and also has pretty high standards:
Jabrill Peppers wasn’t very happy.
The Paramus Catholic junior had just finished first in the 100-meter dash at the 45th boys NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Frank Jost Field in South Plainfield, but his time of 10.80 was way off what he had hoped.
"That wasn’t good,’’ said Peppers, the No. 2 football recruit in the nation who has committed to Michigan.
So then he did this in the 200:
The powerfully built 6-1, 205-pound Peppers found another gear and powered his way past Clemes with 50 meters to and then started to pull away on his way to victory in 21.13, a Bergen County record and No. 4 in state history.
Yeah, still fast.
BBQ Adds A Big-Time Visitor
Five-star CA CB Adoree' Jackson may play on the West Coast, but he's got Midwest roots after growing up in Illinois, and a visit to the old stomping grounds will include a trip to July's BBQ at the Big House, per Sam Webb ($):
“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 ($):
The 5-foot-11,185-pound two-sport budding star has long been thought to be locked into staying on the west coast at the end of the day since moving to the area from Illinois, but we continue to hear that Florida and Florida State are more than in the hunt to land the uber-athletic prospect. Michigan is also in the hunt moreso than some others in the top 10, but track is expected to play a key role in the decision making process with the southern schools standing the best chances long term to get him to leave home.
USC appears to be the team to beat, so Jackson has to decide both to leave California and deemphasize the track factor for Michigan to have a legit shot; if his visit goes well, however, that could very well be the case.
The Detroit News reports that top-ranked in-state DL Malik McDowell will transfer from Detroit Loyola for the upcoming school year, likely to Southfield High School. This shouldn't affect his recruitment drastically, but there are a couple positives if this does go down:
- McDowell's coach at Loyola is a big Notre Dame guy, while Southfield's coaches have a very good relationship with Michigan's staff.
- Michigan commit and fellow D-lineman Lawrence Marshall plays for Southfield and would certainly be recruiting McDowell on a daily basis.
- Loyola plays in one of the state's lower divisions—watch this to get an idea of the level of competition—while Southfield will give McDowell stiffer competition, including an opening-week game against Cass Tech.
- People will stop asking if they play the same position if they're on the same line (this may only affect bloggers with email addresses)
This isn't a done deal yet, but it sounds very likely to happen, especially if the News is running with the story.
Michigan makes the top six for NJ RB Jonathan Hilliman along with Ohio State, Miami, Vanderbilt, Alabama, and Rutgers, per Scout's Brian Dohn ($).
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.
I was so sure that Ian Bunting would have ellicited at least one, "big hands I know you're the one!" comment by now.
It's been done.
11W seems like a lot of butt-hurtedness content. 5 articles in and there's a story about Lebron?
As if right on cue, there is a post on eleven warriors, i kid you not, with this title:
"To Recruits Who Crave Great Academics...Why tOSU > scUM"
Know your enemy, etc.
It's funny how similar the comments are on both websites. There’s constant self-congratulation about one’s own website and comments about how bad/petty/stupid commenters on the opposing website tend to be
It’s true their commentators are often under the delusion that they are national championship bound each and every year and should have a top-3 recruiting class by birthright but we often have overinflated expectations of our team too. The only difference is that, let’s face it, they have had more success than us the last several years both in recruiting and on the field and therefore have higher expectations. If we had success on par with them we would probably be thinking national championship year in and year out as well.
From what I can tell the number of outright trolls and other crazy people is no higher there than here.
see my previous post (the one immediately above yours).
Then how do you explain he Hand post mentioned above? That would never happen around here.
My comment was more about message board posts than official blog content. I could totally see someone saying something like that about Hand on this, or just about any other football message board I've seen.
I'll also say that Jeremy Birmingham, the person who wrote that post, gave a pretty full throated defense of Chase Winovich when Buckeye fans turned on him after he committed to us. I don't follow his work all that closely so I won't pass judgment on which comments are more reflective of his general treatment of recruits.
No matter what nice things he has said about recruits, there is absolutely no reason a professional journalist should be making baseless statements that call a 17-year old kid's character into question.
If your post was about the comments section, than yes, there are plenty of stupid and/or super homer fans of every team. But this debate wasn't about what some random poster guy wrote at 11W, it's about what one of their main contributors wrote.
I will occasionally wander over to both RCMB and 11w for information. And it seems the fact that, Hoke is holding his own and more recently beating Urban for recruits, is driving the 11w faithful into a RCMB level neurosis.
Better be on TV, man. I will write a strongly worded letter and send it to somebody if not.
He's so fast that he makes fast people look...not fast.
What I find interesting is that the writer at 11W makes multiple statements about him having some insider info regarding Hand that led to his belief that Hand would not be a good fit at OSU. Of course, he won't say what the information is for fear of outing his source and denigrating Hand. Although his inferences lead to speculation about Hand's work ethic and desire that seems just as bad if not worse than the reality of the situation. Is it BS that he has some insider information that leads to a reasonable conclusion that Hand would not be a good fit at OSU?
and it is pure speculation, but I think that Hand confided in someone that he doesn't like UFM or buy what he's selling.
how people find the time to read RCMB and 11W, its of no interest to me whatsoever.
Loyola's John Callahan is a big ND guy? I don't think he's ever sent a player to South Bend....ever. And I get the feeling that if McDowell was soooo influenced by his Irish-loving coach, he wouldn't be transferring just before his senior season. My $0.02
I saw that Noah Furbush visited yesterday for the second time and now two of the three 24/7 predictions now have him to Michigan. He also put out a tweet to Ferns stating that he was looking forward to getting to know the guys, FWIW. Is Furbush a possibility to join the 2014 class, he does have an offer, or is he a second option if someone else doesn't work out?
He complements Drake Harris' down-the-field receiving style really well. Add Bunting and Ways, and that would be a damned good haul.
Liked the comment “for some reason, my competition that Ohio State wouldn't be sharply making an attempt to urge into the Hand sweepstakes go away a web conflagration with folks”