"The amount of professionalism that he has ... there's probably not another guy in the country that would have handled it the same way," Durkin said. "He's not only one of the best coaches in the country, he's one of the best people. He absolutely has the respect of everyone -- coaches and players, alike."
"I don’t care if Jim Harbaugh is medically insane (he is), if you run the coach out of town who took your team from absolute embarrassing garbage-pail irrelevance to conference-dominating powerhouse in ZERO YEARS, you are not only stupid, you don’t care about winning."
Today's recruiting roundup discusses a pair of new 2014 offers, Leon McQuay III's finalized official visit date, and more.
2014 Recruiting Ramps Up
The 2014 recruiting cycle in still in the early stages, but the process is quickly ramping up over the course of the bye week as Michigan's coaching staff finally has (some) free time to review film and visit schools. Two new offers have already gone out this week to a pair of five-star recruits, VA DB Quin Blanding (#6 overall on the 2014 Top247) and VA DT Andrew Brown (#2).
At 6'2", 200 pounds, Blanding has the size and athleticism to play either corner or safety at the collegiate level, though he probably fits best as a safety. He's already garnered offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia, among several others.
Brown—already listed at 6'4", 282 pounds—has a similarly outstanding offer list featuring Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. The arrow is probably not necessary in his sophomore highlight tape, because he's the one MURDERING SMALL CHILDREN:
Michigan should pursue Brown heavily assuming he isn't imprisoned for any of the above.
Perhaps the top in-state priority for the Wolverines is Detroit Loyola DE Malik McDowell, who received a visit from Brady Hoke on Monday. While NCAA rules prevented Hoke from speaking directly with McDowell, he still managed to make a "huge impression" on both the junior lineman and his coach, according to 247's Steve Wiltfong ($). He did this, of course, by being Brady Hoke [emphasis mine]:
“Spent about an hour or so,” Loyola head coach John Callahan said. “Real good visit. Very impressive. I’ll tell you why. I was extremely impressed with how he, we talked a little about their loss (to Notre Dame on Saturday), and he said his only concern was his quarterback was feeling bad and responsible and he felt really bad for the kid. Really genuine. No excuses or no nothing. He was just worried about his kids. That’s the kind of coach you want taking care of your kids. I was real impressed with his demeanor and he said they had to get better.”
If Hoke ever gets tired of this coaching thing, he's got a surefire fallback career as the world's greatest babysitter.
Curt Mallory, meanwhile, is making the rounds on the Atlantic coast, visiting Baltimore Gilman($)—home of 2013 commit Henry Poggi and 2014 CB offer Troy Vincent Jr.—and 2014 Washington D.C. four-star CB Jalen Tabor, who lumped the Wolverines in with Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida as the schools going after him the hardest.
This is also a time for new prospects to hit the radar, including 2014 Orchard Lake St. Mary's DB Jalen Watts-Jackson, who was outstanding at both cornerback and wide receiver in last Friday's victory over Cass Tech. TomVH scored an interview with the junior prospect, who said that he's hearing from Michigan, MSU, and Purdue, and wants to hear more from the Wolverines—his top school and childhood favorite ($).
[The rest of the recruiting roundup, including the lastest on McQuay/Green/Treadwell, after THE JUMP.]
There was some uncertainty about FL DB Leon McQuay III's official visit to Michigan after he had to reschedule from the Michigan State game, but that's all resolved now, and the news is good for the Wolverines: according to Tremendous, McQuay will visit for the Northwestern game (Nov. 10) and spend the entire weekend in Ann Arbor. Given USC's scholarship crunch, Michigan has a real chance to get right back into contention for McQuay, though they'll have to deal with fast-rising Florida State, which replaced the Wolverines in his top three when the coaches were unsure if they'd have room for him.
“We’ve been talking about the different things they’re doing with their offense next year, and how I fit that perfectly,” Green said of Jackson. “He said he doesn’t want anyone else but me, and he’s going to wait on me.”
Green or bust at running back? Sounds likely unless there's a late riser that the staff thinks can bring something not already provided by DeVeon Smith and Wyatt Shallman.
Oh, hell, let's complete the 2013 triumvirate and discuss Laquon Treadwell, who surprised many by setting a visit to Missouri for their October 6th game against Vanderbilt ($). That Rivals article says the Mizzou visit is an unofficial, but one from a different Rivals affiliate says it's an official ($)—we'll see how that shakes out, though that wouldn't affect Michigan much either way, as Treadwell has been to Ann Arbor enough times (and lives close enough to Michigan) that he won't use one of his five officials on the Wolverines.
Tremendous refutes reports that 2014 #1 overall prospect Da'Shawn Hand will be on hand (heh) for the MSU game, though he still claims interest in Michigan.
Adam Jacobi runs down eight Big Ten commits who could lift the conference out of its current doldrums, including Shane Morris, Dymonte Thomas (good catch, a2_electricboogaloo), and lone 2014 commit Michael Ferns. Warning: Excessive Ferns hype included, probably because Jacobi doesn't realize he plays against very small-school competition. I like Ferns a great deal as a prospect, but let's chill on the "Brian Urlacher II" stuff until he's at least reached his senior year of high school, yes?
He's still chugging along. I think other teams have figured out that he's, like, good, because they've been throwing away from him a little more lately. He had a dynamic first few weeks, but his production has tailed off over the last couple wees.
I hope the contrast between Hoke and Brian Kelly is very apparent to McDowell and his coach, and that it's important to McDowell. I can't help but think about the start of the second half of the ND game as well when Hoke basically says that the poor play isn't on just one person, but the team as a whole. Contrast that to Kelly who benches his freshman QB, AGAIN, after some poor freshman type mistakes. Even after he has led the team to victory over a tough defense the week before. Sometimes I wonder why Kelly can recruit so well.
FWIW, Andrew Brown and Quin Blanding basically have one foot in Charlottesville already, but interestingly, when they got their Alabama offers it didn't cause a whole lot of consternation among UVA fans, but the Michigan offers caused more than one UVA fan to go "oh god please go away and recruit your own state."
Good report. It's good to hear that Hoke is out on the trail, and good to know that Green is a priority, and that there might, in some way, be room for McQuay, Green, AND Treadwell.
One question: with regards to Jacobi, does this mean that Bleacher Report is no longer verboten? I have never quoted from BR, and prior to hitting the link, I had never ever been there. So I was surprised to see that they were cited as a source of info on potential future Big 10 difference makers.
To sum up, is Bleacher Report no longer disreputable, and emminently quotable, or is it still not meant to be referenced as a source of information, or taken seriously? Which is it?
“Top to bottom Michigan is about excellence, greatness. You have my pledge I will carry forward the excellence of Michigan football." Jim Harbaugh, December 30, 2014
I'll link to stuff from Jacobi—B/R made an effort to hire writers of some repute, including him, and his Big Ten blog is worth a follow on there. Otherwise, it's still B/R, and they still don't get links for SLIDESHOWZ and such.
There is no chance gibbons gets unrenewed. Even if Wile surpasses him as the FG kicker (unlikely at this point given Wile is second fiddle in at least 2 years of direct competition), you'll have no backup kicker. Can anyone come up with a previous productive starter that was unrenewed?
If my numbers are correct and M has room for 22 commits, but signs 26, then 4 of the following will not get a 5th year. If Lewan leaves early or there is attrition in other areas then the situation is less drastic. Nothing against Brendan Gibbons; would love to see him on the team next season, but if I had to pick 4 off this list to not get a 5th year, Gibbons would with out a doubt be among those not getting a 5th year..