"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
"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."
Today's recruiting roundup discusses Maximum Exposure's performance in the IMG 7-on-7 nationals, the latest on Laquon Treadwell, upcoming 2014 visits, and more.
Morris, MaxEx Fall Short Of Recapturing 7-on-7 Title
Detroit-based Maximum Exposure took the trip to Bradenton, Florida, to defend their title in the IMG 7-on-7 National Championships over the weekend, with commits Shane Morris, Khalid Hill, and Csont'e York in tow. The event drew a star-studded field, and not just among high school recruits—Cam Newton coached a team from Georgia, appearing in a T-shirt that read "CAM GOES H.A.M."* MaxEx struggled in pool play but returned to form during the knockout stage, making it to the finals before losing for a second time to Team Tampa, which featured Michigan targets Alvin Bailey and Leon McQuay III, as well as the nation's top cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves III (in Tampa, top recruits come in IIIs, apparently).
Scout's Scott Kennedy lauded Morris's performance in the tournament—calling him "the prototypical gunslinger"—and provided video highlights of the future Michigan quarterback ($):
The nation’s No. 2 pro-style signal-caller and No. 22 prospect overall got off to a slow start, but when tournament play began, Morris quickly heated up. The velocity and touch was there for the future Michigan Wolverine, as the 6-foot-3, 201-pound Morris fit the football in several tight windows. He spread the ball around to his top targets, fellow Michigan commits Csont’e York and Khalid Hill, along with Teo Redding and Jack Wangler. Morris hit several big plays downfield, and other than a couple of tough throws against a swarming Team Tampa squad, he was close to perfect on the tournament’s second day.
York and Hill missed out on any mentions from the recruiting sites, but that doesn't mean they didn't perform; as you can see in the above video, York (#17) and Hill (#20) were Morris's favorite targets. I managed to tune in to a live stream of the event for the final, and while MaxEx's offense had difficulty moving the ball against a star-studded Tampa secondary, Hill presented a serious matchup problem for defensive backs unaccustomed to handling a player with his combination of size and athleticism. Hill runs crisp routes and has soft hands, so while he doesn't wow you with his frame or speed, he finds a way to get open and has developed a great rapport with his future college quarterback.
While Jourdan Lewis wasn't able to make the trip, 2014 Cass Tech teammate Damon Webb played cornerback for MaxEx, though he understandably struggled to defend 6'4", 230-pound Miami (YTM) tight end commit Travis Johnson. On the Tampa side, both Bailey and McQuay impressed; Bailey showed off his top-flight speed and McQuay had the play of the day with a leaping interception (pictured above) on a Morris overthrow.
*Not a shock from a guy who recently self-applied the nickname "Ace Boogie," then referred to himself in the third person using said self-applied nickname during a radio interview.
Must-Read Of The Week
ESPN's Christopher Parish details the story of commit David Dawson, whose father was stuck and killed while working as an MDOT employee just days before David participated in the Columbus NFTC:
Nobody would have blamed the Cass Tech (Detroit) junior and Michigan commit for skipping the camp. But Dawson went anyway, the pain from the funeral still fresh in his mind.
"It played a big role in Columbus," Dawson said. "That was all I was thinking about. I knew I had to get that Opening invite."
Not only did Dawson land the invite to The Opening, he also earned offensive lineman MVP honors, and he'll be one of the headliners for the Elite Lineman Challenge at the event in Beaverton, Ore., from July 5-8.
You're strongly encouraged to click through for the whole article, which also discusses Dawson's competitive nature and his move from Houston back to Detroit.
All Of The Treadwell Coverage
IL WR Laquon Treadwell remains Michigan's top target at wide receiver, even as he continues to consider several other schools (how dare he!) and maintains that he'll take official visits (the nerve!). Before getting into the current landscape of his recruitment, let's remind ourselves why he's the top receiver on the board with Treadwell's newly-released junior highlights:
Yes, please. Treadwell traveled all the way to California for the B2G Elite Camp over the weekend, and ESPN's Erik McKinney saved his highest praise for the Illinois product ($):
In a high-scoring affair that was eventually secured for the offense with a leaping touchdown grab from wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), both sides had players step up and contribute.
But it began and ended with Treadwell, who hauled in three touchdown passes and was awarded the offensive MVP of camp. The nation's No. 38 player and No. 4 wide receiver had two long catch-and-run touchdowns, then made his mark on the final drive with a tough catch in traffic along the sideline to set up the final score.
Rivals's Adam Gorney caught up with Treadwell at the event and got him to name a leader ($). You get zero guesses because the MGoBoard isn't on fire. (Okay, it's Michigan. There.) He also told 247's Barton Simmons that he intends to take official visits($) to USC, Auburn, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma. With a list of that caliber, Treadwell's recruitment is far from over, but the Wolverines remain in the driver's seat. With no obvious candidate for an upcoming commitment, he should have time to mull over his options before making a decision.
TN RB Jordan Wilkins narrowed his list to a final five of Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Michigan, Ole Miss, and Auburn, according to Scout's Yancy Porter ($). It doesn't appear that Michigan has much of a shot, however, as even after Wilkins's visit to Ann Arbor he lists Auburn and Vandy as his leaders.
Multiple outlets have reported that Michigan offered TX DE Gaius Vaenuku, but I've confirmed with a source in the know that he does NOT currently hold an offer.
Happy trails go out this week to CA ATH Elijah Qualls and CA WR Demorea Stringfellow,—both part of Washington's impressive eight commits in one day—SC DT Michael Hill (Ohio State), CA LB Michael Hutchings (USC), and MD WR/LB Zach Bradshaw (Penn State). Also committing this week was OH OL/DL Matt Miller, younger brother of Michigan center Jack Miller, who will head to Wisconsin; a Michigan offer wasn't in the cards. Meanwhile, PA LB Alex Anzalone will decide this week($) between Florida, Notre Dame, and Penn State.
Quick 2014 Updates
Scout's Allen Trieu released free articles on the top camp risers in the Midwest in both the 2013 and 2014 classes. Unsurprisingly, Damon Webb features prominently among the rising juniors:
Always considered more of a wide receiver, Webb has proven to be a big time cornerback over the summer and that has lead to several big time offers. With his size, ball skills and recent performances, locking down a few touted receivers, Webb earned offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and West Virginia. He's still a BCS level receiver, but he's one of the very best corners in the 2014 class.
Also listed are several targets, including MI OL Tommy Doles(offer), OH WR Thaddeus Snodgrass, IL DL Enoch Smith Jr., and WI DE Conor Sheehy. 2013 commit Channing Stribling is listed with the top senior sleepers.
Must only be in private with other sparties around. My sparty friends still say Michigan, but with as much venom and anger and disgust as they can muster. My buddy Josh looks like he's turning into the incredible hulk when we talk football.
From what I've gathered at RCMB, nucky was a poster that would challenge the hive-mind then was banned. He kept making new accounts and whenever someone questions the gloriousness of Marky D then they assume it's just another one of nucky's account.
Vanderdoes recently said that Michigan isn't taking any more defensive linemen and left them off his latest list of top schools. I'd be very surprised if they landed Mathis, as well, but that's been my stance from the beginning of his recruitment.
We have enough 5-3 tech kids stacked up from the 2012 class that at least 2 of them will likely redshirt and compete in the same class as a 2013 kid. Likely (again,lol) that McDowell is the next first choice target and the class pairings could look like Strobel/Henry and Godin/Wormley and McDowell/Poggi so d-line is looking good.
The way the entire team is looking, I am not worried about any of it. All around we have good coaches that know what they are doing. As long as they all stay for a while, we will be in pretty good shape.
“What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve and those who stay will be champions.” - Bo
Other than "reps" I just have a hard time equating this to football. Shane will be excellent but jogging around and passing with no pressure is nothing similar to the game. DB's are at a huge disadvantage as well. I know this is not a ground breaking perspective and for that I apologize.
Although I agree that the lack of pressure makes a difference on the QBs (but they only have a about 7 seconds to pass, so they can't sit back in the pocket all day), I don't think that it's that poor of a measure of QB talent. Plus, the amount of physicality that is allowed between DBs and wideouts probably evens it out a bit (see Laquon Treadwell v. Damon Webb).
I don't follow thiese things at all (7V7) but if QB's really get 7 seconds to throw their correlation to reality is even worse than I imagined. 7 seconds to a qb should be an eternity and if a WR can't get open in 7 seconds, he probably shouldn't be playing football. Seriously, watch any college or pro game and see how many times a QB gets anything close to 7 seconds. Even playing backyard football as kids we only had 3 steamboats.
I'm not knocking you at all and you very well may be right. I'm just saying that if you are, that is just crazy.
I miss typed that. I remember reading the rules for one 7on7 stating 7 seconds, but I looked up the rules for the IMG Madden 7on7 tournament, and it said 4. So I meant four but accidentally a 7. Freudian slip, I guess.
When QBs are able to participate with their own wide receivers they improve timing and develop an intuitive relationship. It pays huge dividends on the field. If your qb knows how you will react to a db jumping your route or getting interrupted off the line, completion percentage will improve on the field.
I promised Kaykay I would attempt a write up of the 7v7 since I was there some of the time. I see there already is info on it but I already wrote this up so I might as well post it. I can’t start a thread so this is probably the most appropriate place to post.
Keep in mind I watch a lot of football but it is all on a casual basis. I don’t know anything about technique, footwork, formations, etc.
My observations are all on the last 3 games MaxEx played. 2 of those games were against the eventual champion Team Tampa, which is loaded with talent.
Shane Morris – His demeanor was good and he always seemed calm even while losing. He threw probably as many deep balls as he did short passes. Not many of the deep balls were complete. I didn’t see any side arm action that was reported. He had 3 interceptions all against Team Tampa (2 Vernon Hargreaves and 1 McQuay). 2 were off a receivers hands and one was just a horrible over throw.
Khalid Hill – Was used a lot when they threw underneath. Probably saw like 8-10 catches in all. Shane threw one ball high to him and he went up and probably should have caught it but it went thru his hands into Vernon Hargreaves hands.
C’Sonte York – Didn’t see him drop any balls during the 3 games – I know there were earlier reports on drops. Saw around 6-7 catches. He had 2 difficult jumping catches. He is tall and still skinny.
Damon Webb (DB, Cass Tech, 2014 Target) – Unfortunately I watched the ball more than I did players so I can’t tell you how many times he prevented the ball from going his direction. I did notice Travis Johnson absolutely owning Webb though. I believe he also had a hard time against a top receiver in their 2ndgame I watched too.
Alvin Bailey (WR, 2013 Target) – He caught a lot of balls not jumping or diving, guessing he got good separation but I couldn’t tell. I saw him play defense for one snap too.
Leon McQuay (DB, 2013 Target) – Again like Damon I didn’t see when he shut someone down from getting the ball thrown towards him. I did see him break up a few deep passes but they were more like Hail Marys. He intercepted Shane once due to an over throw.
Wow - that sounds not all that blown over (at least not all that confirmed, maybe). However, if it means we get Khaleil Rodgers, I'd be OK with that trade (but I think I'd prefer to keep the five we already have, if possible).
Agreed, but recent history suggests that at least one of our current commits won't sign with us on NSD, whether it's because they like another school better, they run into academic issues, they want to stay closer to home, etc.
I was considering adding something about the OL thing, but since it turned out to be nothing I thought it best to just let the matter blow over.
That said, it didn't surprise me that a rumor like the Fox one would pop up sooner or later; when you land this many commits by July, there's inevitably going to be talk—and probably more than that—about a potential decommitment or two. If every player committed to this class ends up signing a LOI to Michigan, that might honestly be the most impressive recruiting accomplishment of Brady Hoke to date, and that's obviously saying something. It's just how recruiting goes.
If Michigan does lose a linemen, there are a lot of viable replacement options out there, and I think the staff could get back into the mix for guys who were considering the Wolverines strongly before the class filled up. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but you just never know.