"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 planned early enrollees for 2013, summer standouts on the camp circuit, the latest on Laquon Treadwell, and more.
Early Enrollees: Three, But No QB
Class of 2013 early enrollees Logan Tuley-Tillman and Kyle Bosch protect a blue-chip 2022 recruit
WolverineNation's Chantel Jennings is the latest to cover the accelerated timeline of recruiting, focusing on the increasing trend of early enrollees. Surprisingly, despite the obvious benefits of players hitting campus a semester early, Brady Hoke doesn't support the practice ($):
"I'm really not in favor of kids coming in January," Hoke said. "Now, three of them wanted to come and got it done and it was good for them, good for us. But to be honest with you, go to your senior prom. Play baseball if you play baseball."
I understand the sentiment from Hoke, who at least acknowledges that enrolling early has worked out well for 2012 recruits Joe Bolden, Kaleb Ringer, and Jarrod Wilson, but it may be outdated in today's climate of specialization even among high school athletes; far fewer top-flight athletes go the multi-sport route these days, and you're more likely to find high school football prospects spending extra time in the weight room than on the baseball diamond. Former Michigan running back Ricky Powers, who coached Wilson at Akron Buchtel, brings up another strong counterpoint to Hoke:
"For kids coming from the inner city, if they've done everything they need to do in high school, and they have the opportunity to go early then they should go," Powers said. "I've talked to him a couple times and he has had the opportunity to check school out and get a leg up on the other freshmen. There's no downside for him."
For many recruits, the allure of a final semester at high school just isn't there—prom or not—as college/football serves as an avenue to escape that very environment. Take Logan Tuley-Tillman, whose will to get himself and his family out of Peoria, IL, is well-documented; it's not a surprise that he plans to enroll early, and thankfully the coaches have no issue with that:
"I brought it up to the Michigan coaches, said I wanted to do it, and they said, 'Yeah, it would be a tremendous idea,' " Tuley-Tillman said. "They never pushed me either way, they just gave me the facts."
There may be a serious disparity between Hoke's words and his actions, which in this case would be a positive. He's obviously not discouraging players too much from getting a head start, as Tuley-Tillman, Kyle Bosch, and Taco Charlton are all slated to start classes in January.
One commit who won't get that jump-start is Shane Morris, since Warren De La Salle—a private school—requires more credits for graduation than public schools and won't let Morris use online classes to accelerate the process. Ideally, Morris would redshirt in 2013 regardless, so this shouldn't be a big deal.
While an early enrollment does provide an early leg up on the competition, look no further than the 2009 class to see that it's no guarantee of future success. Of Michigan's seven early enrollees in that class—Tate Forcier, Vincent Smith, Will Campbell, Brandin Hawthorne, Mike Jones, Anthony LaLota, and Vlad Emilien—four remain on the roster, and only Smith has had sustained success at the collegiate level.
Excuse To Post Fresh Prince Video: Check
Optional but highly recommended soundtrack; old-school Michigan hat sighting at 0:45
Fall two-a-days are getting under way, which means the summer camp season is officially over. The staff of Rivals is compiling position-by-position lists of the standouts from the camp circuit, and let's just start with the quarterbacks because Shane Morris, obviously:
Shane Morris, Warren (Mich.) De La Salle: Morris has a cannon of an arm and showed flashes of brilliance at The Opening, was very good on the field at the Elite 11 and had some great moments at Gridiron Kings. He was also one of the best on the field at the IMG 7-on-7 finals. His development is evident each time he hits the field.
Jake Butt, Pickerington (Ohio) North Pickerington: While it will be tough for the highly rated Butt to move up in the rankings, he justified his already lofty status with a terrific summer. Up against the best players in the nation at The Opening, the Michigan commit more than held his own, drawing strong reviews from observers and fellow campers.
Given the depth chart at tight end, Butt may be under the most pressure to contribute early at Michigan, and his summer performance indicates he can do just that. Another player who could make his mark as a freshman, if he chooses the Wolverines, is Laquon Treadwell, who could be in line for a move up the rankings after an outstanding summer:
Laquon Treadwell, Crete-Monee (Ill.): The wide receiver rankings are likely to see as much shakeup as any position when they're updated later this month, and the potential for a new No. 1 exists. After a consistently impressive summer, Treadwell has put himself in the conversation for the top spot. The 6-foot-3, 197-pound receiver wowed scouts at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge, The Opening, Gridiron Kings and the Illinois NIKE Camp.
Yes, before you ask, the next section is about...
Treadwell, Of Course
Laquon Treadwell has the nerve to visit other schools before making his final, life-changing college decision, and his latest trip was to Ole Miss, where high school teammate Anthony Standifer eventually landed after parting ways with Michigan. EVERYBODY PANIC:
"It was better than I was expecting," Treadwell said. "I didn't know what to really expect, to be honest. I'd never been to a SEC school before, but I loved it. I can see why Anthony Standifer signed with them now."
BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES:
"I'm coming back to Ole Miss for the Texas game. That's all I know for sure. I want to get over to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Auburn before too long. I just have to check my calender now that practice is starting. I'll probably just wait until the season starts and go see them play."
Treadwell was thinking about giving an early commitment to Michigan at The Opening but those plans have been put on hold.
"They're still at the top of my list, but I've pretty much decided not to commit anywhere this summer. I want to take my official visits first and go from there."
OH WAIT THAT'S PRETTY POSITIVE NEVER MIND YOU CAN GET OUT OF THE LIFEBOAT NOW.
So yeah, Treadwell visited an SEC school and liked it, and plans on more visits, but even in the immediate aftermath of a very positive visit elsewhere Michigan is the clear-cut number one school. As I've said previously, I'll worry about Treadwell ending up elsewhere when he actually says that another school is on top.
Speaking of Treadwell, I contributed my thoughts on how Michigan should finish out the 2013 class for a roundtable posted at Tremendous. Check it out to see who several Michigan bloggers think should fill those final two spots.
Michigan hosted a couple of visitors last weekend. WI OL Jaden Gault already holds offers from Michigan State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, and though he didn't pick up an offer from the Wolverines on his visit, he told Tremendous that the Wolverines "are up there" among his leaders. Gault is listed at 6'7", 285 pounds on 247, which, like, damn. He big.
IL WR/TE Nic Weishar swung by Ann Arbor and East Lansing over the weekend and told Scout's Beth Long he had a "really great experience" at both ($). The 6'5", 210-pound rising junior already holds a Michigan offer.
Four-star TN RB Jalen Hurdnamed a top five of Alabama, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Michigan. That list is in order, so the Wolverines have some ground to cover.
Honestly, I think it's important for coaches like Hoke to say things like that about early enrolling. I think it'd be unhealthy if coaches ever develop the attitude of "early enrollment shows your commitment to the program, and if you don't, it's like not showing up for voluntary workouts." High schoolers might very well want to get their college lives started, and that's fine, but they shouldn't have to feel like they're behind if they don't.
How much do you want to bet that this guy is going to be WAY more famous than most of the people who participated in these Olympics? To boot, I'll bet he makes a fortune endorsing products like Icy Hot (for lower back pain) and some brand of bed that emphasizes back comfort.
Only school I find myself worrying about in relation to Treadwell is Auburn. They flipped Foster from Bama, and they have another 5-star DE committed too. The obligatory SEC sure pays well comment keeps running through my head.
There are only three schools in the country that really scare me as far as recruiting shenanigans go: USC, Clemson and Auburn. The vast number of elite players who visit these schools on a whim and then end up "falling in love" with the school should raise eyebrows in anyone who follows recruiting.
(The guy above me makes a comment about shady recruiting at Auburn and his post gets up-voted, I agree with him and my post gets down-voted. I guess my inclusion of USC and Clemson must have p*ssed off a secret fan of one of those teams. Reveal yourself, scoundrel!)
The choice to enroll early needs to be left in the hands of the players themselves which is exactly what Hoke is doing. He is not turning them away but neither is he pressuring them to fast forward their lives.
I'm not 100% certain but I would think as many as wanted to could enroll early, but only a certain portion could be back dated to the previous class. So if UM has 80 players on scholarship from the previous year they could back date 5 early enrollees.
I do think however, that more could enroll early if they wanted, they just couldn't be considered part of the previous class and could possibly have to pay for that first semester on their own (but again, I'm not certain).
Edit: this was supposed to be a reply to Big H...I don't know how the hell it ended up here.
I responded as well, but it went under a post above by mistake. I think the only thing is they can't all count against the previous years class. I don't think the NCAA is fussed about when lpayers enroll, it is just the scholarships they are watching.
I'm all for enrolling early. I think that people who talk about how much the kids are missing during their last semester of high school are looking back on that period with some big time rose colored glasses. By-and-large, high school fucking sucks.
I think Hoke's right in that stay a kid as long as you can/want
But I would have jumped at the chance to enroll early. High School isn't something I miss at all, but I regularly regret getting my degree in 4 years instead of doing 5 like all those students in Engineering who actually needed to did. But in my case take a lighter class load, get better grads, and party and watch more football.
I would think especially for a football player who might have a tougher time academically than the average freshman and has to deal with the crazy time demands of football, enrolling early would be a huge advantage. Getting a few classes under your belt in the spring/summer, being able to take a lighter course load when the season rolls around, and not being thrown into the craziness of fall camp and adjusting to college life at the same time could really help a lot of guys.
And then if by your 5th year you can pull off the Matt Leinart schedule of one ballroom dance class and focus totally on football/fun, all the better.
If only we had signed the number one dual threat QB in the country a few years back and gotten him some valuable playing experience last year. Too bad that didn't happen. Guess we'll all just assume a guy with a high recruiting ranking is totally ready to play as a true freshman. That makes more sense.
I would feel a lot better about the plan if Devin hadn't looked so God-awful in the Spring games and his limited actual playing time at QB. I really hope Devin is a kick-ass WR because he is a pretty "meh" QB.
Gardner has a lot of question marks. he showed some questionable decision making in spot game action last year, has never impressed much in a lot of spring games and is being considered part time WR this coming year. i think rational expectations are somewhere between these two posts.
i do think that if gardner does not get his 5th year, his leash is a lot shorter as a senior.