A name to watch in Michigan's search for a linebackers coach: Central Florida DC Dave Huxtable.
Yes, it is for the dumb reason. Rudy. Vanessa.
Rodriguez mentioned during his impromptu halftime presser that he expects to have a linebackers coach within a week of signing day. This seems to point to Huxtable as a strong possibility since there'd be no reason to wait on scooping up an unemployed guy like former South Florida and Clemson DC/LB coach David Blackwell. However, Rodriguez has temporarily deputized recruiting coordinator Chris Singletary so he can go on the road and this is reason enough to wait.
Huxtable seems like a good choice. He's been the DC at USF for two years and before that was the linebackers coach for four years. Conference USA is a tough place to get a read on opponents since sometimes you get bombed by a BCS power through no fault of your own, but the conference stats are impressive:
Last season , the squad ranked first in Conference USA in three categories - rushing defense, pass efficiency defense and tackles for loss. UCF recorded 8.62 tackles for loss per game, which ranked third in the country. The Knights were second in the league in total defense, holding foes to just 333.75 yards a contest.
In 2009, UCF was 4th(!) nationally in rush defense, sixth in sacks, and 13th in TFLs but the pass defense dropped off a cliff—83rd in efficiency and sixth in the conference. The end result wasn't terrible. UCF ended up 48th in scoring D despite getting bombed by BCS schools Miami, Texas, and Rutgers.
The most heavily scouted Grand Ledge-Jackson game of all time. With multiple scouting reports out there that go out of their way to say that MI C Jon Horford doesn't wow you, it's safe to say he kid is not a monster recruit. And he's a half-foot taller than anyone on Jackson's team, so those guys are all future chemists.
That does not stop the indefatigable local bloggers and e-journalists from descending on the Grand Ledge-Jackson game in droves. UMHoops was there. So was AnnArbor.com. We have what may be a first: redundant free third-party-generated highlight film of a three-star recruit.
Brave new world, this. As for Horford, he remains a skinny guy who people compare to Courtney Sims. Is that a compliment? Well… sort of:
He has a nice quick drop step and he knows how to use his pivot foot in that way that seems like it should be traveling but definitely isn’t and it’s just a good move. He has great touch around the basket and is an exceptional finisher given his frame. He is also a very, very good passer. Horford was double-teamed almost every time he touched the ball, and he almost always found the open man. Very good instincts on offense.
“Michigan and Providence are probably the two following me the closest,” Horford said. “I show them a lot of respect because they show me respect.”
How many Providence new media folk were at your latest game, Mr. Horford? The choice is clear. (If the answer is three I'm going to be super pissed.)
PREWB! Eric Lacy calls for Oren Wilson and Myles White, the two Spartans who played in the Alamo Bowl and hid their involvement in the PREWB, to get the gate for "making a mockery" of Dantonio's standards. It's about as firebreathing as newspapers get. Sample sentence:
White, 19, also has shown plenty of immaturity and unwillingness to fully disclose his reprehensible actions.
If Dantonio follows through as suggested, the body count from the incident would be up to eight. Will he? White has to be on his final chance after two previous incidents; Wilson hasn't been in trouble before and might get off with a serious suspension. In any case, it was dumb. There's video of this. They're going to figure out you were involved eventually.
…and there are many useful players who end up short of All-American status. Here's betting an evaluation of all-conference teams shows a similar distribution.
Please don't go. Manny Harris's broken jumper has bumped him off NBADraft.net's 2010 projections entirely; he now shows up as a 2011 player. UMHoops talked with Aran Smith of said site and got a take on whether or not Manny is NBA ready and if he'll return for a senior season:
Harris is one of the best college shooting guard in the country, but scouts question his ability to hit outside shots. He’s not an overwhelming athlete and doesn’t do anything well enough to offset his subpar outside shooting. He’ll have a chance to get drafted, but scouts are no longer mentioning him as a potential first rounder.
I am on the fence on him leaving this year. Harris could be reaching that point where leaving could be in his best interest. He has to weigh the benefits of earning a degree or whether he feels ready to take his game to the next level.
Harris returning would obviously be a huge plus for Michigan, and getting drafted in the second round is worse than being a free agent. If he spends the entire offseason working on his shooting and takes a step forward as a senior, maybe he could get that life-changing guaranteed contract. Or he could just leave now.
DeShawn Sims is an NBA tweener, BTW, with a long and fruitful career in Europe ahead of him, which sounds about right.
First, I think you could say we are returning 8 starters on offense, like you have previously suggested if you consider Vincent Smith the nominal early starter. That bodes well for next year.
But the really exciting thing is that by my count we will return 18 starters for 2011. (Gone are Schilling and Dorrestein on offense and Ezeh and Mouton on defense) That shows how incredibly young we were last year and also gives us hope for a truly great 2011.
since both got benched last year. That being said, I have a strange sense that one or both are going to really step up as a senior like Stevie Brown. I think they have the physical tools to succeed and having the same DC two years in a row can't hurt. Of course, losing Hopson could hurt their development or could be addition by subtraction. We'll see.
Woolfolk, but that is my standard meme. 2011 is the year of the great "How's my ass taste" revenge tour. IF RR can get thru this year, we take off, we'll finally have depth and experience at every position.
Yes, Moosman was definitely a starter. I considered the 2009 starters we lost to be Ortmann, Moosman and Matthews. Now I really liked Matthews, but I don't think he will be hard to replace. Actually, if Hemingway is healthy, I think its an upgrade. If you consider Moosman a center, then Molk is an upgrade. I am a little concerned about left and right tackle, but we have guys (Huyge and Dorrestein) with some experience, so I think we'll be ok.
On the flip side, you could say that we "started" several players on D only because we had to play with 11. I, for one, am hoping that fewer than 8 of the players from the D that looses Graham, Brown, and Warren are actually starting again.
In regards to waiting till post NSD for a LB Coach, doesn't it make sense to avoid announcing and hire until post NSD? With any hire at LB we run the risk that one of our LBs could take a dislike to the guy, or perhaps some other coach spreads rumors about the guy and makes one of our LBs decommit. We have those kids in the bag right now, so it makes perfect sense to me to wait until post NSD to announce a LB coach, even if it is an unemployed guy.
For all of you trying to earn a diary award, I challenge you to take the returning starters and turn it into a statistically relevant model. What I have wanted to do was take the returning starters and try to make it more relevant. For instance Tate Forcier coming back is far more important than D. Moosman coming back. Just like it is more devastating to lose B. Graham than Olesnavage. If you could assign a point value to position and then somehow grade that position you may come out with an interesting little answer. For example some plusses might be.
Returning starters 18
Returning all americans +2 for every one
QB returning +1
Returning all big ten +1 for every one
Freshmen starters returning +1(Most improvement usually shown from Frosh to Soph)
Multi year starter returning +1
This may add some weight to the list. For example Illinois is losing Juice and Arrelious Benn off their offense far more devastating then losing a Matthews and a Moosman.
Like I said this is a rough idea in my head, if anyone has any feedback or input or wants to run with it, I'd appreciate it.
Anyways this has been on my mind for a while and thought a perfect opportunity to put it out there.
I think it's a good one. Certain positions are usually more critical to your success then others. Just like losing an All-American might be more critical then losing a couple of guys who didn't even make all-conference.
For UM, they might return a lot on defense but I don't to many people would argue that they lose 3 of the better players in Graham, Warren and Brown off a defense that wasn't very good.
Regarding the odds of being named All American, one argument that has been suggested is that the five stars typically go to the best programs with the best coaches and that the level of coaching impacts the degree of success. For a host of reasons that are obvious to most of us, having a few more wins next year is crucial to get the average player ratings back to where they once were.
Good point. Not to mention that the best prospects go to the best teams that do the most winning with their good coaches, teammates, facilities, etc. There's a reason why the Heisman is now given to the best player on the best team, annually.
Recruiting ratings validated for the umpteenth time.
This is about the 8th time or so in the last couple years that Brian has presented data validating that recruiting ratings matter and should be paid attention to. Or debunked date purporting to prove that they are completely random and mean nothing. In other words, all of the available statistical evidence validates that while they don't equal causation, they do greatly increase the odds of individual and team success. Yet despite all of this, every f-ing time the subject comes up you can be sure that some mgobloggers will say "ratings don't matter, look at Pat White/Mike Hart etc." Do they ever read this blog? The issue is settled, there is no debate because there are no numbers that validate the other side. So please STOP.
"We can't overestimate the value of computers: yes they are great for playing games and forwarding funny emails, but real business is done on paper. Write that down."
He's downgraded a bit by recruitniks due to his skinny frame. But, I think he's up to the 220 lbs range (up from the 190s the last time Rivals ranked players)....ESPN has him just at the cut off point of their top level PFs. He still grades out into the low 90s--maybe 92, iirc, but I am going by memory. I think he can play and be effective immediately within a set role. He obviously has great genese. I dont see why he couldnt be a really good college player. And, he is kinda like Metrics in that he's been a steady riser up the recruiting charts.
IF Ziegler and Horford come aboard, this will be the best Michigan recruiting class since Fab Five 2. In a way, April is a more important month for the program's future than February and March
But I said at the time he probably shouldn't be saying what "happened" without divulging all the details...because it leads to speculation...and he created a lot of speculation, with nothing to back it, apparently. (Since I don't see him claiming what he said happened really happened).
I like the idea of getting this guy. USF's defense gave RR's teams at WVU fits. Tressel and his defensive coaches went to USF to get pointers on how to stop the spread. Make your former opponents your coaches. I hope this works out for Michigan.
"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" --Alfred Lord Tennyson/ John Sheridan B5
(and I certainly partook), a Courtney type player would have made this team a lot better this year.
I've seen Jon Horford play, he's no Al, but Al wasn't always dominant either, just extremely athletic. The one thing I've noticed about Jon is that he has great hands, he catches the ball well, doesn't waste motion after getting it, and goes up with his shot. He'd be a very useful addition to this team.