Somebody help me out here, please. I recall Zoltan making a couple of pretty good tackles. I remember one (game? date?) where he put a shoulder into a punt returner near the sideline and bounced him out of bounds pretty hard. Hard enough that even Zoltan came up pretty gingerly.
Unverified Voracity Opens The Gates
Site updates. I've updated the Depth Chart By Class and added a new angle on the roster: the Unofficial Two-Deep. Folks with more than 500 points—"trusted users"—should be able to edit both these pages to reflect changes in them, though I'm getting the weird caching issues with the DCBC. Working on that.
Please no funny stuff, because then I will be sad.
A pair of items to read. Run, don't walk to USA Today's profile of Deshawn Sims that reads like a Wire script:
DeShawn Sims graduates Saturday from the University of Michigan. His mother, sister, grandmother and aunt will be there to see him get his degree and hear President Obama speak.
His father and brothers will not be there. The men in his family are in prison or dead.
"The men are gone," Sims says. "I'm the last man."
As soon as you are done there stop immediately and run the opposite direction to Maize 'n' Brew's interview with Zoltan Mesko:
MnB: Do they ever stick you on the tackling squads or any other kind of full contact drills for special teams?
Z: You know... I think I've done two tackling drills in my whole career at Michigan. The first made the Carr staff realize this was pointless. The other made the Rodriguez staff realize that was pointless as well.
For extreme Justin Turner worriers, of which I count myself a tentative member, there is also this:
There are a lot of young guys that have the potential to be something unbelievable. Justin Turner, for instance. I only see bits and pieces of practice, because I'll do my own thing indoors with the other special teamers, but when I do watch practices, Justin Turner was like white-on-rice with the receivers. He's still learning, but if he was on the receiver, it was like he knew what the receiver was doing next.
Yes, please, with salsa. The interview continues on at epic length.
I say intent, you say "I'm sorry I didn't hear you come again whoops you're at JUCO." A couple days ago I posted something on the Sporting Blog about high-end college basketball players increasingly forgoing the letter of intent. I think this is a good idea for players, who are giving up all their leverage in exchange for little. I thought "little" was one year of scholarship, but even that morsel turns out to be a wild exaggeration of the benefits:
The problem with the NLI is that even for critics of varying degrees, as all three of these writers are, the benefits to a player of signing an NLI are overstated:
- Signing an NLI does not guarantee a spot on the team. Nothing does. A coach can cut a player at any time.
- Signing an NLI does not guarantee a scholarship for a year. Signing the athletic grant-in-aid agreement (i.e. the scholarship itself) binds the school to the player, without binding the player to the school.
- Signing an NLI does not allow the school to start promoting you. Any written commitment to attend will.
The only benefit to prospects signing an NLI with a school is that it prevents other coaches from harassing the prospect and permits the coaches that signed the prospect to have unlimited contact with them, including by text message.
So there's virtually no reason to ever sign a letter of intent. BHGP argues that the cessation of hostilities from other coaches is a powerful incentive, but I imagine that saying "no, stop contacting me" will shut even the most persistent coach up lest his persistent annoyance damage his rep for little gain. The Bylaw Blog, which is the source of the above clarification, points out that the NLI is essentially never enforced in the event of a coaching change (see: Alex Legion) and that this makes a trend towards signing only the grant-in-aid moot. This is mostly true. The stigma from holding a guy against his will is in most cases not worth the player. But there are instances in which a player is forced into a situation he's not a fan of: Iowa signee Ben Brust has been released from his LOI but as a result of his signing he cannot receive athletic aid from a Big Ten school. Also, it's widely suspected that Michael Beasley was not released when the Hugginsbot bolted for West Virginia—which is probably why Demarcus Cousins wanted that clause in his LOI that allowed him to be released in the event of a coaching change.
We'll see one-and-dones, who are committing to a coach, pull the Knight trick more often than not starting now. You never know when your coach is going to have to get out of Dodge before the law rolls in.
The weirdest draft in the world. …is the OHL draft, where talent often has little to do with how high a player goes because of the omnipresent threat that your draft pick might not report if they've got a college option. It is this week, and with Michigan commits and targets peppering first round mock drafts it promises to be of interest. To pick a couple representative mock drafts at random:
- #3-ish F Matia Marcantuoni. Marcantuoni is supposed to be the top overall pick in the drat but is widely rumored to have a deal with Oshawa under the table. The Wolverine has repeatedly said he will go to Michigan if he goes the college route. That looks doubtful.
- #13-ish F Boo Nieves. (commit) The linked site says he's "likely" to play in the OHL next year but I doubt that intel given the extremely pro-college stance Nieves has maintained (there's "no question" he's going to college). A possible complication: Nieves did not get picked for the NTDP, which surprised many. With the USHL as strong as it is these days that shouldn't matter much, but if Nieves does go in the first round it's time to start fretting. Other sources leave him out as a "wildcard."
- D Jacob Trouba. Trouba is a high end talent that would go in the first round if he had not committed to the NTDP. Michigan and Notre Dame are leading for him, with Michigan believed to have an edge.
- D Connor Carrick (commit). Carrick was on a bunch of lists as a mid-first rounder earlier but does not appear in the latest mocks because his Michigan commitment is supposed to be solid. He is also committed to the NTDP.
- G Dalton Izyk. Izyk doesn't appear either despite his status as one of the best available 2012 goaltenders; he is a Nieves teammate and someone Michigan will be pursuing heavily. His parents are reportedly adamantly pro-college.
Bonus hockey recruiting: The Hockey News has a profile of Stefan Matteau, the son of Stephane Matteau. Matteau has accepted a spot on the NTDP and is presumed to be on his way to college. There is mutual interest there. Cedar Rapids F and 2011 recruit Derek Deblois gets scouted; I'll have a fuller profile of Deblois and the incoming recruits later in the summer.
Etc.: Some TV station announced that Missouri to the Big Ten was a "done deal." It is not. Ironically, the twit who started the Pitt-to-Big-Ten panic by lending credibility to a Bleacher Report article has the gall to write a sarcastic piece about the "new journalism" of echo-chamber sources. Six Zero has started a series of mgouser profiles with the local recruiting demigod.
Great to see Deshawn graduate and break the cycle.
The space emperor is a comedian!
It's great to see him break the cycle, congratulations to him.
remember when Kevin Bacon portrayed Vanilla Ice on an SNL sketch where Chris Rock played "Nat X?"
"Yo, man I'm from the streets. If it weren't for rap I'd probably be in jail or dead, word to your mother"
came instantly to mind when reading Sims's quote above.
Oh, and it's too late for Justin Turner. He's officially a BUST.
Nice job on the Unofficial Two-Deep, haven't seen it before, like it much.
Edit: wanted to show unofficial two deep similar to how it appears in story Unofficial Two-Deep. Can I do this from our editing bar or do I need to insert the proper HTML protocol?
I knew we had a less than huge Senior class this year, but reading that depth chart by class reminded me how ridiculously young this team STILL is.
Lots of RS Juniors, good from the leadership angle, but very few Seniors (RS or otherwise) meaning that there is hopefully small turnover after this season. Say it with me, RR, just make it to 2011 and unleash thy full fury.
^^^This is totally how I feel. If RR can get to 2011 the official slogan for the season might as well be "Shock and Awe". This team will unleash fury like no one has ever seen.
That piece on Deshawn was intense. I knew about the brother who was murdered of course, and had a vague recollection of his fathers incarceration but damn, he really has dealt with a lot of shit in life. Best of luck to the young man, big ups.
There was a moment where I had to hold back ever so slightly. Fantastic piece on DeShawn and I could not be happier for him graduating and going on to bigger and better things with his life.
DeShawn is something special. There were times during the season(s) where many of us were frustrated with his play on the court. This article certainly puts that in perspective. If I were in his shoes, I seriously doubt I could have persevered as he has. And to graduate on top of it all. What a role model. Live long and prosper, DeShawn. You've brought great honor to the University.
I don't get the coverage of players like you do locally. I didn't know that DeShawn's background was that bad.
It's a VERY inspirational story for anyone who can come up with 1000 reasons to be a failure in life. Instead of taking the easy way out the young man is going to graduate with a degree from a prestigious university with most if not all of the tools to make his life and those around him successful.
DeShawn, you have my respect.
On the Depth Chart by Class, Moundros is still listed as the starting FB. Will he be playing fullback at all this year?
I think Cam Gordon and T. Jones are pretty locked for safety, they need to be moved from wr and slot.
That's the cache bug.
Is something NOBODY wants to see.
The Z article is great.
He is hilarious, articulate, humble. He will be missed. Great interview by Maize n Brew
Has anyone else noticed when you click on the Depth Chart by Class it takes you back in time? All of the diaries and forum posts are from 5 months ago and the new unofficial depth chart is gone from the drop down.
It's a small thing, but just in case Brian didn't know about it, it might be something he wants fixed.
I'm one of those anal people (that's what she said) who needs everything to be done uniformly. With regards to using OR in the starting roster, is it correct to put the same combination in the 2nd spot as naturally the person not starting would end up in the #2 spot (as done with QBs) or should it be done the way its done with the RBs (and TEs) where there are 3 players in the #1 spot and numbers 2 and 3 on the depth are given to different players altogether? Please help, this will cause me to check incessantly and deprive me of sleep.
Any chance that we could have a row along the bottom that indicates totals by class?
Great chart. Hadn't seen it before this.
Wow, are we still young...
I absolutely loved the Deshawn Sims's story. I had never heard about this, am I just late to the party or is this the first you all have heard this as well? I wish Deshawn and his new family nothing but the best!
The one gripe I have is that the story was too short, I wish the writer could have gone into more detail. Hey Free Press, instead of ripping RR for the 999th time, how about delving more into this story? (If they actually did a Deshawn story, my apologies.)
Yotta props to Sims.
I know I usually focus on a narrow part of an athlete's life - success or failure on the court or field - or the off-the-field stuff that makes the news (which is often bad). But in the big picture Sims graduating is a huge success. I'm happy for him.
I guess there isn't an opening for Space Court Jester. Zoltan is a funny guy. I can see him driving off in an MRI truck.
I'm not a fanatic about all things combine - I knew superficially about the tests and interviews and drills - so it was interesting to get his perspective on all the stuff they went through. Sore knees from seeing all the doctors? Damn! I did LOL about the big guy fainting during the blood draw.