"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."
"We were a team that started out 2-5 and we came out of the first weekend of conference play at 11-11. Just like everybody else we had a number of injuries that we weren’t able to overcome. But I was really proud of how the team was able to stay focused, work hard, believed, kept fighting, no quit and finished strong."
Hoke's in-state recruiting buzzsaw continues to... uh... buzz as MI CB Terry Richardson committed to the maize-and-blue live on WTKA Thursday morning. The Wolverines now have commitments from 6 of Sam Webb's top 12 in-state recruits (3 of the remaining 6 are unoffered, one of them took too long and watched his position group possibly fill up, and Michigan is in good position with the other two). Touch the Banner on Terry:
One of my reservations with Cissoko was that, despite all of his technique and physical skills, he only had 3 interceptions in his junior and seasons combined. In some ways, Richardson is the polar opposite - lacking some technique but making big plays. However, the hip swivel is there for him to turn and run with receivers in an instant.
Richardson has a low, smooth backpedal. More impressive, however, are his hips. Coming out of breaks and cuts, his hips can flip and mirror the best of receivers. Coupled with his hips, he has incredible closing speed. He’s been able to succeed at the HS level without elite jamming ability because he can play 5-6 yards off the WR and close the distance before the ball gets in the receiver’s hands.
It confirms the consensus we've heard about most Cass Tech CBs over the years: tiny, fast, and needing a bit of technique work. Terry only did limited work at last weekend's Ohio State Nike Camp (about which more in a moment), but managed to lock down receivers despite a sore hamstring - and even did a little recruiting.
In other news about possible commits, NY CB/S Wayne Morganhas set a commitment date: June 1 (next Thursday). Michigan seems to be strong for the 4-star defensive back.
MI QB Commit Shane Morris (pictured with future teammates Terry Richardson, Mario Ojemudia, and James Ross via the ESPN Rise photo gallery [ed: and wearing Devin Gardner's hat]) went into the Elite 11 camp in Columbus last weekend looking to make a claim for top prospect in the nation for next year, and at least staked a claim as the second-best QB there. Number one was the nation's top 2012 signal-caller, Gunner Kiel. Scout's experts named him the strongest arm at the competition, as well. Tom Luginbill was impressed:
2013 QB Shane Morris is an impressive lefty with a quick stroke... Loved him. Looked great.... On par with most, if not all of [the 2012 guys]. Looked really good. Smooth, quick stroke.
Morris was one of the more impressive prospects in attendance regardless of class and the left-hander really made some impressive throws with accuracy and confidence. He has good height and is going to continue to add inches and bulk to his late-bloomer's frame. What stood out about Morris was the velocity and power and the manner in which he delivered the ball. Many lefties can really have a long, drawn out delivery that is more ¾ or sidearm, but not Morris. He had a quick stroke, was very accurate and threw as well on the run to both sides as any prospect on Friday.
Others that impressed along the defensive line were Michigan commit Mario Ojemudia, who should be a very good outside linebacker at the next level...The linebacker group was also deep and the aforementioned Ross was one of the top players in space.
Often referred to as the "joker position," it is a position that has been perfected by players like Brian Orakpo at Texas and Von Miller at Texas A&M, but no matter what you call it, it's a big reason why Ojemudia is excited to be a Wolverine... "It was just a comfortable atmosphere at Michigan, and I like that I will be playing both defensive end and outside linebacker."
“Andrus is like a baby cub right now,” Joseph said. “There is so much to him. He has so much potential and growth. He’s going to grow one or two more inches. You look at him. He’s never gotten out a razor. I’ve been doing this a long time. If you come in with a full beard, you are probably done growing. He’s not done growing. He’s going to be 6-8, 6-9 and 320 or so.”
As the son of a former NFL lineman (and brother of 2011 Nebraska signee Todd Peat Jr.), he also has a leg up on the technical aspects of play. He plans to take his time in making a decision, and early playing time will be a big factor.
MSR Ohio blog takes a look at recent offeree OH S Allen Gant:
Last fall I was impressed with his toughness on the football field. Stood out as a free safety. Excellent open field tackler. Good ball skills. Anticipated well. Most of all, when he had a chance to "strike" he did. Covered sideline to sideline...
Allen now stands just over 6'1 and weighs 205 pounds. Recently, bench pressed 275 pounds - 8 times. Impressive for a young man who plays three sports and still lives in the weight room.
Now that he's been offered, Michigan has a good chance to land the legacy prospect, but that might change if the Buckeyes offer:
"It'd (a Buckeye offer) be really special, but just like any other school, any offer from them is an honor. I want to make a contribution right away. Coming to Southview, playing my first year, I kind of want to do something like that when I go to college," Gant said.
He plans to narrow his list of schools - which currently includes the likes of West Virginia, Boston College, and Cincinnati - and possibly even offer a commitment within the month. His dad told Tom that Michigan is the current favorite.
Local fluff on MI DT Danny O'Brien's nomination to the Army All-American game:
O’Brien doesn’t need to make the team to get the national attention. He’s already got it. O’Brien has received scholarship offers to 11 schools and is interested in many others that aren’t on that list. He’s already visited Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State. He said he plans on visiting Alabama and Tennessee as well as going to Michigan and Michigan State again this summer.
O'Brien also said he pays plenty of attention to the recruiting sites - a good thing for Michigan, as he's familiar with the Wolverines' monster class.
Though he's a Penn State commit, NY DT Jarron Jones has made it no secret that Notre Dame and Michigan are strongly in the mix. He's the subject of this week's Sam Webb column in the Detroit News:
"To be honest with you, Jarron kind of made that decision without discussing it with me and his father," said Jones' mother, Lakiescha Titus-Jones... "what we tried to make him do is not to commit and (instead) just list his top five, six, or seven. He just wanted to let Penn State know it was No. 1.
Jarron Jones is a firm believer in the Rich Rodriguez School of Early Commitments. He will visit North Carolina this weekend, then head out to Ann Arbor and South Bend the following week. If he values academics half as much as his mother - never a guarantee in recruiting - the Wolverines and Irish (and Tar Heels) should have a decent shot at unseating Penn State. Local video fluff:
The overall DL group was one of the best we've seen this year, but Pipkins was still a standout. He's a mammoth nose guard prospect who has great strength and a quick get-off. He plays with a mean streak and can blow by a guard or bull rush him straight back into the QB.
One of their analysts called him "Warren Sapp's little brother," definitely high praise. He still plans to visit Michigan later this summer, but wants to slow down the pace of his recruiting.
What About Rob?
(Isthat referencetoo dated? Share your thoughts below!) (Also, yes, I made this its own category just to use that reference)
I've been a proponent of a certain philosophy in quarterback recruiting for the 2012 class: With Shane Morris holding it down for 2013, either swing for the fences with Gunner Kiel, or take a guy who can play multiple positions down the road. One such prospect is IL QB Rob Gregory, who has impressed Tom Lemming:
“Of all the players, the kid who has the most potential is Robert Gregory,” Lemming said. “The kid’s got a good arm; he’s just not polished yet. If he goes to the right program, he’s going to be a star.”
He's an athletic guy who could play receiver or defense down the road if he doesn't win the QB competition, and as a former teammate of 2011 OL Commit Chris Bryant (and current teammate of top OL Jordan Diamond), he could help the coaching staff solidify another pipeline.
Yeah, my decision will come sooner but I'm still evaluating schools. It will probably be the first game of our season.
Until he says "school X has officially passed Michigan" (long-established as his tentative leader), I'm not going to worry too much about him picking somebody else. Should the Wolverines expect a bigtime commitment in the last week of August? The Chicago Tribune thinks a decision could come even earlier.
MI TE Ron Thompson was close to a decision earlier this spring, but will now take his time ($, info in header). No word on whether Michigan's coaches have room in the projected class to take a third tight end.
GA DE Jordan Jenkinsplans to visit Ann Arbor this summer. He's going to take all of his official visits and make a decision in January of February.
Michigan is in the top group for OH DE Se'Von Pittman, but I think it's safe to assume the Wolverines are not the one school on top of his list ($, info in headers).
OH DE Adolphus Washington and his teammate, WR Dwayne Stanford, will visit Ann Arbor this weekend. Though it seems unlikely Michigan can pull both players, Stanford seemed high on Michigan in last week's update, and the Wolverines are in Washington's top group along with Ohio state, Alabama, Miami (YTM), and... Kentucky? Tom got the latest from Adolphus, when he listed Michigan in his top 5.
the lack of non-Michigan/Ohio commits in this class? Drew Sharp (I abhor him for this) has me paranoid that Hoke is a regional coach for a regional team. This class, while great, tends to confirm Sharp's analysis. Further, as the vast majority of talent in High School football is in the South/South-East and California, by limiting our search to the upper midwest, Hoke threatens to doom UM to Carr-like regional dominance and national embarrasment.
about the current regional dominance and great recruiting class. If this were played out over the long term, exactly how does that equate to regional dominance and national embarassment? I suspect you are referring to disappointing bowl records? Or being absent from national title games (exception Carr's championship team)? Maybe I'm not insightful enough, or dense, I just think that's a giant leap in logic.
Sorry. Over the long-term, if Michigan only recruits from the Midwest, my thinking is that they will consistently out play other teams that recruit from the same region ie MSU, IU, Illinois, NW, etc. but will be outplayed by teams that recruit from the entire nation such as the SEC, Big 12, and Pac 12 schools. I just don't think if Hoke recruits solely in the midwest, UM will ever return to national prominence. I think in order to do that, UM will have to recruit nationally.
lets worry about beating the teams in our region, MSU, IU, etc before we start worrying about national title games.
this kind of argument pisses me off since all we ever heard about last year was "too much attention on florida, own your backyard" and now the opposite. its like the whole world is one big sports radio talk show host.
I wouldn't make any long-term predictions with very short-term data. Anyway, most schools' first commits are from nearby, since kids can't take official visits until the season starts. Most years, our early commits were from the Midwest. Commitments from our out of state recruits usually came once they were able to visit the campus on the university's dime.
Also, kids who grew up in the midwes already know about Michigan, so an early commitment is more likely. A kid from Florida or Texas or California who grew up cheering for other teams will take a little longer to learn about Michigan football, Michigan weather, the Big Ten, etc.
THIS IS COMMON. Don't freak out. Also, when there is a lot of talent in the Midwest, you take it as quickly as they're willing to come.
I understand the concern but really, we are getting good players. Also, Hoke recruited Texas for Bellomy late last class and pulled the TE (name totally escaping me) from the south. Hoke is recuiting national recruits (CA OL, NY DB Morgan, #1 QB, etc.) in this class. the fact that we are getting early commits from the region early in the process should not be a big concern.
As WolvinLA2 said above, most early commitments come from regional guys. Isaiah Bell, Will Campbell, Teric Jones, Shane Morris, DJ Williamson, Antonio Kinard, etc. were all from Michigan or Ohio. Those kids grow up wanting to go to Michigan or Ohio State, whereas kids from other parts of the country need to be convinced.
Don't be too fixated on what Drew Sharp says. You say this class like the class is already finished. It is May. Signing day for the last class was about 3 months ago. Signing day for this class is 9 months away. The class is far from finished. The reason the class is so predominantly Midwestern based is because kids cannot take official visits yet. For most recruits in Florida, California, or Texas, it is a really long journey to visit UofM. Getting kids to visit your school is the main way one can persuade a recuit to attend. Look at Ojemudia: he was favoring State until he visited UofM and that changed his perspective entirely. The Cass Tech duo and Ross were bummed about the late offers, but after visiting UofM several times they have all committed. These national recruits who like UofM all plan on visiting but can't yet. It is much easier for Midwestern kids to drive to UofM and see it. We have guys like Magnuson, Banner, Keil, Morgan, and Thurnston all talking about taking visits to schools farther away than their local schools (UofM).
If anything this class provides reassurance about Hoke's recruiting in total. Several of our guys have offers from SEC programs and USC, which are all top schools in much warmer areas than UofM. Hoke has convinced them all that UofM is so good that they don't even want to take officials anywhere else. Yet as I listed some of the national recruits are interested in visiting UofM and haven't been swayed by their local programs.
Sharp wants to predict Hoke is going to be a regional power because his recruiting class, 3 months in to a 12 month process, is only based in the midwest. That is a stupid and foolish prediction. Check Auburn and Alabama's recruits right now: mainly from Alabama and Georgia. Yes, it is the South, but neither program with all the national spotlight has any committs outside their region. Look at Oregon: four recruits with one four star after being in the national championship game. Moral is it is far to early to brand Hoke a regional power guy, which you can be successful at if you clean up recruiting the entire region: getting 7 or more of the top Michigan players and pulling numerous players from Ohio's top 25.
Also, Ohio is a football powerhouse state to with a deep class this year and a vulnerable TSIO.
"The unexamined life is not worth living." Socrates.
So much that I'll need to re-read it about 3 more times ! Welcome TR !
Lovin the praise SM is just starting to receive on a national level, and really lovin the fact that all suiters are welcome, but the decision to "Go Blue" has already been carved in stone ! Shane arriving in 2013 couldn't be better for the "Hoke transition" of the offense.
Also it is getting very obvious that GM's hire is drawing defensively talented and highly skilled players to Michigan. Only makes sense ... I mean, really, how many NFL defensive coordinators leave the NFL for the college game ? What a huge opportunity for these kids b/c they know GM has direct connections to the next level.
Go Blue !
No place on earth I'd rather be on a football Saturday than Michigan Stadium !
The only thing that could make the "Hoke transition" better in regards to Shane Morris is if he was in the 2012 class so we could have him a year earlier. After hearing about how well he did at this year's Elite 11 especially compared to the 2012 QBs, I wouldn't mind him being here a year earlier.
It's he's THAT good, now he'll get 3 years instead of 2 to play; or 4 if the medical redshirt doesn't come through. I guess 2 could be a possibility if he's forced to back-up and not redshirt, or he's just that good. But that urns into 1 if he comes in next year.
It's just scary that he might have considered MSU if we were recruiting running QB's instead still.
I wondered if I was the only one who read more into that as well.
Is there a cryptic message that we actually have a silent #13 AND projected #14 in Morgan.
"the Spirit of Michigan...is based on a deathless loyalty to Michigan and all her ways....and a conviction that nowhere is there a better university, in any way, than this Michigan of ours" - Fielding Yost
"I haven't figured out how I'm going to eat yet, but I'm staying with the Guthmans!"
One of the reasons Shane Morris is on par with these class of 2012 qb's is they're the same age. Shane is 16. The other reason he's on par with them is because he's a freaking awesome qb! Shane is awesome. 2 years of him recruiting top WR's for us is qreat news.
is that Tim knows who the silent commit is. He talked about the silent comment. After that he said "in other news" in regards to Wayne Morgan. Let's speculate wildly that Tim knows who the silent is and that it's not Morgan.
The best national recruits are getting bombarded by verbal offers more and more year after year so most aren't even beginning to narrow down their list of choices till they get the paper offer after August 1st. I'm most excited about the Bosco quartet out of New Jersey that we've offered: DE Darius Hamilton, WR Leonte Caroo, SS Elijah Shumate, and CB Yuri Wright. They're all focusing on strong academics in their college choice and want a chance to compete for playtime (something Michigan can provide.) Glad things have slowed down some recently so we have room for our top prospects. Having that early rush of local commits was exciting, not sure why it's a bad thing to some.
Yeah, I don't expect much but they're the most interesting to me, surprised to see so much talent from the same school. I do think the coaches will have more success in this class than our best guesses so far. They really are fantastic recruiters.