"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."
Matthews (NC) Butler wide receiver Uriah LeMay is off to a fast start in his recruitment, garnering over 20 scholarship offers and being named to the ESPN 150 Watch List, and his latest offer came from Michigan last week. LeMay, who stands at 6'2", 188 pounds, also has notable offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Miami (YTM), Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech, among several others. According to his Scout profile, the junior had 43 receptions for 842 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns to go along with 38 rushes for 397 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns in the 2011 season. I caught up with Uriah this evening, and here's a full transcript of the interview:
ACE: First of all, how did you find out about your Michigan offer, and how does it affect your recruitment going forward?
Really I'm just staying the same course that I have since the summer, just evaluating each team and giving everybody a shot. The Michigan offer, when it came in, was a big shock. I was just sitting there in English class and Coach Montgomery pulled me out. It really got me excited and there were a lot of Michigan fans in my English class at the time, so it was a big discussion later on during the day.
ACE: Is Coach Montgomery your main recruiting contact at Michigan?
ACE: What other teams have been contacting you the most in your recruitment? Do you have an early list of favorites or is it wide open right now?
ACE: Just to go back and recap your junior season, how would you say that went for you, and what kind of numbers did you put up?
URIAH: Number-wise I did pretty good. I think I had 1,000+ all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns. As far as the season went we came just short of the goal, we lost in the third round of the playoffs, I think two games before states, which is not something you want to do, but it wasn't too bad a way to end number-wise and it was a good development year.
ACE: Your older brother [class of 2011 QB Christian LeMay] was recruited by Georgia, correct? [Uriah: Yes.] Has he given you any advice in terms of going through the whole recruiting process?
URIAH: He's been really helpful for me going through the process. Any time I have a question I can always give it to him. Most of the time what he'll tell me is, if I like a school, if I visit, or if I have a conversation with one of the coaches, make sure your conversation is open, make sure you go back and visit the school, just to get a different and second opinion and evaluation on it, because anything can look good the first time you see it. He'll tell to make sure that everybody and the coaches are open with you, to be open with them about yourself, and to make sure you make the best decision for yourself when it comes down to it at the time.
ACE: In terms of making that decision, do you have an idea for a timelime right now?
URIAH: For right now, the way things are going, it looks like I'll be committing at one of the All-American games. But if not then, definitely around signing day. [UPDATE: I talked to Uriah's father, and he says that they're looking at a summer decision date instead of waiting until the All-American games to make a choice, so this one could wrap up sooner than initially expected.]
ACE: If you had to scout yourself, what would you say are the biggest strengths in your game, and what are the areas that you're working on for your senior year and then on to the next level?
URIAH: My strengths would have to be size, physicality, aggression, and hands, as well as the ability to stretch the field and make plays at random times. Things that I'm going to want to be working on are just the fundamentals, that's one thing you can't really ever get enough of doing, back to the basics—footwork, speed drills, hands drills, all that kind of stuff.
ACE: In terms of setting up your summer schedule, are you planning on making any junior days or visits, and are you looking at Michigan as a possible visit destination?
URIAH: Yes, after the offer we're starting to put into the planning to make it down there. I'm trying to visit schools on the East Coast and then go out to the Midwest and visit some of those schools if we can. But then after that, that'll probably be it for this summer.
I wouldn't put a ton of stock in these very-early ratings. 24/7 seems to have really rushed those out, and I'm guessing their final list will look entirely different from what they have now. There's just no way they were able to evaluate a ton of players in detail that quickly, and obviously there's still an entire year-plus to go before signing day for the current juniors. That offer list suggests LeMay is the real deal.