"it's all about the people in the place not the bricks that have been laid"
I liked that.
Defensive tackle is one of the holes that hasn't been filled yet for Michigan, which makes Darian Cooper one of the most important recruits left on the board. Up to even a few weeks ago it seemed like Cooper wasn't going to entertain the idea of even visiting Michigan. The new coaching staff made him a priority and convinced him to visit this past weekend. Michigan has now moved into his top four with MSU, Iowa, and Georgia Tech. Here's his film, and what he had to say about the visit.
TOM: Tell me from the start what you guys did.
DARIAN: We got there at five on Friday, and we went and ate dinner at the Big House. After that I hung out with some of the players, we hung out with Josh Furman, Patrick (Omameh). We got to meet all the players and we played some video games.
TOM: Was Saturday more the business side of it then?
DARIAN: Yeah, Saturday was more the academic side of it. My mom and little brother were with me, and we spent a few hours with the Dean of business. They went over what a degree means from Michigan and the overall academics there.
TOM: That's usually what parents care the most about, did your mom come away impressed with that?
DARIAN: Their degree ranks 15th in the nation, so it's hard not to be impressed with that. My mom doesn't care so much about the football side. She wants there to be stability with the coaching staff. Football is football, you line up and the objectives are all the same, so she's worried about the other parts.
TOM: I'm assuming you also met with the coaches, Coach Hoke and Mattison, on Saturday. What did they have to say?
DARIAN: They were talking to me about my role on the defense. For the past few years their strength has been offense, and they were telling me that they're defensive minded coaches and they want to bring that defense back. They're putting an emphasis on defense now.
TOM: What did they say as far as your role in the defense, what's their pitch to you?
DARIAN: They were telling me it's a great opportunity to play early. My freshman year, Coach Mattison said I would be a relief for Mike Martin on the field. They would work me into a nickel package, and a third down rushing defensive tackle. Playing is good, I don't really care what my role is as long as I get to play.
TOM: You went from not wanting to visit Michigan, to now potentially having them in your top group when you decide. Did this visit help Michigan even more?
DARIAN: Michigan moved up in my mind, definitely. I'm really focusing on my experience with the players at each school. Buildings are buildings, but it's all about the people in the place not the bricks that have been laid.
TOM: Was there anything that really stuck out to you that was different from other visits?
DARIAN: It was an official visit, so everything's going to be great. What I liked was that they didn't take me to the most expensive restaurant that I'll never eat at again, which was interesting. They took me to the training table and told me everything that was real, and this is how you'd live here. They didn't try to sell me with stuff that wasn't going to be how it was there. I liked that part.
TOM: Where do you go from here?
DARIAN: Most likely make my decision on signing day. I'll sit down with my mom, and make my decision.
"it's all about the people in the place not the bricks that have been laid"
I liked that.
Sounds promising. Also hoping that if Iowa is the nearest competition, the working our players like slaves in S&C scandal will help.
i wish i didnt feel this but it feels like its MSU who is the threat, and not Iowa, although guru Wallace thinks its Ga Tech. i really hope he is Blue. this one is gonna be a nail-biter.
.. if only because Cooper is from ACC country.
But I like our chances if it's a Big Ten school. I can't see him picking MSU over Michigan. I have felt, based on his comments, that Ferentz impressed him and Iowa was the leader.
Cooper bringing his mom and brother with him to Ann Arbor is a big plus. Can only help us.
Plus, he wants to go to business school and play early. We have a great business school and he can play right away. It really comes down to how he did or did not connect with the coaches and players.
I really think his addition, turns this from a good class, to a very good class. He also represents, an important step, for us getting back to "Big Ten" size, to help us compete with Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin.
Thank again Tom!
become a Michigan man.
He told you he's coming but you can't tell anybody yet. It's cool, just give us a knowing glance to confirm and I'll keep it on the down-low until signing day.
Also, I'm a little disappointed to hear we aren't going the Willie Williams route in recruiting. Hearing about how a prospective student athlete ate 14 lobster tails in one sitting is part of what makes following this process so enjoyable.
I think you just said the magic words. Best recruiting diary of all time.
That diary, Marques Slocum's Fuck Lion, and the FSU defensive tackle recruit (I want to say it was Callahan Bright, but I can't find the pic anywhere online) who got photographed in a car full of weed and assault rifles, are by far my three favorite college football memories of the last decade. Beating OSU in 2003 and Chris Rainey's story about being handed a sack full of gold chains after a game in high school are tied for 4th place.
I'm searching for Willie Williams and recruiting to no avai...do you have a link/ diary name?
Looks like all the lobster tails went to his head.
Who knows what the real value of a Michigan education is - I like that. But this is a position of GREAT need, so I'm nervous as hell...
TomVH, tell us it will all be ok.
Pull this kid into our class and coach Hoke should be honored with some type of parade. The fact that he visited at all means we have a very good chance with this kid.
Glad he enjoyed his visit. Sounds like an intelligent, thoughtful young man. Hope he dons the Maize and Blue hat!
Great update, and hopefully Cooper decides to go blue. Based on academics/business, UM is the best choice by far.
My only concern with his account was the perhaps off-handed statement by the coaching staff that the strength of this team was once the offense and they want to the focus to be back on the defense. My sense is that is just a sales pitch, but I would hope that having a dynamic offense AND a great defense would be the goal, not forsaking one for the other. My guess is that it was just a sales pitch and that the coaches care about the offense, but it just struck me as a little weird of a comment.
Well, Dee Hart did say that we wanted good academics and that he "was very interested in seeing how business works."
Of course, he chose Alabama, which has a vastly superior business school to Ross.
Maybe he meant "running a football team like a business."
Michigan always has recruited well because of its academics. Lamar Woodley was a 5-star player who came because he said it was the best school. People go to SEC schools only for football, and then they either make the NFL or work as greeters at casinos and soup kitchens -- a degree from LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, etc., is worth almost nothing. A houseplant could graduate there if you could get it to go to class.
RichRod recruited smaller players. The star rating systems attach a lot to SIZE and speed, not just speed, and that's why we saw him bring in a lot of 3-star recruits.
But to say recruits don't care about the academics is preposterous. It's one of the top public universities on Earth and anyone has ever had a job that involves hiring can tell you there is no comparison between Michigan grads and, for example, Michigan State grads. The intellectual divide between those two schools is great and it's simply because Michigan attracts and demands far better high school graduates.
Secondly, recruiting players means recruiting their parents, and the parents care almost totally about academics and are persuasive with their sons.
Finally, all those 'better football teams' at Tech, State and Iowa only became better against RichRod's little guys, who have been run over for 3 straight years.
I don't think there's anything in your comment that has a factual basis.
Lewan, Hopkins, Barnum, Mealer, Washington, Campbell, Jackson, Gardner, Ash, Robinson and Gordon (as safeties) are not small guys. Rodriguez didn't recruit the juniors/seniors who got "run over" the last three years.
Stop being dumb.
are even playing. RR also did not recruit Mike Martin, and would not have wanted him. Go to some games. Wisconsin ran 31 straight running plays on us. If that's not getting run over, I do't know what is.
And if you don't think RR purposely built a smaller team, you're just wrong. That was a stated goal.
Point us to a single, verifiable statement, with source and/or attribution, supporting your assertion.
...a lot of this complaint is directed towards the defense (I agree that this isn't the case with the offense). But we generally had a D-Line comprised primarily of Mike Martin and a bunch of 280lbs or less guys, LBs who were converted safeties (thus being smaller, speedier players), though the secondary wasn't as undersized as you'd think (Kovacs being only a little undersized, the corners being average, the Gordons were not undersized, etc.).
I don't know that Rodriquez deliberately chose undersized players, but we did seem small this year on D, and in a way that had nothing to do with having freshmen playing.
Rich Rodriguez was the head coach when Martin signed his letter of intent and for the entire time he's been in Ann Arbor. If he didn't want to recruit him, he could have sent the letter right back. Or he could have, you know, not sent Martin out on the field every single season he was here. If Martin was "too big" I also don't see why Rodriguez would have gone out and signed William Campbell and Quinton Washington (neither exactly svelte) a year later and Richard Ash the year after that. Was going after Posada and Chris Bryant part of this "get tiny" plan as well?
Also, those guys aren't playing (well, actually a bunch of them have played already, but I'm sure you noticed that, what with you watching so many games and all) because they are freshmen and sophomores, just like every single player from the two full recruiting classes Rodriguez got a chance to bring in. Sorry you can't understand why they aren't all awesome contributors just yet (I'm guessing it is because you aren't terribly bright). The mere presence of Rich Rodriguez in Ann Arbor did not serve to make guys on the roster he inherited shorter, skinnier, and not so great at playing football.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Darian was always one of the three or four guys Michigan was pursuing (with any chance of success) for DT in this class.
I asked him to provide a direct quote to back up his assertion that it was a stated goal of RR's to recruit smaller players. Oddly enough, I haven't seen anything yet. Imagine that.
I hope he sees how much those Iowa coaches love their players before he makes a decision
RR was always big on opportunity to compete. Sounds like, from the interveiw, DC has been told he will play as a freshman.
This is different. I don't know what the message is to our current players and walk ons but it is likely that GMAT will be as clear and open going forward. This will help the players in the long run IMO as long as the players are evaluated correctly...but it doesn't do much for the competition for playing time model that the players have been coached with up to this point.
I'd like to know what Campbell and Washington have been told their role will be.
I wonder what Wile was told and how that will play out once all the kickers line up in the fall...especially if Wile doesn't transition well.
He said opportunity not guarantee. They were just telling him the best case scenario. I got him at about 70% chance of a redshirt
as Black is a natural for the same role (3rd down rush - nickel.) I'm sure competition is still the rule and understood by every player that comes out for the team.
It is a different recruiting tack though IMO...GMAT knows what he wants.
I'm pumped to see the spring game.
knows whats up and doenst care about the petty shit....Id love to have someone like this on the team
considering the competition, I'd say we are sitting pretty. None of the teams that Tom mentioned can compare with us on academics for sure. It will all boil down to his mother, and that is the way it should be.
Come on Mom. Please let DC come out and play with us. Will play nice
Hopefully, this kid's the exception. Some certainly are: Avery, Roh, etc.
Unfortunately, though, many or most kids say they prioritize education over football because it's something they're supposed to say. Frost (cough cough). Dee (cough cough). Kids who prioritize education don't choose Auburn or Alabama.
This is a very positive result. Will we get him? Who knows, but we gave it our best shot.
The vibe I got from reading these quotes was that while he had a great time, he isn't Blue...
Mom wants stability in the coaching staff (I'm not sure our recent history satisfies those concerns) and Darian "is really focusing on [his] experience with the players at each school" and his quotes don't convince me that he found a home with our team ("we got to meet all the players and played video games").
Scheme, role and opportunity seem attractive to #57, but I just sense that there's too much ground to make up and not enough time to do it.
Brady Hoke just got hired. He's also inheriting a pretty good team at a school that is far more likely to be patient this time around. Unless he body-slams Rosenberg at his signing day press conference or gets caught murdering hobos, there is pretty much a zero percent chance that Michigan will undergo another coaching change between now and the time Darian Cooper graduates.
Wow, I thought it was just me that got that impression. I hope we are wrong.
...doesn't a brand new coach have some level of stability? Otherwise, yeah I kind of agree. However, I will say that we stand up very well with the other three programs in his final 4 (Iowa, Georgia Tech, and Michigan State).
When Darian Cooper flew to Michigan he had to plane hop first to ATL, Surprised the Georgia Tech coaches weren't at his gate by the time he came out, haha.. but on twitter he did mention "but why i gotta fly to atlanta to get to michigan smh" ...hopefully that was a small glimpse of hatred towards Atlanta, probably not but hopefully this kid goes blue on Wednesday.. GO BLUE
Any read on Cooper's visit?
and DCooper seems like a great kid. He's got a good head on his shoulders, and a family looking out for him. The U of M family will look out for him too!
Go Blue Darian
Obviously we can't know exactly how close this description is to what the visit was like, or how different is was from visits taken by prospective recruits under the previous staff. BUT, for what it's worth, we appear to be selling authenticity. I think that's got to be a big improvement and so far Hoke has done better than expected in salvaging the incoming class. It just FEELS like a good fit in the same way that RichRod DIDN'T feel like a good fit from the beginning. It's all going well so far and this can only mean we are on a better track.
I disagree that RR felt like a bad fit during his first NSD. There was great excitement re Tate and some of the late gets (Denard, Stokes, Tree).
Fans naturally get excited around NSD, especially when a new coach arrives. Many posters seem to think that Hoke is cleaning up and taking the team to the next level of recruiting. As if signings, in and of themselves, signal success.
Hoke has done a great job of holding onto most of RR's recruits, while filling out the roster with nice prospects. But most viable incoming coaches would have accomplished same in this situation -- plenty of players still want to play at M. Most of Hoke's new commits are guys who were itching for M offers, or were longtime M leans. He hasn't landed any new big-tickets commits -- though, hopefully, that will change this week.
Meantime, though, Hoke is simply benefiting from the same new-sheriff-in-town dynamic RR enjoyed (briefly).
Fantastic News, this staff (atleast Hoke and Mattison) are Super Recruiters and I'm loving it!
It looks like we may snag Coops.
as we approach Feb 2 it would be great to hear from Tom where we are with those kids remaining on the board?
I'll have it in tomorrow's weekly update
I'm hoping for a "Hello Darian" headline on the main page of mgoblog soon!