"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."
Kellen Jones is a linebacker from Houston, Texas, recently highlighted in the Weekly Update post. We got a chance to hear from Jones' coach, now we get a chance to hear from Kellen himself on where he stands with his recruitment. First, the highlights, then the talking.
TOM: I know that your dad is a big Michigan fan, are you also a fan like he is?
KELLEN: I grew up a Michigan fan through my dad, and he grew up a Michigan fan, so yeah. He was a big fan when Jim Harbaugh was playing quarterback for Michigan. He loves the maize and blue, and he passed that on to me. I know The Victors song, and everything.
TOM: So what was it like getting an offer from Michigan then?
KELLEN: Coach Jackson came to visit me this spring, and I was very excited to see him. He said he had a special letter for me as I was just walking off the field, and it was crazy. I have a good relationship with Coach Jackson; it’s definitely a good relationship. We talk all the time, and I just started to talking with Coach Robinson, too. I know all about his resume. He won Super Bowls with the Broncos, and coached at Texas, so that’s great.
TOM: Is that something that impresses you, or something you’re looking into?
KELLEN: Oh yeah, definitely. I want to play for someone that has a good resume, and a lot of experience at my position. I like Coach Robinson’s Super Bowl wins.
TOM: Where have the coaches told you they see you fitting into the system?
KELLEN: They have told me linebacker, in general. They say it will most likely be middle linebacker, but it could be at outside linebacker, and coming off the edge, too. I actually just got off the phone with Coach Jackson, and we’re all going to talk about that more, on where I fit in.
TOM: Where are you at right now with your recruitment? What are your plans for the summer?
KELLEN: I’ve already visited Arkansas, Missouri, and Colorado. I plan on visiting Michigan in late July, too. I’m definitely coming this summer. I’m interested in Stanford and Purdue, too. Purdue because of their engineering program. I plan on majoring in engineering, so I like that. Michigan is high on my list, because of their academics and history, too.
TOM: When will you be making your decision then?
KELLEN: I plan on making my decision before the season starts. I’m still going to take some official visits, but it won’t have any impact on my decision. I’ll probably just go to some schools that I’ve always wanted to see growing up. I might as well take advantage of that.
TOM: Ok, and lastly, if you could, just give us an idea of what kind of player you are. What are you like on the field?
KELLEN: I’m a very vocal person on the field. I like to take on the leadership role, and I like to be a playmaker. I have a passion for the game, and I love winning. I hate to lose, and don’t ever want to lose. I love to force fumbles, and make plays.
TOM: Ok, well thanks for talking with me, I appreciate it.
KELLEN: Ok, make sure to tell the Michigan fans that my Dad and I say, Hail to the Victors!
I would like to say that Kellen was a really nice kid to talk to, and really respectable the entire interview. He had some really good things to say about Michigan off the record, and I can tell you he's excited about Michigan.
I talked with Magnus about Kellen a little bit, and I honestly think he might be one of the more important recruits this year. He's a true linebacker, with still a lot of potential.
Just to point out what Tom and I talked about, we both think he's a great hitter/tackler. The way he runs his feet through the tackle is excellent. He's a little "undersized" for your prototypical MLB, but I really don't care about height in a MLB. There have been plenty of shorter guys to play inside and be successful at it. He also plays downhill instead of waiting for the ballcarrier to come to him, and he gets good depth in his pass drops. He seems to be a very cerebral player. I'd currently rank him at #1 on my inside linebacker wish list, although I haven't seen every single guy that we've offered.
None of the "big time" schools have offered, like Texas, Florida, USC, Alabama, etc. His offers consist of B-list FBS schools, like Missouri, Arkansas, Stanford, Illinois, etc. I'm sure some schools are turned off by his lack of size. It's funny because there are big guys with less impressive film and great offers (Curtis Grant, for example) and then there are smaller guys with very impressive film and mediocre offers (Kellen Jones). But I think you'll see Jones pull in some bigger offers if he lets his recruitment play out for a while.
I think I speak for all of us that follow recruiting that we are extremely grateful for your posts and I don't we can ever have too much content from TomVH. Keep it up and keep the positive vibes flowing.
And thank you for all you do TomVH. This sounds like good news, we need linebackers and pulling someone out of Texas (even if it isn't away from UT, to pull someone away from A&M, Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St. etc.) is always a nice coup. Anyway, good news or bad news it's always nice coming to mgoblog and being able to be filled in on where we stand with recruits. Thanks
Bomb away all year long. Thanks for your posts where ever they show up. It's also really nice to hear a young guy talk that way about Michigan. I don't think this kid is "in the bag" but He sounds like he may be a really good lean towards the maize and blue.
Again thanks for all you do TomVH I always look forward to your posts. One last thing, please share some of the off the record stuff with the board after Kellen's recruitment is over of course if that is okay with the both of you.
To be completely honest... after watching his highlight tape a few times, Kellen Jones is probably number one on my wishlist for this class.... He is just a complete playmaker. There arent just a few good plays, but there are 9 minutes of plays where he absolutely governs the field.... You can see his presence on the field, even if he isn't making a "highlight" play.... Jones and Hart are definitely at the top of my wishlist
It just seems like he does this in games and not on the practice field. If K. Jones can keep this up, he might be our best linebacker recruit since B. Graham. Just watch the way he reads the play and meets the ball carrier in the backfield. He isn't meshing to the hole, he beats the back there and blows the play up. Imagine having that kind of a disruptive force blowing through the OL and forcing cutbacks into the stacks Will Campbell is making. Or imagine a linebacker corp of Kellen in between Josh Furman and Davion Rogers! That would be three athletic freaks waiting to pounce on someone!
This kid is going to be great no matter where he goes. Hopefully his love for Michigan and his desire to be an engineer will lead him our way. Either way, it looks like he has a good head on his shoulders and that's always nice to see.
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is never get involved in a land war in Asia - but only slightly less well-known is this: Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!
Granted his interest in pursuing an engineering degree has been noted, but it’s nice to hear a recruit put some meat behind those aspirations instead of providing the proverbial recruit-speak of “looking for strong academics.” With him noting his interest in Purdue due to their engineering program you know he’s focused on academics… maybe even more so than football. As others noted above, sounds like he has a great head on his shoulders and would be a welcome addition.