"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."
Illinois OL Chris Bryant (4 Star, 6'5", 320 lbs) is on his way home from a recent trip out to Pitt and Michigan. His visit to Michigan lasted longer than expected, and his family ended up staying the night in Ann Arbor. Here's some film on Chris (it says he's 2012, but he's not), and what he told me about his visit to Pitt and his first meeting with Brady Hoke.
TOM: How did the Pitt visit come about, what made you decide to go out there?
CHRIS: The offensive coordinator from Michigan (Calvin Magee) got the job at Pitt, and we had a good relationship before. He wanted me to check it out and come see what they have to offer. The coaching staff was great there, and it was a nice place.
TOM: And after that you and your parents swung by Michigan to meet with Brady Hoke and (Offensive line coach) Darrell Funk. How did that go?
CHRIS: It was good. We sat down with both coaches individually and were just building a new relationship. They told me they knew me as a player, but not as a person so we were just having regular conversation trying to get to know each other. I talked with them and coach Singletary, too.
TOM: What were each of them saying as far as their offense and how you'd fit in?
CHRIS: Coach Hoke was telling me about the new pro style offense, a lot of schools run that and Michigan used to run it. Coach Funk was telling me how I would fit in their with it. I don't mind either the spread or the pro style. I don't prefer one over the other. We mixed it up in high school so that's not a problem. They were basically just telling me Michigan is still Michigan. I knew how the school is run and how academics go, so it was just building a relationship with them.
TOM: Did you and your parents come away comfortable with the coaches after the meeting?
CHRIS: My parents are both comfortable, and so am I. They asked their questions and said it was a great conversation overall. I feel comfortable with him too. He was a funny guy, he's a player's coach. He's someone that you would want to coach you.
TOM: Feeling comfortable with the coaching staff now, do you still feel the same way about Michigan overall?
CHRIS: I had a good relationship with the coaches there before, but coaching is a business. It's just an adjustment and you need to go on with it. Michigan is Michigan, and they're not going to just bring anyone in. I still really like Michigan.
TOM: When you make your announcement on the 28th what hats will you have on the table?
CHRIS: I'm not sure yet, but I might do three hats, I might do four and go with Michigan, Arizona, Pitt, and Illinois. I'm not sure yet.
He is a real big dude. It looks like he's got some bad weight to shed, but he's still quick. Rivals lists him at 330(!), and if after a year or two in a college weight program he's a leaner 330 or close to it, he'll be a monster on our O line.
I guess it would depend on who else ends up in this class, but we haven't recruited an OG for two straight classes now, so getting quality and quantity at OG in this class is as important as any other position. Frost might be a better individual player than Bryant, but whether he plays WR or LB, we have young talent at both of those spots.
If we don't get Bryant, who starts at OG after Omameh, Barnum and Mealer graduate? Unless QW moves back to OL (and it doesn't sound like he will) we don't have a single guard currently on the roster younger than those guys. If we don't get Bryant, Jack Miller and Tony Posada will be starting at the guard spots as sophomores, whether they're able to or not, and we don't even know that Posada will be in this class.
So if a guy was sold on UM before and is again sold that's no credit to Hoke? In that case, we can't blame him for guys who were sold on UM and now aren't. All of these guys need to be re-convinced that UM is for them. There will be three groups of recruits here on out - previous UM guys who Hoke will keep, previous UM guys who will decide to go elsewhere and guys Hoke is bringing that weren't on our radar before.
It's not better or worse, it's just different. Not every kid who liked RR will like Hoke, and not every player RR liked, Hoke will like.
for guys who are no longer sold on Michigan. I blame Brandon.
"This is a program in transition, this is a program that's going back to hard-nosed, big-boy football," Brandon said. "We're in the process of putting the pieces in place to afford us to do that consistently and effectively.
I'm hoping for some positive recruiting results, starting with Chris.
"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
Well, Omameh and Bryant are three years apart, so the only way this would happen is if Bryant was playing as a true freshman. That might happen, but we'll have 5th year seniors Ricky Barnum and Rocko Khoury on the team. I know Khoury is a center, but so is Christain Pace, and if we want both of those guys on the line, Khoury would be the one to move, I would imagine.
Hoke is going to make the offense fit Denard, and he has said that a few times. It will be "pro style" which means it will include multiple looks. Michael Vick never ran a spread offense, and he is very much the model for Denard.
stop trolling for trouble. stop being negative because it feels good.
I don't think this was intended to infere that M was going to return to the "Old" style pro offense; rather if you have been watching the NFL, it's hard to ignore the fact that their is a VERY NEW PRO STYLE offense, designed to take advantage of every offensive weapon available, and much of it involves spreading out the defense.
An offense so productive at the top of the collegite level is bound to make a few professional OCs try some of the tricks, and when they found out they work at that level, well let's just say the NFL has evolved offensively also.
It would be a catasphore of the most egregious nature to harness Denard's talent, and I don't believe for a moment, especially w/Hoke wanting to hit the ground running, he'll do anything that might even threaten to mitigate the unparralled talent of this young man.
We'll spread the receivers for sure, although we'll employ probably one slot, and will always have a tight end. But there will be rollout options of pass/run/pitch, etc., and don't be surprised to see some of RR's option read on the DE also. Afterall, it did prove damn effective. Nothing wrong, in my opinion, in giving the defense as many offensive looks as possible.