"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."
Massachusetts LB Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs) is on his way home from a visit to Ann Arbor this weekend. He took in the visit with his teammate ATH Armani Reeves and his father who happens to be a Michigan fan. Here's a look at his film and what he had to say about the trip.
TOM: I know you got to Ann Arbor on Friday, so can you take me through what you guys got to see the first day?
CAMREN: First we got right in to the academic meetings, and it was probably one of the best academic meetings I've ever been to. They covered everything, they have internships for the players they can help you with, and they're also starting to give all athletes iPads instead of books which is pretty cool.
TOM: After the academic side did you get a chance to meet with the coaches?
CAMREN: Yeah, we met with my position coach Mark Smith, Coach Hoke, and Coach Mattison. Coach Mattison said he thinks that I would probably grow into a SAM. They kind of run a 5-2 look, so he said I might be able to play WILL too. Coach Hoke talked about where he wants to bring the program. He wants the old Michigan back, and he wants to bring in the type of players that they used to bring in. He wants the excitement from the fans back and he basically just wants Michigan to be back where it was.
TOM: What did you do after meeting with the coaches?
CAMREN: We got a tour of the facilities and the whole campus. The Big House was huge, obviously. It was amazing though, you could tell the fans are right on top of you and it's one of the loudest and the biggest stadiums.
TOM: You did all of that on Friday, so what did you guys do today [Saturday]?
CAMREN: We checked out the opening practice. It was cool, there was a lot of media and alumni there. You could tell they were excited to see how Coach Hoke was going to handle everything. Even though it was the first practice you could tell they were trying to get the tempo high. The defense had to pick up the ball and take it into the endzone every time like they were picking up a fumble.
TOM: You went on this visit with your teammate Armani and your dad, what did they think of the trip?
CAMREN: My dad was amazed. That was the school that has been in my ear since I was born, and I've always worn those colors. He was amazed with everything. Armani, Michigan is one of the few places that you can see the history of the school. You can't really compare a lot of things at Michigan to other places. Like the locker room was incredible, and it was cool to be able to share that with my best friend. He said he definitely wants to see the school again and get back up for another visit. He's going to make his decision in December, but they're definitely up there for him.
TOM: Armani's not deciding until December, but you're deciding in June so what did this visit do for Michigan and how would you rank it from 1-10?
CAMREN: This visit was probably a 10. The visit was huge, it's definitely up there in my favorite schools. I want to make my decision in June, so I definitely want to get back up here for another visit. I really like Coach Hoke, Coach Smith, and Coach Mattison a lot. It's going to be a great place and I'm really interested in looking into Michigan more.
TOM: Wow, was there anything that stuck out to you to make the trip ranked that high?
CAMREN: It was really the little things that added up to one big positive. A lot of the little things that Michigan has and not a lot of other places do are what made me like it. The access some of the players have to certain things, the attention they get, and Coach Mattison being one of the highest paid defensive coordinators in college football is big. He coached all those great players with the Ravens and now he's at Michigan. All of that just made it great.
TOM: So what's next since you're going to be making your decision relatively soon?
CAMREN: I'm really down to Michigan, Maryland, Penn State, North Carolina, and Wake Forest. This was the first visit and then I'm going to Penn State next week, North Carolina on the 9th, and then Wake Forest that same weekend. I also know that I'm going to be back up to Michigan for another visit too.
Yeah, Camren is one of my top "wanted" players. It's not just because he could be a great player, but he also happens to be from my home state. I would love to see more representation from Mass. This kid seems like he likes Michigan a lot, may be even loves. I would like to have him.
Right?? It was bad enough that they got free books... free iPads is just crazy. Although my books per semester usually ran about the cost of an iPad anyway. But I'm not quite convinced that giving athletes something that makes such an easy distraction from class is necessarily going to be good for their studying (Tate, anyone?)
Denard has spent the offseason working really hard and smiling at people.
Around 1'30" in the video, there's like a quick 2 second clip of ND scoring on Michigan in the 2010 game, which Michigan won just in case you start to doubt which game they are showing. What's up with that!
"I was gone before that guy wrecked the place, but it still disappoints"
"he wants to bring in the type of players that they used to bring in."
This must make the current players feel wanted.
"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.
He kind of reminds me of Kellen Jones. I haven't watched either's film, but just the way they handle themselves, as well as the passion and love for the school. Hope we land this kid, as well as RJS and Ross. That would be a heck of a LB coup.
It's going to be interesting to see how this staff employs its SAM linebacker. Cam Gordon is a very different player than Camren Williams, but both are slotted for SAM. I'm wondering how much weight the coaches want Gordon to add in the next couple years...