"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."
Craig is very involved with Campus Crusade, and Athletes in Action on campus. "He's down in New Orleans right now with those two groups on a mission trip. They're helping out with Katrina, cleaning up, and I believe they're helping build a house," Fred told me. Craig has been there since this past saturday, and Fred expects him back this weekend.
Roh has always been a good student, and always been very motivated to help the community. "He's been involved with a lot of these organizations on campus, and a little more involved with Athletes in Action. He got pretty involved over the summer, he's always been very into his religion, and just always been a good student. He was working last summer with a few mentor type things, too. I know they do a lot of local type services, and this is the first time he's gone out on a trip like this," said Fred.
Spring practice is coming soon, and Craig has also made it a point to stay focused with his improvement on the field as well. "He's up to 255 now. He ended the season at 240, so he's already gained about 15 pounds. The coaches said they want him at 255, or maybe 260. He's had tremendous increases in all his exercises, too. I don't know the exact numbers, by I know he's increased his bench, squat, and everything else,"
Injury seemed to plague a lot of the team this past season, and that included Craig, as well. "He got three stingers throughout the season in his neck, so he couldn't do any upper body stuff. It was really after the Illinois game that he couldn't do any of the upper body workouts during the season. As soon as the season was over, he rehabbed the nerve, and is ready to go. It's hard to activate the muscle the right way with nerve problems, so it was difficult for him during the season. He's good to go now, though," said Fred. "Everyone was concerned about his size last year, and I don't think that will be the case this year."
- Percy Johnson LB - Now an Ohio kid, just moved from Michigan. Really likes Michigan, we'll have a good shot here if we offer. We haven't offered yet, and most schools are waiting on his ACT scores. He told me, "I'm a loyalist, and that's the big house, so you know." - Valdez Showers RB/WR - Instate kid, nominated for best name in 2011 class. - Robert Mincey DE - Told me that Michigan is his leader. He doesn't have an offer yet, though.
- Rico Butler RB/WR - Ohio - Jamare Mills TE - WILL NOT BE ATTENDING. He was invited, but he told me he can't make it. He did tell me that Michigan is one of his favorites right now. - The Dr. Philips kids should be there ( Demetrius Hart, Hasean Clinton-Dix, Laquentin Smith) - DeAnthony Arnett ***Said he will try to make it, but probably has basketball obligations***
- Vincent Croce DT - Will be coming up. He's making his arrangements today. Has a good amount of quality offers so far. He's not sure where Michigan stands yet, but there's enough interest to come in on his own dime from Maryland.
- Ryan Griffin DB - Ann Arbor Pioneer. He said he thinks he'll be there, but is checking his schedule to make sure. I thought I talked to a couple other kids, but I can't remember right now. I'm getting ready for a trip, so I'm out of it. Like I said, add if you know of more.
Also, unrelated to this, for those of you that don't know, I recently started a company called, U Recruit, www.recruitforu.com . We will guide kids through the recruiting process, and help them get scholarships. We have about 6 athletes we're helping right now, and are trying to spread the word. Take a look at our site, and pass on the information to anyone you think we could help.
TOM: Does Jay Hopson leaving affect your feelings towards Michigan at all?
TONY: I wouldn't say it does, because he wouldn't be my position coach if I go there. I have been talking to coach Hopson this whole time, but I met the other coaches on my visit.
TOM: What other visits have you taken, and what do you plan on taking?
TONY: I've been to Maryland, and I plan on going to Ole Miss. I'm going to try to squeeze in Miami and Georgia, too.
TOM: Are you and Clarence still planning on going to the same school?
TONY: As far as this point, yes that's the plan.
TOM: Is Michigan still on top for you?
I will say that Tony wasn't aware that there was a dead period, and seemed frustrated that his coach was the one that told him coach Hopson was leaving, and not Michigan. (That kind of makes me feel like there might be some schools breaking the rules with contacting him, if he didn't know.) Once I told him it was a dead period he understood. We'll see what happens. I have a bad feeling about Miami for some reason, but that's not based off of anything, so take it FWIW.
- Cardinal Mooney won the state championship, and Vinopal was just named First Team All State for Ohio as a safety.
- He is being recruited as a safety, but said he'll play wherever the coaches want him to.
- Coach Rodriguez and Gibson will be doing an in home visit with Ray and his family this Monday to make sure he knows important dates, and information, etc.
- He'll be taking an official visit sometime in January, the same time that DJ Williamson will be. Coach Gibson told him there will be around 5 others coming as well, but he wasn't sure who they were.
- "I told Coach Rod and Gibson on Wednesday, and they were excited. They just told me welcome to the family."
Nothing earth shattering, but good news on the first team all state award.
Hopefully we will get some good news out of this weekend, as well. Like I've said before, I think it's going to be an interesting next few months. As everyone knows, we have limited spots left, so we'll find out if there are any commits that won't qualify, or greyshirts, etc. soon.
Before this turns into a huge Ron Burgundy parody, let's just get everything out of the way now: BAXTER! You ate a whole wheel of cheese? San Diaaagooo. It's German for a whale's va....ok, that's enough.
Dillon Baxter is a four star running back prospect from San Diego, CA. Though he's currently a USC commit he will be visiting this week along with CA WR Kenny Stills and CA LB/S Tony Jefferson. Yes, he plays offense. No he doesn't play defense. He's really good, though, and his highlight video is jazzy.
On with the interview.
TOM: This visit kind of popped up out of nowhere; how did it come about, and what piqued your interest in Michigan?
DILLON: Michigan was one of my first places I wanted to look, but I never really got a chance to. I just want to make sure USC was the right place. I have an opportunity to go see it, so I wanted to do it now.
TOM: What made Michigan a place that you liked in the beginning?
DILLON: I like the crowd, and I’ve always liked them since I was little. They were kind of my team growing up, so I’ve just always liked them.
TOM: Have you made any other visits besides USC?
DILLON: USC is really only the main place. I’ve been to UCLA a little bit, but not really for that long.
TOM: You, Tony Jefferson, and Kenny Stills will be on the visit, are you all friends? Are you all friends with Tate?
DILLON: Yeah, we’re all friends; Kenny’s going to spend the night at my house before the flight. We all know Tate (Forcier) from high school, so that should be fun to all be together again.
TOM: Have you guys every thought about all playing together, or talked about it?
DILLON: We talked about playing together all last year, so we’re all kind of looking around to find a cool place. It didn’t work out that we’d all play for USC, so we’re going to see if there’s maybe anywhere else we all like.
TOM: Can this trip change your mind? A lot of people think kids that are committed sometimes take trips just to have fun, is that the case here?
DILLON: No, if this is better than USC then yeah. I’m pretty serious about USC, but who knows. The coaching staff at USC are all hype, and always happy to see you and teach you. I just want to find out how the Michigan coaches are, too.
TOM: What are you most excited for at Michigan?
DILLON: I can’t wait for that game; I’m excited. I don’t really know if I’ve been in front of that many people. I just want to see how the game is, the crowd is, just everything. Coach Dews is who’s recruiting me. We’ve been talking the last couple days. So, I want to build on that relationship more and meet the rest of the coaching staff. The offense is exciting, and I hope I can fit in that offense. I want to stay at running back and slot, so that would be right for their offense.
TOM: If this visit does change your mind, or make you think, when will your ultimate decision be?
DILLON: This is the first week of playoffs for us, so probably once our season is over.