I thought that myself when I read that article that talked about a Data Scientist(tm)
Just a quick point/question about Shafer's "success" against the run: do we know if Shafer's defenses are actually successful in stopping the run, or are the numbers against the run artificially inflated as a result of how well his teams do in sacks (because sacks count as negative rushing yards)?For example, in 2007, Stanford was 77th in run defense, and 11th in sacks. That seems to indicate that his run defense was really, really crappy, but would up with a not-that-crappy 77th because they did so well in sacks.Any thoughts?- Scott
That had not occurred to us, dude. Scott's got a good point here: Shafer's aforementioned predilection for blitzing then, now, and in the future has led to a lot of sacks, some wildly variable pass efficiency metrics, and probably-overrated run defenses.
How big of an effect can this be? Let's take the most extreme example, Shafer's 2006 Western Michigan defense. That year the Broncos finished #1 in sacks and #6 in rush defense. How much of an impact did the sacks have? Quite a bit. WMU yielded 1316 rushing yards that year, but the NCAA only records 989 in its official record books because of WMU's 46 sacks.
Strip the sack yardage out and WMU falls all the way to... 18th. Which isn't actually that far to fall, and we've let everyone else keep their sack yardage. (This was also a fun exercise for Michigan fans in the midst of 2006: strip all Michigan's sack yardage and yup, they're still the best rush D in the country by a mile.) If we give WMU that year's NCAA average for sack yardage, they shoot right back up to #6 in the country, although #7 Florida gets a lot closer. WMU's in a unique spot here where they're 100-some yards in front of their nearest competitor; in a normal year they'd get knocked back a few slots.
Yes, Shafer's sack happy ways do have a distorting effect on the rush D, but it appears to be a marginal one. Unfortunately, since the NCAA only has sack data for the last three years we don't have enough data to perform a conclusive study.
More on Shafer from a guy who's watched him for a year:
My name's Daniel Novinson, I'm a longtime reader, first-time caller. I'm a lifelong Michigan resident (Farmington Hills) and fan, but right now am out in California finishing my senior year at Stanford. They've let me serve as the lead football and basketball beat writer at the Stanford Daily for three years now, so I figured I'd be in as good a position as anyone to comment a little bit on Shafer.
I think the best thing about Shafer is that he shuttles plays to his best players. Stanford had one safety (Bo McNally) and one linebacker (Clinton Snyder) who were light years better than any of our other defenders, and actually were decent in absolute terms (they're marginal All Pac-10-level guys) and Shafer exploited the hell out of it. Schematically, I don't know how in the world he did it, but they were always the ones sent on blitzes, they were always in the position to make the key open-field tackles or picks, and our Todd Howard-equivalents always seemed to be safely hidden 40 yards off-ball. That's a big part of how we forced four USC interceptions and held them to a season-low 23, or held Cal to 13 in our upset. (That, and luck. A lot of luck.)
I talked to one of our defensive players tonight. He was visibly bummed and said Shafer was a good X and Os guy who knew his stuff and got his guys to play hard. He also said the players found out the same way we did â€“ reading it online this morning, before a hastily-called team meeting confirmed the news this afternoon. That leads me to speculate that Shafer must have moved pretty quickly after Rodriguez called â€“ think he's pretty excited to be in Ann Arbor?
I want to challenge two of your interpretations of Stanford's defensive statistics under Shafer. First, you kind of shrugged your shoulders and said "Meh, the numbers were only slightly up this year from last," which I think sells Shafer vastly short. We lost our best two or three players from the 2006-07 defense (including a third-round draft pick, which don't grow on trees out here) and were starting seven, let me repeat, seven underclassmen on defense this year, so for the numbers to improve slightly is incredible. Also, the offense has been consistently awful, especially in the running game, for the entirety of my four years here, so the defense is on the field longer than almost any other, which also depresses the defensive numbers.
Second, you mention, rightfully, that he blitzed a lot at Stanford, but that's partially out of necessity: he knew that our secondary is awful and was going to get torched if the opposing quarterback had time, no matter how many guys were back there. At Michigan, we should have the players, so while he'll still bring it more than the old staff, I wouldn't assume it will be every single down.
We went from the worst combination of basketball and football coaches, given our prestige as a program, to one of the best in the country. But still, let's face it, we're going to take a major step back next year. We lose, I believe, the school's all-time leading passer, all-time leading (and, in my opinion, best-ever) rusher, best-ever lineman, at the most important position no less, our top two receivers and the returning defensive talent is not where it used to be a few years ago (though count me a huge Warren fan.)
Beilein's been a great coach his whole life and didn't suddenly forget everything once he got here, yet we're losing to Harvard and Central Michigan. So I'm expecting the same thing with Rodriguez, especially if a big change is strength and conditioning. That especially is going to take time to reap dividends, and in the short term, switching training regimens probably sets us back. And, despite all the hubbabulu over a guy who runs on opponents helmets (McGuffie) and a guy we might not even get (Pryor), this recruiting class is nothing special.
The positive notes on Shafer are accepted for the record.
Some responses to the "Debbie Downer" portion of the post, as Daniel referred to it: there is a comparison to be made between the basketball and football programs but I think that's going a bit too far. The basketball team currently has two upperclassmen; said upperclassmen are role players if you're being kind. The rest of the roster is a mishmash of questionable recruits and like two guys anyone had any expectations for. The football team's talent level is nowhere near as depressed as the basketball team's, and comparing Carr to Amaker... well... no. The football team is not coming from the very depths of incompetence and does not have to learn everything from scratch.
First let me say you have a really good and informative blog about UM. I started reading it when I thought you guys were going to take our coach. My email is to give you maybe a little different perspective on your new coach. I work in
I always liked Tulane and was shocked the Rich wasn't hired when Tommy Bowden left. He was on the search committee for a new coach, so I asked him why they didn't hire Rich? His response was that Rich was an excellent football coach, but every once in a while, just did someone stupid and illogical. There were some others small things, but basically they just didn't feel comfortable about the guy. My boss still follows Rich (they are friends) and when this happened, his first response was, "he's not a
Michigan football, as you know, is what most programs strive to be. You run a good clean program with an exc
ellent reputation and win lots of football games. Lloyd Carr was a very good coach and probably knew it was time for him to leave. I may be wrong, but unless winning is everything, you guys may have happened on the wrong coach. I truly hope not.
Also, I bet you guys wanted the football program going in a different direction, you didn't expect all this hullabaloo. [It's the "multivariate spellings of hullabaloo" mailbag -ed]
Good luck and I hope it all gets down to football soon.
FWIW. The "occasionally does something stupid and illogical" thing would be a character flaw that fits in with a couple of the minor faux pas Rodriguez has committed.
Surely the NCAA can't continue to keep National Signing Day in early
February. Ever since (ironically) Tommy Bowden left Tulane before its
bowl game in 1999, we've had to deal with a string of high-profile
coaches leave one school for another, angering fans of said programs and
further reducing bowl games to consolation contests. Teams who do not
make bowl games and fire their coach or, like in Michigan's case, have
retiring coaches on the way out, do not have anybody to look after but
themselves as soon as the regular season is over. Once the bowls were
reserved as rewards for a good season; now they are extra days of
practice so a team can build toward next year.
Why should Michigan, Houston or SMU worry about other programs when they
have themselves to look after, when next year is the most important?
Michigan nabbed Rodriguez from West Virginia, who was in preparations for
a BCS bowl - this didn't matter to Michigan, because it had recruits to
get for 2008. Quiet, dead period or not, there's recruiting to be done,
and nobody wants to lose a step. This trend has gotten worse and worse
over the last few years and will continue to get worse unless the NCAA
moves Signing Day back until at least March or April. That way, bowl
games will be played without interim coaches and the tension between
schools, such as U-M and WVU, will be considerably less because they
wouldn't need to keep looking over their shoulders and worry about their
coach leaving during the season. There's such a long 'offseason' in
college football. Why cram everything into December?
That's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure it would actually work. Schools would still fire coaches in the interim between the regular season's end and the bowl game, and would still frantically search for their saviors in the meantime. Perhaps a recruiting day three months from signing day is less valuable than a recruiting day one month from signing day, but it's still valuable and sitting around without a head coach is still throwing those days away.
Rodriguez from a WVU perspective:
It's odd that I care so much about West Virginia sports: essentially, I'm rooting for (a) 100 college kids I'll never meet and (b)blue and gold laundry. But I grew up in the Mountain State, and WVU football is the easiest way to start off a conversation with half of the people most dear to me, so care I do.
I was bummed about Rodriguez's relocation to A2--for about a week. After that, I had holidays to navigate, a bowl trip to drink through, and work to get back to.You and Mandel have pretty much correctly estimated the "jihad" perpetuated by the jilted WVU folks; I only harbor two Rod-related grudges:
- He took the U-M job, notified the WVU team, and resigned (kind of a bush move to do it through a GA, but I don't think I would seek out the partner I hate the most upon quitting my firm, so whatever) on 12/16. The next morning he was introduced in the Junge Center as the new U-M coach. Cool; it's just that he resigned effective 1/3/08. It took two more days for him to amend his resignation to become effective at 12:00:01 AM 12/19. Perhaps he had no intention for the post-Fiesta Bowl resignation date to handcuff the WVU team or program, but the seeming motive is that Rodriguez wished to be asked to leave WVU before actually resigning, so that WVU could get on with the bowl preparation and overt search for a successor, and so that Rodriguez would have a little extra ammo for the buyout contest. Thank goodness he had a change of heart (or was coaxed by someone at U-M...or something) and just got out of the way, but to start out with the 1/3/08 resignation date was something south of honorable.
- He left right after the stomach-punch Pitt game means the era during which WVU football reached its zenith--forget that Beilein's boys concurrently produced the best WVU basketball run since Jerry West--is punctuated by a mustard-colored, catastrophic loss. It's a bitch that we remember and place so much stock in the beginnings and ends of things; I hate remembering the Rod era by the Pitt game instead of by the teary-eyed phone call with my dad after the Sugar Bowl.With that said, the WVU AD should just try to recover as much of the buyout as possible and move on. I harbor only a sliver of resentment toward Michigan, but I'm just rooting for Pryor to go to the University of AnywherebutMichigan; I figure that's a fair thing to root for.Your blog is fantastic; I wish I had become interested under different circumstances.Josh Ellison
Josh has a point here with the resignation date. Though this space defends him regularly, he's not totally clean in this ugly divorce. Calling Pryor was a little iffy, and the resignation date thing was also a bit disingenuous. Michigan did not hire a perfect angel. They hired a kick-ass football coach who happens to be holding a major grudge against the West Virginia athletic department.
As far as the Pitt thing... sure. The 'Bama flirtation, the Pitt loss, and the Beilein hiring set the table for an unprecedented wave of anger from West Virginia. Youtube is full of seriously pissed off now 'Eers burning things, asserting that Rodriguez is a pedophile, and the like. This says more about West Virginia than it does Rodriguez.
It's January, late January, and that can only mean one thing other than constant Terrelle Pryor fretting: college football blogger awards. Full details can be found at Rocky Top Talk and Every Day Should Be Saturday; things are much the same as they were last year: open nomination process, final voting open to college football bloggers only.
There are a few changes. Some awards required sufficient research on the part of voters to educate themselves that the nefarious cabal behind them felt they were better off as jury prizes. We have a realistic view of the amount of effort -- zero --that will be put into the voting by most participants, and the end result is usually Big Blog reining victorious no matter the merits of the smaller blog's offerings. By getting even more elitist we hope to make things more democratic. Or at least more interesting than "hey... this also goes to Orson."
There is also a second national championship award offering, because it wouldn't be college football without multiple, contradictory votes on the same damn thing. The "People's Champ" award, so named to make fun of Auburn fans and not to honor The Rock, is another national championship sort of award with one exception: final voting is open to all, not just bloggers. As such, Orson will obviously win it but what the hell.
Readers will probably be a little pissed off they can't vote on the final ballots, but you have an opportunity to contribute now. There is a nomination gizmo for you use. Therein you can vote for any number of things once per day; the final numbers spat out by the gizmo will heavily influence the award nominees. This is especially important in the more specific categories like "Best Post" or "Best Multimedia Thing"; everything that's nominated will get dug out and reviewed by the award committee. So if there's some post you remember being awesome, please point it out to us. If you can't remember the URL, hell just describe it and we'll find it. If you are so incredibly opposed to PHP that you can't bear to use the gizmo, leave a comment. Just please help us in the gargantuan task of winnowing the ever-expanding blogosphere into a few shiny nuggets.
Update 1/21: removed TX CB Adrian Bushell, CA OL Vaughn Dotsy, a couple WRs. Added OH LB Taylor Hill as committed. Bumped SC CB JT Floyd to blue. Moved PA HB Christian Wilson from committed, downgraded to yellow based on mother's comments on message board.
Editorial Opinion: Pryor was in town. When he texted an AP reporter that Michigan was "cool," said text message became a national headline.
What do we know now that we did not know before? Nothing. Pryor did show on his official visit and had a fine enough time. Ohio State fans fail to see Michigan as any sort of threat to win his commitment. ESPN has reported a couple times that Pryor is choosing between Michigan, Oregon, and LSU. The Michigan camp seems cautiously optimistic. Pryor will decide on signing day.
From the hilarious wrongness of ESPN on down this is all status quo despite rumors flying around every which way from a guy who met a guy on the team at a party, etc etc etc. Pryor obviously wants maximum drama and is going to get it on Signing Day.
Is this interesting?
"I think I know where he's going, but I'm not saying where," [live-in godfather(???) Willie] Burns told The Detroit News Friday evening. "I think he's a made a decision, but he doesn't want to tell the media until signing day."
Maybe, but you could read it either way:
- Jonas Gray's prediction that Michigan would get him if Mallett transfered, gathered after talking with Pryor at the Army game, has come true yay yay yay.
- If he's decided without visiting Michigan he's obviously going to Ohio State boo boo boo.
I dunno, and doubt anyone will until February 6th.
The rest of the world. We should know shortly about the future of slot WR DJ Woods, choosing between Michigan and Cincinnati. On the surface, this should not be a competitive battle but if Woods feels snakebit by Rodriguez maybe he'll flee to the arms of Brian Kelly, who is totally guaranteed to leave Cinci before he does.
JT Floyd came in for an official and seems to have enjoyed himself:
It went great, I loved it," Floyd said. "I found out this South Carolina guy can take the cold. They explained to me if I come in and work hard, there's an opportunity for a lot of playing time as a freshman. I like Michigan. I enjoyed the program, every aspect of it."
Floyd must have antifreeze in his veins, because it was downright arctic this weekend. He's planning a visit to Tennessee next week, after which he'll decide. Floyd's technically a UT commit -- committed to them midway through his junior year, actually -- but given the quote above seems very likely to end up at Michigan.
Less salutary news on PA HB Christian Wilson. Earlier this year Wilson's mom popped up on an outlying Michigan message board to chat about her son's then-pending decision. She was looking for reassurance that this h-back position Michigan was recruiting him for actually existed. Concerns assuaged, Wilson committed to Michigan shortly thereafter. In the aftermath of the coaching changeover, however, those concerns have re-asserted themselves, and the coaching staff isn't being comforting:
I will choose my words wisely as to not cause Christian any backlash. As everyone knows Christian LOVES MI. He has never waivered from that. He told me that he took these visits just to reconfirm his decision and to make sure he could say Mom, I weighed all options and I stand by my decision. Very smart for any 17 year old.
Now, where I need to be careful, He has yet to Have RR visit him in person. We have never met him and Christian has only talked to him over the phone once. Though we heard he has been in Pittsburgh 3 times. (I assume for Terrelle) Next, 4 coaches came recently and asked Christian not to take visits or they would need to open their recruiting.
Is that normal practice?
Now, in the spread an H-back is not really used, so the coaches are explaining to him how they would try and use him, but it keeps sounding like Owen Schmidt style of position and Christian is not a "beer Truck" as he was referred to. He is more agile and has a better eye for the field (so they say)
I agree, I would love to talk with RR and will be in AA on Monday for business.
Here is my last question, Christian has spoken to about 8 of the other recruits who have been taking official visits the past 2 weeks and none of them have been told what Christian has been told. Why is he being asked not to take anymore but these other kids haven't? I don't want to mention names because they told him this in confidence.
I just want him to be happy and MI makes him happy, the players, fans, area all of it. But lets face it, 70% of his days are with the coaches and at this point he really feels they don't want him. All these other back s they are looking at are 6 foot and under (Let's face it they all exaggerate their heights) and less than 190lbs. Christian is s true 6'3" kid and does weigh 235lbs.
Wilson's status is questionable despite an article earlier this week in which he claimed he was a solid verbal. If the coaching staff wants him, they'll have to start paying him significantly more attention; if they do so he'll stay a commitment.
More targets. Right, TJ Lawrence is a Florida safety visiting next weekend and Desmond Johnson is a sleeper guy from Mississippi; Michigan is also on the verge of (or already has) offered a number of guys from Ohio and Mississippi, former home of LB coach Jay Hopson. As these guys start getting official offers I'll add them; expect at least three "who?" commits over the next week or two.
Yes, recruiting update coming. Your Pryor update: everyone says everything.
Ugly. Calvin Magee, Michigan's new offensive coordinator, believes he was not a serious candidate for the West Virginia head coaching job because he's black:
"For seven years I was told that once you're a Mountaineer, you're always a Mountaineer," said Magee, a Wolverine now after resigning Jan. 4 to become Rich Rodriguez's associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Michigan. "I bought into that. But I found out ... that isn't true."
He understands that some people, especially those who harbor resentment for all things Rodriguez, will consider his viewpoint jaundiced because he is so aligned with the new Michigan coach. Magee doesn't back down from his support for and gratitude to Rodriguez. Yet he feels stereotyped as a minority coach -- "racial discrimination and harassment" was how his and Rodriguez's agent, Mike Brown, described West Virginia's handling of Magee in the end -- and thereby disappointment about West Virginia administrators and for other qualified potential coaching candidates who happen to be a minority.
Who's up for another round of recriminations? Super!
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article is a good one, deep and balanced with quotes from both sides. It's all very complicated; from this vantage point the inevitable reaction (which you can already see swinging into action in Ivan Maisel's piece) is going to be of the "over-" variety. Maisel leads with an incident in which a member of WVU's athletic department told Magee that in his opinion he would not be a serious candidate because of his excessive melanin content. This constitutes one dude's thought processes about other people's thought processes and is not indicative of anything except said dude's general cynicism about race relations at WVU. It is not actual evidence of racism.
Is there evidence? Well, yes and no. The embarrassing paucity of black D-I head coaches would be a lot simpler to address if people went around being flagrantly racist in ways that yielded a firing and a spanking. It is not so. Each decision to hire a Not Black guy is individually reasonable and defensible; it's only in the seven-of-119 aggregate that there's clear evidence of a problem.
In this situation there's a reason Magee was passed over that has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his decision to get on a plane with Rich Rodriguez and go to Michigan's introductory press conference. Given WVU's deep draught of Rodriguez haterade, anyone who publicly affiliated himself with the Great Satan was dead in the eyes of WVU's athletic department. Witness the petulance in the immediate aftermath of the plane flight:
"Two days later [Dec. 19], I got my phone confiscated from me and was told not to make any recruiting calls. So immediately after seven years of service, I thought, 'Why are they doing this to me?' On their behalf, I got an apology the next day [from Athletic Director Ed Pastilong] and given all the stuff back."
Magee, still employed by West Virginia and planning on coaching the bowl game, was hassled as he tried to prepare his team. This was probably not because of his skin tone.
Ultimately, WVU made a stupidly emotional decision, and while it is kind of funny that these stupidly emotional decisions usually end up with a completely unqualified white dude in charge in this WVU is no different than most schools. What happened to Magee could have happened anywhere.
And the timing? Makes this look like a counter-smear of the Rodriguez smear, which seems petty and vindictive. To be clear: Magee doesn't come off like that in the article; he has a legit beef with the way things ended at WVU. But from the aerial view it's just going to look like a bunch of douchebags covered in mud. Can all this end, like, now? The next I'd like to hear about Rodriguez and West Virginia would be "lawsuit settled for undisclosed amount of dollars," and then we can move on with our lives.
Matters of state. West Virginia governor Joe Manchin:
"As far as everyone I know -- and that includes the president and the athletic director and most of the staff -- there is no smear campaign,'' Manchin told The Charleston Gazette. "The facts are simply what they are.''
Yes, the "facts" like "Rodriguez shredded the entire building! We're very cold now! And the heating bill is super high!"
Jennifer Granholm has not, as of yet, offered her opinion on the controversy. Probably because she's the governor.
Two established sources indicate that both members of Michigan's 2007 right guard platoon will not be returning for fifth years due to medical issues. (Yes, medical issues beyond Mike Barwis.)
Though neither exactly shone in '07, losing both leaves Michigan's offensive line in a precarious position. Justin Boren and Steve Schilling return. Mark Ortmann is a good bet to start at one of the tackle spots. Past that it's all question marks; Michigan's inability to get more than two offensive linemen in the '07 recruiting class doesn't help.
Purely speculative, but based on buzz I would guess Michigan opens 2008 with a line like so:
|Left Tackle||Left Guard||Center||Right Guard||Right Tackle|
|Mark Ortmann, Jr*||Justin Boren, Jr||Dave Moosman, So*||Steve Schilling, So*||Perry Dorrestein, So*|
At this point looks like Michigan's 2008 offense will have zero senior starters.
Yes, Terrelle Pryor will be in town this weekend and will be attending various things at which point you, the interested public, can express your desire for him to attend your school. (Keep the signs vague, though -- anything with Pryor's name on it will get confiscated due to NCAA regulations. I suppose you could slap Richard Pryor's picture up on the signs, but I doubt that will fly.)
But may I suggest that perhaps some of the proverbial "love" be spread to the other recruits in attendance? '09 Beilein recruit Jordan Morgan will be there, as will a number of other football recruits including Kenny Demens, Mike Martin, DJ Woods, JT Floyd, Brandon Moore, Michael Shaw, and Boubacar Cissoko. Martin, Woods, Floyd, and Shaw are all either uncommitted or visiting elsewhere; let 'em know they're wanted too. Just look for the enormous dudes in varsity jackets.
A final suggestion: Elliot Mealer is also supposed to come up. Mealer's going through a tougher time than I and likely 99.9% of this blog's readership have ever or will ever experience; some positive reinforcement for the kid is in order.
Maze Rage, I charge thee with this task. Go unto Crisler and make it happen.
Oh, right. Amongst the many mysteries found in Rich Rodriguez's phone records are the 112 calls to Peterstown, a tiny hamlet of 300 on the Virginia border hours away from Morgantown. This all seems verrry suspicious to crack West Virginia reporters:
Let the latest innuendo roll as many seem suspicious of the 112 calls placed by Rich Rodriguez to Peterstown in his final two months on campus. A lot of the phones calls are to faraway cities â€” Phoenix, Boston, Toledo, to name a few â€” but it's easy to make logical connections to Rodriguez.
Peterstown is puzzling, though. I've gotten a bunch of calls and e-mails wondering about the identity or the person/people. I do not have the number. Every number was blacked out except for the calls made to and received from the state of Michigan. Why? I have no clue.
"The intrigue lives on," concludes crack West Virginia reporter. Indeed. The intrigue. The mystery. The... voicemail:
It does appear that the voice mail number for Cellular One (which was the carrier for at least one of Rod's phones) uses the Peterstown exchange
Type: Cell Phone
Provider: American Cellular Corporation
Location: Peterstown, WV
I'm a cell one customer and 994-0001 is definitely the voice mail #.
Man... jeez. Everyone's ready to string up Jim Carty after yesterday, when he wrote an article stating Rodriguez should apologize and pay up, then directly asked Rodriguez about apologizing in the teleconference. Rodriguez responded "apologize for what"; Carty responded "for hurting their feelings." Which... uh... didn't go over well amongst Michigan fans. A followup today:
What he still doesn't seem to get, though, is that the main reason he's being smeared is because he behaved so poorly on his way out as West Virginia football coach.
Michigan fans want to overlook that. They want to circle the wagons around their guy, even though he's a guy they hardly know.
This cuts both ways, does it not? Both Rodriguez defenders and assaulters hardly know him. We know almost nothing about what went on in the WVU athletic department. We have no idea why Rodriguez left. Carty details a list of offenses:
Let's imagine you had a football coach you loved at Michigan, who told you, "This is my school," who said he was going to be "here a long time," and a year later, behind your back, when he was thought to be recruiting for Michigan, he's caught interviewing for another job.
Then the coach informed Bill Martin he was quitting by sending a graduate assistant to tell Martin, and called Michigan's top recruit - and incidentally the best player in the nation - to tell him he was leaving, before he told his own Michigan players, and invited the kid to ditch Michigan and come to New Job U.
Then, hours after quitting, he used his Michigan cell phone to call high school recruits who had already committed to New Job U.
Oh, and he hired lawyers to get him out of the buyout he owed you according to terms of the contract he just signed last summer.
There's no way you'd be defending that guy.
Defending, no. This is not about "defending," though. There's a proper level of disgust here that WVU fans are entitled to about equal to Michigan fans' disgust with Ryan Mallett. I don't want Mallett to be any good at Arkansas and I think the guy is a prima donna. But I'm not going to sneak into his dorm room every night and hit his fingers with a tiny hammer so they're oddly sore the entire year. He left. I don't care past that.
Rodriguez left. This is his sin. Leaving a school is unavoidably kind of skeezy in a way that taking a new accounting job is not because you have made promises to a bunch of kids in college. There's no way around that. But the same curse would have followed Greg Schiano (who flirted with Miami last year) or Kirk Ferentz or, hell, even Brady Hoke.
The rest of it doesn't bother me, though. Who was harmed by any of it? At one point Rodriguez flipped from being WVU's coach to being Michigan's coach, and he immediately started acting on behalf of Michigan. Rodriguez got burned by the Pryor call when Pryor immediately rang up Scout to break the news, but given the state of the rumors flying around it's very doubtful something wasn't going to break in the next couple hours. And does it matter how the news breaks? He left.
I fail to see anything even slightly unethical in Rodriguez's initial calls to Michigan recruits. They occurred after Rodriguez met with his team; he had discharged his obligations to WVU then. Does it matter which phone he made them from? No. Thought that may be a technical no-no, it's not unethical in any way. Sticking that in there submarines Carty's thrust much in the same way WVU now looks ridiculous for claiming that the entire athletic department went through Rich Rodriguez's shredder.
Attempting to get out of a buyout is SOP; see John Beilein. No one demanded Beilein apologize.
Similarly, the infamous "grad student" thing. Who cares? He left. He met face-to-face with his kids and told them. That's what's important. He did that. I don't care what Ed Pastilong thinks. I care what Owen Schmitt thinks:
Schmitt, an honor student, did not criticize his coach's departure.
"You've got to do what you've got to do sometimes," Schmitt said at the time. "He did all he could for us. As far as I know he did a lot of great things for this university."
Giving Schmitt a chance was one of them.
Criticisms of Rodriguez all boil down to "he left." Yes, he did, and he's already apologized to the people he had to. Yahoos like this...
...deserve nothing but pity.
Update: Wow. This blog has given Stuart Mandel a lot of stick in its history, but his latest is a comprehensive WVU takedown. I take back 20% of all the nasty things I've said.
Be sure to read the official mgoblog recruiting philosophy before committing suicide over anything you read here.
A Note on "Stars": These are my guesstimates. Players don't have stars associated with them yet. When the recruiting services add them I'll adjust my ratings. Half-stars appear to provide some additional accuracy. Generally a 4.5 star is a guy solidly in the top 100 on Scout/Rivals/ESPN and really highly rated by one. A 3.5 star is either a guy who is is a 3 on one site and a 4 on the other or a four-star that no one seems particularly excited about.
A Note on Premium Info: No illicit sharing of said material will appear on this site. Players are listed with interested schools in their profiles; this information is public. Commitments are by definition public. Any assertions as to schools in the mix, decision dates, or leaders I will back up with links to public information.
Projected Class Size:
As of right now: 18. Probably 22 by signing day.
|Expired Eligibility||Henne, Hart, Long, Kraus, Crable, Adams, Englemon, Campbell, C. Graham||9|
|Transfer||Forcier, Mixon, McKinney, Mallett||4|
|Early Entry||Manningham, Arrington. Maybe: Taylor||2|
|Unrenewed Fifth /Medical||DeBenedictis, Ciulla, Mitchell. Possibilities: Gallimore||3|
|Other||Unused: 1. Stupidity: Germany, Richards, Sears; Lethargy: Schifano.||5|
Anything not in the "expired eligibility" is a wild-ass guess from me; read nothing into it, I beg you.
Update 1/21: removed TX CB Adrian Bushell, CA OL Vaughn Dotsy, a couple WRs. Added OH LB Taylor Hill as committed.
|Sad Josh||The genre of player with unrequited interest in Michigan. Unlikely to receive offers; most will eventually fade off the list and go to Duke or Michigan State or something.|
|Nefarious Eduardo||Player is a longshot. Either they've declared someone else a leader publicly or popular opinion holds that they're likely to go to another school.|
|Data||Either no opinion or Michigan is one of a fairly even group of chasing schools. Players in this category maintain no leader or change their leader frequently. The default category for players that we don't know much about yet.|
|Happy Teeth||Players who have Michigan in a small leading group or have Michigan as a tenuous favorite. Should be regarded as a good shot, not a slam dunk.|
|Mr. Blue||Player is either a verbal or is expected to be one sooner or later. Players with this designation are 65%+ to be Michigan commits.|
Needs: Minor. Mallett's on board;
Forcier and Cone provide adequate depth. I would expect one guy of the three-star variety.
Update: Forcier's departure means that one quarterback is a must and should improve our chances a bit, since Mallett can no longer redshirt and we can offer any prospective commits an opportunity to get two years of separation.
Update Update: With Wienke's commit and the transfer of Stephen Threet, who's now essentially a member of the 2007 class who has to redshirt, we are done. I have Pryor on the board until he eliminates us officially.
Projected Commits: 1.
|Terrelle Pryor||PA||*****||Michigan, Ohio State, others||National #1 recruit. CNNSI article. NYT article. Video, more video, AA game video.|
|Justin Feagin||FL||**||M, Miami, Syracuse, Rutgers||Dual threat HS QB who's an ATH type that could end up several different places. Small-school player of the year in FL, third in Mr. Football voting. Rodriguez was on him at WVU; Michigan has taken up the baton. Video.|
Running Back / Fullback
Needs: Minor(FB)/Major(RB). Vince Helmuth and Andre Criswell will battle for the fullback job for the next few years. There's not much depth, but Michigan can move over some tight end or defender who's not going to see any time otherwise. At tailback Michigan picked up Avery Horn last year and has true sophomores Carlos Brown (argh wasted redshirt) and Brandon Minor, but looks for at least one tailback in every class. Whoever comes in this year will have a clear shot at the starting job after Mike Hart's departure.
Projected Commits: 3, 2 RB, 1 FB.
|Sam McGuffie||TX||****||Michigan||Kid with the crazy highlight reel; parents originally from Michigan. Scout article. Houston Chron article. Scout article. Chron article. Set your DVRs for Oct. 18. Blue on McGuffie.|
|Mike Cox||CT||**||Michigan||MGoBlog on Cox.|
|Christian Wilson||PA||****||Michigan||Fullback/H-back offer. ATH LB. Scout article. Clemson lead? No. Michigan lead. Scout article. Down to M, Rutgers. Video on commit. Article on him and cousin. Brief. Mention as "Beast".|
|Darrell Scott||CA||*****||Texas leads M, CU, others.||Scout article; transfer to Ventura St. Bonaventure (Michael Williams). Will take official visit here. Interview; highlights. USA Today article.|
Needs: Minimal. Clemons, Hemingway, Babb, and Webb all came in a year ago (though Webb is widely expected to end up at tight and Babb could be in the secondary sooner or later). Michigan always takes at least one, but a second will only be because Michigan found a player they really liked.
Projected Commits: 2.
|Darryl Stonum||TX||****.5||Michigan||Fort Bend Dulles (Woolfolk, Herron). Early Enrollee. Says we are team to beat. Scout article; another Scout article. Houston Chronicle article.|
|DJ Woods||OH||***.5||M leads Cinci, Auburn, PSU||Nebraska commit who decommitted when Callahan got fired; WVU commit who decommitted when Rodriguez left. Now strongly considering M.|
|Vaughn Carraway||PA||***||M leads(? -old) PSU, Tenn, BC, Pitt, WV||Claims an early offer. Rivals article. Scout article; another. Scout; second.Still visiting.|
|Terrence Robinson||TX||****||M, BC, Wake||Recent offer; 5'9 slot receiver like Reynaud. Youtube highlight; another. Chron article.|
|Jaron Brown||SC||***||M, Clemson, SoCar||Offer, will visit, but a longshot.|
|Commited Elsewhere But Michigan Might Take A Run At Them|
|Jonathan Baldwin||PA||****.5||M, Pitt lead(?) ND, USC, UF, Miami||cousin of Ty Law. Big dude, 6'6". Coach believes he favors Michigan. May play basketball instead (basketball no longer a threat). Scout article. Another Scout article. Local newspaper article; blog article. M lead? All American Bowl invite. Newspaper article; second. Blue Chip chat. Post-Gazette.|
|Cameron Saddler||PA||***||M, WVU, UVA, 'Cuse||Tiny scatback/KR type a la that Florida midget. Apparently offered. Scout interview. Pitt Trib-Review article. Previously mentioned UVA lead dissipating. WVA newspaper article. Blue Chip Chat. Newspaper profile. Returnin' kicks. Returnin' punts.|
Needs: Moderate. Would be "minimal" but Michigan is running a ton of multiple-TE sets these days. Two tight ends came in the last class. There is a third player, Quintin Woods, in academic limbo who may or may not arrive on campus.
Update: Carson Butler getting the boot upgrades the need here to "serious"; Brandon Moore's commit helps mitigate that somewhat. We will probably take another at this point.
Projected Commits: 1-2.
|Brandon Moore||OH||****.5||Michigan||Offer. Video. Rivals Top 100/Scout Top 100. MGoBlog on Moore. Scout article; video interview. Photos. DDN article.|
|Kevin Koger||OH||****||Michigan||Offer. M-OSU battle. Blade article. Bunch of pictures. ATH DE. Video. Blade again. Blade on his commitment. Blade. Solid even after the coaching switch.|
Needs: Severe. Michigan has only five offensive line recruits across the last two classes. Fortunately two of those recruits, Justin Boren and Steve Schilling, appear to be can't-miss players. Beyond them is very little. Expect at least five recruits.
Projected Commits: 5.
|Dann O'Neill||MI||****.5||Michigan||Tackle. Rivals 100 (#64). Grand Haven Tribune article. AANews article. Grand Rapids Press.|
|Elliot Mealer||OH||***.5||Michigan||Tackle prospect. Video. Blade article.|
|Kurt Wermers||IN||***.5||Michigan||Scout interview. Guard prospect. Article. MGoBlog on Wermers. Scout article. Local newspaper article. Video.|
|Rocko Khoury||MI||***||Michigan||Scout article. Commit article.|
Needs: Moderate. It's hard to tell exactly who's a tackle and who's an end on the defensive line. It's also hard to tell whether or not freshmen Marques Slocum, Renaldo Sagesse, John Ferrara, and Jason Kates are going to do anything. Ferrara and Kates redshirted and Slocum may not have a redshirt year available after his bizarre academic sojourn, so for class balance purposes it may be more important than one might think to grab a DT in this class.
Projected Commits: 1.
|Mike Martin||MI||****||Michigan||Offer. Rivals250. Senior year highlights.|
Needs: Moderate. Michigan has a plethora of good sophomore options in Eugene Germany, Brandon Graham, and Adam Patterson (arrrgh wasted redshirt) plus freshman Ryan Van Bergen.
Projected Commits: 2.
|Nick Perry||MI||****||Michigan, MSU, USC||May be an OLB. Offer. Lemming thinks he'll stay home, FWIW.|
|Commited Elsewhere But Michigan Might Take A Run At Them|
|Shayne Hale||PA||*****||M, OSU, WVU, UVA||Teammate and cousin Cameron Saddler keeps talking about a package deal. Scout article. Pittsburgh newspaper article. All-American Bowl invite. Package deal on? Local TV station article; WVA newspaper article. Scout article. Local newspaper article: now a DE? PTR article. Scout; second.|
Needs: Minor? Michigan evidently thinks the need here is severe given the offers they have out, but since Jonas Mouton, Obi Ezeh, Cobrani Mixon, and Quintin Patilla all redshirted Michigan has no fewer than six linebackers with freshman eligibility. Marell Evans and Brandon Herron are a lock to join the redshirt crew, too.
Projected Commits: 2, but it would be nice if they were big-timers.
|JB Fitzgerald||NJ||****||Michigan||Offer. Junior stats. Scout article; second. Has visited lots; think we lead. Another Scout article; another. Schiano following him around in a helicopter.|
|Kenny Demens||MI||***.5||Michigan||Offer. Commit article.|
|Taylor Hill||OH||***.5||Michigan||MGoBlog on Hill.|
|Marcus Witherspoon||NJ||****||Michigan, Tenn, UNC||Rivals 250. Offer. Scout interview. MGoBlog on Witherspoon. Newspaper article. Reopened recruiting after coaching change, Michigan still likely destination.|
Needs: Moderate, even considering Cissoko's commitment. Though Michigan's now secured two five-star-ish commits in two years, in the new spread-mad era of college football one can never have enough cornerbacks. Two of last year's three commits are huge projects; Michigan will go hard after another couple corners.
Projected Commits: 2.
|Boubacar Cissoko||MI||****.5||Michigan||Heavily hyped after a couple standout combine performances as a junior. Detroit Cass Tech. PSU Nike Camp MVP. Video. DetNews article. Varsity Blue scouts. Still solid. Fluff.|
|JT Floyd||SC||***||M, Tenn||Very soft UT commit, but has visited and will make return trip. ATH S. GoVols article. Palmetto Sports. Scout. Recent Scout article; still in it.|
|Joevall Hoseay||MI||NR||open||Not offered yet; quoted as one of the "I want to go to Oregon" kids; later disputed that version of events. lolmsm.|
|Troy Tidwell||MI||***||open||Detroit Southwestern.|
|Brandon Smith||NJ||****||Michigan||HS QB. ATH WR/OLB(?). Offer. Scout article. Sounds enthused. Rivals article; Scout article. May commit at PSU? Interview. Visited CU.Commit article.|
|Keanon Cooper||TX||***||M leads Wisc, Minn, TT, OK||Offer. Scout article; another; another; another; another (kid loves talking to Allen Wallace, that's for sure).|
Needs: None. Zoltan is a sophomore, Bryan Wright a redshirt freshman.
Projected Commits: 0, though if someone wants to walk on they'll take him.
A reminder: the Star Scale for Rumor Credibility.
- 0-star: incoherent ravings.
- 1-star: clearly biased speculation without backing.
- 2-star: Some guy saying something on some board that claims insider info due to a chance occurence.
- 3-star: Information from someone less established as an insider but a frequent poster who seems sane and useful.
- 4-star: recognized insider-type person with no ax to grind who has established his bonafides on past recruits.
- 5-star: actually verified by an article and a quote from the player, a family member, or a coach.
So. Cutoff is two stars... sometimes three. Played by feel. In the future there will be denotations as follows:
UV: the information in sum(star rating).
Links will be provided so you can judge for yourself; posts that will fall into the memory hole will be copied for posterity.
Update 2/25: Added NJ S Brandon Smith, TN WR Rodriguez Wilks, IL OL Graham Pocic, CA OL Vaugn Dotsy, and FL LB Nigel Bradham. Linked to Mike Zordich interview. Fixed "illcit" typo that had been there for two years. Added VA LB Marcus Dowtin, GA DT Omar Hunter, and MI CB Troy Tidwell, MN WR Michael Floyd, OH WR Nate Wilburn-Ogletree. Linked to Jon Major interview. Added KY DE Dexter Heyman, KY DT Brandon Newman, CT DT Massengo Kabongo.
Downgraded NC S Robert Blanton from green to yellow.
Update 3/5: Upgraded Jonas Gray from red to yellow. Added MI QB Brendon Kay, NJ LB Marcus Witherspoon, MN LB Sam Maresh, MI WR James Wade. Linked to article on MN WR Michael Floyd -- he has an offer. Added CA WR Christopher Owusu. Noted that 'Bama and UF lead for GA S Darrell Simmons.
Removed IN OL Braxton Cave and IN WR John Goodman, who both committed to ND.
Update 3/15: Downgraded PA LB Andrew Sweat to yellow. Downgraded OH TE Brandon Moore to red; bet you a dollar he's SEC. Added OH OL Matt Grieser, IN OL Kurt Wermers, FL DT Marcus Forston, NJ WR Dejuan Miller, OH LB Justin Staples, OR OL Matt Lipski, IL DE Darius Fleming, NY RB Latavius Murray, NV(!) TE Cody Aughney, PA WR Vaughn Carraway, and NJ DE Jack Crawford.
Linked to article on TX WR Daryl Stonum (down to Michigan & Florida), update on TX RB Sam McGuffie's track exploits. (Second McGuffie track update.) CA OL Khaled Holmes likes Borat. Linked to articles on MN WR Michael Floyd and IL DE Darius Fleming. Downgraded Zebrie Sanders to red -- we're not in his top five.
Removed OH OL Mike Adams (OSU).
Update 3/21: Linked to articles on NC DB Robert Blanton, NJ LB JB Fitzgerald (lol). Noted that GA DT Omar Hunter has his offer now. (woot) Moved MI OL Dann O'Neill to committed. Added IL RB Jason Ford, NJ LB Brendan Beal. Removed OH TE Kyle Rudolph (dropped us), OH LB Devoe Torrence (OSU). Moved PA DT Lucas Nix to OT, where he's getting recruited by a lot of schools. If he ends up here OT is a much more logical place for him to play.
Update 3/26: Removed FL OL Michael Brewster (dropped us). Downgraded PA TE Mark Weddeburn to red after ugly Scout article. Upgraded CO OL Bryce Givens to green: we lead w/ Nebraska. Linked to articles on OH S Dan McCarthy, PA OL Luke Nix (upgraded Nix to yellow since this supposed heavy Pitt lean does not appear to be materializing), PA OL RJ Dill, OH LB Brandon Beachum, TX OL JB Shugarts, KY DE Dexter Heyman. Upgraded Zebrie Sanders to yellow; top-five omission in earlier article appears to be momentary oversight. Added MD OL Lane Clelland, SC OL Kenneth Page.
Update 4/5: Linked to article on PA WR Vaughn Carraway. Black Shoe Diaries now has a recruiting board of his own; it thinks we lead for him. Bumped MI WR Fred Smith to green. Linked to article on PA LB Shane Hayle; not in top six but he hasn't really narrowed it. Added CA QB Dayne Crist. Downgraded WA DE Kavario Middleton to red; nasty Scout article. Added TX DE Kapron Lewis-Moore, MI TE Tyler Hoover, OH TE Kevin Koger, AZ RB Covaughn Deboskie. Removed MN LB Sam Maresh (Minnesota), PA RB Cameron Saddler (lack of mutual interest).
Update 4/10: Linked to articles on CA WR Christopher Owusu, CA OL Khaled Holmes, and MO TE Wes Kemp. Both downgraded to red due to a lack of interest on M's part. Removed MN LB Sam Maresh (Minn). NE OL Trevor Robinson (Neb), OH TE Nic DeLillo (Clemson). Note that the same article claims M is in Zebrie Sanders' top three. Linked to articles on AZ RB Covaughn Deboskie and KS LB Arthur Brown. Removed TN WR Rodriguez Wilks (we threw him an offer but he's SEC all the way), CO OL Bryce Givens (Neb). Added OH OL Elliot Mealer, OH LB Jamiihr Williams. Linked to very positive article on MI WR Fred Smith and one of those Scout articles about campers/visitors that make a lot of assertions worth evaluating.
Update 4/15: Added a legend. Some small changes: all of our little projection icons have names. Mr. Blue, previously reserved for Michigan commitments, is now deployed for players like Marcus Witherspoon (please note latest Rivals article from the PSU site: "Witherspoon has heart set on Big Ten school"; it's not PSU) and Fred Smith who are highly likely to end up Michigan commits and -- this has key -- have said as much publicly. Hopefully no Rojo types end up in this categorization, but no guarantees are provided. There's a new icon, Sad Josh, used for guys who have expressed an interest that Michigan does not seem to reciprocate. With the clarifications and such several players have been moved into new categories. Smith and Witherspoon get Mr. Blue. Deboskie gets a green now that there's a separate category for players who are expected to end up at Michigan. A bunch of players got shoved into Sad Josh. Er.
Added MI DT Mike Martin. Linked to stories on OH TE Kevin Koger, CA QB Dayne Crist (header for second is not good), IN OL Kurt Wermers, IL DE Darius Fleming, some video of OH OL Elliot Mealer. Removed FL LB Nigel Bradham (FSU), CA CB Robert Golden (we don't seem that interested, and neither does he).
Update 4/20: Linked to article on TX RB Sam McGuffie. Removed CA CB Brandon Leslie (no mutual interest), PA LB Andrew Sweat (dropped us), CA QB Dayne Crist (ND), MI S Charles Burrell(MSU). Added OH RB Darius Ashley, MD RB Josh Haden, NC RB Brandon Barnes, LA TE Tyler Edwards. Linked to header on OH OT Elliot Mealer, article on PA WR Jonathan Baldwin, article on OH LB Brandon Beachum, article on MI TE Tyler Hoover.
Removed GA S Darrell Simmons (dropped us), NJ LB Brendan Beal (dropped us). Linked to article on OH OL Zebrie Sanders. Added TX S Keanon Cooper, OK S Kye Staley. Moved OH OL Elliot Mealer to committed.
Update 4/30: Added VA WR Deion Walker, KY OL Ryan Benzick, IL DT Garrett Goebel, AZ OL Zach Schlinck, WV OL Josh Jenkins, OR DE Ethan Johnson (offered). Linked to articles on OH OL commit Elliot Mealer, GA DT Omar Hunter. Removed IL RB Jason Ford (M lack of interest). Linked to brief mention of possible M lead for IL LB Stephen Filer.
Am specifically leaving two guys off the board despite some announced interest: TX WR Sedrick Johnson claims a verbal offer from Michigan and has them in his top five, which he claims is in no order before talking all about how Texas A&M is highly likely to get him. CA RB Milton Knox says Michigan is in his top five; we haven't offered. If these guys appear to be serious targets later I'll add them.
Update 5/7: Linked to Scout header indicating IL OL Graham Pocic has an offer. (This means the gray icon has been replaced with a yellow.) Linked to AJC article on GA DT Omar Hunter, blog post on AZ RB Covaughn Deboskie. Noted assertion on BP that OH RB Darius Ashley has officially snagged a Michigan offer (FWIW. Seems solid to me). Added PA RB Cameron Saddler, TX LB Joseph Ibiloye, NV DT Lawrence Guy, AZ CB Marc Anthony. Removed MD OL Lane Clelland(ND). Linked to articles on MD RB Josh Haden, PA TE Hubie Graham (#2), PA WR Jonathan Baldwin.
Update 5/14: Consistent and repeated pessimism at BP re: OH TE Kevin Koger has caused me to bump him up to blue. (There is also a poster who has to be a high school classmate of IL OL/DT Garrett Goebel ranting about woo OSU in that recruitment; don't know how seriously to take it.) Also downgraded PA OL Lucas Nix to red; seems the Pitt lean is for real. Moved Christian Wilson from LB to RB; he's been offered as a FB/H-back. Linked to articles on OH OL Zebrie Sanders, IL OL Graham Pocic, KS LB Arthur Brown, AZ OL Zach Schlink, GA DT Omar Hunter. Added AR WR Joe Adams.
Much rejiggering of DTs, much of it based on one of those GBW summary articles: MI DT Mike Martin has an offer and is widely presumed to be a lock; he's upgraded to blue. NV DT Lawrence Guy now has an offer and has Michigan in his top three; green. MS DT Cameron Wagner is downgraded to gray with the new offers out. KY DT Brandon Newman goes down to red; there has been much talk of him and Notre Dame.
Linked to articles on AZ RB Covaughn Deboskie (visit coming up), NJ S Will Hill (he speaks!), another on IL OL Graham Pocic, PA WR Jonathan Baldwin (amongst other PA recruits). Also here is another combine article. Removed OH LB Mike Zordich.
Linked to Jim Stefani's early Michigan top 25.
Update 5/21: Linked to article on DC DT Reggie Ellis. Added KS TE Spencer Ladner, AL OL Antoine McClain, GA S Jamoris Slaughter (Scout article), FL OL Matt Patchan. Linked to Rivals roundup article w/ info on Cissoko, Fred Smith, Vaughn Carraway, newspaper article on Butler High in NC. Did some general cleanup with schools of interest and reorganized a couple sets with some new gray icons. Linked to Jonas Gray article. Does he have a frickin' offer or not? Linked to articles on PA WR Vaughn Carraway, NC S Robert Blanton, PA LB Shayne Hale, PA QB Terrelle Pryor, header on PA WR Jonathan Baldwin (no longer considering basketball), pictures of OH TE Kevin Koger. Moved IN OL Kurt Wermers and OH TE Brandon Moore to committed. Added TX CB Adrian Bushell. Downgraded Darrell Scott to red, removed FL DT Marcus Forston (was only on board because of single brief mention, does not appear to have any serious interest). Linked to articles on the commitments of Wermers (second article) and Moore. Added AZ TE Dion Jordan.
Update 5/28: Linked to articles on TX WR Daryl Stonum, NJ LB JB Fitzgerald (lolacronym), IL OL Garrett Goebel, MO LB Spencer Ladner, MI WR Fred Smith, IL OL Graham Pocic, GA DT Omar Hunter. Also linked to what seems very solid speculation on NC S Robert Blanton: ND. Added CA S Rahim Moore, AL LB Jerrell Harris, OH DB DJ Woods, CT LB Jonathan Meyers, AZ LB Kurt Magnum, OH RB Michael Shaw.
Backed OH TE Kevin Koger down from blue to green after the Brandon Moore commit. Another article on Goebel. McGuffie is going to be on ESPN2 this fall. Bumped GA DT Omar Hunter to blue; article header encourages. Bumped Darrell Scott to yellow; reports of having a top three minus Michigan not true.
Update 6/4: Linked to articles on MO TE Spencer Ladner, PA RB Cameron Saddler, TX S Keanon Cooper, NJ LB Marcus Witherspoon, TX DE Kapron Lewis-Moore (downgraded to red; no M mention), TX CB Adrian Bushell, OH OL Zebrie Sanders, MI RB Jonas Gray, OR DE Ethan Johnson, OH LB Brandon Beachum. Added AZ RB Ray Polk, CA DE (DT?) Jamaar Jarrett, LA CB Robby Green. Linked to a trio of articles on some PA recruits: WR Jonathan Baldwin, LB Shayne Hale, and QB Terrelle Pryor, OL Lucas Nix, RB/WR/KR Cameron Saddler.
Removed PA LB Shariff Blake (no M interest), CA OL Khaled Holmes, PA OL RJ Dill, TX LB Joseph Ibiloye (dropped us). Linked to the Pittsburgh Sports Report's PA Top 50. OH RB Michael Shaw now has an offer. Linked to articles on WA DE Kavario Middleton, MI OL Rocko Koury, LA CB Robby Green. Moved NJ LB Marcus Witherspoon to committed.
Update 6/11: Removed MO TE Spencer Ladner (Cal), GA DT Omar Hunter (ND), LA TE Tyler Edwards (dropped us). Moved MI DT Mike Martin to committed. Linked to articles on KS LB Arthur Brown, MI RB Jonas Gray, LA CB Robby Green, PA QB Terrelle Pryor. Added IL DE Glen Foster, IL OL Neal Dieters, TX WR Jeffery Fuller, VA QB Sean Glennon, TN OL Preston Bailey. Noted solid inside info on OH RB Michael Shaw from BP. Linked to speculation on PA WR
Today was Return Volley day in the WFJihad; Rodriguez spoke to the Toledo Blade, made an appearance on the Huge Show, and held a teleconference with various reporters. I haven't listened to the teleconference yet, but did listen to "Huge".
The Huge interview was mostly a rehash of the Blade article except for one point I don't believe has been broached so far: Rodriguez's office cleaning took place in the middle of a typical workday in the WVU offices, in the midst of secretaries and associates and what-not.
Rodriguez has provided his side of the story now and probably won't be heard from again on this topic; WVU's "investigation" continues apace.
Sugar rush. Ryan Mundy refers to Mike Barwis as "a live wire." Uh... yeah (NSFW, but not in a naked way):
Talking. Orson interviewed yrs truly about the state of Big Ten recruiting; unfortunately a small part of the bit it on Michigan got cut off, though anyone who's followed this blog isn't going to learn anything shocking.
ALL HAIL LEMMING. At MGoBlog our policy on recruiting sites is simple: whichever one thinks the most highly of Michigan recruits wins. This year, Tom Lemming wins:
- #11 Sam McGuffie(!)
- #45 Brandon Smith
- #49 Boubacar Cissoko
- #59 Dann O'Neill
- #80 Daryl Stonum
- #93 Brandon Moore
All is forgiven, you oily, muscled ex-postal worker, you.
"Pitt's out, period. I won't go there, for sure," Pryor said. "I get false stuff said about me all the time. I'm used to it."
Pryor already took an official visit to Ohio State and said he counts Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Louisiana State, Oregon and Penn State among his finalists.
"I want to play in a college town, a facility that has 100,000 and is packed," Pryor said. "That's how I want to do it."
...then proceeds to dole out stadium capacities and fill percentages to eliminate non-Big Ten teams. VB then cuts OSU because of the college town thing to reach the inescapable "Pryor to Michigan... or, uh, PSU I guess!" conclusion.
Let's hope he places a strict limit of 200k on the town he decides to live in, but I think that was more a response to people quizzing him about Pitt. Pitt's in Pittsburgh, doncha know, and regularly packs its stadium to 50% of capacity. Pryor was expressing reasons he was not going somewhere; in context that quote is sadly without import.