there would have to be some to wash away
Apex. Another youtube highlight package, this one of the '98 Rose Bowl. You may remember that game, yes?
I echo the sentiments of the video's first commenter: dynoguy88, who is the source of many of the clipreels featured in this space, is the man. Often these things are frenetic things set to hideous rap rock; dynoguy lets the key plays breathe and brings us Keith Jackson. And when the option to provide Keith Jackson is there, any other choice is the wrong one.
Vermont is known for many things. Ice cream, presidential primaries, hazing... and killer Michigan basketball recruits! Vermont freshman Joe Trapani, a 6-8 wing/forward, is transferring after one year at UVM. Eric Lacy says he thinks Michigan is a likely destination (no permalink, might have to scroll down):
Based on the conversation I had with Charles [Trapani's father -ed], I think Michigan has a great shot and landing his son.
"They have a tremendous tradition in both football and basketball," Charles Trapani said.
I wouldn't be surprised if Joe Trapani commits while on his visit - or while on the way back home.
(Apparently that one-sentence newspaper style is hard to let go of even when your text is internet only.) Lacy then throws this discouraging nugget in:
That's what Reed Baker apparently did after playing pickup with the team.
All right! Reed Baker 2.0! Well, not really. Trapani averaged 15 points per game before injuring his foot and struggling through the rest of the season, putting up 21 points on Michigan State and 13 and 8 boards on Boston College, Michigan's main competition for Trapani.
(Side note: interesting contrast between the blog entry and the brief blurb that made the paper, which omits any of Lacy's speculation based on the tenor of his conversation.)
Er-nest Sha-zor. Notre Dame running back Darius Walker entered the draft early and was passed over entirely. Whoops. His dad, who is actually named Jimmie Walker, says the situation is not dyn-o-mite:
"How does a guy that's fourth on the all-time rushing list for Notre Dame not get drafted?"
Unfortunately, the twelfth game, the increasing prevelance of freshman starters, and the decision to include bowl statistics has made career records virtually meaningless. Mike Hart and Chad Henne will leave Michigan the all time leaders in rushing and passing yardage, respectively, but are they the best to have ever played at Michigan? Probably not. Official Father of Walker then trod closely to making a pointed comment about Weis:
"If you look at the backs who were drafted on the first day, he had the same stats or better as guys drafted on the first day. The only difference is the guys had the height and the pushing, the backing and the pushing and promoting from their respective areas, whether that be the media or whoever else."
Asked if he didn't think Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis backed Darius enough in the draft process, Jimmy answered simply: "I have no comment on it."
Sounds like he already made his comment.
I would also note that Darius got off a bonafide zinger in the weeks leading up to the draft:
"You can't control what team you go to," Walker said that day, "unless you're one of the Mannings."
That's genuinely funny! Try broadcasting, kid.
Etc.: Infamous recruit-turned-LSU-Tiger Joseph Barksdale got jacked by a former Tiger DB and has a broken jaw; the Stanford Daily reports on the Forcier departure (link not just because the article references MGoBlog, I swear); chicks send (hopefully) unsolicited bikini shots to Rich Eisen, wife not amused; brief recap of yet another Beilein radio appearance at Varsity Blue; ABC Saturday Night schedule.
The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with forward Andrew Cogliano on a three-year contract.
Cogliano, the Oilers' first round draft choice (25th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, has decided to forgo his final two seasons with the University of Michigan Wolverines (CCHA) and pursue his professional career.
At least he did it early. Michigan still waiting on Porter and Mitera. Kolarik is supposed to be a lock to return. It looks like it could be another year of struggle for the hockey team.
He has a day job? So I'm innocently reading this Daily article on the plea bargain Carson Butler and Chris Richards have reached...
The deal requires Butler and Richards plead guilty to assault and battery, Jarrett said.
In return, the counts of aggravated assault, as well as Butler's minor in possession charge, will be dropped, he said.
Butler and Richards must also spend eight to ten hours a week mentoring youth in the juvenile system, complete a year of probation and pay the victim $8,062 in medical expenses.
The victim's family also requested the two men undergo random drug and alcohol testing during their year of probation.
...when a name strikes me as familiar:
When Richards's attorney Nicholas Roumel made a request similar to Simon's earlier that day, Mattson had held to the original bond conditions.
Nicholas Roumel? Where have I heard that name before? Then it hits me.
He's "Counterpunt"! He's Nick RouMel. He spars with with comrade Ken "Sky" Walker, AKA "Punt" in the back of the free programs they hand out before home football games. Until I was twelve I thought he was one of the six coolest people on the planet. And apparently he's a local defense lawyer who just happens to get Chris Richards' case. I wonder if the university keeps him around to defend football players who get in trouble.
Anyway... I was excited. So here I am, communicating my excitement. EXCITEMENT.
Prep school mostly gone. This appears to be major news that's flying as under the radar as anything written about in the New York Times can:
In perhaps its most significant move to deter diploma mills, the N.C.A.A. will limit high school students to one core course that would count toward college eligibility after a student's four-year high school graduation date.
As per usual when anything happens, some coaches are pissed off:
"If you have a problem with some of the prep schools, shut them down, do what you've got to do," [Memphis coach John] Calipari said. "Why blow the whole thing up with a bazooka? I understand what their concern is, but I know that they've never discussed it with any of us."
And in this case, I see their point. (The silly quotes over text messaging... not so much.) All of a sudden, only kids who barely miss eligibility can look at prep school as a possibility. The Callahan Brights and Anyone Who Plays Basketball At UConn ... er... -s of the world are now going directly to JUCO without passing go. This doesn't benefit anyone as far as I can tell. The athletes have a longer, more obscure road to a major college. The colleges deploy marginally less interesting athletes who are 1.5 standard deviations below the average student instead of 1.6. Etc. While the NCAA is taking a hammer to the diploma mills, this is a nuclear warhead to any prep school, including places like Hargrave Military or Fork Union or Milford (where freshman defensive tackle Marques Slocum went after failing to qualify) that have established reputations. The scorched earth approach here is excessive.
That said, this should be a small net benefit for Michigan. Slocum is the only recruit in recent memory who went the prep school route and actually showed up on campus. The removal of the prep option harms schools that tend to "draft and follow," oversigning academically questionable kids and attempting to get them eligible year after year, sometimes by stashing them in questionable places. This describes Michigan in no way.
The upcoming. Stadium & Main has a look at next year's schedule. At first glance, once we're through the opening home stretch against Oregon, ND, and Penn State there is a major skate section in which the toughest game appears to be home against Purdue before the finishing @ MSU, @ UW, OSU trio.
c:/Windows/WIN32/ping you.til.you.ded. This has been briefly noted on mgo.licio.us but deserves fuller treatment: holy hell the baseball team is doing their best impression of an aircraft carrier undergoing a cruise missile liquidation scale. The team -- the whole thing -- is hiting .348, which is top five in the country. They've lost one Big Ten game, though the cancellation of their Minnesota series means they haven't played the second best team in the league. Unfortunately, they have a terribly weak schedule and aren't likely to pull a top seed. Rivals has started projecting the field of 64; they have Michigan a two-seed facing #7 (overall) UNC. Minnesota is also a two-seed. No other Big Ten team is in the field.
Two University of Michigan football players reportedly were in a car that allegedly contained drugs when it was stopped by police in Monroe County. No one was arrested and the Michigan State Police are waiting for lab results before any charges are filed. ...
Sources said a small amount of marijuana and tablets of Vicodin, a painkiller, were found in the car. A passenger in the car apparently told police at the scene that he had a legal prescription for the Vicodin, but it was not in his possession. Two other people in the car had the marijuana, according to sources.
No names have been released by the police officers in question. However, I got a tip from a reader when this happened a few days ago. I don't wish to sully anyone's name unnecessarily (nor does the Monroe News: check the reportedly-allegedly double burst of libel protection in the lead), but since this reader had the information on this the day of the incident I'm confident that he's right. So...
One of the guys in the car was Mario Manningham.
Okay. Okay. Okay. This is probably a pot bust and a first offense. He could even be the legal Vicodin guy -- he did have some surgery in the offseason. There's no way he gets in serious trouble for this if he's even in trouble. Maybe a slap on the wrist against Appalachian State, but nothing big. (Please?)
(Sidenote: A friend and I tried on our journalism hats and attempted to confirm this with the circuit court in question but since they haven't been charged with anything pending the results of the drug test they didn't have anything. My IRL information-gathering skills leave something to be desired.)
As above. I've mentioned this in passing before, but not explicitly: I'm editing and writing a large chunk of a new Michigan annual that's coming out this summer. (For an example of the general gist of things you can check out Maple Street's Here Come The Irish from last year; this is a Michigan version of that.) Anyway, the deadline on that is fast approaching and I'd like it to be very good, so I am temporarily redirecting most of my energies to that. So there will be no enormous diatribes, excessive previews of Northwestern, or cool charts in this space for the next week or two. I will get something up every day, if only so the commenters can have a place to discourse, but it'll be along the lines of the last couple days' activity.
After that I'll jump headlong into the previews and hammer out that tempo-free stats thing I mentioned during the season.
Update 4/30: Added VA WR Deion Walker, KY OL Ryan Benzick, IL OL 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.
Possible Programming Note: I throw these up whenever it seems there's enough links to make a post of interest, which seems to be about once a week. So why not make it a weekly feature? Henceforth I'll try to do these every Monday. I've been bad about hewing to schedules in the offseason, though. Will I make it? Perhaps!
Editorial Opinion: Possible M lead for blue-chippah Stephen Filer? w00t? NSFMF. This is the phrase from the Sun-Times article:
Filer, who impresses scouts with his great frame, enormous potential, running ability and good instincts, appears to be leaning to Michigan over Notre Dame, Ohio State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota.
Not exactly the strongest endorsement. Now consider that the only person quoted in the article is Creepy Tom Lemming, who never met a recruit he didn't have a baseless-but-profitable opinion on where he'll go, and add two and two to figure out the source of that really weak assertion and you get something that's not likely to be worth the paper a Terry Foster column is printed on. Too bad.
Many lineman names added to the board: OGs out of Arizona and Illinois (Michigan apparently offered Goebel and said "whatever you want"; given the relative depth at DL and OL I put him at OL), a DE out of Oregon, an OT/OG out of WV. None seem like particularly good bets to come to Michigan. Goebel's one of those Catholic school kids and is supposed to be leaning to ND. Arizona is far away, so is Oregon. Josh Jenkins, the WV kid, maintains that he's a soft commit to West Virginia and featured in a picture the Buckeyes are kicking around (one that, frustratingly, I can no longer find) spelling out "Ohio" with their three OL commits. But we offered him so there you go.
Just one other thing: OH TE Kevin Koger picked up a Michigan offer early and it was followed shortly by one from OSU. He's a childhood friend of OL commit Elliot Mealer and even the BP mods are beginning to see this one coming out in Michigan's favor:
I don't see us winning this one...just my humble opinion.
That's not solid, obviously, but those guys are plugged in and it takes some doing to get them to express anything resembling pessimism regarding Michigan after the past few years. I'm this close to breaking out the blue for him, but... no.
As you can probably see, the banner contest has come to its successful conclusion and the readers narrowly chose a continuation of the motif established by the now retired Breaston/Harmon banner. Your winner is Baxter Allen. Email has been dispatched and his victory post will come whenever he gets around to it.
(Note to a few readers who asked for a runoff: since almost all votes went to a subset of four banners and the runoff would have been around four, there didn't seem to be a point in going through with one.)
Many thanks to all those who submitted banners. If whim strikes me I may deploy one of the runners up (or Fred Simmons' underrated creation) from time to time.
Light posting today.
I'll take "more players with W" for 600. Woodson yesterday, Wheatley today. What happened to the electric speed in the NFL? One of the perpetual mysteries.
Pay that lawyer! How on earth did John Beilein squeeze out of 40% of his buyout? The wording on the contract seemed clear enough to me, though it didn't specify a payment schedule: 500k per year remaining on the contract. Somehow, Beilein managed to hack that down:
As a result, Beilein, now at Michigan, will have to pay only $1.5 million over the next five years.
"After very productive discussions with Bob Fitzsimmons ... we are pleased to have finalized the details related to Coach Beilein's departure from the university," Dorer said in the media release.
"Obviously, from the fact we reached an agreement, both parties wanted to move on and amicably resolve any issues."
Beilein will pay installments of $300,000 over the next five years to the West Virginia University Foundation. The first installment is due in April 2008 and the final one in April 2012, WVU said.
...and since he doesn't have to start paying until next year and has spread it out over five years, the present value of the money he has to pay out is something even lower than the 1.5 million. Plus, the fact that the money is specifically being donated to the "West Virginia University Foundation" makes one think that it may be classified as a tax-deductible donation. That's some good law-talking right there.
Oh, snap. I'm terribly sorry about that bolded section header. I am, truly. Anyway, graduating long snapper Turner Booth is probably going to get an NFL job because he's awesome at it:
A dozen or so NFL teams have expressed an interest, Booth said. ESPN's draft guide rates Booth as the top long snapper available. And his agent, who represents three of the league's long snappers, said his client has what it takes.
"I saw him snap this year and last year and thought he did an excellent job,'' said Kevin Gold, Booth's Harrisburg, Pa.-based agent. "He's also got the size NFL teams like.''
This can only mean that Michigan will dominate long snapper recruiting for the forseeable future. Watch out, USC!
I am writing this extremely coherent and awesome text message to you. No more hilarious abbreviations when discussing text messaging, which has been officially officially banned for, like, the sixth time. Coaches, naturally, are displeased...
Most coaches have expressed dismay over the loss of text messaging. The American Football Coaches Association beseeched the Division I Board to delay action and find a compromise. The AFCA didn't know the game already had been decided.
...and those who converse with them regularly are jumping aboard. Ivan Maisel:
So score one for the Luddites. The NCAA may have become an old man at the beach, bucket in hand, intent on holding back the tide of technology that has washed over modern life. Said [UF OC Dan] Mullen, "I have had a couple of recruits ask, 'How are we going to communicate?'"
Florida must be recruiting the best and brightest if they can't figure out how to scroll down to "Urban Meyer" and push the green button on their phone. Recruits have always been able to voluntarily initiate conversations -- why do you think so many text are dead period CALL ME NOWs? -- and the NCAA isn't changing that, they're just preventing the unchecked spread of irritating behavior. College head coaches have proven time and again that without regulation they are psycho hose beasts...
...with no use for decorum. (French!) No one is hurt by the text messaging ban. Recruits will no longer be reminded to go to school. They will still communicate with the universities that are recruiting them whenever they want. Coaches can stop getting carpal tunnel texting inanities and
spend some time with the family review more film. I guess Verizon is pissed, but whatever.
Ryan Mallett confirmed yesterday that after a bit of soul searching he had decided to return to the Univeristy of Michigan. Michigan fans can probably send their thank you cards to Ryan's high school coach Barry Norton.
Ryan's reconsideration has caused disagreement under his own roof. After meeting with Coach Norton, Ryan has decided Michigan is still his best bet.
If the response to this blog is any indication of how he was treated in Michigan, I can understand why he considered aborting his stay there after one trimester.
Bob Lichtenfels [Scout recruiting guru -ed] has also said that Toney Clemons was informed by Ryan himself that a transfer will not happen.
Hopefully this puts an end to the speculation.
Update: Varsity Blue also has a ton of pictures from the Spring Game.
That is all.
Wow. Wow. Ryan Mundy is no longer a member of the football team, something that's been known for a while now. But apparently he's trying to transfer and play at West Virginia under the now-repealed free graduate transfer program. So good for him. But... uh... this West Virginia newspaper article on the possibility... well, just read the crazy section for yourself:
Forget everything you've heard, read or been told about West Virginia's incoming recruiting class and who in it has the best chance of making an immediate impact.
They are all works in progress, every one of them with just as much potential to become the next Patrick White or the next Jason Gwaltney. Really, just flip a coin.
And, yes, that includes uber-recruit Noel Devine.
Well, then again, it includes everyone except one guy you may never have heard of.
Mundy can flat play. And if he gains the approval of the NCAA to do so â€” perhaps in the next few days â€” he will have an impact on WVU's depth chart the moment he puts on a Mountaineer uniform for the first time next fall.
And no, I haven't paid my $14.95 to take the written test and become a recruiting guru. (That is the only prerequisite, right?).
But a guy who started 18 games at free safety for Michigan will certainly jump into the mix for playing time just about anywhere he goes.
That seems... inaccurate.
He is prepared for Beckham-mania. SMQB points out the commitment of high school junior James Ferentz, Kirk's son, to the Iowa football program. While this would no normally register on a Michigan fan's radar, Ferentz is thought by many to be one of the prime candidates to replace Lloyd Carr when he retires in the near future. However, when your kid says this...
"I was probably always going to Iowa, but that point really hit home with me after the (2004) Penn State game - after my grandfather (Kirk's father) died," James said Wednesday. "That was a real emotional game for the whole family."
Iowa won that game 6-4 a day after John Ferentz's funeral - 137 miles from Penn State's Beaver Stadium.
"I remember after that game," James said, "looking at my mom and saying 'How can I play any place else?' "
...it seems doubtful that dad will go anywhere. Ferentz the elder already makes a ton of money at Iowa and enjoys a status he's unlikely to achieve anywhere else without an enormous run of luck. If Carr retires after this season, Michigan would hypothetically be able to lock up Ferentz before signing day and his son could follow him, but I doubt any offer we can make would cause him to relocate.
[Several man hours were spent attempting to fuse the younger Ferentz's fauxhawk with Iowa's "Hawkeyes" nickname for purposes of hilarity, but in the end there was only failure. We lost a lot of good men out there. -ed]
A long time ago a reader sent in a request for an update on the 2006 recruiting class and opinions on how they'll fare now that we've had a full season of internets scuttlebutt about them, and, hey, that's a good idea, so let's do it.
Brandon Graham. Similarities to Woodley's career are welcome: five star with a brief dalliance at linebacker who put on too much weight to play there effectively, starting as a sophomore, garnering plenty of hype along the way. A major reason not to panic about this year's defensive line.
Steve Schilling. Still presumed to be the favorite at RT despite his ongoing absence. Mark Ortmann might wrest it from him. But even to be in a battle at RT is a little victory for Schilling, since he's a bit short for tackle and for Michigan to leave him on the outside for reasons other than "oh god we have no tackles" -- which would only be the case if he was clearly behind Ortmann and Zirbel -- means that the guy is very likely for real.
Steve Brown. Impressive on kick coverage as a freshman and the projected starter next to Jamar Adams this fall. Everyone says he could be good and stuff, though Michigan's history with safeties makes me leery.
Justin Boren. First offensive lineman I can remember who didn't redshirt. Actually started a game when a couple interior linemen were injured. Carr's basically announced he will be the starting center this fall. Definitely on a stardom track.
Greg Mathews. Assuming the problems at fullback and tight end make the third wide receiver a functional starter even if the ceremonial role goes to Helmuth or Moundros or whoever, Mathews will be in the lineup as a true sophomore. He didn't do a whole lot last year but did have a few nice catches. After spending the entire spring as Henne's #1 option, should have a comfort level with the quarterback; seems poised for an Avant-like career.
Jonas Mouton. A hair's breadth away from the first category, Mouton moved from safety to weakside linebacker and has been generating nonstop hype since. Did well in the spring game and will challenge Chris Graham for the starting job this fall.
Brandon Minor. Zipped past Grady and Brown; now favorite to start in '08.
Adam Patterson. Probably should have taken a redshirt last year, instead burned a year of eligibility for a few garbage snaps. Has received extensive praise for his athleticism, though he's likely stuck behind Jamison and Graham for the next two years.
Obi Ezeh. Has moved past everyone in his eligibility band except Mouton and now seems the odds-on favorite to replace Crable next year on the strong side. Another instate find for the coaching staff.
John Ferrara. Classic pre-Branch Michigan defensive lineman: mildly undersized white kid who works ass off. Has worked ass off so far and is getting moderate amounts of practice buzz. Doubt he's ever a killer, but a probable contributor who might start in a couple years.
Carlos Brown. If he sticks with Michigan will be in a battle with Minor to back up Hart this year and will be one of three juniors vying to replace him next year. Probably the fastest back Michigan has but was buried last year. Will have to improve quickly to play consistently.
Ask Again Later
David Cone. We all hope and pray Cone does not take a meaningful snap in his career. No offense, David, but Mallett and all that.
Greg Banks. Three-star Colorado defensive end redshirted; the rumor mill has been silent except some scattered work-ethic praise. Still developing. Unlikely to ever be a star, may find a Biggs career in there somewhere.
Jason Kates. Hasn't really done anything to warrant hype but did drop from 352 pounds to 318 in a matter of months. Rivals and Scout had vastly different assessments of the defensive tackle based on projections of his work ethic. Scout, thinking he would eat Gabe Watson and turn into Peter Griffin, gave him two stars. Rivals gave him four based on his ability to move despite being ginorbous. He fell in both sites' estimation after a lackluster senior year in which he was, well, 352 freakin' pounds and damn lazy because of it. Before that nastiness he was a top-100 kid to both sites who picked up four BCS offers as a sophomore. So if he's no longer fat and lazy the flier Michigan took on him may just work out.
Perry Dorrestein. Have heard zero.
Cobrani Mixon. Was nowhere to be found during the spring game. Cincinnati transfer rumors are flying a la Mister Simpson. [update: commenters say he was present. I must have missed him. In any case, he was not running with either of the top two units.]
Bryan Wright. It seemed that KC Lopata was the first string kicker at the spring game. Wright missed a short chip shot and was just short on a 56-yarder. He obviously has a big leg but didn't look particularly inspiring in action.
Quintin Patilla. Patilla was the recruit with the famously Mallett-shredded gloves. He was a wide receiver then. When he committed he was a linebacker. Now he's a fullback. At this rate he'll be a defensive tackle next year, Aaron Gibson in 2009, and collapse into a neutron star in 2010. I guess you can argue that the severe lack of depth at fullback means the move might not bode so unwell for his future, but the position has long been the repository of outcasts incapable of hacking it elsewhere on the field.
Quintin Woods. Not in school. Carr said he might arrive in the fall, but no word has come down. Highly unlikely to ever put on a Michigan uniform.
Caution should be exercised, as it's this point at which a recruiting class is most vulnerable to severe hope-based overrating. Many players have shown potential and are poised to move into the starting lineup early in their careers but none have been on the field long enough to expose whatever flaws they have.
That said, the '06 class looks to be a very good one. The stars are all on track to live up to their ratings. A few players appear to be outperforming their rankings (Ferrara, Minor, Ezeh, and possibly Kates) and only Mixon is a highly-rated player who finds himself struggling. (Maybe you could lump Brown in there if you're so inclined.) Attrition has been minimal. So... like, good.