"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
A commitment, but not from that guy. Top 100 wide receiver Daryl Stonum
decides tonight around midnight Eastern; this commit is from Illinois quarterback John Wienke:
GoBlueWolverine just got of fthe phone with Tuscola, Ill. quarterback John Wienke (6-3, 210).
"I committed to Michigan late this morning!"
"I just felt the most comfortable there."
After camping at Michigan and then visiting, he said, "Everyone was just so nice to me there, I just couldn't see myself anywhere else."
Wienke's other finalists were Iowa and Illinois. Though it's a weak year for quarterbacks, he is an Elite 11 selection. Rivals rates him a three-star and the #17 QB in the country; Scout hasn't ranked him yet. Google engaged; will update with relevant information.
Update: I don't have anything truly informative, but there's plenty that's entertaining. UK was on Wienke early in the year, but once actual schools with actual football programs got involved the Wildcats understandably went out the window. The reaction:
1) Tuscola (Ill.) quarterback John Wienke got an offer from Michigan, Illinois and Iowa in the past three days, so any chance that UK can land him is thrown out the window. Wienke was supposed to go to UK's camp in a week or so, but that seems questionable now. Despite being the first to offer him and the fact UK is in the SEC has meant very little to the 6-foot-5, 215 pound gunslinger. [sic sic sic, jesus people, you have schools down there, don't you?]
I dunno, I just found the idea that a recruit would think to himself "I know Michigan is a national power, but at UK I could lose by multiple touchdowns to Florida and Tennessee... SOLD!" funny.
Wienke lead Tuscola to a 14-0 record and its first ever state championship in anything last year, throwing for nearly 3000 yards and 29 touchdowns with seven interceptions. In the final they faced heavily favored Aledo, #1 in their division. The result:
Tuscola's John Wienke threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns Friday afternoon to lead his team to a 35-20 victory over Aledo in the Class 1A state championship game at Memorial Stadium on the University of Illinois campus.
Wienke was 20-32. Reviewers were all impressed:
To be honest, this was the first time I got a chance to see Tuscola play this season. Man alive, they were impressive. They had a distinct size advantage over Aledo, and used it to pop everything in a green jersey. At the same time, the Tuscola passing game had a day for the ages.
I say the passing game because â€” to me at least â€” it seemed like equal parts John Wienke and his receiving corps. Broc Winn turned a pair of 10-yard curls into long touchdown receptions. Wienke checked down to his fourth receiver to find Nick Hanke on the 80-yard touchdown pass that put the final nail in Aledo.
Was I ever impressed by Tuscola jr. QB John Wienke. Then I find out he is 6-4, 207 and I'm thinking this Class 1A kid is going to be a Division I prospect next season.
Hell, even the Illinois General Assembly was impressed:
2 WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3 Representatives are pleased to congratulate the Warriors of
4 Tuscola High School on winning the 2006 IHSA Class 1A Football
5 Championship; and
6 WHEREAS, At Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Illinois, the
7 Warriors defeated Aledo High School in a 35-20 victory to claim
8 their school's first State title in any sport; and
9 WHEREAS, Tuscola quarterback John Wienke passed for 384
10 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the team to this moment; and
11 WHEREAS, Through hard work and determination, the Warriors
12 pulled off a stunning victory, and fans of the team yelled
13 until some lost their voices, excited over this impressive
14 accomplishment; ...
11 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
12 NINETY-FIFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we
13 congratulate the Warriors of Tuscola High School on their first
14 State championship and look forward to many more.
Boilerplate congratulations, maybe, but the "some people even lost their voices" is endearingly weird. Additional endearing weirdness can be found in a general assembly resolution specifically praising the Weinke family that hilariously lists the many and varied athletic accomplishments of John, Judson, and Johanna Wienke before dryly noting that "proud siblings" Jenna and Jason exist but have no other distinguishing characteristics whatsoever. (The existence of these resolutions has caused a friend and former resident of the state to spend the last fifteen minutes on Google attempting to discover how much these people are paid so that she can declare it to be far too much. UPDATE: It turns out it's just gone from 57k to 63k; there is an appalled person next to me who is now looking up Illinois teacher salaries.)
Since he won a state championship with his school, Wienke was given the opportunity to answer "Griese or Grossman?" by the Sun-Times, the Bears being in something of a quarterback quandary at that point. Wienke chose... wisely:
1 John Wienke
Junior, Tuscola, Class 1A champion:
"Brian Griese is more consistent because he's been [in the league] longer, so Brian Griese is better to go with. He's more of a veteran and he's used to the big crowds and games. With Rex Grossman, I don't know if he's just not getting used to things."
Weinke's recruitment started a little slowly, as he got scholarship offers from a few non-BCS schools and Kentucky, a BCS school in name only. Then he attended the Colorado NIKE camp, winning MVP honors and picking up offers from Colorado, Iowa, and Purdue. A few weeks later he attended the Michigan camp, impressed, and got his offer. Of the camp quarterbacks, Wienke was the first choice. Offers are still pending to OK QB Nathan Stanley and MI QB Brendan Kay; now they'll only get them if Michigan decides to take another quarterback (a possibility).
Editorial Opinion: Wienke was on the upper end of reasonable expectations for a quarterback to come in in 1 A.M. (anno Mallettus). Though
the recruit sites don't seem high on him yet, he appears to be on the upswing with the Elite 11 invite and might end up a high three star. In a weak year for quarterbacks nationwide, a good pickup.
Fire Mark May provides.
Your Home Field Advantage
Give the more zealous portion of your fanbase a religion. What's this cult following? Feel free to give the splitters a derogatory nickname.
Zealotry runs low in the Michigan fanbase; it is both out of character in general and fairly difficult to maintain after five miseries in six against most hated rival forever. There are people who are hopeful but chastened and then there are the jaded. What zealotry exists seems mostly confined to kids who don't know better, those who have taken up their Zoltan worship with admirable fervor, and that crazy old guy who used to come to hockey games and shout "hey! hey! hey!" as if he was some sort of crazy elderly "that was a penalty" metronome. I miss that guy.
Your biggest rival is in town, and College Gameday is coming....to your citaaaaaaay... Create a blatant corporate sellout promotion to appeal to the mass unwashed.
I do not understand this question. Who am I appealing to? Gameday watchers? Fans approaching the stadium? Me (mass unwashed could refer to my hair)? If it's the latter, everyone would get tshirts reading "It wouldn't be that surprising if Jim Tressel turned out to be a child molester"; on the back they would say "I'm just sayin'", because when you say "I'm just sayin'" you can get away with anything.
Add one local delicacy to your stadium's concessions. Post-tax pricing is optional.
I don't actually buy concessions in-stadium, like, ever, but I believe that Spot's "wings" -- often less wing, more Tyrannosaur forearm -- already have outposts inside the stadium, though I think they restrict themselves to cheesesteaks and the like. So that obvious answer is out, leaving a really, really obvious answer: BTB, nee Big Ten Burrito until the athletic conference sued the pants off of the local cheese and rice and bean and optional meats in a tortilla of joy purveyor. It is still called Big Ten Burrito in our hearts, and if there was any justice they would be in the stadium as well. Ideally these would be as enormous and reasonably priced as the existing BTBs.
With an unlimited AD budget, add or subtract one thing to your school's gameday experience that has nothing to do with football.
This idea is good and free: unite the Maize Rage and hockey season ticket holders in the best student seats available on the condition that they import/invent a wide variety of entertaining cheers, chants, and profanity.
General NCAA questions
Coin a hilariously unrealistic stereotype that you would like to "make stick" for this upcoming season.
My world is full of hilariously realistic stereotypes: Ohio State fans all secretly want to drive monster trucks. Michigan State fans are all bitter about getting rejected from Michigan. Notre Dame fans could, with only a little prodding, end up building Charlie Weis a spaceship so he can fly them to salvation.
Oh, wait, I've got one: Michigan football always wins when it matters most.
Redesign your conference or independent schedule with reckless abandon. Be prepared to include compensation for jilted schools and conferences in your explanation.
In an ideal world I can explode twelve-team conferences entirely. Penn State, Virginia Tech and Boston College are hacked off their conferences and join the Big East. Four teams from the Big 12 and SEC grab TCU, a newly booted USF, and teams to be named later to form an eight-team conference. Everyone plays round-robin schedules; championship games go away. Oh, and no one can play I-AA schools and the NCAA actually enforces its attendance mandates -- paid attendance -- and boots 20-30 teams from I-A.
Following up on your new realignment, blow up the BCS and devise a national playoff system, money grabs and missed exams be damned. Using your new fantasy conferences is optional.
This exercise has been undertaken in this space earlier. The upshot: a six-team playoff with home games for higher-seeded teams with the final at the Rose Bowl. First two rounds take place in December. Bowl system remains intact otherwise. Six teams is the best balance between preserving the importance of the regular season, since there is still a compelling reason to finish one or two and acquire a bye, and opening up the field to a reasonable number of competitors. There are no autobids in my fantasy system, so conference realignment (and non-BCS complaining and the Notre Dame exception irritant) is a nonfactor.
Elect one public figure to replace NCAA president Myles Brand. Anyone with proper name recognition is eligible.
You don't even have to replace the second "C" on the wheel he uses as he steers the ship of state. Only half in jest. Obviously the NCAA does not need to murder 10 million people, but socialism would be better for everyone at this point. Unfettered capitalism in this instance leads to Michigan-Appalachian State.
Mixon stuff for real. Confirmation on the Mixon transfer from a real newspaper:
Kent State appears to be on the verge of landing University of Michigan transfer Cobrani Mixon to bolster the interior of its linebacking corps.
Several Internet reports are claiming the Cincinnati Colerain graduate, who redshirted for the Wolverines last season, has agreed to transfer to KSU. Those rumors appear to be true.
Good luck, Cobrani. You had interesting hair.
Gratuitous video. Biakubutuka goes for 313.
And Rivals decided to post video of an up and coming Michigan defensive end... um. Lamarr Woodley. Timely!
Blogs blogs blogs. Some of the Big Ten stragglers have picked up blogs of note:
- Indiana is now covered by The Hoosier Report.
- Paging Jim Something-something violates the first rule of naming your blog -- make it something other than a random collection of letters -- but also covers Minnesota.
- I think I've mentioned Hawkeye State but if so I am mentioning it again. Hawkeye State. Hawkeye State Hawkeye State Hawkeye State. Unless they lose to ISU, in which case I will call it Cyclone State.
Still AWOL are blogs for Illinois (understandable), as IlliniTalk hardly posts and usually doesn't put much more than a link or two up, Michigan State (also understandable, though it would be better if there was one blog everyone was really excited about that just got suckier and suckier until it disappeared three years later and was replaced with an even thrilling-er blog), Northwestern (come on... I've been to Evanston; there's no excuse not for some bored student to have a blog).
Oh no he di'in't. Speaking of PJS, they've been all over this minor internets brouhaha started with one endearing post from NDNation:
So I just moved into a new apartment, and it so happens that Tim Brewster, the new U of MN coach, lives in the same place. Last week there was a "meet and greet" for the coach, and he gave his spiel about how great things would be for the MN Gophers, how they were changing the program around, and how excited they were to be moving into a new stadium in '09. He repeatedly made the statement "we need to keep Minnesota players in Minnesota" and told the crowd if anybody was from Cretin-Derham, to spread that message. I went up to him afterwards and told him congrats and good luck, but that I was from ND and we might be recruiting the same Minnesota players.
In what I can only describe as bizarre, Brewster basically went off on me, saying how sick he was Notre Dame and our arrogance, pompous attitudes, and fear of playing Minnesota in their new stadium. When I told him it was the collective opinion of ND fans that it was our athletic director who wouldn't budge the schedule, he went off on Weis of all people, called him a "slob, a disgrace to Notre Dame, with his dirty mouth and appearance" or something similar. He said Notre Dame could never recruit another Minnesota player until Weis was under 350 pounds. This whole time I was kind of in awe that another D1 coach could be so tactless, especially around somebody who he had never met. I should have asked him if had a Notre Dame opt out clause in his contract, like Holtz. Oh well. But now I really wish we would play them in for their first game in the new stadium
Wheee for unsubstantiated probable-fantasy from the looniest place in all the tubes! Except someone actually asked Brewster if, when prompted about Notre Dame, he momentarily contracted Tourette's. The response, as you might expect:
The gist of this posting was e-mailed to Brewster and he was asked if this conversation had taken place. Brewster's response was:
"I may be a first-time head coach, but the info in that e-mail is ridiculous. Charlie is a good friend of mine. There is a good reason why I don't read the Internet."
(Doesn't read the internet? Move aside Amish, we have a new punching bag.) Not that he'd cop to it even if he had said the mean and nasty
and so so true things he is accused of saying. For MNIrish's part, he stands by his posting:
I'm not making it up! I was honestly just trying to joke with him as a conversation starter, knowing that coaches can't comment on specific players,but can talk about a school (ie Cretin-Derham). As a Minnesotan, the U of M is my second favorite program, and I have been impressed with Brewster from the start. I actually debated about whether to post my encounter, chalking it up to a bad day for the coach, but now for him to say Weis is a good friend? Unbelievable, from what I heard from his mouth. My feelings aren't hurt, I know a lot of people don't like Notre Dame, but we like Weis and don't think he is a disgrace by any means. And he doesn't deserve to be berated like that.
I'd be more inclined to believe him if the ludicrous, unflattering personal anecdote delivered against a member of the ND Nation enemies list (contents: everyone less enthralled with Notre Dame than Tom Lemming) was not a standard form of expression over there.
Indoctrinate. Indoctrinate. Beilein's running a first-ever Michigan basketball camp, as per his usual tactics; Eric Lacey has some information:
Went to Michigan basketball camp today and saw a lot of signs of offseason progress. The camp itself is taking off, attracting more than 230 in the first session and could get up to 300 for the second.
Plus several of the current players that are working it look in great shape including Jerret Smith, Anthony Wright and Ekpe Udoh. Wright has lost about 25 pounds due to extra cardio workouts immediately after playing pickup ball. Smith also looks slimmer and Udoh says he's gained nine pounds of muscle.
More at the Detroit News' blog, but hurry over in case someone posts something else and you have to scroll down the page. Which would be tragic.
Jim Carty now has a blog under the auspices of the Ann Arbor News and has an interview with Beilein up. Our new God-Emperor seems cautious about rasing expectations too much:
Q: Incoming freshmen guards Manny Harris and Kelvin Grady have received a ton of attention prior to even stepping on the court. What's your approach with them?
BEILEIN: I've watched a lot of their film. Those are the films I've watched quite a bit. Grady, he really seems like he has a high IQ. Kids who are quick as he is, you rarely expect their mind to catch up to their body quickness. But I was really impressed with the games I saw him in, how he had a good mix of making plays and knowing when to slow it down and run a team. I was really impressed with that.
Manny's not going to be 18 until October 29, so he's going to be one of the younger freshmen in the country. Everybody has to be careful of expecting too much from Manny. Let him just sort of go through the process and learn. I'm really impressed by what I saw, but I don't want to build on that any more.
K'Len Morris and Zack Gibson are really freshmen. K'Len's never played. We're going to have a lot of very, very young players.
Other brother Daryl. Texas wide receiver Daryl Stonum is announcing Sunday between Michigan, Florida, and USC. He has visited one of those schools, which is us. Should be a slam dunk. Someone sent me this; provided in celebration.
Etc.: Does the Big Ten have a wack, impossible-to-enforce new recruiting "rule"? (Personal opinion: no, and the Sporting News is full of le crap.)
Yeah, internet hijinks. Something in an hour or two.
Saw this on BON; passing on some accidental memery. In short: five players from opponents that you would draft onto your team given the opportunity.
1. Justin King, Penn State
Aaaargh. Mr. King, if you had decided to come to Michigan a national championship would have been a real possibility last year and you wouldn't be facing down another year of playing opposite Anthony Morelli. Also your head coach would not constantly try to schedule you for brain extraction surgery.
Anyway: King's the best corner in the conference and Michigan's defensive backs are looming as a potential Achilles heel on an otherwise national-championship caliber team. So what if he's still a bit shy when it comes to tackling? He can cover. We need guys who can cover.
2. Jack Ikegwuonu, Wisconsin
Sense a theme? Ikegwuonu did a better job against Manningham than anyone else who faced him -- both Mario TDs were against Allen Langford -- and established himself as an excellent tackler and solid coverman as the year progressed. He's behind King because I've seen King cover deep routes more tightly and, um, King's eligibility isn't in question because he likes to steal.
3. Dan Connor, Penn State
Connor's moving into the MLB spot vacated by the departed Paul Pozluszny; if he was moving over to replace David Harris I would be vastly more sanguine about the linebacking corps this year. Connor's never gotten the opportunity to wreak terrible revenge on Chad Henne, like PSU message board nuts proclaimed he had, uh, proclaimed before he matriculated; if you can't beat 'em -- and you can't, man, you just can't -- join 'em.
4. Sam Young, Notre Dame
He's a right tackle who would form a bookend of death if paired with Jake Long. Though everyone has high hopes for redshirt freshman Steve Schilling, Young leapt right into the starting lineup for ND and performed well as a true freshman. Mono kept Schilling from replicating that feat and a shoulder injury held him out most of the spring, so he's still a talented wilcard. Young, not so much with the wildcard.
5. Travis Beckum, Wisconsin.
The stupidity-based departure of Carson Butler leaves Mike Massey alone amongst Michigan tight ends with a shred of experience. Meanwhile, Beckum was the only identifiable receiving threat the Badgers had last year and he still spent his 2006 torching Big Ten secondaries. And he had just been moved over from LB/DE, so he's just scratching the surface of his talent. Add Beckum to a Manningham/Arrington combination at wide receiver and opposing secondaries would run up the white flag.
6. (I cheat!) Aaron Pettry, Ohio State
I really hope we don't have cause to mutter to ourselves this year and take back all the unfairly nasty things we said about Garrett Rivas and his 80% field goal conversion rate. With Brian Wright apparently struggling -- in the spring game KC Lopata appeared to be the leading candidate for the job -- Michigan is going back to walk-ons to handle the kicking job. Anyone who remembers the Brabbs/Neinberg/Finley year of kicking death is spooked. Pettry didn't get many opportunities last year what with the Buckeyes preferring those touchdown things, but he was 8 for 11 and showed 50-yard range.
7. Vernon Gholston, Ohio State
Like King, I suffer through coulda-woulda-shoulda syndrome in re: Gholston, the first Michigan native to excel for the Buckeyes I can remember. (Say what you want about Craig Krenzel's moxie/toughness/grit/general David-Eckstein-ness, but he was an average at best QB.) Gholston was and is a freak of nature, a late-developing player who Michigan was tardy to offer and lost to the Buckeyes. He's sort of like Alain Kashama except sometime over the past couple years he learned how to play football. He would look great occupying a defensive end slot, but he's lower on the list because Michigan looks set at defensive end with Tim Jamison and Brandon Graham.
Others considered: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, OSU; Anthony Scirroto, S/posse organizer, PSU; Sean Lee, LB, PSU; Alex Boone, OT, OSU; Anthony Morelli, QB-- HA! No, seriously folks.
Does this count as a camp commit? Instate offensive lineman Rocko Khoury has committed to Michigan. Informative update coming ASAP.
Yes, I am terribly excited to deploy "naughty moose" once more.
Totally Uninformative Update: Google has nothing. ESPN is very down on him, giving him a 70 -- lowest score I've seen a M recruit get in three years of Scouts, Inc. coverage -- and a lukewarm review. The upshot($):
Khoury is a solid prospect with some upside. He needs to keep developing physically and as a player. We think he could be a kid that would benefit from a red-shirt year.
(Like, um, virtually every lineman ever.) Scout and Rivals both have him at four stars, though The Wolverine's Josh Helmholdt is higher on him than most. Khoury picked up offers from the instate MAC schools and Michigan State after making some camp stops, then spent a day at the Michigan camp, picking up an offer immediately. Though he's been measured at 6'6", Michigan is reportedly looking at him as an interior line recruit.
Michigan now has four offensive linemen in the class and will be looking for one or two more, probably two. I would expect a tackle and an interior lineman. With Graham Pocic off the board and Zebrie Sanders kind of a longshot there aren't many big names left that have indicated Michigan is in a strong position. I'm not sure whether Michigan thinks Kevin Zeitler, the kid from Wisconsin who just picked up an offer, is a tackle or guard, but he seems very high on Michigan and is a good bet to end up in the class. The probable sixth member of the OL class is anyone's guess.
Update 6/25:Linked to articles on MI RB Jonas Gray (MSU lead, but that was before he got his Michigan offer), WA DE Kavario Middleton, OR DE Ethan Johnson, MN WR Michael Floyd, PA FB Christian Wilson (also info on Saddler, Baldwin). Youtube video of Jonathan Meyers; Daily Illini article with quotes from FL DE Cory Liuget, IL DE Glen Foster, and IL LB Steven Filer. Added OK QB Nathan Stanley, WI OL Kevin Zeitler.
Removed NC S Robert Blanton (ND), PA OL Lucas Nix (Pitt), MI TE Tyler Hoover (MSU), IL OL Graham Pocic(Ill).
Editorial Opinion: Camp came and went without any of those commitment thingies, unless you could that '09 defensive tackle. (Side note of possible interest: Michigan always, always keeps commits they get from juniors under wraps so that seniors don't get spooked by the competition. Campbell's commit likely means that Michigan is done at defensive tackle with Mike Martin. I would expect Pennsylvanian Chris Henderson to go to Pitt; Michigan may continue pursuing Nevada's Lawrence Guy, who is a defensive end if you ask certain people.)
Jim Stefani says the following players received camp offers:
QB John Weinke
RB Jonas Gray
OL Rocko Khoury
OL Kevin Zeitler
CB Marc Anthony
...and the following group are ones to keep an eye on for possible offers in the near future:
RB/LB Glenn Winston
DE Glen Foster
DE Sean Progar
LB Kenny Demens
QB Nathan Stanley
LB/RB Brandon Beachum
WR Damion Dixon
CB/WR D.J. Woods
OL Deonte Pannell
Anthony and Zeitler both seemed very excited about the prospect of Michigan; Gray still maintains that MSU is his leader and he and teammate Kenny Demens are a package deal. Demens, obviously, is still waiting on his offer. Foster is a teammate of OMG shirtless IL LB Steven Filer, FYI.
The Stefani article has a ton more content and is worth reading for anyone interesting in camp goings on; further excerpts below.
(Sidenote on the Gray thing: I expect a Barksdale-like recruitment in which everyone gets to lead for a week or two and doubt he has a real Florida offer. It seems that absolutely everyone claims a UF offer this year, far too many to be plausible. Florida is probably extending a ton of conditional offers that can only be acted on if you track down a werewolf and bathe in his blood as cheerleaders dance around you, drinking its musk out of silver chalices.)
Commits elsewhere: Nothing surprising in Blanton or Nix going elsewhere. Illinois picked up its first big commitment from Lemont OL Graham Pocic, a guy we had an offer out to, and MSU picked up TE/DE Tyler Hoover, the last guy in Michigan to get a fourth star from Rivals. This is going to sound like standard sour grapes, but I think Hoover was not a high priority for the coaches. We're going hard after Kevin Koger at TE and Hoover was at the same camp as the above-mentioned defensive ends. At Hoover's height (6'7"), many uncomfortable comparisons to Pat Massey floated through Michigan fans' heads. It's a good get for MSU, though. I think Dantonio is going to be more Saban than Bobby Williams for them.
Nasty rumors: The recruiting year we were (are?) experiencing seemed to good to be true given the widely assumed post-season Carr retirement, but there are now internet rumblings that, um, are bad. Jim Stefani:
I've heard from three separate sources that
has fallen behind Notre Dame in the Jonathan Baldwin sweepstakes. This is the first bit of REAL bad news in the recruiting front this year. The other prospects Notre Dame has beaten U-M out for this year are all solid kids, but none are the difference-maker type of prospects that Michigan Baldwinis. Wolverine fans won't be able to spin this one away should Baldwingo Irish.
The feeling that
could really make a big push when it comes to in-state recruiting. Michigan State may have waited too long to offer Jones Gray, and with teammate Kenny Demens not yet sporting a Wolverine offer, I would not be surprised to see both verbal to the Spartans sooner rather than later. The longer this thing plays out the better for Michigan . I also think Michigan Michiganhas a battle on their hands with for both Fred Smith and Nick Perry. Michigan State
Yikes. Michigan State can promise both -- hell, they can promise virtually anyone -- immediate playing time and an opportunity to meet a new head coach your senior year. And they've totally got a clock that counts down to the Michigan game. We'll see how these things pan out, but losing Perry and Smith would revive all those "can't recruit instate" stories from a year ago.
Other things: I like WA DE Kavario Middleton's final five very much: Washington, Michigan, Cal, Oregon, and Arizona State. Arizona State is probably right out, and there is no USC. I think we have a decent shot here, as he has a clear choice between staying close to home and the most successful program on his list.
Also, OR DE Ethan Johnson had previously been quoted as favoring ND and USC but spent multiple days at camp. GBW:
USC is considered a big threat to U-M for Johnson, so we asked him about USC, and he said, "I visited there this spring. It was okay."
We asked if Michigan and USC would be there in the end for him, and, smiling, he said:
"Michigan will be there until the end."
My GBW Slant Klaxons are blaring -- conventional internet wisdom holds USC a strong leader at the moment -- but attending lots of camp on your own dime shows serious interest.
Meanwhile, this Pitt Trib-Review article has notes on various players. Baldwin has definitely chosen football. Returner Cameron Saddler:
"I did have a favorite, Virginia, but it's starting to even out," he said. "Every team I put in my top 10 wants me bad.
"WVU is picking up real big. It seems like they got their mind made up of exactly what they want me to do when I get there."
Saddler and Gateway linebacker Shayne Hale originally wanted to go to college as a package deal. Since narrowing their separate lists to 10 schools, Michigan, Oregon and West Virginia are the only schools they have
Good? Bad? Dunno. H-back/LB Christian Wilson named a leader, supposedly:
"So far, probably Clemson is the one that I liked the most and then North Carolina."
Clemson is one of a few schools recruiting Wilson to play running back and linebacker. Wilson said he would like to have a final four -- two schools that want him for offense and two for defense -- before he makes a decision by the end of June.
Wilson has elsewhere debunked this claim as a miscommunication about texting. He came up for an unofficial during camp and I am mildly optimistic about him, FWIW.